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Publishers begin the ramp up for Electronic Entertainment Expo

This past week was packed with a myriad of announcements  some shocking, others obvious  as publishers began the ramp up for the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June. 

Massive Entertainment kick-started the slew of announcements with the limited unveiling of "Tom Clancy's The Division 2." The Ubisoft-owned developer has been hard at work simultaneously offering continued post-launch support for the original game while quietly working on its sequel. Unlike "Destiny" and its sequel, "The Division" is the framework for how to properly support an online multiplayer-focused shooter with a significant games-as-a-service component. If all games-as-service games received as much support as "The Division" without the oppressive microtransactions and constant barrage of requests for real-world money, maybe the idea wouldn't be so bad. 

Massive didn't unveil many details about the sequel, but rather said it will save those for a full unveiling at E3. In the meantime, the developer announced more worldwide events for the remainder of the game's life  at least through September  and promised more content in two new patches. High-resolution and HDR support for the Xbox One X will be among the first changes rolled out in April. No release date was given for "The Division 2," but expect it in March or April of 2019. 

Activision followed suit after nearly a month of leaks and announced that the next "Call of Duty" is not only developed by series favorite Treyarch, but that it's a continuation of the series favorite, "Black Ops" series. Details are scarce at the moment. Unlike just about any other mini-series in the "Call of Duty" franchise, the "Black Ops" series can take place just about any time, anywhere. Treyarch has explored the jungles of the Vietnam War through a near-future conflict all the way to the far future, where soldiers are augmented with additional movement mechanics. "Black Ops II" remains the series peak in sales and its sequel wasn't as well received as others. So it's interesting to see where developer Treyarch places this fourth game. World War II was revisited with the obviously named "Call of Duty WWII," and with rumors of EA returning to the Second World War, it's doubtful the developers will go that far back. But don't expect too many "Titanfall"-infused ideas this time. "Call of Duty Black Ops 4" will be released Oct. 12. 

Activision wasn't done with its announcements Thursday. Much like the "Call of Duty" leaks, after months of reports and denied rumors, the publisher announced "Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy" will make its way to the Switch later this year. The trilogy of remade games will come to a Nintendo platform for the first time in the series' existence. It's already sold well on the PlayStation 4 and, if the same reports are to be believed, helped commission a new game in the series. Nintendo Switch players will have the chance to take Crash on the go with them. Xbox One and PC owners are still left out, for now, but reports also indicate a port for those two platforms will be coming in the near future. Until then, "Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy" will be available on the Nintendo Switch on July 10. 

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