EA is yet again pushing the gaming frontier with a new subscription-based services, giving the players full access to a number of their titles at a flat fee. Microsoft has confirmed the release of Xbox One in China, while simultaneously facing anti-monopolistic investigation over their operating system and Office products. Destiny beta witnessed a whopping 4.6 million players, and Nintendo’s struggle with WiiU sales results in more losses. Here is the gaming news daily digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for July 30, 2014.
EA Launching the Netflix of games, Sony disapproves
The triple-A gaming giant has just announced a new subscription service for playing their latest titles. EA Access, coming to Xbox One, offers members Battlefield 4, Madden 25, Peggle 2 and FIFA 14 for a flat price of $5 a month or $30 a year. The subscribers will also get discounts on other content and trial versions of upcoming titles early, such as Dragon Age: Inquisition. The deal sounds quite enticing, but Sony expressed skepticism. One of their representatives explained that EA Access does not provide the type of services expected by the PlayStation customers. While the idea and price tag seems pretty lucrative, it is a bit worrying the initiative is spearheaded by EA, a company repetitively criticised for their nickel-and-dime business strategies and anti-consumer statements.
Microsoft debuting Xbox One in China soon
The next-gen gaming console will be arriving in China on Sept. 23, Microsoft confirmed today. The price will be set at 3,669 yuan, which translates to about $600. Thirteen different developers from the country have also signed on to work on new games, including NetEase, Tencent and Snail Games. The launch titles will include Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals and Zoo Tycoon. Microsoft also plans to eventually bring in Neverwinter, a free massively-multiplayer role playing game. However, the company may be facing some difficulties given recent suspicion of monopolistic practices, as described below.
Microsoft investigated for monopolistic behavior in China
The New York Times has reported that the State Administration for Industry and Commerce has been looking into some complaints from other business that Microsoft was bundling Windows and Office software in a way that violates China’s 2008 antimonopoly laws. The agency has paid surprise visits to some of the company’s offices, questioned senior managers, took records of financial statements and confiscated two computers. Microsoft, naturally, responded by stating their business practices are designed to comply with all Chinese laws. However, the administration still expressed some suspicion of monopolistic behavior after the initial inquiry.
Destiny beta played by 4.6 million
Activision has just announced the player figures for the open beta of their upcoming, Halo-inspired massively-multiplayer shooter. The beta, which started on July 17 and closed just a few days ago, has seen 4.6 million players in the short ten days. The number has “blown away” the COO of Bungie, far surpassing the goals and estimates of the developers. The CEO of Activision Publishing, Eric Hirshberg, explained it was “the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP.” The company is very grateful for the feedback received by the gamers, and eager to bring the full title on Sept. 9 for both the current and next-gen consoles.
Nintendo reports $97 million loss
The sad story of WiiU’s unsuccessful launch continues, with Nintendo reporting a $97 million loss over the past quarter. Even the release of Mario Kart 8, which shipped some 2.82 million units by the end of June, could not help bring the console sales up. The total shipment of the console as of June 30 stands at 6.68 million. In comparison, the Playstation 4 surpassed 7 million units back in April and current estimates pin it around 9 million. Nintendo hopes that the upcoming Super Smash Bros. and Amiibo figurines will help boost the sales of the struggling console.
Gaming New Digest From Guardian Liberty Voice Commentary by Jakub Kasztalski
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