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Companies Know Their User Base - Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is the Best Selling Game of 2018

For all the talk regarding money-grabbing feature cutbacks and additions to games, it seems that companies such as Activision know exactly what their customers are looking after in their videogame worlds. Proof of this is that the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops 4, is the best selling videogame of 2018, according to the NPD Group. If you'll remember, this is the first Call of Duty game to totally eschew a single-player mode in favor of a no-holds-barred multiplayer mode, thus betting in replayability and user interaction instead of on the ages-old single-player immersion.

ASUS Intros ROG Swift PG258Q Call of Duty - Black Ops 4 Edition

ASUS today introduced a Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 co-branded variant of its ROG Swift PG258Q gaming monitor. This includes game branding on the front bezel, a Black Ops 4 logo projected below the monitor stand instead of the ASUS ROG logo (customizable), and the monitor's RGB LED embellishments glowing in Black Ops 4 shade of amber. The rest of this 25-inch monitor's feature-set remains unchanged: 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, 240 Hz refresh-rate, a TN-panel, 1 ms (GTG) response time, 350 cd/m² maximum brightness, and support for NVIDIA G-Sync, along with ULMB (ultra low motion blur). Display inputs include DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI. Available now, the ASUS ROG Swift PG258Q Call of Duty - Black Ops 4 Edition is priced at USD $549.

Update: ASUS reached out to us that their product page for this monitor had inaccuracies related to resolution, panel type, and response-time. We have hence corrected them.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 416.34 WHQL Game Ready Drivers

NVIDIA today released GeForce 416.34 WHQL "Game Ready" drivers. These drivers provide optimization for "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" (retail), "Soulcaliber VI," and "GRIP." Among the fixed issues with this release are buggy shadows in "Player Unknown's Battlegrounds," some games launching to a black screen when DSR is enabled, a colorful shimmering line noticed in some games when playing full-screen with G-SYNC enabled, Surround display not being available from NVIDIA Control Panel with Edge browser running, and green screen display corruption on certain games with HDR enabled. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 416.34 WHQL

The change-log follows.

AMD Releases Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.10.1 Beta

AMD has released the Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.10.1 beta drivers. These drivers include support for Microsoft's Windows 10 October 2018 Update as well as optimizations for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Along with improved support, AMD has addressed a number of issues with this latest release. First of which is a fix for the HDMI audio drivers not upgrading during the Radeon Software installation in some circumstances. Random reboots when upgrading from Radeon Software versions older than RSAE 18.8.1 on CPUs with more than 16 cores has also been resolved. In regards to gaming fixes, Fortnite sees lighting corruption when effects quality is set to High or Epic resolved, while Sea of Thieves sees texture flickering in multi-GPU configurations fixed. You can grab the drivers from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 18.10.1 Beta

The change-log follows.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Multiplayer Map List Revealed

Treyarch has revealed more details on what multiplayer maps will be included in the upcoming COD: Black Ops 4. Besides the list below, also included are three Zombie Campaign maps and the "Blackout" map that we've seen in Beta.

As expected, the list of maps is a mix of new and remade maps. In total, 14 maps will be available at launch, with four of them being remakes. The highly popular "Nuketown" map will be added to the game after release, in November.

Call of Duty Black Ops 4 has an FPS Cap after all

Players of the Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Beta certainly remember the 90 FPS cap the game was running at. Back then Treyarch promised that for release the FPS cap will be increased (or lifted).

Now we have final confirmation on what the company's plans are, straight from the developer. For the PC platform, the framerate will be capped to 120 FPS, to keep server load at acceptable levels. Over time this limit will be increased to 144 FPS and possibly removed at a later time, if everything ends up being stable. This is quite surprising as this is the first time we're hearing about FPS rates affecting server load.

ASUS ROG Introduces Limited Edition Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Products

Today, ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG), announced a collaboration with Activision and Intel to produce a range of limited edition Call of Duty : Black Ops 4 products in advance of the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on PC. Expanding on the recently announced partnership, with Activision, which allows consumers who purchase qualifying ASUS and ROG products access to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, similarly, consumers who purchase certain limited edition ROG Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 products will receive a game code that will allow them to access the Digital Standard Edition for PC at launch. In addition, a unique integration with ROG's AURA Sync technology allows the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 emblems and RGB lighting elements to echo what's happening during gameplay.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 399.24 Game Ready Drivers with Fix for Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX

NVIDIA today released GeForce 399.24 WHQL "Game Ready" drivers. These drivers come with optimization for the month's biggest AAA game launch: "Shadow of the Tomb Raider," in addition to "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" - open beta, and "Assetto Corsa Competizione" - early access. There aren't too many issues fixed with this release. Apparently it addresses a performance drop when using NVIDIA cards on a 32-core/64-thread processor, like the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX. It also addresses drivers not correctly installing on machines with ye olde Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 399.24 WHQL

ASUS ROG Announces PC Partnership with Activision for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Today, ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG), announced a partnership with Activision, for the upcoming release of Call of Duty : Black Ops 4 on PC. From September 10th to October 12th, ROG will be the first digital PC game bundling provider of Call of Duty : Back Ops 4. Consumers can gain access to the game by purchasing an eligible ROG product during the promotion period. With a strong dedication to PC gamers, the Call of Duty team and ROG have worked closely on a unique collaboration with their AURA Sync technology across multiple product lines.

"We are beyond thrilled to be partnering with ASUS Republic of Gamers in an unprecedented way for Black Ops 4," said Ander Nickell, Director of Partnerships at Activision. "Our development teams are hard at work making this the best PC Call of Duty game yet. ASUS ROG shares that commitment to the community, so it was a natural fit to bring our brands together to deliver something special to fans."

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 399.07 WHQL Driver

NVIDIA debuted its R399 series of GeForce software, which could be its final sequence before GeForce RTX family of graphics cards are released to market, likely accompanied by a new series of GeForce software (likely R400 series?). Version 399.07 WHQL is "Game Ready" for "Battlefield V Open Beta," F1 2018, "Immortal: Unchained," Pro Evolution Soccer 2019, "Strange Brigade," and "Switchblade." The drivers also add SLI profiles for F1 2018 and "Immortal: Unchained."

GeForce 399.07 WHQL addresses a number of bugs, including blurry screen noticed on "Rainbow Six: Siege" with TAA dialed up to 100%; diagonal screen-tearing on notebooks with MSHybrid; incorrect OpenGL rendering context on GeForce GTX 1050 and GTX 1070; missing textures in "Doom" (2016) with the Vulkan renderer; random BSODs on Oculus VR software; stability issues with "LA Noire VR," and stuttering in some exotic configurations on "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4." A key bug with G-Sync stuttering on machines upgrading to Windows 10 1803 has also been fixed. Grab the driver from the link below.

DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 399.07 WHQL Software

NVIDIA Outs GeForce 398.98 Hotfix to Address "LA Noire VR" Bugs

NVIDIA late Monday rushed out the GeForce 398.98 Hotfix drivers to address glaring bugs with "LA Noire VR." Apparently the game notices crashes and stuttering with the latest GeForce 398.86 Beta drivers. The drivers also fix a stuttering issue noticed on some configurations trying to run "Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Beta." Hotfix releases lack WHQL certification, and are released to correct one or two major bugs that require NVIDIA's immediate attention. Unless you're playing the two games mentioned, you'd rather skip the driver update as the change-log lists no other updates.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 398.98 Hotfix

Activision Blizzard Announces Second-Quarter 2018 Financials - PC Business up by 28%

Activision Blizzard, Inc. today announced second-quarter 2018 results.

"This was another strong quarter for Activision Blizzard. Our portfolio of global franchises enabled us to deliver record first half revenues and earnings per share," said Bobby Kotick, Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard. "This past weekend we held the Overwatch League TM Grand Finals. We had a very successful first season as we enhanced our leadership position in esports. And, today we announced two additional Overwatch League franchise sales at record prices, adding Atlanta, Georgia and Guangzhou, China to our league. We plan to announce additional franchises over the next few months."

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 398.82 "Game Ready" Drivers

NVIDIA today released GeForce 398.82 WHQL drivers. These drivers are game-ready for the week's hottest game releases: "World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth," and "Monster Hunter: World." The drivers also add or update SLI profiles for "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" and "World of Warcraft." The drivers fix color corruption seen on "World of Warcraft: Legion" on machines with G-Sync HDR and Windows HDR mode enabled. The drivers also bring back graphics settings in "Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus," and missing G-Sync Control Panel on machines with G-Sync Surround. Grab the drivers from the link below.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 398.82 WHQL

The change-log follows.

Lose by a Hundred, Lose by a Thousand: Black Ops 4 DLC Locked for Season Pass Buyers

Well, add this one decision by Activision to either a sensible, forward-thinking, profit-maximizing business decision or as another in a death by a thousand cuts scenario for the Call of Duty series. As big a behemoth as the series is, we doubt this will see the end of it; but whatever the side of that particular fence you're on, the decision to lock all eventually-launched DLC content behind a pay-once, get-it-all paywall seems to have struck the wrong cord with gamers and fans of the series.

Activision has announced that all future DLC releases will only be available and launched for Season Pass holders, and won't be able to be purchased in separate packages. There may be various reasons for this decision; one of them is that gamers are paying the development cost for DLC upfront, and thus, Activision knows exactly how much it can stretch the budget in each of the content releases. They can't change the actual release contents - those are set with the Season pass Announcement - but it's almost guaranteed they will scale back in map and asset complexity according to how many Season Pass bundles they sell - and thus, money they make.

NVIDIA Releases GeForce 398.11 WHQL Drivers

NVIDIA today released GeForce 398.11 WHQL software. These drivers come game-ready for "Vampyr" and "Jurassic World: Evolution." The drivers also officially introduce G-SYNC HDR, requiring G-SYNC capable HDR displays. It also adds or improves SLI support for "Warhammer: Vermintide 2." It fixes an issue with "Hitman" in DirectX 12 mode, where the game crashes if the in-game HDR mode is enabled and Windows HDR setting is "off." Also fixed is an issue with "Call of Duty: WWII" in which the center display in 3D Vision Surround setups can go blank.
DOWNLOAD: NVIDIA GeForce 398.11 WHQL

The change-log follows.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Release Date Announced

It's time to soldier up because Black Ops is back! The series which has become the most played in Call of Duty history as well as a cultural phenomenon around the globe returns October 12th with the release of Call of Duty : Black Ops 4, a gritty, grounded, all-out combat experience. Black Ops 4 raises the bar for Multiplayer mode that increases tactical gameplay and player choice, along with the biggest Zombies offering ever with three full experiences at launch, and Blackout, where the Black Ops universe comes to life in a massive battle royale experience featuring iconic characters and locations from all four Black Ops games in a one-of-a-kind offering that is uniquely Black Ops. Published by Activision and developed by award-winning studio Treyarch, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 transforms the established universe played by hundreds of millions of fans with the largest gameplay experience ever created in the series.

"Black Ops 4 gives our community more ways to have fun with their friends than anything Treyarch has ever created and introduces meaningful innovations to every element of the game, including next level tactical team-based multiplayer, the biggest zombies offering yet and Blackout, where the largest map in Call of Duty history brings together the rich universe of Black Ops," said Rob Kostich, EVP and GM, Call of Duty. "More than 200 million players have called Black Ops home, and they've played for more than 15 billion hours. This is an incredible community that has inspired the development team to take their innovative gameplay design to new heights."

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 to Shed Single-Player Campaign; Doubling Down on Zombies, MP

News reported by Polygon paint the next installment in the metronome-like cadence of annual Call of Duty game releases as a much less interesting package than gamers are used to. Citing industry sources, Polygon is reporting that Call of Duty Black Ops 4 is going to shed its single player campaign entirely, citing a lack of development time to deliver it on launch. This is strange for a number of reasons. First, Treyarch, who's helming the games' development this time around, enjoyed a three-years development period to make the game happen; second, there's no need to do anything else than some incremental changes to the game's engine, as has been the case for COD games for years, so that couldn't have taken up much development time; third, using development resources to "just about" finish the games' campaign and then ultimately deciding to scrape it altogether just seems like a very bad business move.

Activision Announces Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Black Ops is back! In what represents a game-changing experience, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will revolutionize the top-selling series in Call of Duty history when it launches worldwide on Friday, October 12 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. Call of Duty fans can tune in Thursday, May 17, when publisher Activision, a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), and award-winning developer Treyarch host the community reveal to a worldwide audience.

First Call of Duty: WWII DLC Pack The Resistance Emerges Today

Players can join the Resistance starting today as Call of Duty: WWII - The Resistance, the first DLC pack for the No. 1 top-selling console video game of 2017 in North America, is out now, available first on PlayStation4. Packed with new multiplayer content, The Resistance DLC pack delivers three new Multiplayer maps and an all-new War Mode multiplayer mission themed to reflect the spirit of the citizen soldiers who fought for freedom during World War II. The DLC pack also features The Darkest Shore, the terrifying new chapter in the twisted Nazi Zombies saga. In addition, this first DLC pack from Call of Duty: WWII, lands during The Resistance community event (January 23 through February 27), a five-week celebration that features new gear, game modes and Supply Drop content available to all players.

In The Resistance DLC pack, players will fight in iconic World War II locations, from Paris to Prague, all centered around historic uprisings in three new Multiplayer maps and an all-new high-octane War Mode map.

Steam Reveals 2017's Top Selling/Highest Grossing Games

Steam has revealed the top selling/highest grossing games on its platform for the year 2017, and with come some surprises, and some non-surprises as well. The distinction between top selling and highest grossing is a needed one, if you look at the top Platinum tier. There are two free-to-play games on it, which really isn't much when you consider that the category itself contains 12 titles. Still, it does go to show how correct monetization of free-to-play games leads to impressive earnings for companies. Joining those two titles are the usual multiplayer galore of titles. The hit phenomenon Player Unknown's Battlegrounds stars in 4th place, behind H1Z1, Grand Theft Auto V, and Rocket League. When it comes to single-player games, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt holds its own on 6th place in the Platinum list, a remarkable feat if one considers the game was originally released in May 2015, and hasn't seen added content for a year now.

Call of Duty: WWII Winter Siege Event Kicks Off Tomorrow

The first seasonal community event for Call of Duty: WWII is here. Running Friday, 8th December, 2017, through Tuesday, 2nd January, 2018, Winter Siege delivers an array of activities and content for free to all Call of Duty: WWII players for a limited time. The Winter Siege features a new, frost-covered Winter Carentan multiplayer map, the return of the Gun Game party mode, Double XP Playlists, a winterised Headquarters with new visiting Quartermaster as well as new Winter Siege Supply Drops delivering new, limited edition winter gear and content to players. Winter Siege is packed to the brim for the Call of Duty: WWII community this holiday season.

"The Winter Siege is all about celebrating with the Call of Duty community," said Aaron Halon, Senior Product Developer, Multiplayer, Sledgehammer Games. "There's a ton of content for everyone to play during this time from a reimagined Winter Carentan multiplayer map that's now packed with snow to Gun Game to Supply Drops full of winter-themed gear and content all available throughout the Winter Siege."

Activision Blizzard Announces Sale of Special Call of Duty: WWII Bravery Pack

Activision Blizzard today announced the newest iteration in its award-winning in-game program to support the Call of Duty Endowment's efforts to help unemployed veterans find high-quality careers in the United States and United Kingdom. The Call of Duty: WWII - Call of Duty Endowment (C.O.D.E.) Bravery Pack (PS4/XboxOne/PC), developed by Sledgehammer Games, includes a special Call of Duty Endowment in-game helmet, calling card, and emblem.

The pack will be available for a suggested retail price of $4.99 in the in-game store and the Sony and Microsoft online stores. For the first time, a personalization pack benefitting the Call of Duty Endowment will also be available at all GameStop stores across the U.S. as well as online through BestBuy.com and Amazon.com. One hundred percent of the proceeds received by Activision through the Bravery Pack will directly fund the Endowment's mission to help veterans secure quality careers when they leave military service. More than 4,800 veterans have been placed in high quality jobs through Call of Duty personalization packs to-date, which is a brigade-sized group of vets.

Call of Duty: WWII Scores Over Half a Billion Dollar Opening Weekend

Activision's Call of Duty: WWII has surpassed more than $500 million in sell-through worldwide in its first three days of release, topping popular theatrical box office openings Thor: Ragnarok and Wonder Woman combined, according to company estimates. On PlayStation4, Call of Duty: WWII set a record as the best-selling digital full game by units sold on its first day of availability. Overall unit sales at launch doubled year-over-year globally.

The gripping, personal narrative, boots-on-the-ground multiplayer and terrifying Nazi Zombies mode attracted players worldwide resulting in the highest total connected users on current generation consoles and PC in Call of Duty history. "We challenged our players to get their squads back together and they answered the call, with the highest number of players we've ever seen on current gen consoles and PC," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision.

AMD Releases Radeon Crimson ReLive 17.11.1 Beta Drivers

AMD has released another driver suite for their Radeon graphics cards, in the form of the 17.11.1 Beta drivers. These bring support, and the best experience, for Call of Duty: WWII, with up to 5% faster performance on Radeon RX Vega64 (8 GB) graphics than with Radeon Software Crimson ReLive Edition 17.10.3 at 2560x1440.

Additionally, this driver brings AMD XConnect technology improvements for Vega 56. XConnect is AMD's technology that allows seamless plug and play ability for eGPU enclosures, and with this update, AMD is increasing the number of eGPU solutions that support AMD's RX Vega 56 graphics cards in this configuration. There's also an extensive list of fixes (including a particularly nasty bug where system devices such as printers could be removed during Radeon Software uninstallation) and known issues, which you can catch after the break. As always, you can download your drivers right here, on the best website of the known universe. Just follow the link below.
DOWNLOAD: AMD Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.11.1 Beta

Call of Duty: Black Ops II Grosses $1 Billion In 15 Days

Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc., announced today that Call of Duty: Black Ops II has crossed the $1 billion mark in worldwide retail sales, according to Chart-Track retail customer sell-through information and internal company estimates. Illustrating the strong appeal of interactive entertainment to audiences worldwide, the game achieved this milestone in just 15 days after its launch on November 13, 2012. Last year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 reached $1 billion in retail sales in 16 days. The box office record set for feature films in 2009 by "Avatar" was $1 billion in 17 days.

"The release of Call of Duty has been one of the most significant entertainment events of each of the last six years," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "Since Call of Duty was launched, cumulative franchise revenues from players around the world are greater than current worldwide box office receipts to date for the top-10 grossing films of 2012 combined. Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for 'Harry Potter' and 'Star Wars,' the two most successful movie franchises of all time."

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