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EA Announces Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, a VR Experience

Respawn Entertainment, a studio of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), and Oculus from Facebook today announced during Facebook Connect that the highly-anticipated upcoming Virtual Reality (VR) title, Medal of Honor : Above and Beyond will release on December 11, 2020, worldwide. This new innovative and immersive title blends films and games into one, and will be available on the Oculus Store for Oculus Rift and Steam with OpenVR support and cross-platform play.

"The Medal of Honor franchise has always been a powerful series that tells the untold stories of war heroes, and from the beginning of this series in 1999, our goal has been to create grounded and emotionally authentic games that are true to the experiences of people that fought and lived through it," said Peter Hirschmann, Director, Respawn Entertainment. "We're honored to share these moving first-hand stories from survivors and veterans of WWII and deliver an immersive VR gameplay experience that provides high-flying action and emotional, intimate storytelling in equal measure."

Can I Interest You in Single Player Experiences? Respawn's Jedi: Fallen Order is EA's Fastest-Selling Star Wars Game Ever

There has always been something to be said about single-player experiences - most players just seem to prefer a strong single-player game to full-on multiplayer games. EA, LucasArts and Respawn Entertainment have now come out of the woodwork regarding the latest Star Wars release in the form of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen order, and it seems the game is shipping in no small amounts worldwide. The partners announced that this game has cemented itself as the fastest-selling digital launch for a Star Wars game in its first two weeks. And concurrently, EA has said this is the fastest selling PC-game for the company (in all distribution formats) in these same two weeks.

Of course, one needs to remember that fastest, highest-selling doesn't automatically make the game the most grossing Star Wars release. It's likely that Star Wars games with a more multiplayer-focused DNA (such as Battlefront I and Battlefront II from DICE) will gross more in their lifetime than Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order ever will. That said, it goes to show what an original storytelling experience set in a beloved franchise can achieve. Read on after the break for the comments from all developing parties.

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order System Requirements Outed

The upcoming single-player Star Wars Jedi: Fallen order will be a tall calling for Respawn. Few franchises are as loved as Star Wars, and this one will definitely leave a mark in the company's legacy. It's unlikely EA will "pull an EA" on the studio even if it flops, though: Apex Legends remains an incredibly successful release form Respawn Entertainment, and it should be enough to hold EA's reins - at least for a while.

The system requirements for the highly-awaited, story-driven single-player game have been outed, and they're in the usual side of things. Minimum requirements call for an AMD FX-6100 or an Intel Core i3-3220, paired with 8 GB of RAM and an AMD Radeon HD 7750 or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 - alongside 65 GB of storage. The recommended specs are relatively standard as well, and nothing to throw users in an upgrade fit... We're looking at an AMD AMD Ryzen 7 1700 or an Intel i7-6700K, 16 GB of system RAM, An AMD RX Vega 56 or NVIDIA GTX 1070 graphics cards. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order drops on November 15th.

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.

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.

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 Acquires Titanfall, Titanfall 2 Developer Respawn Entertainment for $455M

Publisher EA has just announced that they are acquiring Titanfall and Titanfall 2 development studio Respawn Entertainment. The deal, which includes cash, equity, and performance milestone payments valued at $455M, will add one more studio to the publisher's wing, just weeks after EA announced the shuttering of Visceral Studios and the end of its single-player, linear, story-driven Star Wars game. EA fought for this acquisition, outbidding South Korean publisher Nexon, who also had their eyes on Respawn.

"We've had success as an independent company but as we look to how we want to compete in the future, and the challenges that face us in a rapidly changing landscape, now is the time for us to combine forces with a global industry leader like EA," said Vince Zampella, Respawn Entertainment's CEO in a blog post on Respawn's website. "EA will provide us with more resources, access to new technologies, and expertise that we can tap into to that will help us make better games, and Respawn will retain the same creative freedom and culture we've always had," he added. "We've been talking closely with the leadership at EA and we share their values and vision for the future of being a developer-focused company that puts the players first."
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