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July 23, 2019
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Updates » Social/Online
Valve wasn't 'really sure what to do' following Assassin's Creed Unity review surge 5
by Alissa McAloon [05.21.19]
A post from Valve addresses some of the complexities surrounding 'review bombs' and its previous rulings about the practice in the wake of a wave of positive Assassin's Creed Unity reviews.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Nintendo is pulling two mobile games from Belgium over loot box laws 1
by Alissa McAloon [05.21.19]
Both Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes will no longer be available in Belgium due to the country’s laws on loot box mechanics.
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Some publishers pay streamers as much as $50k an hour to play new games 2
by Alissa McAloon [05.20.19]
Companies like Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, Take-Two, and Ubisoft are willing to pay a $50,000 hourly rate for streamers to play up their new releases, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Video: Designing Path of Exile to be played forever  
by Staff [05.20.19]
In this GDC 2019 talk, Grinding Gears' Chris Wilson explains how Path of Exile is designed to retain and grow its community for the very long term.
Social/Online, Indie, Design, Production, Video, Vault

2K cuts off Borderlands 3 pre-orders on PC during Epic Mega Sale 8
by Alissa McAloon [05.20.19]
Publisher 2K has suddenly ended pre-orders for the PC version Gearbox’s upcoming game (and Epic Games Store exclusive) Borderlands 3.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Report: PlayStation staff were in the dark about the Sony and Microsoft team-up  
by Alissa McAloon [05.20.19]
Bloomberg’s sources say that PlayStation staff were caught off-guard by the announcement and that the deal was made "largely without the involvement" of staff at PlayStation.
Social/Online

Xbox head commits to building a safe and inclusive game community 1
by Alissa McAloon [05.20.19]
Xbox head Phil Spencer discusses his 'two fundamental truths' for video games and explores how Microsoft aims to promote inclusion and safety in its communities.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Access to Red Dead Online's poker restricted by regional gambling laws 2
by Alissa McAloon [05.20.19]
Rockstar Games added poker to Red Dead Online when it brought the game out of beta last week, but the feature now looks to be restricted in certain regions due to varying gambling laws.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Video Game Deep Cuts: A Plague (Tale) On Minecraft Earth  
by Gamasutra Staff [05.17.19]
This week's roundup includes pieces on AR game Minecraft Earth action adventure A Plague Tale: Innocence, plus Rage 2, strategy guides, and the intrigue behind Ingress.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Don't Miss: The world design of Diablo III 21
by Staff [05.17.19]
Blizzard designer Leonard Boyarsky talks to Gamasutra about the process of expanding the Diablo universe significantly with the third installment of the series, talking about what has both worked and what has not.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Design

CD Projekt Red talks Cyberpunk 2077 crunch, vows to be 'more humane' to devs 10
by Alissa McAloon [05.17.19]
CD Projekt Red leadership says speaking publicly about crunch acts as a commitment to treat its devs more humanely.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Production

Minecraft has sold 176 million copies in 10 years 2
by Alissa McAloon [05.17.19]
This week marks the 10th anniversary of Minecraft’s very first release and Microsoft now says that the game has sold over 176 million copies worldwide in that decade.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Sony and Microsoft teaming up to develop cloud and AI tech 1
by Alissa McAloon [05.16.19]
Sony and Microsoft had announced a partnership that centers around joint development of cloud tech using Microsfot’s Azure platform, with the goal of supporting their individual game and content-streaming services.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Epic footing the bill for some discounts in the Epic Games Store's first sale 9
by Alissa McAloon [05.16.19]
Epic has launched the Epic Games Store's first big sale event, and the company is chipping in to sweeten the pot for players without cutting into how much devs see from some sales.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Indie, Business/Marketing

PUBG Mobile now reminds minors to take breaks from playing in some countries  
by Alissa McAloon [05.15.19]
A PUBG Mobile update rolled out to select countries includes a "gameplay management" system that periodically reminds players under the age of 18 to step away from the game.
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet

Revenue and profit up at Tencent despite stagnant games revenue  
by Alissa McAloon [05.15.19]
Tencent reported year-over-year increases in both revenue and profit for the first quarter of its 2019 financial year, though the company’s online games business didn’t share in that growth.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet

The Epic Games Store quietly launches in China 1
by Alissa McAloon [05.15.19]
The Epic Games Store has quietly and suddenly opened up to Chinese users.
Console/PC, Social/Online

The Killing Floor series has earned $100 million in revenue in 10 years  
by Alissa McAloon [05.15.19]
 Tripwire Interactive has announced that its now decade-old game series Killing Floor has brought in over $100 million in revenue since its 2009 start.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online

Ubisoft sees record player engagement as full-year net bookings surpass $2.2 billion  
by Alissa McAloon [05.15.19]
Ubisoft says that its games saw 100 million active unique players for the year, a record for overall player engagement.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Take-Two CEO: Subscriptions not a 'foregone conclusion' for game industry 1
by Alissa McAloon [05.14.19]
Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick is keeping an eye on the rise of game subscription services but isn't fully convinced the model will have the same impact on games as it did on music and movies.
Social/Online, Business/Marketing