Pokemon Go Players Have Walked.. A Lot

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The end of 2016 marks the end of the first six months of Pokemon Go’s existence. To celebrate, Niantic is announcing some statistics on the game. The main stat of interest is that players have walked over 8.7 billion kilometers, enough to circle the globe 200,000 times.

Another state: 88 billion. That’s the number of wild Pokemon that have been caught. As much of the United States is entering colder months, it’d be a surprise to see these numbers continue to grow. To keep players interested, Niantic has boosted rural spawn rates and added baby Pokemon that can only be obtained by walking to hatch eggs.

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Star Citizen Studio says No Issues due to Crytek Closures

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Today, Crytek announced the closure of five of their seven studios, refocusing the company on “premium IPs” and CryEngine. Roberts Space Industries, the developers of Star Citizen, aren’t worried. They’re using a modified version of the CryEngine, but say the closures will not have an impact on their game.

The studio said they do not rely upon Crytek for anything at this point and the company’s focus is on the upcoming single player version of the game, the first part of which is titles Squadron 42.

Atlus is Working on a New RPG

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Atlus, best known for Persona and Shin Megami Tensei, is working on a new fantasy RPG series. The details will be revealed this week, but we do know it’s being developed by the team behind Persona 5. The game will be revealed at 6 a.m. ET on December 23rd on a NicoNico livestream.

Studio Zero is a new studio within Atlus with some impressive credentials. Katsura Hashino, Persona 5’s director, and other talented Atlus employees are part of the studio working on this unnamed game.

 

Asheron’s Call has Been Answered, Game Going Offline in January

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More changes are afoot at Turbine, as the Asheron’s Call series is coming to an end. Turbine first released Asheron’s Call in 1999 and followed it up with a sequel three years later. The sequel was canned in 2005, before reopening in beta for Asheron’s Call subscribers in 2012. After Turbine was acquired by Warner Bros. Interactive, support for the games were on and off.

A post on the official Facebook page reads “it is with a heavy heart that we must announce the end of our support for Asheron’s Call and Asheron’s Call 2. This decision did not come easy, and we know this is disappointing for many of you. This game is a labor of love, and it’s not easy for us to bring it to an end.”

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Overwatch’s Tracer is Gay!

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Big news for fans of Overwatch! Blizzard released a digital comic today called “Reflections” for the online shooter, which is massively successful and ranks among many’s favorite games of the year. The big news comes as Tracer. lead star of the game, is revealed to be gay. She seeks out a present for her girlfriend before giving her a big kiss!

This is pretty notable that a character as popular as Tracer is among the members of the LGBTQ community, as they’ve been sorely under-represented in the gaming industry. This gives the community a new idol to look up to. This is far from a Bioware romance.

Blizzard stated back in 2015 that Overwatch would star a gay character and now we know who it is! Blizzard has teased that there are multiple gay characters in the Overwatch universe, but Tracer is the first officially confirmed one.

Crytek Closes Five Studios

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We’ve talked before about the issues going on at Cryek. After a year of paying salaries late (October’s salaries were just paid this week), big changes are coming to the company. The company announced they are closing studios in Budapest, Hungary; Sofia, Bulgaria; Seoul, Korea; Shanghai, China; and Istanbul, Turkey in order to “refocus on its core strengths of developing innovative games and game-development technology.”

Crytek now only has their studios in Frankfurt, Germany and Kiev, Ukraine. In a news release, a spokesperson for Crytek said they are working to “put plans into action to secure jobs and to ensure a smooth transition and stable future” for all affected employees. Rumors of a sale of the Black Sea studio in Sofia may not happen, as nothing is being announced.

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Standing Stone Games Takes Over Lord of the Rings Online and D&D Online

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Change is underway at MMO developer Turbine Entertainment, a part of Warner Bros. Interactive. Back in July, Warner Bros announced layoffs at the studio as it transitioned to F2P mobile games. Today, that transition is complete.

A new studio is being formed, Standing Stone Games, consisting of the developers behind Lord of the Rings Online and D&D Online. Turbine is handing over the reins to both games to Standing Stone.

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