Amy Hennig has not Been With EA since January of This Year, Star Wars Game Put in Stasis Plans to open her own game studio

Amy He

Some unfortunate news broke earlier today, first reported by Eurogamer, Amy Hennig of Uncharted fame, has departed from EA, effectively placing her Star Wars game in carbonite.

Read moreAmy Hennig has not Been With EA since January of This Year, Star Wars Game Put in Stasis Plans to open her own game studio

EA Announces new Star Wars Game and new Battlefront 2 Content Jedi: Fallen Order and Clone Wars content for Battlefront 2

EA Announces A New Star Wars Game at the EA Press Conference During E3 2018

During the EA press conference EA stepped into the audience for a quick discussion with Call of Duty and Titanfall developer Vince Zampella. The interview was an awkward chance for the team at EA to announce a brand new Star Wars game that they are calling Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order.

Read moreEA Announces new Star Wars Game and new Battlefront 2 Content Jedi: Fallen Order and Clone Wars content for Battlefront 2

Bringing Life to The Page: An Interview with Michael Walsh

Life to the Page: An Interview with Michael Walsh

Using technology in the artistic process is not a new concept. Computers and tablets have been used in art and comics for years, but only recently, with the advent of the iPad Pro and the iMac Pro, has it become relatively easy to integrate technology into the process. To this end, CGMagazine took some time to talk to Michael Walsh, a Canadian illustrator who has been featured in IMAGE Comics in the Comeback Series, and who has worked closely with Marvel Comics.

Read moreBringing Life to The Page: An Interview with Michael Walsh

There’s No Long-Term Vision For Star Wars

There's No Long-Term Vision For Star Wars
There's No Long-Term Vision For Star Wars 1
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) – image provided by Lucasfilms Inc.

Lucasfilm and Disney never had a long-term plan with the Star Wars sequel trilogy, and they still don’t. With all the controversy surrounding the latest saga film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and whether it’s actually a great or terrible film (I happen to think it’s just shy of being good), it’s quite obvious Lucasfilm doesn’t have a concrete vision for these new movies. The scepticism people had with J.J. Abrams setting up yet another new universe and leaving other filmmakers to figure out how it concludes has been well warranted.

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Abrams introduced plenty of important and huge questions regarding some of the main characters in the film, questions many people thought would be addressed in a thoughtful way and be the main focus in Episodes VIII and IX. As it turns out, these lingering questions have been completely tossed aside by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, and it’s quite worrying.

Now, be warned, there will be spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

After watching Episode VIII: The Last Jedi I came out of the theatre feeling a bit dumbfounded and satisfied. It’s a strange feeling, one I rarely have about a film where I understand why some people disliked it and others quite loved the direction Johnson took with Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The biggest criticism aimed at The Force Awakens has been that it feels like a rehash of A New Hope – a Star Wars film which ponders way too much to hardcore fans and their nostalgia for this franchise.

There's No Long-Term Vision For Star Wars 2
Star Wars: Episode XIII – The Last Jedi (2017) – image provided by Lucasfilms Inc.

And so, Johnson listened to these criticisms and went the complete opposite direction, opting to subvert expectations every chance he could. However, he ultimately leaned too heavily towards the other side, essentially resetting a trilogy which only has one more film left to wrap up the story.

There are two story decisions which, in my opinion, prove Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and the rest of the filmmakers over at Lucasfilm are making it up as they go. The biggest one is undoubtedly Snoke. Star Wars: The Force Awakens set this character up as this important, mysterious figure with an intriguing past. A character which will play a significant role in the overarching story. Abrams set up this mythical figure who, in his eyes, was meant to play a much bigger role moving forward. Johnson took Abrams’ story decisions and essentially threw them away, saying they’re not important.

There's No Long-Term Vision For Star Wars 3
Adam Driver in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) – image provided by Lucasfilms Inc.

As it turns out, it doesn’t matter who Snoke is and where he came from. He’s just there to further develop Kylo Ren, setting up the wanna-be Darth Vader as the main villain in Episode IX. On one hand, I can commend Johnson for taking such a huge risk with Snoke, killing him off in the middle of this story. It’s exactly the type of filmmaker Johnson is, one who loves subverting expectations every chance he gets. Just watch his previous two movies, Brick and Looper. But on the other hand, it’s blatantly obvious this isn’t the direction Abrams wanted or would’ve taken with Snoke. It’s a meshing of two distinct, opposite filmmaking styles and visions which ultimately ends up hurting the sequel trilogy.

The second story decision is, of course, Rey’s parents, which isn’t as big of a deal as Snoke’s demise but still important nonetheless. I see where Johnson was going with this, as relegating Rey’s parents to being a pair of random drunkards is another way of subverting expectations. Forget about the Skywalkers and the bloodlines and being born a hero – we’ve seen this tale told in the prequel and original trilogies. It’s a brave decision, but one that came up with no planning. This is a major mystery Star Wars: The Force Awakens leans heavily on, and one in which Abrams thought someone would share the same vision as him in the long run.

There's No Long-Term Vision For Star Wars 4
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) – image provided by Lucasfilms Inc.

With Abrams now directing Star Wars: Episode IX, it’ll be fascinating to see if he’ll undo anything Johnson went within The Last Jedi. He certainly has the power to do so and recent reports suggest Abrams pitched the story for Episode IX just a few days ago. Yet another prime example of the lack of long-term planning from Lucasfilm.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more by Aleksander Gilyadov, such as Zombies and Gore: A Brief History of Resident Evil, and Great, a Chainsaw: A History of Horror Games!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

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CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 2)

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 2) 4

As this tumultuous year winds down, it’s time once again to revisit the films that moved the industry forward. Yesterday, CGMagazine’s Phil Brown explored the best movies of 2017 in terms of Fantasy, Horror, and Comic Book adaptations (you can catch up here). Pop a bottle of bubbly and celebrate the new year with part two of CGMagazines Best Genre Films of 2017.

Best Blockbuster: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 2)
Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017) – CGMagazine’s Best Blockbuster of 2017.

Already divisive amongst the passionate Star Wars fanbase, Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi truly is the Empire Strikes Back of our times. People tend to forget that Empire was the least financially and critically successful film of the initial trilogy. Why? Because as the second act of a larger narrative, the sequel made us question what came before, upset the established order, complicated heroes so they were no longer obviously heroic, and ended on a down note to set up future triumphs. Johnson’s ambitious feature does all of that for a new generation, gleefully ripping apart hallowed movie lore and forcing audiences to ask tough questions about beloved characters before leaving everyone in a dark place. It’s not a nostalgia-fueled crowd pleasure like The Force Awakens. It’s better, deeper, and more challenging than that. Johnson has finally given the next chapter in Star Wars history its own unique direction. It won’t be until we finally get the question-answering finale that everyone finally comes to recognize that. For now, The Last Jedi will be a divisive Star Wars movie and that’s as it should be. Great movies require time to sneak in, even when they take place in a familiar galaxy from far, far away.

Best Action Flick: John Wick: Chapter 2

CGMagazine Best of 2017: Film (Part 2) 1
Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017) – CGMagazine’s Best Action Flick of 2017.

For viewers out there who love nothing more in cinema than watching a bad guy get punched in the face in the most creative way possible, the John Wick franchise was been a welcome addition to action movie lore. The Keanu Reeves headlined franchise has grown into an entire tongue-in-cheek universe of super assassins who spend half their time killing each other and the other half living in lavish secret hotels. It’s ridiculous, but everyone involved knows exactly what they are doing and have created a perfect delivery system for some of the finest physical action scenes of this or any age. John Wick officially grew from a surprising action movie underdog into a genuine genre icon this year. Bring on Chapter 3 as soon as possible; Keanu isn’t getting any younger and the genre isn’t quite as fun anywhere else.

Best War Movie: Dunkirk

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Cillian Murphy in Dunkirk (2017) – CGMagazine’s Best War Movie of 2017.

Christopher Nolan’s IMAX blockbuster is somehow both a straight-ahead visceral action flick and a radically structured art film that doesn’t abide by cozy storytelling conventions. It shoves viewers into the middle of Second World War combat with a subjective intensity comparable only to the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan and somehow manages to do so for the entire running time. There was no moviegoing experience in 2017 as thrillingly cinematic as watching Dunkirk unfold on IMAX using all of the format’s specific tricks to create a war movie unlike any other. It says so much with so little and grabs viewers by the throat for a ride that doesn’t let up for a second (along with a handful of the director’s typical structural headgames). This movie will grow in reputation over time, even though watching it in any format other than IMAX ensures that viewers won’t get the full effect of Nolan’s remarkable accomplishment.

Best Biopic: The Disaster Artist

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James Franco in The Disaster Artist (2017) – CGMagazine’s Best Biopic of 2017.

Finally, we come to a great movie about the making of—arguably—the worst movie ever made. When The Disaster Artist was announced, everyone who knew The Room could guess all of the hilarious backstage stories about Tommy Wisseau’s wild production that James Franco planned on sharing. What was impossible to predict was that Franco also had a unique take on the material and planned to use Wisseau as a stand in for all misunderstood outsider artists. That the flick is hilarious is no surprise. That director/star Franco also found a way to transform a walking punchline into an admirably tragic figure was one of the most pleasant movie-going surprises of the year. Oscar bait biopics are usually pandering nonsense. The Disaster Artist is a special and oddball effort destined for cult status that will stand alongside the so-bad-its-good camp/cult classic at its centre. That accomplishment ain’t easy and is worth celebrating.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Phil’s take on Blade Runner 2049, Happy Death Day, and It! He also had a chance to sit down with Guillermo Del Toro. Check out his interview here!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

Star Wars Battlefront 2 Economy Change, Free Content Planned

EA Announces Star Wars BattleFront II Beta, Slated For October 1

The first wave of changes for Star Wars Battlefront, specifically in terms of Lootboxes are imminent, with larger, more substantial changes planned for the future.

EA recently rolled out a new update for Battlefront 2 in which some adjustments have been made to the games’ in-game economy. All the changes to the gave can be viewed below:

End-of-round payout increase: EA promises that every activity will now see an increase in credits earned across the board, and top players will also receive an additional increase in credits won post-match.

3X Credit increase daily in Arcade Mode: Players have been hitting the daily cap in Arcade Mode, which is why EA has increased the payout to give players more of an incentive to play.

Daily login crates increase: Players will now receive additional crafting materials every time they log in for the for the day.

Additionally, new maps, vehicles and other free content will be coming to coincide with the release of the Last Jedi film in the coming weeks.

Finally, new downloadable story chapters for the single-player portion of Star Wars Battlefront 2 will be available December 13.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out Bryan Calhoun’s review of Star Wars Battlefront 2

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

French senator Durain addresses loot box and micro-transactions in letter

Chinese Law Requires Blizzard to Reveal Loot/Card Box Probabilities

A French senator has written a letter to France’s gambling regulators voicing his concerns regarding the prevalent trend of loot boxes and micro-transactions in gaming.

The letter was addressed to the president of ARJEL, the French organization responsible for gambling regulations. Senator Jérôme Durain said the following:

“While I do not think it is necessary at this stage to put in place specific legislation, I wonder about the desirability of providing consumer protection in this area. The use of loot boxes conferring cosmetic additions to the games seems well-accepted by the public. The development of so-called pay-to-win practices is more contentious, as shown by the recent controversy over the game Star Wars Battlefront 2. Quite aside from the acceptance of the practice, some observers point to a convergence of the video game world and practices specific to gambling.”

“Transparency is not common with regard to statistics governing loot boxes, even though good practices sometimes exist,” Durain continued. “China has decided in favour of a transparency of win ratios. Some of our European neighbours (the United Kingdom and Belgium in particular) are looking into the matter through their regulatory authorities. So we see that the question is not unique to France. Does ARJEL have the infrastructure necessary for a general census of win ratios for micro transactions?”

In October, a British Labour MP named Daniel Zeichner opened an inquiry  that asked what the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport planned to do to “help protect vulnerable adults and children from illegal gambling, in-game gambling and loot boxes within computer games.”. It will be interesting to see the level of concern increase from parties outside the gaming sphere as more and more games start adopting loot box and micro-transaction systems.

To end the letter, Durain brought up the fact that in addition to ARJEL, he had sent letters inquiring about the current micro-transaction and loot box video game climate to several gaming related organizations.

A copy of the letter can be viewed on Resetera.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out  Bryan Calhoun’s review of Star Wars Battlefront II and Phil Brown’s review of LA Noire

 

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

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CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

EA Temporarily Removes Microtransactions From Star Wars Battlefront II

Star Wars Battlefront 2 Review – Some Games Fall to the Dark Side of Micro-Transactions. 1

Just hours before the global release of Star Wars Battlefront II, EA has announced that all microtransactions within the title will be turned off until further notice.

The shocking announcement can be found on EA’s official website. Oskar Gabrielson, General Manager over at DICE, stated that after listening to the outcry from fans over the recent controversy surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II, EA felt that removing all real money related transactions within the game until further notice would give the company time to reassess, listen and address concerns regarding the title.

This change comes prior to the actual release of the game which comes out this Friday, November 17. No word on when and how microtransactions will come back to the title as of the writing of this post.

It’s nice to see EA listen and promptly respond to the situation. Hopefully, this change will get more people to support the game, without worrying about microtransaction related woes.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out  Byran Calhoun’s review of Star Wars Battlefront II and our review of Justice League (2017)

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!