Shawn Layden States Fans Will “Likely See Us Start To Make More Noise In The New Term” When Speaking On PlayStation Multiplayer

Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studio CEO Shawn Layden has been reemerging from Sony’s overall silent end of 2018 by speaking more to multiple news outlets. With much of Sony’s road map of 2019 for the PlayStation 4 being relatively unknown outside of the upcoming Days Gone from Bend Studios in April, one area Layden mentions fans should expect to see a higher emphasis on is multiplayer.

Speaking Business Insider, the long term Sony gaming staple touched on a multitude of topics, such as the staggering units sales that the PlayStation 4 has accumulated, which currently has surpassed 91 million lifetime units sold. While the positives for the gaming company rolled, the PlayStation guru was given a somewhat devil’s advocate approach: for all of the success this past year (and the overall console generation), what is something that PlayStation has whiffed on? “For all of the advances we’ve made, and the high bar we’ve focused on in storytelling” Layden began. “I mean, I dare anybody to experience something like The Last of Us and not feel emotional about it; and with God of War, that story of a father and son; and Horizon: Zero Dawn, and the power of Aloy, the protagonist. All of these things, I believe we’ve done quite well. I’m very happy with the Spider-Man game that went out last year. And looking forward, Days Gone is coming in a couple months. That’s not only compelling and gripping, but it will emotionally try you very hard. I think all those things we do really well. What we don’t do so much in is multiplayer.”

Admittedly, while PlayStation has been the go-to home console for many gamer’s needs this generation, they have seen a distinct drop in first party multiplayer based games. Many Sony owned franchises such as Killzone and Twisted Metal that rely heavily on multiplayer aspects, have laid dormant for year; with the former of the two last releasing in 2013, with Killzone: Shadow Fall on PS4. While they haven’t necessarily been hurting because of it, due to the immaculate resume of their single player, first party experiences, it is something that Layden has noticed and looks to address moving forward.

When asked for clarification on if he meant local or online multiplayer, Layden specified his intentions on online multiplayer. “Couch co-op — I mean that’s a whole category I think the industry needs to look back at. We have that with sports titles, and some racing titles, but not with much else. And I think that speaks to the power of the internet on the one hand, but otherwise we might wanna revisit that to get more family engagement in the gaming experience. But, no, I was referencing more with the things like GTA 5 Online, or you look at Call of Duty, or Fortnite, or any of those experiences. Worldwide Studios, like I say, we’ve been going really heavy into story-driven gaming. The power of the narrative. Big, spectacular experiences. But not a whole lot in the multiplayer side of things, I think. That’s an area where you will likely see us start to make more noise in the new term.”

With confirmation of Sony’s departure from this years upcoming E3 event later last year, both media and consumers remain optimistic of the Japanese tech giant’s 2019 year, but the mystery surrounding its releases does make some cautious. Layden has gone on record via a tweet stating “see you in the new year” when pressed about the upcoming year, but many releases outside of April’s Days Gone still don’t have dates attached, including The Last of Us Part II, Death Stranding, and Ghosts of Tsushima. Hopefully by Layden’s recent media presence it means that more information on PlayStation’s 2019 isn’t that far in the distance.

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Jeff Kaplan, VP of Blizzard, to Present at Game Awards 2018

Overwatch continues to be one of the most popular multiplayer games out to date, with the game reaching 40 million players worldwide this past summer. One person you could point to in having a hand in the hero shooter’s success would be long-time developer/executive, Jeff Kaplan, who has been heading the project for years now; and now he will be apart of the show that only a few years ago awarded his game with gold.

In a recent tweet published by Game Awards creator Geoff Keighley, he confirms that the vice president of Blizzard Entertainment will be presenting an award during this year’s Game Awards on Thursday, December 6th.

Kaplan, who oversees all current and future plans for Overwatch, has been attached to the project since the days of the cancelled ‘Titan’ project that lead to the eventual inception of Overwatch in 2016. Kaplan and his team won the coveted Game of the Year award for the massively successful multiplayer game in 2016.

While there is no indication that Kaplan will be making an announcement pertaining to Overwatch, or Blizzard in general, the company will be looking for ways to improve their look in the public eye following the lukewarm reaction to the upcoming mobile adaptation of Blizzard’s long running RPG looter franchise Diablo, entitled Diablo Immortal. There have also been rumors of Overwatch making its way to the Switch, after the company confirmed its possibility to run on Nintendo’s hybrid system. With an emphasis put on the show being a homestead to for announcements and premieres to happen, an Overwatch related announcement isn’t necessarily out of the question.

The Game Awards 2018 is set to air live on Thursday, December 6th, 2018 at 9 PM EST/6PM PST. For more information, including platforms to watch the show on, please visit their website.

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Red Dead Online Beta to Start Tomorrow (November 27th)

After a record setting release and numerous accolades to its single player narrative, Red Dead Redemption 2’s online multiplayer experience Red Dead Online is set to drops this week, starting tomorrow, November 27th, with a beta for the service.

Players who purchased the “Ultimate Edition” from GameStop will have access to the Red Dead Online beta starting November 27th, and will being full testing for players who played the game on launch (October 26th) starting the following day on November 28th. The beta will then open up to all players the following day. Staggering the online beta to test server strength will hopefully help Rockstar avoid the issues it faced when GTA Online launched in 2013.

While details are still scarce on how the online experience will actually function, the Verge was able to get a tidbit of info on the upcoming mode:

With the gameplay of Red Dead Redemption 2 as its foundation, Red Dead Online transforms the vast and deeply detailed landscapes, cities, towns, and habitats of Red Dead Redemption 2 into a new, living online world ready to be shared by multiple players. Create and customize your character, tailor your abilities to suit your play style, and head out into a new frontier full of things to experience.

Explore this huge world solo or with friends. Form or join a posse to ride with up to seven players; gather around the fire at your camp; head out hunting or fishing; visit bustling towns; battle enemy gangs and attack their hideouts; hunt for treasure; take on missions and interact with familiar characters from across the five states; or fight against other outlaws in both spontaneous skirmishes and pitched set-piece battles; compete with other players or whole posses in open world challenges and much more.

We will continue to update you as the week goes on if a full launch date outside of the beta is announced.

 

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Bethesda Pens Note to Fans Ahead of Fallout 76 Release

Que up Country Roads; the anticipated multiplayer spin on the fan favorite Fallout series, Fallout 76, officially drops Wednesday, November 14th, 2018. Ahead of the release, the team at Bethesda Game Studios penned a heartfelt letter to fans and the multiple development teams attached to the game, expressing their deepest appreciation for everything that has been done for the game.

“It’s with great excitement that we’re finally launching Fallout 76, a Fallout game unlike anything we’ve done. Really, it’s a game unlike any we’ve ever played” the studio wrote in the letter published on their site, Bethesda.net. “With Fallout 76, we’ve woven together parts of our past Fallouts, the survival genre, and massive online games, to create something unique: a game where you share in the story and the struggle to survive, with your friends, with strangers and with us.”

Fallout 76, which is developed and produced in house by Bethesda Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks respectively, uses a modified version of Bethesda’s Creation Engine, that was tweaked to specifically accommodate multiplayer game play. Modifications to the engine, which was first implemented in the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, was handled by Bethesda’s team in Austin, Texas, who at the time were working on the now-cancelled hero shooter BattleCry in 2012, leading many to believe the game has been in development for around five years. The letter also states that help was given in the development cycle by ZeniMax Online, id Software, and Arkane.

“A huge thanks to everyone at Bethesda and ZeniMax who supported us in making this game”, continued the Maryland based studio. “Creating a new style of game has taken the best from not just our own producers, programmers, artists and designers – but great efforts from across the company.”

Finally, the company gave thanks to all that participated in the beta for the game over the past month, saying the feed back has made the game better each week. Speaking on the “B.E.T.A” (Break It Early Application) and moving forward, the company encouragingly wrote “We have an incredible list of updates we’ve begun work on – from C.A.M.P. building improvements, new quests and events, new Vaults opening, character respecing, a faction-based PVP system, and much more.” The beta, which was released to industry members and those who preordered the game, was received with generally favorable impressions, with most criticism falling on stability issues with the PC version of the game.

Fallout 76, which launches on November 14th, 2018 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, sets players loose in the post-apocalyptic hills of West Virginia, where you must survive the ever growing threat of mutated beasts, all while working together with other players to rebuild the world around you.

How many of you will being taking the country roads home in Fallout 76 later this week?

 

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