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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, PUBG, and more are coming to Stadia
by João Carrasqueira
As promised, Google today hosted a Stadia Connect presentation, shedding light on some of the games coming to the cloud gaming service. The first announcement was that Electronic Arts is bringing some of its biggest franchises and games to Stadia. That includes the acclaimed Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, which launched last year and set sales records for EA. The company is also bringing the FIFA and Madden NFL franchises to Stadia, but specific announcements weren't made. A total of five EA games will be coming to Stadia, but there's no clear release date for any of them.
A couple of games are available right now, too. Square Enix's Octopath Traveler, which debuted as a Nintendo Switch exclusive, is coming to Stadia after launching on PC last year. It's an RPG title that meshes a 3D world with retro 2D sprites, featuring eight different heroes whose stories all connect to each other.
Another major announcement was that of PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds being available right now on Stadia, and included for free with Stadia Pro. The battle royale title has been around for some time on other platforms, including mobile devices, but using Stadia will likely be a much better experience if you have a compatible phone.
There were many other announcements in the presentation. Modus Games will be bringing Rock of Ages III to Stadia sometime in June. Google also announced new First on Stadia experiences, starting with Crayta, a game that lets users create and share their own games for others to play, and it's coming this summer. Wave Break is also a First on Stadia title, featuring "skateboating" gameplay where users can perform stunts to earn points. The game features a single-player campaign, multiplayer modes, and upgrade and customization options for your boat. It's also coming in the summer.
Some multiplayer-focused titles were also announced, including Embr, which is entering early access on May 21 on Stadia and Steam. It's a multiplayer game where players take the role of an emergency rescue team to save people from fires in comical ways. Get Packed is another multiplayer title, and it's available right now. It has players cooperate to move items out of houses, supermarkets, and more, more often than not in very unorthodox ways.
Google also announced a release window for Orcs Must Die! 3, one of the titles announced shortly after Stadia itself. It's coming out in the summer of this year, but Google will have another presentation around that time to talk about more games.
Finally, we also got a glimpse at which titles will be free to claim for Stadia Pro users in May. These include Steamworld Heist, The Turing Test, and Zombie Army 4: Dead War. The latter will also be getting a new expansion pack that can be purchased from the Stadia store.
By Hamza Jawad
Four children emptied their parents' bank account playing FIFA 19
by Hamza Jawad
Image via FOX Sports Asia There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the system of loot boxes in gaming in recent years. Essentially, loot boxes are a form of in-game transaction that do not have their contents revealed before purchase. As such, getting an item of choice is left up to chance, leading to some people spending quite a lot of money before they finally attain what they are after. Following the backlash against this system, some companies have even made specific note of mentioning that no loot boxes will be present in their games, such as Square Enix with its upcoming Marvel's Avengers.
However, other developers, like EA, have continued to include this mechanism in massively popular titles such as FIFA 19. The Ultimate Team mode in the game consists of a card-purchasing option, which provides buyers with random players whose ratings are based on the rank (such as bronze, silver, gold) of the card that they purchase.
Now, as per BBC, four children seems to have taken this a step - or a couple hundred steps - too far. Observing their father make a purchase in-game, they went on to use his bank account details to spend £550 (~$690), emptying their parents' bank account in the process.
Thomas Carter, the children's father, bought them a single £8 (~$10) pack for Fifa 19 on their Nintendo Switch. However, he did not realize that they'd observed how the process of purchase had taken place. Coupled with the lack of precautions taken, such as no unique PIN number being used and emailed receipts being sent to an older inbox, the children were able to gain access to their parents' bank account, unbeknownst to Mr. Carter or his wife.
Mr. Carter's bank statement, via BBC The children, all four of whom were aged under 10, were after Lionel Messi, the joint highest-rated player in the game, and were not willing to give up until they'd achieved him from a player pack. Therefore, they went on to make a number of purchases over the next three weeks to fulfill their wish. As it turned out, even after spending a grand total of £550, they were still unable to experience unpacking a Messi card.
Mr. Carter and his wife did not realize what had happened until their card was declined due to their bank account being empty. The children's Switch was immediately confiscated and Nintendo were contacted; the gaming company agreed to refund all the purchases, removing all the purchased players from the account in question. Mr. Carter still voiced concerns regarding loot box systems, noting, "You pay £40 (~$50) for the game, which is a lot of money in itself, but then the only way to get a great team is essentially by gambling".
EA does have very clear guidelines for parents to control in-game purchases made through their children's accounts, and there is no doubt that in this case, the father was at fault for not implementing precautionary measures. However, the wider debate regarding the implications of loot boxes as a form of gambling, and its effects on young children, remains to be as controversial as ever.
By Jay Bonggolto
FIFA 19 demo is now available to download on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC
by Jay Bonggolto
EA Sports announced during the E3 2018 conference in June that it would release FIFA 19 later this year. Before that happens, the developer has announced that a demo version of the game can now be downloaded from multiple stores such as the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, and EA's Origin. The demo includes a UEFA Champions League match, previously exclusive to PES, as part of the redesigned Kick-Off mode.
The UEFA Champions League mode presents the 10 biggest clubs in the world and you will be able to play a group stage match with one of the following teams:
Manchester City Manchester United PSG Bayern Munich Borussia Dortmund Spurs Juventus Real Madrid Atletico Madrid Roma As mentioned above, there's the revamped Kick-Off mode which lets you play FIFA with other gamers through new match types, stat tracking, and more ways.
The demo also lets you play parts of The Journey: Champions before the game's official version rolls out on September 28. The Journey: Champions features Alex Hunter, Kim Hunter, and Danny Williams as its main playable characters, each with a unique storyline.
Finally, the demo includes new gameplay enhancements designed to help you control the pitch in any match. For example, you can change how you receive and hit the ball using the new Active Touch System. Other additions include the refreshed Dynamic Tactics system for setting multiple tactical methods, Timed Finishing for steering your fate in front of goal, and 50/50 Battles for deciding on the results for winning loose balls across the pitch based on user reactions and player attributes.
You can download the FIFA 19 demo now on your Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. The game comes in at 7.4GB, so be sure to have enough storage room in your device.
Source: EA Sports via Eurogamer
By Timi Cantisano
YouTube TV attempts to offer olive branch for World Cup outage
by Timi Cantisano
YouTube TV has been promoting itself heavily over the past few months, especially during sporting events like the NBA Finals. The service has, however, experienced outages during prime times, with the most recent occurring during the FIFA World Cup. Now, it looks like the company is trying to make amends by offering up a week credit for affected customers.
According to a Reddit thread, some users are reporting that they received an email from YouTube, offering them a free week of service. The email can be seen as an olive branch of sorts, considering that many tuned into the England versus Croatia semifinal match, only to have the game cut out. It is unknown whether all YouTube TV subscribers are receiving this email or if it's just for a select few. If you want to check and don't see anything in your primary inbox, be sure to look in your spam folder as well.
While sports is a big part of the service, it also includes popular stations like NBC, ABC, TNT, with support for over 60 networks. You can stream the service to portable devices, as well as game consoles. If interested, you can check to make sure it is available in your area and sign up for a free trial. After the trial, YouTube TV costs $40 a month.
Source: Reddit via The Verge
Google adds match predictions to Premier League games following use in World Cup
by Paul Hill
If you’ve been watching the World Cup this summer you might have seen Google’s attempt to predict the outcome of matches by the 90-minute mark. Now that the World Cup is coming to an end Google has decided to continue testing the feature for Premier League matches which are played around the U.K.
Google has not announced the win-draw-lose probability feature for the Premier League, which starts on August 10th, just yet but the feature is already live. It’s the only league in the U.K. that has the feature switched on, and seemingly the only league in Europe to have the feature too. Neither the French Ligue 1 or German Bundesliga have the feature switched on and the Italian and Spanish leagues have not yet announced their fixtures so it’s not possible to know if the feature will be enabled in those leagues.
The probabilities that Google has produced have been a bit hit and miss over the duration of the World Cup, for example, yesterday it said England should win (43%) or there ought to be a draw (33%) - after 90 minutes, the match was a draw rather than a win for England. Going forward, it has Belgium with a 43% chance to win in the third-place playoff against England's (30%), and it says France should win the cup with 49% against Croatia’s 22% - it’ll be interesting to see how that one turns out.