Why Has Fortnite Surpassed PUBG in Popularity?

Fortnite Battle Royale has taken the online gaming world by storm over the past few months. The third-person shooter pits 100 players against each other in a winner take all competition that sees them scavenging for weapons and supplies over a vast island in an attempt to outlast and outkill their opponents.

Fortnite was originally derided as a clone of the popular battle royale game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds(PUBG) which debuted on PC before being ported over to the Xbox One. Since then, Fortnite has surpassed the popularity of the popular PUBG and has seen millions of gamers flocking to its strategic, intense shooter gameplay.

What sets Fornite apart from PUBG is pacing. Each game takes place on an island that players drop into where they must gather weapons and supplies in order to survive. A shrinking zone of safety throughout the match forces players into a more confined area, leading to intense gun battles. While PUBG features a much larger map and a longer period of time between shrinkages of the safety zone, Fortnite’s smaller map and quicker intervals in the reduction of the play area force players into combat much more quickly. This causes less downtime waiting around for something to happen to provide a sense of instant gratification.

This more streamlined approach, combined with Fortnite’s cartoony graphics and less emphasis on realistic physics, makes for a more friendly experience that can attract more casual gamers not looking for something overly serious and complex to play.


Age of Empires Gets Modern Update

Although it has been more 20 years since the original Microsoft game Age of Empires first released, the real-time strategy series game still has a dedicated fan following. Last Tuesday, Microsoft released an updated version of the classic game entitled Age of Empires: Definitive Edition on the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft was inspired to update their game when members of the Forgotten Empires online community began making mods of the original game in 2012. The mods became very popular in the gaming community and Microsoft realized there was still a strong market for the original Age of Empires. The mod was later released as part of the Age of Empires II: The Forgotten expansion pack.

Microsoft announced the new version of the game at E3 2017. The game’s release was originally slated to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the original game’s debut in October 1997. However, the release was postponed until 2018 so the developers would have time for additional testing.

For the new edition, an orchestral soundtrack by the Prague Symphony Orchestra has replaced the game’s original music. Although mainly based on the classic game released in 1997, Age of Empires: The Definitive Edition has also incorporated elements of gameplay from the second entry in the series, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings. The team also added improved resolution to appeal to modern audiences.

Before this latest release, the last full installment in the series was Age of Empires III in 2005. However, Microsoft and Relic Entertainment are currently developing a whole new game, Age of Empires IV. A release date has not yet been announced for the upcoming game.


Metal Gear Survive Beta Debuts

The latest offering in the successful Metal Gear franchise is set to release on February 20, but hardcore fans can download the beta and play the game ahead of release. The beta is currently available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Konami has faced a lot of pressure to put out a solid game after the departure of Hideo Kojima in 2015. Kojima, who has been involved with the franchise since the first game was released in 1987, left Konami to open his own development studio. Metal Gear Survive is the first Metal Gear game to be released since Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, which was directed, produced, designed and written by Kojima. Some fans of the series have expressed skepticism that the games will be able to replicate earlier successes without Kojima.

The action of the new game picks up where Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes left off. While Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain followed the storyline of the Big Boss, the newest installment in the series stays with the mercenary soldiers of Militaires Sans Frontières. In the game, the soldiers are transported into a parallel universe and must survive while fighting strange zombies.

Two different betas have been released recently. The first debuted on January 18 and the second beta was launched on February 16. The full game will debut on February 20 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. When the new game comes out, it will require players to maintain a constant internet connection.


Social Gaming Platform Posts Amazing Growth Numbers

There were some amazing growth numbers to behold coming out of FriendO. This is a new social gaming platform that people are quickly adopting as a fun place to meet new friends and play the kind of games that they enjoy playing.

The platform reported that in just six months of operation it already has more than 2.4 million players with accounts. The app has trended in the Apple Store and the Android Store as well. It was even the number one free app for a time.

Out of the user base that it has, there are several hundred thousand users who are active on a daily basis. That is huge because there is usually not that high of an adoption rate for a new app that has yet to prove itself to the market. That is just not the case with this one. People have gravitated to it with no problems at all.

FriendO is a fun place to play games and meet new people at the same time. Since those are two preferred activities of most people, it is not surprising that something like this would have such a fan base right off the bat.

With all of this astounding growth, a paid verison of the app is very likely in the near future. It will likely have a lot of new features that players can use and enjoy. If it is done right, there is every chance in the world that it could be one of the top apps paid or otherwise in the Apple and Android stores for a good time to come.


Social Gaming’s Twitch

In the past decade video game broadcasting has become a global phenomenon and new form of entertainment for millions of people all over the world. There’s no better evidence of this than the massive growth of the video game broadcasting website Twitch. Twitch has grown into one of the biggest online entertainment destinations in the world, giving video game fans everywhere a place to watch their favorite games and streamers. But Twitch was created to cater to more “core” gamers and wasn’t originally very concerned with its social features. Two former Apple executives saw that as an opportunity to build a product with a much more social focus.

Meet Caffeine

Caffeine, a game streaming service co-created by former Apple executive Ben Keighran, launched a new game broadcasting service that looks to battle Twitch and offer a more social, user friendly alternative to the established video game streaming service. The company hopes their platform attracts new user through it’s simplified broadcast process and ease of use, making it more appealing to content creators and viewers alike. It also features a wide range of social features, allowing viewers to interact with streamers and content in new and exciting ways. The company hopes these additional features help it compete with the massive success of Twitch and find a niche among viewers who want more social elements in their video game streaming experience.


Social Gaming Isn’t Always About Networked Gameplay

Social gaming gets quite a bit of attention in the modern press. Gaming has come a long way since it appeared in the modern form within early 70s arcades. Atari brought much of that experience to homes in the late 70s with the Atari 2600. And since that time the medium has become inredibly immersive. To the point where one could easily confuse many video games with TV shows.

And with that realism has come dynamic interactive socialization. People can talk to each other over their video games. But what many people forget is that social gaming isn’t about the digital connection. It’s about people sharing a common gaming experience with each other.

A recent story highlights the fact that social gaming isn’t something that’s unique to the past decade or so. But instead, it really began right with those first arcade games.

And even more when friends gathered around a newly purchased console to compete with each others. And, of course, to share stories with friends the next day. Whether in the schoolyard or by the office water cooler.

The article highlights somethings special about gaming. It focuses on something known as “troll games”. These games are absurdly difficult. But there’s something else to them as well. Their delightfully hard difficulty prompts discussion. As evidenced by the existence of the story itself.

The article points out that the economics of gaming has made it easier and easier over the years. But the harder “troll games” create a different type of social gaming experience.

People thrill in the challenges provided by these games. But most of the best troll games are impressively difficult while also staying absurdly fair. It’s exactly the type of thing that people love to talk about. It prompts discussion because there’s always a way to push through those difficult moments.

These type of ultra-difficult games have recreated that same experience brought about by arcades. People used to crowd around an arcade cabinet as someone reached high scores or kill screens. And now they socialize around ultra-difficult “troll games” in a similar way.


Social Gaming For Good

A growing league of people assumes that social gaming is just a waste of time. The fact is that there are millions of people that enjoy the thrill of social gaming with people from various corners of the world or in their own neighborhood. Social gaming has received a bad reputation, but things are about to change for the better because of DePaul University Students in Chicago. The goal is to raise awareness of mental illness and other health concerns.

Fighting Back
We’ve heard all the distressing stories about young teens that were bullied in schools by peers and even teachers. The bullying escalated to a point that pushed some of the students to contemplate suicide. The students at Deep Games Laboratory in DePaul’s College of Computing and Digital Media have their finger on the pulse of society and have discovered an innovative way to deal with bullying. They are working on a project that addresses this very important issue along with projects targeted at teaching people to overcome fear and anxiety, plus a project to help sickle cell patients stay healthy.

Healthy Games
People easily become far too addicted to some of the social media gaming platforms. Some state this is just an unhealthy waste of time for the individual. However, the hope is that the new social gaming project will produce very helpful and healthy social gaming play that will help thousands with mental health issues learn to cope with their problems. In addition, it should be noted that the games are free to play online.


Magic the Gathering: Banned and Restricted List January 2018

As any Magic: The Gathering player knows, sometimes new released lines can add some cards to decks that are so powerful they can’t be beaten, or are rarely beaten, in tournament play. For this reason, Magic officials come together at different parts of the year to announce cards that are banned and restricted for tournament play. Often times these bans will force players using these cards to restructure their decks for more open and fair tournament play. However, with every Banned and Restricted announcement, some Magic fans will be left disappointed and in need of a restructure if they wish to continue playing their decks in tournament play.

The Restricted and Banned list on January 15th undoubtedly made both old school and new school players have to take a long hard look at the card set-up they were employing. Though the January B&R (as it is abbreviated) only took four cards away from players, these four had often been used to gather energy for some incredible attacks. Wizards of the Coast has said that since the release of the Ixalan line, they have been monitoring the new card’s effects on the standard play environment and has noticed that Temur Energy and Ramunap Red decks have dominated recent tournament battles.

In an effort to combat this trend, Wizards have announced that the ‘free energy cards’ Ramunap Ruins, and Attune with Aether, have been banned, along with creatures Rampaging Ferocidon, and Rouge Refiner. For a complete breakdown of why these cards have been banned, and past Banned and Restricted cards, visit https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/news/january-15-2018-banned-and-restricted-announcement-2018-01-15.


Atari Plotting A Comeback

Just about everyone on the planet remembers when Atari was King of the consoles. Now, the new generation of social gaming enthusiasts are far less excited about Atari or the return of Atari to the gaming world. Of course, Atari is plotting their comeback with a few new innovative games that will capture the attention of the public and some of their old fans. The hope is that the new games do not end up in a New Mexico landfill like thousands of old Atari games that did not sell well.

New Release Of Social Casino Game
Pridefest and a social casino game are sure to gain the attention of former Atari fans. The company is also taking a look at their back catalog of old favorites to create brand new television shows. Frederic Chesnais, a French gaming industry veteran is the man with the plan to turn things around for Atari. His big idea is to get the attention of those former Atari fans and bring them back in the fold. In addition, they are working diligently to capture the attention of today’s young social gaming enthusiasts too.

Atari Game Over?
Certainly, Atari officials do not think that it’s game over time for the company. However, a documentary is in the works by a major player in the game that details the story about the company dumping thousands of E.T. games in a New Mexico landfill.


Social Gaming Revenues Increase

Over the past five years, the amount of people who play games online with other people has increased considerably. This phenomenon, which is referred to as social gaming, allows people to connect and play with others across the world. While it has performed a great entertainment option, it now appears that social gaming is considered to be very profitable as well (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mobile-gaming-segments-are-the-most-lucrative-in-the-global-gaming-market-635603773.html).

According to a recent report, there are currently over 2 billion people across the globe that play online social games every year. While the amount of games that people play varies considerably from one person to the next, this level of gamers is an all-time high. In fact, the amount of revenue that is earned from online social games has also broken all time records. In 2017, it is estimated that revenue associated with I’m going to social and will top $100 billion for the first time. This is about an 8% increase compared to 2016.

Online social games are currently played on a number of different platforms. Historically, most social games were played through laptop and desktop computers. However, more and more people are playing games through their phones. Mobile social gaming now accounts for about 10% of all social gaming.

While mobile social gaming is still considered a small segment of the overall industry, it appears that it could actually be the most profitable and lucrative. On a per game played a basis, mobile games seem to earn far more revenue and profit than traditional social games. This revelation is likely to have a major impact on the social gaming industry. More and more existing games are soon to be transformed to include a mobile application version. Furthermore, many developers are now focusing their efforts on developing games that are designed only for mobile devices.