Over 20 Million People Were On Steam Today, Because What Else Are We Going To Do
With more and more folks around the world being asked to work and stay at home, it’s probably to be expected that Steam would get a workout. But even taking that into account, these numbers from the last 24 hours are something else. Earlier today, Valve’s service set a new concurrent user record with just over 20 million people logged in, with a peak of just under 6.4 million actively playing a game. Of that 6.4 million, just over 1 million were playing a single game: Counter-Strike, which itself set a new record over the past two days, passing that seven-figure milestone for the first time in its history. The other top games being played were DOTA 2 (700k), Rainbow Six Siege (196k), Path of Exile (115k) and Grand Theft Auto V (173k). All of which are big, big numbers, but as this coronavirus lockdown continues to deepen, we can probably expect them to be broken in the days ahead. Then broken again, repeatedly.
Blizzard has begun its Overwatch Archives 2020 event, and this year the game is revisiting some of its previous stories. Each week will unlock one of the previous Archives Brawls, with two special challenge missions attached for each. Overwatch Archives 2020 will last through April 2. The star of the show, as usual, are the new cosmetics that you can earn by participating in the limited-time event. This year the weekly challenge rewards include three Epic skins: Holi Symmetra, Rustclad Torbjorn, and Bear Mei. There are also five new Legendary skins and other cosmetics to unlock, via purchase or loot box. You can see some of the cosmetic items below. The Overwatch Archives events have been a chance for Blizzard to fill out the world of Overwatch with additional details about characters and backstory. This year's Archives revisits old ones, so it may not add much new to the lore, but then Blizzard is also at work on a major expansion of its story with Overwatch 2. Meanwhile, Overwatch esports have been put on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, as Overwatch League recently announced it would be suspending all events for two months. That came amid several cancellations of high-profile gaming and esports events, including E3 2020, aimed at slowing the transmission of the virus via social distancing.
Overwatch Archives 2020 Is Live With New Skins
Both Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 were based on the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition, while Baldur's Gate 3 will be based on 5th Edition: a more accessible ruleset that has led to a huge boost in DnD's popularity. Vincke has previously referred to Baldur's Gate 3 as a 5th Edition campaign where Larian is the player's dungeon master, and the AMA reveals just how much effort has gone into adapting the DnD rulebook. Some key takeaways from the AMA include that all 12 classes in the 5th Edition rulebook will be playable in Baldur's Gate 3, though only half--Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue, Warlock, and Wizard--will be in the early access launch.
Baldur's Gate 3 Devs Reveal How The Game Relates To Its Predecessors
All Movie Theaters In Los Angeles And New York Will Close
Keen moviegoers will have to satisfy themselves with films they can stream at home, as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have ordered all cinemas to close in the two bustling cities, according to the Hollywood Reporter. This move will include New York's AMC Empire, the top grossing cinema in the USA, as well as venues such as nightclubs and concert venues in New York, and gyms, bars, and arcades in Los Angeles. The closures will officially come into effect as of 9 AM on March 17, but even prior to this announcement attendance at cinemas was at a historic low. The collective box office for this weekend in the US was just $55.3 million, the lowest it's been since 1998. The film industry has planned for this drop to a certain extent, delaying the release of big ticket films such as No Time To Die, with others such as Mulan and Onward facing delays for the Chinese market.
However with production halted on highly anticipated titles like the next Mission Impossible, and the Lord of the Rings TV show, the coronavirus outbreak could mean huge losses for the entertainment industry.
Space Jam 2 Is Being Worked On By Director Of Original Mulan
Tony Bancroft, one of the two credited directors behind Disney's Mulan (1998), has announced that he is working on the much-anticipated Space Jam 2. Bancroft announced on Twitter that he started working on the film in January, and has just been sent to work from home in the wake of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak. "Just one more Looney chapter in the making of Space Jam 2," Bancroft said on Twitter. "Have Cintiq will travel." Bancroft is a high-profile animator, and he's far from the only big name attached. The film is being directed by Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip), produced by Ryan Coogler (Black Panther), and stars LeBron James in the Michael Jordan equivalent role (alongside several Loony Toons). It will also feature numerous other basketball players. As with the original film, it will mix live-action and animated characters together on screen. Bancroft's Mulan has been remade as a live-action film by director Niki Caro (Whale Rider). The film was due to release on March 27, but it has been delayed, again due to the coronavirus. Back in 2016, Space Jam director Joe Pytka claimed that the sequel was "doomed." It remains to be seen if this is the case, however--the film is in post-production, with the live-action portions having been shot, and is targeting a 2021 release.