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Gaming: Amazon previews New World MMO, Fortnite debuts merged accounts, more

By Benjamin Bullard
New World MMO poster 2 via Amazon 2019

Amazon must be serious about making its own games, because it’s deep in development on an all-new MMO — one created entirely by the in-house Amazon Game Studios team — that’s set in the North American Colonial period.

Amazon describes its upcoming New World as a sandbox game that unfolds during “a lost chapter in history” as explorers come ashore, for the first time, on the new continent. “Carve your destiny alongside hundreds of other players in a savage and arcane 17th-century world. Survive murderous player bandits, band together to build fortified strongholds, or strike out to claim a piece of the haunted frontier,” Amazon teases.

New World MMO 1 via Amazon 2019
New World MMO 3 via Amazon 2019
New World MMO 4 via Amazon 2019

Some members of the gaming press already have spent some time with an alpha version of New World, and have come away drawing comparisons to the well-regarded EVE Online, which has earned a reputation for open-ended and unscripted gameplay; the kind that relies more heavily on exploration and discovery than on narrative prodding.

The game’s creators at Amazon told US Gamer that New World is designed to accommodate both co-op and solo play styles, and will feature massive, high-level PvP raids with the potential for more MMORPG features to come once the game is up and running. As for microtransactions, they’ll be in there, but the developers said they won’t be loot box-based.

New World doesn’t have a release date, and after the demise of Breakaway, its last game, Amazon evidently isn’t in a hurry to rush New World out the door. “We are very, very committed to not releasing New World until we are really convinced that it's ready,” Amazon’s Patrick Gilmore told US Gamer.

If you’re among the PlayStation 4 Fortnite players who’s had to create a separate account in order to play Epic Games' blockbuster on your other gaming devices, good news: Epic has just made it possible to merge all your Fortnite accounts into a single one that can be used across all platforms — including the PS4.

The streamlining move comes in the wake of Sony’s capitulation to Fortnite fans late last year, breaking with Sony’s longstanding habit of not allowing cross-platform play for PS4 gamers. Now, with a little DIY and some patience, you can consolidate all those V-Bucks and outfits you’ve racked up on your Nintendo Switch or Xbox One Fortnite account with the same account you’ve been using for the PS4.

The big catch is that Epic’s new merger tool is only available for players who were playing the game on both PS4 and at least one other platform before Sony relaxed its cross-platform policy on Sept. 28 of last year. 

The other catch is that, once you’ve combined your accounts, it’ll take two weeks before your assets from both accounts show up under the primary account you’ve picked. Your primary login will still work the minute you enable it, and everything you do in the game from then on will remain linked, regardless of platform — it’ll just take a while before all your dance moves, skins, and V-Bucks are all in the same single pile.

The process seems pretty simple, so head over to the Fortnite account merger page to get started.

The ruins of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor site will be the backdrop for Chernobylite, a new survival horror game from Get Even developer The Farm 51.

Teasing that “the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is not what it once was,” Chernobylite will follow a former young physicist 30 years after he lost track of his girlfriend during the 1986 incident, obsessed with the demons of what happened to her. Which means: Time to queue a return to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, where a new and dangerous substance has emerged from the radiation and is now fueling sci-fi horrors that you’ll have to face in order to get to the bottom of the mystery. 

Check out the announcement trailer below, while we wait (hopefully not 30 years) for news of a release date for Chernobylite, which is headed for a debut at the Steam store:

Nintendo recently touched on its stance on gaming addiction, a phenomenon it acknowledged as real — although, according to Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa, it’s a function not of nature, but of nurture. 

Via Variety, Furukawa told investors the company approaches the problem with an eye toward equipping parents with tools to make it easier to supervise their children’s activity, including controls that can limit time spent in front of a console. 

“I think the problem of game addiction is more about becoming overly dependent on video games than is about any issues with the games themselves,” he said, via the report. “One thing we have done as a company that creates games is to implement features that allow parents to limit the time that their children can play games. I think that further implementing features like this, and raising awareness among more people that these features exist, is one way we can face the issues.”

Sure, maybe that’ll help young people develop healthy habits — but what about all us grown-ups who can’t stop playing Breath of the Wild?