ByteDance boosts investment in video game platform in race with Tencent

Posted by myadmin on April 23, 2021 in WeTV |

ByteDance, the Chinese tech giant that owns TikTok, recently sued its larger rival Tencent (OTC:TCEHY) over alleged antitrust violations. ByteDance says Tencent blocked users on its WeChat and QQ apps — which host 1.21 billion and 617 million mobile monthly active users, respectively — from accessing content from Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.

In another high-profile acquisition last week, ByteDance acquired game studio C4 Games, the developer of Red Alert Online. Meanwhile, Tencent has already invested more in gaming studios this year than it did in all of 2020.

However, the battle for Moonton, the developer of team-battle game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, came at a steep price, which two sources familiar with the deal said was worth US$4 billion. Accepting ByteDance’s offer also meant breaking one with Tencent that Moonton had signed just days before, according to the sources, who asked not to be identified.

Internet giant Tencent Holdings is merging its two video platforms in a major reorganisation to buttress its efforts against ByteDance-owned Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Tencent
Roblox saw usage rise during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it has been regarded as one of the more exciting gaming companies to explode in popularity in recent years.

That popularity was rewarded by Wall Street last month when it went public on the New York Stock Exchange, where it had a market capitalisation of more than US$38 billion at the time of publication.

Tencent previously barred WeChat’s users from posting links to Jinri Toutiao’s news stories. Tencent also didn’t approve ByteDance’s WeChat Mini Programs for its cloud-based office platform, Feishu. That’s why it wasn’t surprising when Tencent finally cut its users off from Douyin’s videos.

Gaming has become a top priority for ByteDance. It has proven to be an effective way of monetising social media users from other apps – a strategy used by Tencent – and a steady stream of gaming revenue works as insurance against TikTok someday falling out of fashion.

Despite a growing gaming division with more than 3,000 new hires, ByteDance’s search for a flagship game was advancing at a snail’s pace. After a few of its self-developed titles flopped last year, experts said the social media firm needed a headlining purchase to reinspire confidence, according to analysts.

China had 818 million short video-sharing users at the end of June last year, according to a report by the China Netcasting Services Association. Douyin and Kuaishou Technology, which had about 300 million daily active users, were the dominant players in the market. Tencent is a major investor in Kuaishou.

The escalation of the rivalry between Tencent and ByteDance in gaming reflects the industry’s rapid growth in recent years. Nearly half of China’s population now plays video games, and the country is the world’s largest video game market in the world by revenue.

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Diablo Immortal players should not be afraid of having to pay for content

Posted by myadmin on April 15, 2021 in Diablo Immortal |

Diablo Immortal is an upcoming entry in the Diablo series that will allow players to experience the world of Diablo at nearly anytime on your phone. Currently set to be an isometric, top-down, hack-and-slash title that combines the feel of a Diablo game with the added benefit of an MMO experience all on mobile, Diablo Immortal hopes to give fans the iconic feeling of playing a Diablo title while away from the confines of a PC.

The biggest part that the production team wants to appeal through Diablo Immortal is’the fun of battle’ and the diversity of play. “As users reach the highest level, they can enjoy the main quest, the Hyeonsanggeum hunter, and the ancient rift dungeon,” said Zierhart. Each content has a purpose. For example, focusing on a bounty hunter to achieve a specific purpose, or playing ancient rifts to obtain legendary gems. What I was disappointed with in Diablo 3 was that the play was concentrated in the Great Rift, but Immortal is trying to make various activities more enjoyable.”

“At Blizzard, gameplay comes first. All of your gear is self-found [as you play the game]. That also means you cannot use in-game purchases to buy gear either. We want to ensure that players who do not spend money still have access to every piece of gear in the game as well. Second, players who choose to spend money should feel that purchases are worthwhile and deepen their engagement and enjoyment of the game and where possible, the enjoyment of other players as well,” said Arsenaux.

Blizzard has confirmed that the upcoming Diablo Immortal will be free for mobile phones and tablets. Everyone will be able to download the game to their Android or iOS device and enjoy a hack and slash adventure.

According to Blizzard, players should not be afraid of having to pay for content. The whole story and all classes will be free. Payments will only apply to cosmetic accessories or additional content.

Despite these assurances, some fans will likely remain skeptical on just how Blizzard will implement these microtransactions. For what it’s worth, Blizzard has said that Diablo Immortal will not feature any “pay-to-win” mechanics, with the in-app purchases found in the game either serving as cosmetic items or things that will complement gameplay. Some of the things that will be purchasable are Crests that players can use for in-game dungeons that provide random modifiers in order to give players a more challenging experience while also rewarding them non-gear items like Gems or Runes.

In the future, the production team will conduct tests in more diverse regions. During the test, the highest level will be raised from 45 to 55 and 60, and the final content will be released. Producer Arceno said, “With MMORPG, it is important to provide an activity that can be repeated and enjoyed even after reaching the highest level. Both PvE and PvP are preparing the final content in this direction.”

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Crusader Kings 3’s Northern Lords DLC adds various forms of Norse spice

Posted by myadmin on April 9, 2021 in Crusader Kings 3 |

We’ve finally been graced with the first piece of DLC for Crusader Kings 3. Northern Lords is a Norse-themed DLC that adds new events and mechanics to dynasties in Northern Europe. Paradox is calling these ‘Flavor Packs’ as opposed to full expansions, similar to the Immersion Packs they released for England, Russia, and Iberia in Europa Universalis IV. This means the changes hone in on a specific part of the world rather than mixing up the pot for everyone. It’s pretty small in scope overall, but there’s a decent amount here for only $7/£5.19.

Flavour packs are described by Paradox as being smaller than a full expansion. Here, the Northern Lords DLC adds various forms of Norse spice to the already meaty strategy game. That includes dressing your leaders up in Viking hairstyles and tunics, new events inspired by Norse history, the ability to go adventuring and establish new kingdoms in foreign lands, and new music.

There’s a lot of new stuff you can do in Northern Lords. If you want a list, you can find a wealth of information in Paradox’s CK3 dev diaries. But the thing I want to frame my opinion with, since it’s the single thing that most attracted me to the DLC, is the Varangian Adventure. This decision allows any Norse ruler – in theory – to declare a war with a special cassus belli, and comes free with a special army of howling beardsman, to help you get the job done. Upon the successful prosecution of such a war, your player nation moves to the site of the conquered foe, and your former lands are abandoned to a bunch of rando brute nobodies, cooked up by the game.

In tandem Paradox is patching the core Crusader Kings 3 experience to allow duels via a martial perk, or to let characters become poets, since this was especially important to the Norse (think eddas and sagas.) Gamers can download the 1.3 patch for free. Crusader Kings 3: Northern Lords, however, is $6.99 DLC on top of the base game, whether bought through Steam, the Paradox Store, or the Microsoft Store. Newcomers wanting to go all-in can get the $74.99 Royal Edition bundle, which includes all current and planned expansions.

If you like playing Norse rulers, there’s a lot here to love. I haven’t even scratched the surface of the dozens of new events yet in the 20-ish hours I’ve played so far. If that’s not really your thing, there isn’t much reason to pick it up. But that’s the great thing about flavor packs, and I really like that Paradox is doing DLC this way now. There will be bigger expansions that add stuff for everyone, but you won’t need to worry about playing an incomplete version of the game just because you’re missing a flavor pack for a culture or region you’re not interested in. And the price seems pretty reasonable for what you’re getting, too, at less than half what some of the bigger Paradox DLCs cost.

Crusader Kings 3: Northern Lords will cost you £5.19/€7/$7 from Steam or the Paradox store.

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World of Warcraft Shadowlands patch 9.1 might not be out until June

Posted by myadmin on March 31, 2021 in World of Warcraft Classic |

When are we going to tease the Jailer up close and get our revenge on Sylvanas Windrunner? World of Warcraft: Shadowlands has been available since last November, and during BlizzConline, the next patch was unveiled. Chains of Domination will bring us a new raid, a new mega-dungeon and a new zone, among others – you can find our full recap here.

When is the Chains of Domination release date?
Oof, starting off with the bad news, are we? Well, here’s the thing: Blizzard hasn’t revealed an official launch date (or given us a rough window) but Chains of Domination probably won’t release until summer. That’s a few too many months away, but it makes sense when you remember that a smaller patch, 9.0.5, is coming this March and is fixing up a bunch of systems and addressing some of players’ biggest complaints. We’ll update this section when we know more, though.

Chains of Domination is a fairly complex patch, with the Sanctum of Domination raid and the Korthia zone to explore, so I’d definitely count on the full three months for testing. Flying in Shadowlands zones will also be coming with this patch as will significant updates to Torghast. That’s a fair amount to test in a PTR, expecting that all in less than three months of testing seems overly optimistic to me.

Flying in Shadowlands
Since the release of World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, players were not able to use flying mounts to soar across the skies.

With the Shadowlands: Chains of Domination update, players will finally be able to fly, which will make getting to their destinations much easier.

World of Warcraft

Specific requirements for flying in Shadowlands is still to be revealed. However, we do know there will be limits. Players will only be able to use flying in the Covenant zones of Bastion, Maldraxxus, Revendreth and Ardenweald.

Unfortunately, any new zones, as well as the Maw, will not see flying enabled.

First, because an arrival on the PTR was announced shortly after BlizzConline, and a month later, nothing is available. Although the times may vary, it takes an average of six weeks between the arrival of a patch on the PTR and on the live servers. Also, we haven’t really had any details on the various gameplay elements like the new Soul Pipes, or the new Legendary Upgrade System.

Chains of Domination content: New raid, dungeon, city & more
As per a report from WoWHead, which reveals the full Press Kit for the Chains of Domination update, there’s a whole lot of content to look forward to.

This includes a brand-new raid, a new zone, new Covenant armour, and more.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the patch is delayed a bit by that aforementioned raid testing — a new raid is a complex beast, and they’re going to have to try and work that while also testing other systems. Korthia will require a good deal of testing work as well and just like anything else you can’t really short that kind of thing. Knowing that the PTR will be in mid-April, and with the amount of testing the patch probably need, I can’t imagine patch 9.1 launching before mid-July.

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The World of Warcraft The Burning Crusade beta has finally begun

Posted by myadmin on March 26, 2021 in World of Warcraft Classic |

The World of Warcraft The Burning Crusade beta has finally begun: the players who have received the invitation can then exclusively try the new / old Blizzard game. Additionally, new invitations will be sent out as the beta progresses.

Tuesday evening March 23, the beta of Burning Crusade Classic welcomed its first testers. Players can always jump on the bandwagon.

If you’ve previously opted-in or had your account flagged, you might be able to play right now, and prepare for all the leveling action through zones like Zangamarsh and Nagrand. While you’ll probably get an official-looking email to let you know that you’re in, the best way to check is to log into your Battle.net account and see if you have a Burning Crusade classic license. That way, you’re sure to avoid any phishing or scam attempts just in case they happen. There’s nothing quite like strolling into Hellfire Peninsula and being crushed by a Fel Reaver. That’s the Burning Crusade experience I remember, oh yeah!

The closed beta test of “World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Classic” has begun, Blizzard Entertainment has confirmed. It says: “Players selected for the beta test will receive an email invitation with instructions to download the beta client directly from the Battle.net desktop app. As always, be careful of phishing attempts – if you do If you are unsure whether you received an eligible invitation, log into your Battle.net account and make sure that you have received a beta key for Burning Crusade Classic (to be found under ‘Game Accounts’).

First steps

If you have been selected to take part in the beta test, your Battle.net account will be activated for access.
Make sure your graphics card drivers are up to date.
Launch the Battle.net Desktop App – an update may be required if you haven’t launched it recently.
Once Battle.net is installed and up to date, select World of Warcraft from your list of games.
Select Burning Crusade (under “In Development”) from the “Game Version” drop-down menu above the “Play” button and click “Install”.
After the installation is complete, click on “Play” to log into the PTR and select one of the available test servers.
Create a new test character or use the “Copy Character” button to copy a character from your Live WoW Classic account.
Enter the game and test the content.

We also point out that for the moment the beta of World of Warcraft The Burning Crusade is limited to the maximum level 64, moreover the PvP is not available and the third-party add-ons are not compatible. The level cap, however, will grow later to allow for further testing.

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There is nothing really new about eFootball PES 2021, exactly the way Konami had promised

Posted by myadmin on March 18, 2021 in eFootball PES 2021 |

Everyone is used to a new game of their football franchise of choice being released every year. For example, FIFA and PES came out with a new part around the same period for years. But for a change, PES has made the decision to release PES 2021 via an update. Because they want to work fully on the next gen version. And that shows balls! But what is the result? what exactly do you get for the amount of thirty euros. Just a transfer update and some shirt changes? Or have any real adjustments been made? Who knows a new fashion?

What that essentially means is that for a ‘special anniversary price’ of between Rs 1,999 and 2,199 — which is almost half the launch price of most AAA console games, you get yourself an updated and slightly tweaked version of last year’s offering. This raises two questions: Should you get the 2021 edition if you already own the 2020 version? And why should you get it at all if Konami has, by its own admission, been focusing its energies on its next-gen offering? An effort will be made to answer both those questions and more, but all in good time.

Fifa has always had the upper hand when it comes to the official licensing of competitions and clubs. Although that’s nothing an option file makeover doesn’t neatly fix for PS4 and PC players, Fifa has always had the edge when it comes to crisp kits and club insignia.

There is one blow to the latest iteration: AC and Inter Milan are gone. Losing the Milanese duo also means losing the San Siro, always a personal go-to stadium when setting up an exhibition game. The loss of that iconic setting will be felt deeper than the two middling Milan clubs who have switched licensing allegiances to Fifa for the new season.

Does nothing really change?
With the exception of the polished gameplay and the obvious updates to casts, uniforms and logos, there is nothing really new about eFootball PES 2021, exactly the way Konami had promised. If you want a more in-depth analysis, the PES 2020 eFootball Review can be accessed here.

 eFootball PES 2021

While all the modes are virtually identical to last year’s avatars, Master League gets an update in the form of Pep Guardiola, Frank Lampard and Ryan Giggs being added to the fray, which frankly doesn’t seem to make any difference at all. Considering the mode features your manager of choice (mine was a pleasantly cherubic and goatee’d Roberto Carlos) speaking via lines of text in cutscenes and picking between the same choices offered to every other manager in that situation, this year’s addition is the equivalent of a differently-coloured or textured variant of a common in-game item. Looks nice, but doesn’t really do anything.

If you don’t have last year’s edition already, Pro Evolution Soccer 2021, by default, is one of the best football games ever created, and is available at a knock-down price. If you do have 2020, you don’t need to be up at night wondering what you’re missing out on by swerving this release.

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Angry Birds 2, a perfectly good puzzle game has been shot down by its own revenue model

Posted by myadmin on March 13, 2021 in Angry Birds 2 |

You wouldn’t be the only one to be shocked by the announcement of Angry Birds 2, we thought it already existed too.

But apparently, Rovio hasn’t yet gotten around to doing the sequel to the original Angry Birds – but it has managed to release 14 different Angry Birds games since the original was released six years ago.

Whoever you are, there’s every chance you’ve played one iteration or another of Angry Birds, an addictive mobile phone game downloaded by billions of users since it was launched a decade ago by the Finnish company Rovio Entertainment.

Angry Birds 2 also introduces spell cards to the mix. Each has its own special power: rubber duckies that fall from the sky in a devastating aerial strike; a blizzard that can freeze pig fortresses entirely into ice. This deepens the strategic element of the game, giving you brief moments of over-powered glee. It’s clever and fun.

It also exposes the “multi-tier” format of Angry Birds 2’s stage design. In short, each individual world map level can have multiple arenas within it, so if you fail on a later tier, you’ll fail the whole thing. It’s actually a cool idea in theory, as you have to play conservatively and try to earn more lives constantly, but it all falls apart when you add in an energy scheme. IAP feels wholly unnecessary, as the game charges a ton of “gems” to continue mid-level after failing to come back to life. Gems are earned at a rate of roughly one continue per 45 minutes, lest you opt to buy them.

Rovio has been experimenting wildly with the Angry Birds series since 2009, with some games following the bird-slinging gameplay of the original such as Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio and the two Angry Birds Star Wars games.

In most respects Angry Birds 2 hits its target, which is to say that the most oppressive thing about the film is its competence: not too offensive, quite well animated, just amusing enough to pass the time.

Children will sit through it happily enough, but they deserve better, don’t they? Even from a strict business standpoint it might be time to retire these characters, at least until they’re retro enough to be revived another decade on.

With Angry Birds 2, a perfectly good puzzle game has been shot down by its own revenue model. I wouldn’t describe it as “greedy.” Games are a product and game making is a business. They’re supposed to make money. Greedy isn’t the word, but there are words to describe this sort of thing: Foolish, baffling, bone-headed.

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Ancient Weapons are headed to Bless Unleashed in the spring release

Posted by myadmin on February 27, 2021 in Bless Unleashed |

As we get closer to Bless Unleashed‘s spring update, Bandai Namco is dropping bits of information about what players can expect. A recent post from the game’s developers highlights one of the features that will be included in the update — Ancient Weapons. These are the game’s first S Class weapons, and can only be obtained with serious effort on the part of the player.

According to Round 8 Studios, Ancient Weapons are S Class weapons that are headed to the game, and will require a ‘serious investment’ to earn them. In order to find them, players will have to find clues that will lead you to a Cursed Ancient Weapon, a guardian of the weapon, and someone who will eventually be able to help you lift the curse on that weapon.

Like the Spear of Salvation update,the upcoming Spring Update is going to introduce some rather exciting new content to the game. There’s is the new Abyssal Dungeon and changes to the Dungeon system. To be introduced too is a new tier of weapons that can be received as rewards from quests. Players can even try their hand at fishing and join fishing tournaments.

Round 8 said that the Spring Update is set to “focus on a few of these major players in the world of Lumios.” That means players get the chance to learn more about Mokoro and Krista. They even get to learn as well the stories of Professor Orfina and the desert elf Delilah.

When the update launches, players will have to hunt down clues in order to find a Cursed Ancient Weapon and its guardian. The guardian, who is a member of a race known as the Lumios, will help with lifting the curse and increasing the weapon’s power. According to the post, this process could take months to find the weapon and increase it to full power. So, this is a challenge everyone can look forward to grinding.

The world of Lumios is rich with lore, and there are many interesting characters who are seeking that knowledge. We’re introducing a series of new epiode quests into Bless Unleashed in our Spring Update that will focus on a few of these major players in the world of Lumios. Players will be able to complete these story based episode quests to learn more about Krista and Mokoro, industrious ippins and leaders of the Golden Key Traders, the outcast desert elf Delilah, and Professor Orfina, who is a powerful ally against the darkness. These quests will reveal more about these motivations of these characters and enrich the main Bless Unleashed story– but are not required for progression.

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The new gameplay trailer making its debut of the ChinaJoy 2020 event

Posted by myadmin on January 21, 2021 in Diablo Immortal |

With the new gameplay trailer making its debut as part of the ChinaJoy 2020 event. As such the trailer accompanies news that pre-registration for Diablo: Immortal is now open in China – with an iOS and Android release on the cards. In terms of the game itself this latest trailer does look pretty impressive – showcasing highly polished and detailed visuals.

Regardless of if it’s on a phone, someone’s PC, or a console, the gameplay seen in the Diablo Immortal trailer below looks pretty similar to what you’d expect from a normal Diablo game. The screen looks like it’d be a bit cluttered depending on what size your device is since there are a number of buttons corresponding to different abilities that have to fit on the display, but for mobile players who are used to that, it might not be much of a problem. Aside from that, the top-down perspective while you’re ripping through demons with different class-specific abilities looks like a pretty familiar Diablo experience.

Where is This New Diablo Immortal Trailer From?

As Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad reports, this new trailer is from ChinaJoy 2020. While there have been dozens of conventions and events canceled in the last several months due to the coronavirus pandemic, ChinaJoy is one of the few gaming events that is going on as planned — and Blizzard Entertainment (along with its local partner NetEase) has a physical presence there.

While ChinaJoy does have an online stream, the organizers have laid out extensive countermeasures to minimize any risk to is attendees. These measures include attendee registration, temperature testing, and staggered distribution of popular areas to reduce the number of large crowds congregating in any one area.

Diablo Immortal

Of course Diablo: Immortal will be tied by many to its BlizzCon 2018 reveal, where in lieu of the following year’s Diablo IV announcement – it was an announcement that left many puzzled as to why the return of Diablo would arrive in mobile-form.

It was also said back in February that we’d see some regional tests happen for Diablo Immortal some time during the middle of 2020. Those plans were set before all of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on working conditions were fully in motion, so it’s possible something’s changed between now and then. It’s also quite possible these regional tests might come to regions who’ve been keener on Diablo Immortal compared to those who didn’t respond as well, so it may be a while before everyone’s able to try.

There’s currently no official release date yet from Blizzard regarding Diablo Immortal, but the company revealed during a recent investors’ call that it plans on testing the game sometime this summer. For now, you can head over to Blizzard’s website to pre-register for the game.

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