Twitter has announced a partnership with esports organizations ESL and DreamHack to live stream esports events and original content throughout 2017.

The partnership means that ESL One, Intel Extreme Masters, and DreamHack events will be live streamed on Twitter. The first of these will be IEM Katowice, with the Twitter stream starting on Saturday, March 4th.

The live stream will feature exclusive content created for Twitter, including a 30-minute show featuring highlights and behind-the-scenes footage. DreamHack events will also be live streamed on Twitter, beginning with DreamHack Austin, which stars April 28.

Users around the world will be able to watch the live streams on esl.twitter.com, iem.twitter.com, and dreamhack.twitter.com. The Twitter live streams will have advertising packages with television-style ad spots in addition to the original highlights.

“Esports is growing at a rapid pace and we see this collaboration as a way to tap into the engaged audience of gamers that are already using Twitter as a primary source of content,” said Twitter chief operating officer Anthony Noto. “By partnering with the leading esports companies like ESL and DreamHack, we look forward to bringing the best of esports live video and conversation together on Twitter.”

IEM Katowice’s CS:GO quarterfinals are scheduled to start this Friday, March 3 at 3:45AM PST. Yahoo Esports will be covering the event, so be sure to stay tuned to site for more content from the show floor.

Source: Yahoo! ESports

This is being discussed live on Episode 55 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

Ghost Recon Wildlands is, for most of us, a video game. For the governments of France (home to publishers Ubisoft) and Bolivia, though, it’s now a cause of national beef.

Wildlands, which is set in a fictional version of Bolivia where the country is controlled by Mexican drug cartels, has upset the South American country’s government so much that it has “filed a formal complaint with the French embassy” over its depiction in the game.

Reuters reports that Carlos Romero, Bolivia’s interior minister, has “asked that the French government intervene, adding that Bolivia reserved the right to take legal action.”

“We have the standing to do it (take legal action), but at first we prefer to go the route of diplomatic negotiation,” he told reporters.

Ubisoft, in their defence, say that the fictional video game is indeed a work of fiction, issuing a statement to Reuters that says “While the game’s premise imagines a different reality than the one that exists in Bolivia today, we do hope that the in-game world comes close to representing the country’s beautiful topography.”

Source: Kotaku

This is being discussed live on Episode 55 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

Who best to start a new IP for Neal Moritz’s Original Film (Fast and Furious) than the Ip Man himself? Martial artist Donnie Yen is set to star in a new feature from Moritz entitled Sleeping Dogs, which is based on the top-selling video game by Square Enix.

Yen, who recently co-starred in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and xXx: Return of Xander Cage, follows an undercover police officer (Yen) on a mission to take down one of the most powerful and dangerous criminal organizations in the world: the notorious Triads. The movie based on an action video game is set in Hong Kong and focuses on martial arts fighting, racing, boat chases … and shooting while doing all of that.

Yen, a Chinese martial artist, has long been a fight choreographer and is probably best known to audiences as the star — and Wing Chun grandmaster — of the Ip Man franchise. Original Film is producing with DJ2 Entertainment, specifically producers will be Moritz, Dmitri Johnson and Dan Jevons with Toby Ascher and Stephan Bugaj executive producing. DJ2 is currently co-producing the upcoming live-action/CG feature Sonic the Hedgehog for Sony.

Source: Deadline

This is being discussed live on Episode 55 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

Overwatch’s new and 24th hero is the robot tank Orisa, who fights with a “fusion driver,” or a projectile machine gun. In a developer update video, Overwatch game developer Jeff Kaplan says her weapon has more range than nearly any other tank hero. She’s currently on the PTR.

The robot was created by the 11-year-old genius Efi Oladele, who crafted it from discarded defense robot parts in Numbani.

Orisa’s overview describes her as the “central anchor of her team,” who defends with a protective barrier. Her “fortify” ability allows her to reduce incoming damage, and her protective barrier shields allies, like Zarya. Her “Halt!” attack is a sort mini-graviton surge that allows her to pull enemies from around corners or slow them down. And her ultimate move is a supercharger that, when thrown, damage-boosts allies within line-of-sight.

Source: Kotaku

This is being discussed live on Episode 55 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

We all know trading was put on the backburner when Pokemon GO exploded in popularity and spoofing/botting with it. Since that point, there have been rumors that trading was still a long ways out.

Polygon interviewed Niantic’s senior product manager over Pokemon GO (Tatsuo Nomura) at Game Developers Conference in San Francisco and got a little bit of concrete intel:

“[Trading] won’t be through the internet,” he said of the mechanic, which remains in development and heavily under wraps. “You shouldn’t be able to exchange your Pokémon with someone who is 100 miles away from you. … The person needs to be in your proximity.”

“We don’t want to just have that be an online game that you can just exchange virtually.”

Well, that confirms it, travelers. Trading is currently intended not to be a worldwide exchange, wondertrade, or internet hookup, but is instead proximity based.

Everyone’s next thought is, of course, “well won’t spoofers just destroy it?”

Nomura recognizes just how much weight the feature holds for hardcore players.

“We’re still trying to come up with an answer [to trading] that makes sense so it doesn’t kill the game,” he said. “If we fail this, we can easily kill the game.”

It’s great to see Niantic articulate how aware they are of the devastating potential of a flawed trading economy. We wish them the best in creating a solution that makes everyone happy.

We’re also … a little bit HYPED that proximity-based trading may be what we dreamed up over a year ago at the birth of the Silph Road! This could mean that global trade routes may indeed help us all complete our dex. Time will tell!

Source: Reddit

This is being discussed live on Episode 55 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

Fun fact: Horizon Zero Dawn uses the Decima Engine, which will also power Hideo Kojima’s future mindfuck, Death Stranding. Horizon gives a little nod to this partnership in-game, and it’s easy to miss given all the robot dinosaurs out and about.

Arekkz Gaming walks us through the easter egg in the video below:

If you trade in all the items to a specific merchant, he’ll reward you with some free goodies, including, bizarrely, some warm socks. Nothing major, but it’s neat to see. I’m just going to assume the socks are a weird Mads Mikkelsen reference that nobody but Kojima will understand.

Source: Kotaku

This is being discussed live on Episode 55 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sounds like a good video game. That absolutely works in Nintendo’s favor as it’s the largest title for the Nintendo Switch’s launch.

One particularly important point of praise comes from Japanese gaming magazin Famitsu. Since its first weekly issue in 1986, Famitsu has only tossed out 23 perfect scores.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the 24th perfect score for Famitsu. It scored a 10/10/10/10, in the magazine’s typical format.

Not to denigrate the honor Nintendo received from Famitsu, but perfect scores have been awarded to less than perfect games. There are some wonderful ones, make no mistake, but then there are ones that don’t make much sense.

Source: Techno Buffalo

This is being discussed live on Episode 55 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

YouTube announced today that it is moving forward with a streaming service for live television, simply called YouTube TV, that will provide a mix of cable and broadcast channels to subscribers for $35 a month.

The TV service, which won’t feature content from AMC or HBO, will also not give subscribers access to all of YouTube’s exclusive series on YouTube Red, according to Recode. All four major broadcast networks — NBC, CBS, Fox and ABC — have signed on to be included in the service, along with a few of cable channels.

The push to live TV comes just one year after YouTube launched its exclusive streaming service, YouTube Red. The service features original series from top content creators and costs $9.99 a month. One of the biggest YouTube personalities, PewDiePie, had one of the first series on Red, Scare PewDiePie, but the show was canceled following a controversy involving anti-Semitic videos.

YouTube’s move into the live television sphere is just another push toward cord cutting from digital content companies. At $35 a month, YouTube is on the cheaper end of the subscription plans, but not by much. PlayStation Vue begins at $40 for 45 channels, while DirecTV Now’s cheapest plan costs $35 a month. Hulu’s recently announced live TV package will cost less than $40.

YouTube TV doesn’t have a specific release date at this time, but will be available by spring.

Source: Polygon

This is being discussed live on Episode 55 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

“It’s important to us that Xbox Game Pass provides an enjoyable and seamless experience,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon. “Right now, we’re focused on launching Xbox Game Pass on Xbox One consoles and look forward to bringing the service to the broader Xbox community later this spring.”

Microsoft is moving into the world of Netflix-style game subscriptions with Xbox Game Pass, a monthly service coming this spring that will give you a selection of games you can download and play on your Xbox One for $9.99 a month.

The service will include “over 100 games,” including Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16 and SoulCalibur II.

“One of the best things about Xbox Game Pass is that you can discover and download the full titles directly on your Xbox One,” the official post states. “That means continuous, full-fidelity gameplay without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues. In addition, all Xbox One games in the catalog — and related add-ons — will be available to purchase at an exclusive discount for Xbox Game Pass members, so you can make the games you love part of your permanent library to play whenever you want. Every month new games will cycle into the subscription with some cycling out, giving you a constantly updating library of games.”

Any game you buy through the service will be sold to you at a 20 percent discount.

An alpha preview of the program begins today with “a very limited” number of games, and Xbox Live Gold subscribers will get first crack at the program this spring. It also sounds as if the service may be available, at least in part, on the PC.

Source: Polygon

This is being discussed live on Episode 55 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.

Studio Wildcard will officially launch a new program for modders. Every month, 15 modders will receive a $4,000 stipend for their work.

Jeremy Stieglitz, Studio Wildcard’s lead designer, lead programmer and co-creative director on Ark: Survival Evolved, told PC Gamer that the program will select 15 modders and pay them a monthly stipend of $4,000. He said, “The hope is that with this kind of stipend, these authors, who really are hobbyists and have day jobs so they can’t really afford to spend as much time as they’d like on modding, that this will let them spend more time on modding, and ideally, hopefully, take some of these mods to completion.”

This isn’t the first time studios have attempted to find a way to compensate modders for their work. In 2015, Valve and Bethesda launched a paid mods program for Skyrim, where mods would be available for purchase. That program ended after less than a week, with Valve employee Aldon Kroll saying, “We thought this would result in better mods for everyone, both free & paid. … But we underestimated the differences between our previously successful revenue sharing models, and the addition of paid mods to Skyrim’s workshop. We understand our own game’s communities pretty well, but stepping into an established, years old modding community in Skyrim was probably not the right place to start iterating.”

One of the problems cited during the brief window of time that Skyrim’s paid mods were available were that mods were available for sale that reused assets from other modders. This is a shitty thing to do when mods are free, but when money enters the equation it gets dicier. When asked about the potentiality for those kinds of headaches, Stieglitz said, “if there’s some dispute, technically it’s up to the modder to deal with that, at that point.”

Source: Kotaku

This is being discussed live on Episode 55 of Final Encounter Cast at Twitch.tv.