Rogue Company is an Epic Games Store Exclusive

Hi-Rez Studios and First Watch Games unveiled Rogue Company, a brand new PvP third person shooter, during yesterday’s Nintendo Direct. We learned that that game will run at 60fps and feature crossplay shortly thereafter, and today Hi-Rez decided to share even more about the game. Specifically, they confirmed that Rogue Company will be an Epic Games Store exclusive on PC.

While the Epic Games Store is somewhat controversial, a lot of developers typically tend to take the deal because they get a higher share of revenue on the Epic Games Store compared to Steam. That being said, Hi-Rez Studios did not specify a reason for exclusivity in this announcement. Some other upcoming Epic Games Store exclusives that are notable include Untitled Goose Game, Shenmue 3, Chivalry 2, and Auto Chess.

To coincide with the confirmation of this Epic Games Store partnership, a live action trailer for Rogue Company was also released. Titled Lock and Load, Prepare to Go Rogue, the live action video showcases some of the revealed mercenaries in the titular Rogue Company preparing for a fight. You can check it out below:

When Rogue Company releases in 2020, it will be available for and feature cross play between PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Alpha sign-ups for every platform are also open on the game’s official website. 

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Sleeper Hit World War Z Finally Gets Weekly Challenges in Proving Grounds Update

After Saber Interactive and Focus Home Interactive’s World War Z proved to be a sleeper hit just a couple weeks after its release, the developers highlighted several features they planned on adding to the game through free updates. They have been sticking to schedule and releasing these updates as planned, and today the Proving Grounds update arrived. Proving Grounds brings one major new element to the PC, PS4, and Xbox One zombie game: Weekly Challenges.

When players choose to partake in these Weekly Challenges, they will be able to go World War Z matches with interesting gameplay modifiers that may make all weapons one type or make players take damage if they are too close to another player. If these challenges are completed, players will get a currency unlocks items that can be used to customize characters like headgear, backpack attachments, and color schemes. Weekly Challenges are the major draw of the Proving Grounds update, but this update does also add a new weapon, the FN FAL battle rifle as well as the expected bug and quality of life improvements.

As Proving Grounds finally delivers on everything promised month ago, Saber Interactive is saying that this update closes out “Season 1” of World War Z’s post launch support. World War Z support isn’t dead by any means though, as a Season 2 that will have a “new survival mode, PvE maps, special zombie, gameplay updates, and even more skins” is on its way. DualShockers will let you know when that content arrives.

A new trailer highlights the new Proving Grounds content, and you can watch that below. World War Z is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One and can be picked up on Amazon.

The post Sleeper Hit World War Z Finally Gets Weekly Challenges in Proving Grounds Update by Tomas Franzese appeared first on DualShockers.

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David Cage Points Out the Potential Weaknesses of Next Gen Consoles

2020 is poised to be an exciting year for gaming. Xbox’s Project Scarlett is going to hit store shelves next fall, and Sony’s PS5 is not too far off either. Next-generation consoles will also herald several technical improvements such as ray-tracing and 8K support. As we are just over a year out from this next console jump, many developers are starting to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of what is coming next.

In a recent interview with DualShockers, David Cage highlighted some of the interesting features that next-gen consoles will bring. That being said, he also voiced his concern for the limitations of the promised features and how they could increase the cost of development to a point that hurts “middle-range developers” like Quantic Dream.

Cage admitted that new technology does have a lot of strengths such as “a significant improvement in CPU power, which will mean significant improvements in physics and AI. GPU improvement should be enough to get Ray Tracing in Full HD or Full 4K resolution (without Ray Tracing).” Despite how great these features sound, David Cage was sure to state that “All in all, we believe that there will be serious improvements in next-gen games, but maybe not the ones that are currently promoted the most.”

Two of the biggest things that David Cage says fans currently seem to be unaware of is how “all parameters are linked” for the aforementioned improvements and how “improving one part of the hardware only makes sense if all is proportionally accelerated to avoid bottlenecks.” As an example, Cage discussed the 8K support that is being teased by companies like Microsoft. “You can have 8K content only if you have an 8K screen. You can do 8K, but probably not 8K AND Ray Tracing. If you have 8K content, the volume of your assets will grow very significantly, their size in memory and on your hard drive too. You will also need to load them very quickly from your storage device to the memory, so this pipeline will also need to be proportionally faster.”

While 8K sounds great on paper, Cage demonstrated to DualShockers how these seemingly simple improvements can snowball into a whole suite of new problems that need solutions. Quantic Dream has even already analyzed how the PS5 and Project Scarlett will likely be utilized by developers. “Our current analysis is that few studios will go for 8K because it will necessitate too many compromises on the overall quality of the game. Ray Tracing is going to be so costly that we will probably only see Full HD titles using it (there is a direct connection between resolution, Ray Tracing and performances), at least in the first generation of titles,” he said.

David Cage’s ultimate point was that “there will be serious improvements in next-gen games, but maybe not the ones that are currently promoted the most. More power means more toys to play with, but also more complex and longer development cycles, and of course, bigger budgets.” He is also worried about “middle-range developers” struggling to get their games produced for the PS5 and Xbox’s Project Scarlett as “there may only be room for big franchises, because they will be the most able to recoup their massive dev budgets.” As of now, we can only wait and see if this prediction is true and mid-tier developers get hit negatively, like they did in the Xbox 360 and PS3 era.

While Cage’s outlook on the power of next-gen consoles seems a little dour, he did ultimately concede that great games will make or break the platforms. “I personally believe that technology is the pen to write the book. It can facilitate the writing, create nice-looking books, but a pen will never make your book great by itself. Content is going to be key in the coming years, maybe even more than before. All new platforms will need high quality exclusive content to attract consumers, which is a positive thing for developers and gamers. My hope is that we will see creative and original titles, because more than technology, they are the ones that make our industry move forward.”

Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls recently came to the Epic Games Store, and Detroit: Become Human will follow later this fall. You can also expect to see more from DualShockers‘ interview with David Cage over the next week.

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Rocket League Will Be Removing Loot Boxes By the End of This Year

Though it originally released in 2015, Rocket League has continued to be one of the most popular multiplayer titles around thanks to its effortlessly fun gameplay. While the game has seen several changes over the years when it comes to in-game purchases, the title is about to see one of its biggest changes yet with the removal of randomized loot boxes later this year.

Developer Psyonix confirmed in a blog post that Rocket League will “remove all paid, randomized Crates” from the game in an effort to create “the best possible experience for our players all over the world.” Instead, the Crates will be replaced later this year with a new system that shows the exact items that players will be getting in advance.

Specifically, Psyonix stated that this new system will work similarly to Fortnite: Save the World, and will allow players to see exactly what they are getting when making in-game purchases before they buy. The studio also detailed that alongside the new loot system, players will still be able to purchase the Rocket Pass Premium, DLC cars, and esport shop items.

After being acquired by Epic Games this past May, the move towards a more Fortnite-style system in Rocket League certainly makes a lot of sense, given how well that in-game purchases in Fortnite continue to be a huge source of revenue for Epic. However, with loot boxes and other microtransactions getting increasing scrutiny on an industry-wide level, the new system for Rocket League will certainly help give players a more transparent look at what they are getting with their purchases.

Rocket League is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac, and Linux.

The post Rocket League Will Be Removing Loot Boxes By the End of This Year by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.

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Shenmue 3 Developers Refuse Refund Requests From Fuming Backers Over Epic Games Exclusivity

When Shenmue 3 was revealed at PlayStation’s E3 2015 Press Conference, there were many long-time fans of the series that were tearing up out of excitement. Today, many of those same fans are raging for a different reason. Following the reveal that Shenmue 3 would be moving to an exclusive PC distribution Epic Games Store, backers who funded the game on Kickstarter nearly a half-decade ago are being told to accept the code change. Even worse, any request for a refund based on the change in distribution is being met with a flat denial.

For those of you out of the loop, Shenmue 3 had a fairly strange reveal — while the game was showcased at the PlayStation E3 2015 Press Conference, it was more a platform to announce a Kickstarter campaign. Within hours the game had reached nearly $700,000, the project was funded (at the $2,000,000 target) within nine hours, and the Kickstarter closed at a record-breaking $6,333,296.

With thousands of fans backing the game, backers were given two options to eventually receive the game: PS4 copy or Steam copy.

However, that decision came well before the era of Epic Games Store’s disruption of the PC distribution market. Coming in as a fierce competitor of Steam, it has earned the ire from many gamers due to exclusivity and timed-exclusivity deals negotiated (often through offering more competitive rates to developers and publishers). While new unannounced games being revealed as Epic Games Store exclusives ruffle some feathers, there is definitely some grey areas for previously announced games that suddenly make an about-face — often including games that have been offering pre-orders via Steam previously.

While that “grey area” certainly exists, the situation with Shenmue 3 seems black and white. Developer Ys Net and publisher Deep Silver had previously been advertising the game to backers (who have already paid money for the title) as a digital Steam key; surveys about preference have already went out to the backers of the game saying as much:

So let’s ignore the fact that Steam has gotten both the original Shenmue and Shenmue 2. There are many fans who had paid for a Steam digital key and now have to accept an Epic Games Store key. And yes, this even includes those who requested physical copies:

To developer Ys Net and publisher Deep Silver, this does not constitute a material change in circumstance — so much so that they refuse to offer any kind of refunds. Multiple backers (when expressing that they wanted a refund) received stock communications from the Shenmue 3 team ostensibly saying that they were not going to be refunded their backing price:

The email reads:

Hello [Backer],

Thank you very much for contacting us.

The launch was previously planned for distribution on Steam, however it was decided together with Deep silver after much discussion that the Epic Games Store would be the best distribution platform option.

Shenmue III will be distributed through the Epic Games Store and will require the Epic Games Store Client to activate.

We apologize for the sudden change in platform, however, refunds will not be granted for this change.

We thank you for your support and look forward to delivering the Shenmue experience fans everywhere have been waiting so long for.

Best Regards,
The Shenmue III Team

As you can imagine, the comment section — which is limited to only confirmed backers of Shenmue 3 — is irate, many of them instructing others to demand chargebacks from the respective credit card companies or report the Shenmue 3 team for false advertising. Regardless of your opinion of Epic Games Store, it’s clear that this situation is being handled with very little grace, and is likely hurting the goodwill that Shenmue and Ys Net has cultivated over the years.

Shenmue 3 will be available for PS4 and PC (exclusively via Epic Games Store) on November 19, 2019.

The post Shenmue 3 Developers Refuse Refund Requests From Fuming Backers Over Epic Games Exclusivity by Lou Contaldi appeared first on DualShockers.

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Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Comes to PC in August, Consoles in December

Have you been patiently waiting for a game that will let you play as a prehistoric monkey man? Well, good news, because that game is coming and you won’t have to wait much longer to finally get your hands on it.

Private Division and Panache Digital Games announced this morning the release date for the upcoming title Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. After having first been revealed years agoAncestors is now finally set to arrive later this summer on August 27, 2019. However, this release date will only be for the PC version of the game. Additionally, it will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store at launch and through the first year after its release.

As for the console version of Ancestors, which is set to hit PS4 and Xbox One, you’ll have to wait a bit longer to play it. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is planned to arrive on consoles at an undetermined date later this year in December. This is likely a bummer for those who were looking to play sooner rather than later on consoles, but at least the game will be dropping before 2019 is over.

Last but not least, a new trailer and the official key art for Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey were also released today. The trailer show off new gameplay footage from Ancestors in addition to explaining the overall goal of the game. You can find both the trailer and key art attached at the bottom of this article.

The post Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Comes to PC in August, Consoles in December by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.

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Rocket League Developer Psyonix Has Been Acquired by Epic Games [UPDATE]

UPDATE: Since publishing this story, Epic has released a new statement clarifying that it will indeed continue selling Rocket League on Steam after the game has come to the Epic Games Store later in 2019. The initial wording from Epic made it sound initially like the title would be pulled from Steam for sale after it transitioned to Epic’s own platform, but this isn’t the case.

“We are continuing to sell Rocket League on Steam, and have not announced plans to stop selling the game there. Rocket League remains available for new purchasers on Steam, and long-term plans will be announced in the future,” said a statement given to US Gamer.

The original version of this story can be found below.

In a move that I don’t think anyone really anticipated, Rocket League developer Psyonix today announced that it has now been acquired by that of Epic Games.

Psyonix shared the news on its official website today stating that the move gives the company the resources that Epic has at its disposal. “Rocket League always has been and always will be a community-driven game, and now that we have joined forces with Epic, we will be able to serve our community in even bigger and better ways!” said the message from Psyonix.

As for how Rocket League will now be changing, Psyonix said the changes are only positive. Through this new relationship, Psyonix hopes to grow Rocket League “in ways we couldn’t do on our own before.” Consistent updates for the title will also continue to roll out as usual, too.

Likely the biggest change though will involve the PC version of Rocket League. According to Epic, Rocket League will be coming to the Epic Games Store exclusively later on in 2019. Until that time, the game will still be readily available via Steam. And even after the transition takes place, Psyonix and Epic will continue to support Rocket League for those who own it through Steam.

While this is certainly a surprising announcement, it doesn’t seem like the core product of Rocket League will be changed much at all. Other than the shift to the Epic Games Store, which should come as no shock, Psyonix will continue being itself and Rocket League will remain the same game it has always been.

It’s certainly an intriguing move for both companies, but not one that should make you worried about the future of Rocket League.

The post Rocket League Developer Psyonix Has Been Acquired by Epic Games [UPDATE] by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.

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Borderlands 3’s First Gameplay Footage Reveals New Mechanics, Loot Changes, and Hub Location

As promised, Gearbox Software and 2K Games revealed the first look at extended gameplay footage from Borderlands 3 today and in the process divulged a multitude of new mechanics that will be present.

The demo that Gearbox showed off took us to many different areas of Borderlands 3. Things kicked off with the game’s tutorial, which featured the franchise’s iconic mascot of sorts, Claptrap. This tutorial section of the game showed off many of Borderlands 3’s new mechanical features which now includes the ability to slide along the ground and vault up ledges. Weapons will also have alternate firing modes now too, which is entirely new to Borderlands 3.

Later on in the demo, it was shown how loot in Borderlands 3 will now spawn differently for players of different levels that are playing together. This is information that we already heard about a couple of weeks back, but it was still nice to see it in action for once.

As for other notable moments that we saw across the gameplay footage, there were a couple of different boss fights shown in addition to the appearance of a few noteworthy characters. Also, there will be a new ship in the game which will act as your hub within Borderlands 3. It is here that you’ll be able to travel to different planets along with visiting some of the series’ most recognizable vendors.

Overall, Borderlands 3 looks like mostly more of the same with some major quality of life improvements when it comes to skill trees, gameplay mechanics, loot, and abilities. I’ll admit that I’m actually much more excited to play this come September than I was when the game was first unveiled.

If you want to check out some of this gameplay footage for yourself, you can head over to the official Borderlands Twitch channel to watch the game in action for the first few hours after this article posts. You can also get a look at the game via the new trailer attached below.

Borderlands 3 will release later this year on September 13 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

The post Borderlands 3’s First Gameplay Footage Reveals New Mechanics, Loot Changes, and Hub Location by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.

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Borderlands 3 ECHOcast Twitch Extension Unveiled Ahead of Gameplay Reveal

Borderlands 3 is poised to have a full gameplay reveal livestream on May 1, 2019. Just a couple days before that event is set to start, Gearbox Software decided to unveil a brand new Twitch Extension for the game called ECHOcast that will give viewers a surprising amount of access and reward opportunities when they watch someone play Borderlands 3 for PC, PS4, or Xbox One.

Obviously, Borderlands 3 is a very loot and build-driven game, so those tuning into a stream after it starts may want to get a better idea of the streamer’s current status. With the ECHOcast Twitch extension, players can expect both their equipped weapons and backpack contents at any time while still watching the stream. The streamer’s skill trees can also all be inspected by viewers so the audience can have more knowledge on the kind of build the streamer is trying to create.

While those features are all great additions that will hopefully shave off some superfluous gameplay questions during streams, viewers will likely be even more interesting in the loot they can receive via ECHOcast. Starting with the Borderlands 3 gameplay streams happening on May 1, players will be able to sync their SHiFT and Twitch accounts. By doing this, players can gain special loot through some interactive in-game events; that being said, loot winners will be chosen at random.

You can watch the trailer in which Claptrap goes over all of the aforementioned features of ECHOcast below. Borderlands 3 will release for PS4, Xbox One, and PC via the Epic Games Store on September 13, 2019. You can also expect coverage of the game from DualShockers on the day of the gameplay reveal.

The post Borderlands 3 ECHOcast Twitch Extension Unveiled Ahead of Gameplay Reveal by Tomas Franzese appeared first on DualShockers.

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Afterparty Developers Explain What Will Draw in Oxenfree Players

Oxenfree developer Night School Studios first revealed Afterparty last year and from the start it was clear that this new game will be somewhat similar in game mechanics to Oxenfree but radically different in setting and tone. DualShockers recently had the chance to check the game out at GDC and asked Night School Studios Co-Founders Sean Krankel and Adam Hines what exactly will draw in fans of Oxenfree to Afterparty.

“In Oxenfree, I think it was fun for people to really dig deeper into the world that we had and the history. You could go pretty deep in terms of tuning into the tour guide stuff and being able to hear the history of the location and ghosts and things,” Adam Hines begun. “With Afterparty, there’s a lot of references to how hell is run and if you want to you can really go pretty deep into the aspect of what the demons’ jobs are, their relationships with people, why people have died, who’s there, and why.”

According to Hines, “that aspect will be what carries over from Oxenfree.” That being said, he was still sure to reiterate the fact that Afterparty is different from Oxenfree in terms of tone. “The tone of Afterparty is very different in that it’s not meant to be a spooky, mysterious thing, it’s a madcap, crazy, raunchy comedy. But, there’s still just a lot of history and weight to all of the characters.”

After Adam’s comments, Sean Krankel chimed in and revealed an element of the game that may appeal to players who enjoyed that it felt like the world was its own character while you made decisions in Oxenfree. “One of the things that happens right when the game begins is that you get assigned a personal demon…that is born from choices that you, as the player, make fairly early on in this hell processing moment,” he stated.

“So this character, her name is Sister Mary Wormhorn, she is born of the two player characters’ answers and then that character is constantly coming back and taunting you and doing things based on the choices that you made to make you feel like ‘Did I do the right thing?’” He went on to comically compare the character to Death from Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey. “Ultimately, I think that personal demon does, in a more comedic way, manifest a lot of that ‘the game is watching me’ feeling…Tonally very different, but I think it serves a similar function.”

Afterparty will release for PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One sometime this year. When it comes to PC, this game will be an Epic Games Store exclusive for one year after launch; consequently, Oxenfree is free to download on the storefront right now.

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