The Beauty and Horror of Live Service Style Games

As a very rapidly growing trend for many games, the Live Service model has already seen a very busy 2019 and we’re only four and a half months into the year so far.

I mean, just on a basic level, look at all of this:

  • Destiny 2 continues to evolve and move forward following Bungie’s surprising split from Activision
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey keeps pumping out post-launch content
  • Borderlands 3 was officially revealed
  • We learned that Anthem’s development was a literal nightmare
  • The Division 2 proved that developers do listen and learn from the past.

While Live Service style games are not the end all be all way to create a game, 2019 has already shown us two examples of the right and wrong way to do it. It’s made me come to realize some key elements that need to be there in order for a game to be successful. Here are some key ingredients that I believe are critical for a chance at success for any live service game.

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The Tragedy of Notre-Dame and The Potential Redemption of Assassin’s Creed Unity

In the past, I’ve typically kept real-world issues off of my blog. I’ve always envisioned Gamer Crash to be a place where we discuss and celebrate video games and the industry they come from. To that end, I never wanted to waver from that.

I have to make an exception for this post, however, because what I’m about to discuss with you is the purest example of something that crosses that very line I’ve set. I also find it massively fascinating and inspiring after the tragedy that occurred earlier this week.

assassins creed unity notre dame

So for those of you who don’t know, the Notre-Dame cathedral, a historic church and iconic landmark in Paris, France caught fire during renovations. The devastating blaze completely collapsed the cathedral’s spire, damaged the interior vault and plenty more. Not to mention the priceless artifacts, artwork, and other treasures lost or damaged. Obviously, heartbreaking stuff.

However, there may be a silver lining from an unexpected source.

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Sunday Video Round Up: April 7 – 13

Another week has come and gone and that means it’s time to dive into the latest videos and trailers from around the gaming industry. So let’s not waste any more time! Here’s a small sampling of the full supply of games below the jump.

Well, friends, I think we’re all well aware that the big story from this week came from Respawn Entertainment as they finally revealed the much anticipated Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order. We also learned that this game goes completely against typical EA games in that it is 100% single player, won’t have loot boxes, and has zero microtransactions. Color me interested!

The other big piece of news came on Friday as NetherRealm finally revealed the one and only MK Princess, Kitana. Boy, did she make a grand entrance. The latest trailer also gave fans a look at D’Vorah, a returning character from MKX and another fan favorite.

I’ve also got new videos for Rage 2, Yoshi’s Crafted World, God of War, and so much more after the break! The full list of videos awaits you after the jump…

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PAX East 2019 Recap: Games and More!

The 10th annual Penny Arcade Expo has come and gone for 2019. Of course, I couldn’t miss the show and while it ultimately wasn’t as exciting as year’s past in terms of big AAA games, there was still a lot to take in. Here’s a recap of everything I saw and played while I was there on Thursday and Sunday.

On Thursday, my main priority was to get into the Gearbox Main Theater Panel. Borderlands 3 was the big draw here, but rumors indicated that they potentially had a number of other game reveals as well. I also had an inkling that Gearbox would be handing out some free stuff based on their track record. While attendees were handed psycho bandit masks and a $5 off coupon for their new Tiny Tina board game, the majority of people there also got codes for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection and the newly released Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition. Score! If you want my thoughts on the rest of the show, check out my post here.

For me, however, PAX is about the games, so most of the day I’m there, you’ll find me on the show floor checking out the latest and greatest. Let’s take a look at everything, shall we?

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Sunday Video Round Up: March 31 – April 6

Another week has come and gone and that means it’s time to dive into the latest videos and trailers from around the gaming industry. So let’s not waste any more time! Here’s a small sampling of the full supply of games below the jump.

Things kicked off earlier this week on April Fools Day, though you won’t be seeing those videos here. If you want a look at what happened, including some of my favorite videos from the Day of Fools, have a look at my recap here.

We’re now only a couple weeks away from Mortal Kombat 11, and like I seemingly say every week, NetherRealm has flooded the internet with even more trailers. This week has multiple character trailers for two of the new roster additions.

I’ve also got new videos for Borderlands 3, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and so much more after the break! The full list of videos awaits you after the jump…

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How To Do An April Fool’s Day Prank Right

I don’t know about any of you but I felt like April Fool’s Day came and went without much fanfare from the gaming industry. This has typically been a day that companies went all out for, announcing some really cool fake (and sometimes true!) content, games or events.

For whatever reason, it just didn’t feel there this year. One of the main contributors, Blizzard, typically puts out 3 or 4 things each year, though for 2019, they had one thing which was kind of uninspired in my opinion. Nintendo made Kirby square, IGN did a fake Nintendo direct, Sega announced a Sonic Battle Royale game, and some other minor gags.

While I typically put together a recap style post following April Fool’s Day, I just felt that this year didn’t warrant one. Instead, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge what Ubisoft and Bethesda decided to do. These are two companies who capitalized on the day to announce some really cool and totally not fake things.

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Now Arriving: Games of April 2019

This isn’t an April Fool’s joke everyone! It’s been a good and busy first few months of 2019 and April is going to deliver even more. As I do every month, we’re taking a closer look at all of the major games coming this month. Make sure to hit the jump to see the full list below.

The biggest name this month comes from NetherRealm Studios and the legendary Mortal Kombat franchise. We’ve been getting new details and trailers for weeks now and it’s finally time to go hands-on with Mortal Kombat 11. Featuring impressive graphics, a mix of new and old characters, and an interesting story that incorporates time travelling, Mortal Kombat 11 is likely going to be the best entry in the long-running series.

Not a fan of the violence and gore? Days Gone, one of Sony’s first-party exclusives for the PlayStation 4, finally launches this month. While this is another open world game with zombies freakers, Bend Studio is infusing the gameplay with a bigger focus on story, which could be a key to help this game stand out from the recent influx of open world games.

Naturally, April has plenty more in store. Some titles include Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition, Final Fantasy X-X2 HD Remaster, and much more. Continue reading for a look at the full April release schedule. Enjoy!

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