Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s New Projects Will Have a Heavy Focus on Live Service


Live service games and live service elements within games are becoming more popular and Warner Bros. seems to be jumping on the bandwagon. In a job listing, as spotted by Twitter user @MauroNL3, the publisher describes how a variety of new projects will have a “heavy focus on live service”.

In the job listing for a Virtual Games Production MBA Intern, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment describes how they’re “involved in a variety of new projects” featuring their “well-known franchises.” These games will have a “heavy focus on live service.” It’s worth bearing in mind that this doesn’t just involve console titles but games on mobile and other digital platforms too. It’s also worth mentioning that live-service could mean any number of aspects, from benign rotating challenges to keep people playing to being the entire focus of the game.

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There are several Warner Bros. Interactive titles currently in development, many of which will make sense with live-service features of some kind. Back 4 Blood is a zombie co-op shooter that will focus heavily on online multiplayer, with a card system that offers potential for updates later in the game’s life. “Genre-bending” action-adventure shooter Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League will also offer online co-op for up to four players; whether this can be stretched into a live service title remains to be seen. Existing title Mortal Kombat 11 also continues to roll out new content, including skin packs and characters.

On the other hand, there are games in development that would be difficult to turn into live service titles. WB Games Montréal has already confirmed Gotham Knights won’t be a game-as-service, although it will offer an online co-op experience. Open-world RPG Hogwarts Legacy hasn’t revealed any online plans yet, and traditionally the LEGO games have always been offline experiences, which seems to rule out live service for LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.

There is likely other unannounced projects in development that will feature a live service model. Monolith Productions, known for Middle-Earth Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War, have no known titles in development. As the publisher also has a hand in the mobile market, titles such as the LEGO Mobile series will also help further the ambition for a heavy focus on live service. This shouldn’t mean the demise of single-player games, though. Even Rockstar, who’s had a huge amount of success with GTA Online, has said they won’t stop telling single player stories, though that developer is currently reveling in its cash flow from the live service apparatuses attached to its games.

[Source: WBGames Careers via Twitter]

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Resident Evil Village Complete Set Collector’s Edition is Just $1800, Comes with an Expensive Coat


In recent years, games have launched with mutliple different editions. Resident Evil Village is not an exception. As noticed by TechnClub, the latest Collector’s Edition to be revealed includes a full size replica of Chris Redfield’s Buttonless Chester coat. The catch is it’s only available in Japan and it’ll set you back ¥192,500, or the equivalent of $1855.

The Complete Set Collector’s Edition includes the Collector’s Edition of the game that’s available worldwide, 1:6 scale equipment miniatures, a second art book titled “Village of Shadows,” four original postcards, and the aforementioned coat. Those who can’t quite afford $1855 can instead pluck for the Complete Set Edition at a marginally cheaper $1634. This includes a standard copy of the game with all of the other goodies. If you just want the coat, it is available for separate purchase at a rather staggering $1539.

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Note that while the image seems to show that only the “Large” size is available, you can actually pick your size when you purchase this edition. We should hope so, given the price of this thing. (Thanks to Yowzagabowza for pointing out that information.)

Outside of Japan, fans will just have to make do with some more conventional special editions. As revealed during the Resident Evil Showcase, there’s the Collector’s Edition that includes a copy of the game, the Trauma Pack DLC, Chris Redfield figurine, art book, reversible poster, and Steelbook case. Then there’s the Digital Deluxe Edition, which includes the game and the Trauma Pack DLC. Of course, you could just grab the standard edition either.

Those wanting to try before they buy can get a feel for the game’s visuals and audio in the PS5-exclusive Maiden demo. The stand-alone experience takes place within the world of Resident Evil Village; featuring a character known as the Maiden, players must escape the dungeon of Dimitrescu Castle. PlayStation 4 players will have to wait a bit longer to get their hands on the game. A second demo is promised for later this spring.

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Resident Evil Village will be released on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 on May 7, 2021.

[Source: E-Capcom Shop via TechnClub]

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UK PS5 Physical Game Sales Rose 324% Last Week, Hitman 3 Takes Top Spot


Physical game sales on PS5 rose by 324% in the UK last week. According to GamesIndustry.biz, this in mostly thanks to the arrival of a lot more PlayStation 5 stock across the country. There was also the arrival of Hitman 3, of course, which unsurprisingly managed to claim the top spot in the sales charts.

When Hitman was released, its sales failed to meet the expectations of publisher Square Enix and they let the franchise go. For Hitman 3, IO Interactive decided to publish the digital version of the game but they still needed hep with the physical version. In the UK, those duties bizarrely fell to Square Enix once again. They shouldn’t be disappointed this time, though, as the game confidently claimed the top spot of the UK physical sales charts.

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Of those sales, PS5 was the most dominant platform, contributing 49% of copies sold. PS4 accounted for 25% of those sales. In total, Hitman 3‘s launch sales were up 17% when compared to Hitman 2. While Hitman 3 is garnering a lot of positive attention, it’s worth remembering that it pretty much had the week to itself, being the first AAA release of the year. On the other hand, Hitman 2 released alongside Spyro: Reignited Trilogy and Fallout 76.

The release of more PlayStation 5 consoles saw an increase in sales in several other titles. In terms of console exclusives, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales saw a 161% increase in sales, pushing the title back into the top 10 at number 4. Demon’s Souls’ sales rose a massive 291% although it could only claim 27th spot in the charts. Other cross-platform titles saw a bump in sales too. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s sales increased by 56% making it climb two places to number 5 in the charts, although we’re not certain how much of that was affected by PS5 stock. Meanwhile, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla saw a 174% increase in PS5 sales.

The PlayStation 5 being Sony’s biggest console launch ever. The console beat the Xbox Series X and even the Nintendo Switch in the UK charts for November. Despite this, there are still stock shortages across the world with many players still unable to secure themselves a console. Sony is working to increase stock availability when they can, and hopefully everybody will soon have the opportunity to join the latest generation of gaming.

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz]

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Smuggler Simulator Announced for PS4 and PS5, Time to Get Sneaky


Publisher Ultimate Games S.A. have announced a new title, Smuggler Simulator, coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, along with PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch sometime in 2023. Developed by Polish studio 3T Games, Smuggler Simulator is exactly how the name sounds, a simulation in smuggling things from point A to B. The game will feature a 3D open world along with procedurally generated missions and locations.

According to the developers, players will be giving a lot of leeway to creatively smuggler items, which can make some for extremely wacky and unique ways to sneak your product. The press release comes with a couple of screenshots, showing of all things, a catapult hurling items across the map. Guess that’s one way to smuggle.

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“Smuggling is an old profession, practiced around the world both in times of progressing globalization and during trade wars, transport restrictions and mass closing of borders. Smuggler Simulator is a completely unique proposition, in which the player will have to display great cunning and almost crazy levels of creativity. At the same time, our new game will reward you with a big dose of adrenaline and humor,” said Rafał Jelonek, CEO at 3T Games.

The game will feature the following:

  • a career in a dangerous industry
  • gameplay requiring a lot of creativity
  • diverse locations
  • unique gameplay (procedural generation)
  • extensive crafting system
  • upgrades for tools and other equipment
  • a large dose of humor

Check out the reveal trailer for Smuggler Simulator below, which shows many ways to fail, and one possible way to succeed:

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Smuggler Simulator is currently slated to release in 2023 for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch. Are you interested in channeling your inner smuggler and trying this out when it releases? Let us know in the comments.

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Dragon Age 4 Will Take Place in Tevinter, According to BioWare Development Book


Dragon Age 4 might still be a ways off, but we now have some hints about where the game will take place. According to the BioWare: Stories and Secrets from 25 Years of Game Development book, Dragon Age 4 will take place in the land of Tevinter, a world that hasn’t been explored in Dragon Age yet, only mentioned.

The location was initially set up at the conclusion of Dragon Age: Inquisition’s final expansion, Trespasser, but the book seems to confirm the theories about the story headed to Tevinter (and the surrounding areas) next. Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips showed images of the confirmation in the book on Twitter.

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The text in the book reads:

As BioWare entered its twenty-fifth year, the Dragon Age team was hard at work on Morrison, the code name of the long-awaited follow-up to Dragon Age: Inquisition. The Game, helmed by executive producer Mark Darrah, will take players to Tevinter as the events of Inquisition and Trespasser threaten to forever change Thedas.

Phillips also noted that additional concept art seems to show the areas surrounding Tevinter: A “glittering city” assumed to be Antiva City to the east of Tevinter, including art for the “Antivan Crow,” a theatrical assassin. There’s art for the Mourn Watch, a skelatal group of occult protectors who spend their time in necropolises, expected to be in Nevarra, south of Tevinter.

Still more art depicts The Lords of Fortune, a treasure hunters’ guild that was founded in Rivain, an area northeast of Tevinter, and The Deep Roads, the dwarven tunnels across all of Thedas, including Tevinter and its surrounding regions. This art, along with the text in the book, makes it pretty clear that Tevinter and the areas around it will feature heavily as the focus for Dragon Age 4.

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Eurogamer notes that the text in the book is slightly out of date, with Mark Darrah having moved on from BioWare and Christian Dailey stepping up to the helm of Dragon Age 4 as of December 2020. The game is still a long time out. So far we’ve gotten little else aside from cinematic teasers and a few bits of concept art. We know that the game will follow up on the series biggest story threads, including the return of Solas, the Dread Wolf. But other details remain slim at this time—we technically don’t even know the official name besides “the next Dragon Age“—intentionally vague as we wait for the next bit of Dragon Age news out of BioWare.

[Source: Eurogamer]

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