the game awards

Vote Now for the Newly Revealed Nominees of The Game Awards 2017

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Over 100 nominees for this year’s The Game Awards have been announced. Dozens of categories range from Game of the Year to Best Multiplayer, Best Family Game, and Best Indie Game. Note the cutoff date of November 17 for games to be considered.

The Game Awards tracks votes from an international panel of game journalists (90%) as well as fan votes (10%). The following categories are determined solely by public voting: Best Esports Game, Best Esports Player, Best Esports Team, Most Anticipated Game, and Trending Gamer.

Fan voting closes on Wednesday December 6 at midnight.

Here are some of the biggest categories and nominees:

Game of the Year

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds
  • Persona 5
  • Horizon Zero Dawn

Best Action Game

  • Prey
  • Nioh
  • Destiny 2
  • Cuphead
  • Wolfenstein II

Best Action-Adventure Game

  • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy
  • Assassin’s Creed: Origins
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Horizon Zero Dawn

Best Role-Playing Game

  • South Park :The Fractured But Whole
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2
  • NieR: Automata
  • Persona 5

Best Family Game

  • Splatoon 2
  • Sonic Mania
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Super Mario Odyssey

Best Independent Game

  • Pyre
  • Night in the Woods
  • Cuphead
  • What Remains of Edith Finch
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

This year The Game Awards welcomes a new category: The Student Game Award. Five nominees from the high school and college level were selected based on ambition and excellence, regardless of team size. The selection panel includes some of the biggest names in gaming, such as Todd Howard (Bethesda Game Studios), Hideo Kojima (Kojima Producitons), Vince Zampella (Respawn Entertainment) and Kim Swift (EA Motive).

The Game Awards was established in 2014 by gaming media veteran Geoff Keighley. It has since grown into a prestigious and popular annual industry celebration.

The third annual Game Awards ceremony will be held on December 7 at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. It will be filmed in 4k UHD and streamed live globally beginning at 5:30 pm Pacific/8:30 pm Eastern. You can watch via Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and directly on PlayStation and Xbox consoles.

 

Star Wars Battlefront II Backlash Forces Hero Cost Reduction

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Electronic Arts found themselves in the crosshairs again with the imminent release of Star Wars Battlefront 2. Reviewers and players with access to the trial period (through EA Access) have discovered that the highly anticipated multiplayer shooter had a major problem with unlockable content. After a big controversy, EA has made the change to reduce hero costs by a whopping 75%.

It was calculated and confirmed that heroes like Darth Vader would take approximately 40 hours of dedicated play time to earn through in-game credits. That didn’t exactly sit well with fans, who took to the internet and social media to voice their displeasure. Some of it was constructive criticism (good) while others systematically harassed Battlefront’s game developers (bad).

An official EA reddit account defended the high cost of unlockables, which resulted in the most downvoted reddit post in history (currently sitting at -665k votes).

“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes,” states EACommunityTeam. “Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.”

Adjustments have been made, and they’re nothing short of astonishing. In a blog post by DICE executive producer John Wasilczyk, he revealed that they reduced the cost of unlocking the top heroes, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader by 75%, from 60,000 credits to 15,000 credits. Other heroes like Leia and Chewbaca have also been reduced.

“Today we’re making a substantial change based on what we’ve seen during the Play First trial,” writes Wasilczyk. “There’s been a lot of discussion around the amount of in-game credits (and time) it takes to unlock some of our heroes, especially Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Unlocking a hero is a great accomplishment in the game, something we want players to have fun earning. We used data from the beta to help set those levels, but it’s clear that more changes were needed. Based on what we’ve seen in the trial, this amount will make earning these heroes an achievement, but one that will be accessible for all players.”

The update has gone live today, causing many early reviews to be taken down and re-evaluated based on this newly tuned progression system.

Obviously the high cost of unlocking heroes was an incentive for people to pay real money to speed up the process. Considering Star Wars Battlefront 2 is a full $60 game, this feels especially scummy. As the industry hurdles towards the concept of AAA Games-as-a-Service and random loot boxes you can purchase with real money, hopefully publishers can strike a more appropriate balance. As always the best criticism you can give is voting with your wallet.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 releases on November 17 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

cartoon network

New Xbox Cartoon Network App Lets You Stream Shows for Free

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A new Cartoon Network app is now available to download on Xbox One consoles. The app allows fans to stream full-length episodes directly from their Xbox consoles. The app is free to download via the Xbox Games Store.

The Cartoon Network app is the exact same one you can download on your smart phone on iOS and Android. The app includes select episodes from series such as Steven Universe, Powerpuff Girls, Teen Titans Go!, Ben 10, and Adventure Time. There’s also some extra content including clips and exclusive premieres before they air on TV.

You can rate videos as you watch them, letting the app build a custom, personalized playlist based on your views and likes.

The app is free but you’ll need to sign in via your cable provider to access most episodes. A few select episodes are available for free without having to sign in.

The following TV providers let you sign into the Cartoon Network app: AT&T U-verse, BendBroadband, Blueridge, Cable One, Cablevision Optimum, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Dish, DirecTV, EPB Fiber Optics, Grande Communications, Massillon Cable TV, Mediacom, Midcontinent Communications, Suddenlink, Verizon, WOW and Xfinity.

The Cartoon Network app is currently available for Xbox One. No announcements have been made if the app will come to PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch.

 

call of duty: wwii

Call of Duty: WWII Makes $500 Million in First Three Days

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Activision has announced that Call of Duty: WWII, which launched last Friday, has made more than $500 million in sell-through units worldwide over the first three days of its release. That’s more than the opening weekends for big Hollywood film releases Wonder Woman and Thor: Ragnarok combined, in case you were still wondering if video games were a big deal.

“We challenged our players to get their squads back together and they answered the call with the highest number of players we’ve ever seen on current gen consoles and PC,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision. “Call of Duty: WWII returns the franchise to its roots and the results are incredible, selling twice as many units in its opening weekend as last year and setting the day one record for full-game downloads on PlayStation 4. And we’re committed to supporting the community with continuous improvements and new content.”

Call of Duty is one of the biggest, if not the biggest annual releases of the year. Call of Duty: WWII returns the series back to its original setting of World War 2, featuring both online multiplayer and a single-player campaign. The popular cooperative zombies mode also returns with a new campaign. Call of Duty: WWII has been getting mostly favorable reviews and is currently sitting at an 80% aggregate score on Metacritic.

Activision obtained the sales figures from both retail and digital sell-through (meaning actual units sold, not just those put on the shelves) and compared them to reported movie sales.

Call of Duty: WWII is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A Digital Deluxe Edition is available, and includes the Season Pass for future DLC. It’s rated M for Mature.