Play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey for Free through Google

Are you excited for the upcoming Assassin’s Creedy Odyssey? Google is offering players a free opportunity to play the game through their beta game streaming services called Project Stream. You’ll have access to the game until Mid-January. To sign up, click the link.

What do I need to play it?

All you need is a computer with Google Chrome browser! Since it is a test of Project Stream, expect technical issues. Google spoke about developing a game streaming service that would broadcast games through the Chromecast. Obvious issues like graphics lag and buffering are issues that Google is looking to delete before launching Project Stream.

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You can climb statues’ penis

 

Sources:

The Verge

Will the Next Generation Console be the Last?

As the video games industry evolves, so does distribution of video games. Recently, digital downloads have become the main form of distribution for all games. It ranges from indie titles to AAA games. Ubisoft‘s CEO, Yves Guillemot, predicts the next generation of consoles will be its last. Guillemot’s belief is that cloud-based streaming services will dominate the gaming industry and games will be available on any screen rather than console exclusive. Although streaming games aren’t common, Guillemot believes as technology advances, it’ll become the mainstream.

Microsoft spoke to Variety that gaming is about having the ability to access your game from any system. Smartphones and tablets bring in the highest profit for gaming companies and it can be argued that the growth is due to the ease of accessibility. Being able to play your games on a handheld from anywhere is consumer friendly than buying a video game console for dedicated players. Guillemot stated that streaming “is going to help the AAA game industry grow much faster…we have to work on the accessibility of those games to make sure they can be played on any device.”

Whose on board?

While Microsoft and Ubisoft see this as the future of gaming, Nvidia is already taking steps to start streaming video games to any computer. Nvidia announced their beta streaming service, Nvidia’s GeForce Now, this year at CES. It’s designed to offer digital games to even basic computers. It will even port your Steam games to GeForce Now so that you won’t have to repurchase your games. The games run properly as its stream from Nvidia datacenters throughout the United States. Image result for video game streaming

Phil Spencer, Executive Vice President of gaming for Microsoft, is looking towards different ways Microsoft can do for gaming. They have a unique form of distribution as they sell computers and video game consoles. Spencer stated, “I care less that people can play Minecraft on an Xbox One, but that people can play Minecraft no matter what console or device they have in front of them.” Since 2016, Microsoft stopped announcing the sales numbers for the Xbox One. While clearly doing worse than the PS4, Xbox has tried alternative distribution of games such as cross distribution with the Windows Stores and Xbox Live and their stellar backwards compatibility. “I look at investing into three key areas: content, cloud, and community – that is, making great games, making the experience of accessing and playing them better and improving things for the players overall. It helps lead gaming for everyone – not just Microsoft – into a better place for everyone.”

What about PlayStation and Nintendo?

One example of streaming being utilized is for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard for the Nintendo Switch. Although there are physical versions, the Japanese exclusive port will be a stream version only. This may be a taste for things to come. However, Nintendo launched the Switch last year to rave reviews and has sold more than 1 million units in a year. The Switch is a unique console that can be a handheld and console. PlayStation didn’t comment on the trend towards streaming. However, John Kodera, the president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), stated that the PlayStation 4 is in its final phase for the life cycle. He also mentioned an interest in handheld gaming rather than streaming service. Hopefully, they’ll do a better job for their next handheld after the PS Vita which recently stopped manufacturing physical games.

Streaming Pros and Cons:

It cost less for companies as they don’t have to pay for packaging and discs. Anatomy of a $60 Video GameVideo game development has become more expensive. A prime example is God of War (2018) which cost $44 million. This also saves money for companies. Retailers currently take a cut of the profits of $15 for new video game sales. The cost of making, packaging and shipping game discs to stores cost $4 each. Finally, not all games sell, so the expense of returning unsold inventory eats up another $7. A Con would be for consumers with Wi-fi issues. If you have a poor internet connection, your gameplay will be choppy or have a low framerate.

Do you believe the next step in delivering games is streaming?

Sources:

Variety

The Verge-Nvidia GeForce

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Eurogamer – God of War COM

Cost to make Games

The Verge – RE 7 for Switch

PlayStation – John Kodera talks about PlayStation 4 life cycle

Ubisoft defends itself from Vivendi and why its important

Despite creating amazing games and long-lasting franchises, you would be surprised to hear Ubisoft was trying to avoid a hostile takeover of their company for several years from Vivendi. Vivendi is a French multimedia company. They are active in music, television, film, and video games. They were the previous owners of the most shares for Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft, OverWatch) before they became Activision Blizzard. Vivendi began to purchase shares of Gameloft and Ubisoft to own the companies. CEO of UbisoftYves Guillemot and Michel Guillemot, viewed their acquirement as a hostile takeover and worked together to prevent Vivendi from purchasing more stocks.

What do Shareholders do?

Investors can purchase a majority of shares than others to have influence on the Board of Directors (BoD). The Board of Directors vote to determine which direction a company should move and they represent the shareholders. Depending on how much a person invests into shares determine the amount of power within their votes. Vivendi attempt to buy more shares was to own Ubisoft just like they bought most of the shares for Gameloft. Vivendi denied the accusations on December 2016. They had owned 27.5% prior to the current news. France laws states if a person owns more than 30%, they are obligated to offer to buy the company.

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Tencent’s portfolio in 2014

Yves worked with individuals to prevent Vivendi from purchasing more shares. Vivendi is now selling its 27% shares for 2 billion euros. Ubisoft and the Guillemot Brothers C.E. (Representative company of Ubisoft‘s founders Guillemot family) will acquire 15% of Vivendi‘s shares.  Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan — an independent organization that administers pensions for about 318,000 teachers in Canada’s most populous province- and Tencent (League of Legends, PUBG China), a Chinese conglomerate will purchase the 3.4% and 5% of the remaining stock but won’t have seat on the BoD. The rest will be sold through accelerated book building.

Why is this important?

The Board of Directors have huge influence on companies but they may not follow the same views as the CEO or how people want the company to act. Their biggest focus is on the companies to earn as much money as possible. With Ubisoft owning most of the shares and already setting plans for 2018 – 2020, they can choose their own business practice. Shareholders won’t have the influence to force Ubisoft to use “dirty” business strategies such as releasing more DLC, releasing unpolished games or creating more mobile games. We want gaming companies to choose their own business goals without compromising their principles because of the shareholders.

Sources:

Global News Wire

Polygon

Overclock

Invenstopedia 2

 

E3 Schedule Guide!

Are you excited for E3? If you want to know the upcoming schedule for the event and games being announced, check out teh article.

If you are excited for E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) like myself, I’ll put the whole schedule below so you can plan your day. If you don’t know about E3, it is a huge convention expo dedicated to Video Games and shows off upcoming games from different companies. You can watch the trailers, play demos that won’t be released for months, and see amazing new games in Los Angeles, California. If you can’t go but want to see the event, you can watch it online on Twitch.

I’ll only be posting the time it starts in America. The time is PDT.

EA (Electronic Arts) 12PM – Saturday, June 10th

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If you like Fifa, there will be FIFA 18. Most likely they will announce all their yearly sports series. More importantly, Star Wars Battlefront 2 will have more trailers. Hopefully more news about the story and new game modes will bring people interest after how poorly the first one reviewed. The story is set to be canon and part of the Star Wars story after Return of the Jedi.

Rumors: A new 3rd person shooter from Respawn, developers of Titanfall and a potential rival to “Destiny” from Bioware.

Microsoft 2PM, Sunday, June 11th

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Most exciting news from Microsoft will be their new project Scorpio. Not a new console, but an upgraded version of the Xbox One. It will have 4K resolution, better CPU, GPU, and more memory than the PS4 Pro. Overall, it’ll just be a better version of the Xbox One. If you haven’t gotten one yet, perhaps save your money for this one.

For games, a new Crackdown game although Crackdown 2 reviewed poorly and a Sea of Thieves are confirmed for the show. No rumored big IP (Intellectual Property) but it could still be hidden until the show which is pretty exciting.

Bethesda 9PM, Sunday, June 11th

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Rumors: A sequel to the Wolfenstein story based first person shooter and The Evil Within from the same designer for Resident Evil 4.

Don’t be looking for any news on an upcoming Elder Scrolls or Fallout game. Most likely there will be news regarding Skyrim for the Nintendo Switch and Quake Championship.

PC Gaming 10AM, Monday, June 12th

Usually the PC Gaming show is pretty dull. It’s mostly about new technology coming to PC. They are generally dragged out and most of their trailers are already shown before hand.

Ubisoft 1PM. Monday, June 12th

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Ubisoft has a pretty good schedule this E3. A new Assassin’s Creed that may be a series reboot called “Assassin’s Creed: Origin.” Of course, Far Cry 5 will have some upcoming trailers and The Crew 2. No Beyond Good and Evil 2 unfortunately.

Rumor: Mario Rabbids which had a potential leak a week ago. A collaboration between Nintendo and Ubisoft.

Sony 6PM, Monday, June 12th

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So far, Sony has been pretty good with hosting a good show and having plenty of games to be excited for. Final Fantasy 7, Kingdom Hearts 3, Death Stranded and Shenmue 3 will not be released this year but there may be a trailer. Last year, God of War and Spider-Man had trailers but hopefully they receive an announcement date.

Of course, The Last of Us 2 is on everyone’s mind. After the teaser trailer at Playstation Expo 2016, avid Playstation fans are hoping for a gameplay trailer. Hopefully there will be a more VR games. As of right now, the PSVR needs more solid games such as Resident Evil 6.

Nintendo 9AM, June 13th

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Nintendo will not be having a conference but will have another Nintendo Direct that mostly focuses on Splatoon 2 and ARMS which I mentioned in previous articles. They will also include a Nintendo Treehouse which is an extended direct which will go more in-depth for the new games. Last year, it was a bit long and felt repetitive after it only showed The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Rumors: Super Nintendo Classic Edition.