Editor’s Note: This is the GameSentral Rewind, a daily recap of the top gaming headlines.
One-time, $25 Halo 5 REQ pack revealed
343 Industries is unlocking its next premium REQ bundle for Halo 5: Guardians, focusing on exclusive Arena add-ons, in the game’s REQ store, Xbox.com, Xbox Dashboard, and in retail stores.
The Arena REQ bundle is an one-time $25 purchase that’s available worldwide. This gives players access to the newest armor and weapon skins from 14 premium Arena REQ packs. Two packs will be released weekly (for seven weeks).
The drops are randomized, giving players higher changes of unlocking rarer REQs like Mythic and Legendary items. However, all players will receive the Mark V Alpha armor, inspired by Halo: Combat Evolved’s Master Chief.
Major multiplayer changes accompany next Destiny event
Destiny will soon introduce a host of multiplayer changes in both the competitive Crucible and the cooperative King’s Fall.
First off, players will no longer start each round of 3v3 Crucible matches with special ammo. Instead, you’ll have to wait for the regularly scheduled drops to feed their shotguns, snipers, and fusion rifles. According to community manager David “DeeJ” Dague, this was done “to increase the user of Primary weapons, especially at match-start.” The free-for-all Rumble will be unaffected.
Freelance 6v6 and Freelance 3v3 will include the same modes found in the rest of the game, but only solo queue players will qualify. This would make the advantage of fireteams over those who play alone a nonfactor.
Lastly, Bungie promised better – or more fair – performance. The same lag-detection methods that have been applied to the Iron Banner, Skirmish, Rumble, and Control are jumping to the Trials of Osiris. Eventually, these improvements will filter into “all Crucible playlists” after the other aforementioned changes.
A new “Damage Referee” system is being implemented to weigh split-second exchanges in favor of players with better Internet connections. Players with flagging connections should “expect to lose fights a lot more often, even if you think you shot first or escaped behind cover in time,” according to Dague.
These changes will accompany a pair of King’s Fall bug fixes: Those chosen as runners during the Daughters of Oryx will no longer have their cameras automatically adjusted. Meanwhile, the ogres seen in the final boss fight will no longer teleport through their bombs.
Most of these changes should arrive on Feb. 9, alongside Valentine’s-centric Destiny event Crimson Days.
The Witness sold ‘substantially more’ than 100K copies in its first week
The Witness, Thekla’s brain-melting puzzle game, has racked up sales of “substantially more than 100,000 units” and over $5 million in gross revenue in its first week on the market, according to lead developer Jonathan Blow.
These figures are combined totals from the game’s PlayStation 4 and Windows sales. Sales were “very strong” on both platforms, with neither platform dominating.
Launch-week sales on each platform “handily [beat]” those of Braid, Blow’s previous game. That game launched at $14.99, while The Witness clocks in at a price point of $39.99.
“The fact that we beat Braid by units, more than doubly, is a really nice success.”
-Jonathan Blow, The Witness lead developer
Nintendo earnings: Quarterly profit dives; hope in Splatoon, Super Mario Maker
Nintendo suffered another sharp loss in profit for its fiscal quarter that ended in December, but good news came in the sales performance of Splatoon and Super Mario Maker.
The company also teased a second title for its upcoming mobile game initiative.
Profits declined 36 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago. Wii U sales were down 2.1 percent from the preceding quarter, with 3DS sales being down 28 percent.
Splatoon pushed over the four million units sold mark after launching in late May, while Super Mario Maker stands at 3.34 million units after its September launch.
To date, the Wii U has sold 12.6 million units since its November 2012 launch, while the 3DS line has sold 57.94 million units since launching in February 2011.
Nintendo launching Miitomo rewards app, My Nintendo rewards program in March
According to a Nintendo of Japan investor presentation, Nintendo plans to launch its new My Nintendo rewards program and Miitomo in March.
My Nintendo is the spiritual successor to the shuttered Club Nintendo program, and will launch in 39 countries globally including North America, Europe, Japan, Russia, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. The service rewards members with platinum and gold points.
Platinum points can be earned by logging into the Nintendo eShop, playing games, and visiting the company’s websites. Those points can be spent on digital goods like 3DS wallpapers and themes.
Gold points can be earned by purchasing eShop content, and can be used for game and software discounts.
Mii-powered social communication app Miitomo will launch in March in Japan, and 15 other territories in North America, Western Europe, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand. Pre-registration for the app will begin on Feb. 17.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens confirms; season pass DLC coming after launch
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developer TT Games have officially announced Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens with the above trailer.
The game will launch on June 28 for Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Wii U, Windows, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. However, PlayStation 3 & 4 owners will have access to exclusive downloadable content.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens will cover the 2015 film of the same name, and new content to fill in the gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.
The game also introduces a new “Multi-Build” option and Blaster Battles. Players will also be able to pilot the Millennium Falcon while playing as various film characters.
NBA 2K maker sued thanks to player tattoos
2K Games, responsible for the NBA 2K franchise, its parent company Take-Two Interactive, and developer Visual Concepts were sued in federal court Monday by Solid Oak Sketches, which owns copyrighted tattoos donned by former cover stars Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, along with DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe, and Kenyon Martin. According to Solid Oak, they have licensing agreements with players acknowledging those rights.
According to Solid Oak, the value of all the tattoos in question adds up to around $800,000, with about $250,000 of that coming from James’ tattoos appearing on NBA 2K14’s cover alone.