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Nintendo Switch Paid Online Service Includes Monthly Game Download And Added Online Play For Classic Games

Earlier tonight, Nintendo outlined its new approach to online services for its upcoming system, Switch. After the Nintendo Switch press conference, the company expanded on what its paid services will deliver to players.

At launch, all players will have access to online gameplay for free. However, once the paid component launches in fall 2017, online gameplay, online lobby and voice chat, and benefits like the ability to download a free game each month and have access to exclusive deals will be limited to those paying for the subscription service. 

On Nintendo's official site for its online service, the company states that the monthly game download is either an NES or SNES game. In an interesting twist, the website states that the SNES games (and potentially the NES games, the wording isn't clear – Ed.) will feature "newly-added online play." The website is unclear on what exactly that means, and if the download only allows you to play the game for a month, or if the download is only made free for a month. Also unclear is whether or not players who cease to subscribe to Switch's paid online service will retain any games they download at no additional charge. This feature appears to be set to launch in fall 2017. 

Since the statement on this feature is a little ambiguous, you can check out the full quote from the Nintendo site below. 

"Subscribers will get to download and play a Nintendo Entertainment System™ (NES) or Super Nintendo Entertainment System™ (Super NES) game (with newly-added online play) for free for a month."

You can see the full chart  that differentiates the capabilities of paid service subscribers to non-subscribers below.

Nintendo Switch launches on March 3 and retails for $ 299.99.

[Source: Nintendo]

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The Division’s Next Two Paid Expansions Have Been Delayed

Ubisoft announced today that two upcoming paid expansions for The Division have been delayed. Massive, the lead studio working on the game, is working on feature and gameplay improvements that will happen before the DLC is released.

Survival, the third paid add-on, was supposed to be out this summer. Instead, Massive is taking the time to work on patch 1.4, which it expects will be out in October. That update will include bug patches, systems improvements, and quality of life upgrades.

Between now and then, Ubisoft will be tapping the community for feedback, including bringing some players to Massive in Sweden to help give input. Survival will be out sometime between 1.4 and the end of the calendar year.

Last Stand, the final paid DLC that has been announced, will now be out in early 2017. It was originally scheduled for this winter.

[Source: The Division on Twitch]

 

Our Take
Delaying DLC to improve the game experience makes a lot of sense. It’s not an easy decision to make, especially as it creates a gap between major content drops that would otherwise keep existing players engaged. The Division has some systems I really like, but I’d love to see some things tightened up. That seems like what this upcoming patch is set to do.

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Microsoft Puts Foot Down To Stop Paid Advertisements Using Minecraft

Microsoft has had about enough of people using Minecraft for advertising purposes. An update to the game’s commercial usage guidelines lays down the law regarding what advertising agencies and other corporations can’t do using Minecraft.

Companies may not build a server or mod that promotes their products. An example of this might be a restaurant or other commercial establishment built within Minecraft.

Production companies are not permitted to create Minecraft versions of their television or movie properties or otherwise use the game to expand their own lore. They are not allowed to create a movie trailer using the game either.

“We want to empower our community to make money from their creativity, but we’re not happy when the selling of an unrelated product becomes the purpose of a Minecraft mod or server,” writes Mojang’s director of creative communications Owen Hill. “That doesn’t feel right, or more importantly, fun. The new rules are an attempt to stop these things from happening.”

In December, Verizon hired Minecraft YouTuber SethBling to assist with creating a working cell phone within Minecraft. You can see that in a video that also features popular Minecraft personality "Captain Sparklez."

This won’t impact server and video monetization. Fans are still permitted to build brand-related things in the game, too. So if you really love a particular restaurant or store, you won’t be prohibited from doing that yourself. Despite that, a number of Minecraft streamers and YouTubers are speaking out against the changes.

[Source: Mojang]

 

Our Take
It’s easy to see why other brands would want to latch onto Minecraft’s popularity. But to do so without permission is just a lawsuit waiting to happen. Now that Microsoft and Mojang have put it in print, it should be clear that proper licensing is required for anything like what’s described above.

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