Given the enormous success of Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, developer Bluehole is of course going to continue to support the game for a while. But Playerunknown himself, Brendan Greene, said in a new interview that a sequel is not coming anytime soon.
Speaking to IGN, Greene was asked directly about the next five years of PUBG and if this will include a sequel. “Oh no,” Greene responded. Instead, players can expect PUBG to take the games-a-service model, with developer Bluehole updating and refreshing it with patches over time instead of making PUBG 2.
“We’re building this game as a service,” Greene said. “We’ll still have the boxed copy that you buy … we still want to polish and refine. Add more maps, add more assets, and continually refine the gameplay and optimise as we go forward.”
Greene clarified that PUBG will be available on Xbox One on a disc (in addition to digitally), if players want to pick it up at a physical retailer. Microsoft is publishing the Xbox One version of PUBG, and Greene said he’s excited to bring the game to a console like Xbox, which he said is synonymous with gaming. The Xbox One version of PUBG will launch later this year, though a specific release date hasn’t been announced yet.
This isn’t to say PUBG 2 will never happen, but it’s clear that it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Microsoft has said the same thing about a Minecraft sequel.
HypeGamezs is speaking with the PUBG development team soon for our own interview. Have a question about the game you want an answer to? You can submit any question you want and we’ll potentially pose it to the studio.
Right on schedule, Microsoft today released a new TV commercial for the Xbox One X. Microsoft is going all out with the “Feel True Power” campaign, which kicks off with this spot during the Season 8 premiere of The Walking Dead and Sunday Night Football.
It’s a pretty slick trailer. The idea is that everything you do on your console–games, movies, etc., will look better if you have an Xbox One X. The console is 40 percent more powerful than the PS4 Pro and offers 4K support if you have a compatible TV. So of course, it uses the Kanye West song “Power.”
Microsoft is billing the Xbox One X as the “world’s most powerful console.” Indeed, it is 40 percent more powerful than the PS4 Pro. It doesn’t replace the Xbox One S, which will remain on the market and will sell better than the Xbox One X, according to Microsoft. All Xbox One S games play on Xbox One, and your controllers work as well.
The “Feel True Power” campaign is rolling out globally now. It is “designed to appeal to all gamers, taking the audience on an emotional roller coaster to elicit emotions like awe, excitement, fear, and passion,” Microsoft says.
The Xbox One X launches on November 7, priced at $500 in the US. Keep checking back with HypeGames for lots more on the system in the days and weeks ahead.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection had a very rocky launch in November 2014. An ambitious game that packages together four Halo games and their multiplayer modes, the game struggled mightily out of the gate, with matchmaking times proving extremely lengthy and in some cases not working at all. Microsoft was quick to address the issues and the experience has improved dramatically. Still, Microsoft sees the issues as a “black eye” for the franchise. Last week, developer 343 announced yet another way it’s making it up to fans and sticking with the game. The Master Chief Collection will receive significant updates and improvements over the next year or longer, including an Xbox One X update and a wider update that will “help bring it forward and modernize many of the game’s systems to take advantage of Xbox platform advancements since its original launch.” It’s nice to see Microsoft’s commitment to the game, but why did things go so badly at the start? Halo franchise director Frank O’Connor recently addressed that in a lengthy and thorough blog post on Halo Waypoint (via Polygon).
Starting off by saying he’s no engineer and is making no excuses for what happened, O’Connor said, “in terms of chicken/egg scenarios, fixing the existing ‘vanilla’ Xbox One MCC was the Chicken that laid the Xbox One X enhanced version egg.” O’Connor suggested that it wasn’t always Microsoft’s plan to revisit The Master Chief Collection, but there have been a “series of changes to the Xbox architecture,” including the OS and back-end networking systems, that have “cracked open an opportunity we’ve wanted to seize for many, many months now.”
O’Connor said the launch of The Master Chief Collection was “one of my lowest ebbs, professionally.” He added: “Every angry mail I received, I took to heart. I felt like I had personally let our fans down. I have not spent a single day since the night the game fell down in matchmaking where I didn’t think about it.”
O’Connor added that one piece of resounding feedback was, “How could you not know that matchmaking was going to break?” The director explained that Microsoft tested the game’s matchmaking systems “incorrectly and with some (as we discovered later) faulty assumptions.” He added that the testing processes for the game differed from the norm because the games in the package were already tested for balance. Additionally, O’Connor acknowledged that 343 “we made mistakes in some of the scenarios we asked for.”
“We had, with the best intentions, created a massive and ambitious project that almost read like a Halo fan’s wishlist. As a player, I was incredibly excited. And as an employee, I was proud of the work and effort the team had poured into making this thing so big,” O’Connor said.
He added that The Master Chief Collection began as an idea to make Halo 2 HD, and leave it at that, but the idea came later to expand the scope to include the entire Master Chief saga in one package. “And so the project ballooned in scope and scale and ambition. We threw a ton of resources behind it internally and worked with some trusted partners,” O’Connor said.
But at launch, the game’s matchmaking systems struggled significantly. O’Connor acknowledged that its own multiplayer testing sessions “never got to the kind of scale” that could reflect a live environment.
“So we genuinely didn’t know until the day it released, how bad the matchmaking in particular was going to get,” he said. “I’m not going to ignore the other bugs, they were real, and important, but the way the UI and matchmaking protocols interacted with each other exacerbated many of the smaller items and amplified a couple of them in unpredictable ways.
“The short version was that for Xbox One we built some of the underlying systems to work on a brand-new platform, which was fundamentally, quite different to both the original consoles the games were designed for. We also had some very new (and frankly these have evolved since then and are now much better) online systems on a new console and made some educated, but (with hindsight) ultimately faulty, assumptions we made during development and testing.”
He also offered up an easy-to-understand metaphor for why the matchmaking struggled.
“Each potential player was assigned a kind of ‘ticket’ which would then grant them entry into a match or session–picture a virtual waiting room at a train station–when the train arrives (a match)–everyone has to board–or the train can’t leave,” he said. “Issues arose when folks left sessions before games had started that would cause the initial ticket distributions to fail, and that sometimes meant very long wait times for matches as tickets were issued and reissued–especially in countries with lower populations.”
O’Connor added that Microsoft made assumptions about how things would work. This was a mistake, and he said Microsoft wants to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
“Frankly, we don’t assume anything anymore. While we had some valid reasons to believe the game would function properly in the retail environment, we’ve shifted our development philosophy to basically assume nothing anymore,” he said.
Part of this effort going forward is the previously discussed “flighting” program, which is 343’s way of enlisting the community to help test updates in a live environment before they are rolled out to everyone. In addition to this, 343’s own testing will get “much more rigid.”
O’Connor added that he wants people to know how committed 343 has been and continues to be in the area of listening to and responding to feedback.
“Everyone here puts their heart and soul and sweat and tears into building our games,” he said. “I can tell you without hesitation that I have never heard someone here dismiss or ignore or belittle complaints. We always take them to heart. It’s the internet of course, so sometimes folks take it too far, with threats or other inappropriate reactions, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t understand the anger or disappointment those came from.”
You can read O’Connor’s full blog post here. If it doesn’t answer all of your questions, O’Connor said he plans to write another post in 2018 that will cover an “even more detailed technical breakdown” of what happened, why, and how 343 addressed it. “That’s what we owe you–that and a game we can both finally be satisfied with,” he said.
The point in the year when almost every week is bringing you yet another AAA release is upon us, and it’s hard to keep track. This week has two major releases, both of which are sequels, a localisation that’s coming to the West three years after its release in Japan, and yet another indie gem for the Switch. Here’s all the big releases to keep an eye out for.
88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition – October 10, Nintendo Switch
Originally released on Steam earlier this year, 88 Heroes is coming to the Nintendo Switch with the 98 Heroes Edition, which adds 10 new characters, new levels, and a new boss fight. As the 88 heroes, you must stop Dr. H8 by getting through 88 levels, with 88 seconds for each level while the 88 minute doomsday clock counts down, before he explodes 88 warheads. 88. You might even recognise some of the characters, as Rusty from SteamWorld Dig makes an appearance.
There’s something almost WarioWare-like in 88 Heroes, as 88 levels that can include 88 (98 in this version) heroes means everything quickly gets very weird, and it’s a test of you being able to adapt quickly to what each hero does and what each level offers.
Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online – October 10, PS4
This spinoff to the Hyperdimension Neptunia series is getting somewhat meta: the four goddesses, Neptune, Noire, Blanc, and Vert, are the focus of a new game. In Cyperdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddess Online, the four goddesses play the new game 4 Goddesses Online, where they’re four of the main characters. In the Cyberdimension, they must fight off the looming threat of the Demon King, to save the world.
So, that all sounds very confusing, but here’s the easier to understand version: you can play the game Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online. In that game, you will play as the titular 4 goddess. As a part of the game’s story, they’re the focus of a game within this world called 4 Goddesses Online, where they must play to possibly save the world. If you’ve managed to put all of that into some sort of chronology and enjoyed putting that together, Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is probably for you.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War – October 10, PC, PS4, Xbox One
It might have been hard to miss this one, as there have been trailers being released constantly for the last few weeks, but Middle-earth: Shadow of War is coming out on October 10, 2017. For PC, Xbox One, and PS4, it’s the sequel to Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which pitted you against legions of orcs, arming you with supernatural powers to overwhelm and control your enemies. What made it special was the Nemesis System, where enemies that either best you or flee from battle would remember who you are. If, for example, an enemy beat you by riding a beast, they might reference that later.
It also featured a full hierarchy system, where you could undermine targets by taking out their bodyguards, or possessing them to possibly have an enemy leader assassinated. The Nemesis System hasn’t ever been replicated, and Middle-earth: Shadow of War looks to build on it in every way.
The Flame in the Flood: Complete Edition – October 12, Nintendo Switch
Already out on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, The Flame in the Flood is now coming to the Nintendo Switch to round off all the platforms it’s available on. As a young girl and her dog, you must survive in the wilderness, hiking over land and barreling down river on a flimsy raft.
A great storm has turned the entire of America into a series of islands, with huge, fast-flowing rivers separating them. Your goal is to fend off or flee from hostile creatures to, eventually, find shelter. Rather than being about creating a base, like other survival games, it’s more about constantly finding a new place to rest, as wild animals or the weather will, eventually, catch up to you.
The Evil Within 2 – October 13, PC, PS4, Xbox One
Shinji Mikami stepped down as director for his horror game’s sequel, with John Johanas stepping up to the role of director, but that doesn’t change how exciting The Evil Within 2 looks. While the first game definitely had some flaws, it was a tense and scary survival horror experience that showed promise in a genre that had, for a long time, felt like it was on its last legs.
This time, though, things are apparently going on a more “psychological horror” route, with a more personal story about a detective who must save his daughter by going into alternate dimensions. It’s also less linear this time around, giving more ways around each level, perhaps rewarding different playstyles. Any survival horror game with Shinji Mikami on the team is worth keeping an eye on.
Chaos;Child – October 13, PS4, PS Vita
Originally released in December 2014, Chaos;Child had never made it out of Japan until now. It’s the fourth game in the Science Adventure series, which you might recognise for being the series Stein’s;Gate belongs to. While plot elements and certain other things carry over between games, it’s not a series that requires you to know everything about the games before it. Chaos;Child follows on from Chaos;Head, but you don’t need to know what’s already happened to enjoy Chaos;Child.
It’s a gruesome visual novel where you must work to investigate a series of murders that relate back to the events of Chaos;Head, while trying to fight against many delusions that the main character experiences while doing so. Positive and negative delusions will push the story in different directions, ultimately finishing with a different ending. If a little absurdity in your sci-fi and some rather gruesome (actually incredibly gruesome) murder cases are your style, Chaos;Child is coming to PS4 and PS Vita soon.
Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle – October 13, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS Vita
The Touhou games, all coming under the Project Touhou banner, are generally incredibly difficult bullet hell games, where you’re forced to learn patterns and perform precise movements to avoid attacks. Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle, though, is a 3D fighting game where you’ll use characters’ abilities to fight with both ranged and melee attacks.
There’s still that bullet hell element to the game, where you’re avoiding projectiles, but it’s much more relaxed, as 3D movement and the alternate focus of fighting game-based combat makes the bullet hell element less of a focus. It’s very much for fans of the Touhou Project, but if you are a fan of it, it’s definitely going to be up your street.
The next big event in Destiny 2 is nearly here. Bungie has confirmed that the game’s limited-time Iron Banner Crucible event returns on October 10, making its first appearance in the sequel. While the name is the same, there’s actually quite a bit that’s changed from the previous game’s version of Iron Banner. Below, we’ve outlined what’s different, how to unlock Iron Banner access, and what kind of gear and rewards you can earn by taking part.
How To Access Iron Banner
To participate in Iron Banner, you need to visit Lord Saladin in the Tower. That task itself requires that you complete the campaign, as the Tower is inaccessible until you’ve done so. Once you’ve spoken with Saladin, Iron Banner is entered through its own Crucible playlist, which features Quickplay modes and matchmaking. You can join with a Fireteam or dive in solo.
When It Starts
Destiny 2’s first Iron Banner begins on October 10 at 2 AM PT / 5 AM ET, as part of the weekly reset. It will run for the entire week, ending with the following weekly reset on October 17. This isn’t the only major thing opening up on October 10, as that’s the day the Prestige mode version of the Leviathan Raid unlocks.
As with all Crucible modes, Iron Banner matches are now 4v4, rather than 6v6 in the original Destiny. But the biggest change is that Iron Banner is now entirely about skill; Power levels are not taken into account, as Light levels were previously. “Your fighting abilities, not your power levels, will decide the outcome,” Bungie says. Additionally, rather than completing bounties and ranking up, there are new Iron Banner Engrams that you’ll earn for participating.
If you haven’t yet gotten around to trying out the Star Wars Battlefront II beta, or you simply haven’t had your fill, you’re in luck. Electronic Arts has extended the beta an extra two days, providing players with more time to see what the sequel has to offer.
The beta had been scheduled to end earlier yesterday, but it will now instead run until Wednesday, October 11. EA didn’t say why it made the change or if any additional content would be introduced. As it stands, you can sample four modes: Galactic Assault, Starfighter Assault, Strike, and Arcade. The first three are online multiplayer modes that range in maximum player count (going as high as 40 in Galactic Assault). Arcade is a 1-2 player mode with offline split-screen support.
Star Wars Battlefront II releases on November 17. We’ve already played some of the content featured in the beta and came away impressed. Interestingly, the 2005 Star Wars: Battlefront II has also received a new update that restored multiplayer and allows cross-play between Steam and GOG.