Monday news, part two:
Minecraft Earth is an AR spin-off that lets you build in the real world
With devious games now tricking us into walking around outside and, god forbid, meeting real people, Microsoft and Mojang have decided to get in on the action with their own AR mobile game: Minecraft Earth. I am riddled with cynicism when it comes to AR, but this might be kinda neat? Take a gander at the reveal trailer above.
Walkout organizers 'disappointed' by Riot's refusal to change forced arbitration policy
Earlier this month, employees at League of Legends studio Riot Games staged a walkout over the company's policy requiring that disputes with employees be settled through private arbitration rather than through lawsuits. Five current and former Riot employees filed lawsuits against the company in the wake of last year's in-depth Kotaku report into the company's deeply sexist internal culture; Riot moved to block some of those lawsuits by claiming that the employees involved had signed agreements waiving their rights to trials against the company.
CD Projekt promises 'more humane' Cyberpunk 2077 crunch than devs endured for The Witcher 3
CD Projekt Red faced complaints in 2017 from unhappy former employees, including criticism of the long hours they were forced to work as they wrapped up The Witcher 3. At the time, CD Projekt Red co-founder Marcin Iwiński and studio head Adam Badowski defended the practice, saying that its approach isn't for everyone but that it "creates innovation and makes it possible for us to say we've worked really hard on something, and we think it's worth your hard-earned cash."
Speaking in an interview with Kotaku this week, however, Iwiński said the studio wants to take a more "humane" approach to late-stage development by leaning more heavily into a "non-obligatory crunch policy."
Rainbow Six Siege disables Clash, other gadgets causing game-breaking exploits
During a week that should be filled with anticipation for Operation Phantom Sight, Rainbow Six Siege matches have become a minefield of game-breaking exploits that make Clash, IQ, and certain deployable shield-wielders unstoppable. In an extremely rare move by developer Ubisoft, the offending gadgets and operator are completely disabled for all players until the bugs are squashed in a patch next week.
Rainbow Six Siege's new defender looks like your dad cosplaying as James Bond
Ubisoft began teasing the new operators coming to Rainbow Six Siege in Year 4 season 2 earlier this week with an image showing two characters from behind, one of whom appearing to be sneaking up on the other. Today we've got a little more information on one of them: Collinn McKinley, aka Warden, a 30-year veteran of the US Secret Service who looks like a cross between James Bond and your dad.
Apex Legends' next patch will say goodbye to Gibraltar's sticky shield
Respawn is taking us into the weekend with patch notes for a new Apex Legends update that's set to go live early next week. It's largely a fixer-upper, with a number of quality-of-life improvements, and a workaround for an issue that was causing crashes on Intel CPUs. But amidst all that is a spot of unhappiness for fans of the big boy named Gibraltar: His Stupid Sticky Shield trick is no more.
Pagan Online, the ARPG blending Diablo and Warframe, adds co-op play
Pagan Online, a fun mashup of Diablo and Warframe, had added two-player co-op, and developer Mad Head Studios has announced plans to add four-player co-op in the future.
Players are mistaking WoW Classic features for bugs
World of Warcraft Classic's closed beta is now live, and it's not quite how some players remember it being back in 2006. Blizzard has put out a list of 13 features that players are erroneously flagging as bugs, from movement speed changes to missing icons on the minimap—all are "working as we expect".
Lords of the Fallen 2 studios fall out over quality of work, one leaves project
One of the two studios making action-RPG Lords of the Fallen 2 has left the project after a disagreement over the quality of their work.
CI Games, one of the co-developers of the original Lords of the Fallen, brought in New York-based developer Defiant Studios last year to give the sequel a "fresh start". Defiant was supposed to rebuild the game from scratch but has now left the project, with CI Games claiming Defiant's work wasn't good enough. CI Games will now finish development fully in-house.
Expect Call of Duty: Black Ops 5 with singleplayer in 2020 according to report
According to Kotaku's sources, Call of Duty: Black Ops 5 will be developed by Treyarch and released in 2020 following a "major upheaval" at Activision.
While this year's Call of Duty game—which we're likely to hear more about before E3—is rumored to be Modern Warfare 4, previously Raven were the studio heading up the 2020 entry in the series, " a Call of Duty game set during the Cold War". Now that game will apparently be repurposed into a singleplayer campaign for a new Black Ops by Treyarch, which was previously on the cards for 2021.
>> jason1637 made a thread during this over the weekend.
IO Interactive promises improved DX12 support for Hitman 2
Hitman launched with DirectX 12 support, so it was strange that Hitman 2 didn't. IO Interactive finally added support March, which has boosted frame rates on higher-end systems, and the studio is working to make it better on low-end rigs, it said this week.
Conglomerate 451, the cyberpunk dungeon crawler, enters Early Access this week
Conglomerate 451 looks a bit like a futuristic Legend of Grimrock: its turn-based combat and grid-based movement is classic dungeon crawling RPG fare, but it's set in a cyberpunk world full of evil corporations and state-sanctioned killing. Developer RuneHeads this week announced that it's coming to Early Access in just four days—on May 23.
Overwatch's Anniversary event starts Tuesday, brings back old skins and brawls
Overwatch's three-year anniversary event will kick off on Tuesday, May 21, bringing back both seasonal cosmetics and brawls alongside a week-long free trial.
Diablo 3 Season 17 now live, giving players a three-month long buff
Diablo 3's Season 17 went live on Friday, adding three new Torment difficulty levels to the game and giving every player the powerful Legacy of Nightmares buff, which encourages you to build around your ancient items.
Redesign derelict gardens in House Flipper's first paid DLC, out now
House Flipper's first paid DLC is all about cleaning up and redesigning gardens, and it's now available on Steam.
In the DLC, called Garden Flipper, you'll first clear away trash, mow the grass and tug out weeds. You'll then be able to lay down paths or patios, place flowerbeds and arrange furniture in whatever configuration you like—the trailer above shows all manner of chairs, hot tubs, sheds and play houses. When it's all finished, you sell it for a profit, and move onto the next one.
Coffee-powered ghost story Necrobarista has a release date
A couple of years ago at PAX Australia I had a chance to play a demo of Necrobarista, a visual novel about serving coffee, meeting ghosts, and playing with knives. The setting is a cafe called the Terminal, a magic coffee shop that serves both the living and the dead.
Doctor Who: The Edge of Time is a VR adventure coming in September
Doctor Who is getting the VR adventure game treatment this September, letting you flail around with a sonic screwdriver while trying to stop a virus from mucking up reality.
Please excuse my bad English.
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