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Fortnite: Twenty million people watched 'The Device' detonate – Sky News

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More than 20 million people tuned in to watch the latest event in multiplayer game Fortnite, according to developer Epic Games.

Fortnite is a battle royale game which pits up to 100 players against each other in a fight to be the last combatant standing on a shrinking virtual map.

The event on Monday night saw key elements of this map transformed, ahead of the launch of a new competitive season on Monday.

Image:
The Fortnite map was previously replaced with a giant black hole

Last October, fans were puzzled when the Fortnite map was replaced with a giant black hole prompting Elon Musk to joke he had bought the game and deleted it.

On Monday evening, players who were in the game saw an object known as The Device activated.

The event saw the mysterious electrical storm which encroaches on the island map during the course of the game transformed into water, while The Agency, a prominent building on the game island map, was destroyed.

There were cut-scenes throughout the event which indicated a deeper story beneath the game, and a quick glimpse of the map revealed the island now appeared to be beneath a sea.

More from Fortnite

Epic Games said that 12 million players had watched the event in-game while more than eight million others tuned in on YouTube and games streaming platform Twitch.

It had delayed the event following the killing of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests.



8 minutes and 46 seconds: The Killing of George Floyd looks at how a black man died during his arrest by a white police officer in Minneapolis and the impact on global race relations.




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“Recent events are a heavy reminder of ongoing injustices in society, from the denial of basic human rights to the impact of racism both overt and subtle against people of colour,” the company said.

“We’re acutely aware of the pain our friends, families, team members, players, and communities are experiencing.

“We believe in equality and justice, diversity and inclusion, and that these fundamentals are above politics.

“The team is eager to move Fortnite forward, but we need to balance the Season 3 launch with time for the team to focus on themselves, their families, and their communities.”

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Ubisoft Forward Stream: Watch Today's Ubisoft Event Live – GameSpot

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The Ubisoft Forward livestream went live on July 12. There was be a pre-show one hour before the main event, tons of reveals for titles like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion, free giveaways during the presentation, and more. Despite the ongoing abuse allegations–read more about that below–the publisher did not address them during today’s pre-recorded show. Here’s what was shown during the presentation.

Ubisoft Forward: How To Watch

Ubisoft Forward starts today, July 12 at 12 PM PT / 3 PM ET, with a pre-show happening an hour before. Check the image below to see the exact start time in your respective region. You can watch the event live here in this post, complete with a post-show offering thoughts on what’s shown.

You can watch Ubisoft Forward right here or on Ubisoft’s official Mixer, Twitch, and YouTube channels. The broadcast is incredibly accessible this year; Ubisoft Forward has subtitles for a variety of languages and is available with American Sign Language on the official Ubisoft Forward website.

Ubisoft Game Announcements And News

Just Dance 2020

Just Dance 2020 was the first game shown during the pre-show presentation, and it mentioned that six new songs were coming to the game and that a tournament mode was on the way. This Virtual Paradise content is out July 23.

Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet

Ubisoft gave a brief look at a playable sandbox that was used for the Apple TV+ show Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet. The team at Ubisoft Red Storm initially made a fake game for the show, but ended up making the content actually functional.

The Crew 2

Ubisoft Ivory Tower gave an update on The Crew 2 during the pre-show. The Summer in Hollywood update recently went live, and it will include special additions like The Beach and Neon Battle over the next few weeks. There are also special modded events arriving in August.

The Division 2

An Easter egg of sorts is available in The Division 2, as revealed during the pre-show. The game’s rubber ducks were acknoweldged, as they were initially put in the game to remind a designer to finish something while the game was in development. It adds some hope into a world that is on the brink of collapse.

Trials Rising

Ubisoft revealed a surprise for Trials Rising. An endurance challenge has arrived in the game: the Gigatrack. A fan-favorite, the enormous track is the biggest ever put in any of the series’ games and is sure to test your skills and anger your friends in multiplayer sessions. It’s free on July 16.

Ghost Recon Breakpoint

Ubisoft detailed upcoming additions and changes to Ghost Recon Breakpoint. These changes come in the wake of poor reviews for the game last year as well as disappointing sales figures. AI teammates are finally coming to the game on July 15. They are fully customizable, including physical features, gear, weapons, and costumes. They will follow your lead if you go stealthily, and there are four orders you can give.

Watch Dogs: Legion

Ubisoft Toronto’s extremely ambitious Watch Dogs: Legion, which features the ability to play as any character in the game, was showcased during the presentation. It showed how the different characters’ unique abilities will change gameplay, and how they can fit seamlessly into the very political story’s cutscenes. The game, initially due for release in March, will now launch on October 29, 2020 for Xbox One, PS4, Stadia, and PC, as well as Uplay+. When Xbox Series X and PS5 launch, it will be on those systems, too, and will be a free upgrade.

Brawlhalla

The fighting game Brawlhalla is coming to iOS and Android devices in just a few weeks. These versions will feature customizable controls, as well as cross-play with all other platforms. They launch August 6 and feature more than 50 fighters. Players can pre-register now and unlock a free skin at launch.

Mobile Showcase

Ubisoft dedicated a segment to its mobile games during the show, including Might & Magic: Era of Chaos, which features exclusive rewards. Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad was also featured in a trailer, and it gave us a brief glimpse of Sam Fisher alongside other Clancy heroes.

Hyper Scape

Hyper Scape was only just announced this month and immediately launched into closed testing on PC. However, it is now in open beta and though a final release date is not available, the game is scheduled to arrive this summer to PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

Assassins’ Creed Valhalla

Ubisoft fully unveiled Assassin’s Creed Valhalla during the presentation, showing off gameplay and confirmed a November 17 release date that had leaked earlier. The game is planned for launch on Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, PC, and Stadia, though only current-gen platforms have confirmed release dates as the next-gen consoles’ own release dates have yet to be revealed. The game’s narrative director Darby McDevitt shared plenty of insights with us in a recent interview.

Far Cry 6

Ubisoft confirmed Far Cry 6 and actor Giancarlo Esposito’s involvement a few days prior to its presentation because of leaks, and it presented a full trailer for the game during Ubisoft Forward. The game features the return of a fully voiced protagonist who can be either a man or woman. It’s set to release on February 21 2020 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X, PS4, PS5, and PC. Here’s everything we know about the game so far.

Among the games that will be discussed during Ubisoft Forward, the studio confirmed that some very specific news will be revealed. The long-awaited AI Squadmates update for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint will finally be talked about, as well as a deep-dive into The Division 2 easter eggs, additional Just Dance 2020 news, and more. Currently, it’s unclear if previously-announced titles–Gods & Monsters, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Roller Champions, and others–will appear. However, Ubisoft did say “a few other surprises” will be unveiled.

Get Watch Dogs 2 On PC For Free

Ubisoft has also confirmed that you can get a free copy of Watch Dogs 2 during Ubisoft Forward. All you have to do is login to your Uplay account after the Trackmania playthrough and before the show ends to claim Watch Dogs 2 on PC, but Ubisoft has added it will still be free if you failed to log in. There will also be additional rewards you can earn during the livestream by participating in trivia questions. Answering them correctly will net you various in-game items across some of Ubisoft’s games, though the studio didn’t specify which games exactly.

Embroiled In Controversy

Despite Ubisoft Forward–which was announced in response to the cancellation of E3 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic–continuing as planned, the studio has been hit with an assortment of allegations in recent weeks. AC Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail stepped down following infidelity allegations, company executive Maxime Beland resigned after being accused of abuse and assault, and other reported employees have been suspended in the wake of rising allegations. It’s unclear if product and brand marketing manager Andrien Gbinigie, who was accused of sexual assault, still works at Ubisoft Toronto, the studio currently finishing up Watch Dogs: Legion.

As a result of the recent allegations against a number of Ubisoft employees at all levels of the company, studio founder and CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed a “structural shift” is coming. Guillemot outlined a series of steps Ubisoft intends to implement in the wake of the company’s #MeToo moment, from appointing a “Head of Workplace Culture” to establishing a diversity board that will review and improve the company’s policies and procedures. One day before the presentation, several high-level Ubisoft employees left their positions or the company altogether, including chief creative officer Serge Hascoet, head of Canadian studios Yannis Mallat, and global head of HR Cecile Cornet. However, it has since confirmed that Cornet has not left Ubisoft entirely.

GameSpot has officially kicked off Play For All–a celebration of all things gaming. Join us as we bring you the summer’s hottest news, previews, interviews, features, and videos, as well as raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts and Black Lives Matter with the help of our friends from around the gaming world. Check out the Play For All schedule for more.

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Far Cry 6 announced at Ubisoft Forward, launches next year – GamesIndustry.biz

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Ubisoft’s single newly announced title at its Ubisoft Forward presentation today was Far Cry 6, which was shown along with a cinematic trailer and a release date of February 18, 2021.

The game is planned for release across both current and next-generation systems, on Xbox and PlayStation as well as Google Stadia, and the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft Store on PC. It will also be a part of the Uplay+ subscription service.

Other titles shown during the showcase included Watch Dogs: Legion and Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, which received release dates of October 29, 2020 and November 17, 2020, respectively.

Both games will feature smart delivery on Xbox systems — meaning users who purchase the game on either Xbox Series X or Xbox One will be able to play it on both systems without purchasing a second time.

Additionally, Brawlhalla received an iOS and Android release date of August 6, and Ubisoft’s free-to-play battle royale Hyper Scape is now out in a free PC open beta.

The presentation closed with the news that another Ubisoft Forward event would be coming later this year with more announcements.

Ubisoft Forward took place today as a stand-in for the publisher’s usual E3 presentation, coming on the heels of a wave of abuse allegations against a number of company employees all the way up to top executives.

The company has since announced a plan to restructure its editorial team in response to allegations, and has placed some executives on leave while others have stepped down.

Ubisoft acknowledged this morning that its presentation took place during a time of “big internal change,” stating in advance that it would not be addressing these issues during its pre-recorded Ubisoft Forward showcase.

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Senior staff leave gaming firm Ubisoft in harassment probe – Japan Today

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Gaming company Ubisoft’s second most powerful executive is among senior staff to have left the firm as it pursues an internal investigation into sexual harassment allegations, it said Sunday.

Last month the French company, one of the world’s largest video game publishers whose portfolio includes Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, launched a probe after allegations of sexual misconduct were shared online.

Serge Hascoet, chief creative officer and the company’s second-in-command, has now resigned along with human resources director Cecile Cornet, Ubisoft said in a statement.

“Ubisoft has fallen short in its obligation to guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace environment for its employees,” said CEO and co-founder Yves Guillemot.

“This is unacceptable, as toxic behaviors are in direct contrast to values on which I have never compromised — and never will,” he said.

Guillemot will take over Hascoet’s role temporarily as he oversees a staffing overhaul, the statement said.

The managing director of the company’s Canadian branch, Yannis Mallat, also stepped down.

“The recent allegations that have come to light in Canada against multiple employees make it impossible for him (Mallat) to continue in this position,” the company said.

The announcement follows the departures of another two top executives earlier in July, after current and former employees used social media to denounce predatory behavior by managers.

Ubisoft, which counts 18,000 employees worldwide, is the latest video game company to face sexual harassment allegations.

The global game industry has been dogged by criticism over its treatment of women in both games and real life.

This was encapsulated in the so-called “gamergate” controversy in the United States in 2014, which saw critics of the way women were depicted in games receive death and rape threats, prompting calls to reform the industry’s culture.

The allegations made against Ubisoft on Twitter last month accused managers in the company’s Toronto and Montreal studios of sexual misconduct, and denounced an allegedly toxic work environment for women.

Accusations also targeted managers in Brazil, Bulgaria and the United States, with some of the alleged incidents going back years.

Some named the alleged perpetrators, and many accused the company of failing to respond to staff complaints and even promoting those accused of wrongdoing.

“I am a former employee and they swept every claim of sexual harassment under the rug,” read one tweet.

Alleged incidents include a creative director licking the face of a female co-worker during an office party, and a manager demanding oral sex from a colleague.

“Moving forward, as we collectively embark on a path leading to a better Ubisoft, it is my expectation that leaders across the company manage their teams with the utmost respect,” Guillemot said on Sunday.

© 2020 AFP

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