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  1. Starfield is science-fiction grounded in reality, and takes inspiration from SpaceX 300 years ahead of the game One of the biggest games at E3 2021 is Starfield, the next role-playing game from Bethesda Games Studios. As a new IP exploring science-fiction concepts, the teaser trailer was light on details but set the tone for what players can expect. As part of the game's unveiling, director Todd Howard spoke with The Telegraph about the inspiration for the game's aesthetic and how everything is grounded in reality. Despite taking place 300 years in the future, Starfield borrows ideas that are being explored today, including from SpaceX, which designs , manufactures and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. Howard visited the campus ”to talk to people who could see further than what I was seeing right now” and came back with ideas that influenced the game's look and feel, as well as it's gameplay. "It's being able to play with something where the technology level and the logic of how humankind got to where they are. You know, how do the people live? How does the equipment work? What are the rules of communication? You take it for granted in the game that you could communicate from one planet to another, or some other remote thing. But we have the rules. No, they can't – that's going to take years! And then once you realize, you can be, like ‘okay...’, you can use that to your advantage." Still, even though Starfield won't stray to far away from realism, players needn't be worried, as it's still fundamentally a game and is meant to be fun. “It is a game, let's make no mistake," Howard said. "But when you build those things, you can then lean in on them and they create their own vibe. There's a case in the trailer – it's a watch case, actually. You’re part of Constellation so you get this explorer’s watch. And that's part of the identity of... you know, how does this thing work? What does it do? What does it not do? Tone. A lot of it is tone.” Coming next year to Xbox Starfield is slated to arrive on November 11, 2022. It's coming exclusively to Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC. Bethesda Softworks is now part of Xbox Game Studios, which comprises of 23 studios. Other future Bethesda games will also be exclusive, including Redfall, an immersive shooter about vampires designed by Arkane Austin and scheduled to be released in 2022. Starfield is science-fiction grounded in reality, and takes inspiration from SpaceX
  2. Every trailer and announcement from Microsoft and Bethesda’s E3 showcase Halo! Forza! Psychonauts! Age of Empires! And dozens of other games, too! Curvy reflections on spaceship interiors in Starfield First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Microsoft packed 30 different games into its hour-and-a-half-long presentation at this year's completely virtual E3 show. Most of those games will be available on Game Pass and many will be Xbox console exclusives. If you didn't have a chance to sit through the lengthy, bombastic presentation live, here's a quick recap of every trailer and announcement that graced the streaming "stage." Upcoming games Starfield got its first extensive teaser trailer, which we covered in more detail in a separate post. It's an Xbox Series X/S and PC exclusive coming Nov. 11, 2022. The trailer for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl focuses on a group of men who seem increasingly obsessed with "The Zone" and the mutated and paranormal creatures that can be found within it. Lightning effects feature prominently. It's "coming first" to Xbox and PC on April 28, 2022. Back 4 Blood is sold as being "from the creators of Left 4 Dead," and it certainly looks the part in its latest trailer. Coming October 12 to Xbox One, Series X/S, PS4/5, and Windows, complete with a new swarm mode and human vs. zombie PvP. Also check out our impressions based on the game's 2020 alpha test. The teaser trailer for Contraband had a lot of atmosphere but not a lot of concrete information, aside from the fact that it's a co-op open world title from Avalanche Studios (Rage 2, Just Cause 4). The YouTube description describes it as "a co-op smuggler’s paradise set in the fictional world of 1970s Bayan." No target date mentioned for this Xbox and Windows exclusive. We saw some footage of Battlefield 2042 that looked rather similar to the footage we saw last week. You can now airlift tanks anywhere on the battlefield, which seems like a plus. Look for it Oct. 22, 2021 on Xbox One, Series X/S, PS4/5, and Windows. The time-looping "interactive thriller" 12 Minutes is still looking good, though very similar to the glimpse we saw at E3 two years ago. James McAvoy, Daisey Ridley, and Willem Dafoe star as voices. It'll be an Xbox "console launch exclusive" on Aug. 19, 2021. Psychonauts 2 is finally approaching release after its 2016 crowdfunding campaign. Expect "headploration," "thoughtcrobatics" and a whole lot of Ras riding around on balls of various types. Also a surprising amount of tooth-strewn environments. It hits Xbox One, Series X/S, PS4, and PC platforms on Aug. 25. Party Animals is a cute, chaotic rag-doll physics multiplayer brawler that immediately brings to mind comparisons to Gang Beasts. It's coming to Game Pass in 2022 as well as Steam. Somerville gives off some Inside and Kentucky Route Zero vibes as it showcases a family trying to wandering through atmospheric 2D environments amid an apparent alien invasion. That checks out, as its developing studio Jumpship was formed by former members of Playdead (Inside, Limbo). Halo Infinite is finally coming in Holiday 2021, and a new story trailer showed Master Chief floating through the wreckage of a ship and having a confused conversation with Cortana's apparent AI replacement. The free-to-play multiplayer mode will launch alongside the paid campaign and run at up to 120 fps on Xbox Series X. Diablo II Resurrected is yet another opportunity to buy this 21-year-old game, this time with remastered 60 fps visuals, cross-progression, and eight-player co-op. Look for it on Xbox Series X/S on Sept. 23 as well as Xbox One, PS4/5, Switch, and Windows. A Plague Tale: Requiem presented a very atmospheric pre-rendered trailer evoking a lot of the same feelings as its hit predecessor, yet showing no gameplay. It's coming to Xbox consoles and Windows in 2022. Far Cry 6 looked familiar after its presentation at Ubisoft's press conference yesterday. It's still coming on Oct. 7 to Xbox and PlayStation consoles and Windows. Slime Rancher 2 looks to have more of the same super-cute gameplay of the 2017 original, letting player solve puzzles by sucking up blobby monsters and spitting them back out using a specialized gun. Look for it in 2022 on Xbox Series X/S and Windows. Shredders is a snowboarding game that seems centered on video capture. It's not SSX which is always a shame. Coming "first on Xbox Series X/S" in Dec. 2021. Mundfish's Atomic Heart is a Bioshock-esque shooter, mixing gunplay and telekentic powers amid robots, mutants, and a vaguely J-pop soundtrack. No release window provided for the game, which is planned for PlayStation and Xbox consoles and Windows. Replaced features some amazingly detailed and fluid anime-inspired pixel-art animation in what looks like a very impactful brawler. Look for it in 2022 on Xbox One, Series X/S, and Windows. Eiyuden Chronicle mixes hand-drawn 2D art with amazing 3D environments and camera angle for what looks like a spiritual successor to the much loved Suikoden PlayStation RPGs. "Hundred Heroes" is coming in 2022, while "Rising" is coming in 2023 for PlayStation and Xbox consoles and Windows. The Ascent features character shooting through some generic cyberpunk-ish environments from an isometric perspective. It's coming to Game Pass on day one, July 29, on Xbox One, Series X/S, and Windows. Age of Empires IV once again asks players "if history was in your hands, what would you build? How would you fight? Where would you go?" It's coming Oct. 28 on Windows and Xbox Cloud Gaming. The Outer Worlds 2 is in the works, but there's nothing ready to show just yet, so instead we got a very meta trailer commenting on other video game trailers. Forza Horizon 5 takes place in Mexico, where you will drive through amazing-looking deserts and waterfalls alike. "Forza Link" uses AI to link players up with multiplayer partners based on the types of gameplay they like, while the Events Lab lets players create their own challenges with their own rulesets, like car bowling. It's coming Nov. 9 to Xbox One, Series X/S and Windows Arkane Studios' Redfall is a vampire-themed supernatural shooter with a diverse cast and an irreverent attitude, based on its first pre-rendered trailer. It's coming in Summer 2022 on Xbox Series X/S and Windows. New stuff for existing games Captain Jack Sparrow will make an appearance in some Sea of Thieves DLC starting on June 22. Yakuza: Like a Dragon is available on Game Pass starting today. Fallout 76 is getting a "Steel Reign" update and a series of new "Expeditions" to new locales, including "The Pitt" from the Fallout 3 DLC. Hades, the Ars Technica Game of the Year for 2020, will be free on Game Pass on Aug. 13. Grounded's "Shroom and Doom" update features a terrifying Giant Spider called the Brood Mother and a bunch of other stuff I missed because I was scared of the Brood Mother. Among Us is getting 15 player lobbies, which is somehow legitmately big news about one of the biggest games out there. Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming to Xbox Series X/S on July 27, and getting a Top Gun-branded jet-fighter expansion in the Fall. Every trailer and announcement from Microsoft and Bethesda’s E3 showcase (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  3. PS5 exclusive Deathloop has been delayed again until September 14th Bethesda’s upcoming time loop game needs more time Deathloop has been delayed again, with Arkane’s timed PS5 console exclusive moving from its previous May 21st release date to a fall release on September 14th. The news marks the second big delay for Deathloop, which was originally supposed to be out in the 2020 holiday season alongside the then-newly released PS5. As with the earlier delay, Arkane’s Lyon studio is once again citing COVID-19-related delays, with an increased difficulty in development as it works to ensure “the health and safety of everyone at Arkane.” pic.twitter.com/f0OWWxdUkt — DEATHLOOP (@deathloop) April 8, 2021 Deathloop is the latest title from Arkane’s Lyon studio, best known for the Dishonored franchise and the rebooted Prey from 2017. Players assume the role of Colt, an assassin stuck in a time loop who must fight his way out by assassinating his eight targets using a variety of weapons and mystical powers — all while being hunted by a rival assassin, Julianna (who can be controlled by other players over the internet). As a next-gen exclusive title, Deathloop is only set to be released on the PlayStation 5 (for a one-year exclusivity period) and PC — despite the fact that publisher Bethesda is now owned by Microsoft. Xbox studio head Phil Spencer told Bloomberg back in September that it’ll still be holding to that timed exclusivity for both Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo. That means, with the current delay, Xbox owners will be waiting even longer before they’re able to head to Blackreef. Source: PS5 exclusive Deathloop has been delayed again until September 14th
  4. What happens to Bethesda’s multi-platform games under Microsoft? Did Microsoft pay $7.5 billion just to start making PS5 games? First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. As recently as last weekend, it seemed relatively certain that the next games in major franchises like Doom, The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Dishonored, and The Evil Within would come to the PlayStation 5 (and maybe even to the Nintendo Switch). That certainty went out the window yesterday, though, when Microsoft announced that it would spend $7.5 billion to acquire major publisher Bethesda Softworks. Still, there is some hope for Bethesda fans who don't want to play on Xbox, PC, or via Microsoft's xCloud streaming. Future Bethesda titles will still be considered for multi-platform release "on a case-by-case basis,” Microsoft Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said in an interview with Bloomberg News Monday morning. Thus far, there are only a few clues as to which games might qualify for either side of that "case-by-case" line. Spencer confirmed to Bloomberg that Bethesda would honor all existing commitments for non-Xbox releases. That means games like Deathloop and Ghostwire: Tokyo, which have been heavily promoted as PS5 console exclusives, will remain so for their planned releases next year. There's also little chance that previously released Bethesda games will be pulled from the PlayStation Store or the Nintendo eShop (always a remote possibility, but possible if Microsoft tried to press its newly acquired advantage). Zenimax Online Studios also tweeted a promise this morning that The Elder Scrolls Online "will continue to be supported exactly as it was, and we fully expect it to keep growing and thriving on each of the platforms that are currently supported." That's good news for current players on the PS4, but the careful wording might suggest problems for players hoping for a PlayStation 5 upgrade in the coming months. Beyond that, we're left guessing what Microsoft may decide for other current Bethesda franchises. But looking at Microsoft's history of acquisitions and exclusives gives some hints at what we might expect going forward. Microsoft’s hoard The case for Microsoft to make Bethesda's games exclusive to Xbox consoles (with potential PC versions alongside) is simple: fans of those games are more likely to buy an Xbox Series S or X (and/or subscribe to Xbox Game Pass) in order to play them. More people buying Microsoft hardware means a bigger addressable audience for future Xbox games. That in turn attracts more developers to make games for the console, which attracts even more console sales—and so on in a virtuous cycle. This is the reason that console makers have funded exclusive game development since well before Super Mario Bros. hit the Nintendo Entertainment System. It's the reason why Microsoft's internal studios like Turn 10, World's Edge, The Coalition, and 343 Industries don't make franchises like Forza, Age of Empires, Gears of War, and Halo for the PlayStation 5. Enlarge / The Outer Worlds was in development for PS4 long before Microsoft purchased its developer. There have been some exceptions to this general rule when it comes to Microsoft's recent external acquisitions, though. Microsoft subsidiary inXile, for instance, released a version of Wasteland 3 for the PlayStation 4 just last month. Last year, Microsoft subsidiary Obsidian released The Outer Worlds for PS4 as well. Looking to the future, Psychonauts 2 is still planned for a PS4 release despite Microsoft's 2019 purchase of developer Double Fine. All of these exceptions have one important similarity, though: the games in question were already well into development when Microsoft purchased the studio. Just as Bethesda will honor its current commitments, Microsoft didn't force these studios to change their plans as a requirement for being purchased. Going forward, though, these newly acquired members of Xbox Game Studios will focus on Microsoft platforms. Obsidian's next game, Grounded, launched in early access exclusively on Xbox One in July, for instance. The studio's next game, Avowed, is planned as an Xbox Series S/X exclusive. The story is the same for other recent acquisitions. Ninja Theory may have made games for PlayStation before becoming part of Microsoft in 2018, but Bleeding Edge was an Xbox exclusive in March, and the upcoming Senua's Saga: Hellblade II will be as well. What does this mean for Bethesda's current longterm projects? Games like Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI were announced back in 2018, but Bethesda hasn't publicly made any multi-platform commitments for those titles. Both projects are probably early enough in the development process that Microsoft could insist on Xbox exclusivity if it wished. What about Minecraft? Those hopeful for Microsoft taking a loose hand with Bethesda exclusivity can point to the example the company set with Minecraft. After spending $2.5 billion for developer Mojang in 2014, Microsoft could have taken strict control of the Minecraft franchise, forcing players into Xbox or Windows ecosystems to enjoy updates (or even completely overhauled sequels) of the ultra-popular game. Instead, Microsoft continued to publish and support versions (and spin-offs) of the hit game for every platform imaginable, from iOS to the Wii U and beyond. Microsoft, the argument goes, realized that Minecraft was worth more to the company as a multi-platform hit than as an exclusive, luring players to its own platforms. Similarly, Microsoft might decide that Bethesda's popular (though less popular than Minecraft) franchises are more valuable as multi-platform sales behemoths than as reasons to buy an Xbox Series S/X. Meanwhile, players might still be attracted to Xbox for cheap and easy subscription access to these Bethesda games via Game Pass. Enlarge / The sight of an official Mario-themed Minecraft pack may give hope to Bethesda fans who want their games on non-Microsoft consoles. But there's some reason to think Minecraft is unique in its role among Microsoft's gaming properties. By the time Microsoft bought Mojang in 2014, the game was practically a platform unto itself, with tens of millions of regular players connected through a cross-platform ecosystem of server-based worlds. Some of those players have invested hundreds or thousands of hours into those persistent, living worlds. Forcing those players to abandon their platform of choice just to continue with the worlds they've built and are still enjoying could have felt heavy-handed. Some Minecraft players might have given up on the game; others who grudgingly came along for the ride could harbor ill will toward Microsoft. More than that, though, Minecraft is the kind of online-focused game that benefits from having as wide a player base as possible (in part because it makes a lot of money through in-game purchases on the Minecraft Marketplace). Forcing players onto Microsoft platforms would mean fewer players overall, which would mean fewer creations to gawk at and multiplayer servers to join. That in turn would make the game less appealing as a whole and less of an overall draw to Microsoft's ecosystem for those willing to make the trip. This probably helps explain why a persistent online game like Elder Scrolls Online is getting a pass for multi-platform access. Bethesda's living world of Fallout 76 also seems likely to remain available on PlayStation consoles. For Bethesda's single-player-focused franchises, though, the value proposition is different. New sequels to these games mark an easy transition point where individual players can jump to a new platform. That's a less onerous move than shutting down an active game experience that players on other platforms currently enjoy. PlayStation owners who have long enjoyed Bethesda games might resent having to choose between these titles and their preferred platform. But that's only a problem for Microsoft if a critical mass of those players decide they like the PlayStation ecosystem more than they like Doom, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, and so on. A third way? Another option, of course, is timed exclusivity. Microsoft could make Bethesda's games available only on Xbox consoles for a year, say, ensuring that early adopters need a Series S/X to keep up with the latest and greatest releases. Then it could release the games on PlayStation 5 and/or Switch to rake in extra money from an expanded audience. There is some precedent for this with other former Microsoft exclusives. Games like Cuphead and the Ori series made the jump to other consoles after a timed exclusivity period on Xbox. Before that, games like Rise of the Tomb Raider and PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds were only available on Xbox One before making the leap to the PS4. Enlarge / Cuphead was only a timed exclusive for Microsoft consoles. But Microsoft doesn't wholly own the Cuphead franchise (...yet?). In all of those cases, though, the games came from a studio not owned by Microsoft. Microsoft likely made a one-time payment to secure a period of exclusivity for those games without taking anything like a controlling stake in the developer. Extending that timed exclusivity idea to wholly owned subsidiaries within Microsoft's Xbox Game Studios would be a new frontier for Microsoft. And it might be one that the company is willing to explore in order to capture the existing multi-console audience that Bethesda's most popular games enjoy. At the same time, though, the idea of Microsoft paying $7.5 billion only to become the publisher behind a host of major PlayStation 5 titles seems a little odd. But consumer behavior will likely help determine how Microsoft makes these "case-by-case" multi-platform decisions going forward. What happens to Bethesda’s multi-platform games under Microsoft? (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  5. The massive deal for Bethesda exposes the fallacy of ownership and the anxiety of a giant What’s $7.5 billion between friends? That’s been the general reaction of the gaming and business press to the news last week that Microsoft will be spending that sum to acquire ZeniMax Media, the parent company of, among others, powerhouse video-game studio Bethesda Game Studios, maker of Fallout 4, Doom, and Skyrim. Coverage of the deal has focused on how Bethesda will help Microsoft’s overall gaming strategy, by driving users to its Netflix-style GamePass service (which offers users access to an array of games for $15 a month), and whether Microsoft will now make Bethesda’s games exclusive, keeping them from owners of Sony’s PlayStation 4 and the forthcoming PlayStation 5. In other words, the discussion has been all about whether it makes sense for Microsoft to ally itself with Bethesda. But in the process, a bigger, and in some ways more interesting, question has been skipped over: Even if allying with Bethesda makes sense (which it does), why would Microsoft buy ZeniMax to do it? That may seem like a foolish question, given that buying other companies is something that most big companies do as a matter of course: From 2014 to 2019, M&A activity averaged close to two trillion dollars a year in the U.S. alone. But all that activity hasn’t changed a basic truth, which is that most deals are great for the company being acquired, and not so great for the company doing the acquiring. As Aswath Damodaran, a finance professor at N.Y.U., puts it, “More value is destroyed by acquisitions than by any other single action taken by companies.” Microsoft itself is a case in point. In 2013, it spent $7.2 billion to acquire Nokia’s smartphone business, and within two years was forced to write off the entire value of the acquisition as worthless. The Nokia deal is an extreme example. What’s more common is that deals go wrong because the buyer just overpays. And that’s a serious risk in ZeniMax’s case. It’s true that the purchase means Microsoft will get all the company’s intellectual property and its future profits. But in exchange, Microsoft is giving up $7.5 billion in cash. That’s a ton of money — it’s nearly as much as what Disney spent in total to buy Star Wars and Marvel, two of the most valuable cultural franchises in history. And on top of that, Microsoft is going to be bearing all of ZeniMax’s game development costs and the cost of its 2,300 employees. As a result, for Microsoft to get a barely reasonable return on its investment, ZeniMax will have to generate at least $500 million in profits every year. Considering that that’s around the company’s estimated annual revenue in most years, that’s a big ask. It’s possible, as many gaming journalists have suggested, that Microsoft is mainly buying ZeniMax so it can make Bethesda’s games exclusive to its new Xbox Series X console. Microsoft’s major competitor, Sony, has lots of high-profile exclusive games for its new PlayStation 5 console. The assumption is that Bethesda could help provide something similar for Microsoft, so that gamers desperate to play Elders Scrolls VI whenever it finally appears, or the next Fallout game, will shell out hundreds of dollars for a Series X. The only problem with this strategy is that Bethesda’s profits right now come from selling games across all platforms, including Sony’s. If Bethesda were to stop making games for the PlayStation, that would wipe out a huge chunk of its annual profits — the very profits that are supposed to justify the acquisition cost. Paradoxically, if Bethesda is making games exclusively for Microsoft, it’s probably less valuable, not more. Much of the analysis of the deal succumbs to the fallacy of ownership: the idea that you need to own a company in order to derive value from it. You don’t. If Microsoft wanted new Bethesda games to be available on GamePass on its first day of release, it could make a deal to set that up. If it really wanted Bethesda to release certain games exclusively only on the Xbox Series X, it could cut a deal for that, pricey though it would be. In fact, Bethesda has two games right now that will be coming out exclusively on the PlayStation 5, and Sony, obviously, didn’t need to buy the company to make that happen. That doesn’t mean buying, as opposed to partnering, is always a bad idea. After all, in 2000, a year before it launched the Xbox, its first ever game console, Microsoft spent $40 million to buy game developer Bungie, whose game Halo became the Xbox’s killer app, and would eventually generate billions in revenue for the company. That’s one of the great acquisitions of all time. But the more you spend, the higher the returns need to be. And in ZeniMax’s case, Microsoft said, in the press release announcing the deal, that its impact on operating profit will be “minimal” in 2021 and 2022. Since games are a cyclical business, that’ll change in years when Bethesda has a huge hit. But if the deal’s not going to generate much profit in the year after it’s completed, Microsoft’s not earning back its $7.5 billion anytime soon. So from an economic point of view it’s hard to see how this deal makes sense. But Microsoft doesn’t seem too worried about that, perhaps because this deal, ultimately, isn’t about the bottom line. It’s about peace of mind. It isn’t about taking risks so much as trying to hedge against them. After all, buying ZeniMax guarantees one thing that a partnership can’t: that no one else can buy ZeniMax. It also guarantees that Bethesda games will always be on GamePass from day one, and helps ensure that GamePass will have content users want. And $7.5 billion still seems like a steep price to pay. But Microsoft has $130 billion in the bank, and its market cap is $1.5 trillion. When you’re that rich, you might be willing to spend seven and a half billion dollars in order to sleep a little better at night. Source
  6. Bethesda rolls out $100/year subscription for Fallout 76 with private servers Or pay $13/mo; this is now the only way to increase players' "storage" capacity. Enlarge / Since this subscription service is based in the Fallout universe, it's radiation that has made the mascot's hand so crazy, not greed, we swear. Bethesda As the video game Fallout 76 approaches its first anniversary this November, its makers at Bethesda have routinely promised its online playerbase a way to pay for private servers. That promised service finally got a name (and a price) on Wednesday: Fallout 1st will become available for existing Fallout 76 players on November 1 for either $99.99/year or $12.99/month. The service's headline feature is "private worlds," though these don't quite operate the same way you might expect from a paid, private-server service like Minecraft Realms. Instead of having one person pay to operate a specific, always-online server, a paying member will be able to create a private Fallout 76 instance, then invite up to seven other players (including non-subscribers) to join that instance. For that gameplay instance to persist, however, at least one of its players must be a paying Fallout 1st member; as soon as all subscribers log out, the instance will disconnect. It's unclear whether Fallout 1st instances will hold onto progress in the cloud. We'd like to know whether JonSub can log in, play Fallout 76 in a private instance for a while, then invite JaneSub to play, leave the instance, and come back in a few days and still see the fruits of JaneSub's progress in that shared instance. Existing Fallout 76 players expose their average online gameplay to random, unknown players. During a preview event in October 2018, for instance, Ars Senior Gaming Editor Kyle Orland noticed the game's griefing potential—balanced with one of Bethesda's assurances about private servers—before the game had even launched: The potential for these kinds of negative experiences, combined with the general lack of positives we can see from having a wider server population, already has us looking forward to the planned post-launch rollout of private servers that we can roam alone in small, unbothered cooperative teams. However, that "planned" support pledge went unfulfilled for nearly a year, even as Bethesda continued adding free quest and quality-of-life updates for all Fallout 76 players. This week's announcement has also piled on another pledge for a feature coming at an undisclosed date: mod support. You'll need to be a paying Fallout 1st member to access mods, however, and no other information about how they'll work or how players might create them or share them between platforms has yet been disclosed. What else comes with Fallout 1st? First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. The biggest additional feature for this paid service is a bit concerning: storage space for in-game items. Continuing in Fallout game tradition, players can only store so many items in their "backpacks," whose storage amount can be increased in the course of gameplay. But the game's increased focus on crafting (which had been hinted at in Fallout 4's "settlement" system) means players have a lot of smaller items they may want to stock in a non-backpack storage container, dubbed the Stash. Fallout 76 puts an artificial cap on that storage: 800 units of weight. Paying Fallout 1st subscribers, on the other hand, will have access to an unlimited storage container dubbed the Scrapbox. (Got that? The free one is a Stash; the paid one is a Scrapbox.) There's no other way to access or pay for an unlimited storage box in the game, and this feature is arguably targeted at the game's most engaged, craft-crazy players. Subscribers also get a serious quality-of-life boost with the new Survival Tent, which will let players magically drop an outpost in the game's world that doubles as a few things: a Scrapbox, a Stash, a cooking station, and a fast-travel point. That sure seems like a handy perk to get by default, if not as a reward for beating a major quest. But hey, what do we know? The rest of the paid subscription package includes a monthly drop of microtransaction currency (1,650 "atoms," which normally cost $15 as a real-world purchase), discounts within the game's atom-currency store, and a few exclusive cosmetic items. Head-to-head For comparison's sake, EA and DICE launched a paid private-server service for Battlefield 1 in 2016. Its one-year price teetered around the $300 mark, though that cost comes with an expectation of a specialized, location-specific server rental for the lowest-latency online combat possible. (Curiously, last year's Battlefield V still hasn't gotten its "Private Games" update, which was meant to offer both paid and free "private" server options.) A more comparable price point is probably Minecraft Realms, which hovers around the $99/year mark and lets players create a private, cross-platform Minecraft world for up to 10 online players. This cost is simply for the dedicated server shard, and so long as anyone has that shard's login credentials, they can get in and build within its private world. They don't need to worry about which paying members are or are not online. Bethesda's announcement also lands two days before the launch of a very Fallout-like game: The Outer Worlds, from Obsidian Entertainment (which includes members of the original Fallout development team). For roughly the same subscription price as Fallout 1st, interested fans can subscribe to Xbox Game Pass and access the offline, single-player adventures of The Outer Worlds (not to mention Obsidian's beloved Fallout: New Vegas) on Xbox One and Windows 10 devices, in addition to other games. Today's news comes nearly a week after Bethesda announced a delay to the game's first "free" expansion pack, Wastelanders, now landing in "Q1 2020." That delay came only days after another major delay to a Bethesda game expected by the end of 2019, Doom Eternal, which is now slated to launch on March 20, 2020. Source: Bethesda rolls out $100/year subscription for Fallout 76 with private servers (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  7. Bethesda has removed its games from Nvidia GeForce Now Bye bye Bethesda (Image credit: Nvidia) In a fresh blow for Nvidia's fledgling GeForce Now cloud streaming platform, Bethesda has removed its games from the service. In a post on the Nvidia forums, an official representative listed exactly which games are being withdrawn and it seems to be all of them but one: Wolfenstein Youngblood. The full list of removed titles is as follows: Teething problems The exact reason for Bethesda's withdrawal is unclear but it's not a great look for GeForce Now, especially so soon after Activision Blizzard removed its games from the service just over a week ago. Activision's withdrawal turned out to be due to a "misunderstanding" on Nvidia's part, with Nvidia stating “Activision Blizzard has been a fantastic partner during the GeForce Now beta, which we took to include the free trial period for our founders' membership. Recognising the misunderstanding, we removed their games from our service, with hope we can work with them to re-enable these, and more, in the future.” It's not been confirmed if Bethesda's decision has been made for similar reasons. As GeForce Now has launched for everyone after many years in development, it now has two tiers available to users. One tier is free while the other, called the Founder's Edition, costs £4.99 / €5.49 / $4.99 per month following a 90 day free trial period. It seems to be the transition from a free beta-mode service to a paid one that's causing issues with publishers. Though Nvidia hasn't addressed the removal of Bethesda's titles specifically just yet, it has already warned users in another blog post that they might see some games leave GeForce Now as it shifted from free to paid, though it expected instances of this to be "few and far between". "This trial is an important transitional period where gamers, developers and publishers can try the premium experience with minimal commitment while we continue to refine our offering," Nvidia explained. "As we approach a paid service, some publishers may choose to remove games before the trial period ends. Ultimately, they maintain control over their content and decide whether the game you purchase includes streaming on GeForce NOW. Meanwhile, others will bring games back as they continue to realize GeForce NOW’s value." Regardless of the warning, many users aren't exactly pleased with the news that so many big name titles are suddenly unavailable to them, especially those who have purchased these games specifically to use on the GeForce Now platform. Nvidia, for its part, is requesting that its users be "patient" as it works through the teething period, stating that it aims to make "as many games available as possible". It's not all bad news for GeForce Now, though. As we noted in our review, at the moment Nvidia has an accessibility advantage over its competition in that it already has a free tier available to players without the need for any upfront cost. In addition, although games are being pulled, GeForce Now is still getting some big wins like the recently announced support for Cyberpunk 2077 when it launches in September. Source: Bethesda has removed its games from Nvidia GeForce Now (TechRadar)
  8. Bethesda officially joins Xbox family, some exclusives planned for the future Only a day after news arrived of regulatory approvals, the combining of ZeniMax Media with Xbox has been made official by Microsoft. The Xbox ecosystem now has eight more first-party game development studios, them being Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. While the heads of the two gaming giants did not make any new game-related announcements today, they did share separate blog posts regarding the journey so far and teasers about what's to come. "With the addition of the Bethesda creative teams, gamers should know that Xbox consoles, PC, and Game Pass will be the best place to experience new Bethesda games, including some new titles in the future that will be exclusive to Xbox and PC players" said Xbox Head Phil Spencer. This is probably hinting towards upcoming experiences like Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI being Microsoft-platform exclusives. Bethesda's Pete Hines had this to share regarding the merger: "As we’ve all shared, the expectation is that Bethesda Softworks and our studios will continue as we have in the past, just with more support and resources than we’ve ever had before. Obviously, Game Pass has been an important initiative for Xbox, and we’ll be working on putting even more of our games into Game Pass than ever before. Beyond that? Stay tuned, we’re just getting started together." Finishing the announcements off, Phil Spencer added that the Xbox Game Pass subscriptions are expanding later this week with another round of Bethesda games, with more details coming soon. Source: Bethesda officially joins Xbox family, some exclusives planned for the future
  9. SEC approves Microsoft’s $7.5 billion Bethesda purchase Microsoft’s offer to purchase Zenimax Media, the parent company of Bethesda Studios for $7.5 billion has been approved by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, reports Gamespot. The regulator has posted a “notice of effectiveness” for the deal on the 4th March which suggests the deal has been approved. Microsoft of course has more to worry about than US regulators, with the more hostile European Comission still to deliver their own decision. This decision is set to be published imminently, however, with the decision set to have been made on the 5th March 2021. If it goes through, Microsoft’s deal will give the company access to a huge collection of studios and IPs. Not only will the company gain access to massive studios like Bethesda Game Studios and id Software, but also smaller teams like Tango Gameworks. All future Zenimax games published under Microsoft’s Xbox Game Studios will come to the video game subscription service Xbox Game Pass. While exclusivity will be decided on a case by case basis, there’s a chance that most games from the studio could be only available on the Xbox and PC platforms. SEC approves Microsoft’s $7.5 billion Bethesda purchase
  10. European Union set to decide on Microsoft's Bethesda acquisition on March 5 Microsoft's acquisition of Bethesda parent ZeniMax Media is expected to be approved or rejected by the European Union on March 5, according to filings spotted by Reuters. Microsoft made the request to approve the merger on January 29. The Redmond giant caught most of those in the industry by surprise when it announced the acquisition of ZeniMax, which is the parent company of studios like id Software, Arkane, Bethesda, and more. Collectively, these studios have developed some of the most recognizable games in recent years, such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, DOOM, Wolfenstein, and Fallout. While most of these titles have launched on Xbox consoles alongside PC and PlayStation, the acquisition gives Microsoft the ability to make many of them exclusive to its platforms. So far, we haven't seen a clear indication of that happening, as PlayStation 5 exclusives Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo will still release exclusively on Sony's platform. Microsoft has also said it will decide platform exclusivity for its games on a case-by-case basis. The acquisition of ZeniMax is worth $7.5 billion, and it's just the latest in a series of purchases as Microsoft tries to bolster the Xbox brand. Studios like Obsidian - former Fallout developer - inXile, Double Fine, Ninja Theory, and more have all joined Microsoft in the past few years. Source: European Union set to decide on Microsoft's Bethesda acquisition on March 5
  11. Bethesda is making an Indiana Jones game From the studio behind Wolfenstein Bethesda’s next project is a big surprise: today, the publisher teased a new Indiana Jones game. While we don’t know anything about the title just yet — the announcement was simply a brief teaser video — it’s being developed by MachineGames, the same studio behind the Wolfenstein franchise. Bethesda boss Todd Howard will serve as executive producer. The title is being made under the new Lucasfilm Games label, which was announced yesterday as part of a renewed focus on games from Disney and Lucasfilm. While details are slim, Disney says that “the game will tell a wholly original, standalone tale set at the height of the career of the famed adventurer.” The teaser video hints that the game will take place in Rome. There’s no word yet on when the game will release or what platforms it will be on. At this point, it doesn’t even have a full title. Bethesda is making an Indiana Jones game
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