There have been multiple controversies surrounding the GameStop corporation and how they’ve handled the coronavirus pandemic. They initially refused to shut down their stores under the advice of government politicians. Conference calls were then leaked, where executed denied employed wagers for refusing to work during Covid-19. These conference calls also revealed that stores would remain open under potential outbreak conditions and that quarantined employees with Covid-19 wouldn’t receive their salaries.
After receiving continued backlash against their actions from customers and employees, the GameStop Corporation announced that their closing stores across California. These closures will extend to their subsidiary corporation in Canada known as EB Games. All locations under the EB Games brand will be shut down across Canada. It should be mentioned that this gaming retail store believed their products to be essential, refusing to shut down operations against the CDCs advice. Significant fines could’ve ensued for the GameStop Corporation if they didn’t implement these closures. It’s expected that additional closures will be implemented across America.
Lineups Before Closures
When Canadian Gamers heard that all EB Games Locations would be closing by midnight on March 21st, hundreds ignored the policies of government officials. They began lining up for the latest title released by the Nintendo Company. These actions have prompted public shaming against individuals attending EB Games across Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary. Politicians publicly shaming these individuals included John Tory and Doug Ford. The potential spread of infection was because of Animal Crossing – New Horizons.
Individuals that attended these EB Games lineups waited upwards of an hour or longer before being permitted into the respective locations. Gamers were interviewed on their concerns with the virus, with some saying they’ve remained self-isolated for three weeks. Most of the players noted that after this purchase, they’d return out in public only for essential items to live. Considering that the time for social distancing is now in America, there’s been a substantial backlash from major communities across Canada. Passerby’s seeing extensive lineups cursed these individuals for risking the lives of elderly citizens.
Even mother nature disapproved of their decisions, creating a substantial downpour for Toronto and Vancouver citizens. Some across Toronto believe criminal charges should’ve been enforced or tickets handed out. Canadian citizens breaking the social distancing measures shouldn’t get away without any punishments. Lives are at risk.
Video game enthusiasts were disappointed to learn that the 2020 Electronic Entertainment Exposition had been terminated. This decision was made by the governing association that’s responsible for hosting this annual convention. Multiple news outlets suspect that this announcement was coming, with several reports coming from world health officials on March 12th. Corporations registered to host showcases at E3 2020 confirmed that digital events would be held through streaming services. This included Ubisoft and Xbox, with Activision not making any confirmations.
The Electronic Entertainment Exposition Association provided a formal statement to the public regarding the cancellation. It was expressed that after extensive consultation from members in the medical community, we’ve determined that associated members within our industry must be protected. This includes employees, attendees, E3 partners and exhibitors. These remarks mentioned that overwhelming concerns regarding the coronavirus prompted this decision, with association members believing it’s the best way to move forward with the pandemic. However, disappointment towards this cancellation was noted but that with the information coming in daily, the EEEA should move forward in this manner.
Governing organizers extended guarantees that attendees, exhibitors and partners would receive their respective refunds. There are still chances that a free online experience could be provided through E3 for June 2020, which would require extensive coordination efforts from all partners and exhibitors connected to E3 2020. Most gaming analysts believe that this prompt digital experience will be impossible to organize, forcing the delay of the Electronics Entertainment Exposition until 2021. It should be noted that organizers haven’t provided any details regarding this event, with plans are being processed to move forward for the gaming community hopefully.
Gaming Companies Holding Digital Venues
Limited Run Games, the Ubisoft Corporation and the Xbox Company have noted that they won’t participate in this digital experience with the E3 Expo. They’ll instead operate their digital venues, with Limited Run Gaming confirming that they’ll hold a public press conference on June 8th. It’s rumoured that the Nintendo Corporation will also be holding a digital expo in response to the coronavirus. Specific plans haven’t been confirmed by Nintendo, with the Xbox Company and Ubisoft Corporation not releasing their respective dates for the announced digital venues.
Electronic Arts have publicly expressed their announcement with the PlayStation Company. This follows after a group of hackers datamined the PlayStation Store Listings, which revealed that a Star Wars game is being developers by Electronic Arts. Information regarding this game is limited but was revealed through the PSN Releases Twitter Account. Sony and Electronic Arts both claim that after these hackers datamined this information, they prompted the Bot Twitter Account to release tweets regarding “Star Wars: Project Maverick”.
When looking through the datamined information, it’s noted that this game is listed as Maverick. However, limited details surrounding this title and leaked artwork provide insight onto this new title. It’s centred around a group of starfighters in X-Wings, which are attacking a group of Imperial Star Destroys. This indicates that the game takes place during the original trilogy, with the selected location being taken from the prequel Star Wars trilogy. This location includes Mustafar, which is the volcanic planet that became a sanctuary for Sith Lords and Darth Vader. It was initially seen in Revenge of the Sith, with the location returning multiple times throughout animated series and video game adaptations.
It should be noted that a recent report from Kotaku doubles down on this theory, with Electronic Arts having two Star Wars titles currently in development. It’s known that one of these games is a direct sequel to Respawn Studios Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. The secondary title has limited information surrounding it, with Electronic Arts only confirming that it’s smaller than the standard Star Wars game and is being created by Motive Studios. Considering that Star Wars: Project Maverick has a singular level; it’s expected that this is the secondary title.
Rumoured Virtual Reality
Star Wars: Project Maverick is more than likely a virtual reality game, marking it the second in a series of VR titles from Disney. It’d be the best format for this title and its singular level, with this often being the case with Virtual Reality games. Consumers of this title would have the capability to fly over Mustafar with an X-Wing, destroying the Galactic Senate with their Star Destroyers. Individuals close with EA have stated that the 2020 Star Wars games will be unlike anything anyone has seen before.
Supporters behind the Call of Duty franchise were shocked to learn that one of the most influential creators of this series is departing from his role. Treyarch Studios announced that Jason Blundell would be leaving his position. This man is the individual who created the infamous Zombies Mode, with Jason noting that the last thirteen years have been action-packed and that his time with Treyarch was a privilege. Blundell is leaving this well-known studio to move onto a variety of other projects. It’s expected that whatever the Zombies creator does next will be horror-related.
Jason Blundell first began his career with Treyarch Studios under Call of Duty Three. He’d eventually become associated with the zombie’s mode after assisting with the creation of four maps for “World at War”. His influence on this special mode extended to the last four iterations of Zombies under the Black Ops series. Jason would even aid with developing this mode with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and World War Two. These accomplishments allowed for Jason Blundell to become the Co-Head of Treyarch by 2016. It’s anticipated that Jason leads the production behind Black Ops Fives – Zombie Mode.
Black Ops 5 Details
After Activision confirmed that Call of Duty would return throughout the 2020 fiscal year, it was immediately rumoured that the next game is being developed by Treyarch and will stand at the 5th entry into the Black Ops franchise. This wouldn’t be surprising considering Treyarch has posted multiple development roles over the last twelve months. Details regarding the new title have been minimal, with rumours from notable sources providing some insight into the storyline and setting.
Rumours indicate that the latest Black Ops title will be set between the Vietnam, Korea and Cold Wars. It’d mark three new locations for the Call of Duty franchise, which hasn’t found itself in new historical settings for a prolonged period. This means fans of the Black Ops franchise would travel throughs periods again, ranging from the 1950s to 70s. It’s rumoured that the most prominent aspect of the storyline will centre around the Korean War, which saw the North invade into the South. Eventually, international aid was provided, which is where the Black Ops Units will come into effect. These rumours also indicate that this will be the most gritty and gruesome Call of Duty to date.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.