An Epic showcase and a rotten Apple

Epic highlights changes to Unreal Engine, while Apple faces monopoly charges.

An Epic showcase and a rotten Apple
Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra

Epic showed off their latest updates to Unreal Engine, and snuck a game preview into their keynote as well. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice sued Apple for having a monopoly. One of the key points of the suit: gaming. All this and more. Let’s go! 

Epic’s GDC showcase

Epic held a keynote at the 2024 Game Developers Conference. The event focuses mostly on changes to their Unreal Engine, but also included some fun highlights for gamers. Here are some of the highlights:

Marvel 1943: Rise of Hydra

The event kicked off with a first look at 1943: Rise of Hydra, a new Marvel game featuring Captain America and Black Panther. The game is scheduled for a 2025 launch, and is being created by former Uncharted writer and director Amy Hennig.

Fortnite creators will have access to assets from Rocket Racing, Fall Guys, and LEGO

In attempts to have more developers create games and projects within Fortnite, Epic and their partners are providing additional assets to create unique experiences. Keep in mind, Epic will take a cut of earnings made by these games.

More enhancements to Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine 5.4 launches next month, and promises more graphical enhancements along with performance optimizations. You can check out everything announced or watch the video at the top of this article to view the whole showcase.

The U.S. government vs. Apple

Last week, the U.S. Department of Justice sued Apple, saying it had an illegal monopoly in the smartphone market. In the lawsuit, the DOJ gives examples in five areas which Apple allegedly suppressed competition, including cloud streaming game applications.

The lawsuit argues that by prohibiting streaming games on their devices that use servers to run the applications, Apple forces players to play games locally. This requires additional processing power within the phone, increasing the likelihood that players will update their device. Here are a few key quotes from the lawsuit:

Apple has blocked the development of cloud-streaming apps and services that would allow consumers to enjoy high-quality video games and other cloud-based applications without having to pay for expensive smartphone hardware.
Cloud streaming allows developers to bring cutting-edge technologies and services to smartphone consumers – including gaming and interactive artificial intelligence services – even if their smartphone includes hardware that is less powerful than an iPhone.
Apple has promoted the iPhone 15 by promising that its hardware is powerful enough to enable "next-level performance and mobile gaming". But powerful hardware is unnecessary if games are played via cloud streaming apps.

Video Games Chronicle has more quotes from the lawsuit as it pertains to gaming, or you can read the whole 88-page document on The Verge. 

Lego Dungeons & Dragons

🤖 Ubisoft unveiled their new AI project that lets players have “authentic” conversations with in-game characters.

🆓 A game developer is accused of giving players free items in exchange for positive reviews on Steam. 

🐉 Lego is creating a 3,745-piece Dungeons & Dragons set that comes with its own playable adventure.

🤫 Kotaku Editor in Chief Jen Glennon resigned due to the management team’s decision to deprioritize news in favor of guides.

🥽 Sony pauses production of the PlayStation VR 2 due to excess inventory. 

🐲 Larian CEO Swen Vincke says despite the success of Baldur's Gate 3, “We're going to move away from D&D and we're going to start making a new thing.

🎮 Valve introduces Steam Families, providing parental controls and game access to others in your household. 

💵 US game spending increased 2% in February, with Helldivers 2 leading the charge. 

🎩 Monopoly Go spent almost $500 million on marketing. It’s working, as the game generated $1 billion in revenue in seven months

☁️ GOG partners with Amazon Luna to bring some titles to cloud gaming on the platform. 

☢️ There is a Fallout-themed Xbox Series X console, and it comes with its own vault. 

😢 Mutsumi Inomata, renowned anime and game design artist most known for her work on the Tales franchise passed away at 63

⛔ More than half of US gamers say publishers need to stamp out harassment in games.

💸 The creator of Dwarf Fortress blasts game company layoffs, saying the execs are “horrible… greedy, greedy people.” 

👃🏾 Twitch content producers are streaming games on…their body parts

🎮 Every community-uploaded Super Mario Maker level has officially been beaten ahead of the end of the game’s online functionality.

👟 Converse is releasing a series of limited edition Dungeons & Dragons shoes to celebrate the game’s 50th anniversary. 

🎞️ Check out the new trailer for Final Fantasy XVI – The Rising Tide DLC.

🎦 Margot Robbie's production company is creating a movie adaptation of The Sims.

🤔 Polygon opinion: The proposed PS5 Pro needs a reason to exist.

New Releases this week:

South Park: Snow Day!

3/26: Millennia (PC)
3/26: South Park: Snow Day! (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
3/28: One Last Breath (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
3/28: Open Roads (PlayStation, Switch and PC)
3/28: Pepper Grinder (Switch and PC)

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