Triplepoints of Interest: Feb. 26

In this week’s TPoI, H1Z1 exits Early Access and introduces Auto Royale, the ESRB creates a new label to indicate microtransactions, Bethesda ascends to Metacritic’s highest rated major publisher, and Superdata predicts that consumer augmented reality and mixed reality will eclipse virtual reality in the coming years.

H1Z1 Exits Early Access and Introduces New “Auto Royale” Mode

After two years in Early Access, Daybreak’s H1Z1, the game that is frequently credited as the first mover of the Battle Royale genre, finally “launched” this week. Included in this launch update is a new mode and genre entirely: Auto Royale. IGN reports that this mode pits 30 teams of four in vehicular combat. In the past, H1Z1 has acted defensively about competitors PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite soaking up its playerbase, and the introduction of the Auto Royale genre is a way for the game to both reinvigorate lost players and re-establish itself as Battle Royale innovators.

ESRB To Add Indicator For Microtransactions on Physical Games

Loot boxes have a gained reputation of being morally–and most recently, legally–controversial among consumers. In an effort to inform consumers and parents, the ESRB has announced that they will be taking additional steps to ensure that game covers indicate the option of paid content in a game with a new “In-Game Purchases” label. Polygon, however, notes that the label will not specifically indicate if the purchases are randomized, which is where much of the controversy and legal ambiguity stems from.

Bethesda Is Metacritic’s Top-Rated Big Publisher of 2017

Bethesda is 2017’s highest rated major publisher with an overall Metacritic score of 79.9, beating out Nintendo, Sega and Activision-Blizzard. Metacritic reports that 91 percent of Bethesda’s 2017 products were positively reviewed. Titles that contributed to Bethesda’s success on Metacritic last year include Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Prey, The Evil Within 2, and various releases for the Elder Scrolls series. Additionally, Bethesda has risen up from mid-size publisher to major publisher, a Metacritic ranking based on “distinct releases” that year.

Augmented and Mixed Reality Revenue to Overtake VR by 2021 recently recapped a Superdata report that predicts that augmented and mixed reality revenue is expected to double to $3.2 billion this year. Superdata also last week reported that AR and MR headsets continue to be price-inaccessible for the general population, making it hard to generate significant software revenue within the next few years.