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By Usman Khan Lodhi
Square Enix will let most employees work from home permanently
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Square Enix, a renowned game developer, announced today that it will permanently let most of its employees to work from home starting December 1. Each individual worker will be labeled as either home-based or office-based and will be required to work an average of at least three days from the designated location.
If their position permits, workers will have the flexibility to switch their designation on a monthly basis. The firm expects that roughly 80% of workers will be working from home next month, the first month of the program's implementation.
The decision has been taken not only to prevent infections during the coronavirus pandemic but the firm hopes this can enable them to "recruit more diverse human resources, as well as to establish an organization capable of adapting to unexpected developments such as disasters and changes in employment models." In addition to an increase in work productivity, Square noted that this will better employees' work-life balance.
Square Enix isn't the first tech company to put such a policy in place that lets employees work from home after the coronavirus pandemic ends. Microsoft also announced earlier this year that it would allow its employees in the U.S. to work from home permanently.
Watch Dogs: Legion's online mode launch delayed as Ubisoft focuses on bug fixes
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Ubisoft launched Watch Dogs: Legion last month across current and next-generation platforms, and although its multiplayer component was supposed to arrive next week through a free update, those plans have now changed as the studio battles with the game's bug problem.
"Since the launch of Watch Dogs: Legion, some of you continue to have technical issues preventing you from enjoying the game," said Ubisoft in a new blog post today. "The dev team is committed to fixing these issues and will not stop until everyone can experience the game as intended."
Ubisoft deployed a new update today to the game as well, bringing a manual save button for PC players alongside crash fixes and stability improvements for the console versions. Head here to find the full patch notes of update 2.20.
As a result of this focus on solving issues, the online mode for Watch Dogs: Legion will now be launching in early 2021, though an exact launch date was not shared today. "This will allow us to focus on fixing issues with single player, and it will give us more time to test the Online experience to help ensure a smooth launch of the mode," the studio added.
The online update will bring cooperative free roam support across London with up to four players, special cooperative missions, a PVP competitive mode, as well as the fan-favorite invasions to the Ubisoft action game.
Watch Dogs: Legion is now available on PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Stadia, and Amazon Luna.
By Jefferson Mangubat
Sony promises more PlayStation 5 units are coming to retailers before end of year
by Jefferson Mangubat
Sony revealed today that it's shipping more inventories of the PlayStation 5 to retailers before this year ends. The Japanese tech company said it has seen an "unprecedented demand" for its latest-generation gaming console following its release earlier this month.
In a tweet, Sony noted that the PS5 launch was its "biggest console launch ever", although it did not disclose any figures about how many units it sold. The company only said the following on Twitter:
There's no clear information as well on how many PS5 consoles it plans to release to retailers later this year. The PS5 faced significant demand even during the pre-order period, as previously confirmed by Jim Ryan, the President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. In the U.S. alone, the consoles sold in the first 12 hours matched the number of PS4 consoles sold in the first 12 weeks, as people were staying at home due to COVID-19 lockdowns in many places.
Ryan also acknowledged that not everyone would be able to get their hands on the PS5 on launch day. Sony also made it clear prior to release that the console would only be available to purchase online at launch. That said, Sony's announcement today should appease PlayStation fans who want to snap up the PS5 in time for the holidays.
Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course DLC delayed to 2021
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Studio MDHR has been silent about its upcoming downloadable content for Cuphead, The Delicious Last Course, since its launch delay announcement last year, which pushed the new content to 2020. Now, the studio has made the decision to delay the addon again, this time out of 2020.
As with many other delayed games this year, the COVID-19 pandemic is the culprit behind this one too. "We aren't content for this final chapter to be anything less than our best work." said Studio MDHD founders Chad and Jared Moldenhauer in a tweet today. "Meeting this standard has been extremely challenging for us amid the global pandemic that has affected so many of our fellow developers."
To not compromise the DLC's quality, the studio will now be looking to launch the new adventure sometime in 2021. Following in the footsteps of the original run and gun game from 2017 that was received very well, the new content employs art style and animations inspired by 1930s cartoons. The DLC comes with a new island to tackle, Ms. Chalice as a brand new playable character with new abilities, and more challenging bosses, among other additions.
When it is ready The Delicious Last Course DLC for Cuphead will be available on Windows, macOS, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch platforms. Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 players can utilize backward compatibility to experience the same content.
Steam Autumn Sale is now live alongside the 2020 Steam Awards nominations
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
The yearly Steam Autumn Sale has opened its doors once again, offering discounts on more games than anyone could possibly browse through. Once again, the sale is accompanied by The Steam Awards event, letting PC gamers vote for games they deem worthy of receiving nominations for a number of awards.
Considering the sale just kicked off, and as expected of every major event, the store is having a hard time opening and displaying correct pricing right now, but it should be solved shortly. Some of the highlights Valve is promoting on the first day include sales for hits such as Fall Guys, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Doom Eternal, and Death Stranding, among many others.
Keep in mind that sale prices remain static during the entire event and the front page only showcases different items every day.
As for The Steam Awards nominations, users will find standard categories they may vote for such as Game of the Year, Visual Style, Soundtrack, and Innovative Gameplay, as well as more entertaining ones like 'Best Game You Stuck At', and 'Better With Friends'. Those who participate in the nomination procedures get some bonuses too, with Valve offering Steam profile badges for completing tasks.
The Steam Autumn Sale will keep its discounts running through December 1. Meanwhile, the elected Steam Awards nominees will see the light of day during Valve's next major sale event in December, the Steam Winter Sale, with a final popular vote happening to decide the winners.