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‘Roller Champions’ comes to Switch and Epic Games Store on June 21st

Ubisoft released its long-delayed sports game Roller Champions last month on PC, PlayStation and Xbox, and Nintendo Switch players are about to join the fray. A UK eShop listing spotted by Nintendo Life first indicated the free-to-play title will be released on the hybrid console on June 21st. The publisher announced a new season, called Disco Fever, will start on the same day and it mentioned that the game will be available on Switch and the Epic Games Store.

However, Roller Champions isn’t listed on either platform’s storefront in North America at the time of writing. It is available to download from the New Zealand eShop, though. I snagged the game from there, but haven’t been able to log in. The Switch servers may not be online just yet. Engadget has contacted Ubisoft for details of the rollout.

When Ubisoft announced the PC, PlayStation and Xbox release date, it said a Switch version was on the way, along with Stadia and Amazon Luna editions. It seems Roller Champions will arrive on those cloud gaming platforms later.

In any case, the roller-derby-with-a-ball game will have stiff competition on the free-to-play front this week. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout will also arrive on Switch, Xbox and the Epic Store on June 21st as it becomes a free title.

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Epic Games Store will randomly ask users to rate games to prevent review bombing

has added a long-awaited feature to its store: user ratings. The company that only those who have played a game for at least two hours will be able to rate it on a five-star scale. Not everyone will be able to rate a game either. Epic will randomly offer players the chance to score a game after they finish a play session. The company believes this approach will prevent and make sure ratings are from people who are actually playing the games.

An overall rating will be calculated based on players’ scores and this will appear on a title’s page. The aim, of course, is to help users figure out whether a game’s worth playing. Store pages already featured critics’ reviews to help folks make a decision about whether to buy or download something.

Epic says it likely won’t ask for ratings on every game or app and the randomization approach will help it avoid spamming players. That seems like a good call. It’s a little annoying, for instance, that Microsoft asks for feedback after every Xbox Cloud Gaming session.

Polls on Epic Games Store

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In addition, Epic may ask you to answer a poll after a game session. There’s a broad range of questions, including the likes of whether a game is better to play with a team or how challenging the combat is. 

Epic will use data from polls to create tags for store pages. Eventually, tags will be used on category pages and to create tag-based categories for the home page. The idea is to improve discoverability and help people gain a better understanding of what to expect from a game. 

Separately, Epic is a set of cross-play tools for developers. Epic Online Services an overlay that can merge Steam and Epic Games friends lists and help players find their buds, send friend requests and hop into multiplayer sessions with cross-platform in-game invites.

Epic has broader ambitions for support beyond Steam. It’s working to support other PC launchers, as well as macOS and Linux. It will add cross-play tools for consoles and mobile to the SDK further down the line. Several of Epic’s own games — including Fortnite, Rocket League and Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout — have full cross-play support.

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‘Fall Guys’ lands on Switch, Xbox and Epic Games Store on June 21st

It’s been over a year since Mediatonic confirmed Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout was coming to Xbox and Nintendo Switch. After some delays, the wait is almost over. The ridiculously fun battle royale platformer is coming to those platforms, as well as Epic Games Store, on June 21st. A dedicated PlayStation 5 version is on the way too. Full cross-play and cross-progression will be available across all platforms as well.

What’s more, Fall Guys is going free-to-play. Epic pulled a similar move with Rocket League after snatching up Psyonix. Existing players on PlayStation and Steam will receive a legacy pack, which includes three costumes and some other bonuses. Newcomers who pre-register can claim some swag as well. 

It’s not a huge shock that Fall Guys is coming to the Epic Games Store — Epic bought Mediatonic parent Tonic Games Group last year. Users have needed an Epic account to play Fall Guys since November, when cross-progression was added. However, the game will no longer be available to new players on Steam. Those who already bought it on that platform will still get new content and updates, though.

A new season will also get underway on June 21st. Mediatonic is resetting the counter and calling it Season 1: Free For All. It will be the first seasonal update since November and, as ever, there will be new levels and more cosmetics.

For the first time, there will be a premium (i.e. paid) season pass with 100 tiers and extra cosmetic items. Those who receive the legacy pass will get free access to the premium season pass for season one. A free season pass will still be available with other items to unlock. 

Crowns will no longer be used for currency to buy items in the store. The crown rank feature will be boosted with more rewards. Unspent crowns will be converted into Kudos. There will be another in-game currency called Show-Bucks, which can be used to buy the premium season pass. Costumes that are on the way include Ezio from the Assassin’s Creed series, along with Mecha Godzilla and Mothra.

There’s one more big update on the way: a level creator. This was announced as being “under construction” and, while it won’t be arriving any time soon, it’s an exciting feature to look forward to.

The game debuted on PS4 and Steam in August 2020 and was an instant hit, racking up millions of players on PC in just a few days and becoming the most-claimed game in the history of PlayStation Plus at the time. It seems player numbers have dropped quite a ways since the early days — having increasingly lengthy seasons likely hasn’t helped. However, the arrival of Fall Guys on more platforms, the free-to-play shift and a new season should all bring new and lapsed players into the fold.

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Epic Games buys Harmonix to create ‘musical journeys’ in ‘Fortnite’

Epic Games has , the studio behind titles like Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Dance Central and more recently . Financial terms have not been disclosed. Epic’s vision for Harmonix involves the . In the immediate future, the two plan to create “musical journeys and gameplay for Fortnite.”

Viewed through that lens, Epic’s interest in the studio makes a lot of sense. Outside of frequent , Fortnite is at this point best known for its virtual concerts. In the last two years, a handful of major artists like and have drawn a lot of interest to the game. In the latter case, for example, more than .

In the meantime, Harmonix says it will continue to support its existing slate of games. That means Rock Band players can continue to look forward to new DLC and Fuser players can expect the studio to continue hosting events. Additionally, any game that’s currently available through Steam will continue to be sold through Valve’s storefront.

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Epic Games just bought Rock Band developer Harmonix

Epic is expanding its portfolio once more, announcing today that it has purchased Harmonix. While Harmonix has been a little quiet in recent years, the company was a household name not too long ago, developing some of the early Guitar Hero titles before eventually moving on and creating the Rock Band and Dance Central franchises. Now it will be joining Epic Games, and while it’ll still be working with music, it sounds like a Rock Band revival isn’t in the cards at the moment.

Epic buys Harmonix in a play for the Metaverse

While Harmonix and Epic are keeping some details close to the chest for now, there were some important details revealed today. In a blog post on its website, Harmonix says that it will be “working with Epic to once again challenge expectations as we bring our unique brand of musical gaming experiences to the Metaverse, and we couldn’t be more excited.”

That’s slightly vague, but Harmonix gets a bit clearer later in a brief FAQ about the acquisition. The company says that it will be working to “create musical journeys and gameplay for Fortnite.” That, again, doesn’t give a whole lot away, but it sounds like we can look forward to Harmonix’s musical touch in Fortnite at some point in the future.

It does seem like buying an entire development studio just to have it contribute to Fortnite is an exercise in excess, so Epic may have more extensive plans for Harmonix later on down the road. For now, however, it seems like the company will be tasked with making Fortnite a little more musical, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing given Harmonix’s history.

What this means for Steam, Rock Band, and Fuser

An Epic acquisition like this always comes with a bunch of questions given Epic’s ongoing battle for market share against Steam, and thankfully, we have some answers on that front. In that same FAQ, Harmonix says that it will continue with its existing plans for Rock Band DLC, Rock Band Rivals seasons, and Fuser events, so nothing is changing in regards to those.

The studio also says that its games will remain on Steam following the acquisition, which is good news indeed. Epic isn’t above acquiring studios and removing their games from Steam in a play to grow the Epic Games Store’s userbase – in fact, it did just that when it acquired Rocket League developer Psyonix. Once that acquisition was complete, Rocket League disappeared from Steam and was listed on the Epic Games Store as a free-to-play title, though everyone who already owned the game through Steam could continue playing through that platform.

If you were hoping that the financial backing of Epic could potentially mean that Harmonix would send Rock Band instruments back into production, unfortunately, it seems that won’t be the case. Harmonix says there’s no current plan to make more Rock Band instruments, which have shot up in price in recent months. If you’re looking to pick up Rock Band again, it sounds like you’ll just have to keep an eye out for a deal on second-hand instruments or shell out for the expensive ones listed on eBay.

So, for now, we don’t know what Epic has in mind for Harmonix, but hopefully, more specifics will be coming around the bend shortly. We’ll let you know when the two companies share more about this acquisition, so stay tuned.

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Epic Games Store Black Friday sale live: The best deals on games to seek

Black Friday is just a couple of days away, so of course, we’re seeing many digital storefronts kick off their Black Friday sales this week. One such store is the Epic Games Store, which launched its Black Friday sale just a short time ago. Epic is getting the jump on Steam here, launching its Black Friday sale just a few hours before Valve is expected to kick off the Steam Autumn Sale later today.

Big games on sale, but not for long

These Black Friday sales can be seen as something of a precursor to the more extensive winter sales we’re bound to see toward the end of December. For instance, Epic’s Black Friday sale only lasts from today until November 30th, meaning it’ll be live for less than a week. By comparison, the winter sale will probably last a couple of weeks at a minimum to close out 2021 and usher in 2022.

We can probably expect the same from Steam, so these Black Friday sales are really just a primer for sales to come. With that said, if you see a good deal on a game you want during this Black Friday sale, it’s probably a good idea to jump on it now instead of waiting for the larger winter sale to roll around next month. After all, there’s no guarantee that the game will get a similar discount during the next sale, likely though it may seem.

Recommended deals to check out

There are a surprising number of recently released, big-name titles getting discounts in Epic’s Black Friday sale. Some of the highlights include Far Cry 6 for $49.79 (17% off), Back 4 Blood for $41.99 (30% off), and the Crysis Remastered Trilogy for $39.99 (20% off). Epic says this is the first time any of those games have been discounted, and given that they can still be considered new to some extent, we believe it.

Other discounts that stick out to us include Sega’s 4x strategy game Humankind for $39.99 (20% off) and Darkest Dungeon II – a game that only recently launched in early access – with a 10% discount that knocks its price down to $26.99. In addition, Borderlands 3 and Grand Theft Auto V Premium Edition are both down to $14.99, while Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition is half off at $24.99.

The list containing all of the deals stretches on for 12 pages, so there are a ton of deals to sift through. The Epic Games Black Friday sale runs until November 30th, so check out the deals for yourself and see if anything strikes your fancy.

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Epic pulled Fortnite Item Shop category with Travis Scott emote

Fortnite players recently noticed the “Daily” category in the battle royale game’s Item Shop had disappeared — something Epic later acknowledged as an intentional change, not the result of a bug. The company didn’t reveal a reason for this temporary change, but given one of the emotes that was available in Daily, players likely already know the answer.

Epic confirmed that it removed Fortnite‘s Daily section in the Item Shop via a tweet on its game status Twitter account. Though the company still hasn’t given a reason for the removal, fans pointed out that the Daily section included a Travis Scott emote with the song “Out West.”

Though the big Travis Scott Astronomical Fortnite crossover event took place last year, the artist had recently returned to the battle royale game in a smaller fashion via the Out West emote, which arrived alongside the Astroworld music festival. The removal coincides with a crowd surge during the music festival that resulted in eight deaths and hundreds of injuries.

The tragedy has prompted an investigation into the venue, including whether the layout contributed to the issue and what caused the crowd surge to occur. Some of the victims were minors, resulting in criticism of Scott’s Fortnite crossovers; some critics have accused him of using the platform to promote himself to kids.

Epic has not stated why it removed the Daily section, so it’s not possible to say whether the decision was ultimately intended to remove the Out West emote from the Item Shop. However, and as promised, the Daily section reappeared with the latest Item Shop refresh — and, of course, the Out West emote is no longer available.



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Riot Games’ Catalog Can Now Be Played on Epic Games Store

Players will be able to play Riot Games titles like League of Legends and Valorant through the Epic Games Store. In addition to that, Riot and Epic are collaborating to bring Jinx from the upcoming League of Legends animated series to Fortnite.

League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and Legends of Runeterra are now available to download on the Epic Games Store. When a player downloads these games on the Epic Games Store, they will also download the Riot Games launcher so they can directly access these games.

On the Fortnite side, Jinx from League of Legends is entering the world of Fortnite to help kick off the collaboration. Players will be able to purchase a Jinx skin in the in-game store along with Jinx-themed back bling, loading screens, sprays, and pickaxe. This will be the first official time a League of Legends‘ character will be featured in a game outside of Riot Games.

This crossover coincides with another collaboration that Riot Games has. The upcoming animated series Arcane is releasing on Netflix Saturday, November 6. This series takes place in Zaun and Piltover, two connected cities found in the world of Runeterra, where League of Legends takes place. Jinx will be a main character in Arcane, alongside her sister, Vi. Other characters that have been confirmed in the series are Heimerdinger, Caitlyn, Jayce, and Viktor.

Jinx and her related items will be available in Fortnite starting at 8 p.m. ET today, November 4. Act 1 of the animated series Arcane will be available at 10 p.m. ET on November 6.

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Riot brings ‘League of Legends,’ Valorant’ and other titles to Epic Games Store

Riot Games is taking its PC titles into new territory as , , Teamfight Tactics and Legends of Runeterra are all now available on the . The move could get the four free-to-play titles in front of a wider audience.

You’ll need to install the new Riot Client (which debuted earlier this month), but you can fire up the games from Epic’s app or a desktop shortcut. If you already play any of those games, you’ll still be able to sign in with your account and access your existing friends list.

The partnership between Riot and Epic extends to the latter’s titles too. , marking the first appearance of a LoL character in a non-Riot game.

The collaboration forms part of Riot’s month-long campaign to promote , the League of Legends animated series that . Elsewhere, Riot has also to offer Prime Gaming members some in-game goodies over the next year.

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Epic challenged Fortnite players to make short films: Here are the results

Epic Games announced a twist when it revealed its last Fortography challenge: it wasn’t about images at all this time around, but rather videos and how creative players could make them using the game and its various assets. Fast-forward a few weeks and the company is back with the results, showcasing the player-made videos it liked the most.

Epic’s battle royale game Fortnite features a huge number of characters, outfits, and emotes, among other things, enabling players to wear unique looks and perform a variety of actions. Those outfits and emotes are the central tools used by the players behind a new series of short films made in the game, all of them revolving around a Halloween theme.

Epic has shared the videos it liked the most in a new blog post, noting that it selected videos that followed the rules it established for its first Video Fortography challenge. The videos use various locations in Fortnite, as well as a mix of classic and more recent emotes and costumes to tell stories using emotion and music.

Some of the short videos are creepy, including a film from “GranbeFN” that was clearly inspired by slasher movies, more comical pieces like “Always Check Your Back” from “SteamyDucks,” and a Japanese-narrated video about monsters returning Halloween to eat unsuspecting players’ candy and treats.

Though anyone can participate in these challenges (for which the ‘rewards’ are merely bragging rights), players on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation are at the greatest advantage due to one important feature: replay mode. This game mode automatically saves recent matches, allowing players to revisit them using advanced controls.

The replay mode playback functionality includes the ability to move around the game during the match, view yourself in third person, speed up and slow down the playback speed, and more. This is the tool behind some of the shots featured in these showcased videos, including scenes that wouldn’t be possible by using regular gameplay footage.

Check out the rest of the Fortnite Halloween short films on Epic’s game blog.

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