notre dame

Ubisoft Donating Over $500,000 for Notre Dame; Assassin’s Creed Unity Free on PC

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Earlier this week the world stood shocked as one of the most famous landmarks in the world, the Cathedral at Notre Dame in Paris, France, suffered a devastating fire. Donations from individuals and corporations have been flooding in to repair and rebuilt one of our most iconic landmarks.

French game studio Ubisoft has pledged €500,000 (about $562,000) to aid in Notre Dame’s restoration.

“As the smoke clears on the events that unfolded on Monday at the Notre-Dame de Paris, we stand in solidarité with our fellow Parisians and everyone around the world moved by the devastation the fire caused,” states the press release. “In light of Monday’s events, we will be donating €500,000 to help with the restoration and reconstruction of the Cathedral. We encourage all of you who are interested to donate as well.”

Additionally, Ubisoft is giving away Assassin’s Creed Unity for free on PC, via UPlay. The catch is, well, you’ll need a UPlay account. The free giveaway is also only available for one week, now until April 25.

Assassin’s Creed Unity released in 2014. It took place in France during the French Revolution era of the late 18th century. Notre Dame is a fully explorable location with Unity. Many famous historical landmarks like Notre Dame are painstakingly modeled to be exact replicas of their real world counterparts.

If you’re interested in donating, the French Heritage Foundation has set up an online form for tax deductible donations.

starlink: battle for atlas

Ubisoft Shuts Down Starlink Toy Production Due to Poor Sales

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It’s been a long time since we’ve heard any good news regarding the toys-to-life genre. Unfortunately more bad news has hit this week. Ubisoft announced they are ending production of the physical toys for Starlink: Battle for Atlas.

“Despite the immense and continuous support from our players, the sales for Starlink: Battle for Atlas fell below expectations,” read the official statement. “Consequently, we recently made the decision to not release any additional physical toys for the Spring update and in the future.”

It’s important to note that unlike previous toys-to-life games like Skylanders and Disney Infinity, the physical toys for Starlink are entirely optional. In fact, the digital version is a far a better deal, as it includes four ships and several weapons, far more than the physical starter set.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas released in October 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. The starter packs included a physical ship and several attachable weapons. The Switch version includes a special Star Fox crossover, including Fox McCloud and his Arwing spaceship.

At launch Ubisoft released six starship packs ($24.99), four weapon packs ($9.99), and four pilot packs ($7.99). These packs can also be purchased digitally at about 50% reduced prices.

Despite the physical toy shutdown, the game itself is still going to receive updates. As per the most recent Nintendo Direct, Starlink is receiving new content later this month. The Switch version is getting even more Star Fox content, including exclusive Star Fox missions. All the versions are getting more missions and challenges, including starship racing. Additionally, the Starlink team is currently working on the “biggest update to the game so far,” which will include new ships, pilots, and weapons, all digital.

the division 2

Play Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 Open Beta Next Month

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Ubisoft is hosting an open beta for upcoming sequel Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. The open beta, meaning anyone can download and play for free, will run the weekend of March 1 through March 4. It will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

The Division 2 is set several months after the events of the first game, in which a deadly epidemic has ravaged much of the world. Players once again take on the role of elite international humanitarian agents known as The Division.

This time the action shifts from New York City to Washington D.C., where the agents work to take back control of the nation’s capital.

“Building upon more than two years of listening to and learning from The Division community, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 will offer a substantial campaign that organically flows into a robust endgame, to create a cohesive and meaningful experience for all types of players,” states the official press release.

The Division series are shared-world online multiplayer shooter-RPGs (whew). Agents form squads, take on missions, explore a post-apocalyptic city, hunt for loot, level up, and even hunt other players in specific PvP zones. The Division became Ubisoft’s best-selling game when it launched in 2016. Over the years Ubisoft and developer Massive Entertainment have provided numerous well-received updates and expansions.

The Division 2 is set to release on March 15 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It’s available to pre-order in Standard, Gold, and Ultimate Editions, as well as two Collector’s Editions. It’s rated M for Mature.

black friday

Black Friday Gaming Deals 2018

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Black Friday has become a bit of a misnomer, as the formerly one-day sale event has not only extended though the weekend, but now into Thanksgiving week itself. The gaming sales are some of the best you”ll find all year.

Arm yourself with which games to go after from our Holiday Gift Guide, then check below for the best deals from publishers and retailers.

Note that most sales run through the weekend and include Cyber Monday. Also note that we’re skipping an Amazon section with the caveat that you should always check Amazon for everything you’re interested in, in case it’s on a timed Lightning Deal.

 

GameStop

GameStop is offering a $50 Gift Card when purchasing new consoles. That includes Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 (though not the spiffy new PS4 Spider-Man bundle).

You can get some crazy good deals on games, even recent games that just released earlier this year, like God of War ($17), Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ($27), and Starlink: Battle for Atlas ($39).

If you want to clean up on older titles, you can take advantage of their Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale on last gen used games, including Wii U, 3DS, and Xbox 360.

If you want to avoid the crowds, you can get Free Shipping on orders over $35.

Nintendo Switch

There are a number of Switch bundles to choose from, including Diablo 3, Pokémon Let’s Go, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, though none of them save you any money, save one. The Mario Kart Switch bundle may be one of the single hottest selling items this holiday season, as it includes a fantastic game (Mario Kart 8) for the same price as a Switch. You can find it at Target, Best Buy, Warlmart, GameStop, and Amazon.

A nice 2DS deal is also available that includes Super Mario Maker for $80. It plays all 3DS games, which is an amazing library, though Nintendo has all but discontinued it with the Switch’s arrival.

The Nintendo eShop has a nice sale though next Wednesday (11/28) if you’re looking to clean up on Switch games, especially indie games. Skyrim ($30), Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate ($44), Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle ($24), and Valkyria Chronicles 4 ($30) are among the best deals.

Sony PlayStation

If you’re looking to get a regular PlayStation 4, the Spider-Man bundle is the best deal around ($200), and you’ll find it at most retailers, and could easily be the second hottest holiday gaming item after the Switch Mario Kart bundle.

If you have a PS4 this may also be a good year for jumping into VR with the PlayStation VR Bundle, which includes two of the best VR games, Astro Bot and Moss, for $200.

If you play games online you’ll want to take advantage of the sale on a year’s worth of PlayStation Plus, currently just $40, a $20 savings.

You’ll find plenty of deals on games on the PlayStation Store as well, though none quite as impressive as GameStop’s so far.

spider-man

Microsoft Xbox One

The Minecraft bundle is a solid gift for younger gamers, and comes in at the very attractive price of $200. Microsoft is heavily invested in its Game Pass program, a sort of Netflix for games, and you can one month’s worth for only $1. The Game Pass sale actually lasts throughout the end of the year, making it a no-brainer for anyone getting an Xbox One this holiday season.

You can save up to 65% on Xbox Games in the Windows 10 and Xbox stores, and Xbox Live Gold members can save an additional 10%.

Steam

PC gamers always have Steam to rely on for regular seasonal sales. The Steam Autumn Sale runs through next Tuesday (11/27). Find deals on ARK: Survival Evolved ($20), Monster Hunter World ($40), Divinity: Original Sin 2 ($30), Civilization VI ($18), and Dragon Quest 11 ($41) just to name some highlights.

EA

Electronic Arts hasn’t had a great year, especially if you don’t really care about sports games. You can find deals on Madden, FIFA, Star Wars Battlefront 2 and The Sims 4. Titanfall 2 maybe be the best deal here, at 75% off ($5) on Origin.

Ubisoft

Recent Ubisoft releases like Far Cry 5 ($20) and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ($40) are all on sale for Black Friday. If you purchase directly through the Ubisoft store and spend at least $40, they’ll throw in Rayman Legends for free. Other good deals include Assassin’s Creed Origins ($16), and The Division ($12).

Activision Blizzard

If online PC gaming is your jam, look no further than Overwatch ($15), World of Warcraft ($40), Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 ($48), and Destiny 2: Forsaken ($30), all on sale for Black Friday until Nov. 26.

Good hunting!