Archive for the ‘fortnite’ Category

Fortnite teams with Weezer in attempt to become the next Second Life

March 1st, 2019

Fortnite's latest "season" of refreshed content launched on Thursday, complete with a litany of patch notes about changes to its gameplay. But the biggest change arguably isn't weapons, terrain, or pirate-themed outfits. The Epic Games title also snuck in a high-profile pop-culture mash-up—and thus it snuck in quite a suggestion for the series' future.

As of press time, should you boot into the game's "creative" mode, which allows you and online friends to play on a private server without any "battle royale" restrictions, you can choose to fly the game's veritable "battle bus" to Weezer Island. (Yes, the chart-topping rock band whose first album came out nearly 25 years ago.)

This in-game zone works in any of the game's versions (console, computer, and mobile), and it's full of speakers blaring four songs from the band's newly launched Black Album, out now on Friday, March 1. (Anyone who loaded this zone on Thursday essentially got a one-day sneak preview of the songs, which are not complete versions.)

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Fortnite puts an end to random loot box purchases

January 28th, 2019
What... what are you doing with that hammer?

Enlarge / What... what are you doing with that hammer?

Epic Games is getting rid of Fortnite's version of paid, randomized loot boxes with its next update. As of the upcoming Patch 7.30, "Save the World" mode's usual daily randomized offering of a "V-Bucks Llama" will be replaced with a new "X-Ray Llama," which has its contents visible before you buy it.

Players can either purchase those items for 50 V-Bucks (roughly 50 cents, depending on bulk purchase) or wait for the Llama selection to refresh the next day. Similar item-filled llamas earned solely through gameplay will still hold random items. Fortnite's more popular Battle Royale mode does not use paid randomized loot boxes.

"We believe it’s important that the Llamas you buy have what you want, and that you can earn awesome items just for logging in and playing," Epic said in a blog post announcing the move over the weekend.

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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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