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Mario Party Online, EA Loot Box Leak, It Takes Two 1 Million Sold

Mario Party Online, EA Loot Box Leak, It Takes Two 1 Million Sold

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Super Mario Party Got a much needed online upgrade

Reported by The Verge – It took nearly three years, but Nintendo has finally given you a compelling reason to load up Super Mario Party on your Switch again. The new update significantly adds to the online component — which has been woefully lacking since launch.

Thanks to the latest update, Super Mario Party now allows you to play Mario Party, a board game mode where up to four players take turns competing against each other racing across the game board. It also added Partner Party, which is similar to Mario Party but pits two teams of two against each other. This the first time board games support online play. Additionally, 70 out of the 80 mini-games available in the game can now be played online. Before the update, Super Mario Party only allowed you to play 10 mini-games online.

According to the patch notes, there are two ways to play online, both of which require an active subscription to Nintendo Switch Online: Friend Match, which allows you to play with friends, or Private Game, which allows you to play with anyone using passwords.

Super Mario Party was released in October 2018, and it can be fun to play with friends, despite the potential rifts it can cause in your friendships. While the update seems a bit out of the blue, Super Mario Party expanding the online play options makes it another alternative for people looking for games that aren’t Jackbox or the frustrating online multiplayer in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

EA LOOT BOX LEAK

Reported by CBC.CA – A gaming insider says an internal company document proves video game giant Electronic Arts is trying to drive players into a type of game play that encourages them to spend more money and which has come under fire for possible links to gambling.

The leaked 54-page document comes from the company’s sports division in Burnaby, B.C., where a team works on EA’s hugely profitable FIFA soccer games. It appears to be a presentation, featuring numerous slides with bullet points, about the release of FIFA 21 and was shared internally.

It discusses a mode of play that lets players buy “loot boxes” within the game to improve play or increase their chances of winning, such as by adding a better player to their team.

It says the mode that allows loot box purchases, called FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), is the “cornerstone” of the game.

“We are doing everything we can to drive players there,” a bullet point close to the top of the document says.

“All EA games can be played without spending on in-game items, and the majority of players do not spend,” Charlie Fortescue said in a statement.

Loot boxes are not illegal in Canada or the U.S., and many game and app companies offer similar enticements — letting players spend money on options and add-ons that enhance game play and are profitable for the companies.

And EA is earning big bucks from loot boxes.

Based on annual reports, the California-based multinational company earned $1.49 billion US in 2020 from loot boxes in its sports titles alone, almost triple the $587 million generated in 2015, according to Niko Partners, a firm that specializes in video game market analytics.

Loot boxes, also known as “card packs,” can be purchased with real money or “coins” earned in the game. But the insider says there’s pressure to cough up real cash.

“You can play … without spending a dollar,” he said. “But you’ll learn it takes a long time to earn coins and you’ll get frustrated pretty fast.”

It Takes Two Sells 1 Million Copies

Reported by IGN – It Takes Two has officially sold over one million copies, and its writer and director Josef Fares says that this proves there are players who want to play co-op only games.
It Takes Two developer Hazelight Studios shared the news on Twitter, saying, “Wow!!! Just found out #ItTakesTwo has sold over 1 million copies and is still going strong! Thank you so much for all the love you’ve shown our game, it means the world to us.”

Fares Quote Tweeted that message, adding that “this shows that there definitely is players that also wants to play co op only games! Thank you everyone and I hope we see more games like this.”

This milestone arrives after many in the gaming community, including IGN, praised the game’s beautiful, fun, and inventive world.

In our It Takes Two review, we said it “is a spectacular co-op adventure that lays down a path of great gameplay ideas and uses it to play a giddy game of hopscotch. It’s beautiful, breakneck-paced, and bubbling over with creativity, and playfulness and experimentation are rewarded at every turn. If you have any kind of co-op partner in your life, be they spouse, friend, sibling, or other (even a child, though the themes might be too mature for them), It Takes Two is a truly joyful trip you really need to take together.”

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