Fortnite Dev Says No Vehicles Are Coming As Game Passes 40 Million Downloads

Gears of War creator Epic Games’ popular, stylized shooter/building game Fortnite has passed a new player milestone. More than 40 million people have downloaded the game as of January, the studio told Rolling Stone. This is up 10 million from 30 million in December.

Epic wouldn’t provide any details on how the 40 million downloads are spread between the paid Save the World version and the free PUBG-like Battle Royale mode. Whatever the case, 40 million is a massive figure, the likes of which many games never come close to reaching.

Also in the interview, Epic says it has no current plans to add a new map (Battle Royale currently only has one) or introduce vehicles. Regarding the lack of vehicles, Battle Royale lead designer Eric Williamson said, “We don’t have a need to add vehicles to get around the map because our travel times allow you to get mostly wherever you want to go.”

The interview covers other subjects as well such as under-the-hood improvements to make the game look and run better and more. You can read the full interview here at Rolling Stone.

Battle Royale’s map is getting big new update this week on PS4, Xbox One, and PC that introduces new points of interests such as new named areas. Additionally, the map’s biomes will be divided up more clearly with the aim of helping players distinguish them. “The swamp feels swampier, the mountains feel more mountain-y. Really, the different areas of the map feel more unique,” he explained. For more on the changes, check out the embedded video above.

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Netflix ‘Still Exploring the Opportunity’ for Switch App

Netflix is still “exploring the opportunity” to bring its streaming app to Nintendo Switch.

The news comes by way of Polygon, who was told by a Netflix representative, “We are still exploring the opportunity with Nintendo, but don’t have definitive plans to share at this time”

Over the weekend, customer service account @Netflixhelps told a customer “there are currently no plans for Netflix on Nintendo Switch,” but the tweet has since been deleted.

Although the Switch originally launched without streaming support, Nintendo said it hadn’t ruled it out for future updates, and Hulu has already brought its streaming app to the Switch.

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Blame WWE’s High-Risk Culture For Paige’s Retirement, Not Sasha Banks

According to multiple sources, WWE superstar Paige is being forced to retire from in-ring competition due to a serious neck injury. She’s 25 years old, and although she’s only been on WWE’s main roster since 2014, she’s actually been performing since she was 13. Her entire family is involved in the business, and she tag teamed with her mother in her family’s Norwich promotion. That’s 12 years of wear and tear.

This is not Paige’s first bout with neck problems either. She suffered chronic pain from a herniated disc, and she underwent surgery in late 2016, during which she got three screws in her neck. One of her doctors even cautioned her against wrestling again. So to put this retirement into perspective, it is not completely unexpected.

Still, a number of WWE fans are blaming Sasha Banks for ending Paige’s career. The alleged fateful moment was captured on video at a Long Island house show on December 27. In the clip filmed by YouTube user SVRdude, you can see Banks kick Paige in the back. Paige hits the ground hard and struggles to rise before falling down again. The referee throws up the ‘X’ sign with his arms–a signal to the medical team that this is a legitimate injury.

The kick was a bit stiff, and the communication was off; it didn’t seem that Paige properly braced for the impact. But regardless of what Banks could have done differently, this is a dangerous spot to begin with. This kick is not a face-to-face move, where the recipient can see the strike as it’s coming and roll with it to lessen its impact. The recipient is completely blind and at the mercy of the performer. Banks should have never executed it, least of all on a wrestler with chronic neck issues. But a match is also a team effort; Paige should have never agreed to take it. And the company should have never allowed it to happen either.

Kayfabe is dead; one would be hard pressed to find any fans, outside of young children, who think professional wrestling is a 100% real, legitimate competition. And many performers, in a misguided attempt to give fans something to believe in, perform dangerous, eye-popping stunts on a too-frequent basis. In the old days, particularly dangerous spots would be confined to pay-per-views, where they would have the most psychological impact.

Take the suicide dive, for example. It’s a headfirst torpedo dive, through or over the ropes, to the hard floor outside the ring. Its execution is based on trust; if the recipient fails to catch his opponent, the performer could become paralyzed or die.

This was once a climactic move–so rare and extreme that it could end a match altogether. But now, it’s performed so regularly (multiple times on a single Raw or SmackDown) that’s it’s become “just another move.” The wrestlers have only reinforced this–they used to roll around, moaning in pain, after performing moves this dangerous. Now, they pop right back up, which undermines the gravity of their risk.

This normalization is toxic. When a high-risk move is rendered typical, fans become desensitized and bored of seeing it. It’ll no longer draw the same reaction. And the wrestlers must perform increasingly dangerous moves to keep the fans invested. Until, of course, those moves also become typical. It’s a vicious cycle that leads to oblivion. There’s only so much the human body can take.

Seth Rollins, for example, has a move called the “buckle bomb,” in which he throws his opponent, shoulders first, into the turnbuckles or the outside barrier. It looks brutal, and it’s extremely dangerous because the margin for error is so thin. It dislocated and injured Finn Balor’s shoulder. It temporarily paralyzed Sting and ended his career. Like the kick to the back, it’s simply too big of a risk, no matter what crowd response it gets.

Or take Big E, who weighs close to 300 pounds and performs a suicide spear that he frequently botches by landing on his head or neck. It’s not even fun to watch him perform this move; the viewer fears for his life.

And this move is not a recent addition to Big E’s repertoire; the highlight reel above was compiled over a number of years. So why is Big E still performing the suicide spear? Because the company hasn’t stopped him; because Big E is willing to perform it, and he clearly values the massive crowd response over the risks to his health; because the recipient outside the ring, tasked with catching this gigantic man, is willing to stand there, enable Big E, and risk injury to himself.

And if one day, Big E paralyzes himself or kills the person he dives into, who’s to blame? Should fans blame Big E for diving? Should they blame the opponent for failing to catch him properly? Should they blame WWE for not putting a stop to this when they had the opportunity to do so? Or should they blame themselves for cheering a dangerous stunt that risks the health of these performers?

Paige’s retirement is not an indictment of Sasha Banks so much as it is an indictment of WWE’s culture, which allowed a dangerous, ill-advised spot to take place at a house show, where there were no television cameras and no larger narrative stakes.

The performers don’t protect themselves enough. The performers don’t protect their opponents enough. The company doesn’t protect its performers from themselves, or allow them enough comfort and leeway to say “no.” And the fans share some blame too, for offering positive reinforcement for cheap stunts and for chanting “Boring” at things they would have cheered for, once upon a time.

WWE is very good at making changes with the benefit of hindsight. The piledriver was banned after it nearly paralyzed Steve Austin. The muscle buster was banned after it ended Tyson Kidd’s career. WWE may soon ban kicks to the back, thanks to Paige’s mishap.

Of course, even with these changes, wrestling will always be dangerous. But the risks can be minimized significantly, and no one should have to lose his or her health and livelihood for change to take place.

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WWE: 12 Iconic Male-Female Duos

Debuting January 16th at 10/9c, exclusively on Facebook Watch, WWE Mixed Match Challenge will feature male-female WWE Superstar pairings competing in a mixed tag match tournament – with only one RAW or SmackDown duo winning $100,000 for their chosen charity.

With this new series in mind, we thought it an opportune time to look back at some of the company’s most memorable male-female partnerships. From the iconic Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth to modern-era pairs like The Miz and Maryse, sometimes having a female “valet” at wrestler’s side could really boost someone’s value as a performer and/or attraction. Sure, most often there was a nonsense romance angle that accompanied the story, but sometimes real-life couples actually teamed up on screen and their chemistry and charisma was enough craft something magical.

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Five Game Of Thrones Prequels Are In The Works, But Won’t Air Until 2020 At Least

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones is now confirmed for 2019, but HBO has no intention of saying goodbye to its hugely popular fantasy show. Last year it was reported that the channel was developing five spin-off shows simultaneously. Now programming president Casey Bloys has confirmed that they are all still in the works, but that fans shouldn’t necessarily expect to see all of them reach the screen.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Bloys revealed that it would be 2020 at the earliest before we saw anything more from the Game of Thrones universe. “If we do a pilot and series, nothing is going to air on HBO until at least a year after the final season,” he said. “We’re not doing a final season and then, ‘Following it at 11 pm…'”

“I’ve seen some exciting material,” he continued. “We have really great writers working on these. But there’s no timetable. Not everybody is on the same schedule, so I’ve seen different versions of different things. But there’s no timetable about when a decision would be made about any of them. I’ll do anywhere from zero to five, though probably more likely one. We’ll see.”

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In November, it was reported that all five potential series would be prequels. Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin is writing one with the main show’s co-executive producer Bryan Cogman, and updated fans about its progress on Tumblr.

“I can say that, like the other pilots, it will be a prequel rather than sequel, a successor rather than a spin-off,” Martin said. “Bryan’s series will be an adaptation, and one that will thrill most fans of the books, I think, set during a very exciting period of Westerosi history. And I’ll be working with him every step of the way; we’re going to be co-creating the show.”

Earlier this month it was confirmed that the final season of Game of Thrones will be just six episodes long. Although we know it will arrive in 2019, a premiere date is yet to be announced. Seasons 1-6 all premiered in March or April on HBO, while Season 7 debuted this past July. If HBO follows either of those premiere windows, that will mark over a year-and-a-half since the previous season ended, which will be the longest gap between seasons in the show’s entire run.

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Dragon Ball FighterZ: Open Beta Suffering Network Issues

The open beta for Bandai Namco’s latest brawler, Dragon Ball FighterZ launched on Saturday and is scheduled to run until Tuesday, January 16 – but with many players unable to log in and Bandai Namco’s admission that there are “network issues” currently affecting gameplay, there’s a possibility that the beta period may be extended.

In a tweet, Bandai Namco acknowledges the issues that players have been having, explaining that the problems are extensive enough that they may not be able to be resolved quickly. In a linked Facebook post, the developer elaborates that the team is “working hard” but that players will have to wait for the next server update before the problems are resolved.

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