In Zed Games this week Maylee herds Zahra, Jango, and all of us through news, Tobi’s chaotic Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands review, and Zahra’s cuddlicious review of Cat Cafe Manager!
Ambition, Amazon, PlayStation Tiers, and More
Amazon Games Studio Head Steps Down
Mike Frazzini, who helped start Amazon Game Studios, is stepping down in order to focus on his family. Having been an Amazon employee for many years, moving from the books section to Amazon Game Studios, despite being somewhat of a game novice at the time, he had faced criticism for veering too far from the traditional, game-making playbook, while the division cost the company hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
The company did release the online PC game New World, bringing hope that video games could become Amazon’s greatest entertainment category. Time will tell how Amazon Games Studio navigates a change in leadership, and what it produces next.
Coffee Talk Creator Passed Away
Mohammad Fahmi, creator and writer for the indie visual novel Coffee Talk, has passed away.
“Today we received devastating news that Fahmi, the creator and writer of Coffee Talk, has passed away. May his soul rest in peace, and our hearts are with his family and loved ones. May all the good things he shared, story he wrote, live on with us forever. Thank you Fahmi.” – Coffee Talk team.
Cause of death is unknown at this time.
More Options for PlayStation Players
Sony Interactive Entertainment announces upcoming changes to their subscription services. Starting June, PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now will come together into a new PlayStation Plus subscription service that will have three membership tiers. These tiers are:
PlayStation Plus Essential, which provides the same benefits that PlayStation Plus members are currently receiving, including two monthly downloadable games, exclusive discounts, cloud storage for saved games, and online multiplayer access, with the price remaining the same as PlayStation Plus.
PlayStation Plus Extra brings all the benefits of the Essential tier, and includes a catalogue of 400 PS4 and PS5 games downloadable to play.
Finally, PlayStation Plus Premium brings you all the benefits mentioned, 340 additional games, including PS3 games via cloud streaming, and a catalogue of classic games from the PS1, PS2, and PSP generations. Premium also includes time-limited game trials, so you can try before you buy.
Game Connect Asia Pacific Announced
Game Connect Asia Pacific, or GCAP, will be entering its 17th year, taking place in Melbourne during the Melbourne International Games Week from 3rd to 5th of October 2022.
GCAP is committed to professional development, education, and networking experiences for developers in Australia, and abroad. While GCAP will be held in person, a few sessions will be streamed for those who can’t attend, with the focus this year being Ambition.
GCAP promises to challenge attendees to chase their ambitions and create world class products, experiences, studios, and businesses for the global games audience, and will consist of talks, panels, and workshops from experienced industry professionals.
Keep an eye on the GCAP website as more information becomes available, and to find out more about how you can support this event.
And now for some upcoming games!
- Coromon (PC, Switch)
- FixFox (PC)
- Midnight Ghost Hunt (PC)
- Pirates of Gravitae (PC)
- Weird West (PC, PS4, XBO)
- Flat Kingdom Paper’s Cut Edition (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Terrorbane (PC, Switch)
- Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition (Switch)
- Demeo: PC Edition (PC)
- Slipstream (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
Blizzard Entertainment CLO resigns, Melbourne Earthquake & Game Deals.
Blizzard’ Entertainment CLO resigns.
Claire Hart the Chief Legal Officer of Activision Blizzard’s Entertainment announced her resignation this week posting on her LinkedIn saying “After more than three years at Blizzard Entertainment, I have decided to move on to my next adventure. The past three years have been full of unexpected twists and turns, but I feel honored to have worked with and met so many great people at Blizzard and across the Activision Blizzard businesses.” Claire Hart doesn’t make any comment about whether her resignation is anything to do with the very public and ongoing harassment lawsuit with Activision Blizzard.
An update on that lawsuit the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has reportedly launched a wide–reaching investigation into Activision Blizzard, they will be looking into how the publisher dealt with the multiple allegations of sexual harassment, abuse, and toxic behaviour. California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed this lawsuit back in July. They also subpoenaed several of Blizzard’s higher executives including the CEO Bobby Kotick. It would appear that the SEC (Security and Exchange Commission) have started asking Blizzard to hand over various documents. These include personal files of those higher ups. A spokes person from Activision confirmed that there is indeed an ongoing investigation and that the company is cooperating with the SEC.
If you are looking for awesome deals on games now is the time with sales
rolling out before the Christmas period. Amazon have a bunch of good prices for PS4/PS5 such as;
- Deathloop – now $79 (down from $99.95)
- Death Stranding: Director’s Cut – $69 (down for $79.95)
- F1 2021 – now $56 (down from $99.95)
- Far Cry 6 – $72.90 (down from $99.95)
- Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut – $99.95 (down from $124.95)
There is also a bunch of deals going for Xbox console games such as;
- Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate – now $44.98 (down for $89.95)
- NBA 2K22 – now $80.90 (down from $109.95)
- Star Wars Squadrons – now $14.98 (down from $59.95)
- Watch Dogs Legion – now $30 (down from $99.95)
- Nintendo Switch lite is also down to $259 from $329.95
The 5.9 magnitude earthquake in Melbourne caused quite some disturbance this week however did inject some funny moments into people’s lockdown. Former Carlton player Brendan Fevola was playing Call of Duty he tweeted out saying “I’m sitting here playing Call of Duty on the PlayStation with me headphones on and my whole screen started shaking, my PlayStation nearly fell off.” It would appear that many game players and streamers experienced moments of fear for their gaming gear during the earthquake. If you have a story to share about nearly losing a console or PC with a lucky save message us on Facebook @ZEDgamesau we’d love to hear about it.
This week in gaming releases;
- Diablo 2 Resurrected [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
- Embr [PC, PS4, XBO, Switch]
- Flewfie’s Adventure [PC]
- Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries [PS5, PS4]
- Medieval Dynasty [PC]
- Sable [PC, XSX, XBO]
- Sea of Thieves Season 4 [PC, XSX, XBO]
- Death Stranding Director’s Cut [PS5]
- Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot [Switch]
- Lost Judgment [PS5, XSX, PS4]
- Chernobylite [PS4, XBO]
- Ghostrunner [PS5, XSX]
- In Sound Mind [PC, PS5, XSX]
- Lemnis Gate [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO]
- New World [PC]
- Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye DLC [PC, PS4, XBO]
- Guardians of Hyelore [PC]
- Insurgency Sandstorm [PS4, XBO]
On today’s show Ezie, Elliott and Toby talk News, the Activision Blizzard Lawsuit and Elliott reviews Ghosts of Tsushima Directors Cut.
Roblox Finds Its Voice, Horizon Forbidden West On The Horizon, Tripwire Backlash
Roblox Is Getting Voice Chat
The popular online play space will be introducing voice chat as a feature! Roblox is an online game platform and game creation system, where players can create games and environments and then play and interact in those spaces, making it a popular online hangout. Voice chat is on the way, starting with ‘spatial voice’ for developers, to test the concept of realistic conversations within the game, mimicking the way that voices carry in the real world.
There are concerns on how these conversations can be moderated, especially considering that a large portion of Roblox players are minors. As a result, voice chat will have a slow rollout, with initial access only being available to 5000 developers. It has been suggested that voice chat may never be made available to those under 13, depending on how each stage of the rollout progresses.
In addition, Roblox will let users self-report issues, flagging problematic players which may result in losing speaking privileges.
You Will Be Able To Upgrade Horizon Forbidden West To The PS5, But There’s A Cost
With many people unable to get their hands on the PS5, it has been a relief to know that many PS4 games will include a free PS5 upgrade for when players are able to get the next-gen console. So many fans were disappointed when Sony initially announced that Horizon Forbidden West wouldn’t include this upgrade.
Thankfully, Sony has retracted this decision, and people who buy a copy of Horizon Forbidden West for the PS4 will be able to receive a free upgrade allowing them to play it on the PS5.
However, Sony has confirmed that from this point onwards, all PS4 games both digital and physical will come with a $13 AUD upgrade fee for the PS5 version of that same game. This will include games such as Gran Turismo 7, and the next God of War.
Tripwire Interactive CEO Steps Down After Backlash
Tripwire Interactive CEO John Gibson is stepping down following backlash against his tweet supporting the recent Texas restrictive abortion laws, which allowed citizens to sue anyone who aids the procedure.
“His comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners, and much of our broader community. Our leadership team at Tripwire are deeply sorry and are unified in our commitment to take swift action and to foster a more positive environment,” says Tripwire representatives.
Current Vice President, Alan Wilson, will take over as interim CEO. Alan has worked with the company since its formation in 2005 and takes an active lead in Tripwire’s business and development. There are intentions to address concerns within and outside the company, starting with a company-wide meeting to promote open dialogue.
Upcoming game releases!
- The Artful Escape [PC, XBO]
- Terrain of Magical Expertise [PC]
- Webbed [PC]
- A Day Without Me [PS4, XBO]
- Kraken Academy!! [PC]
- Life is Strange: True Colors [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch, Stadia]
- Lost in Random [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
- NBA 2K22 [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch]
- Tales of Arise [PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO]
- WarioWare: Get it Together [Switch]
- Honey, I Joined a Cult [PC]
- Age of Darkness: Final Stand [PC]
- Fire Commander [PC]
- Merek’s Market [PC, PS4, XBO, Stadia]
- Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town [PC]
- Timberborn [PC]
- Titan Chaser [PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO]
Nintendo in the Headlines, Special Olympics and Microsoft team up for Gaming for Inclusion, and some Game Bytes
Nintendo in the Headlines
On the 18th of August a Pokémon Presents by Nintendo revealed several updates to their mobile Pokémon franchise the most notable being that Pokemon Unite would be coming to mobile with crossplay available on September 22nd. The Present also announced two new Pokémon are slated to join in future updates; Marmoswine & Sylvion
Nintendo also confirmed the release of Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl for the 19th of November, and a surprise Switch lite Dialga & Palkia Edition available on November 5th. For this generation remake they showed off partner Pokémon, customising your pokeball with stickers to personalise the pokeball release effects, revitalised mini-games, outfit personalisation and that personalising your underground base with statues will gain you access to specific types of Pokémon hideaways new to this remake.
Lastly, Pokémon Legends: Arceus. It was confirmed this game will take place in Hisui, in an early age of the Hinoe region, and in it you will survey, observe and capture Pokémon. In new developments to this generation, you will be able to be attacked by Pokémon outside of combat, and there will be two new combat “styles” of strong and agile. This change puts a strategic edge to the move economy as they will allow for heavier but slower, or multiple attacks per round of combat. Nintendo also showed off new region-specific evolutions and type changes, as well as mounts available for fast travel within this open world game. Pokémon Legends: Arceus will be released on January 28th 2022.
Another feather in Nintendo’s cap is that for the week of August 2nd to 8th the Switch held every slot in Japan’s Top 30 Famitsu’s chart. No single console has held this title since November 1988 when Nintendo’s Famicom managed the same feat.
In other Nintendo news, earlier in the year the company was awarded $2.1 million in damages for copywrite and trademark infringements against Mattew Storman, owner of RomUniverse, a website hosting pirated ROM versions of Nintendo games. This week a Californian court has ordered Storman to keep RomUniverse offline and destroy all illegal Nintendo ROMs by August 17 after he threatened to continue to operate the site and failed to pay the first $US50 monthly instalment for damages to Nintendo.
Special Olympics “Gaming for Inclusion” hosted by Microsoft.
Microsoft has teamed up with Special Olympics to create the inaugural bracketed e-sport tournament named “Gaming for Inclusion”. The event has evolved from the Xbox Virtual Gaming Event of May 2020, which aimed to combat the effects of loneliness and isolation due to the pandemic. This time round, Special Olympians and Unified partners will participate in a bracket-style tournament over several days in September with the aim to “…showcase the power of inclusion through sport.” Each day of the event is dedicated to its own game;
Sunday 12th Rocket League,
Monday 13th Forza 7, and
Tuesday 14th Madden 22.
Participants are awarded the chance to play with celebrity supporters of the Special Olympics to be hosted on Saturday 18th.
The event will be organised by Microsoft’s online e-sports platform Smash.gg and live-streamed on Xbox’s Twitch channel and the Special Olympics YouTube channel.
And now for some Game Bytes;
Activision Blizzard let go of two of the employees seen in the 2013 picture of the infamous “Cosby Suit” following the lawsuit announcement last month. Jesse McCree and Jonathon LeCraft’s departure was announced internally without an official statement.
Journey to the Savage Planet’s developers have reformed under the title Raccoon Logic after being unceremonious dropped following the failure of Google Stadia. They retained the rights to Savage Planet and have received investment funding from Tencent to bankroll an unannounced future project.
Boyfriend Dungeon have promised to update their content warning after complaints from their player base that the warning doesn’t go far enough. Developer Kitfox Games quickly apologised via Twitter for any hurt caused and reassured players the warning would be updated shortly.
To learn more about these headlines head over to our Facebook page @zedgameau.
And finally, the upcoming game releases!
On Friday 20th the release of Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut is coming to PS4 and 5, Heart Chain Kitty is coming to Switch, and Madden 22 is coming to PC, PS 4 and 5 and Xbox One and Series X.
On Tuesday 24th, Alien franchised online team shooter Alien: Fireteam Elite comes to PC, PS4 and 5, and Xbox One and Series X. Turn-based tactical RPG King’s Bounty comes to PC, Switch, PS4 and Xbox One. And the long-awaited sequel Psychonauts 2 comes to PC, and Xbox One and Series X.
Finally, on Thursday 26th, the arcade party game Have a Blast comes to PC and Switch, and PCGamer’s 2013 Game of the Year and its sequel Spelunky and Spelunky 2 come out on the Switch.
Zed Games Podcast – Episode 288
In studio: Jody Macgregor, Lee and Razor.
Lee and Razor have a lengthy discussion about Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – one of the year’s most eagerly anticipated titles. Jody talks us through Warhammer 40,000 – Regicide, a chess game with a twist of space-marine.
Aired 22 September 2015.
Zed Games Podcast – Episode 287
In studio: Razor, Candi Payne, Jody Macgregor and Alanah Pearce
Alanah and Razor talk about Mad Max, the first videogame starring the iconic Australian wasteland dweller. Candi Payne reviews Lara Croft GO, a mobile puzzle game starring everyone’s favourite tomb raider.
Aired 16 September 2015.
Zed Games Podcast – Episode 286
In studio: Razor, Candi and Lee.
Lee reviews Submerged (PC), a third person combat-free game where you explore the mysterious ruins of a flooded city. Razor talks Grow Home, a quirky climbins-simulator about a robot trying to climb a giant plant back to it’s home planet.
Aired 9 September 2015.
Zed Games Podcast – Episode 266
In studio: Jody Macgregor, Lee May and Razor.
This week: the gang gets together to check out the versus mode of Mortal Kombat X (PC/PS//XB1). We also had a go of Primal Carnage: Extinction, an arena game that pits dinosaurs against humans. Razor and Lee check out Never Alone, an emotional and educational puzzle platformer based around aspects of Inuit culture.
Aired 22 April 2015.