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The gaming news daily digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for July 15, 2014 is a compilation of the most interesting and significant stories of the day. Today’s highlights include potential big changes for XBox and Microsoft, Bungie’s Destiny making its way to mobile phones, Oculus Rift further clamping down on re-sellers, and Bioware asking fans for their opinions as they work on Mass Effect 4. Here is the full scoop.
XBox Developers want Early Access too
Just yesterday Eurogamer revealed that Sony has been considering bringing Early Access to their consoles, and today it seems like it is Microsoft’s turn. The boss of ID@Xbox, a program allowing even small indie studios to get their titles on the console, has stated that their developers have been asking for the feature as well. He explained they are listening but do not have any news to announce at the time. Early Access is an interesting model for generating revenue early in development that helped many smaller games get through tough financial times. At the same time, it is fertile ground for unfinished products and disappointments to the consumers. Steam, the biggest PC digital game store and pioneer of the model, has already received a lot of criticism for the flood of unfinished titles. Sony and Microsoft will have to be careful not to repeat those mistakes.
Destiny has a companion app for tracking progress
The gaming experience in Bungie’s next title will go beyond just the console game and extend to mobile phones as well. The new app, as IGN revealed, will feature full 3D models of the player characters and highlight their progression over time. It can be used to read up on game’s lore, track stats, active missions, bounties and inventory of the character. This could prove a good way for offloading a bit of the micro-management many Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) are infamous for. One could use the boring bus ride back from work to plan the next mission and prepare their loadout so they can jump straight into virtual mayhem upon returning home.
Oculus Rift limits eBay re-selling
This promising virtual reality developer has already taken steps to curbing re-selling of the hardware in China, and is now moving onto eBay. The company is planning on stopping any shipment of their gear to those they suspect of wanting to simply re-sell it. They also stated that they will not provide warranty to second-hand sales either. Some of these unofficial vendors charge exuberant prices for the latest tech toy, making a hefty profit leveraging the limited supply. While the changes might upset those who fall for such scams, it is an earnest attempt to ensure everyone gets a fair price and support for the kit.
Mass Effect 4 survey from BioWare
Michael Gamble, the producer of the popular sci-fi roleplaying series, has Tweeted a link to a survey asking the fans about their experiences with the first three games and future expectations. Bioware has already released some initial concept images of the title and behind-the-scenes photos from their studio. They are undoubtedly well underway in crafting the next installation, but the survey could still prove a big influence in crafting the gaming experience. The ending of Mass Effect 3 disappointed many fans and resulted in a DLC to amend that. It appears the developers are trying to avoid the same mistakes by getting the fan input early.
Microsoft may be laying off thousands
The latest report from Bloomberg predicts that Microsoft might be gearing up for massive layoffs. The numbers are not known but they might approach those from 2009, where over five thousand employees lost their jobs. This is interesting because it comes right after the CEO, Satya Nadella, issued an open letter to the company and the public. In the letter, Nadella recognized the mobile-first nature of the world and called for significant changes. The round of layoffs could be the first step in restructuring the company for the new vision.
Gaming New Digest From Guardian Liberty Voice Commentary by Jakub Kasztalski