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2023-11-29 18:43:19| Engadget

Sony has revealed the PlayStation Plus monthly games lineup for December, and its a doozy. Theres no clear headliner here, but a trio of interesting games are about to drop, including the gorgeous open-world exploration game Sable and the cleaning-based tour de force Powerwash Simulator. First up, theres Sable, a game that was on everyones radar for years before an official release, thanks to the eye-catching graphical style. The "coming-of-age adventure and exploration game casts you as the titular hero Sable as you ride a hoverbike through vast deserts and mysterious landscapes, encountering the remains of spaceships and other ancient artifacts. The art style is incredible and the soundtrack is by Japanese Breakfast, if thats your bag (and it should be.) The games only available for PS5. Powerwash Simulator, as the name suggests, is a cleaning sim that has you clearing grime from just about anything you can think of, from Back to the Futures Delorean to Final Fantasy VIIs Midgar. Most of the game, however, takes place in the town of Muckingham and boasts plenty of upgrade options for your power washer and the ability to play with friends via online co-op. The gameplay is relaxing, though more complex than it lets on at first. Its available for both PS4 and PS5. Finally, theres Lego 2K Drive. This is an open-world driving game comprised entirely of Lego vehicles. There are races just about everywhere you look and, of course, the ability to make your own vehicles by connecting virtual blocks. Theres local couch co-op and online play, with the latter allowing access to the entire game map. Both PS4 and PS5 players can access this game. Its also worth noting that some games are about to leave the service, so get those downloads ready. PlayStation Plus members have until December 4 to snag Mafia II: Definitive Edition, Dragon Ball: The Breakers and Aliens Fireteam Elite.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/decembers-playstation-plus-monthly-games-include-sable-and-powerwash-simulator-174319553.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-29 18:08:57| Engadget

GM is massively slashing spending on its self-driving vehicle subsidiary Cruise after a string of debilitating setbacks, according to a conference call by company executives transcribed by TechCrunch. GM Chair and CEO Mary Barra said that operations would resume in some capacity, but that any plans for Cruise moving forward would be more deliberate. To that end, the cuts will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in the next year. This is expected to result in widespread layoffs at the San Francisco-based company that currently employees nearly 4,000 people. Earlier this month, Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt told staffers at an all-hands meeting that hed have information regarding layoffs in the coming weeks, but he resigned shortly thereafter along with co-founder Dan Kan. It looks like the entire company may get an overhaul, with CFO Paul Jacobson saying in todays conference call that there would be specific restructuring information in the coming weeks after two independent safety and incident review boards finish their work. These boards were instituted after a collision between a Cruise robotaxi and a pedestrian. It was also found that the companys driverless algorithm had trouble recognizing children, which is never good. GM has invested billions of dollars in Cruise since acquiring the company in 2016. This spending has increased in recent years as the company had planned an aggressive launch in more than a dozen cities throughout the US before everything fell apart. To that end, GMs latest earnings report indicates that Cruise spent $732 million in the first three quarters of 2023. The point of todays call wasnt just to offer ill tidings for Cruise. Barra and Jacobson also noted that the recently-penned labor deal with United Autoworkers would cost GM $9.3 billion in the long-term, but the company remains optimistic about future growth, noting an adjusted earnings of $12.7 billion in 2023 and an accelerated $10 billion share buyback program. GM has also named new executives to run Cruise. Mo Elshenawy was promoted from VP of engineering to co-president, with GMs previous EVP of legal and policy taking up the other co-president role. GMs CEO said that the company has a lot of confidence with what the two co-presidents will do, but notes that GM will be leaning in to make sure that it meets our strict requirements from a safety perspective.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/gm-to-cut-spending-on-cruise-driverless-vehicles-by-hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-170857644.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-29 14:10:37| Engadget

Over a year after Capcom first confirmed a sequel was coming for Dragon's Dogma, there's finally a release date. Capcom has announced Dragon's Dogma 2 will arrive on March 22, 2024, on the Xbox Series X and Series S, the PlayStation 5 and PC. There's also a new trailer to give you a better look at what to expect from the sequel. Dragon's Dogma 2 is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC/Steam on March 22, 2024. Pre-order now!Check out latest trailer revealed in the Dragon's Dogma 2 Showcase! https://t.co/EaPNXhyNfE#DD2 #DragonsDogma2 pic.twitter.com/u9tRbwiuGR Dragon's Dogma (@DragonsDogma) November 28, 2023 Dragon's Dogma 2 comes 12 years after the original game came into the world. While there were issues like a mediocre interface, the game provided a detailed, customizable story that found a devoted fan base.  The sequel takes place in a parallel world to the original, following Arisen who had his heart stolen by the Dragon. As Capcom explains, "Queen Regent Disa has installed a false Arisen to maintain control of the kingdom of Vermund for her son. Meanwhile, the beastren nation of Battahl considers the otherworldly Pawns to be a source of misfortune and have turned to worship of the Lambent Flame and their empress Nadinia to ward off calamity." You can play as Arisen or as Main Pawn whose personality is customizable. Dragon's Dogma 2 also introduces new monsters, such as the towering Golem named Talos.  While there are still a few months until gameplay can commence, you can officially pre-order Dragon's Dogma 2 now. The standard version retails for $70 and includes a bonus weapon for each starting vocation in pre-order. The Deluxe Edition is available for $80 and has a "New Journey Pack" with items like a custom camping kit and Rift Crystals plus the Ring of Assurance for pre-orders.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/dragons-dogma-2-finally-has-a-release-date-131037836.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-29 14:00:06| Engadget

As December nears every year, Spotify reveals all of the artists, genres, songs and podcasts you listened to most in the last 12 months. The 2023 installment of the streaming service's Wrapped year-in-review debuts today on the Spotify app with an all-new design alongside the familiar story-style format. For the first time in a while, you can also view your streaming stats on desktop via the web. As always, the company gives you a look at what you listened to most during the year with a few new additions to freshen up the annual tradition.  Spotify has been giving you a list of your top artists, genres, songs and podcasts for a while now, but this year the company will assign one of 12 "listening characters" that best fits your streaming habit. The feature is called Me in 2023 and those "characters" range from the Shapeshifter, someone who moves from one artists to another quickly, to the Alchemist, someone who's more prone to create their own playlists. Another new tool called Sound Town matches you to a city based on your listening and top artists. For example, if you stream a lot of Bad Bunny and Peso Pluma, the app will pair you up with Mexico City.  Spotify In terms of the usual lists, Spotify has given them a refresh to make things a bit more interesting. Your top five artists will now also show you when your listening peaked for each one and next week Spotify's AI DJ will to give you commentary about those top artists, genres and songs on your lists. Spotify has also integrated its Blend tool with Wrapped so you can easily see how you match up with friends with a mix all of the music you listened to most. Artist Messages also return, with over 40,000 of them giving users shout-outs if they're one of your top listens.  Of course, Spotify is also using Wrapped to reveal the platform's most-streamed artists, songs, albums and podcasts both globally and in the US. 2023 was truly the Taylor Swift era as she took the stop spot on both the global and US artist charts. "Flowers" by Miley Cyrus was the most popular song globally while Morgan Wallen's "Last Night" was tops in the States. Un Verano Sin Ti by Bad Bunny was the most-streamed album around the world, but Wallen's One Thing At A Time was the biggest in the US. And in the least surprising development ever, Joe Rogan's podcast was once again the most popular on both the global and United States charts. It's the fourth year in a row The Joe Rogan Experience has been the top show of the year on the global chart. That's a stat the polarizing host is sure to mention as his current contract with the service is almost up.  Spotify Wrapped is now available inside the company's iOS and Android apps as well as the desktop and mobile web. As is typically the case, a lot of the content is shareable, so get ready for your social channels to be flooded with Wrapped lists and graphics for the rest of the week. If you're an Apple Music listener, that service's Rewind tool is already available reliving 2023 on that platform. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/spotify-wrapped-returns-to-reveal-your-2023-streaming-stats-130006797.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


2023-11-29 13:35:11| Engadget

Unity Software is eliminating 3.8 percent of its global workforce and terminating an agreement with VFX company Weta as part of a "reset," Reuters has reported. The news follows some severe turbulence in the company, after it imposed and then partially walked back a controversial runtime fee for its game engine. Last month, John Riccitiello stepped down as president and CEO of the company after nine years in leadership.  Some 265 employees will be laid off, all related to Unity's professional services agreement struck as part of its purchase of Weta Digital's technology and engineering division back in 2021. Employees will have only a week to wrap up before their positions are fully terminated, according to FX Guide a tough blow just before Christmas. In a statement, Weta FX said it will extend offers to as many affected employees as possible. Unity will close offices in up to 14 locations including Berlin and Singapore, pending consultation with employees in some locations, while reducing its office footprint in San Francisco and Belleview, Washington. The company will no longer require that employees work from offices three days a week and will reduce "full in-office services" to three days a week. After Unity's acquisition, Weta FX (the film industry VFX division) split off into a new and separate company. Unity, meanwhile, acquired Weta engineers along with tools for pipelines and FX, Weta's data platform, a library of assets and more. "Unity will retain ownership of the technology it acquired from Wt in December 2021 and will be evaluating the best way to enhance its offerings with it over time. The technology will also remain fully available to Weta FX," Weta said in a statement.  Just a month ago, Unity rolled out some significant concessions to its developer pricing model after widespread backlash over its plan to charge developers for game installations. The move will directly impact developers, publishers and distributors. The upheaval of Unitys business model came at the same time as a series of massive layoffs. In 2023, the company reduced its headcount three times in an attempt to cut costs. CEO John Riccitiello, who took much of the brunt of the criticism, stepped down last month and was replaced by former IBM president James Whitehurst, who is serving as an interim CEO. This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/unity-cuts-265-jobs-as-part-of-a-company-reset-123511764.html?src=rss

Category: Marketing and Advertising


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