Archive for the ‘fortnite’ Category

Epic opens Fortnite’s cross-platform services for free to other devs

December 12th, 2018
Players from seven different gaming platforms could be in this shot, and in your game, too!

Enlarge / Players from seven different gaming platforms could be in this shot, and in your game, too!

Part of the massive success of Fortnite has been the ability for hundreds of millions of players to join with each other across myriad computer, mobile, and console platforms. Now, Epic is laying out a roadmap to share that cross-platform architecture with other developers as part of a free SDK that will be rolled out next year.

Epic says its newly announced Online Services SDK will offer "cross-platform login, friends, presence, profile, and entitlements" across PC, Mac, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch "to the full extent each platform allows per-title." The service is planned for launch on PC sometime in the second or third quarter of 2019, with support for other platforms planned "throughout 2019."

A roadmap announced today laid out the following schedule for features to be added to the free SDK:

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Rapper sues Epic Games over “unauthorized” Fortnite dance use

December 6th, 2018

The Fortnite "Swipe It" emote that rapper 2 Milly says infringes on his "Milly Rock" dance move.

Fortnite maker Epic Games has long faced criticism for using existing dance moves as "inspiration" for its popular in-game emotes without offering compensation to the creators of those dances. Rapper 2 Milly (aka Terrence Ferguson) is now the first to take Epic to court over the issue.

Milly argues in a federal lawsuit filed this week in the Central District of California that Epic infringed on his copyright, violated his right of publicity, and engaged in unfair competition by using his "Milly Rock" dance move as the basis for the paid "Swipe It" emote in the game without his permission. "Although identical to the dance created, popularized, and demonstrated by Ferguson, Epic did not credit Ferguson nor seek his consent to use, display, reproduce, sell, or create a derivative work based upon Ferguson’s Milly Rock dance or likeness," the lawsuit alleges.

The Milly Rock dance move traces its roots back to 2014, when it was popularized in a video for a song of the same name that currently has over 18 million YouTube views. The extremely similar "Swipe It" emote in Fortnite is currently sold for 500 V-Bucks (about $5) or as part of a Season 5 Battle Pass for 950 V-Bucks (About $9.50).

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Epic undercuts Steam with new store that gives devs more money

December 4th, 2018
Steam is the guy standing his ground on the left. Epic is the guy jumping in with a Superman punch on the right.

Enlarge / Steam is the guy standing his ground on the left. Epic is the guy jumping in with a Superman punch on the right.

Over the years, we've seen a lot of new PC game platforms try to make a dent in Steam's market-dominating position. Epic Games announced it's having a go at the leader this morning with an upcoming platform, the Epic Games Store, that promises more developer-friendly publishing terms.

Unlike Valve, which takes a baseline 30 percent of revenues from most games and content sold on Steam, Epic is promising to take only 12 percent of developer revenues on its new store. That matches the revenue cut Epic already takes on development assets sold through the existing Unreal Marketplace, a cut the company recently lowered from 30 percent.

"As a developer ourselves, we’ve always wanted access to a store with fair revenue-sharing that gives us direct access to our customers," Epic Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney told Ars in an email interview. "Now that we’ve built such a store, and Fortnite has brought in a huge audience of PC gamers, we’re working to open it up to all developers."

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PUBG’s “console exclusivity” ends, PS4 version out on Dec. 7 [Updated]

November 5th, 2018

PUBG Corp.

Update, November 13: One of gaming's worst-kept secrets has finally been confirmed: PUBG is coming to PS4 consoles. Specifically, on December 7, for $29.99. As of press time, additional digital bundles can also be preordered for $50 and $70, and these include the game's variety of confusing microtransaction currencies.

With an admission that "this probably doesn't come as a surprise" (see original report below), PUBG Corp. made a Tuesday announcement that its one-versus-99 shooting sensation will include a few PlayStation-exclusive cosmetic bonuses for all PS4 preorders: a Nathan Drake (Uncharted) outfit and an Ellie (The Last of Us) backpack.

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Fortnite poisons a potentially great game with agonizing F2P limits

August 8th, 2017

Enlarge / At its best, Fortnite looks (and feels) like this nicely staged promo pic of in-game action. However, so many free-to-play annoyances drag this “build a base, blast some zombies” potential to the unseemly depths. (credit: Epic Games)

Fortnite comes very close to standing out from the crowded online-shooter fray. Some video games let you hunker down with friends and shoot a zillion oncoming zombies. Other games let you build a giant, personalized fortress. What if a single game let you do both—and made the fort-building stuff a cinch? (Basically, a particularly smooth gaming combo of peanut butter and chocolate.)

To test that attractive sales pitch, I have racked up about a week of on-and-off Fortnite testing, spread over the two weeks since the game launched in a peculiar “paid early access” manner. With that much time, I’ve confirmed that Fortnite includes a darned good synergy of those game ideas, backed by robust game mechanics, incredible art design, and a base-building system that really finds a good balance between simplicity and depth.

Trouble is, I’ve also struggled to have fun with the results thus far. While Epic has declared that this is an “early access” game for the foreseeable future, whose elements are subject to change, I’m concerned that Fortnite‘s root issue can’t be so easily patched: the poisonous real-money economics stirred into the gameplay pot.

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