EA Plans to Create Mobile Version of Apex Legends

During today’s conference call by EA, the video game company released its earnings for the final quarter of the financial year, praised Apex Legends for its tremendous growth and success so far, and talked about its plans for the future of the fairly new battle-royale game such as making it available to other countries such as China and bringing the game to mobile devices.

Based on its quarterly earnings, Apex Legends is no doubt a big hit. According to EA, Apex Legends was “easily the fastest-growing franchise we’ve ever had.” With more than 50 million players, 30% of those players being new to EA, the video game company is wanting to create a bigger future for the franchise starting off by releasing a mobile version of the game.

“We are in advanced negotiations to bring Apex Legends to China and to mobile,” said Blake Jorgensen, COO and CFO at EA. “We will update you on time frames when those negotiations are concluded.”

EA is also planning on self-publishing Apex Legends in Korea as it will offer it an opportunity to build them a direct connection with the players there and hope it will do the same for its other games.

Even though fans of the franchise are sure to be looking forward to its release, it isn’t surprising that EA is taking this path with Apex Legends since other battle-royale hits such as Fortnite and PUBG have done the same.

It has yet to be stated when Apex Legends will be released for mobile.

Source: EA’s conference call

Super Mario Kart, Mortal Kombat Enters Video Game Hall of Fame

The Strong: National Museum of Play, an interactive museum dedicated to the exploration of play and collecting pieces of pop culture history based in Rochester, NY, inducted Colossal Cave Adventure, Microsoft Windows Solitaire, Mortal Kombat, and Super Mario Kart into its World Video Game Hall of Fame. Other nominees included Candy Crush Saga, Centipede, Dance Dance Revolution, Half-Life, Myst, NBA 2K, Sid Meier’s Civilization, and Super Smash Bros. Melee.

Here is a video of the induction ceremony at The Strong:

Here is The Strong’s descriptions of the inducted games:

Colossal Cave Adventure

Text-based Colossal Cave Adventure debuted in 1976 and conjured up an immersive, interactive fantasy world despite the limits of primitive computer technology. While the game had no graphics and relied on players typing written commands, it still offered a fully-realized realm to explore, with treasures to find and puzzles to solve. It laid the foundation for an entire genre of fantasy and adventure games, and it directly inspired other pioneering titles, such as Adventureland and Zork, which helped launch the commercial computer game industry. “The best games fire the imagination,” says Jon-Paul Dyson, director of The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games. “Anyone who first typed a command like ‘get lamp’ into Colossal Cave Adventure could see the power of electronic games to create magical worlds of the imagination.”

Microsoft Windows Solitaire

Based on a centuries-old card game, Microsoft Solitaire debuted in 1990 on the Windows 3.0 computing platform and became ubiquitous around the world.  Since then, Microsoft Solitaire has been distributed on over a billion computers and is now played 35 billion games per year in over 200 markets around the world and is localized into 65 languages. “The game proved that sometimes analog games can be even more popular in the digital world and demonstrated that a market existed for games that appeal to people of all types,” says Jeremy Saucier, assistant vice president for electronic games and interpretation. “In many ways, it helped pave the way for the growth of the casual gaming market that remains so popular today.”

Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat brought cutting-edge graphics and unique fighting styles to the arcade when it launched in 1992. The game’s over-the-top depictions of violence also spurred international debate, including Congressional hearings in the United States that spurred the creation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) in 1994, and provided that games weren’t just for kids. By pushing the boundaries in terms of content and what players could do with their in-game characters, Mortal Kombat spawned an entire franchise—including games, music albums, action figures, a theatrical stage show, and Hollywood movies. Says Digital Games Curator Andrew Borman, “Beyond its controversial content and role in triggering debate about the role of violent video games in society, Mortal Kombat’s compelling gameplay, iconic characters, and many sequels have kept players coming back again and again.”

Super Mario Kart

Nintendo’s Super Mario Kart combined the thrill of racing games with the beloved characters of its Super Mario Bros. franchise. Released in 1992, the game built on previous racing games and popularized the go-kart subgenre. Super Mario Kart has sold millions of copies on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and generated a dozen other titles across consoles, handhelds, and arcade games that have sold more than 100 million units. “Super Mario Kart truly excelled as a social game that appealed to players of all skill levels, especially with its engaging multi-player settings,” says Julia Novakovic, archivist. “It invited friends, family, and gaming fans of all ages along for an unforgettable ride that has made it the longest-running racing series in gaming history.”

It is open to the public to nominate a game for the Video Game Hall of Fame, but the decision making for the final selections are made by journalists, scholars, and others who are more well-acquainted with the history of video games and their role in society.

The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games will provide a permanent display of the inducted games in its eGameRevolution exhibit, a highly interactive exhibit where the people can play all sorts of games that is hosted by the museum.

Source: Press release

Smartphone RPG Magia Record Releases This Summer in the West

The game that has been available in Japan since August 2017 that is finally coming to the West this summer is role-playing smartphone game Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica [Side Story]. Aniplex of America announced the news at its industry panel at Sakura-Con on Friday. The company also launched a website for the game along with uploading a trailer with English subtitles and a promotional video for new character Iroha Tamaki.

Spinoff of the anime series Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Magia Record is set in a burgeoning city called Kamihama. Drawn by a mysterious power, Magical Girls gather in this city to live and battle without turning into something else. Battling brings about a new power derived from Witches which the Magical Girls can obtain as powerful final forms called Doppels. Magical Girls from two towns cross paths: New character Iroha Tamaki (voiced by Momo Asakura) who became a Magical Girl to venture out and find, save, and cure her little sister Ui who needs to be cure from an illness, and Homura Akemi (voiced by Aoi Yuuki) who arrives in Kamihama to save her friend Kaname.

The free-to-play RPG will be available this summer for iOS and Android.

Sources: Magia Record Official Website, Aniplex of America’s YouTube channel

Crunchyroll Games Announces New Smartphone Game Attack on Titan TACTICS

After Bungo Stray Dogs: Tales of the Lost Game and Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? MEMORIA FREESE comes Attack on Titan TACTICS by Crunchyroll Games. Crunchyroll announced on Thursday that it will be releasing KAYAC’s Attack on Titan TACTICS, a free-to-play tactical role-playing smartphone game for iOS and Android devices.

Players will be able to choose from over 38 characters to form a team with a variety of unique roles, abilities, and skills where they will use weapons and set traps to defend the city and combat Titans. TACTICS will feature the voice cast of the anime and “exclusive interact chats”.

DeNA originally announced the game in September for release in winter 2017. The game just released in Japan on Thursday by DeNA. DeNa is offering campaigns that offer in-game rewards such as Crystals and five-star characters to celebrate the launch.

Pre-registration is available in the United States, Canada, and Australia.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Debuts Persona 5’s Joker + New Features

Nintendo’s version 3.0 update for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will debut Joker, a character from Persona 5, along with new functionalities, a new stage, and music. It will be available in North America Wednesday, April 17, and in Japan Thursday, April 18.

Joker will have the ability to build up a Persona meter, which will allow players to “unleash the rebellious spirit growing inside you” to summon his main persona Arsene from Persona 5. Arsene can help Joker with counters and a glide jump ability.

The Mementos stage will include cameos from many of the other Phantom Thieves. The stage’s base color will change depending on the music being played.

Players can get the Fighters Pass or just get Challenge Pack 1 for Joker, the Mementos stage, and music from the Persona series.

Nintendo streamed a new video for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Tuesday previewing gameplay and new content including the debut of one of its first of the five DLC fighters (part of its Fighter Pass) Persona 5’s Joker, tracks from Persona 3, 4, and 5 such as “Mass Destruction”, “Battle Hymn of the Soul”, “Reach Out To The Truth”, “Time To Make History”, “Last Surprise”, “Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There”, and more, plus additional functionalities such as Stage Builder mode, Video Editor mode, and Smash World integration.

Stage Builder mode, introduced in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, allows players to create custom stages where they can battle and share with others. Version 3.0 will have new stage elements where players can layer and add decorative elements. Players can build via handheld mode or TV mode.

Video Editor mode will allow players to import, edit, and share videos on their Nintendo Switch. Videos can be shared and staged in a new Shared Content mode. Players can upload and download Mii Fighters, custom stages, upvote creations, and follow creators.

Smash World will be integrated onto the Nintendo Switch Online app. By searching through fighters and recommendations, it will allow players to view stages and videos without the need to start up the game. Players can also queue stages from the app to have them ready to download next time players want to play. In-game notifications can be checked, while Spirit teams can also be created via the app.

Square Enix’s Last Idea Mobile Game Releases April 18

Square Enix, a Japanese video game development company who brought us games such as Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts brings us a new mobile game Last Idea. Enix announced that the treasure-hunting role-playing game will be available for iOS and Android on April 18.

The game follows a novice treasure hunter, the protagonist, and a mysterious amnesiac girl named Lucrecia. In the beginning, the protagonist goes to an abandoned castle on an island to follow a lead given to them by a fortune teller friend. Upon their arrival, an earthquake hits and darkness comes out from the ground and shrouds the sky. Monsters lay siege to the castle, and there’s a girl on the balcony who looks like she is about to be attacked.

Credit is given to Square Enix for planning and production, and the animation was produced by Studio A-CAT. Kaou was the main character designer, and Shota Kageyama created the music. Voice actors and actresses include Ai Kakuma, Aya Suzaki, Kento Fujinama, and Manaka Iwami. Players will be able to choose a voice for the protagonist from the many voice actors and actresses including Hikaru Midorikawa, Jun Fukuyama, Keiji Fujiwara, Minami Takayama, Mitsuki Nakae, Rie Kugimiya, Sakura Nakamura, Satoru Murakami, Tasuku Kida, Yuko Minaguchi, Yumi Sudou, and more.

Sony Enables PlayStation Users PSN Change Today

Have you been longing to change your PSN because it does not reflect the you today, it is embarrassing, or not creative enough for your taste? Well, today is your lucky day since Sony allows PlayStation users to change their PSN, online ID name, starting today.

Users will be able to change it via their console or a web browser. This feature was launched in beta in October 2018 but is now officially available and accessible to all users.

Previous usernames will still belong to users so if you want to go back to your previous username you can at no cost. For a smooth transition for you and your PSN friends there is an option that will allow your previous username to pop up next to your new one for 30 days.

Unfortunately, there is something to know before making the change and it is that there will be caveats. Some titles will have little to no issues to critical issues.

Games such as Bloodborne, The Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto V, NBA 2K19, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and Warframe will have minor issues such as having previous online IDs remaining visible and games initializing to their default state. Games such as Everybody’s Golf, LittleBigPlanet 3, and MLB titles will have more critical issues such as losing in-game currency, both paid for and earned, and loss of game progress.

Sony states that a “large majority of the most actively played PS4 games” released on or after April 1, 2018 should work fine, though support is not guaranteed.

Users are allowed to change their PSN for free but changing it after the first time will cost $9.99 each time, and for PlayStation Plus subscribers $4.99.

Epic Games Removes Apparent Suicide Scene from Fortnite

Towards the end of 2018, Epic Games released a new feature for Fortnite where players can express their creativity by building their very own creations at a place called The Block. All was going good until recently when Epic had to remove a creation that allegedly violated its rules. Epic removed a creation from Fortnite due to apparent suicide scene.

The Block updated to showcase a mansion, Mysterious Mansion, on April 2 created by player FuryLeaks. Before its feature, FuryLeaks created a video touring the mansion. The player eventually arrives to a room where a character hangs from the ceiling by a rope with a chair that has been tipped over.

Even though the disturbing scene was in the creators video, the submission to Epic does not feature a character hanging from the ceiling, but simply just a rope and chair. Before the creation was removed many concerned players witnessed the scene with one of the players being Reddit user u/req-q.

Reddit user u/req-q taken a screenshot of the scene and wrote in a thread, “Epic should really check the map before putting it on The Block, someone [hung] themselves here.”

After its publication, the area was quickly removed and Fortnite updated by reverting back to its previous submission, Tropical Treetops. This is the first time a submission has been featured more than once since The Block’s debut.

FuryLeaks spoke with Polygon about the incident telling them that “it was all a misunderstanding” and that it was “supposed to depict the aftermath of an earthquake that destroyed the interior.”

“The chair was supposed to hang on the rope, but it fell down. I made a joke on a little cinematic with someone hanging their self but…yeah. Actually it wasn’t supposed to look like that.”

If you are having suicidal thoughts or just need to talk to someone, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 if you’re in the US. For a list of international helplines and resources, click here.

First Ever Fortnite World Cup Finals Starts July 26

For the first time ever Epic Games along with Endeavor will be hosting a Fortnite tournament, Fortnite World Cup Finals. It will take place on July 26 through July 28 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York, the largest tennis stadium in the world.

There will be a total of 100 solo players and 50 duo teams from all across the world competing for millions. The event will have the highest prize pool in eSports history of $30 million (with the 2017 Dota 2 Championships prize pool of $25 million ranked at second highest). Winners will be awarded $3 million, and for the others who have made it to the finals will be awarded at least $50,000.

People who are interested in attending the event can pre-register through Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan system. Everyone who gets in will receive both a Season 10 Battle Pass plus an unstated amount of V-Bucks. Ticket prices are starting at $50. No worries to those who will not make it to the event as it will broadcast on multitudes of platforms.

The move to host a tournament comes after the success of the Fortnite E3 Pro-Am in Los Angeles last June. It was reportedly the highest viewed Western eSports tournament with over two million simultaneous viewers. This tournament may also be Epic’s attempt to keep Fortnite relevant as much as possible. The numbers for how many viewers are watching these tournaments and how people are anticipating for the Fortnite World Cup Finals shows just how much eSports is evolving.

Nintendo Announces VR Content for Super Mario and Legend of Zelda Titles

Nintendo announced that it will be releasing VR content for the titles Super Mario Odyssey and the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild towards the end of the month.

With Nintendo’s Toy-Con VR Goggles, players can enjoy the new bite sized VR features in Super Mario Odyssey which includes three additional mini missions for players to collect music notes and coins as they take a trip back to Cap, Seaside, and Luncheon Kingdoms. Breath of the Wild is getting full VR support which will allow players to experience the land of Hyrule in a whole new way. Thankfully, players will not be required to create a new save file for the enhanced experience. They simply will be able to enable/disable the VR function at any time through the settings of the game.

The free software updates will be available on April 25th. This week is the perfect chance to pick up the Nintendo Labo VR Kit as it will be going on sale for $79.99 on April 12th.