Roblox Continues To Add To Its Massive Playerbase, Now Up To 42.1 Million Daily Active Users

Roblox has long been one of the most popular games in the world–it’s had millions of fans for its nearly fifteen-year run. But it continues to grow and bring in new players, and it’s now up to 42.1 million daily active users.

According to Roblox’s Q1 2021 earnings, the game has also achieved solid revenue in addition to its huge playerbase, earning $387 million in revenue. Both revenue and daily active users (DAUs) are way up year-over-year, with revenue up 140% from Q1 2020 and DAUs up 37% from Q1 2020.

Roblox has exploded in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdowns went into effect across the world in March 2020. It has rapidly become one of the most popular games in the world–while showing off a particularly consistent streak in audience growth. Its recent successes have even surprised developer Roblox Corporation, which expected growth and revenue to decrease as lockdowns lifted throughout the world. However, while there was a slight downturn between February and March in monthly active users (MAUs), Roblox is now up to an all-time high 202 million MAUs.

Roblox’s fantastic year led to a massive initial public offering, and the company is valued at $35 billion. However, it still doesn’t make a profit, having lost $134 million in Q1 2021. In spite of this, Roblox Corporation’s CEO is still optimistic about the future, as the company continues to invest money in improving the game’s core technology.

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Pokemon Go Luminous Legends Y Event Starts May 18, Adds Yveltal, Pancham, And Sylveon

Pokemon Go developer Niantic has shared more details about the game’s upcoming Luminous Legends Y event. The event is divided up into two parts and introduces a few new Gen 6 Pokemon to the game, including the Legendary Yveltal, which will be appearing in five-star Raids throughout the entire event.

Luminous Legends Y Part 1

The first part of the event runs from May 18-24. During this portion, Pancham will make its Pokemon Go debut. The panda Pokemon will be hatching from Strange Eggs along with Qwilfish, Larvitar, Absol, Skorupi, Sandile, Scraggy, Pawniard, Vullaby, and Deino. Dark-type Pokemon such as Houndour and Carvanha will also be appearing in the wild more frequently, and you’ll have more chances to catch Spritzee, Swirlix, and Goomy if you missed them during the Luminous Legends X event.

Additionally, Niantic will offer Team Go Rocket-themed Timed Research tasks during the first part of the Luminous Legends Y event, as well as some exclusive Field Research. Completing these tasks will lead to encounters with Dark-type Pokemon like Galarian Zigzagoon and Scraggy. Certain Dark Pokemon like Alolan Rattata, Alolan Grimer, Sneasel, Poochyena, and Stunky will also hatch from 7 km eggs, while Alolan Meowth and others will appear as Raid bosses.

Finally, Niantic is holding a collective challenge during the first part of the event. If players can collectively defeat 25 million Team Go Rocket grunts between May 15-23, the studio will offer a few bonuses during the remainder of the event. First, you’ll earn triple the usual amount of XP for catching a Pokemon. Galarian Zigzagoon will also be available as a one-star Raid boss, and you’ll have your first chance to find a Shiny Galarian Zigzagoon in the game.


Luminous Legends Y Part 2

The second part of the Luminous Legends Y event runs from May 25-31. During this leg of the event, Niantic will introduce Sylveon, Eevee’s Fairy-type evolution, to the game. You’ll be able to evolve Eevee into Sylveon by earning hearts with it when it’s set as your buddy. Other Eevee evolutions like Vaporeon, Jolteon, Umbreon, and Espeon will also appear in three-star Raids.

Beyond that, many of the same wild Pokemon featured during the first part of the event will continue to appear in the wild, as will Eevee, Ralts, Spritzee, and Swirlix. Certain Fairy-type Pokemon (or Pokemon that eventually evolve into Fairy types) like Cleffa, Igglybuff, Togepi, and Azurill will also hatch from 7 km eggs.

Finally, there will be more event-exclusive Research tasks. Completing these will lead to encounters with Eevee and some of its evolutions. You can read more about the event on the official Pokemon Go blog.

In the meantime, the Luminous Legends X event is underway until May 17. As part of that, the Legendary Fairy Pokemon Xerneas is appearing in Raids for the first time. Niantic is also holding May’s Community Day this Saturday, May 15.

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Army Of The Dead Star Dave Bautista Joins Rian Johnson’s Knives Out 2

With Army of the Dead getting ready to premiere on Netflix, star Dave Bautista is cementing his relationship with the streaming service. As first reported by Deadline–and confirmed by Bautista himself–the actor will star with Daniel Craig in Knives Out 2, from director Rian Johnson. Previously, the streaming service bought the rights to two follow-up films from the franchise.

No details about the film have been released. Like the first installment, the movie will see Craig play master detective Benoit Blanc, solving a mystery where–most likely–there’s a large pool of potential suspects. Per Deadline, production will kick off later this year in Greece.

The news of Bautista’s casting comes hot on the heels of the actor revealing that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 will likely be his final film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “As far as my obligations, I’ve got Guardians 3, and that’s probably going to be the end of Drax,” he said previously.

Of course, he’s still plenty busy. As it stands, he’ll film the third Guardians film later this year. In addition to that, 2021 will see him star in both Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead, as well as Denis Villeneuve’s remake of Dune.

Army of the Dead hits Netflix on May 21.

Image credit: Getty Images/NICK AGRO

VVVVVV Creator’s Next Game Is Entirely Made in Roblox

The creator of VVVVVV, Terry Cavanaugh, has just released his next game — but unlike VVVVVV, you won’t find it on typical storefronts. Instead, in order to play Climb the Giant Man Obby, you’ll need to venture into Roblox.

In a blog post, Cavanaugh announced the “obby,” which is Roblox shorthand for “obstacle course” (or just a platformer) and a popular genre to make among first-time creators on Roblox.

“For the past year or so, I’ve been kinda fascinated by Roblox – a massively popular multiplayer game platform, mostly aimed at kids,” Cavanaugh writes. “So recently, I decided to try making a game for it!”

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“I didn’t expect how much I was going to love working in Roblox Studio,” Cavanaugh added. “I’ve been working on this on-and-off for about three months, which makes it one of my biggest freeware projects ever.”

Cavanaugh detailed his development journey with Roblox in a lengthy Twitter thread that goes back to the end of March. The thread offers glimpses of his process of adapting to Roblox’s creation tools as Cavanaugh first attempted to recreate the outfit worn by the fellow in the “How do you do, fellow kids?” meme, then turned his player character wearing that outfit into a giant man to then build a climbable obstacle course around.

The ensuring obby has, per Cavanaugh, about 30 or so “stages” which include obstacles like giant rotating fidget spinners, extremely narrow platforms, and ziplines. Cavanah says in the thread that he wanted to include as many obby tropes as possible, and solicited feedback on what he should include.

Though Climb the Giant Man Obby is free-to-play, Roblox’s game creation capabilities and a massive community of players have attracted not just hobbyists and aspiring developers, but professional developers like Cavanaugh. The platform’s biggest game, Adopt Me, brings in millions of dollars in revenue and is being made by a team of around 100 people — a full-blown studio with full-time employees.

Roblox itself recently went public and at the launch of its direct listing, was estimated to be worth more than Take-Two and Ubisoft combined. Its value at least in part lies in the hundreds of thousands of creators making money from content on Roblox and its hundreds of millions of active users, and the company is currently looking to expand into more countries, more languages, and add even more monetization features to make content creation a viable revenue source for creators.

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Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.

Valorant’s New Game Mode Replication Revealed, Goes Live Tomorrow

Developer Riot Games has unveiled Valorant‘s new game mode. Called Replication, it follows the same rules as Unrated but with one major restriction: everyone on a team plays as the same agent. Replication goes live on May 11, which is when patch 2.09 is expected.

Players aren’t given an agent at random. Selecting an agent is a democratic process, with each team voting for which agent they want to play before Replication’s start. The agent with the most votes becomes the pick.

There are a few other modifications that come with Replication. Everything (except Ultimates) is refreshed every round and players receive a fixed number of credits. Additionally, players that are flashed twice within a four-second window will get a five-second protection against blindness called Flashguard.

When designing Replication, Riot said it wanted to offer more casual game modes. Game designer Kyle Powell reiterated this sentiment in a press release, adding that it’s all about widening the player’s imagination.

“With Replication, we are looking to create exciting and novel moments by widening the player theorycrafting space while highlighting Agent abilities,” Powell said. “Quintupling down on Agents that were balanced around normal Agent restrictions, we’ve created lots of hilarious near game-breaking plays for players to discover.”

Replication is not attached to an event, but it will “temporarily replace” Escalation. It’s expected to stay live for two weeks before moving to a “mode rotation strategy.” It’s unclear if Replication will remain a permanent fixture of Valorant’s multiplayer offerings going forward.

In other Valorant news, Riot Games announced plans to record in-game voice chat across all its games to combat toxic behavior. The first title under Riot’s catalog to embrace these new monitoring tools is Valorant.

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Netflix’s Sweet Tooth Gets Behind-The-Scenes Video

Netflix has released a short video diving into how it set about adapting the DC comic Sweet Tooth into a live-action series. The series, based on the Jeff Lemire comics by the same name, is set to premiere on the streaming service on June 4.

In tandem with the recently released first trailer, this new video gives fans a great idea what to expect from the show. This new clip features interviews from showrunners Jim Mickle (In the Shadow of the Moon, Hap and Leonard) and Beth Schwartz (Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow), executive producers Susan Downey and Robert Downey Jr., cast members Christian Convery (Pup Academy) and Nonso Anozie (Game of Thrones), and Lemire. Check it out below.

Sweet Tooth is set 10 years after the emergence of “hybrids”–children who are born part-human, part-animal, and are now feared and hunted by humans. The show focuses on a hybrid deer-boy named Gus, who befriends an adult wanderer named Jepperd, and sets off on a dangerous adventure to find out about Gus’s origins. Note that this series, while similarly named, has nothing to do with the plans to adapt Sony’s video game Twisted Metal into a new TV series, which is rumored to have cast Will Arnett as the character Sweet Tooth.

The comic book Sweet Tooth was published by the DC Comics imprint Vertigo, and was written and illustrated by Lemire. It ran for 40 issues between 2009 and 2013. The TV adaptation was originally set to be made by Hulu, but moved to Netflix in 2020.

Nier: Automata Retexture Mod Is Finished, Four Years After Release

A popular Nier: Automata retexture mod is finally out. Modder GPUnity set out four years ago to fix and replace more than 300 textures in the PC version of Nier: Automata, and now the final version of the patch is out on NexusMods.

“NieR: Automata is one of my favourite games,” GPUnity wrote on Steam. “Unfortunately, it suffers from some blurry textures that hurt the presentation. My goal is to provide a natural restoration to the low-res textures, maintaining the intended look.”

As with many Nier: Automata mods, the texture pack requires the Fix Automata Resolution (FAR) mod to inject the new textures into the game. You can also use a program called Special K for the Windows Store version. The above video shows off the changes, and they’re pretty substantial. The full version of the mod (which clocks in at over 1 GB) might cause more slowdown on low-spec PCs, so GPUnity also included a “lite” version of the mod that should help with that use case.

If you can’t get enough Nier, Nier: Replicant, the reboot/remaster of the original title was released back in April, and it garnered positive reviews from critics. In our Nier: Replicant review, critic Michael Higham praised the game’s impactful soundtrack and its memorable story.

“I’m not going to lie, Nier Replicant made me ugly-cry on several occasions,” he wrote. “Kainé, Emil, and Weiss will win your heart with their earnest and endearing personalities, making their tragic journey with you and tremendous story moments hit hard. Despite some significant gameplay enhancements, the lengths you have to go to see the story all the way through will be a test of your willpower. But for all its antiquated designs retained from the original version, it’s worth the effort in the end. Thus, Nier Replicant is essential for anyone who has love for Automata, and it’s a special experience on its own.”

Did You Catch These Easter Eggs in The Venom 2 Trailer?

Stan Lee may have passed away back in 2018, but his legacy of popping up in Marvel movies lives on. The comic book co-creator was featured as a very stealthy Easter egg in the Venom 2: Let There Be Carnage trailer, which dropped earlier today–but the moment passed by so quickly it was easy to miss. Give the trailer another watch to see if you can spot him.

If you need some help, here’s a shot of the moment. As Eddie (and Venom) make their way into Mrs. Chen’s convenience store, you can clearly see Stan’s face as the cover of a magazine on the symbiotic duo’s right hand side.

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Ironically, Lee had no hand in the creation of Venom, who was a joint effort between David Michelinie and Todd McFarlane, or Carnage, who was created by Michelinie and Mark Bagley. He did, however, famously co-create Spider-Man alongside Steve Ditko, and while the Sony Venom movies have yet to officially intersect with the Spider-Man universe or the MCU in any way, the possibility isn’t off the table–especially given the buzz surrounding Spider-Man: No Way Home and the way it seems to be bringing the pre-MCU Spider-Man films into the multiversal fold with cameos from old favorites like Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock.

Another blast from the past in Easter egg form was the logo of the Daily Bugle as seen in the trailer, which was lifted directly from the original Sam Raimi film trilogy. You can see Detective Mulligan reading the paper with a front page article about Carnage himself, Cletus Kasady, in his office. As he closes the paper, you can even glimpse what seems to be another paper pinned to the wall with a headline that could read “Avengers Lost To Nightmare.”

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There’s a small chance this is a deliberate nod to the Marvel comics villain Nightmare, who was one of the front running theories alongside Mephisto for a WandaVision big bad. Obviously, that never panned out, but some fans have already begun theorizing that Nightmare may feature in the upcoming Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness, which is being directed by Raimi. Of course, with so little to work from at the moment it’s impossible to say for sure–and, as far as we know, the Venom film franchise does not actually intersect with the MCU (yet), meaning there are no Avengers in that particular universe to speak of. Still, anything is possible and it’s never too early to start theorizing.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage hits theaters on September 24.

Fortnite 16.40 Patch Notes Prepare For A Fishy Wild Week

Another Fortnite update is upon us, and this time, the 16.40 patch notes hint at what’s to come for the next Wild Week theme, while also swapping one Exotic weapon for another. Here’s everything in tomorrow’s update according to the Fortnite 16.40 patch notes.

Downtime for the Fortnite patch 16.40 will begin on May 11 at 1 AM PT / 4 AM ET, with the game coming back online some hours later, typically early morning Eastern time so long as Epic doesn’t run into any complications.

Once the game is back online, players can expect to find a new Exotic weapon on the island: the Marksman Six Shooter. It’s unclear which NPC will be selling this new exclusive weapon, though Deadfire seems to be a good match. As one new Exotic arrives, another departs. The sawed-off shotty, The Dub, will leave the game with this update, so use it today if you want to say goodbye for now.

Epic is also teasing new “summer-themed” items in Creative mode, but even the game’s thriving datamining community is stumped as to what that may entail. With another Wild Week set to kick off on Thursday, May 13, players can expect a boost to fishing. Both the patch notes and the Week 9 challenges hint toward that being the emphasis.

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You can find the full Fortnite 16.40 patch notes here:

  • Line ‘em up and knock ‘em down with the Exotic Marksman Six Shooter
  • Woman surfing New summer-themed additions in Creative
  • Tropical fish Catch a win in the next Wild Week starting May 13
  • Exotic weapon The Dub to be vaulted

Once the update is live, we’ll be sure to have a guide on where to find the Marksman Six Shooter. Until then, acquaint yourself with the new Fortnite Wild Weeks. This week’s theme of fire is still ongoing until Thursday, so jump in soon to find a surplus of fire-based weapons and open flames that travel farther and faster–and do more damage along the way.

Also coming to Fortnite this week is the latest DC superhero, Beast Boy.

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Spiral: From The Book Of Saw Twitter Reactions Are In

Spiral: From The Book of Saw–the ninth movie in the Saw franchise–is finally debuting in theaters soon. It releases on May 14 after seeing numerous delays because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, members of the press who have seen the film prior to its release are discussing their thoughts on the latest Saw movie.

Official reviews will arrive this week, but first responses to Spiral have arrived online. Critics from Bloody Disgusting, The Wrap, and others seem to love the new direction this horror movie takes. Check out some of the quick takes for Spiral below.

The latest installment of the Saw franchise follows Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock as two detectives who have teamed up with a rookie–played by Max Minghella–and come across a string of murders that are reminiscent of Jigsaw. While investigating, Rock’s character has become the focal point for the killer’s next game.

Rock also served as executive producer on the film and had a hand in reviving the franchise–which had its last release in 2017 with Jigsaw, which wasn’t that long ago. Rock told Digital Spy he wanted to bring some iconic traps back for the latest movie. “‘That reverse bear trap could work again, you know, or the one with the needles,” Rock said. “I mean, I was game for that. You can’t half jump into this genre. You’ve got to jump into it, or the fans are going to know. You know what I mean? You can’t be above any of it.”

Speaking of games, a Saw fan account on Twitter had a bizarre back-and-forth with the Spiral account, where the fan account threatened to delete the upcoming movie. Sure, it may have been a marketing ploy for the upcoming movie, but it sure was hilarious. Back in March, fans got a better look at the upcoming movie with a dark and mysterious trailer.