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.
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.
On Friday, Elon Musk announced he was pausing his $45bn purchase of Twitter because he had only just discovered some of the accounts on the site were fake. But that's not the strangest thing that has happened to the beleaguered social media platform this week. Because on Tuesday the current top brass, perhaps trying to demonstrate their vision for the site, released a Super Nintendo-style browser game that recaps Twitter's private policy. The platform unveiled Twitter Data Dash, which plays like a vintage side-scrolling platformer that's been draped with a healthy dose of disinformation anxiety. You take control of a blue-hued puppy named Data and are tasked with retrieving five bones hidden in each of the game's day-glo urban environments.
'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.
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On the north campus of Microsoft's 500-acre headquarters, anticipation is quietly mounting. The company is gearing up to launch its new Inclusive Tech Lab, which sits in Building 86 -- one of 125 buildings in its Redmond, Washington grounds. This 2,000-square-foot room used to be a reception area, with a set of doors leading to the offices within and another pair facing the rest of the world. It only seems fitting, considering what Microsoft envisions this lab to be: a place to welcome members of the disability community, the tech industry and its own designers. Across the street is building 88, where you'll find chief product officer Panos Panay's office, while down the road is the Hardware Lab in building 87.
Looking to upgrade your mouse? Amazon is selling the HyperX Pulsefire Raid wired gaming mouse for $25. To get the deal, you have to click the $5 off coupon underneath the price on the product page. We haven't reviewed the Pulsefire Raid, but HyperX makes pretty good gear. Plus, the mouse is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars with more than 1,000 ratings on Amazon. This device is very Razer-esque in shape, which isn't a bad design to emulate at all.