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Winners and Losers: Samsung’s iPhone killer, Fortnite studio shuts down its latest game

OPINION: In a very Samsung-dominated week in the world of tech, it’s time to relive the best and worst news headlines from the last seven days.

If you tuned into this week’s Samsung Unpacked then you’ll know that the company announced its new Samsung Galaxy S23 line-up, as well as three new laptops as part of the Samsung Galaxy Book 3 range. While plenty of leaks in the run up to that event took away any sense of surprise from the announcements, there were still plenty of things about the new phones that had us nodding our heads in approval.

Outside of the Samsung bubble, it’s been a tough time for gamers as one of the most recent live service battle royale games to hit the market is already being pulled, and that’s at the same time that other similar titles are also being sunsetted for various reasons, casting doubt on whether the ‘live service’ model is really feasible in the current climate.

Read on to find out more.

Colour selection of the Galaxy S23 Series
The new Samsung Galaxy S23 range

Winner: Samsung

No other company deserves this week’s winner’s seat quite like Samsung. Even though its newest line-up of products won’t have anyone doing a double take anytime soon, there’s no denying that the Galaxy S23 Ultra is a gorgeous phone and as Trusted Reviews’ very-own Lewis Painter can attest to, its camera skills are out of this world.

For my money however, it’s something under the surface of all of Samsung’s latest phones that left me feeling truly impressed. For starters, Samsung did anyway with the controversial Exynos chipset for this generation of phones, which means that no matter where you buy an S23 device, you’ll get to make use of the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip.

This consistency is fantastic for consumers in Europe and similar territories that have had to deal with an inferior chipset in the past, but the leap feels like a massive one-up on Apple which currently uses two different chipsets in its latest phones. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus utilise the A15 Bionic chipset whereas the pricier iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max have the A16 Bionic powering the show.

This is uncharacteristic for Apple which usually totes the same performance levels across all of its mainline phones, but now it feels as if the folks who opt for the more affordable iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are being penalised for doing so. By comparison, buyers of the Galaxy S23 will enjoy the same performance levels found on the S23 Ultra, and that’s a huge win in my book for giving consumers the high-class feel that they deserve when shopping at this end of the market.

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Loser: Live service games

The live service genre, which sees a game receive multiple updates over time to keep players invested, has had quite a run in the last few years. Arguably the genre found its start with titles like World of Warcraft, but recently it has developed to include mega hits like Fortnite, Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: Warzone.

As successful as those games have been however, it seems as though the live service bubble is beginning to burst as a few high profile titles have bitten the dust. Just over two weeks ago, Crystal Dynamics announced that it would be ending support for Marvel’s Avengers which, if you’ve paid attention to the critical and audience reception to the game, shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

What does come as a surprise is that Epic, the studio behind Fortnite, has made the decision to shut down its new battle royale title, Rumbleverse. Given that the game only release back in August of last year, it seems clear that Rumbleverse hasn’t performed to expectations which could suggest that we’ve reached the peak of interest in live service titles, and only the giants like Fortnite and Call of Duty are likely to stick around.

Even more established titles than Rumbleverse don’t seem to be invincible from this trend as the mobile version of Apex Legends, which is otherwise a fairly popular title on PC and consoles, will be removed after less than a year of being on the market. This series of events doesn’t exactly paint the best picture for the future of live service entertainment, and it does call into question which game, if any, might be the next to fall.

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