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The show’s host, Paul, leads the team with Zahra, Rani and the all new Cameron talking gaming news, Caroline hailing the virtues of new game Cult of the Lamb, and Paul collecting the unique narratives of Hindsight and Before Your Eyes.
On Zed Games this week Maylee and Zahra introduce the newbie Peter S to us all, talk news, and Paul guides us through the Zachtronics fictional nostalgia collection Last Call BBS.
Indonesia Bans Steam
As Indonesia rolls out new content moderation laws, many online services have been affected, including Steam, PayPal, Epic Games, and even Yahoo.
Companies that are considered private electronic system providers have to register with the Indonesian government’s database to operate in the country. Any companies that failed to do so by 27th July have been banned.
Aside from making it challenging for those in Indonesia to access video games, the requirement is part of an overarching law that is intended to allow the Indonesian government to obtain data about users, and remove content that “disturbs public order”.
Microsoft, Google, Apple, TikTok, Netflix, Spotify, and many other service providers have successfully registered a licence, allowing them to continue to operate.
As of now, Valve is attempting to comply with the requirements, and PayPal has been temporarily unblocked.
Steam Bans Award Logos
The practice of putting award logos and review scores in key art on Steam is coming to an end. Valve is introducing new rules for store key art, or “store graphical assets”, prioritising cleaner images for the storefront.
Review scores, award names, and promotion of a different product are all banned starting from September 1st. If developers want to promote a major update, they can use “artwork overrides”, which slaps a separate layer over existing images.
Valve states that the move is prompted not only to reduce visual clutter, but also to avoid review scores that may be outdated, or even the sketchy practice of making up award names to make a game look a little fancier.
Diablo Immortal Player is Alone
Diablo Immortal has been having some bad press, but now the focus is on a player who has spent $142,000 AUD on the MMORPG, effectively locking him out of the game.
Diablo Immortal’s system allows players to invest financially in order to upgrade their character, a system often called ‘pay-to-win’, and it definitely works. Now this player’s barbarian is so overpowered that he has won hundreds of matches against other players, with very, very few losses. As a result, the game simply will not match him with another player, as there are simply none who could be fairly matched against him.
The player has contacted Blizzard hoping for a way to resolve this problem, however with an upcoming event called the Rite of Exile, he is unable to assist his clan, and with being stuck in matchmaking purgatory, he is unable to even qualify.
He isn’t exactly being met with sympathy, with some players saying that ‘he got what he paid for’.
And now for some upcoming games!
- Hard West 2 (PC)
- Turbo Golf Racing (PC, XSX, XBO)
- Thymesia (PC, PS5, XSX)
- Two Point Campus (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Lost In Play (PC, Switch)
- Arcade Paradise (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Cult Of The Lamb (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
This week Zed Games takes a walk on the feline side with Hazel and Caroline talking gaming news, Paul reviews the viral sensation Stray, and the team chats cat-centric gaming.
Chess Robot Breaks Bones
As it turns out, robots don’t like it when you try to rush through a chess game. During a chess tournament in Moscow, a seven year old boy who is among the top 30 chess players in Moscow under the age of nine, faced off against a chess robot. Playing chess against AI is hardly anything new, with Deep Blue being the first computer to win a match against a reigning chess champion in 1997.
However, in this case the AI reacted in response to the boy moving a piece earlier than he should’ve, and as a consequence grabbed the boy’s index finger and squeezed it firmly. People rushed to help, but not before his finger was broken.
However, the young player did return to the tournament the next day, and his parents are now considering filing a lawsuit.
Russia’s Making Their Own Games
Following the invasion of Ukraine, several companies have stopped trading with Russia, and many sanctions have been placed, leaving the country without video games. Nintendo has announced suspending all exports to Russia, as well as Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft, and more.
As a result, Russia is now turning to making games internally, with Rostec planning on creating its own game engine. This project is being looked at cautiously by the government as this would be the first Russian game engine.
Minecraft Says No NFTs
Mojang has taken a firm stance against blockchain technology and Non-Fungible Tokens, preventing third-party operators from creating Minecraft NFTs.
The company has stated that the use of NFTs violates the spirit of the Minecraft usage guidelines, although the guidelines do permit server owners to charge for access. Mojang has clarified the difference between money and tokens, stating that “we have these rules to ensure that Minecraft remains a community where everyone has access to the same content. NFTs can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft”.
However, they haven’t closed the door entirely on NFTs, explaining that Mojang is open to the possibilities of blockchain technology in the future.
Roblox Fighting for Innocent Gamers
Christopher Boomer, a developer behind Roblox games such as Weight Lifting Simulator 2 and Muscle Legends, recently obtained a DMCA subpoena in order to compel Roblox to identify alleged pirates. Boomer’s games have been viewed over two billion times, and according to Boomer’s legal team, fellow Roblox developers have copied Boomer’s games.
As a result, Boomer filed for a DMCA subpoena to unmask the alleged pirates. Roblox objects however, explaining that 10 days is too short of a time to produce the requested information, and has called the request unreasonable as Boomer is attempting to obtain information on a potential 460 thousand players, along with the alleged pirates.
“Roblox objects to the request to unmask anonymous speakers without the provision of notice to the speakers so that they may directly address any potential concerns, First Amendment or otherwise,” states Roblox.
“Roblox objects to this request as overbroad because it seeks a wide swath of user information that Petitioner has not established is relevant to any alleged copyright infringement, and thus the information requested does not qualify as discoverable subject matter.”
And now for some upcoming games!
- Autonauts vs Piratebots (PC)
- Bear and Breakfast (PC)
- Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions (Switch)
- Sweet Transit (PC)
- Avenging Spirit (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Digimon Survive (PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Madison (Switch)
- Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town (PS4)
- Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (Switch)
- The Gallery (PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Frogun (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- South of the Circle (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
- Hard West 2 (PC)
- Turbo Golf Racing (PC, XSX, XBO)
This week in Zed Games Zahra, Hazel, and the disembodied voice of Paul have plenty to discuss, with the week in gaming news by Caroline, a Trackmania review by Hazel, and a Sable review by Zahra.
This week on a jam packed Zed Games Maylee, Hazel, and Zahra talk news, before delving into games to play with five or more friends! Maylee hits it off with a rundown of Golf With Friends, Zahra reminisces on family fun with Minecraft, Paul dubs over Rifftrax and What the Dub, and Hazel table flips over Tabletop Simulator!
On Zed Games this week, Zahra and Elliott talk gaming news, Zahra has us hook, line and sinker in the review of Russian Fishing 4, and Elliott leads us to our demise in the review of the interactive horror game The Quarry.
This week on Zed Games Hazel leads the team with Caroline and Rani talking gaming news, Caroline reviews Dead Cells and its new Accessibility Update, and Paul leads us through surprise demon killing speed runner Neon White.
Activision Blizzard’s Free-To-Play News
Earlier this month in an Overwatch press release, it was revealed that the new evolution would be going free-to-play to commit to “…an always-on and always-evolving era… for many years to come.” Since then it has been revealed that they will be going against the model announced at BlizzCon 2019, where Overwatch prime and Overwatch 2 could play together. Rather, that because the monetisation model will now be free-to-play, the release of Overwatch 2 on October 4 will replace Overwatch. The Overwatch development team have confirmed that “Content unlocked in Overwatch will automatically carry over…” and matchmaking ratings will not be reset.
In other news, the release of free-to-play Diablo Immortal in China, possibly its biggest market, has been delayed by NetEase at the last minute. It is speculated that this is not due to the newly found hidden mechanic of upgrading legendary gems pushing the average monetisation cost to max-upgrade a single character to over $500,000, but rather a Weibo post from Diablo Immortal’s official account which translates to “Why isn’t the bear stepping down…” This account has been banned from making further posts and hosting company NetEase could see further restrictions by the government which would affect other Blizzard titles distributed by NetEase in China such as Warcraft and Overwatch.
Minecraft gets the banhammer out
Microsoft has upgraded Minecraft server moderation powers with in-game chat reporting coming to Realms and private servers to Java Edition in the 1.19.1 update. Players will now be able to report in-game chat text for violations of Minecraft’s Community Standards from within private servers. These reports will be reviewed by moderators, who will have the power to ban accounts permanently from online play, and may expand to the marketplace and Minecraft Earth. Players may lose access to their own worlds, as per Bedrock-edition Xbox bans. Reviews of bans will be available with players able to submit a case review if the ban does not infringe on Minecraft’s Community Standards, invalidate the End User Licensing Agreement, or break the Terms and Conditions.
Nintendo Direct Mini goes Big
Nintendo had a Direct Mini Partner Showcase June 28 announcing several new games coming to the Switch in the next year. Some notable announcements were…
Return to Monkey Island is coming to Switch as a console exclusive. The highly praised and long awaited game from the original developer and writer Ron Gilbert, Return to Monkey Island was announced as “launching first for consoles on Nintendo Switch this year.” So, while no release date has been set, it sounds like Switch players will be first to walk the plank.
Persona 5 is finally coming to Switch. After being announced at the Microsoft and Bethesda Games Showcase this year as coming to PC, Xbox, and Game Pass October 21st with Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 Portable coming in the future, Switch fans were feeling left out. But after rumours swirling around for years, it has finally happened. The Switch port for Persona 5 Royal has been confirmed to be releasing the same time as Xbox, leaving only those with a Steam Deck and Switch able to go portable with this JRPG.
Oh yeah, and Portal 1 & 2 are now out on Switch, so that’s also a thing that happened.
This week in game releases
On Thursday June 30 comes comedic adventure cross space combat game The Galactic Junkers to PC, Xbox One and PS4. The 30th is also day of the DLC’s, where Cuphead gets The Delicious Last Course for PC, Xbox One and Switch, Monster Hunter Rise gets Sunbreak for the Switch, and Outriders gets the Worldslayer “Upgrade” for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.
And Friday July 1st the EA Sports Racing Sim F1 22 comes to PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. Also on the 1st, the 8-bit collection Parasite Pack containing 2D platformer Flea! and the grid-based challenge Tapeworm Disco Puzzle is coming to Xbox, PlayStation, and the Switch.