Disney’s Epic gaming investment

Plus the latest study of online gaming hate and what’s next for Xbox?

Disney’s Epic gaming investment
Via Disney and Epic

Disney made a huge announcement about their future in the gaming space. Meanwhile many Xbox owners are waiting to hear what’s next for their console’s exclusive titles. Add in the latest survey on online harassment in gaming, and it’s a full week. Read on to learn more. 

Disney gets Epic

Disney announced a $1.5 billion investment in Fortnite maker Epic Games. 

Bringing big-name properties like Star Wars, Marvel and more, Disney says “a new Universe will emerge” within Fortnite. From their press release:

In addition to being a world-class games experience and interoperating with Fortnite, the new persistent universe will offer a multitude of opportunities for consumers to play, watch, shop and engage with content, characters, and stories from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, Avatar, and more. Players, gamers, and fans will be able to create their own stories and experiences, express their fandom in a distinctly Disney way, and share content with each other in ways that they love.

While it’s uncertain when we will see the results of this partnership, it seems likely it will be similar to Epic’s Lego content. Read more about Disney’s Epic investment at Ars Technica or The Verge

Hate in online gaming

The Anti-Defamation League released their 5th annual survey of hate and harassment in online multiplayer games. Some of the key points include:

  • Women and Black or African American gamers were the most harassed because of their identity in online multiplayer games.
  • Half of Black adult gamers (50 percent) reported experiencing harassment in online games due to their race, an increase from 44 percent in 2022.
  • Young people experienced more harassment this year. Three-quarters of teens and pre-teens experienced harassment in online multiplayer games in 2023, up from 67 percent in the previous year.
  • The overall rate of harassment of adults in online multiplayer games decreased for the first time in the five years this survey has been conducted with 76 percent of adults experiencing harassment in games, down from 86 percent in 2022.

Read the full report, or check out the highlights on Twitter.

The future of Xbox

The future of Xbox seems more cloudy this week than it has in the past. 

With rumors saying Microsoft will release more of its games like Starfield on PlayStation and other consoles, some Xbox influencers are pulling their support for the console. Kotaku has an article about how some supporters of the console who purchased it specifically for the exclusive games are losing their faith in the brand

Xbox head Phil Spencer reportedly reassured employees that Microsoft “won’t stop making Xbox consoles,” but with it already trailing PlayStation by a 2-1 factor in console sales, it leads many to wonder what the future will entail. 

Add in a federal complaint about the 1,900 layoffs in Microsoft’s game division, and it was not a great week for the company.

EVO 2024 lineup

💸 Humble Bundle raised over $14 million for charity in 2023, and over $250 million since its inception.

🤜🏽 EVO, a showcase of the best fighting game players in the world, announces their 2024 lineup and changes for this year. 

🎮 Nintendo says they’ve sold over 139 million Switch consoles

💴 The company that owns FromSoftware purchased Octopath Traveler studio Acquire

👩🏻‍💻 Helldivers 2 reported issues after its launch, including matchmaking issues and frequent crashes. 

🅰️ Ubisoft defends Skull and Bones $70 price tag, saying it’s a “quadruple-A game.”

🔌 Gen Con cancels their online convention, turning their focus to the in-person event. 

✊🏼 Amid a “hectic media landscape,” writers and content creators at IGN announced they are forming a union

💍 Need more frustration in your life? Tencent is reportedly developing an Elden Ring mobile game.

🛑 Evil Empire says they are stopping development of Dead Cells

📉 After being ‘disappointed’ with Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR sales, Ubisoft won’t increase investment in virtual reality

😻 A Baldur's Gate 3 player completes the game while playing as a party of cats.

🎭 Actor Henry Cavill says working on a Warhammer 40k movie is “the greatest privilege” of his career. 

New Releases this week: 

Skull and Bones

Check out 10 new games to play in February.

2/13: Dispel (PC)
2/13: News Tower (PC)
2/14: Lords of Exile (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
2/14: White Sands (PC)
2/15: Hellskate (PC)
2/16: Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Switch)
2/16: Skull and Bones (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)

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