Loot boxes could be heavily regulated in Australia soon

australian loot boxes bill 18 plus children ban

A new bill has been proposed in Australia that would see loot boxes get heavily regulated. The bill was put forward by Australian MP Andrew Wilkie and addresses several of the government’s concerns regarding the controversial monetization practice. It is based on a five-month inquiry into loot boxes that was completed by the Environment and Communications Reference Committee in 2018.

The bill aims to force loot boxes to be listed under the nation’s R18+ classification. This would prevent children being able to buy any games that contain loot boxes. Furthermore, in extreme cases games could even be refused classification meaning that they would not be sellable.

In addition to the age classification the bill would also make parents more aware of the loot boxes. All games that feature loot boxes would have to carry a clearly stated warning that the game contains gambling. This addition to loot boxes would be comparable to how cigarette boxes are packaged in Australia.

Wilkie states that it’s important that loot boxes are regulated before it’s too late. He believes that they tempt young players with potential pay to win items by inciting “many of the same emotions and experiences,” present in gambling. This is a verdict that is shared across several countries with some other nations even outright banning loot boxes altogether.

Loot Boxes banned in Europe

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In certain parts of Europe, the regulation on loot boxes goes far beyond simple awareness. Instead loot boxes are outright banned and cannot be distributed in any variety. If they are then the publisher of that game can get in legal trouble. The Australia bill doesn’t quite go that far but it does look to similarly limit people’s access to loot boxes. If this bill passes and is then effective is to be seen but either way it’s nice to see another authority taking this matter seriously.

New Eevee Tera Raid Event goes live in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet

Eevee tera raid event pokemon scarlet violet

A new exciting event has gone live in Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Starting today Pokemon players can try out the new Eevee Tera Raid Event and catch themselves a unique Eevee. This event will run from November 25 until the end of the weekend on November 27.

For the duration of the event the popular evolution Pokemon will be appearing much more frequently in Tera Raid Battles. Furthermore, the Eevee that you encounter will have various Tera Types opening up a world of possibilities. You can either catch one of these unique Eevee for a competitive team or just use them in your casual playthrough. Either way with Eevee being so popular we expect plenty of players to go and catch their own.

For those unaware Tera Raid Events like this one for Eevee are very useful. They give a large variety of rewards including Bottle Caps and experience but also unique Tera Types. A Pokémon’s Tera Type determines what type it will become when it Terastallizes which can have a big impact on how it is used.

For example, types like Ice and Rock are notoriously weak defensively. However, with Tera Types you could change a bulky Rock type into a Steel type making it more viable. Equally, strong normal types with a good move pool can be changed to give them STAB bonus on common coverage moves like Blizzard and Earthquake.

What this means for Eevee

tera raids pokemon scarlet crystal gameplay

Eevee is a unique Pokemon as it has nine different evolutions. Since all of its evolutions have different typing, strengths and weaknesses there isn’t one Tera Type that works for all of them. Therefore, the Eevee Tera Raid Event is a great opportunity for players to catch several Eevee to cover all of its evolutions. So be sure to not miss out on this unique chance to catch as many Eevee as you want.

Tracer isn’t being disabled in OW2 despite game breaking damage bug

tracer damage bug not being disabled overwatch 2

A game breaking bug has been discovered in Overwatch 2. The franchise’s mascot character Tracer has a damage bug that is making her extremely strong. Under twenty meters Tracer has zero damage fall off meaning that her Pulse Pistols deal full damage far beyond their intended range.

This bug has led to some players becoming frustrated as it makes Tracer a difficult matchup. Ordinarily she only deals full damage up to thirteen meters. This is a balancing measure put in place to avoid her dealing too much damage. However, as of the current patch her damage falloff doesn’t kick in until twenty meters.

Game director Aaron Keller responded to the Reddit post highlighting this issue. According to Keller the Tracer damage bug has been in the game since the Halloween patch. Plus, Keller doesn’t believe that her current power level is problematic and therefore Blizzard will not be disabling her. However, Keller acknowledges that “additional changes,” to her kit could be required in the future.

If this bug has been present for so long it does raise some interesting questions. Tracer isn’t necessarily amongst Overwatch 2’s strongest heroes. She didn’t feature in the Overwatch League too often and is not nearly as powerful as the likes of Sojourn. However, was that because she wasn’t that strong or because players simply weren’t taking advantage of this bug. After all, most Tracer players will have assumed that she still had the same old damage falloff.

Tracer isn’t being disabled

tracer damage bug max range gameplay

Blizzard have confirmed that Tracer will not be disabled. Despite the damage bug making Tracer stronger it doesn’t feel that she is overtuned. This contrasts how Blizzard has handled other heroes. Both Bastion and Torbjorn were disabled for damage related bugs. Similarly, Mei was recently disabled and only added back to the roster four days ago. If this marks a change in approach or that a special exception is being made for Tracer is to be seen.

Blizzard to receive ban in China due to commercial dispute

Blizzard Games are set to receive a ban in China due to a recent commercial dispute. Following a disagreement between Blizzard and NetEase the Warcraft publisher will no longer able to publish games in China. The ban will begin on January 23, 2023 and there are no current plans to renew the deal.

NetEase is a Chinese technology company that helps localise games in its home country. Blizzard partnered with NetEase in 2008 and NetEase has been bringing its games to China ever since. It also it partnered with Marvel Comics and distributes brands like Spider-Man and Captain America all across China.

But what led to the split and the resulting Blizzard Games ban in China? Blizzard president Mike Ybarra provides insight on why the partnership will not be continued. Ybarra confirmed Blizzard had initial intent to renew the deal but that fell through once it became obvious that NetEase’s “approach was not aligned”.

The Blizzard president seems to believe that the two companies have fundamentally different views. From selling services to players to handling employees neither party could agree. NetEase’s president Simon Zhu didn’t detail what the differences were made it clear he was upset with the decision.

Chinese gamers left in the cold

world of warcraft dragonflight expansion banned in china january 2023

Sadly, this outcome means that Chinese gamers will now be left in the cold. Until a new agreement is struck with NetEase or a different third-party none of Blizzard’s games will be released in China. Also, existing games like Overwatch 2, Diablo 3, and World of Warcraft will all go offline once the ban begins.

From Blizzard’s perspective this sacrifice could be worthwhile. Blizzard Games won’t want to receive a ban in China as it’s a huge market but NetEase was likely taking a sizable cut of all sales. Perhaps with a new partner Blizzard can claim a larger cut for itself increasing profit margins.

FIFA 23 World Cup Icons will be in packs in late November

With the World Cup right around the corner it’s only natural that the FIFA series would celebrate it. Alongside plenty of other festivities developer EA is running World Cup themed content in the popular Ultimate Team game mode. One of the most exciting parts of this is the upcoming World Cup Icons which will be available in FIFA 23 soon.

More specifically, the World Cup Icons will arrive as part of an upcoming promo. Once the current Path to Glory promo ends it will be replaced by the World Cup Icons. This switchover is expected to take place on November 25 at 10:00 PST, 13:00 EST, and 18:00 GMT. Until then you will be able to continue packing the current Path to Glory promo cards.

The first World Cup Icons promo team will arrive in FIFA 23 on November 25. Following that a second team is expected a week later on December 2. According to a recent leak there will be a total of 36 icons to earn including the two that are already available in Swaps. The two icons that are already available are 90 overall rated Patrick Viera and 92 overall rated Cafu.

The full list of World Cup Icons to come features some exciting players. It varies from all-time greats like Pele and Zidane to unique one-off cards such as Crespo and Lineker. All of the 36 featured cards look decent so there aren’t many you wouldn’t want to get.

How to get a World Cup Icon

fifa 23 best world cup icons

We expect there to be a total of three different ways to earn the World Cup Icons in FIFA 23. The most obvious is to get one in a pack once the promo goes live. However, they can also be earned through the Swaps system with a World Cup Icon Player Pick being given purchasable for 30 tokens. Finally, some icons should be earnable by either completing squad builder challengers or objectives.

The file size of Warzone 2 has been revealed and it’s huge

As we get closer to its launch more details are being revealed about Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0. From new features to reworks of old features the Warzone sequel looks exciting. However, today’s reveal has not gone down as well with players. It turns out that the file size of Warzone 2 is huge.

When pre-loads go live next week players will have to download Warzone 2. As of launch, this download will be 115 GB on all platforms. That alone is a big download but what has players more concerned is that it doesn’t appear as though having Modern Warfare 2 installed makes any difference.

With the original Warzone having Modern Warfare (2019) installed greatly reduced the overall file size. This is because both games share a lot of assets in common that don’t need to be downloaded twice. However, the file size of Warzone 2 appears to be completely separate from Modern Warfare 2.

In other words, if you want to play both games, you’ll have to have both installed separately. With Warzone 2 coming in at 115 GB and Modern Warfare 2 being 70 GB players will need to reserve around 200 GB to install them. Given that progression between the games is linked most Warzone 2 players will want to also have access to Modern Warfare 2.

Not the biggest we’ve seen

warzone 2 vehicle warfare gameplay official promo screenshot

A combined 200 GB isn’t ideal but it’s by no means the biggest Warzone install we’ve seen. At its largest, the original Call of Duty: Warzone reached a staggering 250 GB. Plus, that was only the actual download size and not how much space the game needed to reserve.

In reality the file size of Warzone 2 including reserve space was closer to 280 GB. That is undoubtedly one of the largest video game installs in history. With some consoles having relatively little storage space it’s a growing concern for gamers.

Diablo 4 release date is rumored to be set for April

The next installment in the Diablo franchise was first announced back in 2019. There’s been rumors and hints suggesting when Diablo 4 would be releasing since but nothing beyond mere speculation. However, recent reports suggest that Diablo 4 has been given a release date and will launch sometime in April 2023.

During episode 133 of the XboxEra Podcast, co-founder Jon Clarke provided some insight on Diablo 4. According to Clarke Diablo 4 will be showcased with a “fancy new trailer,” at the upcoming Game Awards. This year’s Game Awards take place on December 8 live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. The event will be live-streamed on both Twitch and YouTube for viewers at home to watch.

Alongside this trailer Blizzard will also reveal the release date for Diablo 4. Clarke claims that this release date is expected to be April 2023. For its launch fans will be able to order a physical ultimate edition that will come will a variety of relevant merchandise.

However, you might not have to wait until April to try Diablo 4. In the same podcast, Clarke goes on to describe a potential early access beta that will run in February 2023. This is described as an open beta suggesting that everybody will be able to try it out without having to first pre-order Diablo 4.

Seasonal content

diablo 4 gameplay rpg ice level

Alongside confirming the release date for Diablo 4, Clarke also details how the RPG’s monetization will look. Unsurprisingly, Blizzard appears to be leaning toward a seasonal model which has become increasingly popular in AAA development. Players can expect seasonal content releases and a battle pass mechanic of sorts.

What that means for you is hard to say. Some battle passes are cosmetic only and are simply designed to encourage player retention. However, others are more problematic and lock important upgrades behind an additional paywall. Given how Diablo Immortal turned out it’s reasonable to be skeptical until Blizzard proves itself trustworthy.

The Kastov 74u has been banned in Modern Warfare 2 pro play

With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 launching last week pro players have been busy figuring out what the best gun is. After days of straight testing a unanimous verdict has been reached. The Kastov 74u assault rifle has been banned in pro play because it is just too strong.

The Kastov 74u is based on the AK-74u, a smaller hybrid version of the iconic AK-47. In most Call of Duty games, it is categorised as a submachine gun but Modern Warfare 2 lists it as an assault rifle instead. It’s this shift to being an assault rifle that has resulted in the Kastov 74u being particularly powerful.

In Modern Warfare 2, the Kastov 74u was banned from pro play as it’s just too well rounded. It has the damage profile of a submachine gun up close but the versatility of an assault rifle at medium range. With so few weaknesses the Kastov 74u becomes nearly unstoppable when placed in the hands of a professional player.

It’s worth noting that that this ban isn’t being implemented by Activision or the CoD League. Rather in the Call of Duty competitive community there are so called Gentlemen’s Agreements. These are agreements made between pro players to not use any content that is deemed overpowered or unfair.

The Kastov 74u is by no means the first gun to be banned in Call of Duty pro play. In Vanguard several weapons were hit by Gentlemen’s Agreements including the XM4, KSP 45, and 1911 pistol. Equally, powerful attachments like thermal sights, suppressors, and certain barrels are banned most years.

Are Gentlemen’s Agreements a good thing?

MWIIkatov 762 gameplay ak-47 assault rifle

Although they serve an important role some people do not like the idea of banning content. There’s an argument that competitive play is supposed to be about pushing the limits of what’s possible but that’s not possible when most things are restricted.

Sega plans to launch its ‘Super Game’ by March 2026

Sega announced a future ‘Super Game’ in a recent fiscal year earnings report. The exact details of this super game are still unclear but we do at least now have a release date. In the Japanese publisher’s latest report, it was confirmed that its super game will be released by March 2026.

Sega’s CEO Haruki Satomi discussed plans to create a super game and who his company is targeting with it. Satomi states “One strategy for generating such hit titles is the creation of a ‘Super Game’ – a large-scale global title”. He also goes on to say that Sega hopes this game will “draw together a large community, involving not only players but also streamers who stream the game and viewers who watch their videos”.

Form this we know that the super game that Sega is creating will likely be streamer friendly. It will be created in a way that encourages both streamers and viewers to work together and engage with one another. That isn’t ground-breaking news by any means but it does provide some insight as to what we can expect.

Although if recent interviews are anything to go by this super game might not be a single game at all. An interview on the Sega recruitment website described the super game as several “AAA titles that cross over SEGA’s comprehensive range of technologies”. If that is anything to go by Sega could be releasing a series of games that link together to form something bigger.

Exciting times

sonic frontiers gameplay steam press image 3

It’s unlikely that we’ll know exactly what this super game is for some time. With a confirmed March 2026 release you shouldn’t expect to hear specifics about it until at least 2025. Even so, the thought of a super game that redefines how we look at gaming as a whole is extremely exciting. Hopefully, Sega can deliver something that lives up to our expectations.

Modern Warfare 2 on PlayStation has controversial exclusive features

modern warfare 2 playstation exclusive content confirmed

As is tradition with Call of Duty these days, Modern Warfare 2 has some platform exclusive features. More specifically, those playing Modern Warfare 2 on PlayStation gain access to five different exclusive benefits. These benefits vary from small conveniences to controversial game changers.

Two of the less impactful features are the Battle Pass Bundle Bonus and Combat Packs. The Battle Pass bonuses only apply to PlayStation owners that purchase the Battle Pass Bundle. In this scenario you will gain an additional 5 tier skips over other platforms. Meanwhile the Combat Packs give PlayStation Plus members a handful of exclusive cosmetics.

Beyond that that the benefits begin to get more controversial. PlayStation users benefit from exclusive experience bonuses when playing Modern Warfare 2. This includes exclusive monthly Double XP events and a 25% bonus to weapon XP when partied up with other players. Although this experience boost applies to all party members even if the other members aren’t on PlayStation.

However, the exclusive benefit that has bothered the community most is the extra loadouts. PlayStation users gain access to an additional two loadout slots as soon as they reach level four. This means that PlayStation players have twelve custom classes rather than the standard ten. There is no current method to earn or purchase additional classes on any other platform.

This won’t be the case forever

modern warfare 2 playstation exclusiv

PlayStation users having exclusive benefits in Modern Warfare 2 and its predecessors has been a thing for a while. The first Call of Duty to have PlayStation exclusive features was Black Ops 3. Before this Xbox actually had exclusive features instead with DLC coming to Xbox consoles early.

With Microsoft in the process of buying Activision Blizzard a return to the past looks likely. Call of Duty probably won’t become an Xbox exclusive but Xbox players might begin to see exclusive features show up. That won’t be the case for a little while though as PlayStation’s deal is thought to last until at least 2023.