Leaked Harry Potter RPG Looks Phenomenal

Footage surfaced late Monday night of what appears to be a Harry Potter game in development.

The footage, which you can watch here, was initially shared on Reddit by user VapeThisBro, who claims they were shown the video for market research at a mall. Phones and cameras were reportedly not allowed into the room, but the company neglected to check them. Reddit users initially express disbelief, asking about an NDA and the overall legitimacy of the video, but VapeThisBro explained the company in charge forgot to have them sign their NDA.

While this may seem too good to be true, multiple signs point to it being real. The footage was initially uploaded to YouTube, but once it started to get spread around, it was taken down via a copyright strike from Warner Bros. Entertainment Interactive.

Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 10.20.07 AM

The video shows character customization, familiar Harry Potter locations, and gameplay involving spells like Stupefy, Expelliarmus, and Levioso. VapeThisBro uploaded an alleged description of the game to Reddit and later to YouTube.

“Set in the 19th Century (1800’s) Wizarding World, this 3rd person open-world action RPG game centers around your character with unique abilities who has eared (sic) a late acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You are a newly arrived 5th year student to Hogwarts that demonstrates a latent gift for magic with a unique ability to track and identify remnants of a pottant (sic) ancient power.

Upon arrival, strange events begin to materialize In the Forbidden Forrest and trouble begins o (sic) brew within the castle walls. Together with Professor Elezar Fig, you embark on a journey through both familiar and never before seen locations to bring to light the truth behind these mysterious occurrences.

On your quest you will craft potions, master new spells, and discover fantastical beasts. You will battle Dark Wizards, Goblins, and other supernatural enemies and uncover the truth about your destiny – the Fate of the Wizarding World lies in your hands.

FEATURES

-Journey to Hogwarts to become one of 8 different Wizard types

-Experience Hogwarts, make new friends, uncover new secrets, and change the fate of the Wizarding world.

-Experience a new magic system that creates countless possibilities to master magic.

-Freely explore the Wizarding World for the first time, Choose your house and friends at Hogwarts, and decide to pursue a path of good or evil.

-Create your own witch or wizard, and experience a (sic) all new story separate from the books or films.

The Internet first speculated the game was Batman Arkham developer Rocksteady’s next project. Rocksteady would be a perfect fit for this game, being a British studio owned by WB Interactive. However, sources told Eurogamer that the studio’s next large game is not Harry Potter.

111.jpg

So if not Rocksteady, then who is developing this supposed Harry Potter game? Signs point to Utah-based Avalanche Software, the studio behind the now defunct Disney Infinity. Avalanche’s most recent game, Cars 3: Driven to Win, a tie-in based on the Cars series of movies, released in June of last year, but Avalanche has been hiring for a larger project for some time.

Job postings from early 2017 called for staff with a “deep understanding of British culture and grammatical presentation”, with good knowledge of “gaming narrative and branching storytelling, particularly in the realm of RPGs”. Other postings from around the same time described Avalanche’s next project as a “large-scale console game project” and a “AAA” title.

BBC News reporter Liza Mzimba tweeted at Eurogamer in response to the leaked footage,  confirming the RPG is in development and the title is currently “Harry Potter Magic Awakened”, with other titles like “Magic Forever” also being considered. She also states that other Potter games are coming in the future.

Warner Bros. recently announced a slew of Harry Potter games coming under the dedicated Potter label Portkey Games. The first of which was free-to-play mobile game Hogwarts Mystery. Pokemon Go developer Niantic’s Wizards Unite is slated to arrive next, although the exact release date is still unknown.

 

 

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Coming to Chrome (Yes, Chrome)

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey launches this Friday on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and now Google Chrome.

You read that right. Today Google unveiled Project Stream, a service designed to stream AAA video games directly through your Chrome browser. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey will be featured in a “technical test” for the service, allowing a very small select group of testers to stream the game when it launches this Friday. Google outlined the basic functionality of the project in a blog post.

“We’ve partnered with one of the most innovative and successful video game publishers, Ubisoft, to stream their soon-to-be released Assassin’s Creed Odyssey® to your Chrome browser on a laptop or desktop. Starting on October 5, a limited number of participants will get to play the latest in this best-selling franchise at no charge for the duration of the Project Stream test.”

maxresdefault (2).jpg

Google released footage of the game running on the service alongside the reveal. It looks to be running smoothly at 1080p/60fps, but we won’t know about input lag, latency, and other factors that usually plague streaming platforms until this Friday.

“The idea of streaming such graphically-rich content that requires near-instant interaction between the game controller and the graphics on the screen poses a number of challenges.  When streaming TV or movies, consumers are comfortable with a few seconds of buffering at the start, but streaming high-quality games requires latency measured in milliseconds, with no graphic degradation.”

download (7).png

Both Ubisoft and Google have been looking into the game streaming market for some time now. We heard rumors of Google entering the gaming space earlier this year, and this seems to be their big idea. Ubisoft’s CEO Yves Guillemot has also stated that he believes streaming will play an integral role in the next gaming generation. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey seems to be their first major test for this idea, with the game getting a cloud version in Japan and being available on Project Stream in the states.

The game will be completely free to play if you’re selected for the test, and you’ll have access until sometime in mid-January.

To participate in the test, users must be at least 17 years old, have a controller or keyboard and mouse to control the game, and a have a capable internet connection with a speed of at least 25 megabits per second, as well as both a Google account and a Ubisoft account. Signups are available here.

Input lag and latency are the two critical factors in streaming video games, and they hinder so many other streaming services. Will Google be able to finally deliver a reliable streaming experience comparable to running the game natively on local hardware? We won’t have to wait long to find out.

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey launches on October 5 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and now Google Chrome for a handful of people.

 

New Red Dead Redemption 2 Gameplay Video Coming Tomorrow

Rockstar tweeted earlier today that the second gameplay demonstration for the highly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2 will drop tomorrow morning.

 

The first gameplay video came out at the beginning of last month, and it ended with a teaser for more videos to follow, but Rockstar had been silent on when those would be coming until now. The post simply reads “Gameplay Video Part 2 coming tomorrow 9am Eastern”, which doesn’t tell us much, but if the first gameplay video is anything to go by, then we should get a pretty decent look at the world of Red Dead Redemption 2 clocking in at about 5 or 6 minutes. The first video ended with a tease for missions, side activities, and the Dead Eye system, Red Dead Redemption’s signature sharpshooting mechanic, so expect to see an in-depth look at those tomorrow.

In the meantime, you can check out the game’s initial gameplay reveal below.

Red Dead Redemption 2 launches on October 26 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The public beta for Red Dead Online, the game’s multiplayer component is set to launch sometime in early November.

 

Fortnite Cross-Play Comes to PS4 Today

Sony is finally backing down on their anti cross-play stance starting with Fortnite.

In a post on the PlayStation Blog, John Kodera, President and Global CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment said that “following a a comprehensive evaluation process, SIE has identified a path toward supporting cross-platform features for select third party content.”

“The first step,” continued Kodera, “will be an open beta beginning today for Fortnite that will allow for cross platform gameplay, progression and commerce across PlayStation 4, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Mac operating systems.”

The cross-play debate was set in motion earlier this year when Fortnite was released on Nintendo Switch during E3. Fans quickly discovered the bad news: if you had played a single game of Fortnite on PS4, you couldn’t carry over your existing account to Nintendo Switch. All your skins, dances, and battle pass progress was locked behind Sony’s wall.

“Today, the communities around some games have evolved to the point where cross-platform experiences add significant value to players,” Kodera explained. “In recognition of this, we have completed a thorough analysis of the business mechanics required to ensure that the PlayStation experience for our users remains intact today, and in the future, as we look to open up the platform.”

Epic Games was commented on the situation and told players what they can expect in the coming months. Players will be able to unlink a console from a Fortnite account in the coming days, and in November, an update will be released that will players to merge accounts if they created a secondary account to play on another platform.

For many years, people have dreamed of being able to play with their friends on rival consoles. Today, that dream is finally a reality.

 

Telltale Games Shutting Down

The creators of episodic games like The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Tales From the Borderlands is closing its doors.

“Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year of insurmountable challenges. A majority of the company’s employees were dismissed earlier this morning, with a small group of employees staying on to fulfill the company’s obligations to its board and partners,” the company said in a statement.

The final season of Telltale’s The Walking Dead premiered last month, with its second episode scheduled to launch next week. Unfortunately, the season’s final two episodes will not be released, and the season will remain unfinished. The studio’s plans for a second season of its award-winning series The Wolf Among Us and a series based on Netflix’s Stranger Things have both been cancelled. A skeleton crew of 25 is still at the studio hard at work on Minecraft Story Mode for Netflix.

Last November, the studio laid off  approximately 25% of its workforce, and the company had reportedly been suffering from poor management. “It’s been an incredibly difficult year for Telltale as we worked to set the company on a new course”, said CEO Pete Hawley. “Unfortunately, we ran out of time trying to get there. We released some of our best content this year and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback, but ultimately, that did not translate to sales. With a heavy heart, we watch our friends leave today to spread our brand of storytelling across the games industry.”