It’s a big weekend for free play days–there are five separate games available to play for free over the weekend running from November 8 until November 11. If you want to test something new out, here’s what’s available.
The Elder Scrolls Online currently has a free trial period, which is running until November 13 on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 (you’ll need Xbox Live Gold to access the trial on Xbox One). You can test the game out for free, and then if you decide to jump in after that you can continue your progress without needing to start over.
If you’re after something completely different, you can jump onto Steam and try American Truck Simulator for the next three days. If you like it, you can grab the full game with a 75% discount until November 15 and keep driving down the game’s recreated American highways. The game’s user reviews average out as “very positive”; play it and see why.
Just Cause 4 is also enjoying a free weekend on Steam. This is, specifically, the ‘Reloaded’ edition of Just Cause 4, which comes with a few extras: the ‘Skystriker’ Weaponized Wingsuit, the Black Hand Stealth Micro Jet, the Neon Racer Pack, the Deathstalker Scorpion Pack, and the Renegade Pack. The game is also on special, as are several bundles collecting the game and various pieces of DLC–test it out and see if you’d like to keep playing.
Two different iterations of Cities: Skylines are also free to play this weekend. The PC version can be found on Steam, and is also on sale with a 75% discount from now until November 12, for both its standard and deluxe edition versions. The Xbox One version is similarly on sale at 75% off, and free to play over the weekend. This version is also available on Xbox Game Pass for consoles.
Finally, the Xbox One version of The Surge is free to play this weekend. You can download it now and test it out over the weekend, and then–once again–buy it at a 75% discount. The Surge is also available on Xbox Game Pass for consoles, so subscribers can play it at no additional cost.
That should be enough to keep you busy over the weekend.
Activision is interested in ramping up its mobile game development. During an earnings call, Activision Blizzard president and chief operating officer Coddy Johnson said the company is looking at every one of its franchises to potentially bring to mobile.
He started off by reminding people that Activision Blizzard is already a company that is focused on mobile devices, with one-third of its total business coming from mobile. This is no doubt fueled in part by King, the mobile giant behind Candy Crush that Activision acquired in 2015.
“A third of our business is on mobile already. We have the largest mobile gaming presence in the west. So we want to build on that leadership position. We think it’s a foundation of strength to do that. [Mobile] is a massive opportunity, and we think not just for Call of Duty and not just for Diablo Immortal,” Johnson said.
The executive added that mobile devices are becoming more and more powerful, and this is helping Activision to adapt its traditional AAA franchises to smaller screens.
“The AAA kinds of games we make are ready to work on mobile because of the improving compute and graphics capability [of the mobile devices],” he said. “And honestly because of evolving player expectations. It’s now the case that many of the most successful global games are first-person action, strategy; those all align, as you might imagine, very well with our portfolio. [And] we have a growing ability to execute”
Johnson went on to say that Activision is uniquely positioned for success in the mobile market because it owns some of the biggest names in gaming. He pointed out that Call of Duty Mobile’s recent release was enormously successful, with 100 million downloads, and this level of success might have only been possible because Call of Duty is such an established brand.
“We’re seeing that franchise familiarity and awareness matter–they matter fundamentally to the tune of hundreds of millions of people. When you reach out in the right way with franchises they’re willing to come in. So let’s the level of opportunity we see,” he said.
Johnson was asked directly if Activision might bring World of Warcraft or Overwatch to mobile, but he wouldn’t confirmed anything. However, he teased that Activision is considering “all of our franchises” for potential adaptation to the mobile market.
“In terms of what we’ll make, you might imagine we’re looking at all of our franchises. We want to do it where it makes sense,” he said.
Activision will consider releasing new mobile games under three main brackets. The first of these is a game that would “extend existing gameplay,” with Call of Duty Mobile as an example of that. Johnson pointed out that Call of Duty Mobile has maps, weapons, and characters from the console version, and similar adaptations could happen for other franchises. Johnson teased that Activision sees “a number of opportunities” to do this with other series.
Activision would also consider releasing mobile games that are “reimaginations” of a console/PC title. The card game Hearthstone–which exists in the Warcraft universe–was an example of this, Johnson said, and he teased that Activision has “a number of ideas like that” looking ahead. The third bracket is a “true cross-platform title” that is cross-compatible between console/PC and mobile right from the start, Johnson said.
Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest on Activision’s plans for more mobile games. In other news, Activision announced that it made $700 million from microtransactions in the last quarter.
The Outer Worlds hasn’t been out for long, but it’s already making waves for publisher Take-Two Interactive. The Obsidian-developed space RPG has performed well critically and commercially, and has apparently exceeded expectations.
During Take-Two’s investor call today, they discussed recent sales milestones for their biggest titles, as well as the company’s approach to microtransactions. The Outer Worlds was singled out separately as a title that had performed well, both critically (check out our 9/10 review) and commercially.
Company president Karl Slatoff called The Outer Worlds a “critical and commercial success” in the call, stating that it was “exceeding our expectations, and reviews have been outstanding.” Specific sales figures for the game’s launch period were not given, but the game is evidently doing well. This is especially good news for Microsoft, which recently bought out Obsidian with hopes of franchising The Outer Worlds on Xbox.
During the call, Take-Two also discussed the time frame for The Outer Worlds’ Switch release, which has now been narrowed down.
Deep Down was first announced in 2013 as a PlayStation 4 exclusive, but we haven’t seen or heard much from it since. The last news we heard was all the way back in 2015, when producer Yoshinori Ono said that the game would look “completely different” from the initial trailer the next time we saw it, and that the game was aiming for a very realistic experience.
But the game has not been seen since, beyond a trademark renewal in 2017 that got fans’ hopes up. Now, Ono has spoken about the game for the first time in years, and it sounds like the game is not being worked on, but could theoretically still happen.
In an interview with Eurogamer that primarily focuses on Street Fighter V (which he is also executive producer on), Ono briefly discussed the long-dormant dragon hunting game, admitting that he still has some hope that the game will be completed one day.
“The original team is clearly no longer together at this point, but people might have noticed that we’ve kept the trademark registered, and it’s not been completely given up on,” he told Eurogamer. “Every year we examine titles we’re doing in future, and we bring up projects to approve and move forward. There’s not much I can say about it, but if you’ve noticed we’ve kept the trademark it means we haven’t given up on the title completely.”
When asked about the TGS trailer from 2014, Ono said that the team had “the concept developed a bit further than that.”
This isn’t confirmation that Deep Down will still happen, but it suggests that the game’s eventual release remains a possibility. It certainly wouldn’t be the first major PlayStation title to take its time releasing: The Last Guardian was first revealed seven years before its eventual release, while Until Dawn was announced as a PlayStation 3 title five years before its eventual PS4 release. Then there’s Shenmue III, which will release on November 19, a full 18 years after Shenmue II.
The director of DC’s incredibly popular Joker movie has ended the debate about whether a certain character in the film lived or died. READ ON BELOW FOR THE SPOILER-Y DETAILS.
A significant plot point in Joker is the relationship that Arthur (Joaquin Phoenix) has with his neighbor, Sophie (Zazie Beetz). Arthur and Sophie fall fast in love, or so the movie would you have think. In reality, Arthur’s entire relationship with Sophie was in his mind.
This comes to a head when, in the second half of the movie, Arthur visits Sophie in her apartment and she is alarmed, given they had no relationship in reality.
The movie then shows Arthur walking down the hallway with no resolution–and this is the last time we see Sophie. Some viewers wondered if Arthur killed Sophie. He did not, Phillips–who also wrote Joker–confirmed to IndieWire.
“He doesn’t kill her, definitively,” Phillips said. “As the filmmaker and the writer I am saying he doesn’t kill her. We like the idea that it’s almost like a litmus test for the audience to say, ‘How crazy is he?'”
“Most people that I’ve spoken to think he didn’t kill her because they understand the idea that he only kills people that did him wrong,” he added. “She had nothing to do with it. Most people understood that, even as a villain, he was living by a certain code. Of course he didn’t kill this woman down the hall.”
Phillips did not always plan to be ambiguous about what happened to Sophie. He revealed that an earlier draft of the movie showed Sophie– alive and well in her apartment–watching the interview that Arthur gave to Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro), which would have confirmed she was still alive.
The fate of Sophie was already confirmed by cinematographer Lawrence Sher, but this is seemingly the first time that Phillips himself is addressing it.
Joker has made almost $940 million at the box office, which makes it a tremendous success given it was produced on a $70 million budget. It is the highest-grossing R-rated movie in history.
Joker is expected to enter a new stratosphere of success soon, as box office projections estimate it will hit $1 billion over the coming weekends. If it can cross $1 billion, it would become just the fourth DC movie ever to reach that number, joining The Dark Knight ($1.004 billion), The Dark Knight Rises ($1.081 billion), and Aquaman ($1.148 billion).
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Rocket League will change how upgrades and rewards work next month when Crates are replaced by Blueprints. Paid Crates are on their way out, and Blueprints will use a new premium currency, Credits (which are replacing Keys). Blueprints will let you see exactly what they’re going to build, so it’s always clear what you’re getting for your money. This will take some of the randomness out of the loot game in Rocket League.
Developer Psyonix has further detailed how Blueprints will work in a new post on the official Rocket League website. Once the update hits, online matches will begin to reward players with “revealed” Blueprints. You can build the items on these Blueprints by spending Credits, hold onto them for a while, or trade them with another player. Any existing Crates that you have in your inventory when this update occurs will change to “unrevealed” Blueprints, which you can then change to revealed Blueprints at no extra cost.
Players will be able to trade Blueprints with one another, just as they’re currently able to trade items (which will remain the case going forward). You’ll be able to trade revealed Blueprints, as well as items that have been built from Blueprints, as well as Credits (although you cannot trade Credits for other Credits or give them away, only for items and Blueprints). You will not be able to trade Unrevealed Blueprints.
Any Decryptors you have in your inventory will be turned into “Bonus Gifts” after the update. These will contain items from the Vindicator Crate series and the first Blueprint Series, which is called the Revival Series. The Revival Series will “bring back some fan-favorite items throughout Rocket League’s history.”
2019 has been a big year for Rocket League, despite the game being over four years old now. Earlier this year, Psyonix was bought by Epic Games, which saw Rocket League moving over to the Epic Games Store (although it’s also still available on Steam). Paid Crates were also removed from the game in both Belgium and the Netherlands; soon the rest of the world will follow.
Frozen 2, which will hit cinemas on November 22, has hit a major ticket sales milestone on the first day tickets went on sale.
Deadline is reporting that Frozen 2 has the highest first day ticket sales for an animated movie ever for ticket presellers Fandango and Atom Tickets. Toy Story 4 held the record for Fandango previously, followed by Incredibles 2, Finding Dory, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Atom Tickets has said that the only film releasing over the holiday period outpacing Frozen 2 is Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Specific sales numbers have not been released, but Deadline is saying that sales have “eclipsed” the previous record. It bodes well for the sequel, which will follow Elsa and Anna on a new journey three years after the events of the first film. Disney has successfully kept many details about the film’s plot beyond this under wraps.
Previous record holder Toy Story 4 earned $118 million on its opening weekend, which was lower than anticipated but still very high, and the best opening for the Toy Story franchise. It went on to gross over $1 billion at the international box office, and Frozen 2 is expected to do the same; the original film earned $1.274 billion internationally.
This is not the first record that Frozen 2 has broken: its initial teaser trailer had 116.4 million views over its first 24 hours, which is the most ever for an animated movie.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare got off to a great start with record-breaking sales and generally positive review scores. However, some players have remarked that the weapon balance isn’t exactly where it should be. Specifically, players are reporting that the M4 rifle and 725 shotgun are currently too powerful, and are negatively affecting the experience.
Modern Warfare’s multiplayer co-director, Joe Cecot, wrote on Twitter to confirm that “weapon tuning” changes are coming to the game in a future update. He did not say which weapons specifically will be addressed, but given the volume of feedback regarding the M4 and 725, it seems likely those weapons will be nerfed or changed in some capacity.
Some players have discovered that the 725, when augmented with special equipment, can actually act as a sniper rifle. Cecot replied to a video documenting this with the eyes emoji, which suggests the 725 may get nerfed in the new update to come.
There is no word yet on when the weapon tuning update will be released, but keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.
Modern Warfare launched on October 25, and it needed just three days to bring in more than $600 million in sales. Its sales over its first three days were better than every other Call of Duty released during this generation of consoles.
Looking forward, developer Infinity Ward has plans to support Modern Warfare for a long time to come, beginning with a Battle Pass system that will add new cosmetic rewards on a regular schedule. The Battle Pass isn’t available yet but Activision says it will be live later in 2019.
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