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January 20, 2021
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Updates » Social/Online
Xbox muses xCloud expansion through 'lower priced' gear like streaming sticks  
by Alissa McAloon [10.23.20]
Xbox's next big hardware announcement might be tinier than expected.
Social/Online

Google distances itself from Stadia creative director's comments 4
by Kris Graft [10.22.20]
Google on Thursday distanced itself from tweets issued by the creative director of Stadia's Montreal studio, who said game streamers should be paying devs and publishers of games they stream.
Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Rune 2 lawsuit alleges deliberate sabotage from Bethesda, ZeniMax  
by Alissa McAloon [10.21.20]
Accusations of fraud and breach of contract are aimed at Human Head as well as at Bethesda and ZeniMax, the owners of the studio that sprung up over night after Human Head's closure.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Ubisoft Connect announced as a 'refreshed' replacement for Uplay and Ubisoft Club  
by Alissa McAloon [10.21.20]
Following in the footsteps of EA's rebranding of Origin, Assassin's Creed developer Ubisoft has announced that Uplay and Ubisoft Club are being dissolved into an entirely new tool: Ubisoft Connect.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Luna, Amazon's take on cloud-based gaming, launches in (limited) early access  
by Alissa McAloon [10.20.20]
Amazon's freshly announced Luna service is now available in early access, though that doesn’t mean that the cloud-based game streaming service is open to the general public.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Bungie cease and desist pulls Destiny 2 cheat tool offline  
by Alissa McAloon [10.19.20]
Bungie appears to be arguing that the cheats violate the Destiny 2 license agreement, a complaint sent alongside a cease and desist demand.
Console/PC, Social/Online

PlayStation clarifies how its voice chat reporting tool will work on PS5 1
by Alissa McAloon [10.16.20]
An unannounced PS5 feature became known to the world thanks to the latest PS4 update, but the PS team assures its users that the new tool doesn't mean it’ll be listening in on voice chats.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Beamable, once known as Disruptor Beam, files for bankruptcy  
by Alissa McAloon [10.13.20]
Beamable, the studio that once helmed projects like Star Trek Timelines as developer Disruptor Beam, has filed for bankruptcy.
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet

Apple touts the new iPhone 12 and its 5G as a game changer for mobile games 1
by Alissa McAloon [10.13.20]
This latest line is split across four models of varying size, but all promise access to 5G networks and Apple’s shiny new A14 Bionic chip.
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet

Amazon cancels free-to-play shooter Crucible 1
by Kris Graft [10.09.20]
The development team behind Crucible, Amazon Game Studios’ effort to break into the free-to-play multiplayer shooter genre, announced Friday even it would halt development of the game.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Staff say Twitch has a chronic problem with racism, sexism, and indifference  
by Alissa McAloon [10.08.20]
UPDATE: A sprawling report from GamesIndustry collects the experiences of over a dozen Twitch employees that make the argument that the company has repeatedly failed its staff and users.
Social/Online

An in-depth analysis of IAP pack design in free-to-play mobile games 4
by Javier Barnes [10.08.20]
Currency packs are the core of the monetization of any F2P mobile game. We share some of the key concepts, techniques and ferengi tricks involved with their creation and balancing.
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Design, Business/Marketing

Chat Filtering exits Steam Labs testing, is now a bonafide Steam feature 1
by Alissa McAloon [10.07.20]
After a brief stint in the experimental Steam Labs program, the Steam team at Valve has launched the Chat Filtering feature in full and brought the customizable filters it provides to the masses.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Download-free demos via xCloud is (somewhere) on Xbox's to-do list  
by Alissa McAloon [10.07.20]
While Spencer notes that it is indeed on the "long list of cool things the xCloud is working on," that reveal comes with the admission that it's still a ways down on the list.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Blog: Should game devs become YouTubers to get (more) successful?  
by Simon Carless [10.07.20]
Instead of pitching all those photogenic, influential YouTubers - why don’t you just become a slick, photogenic YouTuber? Some thoughts for game discoveryland, including the above!
Console/PC, Social/Online, Indie, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Video: The data-driven game design of Rainbow Six Siege  
by Staff [10.05.20]
Ubisoft's Leroy Athanassoff and Geoffroy Mouret walk through how the Rainbow Six Siege team uses data analysis and community feedback to shape the design of the popular team-based shooter.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Design, Video, Vault

Some Epic Games Store games can now be purchased through GOG Galaxy 2.0  
by Alissa McAloon [10.02.20]
Now it looks like the folks at GOG are taking GOG Galaxy 2.0's mission statement one step further by testing the ability to buy games from other digital stores through the platform.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Report: Roblox readies to go public in early 2021  
by Alissa McAloon [10.01.20]
Roblox, the company behind the massive game creation platform of the same name, is reportedly planning to go public early next year, though the exact form that action will take is still up for debate.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Apex Legends brings cross-play to PS4, Xbox One, and PC next week  
by Alissa McAloon [10.01.20]
Cross-play presents its own complications and challenges for each game, and Apex Legends is no exception.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Google's new $50 Chromecast won't support Stadia until sometime in 2021  
by Alissa McAloon [09.30.20]
Google has officially announced a streamlined and slightly cheaper Chromecast kit, but the $50 device doesn't support Google’s own game streaming service Stadia at launch.
Console/PC, Social/Online