Valve is making Dota 2 players pay to avoid toxic gamers

Dota 2 is no longer free to play if you want to have the best experience. In this year’s Dota 2 “Battle Pass” — a premium subscription that usually offers cosmetics and other optional curiosities to the game — Valve bundled one of the most important features it has ever created. Players who buy the Battle Pass can now use an “experimental” Avoid Player feature, which is supposed to keep toxic players away from you. Here’s a different way to say it: Valve is now charging players a minimum of $9.99 to avoid harassers. I’m glad to see that Valve is finally taking more steps to address its toxic player community and protect Dota 2 players from the worst of the bunch. But it’s telling that the company sees this as an add-on, and not part of… Read the full article…

GameStop is discounting games, consoles, accessories, and more today

GameStop is hosting a day-long sale today on games, consoles, accessories, and memorabilia based on movies, TV shows, and video game franchises. This is a rare opportunity, aside from Amazon Prime Day 2019 and Black Friday, to find popular games and console bundles for less than their usual prices. Before jumping in to see a few of the best deals, you should know that a membership is required before you can take advantage of today’s deals at GameStop. Its PowerUp Rewards program costs $14.99 per year to join, and it will earn you 10 percent off of used inventory as well as an extra 10 percent back in store credit if you trade in a game, console, or an accessory. So if you still purchase games on disc, a membership may be worth it for… Read the full article…

2020 Call of Duty Now Reportedly Being Developed by Black Ops’ Treyarch

According to a report from Kotaku, Activision has informed developers at Sledgehammer Games and Raven that both studios will no longer be in charge of the Call of Duty game scheduled for 2020. Instead, Treyarch, who last developed 2018’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, will reportedly be taking over and leading development on a new Black Ops game for next year – Black Ops 5. Raven and Sledgehammer were originally supposed to lead the development of the 2020 Call of Duty, and according to Kotaku, the plan was to set its story mode during the Cold War. Conveniently enough, Kotaku reports that Treyarch is also setting its story mode for Black Ops 5 during the Cold War. Read the full article…

Some World of Warcraft Classic ‘Bugs’ Actually Features, Blizzard Says

World of Warcraft Classic is Blizzard’s attempt to bring back the spirit of its early glory days. That’s not because its suffering (not more so than any other modern MMO), but because the land of Azeroth and how people play around in it has changed so much in the 15 years since launch. That said, a part of the charm included a few “bugs” or “features” that even more experienced players may have forgotten about. It looks like Blizzard anticipated a bit of head-scratching over it all from beta players, and clarified things in a forum post, first reported by Eurogamer. Read the full article…

Minecraft Earth makes the whole real world your very own blocky realm

When your game tops 100 million players, your thoughts naturally turn to doubling that number. That’s the case with the creators, or rather stewards, of Minecraft at Microsoft, where the game has become a product category unto itself. And now it is making its biggest leap yet — to a real-world augmented reality game in the vein of Pokémon GO, called Minecraft Earth. Announced today but not playable until summer (on iOS and Android) or later, MCE (as I’ll call it) is full-on Minecraft, reimagined to be mobile and AR-first. So what is it? As executive producer Jesse Merriam put it succinctly: “Everywhere you go, you see Minecraft. And everywhere you go, you can play Minecraft.” Yes, yes — but what is it? Less succinctly put, MCE is like other real-world-based AR games in that it lets you travel around a virtual version of your area, collecting items and participating Read the full article…

Hands-on with Minecraft Earth, Microsoft’s augmented reality answer to Pokémon Go

It won’t be long before the trees on your street are pixelated and little pigs and other animals are rampaging through neighborhoods — as long as you’re looking through the lens of a smartphone. That’s the vision of the new Minecraft Earth augmented reality game that Microsoft unveiled this morning. Microsoft briefly teased it at its Build developer conference in Seattle last week, whetting the appetite of Minecraft fans until the game is released this summer. RELATED: Look out, Pokémon Go: Microsoft unveils new Minecraft Earth augmented reality game The day after the game was teased at Microsoft Build, the company gave a handful of reporters a sneak peek at the game along with some time with executives leading the teams that developed it. They painted Minecraft Earth as a step forward for augmented reality games that are based on the real world. Of course, the immediate name that comes Read the full article…

Look out, Pokémon Go: Microsoft unveils new Minecraft Earth augmented reality game

(Minecraft Photo) Microsoft today unveiled a new augmented reality Minecraft game for smartphones that aims to advance the genre long associated with Pokémon Go with increased interactivity and multiplayer action. The company teased the free-to-play game, “Minecraft Earth,” at the end of CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote at the Build Developers conference in Seattle last week. Today’s announcement comes on the 10-year anniversary of the original Minecraft, made by the studio Mojang that Microsoft acquired in 2014 for $2.5 billion. What’s @Minecraft up to? Tune in to https://t.co/E7ZPoCQKus on May 17 to find out. #MSBuild pic.twitter.com/CVurJW4eWw — Microsoft (@Microsoft) May 6, 2019 Minecraft Earth is slated to be released this summer, but an exact date was not given. A closed beta testing period is on the way prior to the release. The game will be released on Android and iOS, and it layers its virtual world on top of the real Read the full article…

Sega’s Virtua Racing for Switch is a stunning update of a technical landmark

Virtua Racing is one of the most important games in Sega’s history, but there’s never been a perfect way to play it outside of an arcade. Despite multiple attempts, from the technically flawed Mega Drive and Saturn conversions to the ground-up PlayStation 2 remake, Sega hasn’t quite been able to capture the 1992 classic within the comfort of your home. Until now, anyway. Sega’s new version of Virtua Racing is incredible, and since it’s on the Nintendo Switch, you’re getting a portable version into the bargain as well. Virtua Racing was one of the first fully polygonal 3D racing games ever made, and certainly the most advanced at the time of its release. It ran at 30 frames per second, which felt incredibly smooth back in… Read the full article…