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Loot boxes are like a difficulty setting – Shadow of War dev

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Loot boxes are like a difficulty setting – Shadow of War dev

Monolith has defended the inclusion of loot boxes in Middle-earth: Shadow of War by comparing them to difficulty levels.

Last month, the studio announced that loot boxes can be bought using real-world money in its upcoming full-price single-player action game.

That is, players plunk down cash in exchange for the chance to get certain weapons, armour, XP boosts, and Orc followers.

Over the weekend, Shadow of War design director Bob Roberts told Eurogamer that loot boxes sprung from "the same design philosophy as us adding in difficulty modes".

"Frankly the Nemesis system comes to life when you are dying loads, so you could see Easy mode as a system which makes the game less enjoyable if you are the type of player who really should have put it on Hard," said Roberts.

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Devs would be more candid if gamer culture weren't so toxic

Devs would be more candid if gamer culture weren't so toxic

At least one game developer reckons that he and his peers would be more candid with the public were it not for the toxicity of some gamers online.

Designer and programmer Charles Randall, whose career spans 18 years and stints at Capybara, Ubisoft, and BioWare, among others, said in a long Twitter thread that "gamer culture is so toxic that being candid in public is dangerous".

It is his view that things really ramped up over the last few years, but also that these issues have been building for a long time.

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PUBG dev might take action against Epic over Fortnite: Battle Royale

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PUBG dev might take action against Epic over Fortnite: Battle Royale

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds studio Bluehole is thinking about taking action against Epic Games over Fortnite's battle royale mode.

On Friday, Epic announced that its take on the last man standing genre, Fortnite: Battle Royale, will launch as a free-to-play standalone title on September 26,

However, in a press release shortly after, Bluehole VP and executive producer Changhan Kim expressed concern that Epic Games' support of PUGB via Unreal Engine licensing could pose a conflict of interest.

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A Fast and Furious game is apparently underway at Project Cars studio Slightly Mad

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A Fast and Furious game is apparently underway at Project Cars studio Slightly Mad

Project Cars 2 developer Slightly Mad Studios is apparently making a Fast and Furious game.

As Eurogamer reports, Australian YouTuber SpotTheOzzie was streaming Project Cars 2 when Slightly Mad CEO Ian Bell joined him for a chat.

Bell divulged that his studio has a deal with a major Hollywood company to make tie-in games for a major franchise for the next six years,

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Devolver's Call of Duty doco is out, and so are a bunch of COD: WWII mini trailers

Devolver's Call of Duty doco is out, and so are a bunch of COD: WWII mini trailers

CODumentary, an unofficial behind-the-scenes Call of Duty documentary from publisher Devolver Digital, is available now on Steam, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube Movie Rentals, and more.

The feature-length doco was independently produced in the UK by Jonathan Beales and Fizz Pictures, and follows the incredible rise of CoD from the early 2000s to the present day.

Among other things, it will tackle the infamous fracturing of Modern Warfare studio Infinity Ward.

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A technical issue has delayed Dontnod's undead RPG Vampyr

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A technical issue has delayed Dontnod's undead RPG Vampyr

Dontnod Entertainment's semi-open world bloodsucking RPG Vampyr has been delayed.

The intriguing-looking game's release has been pushed back from November this year to autumn 2018.

Apparently a technical issue is to blame.

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Fortnite's battle royale mode to be standalone and F2P

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Fortnite's battle royale mode to be standalone and F2P

The battle royale mode in Fortnite will launch as a free-to-play standalone title on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, Epic Games has announced.

That means players won’t be required to own Fortnite to play Fortnite: Battle Royale.

Players who purchased the Fortnite in anticipation of the battle royale mode can get a refund.

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Monster Hunter World, Dragon’s Crown Pro and the rest of Sony's TGS news

Monster Hunter World, Dragon’s Crown Pro and the rest of Sony's TGS news

Here's the rest of the news from Sony's pre-TGS press conference, held this morning in Tokyo:

Monster Hunter World is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on January 26, 2018.

A collector's edition and a digital deluxe edition of Monster Hunter World will be available. There will also be a Monster Hunter World edition of the PS4 Pro console.

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Final Fantasy IX gets "surprise" PS4 release

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Final Fantasy IX gets "surprise" PS4 release

As rumoured earlier this week, a remaster of Final Fantasy IX is coming to PlayStation 4 – in fact, it's available right now.

It looks like the same version of the game that was ported to PC last year.

Originally released in 2000, Final Fantasy IX is often cited as the high point of the series.