Take a look inside Wall Street darling Ryan Cohen’s ambitious plan to ‘transform’ the retailer into the Amazon of gaming

Ryan Cohen - Chewy
Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is now the head of RC Ventures, an investment firm that’s taken a 12% stake in GameStop.

  • Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is the largest individual GameStop shareholder.
  • He’s also in charge of the board, and intends to turn the company into the Amazon of gaming.
  • Cohen is already making major moves at the company, and he has big plans for the future.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

What does Ryan Cohen want with GameStop?

That’s the big, unanswered question at the heart of his 12.9% ownership stake in the company – an investment he made well before GameStop became a meme stock.

Cohen, who cofounded Chewy and acted as CEO before it sold to PetSmart for $3.35 billion in 2017, does not have a background in the video game industry. His claim to fame is outfoxing Amazon at its own game – e-commerce – in a specific category: pets. That’s an especially meaningful claim to fame when it comes to Wall Street, which saw Cohen’s involvement in the company as a reason to buy the ailing retailer’s stock before Reddit found it.

Read more: Ryan Cohen made millions when Chewy got acquired. Now the millennial entrepreneur has a plan to turn around GameStop.

But Cohen is no casual investor in GameStop – he’s the chairman of its board, and an activist investor who has successfully lobbied the company to follow his advice several times thus far. He is clearly in this for the long term.

Though the lingering question of “Why GameStop?” remains unanswered, we know a lot about Cohen’s plans for the future of the company.

1. Cohen wants GameStop to become a technology company, with a focus on ecommerce over brick-and-retail stores.

gamestop store
A GameStop Corp. store on November 5, 2013 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cohen’s investment firm, RC Ventures, owns 12.9% of GameStop. That stake makes it the second-largest single shareholder of GameStop.

Those shares cost tens of millions of dollars in 2020, and they put Cohen in a position to more directly engage with the company’s leadership. But those private conversations apparently didn’t go very well.

“Given that our attempts to privately engage with you since the summer have yielded little progress, we feel compelled to send a clear message to the Board today,” Cohen wrote in an open letter aimed at GameStop’s board of directors published in November 2020.

“GameStop’s leadership should immediately conduct a strategic review of the business,” he said, “and share a credible plan for seizing the tremendous opportunities in the rapidly-growing gaming sector.”

The letter, overwhelmingly, focused on the company’s need to transition to ecommerce.

“GameStop’s challenges stem from internal intransigence and an unwillingness to rapidly embrace the digital economy,” the letter said. “GameStop needs to evolve into a technology company that delights gamers and delivers exceptional digital experiences – not remain a video game retailer that overprioritizes its brick-and-mortar footprint and stumbles around the online ecosystem.”

Throughout his letter, Cohen directly criticizes the company’s leadership – both its executive suite and its board of directors, to whom the letter is addressed.

GameStop CEO and board member George Sherman, “appears committed to a twentieth-century focus on physical stores and walk-in sales, despite the transition to an always-on digital world,” Cohen said, and the board lacks “the type of strategic vision” necessary for GameStop, “to pivot toward becoming a technology-driven business that excels in the gaming and digital experience worlds.”

That criticism appeared to have a major impact, as GameStop announced in early January that Cohen and two of his former Chewy lieutenants would become new members of the board. Soon after, Cohen was put in charge of a committee created to reshape GameStop and appointed the chairman of its board.

2. He’s swapping the company’s current leadership, both its board and c-suite, for former Amazon and Chewy leaders.

GameStop execs (April 2021)

Since Cohen joined GameStop’s board and was put in charge of the Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committee, the company’s entire executive suite has been cleared out.

That includes CEO George Sherman, who is stepping down in the near future, and CFO Jim Bell, who was suddenly forced out of his role at the company after the board of directors “lost faith” in him, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke with Insider. At the same time, a gaggle of former Amazon and Chewy leaders have been elected in their place.

Similarly, the company’s board of directors is being completely flipped – at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in June, it plans to elect a small group of Cohen’s colleagues to the board. And Cohen is expected to be elected chairman of the board.

In the last six months, Cohen has completely reshaped the leadership of GameStop.

3. The potential future of GameStop: online trade-ins.

GameStop Clerk
A customer laughs with a clerk as he purchases a copy of the video game “Grand Theft Auto IV” at a GameStop store in New York

Game trade-ins, and their subsequent resale, are the lifeblood of GameStop.

In September 2020, when Cohen initially purchased a significant chunk of the company’s shares, he privately proposed a plan to the board to focus GameStop on e-commerce opportunities.

One example of those opportunities is tied to GameStop’s core business: reselling used games.

Cohen reportedly proposed an online version of the retailer’s (in)famous game trade-in program.

During those talks, he proposed a major expansion of GameStop’s online footprint, according to Bloomberg. Beyond just games, GameStop’s online store would offer “a wide range of merchandise,” the report said, and prioritize fast shipping.

Cohen has yet to publicly spell out his specific plans, and representatives repeatedly declined requests for comment.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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6 ways to make Xbox One games download faster

  • You can make games download faster on your Xbox One in several ways, like downloading only one game at a time or rebooting your internet.
  • If your Xbox download speed is slow, you should close out of other apps or restart your console.
  • You can also try connecting your internet router and Xbox One with an Ethernet cable for a faster connection.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

On an Xbox One, you need to download games into your game library before you can actually play them.

This is a relatively straightforward process, but sometimes the download speed can be slow, especially if the game itself is large and requires a lot of memory.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can speed up your Xbox One downloads.

Why is my Xbox download speed slow?

There are a number of reasons for a slow Xbox download speed, like downloading too many games at once, poor connectivity issues, or a slow internet connection.

Try these troubleshooting tricks to speed up your downloads and get to playing your games faster.

Close out of games and apps

xbox one

The Xbox One conveniently lets you play other games or use apps while a game is downloading, but this sometimes results in the download taking more time than usual. This especially goes for other games that use the internet.

If you close out of any other games and apps while your game is downloading, your Xbox One will run faster, and so will your download.

To close a game or app, press the Xbox button, highlight the game or app you want to close in the left sidebar, and press the “Menu” button (it’s the button that looks like three horizontal lines). In the menu that appears, select “Quit.”

Put less pressure on your internet connection

internet router modem cell phone laptop hands
Quickly and easily test how fast your internet is with Google’s free test.

You might have noticed that your Wi-Fi connection runs slower when many devices are connected to Wi-Fi at the same time. The same is true for your Xbox One. 

If you disconnect other devices from your Wi-Fi, like your phone or laptop, it will strengthen your Xbox One’s Wi-Fi connection and allow for faster download speeds.

Reboot your internet router

man setting up router laptop

Sometimes download speeds don’t have anything to do with your Xbox One itself and have more to do with your internet router. 

You can try rebooting your router by disconnecting it from the wall. Wait a few moments, then plug the router back in. 

This can help the internet connection and improve your overall download speed.

Restart your Xbox

xbox one console

If your game is downloading slower than usual or has stopped downloading entirely, try restarting your Xbox One console, which may solve a potential connectivity issue. 

1. Go to the Guide by pressing the Xbox logo button on your controller. 

2. Use the joystick to scroll right to the System menu.

3. Navigate to “Restart console” and press A to select it. Your console should now turn off and on again.

Pause other Xbox downloads

Xbox One Controller
You can plug your Xbox One controller in to charge.

Download speed will often be significantly slower if you’re downloading multiple games at once. 

To pause a download:

1. Go to the Guide by pressing the Xbox logo button on your controller. 

2. Use the joystick to scroll to “My games & apps” and press A to select it. 

3. Press A to select “See all.”

4. On the left side, scroll down to “Queue.”

5. Highlight the download you want to pause and press “Menu” on your controller. 

6. Press A to select “Pause.”

Use an Ethernet cable

ethernet cable being plugged into internet router

If you have an Ethernet cable, you don’t have to rely on fickle Wi-Fi connections to improve your download speeds. 

Simply connect the Ethernet cable to your internet router and to your Xbox One. Once the Ethernet cable is connected, your internet connection will be stronger and your downloads should speed up considerably.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

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How to use Microsoft Family Safety to manage your family members’ app usage, screen time, and more

Microsoft Family 1
You can manage your family’s devices in various ways through Microsoft Family Safety.

  • Microsoft Family Safety is a parental control app that lets you manage your kids’ screen time and app usage, among other features.
  • Family Safety is free but requires everyone to use a Microsoft account, and there are premium features available with a Microsoft 365 subscription.
  • The parental controls work across multiple devices, but browsing can only be filtered using the Edge browser.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Microsoft Family Safety is more or less just what the name implies: It’s Microsoft’s family safety and parental controls app that you can use to manage your kid’s screen time and device usage.

To use the service, you need to install the Microsoft Family Safety app on each mobile device you want to manage, and every family member you want to track needs a Microsoft account.

What to know about Microsoft Family Safety

Once configured, Microsoft Family Safety monitors the screen time and time spent with specific games and apps on phones, tablets, and Xbox. Parents can do more than just monitor usage as well: You can turn on screen time limits and schedules, and filter specific apps and web browsing. The app also tracks locations using mobile device GPS, so you can see where your family members are.

Most of these features are free, though some premium features are only available if you have a subscription to Microsoft 365 Family, most notably location alerts and drive safety features.

How to get started with Microsoft Family Safety

Microsoft Family 2
You must install Microsoft Family Safety across devices and sign in to your Microsoft account to use it.

To use Microsoft Family Safety, you’ll need to install the app on each of your family member’s devices. You can install Microsoft Family Safety for Android or for iOS. Start by installing it on your mobile device as a parent and sign in to your Microsoft account.

Unless you’ve already created a family group, you’ll initially be the only member of your family. Tap “Add a family member” and enter their email address associated with their Microsoft account. If your child doesn’t yet have a Microsoft account, tap “Create a child account” and follow the instructions to create one for them. They will get an invitation to join your family group; if needed, help them accept the invitation and get started with Family Safety.

Microsoft Safety 1
You can add your entire family to your family group and manage how they use their phones, apps, and web browsers.

Be sure to install the Microsoft Family Safety app on each of your kids’ devices, signing them into their own Microsoft accounts.

Using the map and tracking your family’s location

Microsoft Family 3
You can enable Microsoft Family Safety to display the location of your family members.

Microsoft Family Safety displays the location of your family members on a map, as long as you’ve enabled that feature in Settings.

To see the map, start Microsoft Family Safety and tap “Map” at the top of the screen. You should see pins for each family member.

If you want to, you can add saved locations to the map, which Microsoft calls “places.” When someone goes to that location, you’ll see it displayed on the family member’s card on the home page, so you can tell at a glance where they are.

What is Microsoft 365? Here’s what you need to know about the subscription service to Word, Excel, and other Microsoft programsWhat is Microsoft Teams? Here’s what you need to know about the workplace communication toolHow to integrate Google Drive with Microsoft Office so you can easily share files and collaborate across platformsWhat is Microsoft Sway? How to use the powerful presentation program, and how it differs from PowerPoint

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 50 best video games of all time, according to critics

"Super Mario Bros."
  • The 50 best games of all time are a surprisingly diverse list of games spanning decades of consoles.
  • There are iconic household names, cult classics, and forgotten gems.
  • Did your favorite game make the list? Let’s find out.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

There are dozens of ways you could put together a list of the best video games ever made.

You could look to classics, like “Super Mario Bros.” You could look at impact on the medium, or highest sales. You could write down your personal favorites on pieces of paper, then throw them into the air. Where the pieces land? That’s your list!

But what we’ve got here is something slightly more scientific. Reviews aggregation site Metacritic compiles all reviews of games, then it averages those scores into an overall average. What you’ll find below is the top 50 highest-rated games of all time, based on the averages obtained by Metacritic.

One quick disclaimer!

Super Mario

We made one small change: Since there are a handful of duplicates on the list (multiple versions of the same game, released on multiple platforms), we’re using the highest-ranked version of the game to make room for a handful of games that wouldn’t have otherwise made the list.

Without further ado, these are the 50 best video games of all time:

50. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2”

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 6.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘Modern Warfare 2’ continues the gripping and heart-racing action as players face off against a new threat dedicated to bringing the world to the brink of collapse. An entirely new gameplay mode which supports 2-player co-operative play online that is unique from the single player story campaign. Special Ops pits players into a gauntlet of time-trial and objective-based missions. Rank-up as players unlock new Special Ops missions, each more difficult. Missions include highlights from the single player campaign, fan favorites from ‘Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’ and all new, exclusive missions. Setting a new bar for online multiplayer, ‘Modern Warfare 2’ multiplayer delivers new capabilities, customization, game states and modes, including: Create-a-Class Evolved. Secondary Weapons – Machine Pistols, Shotguns, Handguns, Launchers. Riot Shields. Equipment – Throwing Knives, Blast Shield, Tactical Insertion. Perk Upgrades. Bling (Dual Attachments). Customizable Killstreaks – AC130, Sentry Gun, Predator Missile, Counter-UAV, Care Package. Accolades (Post match reports).”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, OS X

Buy it here >>

49. “Final Fantasy IX”

Final Fantasy IX

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The last ‘Final Fantasy’ for the PlayStation, ‘Final Fantasy IX’ returns to the pure fantasy roots that spawned the series. This latest installment features highly detailed characters, vehicles, and environments, and breathtaking cinema-graphics. The addition of brand new features such as the story-enhancing Active Time Event system and the return of mini-games that grant additional gameplay make ‘Final Fantasy IX’ not only a memorable gaming experience, but also a significant step forward in the series.”

Platforms:  PlayStation, iOS, Android, PC, PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

48. “BioShock Infinite”

BioShock Infinite (The Collection)

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Once conceived as a floating symbol of American ideals at a time when the United States was emerging as a world power, Columbia has been dispatched to distant shores with great fanfare by a captivated public. What begins as a brand new endeavor of hope turns drastically wrong as the city soon disappears into the clouds to whereabouts unknown. The player assumes the role of former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt, sent to the lost city to rescue Elizabeth, a young woman imprisoned there since childhood. He develops a relationship with Elizabeth, augmenting his abilities with hers so the pair may escape from a city that is literally falling from the sky. DeWitt must learn to fight foes in high-speed Sky-Line battles, engage in combat both indoors and amongst the clouds, and engage the power of dozens of new weapons and abilities.

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, OS X, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

47. “World of Goo”

World of Goo

Critic score: 94/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘World of Goo’ is a physics based puzzle / construction game. The millions of Goo Balls that live in the beautiful ‘World of Goo’ don’t know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious.”

Platforms: Wii, PC, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS, Nintendo Switch

Buy it here >>

46. “Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain”

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 7.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Following the prologue Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain concludes the Metal Gear Solid V experience by following the story of the protagonist of the series, Big Boss (a.k.a. Snake). The Metal Gear Solid V experience is Creator and Director Hideo Kojima’s first time incorporating open world gameplay to the groundbreaking Metal Gear franchise.”

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

45. “Portal 2”

portal 2

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘Portal 2’ is the sequel to the title named “Game of the Year” 2007 by over 30 publications around the world. ‘Portal 2’ promises to break new ground in next generation gaming by expanding the award-winning recipe of innovative gameplay, immersive story, and creative inclusion of music while also introducing multiplayer co-op game modes.”

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360

Buy it here >>

44. “Persona 5 Royal”

Persona 5 Royal

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Prepare for an all-new RPG experience in Persona 5 Royal based in the universe of the award-winning series, Persona! Don the mask of Joker and join the Phantom Thieves of Hearts. Break free from the chains of modern society and stage grand heists to infiltrate the minds of the corrupt and make them change their ways! Persona 5 Royal is packed with new characters, confidants, story depth, new locations to explore, and a new grappling hook mechanic for stealthy access to new areas. With a new semester at Shujin Academy, get ready to strengthen your abilities in the metaverse and in your daily life. Persona 5 Royal presents a unique visual style and award nominated composer Shoji Meguro returns with an all-new soundtrack. Explore Tokyo, unlock new Personas, customize your own personal Thieves Den, discover a never-before-seen story arc, cutscenes, alternate endings, and more! Even for the most seasoned Phantom Thieves among us, Persona 5 Royal is a new challenge to defy conventions, discover the power within, and fight for justice. Wear the mask. Reveal your truth.”

Platforms: PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

43. “Madden NFL 2003”

Madden NFL 2003

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 7.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Take Your Game Online: Access an online community where you can meet, chat, and play head-to-head against other gamers. Audio Dream Team: Dynamic play-by-play and analysis by Madden and Michaels. All-New Mini-camp: Hop on John Madden’s Cruiser Tour Bus and travel to all NFL cities to complete skilled tasks. Create-A-Playbook: Customize receiver routes, player formations, and your team’s entire playbook. Deepest Franchise Mode Ever: Play 30 years of Franchise mode and draft players each season with tips from your scouts.”

Platforms: Game Boy Advance, PC, GameCube, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Xbox

Buy it here >>

42. “The Last of Us”

last of us

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Twenty years after a pandemic radically transformed known civilization, infected humans run amok and survivors kill one another for sustenance and weapons – literally whatever they can get their hands on. Joel, a salty survivor, is hired to smuggle a fourteen-year-old girl, Ellie, out of a rough military quarantine, but what begins as a simple job quickly turns into a brutal journey across the country.”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

41. “The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask”

Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Thrown into a parallel world by the mischievous actions of a possessed Skull Kid, Link finds a land in grave danger. The dark power of a relic called Majora’s Mask has wreaked havoc on the citizens of Termina, but their most urgent problem is a suicidal moon crashing toward the world. Link has only 72 hours to find a way to stop its descent.”

Platforms: Nintendo 64, Nintendo 3DS

Buy it here >>

40. “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past”

a link to the past

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In a ‘Link to the Past,’ Link travels between the light world and the dark world, conquering fierce monsters and uncovering Hyrule’s deepest secrets along the way.”

Platforms: Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy Advance, Virtual Console (various platforms)

Buy it here >>

39. “Halo 2”

Halo 2

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The Covenant alien race threatens to destroy all humankind, and the only thing standing in its way is Master Chief, a genetically enhanced supersoldier. Master Chief returns in ‘Halo 2,’ which features new vehicles, weapons, environments, and more. This time, you can interact with your environment, wield two weapons at the same time, board opponents’ vehicles, and even switch sides to play the role of a Covenant Elite. ‘Halo 2’ also supports broadband multiplayer action via Xbox Live.”

Platforms: Xbox, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

38. “Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec”

Gran Turismo 3

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “With the addition of two new courses (a downtown Tokyo circuit and the Monte Carlo Grand Prix course), an impressive range of cars (from Vipers to Cooper Minis), and a soundtrack featuring everything from Lenny Kravitz to Jimi Hendrix, this highly anticipated title is finally ready to be driven.”

Platform: PlayStation 2

Buy it here >>

37. “Red Dead Redemption”

red dead redemption

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Developed by Rockstar San Diego, as a follow up to the 2004 hit game ‘Red Dead Revolver,’ ‘Red Dead Redemption’ is a Western epic, set at the turn of the 20th century when the lawless and chaotic badlands began to give way to the expanding reach of government and the spread of the Industrial Age. The story of former outlaw, John Marston, ‘Red Dead Redemption’ takes players on a great adventure across the American frontier. Utilizing Rockstar’s proprietary Rockstar Advanced Game Engine (RAGE), ‘Red Dead Redemption’ features an open-world environment for players to explore, including frontier towns, rolling prairies teeming with wildlife, and perilous mountain passes – each packed with an endless flow of varied distractions. Along the way, players experience the heat of gunfights and battles, meet a host of unique characters, struggle against the harshness of one of the world’s last remaining wildernesses, and ultimately pick their own precarious path through an epic story about the death of the Wild West and the gunslingers that inhabited it.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

Buy it here >>

36. “The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition”

The Legend of Zelda (NES)

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Receive four complete classic Zelda games all on one disc when you buy the Zelda GameCube Bundle: ‘The Legend of Zelda,’ ‘Zelda II – The Adventure of Link,’ ‘The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time,’ ‘The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask.'”

Platforms: Nintendo Entertainment System, Virtual Console (various platforms)

Buy it here >>

35. “LittleBigPlanet”

LittleBigPlanet

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 6.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In ‘LittleBigPlanet,’ players meet on a blue and green planet scattered with individual plots – and use their character’s amazing abilities to play, create and share what they build with other gamers throughout the world via the PlayStation Network. The ‘LittleBigPlanet’ experience starts with players learning about their character’s powers to interact physically with the environment. There are places to explore, creative resources to collect and puzzles to solve – all requiring a combination of brains and collaborative teamwork. As soon as players begin their creative skills will grow and they will soon be ready to start creating and modifying their surroundings – the first step to sharing them with the whole community. Characters have the power to move anything in this glued and stitched-together 3D landscape; they have the power to design, shape and build both objects and entire locations for others to view and play. There’s no complicated level editor; all of these skills can be learned by simply playing the game. Creativity is part of the gameplay experience and playing is part of the creative experience. Players can make their world as open or as secretive to explore as they like. When it’s ready, they can invite anyone within the LittleBigPlanet community to come and explore their patch – or can go and explore everybody else’s.”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

34. “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City”

Grand Theft Auto 3: Vice City

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 8.7/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Welcome to Vice City. Welcome to the 1980s. Having just made it back onto the streets of Liberty City after a long stretch in maximum security, Tommy Vercetti is sent to Vice City by his old boss, Sonny Forelli. They were understandably nervous about his re-appearance in Liberty City, so a trip down south seemed like a good idea. But all does not go smoothly upon his arrival in the glamorous, hedonistic metropolis of Vice City. He’s set up and is left with no money and no merchandise. Sonny wants his money back, but the biker gangs, Cuban gangsters, and corrupt politicians stand in his way. Most of Vice City seems to want Tommy dead. His only answer is to fight back and take over the city himself. Vice City offers vehicular pleasures to suit every taste. For the speed enthusiast, there’s high-performance cars and motorbikes. For the sportsman, a powerboat or a golf buggy lets you enjoy the great outdoors. For those that need that sense of freedom and escape, why not charter a helicopter and see the beauty of Vice City from the air.”

Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC, Mac, iOS, Android, Fire OS

Buy it here >>

33. “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas”

Grand Theft Auto 3: San Andreas

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Five years ago Carl Johnson escaped from the pressures of life in Los Santos, San Andreas… a city tearing itself apart with gang trouble, drugs and corruption. Where film stars and millionaires do their best to avoid the dealers and gangbangers. Now, it’s the early 90s. Carl’s got to go home. His mother has been murdered, his family has fallen apart and his childhood friends are all heading towards disaster. On his return to the neighborhood, a couple of corrupt cops frame him for homicide. CJ is forced on a journey that takes him across the entire state of San Andreas, to save his family and to take control of the streets.”

Platforms: PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, Mac, PlayStation 3, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Fire OS

Buy it here >>

32. “Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn”

Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn

Critic score: 95/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “An epic continuation of the story that began in ‘Baldur’s Gate,’ this RPG is set along the southern portion of the Sword Coast, a detailed and rich area of the Forgotten Realms called Amn. It features 300 spells and 130-plus monster types compared to only 130 spells and 60 monster types in ‘Baldur’s Gate.'”

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux

Buy it here >>

31. “Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty”

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (HD)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Since the incident on Shadow Moses Island, Metal Gear’s top-secret technology has been leaked into the black market through the machinations of Revolver Ocelot. As a result, countless variations of Metal Gears have sprung up in every corner of the globe, making the weapon an increasingly common component of the armed forces of nuclear powers. In the midst of all of this, Solid Snake, now a member of the anti-Metal Gear group ‘Philanthropy,’ has learned that a new prototype Metal Gear has been developed by the U.S. Marines and is being transported in secret to an unknown destination. To learn more about this new machine, Snake must infiltrate the transport, disguised as a tanker, as it makes its way down the Hudson River. Just as Snake is about to begin his mission, however, the ship is seized by a mysterious and well-armed group bent on stealing the new Metal Gear for their own, nefarious purposes

Platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Vita

Buy it here >>

30. “Gran Turismo”

Gran Turismo (PlayStation 1)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Welcome to the most advanced racing game ever created! Encounter exhilarating high-speed racing in 11 stunning environments. Feel handling agility and throttle response so convincing, the car seems to be an extension of yourself. Experience the extraordinary world of ‘Gran Turismo’!”

Platform: PlayStation

Buy it here >>

29. “The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker”

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In this ninth entry in the ‘Legend of Zelda’ series, Link debuts on GameCube with a fun new cel-shaded look, but the game stays true to the respected heritage of the series. The classic mix of sword-swinging action, perplexing puzzles and stirring story lines remains intact, but the stunning cel-shaded graphics give the people and places of Link’s watery world a wildly artistic new look. And for the very first time, Link sails freely on the high seas. Join Link on his most epic and scenic adventure yet. Face unimaginable monsters, explore puzzling dungeons, and meet a cast of unforgettable characters as he searches for his kidnapped sister, Aryll.”

Platforms: GameCube, Wii U

Buy it here >>

28. “Half-Life”

Half-Life

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “‘Half-Life’ combines great storytelling in the tradition of Stephen King with intense action and advanced technology to create a frighteningly realistic world where players need to think smart to survive. ‘Half-Life’ has won more than 50 Game of the Year awards from publications around the world, and was named ‘Best PC Game Ever’ in PC Gamer’s November 1999 issue.”

Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 2

Buy it here >>

27. “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”

skyrim

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The next chapter in the ‘Elder Scrolls’ saga arrives from the Bethesda Game Studios. Skyrim reimagines the open-world fantasy epic, bringing to life a complete virtual world open for you to explore any way you choose. Play any type of character you can imagine, and do whatever you want; the legendary freedom of choice, storytelling, and adventure of ‘The Elder Scrolls’ is realized like never before. Skyrim’s new game engine brings to life a complete virtual world with rolling clouds, rugged mountains, bustling cities, lush fields, and ancient dungeons. Choose from hundreds of weapons, spells, and abilities. The new character system allows you to play any way you want and define yourself through your actions. Battle ancient dragons like you’ve never seen. As Dragonborn, learn their secrets and harness their power for yourself.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch

Buy it here >>

26. “The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess”

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (Wii U)

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.1/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In the next chapter in the ‘Legend of Zelda’ series, Link can transform into a wolf to scour the darkened land of Hyrule. With the help of Midna, a mysterious being, you must guide Link through hordes of foul creatures and challenging bosses using new moves and a new horseback combat system. Many puzzles stand between Link and the fulfillment of his quest, so you must sharpen your wits as you hunt for weapons and items.”

Platforms: GameCube, Wii

Buy it here >>

25. “Mass Effect 2”

Mass Effect 2

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The ‘Mass Effect’ trilogy is a science fiction adventure set in a vast universe filled with dangerous alien life forms and mysterious uncharted planets. In this dark second chapter, Saren’s evil army of Geth soldiers has just been defeated, and humans, who are still struggling to make their mark on the galactic stage, are now faced with an even greater peril.”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Buy it here >>

24. “Tekken 3”

Tekken 3

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.1/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “An ancient evil force has reawakened, attacking in secret and feeding on the souls of mighty warriors. To lure it out of hiding will take the greatest fighting contest the world has ever seen…Tekken 3. Some are fighting for revenge, some for honor. Ultimately, all are fighting for their lives and the fate of all mankind.”

Platforms: PlayStation, Arcade

Buy it here >>

23. “Batman: Arkham City”

arkham city batman

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.7/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Developed by Rocksteady Studios, ‘Batman: Arkham City’ builds upon the intense, atmospheric foundation of ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum,’ sending players soaring into Arkham City, the new maximum security ‘home’ for all of Gotham City’s thugs, gangsters and insane criminal masterminds. Set inside the heavily fortified walls of a sprawling district in the heart of Gotham City, this highly anticipated sequel introduces a brand-new story that draws together a new all-star cast of classic characters and murderous villains from the Batman universe, as well as a vast range of new and enhanced gameplay features to deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

22. “The Orange Box”

"Portal"

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Games included in The Orange Box compilation: The original Half-Life 2 – The player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people – people he cares about – are counting on him. ‘Half-Life 2: Episode One’ – The player reprises his role of Dr. Freeman, who must immediately face the repercussions of his actions in City 17 and the Citadel. Freeman reconnects with Alyx Vance and her robot, Dog, as they continue their support of the resistance’s battle against the Combine forces. ‘Half-Life 2: Episode Two’ — the second installment in Valve’s episodic trilogy advances the award-winning story, leading the player to new locations outside of City 17. ‘Portal’ – a pioneering type of single player action game that rewrites the rules for how players approach and manipulate their environment – much like how Half-Life 2’s Gravity Gun reinvented the way gamers interact with objects in the game. ‘Team Fortress 2’ – an all-new version of the legendary title that spawned team based multiplayer action games. The game’s daring new art style features the most advanced graphics of any Source-based game released to date.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Linux, Mac

Buy it here >>

21. “Resident Evil 4”

resident evil 4

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In ‘Resident Evil 4’ players are reacquainted with Leon S. Kennedy, Raccoon City Police Department’s idealistic rookie cop from ‘Resident Evil 2.’ It has been six years since the destruction of Raccoon City and in that time, the U.S. government has been able to destroy the nefarious Umbrella Corporation. Fast forward to 2004 and players rejoin Leon, who is now a U.S. agent with a top-secret mission. He has been tasked to look into the abduction of the President’s daughter and his investigation has led him to a mysterious location in Europe. As Leon encounters unimaginable horrors, he must find out who or what is behind everything.”

Platforms: GameCube, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows, Wii, Zeebo, iOS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Android, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

20. “Uncharted 2: Among Thieves”

uncharted 2 among thieves ps3 game

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Fortune hunter Nathan Drake returns in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, a third-person action-adventure/shooter created by award-winning developer Naughty Dog. Down on his luck, Drake is lured back into the treacherous world of thieves and mercenary treasure-seekers he had sought to leave behind. When a mysterious artifact propels Drake on an expedition to find the legendary Himalayan valley of Shambhala, he finds himself embroiled in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse against a fugitive war criminal who’s after more than just the fabled riches of the lost city. Caught in a web of deception and plunged into an increasingly deadly pursuit that tests the limits of his endurance, Drake will be forced to risk everything – but has his luck finally run out?”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

19. “GoldenEye 007”

"GoldenEye 007"

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.1/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “You are Bond. James Bond. You are assigned covert operations connected with the GoldenEye weapons satellite. M will brief you on your mission and objectives from London. Q Branch will support your efforts with a plentiful supply of weapons and gadgets. Moneypenny offers you light-hearted best wishes and you’re off! Your mission begins in the heavily guarded chemical warfare facility at the Byelomorye Dam in the USSR. Look and shoot in any direction as you navigate 12 interactive 3-D environments. Use stealth and force as you see fit in matters of international security. Consider the military personnel expendable. You are licensed to kill!”

Platform: Nintendo 64

Buy it here >>

18. “BioShock”

bioshock

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 8.9/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Going beyond ‘run and gun corridors,’ ‘monster-closet AIs’ and static worlds, BioShock creates a living, unique and unpredictable FPS experience. After your plane crashes into icy uncharted waters, you discover a rusted bathysphere and descend into Rapture, a city hidden beneath the sea. Constructed as an idealistic society for a hand picked group of scientists, artists and industrialists, the idealism is no more. Now the city is littered with corpses, wildly powerful guardians roam the corridors as little girls loot the dead, and genetically mutated citizens ambush you at every turn. Take control of your world by hacking mechanical devices, commandeering security turrets and crafting unique items critical to your very survival. Upgrade your weapons with ionic gels, explosives and toxins to customize them to the enemy and environment. Genetically modify your body through dozens of Plasmid Stations scattered throughout the city, empowering you with fantastic and often grotesque abilities. Explore a living world powered by Ecological A.I., where the inhabitants have interesting and consequential relationships with one another that impact your gameplay experience. Experience truly next generation graphics that vividly illustrate the forlorn art deco city, highlighted by the most detailed and realistic water effects ever developed in a video game. Make meaningful choices and mature decisions, ultimately culminating in the grand question: do you exploit the innocent survivors of Rapture…or save them?”

Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, iOS

Buy it here >>

17. “Half-Life 2”

Half-Life 2

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “By taking the suspense, challenge and visceral charge of the original, and adding startling new realism and responsiveness, ‘Half-Life 2’ opens the door to a world where the player’s presence affects everything around him, from the physical environment to the behaviors — even the emotions — of both friends and enemies. The player again picks up the crowbar of research scientist Gordon Freeman, who finds himself on an alien-infested Earth being picked to the bone, its resources depleted, its populace dwindling. Freeman is thrust into the unenviable role of rescuing the world from the wrong he unleashed back at Black Mesa. And a lot of people — people he cares about — are counting on him.”

Platforms: PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Mac, Linux, Android

Buy it here >>

16. “NFL 2K1”

NFL 2K1

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 6.3/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “In the end, NFL 2K1 is a deeper, more refined version of the original game.”

Platform: Dreamcast

Buy it now >>

15. “Halo: Combat Evolved”

Halo: Combat Evolved

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Enter the mysterious world of Halo, an alien planet shaped like a ring. As mankind’s super soldier Master Chief, you must uncover the secrets of Halo and fend off the attacking Covenant. During your missions, you’ll battle on foot, in vehicles, inside, and outside with alien and human weaponry. Your objectives include attacking enemy outposts, raiding underground labs for advanced technology, rescuing fallen comrades, and sniping enemy forces. ‘Halo’ also lets you battle three other players via intense split screen combat or fight cooperatively with a friend through the single-player missions.”

Platforms: Xbox, PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

14. “Super Mario Odyssey”

Super Mario Odyssey

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Mario embarks on a new journey through unknown worlds, running and jumping through huge 3D worlds in the first sandbox-style Mario game since ‘Super Mario 64’ and ‘Super Mario Sunshine.’ Set sail between expansive worlds aboard an airship, and perform all-new actions, such as throwing Mario’s cap.”

Platform: Switch

Buy it here >>

13. “Grand Theft Auto III”

Grand Theft Auto 3

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 8.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Players are put at the heart of their very own gangster movie, and let loose in a fully-realized 3 dimensional city with a cast of hundreds, 50 plus vehicles, ranging from sports cars to ice cream trucks and from boats to buses, 3 hours of music, including opera, reggae, house, drum and bass, pop and disco, and a huge array of street ready weapons.”

Platforms: PlayStation 2, PC, Xbox, Mac, Android, iOS, Fire OS

Buy it here >>

12. “Metroid Prime”

metroid prime

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.3/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Samus returns in a new mission to unravel the mystery behind the ruined walls scattered across Tallon IV. In Metroid Prime, you’ll play the role of this bounty hunter and view the world through her visor, which displays information ranging from current energy levels to ammunition. Equipped with a Power Beam and Gravity Suit, you must shoot locked switches, solve puzzles, and eliminate enemies. It’s up to you to explore the world and recover more power-ups and weapons, which gradually open more gameplay areas.”

Platforms: GameCube, Wii

Buy it here >>

11. “Perfect Dark”

Perfect Dark (N64)

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Step into the Dark… As Carrington Institute’s most promising new Agent, Joanna Dark must uncover the truth behind the dataDyne Corporation’s recent technological breakthroughs – breakthroughs which could have serious consequences for mankind.”

Platforms: Nintendo 64, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

10. “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3”

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 7.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Challenge up to four friends in online competitions over a LAN or the Internet. Take them on in both Trick Attack and Graffiti modes.”

Platforms: PlayStation 2, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, GameCube, Xbox, Game Boy Advance, PC, Nintendo 64, Mac

Buy it here >>

9. “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 8.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Forget everything you know about The Legend of Zelda games. Step into a world of discovery, exploration and adventure in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a boundary-breaking new game in the acclaimed series. Travel across fields, through forests and to mountain peaks as you discover what has become of the ruined kingdom of Hyrule in this open-air adventure. Explore the wilds of Hyrule any way you like.”

Platforms: Wii U, Switch

Buy it here >>

8. “Grand Theft Auto V”

grand theft auto v

Critic score: 96/100

User score: 7.8/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Los Santos: a sprawling sun-soaked metropolis full of self-help gurus, starlets and fading celebrities, once the envy of the Western world, now struggling to stay alive in a time of economic uncertainty and cheap reality TV. Amidst the turmoil, three very unique criminals plot their own chances of survival and success: Franklin, a street hustler looking for tangible opportunities and serious money; Michael, a professional ex-con whose retirement is less rosy than he figured it would be; and Trevor, a violent dude driven by the opportunity for a cheap high and his next big score. With options at a premium, the crew risks it all in a myriad of daring and dangerous heists that could set them up for life.”

Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC

Buy it here >>

7. “Red Dead Redemption 2”

Red Dead Redemption 2

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 7.7/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): ” Developed by the creators of ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ and ‘Red Dead Redemption,’ ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ is an epic tale of life in America’s unforgiving heartland. The game’s vast and atmospheric world also provides the foundation for a brand new online multiplayer experience. America, 1899. The end of the Wild West era has begun. After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang has to rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal fissures threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang that raised him.”

Platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4

Buy it here >>

6. “Super Mario Galaxy 2”

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.1/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Super Mario Galaxy 2, the sequel to the galaxy-hopping original game, includes the gravity-defying, physics-based exploration from the first game, but is loaded with entirely new galaxies and features to challenge players. On some stages, Mario can pair up with his dinosaur buddy Yoshi and use his tongue to grab items and spit them back at enemies. Players can also have fun with new items such as a drill that lets our hero tunnel through solid rock.”

Platform: Wii

Buy it here >>

5. “Super Mario Galaxy”

Super Mario Galaxy

Critic score: 97/100

User score: 9.0/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “The ultimate Nintendo hero is taking the ultimate step … out into space. Join Mario as he ushers in a new era of video games, defying gravity across all the planets in the galaxy. When some creature escapes into space with Princess Peach, Mario gives chase, exploring bizarre planets all across the galaxy. Mario, Peach and enemies new and old are here. Players run, jump and battle enemies as they explore all the planets in the galaxy. Since this game makes full use of all the features of the Wii Remote, players have to do all kinds of things to succeed: pressing buttons, swinging the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk, and even pointing at and dragging things with the pointer. Since he’s in space, Mario can perform mind-bending jumps unlike anything he’s done before. He’ll also have a wealth of new moves that are all based around tilting, pointing and shaking the Wii Remote. Shake, tilt and point! Mario takes advantage of all the unique aspects of the Wii Remote and Nunchuk controller, unleashing new moves as players shake the controller and even point at and drag items with the pointer.”

Platform: Wii

Buy it here >>

4. “SoulCalibur”

SoulCalibur

Critic score: 98/100

User score: 8.6/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “This is a tale of souls and swords, transcending the world and all its history, told for all eternity… The greatest weapons-based fighter returns, this time on Sega Dreamcast. Soul Calibur unleashes incredible graphics, fantastic fighters, and combos so amazing they’ll make your head spin!”

Platforms: Dreamcast, iOS, Arcade, Xbox 360, Xbox One

Buy it here >>

3. “Grand Theft Auto IV”

Grand Theft Auto IV

Critic score: 98/100

User score: 7.5/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “What does the American Dream mean today? For Niko Belic, fresh off the boat from Europe. It’s the hope he can escape his past. For his cousin, Roman, it is the vision that together they can find fortune in Liberty City, gateway to the land of opportunity. As they slip into debt and are dragged into a criminal underworld by a series of shysters, thieves and sociopaths, they discover that the reality is very different from the dream in a city that worships money and status, and is heaven for those who have them an a living nightmare for those who don’t.”

Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Buy it here >>

2. “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2”

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

Critic score: 98/100

User score: 7.4/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “Hawk’s back – with new technology, new pros and new tricks! ‘THPS2,’ the legend rides on! Skate as legendary Tony Hawk or any one of 12 other pro skaters. Create your own custom skaters. Multiple play modes including 1-Player, Career and Free Skate modes, as well as 2-player modes such as Trick Attack, Graffiti Tag and Horse. Build your own custom skate parks with the real-time 3D park editor”

Platforms: PlayStation, PC, Game Boy Color, Dreamcast, Mac, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo 64, iOS, Xbox

Buy it here >>

1. “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Critic score: 99/100

User score: 9.2/10

Plot summary (from Metacritic): “As a young boy, Link is tricked by Ganondorf, the King of the Gerudo Thieves. The evil human uses Link to gain access to the Sacred Realm, where he places his tainted hands on Triforce and transforms the beautiful Hyrulean landscape into a barren wasteland. Link is determined to fix the problems he helped to create, so with the help of Rauru he travels through time gathering the powers of the Seven Sages.”

Platforms: Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, Virtual Console (various platforms)

Buy it here >>

Read the original article on Business Insider

How to use Discord on Xbox to show your friends what games you’re playing

teen gaming on xbox controller
Linking your Discord account to your Xbox can help you connect with friends.

  • You can use Discord on Xbox by linking your Discord account to your Xbox Live account.
  • Once your accounts are linked, Discord will show your friends what game you’re currently playing on your Xbox.
  • Linking your accounts makes it easy for your Discord friends to join your Xbox game.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Discord, a popular messaging platform, is easy to link with your Xbox Live account. You can do this on your Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S through the Discord app for Mac and PC, or the mobile app for iPhone and Android devices.

Here’s a breakdown of what you can do with Discord on Xbox and how to link your accounts.

Discord on Xbox

The major feature of Discord on Xbox is that when you begin playing a game on your Xbox, it’ll be shown on your Discord profile. This means that anyone you share a server with will be able to see what you’re playing, which is great if you have friends who might want to join in.

But other than being able to see who else is online, the capabilities of Discord on Xbox are limited. If you use Discord on your PC when gaming, for example, you can talk with friends over voice chat and messaging, but those features aren’t yet available on Xbox.

Here’s how to use Discord on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

How to connect your Spotify account to Discord, so everyone can see what music you’re listening toHow to cross out text in Discord and make other text changesHow to update your Xbox One console automatically or manuallyHow to delete your Discord account using a computer

Read the original article on Business Insider

Get used to playing 2020’s biggest video games: The pandemic is devastating this year’s lineup

Gran Turismo 7
Upcoming PlayStation 5 game “Gran Turismo 7” is among the group of games that have already been delayed out of 2021.

  • In 2020, the video game industry enjoyed explosive profits with more people than ever stuck indoors.
  • In 2021, the game release calendar is slimmer than ever and several major games are being delayed.
  • For many of these games, the difficulty of development during a pandemic is the cause of the delay.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused millions of Americans to shelter in place starting in early March 2020, “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” was just days away from launch.

The combination of the game’s charming atmosphere, its busywork, and a sudden infusion of free time for millions of people turned “Animal Crossing” into one of Nintendo’s biggest hits in years.

It was one of several games that had especially strong sales in 2020 – the benefit of accidentally lining up launch with a totally unexpected global pandemic. But with 2020 rapidly fading into the past, the other impact of the pandemic on the video game industry is starting to emerge: Several of this year’s biggest games have already been delayed to 2022 due to development struggles related to the pandemic.

The developers of a marquee PlayStation 5 game, “Gran Turismo 7,” directly cited the impact of the pandemic for their delay.

Gran Turismo 7

Making the game was, “impacted by COVID-related production challenges,” Sony told GQ in late February. The game’s launch was moved from 2021 into 2022.

“With the ongoing pandemic, it’s a dynamic and changing situation and some critical aspects of game production have been slowed over the past several months,” the statement said.

For a game series like “Gran Turismo,” which intends to simulate real-life racing, pandemic-related development challenges abound: There is no way to capture the sound of an engine, or to model a real-life car, or to track a race, without being there in person.

But even without the added complications of creating a racing video game, several other major video games have been pushed out of the 2021 launch window into next year.

Hogwart's Legacy
“Hogwarts Legacy” takes place in the 1800s.

A long-in-development game based on the “Harry Potter” book franchise was scheduled to launch in 2021: “Hogwarts Legacy” will have players creating their own wizard and progressing through a unique story set long before the events of the books.

Though the game has been cooking for at least the last three years, WB Games announced a delay to 2022 back in early January.

“Creating the best possible experience for all of the Wizarding World and gaming fans is paramount to us so we are giving the game the time it needs,” a statement published on Twitter said.

It’s one of two major games from Warner Bros. that have been pushed back into next year.

Gotham Knights

“Gotham Knights,” a Batman spinoff game, was also just recently delayed into next year.

Instead of playing as the Dark Knight, players control Nightwing, Batgirl, Robin, and Red Hood in a Gotham City that has no Batman. Players will have to wait until at least 2022 to give it a shot.

“We are giving the game more time to deliver the best possible experience for players,” the statement said.

Notably, it’s still March – there’s a lot of 2021 left, which means these games likely have a long way to go before they’re ready for publishing. That’s especially notable right now, in early 2021, when new owners of new consoles from Xbox and PlayStation are desperately in need of new games to play.

This isn’t a surprise problem: Xbox leader Phil Spencer even warned about the impacts of the pandemic on 2021’s game lineup in an interview with Insider back in May 2020, as did Nintendo leadership in a May 2020 investor call. Though all three major console makers have a handful of major games on the horizon, 2021’s game release calendar for each is looking slim.

When Nintendo laid out its plans for the first half of the year in a recent video presentation, fans largely balked: Aside from a new “Mario Golf” game, there are next-to-no heavy hitters scheduled for launch on the Switch in the first six months of 2021.

As coronavirus vaccines are distributed worldwide, and work on video games returns to some semblance of pre-pandemic normalcy, the cadence of game launches will assuredly return.

For now, though, 2021 is looking light on major games – and the pandemic is largely to blame.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A new invite-only iPhone app lets people gamble real money on matches of ‘Call of Duty’ and ‘Fortnite’

IMG_4983
Courtesy 1v1Me

  • New app 1v1Me will allow video gamers to place bets on “Call of Duty” and “Fortnite” in one-on-ones.
  • The players must link to their bank accounts and agree on a wager before starting the game.
  • The founders said the COVID-19 pandemic pushed them to create their idea for a betting app.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Players can now place wagers on one-on-one video games using a new app called 1v1Me that was inspired by at-home betting during the pandemic.

The app, first reported on by TechCrunch, will allow gamers to place wagers in one-on-one matches on “Call of Duty” and “Fortnite” while at home.

1v1Me launched with well-known content creators, such as NoisyButters, joining in. It is starting off small and supporting just two video games, so that it’s a “much more controlled environment,” said founder Anthony Geranio in an interview with Insider.

To participate, you have to get an invite to play from a content creator on the app. Geranio said the app now has nearly 12,000 people waiting to play.

IMG_4904
Inside the 1v1Me app. Courtesy of 1v1Me

Once invited, 1v1Me confirms a player’s identity. Then, players must add a bank account to the app and agree with an opponent on how much to wager. 1v1Me then places the money from their bets into escrow. The gamers use livestreaming service Twitch when they play the game. This allows others to watch the match and 1v1Me to monitor it to ensure it’s fair and determine who wins. Once concluded, 1v1Me transfers the money to the winner’s bank account.

To place a bet on a game, a player must be 18. Minors can still play with the app, but they can’t wager on the match, the founder said. He added that the app only operates in the 48 states where it’s legal to wager on skill-based games.

Read more: A video game tutor who makes up to $5,000 a month shares how he built a career teaching people how to win at ‘League of Legends’

Before launching, Geranio and co-founder Alex Emmanuel raised $2 million in financing. The COVID-19 pandemic pushed them to create the app, Geranio said, as they saw friends spending their time at home placing bets on online poker and playing video games.

Geranio said his mission for the company is “to help more gamers make a living from esports.” Geranio said he wants to generate the next wave of gaming content creators on popular platforms like YouTube and Twitch.

“Kids today are waking up and want to become YouTube stars, versus doctors and astronauts,” he said. “The No. 1 place to make YouTube content is in gaming.”

Gamer NoisyButters, who also invested in the app, tweeted a photo with the new app Monday, saying she used to put her one-on-one record in “Call of Duty” on her XBox biography, but “now there’s an app for it.”

Live esports tournaments faced struggles amid the pandemic, and the industry, which was set to hit $1 billion in 2020, missed the mark as leagues forfeited their arena events but kept the seasons alive. Since the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting in 2018, consulting agency Activate predicted people could bet as much as $150 billion per year by 2023.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Despite GameStop’s stock boom, the company is still struggling – take a look inside Ryan Cohen’s ambitious plan to ‘transform’ the retailer into the Amazon of gaming

Ryan Cohen - Chewy
Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is now the head of RC Ventures, an investment firm that’s taken a 12% stake in GameStop.

  • Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is the largest individual GameStop shareholder.
  • He’s also a board member, and is intent on turning the company into the Amazon of gaming.
  • Cohen is already making major moves at the company, and he has big plans for the future.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

What does Ryan Cohen want with GameStop?

That’s the big, unanswered question at the heart of his 12.9% ownership stake in the company – an investment he made well before GameStop became a meme stock.

Cohen, who cofounded Chewy and acted as CEO before it sold to PetSmart for $3.35 billion in 2017, does not have a background in the video game industry. His claim to fame is outfoxing Amazon at its own game – e-commerce – in a specific category: pets. That’s an especially meaningful claim to fame when it comes to Wall Street, which saw Cohen’s involvement in the company as a reason to buy the ailing retailer’s stock before Reddit found it.

Read more: Ryan Cohen made millions when Chewy got acquired. Now the millennial entrepreneur has a plan to turn around GameStop.

But Cohen is no casual investor in GameStop – he’s a member of the board, and an activist investor who has successfully lobbied the company to follow his advice several times thus far. He is clearly in this for the long term.

Though the lingering question of “Why GameStop?” remains unanswered, we know a lot about Cohen’s plans for the future of the company.

1. Cohen wants GameStop to become a technology company, with a focus on ecommerce over brick-and-retail stores.

gamestop store
A GameStop Corp. store on November 5, 2013 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cohen’s investment firm, RC Ventures, owns 12.9% of GameStop. That stake makes it the second-largest single shareholder of GameStop.

Those shares cost tens of millions of dollars, and they put Cohen in a position to more directly engage with the company’s leadership. But those private conversations apparently didn’t go very well.

“Given that our attempts to privately engage with you since the summer have yielded little progress, we feel compelled to send a clear message to the Board today,” Cohen wrote in an open letter aimed at GameStop’s board of directors published in November 2020.

“GameStop’s leadership should immediately conduct a strategic review of the business,” he said, “and share a credible plan for seizing the tremendous opportunities in the rapidly-growing gaming sector.” 

The letter, overwhelmingly, focused on the company’s need to transition to ecommerce.

“GameStop’s challenges stem from internal intransigence and an unwillingness to rapidly embrace the digital economy,” the letter said. “GameStop needs to evolve into a technology company that delights gamers and delivers exceptional digital experiences — not remain a video game retailer that overprioritizes its brick-and-mortar footprint and stumbles around the online ecosystem.”

2. He wants to reshape the company’s leadership, and has already begun doing just that.

GameStop CFO Jim Bell
Former GameStop CFO Jim Bell was ousted from the company in late February.

Throughout his letter, Cohen directly criticizes the company’s leadership — both its executive suite and its board of directors, to whom the letter is addressed.

GameStop CEO and board member George Sherman, “appears committed to a twentieth-century focus on physical stores and walk-in sales, despite the transition to an always-on digital world,” Cohen said, and the board lacks “the type of strategic vision” necessary for GameStop, “to pivot toward becoming a technology-driven business that excels in the gaming and digital experience worlds.”

That criticism appeared to have a major impact, as GameStop announced in early January that Cohen and two of his former Chewy lieutenants would become new members of the board. Pending a vote in June, the trio will make up one-third of the board’s membership.

Soon after Cohen joined the board, major c-suite changes began.

Amazon vet Matt Francis was hired on as the CTO in early February. A former Amazon Web Services engineering lead, he’s tasked with, “overseeing e-commerce and technology functions” for GameStop.

Then, in late February, CFO Jim Bell was suddenly forced out of his role at the company. The board of directors “lost faith” in Bell, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke with Insider.

3. Cohen is in charge of a newly announced committee that intends to “transform” the company.

Ryan Cohen - Chewy

Just this week, GameStop announced that Cohen is in charge of a new committee at the company that intends to, “identify initiatives that can further accelerate the company’s transformation.”

The “Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committee” is tasked with “identifying actions that can transform GameStop into a technology business and help create enduring value for stockholders,” GameStop said in a press release on March 8.

If that language sounds familiar, that’s because it’s very similar to the language used by Cohen in his letter to the board last November.

The group — which includes Cohen, former Chewy exec Alan Attal, and activist investor Kurt Wolf — was seemingly created to carry out the changes proposed by Cohen last year.

4. One potential for GameStop’s future: online trade-ins.

GameStop Clerk
A customer laughs with a clerk as he purchases a copy of the video game “Grand Theft Auto IV” at a GameStop store in New York

In September 2020, when Cohen initially purchased a significant chunk of the company’s shares, he privately proposed a plan to the board to focus GameStop on e-commerce opportunities.

One example of those opportunities is tied to GameStop’s core business: reselling used games.

Cohen reportedly proposed an online version of the retailer’s (in)famous game trade-in program.

During those talks, he proposed a major expansion of GameStop’s online footprint, according to Bloomberg. Beyond just games, GameStop’s online store would offer “a wide range of merchandise,” the report said, and prioritize fast shipping.

Cohen has yet to publicly spell out his specific plans, and his representative didn’t respond to a request for comment as of publishing.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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The EU has approved Microsoft’s $7.5 billion purchase of Bethesda

BEIJING, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 25: (CHINA OUT) CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella gives a lecture about dream, struggle and creation at Tsinghua University on September 25, 2014 in Beijing, China. CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella visited China for the first time on Thursday.
Satya Nadella announced the acquisition in September 2020.

  • The EU has approved Microsoft’s $7.5 billion purchase of Bethesda Softworks’ parent company.
  • Future releases will likely be Xbox exclusives and not on PlayStation, with a few exceptions.
  • The EU said there were no competition concerns for Microsoft’s largest-ever video game purchase.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Despite the pandemic, video game revenue reportedly exceeded sport and film combined in 2020.

According to data from the International Data Corporation reported by MarketWatch, the industry surged 20% to $179.7 billion.

The European Union has now approved Microsoft’s $7.5 billion purchase of ZeniMax Media, the parent company of game publisher Bethesda Softworks.

Microsoft’s acquisition is the company’s largest-ever purchase in the video game sector, Expansion reported.

When the tech giant first announced its plans in September, analysts said Microsoft was looking to diversify its business with more revenue from consumer products.

“As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a press release announcing the acquisition in September last year. “And together, we will further our ambition to empower the more than three billion gamers worldwide.”

Bethesda is well-known for games including “Fallout,” “The Elder Scrolls,” and “Doom.”

All of Bethesda’s games will now come under Microsoft’s Xbox Studios umbrella.

The company said in September that the release of all PS5 games already announced by Bethesda would continue, but that the remainder of the games would be looked at on a “case-by-case basis,” with some new releases moving exclusively to Xbox.

The tech giant will also be able to incorporate Zenimax’s Bethesda games into its Xbox Game Pass cloud-based video game catalog.

Microsoft first requested EU approval on January 29 and the European Commission has now ruled that it will not pose competition problems to other providers.

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Google’s Stadia gaming division reportedly missed its user goals by hundreds of thousands of gamers

Google Stadia
Playing a Stadia game.

  • Google’s Stadia gaming division missed user goals by hundreds of thousands, according to Bloomberg
  • A source told Wired they questioned whether execs “above Stadia leadership understand what they got into.”
  • Google in February announced it would stop developing in-house games for Stadia. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Google’s Stadia shut down its in-house game-development division after failing to hit targets, including apparently missing its monthly active user goal by hundreds of thousands of gamers, according to new reports examining the project. 

Google on February 1 announced it was abandoning its effort to create video games in-house after less than two years. Its Stadia Games & Entertainment division, responsible for creating the games, would be shuttered, the company said

“We’ve decided that we will not be investing further in bringing exclusive content from our internal development team SG&E, beyond any near-term planned games,” Phil Harrison, Stadia VP, wrote in a blog post.

On Friday, Bloomberg reported that the division hadn’t met internal company goals for active users and controller sales. Both were off by hundreds of thousands, according to the report, which cited two unnamed sources. 

Wired on Friday also published a deeper look into where the Stadia development project went wrong. The report said Google planned to hire 2,000 people in five years. The company ended up shuttering the project and reportedly laying off about 150 game developers. 

There seemed to be a disconnect between the way game developers usually work – testing games internally and releasing them as close to their final form as possible – and the way Google creates products, with beta versions and many iterations, according to the reports. 

One Stadia employee told Wired: “I question how much the execs above Stadia leadership understand what they got into – the commitments made and over commitments and the inability to keep those commitments.”

Google announced Stadia in November 2019, saying it would launch a Netflix-like video-game platform and a new controller. It would also create its own games, it said. But Stadia said in early February that it would stop development on new games, while continuing to launch third-party games.

“Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially,” Harrison said in his blog post. 

Insider has reached out to Google for comment. 

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