Government launches call for evidence on video game loot boxes

Loot boxes are in-game containers purchased with either virtual or real-world currency that awards players with randomized virtual items. They can use these items to improve their playing experience or for cosmetic upgrades to their character’s appearance.

Players do not know which item they will get until after they have opened the loot box and this chance element has raised concerns they could encourage gambling-like behaviour, particularly among young people.

With people spending increasing amounts of time online and as the industry, gaming habits, and the technology that supports it continues to evolve, the open call for evidence will help us understand people’s positive and negative experiences of loot boxes in video games.

It will seek the experiences of players and their parents or guardians as well as rigorous, high quality data and research from video games companies, academia, civil society as well as any other organisations with an interest in this issue.

The findings will give the government a clearer understanding of the size of the loot box and in-game purchases market in the UK, how it operates, and the impact of current protections such as parental controls and consumer regulations.

The government stands ready to take action should the outcomes of the call for evidence support taking a new approach to ensure users, and particularly young people, are better protected. Loot boxes will be considered alongside a review of the Gambling Act.

Minister for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage said:

“Our valued video game industry is making good progress developing safer environments for our children to play in, such as parental controls that can be set to schedule and limit playtime.

“But we’ve listened to parents’ concerns about loot boxes and it’s right that we fully examine and understand any evidence of the harm or links to problem gambling they can cause, so we can decide if action is needed.”

Video games are played by over half of the population and the sector is a key part of the UK’s world-leading creative industries. It contributed £2.6 billion to the economy in 2018, employed 27,000 people in 2019 and has grown more than 16 times faster than the wider UK economy since 2010.

The government will also undertake further research into the wider impact of video games on behaviour. DCMS will set a framework for a programme of research informed by workshops with academia and industry.

The government is taking these steps to address issues highlighted by the DCMS Select Committee’s report on Immersive and Addictive Technologies and to protect audiences across the UK.

The call for evidence will be open until November 22 2020.


Notes to editors:

  • The call for evidence will be live from 12pm on 23 September and can be found here.
  • The full response to the Select Committee report can be read here.

Source link

Microsoft’s servers facing meltdown due to Xbox Series X and S pre-orders, retailers having issues too

Microsoft’s next-gen console, Xbox Series X and S are a meticulous target at this moment. Shortly after the pre-orders have started, multiple retailers, including Microsoft’s official pre-order page, face meltdown. This seems to be caused due to an excessive amount of pre-order queries.

There are different Xbox pre-order scenarios.

  • Microsoft‘s official website is facing a complete meltdown returning errors without being able to load.
  • Gamestop is putting the pre-orders in the queue without anything happening.
  • Amazon should be launching pre-orders shortly.
  • Walmart is basically out of stock even if it looks that the pre-order goes through.
  • Target is also facing some functionality issues, and is the next-gen Xbox consoles cannot be pre-ordered.
  • Best Buy still doesn’t have the pre-orders enabled apparently and it says that they’re coming soon.

This is a very important, yet disappointing day for Microsoft, but also for those who try to purchase Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S on this day. Times and times over we have been proven that the pre-order day doesn’t work as intended.

Last but not least, Geoff Keighley, a known producer and figure in the gaming industry, has also noted that multiple tries of his have resulted in a failure.

Source link

Cold War Will be 60 FPS on the Upcoming PlayStation 5

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is the upcoming sequel for the Call of Duty: Black Ops series. It will be available for PlayStation 5 on November 13. It looks like the developers take the advantage of the next-gen consoles. Treyarch says that Cold War will be 60 FPS on the upcoming PlayStation 5.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be 60 FPS on PS5 says Treyarch Creative Specialist

Treyarch Creative Specialist Miles Leslie makes the latest statements to the Official PlayStation Magazine UK. She also tells what the PlayStation 5 technology has to offer.

According to Leslie, Cold War will be 60 FPS and 120 Hz on the Upcoming PlayStation 5 console. With the help of the latest technologies, this ”magic” is possible says, Leslie. And continues: ”It’s about telling the right story and narrative from the campaign side to the multiplayer side, but I think immersion and a cinematic feel, right, and that butter-smooth 60 frames per second, things players expect, we’re trying to take and enhance, with that at 120Hz, taking the haptics, whatever we can do so that players feel like they’re getting the right next-gen experience.”

Cold War Will be 60 FPS on the Upcoming PlayStation 5

Also, Dan Vondrak (Senior Creative Director at Raven Software) says that the team develops some huge crazy moments to the game. But players will have much more control over these moments. He says that these sequences are amazingly immersive that they will not know when they are going in-between moments because “sometimes you have control and sometimes you don’t.”

Leslie and Vondrak also say that they pushed PlayStation 4 to its limits. On the PS5 however, it will be a different experience for the players. Maybe it will redefine the shooter games who knows?

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be available on November 13 for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC. You can also find all Black Ops Cold War-related news by clicking here.

Source link

Bright Memory Announced for Xbox Series X


Today, during the Playism Game Show the publisher announced that Bright Memory will be released for Xbox Series X.

Today, during the Playism Game Show the publisher announced that Bright Memory will be released for Xbox Series X.

We already knew that Bright Memory Infinite was coming to Xbox’s new console (on top of PS4, Xbox One, and PC), but FYQD-Studio is also preparing to launch the original version launched on Steam earlier this year.

On top of that, the release is planned for November 10, so it’ll be a day one title.

You can check out the announcement trailer below.

Below you can read how the developer describes the game.

“Bright Memory is a lightning-fast fusion of the FPS and action genres, created by one-man development studio FYQD using Unreal Engine. Combine a wide variety of skills and abilities to unleash dazzling combo attacks. SRO (Supernatural Science Research Organization) agent Shelia’s adventure is about to begin.

This game depicts the maiden adventure of a woman named Shelia in the year 2020.

The 1000-year-old relic swords known as “Kanshou and Bakuya”, discovered through SRO research, have been found to comprise a unique multilayered structure, containing a mysterious substance in their cores. This substance, known as the “Soul of Jiu Xuan”, possesses the ability to reanimate the dead. In an attempt to take possession of the substance, the “SAI” – a massive terrorist organization controlling its own army – has used a cutting-edge piece of technology known as a “Quantum Transporter” to infiltrate the SRO research facility and steal top-secret and incredibly dangerous data. To make matters worse, while attempting to calibrate coordinates on the Quantum Transporter, Shelia mistakenly activates the device, immediately transporting everyone in the vicinity to the Floating Island – an airborne continent near the North Pole, undisturbed in its slumber for over 1000 years. It is soon discovered that the various beasts and corpses of those who once populated the island have been reanimated by the “Soul of Jiu Xuan”, and they’re coming for Shelia…”

Source link

Future Bethesda Games Will Be on Xbox, PC, & Game Pass; Other Consoles Considered on a “Case-By-Case Basis”


Following today’s news of the acquisition of ZeniMax and Bethesda by Microsoft, Xbox division head Phil Spencer provided more information.

Following today’s news of the acquisition of ZeniMax, Bethesda, and all of their studios by Microsoft, Xbox division head Phil Spencer provided more information.

As reported by Bloomberg, spencer mentioned that Microsoft will honor previously established PS5 timed exclusivity deals for games like Deathloop and Ghostwire Tokyo.

On the other hand, the future of Bethesda’s games on platforms outside of the Xbox ecosystem is a lot vaguer, with Spencer mentioning that upcoming releases like Starfield will launch on Xbox, PC, and Game Pass. While spencer doesn’t close the door to additional console, he said that they’ll be considered on a case-by-case basis.

It’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft’s strategy will take shape when those games will be announced.

At the moment, besides Starfield (which apparently is still a long while away), we know that Bethesda is working on The Elder Scrolls VI, but that’s also apparently far in the future. We don’t have any release window or even a release year for either game.

The acquisition is set to be closed in the second half of the current fiscal year, meaning between January and June 2021 (Microsoft’s fiscal years are shifted by a quarter compared to the usual April-March calendar). The investment is said to be $7.5 Billion.

Source link

PlayStation 5 Digital Edition stock far lower than standard PS5, sources say •

Sony’s £450 PlayStation 5 sold out fast when pre-orders opened last week. But pre-orders for the £360 PlayStation 5 Digital Edition? Those seemed to go even faster.

There was huge demand for the cheaper Digital Edition, but also reports there was far less Digital Edition stock to go around. Now, retail sources Eurogamer has spoken to have said this was accurate.

A source at one major UK retailer said their company’s stock allocation had been around 25 per cent Digital Edition versus 75 per cent regular PS5, though this might vary slightly from store to store.

Other sources claimed the ratio was even higher, with ratios around 20 per cent Digital Edition to 80 per cent regular PS5 suggested.

Over the weekend, Ars Technica polled GameStop stores in the US and found a similar situation over the pond. Stock allocation for nine GameStop outlets across the country ranged from as low as 13 per cent Digital Edition up to 33 per cent, with an overall average of 25 per cent Digital Edition stock altogether.

PlayStation has never cautioned customers that the Digital Edition might be harder to get hold of. It is simply presented as one of two equal PlayStation 5 options – and cheaper because it does not contain a disc drive.

The lure of a Digital Edition is clear: a saving of nearly £100 for a version without a disc drive, while not sacrificing any of the core PS5’s power. (Though some have pointed out this markdown will likely be made up over time by the cost of buying digital software at full whack – up to £70 per game.)

This content is hosted on an external platform, which will only display it if you accept targeting cookies. Please enable cookies to view.

When questioned on the Digital Edition stock situation, PlayStation boss Jim Ryan refused to disclose the ratio of Digital Edition stock being made available.

“The ratio between the Digital Edition and the disc drive model is currently something we cannot disclose at this time,” Ryan told AV Watch (as translated by VGC). “We cannot give specific information on numbers, but we can say that we plan to produce the necessary number of units to meet the demand for that model type.

“However, we’ve never produced two different console models at the same time before so deciding on the right number and the right ratio is very hard to know. We are doing our best to predict demand.”

While the claim PlayStation has not produced two different units at the same time before is likely to raise eyebrows, this is indeed the first time PlayStation has launched an all-digital console alongside a standard model.

Exactly what ratio should the Digital Edition be? Ahead of launch, with demand uncertain, there can be no perfect answer.

But keeping the ratio of Digital Editions low means some customers who wanted a Digital Edition may end up settling for the more expensive £450 version as a result. Better that than miss out on a PS5 at launch altogether!

It also means that, were Sony selling the PS5 for a loss (as many consoles are at launch), the loss attributed to the lower-priced Digital Edition would be cushioned by lower stock – while still being able to advertise its availability and competitive £360 price point.

Eurogamer has contacted PlayStation for comment.

Over the weekend, PlayStation apologised for the way it had made PS5 pre-orders available with little to no warning. “Let’s be honest: PS5 pre-orders could have been a lot smoother,” Sony said. “We truly apologise for that. Over the next few days, we will release more PS5 consoles for pre-order – retailers will share more details. And more PS5s will be available through the end of the year.”

Source link

Freedom Fighters – IO Interactive

Freedom Fighters – IO Interactive

Source link

IPVanish VPN: Online Privacy Made Easy

Protect Every Device You Own.

Never sacrifice the defense of one device for another. We don’t meter VPN connections or app installations, so you’ll never have to choose.

IPVanish is free to download on desktop, mobile, and streaming devices. And with our VPN installed on your router, you’ll protect every smart device in your home.

Source link–if1_K0i9B0a2Sv4oLrKOsLi8Ks5V62y-FKGYkH8Ij_ZWUoQIE4O2YNeNyqrug3VUiLoYOf5wPekr8_Z67HpiW9h6eznzwJsKxftmwR2T3LfesD3wk6W5_VH9xfdiQU1WmiCv6hvIjxoOpx8qLVZVID2buqVzO27udPDaXKI_aWYpZvHOJyu2947WFbYz7XVIWu4qEpIYYX5kIkAbNB5EaVoJ07vmIrf-_-YklB517tU3b-3HTMf2o9VhGsgvHBgbYKZOy2fb4L-uEI_YRmYIx2qF8JTojBW0xUqTK9nzyz1FgxPPIbzEzke4Vi5E13Y2ht5QiKWVV5XnezVEKgmtTmhYNqz0WXtDeeg04s_oxeM7E9wJqysBzkGgMMyLZFKhu3YP06zXXQqENbcg8OttkgDXUD01DlaIZDVCYX1KPUgLSwajMfyvOk_bkyX6gGSfk_Lbdrt4vdMWhURhCc9GgPYvrvLnEqr9_Fev46H6XyW3vfaw92QqYwcpOjMLz8qZHxNAdRzTxTdj5dUYm9aMAOPTaXEAM_YGcy9RzprYi4QskCB6tLmpJjF8m_R3k3qCTTsWSTY99oJ7Qqf0b4NeVeE9JwlK2xLI-7psjfVsVRfYhZfo3_UYB6WN-dRfrZRB9kDZ_EoWxeKTyzVy50J8_wP4xfdHfTG4eVi9fzlx6EyCQ8W3WnS7z4KoM63dT0sxqMewpSgWuy9AXw0z74cFberOz3hfu2Z4xrrpaHm5RuN8AMuHp43HE9-IZKUj4oeH90vmA-0di4zhSlmMj7ezpWCJwpsCDXFfAbcSNltNn5Mj9A-mlX7kR3kuKJ_0lc3Ex95OJBpvHokb5llQqMenouRNJhn3Kpt7uvQIyzA-xtfpb3u1KQ7idytz2byzmhu8v3JpbtEm27onzFTGPjI_3Da2BkoaE144nnuFsjmgtWsb7VQVRbl95cYOTbeVr0toJ80DqCC9ePzPG3QSxpuPpaU-Edi01vjCqlBK20DQJX-IV4Cj0jgMr5k8VzIWL_EYUA5H_XeXN9TVcVjyTMYAkMLX7RTR3WgOj-LbyLNoJu5X9Ipp_QFSCwp1sn7zGAu-fnNGP6lbuwOj9YwhhS7FfpEeHelTKQ1spdAY_JkX8zKxwumliAsqiY_uVc5AyuC6TC5bv_LiDClZz-caUnLCMiTTAPk_y8ySXnTRClTBP9pw4SLtR8uTKgY9keGn-OLtQRgOvpZ5ydVr66eHslIdE2AjeL4c_x4Bz-ZAXBJRnvK-t8oFMLlLNV3OChx5saJDuS-w6UZ_ABZyC3ilzvYodvO_orVOG_lJ1k2gYOfkrp_4vqrtAVQsT2Nc2bVQRUUIhIcrYsijjyfFPdG0ZnHYF3jxVAA5g5TlnjzYoyLfr-uzmWuvLQ4hk156Oxo0pGQ45jQ5qLA9FZxB_RvyQtqyF4BE6_9WjqqzcktYk59_Ca0Qcbs01ydjWQdwqHi5RS_Qa5Lk_vsMFzJLjxq9MO54HRvvZwT6DA0LL97BI4RPzI9CGz-zhJEoevtv1A1GfG5NSkxO8sRtkRIK-bFn7Y-E0rDSLuZ7kk1ljUT9kPB7NS3zJ9FxJ6BFGXiv-Ok1BJh_ECXe5xYK846YIWf7jthyECqxqTKZgY7FKme3L69XANatRfKlB9MECjVfMNooQmSeH6fAtRqetdx02yy8_iEfHwUVCr56Se5FQ8xxS72Vifb8o84Mts0vyiLcnrop1Hehq0Hj8EZMuy1Kne99fr7sSQ==

Welcoming the Talented Teams and Beloved Game Franchises of Bethesda to Xbox

Critically acclaimed creators of The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Quake, Starfield and more join Team Xbox

Today is a special day, as we welcome some of the most accomplished studios in the games industry to Xbox. We are thrilled to announce Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks.

As one of the largest, most critically acclaimed, privately held game developers and publishers in the world, Bethesda is an incredibly talented group of 2,300 people worldwide who make up some of the most accomplished creative studios in our industry across Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios. These are the teams responsible for franchises like The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, DOOM, Dishonored, Prey, Quake, Starfield and many more.

Bethesda’s games have always had a special place on Xbox and in the hearts of millions of gamers around the world. Our teams have a close and storied history working together, from the amazing first DOOM, and its id Tech engine, innovating games on PCs to Bethesda bringing their first console game to the original Xbox, the groundbreaking The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. Over the years I’ve had many deep conversations with the creative leaders at Bethesda on the future of gaming and we’ve long shared similar visions for the opportunities for creators and their games to reach more players in more ways.

Just as they took the bold first steps to bring The Elder Scrolls franchise to the original Xbox, Bethesda were early supporters of Xbox Game Pass, bringing their games to new audiences across devices and have been actively investing in new gaming technology like cloud streaming of games. We will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC. One of the things that has me most excited is seeing the roadmap with Bethesda’s future games, some announced and many unannounced, to Xbox console and PC including Starfield, the highly anticipated, new space epic currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.

Like us, Bethesda are passionate believers in building a diverse array of creative experiences, in exploring new game franchises, and in telling stories in bold ways. All of their great work will of course continue and grow and we look forward to empowering them with the resources and support of Microsoft to scale their creative visions to more players in new ways for you.

All of our work, and the foundation of our relationship with you, starts with a commitment to deliver a breadth of amazing games to discover and play on Xbox.  Over the last few weeks, we’ve been excited to share more detail on important elements of a plan we’ve been building towards for years. A plan that is the fulfilment of a promise, to you the Xbox player, to deliver the most performant, immersive and compatible next-generation gaming experiences, and the freedom to play blockbuster games with your friends, anytime, anywhere. Today is a landmark step in our journey together and I’m incredibly energized by what this step means for Xbox.

Please join me in welcoming all of our friends at Bethesda to Team Xbox.

Source link

Works In Theory – The Last Farm v0.11 Released – Works In Theory

The Last Farm v0.11 is now available on Steam. You can find full patch notes for the update below.

The current plan is for the next update to be in 2 weeks, and this one should include some additional content. These plans are always fluid due to the nature of being a solo dev, but that is the current goal. I’ve received a lot of great feedback on the Steam discussion page, so feel free to drop in and share any thoughts you have on the game!

— v0.11 —

  • Added an option to control when the red tile highlighter is displayed.
  • The game no longer uses the default windows cursor.
  • Improved information displayed about food values in various places.
  • Notification is displayed when game is saving.


  • You can now interact with NPCs repeatedly.
  • Plants and animals in the world can now be targeted by the genetic analyser.
  • All shops will now buy all items, regardless of type.


  • Taking a screenshot (F9) will no longer open the screenshot directory by default. You can still have it open the directory by using Shift+F9.


  • Fixed an issue that would cause items to become slightly offset when reloading the game. This will be corrected in existing savegames, but only if you have not re-saved your game since the error occurred.
  • Fixed an issue which would prevent exploration missions from showing up on the mission board after hearing rumours from NPCs.
  • The Gene scanner can no longer be opened using the keyboard shortcut (O) while the item isn’t in your inventory.

Source link