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April’s Games with Gold Includes the Original Battlefront 2, Technomancer, and More

With a new month comes a new rotation of free games for active Xbox Live subscribers. Microsoft recently revealed their lineup for April’s Games with Gold, featuring a collection of free Xbox One titles and backward compatible extras that some players might want to pick up, available via Xbox Live Gold for a limited time only.

Most of this month’s collection seems to carry an extraterrestrial theme, as these games revolve around space-faring adventurers, featuring an old favorite from Microsoft’s debut system. For Xbox One owners, April’s highlights kick off tomorrow with Focus Home Interactive’s 2016 title
The Technomancer, where you play as an on-the-run vagabond mage-warrior, feared and respected by all on Mars. It will be free to download from April 1 to April 30.

On April 16, Bigben Interactive’s
Outcast: Second Contact will be available for free up until May 15. This game is a complete remake of the cult classic original Outcast from 1999 on PC, developed once again by Belgian studio Appeal. This will replace Electronic Arts’ Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 from the March Games with Gold rotation.

For Xbox 360 owners, as well as Xbox One via backward compatibility,
Star Wars: Battlefront II (no, not EA’s) from the original Xbox is free to own for Xbox Live Gold members starting tomorrow. The game, developed by the since-EA-shuttered Pandemic Games, comes with improved graphics via Xbox One X enhancements. This will be followed by Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, available until April 31.

Are you subscribed to Xbox Live Gold? Which of these games for April’s Games with Gold are you fancying downloading? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

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EA Won’t Be Holding an E3 Press Conference This Year

Disney, Wargaming, Activision-Blizzard, and others have all stopped showing up to E3 in recent years, and even Sony is skipping E3 2019. Publishers are becoming increasingly less interested in announcing their biggest games in June, and recently another industry giant has announced its decision to take a step back from E3. This time, it’s Electronic Arts.

EA has announced that they will not be holding a traditional press conference at this year’s E3 convention. Previously they removed themselves from the show floor, instead opting to hold a simultaneous “EA Play” event just down the street from E3 proper.

EA Play will return in 2019, but it will no longer happen alongside E3. Instead, EA Play will take place from June 7th – 9th, while E3’s show floor days are June 11th – 13th. While EA won’t be holding a press conference, they will be livestreaming, and their event will focus on “less talk and more play.”

“It all starts this year on Friday night, June 7, 2019, with an all-new EA PLAY kickoff event. We’re skipping the press conference this year and are replacing it with multiple live streams that will air during the first two days of the event, bringing you more of what you’ve told us you want – more gameplay and insights from the teams making the games.”
— Electronic Arts

By shifting EA Play to a few days before E3, EA will no longer have to compete directly with E3 attendees. Fans will be able to go hands-on with EA games on June 8th and 9th. Despite the lack of a press conference, EA is still promising “exclusive gameplay reveals, developer talks, and breaking news.”

Source: EA

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Apex Legends Passes 50 Million Players

Respawn Entertainment, developers of Titanfall, stealth launched a new battle royale game last month, and the results have been staggering. Despite receiving no pre-launch hype or marketing (unless you count leaks hinting at its concept and gameplay), Apex Legends has quickly become a tremendous success in a crowded marketplace.

In fact, Apex Legends is growing at such a rapid pace that it just reached a major milestone much faster than other games in the genre. As of yesterday, Apex Legends has over 50 million registered players according to the game’s official Twitter account. To put this in perspective (as Daniel Ahmad calculated), Fortnite Battle Royale took 16 weeks to reach 45 million players, and Apex Legends just passed that up in four weeks.

Respawn founder Vince Zampella thanked players in a celebratory tweet and promised that “there’s much more to come!Apex Legends is truly off to an incredible start, so Respawn will no doubt be looking for ways to continue to improve and attract more players.

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News PlayStation 4

Anthem is Reportedly Crashing PlayStation 4 Consoles

BioWare’s Anthem recently launched to lukewarm reviews, but the online loot shooter might have bigger problems on its hands right now. Over the weekend (and continuing today), there have been countless reports from PlayStation 4 players claiming that Anthem is giving them error messages, booting them to the console’s dashboard, and even crashing the console altogether.

It appears players using both the standard and Pro models of the PlayStation 4 have experienced random crashes that act as though the power cord has been unplugged. One player claims that he continued playing after a crash and another crash followed that completely bricked his console. Although far less frequent, there have also been some reports of Xbox consoles crashing as well.

The official PlayStation Support Twitter page is currently flooded with angry players demanding answers and/or refunds. According to Reddit users, there have been mixed results on the refund front. Some claim the process was simple and painless, while others say their requests were rejected. Kotaku reached out to Sony and EA for a comment on the situation, but neither has replied at this time.

Source: Kotaku

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BioWare is “Definitely Not Done” With Mass Effect

BioWare’s
Mass Effect trilogy was immensely popular and critically successful for years, but more recently the future of the series has become quite murky. Mass Effect: Andromeda launched to lukewarm reviews in 2017, and developer BioWare Montreal was swallowed up by EA’s Motive Studios. With BioWare focused largely on Anthem at present, many have been wondering if we’ll ever see more of Mass Effect.

Despite
Andromeda performing under expectations, it doesn’t look like publisher EA is ready to pull the plug on the franchise for good. BioWare General Manager Casey Hudson wrote a blog post last August that indicated BioWare has “some teams hidden away working on some secret stuff” that should make Mass Effect and Dragon Age fans happy. More recently, BioWare Executive Producer Mark Darrah expressed support for the beloved series.

“We’re definitely not done with Mass Effect. There’s a lot of stories to be told. We could pull on the threads we put down with
Andromeda; we could pull on threads from Mass Effect 3. There’s a lot of interesting space to be explored.” — Mark Darrah

Casey Hudson also chimed in again to say that the series is ”
very much alive” in his mind and that he hopes he can get back to it soon. It may be a long wait, but it sounds like we will see Mass Effect again some day.

Source: Polygon

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Anthem’s Getting a Live-Action Short Film

We’re about a week and a half away from the launch of Anthem, the next big thing from publisher EA and Mass Effect developer BioWare. EA already uploaded a launch trailer last week, despite the fact that the actual launch was still two weeks away, but they’re not done promoting the game yet. Next up on the schedule is a live-action short film!

EA has teamed up with director Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) to create a short film titled “Conviction” that is set in the Anthem universe. Conviction will be a prequel story set decades before the game and taking place in Fort Tarsis. The film stars freelancers in Javelin suits who battle against the head of the evil Dominion faction, the Monitor.

You can check out a teaser for the upcoming short film by clicking above. Conviction will be released in full on Thursday, February 14th. Anthem itself will launch over a week later on February 22nd.

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Anthem Gets an Early Launch Trailer


The next big project from Mass Effect developer BioWare is almost here. Anthem has been in the works since 2012, and the ambitious game finally wrapped up development last month. We’re still about two weeks away from the game’s launch (although many players have already tried out the game’s demo), but publisher Electronic Arts has gone ahead and uploaded the launch trailer ahead of schedule.

Click above to watch!

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EA Caves on Loot Boxes in Belgium

The controversy surrounding loot boxes escalated last year when numerous governments launched investigations into their relation to gambling. New legislation was passed in Belgium prohibiting the sale of loot boxes without a gambling license, and most companies were quick to get in line. EA, however, refused to remove loot boxes from FIFA 18.

This prompted the Brussels public prosecutor’s office to launch an investigation, and EA was threatened with the prospect of being dragged to court. EA appeared willing to fight the charges back in September, but they’ve since had a change of heart. After further discussion with government officials, EA has agreed to bring all of their games in line with the new policy by January 31st.

After the changes, players will no longer be able to use real money to buy the in-game currency, FIFA points, used to play for loot boxes. Players can still earn the types of rewards that were available in loot boxes, but there will be no more exchanging of currency for randomized rewards.

Although they are now preparing to follow the law, EA still holds that they have done nothing wrong. They issued a statement apologizing to fans for any inconvenience caused by the removal of loot boxes and asserted “We do not agree with Belgian authorities’ interpretation of the law, and we will continue to seek more clarity on the matter as we go forward.”

Source: Electronic Arts

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Anthem Has Officially Gone Gold


BioWare has been hard at work on Anthem since 2012, and soon the public will finally get to enjoy the fruits of their labor. The next big thing from the team behind Mass Effect was originally slated for a 2018 launch, but it was pushed back to 2019, giving the developers more time. If you were worried about another potential delay, fear not!

According to the latest update from lead cinematic animator Tal Peleg, Anthem has officially gone gold. This means that development on the game is completed to the point of it being ready to launch. BioWare will likely continue to tweak and perfect it in the coming weeks (and undoubtedly work on post-launch content as well), but development on the core game has wrapped up.

You can look forward to Anthem launching on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on February 22, 2019.

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EA Under Criminal Investigation Over Loot Boxes in Belgium

Over the past year, there has been a massive controversy surrounding the existence of randomized loot boxes in video games. Whether or not loot boxes should be classified as gambling has been a hotly disputed topic, and in recent months certain types of loot boxes were made illegal in the Netherlands and Belgium. EA has decided this law doesn’t apply to them.

Following the ruling, Blizzard, Valve, and 2K Games all removed loot boxes from their games to avoid legal woes, and 2K put out a statement asking its fans to petition the government to allow loot boxes. EA decided to take a different route and just ignored the law altogether, keeping the banned loot boxes in FIFA 18. As a result, the Brussels public prosecutor’s office is now investigating EA and could take the matter to the courts.

Because Belgium now classifies randomized loot boxes as gambling, any games containing them must follow gambling restrictions. One of those restrictions would force EA and others to make their loot boxes totally inaccessible to minors, which is why they’ve been disabled altogether by the other companies. EA apparently thinks this is a battle they can win, so they’re standing firm.

Source: Metro (via Eurogamer)

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Anthem’s Getting A Demo Before Launch

Mass Effect Andromeda launched to lukewarm reviews last year, but BioWare is hoping to bounce back strong with a new IP. BioWare has been hard at work on Anthem since 2012, and it finally launches next February. If you’re a little hesitant about buying into the hype after Andromeda, we’ve got some good news. You may have a chance to try it out before you buy.

Speaking at PAX West, Executive Producer Mark Darrah and Producer Mike Gamble announced that Anthem is getting a demo on February 1st, 2019. This isn’t meant as a beta or tech demo, but as a legitimate look at a small chunk of the game as it will appear on launch day.

This demo isn’t exactly closed to the public, but it isn’t really open either. Full details haven’t been announced, but BioWare will be limiting the number of participants. Anyone with an EA Access subscription is guaranteed access, and so are those who pre-order the game. There are plans to let people in through other means as well, but BioWare is waiting to give specifics until a later date.

Source: PC Gamer

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EA Announces a Delay for Battlefield V

As the ever-lucrative holiday season approaches, video game publishers are faced with the tough task of finding the optimal time to launch their games during a crowded window. We’ve seen numerous games delayed out of 2018 altogether to avoid congestion, and there may still be more schedule shuffling to come. EA is the latest company to change plans for a major release, opting to delay Battlefield V.

In an update on their official website, EA announced that they’re delaying the upcoming shooter in order to “make some final adjustments to core gameplay” based on feedback from fans during closed Alphas and at events like E3 and Gamescom. Battlefield V was previously slated to launch on October 19th, and its new release date is November 20th.

As a result, it will now be launching within a week of Hitman 2, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Fallout 76, and Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. However, it has also now gained some distance from Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which launches on October 12th, and Red Dead Redemption 2, which comes out October 26th.

Source: Electronic Arts

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There Has Been A Mass Shooting at the Madden Championship Series

Today it is our unfortunate duty to report on a horrific and tragic event that just occurred at the Madden Championship Series competition in Jacksonville, Florida. During the tournament, a shooter opened fire and injured numerous people. Early reports suggest at least 11 people were shot, leaving four victims dead and seven others injured.

Publisher Electronic Arts has confirmed the situation, and they are working with local authorities to collect all of the facts. They issued a statement calling the event a horrible situation and offering their sympathies to the families of the victims. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has also announced that he’s working with local police in handling the situation.

CompLexity Gaming founder and CEO Jason Lake has confirmed that Madden player Drini was among the shooting victims, but he will be fine after sustaining an injury to his thumb and escaping. Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville has confirmed that they are treating at least three victims from the shooting, and they are currently in stable condition.

At this time all reports should be considered subject to change, as information is still coming in.

Update: Police have confirmed that there was only one shooting suspect, and he is now deceased. His name has not yet been revealed to the public. 

Update 2: Police have now identified the shooter as David Katz. Reports from unnamed witnesses at the event state that he became angry after losing a match and opened fire. Katz is then believed to have taken his own life. According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, there were 13 total victims. 11 had gunshot wounds while two were injured in other ways. Three people were deceased when the police arrived on the scene, including Katz. 

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Check Out 20 Minutes of Anthem Footage With Developer Commmentary

At E3 last month the public was treated to a brand new trailer for Anthem, the next big thing from Mass Effect creators BioWare. Those lucky enough to be on the E3 show floor itself had an opportunity to go hands-on with a 20 minute demo of the game. If you weren’t able to make it out to Los Angeles for the convention yourself, don’t fret!

BioWare has just uploaded gameplay footage of the E3 demo to YouTube. Discover more about the traversal, combat, and teamwork on display as a team of four Freelancers complete the mission “Scars & Villainy.” The footage also features developer commentary from Lead Producer Ben Irving, so you can learn more about the game. You can check it all out by clicking above!

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The Creator of Unravel Two Wants the Game on Switch

Ever since Unravel Two was shown off at EA’s press conference yesterday, many fans have been clamoring to have the game ported to the Nintendo Switch. This movement gained a lot of steam and even grabbed the attention of its creator, Martin Sahlin.

Sahlin took to Twitter to explain that the game would be great on Switch, but the team doesn’t have the necessary resources at the moment. Some are speculating the team may not have enough money, so a Switch port of Unravel Two might be dependent on how well the game does on other platforms. You can read Sahlin’s full statement below.

Would you guys like to see the game come to Nintendo Switch? What other third party titles deserve to be on the system? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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Here’s Everything We Learned from EA Play 2018’s Press Conference

The E3 week has arrived once more, and EA has again claimed the right to the first press conference of the season. Alongside expected looks at Battlefield V, Anthem, and several EA Sports titles, we also saw the reveals of Unravel Two, Sea of Solitude, and more! If you just want a quick recap to see what all was discussed, we’ve got you covered!

Here is all of the news that came out of EA Play 2018’s press event:

While all of the above came out of the EA Play conference, that isn’t all that we’ve heard regarding some of these titles, especially franchises helmed by BioWare. We’ve since learned that Anthem will not feature romantic options, while tweets from executive producer Mark Darrah have revealed that the game will require an internet connection but will not have cross-platform play or PvP. Additionally, BioWare’s Casey Hudson says that they’re still working on the next Dragon Age title, as well as that the studio intends to return to the Mass Effect series “at some point.”

In case you missed it, you can catch the full conference in the video below! What do you think the best and the worst parts of this conference were? Let us know in the comments, and check back in tomorrow for more of our E3 coverage!

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BioWare’s Anthem Will Require an Internet Connection to Play

EA Play 2018 wrapped up its press conference just a few hours ago, ending with a long discussion about BioWare’s next major title, Anthem. Even so, new information about the game is continuing to come out thanks to recent interviews and Tweets. We already reported that the game will lack romantic options, but word from BioWare executive producer Mark Darrah has now revealed that the game will require an internet connection.

When asked about it, Darrah’s response was direct and to the point: “You need to be online to play.” He did not elaborate on why this was, but it’s likely due to the game’s co-op nature. Alas, even those of us who prefer playing games with single-player only will need to have a strong enough internet connection to play the game. Even though you’ll be online, though, at this point in time there is no cross-platform play planned for the game.

Among the other details revealed is that PvP elements will not be present in the game. Darrah says that this will allow them to have more “out there” weapons, since they do not have to worry about balancing for player vs. player battles. Additionally, for everyone still worried about EA restricting cosmetic options behind microtransactions, “You can earn all personalization option [sic] in gameplay too.”

Darrah answered many more tweets about Anthem over on his Twitter page, so be sure to check it out for even more details. If you see another interesting or shocking tidbit of information on Anthem—or heck, if he answers a question of yours—be sure to tell us about in the comments!

Source: Twitter

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BioWare’s Anthem Won’t Feature Romantic Options

EA Play just gave us a brand new look at Anthem, but a new interview between the game’s lead producer and GameInformer has provided a rather unexpected detail about BioWare’s next title. In contrast to many of BioWare’s biggest and most beloved successes, Anthem will not be featuring romantic options for the player to pursue. There will be friendships available to forge and strengthen, but they won’t turn into love interests.

“There are no romances. There are friendships. Some of the stuff we did with Mass Effect – the Citadel DLC specifically – there was a lot of friendship moments. You and Garrus sitting up, shooting – that kind of stuff, we want to lean into that. The romantic stuff, we’re moving away from that for Anthem.” — Anthem Lead Producer Mike Gamble

Don’t lose all hope, though. Following the release of this news, fans on Twitter managed to grab the attention of BioWare executive producer Mark Darrah, who confirmed that, since it was BioWare’s choice to not feature love interests in Anthem, “the door is not closed for after launch.” Perhaps DLC could add some of these sorts of relationships if fans request it strongly enough. If they did so, Darrah stated that they would “provide it to everyone,” implying it would be free—though he did stress that that was a big “if.”

In the meantime, what do you think of this new twist on the BioWare formula for Anthem? Give us your thoughts in the comments!

Source: GameInformer

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BioWare’s Anthem is Releasing on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on February 22, 2019

At their EA Play presentation moments ago, EA announced that Anthem, the latest game from BioWare, will be releasing on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on February 22nd, 2019. They also hosted a deep-dive discussion with several developers of the game and released some new trailers.

In the discussion, the developers stated that the game will take place in a living, shared world. Dynamic weather, time of day, and seasons will change the game world for everyone playing the game. They also talked about the game’s story, which takes place in a world that was left unfinished by the gods; the gods’ tools are still present in the world, however, which factors in to much of the game’s conflict.

You play as a freelancer piloting a Javelin exosuit, which come in four different styles: Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor, and Storm. The Ranger is an all-purpose class of suit which excels at up-close, one-on-one combat, whereas the Colossus is a heavier suit with more devastating weapons. The developers did not discuss any specifics of the other two classes of Javelin, but they did state that they will be highly customizable. Players will be able to customize their suits by changing the paint job (including what looks like a Mass Effect-inspired one), or even the geometry of the suit itself.

The developers also talked about the game’s monetization strategy, confirming that there would be cosmetic and vanity items available for purchase through microtransactions, but there will not be loot boxes or gameplay-enhancing purchases in the game. They stated that the game will be an “ongoing service” but did not elaborate on whether this would include new content (free or paid) after launch.

What do you guys think about Anthem? You can let us know by posting in the comments, and check out the new trailers for the game below!

Source: EA Play 2018

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