Alex Birlo on August 15, 2020
This week we will talk about the second “Night City Wire” episode, Epic’s lawsuit against Google and Apple, and the delay of “Halo Infinite”.
On Monday the 10th of August CD Project Red had the second episode in their series of livestreams called “Night City Wired”, and shared many new details about the highly anticipated “Cyberpunk 2077”.
In this episode they covered more details about life paths, different weapon types you can use in the game and more gameplay.
The presentation began with 3 short trailers each showcased one of the 3 life paths you will be able to choose from in the beginning of the game.
Street Kid – A person that grew up on the streets of Night City and knows their way around street gangs, their slang and is well versed in the way business is done amongst street gangs.
Nomad – A person who is hungry for freedom, who was raised in the desolate desert around Night City called the “Badlands”. These are hardened and loyal people who have only their family and the car they drive through the desert.
Corpo – A person who lived the life of the higher ups in Night City, someone who had to walk over corpses to climb the food chain of the corporate world and be part of the shady dealings that keep the city going.
Then they talked about how they created the Samurai band in the game.
The Samurai is an in-game music band which Johnny silver-hand was a part of. The real voices and minds behind the popular Samurai band in Night City are the Refused band who were chosen to come up with all the songs of the group and preform them for the game.
Songs by the “Samurai” band are actually available for purchase on all music streaming platforms.
After this segment they showcased a new trailer that demonstrated all the weapon classes in the game.
In this trailer a woman named Wakako Okada – possibly another fixer in Night City – offers a job to the protagonist.
All whilst in the background we see V arming up for said job and showing several weapons in his arsenal representing the various weapon types.
Tech Weapons – these are a special class of weapons that use electromagnetic mechanisms to propel projectiles at enormous speeds, allowing the players to shoot through walls and different types of cover.
Power Weapons – are a weapon type most similar to modern weaponry, simple crude and powerful. These weapons are heavy and have the capacity to ricochet enabling the player to hit inaccessible opponents by adjusting the trajectory of the bullets.
Smart Weapons – are the most futuristic of the firearms. They are equipped with guided projectile systems allowing them to shoot bullets that lock onto enemies and change trajectory to chase down their targets.
Melee Weapons – are quite self-explanatory. Amongst them we could see some bats and sledgehammers besides the famous futuristic Katana we seen previously.
Cyberware – this class includes all body modifications the players can equip themselves with, such as the Mantis Blades that unfold from within the arms, the Gorilla Arms that grant the player inhumane strength or the nanowire that was showcased in a previous gameplay.
At the end of the presentation they announced that all who wishes to find out more about the lore of the game world can purchase “The World of Cyberpunk 2077”.
It is an encyclopedia of sorts, created by CD Project Red in collaboration with Dark Horse Books, detailing much of the lore and locations that will be in the game.
On August 13th, Epic announced an event called “Fortnite Mega Drop”.
In short, Mega Drop is a discount event where players get a 20% discount on their purchases of V-Bucks in Fortnite. And those who have already purchased V-Bucks between the 14th if July and 13th of August will receive this 20% discount in the form of extra V-Bucks on their account.
Soon after the beginning of the event, the mobile version of Fortnite was removed from both Apple’s App Store and Google Play store.
Excerpts from Apples statement read the following “Today, Epic Games took the unfortunate step of violating the App Store guidelines that are applied equally to every developer and designed to keep the store safe for our users.”
In another part of the statement it is said that “The fact that their business interests now lead them to push for a special arrangement does not change the fact that these guidelines create a level playing field for all developers and make the store safe for all users.”
Which guidelines have been violated and are apparently making “the store safe for all users”? Apples 30% cut from all purchases as you see…
The problem with Fortnite’s Mega Drop is that it was not negotiated with the owners of both store. It required setting up Epic Direct Payments in order to receive the 20% discount on the mobile version.
This means that the money from the purchases of microtransactions in the game would go directly to Epic, bypassing the 30% cut that Apple and Google were supposed to receive.
The interesting thing is that as Apple and Google gave their responses to the stealthy attempt by Epic to bypass the fee they have to pay to the stores, Epic had responded with two lawsuits, each directed at one of the companies respectively.
In these, both companies are being charged with the same things: monopoly control over the distribution of software to phones, and monopoly control over payment systems within that software.
Both Apple’s App Store and Google’s Google Play store are holding an enormous monopoly over the app market.
Within these giant ecosystems, these companies are holding control over the rules by which apps qualify for distribution and how they are later monetized. Including the cut, they equally demand from all developers per purchase.
The situation that emerged is very morally divisive.
On one side we have Apple and Google releasing questionable statements about “these guidelines make the store safe for all users” when clearly their only concern is that they are being denied their share of Fortnite’s microtransactions.
And on the other side we have Epic, who in their attempt to push for lower cuts in online stores like Steam, App Store and Google Play, and increase their earnings from Fortnite, have technically created a scam.
And then, almost as if they were prepared for such a response, had two major lawsuits filed against the two companies based on their status as monopolies.
It seems like the backlash that came from fans after “Halo Infinite” gameplay was revealed at the Xbox Livestream was too much for the involved parties and the game is now being delayed.
Back in July Microsoft hosted the Xbox Games Showcase Livestream during which they demonstrated and revealed many first party games that will be releasing to the Xbox family of consoles.
The grand opening of the presentation was a cinematic trailer and the world premier gameplay for “Halo Infinite”.
From what was seen, the game looked good, but not “next-gen” good.
And many players were baffled by the fact that one of the biggest – if not the biggest – releases of Microsoft’s next generation is an average looking, semi-open world Halo game. With animations and enemy from previous games and mostly unchanged.
The internet was swarmed with a seemingly infinite number of memes, threads and angry posts dissecting every second of the 8 minutes and 57 seconds of the gameplay.
No mishap was spared and even though the game was still a work in progress it was clear that there is very little that the developers can change before the scheduled release of the game – holiday 2020 with the launch of Xbox series X.
But this week, the developers came out with an announcement that it has been decided that the game’s release will be postponed to an unspecified date in 2021.
As reasons for the sudden decision the developers stated the difficulties that had risen from the COVID situation and that it is not sustainable for the studio to continue working at the current pace trying to hit the set release date window.
Though in reality it is obvious that the backlash served as the main reason to the delay since it was clear that “Halo Infinite” was going to be the system-seller for Xbox Series X at launch.
And it is highly unlikely that Microsoft would give up on this idea so suddenly.
As unfortunate as it is – that we will not be able to play the game this year – the choice made by the developers and their heads is a wise one. And once more proves how highly Xbox values the famous “Halo” franchise.
Since the game was originally scheduled to release this holiday season, the game was probably in its final stages. A point at which most features, locations and story bits were hopefully finished.
This means that however long the developers have now, until the next-year release, studio 343 Industries has all this time just to polish the game and attempt to improve the visual aspect of it.
Or maybe even add new features and drastically new enemy units to the game.
The extra time will contribute to a much better game and that is the important thing at the end of the day.
EGM article about Epic lawsuit – https://egmnow.com/fortnite-now-offering-players-20-discounts-causing-apple-to-pull-the-game/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+egmnow%2Fmheh+%28EGMNOW%29
EGM article about Halo Infinite delay – https://egmnow.com/halo-infinite-delayed-until-2021/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+egmnow%2Fmheh+%28EGMNOW%29
The Verge article about Epic lawsuit – https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/13/21368363/epic-google-fortnite-lawsuit-antitrust-app-play-store-apple-removal