New Nintendo Switch scheduled for 2019

According to Wall Street Journal Japan, Nintendo is expected to launch an upgraded Nintendo Switch Console in 2019. Although the details are unclear on specs, the WSJ Japan expects a bigger, brighter screen. The Nintendo Switch launched in March 2017. Nintendo was relying on the sales of additional peripherals such as the Labo. However, slower sales this year may have pushed Nintendo to release the “Switch 2” earlier than expected. Are you going to get the second Nintendo Switch?

Wall Street Journal Japan (Paywall)

Eurogamer

TellTale Studio Closes Down and Leaves The Walking Dead unfinished

Telltale is famous for their unique story narrative games. Utilizing big franchises such as The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Batman, Minecraft, and more, Telltale created many episodic titles. Founded in July, 2004, the studio was created by Kevin Bruner, Dan Connors and Troy Molander who were initially employing video game designers formerly of LucasArts. Despite their works and successes, the studio will be closing down. Below is their official statement.

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When were they doing bad?

In 2017, Telltale released 90 employees. Many former employees complained that tight deadlines, bad engines which were filled with bugs, and mismanagement led to many difficulties for developers. Many employees and writers would leave due to constant time crunches. Many Telltale games were unable to earn a profit. Their titles after the 1st season of The Walking Dead never received grand praise. Since every game was episodic, teams were constantly working on the next title which never gave the developers breaks or time off to refine the engine or the game. Paying the IP holders for the stories also cost the studio greatly.

According to US Gamer, anonymous sources state Telltale will continue working on the Minecraft Story Mode project for Netflix but the Walking Dead: The Final Season will be left unfinished. This will leave their final game unfinished and bother many fans. Many of Telltale’s games left on cliffhangers to introduce the next season such as Game of Thrones and Fables.

Sources:

US Gamer

US Gamer

The Verge

European Gambling Regulators Team-Up to Stop Loot Boxes

15 gambling regulators from Europe and Washington, United States will work together to identify “the risks created by the blurring of lines between gaming and gambling.”  Below are the specific participants from each country.

Signatories to the “declaration of gambling regulators on their concerns related to the blurring of lines between gambling and gaming”.

  • Austria: Alfred Hacker, Director, Federal Ministry of Finance
  • Czech Republic: Karel Blaha, Director of the State Oversight Over Gambling Department
  • France: Charles Coppolani, Chair of the French Online Gaming Regulatory Authority
  • Gibraltar: Andrew Lyman, Executive Director, Gambling Division, HM Government of Gibraltar
  • Ireland: Brendan Mac Namara, Principal Officer, Gambling Policy Division, Department of Justice and Equality of Ireland
  • Isle of Man: Steve Brennan, Chief Executive, Gambling Supervision Commission
  • Jersey: Jason Lane, Chief Executive, Jersey Gambling Commission
  • Latvia: Signe Birne, Director of Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection of Latvia
  • Malta: Heathcliff Farrugia, Chief Executive Officer, Malta Gaming Authority
  • The Netherlands: Jan Suyver, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Netherlands Gambling Authority
  • Norway: Henrik Nordal, Director Deputy General, Norwegian Gaming Authority
  • Poland: Paweł Gruza, Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Finance
  • Portugal: Teresa Monteiro, Vice-President of Turismo de Portugal, I.P
  • Spain: Juan Espinosa García, CEO, Directorate General for Gambling Regulation
  • Washington State: David Trujillo, Director, Washington State Gambling Commission
  • UK: Neil McArthur, Chief Executive Officer, UK Gambling Commission

sweden-lootboxes-gambling

They will be targetting sites that promote gambling with video games. They will investigate sites that involve in-game skin gambling. These websites have users gambling their in-game skins rather than money. However, the skins have monetary values and can be considered gambling. The Telegraph reported over 400,00 British teens admitted to using similar websites.

The European Gambling Regulators will also identify whether loot boxes are considered gambling under national law. The laws are targetted towards parents and children. By identifying the lines between gambling and in-game items, parents should have a better understanding of their kids’ purchases.

I don’t think loot boxes will go away anytime soon but gaming companies will have to respond or adjust it before more laws are set in place.

Sources:

Eurogamer

Telegraph – 400,000 British teens lured into under-aged gambling through video games

PlayStation VR and Games Sales Number

Amongst the Gaming VR headsets, PlayStation VR is the most popular due to its accessibility. The PlayStation 4 has sold more than 80 million units and the VR unit is an add-on to the system. It also cost less space to set up compared to stronger VR headsets such as the HTC Vive or the Oculus Rift. Today, Sony announced that the PlayStation VR has sold more than 3 million units. In terms of games, they have nearly sold 22 million VR games. Below is the growth of the PlayStation VR.

To celebrate, they announced the release date for two new PSVR games: Creed: Rise to Glory (Sept. 25) and Evasion (Oct. 9).

While the PSVR isn’t the most impressive headset out on the market, the high sales numbers can be attributed to the popularity of the console. PSVR is still relatively new compared to the Vive or the Oculus. Hopefully the future generation PSVR will be able to match its competitors while remaining accessible.

Sources:

Variety

Sales numbers for VIVE and Oculus

Sales numbers for Ps4