News, and subsequently news stories, can be very fluid. With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, sometimes stories will slip through the cracks. Well, the Proven News Wrap-Up is here to fix all that! Below are what we have determined to be the top five stories of the week. Although they are numbered, they are not ranked in any particular order.
1) Ubisoft Avoids Vivendi Takeover
This has been a slow-burning story that looks like it has finally reached its conclusion. Vivendi, the French media company, had slowly been buying up Ubisoft stock in an attempt to take over the gaming company. Throughout the process, Ubisoft had been looking for ways to prevent this from happening, and they were finally able to. With assistance from Tencent and the Ontario Teacher’s Pension Plan, they were able to buy out the 27.3% of the stock owned by Vivendi. From a gamer’s perspective, Ubisoft maintaining its independence is huge. It allows them to continue to pump-out games from all of their franchises, while still being able to innovate and bring new ideas to the table.
2) Sea of Thieves Shaky Start
When it comes to games with a heavy online component, launch day stability is one of the greatest challenges. Release day for a game is likely when most games will see the heaviest traffic on their infrastructure, with everyone logging on to check out whatever they have been waiting months, if not years, to play. Sea of Thieves, Microsoft’s exclusive pirate game from Rare, was no exception. On the day of its release, Rare had to temporarily stop allowing new players to join the game while dealing with server and connectivity issues.
We're still hard at work working on issues affecting players trying to connect to the game as a top priority. We'll provide updates when we have them! Thanks again for the patience, pirates.
— Sea of Thieves (@SeaOfThieves) March 20, 2018
In order to resolve the issues players are seeing with the servers, we will be temporarily suspending new players joining the game. We'll get everyone back in and playing as quickly as we can!
— Sea of Thieves (@SeaOfThieves) March 20, 2018
Server issues like this have become common with game launches, to the point where it is almost expected. It is totally reasonable to say that in time, the servers for Sea of Thieves will stabilize and people will have no issues logging onto the game. However, what is more concerning for Sea of Thieves is the early feedback on the game itself. When joining up with friends, if someone is to join in late, that often requires all players to exit the game and start over. Unbalanced PvP combat gives the advantage to full squads of four (there is also no way to turn off PvP at this time). Combat is reportedly incredibly basic, with sword fights boiling down to who can mash the fastest. The mission structure seems to be very repetitive, with things boiling down to go to a location, find a chest, and return to your outpost (there are also combat based missions that follow a similar thread but instead of a chest, you are tasked with taking out a pirate captain). Microsoft doesn’t have a lot of exclusives, and Sea of Thieves is one that was pushed hard by the company. Let’s hope that content updates and patches can make the game the pirate adventure everyone is looking for.
3) God of War Goes Gold
Yes, games going gold is part of development process and happens to every title that is being developed. However, from its reveal at E3 2016, God of War has felt like it has the potential to be something really special.
On the surface level, God of War seems new and fresh. A new Kratos trying turn the page and become a dad for his son Atreus, a new mythology and world to explore, a new weapon (axe hype!) for Kratos to wield, and a different camera angle and combat mechanics. All of this and more makes God of War stand out from the older games. However, when people got their hands on the game early this week, there was plenty of familiar elements as well. Despite the new camera and controls, combat was still as frantic and brutal as ever. Puzzles still play heavily into the game as well. This balance of old and new gives God of War a chance to be one of the great games of 2018.
4) CD Projekt Red Launches New Studio
The reveal trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 was released back in 2013. Since then, CD Projekt Red has been relatively silent when it comes to breaking news about its new, open-world game. The last activity on the game’s Twitter feed came when they simply tweeted out the word “beep” with no other information or context.
— Cyberpunk Game (@CyberpunkGame) January 10, 2018
So when it was announced earlier this week that CD Projekt Red had created a new studio, CD Projekt Red Wroclaw to help with the development of Cyberpunk 2077, people, myself included, got excited. Even though there isn’t any news about the game itself along with the announcement of the studio. It is the latest reminder that this game is a real thing that we will get to play at some point. CD Projekt Red is one of the few studios out there that operates on its own schedule. They will show off more of Cyberpunk 2077 when they are good and ready.
5) Fortnite Battle Royale and PUBG Go Mobile
I don’t think the announcements of Fortnite Battle Royale and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds releasing on mobile is a huge surprise. The reason it is a big deal is that it is further evidence that these two games aren’t going away anytime soon. Regardless of how bad the touch controls are, or if they are buggy, launching mobile versions of these games opens the door to an entirely new audience base for both titles. In recent weeks, Fortnite has gone from PUBG’s competitor to something entirely new and unique in the public eye. Athletes, celebrities, and everyone in between seem to have been sucked up into the behemoth of a hype train that is Fortnite Battle Royale. This was highlighted when Ninja, one of top Fortnite players teamed up with rapper Drake and set a Twitch record with 630,000 concurrent viewers. The battle royale genre bubble may very well pop at some point. However, I don’t think it is happening anytime soon.
Did we leave out any of the big stories of the week? Leave them in the comments below!