Category: 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.

Awarding me some Stonks, it’s the News!

The Escapist has lost its entire video team. The Escapist is a video game website that also produces video content – most well known for the short-form video reviews by Yahtzee Croshaw known as Zero Punctuation which has been ongoing since 2007.
The company has been owned by a trail of different parent companies since 2011 (with the company Gamurs Group being the latest).  The company began to find stability when Nick Calandra was hired and began to bring in new talent and diversify the content.
And then last week he was fired, allegedly for: “’not achieving goals’ that were never properly set for us, and a lack of understanding of our audience and the team that built that audience.”
And the entire video team resigned.  Within days of this mass exodus Calandra announced that he would be starting a new company with everyone who resigned, called Second Wind, a fully creator owned independent company.  (which reached the 150K subscribers within 2 days of the channel’s creation)
While some of the creators retain the rights to their IP, Zero Punctuation is still owned by the escapist although Calandra and Croshaw have announced a legally distinct segment called Fully Ramblomatic (which when you’re listening to this will have premiered it’s first episode).
Love to see creators going independent and seeing such an outpouring of support from the community.

In other news Stray Gods and it’s composers (Montaine, Tripod and Austin Wintory) have been nominated for a grammy for Best Score Soundtrack For Video Games And Other Interactive Media in the 2024 Grammys.  The other games up for the award are God of War: Ragnarok, Hogwarts Legacy, Call of Duty: Modern Warefare 2 and Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

Do you remember back in the ancient times of 2021 when the GameStop stocks (something to do with hedge funds) were memeing?  Me either but there’s a movie about it to refresh your memory!  CalledDumb Money it was out in cinemas in September but if you’re like me and somehow missed it you can get it digitally.

Releases!
November 16
Assassin’s Creed Nexus VR -Quest 2
Astlibra Revision -Switch
Dredge: The Pale Reach DLC – PC, Playstation, Xbox
Flashback 2 – PC, Playstation, Xbox, Switch
Jagged Alliance 3 -Playstation, Xbox
The Kindeman Remedy -PC
Loddlenaut-PC
PowerWash Simulator: Back to the Future Special Pack DLC -PC, Playstation, Xbox, Switch
Tobor -PC

November 17
Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections -PC, Playstation, Xbox, Switch
Persona 5 Tactica – PC, Xbox
Super Mario RPG -Switch
The Walking Dead: Destinies -PC, Playstation, Xbox, Switch
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin – PC, PS5, Xbox Series X

November 20
In Stars and Time -PC

November 21
Construction Simulator – Spaceport Expansion DLC -PC, Playstation, Xbox
Worldless -PC, Playstation, Xbox, Switch

Lawsuits, Esports, Live-Action Movies Oh My!

Sued Over Video Game Addiction

A lawsuit in Arkansas, United States, has been filed against Microsoft, Epic Games, Activision Blizzard, and other companies claiming that they ‘use patented designs, algorithms, and marketing containing addictive features and technology’, subsequently leading to addiction.

The concern over gaming addiction isn’t new, with a clinic in the UK being established to help those with ‘gaming disorders’ experiencing a massive influx of new patients in recent months.

Tina Bullock, the attorney representing the family who filed the lawsuit, states that she believes video game addiction is serious, and should be treated as such. The firm she represents claims that this is only the first of many lawsuits that will be filed in the foreseeable future.

 

Revenant Hill Ain’t Coming

We got to see Revenant Hill unveiled earlier this year during the PlayStation showcase, in development by the same team behind Night in the Woods, and in a similar style, and unfortunately development won’t be continuing. The reason? Key developers impacted by severe health issues.

“We are a cooperative, and we make decisions as a group. For us, this was the clear path to take for the well-being of the team, which is frankly more important than games.” says The Glory Society in a statement on their website.

Live Action Zelda: It’s Happening

Wes Ball, the director of the movie Maze Runner, will be directing the live-action movie based on The Legend of Zelda franchise. Shigeru Miyamoto, Legend of Zelda creator, and Avi Arad, who produced Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, will also be involved as producers, with the movie being co-funded between Nintendo and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

“I have been working on the live-action film… for many years now… It will take time until its completion, but I hope you look forward to seeing it.” said Miyamoto on socials. So it’ll still be a bit of a wait.

Video Games In School

No no, I’m not talking about Coolmath Games, and I’m not talking about the games of CounterStrike you’re definitely not supposed to be playing. Thanks to the increasing popularity of esports there’s some renewed conversation among parents and teachers about the future of welcoming online video games into school.

With 50,000 students from over 300 schools taking part in the Fuse Cup, an international esports competition for children, it’s no longer just a fun oddity, it is becoming as embedded as traditional sports. Recently 60 players from 25 schools across Australia competed in the national esports finals on the Gold Coast. Although the esports scene isn’t quite as lucrative in Australia as it is in Europe or Asia, it was an Australian teen, Lucas Malissa, who was crowned champion in the Olympic Esports Series held in Singapore earlier this year.

Of course, this acceptance also means that schools can delve into topics with their students about healthy gaming habits, keeping themselves safe online, and other fun stuff like that.

And now for some upcoming games!

November 10

  • Air Twister – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch

November 13

  • Spirittea – PC, XSX, XBO, Switch

November 14

  • Gods of the Twilight – PC

November 15

  • Checkmate Showdown – PC
  • Lake: Season’s Greetings DLC – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • The Last Faith – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Teardown – PS5, XSX

November 16

    • Flashback 2 – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
    • Jagged Alliance 3 – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • Loddlenaut – PC

That’s it this week in gaming news!

This Video Game Industry Is So Exhausting Some Times, and Other News

Even though video games peaked in 2004 there’s still video game news happening, so let’s check, check, check, check it out.

Tony Hawk is back – Literally!

Do you love the soundtrack to Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater? Do you love skateboarding or at least pretending to skateboard on a video game console? Do you love going outside and doing things? Then boy howdy do I have good news for you.

To celebrate 25 years of Tony Hawk’s pro Skater, the Fortitude Music Hall will have two sessions on January 27, one all-ages and one for those of us who were around when the first game came out, that will feature bands playing music from the game, an area set aside with consoles for you to play the games, a giant vert ramp and none other than Tony Hawk himself!

Bodyjar will be there at the 18+ gig playing their contribution to the classic game soundtrack, and Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of a Tony Hawk Cover Band) will be playing all the classics in addition to acts like Alex Lahey and Teenage Joans. Skate legends Lizzie Armanto, Elliot Sloan and Reese Nelson join Tony Hawk himself and other pro skaters to show off their skills. It’s gonna be totally late ‘90s-riffic.

Find out more info at thps25.com.au

South park calls out Baldur’s Gate

The latest South Park special made a snide joke about Baldur’s Gate 3’s cross-platform saves not working, prompting developer Larian to respond publicly on social media.

In the show, the kids of South Park travel to an alternate universe where they’re in different bodies. Alternate reality Cartman complains about how they’d already sunk 50 hours in to Baldur’s Gate 3 and wanted to know if save games could cross between multiple universes. The reply from Stan jokes that cross saves don’t even work between PCs and PlayStation 5s.

In reply, Larian posted that while cross-multiversial barriers are beyond their technological abilities, cross-saves between PC and PS5 in this dimension do indeed work. So there you go folks, next time you want to complain about something in a game not working right for you, just start up a multi-million dollar entertainment franchise and use it to complain directly to the developers.

Atari Keep Buying History

Long-time video game publishers and my #1 enemy on Earth Atari keep buying up companies. After a string of acquisitions including the AtariAge website, video game history database Mobygames and the back catalogues of classic computer game developers Accolade and Microprose, they just announced the acquisition of Digital Eclipse. They’re widely known as the premier software house that deals in remastering classic games for modern systems, and recently released The History of Karateka, Teenage Mustant Ninja Turtles Cowabunga Collection and Atari 50.

The $20 million US Dollar Deal means two things – one, Atari now has a top-tier studio that can handle their preservation and re-release efforts, and two, someone’s given Atari 20 million dollars and I want to know who it was. Confess your sins, heathens! Atari does not show pity, or remorse, or fear, and it absolutely will not stop until it buys everyone. Who’s next?!

More layoffs for everyone!

Isn’t the video game industry great? As a reward for all their hard work on Destiny 2, Bungie this week announced a massive slew of layoffs in the company, kicking an estimated 8% of the company to the kerb. Apparently it’s because a line didn’t go up in some spreadsheet, or didn’t go up enough, it’s hard to make clear from the HR-filtered press statements issued by Bungie, but the long and short of it is that not enough people are playing Destiny 2 these days. The people who Sony gave 3.6 Billion US Dollars to for buying Bungie are doing fine though, so that’s all that really matters right?

And now for the latest game releases!

Today sees the release of:
RoboCop: Rogue City PC / PS5 / Xbox Series
Thirsty Suitors on PC PS5 PS4 Xbox Series, Xbox One and Switch

Tomorrow is all about
WarioWare: Move It! On Switch
Boulder Dash Junior 8 ½ for the Commodore 64

The Spooky Boos of News

Blizzard wants your blood

Blizzard has launched a US campaign encouraging players to donate blood. The Diablo Blood Harvest has a goal of 666 quarts of blood which will unlock a series of in game rewards for all players. Participants just have to submit proof of donation to at the campaign’s website. Not content to leave rewards in the digital realm, once the goal is complete a sweepstakes will open to win a custom PC! That’s right nothing creepy about it at all as long as you skip the part where real human blood is included in the liquid cooling system.  It’s US only and while I normally would recommend finding potential 3rd party shipping, that whole real human blood thing may cause a few headaches at customs.

I can’t wait for the Valentines promotion where they try to collect 69 gallons of…

I hate to see you leave but I love to watch you t-pose

This week brings not one but two rounds of layoffs at Sony owned studios.  PlayStation’s Visual Arts Group an animation house who act as a support studio on games like Last of Us Part 1 received a substantial round of layoffs this week. Not to be outdone, Media Molecule of Little Big Planet and Dreams fame have had roughly 15%-20% of their workforce let go.

Studios are tightening their belt in difficult economic times and are downsizing across the industry. The developers at CD Project Red, stressed out after a third round of layoffs in just three months have now unionised to secure more stability in their roles. You can find out more information on the Polish Gamedev Workers Union website.

https://automaton-media.com/en/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/20230327-242030-header.jpg

It was always a bad idea

If you like anime and mechs then you probably enjoy some form of Gundam but did you know Bandai Namco was developing a Gundam metaverse?  That’s right a world that bridges the gap between games, model kits, anime and music. Plus you can’t dream anymore.

One part of the Gundam Metaverse project, “Gunpla Colony” (Gunpla refers to the plastic model kits) launched into a public beta on October 11 before suddenly shutting off access a week later. Bandai Namco have confirmed that the shutdown was due to players discovering that the game data included CAD files of several Gundam models that would potentially allow anyone with a 3d printer to create their own accurate model kits. Bandai Namco have stated that it will take “necessary measures to address the situation.” which I would expect means not leaving sensitive files, that could significantly hurt profits, unsecured and unencrypted in future.

Game releases

Dave The Diver (Switch), Frog Detective: The Entire Mystery (PlayStation platforms, Xbox Series platforms, Switch), Ghostbusters: Rise of the Ghost Lord (PlayStation VR2, Quest), Ghostrunner 2 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC), Mineko’s Night Market (PlayStation platforms, Xbox One), World of Horror (PlayStation platforms, Switch) – October 27

Alan Wake 2 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) – October 28

Resident Evil Village + Resident Evil Village: Winters’ Expansion (iOS) – October 31

Jusant (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC), The Forest Cathedral (PlayStation 5) – November 1

Alien Hominid Invasion (Xbox platforms, Switch, PC), Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story (PlayStation platforms, Xbox Series platforms, Switch, PC) – November 2

Done Deal, 300,000,000 Sales, and Pika-Uh-Oh

It’s Done

It’s been in the works for a while, but Microsoft has finalised its deal to acquire Blizzard Activision for a whopping $68.7 billion. It has taken 20 months of duking it out with regulators, restructuring the deal to appeal to the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK, and defeating the Federal Trade Commission in the US federal court, but now it’s finally done.

We love gaming. We play games, create games, and know first-hand how much gaming means to all of us as individuals and collectively, as a community. And today, we officially welcome Activision Blizzard and their teams to Xbox,” says Phil Spencer, Xbox chief. “As one team, we’ll learn, innovate, and continue to deliver on our promise to bring the joy and community of gaming to more people.”

And just so you know, Activision or Blizzard games will NOT be coming to Game Pass this year.

300 MILLION SALES

Minecraft has officially become the first video game to hit 300 million sales. To put that in perspective, Minecraft’s biggest rival in sales is Grand Theft Auto V, which has sold over 185 million copies. (Tetris doesn’t count as it’s considered a series). It is suspected that a good portion of these sales might be from people purchasing multiple copies.

Minecraft has been available since 2009 in its pre-release version, before being officially launched in November 2011. And it still has a grip on the gaming community to this day. Congratulations!

Epic Gains Bandcamp, Employees Lose

Epic Games acquired Bandcamp a year ago, a platform that co-founder Ethan Diamond hoped would “bring the power of healing to everyone” through music.

Well, Epic Games sold it to Songtradr, and following it, roughly half its staff laid off. Songtradr, the music licensing company, states “… the operating costs of Bandcamp have significantly increased. It required some adjustments to ensure a sustainable and healthy company that can serve its community of artists and fans.”

50% of Bandcamp employees have accepted offers to join Songtradr, with the remaining 120 employees being laid off with 6 months severance, while negotiations with Bandcamp’s union continue.

 

Pokemon Van Gogh Cards Gone

The Pokemon and Van Gogh collaboration event, which involved giving a special promo card, Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat, to customers who bought any item at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, has been ruined by scalpers, because scalpers ruin everything.

Now collectors will have to spend a minimum of $30 on Pokemon Trading Card Game products to receive one of the cards. So, stop looking at that online listing that’s going for $500.

And now for some upcoming games!

October 20

  • Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 – PS5
  • Super Mario Bros Wonder – Switch

October 23

  • Just Dance 2024 Edition – PS5, XSX, Switch
  • Three Minutes To Eight – PC

October 24

  • Cities Skylines 2 – PC, PS5, XSX
  • Dark Envoy – PC
  • The Lord of the Rings: Return to Moria – PC, PS5
  • Metal Gear Solid Master Collection: Volume 1 – PC, PS5, XSX, Switch

Game Engine Price Gouging, CD Projekt Spends Big, and final call for 3DS and Wii U online gaming


Game Engine Dev News
After the backlash against Unity’s contentious plan to charge developers extra fees for each game installation as of last month, Unity is parting ways with CEO John Riccitiello. Riccitiello has stepped down as CEO, and all major seats at the Unity Table, effective immediately. Unity’s announcement of his near decade-long tenure ending rave about his contributions rather than his recent price gouging – sorry, I meant subscription model.
While the change in pricing structure from Unity was almost universally panned, it hasn’t stopped Epic from taking the idea on board with the announcement of a per-seat licensing fee for licensees in Film, TV, Automotive and other fields… but excluding the gaming industry. This would primarily affect studios using the technology for real-time CGI like Disney (The Mandalorian), Warner (The Batman), and HBO (Westworld), as well as small companies who primarily use the system for 3D animation (3rd World Studios). This price restructuring also comes after a recent layoff of nearly 900 employees. CEO Tim Sweeney has attributed these changes to recent financial difficulties at Epic Games, primarily due to the company’s heavy reliance on Fortnite’s revenue over the last 6 years.

CD Projekt Makes Headlines
CD Projekt have announced the cost of bringing Cyberpunk 2077 Update 2.0 to all platforms as well as the recently well received DLC Phantom Liberty totalled around $125.9 million dollars. That’s almost $200 million in Aussie dollar bucks.
In totally unrelated news also at CD Projekt, CD Projekt employees, along with others in the Polish video game industry, have formed a union in response to multiple rounds of layoffs at the studio in the last year (totalling around 170 lost jobs). The union’s goal is to improve workplace and industry standards with legal power and a stronger collective voice. The union aims to address these issues and protect the gaming industry’s potential by providing a stronger voice in times of crisis.
Hopefully this gives them the job security they need, unlike the Dragon Age: Dreadwolf QA unionised workers we reported on in June of 22 who have all been laid off in September. Bioware’s head of marketing, Liz Corless, said in an email this was due to “…the end of a fixed term client contract.” And according to a former employee Keywords Studio (their employer) has “…no more work available” while posting job vacancies for QA work. The union has filed a complaint against the studio this week.

Nintendo Formally Steps Away From The WiiU & 3DS.
Nintendo announced this week that they will formally be discontinuing the online support for the Wii U and 3DS in April of 2024. This will include all online play, ranking systems, and data distribution for all Nintendo titles. However, this does not include eShop support! You will still be able to update and redownload purchased software. And for you Pokéfans, the Pokémon bank and Poké Transporter will also continue to be supported until further notice.

And now for some upcoming games!
Friday October 13, get ready for Christmas with The Grinch: Christmas Adventures and Transformers: Earthspark – Expedition both coming to PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch.
Monday October 16, cozy hex strategy game Growth comes to PC.
Tuesday October 17, cyberpunk RPG Cyber Knights: Flashpoint comes to PC, or enjoy the roguelike autobattler Legend Creatures 2. Both coming to PC.
Oh and Sonic Superstars is also coming to everything the 17th as well.
Wednesday October 18 brings us Alaskan Road Truckers coming to PC.
And next week on Thursday October 19 comes a heap with The 7th Guest VR for PC VR, Quest and PSVR2. Agatha Christie – Murder on the Orient Express from developer Microids coming to PC and Consoles. Or how about you get your vehicle combat experience with Chaos on Wheels coming to PC. Pick up the twin stick shooter and tower defence game Endless Dungeon, coming to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. Maybe battle for your sanity in the Lovecraftian horror Forgive Me Father 2 coming to PC. Or for a social experience, grab a friend to rob the rich to give to the poor in the co-op action game based in a Robin Hood world Gangs of Sherwood coming to PC and next gen consoles. Or shoot at your friends in the large scale, top down, multiplayer shooter Operation Valor coming to PC. Or just play a few games with them with The Jackbox Party Pack 10 coming to most platforms.

Fighting Crime, Seeking Frugality, And Who Is Gathering?

Video Games Fighting Sex Trafficking

A group of researchers from Texas, U.S.A. are utilising a federal grant to use a video game as a tool designed to extract data from the myriad of press releases and other datasets. Datasets that would normally be very inaccessible, and time consuming to sift through.

Instead, players of the game called “Dark Shadows” will be able to assist. How does it work? Players will get to act as an investigator for a fictional crime. As the player solves the crime and finds clues, actual human trafficking data will also be sorted by proxy. In time, the AI driving the program will learn to sort more effectively, and it is hoped that the algorithm may be able to make connections between various datasets for people to investigate.

GameStop’s Chairman Thinks GameStop Should Make Money

Ryan Cohen, chairman of GameStop, a major games retailer, has written a passionate email about the need to practise “extreme frugality”, and how “the company has no use for delegators and money wasters”, as the company continues to struggle.

GameStop has already initiated waves of layoffs in 2022, Ryan has already fired the CEO he himself picked, and the company has already tried NFTs and meme currency, so it’s not too clear what else could be done, however Ryan did finish his email with:

I expect everyone to roll up their sleeves and work hard. I’m not getting paid, so I’m either going down with the ship or turning the company around. I much prefer the latter. It won’t be easy. Best of luck to us all.”

Who Is Crossing Over With Magic: The Gathering?

That’s right! Fans of both Doctor Who and Magic: The Gathering can look forward to five new cards, all themed around the good doctor and their timey-wimey adventures.These cards will be coming to the commander decks. Here’s what they’re called:

All of History, All at Once a Sorcery card.

Regenerations Restored, an Enchantment card.

Rory Williams, Legendary Creature – Human Soldier.

The Pandorica, a Legendary Artifact.

The Wedding of River Song, another Sorcery card.

Gaming Laptop Spotted In Court!

Donald Trump’s lawyer has been using what looks like an Asus laptop, complete with an underglow cycling from blue to orange, in court. There’s no point to this, it’s just a little funny to imagine.

And now for some upcoming games!

October 6

  • Detective Pikachu Returns – Switch
  • Sunshine Manor – PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Sword Art Online Last Recollection – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO

October 10

  • Forza Motorsport – PC, XSX
  • Lil Gator Game – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • Roblox – PS4
  • Wild Card Football – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch

October 11

  • The Front – PC
  • Honkai Star Rail – PS5
  • Total War: Pharaoh – PC

October 12

  • Company of Heroes Collection – Switch
  • Haunted House – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch