PIF Picks: The Top Gaming News from September 11-15, 2023


PIF Picks: The Top Gaming News from September 11-15, 2023

Exploring the constantly changing world of gaming demands a sharp awareness of recent developments and breakthroughs. Delve into our summary of the most exciting gaming news from September 11-15, 2023. Be it the release of a highly awaited game or a notable change in the industry, we’ve got you covered for this week’s gaming highlights.

Mario Kart Tour Stops Expansion, Sparks Industry Buzz

In collaboration with game publisher DeNA, Nintendo has decided to halt the creation of new content for Mario Kart Tour. This is effective October 4th. This decision has sparked speculations about Nintendo’s potential shift in focus from mobile gaming. Before this cessation, fans can look forward to the Anniversary Tour content set to release on September 20th. However, only existing content will be rolled out after the Battle Tour’s debut on October 4th.

Nintendo‘s message to its players was clear. “No new courses, drivers, karts, or gliders will be added following the Battle Tour starting 04/10/2023.” The reason behind this move remains undisclosed. Despite its success, with approximately $243 million in earnings and 230 million downloads, Mario Kart Tour’s monthly earnings dropped $1 million last October. This was after the removal of the game’s much-debated gacha system.

Interestingly, while Mario Kart Tour was Nintendo’s second-highest-grossing mobile game after Fire Emblem Heroes, mobile games account for a minor portion of Nintendo’s total earnings. This is in stark contrast to competitors like Activision and Take-Two. This might explain why Nintendo has ceased support for five of its eight major mobile games since its mobile content journey began in 2016.

Epic Games CCO Donald Mustard Announces Retirement

Donald Mustard, the Chief Creative Officer of Epic Games and the driving force behind the global sensation Fortnite has announced his retirement. Mustard, a pivotal figure at Epic Games since 2016, has decided to step down after nearly a quarter-century in the gaming industry.

His tenure at Epic Games saw the meteoric rise of Fortnite, transforming it from a mere game to a cultural phenomenon. Under Mustard’s creative leadership, Fortnite not only garnered millions of players worldwide but also redefined the boundaries of gaming, blending it seamlessly with entertainment, music, and virtual experiences.

While the reasons for his retirement remain undisclosed, the gaming community is buzzing with speculation. What does this mean for the future of Fortnite and Epic Games? Only time will tell. As fans and fellow gamers bid farewell to a legend, the industry awaits the next chapter in Epic Games’ journey.

Ubisoft’s XDefiant Faces Launch Delays After Certification Hurdles

Ubisoft’s highly-anticipated first-person shooter, XDefiant, has hit a snag in its journey to the gaming world. Initially introduced in 2021 as “Tom Clancy’s XDefiant,” the game merges elements from renowned Ubisoft titles like Ghost Recon, Watch Dogs, and Far Cry. However, its launch has been postponed due to a failed first-party certification test in August.

This certification is crucial in the game’s release process, ensuring that the game adheres to platform standards and doesn’t cause technical issues. In a blog post, Mark Rubin, Ubisoft’s Executive Game Director, shed light on the situation. He explained that while these checks don’t evaluate the game’s performance or potential bugs, they ensure the game complies with platform rules and integrates seamlessly with features like friend lists and trophies.

Rubin revealed that the certification process began in late July, but by August, it was clear that XDefiant hadn’t met the mark. “We realized then that we had more work related to compliance than we had anticipated,” Rubin stated. The team has since been working diligently to address these issues and is preparing for another submission soon.

If all goes well, gamers might see XDefiant’s release in September. However, Rubin also cautioned that the game could only receive a “conditional pass,” which would necessitate a day-one patch, pushing the launch to October.

Xbox Mastercard Lets Users Earn Game Discounts

Microsoft has unveiled its Xbox Mastercard, a unique offering that prioritizes game discounts over traditional cash-back rewards. This innovative card allows members to accumulate points with every purchase, which can then be redeemed for games on the Microsoft Store.

This initiative is a collaboration between Microsoft and Barclays. The card’s reward system is designed to promote Xbox content purchases. For every dollar spent on daily expenses, users earn one reward point. However, the stakes rise when shopping at the Microsoft Store, where every dollar fetches five points. Additionally, spending on select streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney+ and dining services like Grubhub and DoorDash will earn users three points per dollar. To put it in perspective, every reward point is equivalent to a penny. So, a $1,000 expenditure on regular purchases translates to $10 points for new games.

The card is compatible with contactless payments and digital wallets and offers complimentary access to the user’s FICO credit score. As for the interest rates range between 20.99% to 31.99%, contingent on credit evaluations. The Xbox Mastercard will first be available to members of the Xbox Insider Program in the US on September 21, with a broader rollout to all US-based Xbox users slated for next year.

Missed out on last week’s Gaming updates?

That’s all the most interesting gaming news from September 11-15, 2023! Missed the gaming news last week? Click here for the gaming updates from September 4-8, 2023.

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