Monday, May 1, 2017

The Breakdown: Hostile Actions, Ubisoft, Net Neutrality, E3, MTG, & More

Ello lovelies and welcome back to BaicunnPress. It's Monday, and the Breakdown is late. I do apologize for the delay, but I had some unexpected personal business come up last week; and it had to take precedences. I'm working on some bonus content for you guys to release this week to make up for it. So as not to delay further, let's jump into The Breakdown  

What's more hostile than Mondays? Well Vivendi, if you're Ubisoft. Vivendi recently disclosed that they are looking at increasing their holdings into the video game industry. According to a Reuter source close to Vivendi, the French media giant is looking to acquire Ubisoft, and wrestling control away from the Guillemot family. As can be expected, the Guillemots are not keen on the idea. Especially since Ubisoft has been killing it in the US, in 2017; scoring not only the most triple A sales, but the 2 best selling games.

Even more hostile than Vivendi... Apparently, a 20 year old autistic kid with a keyboard. Adam Mudd was just sentenced to 2 years in the UK for operating DDoS services. Mudd plead guilty to 2 charges under the Computer Misuse Act (The UK equivalent to the US CFAA). He was charged with collecting around $498,413 (@ the current exchange rate) in cash and BitCoin, from users of his Titanium Stresser service. 
If Titanium Stresser sounds familiar, it's because it became basis of Lizard Stresser; used by Lizard Squad's Christmas 2014 DDoS on Xbox Live and PSN.  

In other Internet related news, the FCC and it's Chairman; Ajit Pai are poised to shit all over US Internet users. The flaming douche canoe formerly known as Ajit Pai, recently made comments stating that he would be looking at rolling back key policies of net neutrality. Stating that there would be a vote on the matter at the next FCC meeting currently scheduled for 5/18. (RIP the Internet). 

The Flaming Douche Canoe
Formerly Known As Ajit Pai
If the former is as catastrophic as many believe it might be, physical copies of games may become more popular again. Recently, marketing research firm; NPD announced that their research has shown that up to 75% of the video games market in the US is now digital. This is remarkable considering just 6 years ago, 2/3 of the market was still physical.

It'll be interesting to see if AAA publishers come out of the wood work if net neutrality is rolled back, as digital copies of games create more profit than physical copies. However, it's unknown whether this will happen; as AAA producers have troubles of their own to handle. At least they have problems according to Boss Key Productions founder and Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski. 

Bleszinski, recently presented a talk at Reboot Develop. During his talk he claimed that AAA games are stagnating the industry, as consumers are being presented with "category of eight games that are getting repeated over and over again". Bleszinski went on to state that triple A games cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and the cost makes it "too scared to take the risk on new IP" for many developers. Which Bleszinski states, "This is a nearly unsustainable model, unless you're an Activision, 2K or a Sony.", and advised developers to produce "Double A". He clarified that double A games are "games that look and play great but pick their battles in terms of budget and marketing".

Seems like a bit of a bleak future considering the upcoming release of Microsoft's Xbox Scorpio. However, according to Brad Wardell; CEO of "Double A" game dev Stardock; Scorpio has no technical limit with it's 12GBs of GDDR5 RAM. He also stated that the same would be true, even if developers only had 8 Gigs to work with. Further comments indicated that to properly exploit the capabilities of the Scorpio, an engine would have to be "Core-Neutral". Wardell even took the time to plug Stardock by stating "...right now only Stardock & Oxide Game's have a shipping core neutral engine." So maybe there's hope for a future of stunning Double A games.(At this time, there's still no official release date or price for the Scorpio, but it's likely that we'll have that info come E3 in June.) 

Incase you unaware, E3 will be open to the general public this year. According to ESA VP; Rich Taylor, the 15,000 general access passes are due to direct feedback from gamers. So, good job all of you reddit thread armchair activists!

In other E3 news, IGN has put up a list of games that have been confirmed to be playable at E3. The list will likely grow over time. 

While on the topic of pleasing fans, Atlas has back down off of their high horse regarding streaming Persona 5. If you remember a few weeks back BaicunnPress covered that Atlas's bizarre stipulations regarding streaming gameplay, and droning on about mysterious "Japanese Masters". Well, it appears that bitchy fans won... At least a little bit. Atlas recently announced that the game can now be streamed up to the in game date of 11/9, and apologized for "the poorly communicated message". 

A few last topics before we leave off here. M. Night Shyamalan announced on Twitter that a sequel for Split and Unbreakable is in the works. Yes, Split and Unbreakable exist in the same cinematic universe. The sequel is reportedly, named Glass, and both Samuel L Jackson and Bruce Willis will be reprising their roles. 

And as a final PSA, it took just under a week, and Wizards of the Coast have banned a new Amonkhet card from standard. The ban revolves around using Felidar Guardian in conjunction with Saheeli Rai to amass an army of cats. WotC estimates that roughly 40% of tournament decks will be affected by the ban. 
Well that's it for today. Thank you for stopping by. I always appreciate your support and feedback. If there's ever anything you want me to cover, you need only to ask. I'm not exactly sure on what bonus material will be released this week, but I'll get it up ASAP. Remember to share if you like what you seen, and I will see you guys in the next post.

-Chali Baicunn