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What's in a Lootbox? EA Says "Surprise Mechanics, Quite Ethical"

Kerry Hopkins, EA's VP of Legal and Government affairs (and yes, apparently that's an actual position within EA) said before a UK parliament session that loot boxes in video games are surprise mechanics that aren't any different from Kinder eggs or from any other "Surprise!" factor product. AS Hopkins put it, lootboxes are also very fun and very ethical experiences in the way EA has implemented them: "We do think the way that we have implemented these kinds of mechanics - and FIFA of course is our big one, our FIFA Ultimate Team and our packs - is actually quite ethical and quite fun, quite enjoyable to people". Never mind that a government-commissioned study on the matter, "Young People and Gambling 2018 Report" claiming that 450,000 UK kids, aged between 11 and 16, bet regularly.

Hopkins explained further saying that "We do agree with the UK gambling commission, the Australian gambling commission, and many other gambling commissions that they aren't gambling, and we also disagree that there's evidence that shows it leads to gambling. Instead we think it's like many other products that people enjoy in a healthy way, and like the element of surprise." I'm sorry about the meme, but I just had to do it. But I feel tempted to circle back to the job position for VP of Legal and Government Affairs... I mean doesn't that just sound like something an evil company would have?

EA Expands Its Subscription Service to PlayStation 4

Today, Electronic Arts Inc. announced that it is bringing EA Access to the PlayStation 4 (PS4 ) system. Starting this July, players can sign-up for a monthly subscription (MSRP $4.99), or an annual subscription (MSRP $29.99) through PlayStation Store. With the addition of the PlayStation 4 console to the already existing membership services on Xbox One and PC via Origin , EA now offers its subscription services on more platforms than any other publisher.

As we continue to invest in digital and subscription services, bringing great games to even more players across more platforms is an exciting opportunity for everyone," said Matt Bilbey, Executive VP of Strategic Growth. "Our goal is to give players more choice to try and play our games wherever and however they choose, and we're happy to bring EA Access to PlayStation 4."

Waning Popularity: After Peaking, Apex Legends Already Lost 75% of Its Streaming Audience

Apex Legends was somewhat of a sleeper hit, and it was so in many ways. A ninja introduction by EA of the Respawn Entertainment-developed game back in January saw significant interest from the gaming community, who recognized in Respawn the ability to make a great FPS. Taking advantage of the Battle Royale popularity was also a solid move, as was EA's decision to focus marketing efforts not on a long, drawn-out publicity campaign, but instead, on paying renowned Twitch streamers to play and stream their game.

Since gaming (at least when it comes to multiplayer gaming) nowadays has somewhat of a "monkey see, monkey do" dynamic for the general gaming population, this move prompted Apex Legends to the top of the streaming food chain, with a grand total of 40 million hours streamed on its first week alone. Also during its first week, the game achieved a staggering 25 million unique players, doubling that number to 50 million in the first month. However, the cash flow must die out, and as EA stopped paying streamers, so did they move on to other, more proficuous games, such as Fortnite, which has endured the Apex Legends assault in terms of viewers and players. It remains to be seen if EA will double down on the streamer investment it did on the games' launch, or if Respawn Entertainment can churn out meaningful updates and characters that can turn the tide.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is EA's New Single-Player Star Wars Game Releasing Nov, 2019

We knew it was coming, and were patiently waiting for more news on a new IP from Electronic Arts based on the Star Wars license they have.. not made the best use of to date. Handed to developers Respawn Entertainment, who are on a high from Apex Legends and have shown how to create a new IP franchise for single- and mult-player gaming with Titanfall, the new single-player focused game is titled Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Respawn and EA shared more details on the game yesterday as part of the Star Wars celebration event in Chicago, and let us know that the central character is a Jedi padawan, Cal Kestis, who survived Order 66 and the destruction of most of the Jedi order.

Cal Kestis turns to scavenging on the planet Braka while hiding from the Sith empire, in a move that will no doubt draw comparisons to Disney's new numbered film trilogy. With merchandise no doubt a factor, we will also see a new droid companion called BD-1, as seen in the images below. Given the nature of the protagonist being a padawan trainee, there will also be a Jedi knight who will accompany the player as a mentor. Combat will involve strategy, as per Respawn, with the player needing to employ abilities and spatial movement to make the most of the situation. Enemy units will include the Purge Troopers, a melee-focused variant of the Storm Troopers, who have already appeared in the Star Wars Extended Universe before as specialized units dedicated to hunting down survivors of Order 66. EA and Respawn were both quick to reveal this will be a single-player only game with no microtransactions, and the game releases on PC and consoles on November 15, 2019. While we wait for more details, no doubt coming near E3 or closer to debut, here's a reveal trailer to hold you till then.

Electronic Arts Lets Go of 350 Employees Amidst Internal Restructuring

It would be a safe bet to admit that Electronic Arts (EA) has not had the best 12, or even 24, months as a publisher. While their sports division continues to thrive, it may well be the one business unit holding down the fort. Their use of the Star Wars license has been dubious at best when it comes to execution, with reports on cancelled games and Battlefront II (the new one) not meeting expectations. Battlefield V has also not lit the field on fire, unless you are playing the new Firestorm battle royal mode in a literal sense, and the less said about Anthem the better. Apex Legends was introduced to much fanfare at launch, but the recent battle pass has soured many on the future of this new IP.

Perhaps it was a matter of when, rather than if, that the company would find a personnel restructure to be in order, and today just happened to be the day. EA CEO Andrew Wilson helped put out a statement on their website, recognizing a challenging world ahead and that they are "making deliberate moves to better deliver on our commitments, refine our organization and meet the needs" of players. These moves and changes involve letting go of as many as 350 people (out of 9000 total, or around 4%) unfortunately, most of whom are on their publicity and marketing departments, while also toning down their presence in Japan and Russia. We here at TechPowerUp are always saddened to hear such news, and take solace in knowing that EA is helping the laid-off personnel find new employment opportunities.

APEX Legends Hits 50 Million Players in One Month

Respawn Entertainment and EA are both celebrating the first month of Apex Legend's release with a short video, commemorating the fact that some 50 million unique players have already logged in and played the game in some form. Apex Legends, which launched after an uber secretive development over at Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment, was released just last month, managing to become a sleeper hit for EA as it surpassed 10 million unique players and 1 million concurrent players in just three days after release, more than doubling those numbers in the second week of its release. The game is, for all intents and purposes, a hit among gamers, and is sure to be bringing a steady revenue stream to EA's bottom line.

Star Wars Game Jedi: Fallen Order to Be Officially Revealed April 13th

If you've been clamoring, silently or not so silently, for a new story-driven Star Wars game, you're in luck. The Respawn-developed Star Wars game Jedi: Fallen Order is set for a reveal on April 13th. That doesn't mean the game is launching anywhere close to that slice of time, mind you; it's likely EA is just starting up the hype machine for the game, as it usually does. A fall release is expected, nonetheless, which means that Respawn was working in two very disparate game experiences a the same time - this really should speak to that studios' ingenuity.

Respawn has wrapped up their silent, ninja-like development of Apex Legends to a full game release, and is on cruise mode when it comes to the games' support. Provided they keep adding features - and raking in the money from all that hard work in what has quickly become one of the video game hits of recent times - the company's efforts can now certainly be focused solely on the Star Wars story-driven game. The announcement came straight from EA's Star Wars Twitter account, and the reveal is set for the Star Wars Celebration in Chicago. Some tidbits about the games' setting are delivered, such as that you're a "Padawan who survives Order 66" and you explore "the universe in a time after the fall of the Jedi Order". Whether "exploring the universe" is overly enthusiastic jargon for an on-rails experience or code for a somewhat emergent/open world game system remains to be seen, but it's Star Wars. The budget is big, and Respawn has developed great games.

Anthem to Receive Post-Launch Content Updates At Least Until May

Anthem is out in the wilds, and it seems its reception has been mixed - it's definitely not the blockbuster, review-parading title that any developer - and publisher - would like their games to be. Reports peg Anthem's boxed game sales as half that of Bioware's previous Mass Effect: Andromeda - which was, again, half those of Mass Effect 3. Perhaps it's a tale of gamers taking a step back in trust regarding Bioware's ability to deliver, following Andromeda's reception, perhaps it has been superseded in interest by multiplayer-focused games (as we've seen, the industry trend has gone on towards having competitive multiplayer, instead of cooperative multiplayer designs). Whatever the reason, Anthem seems to have been met will a less-than-expected interest when it comes to sales - the opening weekend sales were lower than both Kingdom Hearts 3 and Resident Evil 2. And the PC version of the game has been ill-received by critics and gamers alike, if Metacritic still holds weight in this review-bombing world.

That said, EA is committing to content drops for the game - until May 2019, that is. This in itself sets a mild alarm ringing - this can't possibly represent publisher's investment in the game - three months is a very unimpressive commitment to the longevity of a game universe in the scale of Anthem. So many plans for the game to usher in the "games as a platform" concept of regular content drops, I'd be dumbstruck to find that EA might consider dropping the money bag like this.

Apex Legends the Fastest Growing Battle Royale FPS, with 25 Million Players in Just a Week

"Apex Legends," developed by Respawn Entertainment, and published by EA, has become the fastest growing online battle-royale shooter, with its popularity snowballing to over 25 million players in just the first week since launch. The game made a splash into the crowded online battle-royale genre that's dominated by "Fortnite" and "Player Unknown's Battlegrounds" aka PUBG, among dozens of knockoffs from independent developers. Apex Legends is being appreciated by players for having a polished, well-tested presentation, slick gameplay, reasonable eye-candy, low "pay-to-win" perception among players, good performance on entry-level and mainstream graphics hardware, and offering many of the inventory-management, gameplay, and teamplaying features felt lacking in other titles. The game is free-to-play, distributed through Origin.

EA, Bioware Partner With Oats Studios and Neil Blomkamp to Produce Conviction - An Anthem Story

Neil Blomkamp is one of today's most well-regarded sci-fi filmmakers - and for good reason. While you may know him for his feature-length films (such as the legendary District 9 and the even more legendary, for me, Elysium), he has been making forays into conceptual filmmaking ever since he set up Oats Studios. The goal for Oats Studios was to create cinematographic thought-experiments with a sci-fi twist, and the studios have released a number of great works that you can follow on their YouTube (such as Zygote, Firebase, and Rakka), even going so far as to fully experiment with the power of Unity in the making of some seriously impressive pieces in their Adam series. If you don't know the studio's work yet, do yourself a favor and take a look.

That said, EA and Bioware have clearly picked up on the potential for Oats Studios, and ordered a cinematic, live-action story set on the Anthem universe. Named Conviction, the short serves as a teaser for the games' release, and showcases the impressive world of Anthem being brought to life with real people and settings. I won't dive into much detail here; I've given you the background. Suffice it to say that I am left even more wanting in regards to Neil Blomkamp's canceled Halo project after watching this. I bet you'd love to see something such as this brought to life in more detail and depth than a short three minutes and forty-five seconds allow for.

EA Releases Anthem Launch Trailer... Two Weeks Ahead of Anthem Itself

So, this is kind of a strange, time-traveling move on EA (and Bioware's) part: a launch trailer that jumps the gun on the actual game by almost two weeks. So, granted, it isn't really two weeks - it's a ten-day period between today and Anthem's February 22nd launch. That said, there really are some more days left on the calendar - the launch trailer seems slightly premature.

Perhaps this is EA's way of keeping interest in Anthem and recapturing some of that original hype. With the game's demo being plagued by stability and server issues during the initial period, and the game's demo itself receiving a more lukewarm than not response from critics and the (more outspoken) community, it seems that interest in this Destiny killer has waned in recent times. Which really could be bad news, considering EA's history, and Bioware's last title, Mass Effect: Andromeda's, fate. There's also the possibility that the recent launch of EA's own sleeper-hit Apex Legends - which has recently garnered some 10 million unique players in four days since its inception. Perhaps the thunder is being stolen out of Anthem's feet with a series of unfortunate circumstances - not incidents. It remains to be seen. For now, instead of spelling doom left and right, just watch the small but cool Anthem launch trailer. Let's hope the story holds... For a game with no PvP, let's just hope the story holds.

EA Stocks Dive 13% With Disappointing Battlefield V Sales, Mobile Revenue

EA stocks today have taken a dive of 12.83% (17% at the worst case scenario, with a slight rebound in the meantime), at the moment of writing, compared to their opening hours. The descent, which represents a dip towards a $80.61 valuation per share compared to the $92.52 at the opening market, followed the release of the company's Q3 FY19 Financial Results, caused by lower than expected sales from Battlefield V and lower than expected revenue from EA's mobile efforts. This is capitalism at its finest - the 7.3 million sales of Battlefield V (an impressive number by any metric) fell close to a cool million short of projected sales by this time, and that is enough for the market to correct their expectations.

EA's mobile business saw a YoY fall of 22%, which did little to assuage investors and provide a positive note for the underperforming Battlefield V. It's interesting to note how interesting the markets can be: on the surprise announcement of the new, Respawn-developed Apex Legends, there was no significant change in EA's stock valuation, despite this launch meaning a new, hopefully rich, revenue source for the publisher. Although considering TechPowerUp's overall sentiment regarding that games' launch (not representative of the entire community), it seems that EA won't be banking much on our users.

Electronic Arts Reports Q3 FY19 Financial Results

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced preliminary financial results for its third fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2018. "The video game industry continues to grow through a year of intense competition and transformational change," said CEO Andrew Wilson. "Q3 was a difficult quarter for Electronic Arts and we did not perform to our expectations. We are now applying the strengths of our company to sharpen our execution and focus on delivering great new games and long-term live services for our players. We're very excited about Apex Legends, the upcoming launch of Anthem, and a deep line-up of new experiences that we'll bring to our global communities next fiscal year."

"FIFA stands out as a robust franchise through a tumultuous year in the video game industry," said COO and CFO Blake Jorgensen. "Elsewhere in the business, we're making adjustments to improve execution and we're refocusing R&D. Looking forward, we're delighted to launch Anthem, our new IP, to grow Apex Legends and related Titanfall experiences, to deliver new Plants vs. Zombies and Need for Speed titles, and to add Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order to our sports titles in the fall."

Respawn's New "Apex Legends" Battle Royale Game Sees >1 Million Concurrent Players in First Hours of Launch; No Titanfall 3

The launch of Respawn's Apex Legends must've caught most of the consumer base (and even much of the industry) by surprise. A silent entry into the gaming world, published by EA? Color us all surprised. The new game, which has roots on Respawn's Titanfall IP, is a free-to-play Battle Royale game that does away with Titanfall's mechs in order to sustain up to 60 players in a match, made up of 20 teams of three players. Each "Legend", as in, playable character, has unique powers, strengths and weaknesses, and a number of them have roles that complement each other.

The game was teased and announced in a record 8 hours or so, and that announcement saw the game being subsequently downloaded and played by more than 1 million unique users, all vying for a try of the next battle royale fix. While those are great numbers (the game being a free-to-play affair helped, of course), and while Respawn's Vince Zampella glowed as he shared the news on Twitter, the development of Apex Legends comes with its own piece of sad news: no, there was no Titanfall 3 in development at Respawn. For now, EA is betting hard on Apex Legends as the ongoing work for Respawn (and cash cow for microtransactions), but who knows? Maybe one day, we'll see the game introduce Titanfall's Titans in a world-breaking update. Warframe has certainly done some such metamorphic changes since its inception.

Is a New Jade Empire Game on the Horizon? EA Files for New Trademark

The original Jade Empire was Bioware's first foray into their own imagined IP and universe, and released to wide acclaim as an original Xbox exclusive (and I mean original Xbox, the one that gave us Halo and Azurik and other small and not so small gems). First outed in 2005, the game was later released for PC in 2007 with a Special Edition. Now, EA has filed for a trademark on the game in the "Goods and Services" category, allowing for "Entertainment services, namely, providing an on-line computer game; Provision of information relating to electronic computer games provided via the Internet." The fastest and dirtiest interpretation would be a multiplayer or always-online game, but we have to remember that all games now have a form of digital distribution and/or upkeep via downloadeable updates, so, it could really be as simple as that.

It could also just mean that EA is keeping up with soon-to-be-expiring trademarks so as not to lose their rights to the IP, but still, launch of any game would require the establishment/renewal of such trademarks. We'll have to play the most unavoidable game known to gamers: the waiting one.

Anthem VIP Demo Benchmarked on all GeForce RTX & Vega Cards

Yesterday, EA launched the VIP demo for their highly anticipated title "Anthem". The VIP demo is only accessible to Origin Access subscribers or people who preordered. For the first hours after the demo launch, many players were plagued by servers crashes or "servers are full" messages. Looks like EA didn't anticipate the server load correctly, or the inrush of login attempts revealed a software bug that wasn't apparent with light load.

Things are running much better now, and we had time to run some Anthem benchmarks on a selection of graphics cards, from AMD and NVIDIA. We realized too late that even the Anthem Demo comes with a five activation limit, which gets triggered on every graphics card change. That's why we could only test eight cards so far.. we'll add more when the activations reset.

Official PC Requirements for Bioware's Anthem Revealed

Being a Bioware game, and especially a new IP from the same company that has, in recent times, brought us the Mass Effect and Dragon Age IPs, expectations for Anthem are both high and very, very cautious. No matter how cautious we are, though, not being able to play it in our rigs means we won't even be able to create our own opinion on what is one of the most anticipated titles of 2019. Now, Bioware has revealed the official system requirements for Anthem, and we know what sort of hardware the company thinks is needed for a good experience. As an added Bonus, the developers have also announced that they're working with NVIDIA towards implementing DLSS into the game.

Battlefield V Gets NVIDIA RTX Support Through a Day-Zero Patch

EA-DICE producer for "Battlefield V," Jaqub Ajmal revealed that the studio has released a day-zero patch for the game, which enables the promised NVIDIA RTX technology. NVIDIA used Battlefield V as a tech-demonstrator in its launch event for RTX, an ambitious real-time ray-tracing technology, which works to improve realism by adding real-time ray-traced elements to rasterized scenes. For Battlefield V, this means more realistic reflections, optical effects, and detail for objects and character models.

To play Battlefield V with RTX enabled, you'll need an NVIDIA GeForce RTX (or Quadro RTX) graphics card with GeForce 416.94 WHQL, and Windows 10 October 2018 Update (version 1809). Microsoft resumed rolling out Windows 10 1809 update earlier this week. We are currently testing RTX support on Battlefield V, and will update our recent Battlefield V Performance Analysis article with additional RTX-on data-points.

Battlefield V Launches Early For Origin Access Premier Subscribers, Pre-orders Get Shafted

Battlefield V is now live if you have paid for Electronic Arts' subscription service, giving gamers access to the title a day earlier than expected. At a cost of $14.99 a month or $99.99 for a year, you can take to the battlefield right now. We can only speculate that this was likely done in a bid to please subscribers while also trying to boost subscription sales. After all, it is blatantly obvious that EA's goal is to try and tap into a steady income stream that only a subscription service can provide. Sadly this has resulted in those that pre-ordered getting shafted to some degree. Resulting in a problem that wouldn't exist with a single set launch date.

This highlights the trouble that comes with a staggered release, someone is going to be the odd man out. Consumers that paid for the Digital Deluxe edition still have to wait till November 15th, while buying the base version means your left sitting on the bench until November 20th. That is roughly 1-2 weeks of waiting and will likely create some anger towards EA for how the release has been handled.

Battle Royale Mode Fans, Beware: Battlefield V's Firestorm Won't Be Available Until March 2019

A few weeks ago we learned that Battlefield V would have a battle royale mode called "Firestorm". PUBG and Fornite have made this game mode so popular that several games have tried to take advantage of this feature, and the latest title from EA and DICE won't be an exception. The problem is, that option won't be available at launch, and users will have to wait until March 2019 to enjoy this game feature. The roadmap for additional content has shown how Battlefield V will evolve in the next few months.

This gaming mode has been developed by Criterion Games in partnership with DICE, and 64 players in 16 squads will fight to be the last infantry squad. Before being able to play that mode users will be able to access other DLC such as "The Last Tiger" War Story, "Panzerstorm" (a new tank-focused map) and a new Practice Range mode. Between January and March we will see new content and co-operative modes such as "Combined Arms", and after that "Firestorm" and its Battle Royale mechanics will arrive. General availability for Battlefield V will start on November 20th.

This is the Trailer for Battlefield V War Stories, a Single-Player Mode That Prepares Us For the Fight

Not quite much had been shown for Battlefield V single-player mode, but EA and DICE have finally released the first trailer that allows us to take a sneak peak at the promising "War Stories" missions. The game will not feature a classic single player mode with a long story focused on one character. Instead, it will include four different missions that bring us to different locations and characters. Those will make us familiarize with several scenarios, weapons and vehicles in the game.

The missions take place in locations such as Nordlys, where we will have to resist German occupation in Norway. There's another mission where we will have to sabotage behind enemy lines as an unlikely English soldier. Tiralleur is the third single-player War Story, and will follow the Senegalese units of the French Colonial Forces, while the last mission (available in December) is called The Last Tiger and will make us join the crew of a Tiger I as they question why they fight. Battlefield V is out worldwide November 20 after the announced delay a few weeks ago.

EA Looking Into Remastering Command & Conquer Series of Videogames

The RTS genre on PC has been left a little out in the cold in recent years; there are still some releases here and there, but the genre that was once the king of PC gaming has taken a dive in popularity. One series that was held in great regard by fans was Command & Conquer, which spanned a multitude of games (including a one-off FPS game in the form of Command & Conquer: Renegade) in both the Red Alert, Generals, and Tiberium universes.

No further work on the series occurred after the release of Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight, designed to be the finale for that particular universe. The much-changed gameplay, which incorporated MOBA-style elements and more mobile armies instead of the usual static base-building, threw fans of the series off (not to mention the story). The series has since been relegated to mobile or browser gaming, but the pressure on EA to deliver another RTS game on the C&C universe has been mounting. The first step, according to EA Games' Jim Vessella, is celebrating the series' 25-year Anniversary, on which work is already going - apparently through remasters, since Vessella himself says that "we [EA] have been exploring some exciting ideas regarding remastering the classic PC games." That's not a bad idea, granted, and makes business sense - but we're still expecting a new installment, EA.

Electronic Arts Will Not Remove Loot Boxes from FIFA 18 in Direct Disregard to Belgian Law

Well, well, well. It was only a few days ago that we reported how 2K was being brazen about asking their game players to talk to the Belgian government about keeping loot boxes in their NBA series and turns out Electronic Arts (EA) decided they could do one worse. Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad published a story on how the Belgian Gaming Commission is preparing to take a legal stance against EA for refusing to remove loot boxes from FIFA 18 wherein their game buyers could purchase player packs with real money and not know what they receive in return. As if that was not bad enough, EA has doubled down with FIFA 19 by having the same "feature" again but with an increased roster to further tune the loot box chances against the customer. Andrew Wilson, the CEO of EA, commented that these loot boxes are not gambling as players know exactly how many objects they receive.

As it stands, the Belgian Gaming Commission has sent an official report to EA about their refusal to comply with the act that has been ratified since. The report states that anyone who does not conform will face the risk of legal prosecution, and it is now up to the Brussels public prosecutor's office to decide whether or not they want to charge EA accordingly. EA, meanwhile, is prepared to fight this in court and a judgement here would set a massive precedent to what is allowed in game microtransactions in the future. EA remains the only major game publisher to not make changes as directed, with Valve, Activision Blizzard and 2K, having done so before- albeit begrudgingly in some cases. Loot boxes contributed a major part of EA's annual revenue last year, with some citing online sales to be as much as 67% (which includes other forms of purchases, not just microtransactions). No wonder then that EA would like to keep milking this cow as much as they can, even if that means less milk to everyone else.

DICE to Dial Back Ray-tracing Eye-candy in Battlefield V to Favor Performance

EA-DICE, in an interview with Tom's Hardware, put out some juicy under-the-hood details about the PC release of "Battlefield V." The most prominent of these would be that the commercial release of the game will slightly dial back on the ray-tracing eye-candy we saw at NVIDIA's GeForce RTX launch event demo. DICE is rather conservative about its implementation of ray-tracing, and seems to assure players that the lack of it won't make a tangible difference to the game's production design, and will certainly not affect gameplay (eg: you won't be at a competitive disadvantage just because a squeaky clean car in the middle of a warzone won't reflect an enemy sniper's glint accurately).

"What I think that we will do is take a pass on the levels and see if there is something that sticks out," said Christian Holmquist, technical director at DICE. "Because the materials are not tweaked for ray tracing, but sometimes they may show off something that's too strong or something that was not directly intended. But otherwise we won't change the levels-they'll be as they are. And then we might need to change some parameters in the ray tracing engine itself to maybe tone something down a little bit," he added. Throughout the game's levels and maps, DICE identified objects and elements that could hit framerates hard when ray-tracing is enabled, and "dialed-down" ray-tracing for those assets. For example, a wall located in some level (probably a glass mosaic wall), hit performance too hard, and the developers had to tone down its level of detail.

EA Delays Battlefield V Release by a Full Month - Available on November 20th

Via a blog post on EA's website, Oskar Gabrielson, General Manager of DICE, made it known that Battlefield V would be facing a one month delay, moving its previously-announced October 19th release to November 20th. Gabrielson goes on to say that there are some core gameplay features - "gameplay tempo", "soldier visibility" and "player friction" that have been met with copious amounts of feedback, and that DICE wants to dive into these as it improves the game to "get it right".

Gabrielson ends his take with a promise to "(...) take the time to continue to make some final adjustments to core gameplay, and to ensure we really deliver on the potential of Tides of War", a live service which will replace the previous system of Premium Passes and expansion packs with an "evolving journey" - perhaps something in the like of Destiny's non-expansion content - read, events - updates. Battlefield V is one of the games that will launch with support for NVIDIA's RTX technology, by the way (in Alpha mode at GAMESCOM) - and the game was supposed to drop just a single day before NVIDIA's official September 20th launch for the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti graphics cards.
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