Tag: Gaming

Short and Fast


This week Zed Games goes the whole hog with news, reviews, community, and culture as CAMERON brings in the hottest in this week’s gaming news! CAROLINE gives us the quick and dirty in a review of The Fantastic Kitty Rue, AND the entire team makes sure YOU ALL ARE INFORMED on the latest in Sonic culture with a discussion of the recently released Sonic Prime series.

DnD OGL goes Boom, more damned Activision Blizzard Shenanigans, and Doors Close on Google Stadia

DnD OGL Update Aftermath
In the aftermath of the Open Game Licence 2.0 leak, Wizards of the Coast have struggled to claw back their fanbase as DnD Beyond servers suffer under the load of mass subscription cancelations. Additionally, several big third-party publishers who would be affected by the new royalty system have tabled their intention to either jump ship or create their own licensing system. Kobold Press teased “Project Black Flag”, Matt Colville’s MCDM Productions is working on both a new OGL as well as a new TTRPG, and Paizo/Pathfinder looking to collaborate on an open RPG license.
In response, a statement was released insisting “It was never our intent to impact the vast majority of the community.” They also tried to clarify stating that any future revisions “…will not include the license back provision that some people were afraid was a means for us to steal work. That thought never crossed our minds.”

Activision Blizzard… when will it end?
As the saga continues, here’s the current headlines coming out of the company that can’t stop making waves.

  • Activision Blizzard has refused to acknowledge the union that formed late December. Management at Proletariat issued the statement that leadership “…has always been pro-worker“ and that employees “…deserve some time to process (sic) and to better understand its potential impacts.”
  • The Microsoft Activision Blizzard merger that was announced in January 2022 has had new challenges with the European Union filing an antitrust challenge and Google parent Alphabet Inc, and Nvidia are filing for unfair advantages in the gaming market. These join other objections placed with the US Federal Trade Commission to be investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority, and finalised in April.
  • In some hearsay arguments Activision Blizzard claims that it was Netease that rejected the six-month extension of their partnership. Various sources cite irreconcilable differences including Netease president referring to an Activision Blizzard executive as a “jerk”. Because of these, after January 23rd several titles will no longer be accessible in China, most notably World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Starcraft, and Overwatch 2.

Doors Close on Stadia
As the curtains close on the experiment that was Google Stadia, refunds have been processed for everything but Pro subscriptions… but payments were also paused the day shutdown was announced. But what about all that hardware you don’t have? Well, if you did manage to get the controller, Google has pushed a self-serve tool to enable Bluetooth connections with the gamepads. Meaning, your Stadia Gamepad may be obsolete, but at least you can still use it on the hardware you didn’t get because you used Stadia.
Oh! Remember that guy who had 6000 hours in Red Dead Online on the Stadia who was pleading for a character transfer? Well, not only did Rockstar organise a transfer, he also got a gift box from the company. Unfortunately, Rockstar has announced they will no longer be releasing any major content for Red Dead Online, instead focusing on the upcoming GTA6.

And finally, a moment for the death of Google Stadia…

And now, for some upcoming games.
On Friday January 20th, the next instalment in the series Fire Emblem Engages and its Wave 1 DLC are coming to Switch. World War 1 horror survival Trenches emerges from Steam early access onto PlayStation, Xbox, & the Switch.
Tuesday January 24th, the RAM-hungry, RPG, fantasy shooter Forspoken is coming to PC & PS5, and deckbuilding & strategy boardgame mashup Mahokenshi comes to PC.
And on Thursday January 26th, for that nostalgia hit Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection is coming to PlayStation and Switch. The strange Hitman: World of Assassination hodgepodge that collects Hitman 1 to 3 as well as Hitman 3: Freelancer Mode are all coming to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch. Fight the nightmares of a girl in the twin stick shooter NeverAwake, coming to PlayStation and Switch.

Goats, Exploits, An Aurora Filled Sky, and Games Done & Gone

Goat’s stepping on toes, or going for the viral takedown?
Developers of Goat Simulator 3, Coffee Stain Studios, have been slapped with a takedown notice from Rockstar Games for using footage from the September GTA 6 leaks. The now-removed video featured an interview with Shaun, a professional NPC, where he talked about his many experiences as an NPC in games, including in the leaked GTA 6 footage. After being removed from Twitter, it was replaced with a tweet from the company with the following gif…

Act of stupidity or marketing genius? You decide.

Why all the Updates Nintendo?
You may have noticed the recent slew of updates hitting some old and new favourites from Nintendo, coming with the patch notes;

“Several issues have been addressed to improve the gameplay experience.”

These patches have been pushed for many games such as Mario Kart 7 for 3DS, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Splatoon 2&3, ARMS, Super Mario Maker 2, Nintendo Switch Sports and are probably needed for many more. This patch is actually to prevent an exploit called “ENLBufferPwn” which allowed full takeover of the system without detection through security holes in online play, allowing access to saved payment information, as well as in-built peripherals such as cameras and microphones. The worst part? While the issue is relatively easy to patch on the Switch, the Wii U and 3DS eShops’ ability to roll out patches for this and future exploits will close in Feb 2023, leaving any vulnerability open for future exploitation.

Aurora taking Sky: Children of Light into the Stratosphere.
In a recent interview Jenova Chen, founder and CEO of Thatgamecompany, creators of Sky: Children of Light, revealed that more than 1.6 million players have attended the Aurora Concert that first occurred on December 8. This has been achieved through the intense work of the programmers and servers to maintain instances of around 4000 players, each with emote interactivity to the entire instance and a text based proximal chat with players in their row. Contrasted to other games’ concerts, such as Fortnite with only 40 people per room, highlights the near year of work of the team at Thatgamecompany to make it happen. The show officially called “The Musical Voyage” contains several performances from Aurora where players are collectively involved in the visual space. The performance has been playing every 4 hours since, with the last show to play January 1st.

Now, normally I’d do games coming out… but since there are none, I thought I’d list some of the games that Shutdown this year.

Long standing tactical shooter America’s Army
Released 4th July 2002,
Shutdown 5th May 2022.

MOBA that couldn’t break League of Legends’ hold Heroes of Newerth
Released 12th May 2010,
Shutdown 20th June 2022.

Fantasy MMO Tera, who’s developers just wanted to move on,
Released 25th January 2011,
Shutdown 30th June 2022.

Car sim Project Cars 1 & 2 succumbed to car and track licence expiry date blues,
With one released 6th May 2015,
Shutdown 3rd October 2022

And two released 21st September 2017,
Shutdown 21st September 2022

Overwatch
Released 3rd May 2016,
Shutdown 3rd October 2022

Just a year and a bit of life, the MMO Crowfall fell,
Released 6th July 2021,
Shutdown 22nd November 2022

Free-2-Play Super Bomberman R Online bombed out
Released 1st September 2020,
Shutdown 1st December 2022

Fuser, the Harmonix successor to Guitar Hero and Rock Band and reviewed by our own Paul, just didn’t hit the bigtime
Released 10th November 2020,
Shutdown 19th December 2022

Square Enix’s Final Fantasy kart game, Chocobo GPnot quite gone, but the store and purchased mithril will be worthless past the shutdown date
Released 12th January 2022,
Last Update 21st December 2022,
Shutdown 1st June 2023

Literally every game that was released for Google Stadia
Released 19th November 2019,
Slated to be shutdown 18th January 2023.

That’s all this week in gaming news.