Halo 5: Guardians is going to be the first game in the main Halo series to be rated T for Teen instead of M for Mature! There are some theories about why this is. The ESRB content descriptors for the other Halo games list “blood and gore,” but this one just lists “blood.” The first Halo game also came out at a time when shooters were less common, and that might’ve set a precedent that affected later games in the series. We’ll see what the difference is when Halo 5 comes out on October 27.
I’m worried about Skylanders SuperChargers, which is going to have vehicles and multiplayer for the first time in a Skylanders game. It seems to me like Skylanders is getting exponentially bigger, and I’m not sure where they’re going next. Courtney and I talk about it on The Issue, where she reminds us that NFC chips can go in literally anything. Great!
Once again DOTA 2 has crowned a new team of champions, and this year it’s team Evil Geniuses. The International had a prize purse of $18 million, of which Evil Geniuses will get a paltry $6.6 million to spend at the dollar store or something. Their future plans are apparently to go outside, something they probably haven’t done in a long time considering how much practice they’ve had to do. Read more about The International here.
This week we learned that Hearthstone is raking in $20 million a month. The data comes from an analyst firm that has some interesting commentary on how we play games. Modern gamers don’t stick to one platform or device, and we want games on the go. That’s why Hearthstone’s launch on smartphones made it one of the most successful free-to-play games today. Learn more in my write-up.
Unravel, our favorite thing to come out of E3, has a new gameplay trailer. In it Martin Sahlin explains how Yarny gets past obstacles, and he makes me cry because this game looks so good and heartfelt and cute.
The Electronic Sports League will be moving forward with random drug tests for esports players. This new development comes after a professional player admitted to using Adderall during a match. Other gaming leagues, like Major League Gaming, are also considering adding drug testing. The ESL partnered with the World Anti-Doping Agency to ensure that our esports are 100% drug-free.
The first official handheld Steam OS device has stats and a name. It’s the Smach Zero, and it will be available to order starting November 10. For $299 you could be playing all the Linux-based Steam games your little heart can handle. Read more about the device here on Pixelkin, and to hear me discuss it a little more in-depth, check out episode 18 of our podcast.