We Asked Blizzard About Overwatch 2, Nintendo Switch Edition, Loot Boxes, And More

Having recently crossed an astonishing 40 million players, Blizzard’s hero shooter Overwatch has been one of the most successful multiplayer shooters in recent years. Part of what makes the game so great is Blizzard’s ongoing commitment to improving the game and responding to fan feedback about what works and what doesn’t. It is a game with a vibrant community.

Overwatch recently celebrated its second anniversary, and Blizzard just this week launched an Anniversary event to celebrate. Up for grabs are 50 new cosmetic items in Loot Boxes, while there is also a new Deathmatch map, Petra, and Brawl events that return from previous events. To further celebrate Overwatch’s second birthday, Blizzard hosted a roundtable interview with Assistant Game Director Aaron Keller and Senior Game Producer Matthew Hawley, who spoke about Overwatch’s achievements over the past two years and teased what’s to come. Among other things, we asked about Overwatch 2, a Nintendo Switch edition, loot boxes, and more. You can see some highlights from this interview below.

For more on Overwatch’s Anniversary event, check out GameSpot’s roundup of everything you need to know about it. The game is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

On A Potential Overwatch 2:

Aaron Keller: “I think at the core sitting here at the two-year anniversary, we’ve had a wildly successful 6v6 shooter game which has blown us away with how the community has responded to it. We dip our toes into different areas here and there with the Archives event and Junkenstein. But I think our focus is really on keeping the community engaged with the 6v6 shooter that we have on the live service.

Matthew Hawley: “Running a live service game takes a lot of work and I hope the community knows we have been committed to continually improving the game and creating content. What people might not realise is the team now is significantly bigger than what it was when we shipped the game, and we have put all of that into working on the live game and the new maps, heroes, and events like Anniversary. At least for the time being, [supporting Overwatch] is our focus right now, and we’re excited to work on this game.”

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On Loot Boxes:

Matthew Hawley: “I think the cosmetic only, non-power increasing [kind of content] works really well for the type of game that Overwatch is. What is the future of loot boxes? I don’t think anybody in the room knows. Certainly for now, the cosmetic-only side of things is working for Overwatch.”

On Bringing Overwatch To Switch Or Mobile:

Matthew Hawley: “I think it is one of those things that we constantly evaluate. Where technology is going; where the industry is going. There are challenges in running on the platforms that we’re not already on, otherwise we would probably already be on some of those other platforms. We’ll see where things go. Certainly, there is a huge number of people out there who have Nintendo Switch and mobile phones, but right now, the core development team is focused on supporting the live game.”

On More Story In Overwatch:

Aaron Keller: “There is a ton of story that we want to tell and a ton of story that we are going to be telling. We really like not having to carry the full burden of having to explain the whole story in a highly competitive, high-action, 6v6 shooter. I think we get some story elements in the game that work really well, but we’re not going to be able to do something like The Last Bastion and tell that story within the context of a PvP shooter. Where it makes sense we’ll continue to explore and do stuff like that.”

On More Overwatch Heroes:

Matthew Hawley: “There are still heroes on that list [of 50 that were pitched at the start of development] that we are excited about that we have not made yet. When we bring new people onto the team, they hear us talk about heroes as if they already exist, with their codename and everything like that, and they’re all heroes that we have been excited about for a long time. We just haven’t gotten the opportunity to make yet. There are a lot more ideas that we haven’t shipped than we have.”

On Potentially Removing Heroes Or Making Them Seasonal:

Matthew Hawley: “It’s always a possibility, but it’s not something that we are currently discussing have happen in the near future. I think the only example, and it’s a very specific example of taking a hero out of the roster, is Symmetra not being in the finals of the Overwatch League. And that’s for completely different reasons. Each time we release a hero, we take this wait and see approach with the hero and with the meta; and if we need to react to something, if we feel like we get to that point where we do need to remove heroes, we’ll do it. But we’re not at that point right now.”

from GameSpot https://www.gamespot.com/articles/we-asked-blizzard-about-overwatch-2-nintendo-switc/1100-6459166/


Each Time Cobra Kai Paid Tribute To The Karate Kid

Cobra Kai loves paying tribute to The Karate Kid

Now that Cobra Kai is out and the world has had a chance to watch it on YouTube Red, it’s clear that the soul of The Karate Kid movie franchise is alive and well in this sequel series. Set over three decades after the first showdown between Daniel LaRusso and the villainous Cobra Kai dojo, the show pays tribute to the legacy of the films in smart ways that are sure to make any fan smile.

Throughout Season 1 of Cobra Kai, there are not just mentions of The Karate Kid in flashbacks, but the story is structured in a way that the film is on your mind constantly–and that’s a good thing. Given how seminal a movie The Karate Kid is, to not only fans but the stars who now reprise their roles on the show, it’s important to pay respects to what came before. Still, it’s a fine line to walk between properly paying tribute and flat-out copying without bringing anything new to the table. Thankfully, Cobra Kai relies on the former with nearly all of its homages helping to further expand the world its set in.

If you haven’t watched the show and don’t want to be spoiled, you should stop reading now. We’re diving into heavy spoiler territory for the entire first season of Cobra Kai to look at the ways it honors The Karate Kid and even expands on it. Besides, what are you waiting for? The first season is out now and waiting for you. If you have seen the show or don’t care about finding out what happens, buckle up because we have a lot to talk about. If anything, it should get you excited for Season 2.

1. Right where we left him

From: Episode 1

When fans last saw Johnny Lawrence, he was face down on the mat after being defeated by Daniel at the All-Valley Karate Tournament. Naturally, the first shot of him in Cobra Kai is face down on the mat after being defeated by life.

2. Back in the valley

From: Episode 1

California’s San Fernando Valley is as important a character in The Karate Kid as anyone or anything else, and Cobra Kai recognizes that right away. While the show was mostly filmed in Georgia, it’s nice to see it returned to the Valley for some establishing shots.

From: Episode 1

When Mr. Miyagi taught Daniel how to care for Bonsai trees in The Karate Kid, chances are he didn’t expect them to be used as gifts for anyone who bought a luxury car. That said, kudos to Daniel for keeping the hobby alive.

4. A glimpse at Karate Kid 2

From: Episode 1

While footage from the original Karate Kid is used throughout Cobra Kai, this blending of the movies and the show put Johnny right back in the moment his former sensei turned on him. Interesting that the reminder of his leaving Cobra Kai is what makes him restart it.

5. Three rules

From: Episode 1

And restart it he does. Taking the harsh lessons he learned from Sensei Kreese, Johnny brings back the yellow and black.

6. Cobra Kai is back

From: Episode 2

While the dojo may have a different location and design (though the original makes an appearance later) there’s no mistaking that logo and what it means to this franchise.

7. A glimpse of Mr. Miyagi

From: Episode 2

Though Pat Morita died in 2005 and is unable to reprise his role as Mr. Miyagi, his presence is felt throughout the show. Beyond that, though, his face appears a number of times–including this newspaper clipping that touts the victory of a “mystery dojo” at the All-Valley tournament.

8. Washing windows means nothing in Cobra Kai

From: Episode 2

While waxing cars, painting fences, and sanding floors helped to teach Daniel karate in the first movie, Johnny’s style is a bit different. For him, chores are chores and nothing else. It shows a stark contrast in Cobra Kai’s version of karate and Miyagi-Do’s. So get busy, Miguel.

9. Even after 35 years, a good Halloween costume doesn’t go out of style

From: Episode 3

Yes, it’s hard to believe that Johnny held onto a Halloween costume he wore in 1984–especially one that holds terrible memories like getting beaten up by an old man. Still, it’s a nice homage to the original movie to have him dust of the old skeleton costume and offer it to his student.

10. We missed you, Ali

From: Episode 3

Though Ali (Elisabeth Shue) only appeared in the first Karate Kid, her absence is very noticeable in Cobra Kai. Thankfully, her high school still keeps a photo of her in a trophy case for some reason. Good work finding that, Johnny.

11. Miguel’s new threads

From: Episode 5

You can only learn karate in your street clothes for so long. Johnny passing on his training gi from The Karate Kid to Miguel proves he’s the star pupil–well, the only pupil at this point–of the new Cobra Kai.

12. The student catches up with his teacher

From: Episode 5

Giving Daniel the chance to speak with Mr. Miyagi, even in this way, shows the importance of their relationship. Even though he’s grown now, with a wife and kids, he’s still that teenager from New Jersey looking for a father figure in his sensei.

13. The return of Miyagi-Do

From: Episode 5

Daniel wearing that familiar headband just feels right. It also shows him getting back to his own karate roots, the way Mr. Miyagi trained him.

From: Episode 5

It’s appropriate that this was the episode that paid tribute to Morita, who was the soul of the film franchise. Spending an episode largely on Daniel reconnecting with his mentor and the ideals he learned from him helps in bringing the character full-circle.

15. The Cobra Kai of old

From: Episode 6

While Johnny’s Cobra Kai dojo looks quite different from the one he first learned karate in, it was nice of the show to resurrect that old place for a flashback. It also smacks of the late 1970s/early 1980s with that huge mural.

16. Johnny leading the class once again

From: Episode 6

Inside the new Cobra Kai dojo, Johnny is once again head of the class. This time, though, it’s not because Kreese has him step in to teach the students–he’s the sensei now.

17. Wash the windows, wax the car. The classics never go out of style for Daniel

From: Episode 7

When Daniel said he loves this part, he wasn’t the only one. Using chores to teach karate, just like Mr. Miyagi did with him, serves Daniel well. It may not be Johnny’s thing, but it certainly is his.

18. One student is all he needs

From: Episode 7

As Miyagi did with him, Daniel only needs one student to go up against Cobra Kai’s army.

19. The All-Valley Karate Tournament

From: Episode 7

Let’s be honest, everyone knew the series was going to build up to this. Seeing the advertisement for the same tournament that led to Johnny’s downfall, though, was a special moment.

20. Shape the tree

From: Episode 7

The seventh episode of Cobra Kai is a treasure trove of throwbacks to the original film. It’s this quiet moment when Daniel teaches Robby how to trim a bonsai tree that he seems most like his former sensei.

21. Golf N’ Stuff lives

From: Episode 7

Miguel’s first date with Samantha was as cheesy and fun as Daniel’s outing with Ali back in The Karate Kid–and that’s thanks to the destination. Golf N’ Stuff makes its return to the Karate Kid world, packing just as much putt-putt excitement as ever. Kudos to the show for including the song from the movie, Young Hearts by Commuter, as well.

Fun fact: Golf N’ Stuff is a real place in the Valley that you can still visit, should you want to recreate these moments yourself.

22. A flashback to the tournament that started it all

From: Episode 7

As Johnny fights to get Cobra Kai’s ban from the All-Valley tournament lifted, the council that makes the decision–which includes Daniel–looks at photos of the dojo’s history in the competition. Naturally, that’s where we see images of Daniel fighting Johnny from the movie.

23. A cobra in red

From: Episode 8

While this obviously isn’t the same jacket Johnny wore in the movie, it’s clear that this Cobra’s sense of style has never really changed.

24. Ma’s back!

From: Episode 8

Mr. Miyagi, Daniel’s father-figure, may be unable to appear on the show. Thankfully, though, his mother did visit her boy during Season 1. Randee Heller reprised her role as Lucille LaRusso, the woman who first brought Daniel to the Valley, in this episode.

25. It’s not a boat, but this will do the trick

From: Episode 8

As Daniel continues his lessons with Robby, they resemble Miyagi’s teachings more and more. While he notes that the lake he and Mr. Miyagi trained on is no longer an option, the two of them practicing on a large rock created a similar visual.

26. Some rivalries never die

From: Episode 9

Daniel and Johnny bickered a bunch during Season 1, but this is the first time they nearly came to blows–recreating their final showdown at the All-Valley Tournament. It doesn’t seem quite as intimidating when it’s poolside.

27. Back at the South Seas

From: Episode 9

Though they don’t come to blows, the two do go for a ride through the Valley, which brings Daniel back to his first Southern California home. This is the same run-down apartment complex he and his mom moved into in the first movie.

28. Some things have changed

From: Episode 9

Unlike when Daniel lived at the South Seas, the complex looks like it’s been cleaned up–and there’s actually water in the pool now.

29. Hitting the beach

From: Episode 9

What’s the Karate Kid universe without a beach party? Unlike the one Johnny crashed in the movie, though, this one mostly goes off without a hitch.

30. Facebook stalking your ex is cool, right?

From: Episode 9

Johnny and Daniel’s trip down memory lane leads them to a bar, which brings up the final mention of Ali this season. It seems Daniel is Facebook stalking his ex, though he won’t add her as a friend. The audience learns that she went on to become a doctor, got married, and now lives in Colorado.

31. It’s the final countdown

From: Episode 10

Some things never change–like the signage on a community center. The All Valley Sports Arena marquee looks incredibly dated.

32. This is a little awkward

From: Episode 10

While Daniel probably loved seeing a picture of himself on display this big, it’s a little strange that the tournament had a poster printed of a moment from over three decades ago.

33. The yellow and black attack

From: Episode 10

If Cobra Kai is going to fight in a tournament, they’re going to look good doing it. The classic sleeveless black and yellow gi makes its return in this episode and have the new class of Cobra Kai looking sharp.

34: Is he stealing Daniel’s move?

From: Episode 10

Having the tournament start with the move that ended it in the movie is a really fun choice. Having star Cobra Kai student Miguel using it to taunt Daniel is even better. It’s good to know the Crane Kick is still pretty devastating.

35. Hawk takes things too far

From: Episode 10

Just like Bobby in The Karate Kid, Hawk ultimately adheres to Cobra Kai’s rule of showing no mercy and gets himself disqualified while attacking his opponent. Unlike Bobby in the movie, though, Hawk is thoroughly satisfied with his actions.

36. Kreese is always watching

From: Episode 10

Before the final fight between Miguel and Robby, Johnny is at odds with himself. After all, his star student is about to fight his son. Walking the hallways of the sports arena and seeing his old sensei’s photo on the wall certainly doesn’t help matters, though it does give Johnny a glimpse at who he’s turning into.

37. That trick doesn’t always work

From: Episode 10

While Miyagi was able to cure what was ailing Daniel with the heat from rubbing his hands together, Daniel clearly does not have the same talent. However, he does know how to call for a medic.

38. The students have become the teachers

From: Episode 10

It’s Daniel vs. Johnny at the All-Valley one more time. However, now they’re the senseis and not the students. Daniel is right when he says this will never be over.

39. It looks all too similar

From: Episode 10

The final fight is Cobra Kai vs. Miyagi-Do. Nothing has changed (except for the color of the mats). Even the scoreboard is the same.

40. The new Crane Kick

From: Episode 10

Since Miguel already unleashed a Crane Kick, Robby decided to up his game. Miyagi-Do is nothing if not creative when it comes to an attack. Daniel certainly couldn’t pull this off.

41. Sweep the… shoulder?

From: Episode 10

Just like when Johnny swept Daniel’s leg, Miguel targeted Robby’s injured shoulder to get an advantage over his competition.

42. This looks wrong

From: Episode 10

In the end, the result wasn’t what The Karate Kid prepared audiences for. Cobra Kai’s ruthless ways won the trophy, leaving Robby defeated and Miguel and his crew standing tall.

43. Wait, isn’t he dead?

From: Episode 10

Johnny clearly said that John Kreese was dead earlier in the season. That’s simply not the case, though. In the final moments of the Season 1 finale, the former Cobra Kai sensei makes his grand return, puffing on a cigar and telling his student that the story is just beginning.

from GameSpot https://www.gamespot.com/gallery/each-time-cobra-kai-paid-tribute-to-the-karate-kid/2900-1999/

6 Ways Krypton Tears Superman Canon Apart

How Krypton is freeing itself from decades of Superman mythology

The arrival of Krypton on Syfy comes at a time when comic book TV is redefining classic superheroes that have been the focus of attention for almost a century. Whether it’s the way Gotham is tackling the Batman mythos or the continuously growing universe of heroes on Arrow and The Flash, it’s anything but business as usual for DC comics on TV.

That’s what makes Krypton so interesting. While it tells the story of Superman’s family and his home planet, it’s set generations before the Man of Steel is even born. While it may sound like that makes for a boring story given fans know Superman’s story goes, this is a show that’s not really concerning itself with comic book canon thanks to the arrival of a time-traveling Adam Strange (Shaun Sipos).

GameSpot spoke with the cast of Krypton during a group interview to discuss the ways it deviates from Superman’s typical canon and what it means for the future of the series. Make sure you give Krypton a shot when it airs Wednesdays at 10 PM ET on Syfy.

For even more on Krypton, Comicbook.com talked to star Colin Salmon about his inspirations for the iconic villain Zod, and how he was influenced by Michael Shannon’s depiction of the character in Man of Steel.

1. Adam Strange’s time travel changes everything

The very notion of somebody coming back in time from the modern day is bound to make you think it will completely alter the timeline. With Adam Strange, that is absolutely the case.

“The second Adam Strange comes back into time,” star Cameron Cuffe (Seg) says. “The timeline is irrevocably changed. Things could change and things do change.” Executive producer Cam Welsh agrees, explaining, “I think because now that Adam Strange has traveled back in time, the timeline that we know from canon has now changed. That’s really what’s built into the premise of the show is can you rewrite history, and what are the dangers that can come out of that.”

2. Adam also provides Seg with a link to future generations of the House of El

Thanks to Adam’s arrival, it provides evidence to Seg of his family’s future, which will no doubt shape how he views his own fate. “[Adam has] been there, he’s been to the future, he’s from the future. He knows Clark, he’s met Clark,” Cuffe says. “Clark is his friend. Having this guy on Seg’s side, it makes him listen and it plays into the ideas that Seg does hold deep down, but [that] feel very far removed from who he is.”

3. The Zod family may not be so bad after all

The introduction of Lyta-Zod (Georgina Campbell) as a love interest to Seg was an interesting choice, given the bad blood between the Houses of El and Zod by the time Superman is born. As Campbell explains, though, Lyta is really nothing like the infamous General Zod–at least not yet.

“I think like all young people she has that idea that she wants to change things, and she wants to be different, and she wants to rebel against her parents,” she says. “And she’s very emotional, as you are when you’re young, and she’s in her first love and all that sort of thing. So I think it’s quite interesting over the series looking at how that develops and how things change. And also that question of, as you get older, do those things start to fall away?”

4. In fact, could the House of Zod be the source of morality Seg is lacking?

Tyrannical, Lyta is not. She’s merely a young woman trying to do what’s right in the world–something Seg could learn a thing of two about. “She’s a way more moral character than Seg is,” Cuffe admits. “She in many ways is Seg’s moral core, and he learns so much from her.”

5. The wild card that is Nyssa Vex

While Superman fans have met the ancestors of a lot of these characters before, there is one piece of the puzzle that is a total mystery, and her name is Nyssa-Vex (Wallis Day). She’s a mysterious character who could swing toward good or evil. However, her family has no notable place in Superman canon. Though, perhaps, that’s going to change due to Adam Strange altering the timeline.

As Day tells GameSpot, her character does have a motive and it’s one that will be revealed sooner than later. “As time goes on yes definitely she definitely does lean one way and again at the end, we’re not quite sure if that was genuine, we don’t know but I can tell you for sure in this season she definitely does lean towards one side,” the actress teases.

6. There are no heroes and villains

The comic book history of Superman is filled with absolutes–there is good and there is evil. Superman is unabashedly good as he works to save the world from the likes of Lex Luthor, General Zod, or any other forms of ultimate villainy that come his way. Krypton is a different story.

Instead of dealing with good vs. evil, it operates somewhere in between. “There are no goodies and baddies. No one in this show is putting on a costume and fighting crime. There is no freak of the week,” Cuffe says. “Everything is changed at the end of every episode. The status quo changes, the relationships change, there are consequences to every action, so even when you win, it’s at a cost. Also, there are wonderful shades of gray. We have no villains on the show, there are no heroes on the show, everyone believes they are doing the right thing.”

That’s how you wind up with Superman’s ancestor being a conman or the House of Zod having the moral high ground. It’s taking what fans recognize as the norm and turning it on its head, constantly shifting alliances.

from GameSpot https://www.gamespot.com/gallery/6-ways-krypton-tears-superman-canon-apart/2900-1939/

Video: A practical guide to porting your indie game to consoles

At GDC 2018 PlayEveryWare’s Thomas O’Connor shines a light on the technical and administrative work that goes into getting a console game out the door. …

from Gamasutra News http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/318727/Video_A_practical_guide_to_porting_your_indie_game_to_consoles.php

Solo To Have Worst Opening For A Star Wars Movie In A While But May Still Set A Record

Solo: A Star Wars Story, opens in theatres this weekend, and it’s expected to make a mountain of money over its first weekend in the US and Canada–but not as much as the three Star Wars movies that came before it. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Solo is tracking to make between $130 million and $150 million over the upcoming four-day Memorial Day weekend. The current Memorial Day weekend record-holder is Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, which made $139.8 million over the four-day long weekend in 2007.

Solo is the first of the new Star Wars movies that releases in the summer, and it comes just five months after Star Wars: The Last Jedi came to theatres in December 2017. The first of the new films, The Force Awakens, came out in December 2015, with Rogue One following a year later before The Last Jedi premiered a year after that.

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Solo is the first of the new films to not open in December, and the first to come less than a year before the previous instalment. It also could be the worst-performing of the four new movies, unless it comes in well ahead of projections. Rogue One is currently the lowest, having made $155.1 million for its opening weekend in December 2016.

The Force Awakens, which benefited massively from being the first new entry in the series in over a decade, holds the opening-weekend Star Wars record with $248 million, while The Last Jedi made $220 million for its opening weekend last year.

The Han Solo standalone movie is launching around the world this week, in markets including China. With all countries accounted for, the film is expected to make more than $300 million worldwide for its opening weekend.

All three of the new Star Wars movies went on to make more than $1 billion during their theatrical runs, so it will be interesting to see how Solo fares in the long run.

For more on Solo, check out GameSpot’s review and what other critics are saying. You can also check out GameSpot’s other recent features through the links below.

from GameSpot https://www.gamespot.com/articles/solo-to-have-worst-opening-for-a-star-wars-movie-i/1100-6459164/

PUBG’s New Map, Miramar, Launches On Xbox One Tomorrow

After weeks of testing, Miramar is finally set to launch for the Xbox One version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The new map will be added to the live game tomorrow, May 24, and it will arrive as part of PUBG’s May update alongside some stability and optimization improvements.

Miramar rolls out for all Xbox One players at 12 AM PT / 3 AM ET / 8 AM BST. It’s the second map to be added to the console version of PUBG, following Erangel. In contrast to the lush greenery of the original map, Miramar is set in the desert and features arid locales likes mountains and villages to explore and fight in.

Miramar released for the PC version of PUBG several months ago, but Xbox One owners got their first chance to try the map out in April, when developer PUBG Corp. held the first of several Miramar tests on the console. The desert map was also recently added to the mobile version of PUBG.

No Caption Provided

Miramar arrives alongside a couple of new vehicles, such as the six-seater mini-bus and the off-road pickup truck, both of which will only appear on the desert map. Players will also be able to find an assortment of new weapons on Miramar, including the R45, Win 94, and sawed-off shotgun.

“The PUBG Xbox team has been constantly monitoring and reviewing your feedback from both the live servers and PTS,” PUBG Corp. said. In addition to the new map, the studio is adding a “highly predictive-based loading system” in order to further improve the game’s performance on Xbox One. You can find the full patch notes for the May update on the official PUBG website.

from GameSpot https://www.gamespot.com/articles/pubgs-new-map-miramar-launches-on-xbox-one-tomorro/1100-6459163/