The weekend means it's time to relax, however you see fit. We've found plenty of deals to aid in your quest for some quality downtime. Want to spend 12 hours with a new video game? REI's Anniversary Sale is going on right now, and we've rounded up our favorite deals right here. Earlier this week, we also collected a few discounts on robot vacuums we've tested and liked, and they're still on sale.
Based on early appearances, you should expect the unexpected when characters from Game of Thrones, Looney Tunes, and other popular Warner Bros. franchises team up and scrap together in WB Interactive Entertainment's upcoming MultiVersus. The "platform fighter" from the developers at Player First Games is built like a gaming sandbox where magical moments of play emerge from happy accidents and inventive players. The wascally wabbit can toss a projectile-blocking safe on the ground, but it's also a physics-based object that can be moved -- which means a punch can knock it into other players. Arya Stark, meanwhile, steps into the battlefield armed with a throwing knife that she can teleport herself over to, even if a teammate -- or, say, a cartoon safe -- is touching it. "Bugs Bunny will knock the safe up in the air and [Arya] will throw the dagger and teleport to the safe...and then re-direct it."
When Ubisoft announced that Hyper Scape, its ambitious battle royale game, would be shutting down on April 28, news articles were blunt. "Forgotten," "failure," and "massive flop" were common descriptors, and the general conclusion was that the game hadn't done enough to differentiate itself from established competitors in a crowded genre. Hyper Scape is just the latest live service game to meet an ignominious end. Battleborn, LawBreakers, Crucible, and PlanetSide Arena are a few notable titles to go under in the last few years, the latter surviving a mere four months. And once the servers for these games go down, they're gone forever. Maybe this is the natural result of an overcrowded marketplace intent on chasing trends.
Former U.S. ambassador to NATO provides insight on a potentially pivotal setback for Russia in its war on Ukraine on'The Story.' MSNBC contributor Barry R. McCaffrey, a retired four-star general, shared a video Monday of what he appeared to think was a Russian plane being shot down by Ukraine, but deleted the tweet after being informed it occurred in an animated video game. According to images of the original tweet, McCaffrey tweeted an animated image from the video game "Arma 3." MSNBC's Brian R. McCaffrey, a retired four star general, shared video of a Russian plane being shot down by Ukraine on Monday but deleted the tweet after being informed it occurred in an animated video game. McCaffrey wrote in the since-deleted tweet, "Russian aircraft getting nailed by UKR missile defense. Russians are losing large numbers of attack aircraft. UKR air defense becoming formidable," to accompany the animated image from the video game.
This week, host Karen Han talks to voice actor and performer Erika Ishii, whose very long resume includes video games, animated series, and live action projects. In the interview, Erika explains their process of bringing video game characters to life–characters like Valkyrie in the game Apex Legends. Then Erika discusses diversity among both characters and performers in the video game industry and the ability to say no to projects that aren't the right fit. After the interview, Karen and co-host Isaac Butler talk about diversity in entertainment and the progress that has yet to be made. In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Erika lists some of the voice actors and performances that have inspired them over the years.
Six years after its initial release, Stardew Valley has sold more than 20 million copies. Creator Eric Barone shared news of the accomplishment in an update posted to the game's press site and an interview with PC Gamer. "The 20 million copies milestone is really amazing," he told the outlet. But what's even more impressive is the increasing pace of Stardew Valley's sales. It took four years for the game to sell its first 10 million copies.
'Special Report' All-Star Panel reacts to the Senate voting to block a bill that would'codify' abortion nationwide. The Washington Post is facing accusations of activism over a report urging video game companies to take a stand on Roe v. Wade as the Supreme Court mulls overturning the decades-long precedent protecting the legalization of abortions on a federal level. On Wednesday, video game reporters Nathan Grayson and Shannon Liao penned a piece with the headline, "As Roe v. Wade repeal looms, video game industry stays mostly silent," documenting how giants in the gaming world are largely staying out of the abortion debate. The article began by citing Bungie, the "Destiny 2" studio owned by Sony that published a statement "in support of reproductive rights" that decried the overturning of Roe v. Wade among other studios and indie developers. The reporters appeared to side with the company as it faced viral backlash from critics, writing, "Bungie, for its part, stood firm."
The wildly popular FIFA video-game series will be rebranded EA Sports FC next year, its publisher Electronic Arts said on Tuesday, ending a three-decade relationship with football's governing body. Launched in 1993, a generation of millions of football fans and gamers across the globe grew up playing the game and it became a huge money-spinner. But "months of tense negotiations" between California-based Electronic Arts (EA) and governing body FIFA failed to end in an agreement to extend the partnership, The New York Times reported. FIFA reportedly wanted the $150 million it gets annually from EA to be increased to $250 million or more. The game has more than 150 million player accounts, according to EA, and The New York Times said it had generated more than $20 billion in sales over the past two decades.