Because I’m doing the news I get to choose what to talk about and I want to talk about the fact that in Baldur’s Gate 3 you can get freaky with a bear.
In the “Panel from Hell: Release Showcase” Larian studios was showing off the game’s romance aspects and the internet exploded when it was revealed you can get intimate with one of your party members in their bear form.
I’m sure there’s a deeper conversation here about sex scenes in games and all that but I’m trapped in the news and have no time for that so instead I’m just here to say ‘lol bear seggs’ and leave it at that.
And it’s that time again friends and enemies, the newly renamed Queensland Games Festival is this Saturday! Previously known as Game On Festival (or GO423 if you’re nasty) this is a free public event where you can get your peepers on the newest locally made games and meet the people who make them.
The event is on the 22nd of July at the Brisbane Powerhouse from 10am so come on over and support the local Brisbane game industry!
Yuji Naka, former Sega and Square Enix developer, and co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog, has now been sentenced after being convicted for insider trading. The punishment? Two and a half years prison time, a probation period of four years, and fines totalling 173 million yen.
However, he has been given a four year suspended sentence due to showing ‘remorse’, meaning that he will not be imprisoned, but will still need to comply with a number of rules presented by the court, and pay the fines.
87% Of Classic Video Games Are Missing
The Video Game History Foundation has revealed a study claiming that the very large majority of older video games are missing or totally unavailable to the public. And the problem may be due to outdated copyright laws.
The Entertainment Software Association claims however that ‘there’s no such thing as an obsolete game’, given that video games are largely digital.
The Video Game History Foundation has argued that ‘in cases where software has become abandoned or when companies are not willing to undertake their own preservation, libraries and other archives should be allowed to preserve and digitally release games’.
VGHF hope that with some changes, future gamers will never have to fondly think back on a childhood game that is just impossible to replay for various reasons, as well as create a more cohesive archive of video games. For historical purposes of course.
EA Sports used to be FIFA’s largest commercial partner before the two parted ways. But what is EA Sports to do instead of yet another FIFA game? A new football game, just without all that FIFA branding.
The new game, FC 24, has been revealed with its official announcement trailer, marking the end of an almost 30 year era. It’s rather motivational, although some of the comments seems to expect more of the same. Which isn’t surprising considering that football hasn’t had a major update in around 100 years.
Sega Says Blockchains Aren’t Fun
While ‘what makes a video game a video game’ and ‘what are video games’ and other such questions are often topics for debate among gamers, Sega seems to have figured out that a game should be fun. Shuji Utsumi, Sega’s co-chief operating officer, has reported that although the company were initial supporters of blockchain gaming, have now decided against pursuing it, feeling that it would cheapen their more iconic IPs.
“The action in play-to-earn games is boring. What’s the point if games are no fun?” says Utsumi.
Sega do still plan to allow third parties to use characters from their less popular IPs as NFTs, but it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing Sonic the Hedgehog NFTs from Sega.
And now for some upcoming games!
Manic Mechanics (Switch)
Testament: The Order of High Human (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)
Classified Sega docs from the 90’s are available to you! Neat!
Earlier this week twitter user MegaDriveShock brought attention to a PDF of classified Sega of America documents which had become available on the Sega Retro wiki. The PDF is 272 pages of documents from the mid-90’s that offer a fascinating peek behind the curtain. They primarily focus on the Saturn console which, while hugely popular in Japan, failed to take off elsewhere in the world. It’s an absolute bonanza of information including manufacturing costs, retail margins, sales, product strategies, emails, etc and people are pulling out some interesting figures. There’s even this storyboard from a commercial!
If you’d like to read through the pages, you can find them on the Sega Retro Wiki here.
Multi-season wait in store between Overwatch 2 story missions.
During a recent twitch appearance, Jared Neuss (Overwatch 2’s executive producer) revealed that there won’t be additional story missions for at least the next two seasons following the launch of season 6. “It is very much like trying to find that balance between getting [story missions] in front of players quickly because we love story stuff and giving ourselves enough time to make changes or add features.” No exact timeline was given but it seems safe to infer that Blizzard won’t be releasing any further story missions in 2023.
Annapurna Interactive Showcase 2023
At the end of last week Annapurna held a showcase showing off their upcoming games and more. Here’s some of what we saw:
To a T is a game with a premise that sounds delightful but maybe a little shallow – with the story centred around a main character stuck in a T-Pose. Thankfully Annapurna promises there’s depth to this game, and since it’s the newest game by Katamari Damacy director Keita Takahashi, I’m inclined to believe them.
Storyteller, the puzzle game that plays out over a picture book which released earlier this year, is moving to Netflix. As part of their growing catalogue of games Storyteller will be receiving new content & scenarios.
Thirsty Suitors, which has a demo available on steam, now has a release date. The game is a unique mash of turn-based combat, skating, cooking, story, and more. It releases November 2nd to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S (Game Pass!), Xbox One, PC, and Switch.
Coming later, in 2024, is Ghost Bike, a game set in the afterlife where players must fight against ghosts as they strive to bring back the true spirit of biking back to Wheel World.
Finally, they showed the reveal trailer for their first in-house game BladeRunner 2033. They haven’t shown too much yet, but fans of the series can look forward to exploring a dystopian LA set between the original Blade Runner movie and Blade Runner 2049.
Upcoming game releases:
Gylt coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Windows
Necrosmith coming to PS5 and Switch
Scarf coming to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One
Feeble Light coming to PS5, Switch, Windows
Garlic coming to PS5 and Switch
The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie coming to PS5, PS4, Switch, Windows
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals coming to PS5, PS4, Switch, Windows
The Console Wars Have Been Decided! In a side note to the highly contested Microsoft acquisition of Activision/Blizzard, is that to validate statements made by the parties presented, certain investigations needed to take place. And so, the FTC has made a statement regarding the console wars. Firstly, Nintendo has been removed from contention due to its hybrid nature, reliance on first party games and – and I quote – “underpowered performance.” So, in the US between Xbox and PlayStation, Generation 7 consoles… Xbox 360 beat the PS3, and in Generation 8, Sony beat out with the PlayStation 4! While the FTC didn’t comment on the current generation, Microsoft has argued that they have consistently ranked third in the console wars. While Sony has made it quite clear that it doesn’t want the planned merger to go ahead, Sony’s CEO Jim Ryan has stated in response to the exclusivity of titles such as Starfield “I don’t like it” but “I don’t view it as competitive”, and the possibility of losing Call of Duty in the future. “I’d rather this didn’t happen, but we’ll be OK, we’ll be more than OK.” In other Microsoft news, Xbox Series X and Game Pass are going to receive a price hike, with the console to get a price closer to the PS5 and the Game Pass monthly subscription to increase around the globe. Oh, and Microsoft has missed its quarterly internal target by around US$780,000,000. And don’t you PC players think you can scoff in your corner watching all this. You better be sure you can run your moddable version of Starfield. With AMD partnering with Bethesda for release, your precious DLSS and RTX features on your new Nvidia GPU may be left to the wayside. Oh, and there won’t be any keyboard and mouse support for the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol.1 coming in October.
AI in Gaming The rebellion against AI being involved in game development continues with Jennifer Hale, the Voice Actor (VA) of “FemShep” in Mass Effect and David Hayter, the VA for Solid Snake from Metal Gear, voicing their concern of AI in the gaming industry. Hale has come forward emphasizing the importance of protecting voice actors’ work and voicing support of organizations like NAVA that provide contracts for safeguarding VA rights. Hayter, while less concerned about AI technology’s impact on voice acting due to its lack of “soul”, agrees on the need for legal protection. Meanwhile, the introduction of machine-learning platforms, Unity Muse and Unity Sentis, has sparked concerns among developers and artists regarding the generation of AI-created assets and both the copywrite and plagiarism issues now or in the future due to the art, assets, and their datasets that AI have been trained on.
Diablo 4 News; because I’m playing it and I’m doing the news this week. Over the weekend Blizzard was hit by a DDOS attack, lengthening the already superfluous wait time to play a game most generally play solo. These attacks lasted around 12 hours and roused players online to ask why the game has joined the “always online” generation. Well, this may be due to the online store which has armour sets that can cost more than the base game, or maybe due to item drops with a higher rarity than winning the lotto with only 2 dropped so far since release. Adam Jackson, lead class designer of the game, confirmed last week that there are six top tier unique items in a tweet, all of which have staggering randomised stats (yes, you could still get this with a bad roll), and I join other players in the sentiment that if one dropped for you “it would be financially irresponsible not to sell your account.” In other secrets revealed, if you are about to finish the game maybe don’t go skipping that credit roll with several different jump scare styled post-credit endings reported so far. These are all tipped to be clues into the gamut of expansions I’m sure are on the way for Diablo in the future. And if you haven’t looked into the secret cow level, the internet is looking… and they’re getting closer.
Now for some Game releases So, Friday 30th of June, Master Detective Archives: Rain Code, a detective action game from the minds behind Danganronpa, and party game Everybody 1-2-Switch! both come to the Switch. And time traveling puzzle point and click indie game Crime O’Clock is coming to PC, and Switch. Tuesday July 4th, break into the subconscious with VA David Hayter on the PSVR2 in Synapse. And lastly Thursday July 6th, experience the branching narratives of retro inspired JRPG Alterium Shift, or experience bouldering in the climbing sim New Heights, both coming to PC. Last of all, face your fears in horror puzzler Gylt, coming to PC, PlayStation and Xbox,
Oh! And in Games coming to TV Sonic Prime’s new season is airing on Netflix and Among Us is getting its own TV series! It is in development at CBS Studios and is reportedly being led by Owen Denis (Infinity Train) and animated by Titmouse (Big Mouth). However, no airdate has been released.
Former local game developer and now ruler of all things Electronic Arts, CEO Andrew Wilson, has announced that EA Sports is splitting from EA Games. They’re going to be two completely separate companies competing for your gaming dollar. Not only that, but EA Games is no more, being rebranded as EA Entertainment. It’s a signal that Electronic Arts is looking beyond video games for future releases, and trying to make everything they make a hit across movies, games and TV. After all, it’s a strategy that’s working for Sony of late.
I’m still waiting for the modern remake and HBO drama based on the best EA game ever made, Skitchin’.
We’re all Barbie Girls, in a Forza World
Look, I know this is a crass commercial cross-promotional ploy to get attention, and as the world’s best independent gaming radio show we should be above it all, but…the Barbie car is coming to Forza Horizon 5! How freakin’ cool is that! I can finally live out my dreams of driving the Barbie car at ridiculous speeds on Hot Wheels tracks without getting in trouble from mum. There’s really not much more to this story than that, I just wanted to share some joy.
Kojima’s in Space
Certified nutjob and the only man to escape working for Konami alive, Hideo Kojima, has announced that he’d like to go to space. Speaking to former Doritos spokesperson Geoff Kieghley, he said ““I want to go to outer space. I want to go to outer space and create a game you can play In space… So please someone send me up to space.” As of press time it’s not known if someone has volunteered to launch him up there or if he could fit the entire dev team on the International Space Station. It’s not the first time he’s spearheaded a game that requires players to put themselves in unusual situations, as his Game Boy Advance game Boktai needed to be played outside in the sunlight.
Anyway who cares about any of that other news Nintendo just dropped a new Direct! Among the highlights are the Hidden Treasure of Area Zero, new DLC for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet which, yep I just checked, has lots of Pokemon in it so that’s good. Palia is a free to play multiplayer mix of the relaxed life of Animal Crossing and the adventuring aspect of Zelda which looks charming as all heck, Fae Farm is pretty much the exact same concept but you pay money for it, Mythforce is a four player first person roguelike adventure that resembles an ‘80s Saturday morning cartoon, and there’s a new Detective Pikachu!
And now exciting news for those of us who love buying games we already own – SUPER MARIO RPG REMAKE!!!!! Finally Australian gamers will be legally allowed to play this game without breaking the warranty on their Super Nintendo.
Speaking of re-releases, Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Volume 1! Vampire Survivors is coming to Switch, surprising nobody. All of the Batman Arkham games are coming to the Switch soon too. (I think Batman’s kind of stupid and I will not apologise)
Rounding out the release announcements are Pikmin 4 which looks cute as all heck and there’s a little Pikmin dog that you can teach tricks to and ohhh it’s so cute, it’s SO CUTE! A new Wario Ware game! Some other stuff I wasn’t paying attention to because it was so late in the evening! I’m hyperventilating from HYPE!
Continuing the Mario mania, there’s a new Princess Peach game coming, a Switch remake of the 3DS Luigi’s Mansion, and a brand new 2D Mario game, Super Mario Bros Wonder! My wife described it as if Jeff Minter made a Mario game, which is the best recommendation I could imagine. BEST DIRECT EVER!
And now here’s some upcoming releases!
Today sees the release of
Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch] Final Fantasy 16 [PS5] Dragon’n Princess (C64)
Tomorrow sees the release of C-Smash VRS [PSVR 2]
And on June 27
Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed Single Player Edition [PS4, XBO] Little Friends: Puppy Island [PC, Switch]
This past week was video game conference season and as such was packed to the brim with video game announcements and news. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights.
Summer Game Fest
Sumer Game fest kicked off the week’s activities with gameplay for Mortal Kombat 1 taking place in a new canon created at the end of the last game. Alan Wake 2 showed off its pulpy scares and we saw a big chunk of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
Marvels Spider-Man 2 got a firm release date of October 20 this year. Capcom announced the upcoming Exoprimal will have cross over content with Street Fighter 6 so you’ll finally be about to throw a hadouken at a t-rex. A zombie shooting and driving game called Toxic Commando is coming from legendary film director John Carpenter built on the same engine as Snowrunner so you can expect some serious vehicle physics.
Perhaps the most exciting of all was this (and many of the other events) had a stage and a crowd which we haven’t seen since before the pandemic. Which means a return of awkward presenters and surprise celebrities. Nicholas Cage graced the stage to wild applause to help announce that he is an upcoming character in the horror game Dead By Daylight.
Microsoft was the only platform holder to hold an event this year and they had a lot to prove after securing so many developers under their belt in recent years. The show started with footage from the new Fable which showed very little that could be considered gameplay but did feature comedian Richard Ayoade as a giant you will be fighting in the final game.
Compulsion games of We Happy Few fame revealed South of Midnight a heavily stylised game exploring folklore of the American deep south. RPG studios Obsidian and inXile showed off Avowed and Clockwork Revolution respectively. Avowed is a first-person fantasy action RPG where you play a powerful magic wielder and is described as closer in scope to The Outer Worlds than Elder Scrolls while Clockwork Revolution is a departure from inXile’s usual rpg style and shares many similarities with Bioshock infinite.
The new Forza Motorsport is on its way with a release date of the 10th of October and Microsoft Flight Simulator is adding a slew of new features for it’s 2024 update including content based on the modern Dune films.
Atlus was represented heavily at Xbox’s showcase showing off 3 games that will all come to gamepass on day one. A remake of Persona 3 subtitled Reload, a tactics game Persona 5 Tactica and a new IP Metaphor: ReFantazio which looks to share many similarities with the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series.
Sea of Thieves is getting a new campaign based on Monkey Island! It features many of the series characters and voices as well as recreated locations. The Legend of Monkey Island comes to Sea of Thieves on July 20th
The show ended with a 45 minute deep dive into the incredibly ambitious Bethesda Sci Fi RPG Starfield.
Ubisoft came out swinging with some big titles this year. Star Wars Outlaws is a new open world 3rd person action game based in the period between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora based in James Cameron’s Avatar universe is a canon story that will fit in with the movies. You and a friend in co op can explore the world of pandora in first person, fighting the RDA and riding animals of the planet. It only looks a little bit like Far Cry.
While the remake of Prince of Persia Sands of time is still missing in action a new game in the series was revealed. Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown takes the series back to its side scrolling routes but also moves to a metroidvania style structure with a focus on combat, fast action and time based magic.
Being Ubisoft they also had not one, not two but three Assassin’s Creed games present! Assassin’s Creed Mirage is the more traditional title set for release later this year. Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR is a new title being made for the meta quest and promises a full Assassin’s creed experience in VR. You must provide your own straw. Lastly the free to play title Assassin’s Creed Codename Jade will take players to China on their mobile device. You can register to be part of the playtest on the official website.
This is only a small amount of the games shown in the last week. If only there was a way to share more of them in a short time…
Crime Boss: Rockay City (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S), Layers of Fear (2023) (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) – June 16
F1 23 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC), Park Beyond (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) – June 17
Aliens: Dark Descent (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC), Crash Team Rumble (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One) – June 21
Apple has unveiled their newest creation, their first spatial computer! What does this mean? Well, it’s a headset much like your typical VR headsets that is supposed to seamlessly blend digital content with the world around you. Imagine, being able to project your workspace onto a wall, while still being totally aware of the world around you thanks to the ability to see through the headset. It features 23 million pixels across two displays, and it tracks your eyes, hands, and voice.
Your monitor and keyboard can be set up anywhere, at any time, effortlessly, so you can partake in hustle culture for the low price of $5,250 or so for Aussies.
Speaking of Corporate Greed…
Eric Covington, a former Activision Blizzard designer, wrote a few cheeky lines for a World of Warcraft Venture Co. loot goblin. The lines were approved and implemented into the game, and the jokes were promoted on the official World of Warcraft Twitter account, but uhh, that doesn’t stop you from getting fired for allegedly “inserting inappropriate non-game related content into a game”.
The lines this Venture Co. loot goblin had? “Let’s call this a cost of living adjustment.” “No profit sharing!” and “Looks like another yacht for me!”
Blaseball is Done
Blaseball, best described as a ‘cultural event’, was a game that looks like a baseball stat-tracking page. You could pick your favourite team, such as “Kansas City Breath Mints”, bet with fake money, and even partake in voting for rule changes.
With weather events such as ‘jazz’, players being able to die and be resurrected, and something about a peanut god, it is clear that Blaseball will be missed. Unfortunately it was just too costly in terms of finances, time, and resources, meaning that the developer The Game Band has had to make the difficult decision to bring it to a close after 3 years of joy, heartbreak, and absurdity.
Duke Nukem Remastered: AI Art
Blaze Entertainment has revealed a remaster for Duke Nukem 1 and 2, including some album art with some… weirdness going on with the fingers, a typical sign that it was generated using an AI tool.
AI generated art has been facing a lot of controversy recently, as the tools often use original artists’ works to train, and are considered ‘lazy’ and ‘cheap’, whilst AI artists claim that it is nothing more than utilising a unique set of skills to create something ‘new’.
Blaze Entertainment initially double-downed, but has posted a statement acknowledging that the original image was AI-generated, and that they would be commissioning a new piece of art to replace it.
Gays? In My Overwatch?
Not if you’re in countries with intolerant laws towards the LGBT+ community. All Pride content will be opt-in, giving players control over how they want to express themselves, or if they’re rather not express themselves at all.
In selected countries, the option won’t be available at all, with Pride content being blocked.
“Our values are to protect players… You can equip a cosmetic in one country and travel to somewhere else with different rules and get in trouble. So we feel like it’s our responsibility to help protect people like that” says Aaron Keller, an Overwatch 2 developer.
And now for some upcoming games!
Harmony: The Fall of Reverie (PC, PS5, XSX, Switch)
Mask of the Rose (PC, Switch)
Pro Cycling Manager 2023 (PC)
Speed Crew (Switch)
Tour de France 2023 (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)
Greyhill Incident (PC, PS5, PS4)
Black Desert Online: Land of the Morning Light expansion (PC)
WWE 2K23: Race to NXT Pack DLC (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)
Fig, the unique crowd funding platform that allowed people to invest in projects for a share in profits has shuttered their website after merging with Republic. Republic is a platform that allows a wide variety of investments which are very cool such as real estate and crypto currency. Cool cool cool.
High profile projects such as Double Fine’s Psychonauts 2 which was still fulfilling backer rewards and Gearbox’s unreleased Homeworld 3 have scrambled to replicate their communication to backers elsewhere as the news of the shutdown appears to have come with extremely short notice.
Least important News of the week!
In an awkward turn of events Blizzard and GamesRadar’s Future Game show have been caught red handed using fake community questions in a recent Q&A video. Some inquisitive viewers quickly discovered that not everything seemed above board
“The Cutscenes in D4 are gorgeous, how important was is to get these as high quality as they are in game?” Tweeted @EmmaRocks, a twitter account that was last active 13 years ago.
“Will skill trees be further expanded with new branches/choices for existing abilities in future patches/seasons? I’d love skill clusters like the Necromancer’s Curse cluster to have some extra oomph!” asked Reddit user Heistmeister who has 1 karma and no posts.
Blizzard have denied the accusations leaving the rest of us to wonder why did any of this happen and what does it matter?
Game conference season is here!
It’s that time of the year we used to turn to E3 but those days are gone. No worries however as very little has changed and there will be announcements aplenty over the next few weeks. We’ve already had Humble Games, PlayStation and Marvelous Game’s Showcases as well as Warhammer Skulls which included a Warhammer 40K racing, car combat game called Speed Freeks. In the next week we will see the Meta Quest Gaming Showcase on June 2nd 3:00 AM AEST and Guerrilla Collective Online Showcase on June 8th 2:00 AM AEST. Then the week after everything kicks off with The Summer Game Fest. To stay up to date with all the events you can follow the Zed Games event calendar at www.zedgamesau.net/events
Volvy is back
Devolver Digital has announced a return of Volvy the beloved classic video game character we all know from all our favourite Devolver Digital hits. To check out Volvy’s return be sure to check out the Devolver Direct at 8am June 9.
Street Fighter 6 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, PC), We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverie (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – June 2
Diablo IV (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – June 6
Harmony: The Fall of Reverie (Switch, PC) – June 8
New Games announced in the world of Dead by Daylight
Behaviour Interactive’s asymmetric horror Dead by Daylight is one of the most popular horror games around. It recently celebrated its 7th anniversary with a stream where they announced a huge amount of content for the future, including two new games set in the same world as Dead by Daylight.
The first new game will be a single player story-focused experience developed by Supermassive Games who are known for creating gripping narrative games like The Quarry or Until Dawn. More information on this game will be coming out later this year.
The second new game will be “a multiplayer PvE experience where instead of facing off against each other, up to four players can team up, enter another one of the Entity’s realms, and take on a host of deadly enemies that occupy it”. This is being developed by Midwinter Entertainment and is not as far along in development as the first, so we don’t know yet when we will hear more about it.
The anniversary stream also featured announcements for new content coming to the base game. A new chapter “End Transmission” will take Dead by Daylight to the stars on June 13. New cosmetic packs inspired by the bands Iron Maiden and Slipknot are coming soon. And, strangest of all, Nicholas Cage is becoming a survivor and joining the game on July 5th. He even does his own voice over, as discussed by the game director:
“He’s got such an iconic voice and delivery. We couldn’t do this without him…In some cases, for the screams and grunts, we have used different people sometimes because these are extremely strenuous exertions, and they can take a toll on people. But in this case, Mr. Cage told us there has never been a voice sound-alike for Nic Cage, and we will not have one now. So, he was generous enough to record every single grunt, scream, and exertion that you will hear in Dead by Daylight.”
Kid sues Nintendo over loot boxes, after spending $170 on dad’s credit card.
An unnamed kid has filed a lawsuit against Nintendo over the “immoral” loot boxes within Mario Kart Tour. This mobile game came out in 2019 equipped with loot box microtransactions, and while this is fairly standard for mobile games it does seem egregious coming from a company like Nintendo. While Nintendo did remove microtransactions from the game in later 2022, lawsuits like this one are only now making it to the courts.
With a single draw costing a few dollars, the child who filed the lawsuit spent 170 USD through a card linked to the game. In that lawsuit they now claim that Nintendo used “dark patterns” to trick players into spending more money on the game’s microtransactions, and that “Minors are especially susceptible to these addiction-enhancing elements of game design.”
Public perception of loot boxes and similar microtransactions has soured greatly in the last few years, and lawsuits like this are popping up more and more often, but it’s still hard to predict what way they will go.
Playstation Showcase 2023:
In the early hours of the 25th of May, the Playstation Showcase took place, announcing a huge number of upcoming game titles and new hardware. Here are some of the highlights from the show:
Playstation is going handheld with a new piece of hardware coming later this year that will allow you to stream any game from your PS5 console using remote play over Wi-Fi. The device, known as Project Q, sports an 8-inch HD screen and all the features of the dual-sense controller.
In addition to this they announced they will be launching their own pair of Bluetooth-enabled earbuds. They promise lossless audio with low latency and will be compatible with Playstation 5, PC, and the new Project Q device.
Bungee, the studio that gave us Halo and Destiny, has announced Marathon – a revival of one of their earliest titles which released for Mac in 1994. The new Marathon is said to be a PVP extraction shooter and is also multiplatform with full cross play and cross-save coming to PS5, Xbox S/X and PC.
Revenant Hill is the latest game from the studio that created Night in the Woods. The announcement trailer showed off a very similar art style to Night in the Woods, but the games are not connected in any way. Revenant Hill takes place in 1919 and you play as Twig, a cat who has fallen on hard times and is working odd jobs to make ends meet until they can reach their dream of becoming a familiar.
After Months of rumors we finally got confirmation that Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is getting a remake as Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater. In addition, we’ll see a rerelease of the first three MGS games as part of the Metal Gear Solid Master Collection which will be coming later this year to PS5.
Square Enix is bringing us Foamstars, a 4v4 shooter coming to PS4 and PS5. The gameplay is very similar to Splatoon except instead of paint players will shoot foam at each other. Teams aren’t racing to cover the map in their paint but instead the foam is used to both attack and change the layout of the map.
The showcase concluded with a 12-minute gameplay reveal of Spiderman 2 showing off many of the games most exciting features. We saw more from our villain Kraven the Hunter, we saw the black symbiote suit in action, and we saw action from both playable spider-heroes Peter Parker and Miles Morales. Although we weren’t given a date for the game’s release, we were given a window of fall 2023 – or spring for us.
Upcoming Game Releases:
On 26th May
Hello Neighbor: Search and Rescue coming to PlayStation VR, PlayStation VR2.
The EU Commission into Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision-Blizzard has been approved after an extensive investigation. Microsoft has agreed to provide free licenses for the next 10 years to cloud streaming services allowing residents in the European Economic Area to stream Activision-Blizzard games on any cloud platform, addressing the competition concerns identified by the Commission. However, the merger still faces challenges with the FTC filing in the US and continues to be blocked pending appeal in the UK. 1-4
In other Activision Blizzard News, the company has abandoned its original plans for Overwatch 2’s separate co-op PvE mode… a major selling point that got players to move somewhat objective free from Overwatch 1 to 2. Now the game will incorporate co-op gameplay and experiences into the live-service model, disappointing fans who had been eagerly anticipating the depth and progression of the original vision.5-7 These views have been best summarised by user Uchihagod53,
“The f**k was the point of [Overwatch 2] then?”
Zelda: The Good, Bad and … ooo look at the pretty colours…
Fans have been disappointed at the release of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, with a player finishing the game in just over an hour and a half (speed runner gymnast86),8 the inability to pet dogs,9 and lack of unlimited bombs.10 Despite this, Tears of the Kingdom has received overwhelmingly positive reviews with around 97 on Metacritic and OpenCritic, making it the highest-rated game of 2023 and the highest-rated Switch game to date. The critical success of Tears of the Kingdom has made it the biggest Zelda game launch in the UK and is expected to be one of the biggest and best-selling games of the year worldwide.11, 12 Players can also look forward to more in the future with Eiji Aonuma (the series manager and producer of Tears of the Kingdom) stating that future Zelda series games will continue to embrace the open-world format introduced in Breath of the Wild. Aonuma compares this shift to how Ocarina of Time established a format for subsequent Zelda games in the late 90s.13
Amazon Doubles Down on Lord of the Rings MMO
After talks broke down between Tencent and Amazon in 2021, Amazon decided to abandon their stake in a Lord of the Rings MMORPG.14 However, the rights for the franchise recently reverted to Middle-Earth Enterprises leading to new discussions with Amazon and the eventual partnership between Amazon’s New World team and the Embracer Group. The game is currently being pitched as an MMO separate from the Lord of the Rings projects, rather aiming for gameplay experiences over faithful adaptation with an over 10-year lifespan.15-17 However Lord of the Rings Online fans are not worried about this game taking over the franchise even in the face of potential server shutdowns and resource allocation, instead pointing to the lacklustre performance of Amazon’s MMO New World.18
And Here’s Some Tasty Gaming Bytes
You can finally 100% The Burning Shores DLC of Horizon Forbidden West, now that they’ve added the ONE Brimshine Sliver so that you can finally buy and upgrade everything.19
In a new acquisition to the gaming community Sea Lions have become gamers, with US Navy’s Spike traversing mazes WITHOUT fishy bribery and showing delight when winning games.20
And finally the relaxing, co-op-able game Powerwash Simulator has hit 7 million users,21, 22 making us ask the question,
On Friday 19th, build your own racer in Lego 2K Drive coming to everything. Monday May 22nd, multiplayer tactical roguelike Inkbound comes to PC. Tuesday May 23rd, save the post-apocalyptic world in the tactical RPG in Miasma Chronicles or save it as a platforming pixie preservationist in After Us, both coming to PC and Next Gen Consoles. Or lighten up with a cartoonish platform shooter Glitch Busters: Stuck on You coming to PC, PS4 and Switch. Explore the hand-painted puzzle platformer Planet of Lana coming to PC and Xbox. Hit the nostalgia nerve with Puzzle Bobble Everybubble! on the Switch. And Star Trek: Resurgence is coming to PC, PlayStation and Xbox. And next week on Thursday May 25th, the sequel to Do Not Feed the Monkeys, Do Not Feed the Monkeys 2099 is coming to PC and Switch. The Lord of the Rings: Gollum is coming to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. And lastly Tennis Manager 2023 is coming to PC.