Today, global esports organization Generation Esports (formerly High School Esports League), in partnership with top esports and gaming hardware sponsors, kicked off the “Social Distancing Cup” — a free online charity tournament to support communities nationwide affected by COVID-19.
The Social Distancing Cup is a month-long tournament series with open enrollment in the continental U.S. featuring competitive matches in League of Legends, Rocket League, and Teamfight Tactics. This exciting tournament rocks a $30,000 USD prize pool, with winnable real-world goods such as ASUS Republic of Gamers and TUF Gaming laptops, hardware, and merchandise, custom Generation Esports jerseys and mugs from Skullz, Viewsonic gaming monitors, Zaxby’s vouchers, and Dr. Squatch Soap.
Generation Esports — in partnership with non-profit partner Varsity Esports Foundation (VEF) — created the Social Distancing Cup to engage with esports competitors who are isolating themselves or quarantined because of the COVID-19 pandemic and to fundraise for low-income families during this unprecedented global crisis.
Publisher and co-developer Dotemu (publisher of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, developer of Windjammers 1 and 2) with co-developers Lizardcube (Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap) and Guard Crush Games (Streets of Fury) announced today that Streets of Rage 4 will be dishing out the knockouts with unlockable classic characters and music from Streets of Rage 1 & 2 for fully nostalgic brawls.
Streets of Rage 4 will be released this spring for PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One for $24.99, with the release date to be confirmed.
Dotemu released an action-packed gameplay trailer today which reveals some of Streets of Rage 4’s tributes to the original trilogy, including unlockable pixel art characters with movesets and abilities unique to their respective games; Streets of Rage’s fighters can call the cops for their special moves, while Streets of Rage 3’s characters can sprint and roll through environments.
These retro characters combine with Streets of Rage 4’s five hand-animated leading fighters to bring the total playable roster’s count to 17.
For a full nostalgic trip, players can also switch to the series iconic original soundtrack, handing out beatdowns backed by tracks from Streets of Rage 1 and Streets of Rage 2. Taking down thugs with these timeless songs cranked up makes for an incredibly satisfying retro experience.
Streets of Rage 4 is the first entry to the mainline series in more than 25 years. The revival merges classic Streets of Rage elements with fresh directions for more combat possibilities, strikingly fluid hand-drawn art, and an inventive, distinct soundtrack led by Olivier Derivière which incorporates worldwide talent, including significant contributions from series composers Yūzō Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima.
Sony has officially announced the PS5 controller, dubbing it the DualSense controller, and it looks radically different from the company’s previous designs.
It’ll launch alongside the PS5 console before the Christmas holiday this year.
The PS5 controller design reveal includes some of what the leaks predicted: adaptive shoulder button triggers with haptic feedback, a built-in microphone so you can talk to friends without having to wear a headset, and a new ‘Create’ button that replaces the PS4 Share button.
In addition, Sony is moving the previous DualShock 4’s LED Lightbar from the top of the controller to the surrounding of the touchpad on the PS5. It’s supposed to give the LED a larger look and feel, according to the company.
What’s interesting (and going be divisive) is the DualSense two-tone color scheme that’s black-and-white and devoid of color on the face buttons. Triangle, Circle, Square and Cross (or X) are still here, but they don’t sport their usual hues.
Sony says that this is a “radical departure from our previous controller offerings and captures just how strongly we feel about making a generational leap with PS5.” The black-and-white design is likely to extend to the PS5 console, which is different than the usual black color Sony has chosen for its console launches since the PS2.
Sony hasn’t revealed exact PS5 controller specs, and there are a number of details we’re eager to hear about, including the expected battery life. It did say, however, that the team made sure “to maintain a strong battery life for DualSense’s rechargeable battery, and to lessen the weight of the controller as much as possible as new features were added.”
Nine years after its original release, Deep Silver today announced that Saints Row® The Third™ has been completely remastered and will release on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and PC on May 22nd.
Every weapon has been remodelled, every car has been redesigned and a vast proportion of the city has been retextured; Saints Row® The Third™ has received a full makeover. With around 4,000 assets reworked, the complete update has been expertly handled by Sperasoft. It has transformed environments, character models and visual effects, enhanced graphics and incorporated a new lighting engine.
In addition, all three expansion mission packs and more than 30 pieces of DLC from the original version have been remastered and are included in the package for hours of additional gleeful gameplay. The remastered edition will inspire new gamers and original fans to revisit the reworked city of Steelport and revel in the glorious world of the Saints.
Story: Saints Row® The Third™ Remastered gives you control of the Saints at the height of their power, and you live the life to show for it. This is your City. These are your rules. Remastered with enhanced graphics, Steelport the original city of sin, has never looked so good as it drowns in sex, drugs and guns.
Years after taking Stilwater for their own, the Third Street Saints have evolved from street gang to household brand name, with Saints sneakers, Saints energy drinks and Johnny Gat bobblehead dolls all available at a store near you. The Saints are kings of Stilwater, but their celebrity status has not gone unnoticed. The Syndicate, a legendary criminal fraternity with pawns in play all over the globe, has turned its eye on the Saints and demands tribute.
Refusing to kneel to the Syndicate, you take the fight to Steelport, a once-proud metropolis reduced to a struggling city of sin under Syndicate control. Take a tank skydiving, call in a satellite-targeted airstrike on a Mexican wrestling gang, and fight against a highly-trained military force by your lonesome in the most outlandish gameplay scenarios ever seen.
The Full Package, Remastered – With enhanced graphics, improved lighting, reworked environments, and visual effects, Steelport and The Third Street Saints have never looked so good. City of Sin – Disrupt and dismantle the Syndicate stranglehold on weapons, cybercrime, and criminal rackets. Discover the secrets of Steelport, where there is action on every street corner, for better or, more likely, worse. Weapons of Crass Destruction – It’s one thing to defeat your enemies. It’s another to humiliate them. Hover jets, human cannonball cars and outrageous melee weapons are all part of the fun. Crazy Character Customisation – Create the most outlandish characters ever seen, from washed-up celebrities to maskless ninja pirates. Inside every sinner, there is a Saint. Who will you become? Over The Top Co-op – Fly solo or play online with a homie. Give freefall skydiving a try, landing in your partner’s flaming pickup as you make a desperate run toward a heavily armed Syndicate base. Steelport is always more fun with a friend.
All DLC included – All three expansion mission packs and more than 30 pieces of DLC from the original version.
For more information on Saints Row® The Third™ Remastered on Microsoft Xbox One, Sony PlayStation®4 and PC head over to www.saintsrow.com
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is working with some of the UK’s leading games companies to feature the government’s clear ‘Stay At Home, Save Lives’ instruction in some of their most popular games to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Getting through the crisis will require a collective national effort and every generation has a role to play, everyone’s actions right now can have a direct impact upon the lives of others. Young people spend more time playing video games than the rest of the population (UKIE), which is why in-game messaging represents a creative, targeted, and immediate way to help reinforce the government’s Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives message, to gamers.
Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said:
“It is absolutely vital that we all follow the simple government advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives. I’m delighted to see the UK’s brilliant video games industry stepping up to strongly reinforce this message to gamers across the UK.”
Support from UK video games companies to date include:
Activision Blizzard King are inserting “Stay At Home” messaging in their network of mobile games, most notably Candy Crush Saga. The firm has also donated more than 230 “digital poster” advertising spaces in London, where they would normally advertise their own products, to be used for crucial public health messaging.
‘Stay At Home’ posters are already being featured in Codemasters’DiRT Rally 2.0, played by millions of unique users since its launch in February 2019, and the company is now looking at ways to roll out more essential health messages in games across Europe and the U.S. in the coming weeks.
Rebellion will be including “Stay At Home” messaging on their games landing page launch sites (the landing page when you load up a game) for their games, with the capacity for these messages to link to relevant gov.uk pages where appropriate. As well as developing games, Rebellion also publish comic books and have also offered advertising in these.
Humam Sakhnini, President of King said:
“Everyone at Activision Blizzard, and the King team I lead, are delighted that we’re able to play a small part and help with the delivery of vital public health information. Through our millions of players we’re able to assist Public Health England and the NHS spread their life saving message: stay at home, protect our NHS, and save lives”.
Jason Kingsley OBE, Co-founder and CEO of Rebellion:
“We’re delighted to be working with the DCMS on this excellent initiative. We know how fundamentally beneficial video games, like Sniper Elite and Strange Brigade, and comics, like 2000 AD, have been and will continue to be for many of us during this extraordinary time. It makes total sense for us to help promote important public health messaging while keeping those fans entertained in the safety of their homes.”
Toby Evan-Jones, VP Business Development at Codemasters: “At Codemasters we came to realise that technology within our games, which enables the remote updating of banners within the virtual environment, could be repurposed to assist with the Coronavirus communication effort. This week, through collaboration with Bidstack Group PLC (providers of the ad-replacement infrastructure), we began delivering a version of Public Health England’s “Stay Home Save Lives” message into DiRT Rally 2.0. It’s fantastic to see conversations already being sparked amongst our community.”
Approximately 37 million people in the UK play games, and there are around 2,277 active video game companies in the UK.
People in Europe and Asia have begun receiving their copy of the highly anticipated Final Fantasy VII Remake.
This was a conscious decision from Square Enix due to disruptions from the Corona Virus.
A statement on Twitter reads:
‘We had some hard decisions to make during the final weeks before launch due to disruption to distribution channels caused by the spread of the Covid-19 virus,’
‘These unique circumstances have made it very difficult to align timing of our global shipping. Our highest priority is that all of you, including those who live in countries currently facing the biggest disruption, can play the game at launch, so we made the decision to ship the game far earlier than usual to Europe and Australia.’
For the rest of the world, with just one week to go until the launch of Final Fantasy VII remake, SQUARE ENIX is making the digital pre-load available starting today on the PlayStation Store to ensure that players are ready to jump straight in to the streets of Midgar when the game releases worldwide on April 10.
In addition, SQUARE ENIX unveiled its Final Trailer from Japan, giving fans a glimpse into memorable narrative moments revealing familiar faces, new characters and epic scenes from late in the game.
DRAGON BALL fans from all over the world have watched the DRAGON BALL saga unfold… now, fans can relive the saga in DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT!
DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT has been referred to as one of the most accurate retellings of the DRAGON BALL story and enables fans to experience the heartwarming moments and fierce battles of the DRAGON BALL story as their favorite characters.
DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT is out now and currently available for PlayStation4, XBOX One, and PC!
A Season Pass is also available for DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT, with “A New Power Awakens – Part 1” DLC coming this Spring 2020!
Check out what fans and outlets have been saying in the newest accolades trailer for DRAGON BALL Z: KAKAROT:
The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit organisation set up to promote and support grassroots esports, is ramping up its livestreaming content.
British Esports will be running a host of streaming activities and shows on its Twitch channel, with three shows planned every week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
The activities will be kicked off with a special launch stream on Friday April 3rd from 4-6pm, hosted by British Esports school and college liaison officer Elliot Bond. This broadcast will run through the association’s streaming plans, give a taste of the content series it will be producing and get some guests on to talk, including a member of the North America Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF).
British Esports has also strengthened its existing partnership with the Twitch Student program around these activities. The livestreaming platform has granted British Esports Partner status, giving the channel plenty of tools to grow and promote its streams.
Going forwards, the British Esports Twitch channel will feature masterclass speakers, takeovers, guest panels, activities from British Esports game advisers, Women in Esports content, community challenges and more.
The British Esports Championships grand finals for schools and colleges are also set to be livestreamed on April 24th to 26th, in partnership with the NUEL (further details to follow).
When the British Esports Championships returns later this year for the 2020/21 seasons, British Esports will aim to host weekly shows looking at the latest matches and interviewing teams.
Some of the British Esports streaming content series will include:
Esports 101: Guests will teach the community in their expert fields in a series of virtual lectures. This could be to do with casting, pro gamer advice, the different types of esports careers and so on
Game Adviser Takeovers: A British Esports game adviser will have the opportunity to run a guest stream, either to host a Q&A session or to provide the community with their top advice in their specialist games
Women in Esports Wednesdays: a mixture of panels, interviews and more talking about the latest around British Esports’ Women in Esports campaign
Off the Record: British Esports head of content Dom Sacco will interview different personalities in the esports industry to provide insight into their careers in a series of real, raw interviews
Ask the Experts: Different members of the community join British Esports in a panel/podcast series. For example, Sheridans will be on stream to talk about the government support scheme specifically for esports freelancers
Fun Fridays: Community challenges, fun mini-tournaments and games (and possibly even a Sacco’s Snackos cookery class)
Game advisers that have expressed interest in running guest streams include Terry ‘Servitude’ May, Adam Fitch (journalism), Ryan ‘Wok’ Liu, Layla ‘TamashiiKanjou’ Abbott (a mix of streams including tips, advice and Animal Crossing), Su Collins (cookery), Nick Egan, Graham Day, Ben Rogers and more.
A full schedule including times will follow in the coming weeks.
Dominic Sacco, British Esports Association head of content, commented: “We’re so excited to be launching a host of streaming activity on Twitch – I think it’s fair to say it’s overdue!
“Over the past year we have seen good growth and now have a great team in place that I’m certain will produce some brilliant content. Please bear with us as we get up and running and let us know your thoughts on our activities.
“I want to emphasise this is all about the community, so if you would like to get involved with our streams, or have an idea, please reach out to us and we’ll be happy to discuss. See you in the chat!”
“NASEF is honored to be partnering with British Esports to help make a difference for students, families and communities during these challenging times,” said Gerald Solomon, executive director of the Samueli Foundation and founder of NASEF.
“It is rare to find someone with the same interests and values with whom a partnership is just so natural. Together, we are providing a free online ‘scholastic playground’ where kids can get together, play and learn at the same time, in a safe and monitored space. Thanks to the BEA-NASEF partnership, this is happening throughout the UK and North America.”
Viewers can watch British Esports streaming activities and will soon be able see the latest content schedule at twitch.tv/britishesports