Microsoft to share Xbox plans, Fortnite World Cup Update

TODAY: Easter eggs have been hidden in games since the dawn of time — This year’s esports is taking a beating from COVID-19 — Believe it or not: The Sims was not inspired by soap operas, but a real-life natural disaster

Xbox Series X Showcase

Microsoft ready to share their plans for leading towards Xbox Series X launch

General Manager of Xbox Games Marketing Aaron Greenberg has confirmed that Microsoft will reveal their next-gen console launch plans on May 7th.

Microsoft has already announced their plans to host a digital press conference to make announcements originally intended for the cancelled E3 trade show.

First glimpse: “We will share more information on our plans for summer up to launch next week,” Greenberg tweeted. Microsoft is planning to give a “first look at Xbox Series X gameplay from our partners. We got a lot to share this summer and heading into holiday, so will give more details on that next week too!”

Going digital: Following the cancellation of E3, many big players have announced digital press conferences and streams for their announcements, although Nintendo just decided to delay the planned Nintendo Direct for June. Microsoft appears on track to make their announcements sometime next week.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

What natural disaster helped inspire The Sims?

  • Hurricane Lestor
  • The Oakland Firestorm of 1991
  • 1991 Sierra Madre earthquake
  • The Long Valley Caldera Eruption

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today’s issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

Daily Fact

Gaming’s very first Easter egg was hatched in an Atari game from 1979

Game designer Warren Robinett created the very first Easter egg in videogame history when working on Adventure for Atari 2600.

It wasn’t much, simply a vertical text display that said “Created by Warren Robinett” that would appear if you performed a sequence of actions.

Why, though? It was all because of a culture clash between Atari’s New York and California offices thanks to Atari executives’ decision to strip developer credits from their games to stop their talent getting poached by rival game companies.

The Easter egg was immortalized in Ready Player One, where it plays a pivotal role in the plot.

Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Fortnite and DOTA 2 Esports Events

Major 2020 esports events cancelled

Unsurprisingly, major Fortnite and Dota 2 tournaments have been called off thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both the Fortnite World Cup and The International have been cancelled, although Fortnite online competitions will carry on as before.

Epic’s response: “We don’t know when a return to large, global, in-person events will be practical, but we’re hopeful to be able to put on some form of Fortnite World Cup in 2021,” said Fortnite Competitive. Many US states are responsible for their own lockdown schedules.

Valve’s response: The International has been suspended due to the “highly volatile landscape for local gathering restrictions”, meaning Valve is unable to commit to a date and make the necessary arrangements. The Dota 2 Pro Circuit is still on track for autumn.

Game Spotlight

Shred! 2 – ft Sam Pilgrim

Version tested: Xbox One

Shred 2 is not as polished as the Trials games and you will probably tire of the handful of Sam Pilgrim voice samples after a while – but Shred 2’s mix of obstacle course with trick and combo gameplay is just fantastically satisfying.

The game has an invigorating rhythm, the very definition of easy to pick up and hard to master.Like the best extreme sports games, it mixes exhilaration, danger and the drive to perfect your run. If that’s your thing, you’re gonna have a blast!

Verdict: Highly Recommended

Call of Duty: Warzone

Leaks and datamining reveal key cards and playlists for Call of Duty: Warzone

Thanks to leaks and tireless dataminers, we know what’s next for free-to-play Battle Royale phenomenon Call of Duty: Warzone.

For example, the red, green and blue keycards seem to fit into bunkers although they don’t seem to be for anything just yet. Then there’s the upcoming playlists.

Playlists with descriptions

  • Classic BR – No Cash, Contracts, Gulags, loadouts, or respawns
  • Mo Gulag Mo Problems – Dead players go to Gulag until final 3 circles, no buybacks
  • BYOL – Bring your own loadout, start w/ your loadout
  • Non Stop – Gas always closing
  • PewPew – High dmg pistols & Explosive Physics
  • Run Like Hell – Circle is faster than a running player
  • Bottom Line – When a player dies they will drop back into the fight if they have enough cash on them. Gulag disabled
  • Realism – Minimal HUD

Playlists without descriptions

  • Infinite Gulag
  • Most Wanted
  • One shot
  • Stimulus
  • Inflation Redeployment

What Else Happened Today?

  • RPG platformer Indivisible was launched by mistake according to publisher 505 Games who blames their tools and says launch was intended to happen in May
  • Get nostalgic with Yooka-Laylee 64-Bit Tonic which applies filters and some new art to make the game look like it’s from 1999
  • Burnout Paradise Remastered crashing onto Switch on June 19th proving that Criterion Games’ masterpiece truly is timeless
  • Legendary Pictures adapting SimCity and The Sims for the silver screen as a disaster comedy taking place both inside and outside the game
  • Action puzzler Urban Flow announced for Switch, so get ready to control traffic flow and prevent pile-ups later this year

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

What natural disaster helped inspire the Sims?

Answer: The Oakland Firestorm of 1991!

Inspiration can strike in the oddest places, even in great tragedies.

The Oakland Firestorm left a trail of destruction, and one of the victims was Will Wright. He lost his house and most of his possessions in the disaster, which got him thinking about a game design idea influenced by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the urban design book A Pattern Language.

The original concept focused on building a house rather than a household, but during development the team discovered that the social aspect of the game was the most engaging. They decided to build on the characterization and relationship-building, and the rest is history. A timely reminder that tragic circumstances can be a source of inspiration and not just despair.

Today’s issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Simon Priest, Erlend Grefsrud, and Jamie Davey.