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Shenmue 3 to Have Minimal Load Times

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Shenmue 3

After the last two entries in the series released more than a decade ago, Shenmue 3 is transitioning to current-generation consoles with Unreal Engine 4, paving the way for improvements to the game’s load times.

In an interview with Eurogamer, game director Yu Suzuki explained how Shenmue 3 tackles load times. “This time, you’ll start in a large area which will require some initial loading, but compared to before the loading situation will be much better,” said Suzuki. “It’s much faster now.” In retrospect, the first two Shenmue games ran on a custom-built engine and had plenty of loading screens when transitioning from gameplay to cutscenes or going to a new location. As load times in the first two games would vary from three to 10 seconds, Shenmue 3’s improvements to load times could be minimal, unless the team is eyeing seamless exploration similar to Yakuza 6.

Aside from improvements to load times, Suzuki said the team is modernizing some of Shenmue 3‘s gameplay aspects, but is undecided regarding the control scheme. “On one hand, I wanted to keep a similar configuration to the original game, but on the other hand, there are new trends in control that I’m considering,” Suzuki told Eurogamer. “For the moment, I’m using the right trigger for running and the analog stick for camera control like the original. That’s current setup but I haven’t made up my mind yet [sic].”

According to Suzuki, Unreal Engine has made prototyping ideas easier, but difficult to fine tune. Shenmue 3 is one of the few open-world games that uses Unreal Engine 4. Other notable Unreal Engine 4-powered games include Ark: Survival Evolved and Conan Exiles. Upcoming AAA titles that use Unreal Engine 4 include Days Gone, Crackdown 3, and Kingdom Hearts 3.

Shenmue 3 releases in the second half of 2018 for PC and PS4. Recently, game listings for a Shenmue HD pack surfaced on several retailers.

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Ubisoft Discusses How Uplay Plus Will Improve Communication With Players

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Ubisoft Uplay+

Ubisoft believes that its new subscription service Uplay Plus will help the publisher improve communication with players.

Alain Corre, the executive director of EMEA at Ubisoft, spoke to GamesIndustry.biz where he outlined the vision and strategy for the company’s new subscription service. He explained that Uplay Plus will help boost communication with players, and the feedback it receives will help improve Ubisoft’s games.

“The reason behind our subscription service… it gives more possibilities for our fans to play our games and we can talk to them. We can keep them in our worlds, we can discuss with them and—thanks to what they say and the way they behave—we can feed that back into our games development. When we are in control of that within our ecosystem, we feel it’s beneficial for our fans. That’s ultimately what we want to do; we want to have more contact with them, more interaction, listening more to what they want and improve based on what they say.”

Corre highlighted that Ubisoft will not solely focus its efforts on Uplay Plus; players will still be able to pick up any of the publishers games either physically or as digital downloads. He explained that the company’s strategy moving into a subscription service is to adapt with modern consumer tends of gamers.

“We are still keeping the traditional model whether they buy our games in a store or download them. It’s really a case of offering the possibilities. Consumers are evolving really fast, and we want to adapt to what they want and propose new things to them, as well as keep the other means of distribution.”

Furthermore Ubisoft revealed that Uplay Plus and all past and future games will be available on the Google Stadia. Ubisoft was an early vocal supporter of Google’s new console, especially as the upcoming console focuses solely on streaming games.

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