Another Overwatch Anniversary Skin Revealed

Overwatch is celebrating its second anniversary next week, and in the meantime Blizzard has been revealing some of the new cosmetic items coming in the anniversary loot boxes. The studio already showed off a villainous look for Soldier 76, and now it’s Tracer’s turn. The de facto face of Overwatch is getting the “Lightning Tracer” skin, with a new tracksuit and, more noticeably, a very different hairstyle.

When the event kicks off next week it will introduce 50 new cosmetic items, which includes eight Legendary skins and three Epics. The anniversary loot boxes will also bring back all the seasonal cosmetics you may have missed over the years. Logging on between May 22 and June 11 will get you a free loot box that guarantees one Legendary item, and the 50-box bundle will also include a bonus Legendary loot box.

Blizzard will be rolling out in-game events during the anniversary celebration as well. The Petra map will be added to the Deathmatch rotation, and Deathmatch is getting its own new Competitive mode. Plus just like the seasonal items, old Arcade brawls will be made available as they rotate daily.

A Legendary edition of Overwatch will launch on May 22 and include 15 skins. A free weekend is coming from May 25-28 to open it up to new players as well. Before all that, though, the Pink Mercy skin for breast cancer research is still available through May 21, so grab it while you can.

Leonardo DiCaprio And Spielberg Are Teaming Up For First Time In 16 Years For A Civil War Movie

Two of the biggest names in Hollywood are coming together again for a new movie, it seems. Deadline reports that Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio are teaming up for a Civil War movie about Ulysses S. Grant, with Spielberg directing and DiCaprio in the title role.

It would be their first time back together since 2002’s Catch Me If You Can.

The movie will be based on Ron Chernow’s 2017 biography, Grant, which writer David James Kelly (Robin Hood) is adapting for the film. Sources told Deadline that production companies Lionsgate and Appian Way, which acquired the film rights to Grant last year, see the production of the movie as a priority.

However, it may not get started soon, as Spielberg has already reportedly said Indiana Jones 5 and West Side Story will be his next films. As for DiCaprio, he hasn’t been in a movie since 2015’s The Revenant, for which he won his first Oscar. Among his confirmed upcoming projects includes Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. DiCaprio is also set to play Teddy Roosevelt in a biopic directed by Martin Scorsese.

Spielberg already made a Civil War era movie with Lincoln. His latest movie was the futuristic blockbuster Ready Player One.

As for Grant the man, he was a general under President Lincoln during the Civil War and helped win critical battles against Confederate general Robert E. Lee. He went on to serve two terms at the 18th president of the United States, from 1869 to 1877.

PUBG On Xbox One Adds New Map For Everyone Soon

PUBG’s second map, Miramar, will launch for everyone on Xbox One very soon. During the latest episode of Microsoft’s Inside Xbox series today, the company announced that Miramar will be available on May 24 for all players. That’s just a few days away.

It was initially released a few weeks ago, but only on PUBG’s test servers on Xbox One. So the official release next week will expand its availability significantly.

Unlike PUBG’s first map, Erangel, Miramar is set in the desert and features things like dry mountains and villages to explore and fight in. Miramar was added to PUBG’s mobile edition through an update earlier this week, which upset some Xbox One owners who thought they might get to play it sooner.

In addition to the arrival of the new map, PUBG on Xbox One is set to receive a title update that improves performance, Microsoft has announced. However, no further details about what the update improves appear to be available yet; keep checking back with GameSpot for more.

In other Xbox news, the newest Xbox One update is out now, while Microsoft has announced a new Halo game…for arcades. Additionally, Microsoft revealed a unique controller designed for people with mobility considerations.

Red Dead, GTA Company Responds To Fortnite’s Massive Success

Fortnite has taken the gaming world by storm, and now Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto parent company Take-Two Interactive has responded yet again to the game’s success. During an earnings call today, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick doubled down on what he said before: you don’t become an industry leader by following what other teams have done before you.

Speaking to analysts, Zelnick said he doesn’t expect his studios–2K Games and Rockstar Games–to follow in the footsteps of Fortnite and PUBG.

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“I think if one changed one’s business to follow other people’s big hits, you’d be constantly playing catch up,” he said. “And to say you wouldn’t be in second place is an understatement. You might remain in last place. So it’s our job to innovate, and more often than not that has driven our success.”

Previously, Zelnick spoke about how Take-Two is certainly aware of Fortnite’s success, he would rather have his studios push forward with new ideas instead of being “derivative” of something that came before. Rockstar is dipping its toes in the battle royale space with GTA Online, which added a battle royale mode called Motor Wars in 2017. And just this week, Rockstar added another battle royale-inspired mode called Trap Door.

Zelnick added that what Fortnite’s success shows is that some of the most successful games are the ones people don’t see coming. As an example, Zelnick pointed out that some industry-watchers said Red Dead Redemption wouldn’t succeed because Westerns had fallen out of favour. But of course, that game was a smash hit, and the sequel due this year is expected to be a massive success as well.

“Maybe the biggest learning [from Fortnite] is just the reinforcement of the fact that big hits by their very nature are unexpected. What drives a big hit is innovation not derivation,” he said. “That’s what we’re proud of around here. When we put out Red Dead Redemption, the conventional wisdom was that western titles do not work in the video game business–and Red Dead Redemption was a big hit and we have extremely high expectations for Red Dead Redemption 2.

“So I think the fact that Fortnite surprised everyone, particularly given where Fortnite came from–after all, what is now in the market is based on a prior release that did not perform all that well. It’s just a reflection of the fact that if you innovate and give consumers what they want, you can get an extraordinary result. And while we would love to corner the market in hits, and we certainly see it as our job to do so, we don’t have all of the hits and we shouldn’t expect to.”

As Zelnick alluded to, Fortnite began its life as a paid game called Fortnite: Save the World, with the free-to-play Battle Royale iteration coming years later.

Also during the call, Zelnick said another thing Fortnite has made clear is that free-to-play as a business model has been “transformative” for gaming and helping to increase the reach of gaming overall.

“The free-to-play revolution, if you will, whether that’s mobile or fixed, has been transformative for the business,” he said. “It’s massively increased the size of the business. There are a lot people who think Fortnite has welcomed into our industry people who didn’t previously play video games. Some of that is anecdotal; it’s hard to know, but I think some of that is right. This is all good news.”

Take-Two already has a substantial free-to-play business through games released in China and through its relatively recent acquisition of mobile game studio Social Point. While free-to-play is an important part of Take-Two’s business, Zelnick stressed that big-budget, narrative-driven, and highly polished juggernauts like GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2 remain “terribly important” to Take-Two as a business.

In other Take-Two news, the company announced today that a new game from 2K–potentially a new Borderlands or BioShock–has been delayed. 2K will be at E3 2018 next month, but as of yet we don’t know what the company plans to show off or discuss at the event.

Nintendo Giving Collectible Pins To Switch Owners At E3

If you’re going to E3 this year, consider bringing your Nintendo Switch along. The company announced it will be giving out collectible pins to anyone seen playing their Switch in and around the convention center during the event.

According to the announcement, the pins will be handed out by roving Nintendo reps while supplies last. These are made exclusively for E3, so they’ll be hard to find outside the convention center. Pins are a frequent giveaway item at booths, and this is likely to be in high demand among the attendees. Plus, bringing your Nintendo Switch is a fine way to pass the time while you wait in lines.

Public-facing promotions like this are part of the changing face of E3, as it becomes a hybrid between an industry press show and one made for consumers. Last year the convention opened its doors to the public for the first time, a trend that is repeating this year. Nintendo has been leaning into taking its messaging directly to fans for years–first by ending its stage presentations in favor of pre-filmed showcases, and then by hosting exhibition tournaments. This year the focus is Super Smash Bros, complete with its own tourney.

E3 2018 will take place June 12-14 in Los Angeles. Most of the big announcements will be packed into the days prior with press conferences from EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Square Enix, Ubisoft, and Sony all spread out across Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Nintendo’s showcase will debut Tuesday morning, just hours before the show opens.

Candy Crush Dev Working On New Call Of Duty Game For Mobile

Candy Crush developer King is working on a new Call of Duty game, it seems. A recently discovered job ad is looking for a level designer to work on an “exciting new project” out of the studio’s office in Stockholm, Sweden. The game is being development in collaboration with Activision Blizzard, which acquired King for an incredible $5.9 billion back in 2015.

“The aim is to create a Call of Duty experience on mobile, while also breaking new ground for mobile and redefining the genre,” reads a line from the ad. “The approach and ambition is to be fresh, social, and highly accessible, while providing a very authentic game experience.”

A desirable candidate will have experience working in the shooter space, which suggests–not surprisingly–that King’s game will be a shooter of sorts. The job ad also states that you have a better shot at getting the job if you have “some understanding of the casual and midcore markets.” You can see the full job ad here (via Game Informer).

There are at least two other job ads at King related to Call of Duty; the others call for a senior network engineer and a senior tools developer.

Just a few weeks ago, Activision Publishing president Coddy Johnson teased that the company might be investing more heavily in the mobile space after seeing the huge success of Fortnite, particularly on mobile.

Activision has already released multiple Call of Duty games for mobile, one of the most recent of which is Call of Duty: Heroes. A 3D strategy game, Heroes lets you control heroes from Call of Duty games such as Call of Duty: WWII and Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

The next mainline Call of Duty game is Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which comes out in October. Activision will officially reveal the game on May 17 during a livestream event, so keep checking back with GameSpot for lots more on the shooter.

Gears Of War Designer Reveals Cool Ideas And Intriguing Art For Games That Were Never Made

Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski’s studio, Boss Key, has closed its doors. The closure came after the North Carolina studio’s two games, LawBreakers and Radical Heights, failed to find a big enough audience to support the team going forward. Now, Bleszinski–who is stepping away from gaming for the time being–has shared some ideas and early design images from other games that the studio considered making. It is almost always fascinating to get a peek behind the curtain in an industry so obsessed with hiding these things from the public–and this case is no different.

Bleszinski posted a few of Boss Key’s other game ideas on Twitter, one of which was a game called “Donuts.” A spiritual successor to Toobin for VR, Donuts was an arcade-style racing that would have had you playing as animals. Basically, it was “Mario Kart on water with animals in VR,” Bleszinski said. He added, “You could drink (ginger) beer for health, crush cans on your head, or shake up full ones for AOE attacks. Slam both hands to jump logs. Roman candles to pop tubes etc.”

Bleszisnki went on to say that he envisioned Donuts as a game that people might actually play in a real inner tube with a VR headset strapped to their face.

Another one of Boss Key’s ideas was for a game codenamed “DragonFlies.” You would play as a ninja/samurai in a giant airship while riding dragons and fighting zombies. It aimed to offer a PvE experience set in a “feudalpunk” world on floating islands. The airships would have been aircraft carries and the dragons your planes, in essence.

You can use melee and guns, while Bleszisnki and the team also envisioned allowing to your customize your dragons. “Basically do for dragon riding what Halo did for vehicles,” he said. You would also come across dragon eggs and hatch them. Bleszinski said the team aimed to learn from the “mistakes” of games like Scalebound and Lair. The developer added in other tweets that he pitched this game to Microsoft, Sony, EA, 2K, Activision, and Warner Bros.–and none wanted it, apparently.

Yet another idea was for a game called “DogWalkers,” which was aiming to be a World of Tanks/Tokyo Wars type of game where players fought against each other in giant vehicles. DOG, in the context of this game, stood for Destructive Ordnance (on the) Ground. “The air in the world’s fiction was toxic so any leaks on your walker you’d have to repair quick or get gas masks on etc. Rappel outside to weld legs too, toss wrenches to each other etc…” Bleszinski shared.

So why did these games never happen? Bleszinski suggested that publishers did not see enough novelty–or too much–for them to want to sign on. What’s more, he said at least some of these games would have had a budget of around $40 million, which he said is “not cheap.”

“One problem with publishers, generally? You pitch something and the response is often ‘too similar to something we have or out there so no’ or ‘this is too unique so we can’t do a proper financial model for it.’ I respect them but as a creative it’s frustrating,” Bleszinski said.

You can see all of Bleszinski’s relevant tweets below.

The servers for Radical Heights, a battle royale game with an ’80s twist, will remain online for the time being, but are expected to eventually shut down for good. Bleszinski himself said he is going to “take some time off and reflect.” He added that he hopes to return to gaming to “make something new again,” but it won’t be for a while.

Bleszinski left Epic Games in 2012 before setting up Boss Key in 2014. An interesting piece of video game trivia is that it was Bleszinski who announced Epic’s Fortnite during the Video Game Awards in 2011.