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By Namerah S
FromSoftware breaks silence on fantasy action RPG title Elden Ring
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
It sure has been a long time since the name of the video game Elden Ring was heard of in the industry. When word of the George R. R. Martin and Dark Souls creator Hidetaka Miyazaki's collaboration first went out, there was quite a bit of excitement. Following a leak of Bandai Namco's E3 lineup last year, the legendary duo brought the fantasy title to E3 2019 where its existence was officially confirmed and a teaser trailer was showcased.
Since then, there haven't been any updates about the game at all. Perhaps this was because Elden Ring's developers Bandai Namco and FromSoftware were occupied with other projects such as Dragon Ball Z: Karakot from the former and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice from the latter. Today, one of the Japanese video game devs finally broke its silence concerning the fantasy game.
While informing players about an update for Sekiro, FromSoftware confirmed that the game Elden Ring is still alive and well and that it will be a dark fantasy action RPG (ARPG) title. Now that the game-maker is finally talking about the Martin and Miyazaki project again, one can hope that more information will soon be shared with fans around the world.
To sum up, all that we know about the upcoming ARPG game so far is that it will be the largest game FromSoftware has ever created. Coming from the minds that gave us franchises such as Game of Thrones and Dark Souls, Elden Ring is expected to have a similarly extensive universe with rich lore and elements of epic fantasy.
By Jay Bonggolto
NFL will virtually bring fans into stadiums via Microsoft Teams
by Jay Bonggolto
Microsoft announced today that it will provide virtual game day experiences to NFL fans using Teams as part of efforts to observe health standards amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The NFL will display spectators on LED screens in stadiums and on broadcast during key games.
Fans will be featured via a virtual feed called Fan Mosaic, where the home team can invite them to watch games together through a VIP Teams meeting. They will also see the live game alongside a gallery view of other spectators in a dual screen display. Audio from the Teams meetings will be mixed with augmented crowd noise tailored for each stadium.
The NFL will also install LED screens at each end zone in key games to let the players celebrate moments with fans when they score a touchdown. For each touchdown celebration, players can see the Fan Mosaic on the LED screens and connect with fans through the Bud Light Showtime cam.
Teams will also be used by the league to manage operations throughout the season every week as the number of representatives onsite will be reduced. The NFL staff will use the videoconferencing tool for communication, document collaboration, and reporting, among others.
Microsoft and NFL have been working since 2013 on many initiatives to provide support to coaching staff and referees as well as improve the fan experience. That partnership was extended earlier this year.
Amazon set to stream Premier League matches on Twitch
by Paul Hill
Ball in goal image by Shutterstock Amazon is going to begin streaming English Premier League football matches on Twitch, for free, in the UK as it tries to give fans a chance to interact with one another while games are being played. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, matches are being held behind closed doors.
According to Deadline, Amazon is hoping that users on the streaming service will act a bit like pundits as they share their views using the chat feature. Given how long it has been since football stopped, Twitch users won’t have to wait that long before the first fixture; Crystal Palace vs Burnley on June 29.
With the crowds absent, the atmosphere of the stadium is completely different according to those lucky enough to get into the match. To address this, EA Sports has worked with Amazon, Sky Sports, and BT Sport, to develop synthetic crowd noises called Stadium Atmosphere. This will provide viewers with the sounds they’re typically used to hearing.
Commenting on the new technology and the matches in general, Alex Green, managing director of Amazon Prime Video Sport Europe, said:
The matches will be presented by Gabby Logan and the pundits Roberto Martinez and Lee Dixon. Commentary for the games will be provided by Clive Tyldesley, Jon Champion, Peter Drury, and Ally McCoist.
In terms of free-to-air matches, Sky Sports has also announced that it will be showing 25 of its 64 games on Pick, available to all on Freeview and other TV services.
By Rich Woods
Microsoft is extending its Surface deal with the NFL
by Rich Woods
Image via AP Today, Microsoft announced a multi-year extension of its partnership with the NFL, which has provided Surface hardware to the league since 2013. While there have been hiccups in the partnership over that time, such as with announcers calling them iPads or Patriots coach Bill Belichick ranting about them, it seems that those hiccups were exactly that.
Aside from that extension, the partnership will also include Microsoft Teams, the company's collaboration service. Teams will be able to use Teams (pun intended) for general collaboration, for drawing up plays with Whiteboard integration, and more. In fact, several teams are already using Teams.
"Since 2013, Microsoft has helped transform the NFL through technology around our game. Microsoft Surface has quickly become an authentic tool to the game of football and is vital during all NFL games for coaches, players, and NFL officials.," said Renie Anderson, Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President of NFL Partnerships. "And now by working together to integrate Microsoft Teams across the League, together we aim to improve on communications and collaboration in a modern way."
The Miami Dolphins used Teams to plan Super Bowl LIV at Hard Rock Stadium, the New York Jets use it for their football and business operations, including the draft, and the Kansas City Chiefs use it to coordinate scouts.
"In Microsoft Teams we can easily collaborate on files, manage shared calendars, host meetings, and utilize existing integrations," said Kim Rometo, Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the Miami Dolphins. "Teams made cooperation with the NFL possible throughout the regular season and with Super Bowl planning."
Microsoft says it will continue supporting the Surface Sideline Viewing System and the Surface Instant Replay, and it will continue to develop new solutions for teams and for the league.
By Hamza Jawad
Football Manager 2020 to be released next month
by Hamza Jawad
In August, Sports Interactive released an announcement trailer for its upcoming Football Manager 2020 title. That trailer didn't showcase any actual gameplay, and instead seemingly just focused on enticing players to gear up for a display of their management skills. Then, earlier this month, the video game developer unveiled new gameplay features for FM20.
Now, it has been revealed that the title will be arriving on Steam, iOS, and Android on November 19. However, release dates for its launch on Google Stadia and Nintendo Switch will be made known later.
Just to clarify, the version that will be released solely for Android and iOS will be known as Football Manager 2020 Mobile. As one would expect, although the base gameplay experience would be about the same, the amount of content and playstyle flexibility available for players on the mobile version will be quite limited in comparison to the much more expansive PC-only version.
There's also a Touch variant that is offered on all three platforms, PC, iOS, and Android. Sports Interactive notes that the latter and the former will not differ much in terms of their content, and instead, only in terms of their availability on different platforms. However, going by previous iterations in these series, Football Manager 2020 Touch should offer an experience closer to the PC-only version. For example, viewing matches with 3D player models hasn't been possible in the past on Football Manager Mobile games.
Some Football Manager fans have expressed doubts over the significance of the additions being made in the latest edition. One of the only graphical features highlighted in the gameplay video mentioned above is 'Pitch environment updates', something which may seem quite minor given that this is a separate entry to the series, demanding prices close to what one would expect from AAA titles in the current gaming era.
However, in games belonging to the tactical management/simulation genre, graphical improvements are often not the foremost of considerations, and players instead focus much more on how the gameplay has shaped up over the course of the past year. Either way, we should know more once the beta version becomes available around two weeks before the title's launch on November 19.