Destiny 2 reaches new concurrent player high with Lightfall release – Game Developer
With its newly released Lightfall expansion, Bungie’s Destiny 2 has reached its highest Steam player count in years.
According to SteamDB, the sci-fi shooter is currently at nearly 316,000 concurrent players. It’s a new all-time high for the game, whose previous concurrent player count was as high as almost 290,000 with the release of 2022’s The Witch Queen expansion.
For big online games like Destiny 2 or Apex Legends, new expansions or new seasons tend to juice up the player count. Either old players who fell off are drawn back in, or newcomers are enticed to see what all the fuss is about.
The statistics don’t cover PlayStation or Xbox players, obviously, but it’s clear that Bungie’s shooter is making waves. Like previous expansions, Lightfall has a new location and new events to partake in, but it has the added bonus of giving players a new elemental power—something Witch Queen didn’t have when it released last year.
New Destiny 2 Events
A new Destiny 2 expansion also means a new series of seasonal events. So if players don’t want to spend $40 to play the big expansion, they can just spend $10 to play seasonal story for the next three months.
Outside of the new Strand power, Bungie has also repeatedly been emphasizing Lightfall’s importance as the penultimate chapter of the narrative that it began with the original Destiny in 2014.
Absolutely BROKEN Necromancer Gameplay – Diablo 4 Beta – IGN
Counter-Strike 2 may immediately end matches with cheaters – GamesHub
Counter-Strike 2 (CS2), the next evolution of Valve’s, long-running, ever-popular, and lucrative tactical first-person shooting game was revealed in mid-March 2023. But beyond several visual improvements and refinements to the high-stakes game, it appears as if the company is taking the opportunity to implement far stricter measures to counteract cheaters, who utilise third-party tools to gain an unfair advantage.
As spotted by Twitter user Aquarius and reported on by PC Gamer, a line in the source code of CS2 has indicated a new feature that will immediately cancel an in-progress match of Counter-Strike 2 if a player is detected using cheating tools.
The code, which appears to outline the conditions for certain notifications to pop up in-game, includes the phrases ‘Cheater Detected’ and ‘This match has been cancelled by VAC Live’.
‘VAC’ in this instance, of course, is an abbreviation for Valve Anti-Cheat, the company’s proprietary cheat monitoring solution. VAC was first introduced with Counter-Strike in 2002.
As PC Gamer astutely notes, this appears to be Valve taking a page out CS2’s closest competitor at the moment, Valorant, developed by Riot Games. Riot’s anti-cheat measures have included match cancellations since the game’s launch.
Counter-Strike has always been a game with high stakes, requiring exceptional levels of player investment and focus to succeed. Having your multiplayer experience ruined by a lopsided, unfair match can be incredibly demoralising, especially if you’re stuck in it for some time before you can move on. If Valve’s new anti-cheat measures do go ahead, it can only be a positive thing.
Don’t cheat in multiplayer games. That’s a loser move.
Counter-Strike 2 will launch on PC sometime in mid-2023.
Microsoft Ends $1 Xbox Game Pass Offer For First Month of Use – Kotaku
Microsoft’s long-running introductory offer for its Xbox Game Pass subscription platform, which let users try the service out for $1 for the first month before moving onto more expensive payments, has finally come to a close.
As The Verge report, the deal—which applied to both Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and the PC Game Pass—has recently been pulled, with a Microsoft spokesperson saying “We have stopped our previous introductory offer for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass and are evaluating different marketing promotions for new members in the future”.
What those “different marketing promotions” could be is anyone’s guess, though given the whole point of the $1 deal was get new users on the hook, a natural successor could easily be the Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family scheme, which while still unavailable in the US has been tested in a number of international markets since late 2022.
Anyone signed up for Game Pass will see months from existing subscriptions converted into partial months on the sharing plan. If you’re currently signed up for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, every remaining month will turn into 18 days of Game Pass Friends and Family. Those signed up for the piecemeal tiers will see their subscriptions convert into 12 days of Game Pass Friends and Family.
There are some limitations, however. If you’re the account holder, you can only have four additional people on an account at any given time, and can only share with eight unique accounts over the course of a calendar year. And it’s region-locked: The primary account holder can only add members who live in the same country or region.
While that’s not a 1:1 replacement for the $1 offer, which was just a good deal for anyone, it does mean folks recommending Xbox Game Pass to friends or family would have a pretty easy way to get them onboard via their own account.
It sucks to see the $1 deal go away, since I’m sure many/most of you took advantage of it, but if you weren’t ready for the time Xbox decided to start doing stuff like this, you have not been paying enough attention to TV and sports over the last five years.
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Commercial real estate is in trouble. Why you should be paying attention – CNN
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