Having trouble keeping up with all the gaming news flying off the RGM news desk? Don’t worry, so am I. To help you stay up to date with the big news stories from throughout the week we have put together a brief re-cap of the stories we know you will want to the news about.
This week’s top topics are:
- From Extreme Highs to Crushing Lows – Hello Games’ latest tweets
- Halo Wars 2 to have “Big impact” on Halo 6’s story
- EA to Reward Battlefield 1 Players in Titanfall 2
- Battlefield 1 – Server Rental Prices
- Remedy Has to Want to Make Alan Wake 2, According to Phil Spencer
- Pirates of the Caribbean 5: The Curse of the Changing Title
- Xbox One has almost 7 times more mods than PS4 for Skyrim: Special Edition
- Microsoft Announces Windows 10 VR Headsets
- This week’s Deals with Gold and Spotlight Sales are in!
- A Bethesda title makes the cut with new additions to backwards compatibility on the Xbox One
So to get us started we have:
If anyone was looking for any updates from Hello Games on No Man’s Sky, it appears you won’t be getting that quite yet. However, if you wanted some drama, it appears that there’s plenty of it, along with some new tweets coming from Hello Games and Sean Murray that may lead some to question the state of things at the company.
First, we can start with the tweet that was sent out earlier today by the official Hello Games Twitter account:
This was posted on their account, but was taken down shortly afterwards by what can be assumed other members of the staff that didn’t quite feel the same way. Due to Hello Games being completely silent on their Twitter page prior to this, it seems that this tweet caught both them (and Sean Murray) seemingly off-guard, leading to them currently doing some damage control (more on that later).
The story then proceeds with Polygon receiving a direct email from Sean Murray’s email account, who sent the following message:
No Man’s Sky was a mistake.
I have contacted you because the silence from Hello Games has been unwarranted and unprofessional. The community has asked me to speak up, and I have a confession to make. The game was simply unfinished upon arrival. Our hand was forced by not only Sony, but the community as well. The constant harassment and absolute gross misconduct on the community’s part has made it hard to fulfil our artistic vision, while the pressure from Sony to release the game as soon as possible forced us to cut key features. I want to apologize for what we did not deliver on, as the game does not meet up to what our artistic vision was.
However, we do wish that the community was more understanding of our situation. Many people have asked for refunds despite our promise to continually improve and update No Man’s Sky. We are just a small studio that has poured our blood, sweat, and tears into this project. The complete lack of respect when it comes to the work we have done absolutely saddens not only myself, but the team as well. We want to improve the game to the point we dreamed of it being and beyond.
I hope everyone affected understands,
There was also a response from the writer identifying as Sean Murray regarding the tweet itself (note: this hasn’t been confirmed as written by Sean Murray himself):
Now, this part of it both enhances the intrigue, as well as discredits the idea that this was actually, Sean Murray. As Polygon pointed out in their article on the situation, the email uses the incorrect spelling of apologize (if it was actually Sean, he would likely have used the British-English spelling of the word apologize, which has an “s” instead of a “z.” The two Polygon employees who received the email supposedly had no prior correspondence with Sean Murray, so there’s also a bit of oddity in the decision to contact them out of anyone Murray could’ve contacted.
Since the deleting of the email, both the Hello Games and Sean Murray Twitter pages have done some form of damage control with their tweets making light of the situation:
Now, this doesn’t exactly seem to inspire confidence in the stability of Hello Games, as their complete media blackout up until now hasn’t exactly warranted the benefit of the doubt from gamers. There is only a certain amount of options when it comes to responding to such a situation, so it’s not like there’s any “perfect” way for HG and Murray to speak out on the tweets. These tweets, however, don’t seem to be doing what they hope it’s doing. The one tweet with the most questionable phrasing is the one that states “Obviously those mails and that tweet was fake.” This, again, may have more to do with the fact that they’re taking a more light-hearted approach to this crazy situation, but after a complete blackout for the last couple months from both social media accounts, you’d think they’d be able to speak to everyone like adults and enlighten them with their REAL thoughts. Their joking approach isn’t exactly helping with a situation that primarily inspires doubt in the company’s stability.
With any other company, like a Naughty Dog or a Rockstar, this wouldn’t quite hit the level of controversy and intrigue that the “NMS was a mistake” tweet is getting. Sean Murray and company have recently commented that they believe the tweet was from a “disgruntled employee,” even though they kept initially stating that their account was hacked.
Overall, this may just turn out to be the words of an employee who took out their frustrations about the project through hacking the main Twitter page and Murray’s email and LinkedIn account to express what upset them so much about the situation. Even though it’s unclear who wrote those messages, it’s hard to not see that their messages may be perfectly valid.
Considering how small the dev team at Hello Games is, it’s understandable why they would’ve needed more time to better prepare No Man’s Sky to the public. However, both the gaming media and gaming community are guilty of strong push back whenever another delay was announced, leading to Hello Games (and Sony) likely rushing the project out so that at least the immense hype built upon the game’s eventual release would stop. Hello Games learned though, that with an under cooked release for an incredibly hyped game title like NMS, the backlash will hit ten times harder if the game ends up being disappointing. Hello Games was in a lose-lose situation. If they delayed it another year (and if Sony was willing to wait that long too) then their most loyal fans would vocally strike and disparage Hello Games every month until the game released. Due to both fans’ (and likely Sony’s) impatience, Hello Games chose the option that saw an underdeveloped game being released instead of the complete experience that they were truly working towards.
It’s important to remember: Hello Games has never had any release even remotely close to what they dealt with on NMS. Sean Murray certainly can be credited with that due to his over-promising (which served to ruin his professional credibility) of features in the game, leading to him joining the ranks of Peter Molyneux (creator of Fable, one of the original over-hype men) in the gaming community’s mind.
This situation may end up just being an anomaly in the grand scheme of things. However, it’s rather telling that both Hello Games and Sean Murray were perfectly fine with not saying a word for multiple months prior to this, but now this has got them talking (although they’re not exactly talking to fans or players). If the perpetrator ends up just being a disgruntled employee, then it may indicate that not everyone involved with NMS was content with releasing the game and enjoying the pay checks that were to come. If in the manner of a plot twist, Sean Murray DID write those emails and that now-infamous tweet, then that implies another lengthy story of the behind-the-scenes struggle that led to Sony throwing Hello Games under the bus, and HG’s only option being to get run over in the process.
The tactic of “playing off” the situation that Murray and Co. are choosing is reflective of what they did the whole time with No Man Sky’s initial ad campaign: don’t confirm any potentially negative elements, just tell everyone everything’s fine, everything’s working as it should be, and fan concerns are not to be taken seriously.
All that we can hope for is that Hello Games finds their way, finds stability once again, and hopefully too much damage hasn’t been done already that they can’t work professionally again. The game may have been deserving of the critical reviews it received, however I hope that Hello Games doesn’t become another studio that needs close their doors for good.
What do you guys think about this situation? How about the overall No Man’s Sky situation? Let us know in the comments!
Author: Keven McCasland
Next up we have:
One of the major draws for the Halo series is its story. Going from Combat Evolved to the recent Halo 5, the single-player storylines have kept players engaged in the universe while still keeping them eager so that they’d be interested in what happens next. Some may have found Halo 5’s campaign disappointing, but the universe’s stories WILL continue onwards, and with 343 Industries narrative director Kevin Grace’s latest comments, it seems the story continues in Halo Wars 2.
Kevin Grace sat down for an interview with GameSpot and when asked if HW2 was going to have a significant effect on the next Halo, Grace said:
It’s absolutely going to. I mean, it is a part of what’s happening in the universe right now. So, yeah, its absolutely going to have a big impact on what’s coming next. It’s still early for what ever is going to happen in the future, but I can tell you for sure that if you played Halo 5, there are some important implications in Halo Wars 2 that you’ll be able to pick up on. So we’ve already got connections that are built in right now. Like I said earlier, bringing the story up to modern day let’s us have some pretty big crossovers if we want to have big crossovers.
All those have to be right for the story and they have to be something that everyone will understand. Because if we just dropped Professor Anders in the next Halo thing, and we didn’t explain who she is or why she’s got this attitude, how he came by all these foreign smarts and all this stuff, we’re gonna get a response along the lines of “Scientist lady, I guess?” That would suck if we did it that way. We have to be able to work them in in a good way so they make they universe better.
He wasn’t willing to divulge any juicy specifics like which Halo 4-5 characters could show up, but it does seem that HL2’s story takes place shortly after Halo 5 and will help establish the greater Halo universe even more.
This is a smart way for 343 Industries to help incite increased sales thanks to long-time Halo players who love the lore and universe to pick up Halo Wars 2 simply so they can expand on the lore and better understand what’s going on in the game’s universe. It may not be a guaranteed means of success (as there’s a big difference in gameplay between a RTS and a FPS), but it certainly offers up a great incentive to check out the game if you’re a fan of those Halo single player stories.
Besides, even if there’s just a tiny chance that there will be a Master Chief appearance in HL2’s plot, wouldn’t it be worth checking out?
Halo Wars 2 comes out for PC and Xbox One on February 21st, 2017.
Will you be picking up Halo Wars 2? Are you a big Halo fan? If yes, why? If not, why not? Let us know in the comments!
Author: Kevin McCasland
Moving along to:
It’s certainly a great time to be a shooter fan. Battlefield 1 has just come out. Titanfall 2 is up next and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare follows the week after!
Of course, EA would rather you just focus on their shooters, Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2. If you’ve been playing through the Great War and fancy making a jump to the opposite end of time, heading into the future with giant mechs to control, then EA are going to thank you…most handsomely it would seem.
Confirming the reward via their official Twitter, EA will be giving any player who has gone over the top onto Battlefield 1 will get Germanically inspired “Red Baron Warpaint” to customize their Titans when the game drops on October 28th. Check out the warpaint and the tweet below:
Personally, I think that looks bloody ace! The Titan looks proper mean. I’m glad I have played Battlefield 1 to get this.
Titanfall 2 launches this Friday, October 28th for PC, Xbox One and PS4.
Are you eligible for the Red Baron Titan? Let us know in the comments below or on the RGM Forums.
Author: Adam Stuart
A recent post in the Official Battlefield Forums has revealed the cost for the rental of servers on Battlefield 1 for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One – if you’re serious about your Battlefield 1 antics then this price list may well be of use to you.
- 1 day: $2.99
- 7 days: $11.99
- 30 days: $42.99
- 90 days: $99.99
- 180 days: $149.99
PLAYSTATION® 4 / XBOX ONE
- 1 day: $1.99
- 7 days: $7.99
- 30 days: $26.99
- 90 days: $64.99
- 180 days: $99.99
Clearly this price list is sure to have PC gamers a mixture of confused and annoyed that they will be paying roughly 50% more than their console counterparts, however the Rental Server Program (RSP) for Battlefield 1 will be launching in November, although a more specific date has not been confirmed. EA state that they are currently working on a “Kick/Ban” feature for their servers, but the adjustable settings on the RSP will be:
- Ticket count
- Bullet damage
Will you be looking at renting your own server for Battlefield 1? Are you a PC gamer disgruntled by this news? Let us know in the comments below, the RGM Forums or on Twitter. If you like what you’ve read then feel free to share this article on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pintrest or Reddit using the buttons available!
Author: Richard Talbot-Ashby
Wrapping up we have:
Alan Wake is a psychological action-thriller developed by Remedy, makers of Max Payne and recently Quantum Break. The game came out back in 2010 for the Xbox 360 and later for PC and has garnered a cult status among gamers.
Phil Spencer recently was interviewed by Stevivor and the topic of Alan Wake 2 came up near the end. When asked about it Phil responded with:
“Well, the developer… the developer has to want to make the game.”
After the statement, PR stepped in to end the interview. While fans have been asking for an Alan Wake 2 for quite a while, Remedy has now put its focus on multiplayer and is working on their own engine called “Northlight”.
Remedy’s Sam Lake was featured in an interview back in 2015 with Stevivor as well and in this interview he stated the following:
“We showed Alan Wake 2 to Microsoft and I guess at the time Microsoft was looking for something slightly different for their portfolio”
What Sam Lake was referring to eventually led to the release of Quantum Break. Sales for both Alan Wake and Quantum Break were not as successful financially as Microsoft and Remedy intended them so the switch in Remedy’s focus makes sense after two titles that didn’t meet expectations.
Sam Lake did say in his 2015 interview that Microsoft was open to the idea of an Alan Wake 2 so it’s not out of the realm of possibility however, at this time it doesn’t look like it’ll be happening for the foreseeable future. Personally, as a fan of Remedy’s games I would love to see a sequel to Alan Wake or even Quantum Break as both left the story open for a next installment.
It makes sense why Remedy is focusing on different styles of games and I hope they are successful and eventually come back to the idea of an Alan Wake 2. Unfortunately for us gamers it looks like timing just didn’t work between Microsoft and Remedy as Remedy did want to make the game at one point but Microsoft had other plans. Now that Microsoft may be open to the idea, based on Phil’s comments, Remedy has decided to move forward with other projects.
What are your thoughts on Alan Wake 2 and the direction Remedy is headed in now? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below or in the RGM forums.
Author: Tom Romanelli
So, there you have it, a wrap up of some of the interesting items that landed on the RGM news desk this week. While you are here you may also enjoy:
You can catch up on last week’s big news items HERE.