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Epic Games, the studio behind titles like Fortnite and, well, Fortnite for the foreseeable future, has announced today that they have raised $1.25 billion, with a b, in investment capital. Turns out having the biggest game in the world gets a lot of people to want to give you money in the hopes that they get money back in return.
Seven investors, KKR, ICONIQ Capital, Smash Ventures, aXiomatic, Vulcan Capital, Kleiner Perkins, and Lightspeed Venture Partners, have joined Epic's current investors of Tencent, Endeavor, and Disney, as minority shareholders. Epic is still controlled from within, but the company plans to introduce "unique partnerships" with their new investors. 
The cavalcade of investors comes as Epic continues to maintain a strong grip on the game's market. Fortnite numbers have not fluctuated much, indicating that Epic's highly responsive community management and iterative seasons seem to be doing well for the battle royale game. The game is also just still making a lot of money and that will continue unabated for some time.
Fortnite's season 7 is expected to start in early December.
[Source: Variety]
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There's probably a tough side to managing some of the biggest and most well-loved IPs in gaming, something Blizzard is learning as speculation grows rampant ahead of their annual Blizzcon. There's a lot of speculation for what Blizzard might announce this year, especially rumors centering around the possibility of a Diablo IV, and Blizzard is eager to tamp down on those expectations.
In a blog post today, Blizzard danced around mentioning Diablo IV, but made certain that people expecting it to be announced at Blizzcon in early November should not be so certain of it.
"We know what many of you are hoping for and we can only say that 'good things come to those who wait,' but evil things often take longer," the studio wrote on its website. "We appreciate your patience as our teams work tirelessly to create nightmarish experiences worthy of the Lord of Terror."
Fan speculation has been swirling since Blizzard announced earlier this year that they were preparing for multiple projects in the future of the Diablo series, which at least in part seemed to be the Switch port of Diablo III also coming November 2, the first day of Blizzcon. Combined with Diablo-centered merchandise at the show and some odd scheduling of Diablo-relevant panels after the show keynote, some fans believed that Diablo IV was an inevitability at the show. Blizzard, realizing that, has come out to keep people's expectations in check.
For now, your Diablo fix will have to be satiated by the two decade's worth of games already out.
 
I actually really like that they got out ahead of it to say it won't be there. A lot of companies would try to ride the hype without saying or doing anything and then fans would be disappointed. It might not be their fault, but it's good of them to just say "Hey, this isn't happening now, so let's enjoy the show for what it is and we'll get there eventually."

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As is tradition, the period right before BlizzCon is rife with hopes, dreams, and speculation about what Diablo news will be revealed at this year's show. Every single bit of media from Blizzard is being heavily scrutinized in search of hints regarding what might be announced, but the truth is right now all we have to go on is chiefly rumors and speculation. That being said, I've made a list of Diablo related announcements that could pop up at BlizzCon 2018, as well as my thoughts on how likely they are to happen.
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In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, showrunner of Netflix’s upcoming The Witcher revealed the casting for two of the series’ most important female leads. Joining Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, Ciri will be played by Freya Allan from The War of the Worlds, and Yennefer of Vengerberg will be played by Anya Chalotra from The ABC Murders.
This announcement comes a few months after Hissrich left Twitter following an online backlash over a casting call that purportedly was looking for non-white actresses to play Ciri. Hissrich has since returned to social media. 
A princess with mystical powers, Ciri is a central character in CD Projekt Red’s critically-acclaimed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and a major character in the books that inspired the games, penned by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. Yennefer, meanwhile, is a powerful sorceress and maternal figure to Ciri, and is the primary love interest of protagonist Geralt.
Filling out the remaining cast is Jodhi May as Queen Calanthe and Björn Hlynur Haraldsson as Eist, her husband and the king of Cintra. Adam Levy will play the druid, Mousesack; MyAnna Buring will play Tissia, the head of the magical academy at Aretuza; Mimi Ndiweni and Therica Wilson-Read will both play novice sorcerers; and Millie Brady will play the role of the outcast Princess Renfri.
In her interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Hissrich discussed using the books as her main influence and trying to steer away from the video games as the “sole representation" of the Witcher universe. 
As of yet, no release date has been announced, but Hissrich in her interview with the Hollywood Reporter did confirm that production is starting soon.
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Fortnite first jumped into the mobile scene back in April, but Epic Games' crazy popular battle royale game alluded Android owners, until now. No need for an invitation, you can grab the Android beta from Fortnite.com/android. Fortnite's official twitter encourages players to "squad up" and download the beta today.
https://twitter.com/FortniteGame/status/1050403746499452928


Not sure your phone is up to the task? Here are Fortnite's recommended specs on Android:
OS: Recommended Android 8.0 or higher, 64 bit
RAM: Recommended 4GB or higher
GPU: Adreno 530 or higher, Mali-G71 MP20, Mali-G72 MP12 or higher

This announcement comes right on the heels of news that Epic Games purchased Helsinki-based Kamu. This start-up is best know for its Easy Anti-Cheat software with which Epic promises to cut down on Fortnite cheaters. 
Android players joining now can also look forward to Fortnite's rumored upcoming Halloween skins. Some of the highly anticipated seasonal goodies were recently leaked and have players amped for the spookiest time of the year. If scary isn't your style, Epic also teased a limited-time Disco Domination event. Not much is known about the new mode, but who wouldn't be excited to parachute into a dance battle royale?
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Controller compatibility in PC games used to be managed only by the individual game developers, meaning a game supported a predetermined set of hardware and players selected from these prescribed input options. In 2015 we began an experiment to find out what happens when the community is less constrained. We shipped tools that allow Steam users to map controls from various devices (e.g. Steam Controller, PlayStation controllers, Xbox controllers) to any combination of inputs that the title understands (e.g. keyboard keys, mouse movement, controller presses). Additionally, we created a system to share and modify these controller configurations so the best input schemes boil up to the top, allowing the cumulative efforts of the community to benefit us all. These two features, remapping and sharing, served as the foundation of what we now call Steam Input.
Three years later, the Steam Input experiment is starting to bear interesting results. By supporting so many controller types we've learned about which controllers are being used on the platform and by accommodating customization we've learned how players prefer to interact with different genres. Today we'll share figures on which controllers have been connected to Steam, how controllers are being used, and what happens when a new controller is released on the platform. We'll also discuss the Steam Controller and how hardware choices set it apart from other controller types.
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Last month, Blizzard announced that its legendary dungeon crawler Diablo III was reemerging on Switch this fall. Today, Nintendo finally gave players a release date: November 2.
The Diablo III: Eternal Collection includes the base game, the Reaper of Souls expansion, and the Rise of the Necromancer pack. The Switch version also includes exclusive Legend of Zelda content.
For more on Diablo III on Switch, check out our impressions from playing it here.
[Source: Nintendo of America on Twitter]
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DICE has released a new video for its upcoming Battlefield V, which provides an in-depth look at everything from new mobility options to a glimpse of what's ahead post-launch. The most tantalizing info is centered around Firestorm, however, the game's battle-royale mode.
In Firestorm, 16 teams of four battle to be the last ones alive on what DICE is calling its biggest Battlefield map yet. Players will have to fend off other players while also dealing with the mode's shrinking-playfield conceit, an encroaching fire. 
Battlefield V is set for a release on November 20. EA Access, Origin Access, and Origin Access Premier subscribers can check out the latest beta for the game this week, starting on September 6.
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Today's Nintendo Direct brought an avalanche of new Super Smash Bros. information. From stages to Assist Trophies and even the soundtrack, we learned a lot about what to expect in the biggest entry in the series to date. Nintendo also showed off 10 new Pokémon you can get from the Poké Ball item during battles.
You can learn all about the newest additions to one of the series' most popular items below.
Players can climb, cling to, and jump off Alolan Exeggutor's long neck

Abra can use teleport to move players around the stage

Solgaleo surrounds itself with energy then unleashes what appears to be a solar beam

Lunala blasts players from above with a focused beam of light
If you get too close to Mimikyu, it grabs you and pulls you under its costume to do God knows what
It appears Pyukumuku sits still, but if you get close to it, it smacks you away

Vulpix lights nearby characters on fire, while Alolan Vulpix freezes nearby characters

Marshadow appears to stun a character before unloading a powerful attack on it

Ditto transforms into an A.I.-controlled clone of your character and fights alongside you

 Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches on Nintendo Switch on December 7.
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The C64 Mini, a miniconsole in the same vein as the NES Classic and others before it, released in Europe earlier this year. Manufacturers Retro Games Ltd. and Solutions 2 GO asked North American fans to wait patiently while they get logistics in order for distribution, which now seemingly has a date of October 9.
The C64 Mini comes with a number of notable C64 titles, like School Daze, Monty Mole, Rubicon, and more. It also has a USB port with USB keyboard support to plug in and operate it as a computer just like the Commodore 64 when it released 36 years ago. You can check out a promo video for it below.
It isn't known yet what retailers the minconsole will come to in North America, but Retro Games Ltd. says they will have a full list before its October 9 release.
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No Man's Sky's big Next update, which promises to add true multiplayer and a third-person perspective, is now live for all players on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
To accompany the launch, Hello Games has posted extensive patch notes outlining everything the update, which clocks in a 7.6 GB. The update includes new missions (scheduled and cycling out regularly!), major changes to bases (build those dang things anywhere! Delete them if you want!), rebalanced resources (you can now pick up deployable tech!), and lots more. Be sure to check out the full blog post detailing all the changes.
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Monster Hunter: World has been a huge hit for Capcom; the lauded entry in the long-running series has shipped over 8 million copies since its January release, making it the best-selling game in the company’s history. While much of that success has been attributed to the series finally returning to consoles, Capcom also pledged to bring Monster Hunter: World to PC – and it turns out it’s coming sooner than expected.
Today Capcom announced that Monster Hunter: World releases on PC on August 9 via Steam.  Unlike many PC ports, Monster Hunter: World will still cost a full $60; a $70 deluxe version is also available, and contains some extra armor sets, gestures, and other customization options. The PC version features 4K support along with a host of new graphics settings, as well as controller support. You can check out the full minimum and recommended specs at Capcom Unity, or check out the spiffy new trailer below.
[Source: Capcom Unity]
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Your hunt for the eight barons and Uldren in Destiny 2's Forsaken expansion will take place mostly on the Tangled Shore, a vast area made of tied-together rock formations, Fallen architecture, and of course, beautiful skyboxes.
For a sense of what to expect when you start exploring the Tangled Shore, we took a quick look at what the location has to offer. We have some flythrough footage of some of the more memorable parts of the locale, and we also tackle a public event and three of the Lost Sectors you can expect to find there. We also talk about how the location ties into Bungie's claim that the story will be taking a darker turn in Forsaken, the Western inspiration for some of the locations, and what does and does not qualify as a saloon.
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The lawsuit filed by PUBG Corp. against Epic Games has been dropped, according to Bloomberg. The financial-news organization says that the South Korean case has been closed, but was unable to confirm the reasons why or if a settlement had been reached between the two companies.
PUBG Corp. filed the lawsuit in January, citing similarities between PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite's Battle Royale that it claimed crossed the line into copyright infringement. Oddly enough, both companies are partially owned by the Chinese tech company Tencent.
[Source: Bloomberg]
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Pokémon Go captured the world when it launched in summer 2016. Beyond the excitement of traveling to new locations to catch monsters and meet like-minded trainers, one of the things that made Niantic's collaboration with The Pokémon Company so interesting was the mystery that surrounded nearly every element about the game.
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We've just launched an open beta for Creator Homepages, a new part of the Steam store designed to help players discover and connect with the developers and publishers behind their favorite games. With this feature, you can explore the full catalog of games created by the developers and publishers of games you enjoy and you can choose to follow those creators to be automatically notified when they release their next title
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Greatest Hits, Sony's line of games that have achieved certain sales thresholds and get relaunched at discounted prices, is being brought back for the PlayStation 4. These will release as physical copies and on the PSN Store for a new permanent price of $19.99.
The initial set of games includes Bloodborne, Driveclub, Infamous: Second Son, Killzone: Shadow Fall, Little Big Planet 3, the Ratchet and Clank remake, The Last of Us Remastered, Uncharted 4, Battlefield 4, Doom, Project Cars, Street Fighter V, Yakuza Kiwami, Yazkuza 0, and Metal Gear Solid V, with more games being added as time goes on.
PlayStation 4 Greatest Hits Lineup

The boxes will differ from original releases, traditionally with (fairly garish) banners over the box art and, for the first time, a switch in the color of the box from blue to red. Sony never makes public how many copies a game sells to qualify as a Greatest Hit, but traditionally the numbers have been around a million copies sold.
 
Our Take
I would probably get Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition on sale rather than vanilla Street Fighter V because the former includes more character DLC, but this is a good deal for a lot of those other games. As someone that likes uniformity in my physical collection, though, the different boxes would probably drive me nuts.
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Taking cues from playground battles across the world, Fortnite is adding a stink bomb to its roster of cartoon weaponry. The new weapon will cause continuous damage to anyone standing within its radius (you know, just like real life).
Additionally, patch 4.4 introduces Final Fight, a Battle Royale in which teams of 20 will fight to have the most players standing at the end of a round. The storm circle is less restrictive in this mode, necessitating teams really hunt each other.
Finally, the patch fixes a number of bugs and performance issues.  
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Sanhok, the new PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds map, officially launches on June 22, and is now available on the game's test servers. PUBG Corp. announced the map's launch via Twitter.
The map, a jungle battleground smaller than the game's other maps, was once known as "Codename: Savage," and was available for players to test in the past. To see our impressions of the map back in its test phase, check out this episode of New Gameplay Today.
PUBG Corp. also announced that the game has sold more than 50 million copies on PC and Xbox One, and has reached more than 400 million total players across PC, Xbox One, iOS, and Android. To celebrate, the game is discounted to $19.99 on Steam until July 5.
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Given how many people are attached to the development of a game, keeping it under wraps is challenging. Knowing secrets are harder to keep these days, we're seeing more games get announced prior to their official introduction at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Even these plans are sometimes bested by leaks from the most unforeseen of places, like Walmart Canada. In the months leading up to this year's E3, we've seen leaks from almost every major publisher, including Nintendo, which has historically been one of the best at keeping secrets.
Many of the leaks that hit the Internet end up being fake, fan-made creations, but some are legitimate, and have been verified by Game Informer or other press outlets. Here's a roundup of all of the verified leaks that we've seen thus far, along with the means to which we learned about them.
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Bungie is ready to talk about what’s coming in Destiny 2’s second year, and we can expect to learn the first snippets of information from a live stream scheduled for today at 12pm ET/11am CT/9am PT. As revealed yesterday, the new expansion is entitled Forsaken, and a video tease offers a glimpse of Cayde and a Guardian visiting what appears to be the Reef – a locale within the universe that hasn’t yet played a major role in Destiny 2.
You can watch the full Twitch reveal in the embedded video below once it goes live.
 
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Frostpunk, a harsh survival city sim, turned out to be one of the early gems this year and it looks like more is on the way. A lot more.
Developer 11 Bit Studios wrote up an announcement on its Steam page today, revealing the changes. Here are the biggest takeaways:
A survivor mode that adds more a bigger challenge to an already difficult game hits in June.
Eventually players will be able to name their buildings and citizens.
A new scenario will be coming to Frostpunk sometime in 2018 that brings its own "new story and challenge." 11 Bit says this is the most substantial update it has planned for this year.
Photo mode is also coming at some unspecified point in time.

11 Bit notes that it has more plans for the game in 2019. You can read the entire announcement here.
For more on Frostpunk, check out our review.
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BioWare is releasing a new trailer for Anthem that will be out three days before E3, possibly showcasing what will be highlighted on stage during EA's press conference.
A tweet from their official account has a short teaser for the reveal, which will be on June 9.

Our Take:
Teasing a tease for a tease seems to the be the nature of reveals these days. It is obvious that Anthem would make an E3 appearance, so teasing a trailer that is basically a tease for the E3 presentation seems like a bit much; similar to how many times I just used the word tease. 

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Ever since the launch of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, it has been plagued with performance issues that have irked players. In a recent Steam post, PUBG Corp outlines upcoming performance fixes and how it has "fallen short" in the past.
The development team's three biggest priorities are "performance, server-side optimization, and cheating." Altering lighting effects so they can be better processed and changing how vehicles maneuver on different surfaces are two of the ways the team believes the game can reach better performance.
Player movement, animations, and character models will also receive adjustments in order to boost framerate. Sever-side optimization, reducing network latency, and tweaking item spawns are other fixes the team has planned. You can read the massive list of changes by heading here.
To read our review of PUBG, head here.
[Source: Steam]
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The Scuf Vantage will retail for between $169.95 and $199.95, which is a steep commitment, but it has several bells and whistles that could take your competitive game to the next level.
Scuf made a name for itself designing custom controls with reprogrammable backpedals. Many professional gamers have navigated to Scuf looking to eke out every advantage on the digital battleground. Now, Scuf is teaming up with Sony to develop an officially licensed PlayStation 4 controller that has more customization features than ever.
The Scuf Vantage comes in two flavors: A wired version that retails for $169.95, and a version that can flip between wired and wireless modes that retails for $199.95. Otherwise, the two versions of the Vantage are nearly identical, and include a host of nifty features, such as:
Two removable/reprogrammable side buttons, called Sax Buttons
Four back paddles that can also be remapped to function like any of the face buttons
An audio touch bar near the front of the controller that can be tapped to mute your mic
Removable force-feedback modules that help make the controller lighter
A removable magnetic faceplate
Interchangeable convex or concave thumbsticks
Interchangeable D-pad/control disc
A host of different colors and design options


“This is something that we’ve spent many millions of dollars developing,” says Scuf CEO and co-founder Duncan Ironmonger. “We’ve built it completely from the ground up, we’re going to be producing them in very high quantities, and we’re really looking forward to getting it out to market in one complete Scuf product.”
Like most Scuf controllers, customers can customize their color schemes and the length of their thumb sticks at purchase. Pre-orders just went live on Scuf’s website, but customers will also be able to preorder a Vantage at GameStop. These orders will start shipping in August. We’ll be getting our hands on these controllers at E3, so stay tuned for more details, and check out more images of the controller below.
[Full Disclosure: GameStop is the parent company of Game Informer.]
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