Will Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Blackout Kill PUBG?

The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Battle Royale mode, Blackout, had its Beta Open a few days back which let players get a feel of this new battle royale mode. With a lot of praise from CoD fans and Battle Royale game fans alike, did this Beta in any way disrupt the king of Battle Royale games, PUBG?

The Blackout Beta wowed many players due to its fast-paced arcade action which has been the signature for Call of Duty games and because of how well it incorporated the various game mechanics into the Battle Royale game mode. While the Beta certainly helped boost pre-order sales and maybe even helped those on the edge about purchasing the game make a decision, there were many who jumped aboard the hype train. Those people who did were quick to state that this game would be the one to bring down PUBG and Fortnite and become one of the most played Battle Royale games on the market.

While this isn’t much to go off of, we have the SteamSpy graph to help us see if the Blackout Beta lowered PUBG’s active player count and it’s usual daily player count. As seen from the graph, there didn’t seem to be any disruption and PUBG’s concurrent peak players crossed 1 million players every day of the Blackout Beta. Another thing to note is that the Blackout will come with Black Ops 4 so to play Blackout you’ll have to shell out $60 or the regional equivalence to play it which could mean a lower player-count than the Open beta which is free for everyone.

This is specific to the PC platform though and chances are that the console versions will fare better since the PS4 doesn’t have PUBG and will go up against Fortnite while the Xbox One version should have more players due to the unstable performance of PUBG on that console.

It is going to be very interesting to see how each Battle Royale faired at the end of the year since Blackout, Firestorm, and Ring of Elysium will have been out by then.

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EA Refuses To Comply With Belgium’s Gambling Laws, Under Criminal Investigation

Thanks to the epic fiasco surrounding Star Wars Battlefront 2′s loot boxes, governments around the world seem to be tightening their grip on how microtransactions are handled in the games. Earlier this year, the Belgian government declared certain loot boxes to be gambling, causing big names like 2K Games, Valve and Activision Blizzard to remove loot boxes from their titles in the country.

However, EA plans to stand its ground, refusing to remove loot boxes from one of their most popular games, FIFA. In April, the publisher said, “We strongly believe that our games are developed and implemented ethically and lawfully around the world, and take these responsibilities very seriously. We care deeply that our players are having a fun and fair experience in all of our games, and take great care to ensure each game is marketed responsibly, including in compliance with regional ratings standards. We welcome the dialogue with Minister Geens on these topics, as we do not agree that our games can be considered as any form of gambling.”

Additionally, EA also states that the loot boxes in FIFA 18 cannot be considered as gambling because the players always receive specified number of items, and the publisher doesn’t authorize any way to cash out or sell any item or virtual currency in return for real money.

Belgium’s Gaming Commission considers these loot boxes as a form of gambling as the players do not know which items they are going to receive when they purchase a loot box, making it an illegal game of chance. Hence, EA may now be facing a criminal investigation, under the Brussel’s public prosecutor’s office. If proved that they’ve been involved in perpetuating gambling among the community (including minors), the company will be liable to pay a hefty penalty.

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FIFA 18 eWorld Cup Kicks Off!

The FIFA eWorld Cup 2018, formerly known as the FIFA Interactive World Cup has kicked off!  Over the course of 9 months, 20 million players participated in the qualifiers but out of those 20 million today, only 32 players remain. These 32 players will fight for the title of the best FIFA 18 player in the world and along with it a cash prize of $250,000.

Last year’s Champion, Spencer ‘Gorilla’ Ealing

The tournament follows the actual World Cup in many ways. The tournament fixtures start off with the Group Stages, followed by the Round of 16, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and then the Grand Finale. However, there is one difference. This tournament takes place using the Ultimate Team mode so expect Brazilian Ronaldo teaming up with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to play against a team that also has Messi and Ronaldo.

Another way in which it follows the actual World Cup is with its anti-doping measures. Starting this year, FIFA will be testing the players for performance enhancers like Adderall. They will be following the regulations set by the WADA (World Anti-Doping Association) and players who are found to be breaking these rules will be punished. The tournament is taking places in London and will end after the Grand Finale at 6PM GMT on Saturday, August 4th. The matches will be streamed on Youtube, Twitch and Facebook.

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