Category: News

Pewdiepie deals, Rigged Esports and X Series

Five Australian men have been charged with CS:GO match fixing

Official charges have been laid against these five men following a police investigation, this soon follows an initial arrest of six players back in August 2019. According to the Victorian Police four 20 year-olds and a 27 year old have been charged with “use of corrupt conduct information for betting purposes”. These charges relate to five matches in a CS:GO tournament after an investigation was prompted by tip-off. They will face court in September on the 15th with the potential for up to 10 years in prison. David Sharpe the soon to be head of Sport Integrity Australia has said, “I had early discussion with a former esports CEO around integrity within their sport and I am looking forward to engaging with them in my new role to work around the potential risks and threats.” There has been an increase in esports betting since traditional sports have been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic. The ABC also reported that Australia’s Sporting Integrity Intelligence Unit had been investigating links between organised crime and an unnamed Australian Overwatch team.

YouTube snags Pewdiepie

With so much competing for the streaming market and with Mixer taking Ninja, Shroud and King Gothalion then Twitch holding onto DrLupo, timthetatman, and LIRIK, now YouTube have made a deal with Felix Kjellberg better known as Pewdiepie. YouTube are also fully aware of his racist outbursts on stream such as calling out racial slurs during a livestream and a situation that lead to Campo Santo games preventing him from promoting Firewatch. Despite all this Pewdiepie is still one of the biggest streamers on the planet with over 104 million YouTube subscribers and over 25 billion views since his channel began in 2010. Pewdiepie said in a statement, “YouTube has been my home for over a decade now and live streaming on the platform feels like a natural fit as I continue to look for new ways to create content and interact with fans worldwide. Live streaming is something I’m focusing on a lot in 2020 and beyond, so to be able to partner with YouTube and be at the forefront of new product features is special and exciting for the future.”

Xbox Series X and all the details from Microsoft has been revealed

Ever since The Game Awards in 2019 Microsoft have been teasing us about it’s next generation console which is looks more like a PC tower than what we’ve traditionally known consoles to be. Gamespot have complied everything you need to know about the Xbox Series X console in one article which features information on the release date, hardware, the controller, games, specs and more, click here for all the details.

COVID-19 Relief, Toxic Valorant and Game Leaks

A Riot employee has posted a video of sexist harassment while playing Valorant.

Valorant is still in its testing phase however still manages to sustain harassment within its player base. Riot is no stranger to this type of behaviour such as League of Legends. Riot’s UX designer who goes by the handle Greenily posted on Twitter a video of her time in solo queue on Valorant. The video shows another male player saying he was looking for an ‘egirl,’ pretending she was his girlfriend and after she told him to be quiet began calling her slurs. Greenily wrote on Twitter, “My dealings are not just constrained to this single clip. This is since I’ve ever played online games. And for the record yes, I muted him. Does that mean he won’t go making other people uncomfortable though? No. If you’re in one of these parties, please help speak up and report these people. Because I hope this is not the kind of community you want to be playing with.” Hopefully Riot act quickly before this type of behaviour takes root within the game.

The gaming world does what it can to raise funds for COVID-19 relief.

Bethesda is intending to donate $1 million to both local and international organisations working on the front line fighting the pandemic. Bethesda are also offering fans game opportunities to chip in as well. $250,000 will be going to UNICEF, $250,000 will be donated to local relief efforts within communities and $500,000 will be given to Direct Relief who also recently received $400,000 from the Corona Relief Done Quickly speed running showcase. Humble Bundle also out played themselves with raising over $6.5 million through their Humble Conquer COVID-19 Bundle. They sold over 200,000 bundles with 100% of the money raised sent to Doctors Without Borders, Direct Relief, Partners in Health and International Rescue Committee. Doctors Without Borders said, “We will receive close to $1.5 million in donations, which will enable our teams to launch emergency programs to help stem the spread of COVID-19 in the hardest hit communities, care for infected patients, and respond to the pandemic’s consequences on local health systems.”

Cyberpunk 2077 has had a leak.

Not long after Last of Us 2 story leaked online so does roughly 25 minutes of Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay footage. Don’t worry we won’t reveal any spoilers, the videos aren’t in English and seem to be recorded from a closed gameplay session from E3 in 2019. In saying that the spoilers for Cyberpunk 2077 are no where near as the same level of content as Last of Us 2. Links to both games footage are floating around Twitter and other social media platforms so be careful not to look if you are trying to avoid spoilers.

Micro transactions, Facebook Gaming and Travis Scott

PCGamingWiki is Now Tracking Micro Transactions in Games

A new category has been opened on the wiki page founded by Andrew Tsai who says in a post on Monday that, “Many PC gamers don’t have a clue what they are getting into before they install the latest ‘free to play’ game, These games could contain manipulative loot boxes, hopelessly unfair grinds or game imbalancing pay-to-win unlocks.” PCGamingWiki typically looks at things like hardware, software and network related to gaming. It is a technology focused platform. The idea of this micro transactions monitoring project is to track gambling on loot boxes, cosmetics, game advantages, in-game currency, and pay-to-skip mechanics. This wiki will also keep an eye on monetization categories such as ad-supported, free-to-play or subscription. It should be interesting to see what they find.

Facebook Have Launched Their Very Own Video Game Streaming App

Facebook has decided to take on the streaming giants such as, Twitch, Mixer and YouTube. The launch of this streaming service wasn’t to be expected until later in the year however has officially come out now. You can watch now on the Facebook app (Only Android currently however, iOS coming soon) you can also watch in your computer browser. You’ll be able to follow streamers, talk in the chat to other viewers as well as play games from Facebook’s library and stream them. Some of the popular games to watch on the platform right now are, Age of Empires, American Truck Simulator, COD Modern Warfare, GTA 5, PUBG and of course Fortnite. These streams currently have lower numbers but that could change which a shift in algorithms that promote streams on the Facebook app. Let’s see how Facebook take on the video game streaming world.

Travis Scott Will Debut His New Song in Fortnite This Week

Travis Scott is a very famous, Grammy-nominated rapper and producer who is going to ‘tour’ in Fortnite from the 23rd – 25th of April to release his new single Astronomical. Travis Scott isn’t just touring his also going to be a more permanent part of the Fortnite universe since joining the Fortnite Icon Series, which is the collection of in-game cosmetics that are inspired by artists and content creators. If you join the event you will be able to pick up an Astroworld Cyclone Glider and two loading screens for free. If you’d like to check it out Travis Scott’s concerts will be hosted at different times and days however if you’d like to tune in from Australia the Asia & Oceania concert starts at 2PM AEST on the 25th of April.

Valorant Takeover, DualSense and More Delays

Valorant is taking over the gaming landscape and it hasn’t even been released yet

The new video game Valorant is the first of its kind of Riot Games being a first-person shooter with game play objectives similar to Counter Strike – Global Offensive and special character abilities like Overwatch. Over the Easter weekend Valorant smashed records on Twitch (video game streaming platform) which had over 34 million hours watched in a single day in just one game category. It also had a peak viewership of 1.7 million which is second only to another Riot Game, League of Legends during the World Championship. All this attention has generated hype around Valorant becoming an esport, and the game is still in its beta phase, with Valorant doing so well so early on only time will tell after it’s official release how big it’s really going to get.

Sony’s new DualSense PlayStation Controller is getting some hype

When it comes to console controllers it can be really challenging to get it right, however Sony have released the new DualSense controller and has been receiving very positive feedback from game tech critics. After the release of the PS4 controller which was argued to not be that different from the PS3 controller, it isn’t until now that there has been a revolution with controller technology. Sony is determined to have the best complimenting controller for the new PS5 which is expected to release later this year. The PS5 will not play games from previous generation consoles and will have new features such as a faster SSD and new hardware that is exclusive to PS5. The DualSense Controller features such as adaptive triggers with adjustable resistance, new haptic feedback technology and Sony also says that it has more advanced rumble hardware. Now that the new PS5 controller has been shown off we’ll just have to wait and see for the PS5.

Blizzard believes it might not be hosting BlizzCon 2020 due concerns around the virus

Saralyn Smith the executive producer of BlizzCon, “The health of our community, employees, and everyone who helps with the show is our top consideration. It might be a few months before we know for certain if or how we’ll proceed, but as soon as we have a meaningful update, we’ll share it.” It wouldn’t come as a surprise if BlizzCon 2020 was to be postponed however, there may be a virtual space we can visit showcasing all things Blizzard that we would’ve missed at the convention.

So many movies and TV series are being cancelled amid COVID-19

however James Gunn Director of Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy 3 says, “We are on or ahead of schedule” for both films. With so much film and TV being delayed it’s nice to hear some good news for DC and Marvel fans. The full list of delays is made available by gamesradar if you’d like to look click right here.

E3 2021, PC Awards and Couch Co-Op

E3 have announced dates for 2021 however there is still nothing about this years’ 2020 online experience

After the cancellation of this years E3 many fans and game companies were hugely disappointed instead many games publishers decided to go directly to consumers instead. Despite E3 making no comment on an online experience the Entertainment Software Association is going ahead with a show in 2021 which will run from June 15th – 17th. When ESA announced the cancellation of E3 2020 they said, “we are exploring options with our members to coordinate an online experience to showcase industry announcements and news in June 2020.” However, since that statement was made, nothing more has been said. Some game publishers have decided to go solo with their announcements this year such as; Microsoft, Ubisoft, E3, & Devolver Digital to name a few. Sadly, Bethesda have confirmed that it will not hold its annual digital showcase this year. Hopefully soon we will know more about online events.

2020 Australian PC Awards have been announced

The best of 33 different categories ranging from best gaming laptop to best motherboard. Some other categories also include a Gold Award which is voted on by the readers of tech magazines such as; TechRadar, PC Gamer, APC, TechLife, and PC PowerPlay. The Gold Award looks at the overall best company for the year which was taken out by ASUS. If you’d like to look at the full list of winners in each category click here.

The best couch Co-Op games from Kotaku

Kotaku have released an article featuring lots of video games that are great to play with friends or family at home. The list shows a variety of games worth playing to pass the time, click here for the link. Overcooked is also a great game known to play with friends and the publishers have another great party game coming out on the 28th of April called Moving Out. So be sure to keep your eye out for that if you have a Nintendo Switch.

Xbox Magazine, Play Apart Together, and Closed Beta

The Official Shut Down of Xbox Magazine

After close to two decades the long running Official Xbox Magazine comes to an end as reported by Eurogamer. The magazine had its final day last week with the last of its staff to be let go. A statement released from the publishers of the magazine Future says, “Like many organisations right now, we find ourselves being forced into making difficult decisions. We have a duty of care to all our staff during this time and our focus is on protecting the business for them and for our customers.” The end of Official Xbox Magazine happens to be in the same year as Microsoft release their new console, so it’s not all doom and gloom, hopefully the magazine will be able to release its content again in the future.

Gaming Companies and W.H.O. Coronavirus Guidance Come Together

A large group of big named companies are teaming up to help encourage players to stay at home. Those companies are Activision Blizzard, Riot Games, and streaming platform Twitch, they are all part of a campaign called ‘Play Apart Together.’ This campaign will see 18 gaming entertainers help incentivize players to engage with special events, exclusives, activities, and of course rewards. Whilst engaging with all this content platforms are adding important self-protection messaging around COVID-19. All this is designed to help bring people together during the pandemic. Blizzards CEO Bobby Kotick says, “It’s never been more critical to ensure people stay safely connected to one another. Games are the perfect platform because they connect people through the lens of joy, purpose and meaning. We are proud to participate in such a worthwhile and necessary initiative.”

Valorant The New Stylised Shooter From Riot Games Has Their First Closed Beta.

Fans are super excited to have a play and get a feel for this new FPS. The closed beta begins on the 7th of April internationally, unfortunately, Australia is not on the list. This beta only includes the US, Canada, Europe, and Russia. A statement from the Executive Producer of Valorant Anna Donlan states, “Our plan was to bring the Valorant closed beta to as many people as possible around the world as quickly as possible, but the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted those plans, compromising a wider global rollout. For now, we have to focus on the regions where we feel most ready, with more regions following in the months to come.” So, don’t worry if you felt like you were missing out hang in there, Australia will surely end up on that list soon enough.

Guerrilla Games’ Horizon Zero Dawn Is Getting Its Very Own Comic Book Series

The series will take place after the events of the game so don’t pick it up until you’ve played it all through. The comics will be launching the same time as the game comes to PC in the summer of 2020 which I assume is winter down under. Be sure to keep your eyes out for that.

Changes to the Gaming world amid COVID-19

JB Hi-Fi and many other retailers sell out of PS4s and Nintendo Switches amid COVID-19 pandemic

For fear of boredom during isolation Australia is panic buying gaming consoles to fill the time they have stuck in doors. JB Hi-Fi have a statement that reads, “Due to very high demand, the Nintendo Switch is currently unavailable to purchase. New stock is due to arrive in April.” This increase in gaming console purchases comes after the closure of many entertainment venues such as gyms, sporting venues, cinemas, nightclubs, and bars. Popular games that have also been flying off the shelves are Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Madden NFL 20. Games and consoles aren’t the only things in short supply, gym equipment, groceries, desks, computers and monitors are also becoming sold out. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said last week, “It is not sensible, it is not helpful and, I’ve got to say it has been one of the most disappointing things I have seen in Australian behaviour in response to this crisis.”

Call of Duty: Warzone passes 30 million players.

After it’s release on the 10th of March this free to play game has achieved more players than the lifetime totals of most of the other games in the series. Being free to play helps generate a large player base such as Apex Legends which managed 25 million players in the first week and 50 million players in the first month. Speaking of millions of players Steam broke its own record from the previous week of concurrent users with 22 million people online at once. Game Industry Analyst, Daniel Ahmad said in a tweeted video, “Steam just achieved a new peak concurrent user record of 22 million, one day after reaching 21 million and six days after reaching 20 million. Global lockdowns and self-isolation due to COVID-19 has led to at-home gaming becoming a safe form of entertainment to pass the time.”

Polygon have posted a series of games that are the best ways to stay in touch with friends while staying at home.

Some of the games are, Jackbox Party Pack 3, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Sea of Thieves, Minecraft, Red Dead Online, Grand Theft Auto Online, Warframe, Final Fantasy 14, Overcooked 2, Destiny 2, and Rocket League. Of course, there are many other fantastic multiplayer games that great to play such as World of Warcraft which is doing a double XP all the way up until April the 20th if you are looking for an MMO RPG. Some free games that might also help pass the time that are available on Steam are, Headsnatchers, Tomb Raider, Deiland, Drawful 2, Goat of Duty, Pleasure PuzzlePortrait and Lara Croft and The Temple of Osiris. There is also many other free games on different launchers so be sure to check out Epic Games Store, PlayStation Plus, and Xbox Games with Live Gold Subscriptions.

If you’d like to check out the full list of games available for free check out the Zed Games Facebook page @ZEDgamesau.

Game Playing Increase, Minecraft and GDC Talks

Steam and Nintendo make bank over self-quarantine from the Coronavirus

Over the weekend Steam hit it’s all time concurrent user peak which was over 20 million users online all at once with nearly 6 and half million people actively playing a game. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive being the most popular as well as other favourites like Dota 2 and PUBG. Nintendo Switch have been selling a high amount of a game called Ring Fit Adventure which is a fitness game that is hugely popular in China. Nintendo have seen a huge spike in sales of this game which sell for over $250 however Ring Fit Adventure isn’t the only game to see a spike in sales in China Plague.inc has also gained some traction thanks to the Coronavirus. In Italy Telecom Italia is showing up to a 70% increase in online games like Fortnite and Call of Duty. It would appear that gaming traffic is up everywhere.

Even though game playing is on the increase, game developing is not. Due to self-quarantine there maybe further delays with many companies and businesses opting to send staff home to work remotely there still can be issues in terms of meeting deadlines. Cyberpunk 2077 has reassured its fans that the virus will not delay the game any further however E3 2020 and other major showcasing events have been cancelled. We may see further delays, but fingers crossed that it all goes well for the developers out there.

Minecraft has a library which is now a safe haven for censored journalism

This uncensored library houses articles that are normally blocked in countries where there is no freedom of press, however if you can get your hands-on Minecraft you can access what’s being blocked. If you own Minecraft just open the game, load The Uncensored Library Server and you can read through books which feature articles blocked from social media and news outlets. Other news relating to Minecraft due to school being closed in Japan a group of students decided to host their graduation ceremony in Minecraft. These elementary students met up in-game to hang out and graduate as their Minecraft avatars, they spent all day building a seriously impressive graduation hall with the help of a YouTuber who assisted with organising the event.

GDC started streaming their talks this week starting from March 16th until the 20th

There will also be The Independent Games Festival awards and the Game Developers Choice Awards streaming if you’d like to look at the full schedule and know how to watch these incredible talks click here; Schedule & Live Stream.

 

Goodbye GeForce, FIFA tracking footware and Scammers

Game publishers are leaving Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming platform in droves

After its official launch last month game publishers want nothing to do with the service. Epic Game CEO Tim Sweeney is still defending the platform saying, “Epic is wholeheartedly supporting Nvidia’s GeForce NOW service with Fortnite and with Epic Games Store titles and we’ll be improving that integration over time.” Tim Sweeney believes that Nvidia is helping move the games industry towards a healthier state and implores other games companies to support this change. Nvidia’s GeForce Now service is unlike Google Stadia or PlayStation Now in that it integrates with your Steam or Epic Games Store accounts and streams games you already own and GeForce enables you the hardware to play those games on a smartphone or a laptop. The only issue is that Nvidia doesn’t have a list of games that it supports so it’s hard to know what’s available and it’s also hard to know how many publishers are leaving the streaming service. Companies that have left are Blizzard, Square Enix, Capcom, and Bethesda. Many companies have remained silent after the fact, speculation is still up in the air around why. Raphael van Lierop director of The Long Dark wrote on Twitter, “Please take your complaints to them, not us. Devs should control where their games exist.”

FIFA players can now train by putting a chip in their boots

A collaboration with Adidas, EA and Google has resulted in using technology that tracks your real-world exercise and reflects it in game. By inserting a chip into the insole of a pair of football boots the device will track all the activity and when you sync that data with FIFA Ultimate Team Mobile players will be able to use that information to train their virtual players. This tech isn’t new by any means Nintendo tried this before with The Pokewalker back in 2010 for the Nintendo DS as well as this being similar technology to your fitness tracker. Adidas and FIFA version dropped yesterday if you’d like to have a look check it out here.

The ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) has warned game players and their parents to be mindful of an increase in video game scams

There has been over a 7% increase in reports to Scamwatch last year from Aussie game players under the age of 25. Players and the parents of underage players should be cautious about fake online stores or scammers as well as some that specifically target children. Some of the games to be mindful of are Fortnite, League of Legends and Counterstrike. League of Legends has created an animated video about account security from 2017 check it out here. Make sure to keep an eye on the younger players as to not be fooled.

GDC Postponed, Animal Crossovers and Valorant

GDC Postponed amid COVID-19

Game Developers Conference which is the largest annual conference for game developers the world over has now announced that the event shall be postponed until the concerns of the Coronavirus (COVID – 19) can be mitigated. Event organisers announced, “After close consultation with our partners in the game development industry and community around the world, we’ve made the difficult decision to postpone GDC this March.” The conference will be postponed until a date later in the year. Both Sony and EA have stated their disappointment in the cancellation however expressed their understanding of the health concerns. Despite the cancellation some developers and event runners will be going digital such as the GDC Awards and the Independent Games Festival which will be streamed on Twitch on the original dates of the 16th to the 20th of March. Looks like GDC will still run to some capacity in the virtual world.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Doom Eternal are coming out on the same day March 20th

Both game companies have decided to create crossover content to celebrate their shared day of release. All this attention to its shared release date has encouraged Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing: New Horizon Twitter pages to exchange affection and fans have decided to make a strange little video showcasing their unlikely friendship. The animation by pixel artist Inx displays a day in the life of the Doom Slayer and Isabelle is they swapped places. The Doom Slayer gathers fruit, helps neighbours and goes fishing. Meanwhile Isabelle is destroying hordes of demons and crushing hell spawn. Looks like both games are taking advantage of the promotion the release date offers. If you’d like to check out the animation click here.

League of Legends developer Riot Games creates their first FPS called Valorant

On March 2nd Riot Games unveiled Valorant which has previously been code named ‘Project A’ with a video showing 3 minutes of gameplay. Valorant appears to be a fusion of CS: GO and Overwatch, combining tactical gunfights with specialised character abilities. Riot Games currently operates one of the biggest games in the world League of Legends and is their only release in the past 10 years. However, Riot Games have released spin offs from League of Legends it’s only now that Riot looks at a First-Person Shooter. With a strong focus on the competitive market if Valorant does well we could see another esport not too far in the future. If you’d like to check out the game-play footage click here.