This week, EA cancelled its open world Star Wars game, Valve’s TCG Artifact hits a new low, and  Bethesda unveiled the Elder Scrolls Online next expansion.

EA Cancels Open World Star Wars Game

Kotaku had reported that Electronic Arts canceled its open-world Star Wars game, according to its sources familiar with the company. The game, announced alongside the shutdown of Visceral Games back in 2017, had been in development at EA’s large office in Vancouver. The news was also picked up by gaming sites such as Polygon and Gamespot, along with geek sites like CBR, and business sites such as MarketWatch.

Valve’s Artifact Has Lost Almost Its Entire Player Base In The Two Months Since Launch

The collectible card game Artifact released on November 28, and had 60,740 concurrent players that day. On January 16, SteamCharts showed the concurrent players number dipped just below 1,500, marking a 97 percent loss in players. Most sites that covered the news showed no surprise of the decline in their articles. Kotaku stated, “players apparently remained unimpressed, since they continued to steadily leave the game in the subsequent weeks.” Forbes said, “Artifact is both late to the party and showed up as over monetized when it finally did arrive.” Other sites such as Den of Geek!, Business Insider, GameReactor, and more covered the news.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr Expansion Announced

ZeniMax Online Studios unveiled The Elder Scrolls Online’s next major expansion, Elsweyr, which will be released on June 4. Elsweyr will be similar in size and scope to last year’s Summerset zone and features a year-long story. The expansion will also add dragons to the game. PC World wrote an article detailing 5 reasons fans should be excited for the expansion. SyFy Wire ran the news in a Bethesda roundup piece, which also discussed the WestWorld mobile game shutting down after HBO reached a settlement with Bethesda. The news itself was picked up PC Gamer, Polygon, Rock Paper Shotgun, Gamespot, and more.


This week, Bungie and Activision have parted ways, the Better Business Bureau has awarded Epic Games an F rating in customer service, and Ubisoft and Epic Games have partnered to bring the Division 2 to the Epic Games Store and UPlay store.

Bungie Parts Ways with Activision, Retains Destiny Rights

Bungie has announced that it will part ways with publisher Activision and retain ownership rights of shooter franchise Destiny. “Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights for Destiny to Bungie. With our remarkable Destiny community, we are ready to publish on our own, while Activision will increase their focus on owned IP projects” Bungie stated. Gaming sites such as Polygon, Kotaku, and IGN focused on the split and Bungie’s focus to self-publish. Business sites such as MarketWatch and Business Insider focused on Activision-Blizzard as a publicly traded company and how the split is affecting its stock value.

Better Business Bureau Gives Epic Games an F for Customer Service

The Better Business Bureau announced that it has awarded Fortnite maker Epic Games with an F rating, its lowest grade possible, citing 247 “unanswered customer complaints” on its website. Variety reported that “several of the complaints stem from customers stating they’ve been ‘falsely accused’ of cheating, ‘unjustified platform bans,’ refusal to refund unauthorized charges, and a litany of other issues all related to purchasing ‘Fortnite,’ its premium currency V-Bucks, or the game failing to work in the first place.” The news was reported by game enthusiast outlets like Kotaku, PC Gamer, and IGN, as well as mainstream publications like the Washington Post.

The Division 2 is skipping Steam in favor of the Epic Games Store

Epic Games has announced a deal with Ubisoft to bring the PC version of The Division 2 to its newly launched game store. The online shooter will also be available through Ubisoft’s own digital store, UPlay, but it won’t be for sale on Steam. The original The Division was sold through Steam and the sequel was listed previously but has since been taken down. This is the latest development in a growing battle between Steam and the Epic store, and many outlets picked up on this in their coverage. The Verge stated, “the war of the digital game stores continues, and this time it’s Epic making a major move.” noted that “shots have been fired today in the digital distribution platform war as Ubisoft shuns Steam in favour of Epic Games.” The news was also covered by Polygon, PCMag, Eurogamer, Venturebeat, and others.


This week, Activision Blizzard fired CFO Spencer Neumann for an undisclosed reason and he was then hired as CFO of Netflix, Nexon founder Kim Jung-ju has put his company up for sale at $9 billion and Tencent is a potential buyer, and Soulja Boy has ended the development of his emulator console.

Netflix hires former Activision Blizzard CFO Spencer Neumann to be new CFO

On Monday, Dec. 31, Activision Blizzard had announced the firing of its CFO Spencer Neumann for reasons unrelated to recent financial problems. Shortly after the news was announced, Reuters reported that Netflix had poached Neumann as its new CFO and will succeed David Wells. Reuters stated, “The source said Netflix, which is making more of its own films and series, would like its next CFO to be based in Los Angeles with a focus on production finance.” The news was also picked up by multiple outlets across various trades such as The Hollywood Reporter, MarketWatch, IGN, CNBC, PC Gamer, and more.

South Korean Gaming Giant Nexon is Up for Sale

The Korea Economic Daily Newspaper originally reported that Nexon, the South Korean gaming giant, is being put up for sale with 99% of stocks available for purchase by founder Kim Jung-ju. This would be the largest M&A in South Korean history and Tencent is rumored as a potential new owners for Nexon. The estimated value of the sale would be nearly $9 billion according to the paper. The news was picked up by Reuters, Korea Times, Kotaku, Destructoid, TechCrunch, Korea Herald, Variety, and more.

Soulja Boy Ends Development of Console After Potential Lawsuit

Engadget reported that Soulja Boy had had pulled SouljaGames emulators off his official SouljaWatch merchandise website possibly due to a lawsuit. On Twitter, the rapper’s only response was “I had to boss up, I didn’t have a choice.” Engadget stated “Keen-eyed observers who visited the retailer noticed that many of his products looked similar to the sort of IP-infringing wares you’ll find on Alibaba or Wish.” VG 24/7 also reported the news adding that “everyone was pretty much expecting this to happen, so the news shouldn’t come as a surprise.” Many media expressed their disdain for the console, such as GamesRadar, who stated, “in the first place, all of Soulja Boy’s consoles were nothing more than bootleg systems being resold at a dramatic mark-up.” The news was also reported by IGN, Rolling Stone, GameRevolution, TechCrunch, and others.


This week, most of the gaming and consumer tech media focused on roundup pieces for the Game Awards, Epic Games pulling the Infinity Blade series from the App Store, and Daybreak Games laying off 70 employees.

Game Awards Announcements

For the December 6 Game Awards, a number of new games and updates were announced including Zenimax’s The Outer Worlds, Mortal Kombat 11, Far Cry New Dawn, a new Dragon Age from Bioware, Hades by Supergiant Games, and the addition of Persona’s Joker to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The roundup of announcements were covered by Polygon, The Verge, PC Gamer, Comicbook, BGR, and more. Most articles provided the list and gave Geoff Keighley acknowledgement of the work he’s done for the show. BGR said “the reason that many of us tuned in was to see all the world premiere trailer and announcements that Geoff Keighley wrangled for the event.” Polygon said, “the evening was densely packed with video games news and announcements, well more than the 10 premieres host Geoff Keighley promised in the run-up.”

Epic Games Pulls Infinity Blade Trilogy from App Store

Epic Games announced that it’d pulled the Infinity Blade Trilogy from the App Store due to it becoming “increasingly difficult” to support. The trilogy was arguably the first AAA mobile experience on iOS. BGR acknowledged the high-caliber series that it was for mobile saying “Eight years ago, back in the early days of the App Store, Epic Games set the world of mobile gaming on fire.” CNET talked about the state of digital mobile games stating “The games’ removal says something about the ephemeral nature of digital games — companies can simply yank anything that’s no longer profitable as they move onto the next big thing.” Apple-centric sites such as 9to5Mac did somewhat of an ode to the series, stating “The Infinity Blade games were a staple of iOS gaming since the first iteration was released in 2011.”

Daybreak Games Lays off 70 People

Variety reported that Daybreak Games, the developers behind “EverQuest II,” “H1Z1,” and “PlanetSide 2,” laid off a number of employees this week as part of a structure optimization. This comes after the studio laid off an undisclosed amount of its staff back in April, shortly after launching its battle royale title H1Z1 out of Early Access. The news was picked up by, Gamasutra, Polygon, and more.


This week a number of top tier outlets published their top 10 games of the year, an NFL player was removed from Madden due to assault allegations, and Fortnite was sued by rapper 2 Milly over allegedly stealing his dance moves.

Top 10 Games

Mashable, Vulture, and NME posted their lists of top 10 video games of the year this week. Overall, triple-A games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Marvel’s Spider-Man, God of War, Fortnite and more dominated the lists. Though indie titles like Donut County, Tetris Effect, Into The Breach, Dead Cells, Return of the Obra Dinn, and others were peppered in as well.

Fortnite Sued By Rapper 2 Milly

A number of top tier sites covered a lawsuit between rapper 2 Milly and Fortnite, in which 2 Milly claims that Fortnite ripped off his Milly Rock dance. The Washington Post reported not only that Epic Games ripped off the dance without permission but also for exploiting “various African American artists’ talent without credit.” Polygon noted in their coverage that a number of other dances including Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like It’s Hot, The Carlton Dance from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and a dance from Marlon Webb’s Band of the Bold video series were also copied. NPR mentioned as well that this may be a difficult case as technically U.S. Copyright Offices says it, “cannot register short dance routines consisting of only a few movements or steps with minor linear or spatial variations, even if a routine is novel or distinctive.”

Kareem Hunt Removed From Madden

The Washington Post, USA Today, and other national news outlets reported on the removal of former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt from the Madden NFL 19 roster by EA due to assault allegations that circulated last week. Hunt was replaced by a generic player with identical stats in-game and remains a free agent in the NFL at this time.

TriplePoints of Interest: July 13

This week, Overwatch raises more than $12.7 million for breast cancer research, Steam game player counts are leaked, and Nintendo begins its roll out of hack-resistant Switch hardware.

Overwatch Raises Millions in Donations for Breast Cancer Research Through Pink Mercy Skin

Blizzard recently released a pink costume for the Overwatch healer character, Mercy. They charged $15 for the skin and ended up raising 12.7 million dollars to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The skin was available for only two weeks in early May, a testament to how massive and engaged the Overwatch player base is. CNET and ShackNews mention that physical sales of a $30 pink Mercy t-shirt likely helped boost the end total raised.

Steam Game Player Counts Get Leaked

ArsTechnica reported that “a hole in Valve’s API” allowed people to generate “extremely precise and publicly accessible data” for the player base numbers of thousands of Steam games. This exploit however, could only account for games with Steam achievements that have actually been played by their users (so games that are bought and never played aren’t included). Many of the heavy-hitters are unsurprising with games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, Left 4 Dead 2 and Roblox making appearances at the top, but some might be surprised that Team Fortress 2 still has the biggest player base more than a decade after its release. It’s also worth noting that some of the industry’s most popular games are not hosted on the Steam platform, such as Fortnite, Overwatch, League of Legends, Hearthstone, and more. Polygon provided a complete timeline about users’ various efforts to obtain sales data, and links to the original Medium post of the individual who was responsible for exploiting this loophole in Steam’s API, breaking down his methodology.

Nintendo Begins to Roll Out Hack-Resistant Switch Hardware

Notorious Nintendo Switch hacker SciresM tweeted that some new Switches on retail shelves may be invulnerable to the “Fusée Gelée” exploit. This patch-resistant, permanent boot exploit made headlines earlier this year for granting users the ability to run homebrew code, pirated software, and custom firmware. ArsTechnica breaks down the new Switches’ firmware update and the new hardware security measures taken by Nintendo. These new hardware measures obviously can’t be taken with the Switches already out in circulation, so older models will still be vulnerable to the exploit. Tech Times reported on some of the features hackers have been adding to the Switch that Nintendo has yet to provide, such as cloud saving, custom profile pictures, and more.

TriplePoints of Interest: July 6

This week, Sony continues to receive flak for not enabling cross-play, Nintendo has more up its sleeve for 2018, and new rumors about a video game console from Google.

Sony’s Stance on Cross-Play Continues to be Contentious Issue for Fans and Developers Alike

Initially brought to prominence after Fortnite players found out they couldn’t link their original accounts to the new Switch port of the game, Sony continues to take flak from fans and major pillars of the video game industry for their refusal to incorporate cross-platform play into PSN. Outlets like Variety, Game Informer, and Polygon reported earlier this week that, after being asked whether or not Fallout 76 would support cross-play, Bethesda’s Todd Howard stated that the Playstation group hasn’t been “as helpful as everyone would like it [to be.]” During the week of E3, Microsoft’s Major Nelson also made sure to emphasize Xbox’s pro-cross-play stance, with multiple games boasting PC/Xbox multiplayer capabilities. He also tweeted proudly about Minecraft’s cross-play functionality on Microsoft and Nintendo platforms, reinforcing the point that Sony seems to be the odd man out on the issue. Polygon’s sentiment on the situation is that Sony has valid business reasons to forgo cross-play as the established, leading console, but also recognizes how damaging the issue has been from a PR perspective. Their take seems to mirror many other outlets on the matter.

Nintendo Hints at Unannounced 2018 Titles in Response to Shareholder Unease

Despite featuring heavy-hitters like Super Smash Brothers Ultimate and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu, Nintendo’s E3 press conference left many confused and disappointed at the seeming lack of major Switch titles in 2018. VG 24/7 reported that after a dip in stock price, Nintendo President Tatsumi Kimishima made sure to clarify that the company still has products unannounced for 2018 due before the end of the holiday season, and should have no problem meeting its goal of shipping 20 million Switch units within the same time frame. Forbes also reported that publisher Devolver Digital alone has 12 titles coming out on Switch before end of year.

Rumors of a New Console from Google Begin to Resurface

Kotaku’s Jason Schreier reported on rumors that Google is planning a “three-pronged approach” to tackling the video game industry. This includes: a streaming platform for games, hardware of some sort, and a game developer acquisition/recruitment initiative. The coverage references past video game initiatives from Google like their interest in acquiring Twitch before Amazon did, as well as older rumors of launching an Android-based console. Google representatives met with major video game companies at both the Game Developers Conference and E3 to determine interest in their streaming platform, currently codenamed “Yeti.” Outlets like Hypebeast and Den of Geek also reference Google’s hiring spree of top-tier former employees of brands like Playstation, Xbox, Electronic Arts and more. There are obviously still major logistical obstacles around launching a proper video game-streaming service such as bandwidth availability, data caps, slow connections and more. These rumors have been greeted with the same skepticism that game-streaming has faced since the days of the failed service, OnLive, a comparison many journalists have made.

TriplePoints of Interest: June 29

This week, PUBG Corp. drops its lawsuit against Epic Games, Uncharted’s Amy Hennig announces her departure from EA, and Valve announces their intentions to replace Steam Spy with “something better.”

PUBG Drops Lawsuit Against Fortnite Creator Epic Games

Mainstream and gaming publications such as Bloomberg, Polygon and Variety reported that PUBG Corp withdrew its copyright lawsuit against Epic Games earlier this week. The litigation was especially contentious considering that Fortnite was built with Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, as well as the fact that gaming titan Tencent owns stakes in both parties. PUBG Corp. would not confirm as to whether a settlement had been reached, or expand on why they decided to end their litigation. While their lawsuit against Epic Games has been their most high-profile of the sort, they have also filed suit against Netease, citing similarities between PUBG and Netease’s battle royale titles: Rules of Survival and Knives Out.

Uncharted Creator Announces Departure from EA and New Indie Studio

In the wake of last year’s news of Amy Hennig’s single player Star Wars game being shelved and the shuttering of Visceral Games, many have been wondering what one of the main creative minds behind the Uncharted series might be working on next for Electronic Arts. According to Eurogamer and ShackNews, Hennig announced her departure from EA at Barcelona’s Gamelab conference earlier this week, stating that she had long since left the company in January. The Verge reported on EA’s statement on the matter, in which the company lauded Hennig’s storytelling capabilities despite deciding to part ways with her. She also announced the creation of her own independent studio, the name of which has yet to be revealed. At the moment she is offering consulting services and is interested in exploring virtual reality for her next project.

Valve Spokesperson Mentions Plans to Replace Steam Spy with “Something Better”

Valve’s head of business development, Jan-Peter Ewert, made headlines in publications like PCGamesN, engadget and VG 24/7 after declaring Valve’s intentions to replace third-party Steam sales tracking site Steam Spy with “something better.” In an effort to meet GDPR compliance requirements last month, Valve privatized the API that Steam Spy relied on for sales metrics, effectively ruining the service. Ewert mentioned that Valve has always prioritized being open with its community, and that Steam Spy actually “had a broad variance in how accurate it was.” Valve is now working on new, supposedly more accurate tools for obtaining data from Steam. Despite Steam Spy’s inaccuracies, the service’s blockage by Valve was met with both developer and fan outcry, as the Steam platform is notorious for obfuscating sales data critical to the business decisions of PC game developers everywhere.

TriplePoints of Interest: June 22

YouTube looks to expand their service, EA wants to be the Netflix of gaming, and gaming disorder is deemed an official addiction by the World Health Organization in this weeks TPOI.

YouTube Announces New Ways for Creators to Make Money

During VidCon, the multi-genre online video conference held annually in Southern California, YouTube announced new tools that will help creators generate revenue from their videos outside of traditional advertising, as well as serve to better engage their fans, as reported by Deadline. The rollout includes channel memberships, merchandising, marketing partnerships via FameBit and the launch of “Premieres,” which offers a middle ground between pre-recorded, edited video and live streaming. While the new YouTube offerings don’t differ much from what other streaming services offer their creators, i.e. Twitch, The Next Web noted that the additions could still help alleviate problems the platform has been facing. TechCrunch commented that the announcements have come at a critical time for YouTube, as Facebook is fiercely competition for creator attention.

EA Bets Big on Creating Netflix of Video Games

Following EA’s announcements at E3 last week, a number of journalists including CNET’s Ian Sherr and Variety’s Brian Crecente received hands-on demos of the publisher’s cloud gaming service, which the company says allows gamers to play high-end games on low-end laptops, and in some cases even phones. Neither Sherr or Crecente commented on their personal experiences with the service, but both noted that this isn’t the first time a games company has tried their hand at game streaming. VentureBeat added that the move to “cloud gaming” is the beginning of the company removing itself from third-party platforms like Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and that Ubisoft is making moves to create a similar service.

WHO Labels Compulsive Game Playing an Addiction

On Monday, the World Health Organization released its International Classification of Diseases in which the United Nations agency concluded that “gaming disorder” is officially a new addiction. The LA Times published a Q+A which outlines the effects of the new designation, which includes notes that in the United States it now means health insurance can be billed against “gaming disorder”. To this end The New York Times reported that the designation may help affected players seek treatment, as therapists may be encouraged to provide specialized treatment. However, Polygon’s article on the news included contrary positioning from mental health professionals who fear that the likely downsides of codifying gaming addiction in this way would far outweigh any potential benefits.

TriplePoints of Interest: May 25

TPoI this week features esports coming to the Special Olympics, Texas Lt. Governor blaming shootings on video games, and a new golf franchise from the PGA Tour and HB Studios.

Video Games At The Special Olympics

This year the U.S. Special Olympics will host their first-ever video game tournament in conjunction with the standard Special Olympic games. In a partnership with Microsoft’s Xbox division the games will feature a Forza Motorsport 7 tournament that will pit eight teams of Olympiads in head to head races. Adding this esports element to the Special Olympics will be interesting step forward for validity of gaming competitions and points to similar trends in other major events that are now beginning to introduce gaming elements according to Engadget, Bleacher Report, CNET and more who reported on the news.

Texas Lt. Governor Blames Shootings on Video Games

Dan Patrick, the Lieutenant Governor of Texas argued this week that violent video games, abortions, and other issues have desensitized young people and are to blame for the increase in school shootings over the last few years. CNN, ABC, Slate, Gizmodo, and a multitude of other major outlets reported on the news of his comments in the wake of the Santa Fe shooting that claimed 10 lives on May 18th. A few of the outlets brought up that fact that this sort of argument has been made before and that evidence shows that there is little to no evidence of correlation between access to violent video games and mass violence.

Golf Club 2019

The PGA Tour and Canadian games developer HB Studios have partnered to create a new brand of golf video games. Typically, EA Sports has held big sway in golf games and had a hugely successful run in the form of their partnership with Tiger Woods until his career took a turn and the IP was dropped. This new franchise will be a departure from the EA dominated sports scene and may signal innovation in other sports titles. The Golf Club 2019 will release on PS4, Xbox One and PC in August according to Forbes, GameSpot, Hardcore Gamer and more.

TriplePoints of Interest: May 18

TPoI this week features Rage 2 from Bethesda which suffered from the Walmart Canada E3 leak, the new Tomb Raider reportedly cost between $75-100 million, and Microsoft rolls out a new controller made for disabled gamers.

Rage 2 Announced Plus Gameplay Trailer

Bethesda announced Rage 2, a sequel to their 2010 post apocalyptic shooter, with a teaser followed by a gameplay trailer this week. Set to release in 2019, the game is developed in partnership with id software, known for the DOOM and Quake franchises. The game was previously mentioned in the Walmart Canada E3 leak and gamers should expect to see more on the title at E3 next month, according to Variety, GameSpot, Digital Trends, Mashable, and more.

Cost of Shadow of the Tomb Raider

A large number of gaming enthusiast outlets including Kotaku, IGN, Destructoid, and GameRevolution reported on an interview between and David Anfossi of Eidos Montreal who commented in his interview that the game Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the newest title in the rebooted Tomb Raider franchise set to release on September 14, 2018, reportedly cost between $75 million to $100 million. This budget points to a growing trend among AAA games to have high production and development costs, which has spurred trends like microtransactions, season passes, and more to help cover costs.

Microsoft Unveils New Controller for Disabled Gamers

The MIT Technology Review, CNET, The Hollywood Reporter, Tom’s Hardware and more covered a new Xbox controller made by Microsoft that aims to help gamers with limited mobility to play video games more accurately. The “Xbox Adaptive Controller” features two large touch-sensitive circular buttons that make it easy for players to match standard controls and has ports at the top to represent other buttons on the controller, which can be controlled in a variety of ways to create an experience that works best for the user. Currently, the controller will be priced at $100 dollars and will release later this year.

TriplePoints of Interest: May 11

This week’s TPoI saw an E3 leak from Walmart Canada, Fortnite teams up with Marvel to the delight of just about everyone…. and Variety wrote a feature on the future of FMV games.

Walmart Canada E3 Leak
A number of outlets including GamesRadar+, Game Informer, Vice and more, reported on a possible leak by Walmart Canada that may have revealed titles in the E3 2018 lineup. Some of the titles named in the leak were Gears of War 5, Forza Horizons 5, Rage 2, Lego DC Villains, Borderlands 3, Just Cause 4, a Destiny 2 expansion, a new Dragon Quest, a Splinter Cell title, and an Assassin’s Creed title. Some of these titles were expected to be announced at the show but the inclusion of expected and confirmed games for E3 only added to the feeling of the leaks validity. Regardless of speculation from outlets though nothing has or will be confirmed until E3.

Marvel’s Thanos Joins Fortnite
Marvel and Epic Games recently collaborated to unleash Thanos, the villain of the recent film Avengers: Infinity War, into Fortnite for a mashup mode that will be available for a limited time only. The mode drops Thanos’ signature Infinity Gauntlet onto the map, which when picked up by players turns them into Thanos. Players then band together to fight the purple titan and for a chance to become him themselves according to writers at Entertainment Weekly, Business Insider, VentureBeat, and more who all reported very positively on the crossover.

Full Motion Video Returns to Gaming
Variety reported this week on the return of full motion video, a form of video capture used for games in the ‘80s and ‘90s that merged real world video with ingame art. Back in the day this method could create higher quality graphics than was possible but it was eventually phased out for new methods. The story cited the designer of the hit game Her Story and #WarGames, which have championed the resurgence in this type of game and the fusion of film and game.