Category: News

Consoles, NFT Trades, Accreditation, and Unionisation.

Nintendo’s Direct Announcement
This week’s Nintendo direct announced a stack of new Animal Crossing content coming in the free 2.0 update. Long awaited Brewster will be serving coffee at the Roost, new boat tours with Kapp’n, Cooking, Farming, Gyroids and so much more. However, with some of the content spoiled by datamining as early as 16 months ago, the announcement has left some gamers jaded.
In the same direct, Nintendo announced the Animal Crossing Happy Home Paradise DLC, and its inclusion in the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack. While the DLC includes long awaited jobs for Animal Crossing it also carries the Nintendo 64 and Sega Gensis emulation and libraries including the games; Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Banjo-Kazooie, Ecco the Dolphin, Streets of Rage 2, and Sonic 2, to name but a few. Later that same day, the pricing of the Expansion pack was released with it costing at least another $30 on top of the current yearly subscription plan. The video announcing this is currently the most down voted video on the official Nintendo YouTube channel with over 80 thousand dislikes at the time of writing.
In other Sega news, with last month’s closure of the legendary Ikebukuro Sega store after three decades of operation, it was rumoured to mark “the beginning of the end of the golden age of arcade gaming.” However, on October 16 Sega announced via twitter the opening of a new Ikebukuro store to open Friday October 22nd and teased more surprises to come.

Console Truce?
In further console news, a report from Hub Entertainment Research shows more people than ever owning both a PlayStation and Xbox with over a third of respondents reporting to own both. And for those searching for one of the consoles, Sony has created an online lottery for those still clamouring to buy a PS5 in the US. By registering their PSN account through Sony they can choose to elect either the standard or digital edition. Sony will then allocate available stock through quoted “previous interests and PlayStation activities” and will inform people via email when their console is available for purchase.
For those waiting for an Xbox Series X or Xbox Minifridge, sadly you’re out of luck with US, UK and Europe selling out of the fridge within 30 minutes of release and the Xbox Series X still hard to find in Australia except through scalpers on eBay.

New Home for NFT Based Games.
On October 15th Age of Rust developer SpacePirate announced that Steam was “kicking *all blockchain games* off the platform, including Age of Rust…” due to Valve extending the policy to ban games with items with real world monetary value to include NFTs. While Valve has not made an official statement, Steamworks onboarding Rules and Guidelines have been updated, now stating that “Applications built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs.” should not be published on Steam
Epic Games’s Tim Sweeny announced the next day via Twitter that the Epic Games Store would allow NFT titles but not cryptocurrencies with the caveat that they will follow relevant laws, disclose their terms, are age-rated appropriately, and use their own systems to process payments.

Accreditation and Unionisation.
The long-awaited Metroid Dread’s release has been marred by developer MercurySteam refusing to credit employees who worked on the project for less than 25% of the games development time. MercurySteam stated that those who “had significant creative and/or technical contributions” were credited even when they did not meet the 25% minimum. Other developers have faced similar criticism with Ubisoft relegating former Far Cry 6 devs to the “special thanks” section of the credits.
In other business news, Paizo, publisher of the Pathfinder series, a popular tabletop paper and pencil RPG, have had over 30 of their employees form the United Paizo Workers union after the firing of Sara Marie for “undisclosed reasons”. After the fallout, Paizo president Jeff Alvarez, promised vague improvements. The union’s press release claims coverups “by those at the top”, that workers are underpaid, and “subjected to untenable crunch conditions on a regular basis.” The union urges management to voluntarily recognise the union as it “…pushes (sic) for real changes at the company.”

Now for some upcoming games!
On Thursday the 21st, try the 2D biopunk point and click Growbot, or travel the sand seas of Sands of Aura, both coming to PC. Also, Resident Evil 4 VR is coming to Oculus Quest 2, and the Victorian puzzle platformer Tandem: A Tale of Shadows is coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch.
The third in The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes comes to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox on the 22nd.
On Tuesday the 26th, release your inner necromancer in the roguelike The Unliving or the antique restorer within in Workshop Simulator, both coming to PC. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy also comes out on the same day for PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch.
And finally on Thursday the 28th Age of Empires 4 is coming to PC and GamePass, the fifth of the Fatal Frame series Maiden of Black Water comes to the PC, PS4, Xbox One and Switch, and the extreme multiplayer sports game Riders Republic comes to PC, PlayStation, Xbox and Stadia.

In Community Announcements:
Springfield Gamers are organising an event to encourage veterans, serving personnel and their families to check out gaming as a hobby. They are a face-to-face gaming club for gamers of board games, tabletop games and roleplaying games.
The event is free for general admission, with a range of demo games like Kings of War, and Gaslands, a board games library, and tournaments of Warhammer 40k, Flames of War & Teamy Yankee happening alongside modelling tutorials. The event will be taking place Saturday October 23rd from 9am to 5pm at the YMCA Springfield Central. Click here for more info or to head over to their Facebook page.

Unpacking Awards, Azure Attack, and No Opposing Chats

Australian Game Developer Awards Winners Announced!

The winners for the Australian Game Developer Awards have been announced, with Queensland and Victorian developers leading the way.

Local game Unpacking by Witch Beam has taken the Game of the Year Award, with the relaxing puzzle game also taking home the Excellence in Accessibility Award. Art Director and Designer Wren Brier says,

“It’s humbling to be part of a roster of amazing studios with incredible games that have won this award. We’re so pleased that Unpacking also took home the Excellence in Accessibility Award as we’re firm believers that video games can and should be enjoyed by everyone.”

Another local game, Webbed, the adorable game about spiders, received Excellence in Gameplay.

Beethoven & Dinosaur took home Excellence in Art and Excellence in Audio Awards for The Artful Escape. Black Lab Games won the Studio of the Year Award.

Steve Wang from Wargaming Sydney was awarded the Adam Lancman Award for his contribution and advocacy for the local games industry.

Chad Toprak, Kathleen Smart, and Ashley Van Wynngard were jointly awarded the Rising Star Award for the impact they’ve made to the industry in a short amount of time.

The Forgotten City by Modern Storyteller took home Excellence in Narrative, The Oregon Trail by Gameloft Brisbane won Excellence in Mobile Games, Sharmila by Chaos Theory Games and the World Food Programme took home Excellence in Serious Games. Pico Tanks by Panda Arcade was awarded Excellence in Ongoing Games, and Video World by Things for Humans won Excellence in Emerging Games.

Largest DDoS Attack Mitigated

Microsoft reveals that its Azure cloud service mitigated a 2.4 terabytes per second denial of service attack this year, which makes this the largest DDoS attack recorded to date.

The attack was carried out using a botnet of around 70,000 bots primarily located across the Asia-Pacific region. The target of

 the attack has been identified as an Azure customer in Europe. The record-breaking attack came in three short waves over the span of 10 minutes, with the first at 2.4 Tbps.

Thankfully the DDoS attack was mitigated, preventing Azure from going down. Previously the DDoS record was a 2.3 Tbps attack on Amazon in February 2020.

League of Legends Removing Opposing Team Chat

Riot Games has announced that chat between opposing teams in League of Legends will be disabled in an attempt to cut down on toxic behaviour.

“While chat can be the source of fun social interaction between teams as well as some good-hearted banter, right now negative interactions outweigh the positives. We’ll evaluate the impact of this change through verbal abuse reports and penalty rates, as well as surveys and direct feedback from you all.”

And now for some upcoming game releases!

October 14

  • A Little Golf Journey [PC, Switch]
  • Bonito Days [Switch]
  • Despot’s Game [PC]
  • Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • Dungeon Encounters [PC, PS4, Switch]
  • Godstrike [PS4, XBO]
  • Jackbox Party Pack 8 [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • Ruin Raiders [PC, Switch]
  • Sphere – Flying Cities [PC]

October 15

  • Ancient Stories: Gods of Egypt [PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • Crysis Remastered Trilogy [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO]
  • Demon Slayer: The Hikonami Chronicles [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO]
  • The Good Life [PC, PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • Greylancer [PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town [PS4, XBO]

October 18

  • Nuclear Blaze [PC]

October 19

  • Dying Light: Platinum Edition [Switch
  • Into The Pit [PC, XBO]
  • War Mongrels [PC]
  • Youtubers Life 2 [PC, PS4, XBO, Switch]

October 20

  • Healing Spree [PC]
  • Jars [PC, Switch]

Activision Blizzard Settles with EEOC, Xbox Cloud Coming to Oz, & Game Trials Coming to UK

Activision Blizzard strikes $18 million settlement with US employment watchdog
Less than a day after the federal lawsuit from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the $18 million settlement, subject to court approval, will be used for payments to employees who have experienced sexual harassment, sex discrimination or retaliation while working at the Californian video game publisher.
Any remaining funds will be split “between charities that advance women in the video game industry or promote awareness around harassment and gender equality issues” Activision Blizzard said in a statement. This settlement is separate from a lawsuit filed in July by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against the publisher.

Microsoft launches cloud gaming in Australia, Brazil, Japan, and Mexico
After several months of testing, Xbox Cloud Gaming has been released in 4 more countries, expanding the service to 26 in total. This service allows members of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate access to over 100 titles over the cloud, meaning that you can stream titles such as Gears 5 or Sea of Thieves on something as simple as an android or apple device. No hardcore gaming PC’s or consoles required!
“Since cloud gaming is powered by custom Xbox Series X consoles, that means these games are being played by an Xbox in the cloud, bringing faster load times and improved frame rates to the gameplay experience” Catherine Gluckstein, Microsoft’s head of Project xCloud.

Playstation introduces a new feature – Game Trials
Sony has introduced an interesting new feature this week in the UK, offering timed trials on selected Playstation 5 titles. At this stage only two games, Death Stranding Director’s Cut, and Sackboy: A Big Adventure are included, allowing players 5 to 6 hours to try them out before making the decision to purchase.
The feature is limited to Playstation 5 users, and can only be used once per account, per game. Should this feature make its way to our shores, there is one problem, the trial starts when you click download. Given our average internet speeds, that could pose a problem for some gamers.

Upcoming Gaming Releases
October 7
   • Age of Darkness: Final Stand
   • Far Cry 6
   • The Lightbringer
   • Moonglow Bay

October 8
   • Knockout Home Fitness
   • Lego Marvel Super Heroes
   • Metroid Dread
   • Tetris Effect: Connected
   • Nintendo Switch OLED

October 11
   • Book of Travels

October 12
   • Back 4 Blood
   • Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
   • Ori: The Collection

China Restrictions Tighten, Hasbro opens Gaming division, and Netflix acquires Night School Studio

Netflix buys Night School Studio
Earlier this year Netflix announced they were expanding into the world of video game entertainment and they’ve now made one of their first big steps. They announced on Tuesday that they’d acquired indie developer Night School Studio best known for their first game Oxenfree. Night School Studio is currently working on a sequel for Oxenfree, development of which will continue under Netflix’s name. This is the first studio to join with Netflix but definitely not the last. A representative of Netflix said “We’ll continue working with developers around the world and hiring the best talent in the industry to deliver a great collection of exclusive games designed for every kind of gamer and any level of play.”

Hasbro also expands into the video games arena.
Hasbro is a huge media corporation, controlling IP across toys, board games, and TV shows. They’ve recently begun the move to produce video games based on some of their brands, beginning with opening a AAA game division and studio. Hasbro’s Wizards of the Coast, currently responsible for games like Dungeons & Dragons or Magic the Gathering, will take the helm of the New Raleigh-Durham Studio. It is based in North Carolina, and the division will be focused on both console and PC games that are based on Hasbro properties. Hasbro has already announced some of the franchises that will be getting a AAA game – Transformers, G.I. Joe, Micronauts, and even Ouija, but the possibilities beyond that are almost endless.

China’s restrictions on gaming tighten further.
In recent weeks we’ve seen strict regulations introduced in China limiting the time people can spend playing video games and what sort of content is allowed in Chinese  video games. On Monday the 27th China released it’s 10-Year national guidelines for children’s development, detailing more rules and steps to better classify games, review content, limit game time and protect children’s personal information and privacy. They also called on operators who provide online services including social media, live streaming, audio and video streaming to limit the time and money minors spend online. Despite potential negative impacts most of China’s gaming companies have come on board with these changes, more than 200 recently making a pledge to remain compliant with the new regulations, to self-regulate within the industry, and to ban content depicting “sissy men,” “gay love” and “money worship,” as well as those deemed “politically harmful” or “historically nihilistic.” While most are compliant, some companies have been looking for loopholes to exploit. To combat this, China has launched a new website for citizens to report rule-breaking. Many consumers have expressed discontent with the new rules on social media. Some pointed out that the age of sexual consent, at 14, was now four years younger than the age at which people can game without limit. Unfortunately for them, it seems restrictions will only tighten for the foreseeable future.

Blizzard Entertainment CLO resigns, Melbourne Earthquake & Game Deals.


Bliz
zard Entertainment CLO resigns
.
Claire Hart the Chief Legal Officer of
Activision Blizzard’s Entertainment announced her resignation this week posting on her LinkedIn saying After more than three years at Blizzard Entertainment, I have decided to move on to my next adventure. The past three years have been full of unexpected twists and turns, but I feel honored to have worked with and met so many great people at Blizzard and across the Activision Blizzard businesses. Claire Hart doesn’t make any comment about whether her resignation is anything to do with the very public and ongoing harassment lawsuit with Activision Blizzard.

An update on that lawsuit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly launched a widereaching investigation into Activision Blizzard, they will be looking into how the publisher dealt with the multiple allegations of sexual harassment, abuse, and toxic behaviour. California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed this lawsuit back in July. They also subpoenaed several of Blizzard’s higher executives including the CEO Bobby Kotick. It would appear that the SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) have started asking Blizzard to hand over various documents. These include personal files of those higher ups. A spokes person from Activision confirmed that there is indeed an ongoing investigation and that the company is cooperating with the SEC.

Gaming deals!
If you
are looking for awesome deals on games now is the time with sales
rolling out before the Christmas period. Amazon have a bunch of good prices for PS4/PS5 such as;

  • Deathloop now $79 (down from $99.95)
  • Death Stranding: Director’s Cut $69 (down for $79.95)
  • F1 2021 now $56 (down from $99.95)
  • Far Cry 6 $72.90 (down from $99.95)
  • Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut $99.95 (down from $124.95)

There is also a bunch of deals going for Xbox console games such as;

  • Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate now $44.98 (down for $89.95)
  • NBA 2K22 now $80.90 (down from $109.95)
  • Star Wars Squadrons now $14.98 (down from $59.95)
  • Watch Dogs Legion now $30 (down from $99.95)
  • Nintendo Switch lite is also down to $259 from $329.95
Melbourne’s Earthquake disrupting gameplay.
The 5.9
magnitude earthquake in Melbourne
caused quite some disturbance this week however did inject some funny moments into people’s lockdown. Former Carlton player Brendan Fevola was playing Call of Duty he tweeted out saying I’m sitting here playing Call of Duty on the PlayStation with me headphones on and my whole screen started shaking, my PlayStation nearly fell off. It would appear that many game players and streamers experienced moments of fear for their gaming gear during the earthquake. If you have a story to share about nearly losing a console or PC with a lucky save message us on Facebook @ZEDgamesau we’d love to hear about it.

This week in gaming releases;

September 23

  • Diablo 2 Resurrected [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • Embr [PC, PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • Flewfie’s Adventure [PC]
  • Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries [PS5, PS4]
  • Medieval Dynasty [PC]
  • Sable [PC, XSX, XBO]
  • Sea of Thieves Season 4 [PC, XSX, XBO]

September 24

  • Death Stranding Director’s Cut [PS5]
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot [Switch]
  • Lost Judgment [PS5, XSX, PS4]

September 28

  • Chernobylite [PS4, XBO]
  • Ghostrunner [PS5, XSX]
  • In Sound Mind [PC, PS5, XSX]
  • Lemnis Gate [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO]
  • New World [PC]
  • Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye DLC [PC, PS4, XBO]

September 29

  • Guardians of Hyelore [PC]
  • Insurgency Sandstorm [PS4, XBO]

 

Teases, Wins and Updates

Sony Shows Off

Sony held a Playstation Showcase on the 10th updating us on upcoming releases and revealing a few new titles. The show kicked off with a reveal of a remake of the Star Wars classic Knights of the Old Republic. Neither EA or Bioware are directly involved in the remake rather falling to the developer Aspyr working under Lucasfilm. Several members of the original team are involved, and the game will be a console launch exclusive on the PS5 along with PC.

Insomniac revealed two games at the presentation. A follow up to their hit Spider-Man game from 2018 titled Spider-Man 2 and a new Wolverine game which is said to have a “mature tone” and is being made by the team that developed Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Some other games we got details on were Gran Turismo 7 which is due out in March 2022, Ghostwire Tokyo on PS5 and PC in Q2 2022 and a remaster of Remedy’s Alan Wake which is dropping on October 8th.

One unexpected surprised was a Radiohead virtual exhibition for the Kid A / Amnesiac reissue coming to PS5, and PC and Mac via the Epic Games Store in November 2021.

The show ended with our first look at God of War: Ragnarok the sequel to 2018’s God of War. The trailer is full of teasers for fans of the series and Norse mythology of the story to come. If everything goes according to plan we should see the game released next year.

Aussie Game Wins Big at Bitsummit

Bitsummit, Japan’s largest independent games festival has award upcoming Australian game Dap as their grand prize winner, along with the award for best Audio Design. The game from Melbourne couple Iris and Paul Anstey is a Pikmin-like action adventure with a psychedelic glitch horror aesthetic and is currently scheduled for release on the 29th of September.

Steam is old enough to drink

Happy birthday to Steam which turned 18 on the 12th of September. The online game store and distribution platform had a shaky start back in 2003, causing division in the PC gaming community and suffering from many technical hiccups. Now the service is the world’s primary platform for PC game distribution and boasts over 120 million active users a month.

THE HOTTEST FIRMWARE NEWS OF THE WEEK

That’s right! Nintendo have released a firmware update for the switch that adds Bluetooth Audio to the device. Sony have also released their new firmware which finally allows users to expand their PS5 storage with select high end M.2 SSDs.

Game releases

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (Switch), Toem (PlayStation 5, Switch, PC) – September 17

Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC), Sheltered 2 (PC) – September 21

Pokémon Unite (iOS, Android) – September 22

Diablo II: Resurrected (PC), MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4), Sable (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) – September 23

Roblox Finds Its Voice, Horizon Forbidden West On The Horizon, Tripwire Backlash

Roblox Is Getting Voice Chat

The popular online play space will be introducing voice chat as a feature! Roblox is an online game platform and game creation system, where players can create games and environments and then play and interact in those spaces, making it a popular online hangout. Voice chat is on the way, starting with ‘spatial voice’ for developers, to test the concept of realistic conversations within the game, mimicking the way that voices carry in the real world.

There are concerns on how these conversations can be moderated, especially considering that a large portion of Roblox players are minors. As a result, voice chat will have a slow rollout, with initial access only being available to 5000 developers. It has been suggested that voice chat may never be made available to those under 13, depending on how each stage of the rollout progresses.

In addition, Roblox will let users self-report issues, flagging problematic players which may result in losing speaking privileges.

You Will Be Able To Upgrade Horizon Forbidden West To The PS5, But There’s A Cost

With many people unable to get their hands on the PS5, it has been a relief to know that many PS4 games will include a free PS5 upgrade for when players are able to get the next-gen console. So many fans were disappointed when Sony initially announced that Horizon Forbidden West wouldn’t include this upgrade.

Thankfully, Sony has retracted this decision, and people who buy a copy of Horizon Forbidden West for the PS4 will be able to receive a free upgrade allowing them to play it on the PS5.

However, Sony has confirmed that from this point onwards, all PS4 games both digital and physical will come with a $13 AUD upgrade fee for the PS5 version of that same game. This will include games such as Gran Turismo 7, and the next God of War.

Tripwire Interactive CEO Steps Down After Backlash

Tripwire Interactive CEO John Gibson is stepping down following backlash against his tweet supporting the recent Texas restrictive abortion laws, which allowed citizens to sue anyone who aids the procedure.

“His comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners, and much of our broader community. Our leadership team at Tripwire are deeply sorry and are unified in our commitment to take swift action and to foster a more positive environment,” says Tripwire representatives.

Current Vice President, Alan Wilson, will take over as interim CEO. Alan has worked with the company since its formation in 2005 and takes an active lead in Tripwire’s business and development. There are intentions to address concerns within and outside the company, starting with a company-wide meeting to promote open dialogue.

Upcoming game releases!

September 9

  • The Artful Escape [PC, XBO] 
  • Terrain of Magical Expertise [PC]
  • Webbed [PC]

September 10

  • A Day Without Me [PS4, XBO]
  • Kraken Academy!! [PC]
  • Life is Strange: True Colors [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch, Stadia]
  • Lost in Random [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • NBA 2K22 [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
  • Tales of Arise [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO]
  • WarioWare: Get it Together [Switch]

September 14

  • Honey, I Joined a Cult [PC]

September 15

  • Age of Darkness: Final Stand [PC]
  • Fire Commander [PC]
  • Merek’s Market [PC, PS4, XBO, Stadia]
  • Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town [PC]
  • Timberborn [PC]
  • Titan Chaser [PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO]

Less Screen Time, More Modders

 

Kids in China are now restricted to just 3 hours of online gaming per week.
China has cracked down on the gaming screen time of people under 18 years old. New rules imposed this Monday require Chinese gaming platforms like Tencent and NetEast to limit online gaming access for minors to just three hours per week. It’s not even any three hours but specifically one hour, from 8pm-9pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and any public holidays. They apply to computers, consoles, and mobile phones. Previous restrictions limited kids to 1.5 hours of screen time most days of the week. The move is motivated, in part, by a desire to fight online gaming addiction amongst kids and to “protect the physical and mental health of minors”.  China is the world’s biggest market for video games so it’s no doubt these new restrictions will deal a blow to the gaming industry. While it’s practically impossible that similar rules would be implemented in Australia, many parents outside of China shared their support for the system online.

 

Overwatch changes character names in light of ongoing trouble for Activision Blizzard.
Over the weekend, the Overwatch team announced that the character of Jesse McCree, who was named after a Blizzard employee who specifically came under fire in the controversy, would be having his name changed to distance him. It isn’t yet clear what the gunslinger’s new name will be, but they have promised “something that better represents what Overwatch stands for”. Additionally, the team stated that “Going forward, in-game characters will no longer be named after real employees, and we will be more thoughtful and discerning about adding real world references in future Overwatch content.”  The case against Activision Blizzard itself is still ongoing with the state of California having recently expanded the lawsuit against them. They are now including temporary workers to the female full-time employees it’s suing the company on behalf of.

 

New hope for Cyberpunk2077 as CD Projekt Red hires Community Modders.
Its come to light that CD Projekt Red has recently been bringing members of the Cyberpunk 2077 modding community onboard the team to work on the game’s back-end. This was revealed by modder Hambalkó Bence in an announcement on the game’s modding community Discord Server. About their new role at CDPR they said, “We will be working on various projects related to the Cyberpunk 2077 backend and the game’s modding support,” the update said. “We are really excited for this, and we really hope we can help to bring Cyberpunk 2077 to the next level.”  It’s a positive move for the game but, this long after its initial release, it’ll be hard to build beyond the stigma it carries.

 

This week in gaming releases:

  • Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions [PC, PS4, XBO, Switch] – September 3
  • Family Trainer [Switch] – September 3
  • Kitaria Fables [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch] – September 3
  • The Medium [PS5] – September 3
  • Bus Simulator 21 [PC, PS4, XBO] – September 7
  • Chernobylite [PS4, XBO] – September 7
  • I.S.T: Forged in Shadow Torch [PS4] – September 7
  • Sonic Colors: Ultimate [PC, PS4, XBO, Switch] – September 7

Soulja Boy Did What & What Did Snoop Say

Twitch streamers are planning a protest

A group of streamers intend to turn off their channels on September 1st to protest the slow response from Twitch with regards to addressing a spike in bigoted harassment on the platform. This protest has been organised by RekItRaven using the hashtag #ADayOffTwitch. This protest has been brewing for a long time with streamers expressing their frustrations over the last few months. A lot of the harassment issues these streamers appear to be facing involve what is called “hate raids” where users will create a large number of dummy accounts and use bots to spam channels with hateful messages. Twitch promised back in August that it would launch channel-level ban evasion detection as well as improvements to its account verification process, however streamers are still waiting. Streamers have decided to take matters into their own hands by using third party software to attempt to combat the hate raids. Twitch have still yet to respond to the issue.

Germany’s 2021 Gamescom is going off with a bang

Featuring many big announcements from the likes of Nvidia with their games Myst and Guardians of the Galaxy getting ray-tracing support for PC. Xbox brings a new flashy controller to accompany Forza Horizon 5 and another controller for Halo Infinite not to mention what has already sold out the Halo Infinite themed Xbox Series X, The Sims 4 gets a free update the Industrial Loft Kit. Toplitz Productions announces Starsand for you survival game lovers where you must survive the desert dunes from giant sand worms. Destiny 2 reveals The Witch Queen to be launched in February. Broken Roads created by Aussie developers Drop Bear Bytes looks to be releasing in 2022. Another Aussie game that brought you Yonder: The Cloud Catcher announces Grow: Song of the Evertree and shows off a heap of solid gameplay. As well as so many other games such Pets Hotel which is literally a hotel for pampering and taking care of pets to indie watercolour game Torn Away set in WWII. The most recent announcements are Horizon Forbidden West to be released on PS4 & PS5 on the 18th of February 2022 and the Official LEGO Star Wars Skywalker Saga is expected somewhere between March and June next year. Gamescom will run until August 27th with hopefully more awesome drops to come.

Soulja Boy claims to own Atari

You heard me; world famous rapper Soulja Boy posted a video online claiming that he signed two deals with Atari making him the first rapper in history to own a games company. Atari were forced to respond to the matter with a Tweet that says, “We know that CEO of Atari is a dream job, but that honor belongs to Wade Rosen.” We can say with certainty that Soulja Boy does not own Atari.

Speaking of world-famous rappers Snoop Dog loves to stream on Twitch and recently he has moved his gaming set up and has some how accidentally muted himself. It’s so far been three whole streaming sessions and he still hasn’t noticed. You’d think he might by now he would however, unfortunately, Snoop Dog has his Twitch chat disabled and unless someone has his number it doesn’t appear like he is unmuting himself anytime soon.

The week in gaming releases:

August 26th
o Have a Blast [PC, Switch]
o Hotel Life: A Resort Simulator [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
o The Magnificent Trufflepigs [Switch]
o Spelunky & Spelunky 2 [Switch]
o Spookware [PC]

August  27th
o Baldo [PC, PS4, XBO, Switch]
o No More Heroes 3 [Switch]
o Tormented Souls [PC, PS5, XBX, Switch]

August 30th
o Book Of Travels [PC]

August 31st
o The Big Con [PC, XSX, XBO]
o Crown Trick [PS4, XBO]
o KeyWe [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
o Maneater: Truth Quest DLC [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO]
o Monster Harvest [PC, PS4, XBO, Switch
• Rustler [PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
o Train Life: A Railway Simulator [PC]

September 1st
o Lake [PC, XSX]

Nintendo in the Headlines, Special Olympics and Microsoft team up for Gaming for Inclusion, and some Game Bytes

Nintendo in the Headlines
On the 18th of August a Pokémon Presents by Nintendo revealed several updates to their mobile Pokémon franchise the most notable being that Pokemon Unite would be coming to mobile with crossplay available on September 22nd. The Present also announced two new Pokémon are slated to join in future updates; Marmoswine & Sylvion
Nintendo also confirmed the release of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl for the 19th of November, and a surprise Switch lite Dialga & Palkia Edition available on November 5th. For this generation remake they showed off partner Pokémon, customising your pokeball with stickers to personalise the pokeball release effects, revitalised mini-games, outfit personalisation and that personalising your underground base with statues will gain you access to specific types of Pokémon hideaways new to this remake.
Lastly, Pokémon Legends: Arceus. It was confirmed this game will take place in Hisui, in an early age of the Hinoe region, and in it you will survey, observe and capture Pokémon. In new developments to this generation, you will be able to be attacked by Pokémon outside of combat, and there will be two new combat “styles” of strong and agile. This change puts a strategic edge to the move economy as they will allow for heavier but slower, or multiple attacks per round of combat. Nintendo also showed off new region-specific evolutions and type changes, as well as mounts available for fast travel within this open world game. Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be released on January 28th 2022.

Another feather in Nintendo’s cap is that for the week of August 2nd to 8th the Switch held every slot in Japan’s Top 30 Famitsu’s chart. No single console has held this title since November 1988 when Nintendo’s Famicom managed the same feat.
In other Nintendo news, earlier in the year the company was awarded $2.1 million in damages for copywrite and trademark infringements against Mattew Storman, owner of RomUniverse, a website hosting pirated ROM versions of Nintendo games. This week a Californian court has ordered Storman to keep RomUniverse offline and destroy all illegal Nintendo ROMs by August 17 after he threatened to continue to operate the site and failed to pay the first $US50 monthly instalment for damages to Nintendo.

Special Olympics “Gaming for Inclusion” hosted by Microsoft.
Microsoft has teamed up with Special Olympics to create the inaugural bracketed e-sport tournament named “Gaming for Inclusion”. The event has evolved from the Xbox Virtual Gaming Event of May 2020, which aimed to combat the effects of loneliness and isolation due to the pandemic. This time round, Special Olympians and Unified partners will participate in a bracket-style tournament over several days in September with the aim to “…showcase the power of inclusion through sport.” Each day of the event is dedicated to its own game;
Sunday 12th Rocket League,
Monday 13th Forza 7, and
Tuesday 14th Madden 22.
Participants are awarded the chance to play with celebrity supporters of the Special Olympics to be hosted on Saturday 18th.
The event will be organised by Microsoft’s online e-sports platform Smash.gg and live-streamed on Xbox’s Twitch channel and the Special Olympics YouTube channel.

And now for some Game Bytes;
Activision Blizzard let go of two of the employees seen in the 2013 picture of the infamous “Cosby Suit” following the lawsuit announcement last month. Jesse McCree and Jonathon LeCraft’s departure was announced internally without an official statement.
Journey to the Savage Planet’s developers have reformed under the title Raccoon Logic after being unceremonious dropped following the failure of Google Stadia. They retained the rights to Savage Planet and have received investment funding from Tencent to bankroll an unannounced future project.
Boyfriend Dungeon have promised to update their content warning after complaints from their player base that the warning doesn’t go far enough. Developer Kitfox Games quickly apologised via Twitter for any hurt caused and reassured players the warning would be updated shortly.
To learn more about these headlines head over to our Facebook page @zedgameau.

And finally, the upcoming game releases!
On Friday 20th the release of Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut is coming to PS4 and 5, Heart Chain Kitty is coming to Switch, and Madden 22 is coming to PC, PS 4 and 5 and Xbox One and Series X.
On Tuesday 24th, Alien franchised online team shooter Alien: Fireteam Elite comes to PC, PS4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series X. Turn-based tactical RPG King’s Bounty comes to PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox One. And the long-awaited sequel Psychonauts 2 comes to PC, and Xbox One and Series X.
Finally, on Thursday 26th, the arcade party game Have a Blast comes to PC and Switch, and PCGamer’s 2013 Game of the Year and its sequel Spelunky and Spelunky 2 come out on the Switch.