Microsoft Flight Simulator is a game-as-service platform – but that service is mods

Microsoft Flight Simulator is coming down the pipe, and while the actual release is still some distance away, the insider program and playable tests are soon getting underway in earnest. We got a gorgeous new trailer among the X019 news, but there are still a lot of questions about the features of the latest in plane games – including mods. While we still don’t know specifics, it seems that community creations are pretty core to the team’s plans. “We are a platform maker,” production head Jorg Neumann tells us. “Our responsibility is to the community who wants to make content.” Neumann says he stays in contact with some of the community’s most dedicated modders – including one who books vacations at airports for research. “He takes 20,000 pictures, and then he builds airports for a year. That’s his hobby.” Neumann says “I want those people to have all the tools. I tell them, ‘tell me what you always wanted and you never had, so we can build it for you.’”

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Dragon Quest Builders 2 puts RPG in your Minecraft, and it hits Steam next month

While Dragon Quest Builders initially seemed like a cynical effort to cash in on the popularity of Minecraft, the game turned out to be an absolute delight – and its sequel made the peanut-butter-and-chocolate formula even better. While the games have been the exclusive domain of consoles up until this point, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is finally coming to Steam on December 10. Your patience is paying off, too, as the PC edition of DQB2 will include all of the DLC previously released with the console season pass. That means you’re getting new areas, over 100 additional recipes for new structure and, outfits, and fishing with loads of aquatic animals to catch. If you like to purchase early, you can pre-order on Steam for $59.99 / £49.99 / €59.99. If you’ve not played Dragon Quest Builders, it’s basically Minecraft: The RPG. You’ve still got loads of options to build in and explore a blocky open-world as you see fit, but there’s a more directed narrative and quirky characters to add extra life to the proceedings.

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Stadia review roundup – every verdict on Google’s streaming tech

Google Stadia officially launches this week, and after all this time we’re finally going to see how this massive push for game streaming actually works in practice. The reviews have landed, and critics have reached a more or less unified verdict: Stadia’s streaming tech is fantastic, but Google’s service is frustratingly limited. Many reviews are still listed as ‘in-progress,’ and hardware reviews often aren’t scored as games are, so you won’t find the usual aggregate scores on OpenCritic and Metacritic. But outlets like IGN have issued temporary scores – a 6/10 in this example – and offered in-depth thoughts on the service. As Vice says, “the technology is there, but the service is not even close.” There’s a limited lineup of games, and multiplayer titles only connect Stadia players. GamesBeat says “you can only play Destiny 2 and Mortal Kombat with other people who own those games on Stadia. Destiny 2 has cross-save features,“ concluding that “right now, Google Stadia is a platform for nobody.“

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Tencent is helping to make a China-compliant version of Rainbow Six Siege

Tencent and Ubisoft are working together to bring popular multiplayer FPS Rainbow Six Siege to China (via The Loadout). Rainbow Six Siege doesn’t currently meet the standards and regulations required to be published within China, due to SAPP laws. This new development means the game could be coming to Chinese territory sometime in the future. China banned virtual corpses and pools of blood not long ago, which made some games unplayable in the territory. Previously games could get away with changing the colour of blood to black, for example, but with the new rules in place games have to consciously omit these gory details. Siege is one such game that suffered the loss. There was an update to the way Siege handled some of its more obscene situations, such as removing blood splatters on walls, changing its melee icon, and removing neon lights in the shape of an exotic dancer. The development team faced widespread backlash from its community in response and then issued this update announcing they would revert the changes after the community outcry. The backlash mostly argued that the game was being changed to fit Chinese regulation, although this was never confirmed.

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