Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Star Citizen dev plans to drop DirectX support in favor of Vulkan

Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games is toying with the idea of dropping DirectX support from the game and instead solely supporting the OpenGL successor, Vulkan. …

Gamasutra News

Investors drop $3.5M on eSports 3D livestreaming platform

Investors have put $ 3.5M into, a new broadcasting platform that aims to provide viewers with tools to watch a live game match in 3D and reposition their viewpoint inside the game at will. …

Gamasutra News

Goalies Shore Up Short-Side Saves In Latest NHL 17 Content Drop

Anyone who plays a lot of NHL 17 is familiar with the crazy frequency that short-side shots seem to beat goaltenders. Developer EA Canada is aware as well and hopes to shore up its leaky goaltenders with new post lean animations as a part of a larger content push available today.

To give more EASHL teams options when designing their look, the new content update also introduces some new logos, as well as 11 new goal celebration animations. Getting two EASHL teams together for a private match should be easier as well, thanks to a new drop-in feature that lets teams pair up using a unique four-to-six-digit ID number.

You can read through the full list of updates on the NHL 17 homepage – The Feed

UK retailer GAME sees steep profits drop as console sales fall 30%

UK-based video game retailer GAME reported its full-year earnings this week, and while some numbers went up while others went down, perhaps the most notable figure saw the steepest decline: profits. …

Gamasutra News

Capcom Sales Drop 25 Percent Due To Focus On ‘Minor Titles’

Capcom is backloading its fiscal year 2017 releases, pushing major games into the holiday and beyond. The company reports a significant sales dip and net loss for the first quarter of its fiscal year.

Revenues dropped 25 percent to ¥10.9 billion ($ 103.7 million). Combined with a foreign exchange loss of ¥1.3 billion ($ 12.7 million), Capcom reported a net loss of ¥1.4 billion ($ 13.4 million) for the quarter.

Capcom says that its sales dip was due largely to releasing only “minor titles” during the period. The company points to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice (released in Japan on June 6) as performing as expected. The company also released the critically panned Umbrella Chronicles during the quarter. 

The company has a few titles on the horizon, including the long awaited Resident Evil 7. Revealed at E3, the game will be out in January. Capcom is also re-releasing Resident Evil 4 in August.

The Dead Rising series will have a big year, too. Dead Rising, Dead Rising 2, and Dead Rising 2: Off the Record will see release on current-gen consoles. Dead Rising 1 will also be making its way to PC for the first time. Dead Rising 4 is due out later this year for Xbox One and PC.

[Source: Capcom]


Our Take
It’s too early to tell where Capcom’s year is headed. Monster Hunter Generations sales from the western release have yet to be reported. Dead Rising has typically performed well, and the company has done right by its remasters. Resident Evil 4 is the update people are waiting for, so it’s likely to sell well. As for Resident Evil 7, we still don’t know quite what to make of it, but we’re curious. – The Feed

Nintendo Suffers 60 Percent Drop In Profits In Most Recent Fiscal Year

Nintendo has reported its year-end financials, and while the company has closed in the black, the results show staggering decline. While sales only show a slight dip, net profits dropped by 60.6 percent to ¥16.5 billion ($ 148.5 million).

Nintendo’s operating income is a bright spot among the financial report with a jump of 32.7 percent to ¥32.9 billion ($ 296 million). With the NX now known to be coming in 2017 and the new Zelda delayed again, Nintendo is hinging the first nine months of its new fiscal year on 3DS.

The company has a heavy hitter in Pokémon Sun and Moon, but the rest of the first-party lineup isn’t nearly as powerful. Highlights from first-party on the 3DS include Bravely Second End Layer and Kirby: Planet Robobot, which are part of the new fiscal year. 

On the Wii U, upcoming games include Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE and Paper Mario Color Splash. The weak critical response to Star Fox Zero and Star Fox Guard likely won’t do Nintendo any favors.  

Nintendo has revised down its expected Wii U sales in FY17, anticipating only selling 800,000 units worldwide. That’s down from 3.3 million consoles worldwide in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

Nintendo is also being understandably conservative about the 3DS, which is now a fully matured device. The company expects to sell 5 million during the year across the family that includes 3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, New 3DS, and New 3DS XL.

Nintendo’s biggest software sellers during the year were Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer on 3DS with 3 million units and Splatoon on Wii U with 4.3 million. The inky shooter bested Super Mario Maker, which sold a respectable 3.5 million since its launch.

[Source: Nintendo (1), (2)]


Our Take
With NX and Zelda now launching in 2017 (though still in the new fiscal year should they make the announced March window), Nintendo is setting itself up for a rough nine months. The company will be all but absent this holiday season, and its E3 showing is limited to The Legend of Zelda. Today's news puts the last nail in Wii U's coffin, with the system now officially in "lame duck" status.

While I suspect NX will give Nintendo a boost for Q4 and full-year, the financials are going to be ugly leading up to the launch. A Wii U price drop is long overdue, but if it does happen, Nintendo might be able to woo people who have been waiting to jump in. – The Feed

Grand Theft Auto Online Drop Zone Mode Kicks You Out Of A Plane

Grand Theft Auto Online has a new high-flying and fast-falling adversary mode today. Drop Zone straps a parachute to your back for a twist on King of the Hill.

Four teams of up to sixteen players each will plummet to the earth to hold onto a patch of land. The first team to secure the location for two non-consecutive minutes wins. Drop Zone is featured on five different maps to start. 

Also out today are two new sports cars: the Karin Sultan RS and Bravado Banshee 900R. You’ll be able to take them for a spin in a weekend event offering double GTA cash and RP.

For more on GTA V, check out our review. – The Feed

Downwell Review – A Long Drop Down A Shallow Hole

Every dedicated gamer knows what it feels like to get absorbed in an experience. Whether it’s another battle, race, or mission, practically every genre has the power to hook us and keep us coming back for “just one more try.” Exactly what creates the irresistible urge to keep playing is hard to pinpoint, but Downwell attempts to tap into it. This retro-styled hybrid provides short and replayable bursts of action, but the well isn’t deep enough to swallow you up.

Though it borrows elements from platformers, top-down shooters, and roguelikes, Downwell has its own unique feel. You fall down vertical stages in a procedurally generated well, using multi-purpose gunboots to slow your descent and take out enemies. Even though you can fire bullets, your best offensive move is stomping on foes, since you get gem (i.e. score) and health bonuses for chaining kills together without touching the ground. The controls are simple and responsive, and striking a balance between speed and safety is entertaining. You plummet, weave, stomp, and shoot while collecting gems and avoiding hazards on your way to the bottom of each level.

My favorite part of Downwell is the early discovery phase. The game isn’t complicated, but it also doesn’t explain its intricacies. That’s okay, since I loved learning the mechanics and finding tricks (like the wall-jump) on my own. When does your ammo refill? Which gun types are the best? You find these answers over the course of your first few runs. When you die, you just start over at the beginning, but the trial-and-error does not feel punishing. Your attempts – especially the early ones – are brief, so bad runs can be over in moments, while good ones last 20 minutes or more. That makes it easy to play in short bursts, but it doesn’t hold up over the long haul.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

The more time you sink into the experience, the less rewarding it becomes. Completing a stage presents you with a random selection of upgrades, which initially had me excited for all of the possible builds and combinations. However, the pool of options is ultimately disappointing. You are never deciding between several power-ups that you want; you’re crossing your fingers that one of the good ones shows up. The drone and gem attractor are great, but how many balloons and hot shell casings do you need to grab before they show up?

No matter what power-ups you gather, you lose them when you die. I expect to start fresh in games with roguelike elements, but Downwell doesn’t have enough persistence and progression in other areas to keep me excited about diving back in. The most common item you unlock is new color schemes, which usually make the game worse. The default visuals have a clear “red is bad, white is good” setup, but many of the additional palettes make that distinction much harder to read, muddying the action.

You also have access to different styles, which are the only permanent unlockables worth exploring. Selected at the beginning of a run, styles have different properties that impact your approach. For instance, boulder style has more health and a rapid descent, but gives you fewer upgrade options at the end of a stage. Your choice of style changes how aggressive you can be, how fast you fall, how many shops appear on your way down, and more. This lets you fine-tune your approach, but once you earn good ones (like levitation), the urge to experiment diminishes.

Downwell is at its best when you’re bounding from one enemy to the next, blasting through obstacles, and frantically scanning for a safe path through the chaos. This moment-to-moment challenge is fun, and the later levels (and final boss) put your skills to the test. Unfortunately, the journey to that level of proficiency feels like a grind. Though each run is technically different, they all start to feel the same. – The Feed

King’s revenues and users drop — but it’s doing better than expected

Payments made in its free-to-play games slid year-on-year — down 8 percent, to $ 502 million, from $ 544 million for the same period a year ago. Monthly active users also dropped 5 percent. …

Gamasutra News

Mobile players: 24% drop off after one session, 78% after one month

Mobile games are definitely where the heat is right now: companies are promising massive revenues. But retention continues to be an issue. …

Gamasutra News