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Joseph Madding

As Nerd Interests' Co-Owner and Editor-in-Chief, I oversee daily operations. You can follow me on Twitter @TheVisionEx, or join me on Facebook/TheVisionEx. I'm on the PlayStation Network when I'm not on the PC by the handle of VisionEx. I'm always down to play with anyone who invites me, so long as I have the game you want.

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Every Game Nintendo Announced for the Switch in 2017 [Nintendo Direct]

Announced on April 12th, 2017, the latest Nintendo Direct showcased the future of the Nintendo Switch for all of 2017. In rapid-fire mode, Nintendo pushed out trailer after trailer. Some with solid dates behind them, others with squishy time frames. Announcing everything through Q1 of 2018, let’s have a look at the future of Nintendo Switch.

NEOGEO Masterpieces – April 13th

Showcasing many major features from the ol’ NEOGEO console, the Nintendo Switch eShop will offer titles up from their collection on April 13th and forward. Look for titles such as Samurai Showdown IV, Fatal Fury, and The King of Fighters ’99 at immediate release, with more arcade-style classics coming forward from the aged platform.

Puyo Puyo Tetris – April 25th

Already available for public consumption, you can get your hands on a demo for Puyo Puyo Tetris today, available for release in digital demo.

Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition – May 11th

Packing a Mario-themed punch, the Nintendo Switch will pick up Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition on May 11th. Minecraft will feature some Switch exclusive multiplayer options, along side this unique theme and will bring a larger scale to a previously limited mobile and home Minecraft space.

Disgaea 5 Complete – May 23rd

The fifth installment to the popular, and previously in the wild Disgaea series will hit the Nintendo Switch on May 23rd. This will serve as one of a limited library of existing JRPG titles out there as of yet, and be a welcome title for any RPG fan.

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers – May 26th

If you don’t know by now what this game is all about, you don’t know games. The definitive Street Fighter comes back to life on Nintendo Switch on May 26th with Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers. As the series most prestigious title, we can all enjoy a good fighting title soon.

Arms – June 16th

Serving as a serious upgrade to the fun of Wii Boxing as part of the original Wii Sports, “Arms” is just around the corner, and the Nintendo Direct announcement showcased some of the interesting elements of the title that would set it apart from the years-old Wii Sports classic. Launching June 16th, get ready for Arms!

Splatoon 2 – July 21st

The single most successful new IP on Wii U, Splatoon serves as a Call of Duty replacement that’s safe for the whole family to enjoy. Queue, Splatoon 2. Coming July 21st.

Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star – July 25th

Packing in all available DLC offerings for other platforms – 35 pieces of paid DLC, Fate/EXTELLA: The Umbral Star. Filling in a bit more of the JRPG gap on the early Nintendo Switch, this is the last solidly dated title in 2017.

NAMCO MUSEUM – Summer 2017

For those who still yearn for yesteryear, Pac is back with dozens of great NAMCO titles in NAMCO MUSEUM for Switch. Look for it on the eShop this Summer.

Sonic Mania – Summer 2017

Packing in the old, traditional styles of Sonic the Hedgehog on SNES, a new title is on the horizon. Sonic Mania brings the speed we know and the 2D format we loved as kids.

Sine Mora EX – Summer 2017

Developed by THQ Nordic and Grasshopper Manufacture, Sine Mora EX is a sci-fi shoot em’ up ready to bring hours of fun to your home and mobile console experience this Summer. Check out the video below for great style and game play.

Battle Chasers: Nightwar – Late Summer 2017

Set for late Summer 2017, Battle Chasers: Nightwar stages itself as a fantastic mixture of Adventure and the “Classic JRPG format.” Another beautiful title published by THQ Nordic, take a peek.

Monopoly – Fall 2017

Monopoly for the Nintendo Switch. What more can we say? Supporting up to 6 players, the most classic of board games brings its modern generation of digital Monopoly to your hands in Fall.

PAYDAY 2 – Winter 2017

Set up as one of the biggest third party titles announced this year, PAYDAY 2 will launch this Winter, supporting up to four players in co-op.

Sonic Forces – Winter 2017

Sonic Forces launches this Winter for those fans still looking forward to a 3D Sonic title. Packing a new ally into the title, it’s nice to see Sonic cater to the true retro and modern in the same year.

Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition – (TBD) 2017

Launching again on Nintendo Switch as it had in Wii U, Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition is coming for those who may have missed the Wii U era.The Definitive Edition will include “an exclusive Hung Foot experience” with Solo Mode and 8-player multiplayer competition.

Star Wars Battlefront II Teaser Trailer Leaked

With a short chunk of footage appearing online today, Star Wars Battlefront II Footage is now in the wild!

In variance from the original, Star Wars Battlefront II will feature a larger campaign, spanning multiple eras of the Star Wars franchise. This includes a single player campaign that will reach throughout at least all 9 “primary” story arch films, and potentially even Rogue One.

Footage showcased above was expected to be released at the Star Wars Celebration, set for April 13th. While unconfirmed at time of leak, with the celebration set to showcase all things Star Wars, the timing is right for a leak just ahead of the official release.

Inside the trailer we see Kylo Ren, Rey, Toda and Darth Maul, with “The Last Jedi” characters available to all those who pre-order the game. Look for more details on pre-release ordering to come this Thursday.

What Will Destiny 2 Be All About – Here’s Our Evidence

With the end of Destiny soon approaching, and the launch of Destiny 2 set for Fall of 2017, many people are wondering what Destiny 2 is all about. Living in the same universe with the current cast of characters in-game today, look forward to a reboot that changes everything about the game today. Bigger and better, of course.

First, bigger.

Destiny 2 is a fully redesigned, in-story destruction of the existing Destiny we know. As of now, multiple reports, including long-standing NEOGAF rumors and insider tips suggest that Destiny 2 will be focused on bringing a more open world to the table. As far back as September of last year (at the Rise of Iron launch) ‘Gaf was talking about changes to the in-game engine, play space improvements and more. To this point the only irrefutable evidence supporting the larger scale of the game is the pure game install size.

According to GameStop’s information, Destiny 2 will require a larger amount of disk space to install on day one than Destiny as it is requires with all the DLC included.

Minimum 68 GB available hard drive storage space required as of September 2017. Storage requirements subject to increase. After September 2017, visit www.destinythegame.com/size-requirements for current requirements prior to purchase.

That’s 25% more, in fact, with entirely new environmental designs to consider, at 14 gigabytes more than today’s installation.

Furthermore, looking at the only trailer that exists today, it’s fairly safe to say that the Earth world will be big enough to have an “open world” feeling. In the trailer released on March 30th, 2017 we can see that Cayde-6 and Zavala are separated while giving motivational speeches. As it is today, Cayde and Zavala are important vendors for players and exist in the same space. Any game designer would know that it’s a bad idea to make your vendors exist in multiple loading screens. These characters are holding an even more prominent role in Destiny 2 as they headline the announcement trailer.

In the pre-release information widely reported before the launch of the original Destiny, we heard of 6 factions existing. This changed dramatically with the departure of a long-time writer within the company, but will likely come to light with Destiny 2. Cayde and Zavala are likely to lead at least one of these new factions along the way. It’s a safe bet to say that either the Queen (of the Reef), her brother, or Xur and The Nine will occupy one of these factions as well. Expect these factions to exist on either the large open world combat space of Earth, or the Saturn zone. As reported, Saturn in Destiny 2 is expected to be the same size as ALL of the current play spaces combined in Destiny 1. That being true, Earth could be expected to be a comparable size, if this is the only other planet we’re fighting on at launch. Expect Earth to exist of territory just inside the city, and beyond the Wall in the Cosmodrome area as both of these spaces are where we find Cayde and Zavala.

Naturally we can expect to see more weapons, more gear and more story and raids to experience, as well as the given “go back and explore the Tower” mission. If you didn’t know from this video, the Tower is destroyed.

Let’s go back to The Nine. Signs from early development of Destiny 1, through what you’ll hear from Xur himself suggest that there’s more to know about the Nine. Expect everything to come forward if The Traveler is actually being destroyed by the Cabal. Why? The Traveler has a “mirror”.

Now, Better

The game is larger. That’s a nice start. Getting rid of many of the loading screens in Destiny – now known as flights through space – that will be nice. Bungie will be getting to the point and letting us shoot things! The biggest complaint people had during the launch of Destiny however was the story.

Before we get too far out, the Traveler has a “Mirror”, so what’s up with that? Xur has been spitting clues out to us about where he’s from, who knows about him, and what he knows about us.

“Your traveler has a dark mirror.”
“I think it is very possible that I am here to help you.”
“It is very possible that the Nine will help humanity.”
“I am only an Agent, the Nine rule beyond the Joveans.”
“The Awoken did not make a choice…but we did.”
“An end will come…we will be there.”
“There are no birds where I come from the things that fly are like shadows.”
“So much light here, I suppose I feel pain.”

So let’s break this down. The Nine want to help, but they can’t directly help. Xur says himself that the light causes him pain. Xur and the Nine live beyond the “Joveans”. The Joveans are planets at or beyond Saturn and Jupiter as “Jovean” planets are giant gaseous planets. Xur is also aware of the fates that the Awoken chose versus what the Nine chose. No one besides the Nine is said to know the details, but the Queen knows. This is a large part of the reason she is in power.

In the same way that Earth is protected by the Traveler, it is safe to assume that the Nine are protected by a mirror. This is very likely to be a critical piece of the Destiny 2 story. As it is today, Xur is only interested in collecting Motes of Light and Strange Coins. He notably says “My function here is to trade…I know this” as well, showcasing that he likely has his own traveler as a mirror that could be restored or have ghosts of their own restored with these Motes of Light. Just as with the Restorative Mind mission, it’s not far fetched to figure that the Mirror could restore the Traveler. The Nine know this, which is why Xur has been around all this time. They fully expect to assist Humanity, the Awoken and all other species defending the solar system.

So…About the Queen.

Mara Sov, known best as the Queen of the Reef served as a gap-span between the Jovian planets and the inner solar system. Her ship was all but destroyed in the early fight between Oryx and the Awoken at Saturn. Many signs in-game pointed to her survival, though it was said that the Queen herself was lost. Her brother Uldren Sov, known as the “crow” survived the battle and suspected that the Queen survived, as he could still sense her.

The Queen once saved our hides from the Fallen who sought to take control of Rasputen for an aboundant supply of Ether. She led a Kell of the Fallen thereafter as we see in the current bits of story. Her brother served as a key component of this fight, attacking and hacking Fallen systems with his “crows”. So why do I keep bringing up the “crows”?

The Nine

If the Nine have had any critical plot interaction at this point, it could well be through the interaction with Uldren the Crow. According to the lore, exactly three Strike teams were lost in this fight.

“My lady, I offer again the only explanation I can: I did not know the Guardians would act as they did. All I had known, all I had ever known, were the ways of the Awoken.
The Wolves were entrenched in that valley. The approaches were blocked, all sight lines covered. An assault on their position was madness. We would have spent precious Awoken lives. For nothing. I saw the Guardians, knew they were on the move, but I assumed they saw the situation as we did. That it was folly to call in the Crows.
Prince Uldren’s fighter wing did a masterful job. The blast was pinpoint precise. The blasts tore apart the Wolves, and the Guardians, and their Ghosts. Three strike teams of Guardians, gone in an instant, on my order. The City’s anger, the Speaker’s condemnation—all earned. All fair.”

Some lesser speculations suggest that your character in Destiny right now is one of these Nine. Based on our understanding of what the Traveler and its Mirror are, it may be that the destroyed Ghosts in this lore explain exactly where the Nine came from.

Nine travelers. Nine Ghosts. Destroyed, and now mirrored beyond the Jovians.

It seems that after 3 long years of Destiny, the invasion of the Cabal directly to our home planet could finally flesh out the most mysterious pieces of the original game. Though the destruction of the Tower means that we’re going to be losing our old gears, the potential destruction of the Traveler could mean that we see all new skills and abilities in our Guardians through the Mirror.

Have any more evidence toward the future of Destiny? Leave a comment below and get in the conversation!

Love Prop Hunt in Modern Warfare Remastered? Popularity Could Bring It Back

As part of an April Fools’ celebration, on April 1st, 2017 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered allowed players to stop just shooting each other, and start hunting each other! With 33% of all active players in the mode at any point, it’s easy to see how people want the mode back.

Based on the popular game mode in Gary’s Mod, adapted for Modern Warfare remastered, players would have two roles in the “prop hunt” game mode. Either Hunt, or be hunted. Hunters served as standardized soldiers, doing their best to look closely at the world around them. The opposing team – they get to be inanimate objects. That trash can? It’s a person. Or is it?

Why The Players Loved It

Players on the hunt have to look for not just trash cans, but trees, cardboard boxes, dumpsters and more and simply ask themselves, “Does that belong there?” Those being hunted had to survive for just 3 minutes and 30 seconds. Over 50 percent of active players over the weekend tried the mode, and many are asking Activision to keep the mode permanently. As a six-on-six match, players on the “prop” team can hide for the first 30 seconds of the 4 minute total match, then the hunters can roll in. Prop players received flashbang grenades for a one-off chance to run, as well as the ability to transform into a new prop twice before the timer expires. Of course props can move as well, which is half the fun – but that’s only if you love to be found or have a laugh. Sorry bad hunters.

As posted by “Ali-A” on Twitter, it’s easy to see the following behind the idea of keeping this mode around.

Nearing 4,000 retweets in a post called on to see favorites? Well over 16,000 favorites (at time posted here). This is a movement.

The best way to see this mode get into the light of day is to let Raven Studios and Activision know that you want it back. Whether it makes its way back into Modern Warfare Remastered again or not, your voices will almost certainly impact the future of Call of Duty. There is not only a good chance, but a solid chance that you’ll be making a difference by speaking up, and based on the input so far, Activision could be bringing this back sooner than you think.

Complete Guide to Twitch TV’s New Game Sales Partner Program And Buying Games On Twitch

Touted as a way to get your hands on games faster while supporting your favorite streamer, Twitch.TV is now selling games directly through the video service.

If you’re a fan of watching others play games before you commit to buying them, the best thing ever just happened to Twitch.TV. You can now buy your games after you watch someone else play without going to multiple places. Leveraging the buying and selling power of Amazon – Twitch TV’s parent company – Twitch viewers can enjoy some small perks to buying games after watching them on Twitch.TV. So what do you get? What games are available? What’s the catch?

Luckily, there is no special “catch”. With the exception of Steam partnership which doesn’t exist, Amazon and Twitch.TV are doing things right in their latest offering. Trying to offer something for the consumers, the streamers, and catch a profit along the way, Twitch.TV will allow gamers to “buy now” any title they are watching. For those buying, you’ll enjoy a brand new “Twitch Crate”. At this point we’re making more questions than giving answers.

What is a Twitch Crate?

Each Twitch Crate contains random rewards like chat badges, emotes, or a surprise number of Bits. The emotes and badges in Twitch Crates range from common to very rare. Some games have custom emotes as well. If one is available for the game or in-game content you just purchased, you’ll get that in your Twitch Crate, too.

How can I tell if my purchase includes a Twitch Crate?

Any purchase of a game or in-game item on Twitch that costs $4.99 or more will earn you a Twitch Crate.

Can I earn multiple Twitch Crates for a single purchase? (Example: Does a $50 game get you 10 crates?)

You can only earn one Twitch Crate per purchase. The purchase of a $50 game will get you one Twitch Crate.

Can I receive duplicate rewards from Twitch Crates? If so, what can I do with those extra items?

It is possible to get duplicates of an emote or chat badge as you open your Twitch Crates. In this case, your inventory will only show one of that item. At this time there is no way to trade those duplicates.

If I Buy A Game On Twitch.TV, How Do I Claim In-Game Content?

Games purchased on Twitch can either be downloaded and played via the Twitch App, or through existing services…

Ubisoft

All games

When you receive a message that you have a game added to your Ubisoft account, launch Uplay and login, and you will find the game in the Games hub.

Don’t have Uplay? Download and install the app using this link.

All in-game content

When you receive a message that you have a game item added to your Ubisoft account, it will be available the next time you launch your game.

HiRez

Smite

  1. Go to https://www.hirezstudios.com/link/ and log into your Hi-Rez Studios account
  2. Follow the instructions to link your Hi-Rez Studios account to your Twitch Account
  3. Log into Smite and receive your items

You will only need to link your account once. If you are already linked and logged in, you will need to relogin to receive your items.

Paladins

  1. Go to https://www.hirezstudios.com/link/ and log into your Hi-Rez Studios account
  2. Follow the instructions to link your Hi-Rez Studios account to your Twitch Account
  3. Log into Paladins and receive your items

You will only need to link your account once. If you are already linked and logged in, you will need to relogin to receive your items.

Digital Extremes

Warframe

  1. Go to https://www.warframe.com/user and log into your Warframe account
  2. Click “Link your Twitch Account” and follow the instructions to link your Warframe account to your Twitch Account
  3. Log into Warframe and receive your items

You will only need to link your account once. If you are already linked and logged in, you will need to relogin to receive your items.

Blue Mammoth

Brawlhalla

To redeem your purchase Link your Twitch account to your Brawlhalla account.
Your Mammoth Coin total will update the next time you launch Brawlhalla.

How to link your Twitch account:

  1. Launch Brawlhalla
  2. Click the Options button (the wrench) -> Account Linking -> Twitch ID
  3. Follow the instructions to finish linkin

Trion

For ArcheAge only:

  1. Click here to log in to your existing Trion Glyph account or create a new account
  2. Once you have logged in or created a new account, follow the instructions on that page to link your Trion Glyph and Twitch accounts
  3. After linking your accounts, click here to claim your item(s) and select the character you want them delivered to
  4. Log in to Glyph, launch the game, and your items will be waiting for you

You will only need to link your account once. If you have already linked your account, you just need to log in to the game to claim your items. If you are already in-game you will need to log in again.

For all titles except ArcheAge:

Includes: Atlas Reactor, Trove, Devilian, Defiance, Rift

  1. Click here to log in to your existing Trion Glyph account or create a new account
  2. Once you have logged in or created a new account, follow the instructions on that page to link your Trion Glyph and Twitch accounts
  3. After linking your accounts, log in to Glyph, launch the game, and your items will be waiting for you

You will only need to link your account once. If you have already linked your account, you just need to log in to the game to claim your items. If you are already in-game you will need to log in again.

What’s In It For The Streamer And How Do I Join?

How much money do streamers get when I buy a game or in-game content?

The standard agreement with partnered streamers that opt in to this program provides them with 5% of the purchase price (less items such as, taxes or discounts) from the sale of games and in-game items that are purchased from their channel page.

This implies some strange attraction to newer and more expensive titles which we detailed in our other article, if you still need to know more.

I’m a partnered streamer. How do I opt in to receive revenue from this program?

To opt into the program, go to your dashboard in the Partner Settings tab, scroll down to the Monetization section, and see “Enable Revenue from Game Sales”.

Click the checkmark and you will be asked to review and agree to an amendment to your Partner Agreement that makes you eligible to receive revenue earned through this program. Some of you will be prompted to fill out an additional tax form.

Once you have completed the above steps, if your tax for has been filled out correctly, you will be eligible to earn 5% of the revenue from purchases that originate from your channel page while you are broadcasting a game that is either for sale or has in game items for sale on Twitch. This revenue will appear in your revenue dashboard under Game Sales and will be paid out with your regular payout.

What Games Are Available For Twitch Partner Streaming To Earn Money?

Some games will require consumers to install and use the Twitch Desktop App or other service associations to play, but here’s the full list of games:

Games requiring the Twitch Desktop App:
Anomaly 2
Anomaly: Warzone Earth
Axiom Verge
BATMAN — The Telltale Series
Beat Cop
Breach & Clear
Broken Age
Clustertruck
Darkest Dungeon
Drawful 2
Enter the Gungeon
Fibbage XL
Firewatch
Hard Reset: Redux
Heavy Bullets
The Jackbox Party Pack
The Jackbox Party Pack 2
The Jackbox Party Pack 3
Kathy Rain
Kingdom: New Lands
LOVE
Minecraft: Story Mode
Nuclear Throne
Okhlos: Omega
Psychonauts
Punch Club
Quiplash
RunGunJumpGun
Streamline
The Banner Saga
The Banner Saga 2
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead: Season 2
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier
The Wolf Among Us
This War of Mine
Titan Souls
Tyranny
Zombie Night Terror

Games requiring Brawlhalla account:
Brawlhalla

Games requiring Glyph:
Atlas Reactor
RIFT
Trove

Games requiring Hi-Rez account:
Paladins
SMITE

Games requiring Uplay:
For Honor
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six:Siege
Tom Clancy’s The Division
Watch Dogs 2

Games requiring Warframe account:
Warframe

Smartest Move Amazon Ever Made: Twitch.TV Games Give Streamers Rewards

If you’re a Twitch.TV partner, you can enjoy some free money starting today. This offer changes the long-term dynamic of Twitch.TV, focusing popularity on new titles, and will ultimately be the biggest move Amazon has ever made in the gaming industry.

Forget the fact that Amazon is one of the world’s leading retailers. Toss away their 14th-in-the-world popularity rank among all of the internet. Amazon is looking for long-term control of all video game sales with its latest offering in partnership with Twitch.TV. So how does it work? Twitch.TV, the 63rd most popular website in the world stands as the definitive place to watch video games online. Few websites compete.

Twitch.TV is owned by Amazon, if you didn’t know, and under the control of Amazon, Twitch now allows “partner” streamers to sell games to players directly through their Twitch channel. While you’re watching a streamer play For Honor, you can buy it on an impulse by clicking the “Buy Now” button below their stream. See example below.

With this, the streamer will earn a portion of the revenue directly to their own profit. The devil is in the details, as this will significantly encourage streamers to play partner-pay titles. Here’s what Partners look forward to earning:

The standard agreement with partnered streamers that opt in to this program provides them with 5% of the purchase price (less items such as, taxes or discounts) from the sale of games and in-game items that are purchased from their channel page.

There is a short list of titles available and compatible with Twitch Partnership right now to bring a profit to the streamer, which could quite clearly reflect the number of streams active, and consequently reduce the number of aging games being played on the market. If a streamer stands to earn a buck playing Warframe, why would they be playing Super Smash Brothers Brawl? Either way, this is great for Amazon.

Today, Amazon is partnering with five game outlets and multiple publishers through this Twitch program, managing around 50 games today. Amazon already partners directly with these companies to offer this digital content through their primary retail outlet. Should this program see any success – and it should quite easily as Twitch is giving incentive to buyers too – expect this to take over the digital market in quick pace.

Amazon isn’t looking to dethrone Steam directly, but as it stands they do directly subvert them and digital content has a much greater profit margin than physical games. If Amazon and Twitch work together here in all the right ways, continuing to offer both the streamer and the consumer a bit of freebies, look to this as the potential wave of the future.

Interested in more information on the details of this partnership and the publishers involved? Read our full breakdown right here.

Valve Will Soon Fight Back Against “Fake Games” On The Steam Market

As per sources outside of Valve itself, the company plans to combat against “fake games” produced under the fairly recent Greenlight program and otherwise loosened requirements for submission over the last few years.

We’ve all been held victim to the “Alpha pre-release” gimmick that has taken stronghold over most of Steam in the last few years. Everyone buys in. These games may soon be at least significantly mitigated by an overhaul which hides low quality games. Without directly eliminating the issue, Valve is going the way of Google in suppressing the weaker titles allowing the community to self-moderate with enhanced algorithms moderating the vast Steam marketplace.

Revealed by YouTubers, John “TotalBiscuit” Bain and Jim “Jim Sterling” Sterling in the videos below, many different key points were brought to the table, as laid out by Kotaku.

  • Valve is about to overhaul Steam in order to ensure that good games are visible and lazily developed games created for the purpose of making a quick buck—which Valve apparently calls “fake games” — with the addition of algorithms.
  • The problem with this system, of course, is that it risks burying a handful of good games, as well. To combat this issue, Valve is going to introduce a program called Steam Explorers. Explorers will play through queues of games that haven’t been selling well. If a game is good, they can flag it. The more games get flagged, the more likely they are to be featured.
  • Anybody will be able to be an Explorer, much like Steam Curators. They’ll also get their own forum, so they can do things like arrange multiplayer matches in games that nobody else is playing.
  • Speaking of Curators, that system is getting overhauled too. Valve will be adding functionality like embedded videos, top ten lists, and different types of sorting. Developers will also be able to give game keys directly to curators within Steam, as opposed to doing so via email or other means outside Steam.
  • Curators will also be given more info about how their curation affect games’ sales, and Valve is considering ways to give incentive to Curators to keep at it.
  • Valve admitted that so-called “fake games” make the bulk of their money off Steam trading cards, something that’s been long theorized but never confirmed. As a result, Valve will be changing the trading card system so that doing so is no longer an option.
  • Regular Steam users will soon have access to a lot more data on games. They’ll be told why a particular game is being shown to them, how many impressions that page gets, where those impressions come from, and more. Valve apparently wants to show people that crappy games are not, as many have speculated, clogging up the service.
  • Valve believes that once Steam Direct launches, fewer (though probably not drastically fewer) games will be admitted onto the service, and quality will generally be higher.
  • Valve hopes to continue improving customer support, which is currently handled by external teams and an internal one for issues the external teams can’t solve. However, they also hope that by cleaning up Steam and the “fake games” issue, less support will be necessary

Ubisoft Launches “Steep” Into Open Beta

Steep full Open Beta phase is now live from November 18th to 21st on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Windows PC.

The Open Beta will allow players to discover the diversity of Steep’s world by exploring, riding and completing dozens of challenges through three of the seven regions composing Steep’s massive open world inspired from the Alps – the Aravis, the Tyrol and the Needles. Players will also find nine Mountain Stories – narrative-based challenges that will delve deeper into unique moments in the world of Steep – throughout their journey. Completing these challenges and Mountain Stories will also unlock new gear for players to customize their characters.

In Steep, players will defy and master the world’s most epic mountains on skis, wingsuit, snowboard, and in paragliders. Be one of the first people to experience this massive open world playground and explore everything Steep has to offer. Players will be hitting slopes of the Alps ahead of the Steep worldwide launch on December 2nd. If you’re asking yourself, “Can I save/keep my progress from the Steep Beta test in the full game?” Ubisoft doesn’t have a history with keeping Beta progress in the full game, so don’t expect it. Get out there and have a little fun!

League of Legends’ New 10-Pick Ban System Could Have Just Been Leaked

Thanks to a quick look from Singapore, a new 10-pick banning system coming to League of Legends has been potentially leaked.

As League of Legends grows, so does its list of available champions – characters we can all play with. With multiple game modes available, the only professional way to play League of Legends is through a traditional “Draft” system. In Draft, players have been able to choose to ban out any champions available to the opposing team. Originally developed in Draft mode with just two bans, quickly moving to three bans in Season 2, bans have been largely the same process until today. In its original formula from the release through today, players are tasked with banning all champions desired before picking any champions. That could be set to change if the new leak is to be believed.

Set unto the world from a very reputable informant, Nelson Sng revealed the new format on Twitter today.

Nelson isn’t just your average gamer. He’s a freelance writer for Riot Games.

As you can see here, bans as usual will take place in the three-ban system, but shake up a bit after three players have picked. Given the ever-expanding champion pool, to simply ban out three champions may not be enough to keep your friends and foes at bay. A second banning phase is being added to combat the expansion of League of Legends champions, adding in ban phase 2 with another 2 bans for each team. Notably, in ban phase 1, Blue team will pick the bans first, then select as usual. In ban phase 2, Red team will select their bans first, then continue their picks as usual.

While the list of champions expands, it’s easy to be upset about ban changes. Here’s how things are different between the champion pool today and the last adjustment in season 2. At the end of Season 1, League of Legends had expanded to 66 champions. This being up from the original 42 in competitive season 1, it made sense then to add another ban into the mix against a 42% jump in champion pool. League of Legends has expanded another 67 champions into the mix since then and continues to grow. If everything were square, we should actually be banning three champions more than we are right now, just on the math.

This of course can’t be 100% verified until we see more solid evidence in an Alpha testing client from the Singapore region, but hearing it from a Freelance Writer at Riot Games is fairly solid evidence that it could be coming down the pipe. The only REAL questions we have left: When is it going global, and will there be any assassins left to play?!

No Man’s Sky Unlikely on Xbox One

With strong initial sales success from a small indie studio, could No Man’s Sky see a launch on Xbox One in the future? We don’t think so.

What makes us so sure that No Man’s Sky will not come to Xbox One? Consider this – No Man’s Sky will certainly outpace initial sales expectations, but with a development team of just 15 individuals, Hello Games has over 100 staff members less than Call of Duty development team Infinity Ward. Pair this with weak initial reviews from some major publications and a touch of bad press related to frame rate issues on PC and it’s clear that there’s still work to be done.

Six weeks ago Hello Games announced that the game had gone “gold”, meaning that it’s ready to ship to the public. After the initial announcement, work certainly didn’t stop. Hello Games continued work on the PlayStation 4 version of the game in game play mechanics and tweaks, as well as working overtime to push out a playable PC version of the game as well. Some PC players consider that the “master race” of gaming got screwed on their version of the game, but I can confirm that the title operates as expected on default settings – the same visuals you would see on PS4.

Surely the team at Hello Games will continue working on the product for PS4, as well as work on No Man’s Sky for PC, but with patches assuredly in tow there’s no way we’ll see a fully scripted No Man’s Sky for Xbox One within at least the next year. The question remaining is, will the game see success late into the year as Rocket League has to warrant an Xbox One release, or will the team move onto the next project?

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