This week the Zed Gamers goes wild, with Maylee talking Roblox in Gaming News, Caroline travels through bits, chips, and cosmic insanity with a review of WORLD OF HORROR (ALL CAPS), and Cameron gets convoluted in a remake/remix/rewind twisty twisted review of Air Twister.
Time to REWIND with a special podcast for you lucky ZED listeners!
After the recent news regarding Ben Yahtzee Croshaw rising from the ashes of the escapist into Second Wind, we thought we’d look back through the archives and rewind Zed to play you the interview ‘Razor’ Ray had with him back in the day.
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.
I'm beyond honored to see STRAY GODS nominated at the Grammys, above all because I get to share this with my wonderful friends from @TripodActual and @actualmontaigne. This was a quintessential team effort. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/OHO8WVcT2o
— Austin Wintory (@awintory) November 10, 2023
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! Called ‘Dumb Money’ it was out in cinemas in September but if you’re like me and somehow missed it you can get it digitally.
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
PowerWash Simulator: Back to the Future Special Pack DLC -PC, Playstation, Xbox, Switch
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
In Stars and Time -PC
Construction Simulator – Spaceport Expansion DLC -PC, Playstation, Xbox
Worldless -PC, Playstation, Xbox, Switch
This week Zed Gamers put your hands together for Hazel, Cam, & Peter as they throw bants talking the week in Gaming News, Caroline pokes trash in Hidden Through Time 2: Myths & Magic from Rogueside, Hazel can’t stop playing Trigahex, and they chat the pre-show incoming for GTA6 later this year.
This week in our spooktacular episode is hosted by Paul “Park” Paalo, Peter “Peetle” Pedro, & Hazel as they slay the princess in a review of Slay the Princess & debate the better vampire between the gaming universe of Kain and Masquerade.
Rani’s back with a BANG! Joined by Paul and Caroline the team talks Gaming News and the death-knell of Bandcamp and it’s effect on gaming music. Then Rani chats with Directors Ricard Cussó & Tania Vincent and Producer Ryan Greaves from Brisbane’s Like A Photon Creative and their new film based on the game Scarygirl . Zed then gets uncomfortable while Paul reviews the audio visual experience that is Decarnation.
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!
- Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 – PS5
- Super Mario Bros Wonder – Switch
- Just Dance 2024 Edition – PS5, XSX, Switch
- Three Minutes To Eight – PC
- 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 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.