Surprise Drop, Welcome Return, Exciting Possibility and Sad Farewell

Microsoft starts the year boldly

Microsoft held an event called the “Xbox + Bethesda Developer Direct” covering 5 upcoming titles. A 4v4 PvP mode for the upcoming Minecraft Legends was shown off mixing up action, base building and strategy. Arkane’s upcoming multiplayer vampire survival game Redfall got a release date of May 2, the next Forza Motorsport showed off the goods with 500 cars included and The Elder Scrolls Online got a timeframe of June for its next expansion based in Morrowind titled Necrom. But perhaps the biggest announcement of the event was the simultaneous reveal and release of Tango Gameworks’ new game. The Evil Within and Ghostwire Tokyo developer surprised viewers with Hi-Fi Rush a bright and colourful 3rd person character action game crossed with a rhythm game. The environment and action all operates at the beat of the music player that has been mistakenly embedded in the protagonists chest.

Australian Government to re-establish Interactive Games Fund

The National Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, has announced the return of the government’s Interactive game fund.

‘All forms of storytellers now – whether it’s narrative, visual art, music, acting – are finding themselves jobs in the video games industry. Screen Australia, when you’ve got an industry expanding like this around the world, shouldn’t be left trying to check if there’s some spare change back in the lounge to fund this rapidly growing, AU $4 billion sector.’

‘So we’ll restore the Games Fund for Screen Australia that was abolished nearly 10 years ago.’ – Tony Burke

Labor hopes the fund along with the previously announced Digital Game Tax Offset will help support and establish new Australian Developers for years to come.

E3 Still Ain’t Coming Back

The big three Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft will not attend this year’s planned return of E3. Xbox’s Phil Spencer has said Microsoft plans to hold their regular Showcase at the same time but will not be officially part of the expo.  Sony dropped out of E3 back in 2019 and Nintendo have been unpredictable with their announcements in recent years. It’s a big blow for event organizers Reedpop who have taken over the event to shape into something more suitable for the current climate of the industry.

Tomb Bag? Or perhaps Flea Raider?

Amazon have announced plans to develop a Tomb Raider television show with Phoebe Waller-Bridge who is perhaps most well known for her Emmy Winning series Fleabag which she wrote, produced, and starred in. Waller-Bridge is positioned to write and produce the series but alas will not be filling the shoes of Lara Croft herself.

Goodbye Tess

At a time when The Last of Us TV show is gaining much praise and attention came the sad news that actor Annie Wersching who played Tess in the original game and remake has passed away from cancer. She was 45 years old.

Upcoming Game Releases

Deliver Us Mars (PlayStation Platforms, Xbox Platforms, PC), Life Is Strange 2 (Switch), Tails: The Backbone Preludes (PC), Your Only Move is Hustle (PC), The Pathless (Xbox Platforms, Switch) – February 3rd