Civilization VII is officially in development

Plus big changes over at Firaxis



Strategy games are a niche genre, especially when compared to action-packed favorites like God of War and Elden Ring. Regardless, the genre will always have its following. Very likely to please the fans of strategy games, the genre’s biggest title is getting its first major entry in six years. Firaxis has officially announced the development of the next Civilization game.

Spanning six major entries, several spinoffs, and a lot of expansions, the Civilization franchise has represented the genre for decades. The series takes historical civilizations with (mostly) accurate leaders on a challenge to withstand the test of time and the force of other civilizations. Several games in the genre have drawn a lot of inspiration from the series.

Today, Firaxis confirmed the development of the next Civilization games through a press release. The franchise’s official Twitter account also tweeted about the announcement. Curiously, though none of the announcements specifically named the sequel, the tweet has seven exclamation points. It essentially confirms that the upcoming game is — and will be named — Civilization VII, rather than a spinoff.

Besides confirming the next game in the long-running series, Firaxis also announced major shakeups for its corporate and creative structure. Heather Hazen, formerly the chief operating officer of Firaxis, is now the studio head, replacing Steve Martin. Further, Jake Solomon, the creative director of the XCOM and the Marvel’s Midnight Suns series, is departing the studio.

SEE ALSO: Marvel’s Midnight Suns now available worldwide


Ubisoft pulls out of E3 2023

Will hold its own event



This is an important year for the annual E3 conference. After missing the past few years due to the pandemic, the gaming extravaganza is finally returning to an in-person event in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly looking like a triumphant return to the big stage. In the months leading up to the event, several brands have reportedly pulled out from the event in favor of their own exclusive events. Today, it’s time to add Ubisoft to that list.

In a statement issued to VGC, Ubisoft has confirmed that it will not participate in the upcoming E3 2023. Instead, the company will hold its own Ubisoft Forward Live event on June 12, also in Los Angeles.

It’s an important year for Ubisoft. The publisher is slated to release Assassin’s Creed Mirage later this year. The upcoming title will reportedly pivot the series back to its stealth-focused roots. Meanwhile, the franchise also announced Assassin’s Creed Codename Red, an upcoming title set in feudal Japan, which has been a hotly anticipated setting since the franchise’s inception.

While Ubisoft has historically supported E3 in the past, this year marks the first departure from the main floor. However, the publisher is following in the footsteps of its contemporaries in the industry. Nintendo, Sony, and Xbox are also pulling out from the conference to hold their own events in the area.

SEE ALSO: Sony, Xbox, Nintendo are skipping E3 2023

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Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom trailer shows off Link’s new powers

So many possibilities



Based on what we’ve seen so far, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom looks like its successful predecessor, Breath of the Wild. But, of course, this is a sequel. To prove that the upcoming sequel is fundamentally different from the first Zelda title on the Switch, Nintendo released a short preview of the title’s gameplay. And there’s a lot to be excited about.

Eiji Aonuma, the franchise’s project lead, did admit that the world looks similar to Breath of the Wild. However, there will be a wealth of differences to separate the one title from the other, starting with Link’s abilities.

For example, the Recall ability can rewind time for targeted objects. Aonuma used a falling rock from a sky island — one of the sequel’s biggest differences — to demonstrate the ability. Using Recall, Link zipped up to the sky island as if in an elevator.

Arguably, the next ability, Fuse, is the one we’re most excited for. Using the ability (and a complementary ability called Ultrahand), Link can combine objects together to make new ones. The video demonstrated different combinations like fusing a meager stick and a boulder to create a hammer-like weapon. Or an eyeball with an arrow to create a homing missile. Or a bunch of logs together to make a raft. The possibilities are endless, and Aonuma invites everyone to test the limits of their imagination.

A final ability, called Ascend, lets Link swim through ceiling to the surface above — reimagining vertical traversal on foot.

There are a lot more tidbits that Aonuma showed in the video but didn’t explain. Thankfully, the wait won’t be long. May 12 can’t come soon enough. Additionally, Nintendo is launching a Tears of the Kingdom-themed OLED Switch on April 28.

SEE ALSO: Zelda sequel Tears of the Kingdom has a release date

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ROG launches upgraded 13th Gen gaming laptops: Price, availability

Better design, displays, cooling



ROG has released its upgraded line of gaming laptops which now all have 13th Gen Intel Core processors and a slew of significant updates on their graphics, chassis, cooling design, and displays.

These are the Zephyrus M16, Strix series, and TUF Gaming F15 laptops, available via ASUS and ROG concept stores nationwide. Purchases made will also have corresponding freebies, such as backpacks, gaming mice, and adapters.

Zephyrus M16

Redesigned for a more refined feel and performance, the Zephyrus M16 has a new chassis design that allows for more efficient cooling when paired with ROG’s Tri-Fan Technology.

The laptop sports up to an Intel Core i9-13900H processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 GPU.

It has a 16-inch Nebula HDR display capable of QHD resolution at up to 240Hz, along with a Mini LED backlight. The Zephyrus M16 is only the second laptop ever to have ROG’s iconic AniMe Matrix Display.


  • 16GB (*2)+ 1TB – PhP 169,999
  • 16GB (*2) + 2TB – PhP 249,999
  • 32GB (*2) + 2TB – PhP 339,999
  • Strix series

Meanwhile, the Strix and SCAR lineups has been powered by the latest chips from Intel and NVIDIA, with up to an Intel Core i9-13980HX CPU and a GeForce RTX 4090 GPU.

Along with its MUX Switch and NVIDIA Advanced Optimus, the Strix SCAR 18 ensures optimal frame rates when plugged in.

The Strix G16 and Strix G18 are likewise powered by the same processors, with up to GeForce RTX 4070 graphics. They, too, support MUX Switch and Advanced Optimus, while Dynamic Boost gives them extra power.

When it comes to displays, all support Dolby Vision. The 18-inch SCAR has up to a WQXGA 240Hz display while the G16 and G18 have WUXGA 165Hz screens.


  • Strix SCAR 18 (16GB*2 + 1TB) – PhP 294,995
  • Strix G18 (8GB*2 + 1TB) – PhP 149,995
  • Strix G16 (8GB*2 + 1TB; RTX 4060 6GB) – PhP 109,995
  • Strix G16 (8GB*2 + 1TB; RTX 4060 8GB) – PhP 119,995

TUF Gaming F15

Lastly, the 2023 iteration of the TUF Gaming F15 laptop has up to a 13th Gen Intel Core i7-13700H processor, along with the latest GeForce RTX 40 series GPUS which support G-SYNC and Dynamic Boost.

Like the Strix series, a new feature for the TUF Gaming F15 are the MUX Switch and Advanced Optimus for reduced latency and next-level performance.

When it comes to its cooling system, the device is equipped with a pair of 84-blade Arc Flow Fans which offer 13% more airflow than its predecessor and is quieter than the previous design.


  • TUF Gaming F15 (8GB + 512GB) – PhP 89,995
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