Category: News

Who wants to play Monopoly?

Sony Lawsuits & PlayStation 5 Shortages

A group of gamers is gearing up to file a lawsuit against Sony this week, arguing that the company runs an unlawful monopoly that limits where players are able to purchase digital copies of PlayStation games to only Sony online stores. This group has said that Sony’s monopoly on digital games means, “they are allowed to charge supercompetitive prices for digital PlayStation games, that are significantly higher than their physical counterparts sold in a competitive retail market.” This lawsuit is designed to hopefully encourage Sony to create a more consumer friendly environment by suggesting a more competitive retail market that doesn’t result in players paying up to 175 percent more for digital games.

Sony are also expecting massive PlayStation 5 shortages that is predicted to last into 2022. Sony have been having some supply issues that don’t have an end in sight. According to Sony’s CFO Hiroki Totoki said, “If we secure a lot more devices and produce many more units, our supply wouldn’t be able to catch up with demand.” Despite supply shortages Sony has sold more than 7.8 million units since November last year. Similar to Sony, Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and S are also struggling with supply constraints until after June 20th this year.

Filmmaker claims Capcom took Designs for Resident Evil Village

Filmmaker Richard Raaphorst who directed a horror film Frankenstein’s Army in 2013 has shared online a comparison of images from his movie and Resident Evil Village’s character designs. Many fans of the horror film continue to find similarities. Raaphorst said, “It’s a crazy monster movie filled with my own creature designs, one of which has been used – completely without authorization or credit in the newest Resident Evil game.” For now, there doesn’t appear to be any legal action from Raaphorst just that he wished they’d given him credit. If you’d like to take a look at the images (SPOLIER WARNING) click here.

E3 2021 is coming up fast

Starting on June 12th and running for three days until the 15th E3 Expo is only a month away. Coronavirus has had a massive impact of industry events however hopeful we are that they will return soon we still have a way to go and because of this, E3 2021 will be embracing all the virtual technology it can to bring us closer to the exhibitors this year. There are some big game announcements to come that are currently kept secret as well as more sneak peaks into big releases such as Halo: Infinite, Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, Starfield, Final Fantasy 16, a potentially new Sonic game, not to mention the anticipation for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. If you’d like to get updates on what’s happening as well as where everything is to be streamed head over to www.e3expo.com to sign up, it’s totally free.

Game Releases this week:

May 13th: Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Wrath of the Druids comes out on all platforms
May 14th: Famicom Detective Club (Nintendo Switch), Mass Effect Legendary Edition (PC, PS4, XBO), Quantum Replica (PS4, XBO, Switch), Subnautica (Switch), Subnautica: Below Zero (PS4 & 5, XSX, XBO, Switch).
May 18th: Leisure Suit Larry – Wet Dreams Dry Twice (PS4, XBO, Switch)

The Good, the Bad, and the Lucrative

Cost of Epic Game’s Giveaways Revealed

As part of its ongoing court battles, Epic has published a document detailing it’s game giveaways from the start of the promotion until September 2019. This revealed the total cost, the individual cost, and the amount of players they drew in through the scheme. Over this period, they gave away just over 11 and a half million dollars in free games. Still, this scheme has drawn in a huge amount of new players for Epic and is likely well worth the cost. Big hitters were Batman Arkham, Subnautica, and Mutant Year Zero, each costing over a million for Epic. Smaller indie games cost much less, some costing only around 50 thousand dollars. This does not mean they didn’t pull in their fair share of new players and for player retention, all at a fraction of the cost. This list may provide some ammunition for indie games while bargaining their worth.

Riot Games to begin recording in game voice chat

Riot Games has announced a new tool in it’s arsenal to combat toxic behaviour. A new privacy notice will be implemented next month and, along with it, they will begin to record in-game voice chat in Valorant. Audio is stored on a secure server and will not be accessed unless a report is made and, if no disruptive behaviour is found, will be deleted. “We’re committed to creating our games better for everybody who plays them,” Riot said. “This is another step toward tackling disruptive behaviour across the board, starting with Valorant.” This system will first be trialled in North America before being spread to Oceania and elsewhere. For many who have been exposed to toxic teammates while online gaming, this new system could signal a huge step in the right direction but many still have been quick to point out the privacy problems this poses.

PlayStation announces partnership with Discord

“Together, our teams are already hard at work connecting Discord with your social and gaming experience on PlayStation Network,” Sony said in it’s announcement. The details of this partnership are still somewhat vague, but they did say the goal is to “bring the Discord and PlayStation experiences closer together on console and mobile starting early next year, allowing friends, groups, and communities to hang out, have fun, and communicate more easily while playing games together” and that more information would be released in the coming months. As cross play becomes more commonplace, the possibility of seamless voice chat between PS5 and PC players is quite exciting. This partnership strikes some as odd since Discord has previously turned down many buyout offers, including Microsoft’s recent 10-billion-dollar bid. Sony won out and now holds an undisclosed stake in Discord.

Gaming Firsts with an Oscar, Olympic Series and Free Xbox Multiplayer.

First Oscar Win for Game Developers

Late last year Respawn Entertainment released Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, a virtual reality first person shooter. To honour the theme of this game, the producers included a gallery mode directed by Anthony Giacchino featuring short films about the veterans of World War II. Included is Colette, the story of her family’s assistance to the French Resistance and her brother’s capture. This 25-minute short rose to fame after winning Best Short Film at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in 2020, and became the first film produced by a video game studio to win an Oscar at the 93rd Academy Awards.

While not directly referenced by the award ceremony, Mr. Giacchino specifically thanked executive producer Peter Hirschmann the director of Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond and everyone at Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment, especially Vince Zampella, the Head of Respawn Entertainment, Dusty Welch, Chief Operating Officer also at Respawn Entertainment, and Laura Miele, Chief Studios Officer at Electronic Arts Worldwide Studios. The film was made in conjunction with Oculus and the team at Respawn Entertainment, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts.

Gaming Olympics coming in 2020… sort of.

The International Olympics Committee (IOC) have announced the first Olympic Virtual Series to take place before the Tokyo 2020 Games, running from the 13th May to Jun 23. The series currently includes five different games, of which the physical games will be monitored by apps such as Zwift, an app for bike training, and an open format for rowing. For non-physical competitions, these will be run by their own platforms for the Series and include; Gran Turismo by Polyphony Digital, a car racing game available on PlayStation Consoles; Virtual Regatta, run by Virtual Regatta SAS, an app available on Android and iOS; and eBaseball Powerful Pro Baseball 2020, Konami Digital Entertainment’s highly customisable baseball simulator currently available on PS4 and Switch – and only in Japanese. The IOC’s announcement also made it clear that these events will be open to the public and in ways that will “maximise (sic) online mass participation and prioritise (sic) inclusivity and participation”.

Free to Play games on Xbox now Free to Play.

Microsoft announced on the 21st of April that from that day, all Free to Play games will now no longer require an Xbox Live Gold Subscription for access to online play. This includes Looking for Group options and party chats for those games. The exceptions to this are trials, pre-order demos, or early access for paid games. These will still require membership to Xbox Live Gold to access online multiplayer content. If you currently are subscribed to Xbox Live specifically for this purpose, Microsoft is offering a one-time option to immediately cancel and receive credit based on the remaining time.

Now for some game releases.

On April 30th, the exclusive horror roguelike shooter Returnal is coming to PS5 and New Pokemon Snap will be releasing to the Switch.

Then, for the May the 4th be with you, The Colonists, a cute and relaxing building game is coming to PS4, Xbox One and Switch, and Dark Nights with Poe and Munro, the episodic Full Motion Video, choose your own adventure game, is coming to PS4 and Xbox One.

 

Gaming has been Cancelled

Sony PlayStation flip flops over Store Closure

In late March Sony confirmed the online game store closure for Playstation 3, Playstation Portable, and PlayStation Vita on July 2nd. On April 15th users began to feel the first wave of effects, with patch support for many games being removed. This led to many issues, with some users being locked out of previously purchased downloadable content in games, such as Little Big Planet 2 and White Knight Chronicles, with others unable to access online play due to patch requirements. Mysteriously, some of these patches have begun reappearing after public outcry. For a list of affected games please check this link.

On April 19th Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, backtracked on most of the closures in an official PlayStation blog post, stating;

“Upon further reflection, however, it’s clear that we made the wrong decision here. So today I’m happy to say that we will be keeping the PlayStation Store operational for PS3 and PS Vita devices. PSP commerce functionality will retire on July 2, 2021 as planned.”

Further, he wrote that this flip was due to the “incredibly passionate” customer base’s need to be able to purchase “…classic games on PS3 and PS Vita for the foreseeable future…”

 

Amazon Cancels Lord of the Rings MMO after Tencent Negotiations Fall Through.

In a convoluted tale of Tolkien-esque complexity, Amazon has ended hopes of a free to play Lord of the Rings MMO in the near future.

It all began in 2018, when Athlon Games signed a licencing agreement with Middle Earth Enterprises to produce and publish a prequel MMO for consoles and PC. Then, in 2019 Amazon partnered with Athlon’s holding company Leyou Technologies to co-create and split publishing responsibilities. However, in December of 2020, just as rumours of release dates of late 2021 to early 2023 began emerging, Tencent Holdings acquired Leyou Technologies in a US$1.5 billion dollar deal.

According to Bloomberg, since this acquisition, contract negotiations have soured, with Amazon “…unable to secure terms to process with the title at this time”, making this game the fifth that Amazon Game Studio has cancelled since 2018.

 

Nintendo Shuts down Labo Homepage.

Sometime between February 26th and March 5th, Nintendo axed the North American Labo homepage, and now redirects to Labo’s VR Kit sales page. According to Gamesradar, this could possibly signal the end of the cardboard accessories line-up. The kits contained cardboard cut-outs of different shapes that could be made into structures utilised in minigames on the Switch. These kits could easily be repurposed for programming and learning, and were trialled for assistance in STEM curriculums in Australia and North America, and advocated for home-based education. If you are still looking for kits in Australia, the Australian website is still available at Nintendo.com.au/labo. And should you make any mistakes, we have you covered with this link to Labo spare printable parts.

 

Now for some upcoming games.

On April 22nd Buildings Have Feelings Too is coming to PC, PS4, XBO, & Switch. This city management/puzzle game will have you support businesses and build new friends. And to celebrate Earth day 2021, the “Afrofuturist squad management RPG”, We Are The Caretakers is coming to steam early access with the promise of 10% of the net revenue going to rhino conservation.

On the 28th of April, Alpha Particle, a light puzzle game where you search for your purpose, comes to PC. And Genshin Impact comes to PS5.

Court, Allegations, and More Court

Apple Refuses to Testify

Apple is being urged to provide a witness for an upcoming hearing on app stores and digital competition. The demands by Senate Judiciary Committee leaders are becoming more persistent after Apple abruptly decided to not provide a witness a couple of weeks before the hearing. The hearing had been planned for weeks, and Apple had been in discussions with the staff on who would testify on Apple’s behalf.

Apple’s App Store has been under scrutiny by lawmakers over the previous year. In 2019 an investigation had been launched into competition in the tech industry, which includes Apple’s App Store, with a focus on the 30% fees Apple charges app developers. Last year, Fortnite publisher Epic Games sued Apple with the accusation that the company is violating US antitrust laws after the game was removed from the App Store. Apple had won a similar case with Epic Games within Australia, when Fortnite had been pulled from the App Store for listing an alternative method of playing the game that would allow players to pay Epic Games directly, at a 20% discount.

The hearing is set to take place on May 3rd.

French Court Overturns Dismissal Ruling for Ex-Quantic Dream Dev

Revisiting a 2018 court case against Quantic Dream, a French court has overturned the decision of that unfair dismissal case. In 2018 it had been ruled that the employee had been forced out of the studio due to toxic and targeted behaviour.

The court has come to the consensus that the alleged misogynistic, homophobic, and racist culture at Quantic Dream wasn’t the reason for the employee’s departure, so the unfair dismissal ruling doesn’t apply.

The allegations included mentions of a collection of 600 photoshopped images that were alleged to contain discriminatory jokes and altered images of employees. Four former Quantic Dream employees cited the information uncovered by that report as the grounds for their unfair dismissal claims. The court sided with one of those employees, but that has been overturned, as the employee knew about the image in question when it was created in 2015, and therefore was unrelated to their departure in 2018.

Now that individual has been ordered to pay Quantic Dream $12,000.

Quantic Dream is using the ruling as a dismissal of those toxic culture allegations as a whole.

Hearthstone Esports Player Suspended over Abuse Allegations

Hearthstone Esports has announced that one of the game’s Grandmaster tournament players, Paul “Zale” Nemeth, has been suspended due to allegations of domestic abuse.

After nearly three months of silence following these allegations coming to light, and a day before the 2021 Grandmasters season begins, Blizzard finally responded, saying that they are “aware of the allegations and are assessing the matter”. Many Hearthstone fans have expressed relief and approval for Blizzard’s response, and the act of suspending the player.

And now for some upcoming game releases!

April 15:

  • Ashwalkers: A Survival Journey (PC)
  • Carly and the Reaperman (PC, VR)
  • SaGa Frontier Remastered (PC, PS4, Switch)
  • Sea of Thieves Season 2 (PC, XSX, XBO)

April 16:

  • Super Meat Boy Forever (PS4, XBO)

April 20:

  • Don’t Forget Me (PC)
  • Maskmaker (PC, VR, PSVR)
  • MLB The Show 21 (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)

April 21:

  • World Splitter (PC, PS4, Switch)

April 22:

  • Buildings Have Feelings Too! (PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
  • Orbital Bullet (PC)

April 23:

  • Judgement (PS5, XSX, Stadia)
  • NieR Replicant ver1.22474487139… (PC, PS4, XBO)

Fools, Beggers, Gamblers and the Quite Surprised

April the First Happens Again

April Fool’s day came and went again this year leaving “hilarity” in its wake.  Video games were no exception of course and as always there was a great number of jokes, pranks and curiosities to find on the day. Some of the highlights included a Playstation 1 demake of Remedy Entertainment’s Control, a version of Bugsnax without the bug aspect simply called Snacks and a new breakfast cereal based on the upcoming Deathloop simply called Deathloops. Yummmmmmmm

Some developers even go the extra step though and follow through on their jokes such as Platinum Games who this year announced that they have made last years prank into a full game. The arcade shmup Sol Cresta will be released on Switch, PC and PS4 later this year and will form part of their new Neo-Classic Arcade series. Classic style games with modern technology.

Check out our 2021 April Fools Roundup.

Component Shortage Continues

If you’ve been finding it hard to locate a new next gen console, phone or other electronic device don’t expect your chances to improve any time soon. According to Young Liu, Chairman of Foxconn the world’s biggest contract electronics manufacturer, they have had to reduce their shipments due to the ongoing worldwide shortage of silicon chips and that the situation is likely not to ease until at least the second quarter of 2022. The chip shortage began with manufacturing shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic and was further exacerbated by severe storms in Texas.

Loot Boxes are Gambling

According to a report by researchers at the universities of Plymouth and Wolverhampton loot boxes “are structurally and psychologically akin to gambling”. The mechanic wherein a player opens blind boxes for a random reward has been a hot topic of debate for several years and governments have begun stepping in to regulate where they see the industry failing to do so themselves.

“With loot boxes, emerging evidence suggests that certain categories of people may be at particular risk of any associated harms. Secondary analysis of open-access survey data has established that high spenders on loot boxes are over-represented by those with problem gambling behaviours. Unwittingly or not, developers appear to be profiting from at-risk individuals.”

Microsoft Successfully Freezes Hell Over

Earlier this year it was announced that popular Sony developed baseball game MLB The Show 21 would also be coming to Xbox platforms for the first time with this year’s release of the franchise. In a surprising update this week it was clarified that not only would the Sony developed game be releasing on the same date as its Playstation counterpart on April 20th but it would be available to Xbox’s Gamepass subscribers at no additional cost.

This situation is a result of Sony’s new contract for the MLB license which stipulates any game must be multiplatform. While the PlayStation Studio’s name will still appear on the game, the xbox version at least will be published by MLB and not Sony themselves.

This Week on the Zed Games Release Calendar

Thursday, April 8: Scarlet Hood and the Wicked Wood (PC, Mac), Before Your Eyes (PC), Cozy Grove (PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac), Always Sometimes Monsters (Switch)

Friday, April 9: Luckslinger (Switch)

 

Money Money Money

GameStop hasn’t made enough

GameStop the massive video game retailer with subsidiaries such as EB Games Australia may have had a profitable fourth quarter however still hasn’t made enough to offset the losses from the pandemic. Due to numerous store front closures for the past 12 months their net sales took a dive for the fiscal year which ended January 30th. GameStop have reported net sales down by 21% to $5.09 Billion USD with a total of $215 million USD in net loss. Despite this loss it still manages to be a better year for GameStop than 2019 which was a reported loss of over $470 million USD. CEO George Sherman commented after the announcement saying, “I am proud of how our entire organization came together in 2020 to adapt to the challenging pandemic environment, effectively serve our customers’ demand for gaming and entertainment products, and navigate through the year with strong liquidity and a strengthened balance sheet,” Sherman goes on to say that he is positive about 2021 since their sales this year has already risen by 23% and that GameStop intend on investing in more technology as well as out-sourcing talent and improving upon current systems to hopefully bring more opportunities to the company and to consumers.

Genshin Impact passes $1B in mobile revenue

miHiYo’s popular game Genshin Impact has reached over $1B USD exclusively from its mobile versions. According to numbers from Sensor Tower the free-to-play mobile Gacha game has hit 10 figures in just over six months. It took Pokémon Go 9 months to reach that same goal. After Genshin Impact’s release in September 2020 it only took two months for the behemoth game to hit the $400 million USD mark. Remember that these figures still don’t include the PC and PS4 versions of the game and it is expected that Genshin Impact will only climb in popularity for the remainder of 2021 with the release of the game later this year coming to Nintendo Switch.

Razor makes $1B thanks to the pandemic

At the end of 2020 Razor reported revenue upwards of $1.2B which is a 48% hike compared to 2019. This is quite impressive given that Razor had reported a profit loss at the beginning of 2020. To help provide a decent spike in sales for this year Razor has just confirmed that it will be creating a RGB face mask. In an interview with CEO of Razor Min-Liang Tan shared that when the mask was first revealed there really wasn’t anything set in stone about actually making one. However, Tan goes on to say, “We were thinking, this is a concept project and is this going to be relevant when vaccinations and everything has been rolled out. I think moving forward we decided — and I can tell you now — we are going to proceed in making it a reality and ship the smart mask,” This RGB Razor face mask development has be dubbed as Project Hazel.

The Week in Gaming Releases:

March 31st the Binding of Isaac: Repentance DLC comes to PC
April 1st Outriders is released on all platforms (but the Nintendo Switch)
April 6th Lost Words: Beyond the Page (PC, PS4, XBO, Switch), Oddworld: Soulstorm (PC, PS5, PS4), and finally Star Wars Republic Commando (PS4, & Switch)

Activision Blizzard Dichotomy, Disco Elysium The Final Cut Refused Classification and GTA V Online Loading Times Reduced

Activision Blizzard’s bumper year leads to more layoffs… and a CEO Bonus.

Activision Blizzard has had a profitable year, with stock prices doubling, a record financial year, and this year’s reports showing they expect to hire up to 3,000 people in 2021. So the recent spree of layoffs has come as a surprise to some. On March 16th, 50 people were laid off from the e-sports and live events teams, and up to 140 job are speculated to have been trimmed in other departments. Employees are also preparing for layoffs in various offices around Europe as Activision Blizzard prepares to consolidate the publishing team to the United Kingdom.

At the same time, due to the abundant year and stock prices, it is claimed that CEO Kotick may be paid out up to four years’ worth of bonuses, amounting to up to $200 million.

In more positive news, it has been confirmed by Polygon that Vicarious Visions, who were incorporated into Activision Blizzard in January, are still handling the Switch and next-gen console ports of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2.While the Switch port is set to release sometime this year, the next-gen console release will be out on March 26th.

ZA/UM’s Final Cut Offends Australian Decency.

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut has joined the ranks of DayZ, We Happy Few, Fallout 3 and Saints Row IV, with the game also being denied classification by the Australian Classification Board. Currently the reason for refusal is under code Computer Games 1(a), in that the game offends “…against the standards of morality, decency and propriety…”. It is assumed by several outlets this is due to Disco Elysium: The Final Cut utilising drug and alcohol misuse as a game mechanic. As some core tenets of the story can involve struggles with drug and alcohol abuse, developer ZA/UM will unlikely find easy fixes such as the stimulant name changes that reversed Fallout 3’s classification refusal.

At the time of writing Disco Elysium is still available for purchase from online game platforms GOG and Steam, with “The Final Cut” releasing as a free upgrade on the 30th of March.

 

Rockstar Games rewards Mod Maker.

The meme-worthy loading times of GTA V Online have been fixed in a recent update after being found by mod maker/hacker going by the handle ‘t0st’. After isolating several issues, t0st managed to reduce GTA V Online’s loading times by almost 70%. According to t0st, after gaining traction for the fix online, Rockstar picked up the issue and rewarded them $10,000 as an exception for Rockstar’s vulnerability reporting program, “Bug Bounty”. Rockstar also posted a direct thanks in the notes for Patch 1.53, integrating the timesaver into the game.

“Thanks to t0st for his contributions around this part of today’s title update”

GTAV Title Update 1.53 Notes

And some games coming out from the 24th March to the end of the month.

Releasing on Friday March 26th, It Takes Two is a co-operative action adventure coming everywhere but the Switch. And speaking of cooperation, Monster Hunter: Rise is also out on the same day, but just to the Switch.

Want to fight enraged vegetables in a 90s inspired platformer? Kaze and the Wild Masks has you covered, releasing on console and PC. How about a 3d platformer? Then check out Balan Wonderworld’s reviews on the gaming machine of your choice, both also releasing on the 26th.

On the 27th we have Spacebase Startopia, a humorous space base management sim on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Or you can check out Australian-developed Metal Heads for some mini game madness with a metal soundtrack on PC.

Plus many, many more.

For a comprehensive list of games coming out soon, check out this LINK.

PAX is Back! Parliament is Starting to ‘Get’ Games, Rockstar Founder Passed Away

PAX Australia Is Back!

 

The gaming event is returning this year in it’s familiar form in Melbourne Victoria, from the 8th to 10th of October. With it comes the exhibit hall, filled with exhibitors from AAA publishers, all the way to indie developers, with tonnes of projects to show, panels run by a wide range of people from not only the dev scene, but also from the gaming community, performances, tournaments, and Omegathon, a giant tournament that spans the entire length of PAX.

There are a few changes, following the latest COVID-19 safety guidelines, tickets will be limited, and the relevant restrictions apply. In addition, in the case of border closures, or other COVID-19 restrictions, tickets will be refunded. Early bird tickets will be available on the 23rd of March. You can learn more by visiting the PAX website, or a link will be provided on our Facebook page, @ZedGamesAU.

 

Rockstar Leeds Founder Has Passed Away

Gordon Hall, founder of Rockstar Leeds, has passed away at the age of 51. He led the development team on games such as GTA: Chinatown Wars, and Liberty City Stories, and worked on Red Dead Redemption.

“Gordon was simply brilliant to be around, incredibly motivating, and ever positive,” recounts Martyn Brown. “His pursuit of excellence was staggering and he formed a great, trusting bond with those who chose to work alongside him.”

Australian Parliament Is Starting To ‘Get’ Video Games

Many developers and members of the gaming community are familiar with the lack of support for video games on the federal level, but things may be starting to change. With the formation of a bipartisan parliamentary friend group for video games last year, stronger ties have been established between the community and parliament, and with it, better communication and understanding.

“Nearly 40% of people [playing video games] are over 65, so get rid of the idea that this is just kids, in their rooms, avoiding doing their homework,” says Susan Templeman. Within federal circles, she has been tackling the stereotypical image of gamers, even recounting an 80 year old voter in her electorate who plays video games to keep their mind active, but also to stay connected after the loss of his wife.

Changes don’t happen overnight, but there is definitely more of a dialogue, with video games being seen more seriously.

 

And now for some upcoming game releases!

Cartel Tycoon for the PC, and Marvel’s Avengers for the PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X will both release on March 18th. Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville will come out on the Switch on March 19th, and Overcooked! All You Can Eat comes out on the PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and the Switch comes out on March 23rd.

Corporate Hookups and Monsters Galore


Microsoft and Zenimax are one step closer to making it official

Both the European Commission and US Securities and Exchange Commission have cleared Microsoft’s acquisition of Zenimax which was first announced in September last year. The two rulings mean that Microsoft’s acquisition which was expected to complete by June may happen even earlier. The deal will add 13 development studios to the Microsoft family including id Software, Arkane Studios and Bethesda Game Studios.

Epic buys Mediatonic

Epic Games, formally Epic Megagames, creators of Paragon and Jazz Jackrabbit have acquired British game developer Mediatonic. Mediatonic developed last year’s fabulous Murder by Numbers, a game   that would later be eclipsed by their release of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout which became a major hit.  In an FAQ on the Developers website they detail that the deal will have no effect on the planned upcoming releases of Fall Guys on both Switch and Xbox. There are some changes the acquisition will hope to bring about however:

“Fortnite and Rocket League already have tons of features we’d love to bring to Fall Guys—account systems, cross-play, squad vs squad modes, etc…We’re going to work hard on bringing more of these features to Fall Guys too!”

There are currently no announced plans for the game to follow further in Rocket League’s footsteps and shift to a free-to-play model.

Monster Hunter updates

Capcom held a Monster Hunter Digital Event to detail upcoming titles in the franchise.  Before the release of Monster Hunter Rise on the 26th of this month there will be a new, updated demo giving hunters access to a new monster to fight, the Magnamalo. They also confirmed that all future content updates for the game will be free. You’ll be able to download the demo on the Switch eShop from Friday the 12th.Along with Rise, Monster Hunter Stories 2 will also be seeing release this year on the 9th of July. The more Pokémon style version of monster hunter will release on the PC on the same day as the switch release.

 This week on the ZED Games release calendar

Thursday, March 11

Doodle Devil: 3volution [PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC]

Cyanide & Happiness – Freakpocalypse [Switch, PC, Mac]

Friday, March 12

Journey of the Broken Circle [PS4, Xbox One]

Pascal’s Wager: Definitive Edition [PC]

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time [Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X/S]

Bloodroots [PC (Steam)]

Tuesday, March 16

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning [Switch]

Stubbs the Zombie: Rebel Without a Pulse [Switch]