Australian Gaming News Digest for 27 November 2017

Matt Sayer 27 November 2017 NEWS


All the day's biggest news in one easily-digestible roundup.


The Forza Horizon studio is working on an open-world RPG

How do you follow up the magnificent bush-bashing of the Down Under racer Forza Horizon 3? Why, by hiring the talented developers who worked on Metal Gear Solid V, Hellblade and GTA V to help you create an open-world action RPG of course. That's the plan for Playground Games, at least, with the Forza Horizon studio revealing to that it's currently staffing up for its first ever non-racing game.

Over 200 new employees are joining the Playground Games team exclusively to work on this new open-world title, including level designer for GTA V Will Kennedy and Metal Gear Solid alum Sean Eyestone. This fresh blood will leave the existing team free to continue work on what will likely be Forza Horizon 4.

While "open-world action RPG" is the grand total of all we know about this new project, it's already an exciting prospect. Guerrilla Games already proved how refreshing it can be to venture outside your wheelhouse with Horizon: Zero Dawn earlier this year, and given the impressive roster Playground Games is putting together, this definitely seems like something worth keeping an eye on.

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Catch yourself a Farfetch'd in Pokemon GO for the next 48 hours

More than a year on from its release, Pokemon GO remains phenomenally popular around the world, with developer Niantic wrapping up its inaugural Global Catch Challenge over the weekend. Tasking avid Trainers with working together to catch a whopping three billion Pokemon over just seven days, the Global Catch Challenge saw players smash the goal a full day before the deadline.

As a reward, the leek-loving Bird Pokemon Farfetch'd is now cropping up in all regions across the globe. Previously only found in south-east Asia, Farfetch'd will rear its head worldwide for the next 48 hours, so you better get moving if you want to add the quirky fowl to your team.

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Despite Battlefront II backlash, microtransactions are more popular than ever

There's no denying EA dropped the ball hard with its loot box system in the recently-released Star Wars Battlefront II, but if you were hoping the whole kerfuffle might mean the end – or at least a significant step back – for microtransactions in full-priced video games, you're probably going to be left disappointed. According to a new report from market analysis organisation SuperData, revenue from add-on content in PC and console games has grown by 146% since 2012. In contrast, traditional game sales have only risen by 120% which, though impressive, represents a far less appealing strategy for big publishers to follow.

More striking is how certain titles like FIFA 17 are raking in many times their unit sales through microtransactions, with players willing to continue spending well beyond the initial game purchase.

Given the severe response to Battlefront II, EA will probably play it safe with fewer and less hefty real-money payments when it eventually rolls microtransactions back into the game. Nevertheless, it's unlikely that this incident will dissuade publishers from pursuing the microtransaction model into the future. The bottom line is just too tantalising.

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