Saber Interactive Purchased by THQ Nordic

 

It was an incredible run for Saber Interactive as an independent video game studio. After nineteen years of being independently owned, this studio has been purchased by the Embracer Group. This large-scale corporation is the parent company behind THQ Nordic, meaning that Saber Interactive is being absolved into one of the best-known publishers in gaming. As a studio, they’ve developed three notable times. Those include Mud Runner, Snow Runner and World War Z. The later is their most popular, with thousands of copied sold worldwide. It’s expected that the WWZ Game will become a full-fledged series that sees multiple sequels.

The World War Z game received average reviews, with the game providing sub-standard graphics and gameplay that required multiple updates. After more than a year of being available to consumers, it’s become a cult classic game that’s substantially improved upon itself from the initial release. Subsequently, there’s been more than three million units sold, with a large percentage coming from the PC and PlayStation 4. Sales throughout the Xbox One were minimal, were exclusive zombie titles from Microsoft superseding World War Z for potential customer acquisition.

The Embracer Group and THD Nordic confirmed that Saber Interactive would continue to developer titles as a standalone company. This means their respective games will be determined in-house, which almost guarantees a sequel for World War Z. This acquisition allows for the Embracer Group to earn an unidentified percentage of profits from all future games and paid content.

Details regarding the associated cost with this acquisition were provided, with the initial payment listed at $150 million for the various property and gaming assets owned by Saber Interactive. This includes development studios located in Portugal, Spain, Russia, Sweden and Belarus. These details also noted that if Saber Interactive performs to 2020 expectations, the associated cost will increase to $375 million for the Embracer Group. This marks one of the most significant acquisitions for a video game studio in the last ten years.

World War Z Sequel Hinted

The potential sequel for World War Z has been publicly hinted by Mathew Karch, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Saber Interactive. When speaking with investors are the Embracer Group, the CEO mentioned that three of their six development studios are creating plans for a sequel. He expressed to these investors the potential of growth for this brand, with the film’s sequel slated for 2023. It’d be the perfect time for Saber Interactive to release World War Z: The Game – Two. During this earnings meeting, Mathew was provided clearance to begin developing the sequel. This gives Saber Interactive roughly three years to create the second title for this franchise.

Tom Holland on Uncharted Movie

 

Video game enthusiasts have desired new details regarding the Uncharted film for a prolonged period. After much waiting, Tom Holland has provided insight into his thoughts with the upcoming role. The Spider-Man actor has read through the updated script from Sony Pictures, expressing that it’s one of the best scenarios he’s ever witnessed and that it’ll provide an origin story for Nathan Drake.

Tom Holland spoke with reporters at International Gaming News, where he expressed that this film provides an opportunity that moves video game films don’t offer, with that being an origin story outside the PlayStation franchise. He noted that individuals that have played the Uncharted franchise won’t know anything entering the film and that the information acquired will all be new. There are some concerned with his statements though, with some Uncharted supporters wondering if the storyline will become disrupted. Tom Holland also stated: “I read the newest draft of the script on the way over here and it’s one of the best scripts I’ve ever read. It jumps off the page.”

The Avengers castmate mentioned that Mark Wahlberg will play an incredible version of Sully and that filming this origin story will be enjoyable. Those following the numerous updates with the Uncharted film know that Mark Wahlberg was initially slated to play Nathan Drake, which was when the storyline centred around an adult version of the main character.

Uncharted History

The Uncharted film has been in development since 2008, losing multiple directors over the last twelve years. Travis Knight was one of the most notable directors attached to this title, with him having to leave after scheduling issues with Tom Holland. It was Ruben Fleischer, the director of Zombieland and Venom that was taken over development responsibilities. He also left the project following creative disputes with Sony, with rumours indicating that Ruben wanted to alter significant aspects of the Uncharted storyline.

Additional directors that were connected to this film include Shawn Levy from the Stanger Things and Dan Trachtenberg from 10 Cloverfield Lane. Both left after experiencing confliction with the executives at Sony. It appears that directors not willing to follow the guidelines implemented by Sony are terminated. Release dates for this upcoming film include March 5th, 2021 for North America and March 7th for an international audience. We will keep our audience updated on when the first trailer is released and when tickets are available for purchase.

Netflix Producing Resident Evil Series

 

The Resident Evil Franchise is coming to television for the 1st time. This follows after the Netflix Corporation unintentionally announced the show via their Twitter account, with their pre-emptive social media posting system glitching. The post was deleted minutes later but not before multiple individuals screenshotted the announcement. Details regarding this upcoming series were provided with the unintentional announcement, with the Netflix Media Centre indicating that this show will take place in Clearfield.

Elements like the Umbrella Corporation, Washington officials and the Greenwood Asylum will be incorporated into this series. It’ll take place twenty-six years after the T-Virus was first discovered, with it 1st being released as an outbreak days after secrets are revealed to the show’s characters. The storyline appears to be more consistent with the modern era, potentially being one of the best zombie television series since the Walking Dead.

This marks the first time that a Resident Evil live-action adventure hasn’t started in Racoon City. Clearfield is another infamous location in this universe, with it standing as the original location for the Umbrella Corporations headquarters. This has led diehard fans to believe that Umbrella Corp releases the virus onto Greenwood Asylum, forcing an outbreak that exceeds safety parameters. This forces the United States government to get involved, which is where we meet the four headliners of this show.

Deadline Rumours

Unfortunately, these direct connections haven’t been confirmed but would follow previous games in the Resident Evil franchise. The headliners for this series haven’t been revealed either. It should be noted that Deadline Magazine reported in January that Netflix was potentially developing a Resident Evil-styled series. Nobody anticipated that this franchise reboot would be maintained directly on Netflix. However, this follows after prolonged declining sales of the Resident Evil movie franchise. Television could allow it to thrive once again.

Deadline also reports that the Silent Hill Franchise is also planning on rebooting itself in the following months. It was confirmed earlier this week that Konami’s horror franchise is being re-started by the original director that helmed the 1st film adaptation. Production is expected to begin later in 2020, with release dates rumoured to be around Mid-2022.

Electronic Arts Microtransactions Profit

 

Microtransactions have become one of the most beneficial aspects of gaming in the modern era. Even with the considerable backlash towards Microtransaction purchases, billions are still earned by numerous corporations. This was proven again with the yearly reports released by Electronic Arts this week. During an investment meeting, it was confirmed that billions had been earned via microtransaction services. EA Investors were also surprised to learn that Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order had performed better than anticipated. Throughout the holiday period of December 2019, this company earned $993 million worldwide from their microtransaction offerings. When it applies to yearly earnings, they exceeded $2.835 billion.

This substantial amount isn’t the profits earned by Electronic Arts; it’s merely the yearly revenue and earnings from various products. When it applies to direct benefits, Electronic Arts made $361 million. Microtransactions are confirmed to be one of the most significant aspects of their yearly profits. Most services or products purchased via Microtransactions applied to NHL 2020, FIFA 2020, and Madden 2020. Considering that Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order has limited Microtransaction offerings, most of those sales came from direct copies sold. Electronic Arts anticipated several million copies to be sold worldwide, which exceed expectations by an additional three million. That number could increase by another 1.5 million before the 2019-20 Fiscal Years end.

Unexpected Performers

Electronic Arts confirmed during their investment meeting that Star Wars: Battlefront II had performed significantly better than anticipated. This follows after BF2 has been available since 2017, with most of the renewed interest surrounding “The Rise of Skywalker”. Another unexpected performer for Electronic Arts was Apex Legends, which saw its highest level of player engagement to date. Apex Legends exceeded the popularity of Fortnite, with Electronic Arts earning 5% of all microtransaction sales. Those profits could increase drastically with Apex Legends slated to launch on Mobile Phones and the Nintendo Switch.

This investor meeting also provided some insight into upcoming products from Electronic Arts. It was confirmed during this meeting that another entry in the Battlefield franchise would be released for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation Five. Rumours indicate that this entry could return to the Vietnam and Cold War settings, similar to the Black Ops franchise. Map sizes are anticipated to be 3x the size of current Battlefield 5 multiplayer maps. This would provide an immersive environment similar to the size of Grand Theft Auto 5 or Cyberpunk 2227.

New Horror Game Teased by Ninja Theory

 

Supporters of the video game industry have thoroughly adopted the horror genre. Unfortunately, it’s been rare for developers to design games surrounding the unexpected scares of haunted environments. Fans that love exploring these demonic locations will be happy to hear that Ninja Theory has announced a new title. Named Project: Mara, it’ll be an experimental horror game that pushes the boundaries of what’s mentally capable. Ninja Theory Studios, in their announcement, expressed that this title would have a real-life account of terrifying mentally-disturbing experiences.

Those that have wondered what it’d be like to experience a haunting won’t have to wait much longer. Ninja Theories developmental purpose is to create a grounded, realistic experience that has been taken from the minds of investigated individuals. Confirmations regarding Project: Mar includes the use of one character in a single location. Unexpected individuals in-game will maintain immersive storytelling from other realms. It should be noted that Ninja Theory partnered with Neuroscientists to create the most horrifying game in existence. Multiple medical warnings will be associated with this product.

The Experimental Goals

Video games have never been used for scientific experiments. However, as technology has continuously grown, it’s provided Neuroscientists the tools required to increase their understanding of our brains. Most people associate suffering and pain to physical trauma or diseases. There can also be severe trauma and pain from mental illness, with most individuals suffering from these cases unable to provide sufficient data. Subsequently, Project: Mara will locate gamers willing to be tested against the roughest conditions of fear. This is because fear resembles the same neuro patterns that numerous mental diseases display. By engaging with a world that maintains different rules, the brain immediately goes into a fluctuated state. The readings provided from collected data will inform Mental Health Specialists, Neuroscientists and Video Game Developers, learning the effects of psychosis-assisted environments.

Between the collection of associates working on Project: Mara, this is being called the Insight Initiative. Their ultimate goal is to increase the awareness of mental illness to thousands of individuals worldwide. Project: Mara is being created in the virtual reality element and isn’t recommended for individuals suffering from heart conditions or epilepsy. Anybody interested in learning more about this product is advised to subscribe with the Ninja Theory Studios social media accounts. New updates are provided through the Dreadnought Diaries.

ESO Announces Greymoor DLC

 

The Game Awards Show in December 2019 saw a significant number of announcements for enthusiasts. However, there were also secretive announcements made to a select number of fans. These RPG enthusiasts were instructed not to provide any information regarding that announcement until January 15th. Now that information has been submitted, it was revealed that The Elder Scrolls Online debuted a trailer for their upcoming DLC. Named Greymoor, it’ll put five million players into the Western Skyrim region. This area is plagued by a vampire collective, which has ruled over the territory with a demonic presence. Subsequently, when this downloadable content is released, it’ll end all updates for the Elsweyr DLC.

Zenimax Studios have provided little information regarding the Greymoor DLC. It was confirmed that the storyline would be more gothic than previous downloadable content. However, the confirmation that dragons would return from Elsweyr wasn’t provided. The ending to the Elsweyr DLC aforementioned that players would compete against the dragons again, with the final leader not having being defeated. It’s not known how the Witches, Vampires and Werewolves of Western Skyrim could engage with the dragons. Since Skyrim is the homeland for this formidable beasts, somehow the storyline will explain how the Vampires and Dragons partnered up together.

The Available Dungeons

Elder Scrolls Online has named 2020s next year of instalments, The Dark Heart of Skyrim. It’ll be provided to consumers with four major updates in each quarter, with the first coming in February. Players will be introduced to the Harrowstorm Dungeon DLC, which will be available to individuals that pay for the subscription model with ESO. It’ll also be available to consumers that purchase the expansion directly. The second update will come on May 18th, which is will the Greymoor Storyline will be released. Zenimax Studios confirmed that the prequel storyline for Greymoor would be initiated in the Harrowstorm Dungeon.

Included with the second update will be an additional dungeon, with a newly formatted story zone in ESO. Unfortunately, neither of those upcoming add-ons have been publicly announced by Zenimax. Public cells are also slated to return with the Greymoor DLC. The Elder Scrolls Online: Greymoor will become the definitive version of ESO, costing consumers upwards of $120.00 for the full package. It’s recommended that when individuals have completed the first chapter, they purchase the subscription package. The association subscript cost is anywhere from $20.00 to $80.00. Experience the full Greymoor Storyline on May 18th, 2020.

Ubisoft in 2020

 

The Ubisoft Corporation has struggled financially in 2018 – 19. Losses have reached a boiling point, forcing for the video game publisher to delay upcoming projections until the 2020 – 21 Fiscal Year. All titles mentioned in this article won’t release until April 2020 to March 2021, meaning notable franchises like Assassins Creed or Tom Clancy won’t return until the PlayStation 5 and Xbox X. This announcement came from the chief executive officer with Ubisoft, Yves Guillemot.

This doesn’t mean that supporters of Ubisoft won’t have anything to experience in 2020. Three notable releases are coming over the next twelve months. The 1st is Watch Dogs Legion, which is being designed by Ubisoft Toronto. It’s the third time that Ubisoft is developing an open-world cyber drama, with this location taking players to modern-era London. The specific factor to this game is that consumers can engage with any of the NPC’s throughout the world, making the experience the furthest thing from linear. It was initially planned that this title would launch on March 6th, with that timeframe presumably delayed until the 2020 Holiday Season. This would prompt increased sales for Ubisoft and provide the Toronto location with additional time for development. Unfortunately, no confirmation for an updated release schedule has been submitted.

Tom Clancy & Assassins Creed

Two of the most significant franchise maintained by the Ubisoft corporation include Assassins Creed and Tom Clancy. The Rainbow Six series for Tom Clancy is returning in 2020 with “Six Quarantine”, which is created for three-player teams. Based on co-operation, this tactical shooters will pit players against unworldly threats. Unfortunately, the Six Quarantine title for Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six won’t release until the planned 2020-21 fiscal year. Considering that the next generation of consoles is set to release for the upcoming holiday season, this title will surely be released for the PS5 and Xbox X.

The one title that gamers worldwide are clamouring for with Ubisoft is the next iteration in Assassins Creed. After the prominent sales with Odyssey and Origins, thousands of new enthusiasts wait for the next title in this series. The Ubisoft corporation hasn’t provided any insight regarding this in-development game, which is historically set throughout the Viking Era. Rumours indicate this will be a cross-generational title for previous and upcoming consoles. This means players with a PS4 or PS5 can engage with Assassins Creed: Viking, this extends to the Xbox One and Xbox X. It’s known that the latest entry is currently in development at Ubisoft Montreal.

Vince Zampella Heads Dice Los Angeles

 

Shocking news was confirmed today by executives at Electronic Arts, noting that Vince Zampella will take priority leadership of the Dice Studio in Los Angeles. This comes after EA purchased Danger Close Games in 2013, immediately rebranding themselves as Dice LA. Acquisition rights came after Medal of Honor: War Fighters, which performed less than admirably to investors. Since Dice Los Angeles began operations, they’ve assisted in the development of three Battlefield titles and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. The revelation that Vince Zampella would be heading this studio first broke through the Los Angeles Times, with EA quickly confirming the rumours shortly afterwards.

Vince Zampella will remain as the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Respawn Studios, which develops the Titanfall and Apex Legends series. His priorities for the next twelve months remain with Dice LA, who is rumoured to be creating an original property that will be similar in context to Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. This would mark the first new IP from Dice Studios in more than a decade.

Vince Zampella noted that his first actions as the Chief Executive Officer for Dice LA would be to rebrand their image. Instead of being a subsidiary, Zampella wants this development studio to become a formidable destination where designers can grow their content. He noted that the branding maintained with Dice Stockholm could not be managed in the United States market. He expressed that the Stockholm division has accepted this fact, allowing him to take reigns over the rebranding phase.

The New IP

Electronic Arts in their confirmation announced noted that Dice Los Angeles would be developing a new game. However, this confirmation didn’t mention if it’ll be from a previous existing franchise or under a new international property. The CSO for EA noted that she believes Zampella has the talent required to guide this studio into greatness. Laura Miele expressed that over time, they will maintain a formidable studio that represents creativity and innovation. If these hopes and dreams become a reality, then Dice LA could become one of the most significant development studios in North America.

Vince Zampella guaranteed reporters that the direction maintained for Dice LA’s rebranding would be exclusive to themselves, meaning it won’t relate to Dice Stockholm or Respawn Entertainment. There are some concerned that Zampella would have the required energy to operate two studios, with his time being spent managing potentially thousands of employees and hundreds of projects.

Xbox Series X Pre-Order Details

 

The Microsoft Corporation announced its next-generation video game console last month. It’s slated to release next year for the holiday season, providing direct competition to Sony’s upcoming PlayStation 5. Typically when a new product is announced, the company allows for immediate pre-orders. However, Microsoft is waiting for pre-orders to become available. This internal choice was made for the benefit of consumers, ensuring that their awareness of what they’re acquiring when purchasing this console. This comes after many details regarding the console weren’t provided at The Game Awards, with the physical design being the only thing showcased.

Additional information on the console has been released since the Game Awards. It’s known that the updated Xbox Controller will be similar to the PlayStation, maintaining a share button beside the logo. It’s known that the upcoming Share feature won’t operate in the same manner as PlayStation, focusing on a cloud-based platform. This means consumers can share their video game footage throughout multiple platforms, not just Facebook and Twitter. However, the one lacking piece of information if the price tag for this console. It’s anticipated that consumers won’t know the price tag until the 2020 E3 Expo in California, where visitors can test out the Xbox Series X firsthand. This is an internal strategy.

Pricing

The Microsoft Corporation hasn’t provided any details on the pricing for their upcoming console, with rumours suggesting that two models are being released. One model will be cheaper with 4K Capabilities, with the other supporting 8K Visuals and additional RAM. Most analysts presume that the first model will cost $500.00, with the second model ranging from $800.00 to $1,000.00. It should be noted that internal sources with the Microsoft Corporation haven’t confirmed or denied the allegations that two models will be released in the holiday season of 2020.

It’s been implemented by internal sources, such as Phil Spencer, that the Xbox Series: X enables the corporation to create numerous models when they need to. This suggests that secondary models will be released at some point going forward. Pricing on these models is still being debated by executives, which could be prompting the delays. Phil Spencer noted that multiple factors apply to the associated cost, including Donald Trump’s Trade War or Manufacturing Delays.

Game Details

Fans of Microsoft’s consoles have waited for an announcement on their initial lineup of launch games, with that information being minimal as well. Rumours suggest that the 5th Gears of War game could be ported over, with no confirmation from the developer’s insight. It’s known that a new Tomb Raider game is in development but isn’t slated to release until 2021. Unfortunately, the lineup of available games with the Xbox Series: X looks to be limited.

Pokemon Go – Buddy Edition

 

Fanatics of Pokemon Go have something to look forward to in 2020. The Pokemon Company and Niantic announced an expansion to their mobile game, which is called Buddy Adventures. It will enable consumers to engage with their favourite Pokemon in ways never expected. Additional benefits with this expansion upgrade include numerous perks and new additions to the Pokemon Index. This information was provided through a heartwarming trailer by Niantic. It featured gameplay and displayed the new features coming in 2020, with Niantic claiming that this upgrade will allow players to genuinely experience what it’s looked to explore a world with Pokemon.

The Artificial-Reality game will enable consumers to feed their Pokemon, bathe them, take care of them, and protect them from unwanted circumstances. This will work in a similar context to Tamagotchi, which was a famous toy-brand back in the early 2000s. Depending on the level of your buddy, they can assist players with in-game tasks. Standard buddies engage with players on the map view, with the next level-up allowing for these Pokemon to help in battle. The Ultra Buddy is the final level, where they will assist in combat and also bring players specialized gifts.

Levelling Up

The level of your buddy will be displayed to other online players with a specialized Ribbon Band. Considering Pokemon can be your best friend and this game is the most engaging ever released in the franchise, it’s anticipated that this add-on will be experienced by millions worldwide. By earning more hearts, you will increase your Pokemon buddy’s affection to you and slowly begin levelling up.

Earning these hearts requires walking your Pokemon, feeding them, petting them, and making them feel unique with pictures. Reaching the maximum Pokemon Buddy level enables for those unique critters to inform their owners of specialized pitstops or candy on their walk. Included in this upgrade will be the re-design of the Buddy Profile. Instead of displaying simplistic statistics, this profile will now showcase your Pokémon’s mood and affection meter. Overall, these added features will create more versatility for Pokemon Go. Niantic didn’t provide an exact date as to when the update will be released to Android and Apple handsets.