The next Call of Duty just got leaked thanks to a packet of Doritos

Doritos

Leaks about the next Call of Duty game have prevalent over the last couple of months. And yesterday we saw the biggest and most reliable leak yet. As part of a Doritos’ advertising campaign, a packet spread online references the next CoD installment.

As revealed by the leak, the next Call of Duty will most likely be called Black Ops: Cold War. Although it is a bit of a mouth full, the branding make sense. The Black Ops franchise is huge and with the success of the Modern Warfare reboot, a similar approach seems sensible. As for the Cold War part, the original Black Ops released in 2010 was also set in the Cold War.

What have Doritos revealed?

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War crossbow

It’s not just the game’s name that has been leaked. The promotion itself features a competition that starts October 5. Given that Modern Warfare was released at a similar time, October 25, this could hint at Cold War’s release date.

Although the source hasn’t been officially verified, it does seem reliable. Doritos and Activision have ran annual partnerships for several years now. The idea being that if you want to get the edge on your opposition, you can purchase Doritos for some double XP.

The same promotion is usually matched by both Monster Energy and Mountain Dew. This means you should have plenty of choice if its something you’re interested in. Regarding the double XP, the small print suggests it’ll be limited to 1 hour per day and 40 hours total.

This leak follows a successful datamined that revealed the name of several multiplayer maps. Amongst these were Black Sea, KGB, Miami, Moscow, and Tank. A handful of campaign missions were found too such as Stakeout and Revolution. Either way, it shouldn’t be long until Activision confirms if this Doritos leak is real.

The Halo Infinite reveal has some fans concerned over its sub-par visuals

Halo Infinite

Microsoft’s big announcement in its Xbox Games Showcase was the official unveil of Halo Infinite. Infinite is the upcoming mainline Halo game set to release alongside the Xbox Series X. However, when fans finally got to see it there were some serious questions about its visual fidelity.

Screenshots from the reveal have been shared countless times on Twitter emphasizing its rough edges. Many of the NPCs and environments look a little too simplistic and even plain ugly at times. The new brutes in particular were so bad that it’s turned into a global meme.

The justification for Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite Masterchief

To 343 Industries’ credit, this new visual design isn’t completely unjustified. Many fans felt Halo 4 and 5 abandoned the iconic look that earlier Halo games had. To counter-act this, Infinite is supposed to look more simplistic and streamlined, just like the original trilogy.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t received overly well. After all, Microsoft had hyped Halo Infinite up to be the standout game in its next generation catalogue. So, when all it had to show was something that probably could have ran on the Xbox One X, fans were understandably disappointed.

Equally, to rub salt in the wound, it turns out the gameplay we saw wasn’t even on an Xbox Series X. Instead, the demo was showcased on a PC with similar specs to Microsoft’s next gen console. Even though Xbox Marketing GM Aaron Greenburg assures the experience is similar to the real thing, it isn’t a great look.

Thankfully, there is still time for Microsoft to turn things around. Halo Infinite is very much a work in progress and with several months still to go, the visuals could improve. Also, the stream was capped to just 1080p and therefore may have not been representative of the true 4K graphics. Only time will tell as to if Infinite will succeed or flop.

You can no longer purchase 12 months of Xbox Live Gold membership

Xbox Live

As spotted by TechRadar, Microsoft has made an unusual change to its long-standing membership model. For the first time since Xbox Live debuted in 2002, gamers can no longer purchase 12 months of Gold membership at once. However, options to buy both one month and three months are still available.

Microsoft itself didn’t give too much information with this, simply providing a generic statement when questioned. An unnamed spokesperson said, “Xbox has decided to remove the 12 months Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft online store.” The lack of an explanation as to why is somewhat concerning as it suggests the American tech giant might be hiding something.

The Xbox Live annual package is dead

Xbox Live Gold membership

The most likely reason for this decision is that Microsoft is planning some kind of change for its online services. As for what this could be is difficult to guess but it could have something to do with Project xCloud.Project xCloud is a cloud streaming service currently in beta testing. The idea is that you’ll be able to use it to stream your favorite Xbox games on any device regardless of specs. In other words, via the power of Wi-Fi or mobile data, you could be playing the next Forza Motorsport game at 4K settings on your phone.

What if Microsoft was planning to integrate xCloud into the existing Xbox Live Gold membership. It’s possible that doing so could result in a price hike down the line. Perhaps the 12-month fee was too steep, so it is adapting its business model to seem more appealing.

Of course, that is purely speculation and should be taken as nothing more. Until Microsoft gives us more details on both the Xbox Series X and the future of Xbox Live, we can’t know for sure. Considering dropping a comment below and let us know what you think about this change.

Microsoft is cutting the Xbox One X to make room for the next generation

After just two years of service Microsoft is already set to cut the Xbox One X from it production library. In an interview with the Verge, a Microsoft Spokesperson confirmed the American tech giant is solely focused on its next-gen console. To make room for the Xbox Series X, both the Xbox One X and Xbox One S digital will no longer be manufactured.

However, the spokesperson did reassure fans that the standard Xbox One S will still be supported. So, going back and playing any Xbox One games should be easy enough. Equally, we already know that the Xbox Series X will support backward compatibility. So, you probably won’t need your Xbox One anyway once the Series X drops.

Microsoft says farewell the Xbox One X

xbox series xThis decision makes sense when you think about it. The Xbox One X is the enhanced version of the original console designed to support 4K gaming. However, once the Xbox Series X drops the former will effectively become an inferior version of the latter. Rather than supporting an outdated console, it would be better to go all in on its next-gen platform instead.

Interestingly, reports around the industry suggest the Series X won’t be Microsoft’s only next-gen console. In fact, it seems likely that a cheaper, less powerful alternative is in the works. Rumored to be called the Series S, it would offer an option to upgrade for gamers who don’t want to cough up the Series X’s full fee.

That would certainly be an understandable decision too. Although an exact price tag hasn’t been announced, it’s possible the Series X could cost over $500. If so, a cheaper alternative may be necessary to keep the Xbox brand’s mass appeal.

Be sure to keep an eye out as the Xbox Series X is expected to drop sometime this year. It should be interesting to see which between the Series X and PlayStation 5 come out on top. Be sure to let us know in the comments if you think this is Microsoft’s generation to lose or if Sony are the favorites.

A NES game just sold for $114,000, making it the most expensive game ever

NES game

It’s not exactly every day that you go out and purchase a video game for six figures. But in the case of a recent auction over at Heritage Auctions, that’s exactly what happened. An NES copy of the original Super Mario Bros. was purchased for a staggering $114,000.

That might sound like a lot of money for a game. And that’s because it is. But there are a few reasons why it went for so much. For one, this particular copy is in immaculate condition. It was graded 9.4 out of 10, suggesting it still looked near brand-new.

An expensive NES game

Otherwise, it also features a cardboard hangtag, a now obsolete form of packaging popular before the use of plastic wrapping. As you can imagine, most owners would have immediately disposed of this. Having a copy of a game that old with its tag completely untouched is extremely rare.

Super Mario Bros. wasn’t the only NES game to go for a lot of money this week either. On the same day, a copy of the now iconic Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out went for $50,000. Clearly, the most dedicated of collectors are willing to pay a lot for the rarest of games.

In many ways, this sale has a strange comedic undertone to it. After all, the original Super Mario Bros. is one of the best selling games ever made. Bundles included it has sold over 40 million copies worldwide since its release in 1985.

If you’re not one for rarity and just want to experience perhaps history’s most memorable platformer, you can do it for a lot cheaper than $114,000. In fact, a copy of an NES cartridge for Mario will usually cost less than $20 on eBay. Alternatively, the Famicom emulator that comes with Switch Online is $20 a year.

Sony has purchased a $252 million stake in Epic Games

Epic Games

Japanese technology giant Sony has today confirmed it has purchased a $252 million stake in Epic Games. This decision was made so that it could work closer with Epic Games on the development of its upcoming game engine, Unreal Engine 5.

$252 million dollars might sound like a lot of money, because it is, but Epic is a huge company. That large sum of money is only enough for a mere 1.4% stake. Current estimations place Epic Games’ valuation at a staggering $18 billion. The North Carolina based studio has come a very long way since the days of developing Gears of War for Microsoft.

What this means for Sony

Epic Games Fortnite gameplayTruth be told, not all that much. Owning such a small percentage of Epic Games doesn’t give Sony much power. It’s unlikely it will be able to impact any major decisions made in-house. However, it could make collaborations between the two companies a little easier since they’re working towards the same goal.

We do know that the Unreal Engine 5 was rewritten to function on the PlayStation 5. Supposedly, the PS5’s SSD is so fast that the first instance of Epic’s new game engine wasn’t optimised to support it. Since then reworks have taken place to make the most out of next-gen technology.

From a financial point of view, it’s hard to find a fault in Sony’s logic. When it comes to game studio’s worth investing in, Epic Games is probably top of that list. Fortnite alone has become a global success on a level that I doubt anyone could have foresaw.

A report from last month showed that the popular battle royale was making Epic over $300 million every month. At the rate of growth Epic has seen as of late, even if this deal doesn’t work out Sony could easily flip its shares for a nice profit. This is a win-win for everyone involved.

A new Test Drive game will be revealed tomorrow

Test Drive

Nacon has confirmed plans to bring back possibly the most iconic open world racing game of all time. As verified on the official Test Drive Twitter account, a new Test Drive game will be announced July 7. Specifically, the announcement is expected to take place during Nacon connect, the French publisher’s new annual conference.

This will be the arcade racer’s first release since 2011, when Test Drive Unlimited 2 came out. Since then Atari went bust, sold the rights to Big Ben Interactive who later rebranded as Nacon. Plans to release a new one were hinted at years ago but this is the first official announcement.

Test Drive Unlimited 3?

A new Test Drive game will be revealed tomorrowAs for what game fans should expect, Test Drive Unlimited 3 looks to be the most likely. A non-Unlimited title hasn’t been released since way back in 2004. Pushing a risky rebrand and return to the original formula seems unlikely all things considered.

Despite this, it is worth knowing that the racing franchise dates back far before the first Unlimited game. In fact, it was one of the first ever racing games released with the original Test Drive coming out in 1987 on MS-DOS. It’s great to see such an iconic franchise still going strong in the hands of a new publisher.

Even if this game isn’t your kind of thing, Nacon Connect might have something else for you. The French publisher has confirmed Rogue Lords, Werewolf The Apocalypse, and Vampire: The Masquerade will all feature. There are also three other unannounced games that will be revealed.

If you don’t want to miss out on the live announcement be sure to check out Nacon Connect. It’ll air at 7 PM CEST, July 7 on Nacon’s official Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch. So, feel free to pick and choose whatever platform you prefer.

Popular Twitch streamer Asmongold to donate $20,000 in tribute to Reckful

Reckful

Yesterday popular World of Warcraft player Byron “Reckful” Bernstein passed away. The former WoW pro was confirmed to have taken his own life after a series of tragic events. His legacy in the WoW community is legendary and another popular Warcraft player, Asmongold, is set to pay his tributes.

The Twitch streamer has confirmed he plans to donate $20,000 to a suicide prevention charity of the chat’s choice. His community will pick which charity to support in tomorrow’s stream. Although Asmongold originally intended to donate $15,000, he decided to go the extra mile because of how many donations he received.

The legacy of Reckful

reckful world of warcraft tribute

Bryon Bernstein was a 31 year old American best known for his incredible contributions to the Warcraft community. In 2010 he was crowned runner-up at MLG Columbus before later winning the MLG Washington event the same year.

It isn’t just Asmongold paying tribute to Reckful. Everyone is in their own way. Literal thousands of Warcraft players came together in Stormwind City’s cathedral to pay their respects. It was a touching moment in the games community in a time where so much negativity seems to surround it. You can see his reaction and the gathering on his official channel.

His vast contributions aren’t just limited to video games either. He is widely accredited to be the first streamer who stopped running adverts altogether. Instead, Reckful saw the potential for solely relying on fan donations instead. A model that is now almost universally followed amongst the most successful streamers.

Reckful also came up with the idea of having a top donator on his stream. This is a system now used by many other streamers to offer a unique appreciation for their most loyal followers.  It is no exaggeration to say that the success of modern-day Twitch is at least partially down to his ideas and legacy.

Ubisoft has offered an official response to recent sexual assault allegations

Ubisoft

Right now, the games industry is going through a difficult phase. After the outing of popular content creator Tom ‘Syndicate’ Cassell being a potential abuser of multiple past partners, other women have spoken up. Amongst these are several past employees of French games publisher Ubisoft.

The most accused candidate is game designer and writer Chris Avellone. According to several first-hand accounts, Avellone has gotten women “blackout drunk,” in order to make his non-consensual advances easier. Also, Avellone allegedly went on to do much worse at other game conventions.

Ubisoft’s official response

assassins creed valhalla announcement

Although it took them a little while, Ubisoft has now published a formal response to these allegations. The notice reads: “we want to start by apologizing to everyone affected by this.” The publisher goes on to ensure fans it is “dedicated to creating an inclusive and safe environment,” for its employees and players. If this is just typical PR talk or meaningful words is to be seen.

Although exact details weren’t provided, Ubisoft has confirmed that it is now formally investigating the allegations. No names were provided but the publisher is supposedly using “specialized external consultants,” to avoid potential bias. The response is rounded off by confirming that “additional measures,” will be put in place shortly to avoid this happening again.

This controversy couldn’t have happened at a worse time for Ubisoft. On July 12, the French studio will be hosting its own COVID-19 secure digital conference, Forward. It was set to be a grand event where gamers would get to see all the exciting upcoming titles.

However, it now looks as though the new Assassin’s Creed or For Honor are the least of players’ concerns. Unless the company’s higher ups can address these issues and call out those responsible, Ubisoft’s reputation may never truly recover.

So, what is your opinion about this news? You can leave your comment in the box below.

Crash Bandicoot 4 leaked by Taiwan Digital Game Rating Committee

Crash Bandicoot 4

It’s not everyday that a small nation’s rating committee reveals the release of an upcoming major AAA title. However, with today’s leak of a new Crash Bandicoot game, that’s exactly what happened. The Taiwan Digital Game Rating Committee listed Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time on its ratings page along with its box art.

The description provided suggest Crash 4 will have players use the power of Lani-Loli, a new Quantum Mask, to travel through time and stop an unknown evil. It’s About Time will be set in 1998 and will feature both Crash himself and his sister, Coco. It is currently unknown if other franchise favorites like Crunch, Aku-Aku, and Neo Cortex will also return.

We’ve waited a long time for Crash Bandicoot 4

Crash Bandicoot 4

The first three Crash games were released in 1996, 1997, and 1998, respectively. After that Sony sold the rights to Crash and all future titles became multi-platform. Regarding the main series, that’s The Wrath of Cortex, Twinsanity, Crash of the Titans, and Mind over Mutant.

The last of those, Mind Over Mutant, released in October of 2008. It’s hard to believe that a franchise once iconic enough to be considered Sony’s signature series has since gone twelve years without a major release. Thankfully, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time looks to break that streak and bring the mutated bandicoot back to our screens.

The ratings leak confirms that both a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One release are in the works. Equally, an Xbox Series X enhanced version is referenced on the Xbox One cover art. We don’t know for sure if a PS5 version is planned too but all things considered it seems very likely.

As for PC players, they may have to wait a little longer. There was no reference to a PC release of Crash Bandicoot 4 anywhere in the leak. Although it worth noting Activision often waits for its remastered versions before porting its games across. In other words, a PC version may follow once the PS5 and Xbox Series X release.