Bugs Bunny and LeBron James want you to make the next Space Jam game

Space Jam game

Microsoft, Bugs Bunny, and LeBron James. That’s probably not a set of names you expected to see together but here we are. As part of Space Jam’s marketing campaign, Xbox wants franchise fans to create a game for them. More specifically, they want an arcade styled retro game in the style of many 80s classics.

The new competition has some official rules that you may want to read over. The general idea though is that you send in a proposal with the genre, a key image, and a short description. The description of your game proposal must be less than 500 words to be eligible.

Your dream Space Jam game

Space Jam A New Legacy competition prizeA New Legacy is the sequel to the original 1996 classic film Space Jam. The premise sees a team of basketball stars have their powers stolen by evil monsters. Back then it was up to Michael Jordan and his Disney cast teammates to get them back. But the sequel is a little different focusing on LeBron James and his son Bronny.

Having the opportunity to create your very own game is not something many people get to do. But two lucky winners of this competition will have their proposals brought to life. They will be converted into mini-games in the official Space Jam: A New Legacy game releasing next year.

Also, competition winners will have their names added to the game’s official credits. And if that’s not enough for you, there’s even a set of LeBron James memorabilia up for grabs. Even sports brand Nike are getting behind the campaign and offering various goodies for would be winners.

The announcement rounds off by confirming that Microsoft and Warner Bros. have “more exciting news,” in the works. So be sure to keep an eye out for any future updates on Space Jam game if you’re interested. As for the movie itself, that’s set for a July 21 release in cinemas.

FIFA 21 Icon Swaps have arrived alongside the new Freeze promo

Icon Swaps

As per tradition, EA Sports today unveiled its latest Icon Swaps for FIFA 21. For many players this is the most exciting part of Ultimate Team’s yearly life-span. Not only is it a great opportunity to earn yourself a legend of the beautiful game, but this year has added unique player packs too.

The format developer EA Canada seems to have opted for is based around player choice. If you want to play it same and get a guaranteed icon, you can. If you’d rather risk your tokens for a big pull instead then that’s an option. Alternatively, you can play it safe with the new player packs and build up assets for a squad building challenge down the line.

FIFA 21 Icon Swaps

FIFA 21 Icon Swaps Freeze promoThe guaranteed icons that you can net for season one are Vidic, Hagi, Suker, Koeman, and Henry. These vary in cost with Henry being the most expensive at seventeen tokens. As of week one, you can only get up to eight tokens. Five of them are awarded through Friendlies whilst the other three can be earned in Squad Battles.

If you’d prefer to build up your assets instead, there are packs for just that. Two tokens can be traded in for two Ultimate Packs. Three tokens nets you five 85+ overall rated players guaranteed. Finally, five tokens will earn you an incredible twenty five 83+ overall rated players guaranteed.

And today’s updates doesn’t just stop at Icon Swaps. Replacing the previous FUTMAS promo, the new Freeze promo has plenty to offer. The most notable part of the promo is the full Freeze team that comes along with it. This includes several meta defining cards like Mane, Martinez, and Hazard.

Throughout the event EA Sports will be releasing daily SBCs to go alongside the full Freeze team. There will also be several new objectives to focus on for untradable Freeze cards starting with Yannick Bolasie. Sound like a lot? Then be sure to get stuck into Icon Swaps as soon as possible to not miss out.

Halo Infinite looks set for a Spring 2021 release after initial delay

Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite was supposed to be the Xbox Series X’s big launch title. But after a criminally underwhelming reveal at Xbox Summer Games 2020, Microsoft opted to delay it. Despite claiming that COVID was the cause, it’s seems likely that the American tech conglomerate was concerned about the rough state it was in.

An exact release date was not given at the time of the delay, but new details have emerged. In an interview with Dan Allen, Master Chief’s mo-cap actor, Bruce Thomas, confirmed a Spring 2021 release. When he was asked about Infinite’s development, Thomas stated it was “wrapped up,” and “ready to go next Spring.”

Are we getting Halo Infinite sooner than expected?

When the delay was first revealed, there were some concerns about how long Xbox fans would have to wait. With a game of Halo’s stature it could easily take over twelve months to fix. The presented campaign demo was plagued with a lot of difficult to address problems. This included rough texture work, assets popping in, and the now legendary Craig the Brute.

Craig was supposed to be a terrifying alien Brute trying to kill Master Chief. But due to some suspect face modelling he ended up looking more dopey than scary. The internet ran away with it and a viral meme was born. Regardless of the jokes, it did prove something about Halo Infinite. It needed more time.

Halo Infinite Craig the Brute

To Microsoft’s credit, rather than rushing it for the Series X launch it did delay Halo Infinite. And if Thomas’ claims of a Spring release are to be believed, the wait won’t have been that long anyway. Most gamers haven’t even had a chance to pick up a next-gen console yet due to stock shortages. So giving developer 343 Industries a little more time seems like a win-win situation.

All we can do for the time being is wait. Hopefully, Halo Infinite lives up to the hefty expectations placed upon it. Because there’s no doubt that Microsoft’s shiny new console is in desperate need of some big releases. Although a nice addition, there’s only so far relying on Xbox One backward compatibility can get you.

Gaming convention PAX expected to reopen doors in 2021

PAX East return

If you’re invested in the games industry then you’ve probably heard of PAX. PAX is a gaming convention that was previously known as the Penny Arcade Expo. It consists of three main sub-events, PAX East, West, and Unplugged. East is hosted in Boston, West in Seattle, and Unplugged in Philadelphia.

Last year’s Unplugged was cancelled due to the ongoing COVID epidemic. But with plans for a vaccine finally coming together and the epidemic slowing down, this could change soon. The event organizers are targeting a June 2021 return with full crowds in attendance.

The return of PAX

PAX event shotBoth PAX East and Pax West should take place next year dependent on the COVID-19 epidemic improving. However, smaller events such as South and Australia will likely not return until 2022. If approved, next year’s conventions will invite several content creators, developers, and publishers to take part.

Unlike many other gaming conventions, the focus of PAX isn’t to announce new games. Instead it’s a festival of sorts created to celebrate gaming culture as a whole. It first began in 2004 but has since grown exponentially. Last year just one event recorded almost 53,000 attendees. That makes it the second largest gaming convention in North America after E3.

If this sounds exciting and you’re eyeing up a potential trip, keep a few things in mind. For one, this isn’t official yet by any means. Although event organizers are hoping this goes ahead, COVID is unpredictable. We still don’t know for sure if vaccines are safe and distributing them in the US, where national healthcare doesn’t exist, is going to be tricky.

Regardless, we can only pray that this means we are reaching the end-game. If all goes well and the vaccine works as intended, other events should start opening up too. If 2021 can bring back PAX, E3, and Gamescom then it’ll already be on track to be a better year.

The Wonderful 101 Remastered demo launches with Bayonetta as playable character

Wonderful 101

Although Bayonetta 3 is nowhere to be seen, series fans do have something to be happy about. Earlier today Platinum Games released its new demo for The Wonderful 101 Remastered. The demo is available on PC, PS4, and Switch and is around 4 GB in size depending on platform.

What’s interesting about this demo is that it features a certain witch hunting heroine as a secret character. Bayonetta, the protagonist of the popular hack and slash of the same name, is available straight away in the Wonderful 101 Remastered demo. She was also a character in the original, but she had to be unlocked. This time around though you’ll be able to try her out as soon as you load in.

The return of Wonderful 101

The Wonderful 101 gameplayThe original Wonderful 101 is one of the many underappreciated Wii U exclusive titles most gamers won’t have heard of. Having launched on the failed Nintendo console in 2013, it didn’t sell overly well despite receiving critical acclaim. This remaster lets more players try it out whilst also providing it a fresh coat of paint.

The Wonderful 101 Remastered demo is impressive in size. Platinum has put around two hours of game content in there to play. That includes the prologue and all of Operation 001. If you already own the full game then you can redeem code “UMBRANGIFT” to unlock Bayonetta there too.

Similarly to the likes of Super Smash Bros, The Wonderful 101 was originally a collaborative effort that brought together several video game franchises. However, Platinum couldn’t convince then publisher Nintendo that it was a good idea. Instead, the developer remodeled the 3D action game around five new unique heroes.

It was probably a good choice to do so considering Platinum had always intended to move The Wonderful 101 to other platforms. I suspect if Mario and Link were involved it would have a hard time doing so. Understandably. Nintendo aren’t overly keen on the idea of its star characters appearing elsewhere.

Final Fantasy XIV is getting a new ‘explorer mode’ next month

Final Fantasy XIV

A big Final Fantasy XIV patch is coming Tuesday, December 8. Alongside plenty of other fun additions, the main selling point is the new explorer mode. When it arrives explorer mode will let players free roam and explore areas previously locked away. This includes completed dungeons, so you’ll be able to look around freely without the stress of managing a big raid battle at the same time.

The long awaited patch 5.4 will be released on every major platform that Final Fantasy XIV is currently on. That means PC, PS4, and OS X gamers will all get to try it out. As for the new PS5 there’s even more to be excited about.

Final Fantasy XIV next-generation

Final fantasy XIV explorer mode bossFinal Fantasy XIV will be available through PS5 via backward compatibility. And whilst that’s great and all, that alone would result in a limited experience that doesn’t take full advantage of the system’s hardware. Thankfully, Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix has you covered.

When Final Fantasy XIV is given the greenlight for PS5 support, it won’t just be played through a generic emulator. Instead, the new version is optimized to use the PlayStation 5’s impressive loading times. And if that’s not enough, it is expected to support 4K, 60 frames per second gameplay. It is currently unknown if higher frame rates will be available at lower resolutions.

Unfortunately, there is currently no news regarding an Xbox Series X port. It was confirmed to be coming to Xbox One but that was announced over a year ago. Given the lack of updates since, it’s possible that Square Enix has transferred its resources into a Series X port instead. That’s purely speculation though.

For the time being all we can do is wait and see how things turn out. This game has been an incredibly well received over the course of its seven year life span. Given the hype and anticipation, you’d think an Xbox release would eventually see the light of day.

Activision are looking into sharing Call of Duty loadouts on social media

Activision

Recently, Treyarch director David Vonderhaar filed for an interesting patent. According to the official USPTO database, Vonderhaar and publisher Activision are looking into the ability to share Call of Duty loadouts through social media. Treyarch is best known for working on the CoD franchise since 2006, but it also developed the legendary Spiderman 2 adaptation in 2004.

If this goes through then its possible that Black Ops Cold War and future Call of Duty titles could offer this function. If so, its potential is obvious. Imagine being able to jump on a pro player’s Twitter and download a class they’ve been dominating with. Obviously, it’s already possible to copy loadouts manually but this would open them up to more players thanks to how easy it would be.

Activision and its many patents

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War LMG gameplayBefore you get too excited, Activision is well known for applying for many patents. It doesn’t matter how ridiculous they may seem; the American publisher always pushes for those sweet exclusive rights.

Case in point, it has an active patent in place to defend the unique type of skill based matchmaking it uses in its games. More specifically, Activision owns exclusive rights to the algorithm in place that reads and evaluates a wide range of player metrics.

Basically, Activision doesn’t just want you to play with other players of a similar skill level. It wants you to play against the exact kind of opposition who counter your playstyle. This system in place exists to even out the odds between lesser and more skilled players.

Thankfully, this new patent seems far less ominous. Having the ability to quickly copy someone’s loadout through Twitter or Facebook sounds like a great addition. We don’t know when Activision is going to implement this feature or if it will even see the light of day. Only time will tell.

Grand Theft Auto V is getting a new major expansion, the Cayo Perico Heist

Cayo Perico

Earlier today Rockstar confirmed that its cult hit Grand Theft Auto V is getting yet another expansion. This time around it’s the Cayo Perico Heist. This new heist will see players head over to a brand new land mass, Cayo Perico. This expansion marks the first time GTA 5 has ever added a new area in either its multiplayer or single player.

Cayo Perico is a secure private island defended by heavily armed security forces. It’s up to you and your crew to break in, grab everything, and get out. At least, that’s how it would normally work. This time around though you can actually take on this heist all alone. That’s right. You don’t need a four man team to try this out.

Taking over Cayo Perico

GTA 5 Cayo Perico submarine heistOutside of the new heist players will also be able to enjoy a fresh radio station. This station will feature “over 100 new songs,” from a large variety of genres. Also, you’ll be able to explore the island freely and enjoy the many available social spaces with your friends.

The Cayo Perica Heist is planned to release December 15 and will be free content for all current players. We have no current details on if accessing the island will have any prerequisite requirements. Just to be safe, you’re probably best off building up some cash in advance.

The only criticism some have of this update is that it continues the theme of Rockstar not caring about its story mode. Grand Theft Auto IV had two amazing story focused DLCs that are loved by much of the fanbase. However, its sequel hasn’t received even one single player focused update since its 2013 release.

Regardless, it’s nice of Rockstar to keep supporting a seven year old game in the first place. The wait for Grand Theft Auto VI may continue on but at least we’re getting some good content in the meantime. And who knows, maybe Cayo Perico will have some unexpected secrets lying deep within.

Developer PlayMagic has apologized for the state of the new XIII remake

PlayMagic

XIII is an iconic first-person shooter that released back in 2003. Many remember it most for its signature comic book art style. So when the remake was announced, expectations were high. But its launch has gone so badly that developer PlayMagic has publicly apologized for the state of it.

In a joint statement from both PlayMagic and publisher Microids, the two companies have acknowledged that XIII’s remake isn’t good enough.  They’ve cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the primary reason behind its second-rate launch. And whilst that’s understandable, it won’t make any early adopters any less disappointed by the product they’ve ended up with.

PlayMagic got it all wrong

XIII gameplayThe most common complaint is that the XIII remake complete abolishes the original’s cell-shaded art style. Instead, it opts for a cartoony design akin to the likes of Fortnite. This alone might not sound too bad but it’s actually pretty significant. The visual design was as important to XIII as it is to games like Borderlands and Paper Mario. Once it’s taken away, you’re left with a mere shell of what could have sbeen.

Perhaps if it were just an artistic oversight fans could have forgiven it. But that’s not the only thing PlayMagic has apologized for. The XIII remake doesn’t play well and is full of strange bugs. Just about every action has its own technical issue plaguing it.

To the credit of PlayMagic, the studio is planning to fix address these issues. It has already promised several free updates and in-game content are on the way in an attempt to make amends. It had intended to drop a day one patch, but the update is taking “more time than expected.”

PlayMagic has encouraged players to keep an eye on the official Microids website for more news. Hopefully, it can start getting some necessary patches out soon and make the XIII remake as good as it can be.

A false alarm hostage situation reported in Ubisoft Montreal headquarters

Ubisoft Montreal

No you did not read that title wrong. Today an emergency broadcast went live as Ubisoft Montreal’s headquarters had become a potential target for a hostage situation. Although details are still emerging this breaking story originally suggested an awful outcome for those involved. Thankfully, the reality is a little more reassuring.

As mentioned by several sources, heavily armored police were stationed outside of the building awaiting further instructions. It’s understood that the Montreal Police division is still asking nearby citizens to stray clear at all costs just to be safe.

Ubisoft Montreal hostage developments

Ubisoft Montreal headquartersThe “ongoing police operation,” has been active as early as 13:30pm Eastern Time. They were originally dispatched over a reported robbery in a nearby commercial building. But the alleged robbers true intentions looked to be even more hostile.

It was unknown if the suspects had any individuals held hostage. But as more developments came out, some good news was delivered. The Montreal Police department found no evidence of a hostage situation. Instead, it’s thought that a nearby armed robbery took place just outside of the Ubisoft Montreal headquarters.

After all, even if no one got physically hurt it did cause a large group of Ubisoft employees to be stuck and barricaded on the headquarters’ roof. The stress caused by a situation of this nature is something to be taken seriously. Images of the building roof and the trapped workers were put out by a nearby helicopter passing by.

We’ll need to wait for further details before being able to confirm exactly where we are at. Hopefully, everything gets cleared up and the Ubisoft Montreal workers are able to return home safely. For further updates, check out the Montreal Police departments office web page. Also, consider checking out our other news stories here on Vgamerz for other breaking news stories.