Tag: VR

Palworld Tops, Game Devs Down, and Some Game Bytes

This week in gaming news: Palworld tops the gaming charts and rumour mills, a dismal prediction for Game Devs in 2024, and some special gaming bytes.

For those living under a rock, this week has been dwarfed by the unexpected boom of Palworld into the gaming stratosphere. The monster collecting survival game Palworld, has not only beat out opening week records set by Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring and Hogwarts Legacy, selling over 7 million copies in the last 5 days since release, but it also has beaten Valve’s own Counter-Strike 2 All-Time Peak player count, becoming the second most played game of all time with over 1.86 million concurrent players. However, this has not come without hiccups. The game has released in early access on steam and game preview on game pass, so bugs are to be expected, but steam and Microsoft are publishing different versions. Each with their own bugs and server issues that have required emergency meetings with Epic Games backend, and individual updates with expectations that they won’t coalesce until crossplay is established in the future. Until then, Microsoft players will have to deal with the lack of dedicated servers and slow updates, and the quality of life updates seen with steam users.
Internally, developer Pocket Pair has had to deal with a slew of press and player accusations with Community Manager and CEO reporting to have been receiving death threats, “slanderous comments, and outlandish claims.” Some of these being claims they “ripped off Pokémon” and utilised AI to either create the monsters in the game or that GenAI is used in the game. The CEO Takuro Mizobe has responded to at least one claim, stating that “We have absolutely no intention of infringing upon the intellectual property of other companies.” But not all are convinced, with former head of Pokémon’s legal team Dan McGowan saying the game “looks like the usual ripoff nonsense that I would see a thousand times a year when I was Chief Legal Officer of Pokémon.” And not without cause, with a mod already released and removed that not only put Pokémon into Palworld, but also Ash, Misty, and Team Rocket. Creator, Toasted Shoes, put out a statement after the mods removal.

“Nintendo has come for me, please leave me in your thoughts and prayers”

The 2024 Forecast for Game Developers
After more layoffs Game Devs are facing a hard reality this week with Riot laying off 11% of its workforce. That’s 530 people losing their jobs with the blame being put on management’s decision to rapidly expand after the pandemic. And it’s not the only one, with the trend continuing in more studios. 2k’s 31st Union is cutting team members even after the “momentous” move to California. Embracer Group is trying to find a buyer for developer Piranha Bytes. And the developer of recently released VR game Micro Machines: Mini Challenge Mayhem, WIMO Games, has announced they’ve closed their doors with around three dozen staff left out in the cold.
With one third of developers being impacted by layoffs in the last year, and more than half of developers concerned about their futures we can see there are challenges to face in the future. Experts are increasing the worry with expectations the gaming industry will face challenges possibly into 2025 after the abundance of games released in 2020, and 2021 pushing unrealistic release schedules. Despite this, industry leaders are optimistic of the long-term survivability of game development, leaning of the industries resilience and potential growth in the future.

And now for the Gaming Bytes:

  • Awesome Games Done Quick is back with AGDQ2024 streaming over 135 speedruns and raising over 5 million us dollars for The Prevent Cancer Foundation during the week-long event.
  • While earlier this week it was rumoured BulletStorm VR was to be removed from the PS5 Store and auto refunded… it has come to light that only Japan and South Korea will be receiving this golden ticket with the rest of the world left to fend for ourselves.
  • And for those people looking forward to the game Indiana Jones and the Great Ciricle, Harrison Ford is NOT voicing Indiana Jones, rather Troy Baker the voice actor behind The Last of Us’s Joel, BioShock Infinite’s Booker DeWitt , and many more.
  • OH! And the finalists for the Freeplay Awards for 2024 have been announced. If you don’t know what they are, it is the world’s longest-running independent games festival with the awards ceremony to take place on the 29th of February in Melbourne. These awards focus on Australian and New Zealand indi grass roots game artists and developers with this year’s nominees to include Unpacking from Witch Beam Games, Wayward Strand from ghost pattern, and Dap from Melting Parrot, plus many more. For the full list of nominations CLICK HERE

And now for the upcoming game releases.
Friday the 26th brings us two new releases with Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth coming to PC, PlayStation, & Xbox, and Tekken 8 coming to PC and Next Gen Consoles.
On Tuesday the 30th Rugby 24 to PC, PlayStation, & Xbox.
Wednesday the 31st the DLC for 2021’s Eastward, Eastward: Octopia DLC and is coming to PC & Switch
And lastly, Thursday the 1st of February, Granblue Fantasy: Relink comes to PC and PlayStation.

Merry Christmas from Zed Games ’23

Gather around the Yule Log and come listen in to the tale of Christmas Present as the Zed Games Team headed by Maylee talks Gaming News discussing the recent Fortnight gifts and more. Paul goes on a Quest to bring us several game reviews within a review of the Quest 3, it’s another Paul Patented “Review-ception”. Then Zahra, Caroline, and Maylee talk the best games for the Christmas gathering this year.

Games Awards, VR Showcase and Pokemon gets patched

 

Games Awards!

The 2022 Game awards will be held on Friday December 9 at 10.30am – 1.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time.  There are 31 award categories including Game of the Year, Best Indie, Most Anticipated Game, Innovation in Accessibility and Best Art Direction.

In addition to this there is the game awards future class, ‘50 inspiring individuals who represent the bright, bold and inclusive future of video games’.

Composer Maize Wallen and designer Chantal Ryan are two Australians that have been included in the 2022 Game Awards Future class list.

Chantal Ryan is the Director of the game development studio ‘We have always lived in the Forest’ and produces ‘experimental narrative games and systems built upon disruptive language technologies’.

Maize Wallen has produced audio for games such as God Fall, Receiver 2, Wayward Strand and Cosmic Express.  Their focus is 3D spatialised audio and dynamic music.

https://thegameawards.com/future-class

Pokemon scarlet and violet get patched

A whopping 1GB patch was made available on the 1st of December – Nintendo’s support website stating that the patch includes season 1 of ranked battles, fixing an issue that caused music to not play correctly during the elite four and top champion battle and lastly, other select bug fixes.

They have also acknowledged that many players may encounter issues that affect the games performance.  Given that this has been the buggiest pokemon game ever released, this is an understatement.

https://en-americas-support.nintendo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/60277/p/989#v110

VR Showcase Winter 2022

The Upload Gaming Showcase 2022 steamed this morning and showcased ‘exciting game updates, announcements and exclusive reveals’.  Some of these are:

Call of the Sea VR, by Out of the Blue, a mysterious adventure game where you solve puzzles and maybe become some sort of sea monster? Intriguing!

Across the Valley, by FusionPlay is a VR farming simulator for those who want their cow milking to be more immersive.

Maskmaker by Innerspace VR is a puzzle game where you play a mask maker’s apprentice.

Survival Nation by Wenkly Studio is an outdoor adventure sim with added zombies.

And The Signifier by Playmestudio is a detective thriller that has you using victims’ dreams to solve crimes.

https://uploadvr.com/upload-vr-showcase-winter-2022/

And now for the releases!

December 8

Chained Echoes for the PC, Playstation, Xbox and Switch, NecroBouncer on PC, The Rumble Fish 2 for PC Playstation, Xbox and Switch, Witch On The Holy Night for Playstation 4 and Switch.

December 9

Dragon Quest Treasures for the Switch, Jitsu Squad for Playstation and the Switch.

December 12

Wavetale on PC, Playstation, Xbox and Switch

December 13

Crisis Core –Final Fantasy 7– Reunion on PC, Playstation, Xbox and Switch, High on Life for the PC and Xbox Series X.

December 14

The Witcher 3 comes to Playstation 5 and the Xbox Series X.

And that’s all this week in gaming news!

New VR, Metaverse Flops, NSFW Squids, and AGDA Winners

Valve VR

Valve has posted a job listing. Nothing new, except that it gives us a hint of what’s to come, with the listing looking for someone to ‘prototype, ship, and support’ a virtual reality headset, saying “At Valve, we are pushing the boundaries of virtual reality experiences… The main scope of this position is to prototype, ship, and support consumer gaming products leveraging visual-inertial tracking, camera passthrough, environment understanding, eye tracking, and hand tracking.”

This certainly isn’t Valve’s first foray into VR, but it does signal a push to get ahead in the VR headset market.

Metaverse Isn’t Popular

Decentraland, a Metaverse project, hasn’t exactly been flourishing. It’s a sandbox environment where users can buy and sell virtual real estate, and has a market cap of $1.2 billion. The number of active users over a 24 hour period? 38.

Dencentraland do point out that active users are defined as unique blockchain wallet addresses, which leaves out users who just use it as a place to socialise and hang out, which may bring numbers up to 8000 users per day.

Doom’s On Notepad Now

You’ve seen Doom on PC, consoles, calculators, pregnancy tests, and more. Now get ready for 60 frames per second Doom gameplay in notepad, the very same notepad you have at home. It is playable, using text to create the visuals, much like ASCII art. In very quick, simplified terms, notepad is being used as a monitor, with other software running in the background doing the hard work.

Splatoon Gets a Bit… Rowdy

Nintendo had to release a public statement recently, reminding players of Nintendo’s streaming guidelines, and more specifically, how open streamers are to legal actions. Why? Streamers had started a trend of using chroma-key to superimpose explicit adult videos over the enemy’s ink, essentially treating it as a kind of greenscreen.

As it goes against Nintendo’s streaming guidelines, they can now take down posts, videos, and streams, and even pursue legal action.

AGDA Winners

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association has announced the winners of the 2022 Australian Game Developer Awards. Judging goes through 70 game industry professionals, with winners from 13 categories announced, plus an additional 4 cultural awards, resulting in this year’s awards being filled with the highlights of what Australia has to offer.

Cult of the Lamb has left with four awards, including Game of the Year.

Julian Wilton, Creative Director of Massive Monster, says “After experiencing our success overseas, it was an amazing feeling to see our game really resonate with Australians as well. We received such strong support locally and we love that it’s being enjoyed, not just for the gameplay, but also for the art and music.”

Raymond Corrigan, the creator of Earthlingo, won the Rising Star award.

Ryan McMahon, art director at Playside Studios, won the Ambition award.

Clara Reeves, CEO of Hipster Whale, has been recognised for her ongoing contributions to the Australian games industry with the Adam Lancman award.

Gameloft Brisbane has come away with the last cultural award with the Studio of the Year award.

And now for some upcoming games!

October 13

  • The Case of the Golden Idol – PC
  • The Darkest Tales – PC, XBO, Switch
  • The Eternal Cylinder – PS5, XSX
  • Fueled Up – PC, PS4, XBO
  • GOAL! The Club Manager – PC
  • Kao the Kangaroo: Oh! Well DLC – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Lost Eidolons – PC
  • Sunday Gold – PC
  • Triangle Strategy – PC
  • Trifox – Switch
  • Winter Games 2023 – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch

October 14

  • Dragon Ball: The Breakers – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • NHL 23 – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • No More Heroes 3 – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • PGA Tour 2K23 Standard Edition – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • Saint Kotar – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Scorn – PC, XSX
  • Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival – Switch
  • Trifox – PC, XSX, XBO

October 17

  • Destiny’s Sword – PC

October 18

  • A Plague Tale: Requiem – PC, XSX, PS5, Switch
  • Amberial Dreams – PC
  • Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • Marvel Snap – PC
  • Them’s Fightin’ Herds – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch

October 19

  • The Last Hero of Nostalgaia – PC, XSX, XBO
  • The Last Worker – PC
  • Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection – PC
  • The Valiant – PC

October 20

  • Batora: Lost Haven – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • Hell is Others – PC
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 9 – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope – Switch
  • The Pegasus Expedition – PC
  • Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch

Virtual Reality Is Very Real (and so is Hacking)


Record VR Sales Across The Holidays

The 2021 holiday season was a big one in terms of virtual reality systems and games, with the Oculus app topping the Apple App Store on Christmas, beating TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram.

Meta doesn’t release sales numbers for Quest headsets, so we can only piece together how popular it is through unofficial data points. So the Oculus app being at the top indicates a strong uptick in new headset usage. But that’s not all, Rec Room, a free social virtual reality experience has reported record numbers over the holidays, with over 1 million VR players logging in over a 60 hour period.

Apps such as Hand Physics Lab, Golf+, Eleven Table Tennis, and Loco Dojo Unleashed, have also reported a similar spike in new users.

 

PS5 Explains Their New VR2 System

PlayStation have announced the names for their new virtual reality system for the PlayStation 5 console. PlayStation VR2, and the new virtual reality controller, PlayStation V2 Sense controller.

PlayStation VR2 promises to take virtual reality gaming to a new level of presence and escapism, with new hardware features, greater depth of immersion, and new worlds being built. PS5 VR2 offers the following:

4K HDR 110-degree field of view, combined with an OLED display, means a display resolution of 2000×2040 per eye and smoother frame rates.

Inside-out tracking, with the player and their controller being tracked through cameras embedded in the VR headset, eliminating the need for an external camera.

Brand new sensory features, combining eye tracking, headset feedback, 3D audio, and the VR2 Sense controller to pull you deeper than ever into virtual reality. The most significant hardware feature being the motor in the VR headset that can vibrate to offer tactile feedback.

VR2 will detect the motion of your eyes, allowing the player to interact more intuitively with their environment.

PlayStation has announced that Horizon Call of the Mountain will be coming to the PlayStation VR2, making it one of the biggest franchises for the potential lineup available for the VR2.

Activision Sues Call of Duty Cheat Maker

Activision has asked a court to take action against EngineOwning, a cheat maker selling cheats to Call of Duty: Warzone players. This latest case is another battle in Activision’s war against hackers in their online battle royale, accusing EngineOwning for causing “irreparable damage to its goodwill and reputation”.

Activision alleges that the cheat maker has hurt sales through the distribution of aimbots, triggerbots, and other cheats. Other than allegedly ruining the online experience for thousands of players, Activision says that EngineOwning has infringed on their copyright, and violated its terms of service, and claims that “tens of thousands’ of players have been caught using EngineOwning’s tools over the past year.

And now for some upcoming game releases!

January 10:

  • Super Sami Roll (XSX)

January 12:

  • PUBG: Battlegrounds Free to Play (PC, PS4, XBO, Stadia)

January 13:

  • The Anacrusis (PC, XSX, XBO)
  • Mushroom Wars 2 (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)