Tag: indie

Farewell Story


This week on Zed Games Zahra, Hazel, and Maylee gather for Paul’s Gaming News, and talk modded Witcher and the new king of announcements – Summer Games Fest. Maylee talks picture puzzles in a review of Tell Me Your Story.
Finally we bid farewell to one of our team, Cameron “Gazunta” Davis. A more in depth chat to come next week.

Fishing For Gods

On Zed Games, Maylee and Caroline bring the chao of Zed Games to your earholes this week talking Gaming News headlines focusing on the ick coming to games through AI. Paul preaches to us the virtues of El Shaddai: Ascention of the Metatron, and then the team discusses the good and bad of early access while talking Hades II.

Consoles Fail and Other Gaming News Headlines

No longer console wars, but console turmoil with Xbox and PlayStation going head-to-head in who can create the most controversy this week.

In Xbox News, last week Microsoft announced the studio closures of Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog Games, Arkane Austin, and Roundhouse Studios, and according to Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier it’s not the end. Staff under the Xbox umbrella have been told more cuts are on the way and voluntary buyout offers have been reportedly sent to other ZeniMax Media staff. While addressing the closures Xbox president Sarah Bond claimed this was in response to a “flat” industry over the last year, however leaked audio and emails from within Xbox claims the company is spread too thin and needs to double down on high impact titles, despite posting $15.6 billion US in revenue so far in this financial year.
Hi-Fi Rush from Tango Gameworks has been at the centre of the controversy surrounding the Xbox closures. When the announcement was made by Xbox the studio was not only working on a pitch for a sequel to Hi-Fi Rush it was also seeking to hire new staff. The team was reportedly blinesided by the announcement with Creative Director John Johanas telling Eurogamer last month after they won a BAFTA that the team was in a “good situation” and was able to take risks and own their creative freedom. In the townhall at Xbox the day after the fateful announcement, head of Xbox Games Studios Matt Booty told staff that they “…need smaller games that give us prestige and awards.” Cinematic Editor of Naam based Summerfall Studios, Ethan Taylor weighed in on twitter with

“The $375,000,000 Microsoft payout to known dog scum Bobby Kotick, could pay for the estimated salaries of both Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks employees combined for the next 17 and a half years”

On the other side, PlayStation this week tried its hardest to imitate the Titanic in the fallout of the the announcement last week that Helldivers 2 was to require a PlayStation Network or PSN account. To give a scope to the issue Sony Interactive Entertainment or SIE are facing, Helldivers 2 is SIE’s golden egg, with a boom in players that hasn’t been seen since the pandemic. This choice to enforce PSN Account linking after release led to the review bombing in steam, and the resultant refunds through steam leading to steam delisting the game from all countries where creating a PSN Account is unavailable. Sony eventually capitulated and stated that the link would “…not be moving forward.” However, it doesn’t end there. SIE has continued to support the removal and delisting of Helldivers 2  from countries without PSN coverage, much to the surprise of the team behind Helldivers. In fact, steam users who have pre purchased upcoming PC release of Ghosts of Tsushima Directors Cut and who live in those same countries are receiving auto-refunds. The refund comes with the attached message,

“You are receiving a refund for a game you pre-purchased – Ghost of Tsushima. The publisher of this game is now requiring a secondary account to play portions of this game – and this account cannot be created from your country.”

So what’s the future at Sony? Looks like the company wants to see a future in live service titles, after seeing a decline in PS5 console sales. They plan on doing this with an expansion in the content of Destiny 2: The Final Shape DLC coming in June, and the upcoming release of Concord. This is even after the report that devs are concerned with the sustainability of live service titles.
In the time being, SIE has finally announced the replacement for Jim Ryan, the previous CEO who stepped down September 2023. This will require some changes, as the position will be replaced with a “multi-pronged leadership structure” with PlayStation Studios’ CEO moving to SIE’s new Studio Business Group, taking charge of first-party operations, and Hideaki Nishino being promoted from the SVP of the Platform Experience Group to the new CEO of SIE’s Platform Business Group. Nishino will oversee third-party relations and internal tech development. Only time will tell if this leads to any changes in the future at SIE and PlayStation.

In other news, here’s some quick Gaming Bytes;

  • Warner seems to be in the process of transferring the ownership of Adult Swim Games back to the developers. After Warner announced their inability return titles to devs because of “logistical and resource complaints” the dev of Small Radios Big Televisions, and the maker of Duck Game have both received notice that the titles will be returning to them. And now most titles announced in the Adult Swim closure have returned to steam.
  • If you thought the new characters in the new DLC for Stellaris were AI, you were right. Not only is the text AI driven, but so are the voices. However, bucking the trend, the actors for the two characters are receiving royalties for using their voiceprints.
  • In probably unsurprising news, EA is again floating the idea of putting targeted advertisements into full-price AAA games.
  • It seems that local game devs in Vietnam complained about Steam’s vast portfolio made them unable to compete in the local market and Vietnam Authorities followed through. With all Vietnamese ISPs blocking all access to Steams website and launcher.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 has hit a 95% positive review rating on steam after it’s dismal (and review bombed) release.
  • And lastly, have you signed the petition for gamer ownership yet? It closes May 20, just search EN6080 or follow the links on our socials.
    https://www.aph.gov.au/e-petitions/petition/EN6080

And now for some upcoming games.
Thursday May 16, Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut is coming to PC and multiplayer crossplay. If you enjoyed it in 1995, or want to play something inspired by DOOM and Quake, then PO’ed: Definitive Edition is coming to your mainstays. Or get psychic in the sequel to 2064: Read Only Memories, with Read Only Memories: Neurodiver. Coming to PC, Switch, and next gen consoles.
Friday May 17 brings us the next chapter in Morbid: The Seven Acolytes, Morbid: The Lords of Ire, or if you’re craving something different, try My Little Pony—A Zephyr Heights Mystery. Both coming to PC, and Consoles.
Tuesday May 21st brings us the award winning Paper Trail, which is releasing to your favs. The new Ubisoft free to play shooter XDefiant is coming to PC and next gen consoles. And according to fans – the under advertised Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 is coming to PC, Xbox X and S.

Pirate Radio

This week on Zed Games Paul leads the team with Zahra And Caroline taking the to the mics to bring us all in gaming news, reviews, community and culture. But first, Cam brings us the week in old man #GamingNews, just so the team can clarify the Helldivers Misinformation Mixup and Paul talks the wholesome surprise stream of the Indie Brew Aussie Indi Showcase. Then Paul is confused at the lovely unique story of Highwater and its Pirate Radio DJ from Demagog Studio, and Zahra gets stuck climbing into the VR title The Pirate Queen from Singer Studios. Paul rounds things off to talk narrative games in the upcoming digital festival LudoNarraCon 2024.

Religious Trauma? I Hardly Know ‘Er!


Join us with Hazel, Caroline and Paul to talk this week in Gaming News with some Maple Story Karma & Fallout Fallout. Paul then takes the long way round to look at the stunning graphics of the early access title No Rest For The Wicked from Moon Studios. And Caroline gets religious in the Catholic guilt filled something something soulslike something something metroidvania games Blasphemous 1 and 2 from developer The Game Kitchen.

Yay-Lee 4 Maylee

This week on Zed we promote Maylee for Mayor of Gaming City, and ask you to Atone for this years 4zzz April Atonement. The team, lead by the possible mayor-elect Maylee, heralds the excellent Zahra and superb Peter in their reviews after chatting the week in Gaming News. Zahra talks tinkering to relax in a review of Assemble with Care from ustwo games, then Peter digs a happy bug filled hole in Deep Rock Galactic: Survivor from Funday Games.

Bears, Bullets, and Balatro

This week Paul leads the team with Zahra, Peter and Special Guest Tom from Netherworld to talk punching purple people in the new Prince of Persia roguelite in this weeks Gaming News. Paul praises new shooter Bears In Space from local dev team Broadside Games. Tom plays his cards right in a deck building review of Balatro from LocalThunk. And then Paul takes aim at speed run cult sniper Children of the Sun from René Rother.

Chilli Crab


Hazel and Zara take control this week talking AI controlled Doc Oct armchairs from Razor and the week in Gaming News, and a rundown of the great prizes available in this years April Atonement at 4ZZZ. Paul digs deep in the indi game Pepper Grinder from Ahr Ech, and Zahra starts the carcinisation process in Fight Crab 2 from Calappa Games.

Bard Mustard


This week on Zed Games, Maylee, Paul, and Peter talk couch party games. Then the team chats the week in Gaming News where Paul talks Xbox Layoffs, Pepper Grinder release, and other new releases. Then Paul goes to the MAX in VR to talk Max Mustard developed by Toast Interactive, before Maylee tries to romance the big bad as a bard in Bard Harder! from indi developer Shark and Pelican Games.