Category: News

Palworld Tops, Game Devs Down, and Some Game Bytes

This week in gaming news: Palworld tops the gaming charts and rumour mills, a dismal prediction for Game Devs in 2024, and some special gaming bytes.

For those living under a rock, this week has been dwarfed by the unexpected boom of Palworld into the gaming stratosphere. The monster collecting survival game Palworld, has not only beat out opening week records set by Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring and Hogwarts Legacy, selling over 7 million copies in the last 5 days since release, but it also has beaten Valve’s own Counter-Strike 2 All-Time Peak player count, becoming the second most played game of all time with over 1.86 million concurrent players. However, this has not come without hiccups. The game has released in early access on steam and game preview on game pass, so bugs are to be expected, but steam and Microsoft are publishing different versions. Each with their own bugs and server issues that have required emergency meetings with Epic Games backend, and individual updates with expectations that they won’t coalesce until crossplay is established in the future. Until then, Microsoft players will have to deal with the lack of dedicated servers and slow updates, and the quality of life updates seen with steam users.
Internally, developer Pocket Pair has had to deal with a slew of press and player accusations with Community Manager and CEO reporting to have been receiving death threats, “slanderous comments, and outlandish claims.” Some of these being claims they “ripped off Pokémon” and utilised AI to either create the monsters in the game or that GenAI is used in the game. The CEO Takuro Mizobe has responded to at least one claim, stating that “We have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.” But not all are convinced, with former head of Pokémon’s legal team Dan McGowan saying the game “looks like the usual ripoff nonsense that I would see a thousand times a year when I was Chief Legal Officer of Pokémon.” And not without cause, with a mod already released and removed that not only put Pokémon into Palworld, but also Ash, Misty, and Team Rocket. Creator, Toasted Shoes, put out a statement after the mods removal.

“Nintendo has come for me, please leave me in your thoughts and prayers”

The 2024 Forecast for Game Developers
After more layoffs Game Devs are facing a hard reality this week with Riot laying off 11% of its workforce. That’s 530 people losing their jobs with the blame being put on management’s decision to rapidly expand after the pandemic. And it’s not the only one, with the trend continuing in more studios. 2k’s 31st Union is cutting team members even after the “momentous” move to California. Embracer Group is trying to find a buyer for developer Piranha Bytes. And the developer of recently released VR game Micro Machines: Mini Challenge Mayhem, WIMO Games, has announced they’ve closed their doors with around three dozen staff left out in the cold.
With one third of developers being impacted by layoffs in the last year, and more than half of developers concerned about their futures we can see there are challenges to face in the future. Experts are increasing the worry with expectations the gaming industry will face challenges possibly into 2025 after the abundance of games released in 2020, and 2021 pushing unrealistic release schedules. Despite this, industry leaders are optimistic of the long-term survivability of game development, leaning of the industries resilience and potential growth in the future.

And now for the Gaming Bytes:

  • Awesome Games Done Quick is back with AGDQ2024 streaming over 135 speedruns and raising over 5 million us dollars for The Prevent Cancer Foundation during the week-long event.
  • While earlier this week it was rumoured BulletStorm VR was to be removed from the PS5 Store and auto refunded… it has come to light that only Japan and South Korea will be receiving this golden ticket with the rest of the world left to fend for ourselves.
  • And for those people looking forward to the game Indiana Jones and the Great Ciricle, Harrison Ford is NOT voicing Indiana Jones, rather Troy Baker the voice actor behind The Last of Us’s Joel, BioShock Infinite’s Booker DeWitt , and many more.
  • OH! And the finalists for the Freeplay Awards for 2024 have been announced. If you don’t know what they are, it is the world’s longest-running independent games festival with the awards ceremony to take place on the 29th of February in Melbourne. These awards focus on Australian and New Zealand indi grass roots game artists and developers with this year’s nominees to include Unpacking from Witch Beam Games, Wayward Strand from ghost pattern, and Dap from Melting Parrot, plus many more. For the full list of nominations CLICK HERE

And now for the upcoming game releases.
Friday the 26th brings us two new releases with Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth coming to PC, PlayStation, & Xbox, and Tekken 8 coming to PC and Next Gen Consoles.
On Tuesday the 30th Rugby 24 to PC, PlayStation, & Xbox.
Wednesday the 31st the DLC for 2021’s Eastward, Eastward: Octopia DLC and is coming to PC & Switch
And lastly, Thursday the 1st of February, Granblue Fantasy: Relink comes to PC and PlayStation.

Bad News Can’t Keep a Good Boy Down

Turmoil in the Kingdom

Staff at Australian game studio Mighty Kingdom have indicated they would leave the company if proposed resolutions are approved by shareholders at an upcoming extraordinary General Meeting. Key in these proposals is a replacement of the board and a return of former CEO Shane Yeend. In a letter outlining their position several staff are quoted regarding Mr Yeend’s relationship with the company,

“He was our CEO for 6 whole months and made no real effort to understand us, how we work, and the work and sacrifice it’s taken for us to make the turnaround we have over the past 2 years.”

 “I don’t feel the working environment will be safe if Yeend and his connections are in charge. I won’t stay around for it.”

 “If the resolutions pass, you will have driven a knife through the heart of MK and its people. We will not stay, and everything that is currently representative of a business that will succeed, will simply tumble like a house of cards. Who is going to do the work when we all stand up and leave? I would encourage our shareholders to remember that they are investing in the people and the talent, because it is the people who make the games, not the business. If you vote for Shane, you vote against MK, and we won’t be here to see what happens next if you do this.”

Mr Yeend has posted his own letter defending himself which you can find linked on here.


A Good Boi

Awesome Games Done Quick, the yearly speedrunning event which raises money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation is on again and runs until the 21st of January.  This year’s event  has featured a first however. Peanut Butter part time speedrunner and full time dog has been featured playing the NES classic Gyromite. The shiba inu spent a year of vigorous training to play the game with his custom adaptive controller. Assisted by human JSR_, Peanut Butter livestreamed the play through but due to some unfortunate RNG was unable to post an official time due a game over.  Despite this EVERYBODY agreed that he was a very good boy.

Preview | Alan Wake 2 "The Dark Place" - XboxEra

Take Two? But there can be only one!

Take Two Interactive are suing Remedy to prevent the trademark of the developer’s new logo. They argue that remedy’s logo, a stylised R too closely resembles the logo of subsidiary company Rockstar, which also features the letter R. Take two have a long history of aggressively protecting their trademarks including challenge the trademark of the videogame ‘It Takes Two’.

Rickey's World Famous Louisiana Hot Sauce: A Review | Arcade on a Gravel Road

Billy Mitchell never change

Hot sauce enthusiast, documentary subject and infamous video game player Billy Mitchell has settled his lawsuit against video game record platform Twin Galaxies after being banned and having his scores removed back in 2018 after allegations of cheating.   The outcome of which is that Billy’s scores will be reinstated… in a historic archive showing he used to have those records before they were removed in disgrace.  He is still banned.

Bethesda Reveals New Indiana Jones Game - Game Informer

Xbox, New Games

Set your alarm clocks as Microsoft will be holding an Xbox Developer Direct tomorrow (the 19th of January) morning at 6am AEST! The event is set to include Obsidians new game Avowed, Hellblade 2, Ara: History Untold and a first look at the upcoming Indiana Jones title by Machine Games.

Palworld" creator says game is more than Pokémon with guns

Videogame releases

January 19: Bulletstorm VR (PlayStation VR2, Quest, PC), Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown (Playstation, Xbox, Switch, PC), Turnip Boy Robs A Bank (Xbox, Switch, PC), Another Code: Recollection (Switch), The Last of Us Part II Remastered (PlayStation 5) and Palworld (Xbox and PC)

January 24: Graven (PC), Immortality (PlayStation 5)

January 25: Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)

The Robots Are Taking Over, Everything is Fine

You love gaming news! I love gaming news! Oh my god let’s be best friends and enjoy some
gaming news together!

Layoffs! Layoffs! Layoffs!

2024 has started off strong with two major rounds of layoffs and we’re not even halfway through January! The first comes from beleaguered middleware development behemoth Unity, who this week announced that they no longer needed a whole 25% of its workforce. That’s 1,800 people who are now competing for an ever-decreasing pool of jobs in the games industry. It’s not all bad news though, because Unity’s share price rose 4% after the layoffs were announced.

Not to be outdone, Amazon just announced they were laying off 35% of Twitch’s employees, estimated to be around 500 people.

AI Voices Are AI-OK

Mere weeks after SAG-AFTRA ended their strikes over issues such as AI being used to replace human actors, the guild has struck a new deal that says that the process is good, actually. On Tuesday, SAG-AFTRA entered into an agreement with Australian-based Replica Studios, an AI voiceover studio, to establish guidelines for the use of artificial intelligence in video games.

The union made the announcement at CES in Las Vegas, with Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, the executive director, highlighting the inclusion of informed consent provisions for the creation of AI-generated voice replicas and the implementation of secure storage protocols for digital assets.

Some prominent voice over artists have come out against the move. Erika Ishii, who voices Valkyrie in Apex Legends, wrote: “Approved by… WHO exactly?? Was any one of the ‘affected members’ who signed off on this a working voice actor?” Elias Toufexis, who has games such as Starfield, Deus Ex and Death Stranding in their credits, added: “I would humbly consider myself one of the top voice actors working in games. No one asked me about this. No one reached out for my opinion.”

Steam heats up its AI terms

Speaking of AI, this week Valve issued new guidelines for how they handle AI content in games released on Steam. From now on, developers will need to describe how they use AI in the development and execution of new releases.

Basically, they’re putting AI into two categories: Pre-Generated, which means that the game uses content made through an AI tool, and Live-generated. In either case, developers have to pinky swear that AI content that is already in the game does not infringe any copyrights, but in Live-generated games they also have to cross their hearts and hope to die that the game won’t generate any illegal content.

Players will be able to alert Valve to games that they believe are infringing these rules through a new button in the Steam overlay.

Last of Us Gets Its Abby

I’ll be honest, I don’t know what any of this means, but it’s big news this week that actress Kaitlyn Dever is joining the second season of the TV adaptation of The Last of Us. She’ll be playing the role of Abby, who was one of the playable characters in The Last Of Us Part 2 who gets tangled up in…I don’t know, I started reading her Wikipedia page and got lost. But apparently Abby is a big deal and Kaitlyn Dever was really good in Unbelievable so here we are.

Series co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann said that “Nothing matters more than talent, and we’re thrilled to have an acclaimed performer like Kaitlyn join Pedro, Bella and the rest of our family.”

New Game Releases!

That horrible dry season where we were all forced to stop buying new games for a few weeks and go through our backlog is over, so now we can go back to buying games in a futile attempt to fill the empty space in our hearts. Here’s some of the notable games coming out this week!

Today sees the release of
Devil May Cry: Peak of Combat (iOS, Android)
Unstoppable (PC)
Radiance (PC)
Dig Dug (C64)

I need a lie down. Back to the gang in the studio!

Bobby GONE, The Mouse is OUT, Jack Black is Steve, and More!

Bobby Kotick Is Gone

The now-former CEO of Activision Blizzard has officially stepped down now that the 2023 year has ended and the acquisition by Microsoft proceeds. He won’t be the only executive-level employee leaving, with more expected to depart as the transition process develops. Otherwise, the leadership teams for Activision Publishing and Blizzard will remain in place.

The now-vacant CEO spot won’t be filled, and instead executives will report directly to Matt Booty, President of Microsoft Game Content and Studios.

Minecrafters, Grab Your Picks…

If you forgot that there was a Minecraft movie on the way, well, here’s your reminder. And now you also know that Jack Black, who has played Bowser in the Super Mario Bros. Movie, will be starring as the main man himself, Minecraft Steve. You may also know Jack Black from a few other films. The movie will be directed by Jared Hess, known for Nacho Libre, and Napoleon Dynamite.

Jason Momoa had reportedly been in negotiations to voice Minecraft Steve last year.

The Minecraft movie has been in development since 2014, while filming began in December 2023. It is scheduled to release in early April, 2025, meaning it will have been in development for 10-ish years. It hasn’t been the smoothest journey for the movie, as a few directors have dropped out, and the initial release date of May 24th, 2019 obviously not working out.

The Mouse Is OUT!

And a horror game has already been created within 24 hours of ‘Steamboat Willie’ entering the public domain. The game, called Infestation 88, has a terrifying depiction of the mouse hunting the player down in a spooky warehouse.

Disney is rather infamous for its heavy-handed approach to protecting its copyright, as the company has been reported to discourage a stonemason from carving Winnie-the-Pooh into a child’s gravestone. In fact, Steamboat Willie was initially set to enter the public domain in 1984, but the company lobbied US copyright laws to extend to “the life of the author plus 50 years”.

Now that the fated day has finally arrived, along with Infestation 88, a horror movie has been announced, as well as NFTs created, dubstep remixes mixed, and just generally making the mouse do things that Disney definitely wouldn’t approve of.

The 2023 Steam Awards

Let’s round up another round of awards! The Steam Awards is pretty straightforward, nominate your favourite games and then vote for them! Games also can’t win more than two categories.

Sit Back and Relax went to Dave the Diver, and the Labour of Love Award was granted to Red Dead Redemption 2.

Better With Friends went to Lethal Company, and Most Innovative Gameplay went to Starfield.

Outstanding Story-Rich Game and Game of the Year goes to Baldur’s Gate 3.

Some News Nibbles

Peanut Butter, a shiba inu, will be participating in Awesome Games Done Quick, a charity speedrunning event. He is probably the first dog to get into speedrunning video games, and he will be beating Gyromite in front of an audience.

The PlayStation 5 has officially passed 50 million units, managing to sell 10 million units in the latter half of 2023.

Square Enix has expressed a desire to apply AI technology ‘more aggressively’ to create ‘new forms of content’ for consumers, with Square Enix president, Takashi Kiryu stating “I believe that generative AI has the potential not only to reshape was we create, but also to fundamentally change the processes by which we create, including programming”.

And now for some upcoming game releases!

January 11

  • War Hospital – PC, PS5, XBX

That’s it for game releases. You have a week to work through your backlog before games start getting released again.

Hacking, Potential Gacha Regulation and Video Games helping with Depression

GTA6 Hacker Sentenced


Arion Kurtaj, a member of the international hacker group Lapsus$ has been sentenced after a cyber attack on Rockstar Games in 2022 which led to the leaking of about 90 videos of footage from the unreleased GTA6.


The hack in question was made while Kurtaj was on bail in police custody for prior hacking using an Amazon Firestick, his hotel TV and a mobile phone as his laptop was confiscated at the time.


Due to his continued intent to return to hacking as soon as he is able and the high risk to the public because of this he will be confined to a secure hospital for life, unless regarded by doctors to be no longer a threat.


China Cracking Down on Gacha Mechanics?


New laws have been proposed by the Chinese Government to reduce consumer spending in online games and to combat predatory practices.  This would include implementing a spending limit and prohibiting incentives such as daily log-in bonuses or rewards for using real money for the first time.  In addition the laws would require studios to have “reasonable” drop rates in lootbox and gacha mechanics.


After this proposal was announced the share prices of Tencent and NetEase (two of the largest gaming companies in China) fell 16% and 25% respectively.


In response to this the regulator said that “it will study the industry’s reaction and improve the draft rules,”  so it remains to be seen what changes to the regulations will be made and how they will be implemented.


Video Games Help with Depression?


A study undertaken in Germany and published in Frontiers in Psychiatry, titled Effects of a video game intervention on symptoms, training motivation, and visuo-spatial memory in depression has shown that, using Super Mario Odyssey as an intervention for a period of the 6 week trial resulted in more significant reduction of depression symptoms than of those participants who underwent standard treatment or used a cognitive training computer program.


The study aimed to investigate whether playing video games could help people with the cognitive deficits associated with Major Depressive Disorder, specifically mood, training motivation and visuo-spatial memory functions (that is, the ability to retain and process an object’s identity and spatial location).


The participants of the study were 46 individuals who have been diagnosed with depression and who do not frequently play video games in their leisure time.  The participants in the video game group were shown to have a significant decrease of depressive symptoms as well as higher levels of motivation to perform the training.


This is following a study published in 2020, Trauma, treatment and Tetris: video gaming increases hippocampal volume in male patients with combat-related post traumatic stress disorder, where in addition to therapy participants played Tetris for 60 minutes a day resulting in reductions of the symptoms of PTSD, depression and anxiety.

News to ruin your Christmas

Vale Max Payne

Actor James McCaffrey best known for his role of Max Payne from the Max Payne series and the very Max Payne-like but legally distinct Alex Casey from Alan Wake has died at the age of 65. He passed at his home in New York after battling with cancer.  Despite voicing multiple iconic video game characters James never became a fan of the medium saying in a 2020 interview with Saratoga Living:

“I’m not a big fan of video games, and I never have been. The first time I did Max Payne, it was, like, six hours a day in a sound booth, and it was about 400 pages of script. But, I’ve never seen it, I’ve never played it, I have no desire to. I lack the proper appreciation for video games.”

Marvel's Wolverine | Insomniac Games

Insomniac Leak + Suicide Squad Leak

Marvel’s Spiderman 2 developer Insomniac has fallen victim to a massive 1.67 TB data leak by ransomware group Rhysida. Included are development files for released and upcoming projects such as Wolverine, details on cancelled projects like Sunset Overdrive 2, business contract and personal HR records and communications. After failing to ransom the data for $2 million some data was sold to undisclosed buyers and the rest released.

In other leaks the files of a closed alpha version of the upcoming Suicide Squad Kill the Justice League have been pored through by dataminers and released details on the game’s plot including some major character reveals.

“It is very disappointing to see details being shared ahead of the game’s release, so we can only urge you to try to avoid spoilers where you can. And please try not to impact the enjoyment of other players by posting spoilers.”

Naughty Dog Ceases Development Of The Last Of Us Online - Game Informer

Last of Us Online Dead

If you were looking forward to Naughty Dog’s long-teased multiplayer spin off for The Last of Us 2 than I have bad news for you. It has been cancelled. The troubled development saw the studio trying to wrangle their traditional style of development with a live service model at one point even bringing in Bungie to try and find a path forward. This week the studio announced it will be ceasing development on the title after being unable to find the needed balance. In a statement on their website Naughty Dog justifies their decision as such:

“In ramping up to full production, the massive scope of our ambition became clear. To release and support The Last of Us Online we’d have to put all our studio resources behind supporting post launch content for years to come, severely impacting development on future single-player games.”

DOTA2 Bans

Valve has been spreading the holiday cheer in DOTA2 this year with their festive Frostivus event where players have a chance of getting a wide range of gifts. Including bans. Some players found their stocking filled with “Highly Toxic Lump of Coal” when opening their Frostivus gift which liberally gave out timed and permanent bans to accounts who were toxic, smurfing or otherwise violated the Terms of Service. The studio have taken an aggressive position towards cheaters and other toxic members of their community, stating in the release notes:

“If you’re on the Naughty List, we’ve got great news for everybody else and bad news for you because this year is gonna be a bloodbath.”

Hitman's holiday bonus level is a silly, brilliant and entirely welcome little extra | VG247

Game releases

December 25th will see Santa come down your chimney if you’re that way inclined.

The Demise of E3, the Collapse of The Day Before, and the Triumph of Baldur’s Gate 3

Here is your news recap for the 14th of December:

Multiplayer isn’t coming to Starfield anytime soon.

The team behind Skyrim Together, a popular multiplayer mod for Skyrim, has announced that they will not be completing their multiplayer mod for Starfield because the game is “fucking trash.”
In a post to Skyrim Together’s discord sever, one of the developers said “The game is boring, bland, and the main draw of Bethesda games, exploration in a lively and handcrafted world, was completely gone. I’m not gonna put my heart and soul into a mod for a game as mediocre as this.”
There are plenty of Starfield fans out there though and this is disappointing news if you were looking forward to traveling the stars with your friends, but there is some hope. Since they had begun work on the project, already porting about 70% of the code, the team is releasing what they’ve currently done in case anyone wants to finish the mod themselves.

The Day Before was bad, and now it’s gone.

Starting 2023 as one of the most wishlisted games on steam, The Day Before is a zombie shooter that promised a lot and has delivered on practically nothing. It released last week and was immediately inundated with negative reviews citing visual bugs and game-breaking glitches. Players who could actually play the game didn’t find the game they’d been promised in marketing, but a poorly crafted, empty, shooter.

Just four days after it launched, The Day Before was completely removed from steam and developer Fntastic announced its closure. “Today, we announce the closure of Fntastic studio. Unfortunately, The Day Before has failed financially, and we lack the funds to continue. All income received is being used to pay off debts to our partners,” their statement on twitter reads. “We apologize if we didn’t meet your expectations. We did everything within our power, but unfortunately, we miscalculated our capabilities. Creating games is an incredibly challenging endeavor.”

If it seems like a good response on their part, consider this seems to be the end of their accountability. They later reply to some (well-earned) criticism with “This was our first big experience. Shit happens.” Which is less good. If you are one of the unlucky people who bought the game Fntastic have said they’re working with steam to provide refunds for any players who want one.


Baldurs Gate 3 Sweeps the Game Awards.

In case you missed it– Baldurs Gate 3 dominated this year’s Game Awards. It won the Player’s Voice Award and five of its 8 direct nominations, that being Best Performance, Best Community Support, Best RPG, Best Multiplayer, and of course Game of The Year. The only nominations that Baldur’s Gate 3 did not win were Best Music and Score, which went to Final Fantasy, and Best Narrative and Game Direction, both of which were awarded to Alan Wake 2.

E3 is actually dead.

E3 (A.K.A the Electronic Entertainment Expo) is dead. For real this time. Following the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, more and more game publishers opt to manage their presentations independently and so E3 struggled to reclaim its former glory. Now, after years of evident decline, E3 officially closes its doors, marking the end of an era. A statement on the official website simply reads: “After more than two decades of E3, each one bigger than the last, the time has come to say goodbye. Thanks for the memories.”


That’s all, this week, in gaming news.

GTA VI Trails, League of Geeks Flails, Twitch Bails and Jeff Minter Sails

News just keeps on coming like a never ending train it won’t stop it will never stop won’t someone please make it stop?!

League of Geeks Loses Developers

Melbourne-based indie game development studio League of Geeks has just laid off half of its workforce. An estimated 31 experienced game developers are now out of work a few weeks shy of Christmas, with the studio blaming a major source of funding unexpectedly pulling out at the last minute.

Trent Kusters, co-founder and studio director at League of Geeks, told staff that they had to make a decision to stop development of one of their titles. The game, Jumplight Odyssey, was expected to be finished in the first half of 2024, and was released in Early Access back in August. A loan has been taken out to ensure the completion of the studio’s other title, a remake of their earlier hit Solium Infernum, but even that is not guaranteed.

Mr Kusters told the ABC that “The fact that we have to pause this game is just a brutal, brutal reality of the financial implications of everything that’s happening in the industry right now.”

It’s a sobering time for anyone in the trenches of the games industry. This week Electronic Arts announced major layoffs at the studio they recently bought, Codemasters. Frontier Developments, the makers of Elite and several Rollercoaster Tycoon sequels, just laid off 20% of their workforce. Worms developers Team 17 have laid off the majority of their internal development teams. New World Interactive have just been completely shut down by its parent company Embracer Group. It’s rough out there folks, stay strong and look out for each other.


GTA VI Trailer Definitely Is a GTA VI Trailer

Well it’s only taken 10 years but we finally have a trailer for one of the most hotly anticipated sequels in the gaming world has finally seen the light of day. Grand Theft Auto VI is coming some time in 2025, and it’s clear to see where all the time and money has gone. The game will see players returning to the sun-drenched world of Vice City, but instead of the neon-pastels of the ‘80s this one’s set in the social media obsessed modern times.

The trailer features dense crowds, alligators, people twerking on cars and music from Tom Petty. For the first time in a GTA game you can play as a female protagonist, who seems to be half of a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde style duo. It’s probably already being picked apart frame by frame by people on YouTube, so check it out even if this isn’t your kind of game because it’s at the very least technically very impressive.

Publishers Take Two also put out a press release confirming the launch platforms will be the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X. Sorry PC owners, you’re just going to have to wait even longer for the inevitable PC port.

Twitch goes offline in South Korea

Do you like the game-centric video streaming service Twitch? Well, spare a thought for our friends in South Korea who are losing access to the platform. Thanks to a unique set of laws in that country that charge content providers for the bandwidth used by viewers, Twitch has announced they are closing down operations there effective immediately. This impacts the jobs of all the local Twitch staff, not to mention the thousands of users who make a considerable living streaming on Twitch.

I guess they can go over to…I don’t know, is Mixer still a thing?


The Street Fighter Alpha 2 Machine At Netherworld Has Been Set To Free Play

That’s it. That’s the whole story. I think this is notable news. See you there.


Fortnite Keeps Fortnitin’

New game modes for Fortnite might not seem that newsworthy, but they’re making a big song and dance about these ones. Lego Fortnite combines the creative world of Lego with the action of Fortnite in something very Minecraft-like, Rocket Racing brings Rocket League into a more conventional racing game with a twist, and there’s Fortnite Festival which is notable for being Rock Band developer Harmonix’s new game. And since they’re all free to play and available now within Fortnite, why not check them out?


Get Ready To Love Llamas!!!

Overnight, Digital Eclipse announced that they’re soon to release Llamasoft: The Jeff Minter Story in early 2024. This is the second of their Gold Master series, which are not just collections of old games perfectly preserved for modern audiences but are also interactive documentaries. In the Jeff Minter Story you’ll be able to follow the life of the gaming industry’s longest creating and in my mind, most important, indie game developer starting all the way from the Commodore Vic-20 to the release of Tempest 2000 on the Atari Jaguar. The collection will also include the unreleased Attack of the Mutant Camels ‘89 for the ill-fated Konix Multisystem, and a reworked update of his frenetic shoot ‘em up Gridrunner.

It’s nice to know what the best release of next year is already going to be.

New Game Releases

And now, through a series of small miracles, new games are being released today. Here’s some of the highlights:

Arizona Sunshine 2 (PSVR 2, PC VR, Quest)
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (PS5, Xbox Series X|S, PC)
The Day Before (PC early access)
Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader (PC, PS5, Xbox Series X|S)
Briley Witch Chronicles 2 (C64)


This News Is Not AI Generated, I Swear

Fallout Is Canon!

Fans and fiends of Fallout, you’ve probably heard about the upcoming live-action series coming to Prime Video in April, and if not, now you have! And here’s what we know about it so far: it takes place nine years after the events of Fallout 4, in the year 2296. It’s supposed to be accessible to those unfamiliar with the games, but still contain the humour and vibe of the games. And one more thing; the events in the show will be canon according to Todd Howard.

“We view what’s happening in the show as canon. That’s what’s great when someone else looks at your work and then translates it in some fashion.”

It’s not the first time developers have been inspired by a live-action adaptation of their games, as The Last Of Us creators also felt similarly inspired by the live-action show.

What Even Is An Indie Game Anyway?

Dave the Diver is a game that was nominated for Best Indie Game at The Game Awards, which has sparked some discussion over what constitutes an indie game as the team, Mint Rocket, that made the game was a subsidiary of a multi-billion-dollar company, Nexon.

Mint Rocket is a team of less than 30 people and was launched by Nexon as a division that specialises in games, “focusing on the essence of fun”. As a result, many people don’t consider Dave the Diver to be a ‘true indie’.

Geoff Keighly, host and producer of The Game Awards has weighed in, saying “You can argue, does independent mean the budget of the game, does independent mean where the source of financing was, does it mean the team size?”

“The definition of an indie game is hard to define, and that ultimately it’s up to The Game Awards jury to pick nominees.”

Why Does Naruto Sound Like That?

There’s a Naruto fighting game out and about called Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja STORM CONNECTIONS, it’s got fast-paced ninja battles and a story, but I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about the more awkward line deliveries that have been discovered.

Understandably, it has faced some criticisms, however, the voice actors insist that they didn’t actually record those lines… entirely.

The game covers snippets of events that have taken place across the franchise, and even dives into scenes that would be very familiar to those who have played Naruto games in the past. Except that when comparing the scenes, well, the original line delivery was just better. And fans aren’t the only ones confused about it.

Maile Flanagan, Naruto’s English voice actor, has said “I can guarantee I did not say that line that way… And I guarantee no voice director of Naruto or the games would have me do that in that way.”

Why Does Silent Hill Ascension Sound Like That?

The interactive television series, Silent Hill: Ascension, has sparked rumours that the script might have been written by AI. Users can stream the episodes and collectively vote on choices in the series, influencing its direction. However, some scenes have been facing some scrutiny.

One particular scene of note has the main characters out in the woods, doing Silent Hill business, when a lone NPC comes across them in a flustered state. He declares he has been foraging for berries, and he has foraged for berries for many seasons. And he makes jams. And he offers the jams before disappearing into the forest, presumably to forage for more berries.

Jacob Navok insists that every word in Ascension was written by real people.

And now for some upcoming games!

November 30

  • Biomutant – Switch
  • Gangs of Sherwood – PC, PS5, XSX
  • Hawked – PC
  • Pixel Cafe – PC, PS5, XSX, Switch
  • This Means Warp – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Tintin Reporter – Cigars of the Pharaoh – PS4
  • Toasterball – Switch

December 1

  • Batman: Arkham Trilogy – Switch
  • Dragon Quest Monsters: The Dark Prince – Switch

December 4

  • Make Way – PC
  • The Wagadu Chronicles – PC

December 5

  • Born of Bread – PC
  • Tram Simulator Urban Transit – PC

December 7

  • Arizona Sunshine 2 – PC VR, PSVR 2
  • The Day Before – PC
  • Lego Bricktales VR – Quest
  • Terminator: Dark Fate – Defiance – PC
  • Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader – PC, PS5, XSX

That’s it this week in gaming news!

Take-Two Talks Taking More, Gamemaker Goes Game Dev Friendly, Roblox Sued Again, And Gaming Bytes

Take-Two Talks Taking More
Last week saw GTA 6 developer Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick have a different take on gaming pricing. While gaming fans hold the game time to price value high, Zelnick wants to take that on board with future titles with a statement to investors saying
“In terms of pricing for any entertainment property, basically the algorithm is the value of the expected entertainment usage, which is to say the per hour value times the number of expected hours plus the terminal value that’s perceived by the customer in ownership, if the title is owned rather than rented or subscribed to.” While this does sound like a dollar per hour measurement, he has clarified the statement this week that this is not a linear relationship, but rather a statement on the value of games. And we can definitely trust the CEO of Take-Two, a company whose biggest earner is GTA Online.

Game Engine Gamemaker Goes Game Dev Friendly
In the wake of Game Publishers Unity and Epic calling for price “restructuring”, Gamemaker, a popular tool for creating 2D and 3D games, has released their new price point and bucked the recent trend. Because of the recent three-fold increase in active users since they joined the Opera family, instead of gouging the user base and changing from a monthly model to a per game install or price per hour played, Gamemaker is celebrating the explosion in users by announcing a new free option for non-commercial use with the ability to export their games to Windows, Mac, and Linux without paying any fees. They’ve also included their asset bundles for use in this free tier. Upgrading is also simple, want to monetise? $99.99USD. Want to put it on consoles? Well, that’s an Enterprise subscription. With games utilising this engine like Undertale, Webbed, Honey, I joined a Cult, and over 290 more listed in Gamemaker’s showcase, we can be sure to see a gamut of Indi games from this engine in the future.

Roblox Sued Over Child Safety
In the pandemic years Roblox saw a massive influx of underage users (over 60% of users are under 16 years of age) due to the social nature and declaration of safety for minors that the platform claims. The community guidelines claim that ““Roblox is a safe space for meeting online friends, chatting, and collaborating on creative projects.” And “If your child is under 13, we make it extremely difficult for strangers on Roblox to contact them.”
However, a group of parents have filed a civil action suit against Roblox for not meeting their end of the deal, with claims of grooming, sexual content, and the inability to monitor their children’s purchases due to Robux obscuring transaction worth.
Roblox Corp provided a statement to PCGAMER disputing the allegations and reinforced that the site was safe “for people of all ages.”

Now for some quick gaming bytes!

    • Xbox is running a Bluey Sweepstakes to celebrate the upcoming release of Bluey the Videogame coming to PC and consoles. The winner will not only receive the game but also receive a custom Bluey Themed Xbox Series S and controller. Wackadoo!

  • This week Half-Life turned 25 and celebrated by a going free for a limited time. Valve also released a special anniversary update for the game which included bug fixes, official Steam Deck support, multiplayer maps, and more.

Now it’s time for this week’s game releases!

Friday November 24, survive the post apocalypse in the side scroller shooter Evil Diary coming to PC and consoles.
Tuesday the 28th, take a train ride home through civil war in the RTS Last Train Home coming to PC.
On Wednesday the 29th, get stuck in time loops in puzzle/adventure game Orten Was The Case coming to PC and consoles.
And next week on the 30th, find yourself one cup at a time in Pixel Cafe coming to PC, Switch, and next gen consoles. Want to play FTL but as a roguelike with friends? Well, This Means Warp has you covered, coming to PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch.