Back in August PUBG began its “Fix PUBG,” campaign, focused on improving the overall quality of game’s matchmaking, server performance, anti-cheat detection and player bans, and more. As of yesterday, the campaign is over.

In a post on PUBG’s steam community page, executive producer Taeseok Jang outlined the results of the campaign. On the client performance front, the team saw fairly large improvements. “The average time to load 1 level has dropped significantly from 14.4 seconds to 5.6 seconds,” Jang says. “Environmental effects, vehicle destruction effects, hit effects and smoke effects have been improved and we are planning to add improvements on weapon related logic and effects as well.”

However, attempting to fix character movement spawned other issues, including the sound of footsteps being desynced from the actual movements of players, causing the team to revert the change. “We are preparing general optimization work and once it has gone through proper stability testing, we will apply it once again,” Jang says. However, desync is still occurring, though less frequently after a November 7 patch, and the team will continue focusing on keeping the game at a synced 30-fps tick rate (the number of times per second the game updates to the server, not the framerate).

Meanwhile, matchmaking has seen some improvements, though the team is looking into ways to display more info on matchmaking, and let players in the most difficult-to-match areas set preferences that will make it easier to match into a game.

And on the game’s cheating issues: with over two million cheating accounts banned, the team is still exploring solutions for some of the more prolific cheaters. “While breakthroughs and improvements aren’t ever fast enough to eradicate all cheating, our mission remains the same; to never back off in the fight against unauthorized programs,” Jang says. “In some regions, we have been able to work with local law enforcement to arrest the groups involved in the production and sale of unauthorized programs and we will continue to aid authorities in any way we can.” The team plans to delve more into this specific topic in a separate letter.

Overall, although Jang points out areas where the game has improved, he remains aware that there’s still a ways to go. “We acknowledge that in this process, we have overlooked issues that matter to you and we have reflected a lot on our mistakes,” he says. “Therefore, when designing the 2019 PUBG roadmap, we’ve changed our direction from this last year. Build stability and quality are now our most important value, and upon that base we will build new Battle Royale gameplay and new content.”

Jan mentions this process will be slow at first, but updates will become more frequent as the team reaches a new equilibrium where they’re able to deliver both new content and stability improvements.

As for how this affects the improvements of the Xbox and upcoming PlayStation versions, Jang provides a somewhat vague statement. “The direction of Xbox and PlayStation development will parallel with PC, continuing to focus on providing our console players a more refined game service to give the best experience.”

[Source: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Steam Community Page]

While the campaign seems to have seen some improvements to the game, this definitely feels more like a fizzling out than a real triumph. The game still has a long way to go, but hopefully, the fanbase will see the stability and new content they’ve been craving soon.

With the recent news that Smite is coming to Switch next year, developer/publisher Hi-Rez Studios is doubling down on letting players play their games anywhere by announcing cross-platform play and progression is coming to Paladins, Realm Royale, and Smite.

Realm Royale, which has yet to fully release, will have it from the outset. Meanwhile, Paladins and Smite will receive an update enabling the feature in “mid-to-late” January. When this happens, there will be a 24-hour downtime, but after that, voice chat, leaderboards, and gameplay will be supported on Xbox One, Switch, PC, and Mac. “We are technically ready to support cross-play on other platforms as the opportunity arises,” the company states on its FAQ for the feature, hinting that while Sony announced crossplay for some titles, Hi-Rez has not yet able to implement it for the PS4 version.

As for how players will be matched: “By default, casual matchmaking will find the best matches for players regardless of platform or input method,” the company says on its FAQ for the feature. “Smite and Paladins ranked matchmaking will be divided strictly by input method. Players will only ever play against other players using the same input method in ranked. Realm Royale players will always be placed in cross-platform matchmaking.”

Players can also link up their platform accounts to their Hi-Rez account and have their progress synced across consoles. Platform-specific skins won’t be available outside those platforms, however, and some costumes may only be available on the platform on which they were purchased. And if you already have multiple accounts with different progress and skins? “When cross-progression is enabled, we will merge your owned content across platform accounts linked with your Hi-Rez Account, in accordance with platform provider policies,” the company says, though no refunds will be given for duplicate skin purchases.

[Source: Hi-Rez Studios]

It may not be realistic (every game has its own specific tech issues and hang-ups), but this is exactly how every modern multiplayer game should handle being on multiple consoles. I own three copies of Overwatch on separate platforms and have leveled a total of five Destiny 2 characters across PS4 and PC, and I can only dream of merging all of that loot I’ve collected under one account I can play wherever I want. As Sony continues to chip away at its crossplay wall, I can only hope multiplayer games adopt this level of platform cross-compatibility as the standard instead of the exception.

Jump force’s representation of Dragon Ball and Green people looks to expand with the addition of Cell and Piccolo, two of the series’ most popular characters.

The news comes from Japanese video game magazine V-Jump, which announced the characters in its latest issue. We’ll likely have to wait a little while before seeing them in action, however, though the next trailer shouldn’t be too far off.

Jump Force is scheduled to release on February 14. For more on the game, check out some of the latest additions, as well as our impressions from the beta along with every ultimate attack.

[Source: V-Jump via Gematsu]

The last time we saw Dragon Marked For Death, a new Action-RPG for the Switch by frequent Mega Man developer Inti Creates, it was because it was delayed into 2018. Well guess what?

At this year’s Anime NYC convention, Inti Creates revealed a few new details about Dragon Marked For Death, the most notable of which is its new release date. The game will now release on January 31. The reason for the delay was “to create a smaller gap between the release of the physical version and the digital version” of the game, which Inti Creates is partnering with Nighthawk Interactive to release. 

The game will also be split into two packages, giving players access to different classes for $14.99 apiece. The “Frontline Fighters” pack will let you play as the beginner-friendly empress and warrior characters, while the “Advanced Fighters” pack will have the more intricate shinobi and witch characters. After players buy one, they’ll be able to purchase the other via DLC. The physical version of the game will have all four classes, however.

Finally, Inti Creates announced the addition of an anime-style intro video to the game, which you can watch right here. If you’re looking for in-depth look at how the game plays, you can watch recent hour-long livestream of it here.

[Source: Inti Creates]

After the shuttering of Lawbreakers developer Boss Key Productions earlier this year, studio head Cliff Bleszinski mentioned that, rather than jump into another project, he’d be spending time with his family and reflecting on whatever may come next. As it turns out, it likely won’t be a video game.

Replying to a fan who was upset about the lack of refunds for the now-defunct Lawbreakers and that much of that money had been wasted, Bleszinski tweeted that that money went to paying employees’ 401ks, health care, and severances after Boss Key shut down. “I didn’t take a salary myself for two years,” he said. (He mentions paying for these employee expenses for “months” after the closure, though an employee responded by saying their own severance was only for three weeks. “Maybe I used hyperbole,” Bleszinski responded.)

https://twitter.com/therealcliffyb/status/1063145769321013249

He then pivoted to an informal announcement. “I get you’re sad, but god, this kind s— is another reason I am NEVER making another game.”

While that may seem flippant, he then confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz that it wasn’t just an offhand comment. “I’m done,” he said. This would mark the end of Bleszinski’s decades-long career in the video game industry, which includes working on games like Jazz Jackrabbit, Unreal Tournament, and Gears of War at Epic Games, along with creating Lawbreakers at Boss Key.

Lawbreakers’ failure at market was likely a heavy blow to all involved, and I can see how it might prompt someone to step away from the stress of creating a game and managing a studio for a while. Still, it’s surprising to see Bleszinski swear off video games altogether.

As Destiny 2 gears up for its next season, Bungie has announced a couple of changes it plans to implement to the game’s Gambit mode that should make matches more rewarding and less topsy-turvy.

When the Seasons of the Forge starts on November 27, bounties will be easier to complete, more rewarding, and a little more numerous. The amount of Infamy (the experience/ranking system in Gambit) each bounty offers will be doubled, and many bounties will have “their objectives retuned to take less time and be easier to complete,” Bungie says. There will also be a new type of bounty for scoring kills on Primeval Envoys, the enemies who accompany the Primeval (the enemy which teams must defeat to win a round), encouraging players to wipe them out first and weaken the Primeval before killing it.

Meanwhile, teams who summon their Primeval second will have their chances of making a comeback reduced. Currently, depending on how long the losing team is behind on summoning their Primeval after the leading team summoned theirs, the losing team would stacks of a buff called “Primeval Slayer,” depending on far ahead the opposing team was, increasing the amount of damage they dealt to the Primeval and making it easy to mount a comeback. Bungie has now limited the number of stacks to one, making comebacks much harder.

Finally, Bungie announced plans to reveal what else the rest of the year for Destiny 2, including a breakdown of the next three seasons of the game.

[Source: Bungie]

Comebacks were definitely too easy to pull off in Gambit, to the point where I would frequently hold off on summoning their Primeval second to make it a bit easier to kill the Primeval and possibly gain an advantage (though this wasn’t always effective). And with as difficult as Infamy can be to earn as you approach the rank needed for a reset, increased bounty rewards are good to see.

We have a quite a few events to dig into as we head into Thanksgiving week. You’re going to be in full clock-out mode when you get into work on Monday anyway, so why not stay up late and watch some tournaments?

Smite is having its big world championship, pitting the scene’s best against each other for the right to call themselves the best. (Stream / Schedule)

The last Dota 2 major before the long-awaited 7.20, taking place in Kuala Lumpur, wraps up this weekend, as titans in the scene continue to prove themselves while a few new teams are making a name for themselves. (Stream / Schedule)

Meanwhile, the Red Bull Conquest tournament circuit has been going strong all year, but takes its final stop in Washington D.C. to cap off its circuits in Street Fighter V, Guilty Gear Xrd, and  Tekken 7. (Stream / Schedule)

If those aren’t your bag, you can catch Brawlhalla, Soulcalibur VIBlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle and several Super Smash Bros. events at Dreamhack Atlanta. (Streams and Schedule)

Also in Atlanta, the Halo 5: Guardians pro circuit comes to a head for the conclusion of its Championship series. (Stream / Schedule)

Gears of War 4 is having a charity event in Columbus, Ohio, with half of the $200,000 prize pool being donated. (Stream / Schedule)

Rainbow Six Siege is taking its Pro League Finals to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, so you can catch some great tactical shooter action all weekend long. (Stream and Schedule

That’s it for this weekend! Let us know if we missed an event, or if there’s a scene you’d like us to cover, in the comments.

Replay – Tony Hawk's Underground

It’s no secret that we at G.I. are huge fans of skateboarding video games, even going so far as to play goo-goo baby crayon games in order to get our halfpipe-hugging fix. Luckily, we’ve got just the video series to help us through these dark, skateboard-averse times. This week on Replay, Reiner, Suriel, Leo, and I take a look at one of the less-classic entries in the classic Tony Hawk series – and it doesn’t take long for things to go…off the rails. Get it? Rails are a skateboarding thing. Oh, nevermind. 

Watch us as we skate our way through New Jersey and New York, helping random citizens and ruining the lives of innocent nut vendors – hey, a skater’s life is complicated. We also may or may not discuss the reprehensible lack of modern skateboarding games on the market – you’ll just have to tune in to see if that’s a real talking point or not!

The office is full of hectic energy as we move towards Thanksgiving week. Most editors have barricaded themselves at their desks to finish their work before getting down to serious turkey-preparing business. Even so, we still have time for video games like Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu & Eevee, Hitman 2, and Red Dead Redemption II.

Do you have any plans this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

Brian Shea (@BrianPShea) – I just emerged from a review tunnel with Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu & Eevee, so I’m looking forward to getting back to Red Dead Redemption II. Outside of that, I’m planning on starting Fallout 76 and checking out Hitman 2. Also, Tetris Effect has served as the perfect end to my nights recently, so I’ll be sure to play more of that. Oh, and Overwatch. Always Overwatch.

Jill Grodt (@Finruin) – There is so much to wrap up before I can think about going home for the Thanksgiving holiday! Hopefully, I’ll have time to squeeze in some Red Dead and Pokémon: Let’s Go.

Suriel Vasquez (@SurielVazquez) – Trying to smuggle a Thunderlord into Miami for my girl J.J. Macfield.

Javy Gwaltney – This has got to be the most exciting, anxiety-inducing video game weekend of the year for me. I think I’ll spend a fair amount of it in a café catching Pokémon on my Switch, then exploring the wasteland in Fallout 76, before returning to my one big obsession this year: Red Dead Redemption II.

Kyle Hilliard (@KyleMHilliard) – Still making my way through Red Dead Redemption II. Turns out that’s a big old game that takes a really long time! Otherwise it’s home prep time for family visiting out of town for Thanksgiving and play Lego DC Super-Villains with the kid. Might sneak some Let’s Go, Eevee in there, too, at some point.

Imran Khan (@imranzomg) – This week I’m at the Final Fantasy XIV Fan Fest talking to Final Fantasy XIV fans, so if you see me, come up and say hi! I’m also playing Red Dead Redemption II in my hotel room occasionally, but don’t say hi to me there. I’m also playing more Valkyria Chronicles 4 on my Switch while I’m traveling, saying hi to me while I’m doing that might come down to the situation.

Jeff Cork – I’m still plugging away at Red Dead Redemption II, and I think I’m going to focus on the hunting part this weekend. I need to upgrade my satchels and all that business and picking off animals here and there as I move between mission points isn’t cutting it. It’s time to get serious. I’ll also probably check out Ashe in Overwatch. I play a lot of mystery heroes, so my time with her has been limited (and tragically brief). I think I like her?

Ben Hanson (@yozetty) – This weekend I’m committed to making as much progress as possible in Red Dead Redemption II. Come hell or high water or social engagement. I’m also watching the new Coen brothers Western to help get me get in the mood. I’m early in chapter 4 and am really loving the game now!

Fallout 76 released just this week, but Bethesda is already hard at work on improvements it can bring to the online post-apocalyptic title. The first patch is set to hit on November 19, but the most requested fan updates aren’t hitting until later.

The November 19 patch will focus on game performance and stability across every platform, but will also fix some quests, UI elements, and more. Bethesda warns that the patch will be a large download, but future patches won’t be nearly as big.

Bethesda also wants to increase the stash limit in the next few weeks. The development team initially capped the stash to limit the number of items the game had to track moving through the world, but the team thinks it has ideas that will work to fix this oft-requested change to work in both short- and long-term.

In addition, the Fallout 76 team wants to add Push to Talk, ultrawide support, and a FOV slider for PC players before the end of the year.

The team also teased a bit of what to expect in 2019, including new content and in-game systems to improve the overall experience in Fallout 76. Bethesda teases that players will see new Vaults opening, new ways to improve your C.A.M.P.s, new multiplayer features, and more free add-ons they won’t detail just yet.

Fallout 76 is currently available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

[Source: Bethesda]