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Konami Parts Ways With Fox Engine Developer Julien Merceron

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Konami Julien Merceron

Konami has parted ways with Julien Merceron, the company’s worldwide technology director, according to reports from Gameblog, and supported by reports from IGN. Merceron was in charge of overseeing the development of the Fox Engine, which was used for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Merceron leaving Konami is an indication that the company has no plans to use the engine in any future PC or console games.

Merceron first joined Konami in 2013 and worked with Hideo Kojima to build the engine for Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Called the Fox Engine, it was also used to build the latest Pro Evolution Soccer games. While the circumstances surrounding Merceron’s departure from the company aren’t clear, the nature of Konami’s rocky split with Hideo Kojima means everybody is paying attention. Merceron would have worked closely with Kojima and was likely part of his department, so fans are understandably curious about what’s gone down.

Konami not having any intentions to continue using the Fox Engine would support the company’s earlier statements about intending to move into the mobile gaming market. In May, company president Hideki Hayakawa said that they intend to “pursue mobile games aggressively” and said mobile games would be the company’s “main platform.”

When fans started worrying that this meant Konami would abandon its console and PC properties, the company reassured gamers that they would retain a focus on all platforms. It would continue creating games “not only mobile platforms, but for home consoles, arcade units, and cards, to meet the changing needs of the times.” That was in contrast to the company’s earlier statements about mobile being where the “future of gaming lies.”

While Merceron leaving Konami is by no means confirmation that the company does intend to focus only on mobile after all, it’s got plenty of fans worried.

Rhiannon likes video games and she likes writing, so she decided to combine them. As well as writing about video games, she also belts out the occasional science fiction or fantasy story, edits videos, and eats strawberry oreos. In that order.

Gaming

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Sets Dates for the Next Multiplayer Beta

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is getting closer and closer, and Activision has announced when players will be able to get their hands on the next game. This means that there will be several chances to try it out before it comes out. If you paid a lot, you might be able to play for more than a week at the end of August and beginning of September.

Call of Duty Early Access will run from Friday, August 30th, to Wednesday, September 4th, as announced on its blog. This is two days after the Call of Duty Next showcase, which is set for August 28th. To play, you must have already bought Black Ops 6.

The open beta is the following weekend, and anyone who wants to can join. The fun will start on Friday, September 6th, and end on Monday, September 9th. The full release is set for October 25th of next month on PS5 and PS4.

How excited are you for the next Call of Duty game? Are you going to play Black Ops 6 in either the Early Access or Open Beta versions? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Ten million people play The First Descendant in its first week

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The free-to-play shooter The First Descendant has gotten a lot of attention in its first week. The game’s publisher, Nexon, says that 10 million people have already tried it out.

Insider Gaming pointed out that since there is no cost up front, it’s still too early to tell how many of those players will stick around, but it’s still a big number for a new IP. On Steam alone, it peaked at 264,860 concurrents right after launch and has still managed to break 200,000 in the last 24 hours, so it looks like a lot of people are still really into the game.

It was a “mindless and repetitive grind,” and we gave The First Descendant a 3/10 in our review. Of course, that’s just one opinion; other experts have had different ones. Most people, though, say that the game’s annoying free-to-play model is the worst thing about it.

Are you one of the millions of people who played The First Descendant last week? Are you going to come back for more? Leave a comment below and let us know.

 

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Raiden, the famous shmup series, will come back as a twin-stick shooter on PS5, PS4, and PC

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Raiden has a long and interesting history as a vertical shooter in arcades. However, the series is going to get a Super Stardust HD makeover, which means it will switch to a twin-stick format. It comes out in Japan on October 31. There’s no word yet on when it will come out in the West, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it did.

A Gematsu translation of the game’s website says that the full version will have an arcade mode with up to six stages. There will also be an “Unlimited” option for people who want to be at the top of the rankings. It sounds like a pretty straightforward package in terms of what’s inside, but we think the action will be what makes it worth it.

There’s a trailer up top that should help you figure out what to expect. There are, however, different versions of Raiden 3, Raiden 4, and Raiden 5 that you can play right now on the PS5 and PS4, if you can’t wait for this game to come out in the West.

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