Gaming

electronic-arts-logoElectronic Arts and Valve Announce Partnership to Bring EA Access Subscription and EA Games to Steam

Subscription Arrives for Steam Players this Spring, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Will Be the First Game Available at Launch.

Today, Electronic Arts Inc. and Valve announced a partnership to put EA games into the hands of players on Steam. EA Access will launch on Steam next spring, giving players another place to subscribe to a great collection of EA games and member benefits on PC. The first new EA game launching on Steam will arrive on November 15, when the eagerly anticipated title, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order™, debuts worldwide. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available to pre-order on Steam beginning today.

This is the start of an exciting partnership with Valve that will see us innovating for PC players around the world,” said Andrew Wilson, CEO of Electronic Arts. “Through our subscription, great games and more, we’re excited to bring players in the Steam and Origin communities together with access to the best games, whenever and wherever they want to play.

This is a good day for gamers,” said Valve’s Gabe Newell. “We’re excited to partner with EA to not only bring their great games and subscription service to Steam, but also to open up our communities to each other in an unprecedented way that will benefit players and developers around the world.

EA Access will give subscribers access to a broad portfolio of EA games, valuable member benefits and discounts on full game purchases, expansions, in-game items and more. EA has been offering subscription services since 2014, and currently reaches players on the Xbox One, PlayStation®4 and Origin™ platforms.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order™ – the new single player, third-person action adventure Star Wars™ game from Respawn and EA – launches to players worldwide on November 15, 2019. Click HERE for more game information.

You can pre-order the game on Steam now!

In the coming months, players on Steam will be able to play other games such as The Sims™ 4 and Unravel™ 2. Multiplayer games like Apex Legends™, FIFA 20 and Battlefield™ V will become available next year, and players on Origin and Steam will have the ability to play together.

Gaming | Donster | |

uplay-plusSource: TechPowerUp!

Ubisoft’s games SaaS (software as a service) subscription platform, UPlay+, has gone live in select markets, such as the UK. The month of September is completely free, and is charged £12.99 per month thereafter. Unlike Origin Access, UPlay+ isn’t tiered, and you get full access to over 100 AAA titles from Ubisoft, including their premium editions and DLCs. UPlay+ subscribers also become eligible to early-access beta access to upcoming games. You also get SaaS essentials such as the ability to cancel your subscription at any time, and renew it later (along with your data intact). There’s a catch to the September FFA – you need to provide your credit card details upfront, which UPlay authenticates with a £1 reversible charge. On October 1, the first charge for £12.99 takes place, and your subscription rolls on. Reddit members have reported teething troubles with the payment gateway such as failed credit card charges.

Gaming | Donster | |

uplay-plusAnd there’s a month-long free trial

By Matt Wales @ Eurogamer

Back in June, amid the hubbub of E3, Ubisoft announced that it was preparing to launch its own PC games subscription offering, Uplay+. At the time, a library of more than 100 titles was promised for launch, and the publisher has now confirmed the full list of games that will be available when the service arrives on 3rd September.

A Uplay+ subscription costs €14.99/$14.99 USD a month (an official UK price is yet to be confirmed) and provides access to Uplay’s full PC games library, which, as you’d expect, includes all of Ubisoft’s blockbuster franchises – so the likes of Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, and Far Cry are, unsurprisingly, accounted for – plus all of the publisher’s upcoming titles, including Gods & Monsters and Watch Dogs Legion.

There’s ample representation of classic series from Ubisoft’s enormous back catalogue too – Rayman, Splinter Cell, Prince of Persia, and The Settlers get a good airing, for instance – alongside the Steeps, Starlinks, and The Crews of this world.

Read on…

Gaming | Donster | |

steam-labsSource: Blue’s News

Valve offers a look at what they’re cooking up by opening up the doors to the Steam Labs. This unveils “experiments,” works in progress which will not necessarily succeed in the long run. The first three of these are: Micro Trailers, the Interactive Recommender, and Automatic Show. Micro Trailers “are six-second looping videos designed to quickly inform viewers about titles on Steam with a presentation that’s easy to skim.” The Automatic Show is a bot-generated entertainment program. Finally the Interactive Recommender is a new recommendation engine. This last one seems to hold the most promise, as they offer a separate news post with extensive details on its operation. Here’s an explanation on how they hope this might improve upon previous ways of generating game recommendations:

Recommendations on Steam
Rather than introducing a big change to the way customized recommendations are determined on Steam, we’re introducing this new recommender as an experiment customers can seek out and try. This will help us get better usage data while avoiding any sudden shifts that we know can be frustrating for customers and developers who are accustomed to Steam. Should the interactive recommender or related experiments prove useful, we’ll share an update before rolling out any big changes to the way Steam recommends titles to people. The data driving Popular, New, and Trending is different from that of the Discovery Queue, this new recommender, and so on. We view this new interactive recommender as one discovery element among many, and look forward to introducing more ways to connect customers with interesting content and developers.

Recommendations and new games
New games in a system such as this one have a chicken-and-egg effect known as the “cold start” problem. The model can’t recommend games that don’t have players yet, because it has no data about them. It can react quite quickly, and when re-trained it picks up on new releases with just a few days of data. That said, it can’t fill the role played by the Discovery Queue in surfacing brand new content, and so we view this tool to be additive to existing mechanisms rather than a replacement for them.

Why it works for short games
The recommender knows that there are great short-form games you can finish in an hour, and those you’ll play for thousands. Your playtime data is normalized to reflect the distribution of playtime in each game, ensuring that all games are on an equal footing.

No need for developer optimization
Sometimes, computer-driven discovery makes creators focus on optimizing for “The Algorithm” rather than customers. You might ask, how is this any different? We designed the recommender to be driven by what players do, not by extrinsic elements like tags or reviews. The best way for a developer to optimize for this model is to make a game that people enjoy playing. While it’s important to supply users with useful information about your game on its store page, you shouldn’t agonize about whether tags or other metadata will affect how a recommendations model sees your game.

Gaming | Donster | |

razer-game-storeThe Razer Game Store rewards customers with zSilver loyalty rewards credits for any purchase.

Razer, the leading global lifestyle brand for gamers, today announced a new digital distribution platform for PC games – the Razer Game Store – which goes live globally today.

The Razer Game Store (gamestore.razer.com) offers instant access to thousands of digital games and rewards customers with every purchase. Games are delivered in the form of Steam or Uplay product keys.

With Razer’s global leadership in gaming peripherals, laptops and software, the Razer Game Store is the next step in its expanding ecosystem for gamers.

Get Games, Get Rewarded

When gamers buy games from the Razer Game Store, they get access to exclusive offers, Razer Game Store vouchers, discounted Razer peripherals on the RazerStore or other perks.

In addition, gamers will also earn zSilver loyalty rewards credits with each purchase on the Razer Game Store, including credit card transactions. Paying instead with zGold grants even larger zSilver rewards.

With its unique rewards system , buying a game from the Razer Game Store grants more value than in any other digital store as gamers are then able to redeem their rewards for other Razer products and more each time they checkout.

As gamers, we know the importance of a good deal and the Razer Game Store delivers that to everyone,” says Min-Liang Tan, Razer co-founder and CEO. “We have been delighting gamers with our high-performing peripherals, laptops and software, and we’re now also able to provide the content itself that fuels their passion.

Read the full press release HERE.

Gaming | Donster | |

Source: Blue’s News

As expected, the Summer Sale is now underway on Steam, or as they’re calling this year’s installment the Summer Picnic Sale. We can probably find more details when an announcement rolls in, but in the meantime, we can see that there are the usual discounts to be had, and this year’s side game involves getting three free trading cards each day. Initial sales are for things like LEGO games for 30-75% off, the Arma franchise for 20-80% off, and the Call of Duty franchise for 50-67% off.

Gaming | Donster | |

operation-supply-drop-logoLeading Military Charity Partners with Brooke Army Medical Center to Provide Wounded Veterans Entertainment and Occupational Therapy through Video Games

Military charity Operation Supply Drop (OSD) – the world’s most generationally relevant support organization for veterans and active duty military – is proud to announce that on November 18, 2015, it delivered its most impactful video game care package (“Supply Drop”) to date, benefiting the approximately 800 patients treated annually by the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) Burn Center, located at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) in San Antonio, TX, the United State’s largest and busiest military hospital.

In partnership with USAISR Burn Center and through generous support from video game developers, publishers, hardware manufacturers, and both private and institutional donors, OSD was able to offer stress-reducing entertainment and support occupational therapy efforts for patients at BAMC. The military hospital provides care for more than 4,000 patients each day and comprises five separate clinics: Fort Sam Houston Primary Care Clinic, McWethy Troop Medical Clinic, Taylor Burk Clinic, the Schertz Medical Home, and the Corpus Christi Occupational Health Clinic. In addition to being the nation’s largest military hospital, BAMC is a Level-I military trauma center and provides industry-leading burn injury treatment to military and civilians.

“There’s no limit to the potential use of games as a therapeutic tool,” said Major Erik Johnson, Chief of Occupational Therapy for the Burn Center at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research. “You can use the current generation of video game consoles, such as the XBox with Kinect motion sensor, for a wide range of supplemental treatments. These include improving range of motion in the upper extremities and balance enhancement activities, even with patients who have suffered a brain injury. Perhaps the biggest benefit I’ve observed, however, is that when we engage patients in this type of therapy it significantly boosts their emotional state. And anything we can do to provide them positive emotional feedback is a huge deal for us.”

For more information about this great charity, please visit www.operationsupplydrop.org.

Gaming | Donster | |

razer-arena-logoRazer, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, in partnership with Las Vegas-based Gaming-Grids, today announced the first phase launch of Razer Arena, a new competitive gaming ecosystem for everyone. The service will be powered by the voice chat gaming messenger, Razer Comms.

Razer Arena is a web-based platform that brings together competitive gaming tools typically reserved for professional-level gamers. With automatic match creation and reporting, tournament and match lobbies, match notifications, and more, Razer Arena provides a seamless experience without the hassle of uploading screenshots or replays. Razer Arena also allows match teammates and opponents to easily communicate.

In the first phase, users will be able to participate in daily challenge cups to get familiar with the tournament platform, as well as participate in tournaments produced by selected partners.

In the second phase, slated for March 2015, users will be able to host their own private tournaments. Successful Razer Arena tournaments may be featured alongside professionally organized events.

More information is available at the official Razer Arena Website.

Gaming | Donster | |

Platform’s 100 million users can now broadcast their gameplay to the world using new, Twitch-like feature.

By Eddie Makuch @ GameSpot

Steam Broadcasting, a new, Twitch-like feature that players can use to stream their games for anyone to watch, is now available to the platform’s 100 million+ users. Broadcasting was announced in early December 2014 and had previously been available to some Steam users in beta form.

The feature is currently available to all Steam users as part of the the latest client update. This patch, which will be automatically downloaded, also introduces an in-game FPS counter and lots more.

To use Steam Broadcasting, users can click “Watch Game” on their friend’s profile. Viewers don’t have to also own the game, pay a fee, or install any additional apps. Though Broadcasting was designed to highlight game clips, users can also utilize the feature to broadcast anything on their desktop.

Read more…

Gaming | Donster | |

operation-supply-drop-logoVideo Game Themed Military Charity Teams up with Celebrities and Influencers to Promote Support for Deployed Combat Troops and Wounded Veterans

Leading video game themed military charity, Operation Supply Drop, today proudly launches its Ambassador Program. The program enlists key influencers, celebrities and well-known entertainment personalities to strengthen awareness for Operation Supply Drop’s mission – supporting men and women in uniform that are currently deployed for combat operations and those veterans that have previously served, many recovering or struggling with serious injuries related to their military service.

“Operation Supply Drop has teamed up with well-known personalities and influencers from the technology and entertainment industries that support the military and will serve as positive role models, helping raise awareness for our cause,” said Glenn “Commander” Banton, CEO of Operation Supply Drop. “Our Operation Supply Drop Ambassadors are highly respected leaders that stem from television and cinema, sports, video games and online broadcasting. We are truly thankful to be able to avail ourselves of their talents and voices to strengthen our many efforts to support our men and women in uniform.”

Initiatives benefiting from the Operation Supply Drop Ambassador Program include fund-raising, program education, veteran-owned business startup mentoring, as well as job and career networking assistance. The Operation Supply Drop Ambassadors will also support the charity’s Thank You Deployment program, which enables wounded veterans to attend video game events to gain a behind-the-scenes insider look and experience first-hand what goes into making and promoting some of their favorite titles.

Founded in 2010 by former Army Airborne Ranger, Captain Stephen “Shanghai Six” Machuga, Operation Supply Drop is a 501©(3) public charity that sends video game themed care packages to servicemen and servicewomen deployed to combat zones or recovering in military hospitals. To date, Operation Supply Drop has raised over $2 million USD in donations, games and related gear from across the gaming community and has helped more than 7,500 active duty military members and veterans worldwide. For more information, please visit www.operationsupplydrop.org.

Gaming | Donster | |