Games News Roundup 1/8/20 – 1/14/20

This week in one sentence: Sony is skipping this year’s E3, Pokémon Sword and Shield are getting an expansion pass, ADGQ raised more than $3 million for charity, Epic made more than $680 in revenue, and GameStop’s future doesn’t look bright.

Top Five Stories

1/ Sony Is Not Going To The 2020 E3: In a statement to GamesIndustry.biz, Sony confirmed that they will not attend the 2020 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) for the second year in a row. Sony commented that “We do not feel the vision of E3 2020 is the right venue for what we are focused on this year.” Many analysts and pundits assumed that with the upcoming launch of the PlayStation 5, Sony would make a return to the show. E3 is already facing a crisis of identity compared to more fan-focused shows like PAX and has lost the confidence of many games journalists after exposing their personal information last year. (Game Informer / CNET / IGN / Polygon / GamesIndustry.biz)

2/ Pokémon Sword And Shield Are Getting A Paid Expansion Pass: In a live stream on January 9th, Game Freak announced a paid expansion pass and free updates are coming to Pokémon Sword And Shield. The expansion pass adds two new locations, the Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra, and the return of more than 200 older Pokémon, new legendary Pokémon, new clothing options, and many other features. The free updates to the base game will allow everyone, including people without the expansion pass, to get the returning Pokémon. (Gamespot / Eurogamer / The Verge / GamesRadar+ / VentureBeat)

3/ Awesome Games Done Quick 2020 (ADGQ) Raised More Than $3 Million For Charity: ADGQ, the yearly speedrunning event, was able to raise $3,155,199.56 in donations for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. This is the tenth ADGQ and the highest amount raised so far. The show had a few highlights, including TomatoAngus bringing props to show how a Fallout 4 glitch works, a strange “crash” in BioShock, and a blindfolded co-op playthrough of Punch-Out!! (Polygon / Eurogamer / VentureBeat / Game Rant / GameCrate)

4/ Epic Games Store Has Sales Of $680 Million Since December 2018: An infographic by Epic Games showed that their digital storefront had significant sales over the past year from more than 108 million customers. Epic also confirmed that they will continue to give away free games for the next year and that many requested features, like achievements, are on the way. (GamesIndustry.biz / Washington Post / IGN / Gamasutra / The Verge)

5/ GameStop Had A 25.7% Drop In Holiday Sales: The already beleaguered GameStop experienced a 25.7% drop in 2020 holiday sales compared to 2019. This bad news comes after closing multiple locations last year and already down revenue from last year. The company’s stock fell 24.5% from the start of the year. (Gamasutra / Destructoid / Polygon / Forbes / Motley Fool)

✏️ Notables

  • A Bloodborne mod adds a cut boss back into the game. The modder, Foxy Hooligans, added back a boss version of the Loran Cleric. (Kotaku / Polygon)
  • The beta release date for Legends of Runeterra was announced. The League of Legends card game beta is coming on January 27th. (GamesRadar+, Polygon)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV pulled from Steam. Rockstar said they cannot make more keys because of the Games For Windows Live integration. (Rock Paper Shotgun, The Verge
  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne is deleting the save files of PC players. The expansion is deleting older saves from PC players. (Kotaku / PC Gamer)
  • The $30 back-paddle attachment for DualShock 4 controllers is now available. Reviewers seem to like the extra triggers. (The Verge / Mashable)
  • Nintendo released a music video for their new theme park (Super Nintendo World) and it includes a song by Charli XCX (Kotaku / The Verge)
  • The Xbox Series X will not have Microsoft exclusives. First-party games will be compatible with the Xbox One. (VentureBeat / GamesIndustry.biz)
  • VVVVV is now open source. Terry Cavanagh, the creator of the game, released the source code in a blog post. (Rock Paper Shotgun / Gamasutra)
  • Steam will now sell soundtracks independently of games. Game soundtracks can now be purchased on their own instead of only as DLC. (PC Gamer / Engadget)
  • Slay The Spire received a 2.0 patch. This patch adds a new playable character, balance changes, and a slew of other changes. (Shacknews / Eurogamer)

Games News Roundup 12/4/19 – 12/11/19

This week in one sentence: Sony showed off Resident Evil 3 Remake (including Nemesis’s sharp chompers) at their State of Play event, Nintendo announced a few new indie games at their Indie World Showcase, MLB The Show will be coming to other platforms besides the PlayStation 4, Redbox is no longer renting games, and Minecraft is getting PlayStation 4 cross-play.

Top Five Stories

1/ Sony Announced Multiple Games On Their State Of Play Stream, Including Resident Evil 3 Remake: At Sony’s last State of Play stream of 2019, they showed off a trailer for the Resident Evil 3 Remake, announced that Untitled Goose Game is coming to the PlayStation 4, and gave us a first look at the new Kingdom Hearts III DLC. They also announced a new PSVR game called Paper Beast and showed off the new PlatinumGames brawler Babylon’s Fall. Finally, they ran a short trailer for Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima. (Kotaku / Gamespot / IGN / Destructoid / Washington Post)

2/ Nintendo Announced Multiple Games At Their Indie World Showcase: Nintendo showed more than ten indie games on their Indie Games Showcase stream on December 10th. A few of these new games include Axiom Verge 2, Supermash, and Sports Story. They also confirmed multiple ports to the Switch, including SkateBIRD, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD, and The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition. Also, Dauntless is now available on the Switch. (The Verge / Kotaku / IGN / GamesRadar+ / Gamasutra)

3/ Sony-Developed MLB The Show May Come To Platforms Besides The PlayStation 4: Major League Baseball (MLB) announced in a tweet/press release that Sony’s SIE San Diego Studio will bring their franchise MLB The Show to, “additional console platforms beyond PlayStation platforms as early as 2021.” This tweet was then retweeted by the official Xbox and Nintendo of America Twitter accounts, signaling that the series will most likely be coming to those platforms. (Polygon / GamesRadar+ / ESPN / Destructoid / VentureBeat)

4/ Redbox Is No Longer Renting Video Games: Redbox confirmed in a tweet that they will no longer be renting video games via their kiosks. In the past, Redbox has allowed users to rent games for $3 per day and purchase used games. Customers will be able to purchase used games at a discount through the end of the year. (The Verge / Slate / Engadget / Kotaku / ScreenRant)

5/ Minecraft Is Getting Cross-Play On PlayStation 4: Until now, the PlayStation 4 was the only major platform that did not allow for Minecraft cross-play. Sony backtracked on this position and now Minecraft has cross-play across PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One, Windows 10, iOS, Android, and Gear VR. Additionally, PlayStation 4 players will now be able to use the Minecraft Marketplace and purchases will be carried across platforms. (Eurogamer / Engadget / PC Gamer / Gamespot / Gamesradar+)

✏️ Notables

  • Another bug is affecting Fallout 76. This glitch causes armor to lose durability, issues with reloading, and weapons to break. (Kotaku / GamesRadar+)
  • A bundle of Bayonetta and Vanquish is coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. (Kotaku / Engadget)
  • Rocket League cut the prices of their microtransactions after facing complaints from players. (PC Gamer / Destructoid)
  • Grand Theft Auto V’s online mode is getting a new radio station hosted by Danny Brown. (Kotaku / Pitchfork)
  • 2K announced that a new Bioshock is coming and it’s being developed by Cloud Chamber. (Ars Technica / Vice)
  • Darksiders Genesis launched on Google Stadia with a higher price than on competing PC stores. (IGN / ScreenRant)
  • Phoenix Point missed it’s advertised release on the Windows Store and Game Pass because of delays with certification and legal documentation. (Kotaku / Polygon
  • SimulaM announced their game I Am Jesus with a trailer from the first-person perspective of the alleged son of God. (Slate, ScreenRant)
  • Fortnite is showing an exclusive scene from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker at the in-game movie theater. (Kotaku, CNET)
  • The AI generated text adventure, AI Dungeon was released. You can type in whatever and the game will do its best to make a narrative. (Polygon, PC Gamer)

Games News Roundup 11/28/19 – 12/3/19

This week in one sentence: Riot Games settled a gender discrimination lawsuit, In the Valley of Gods is no longer in active development, Super Mario Maker 2 added The Legend of Zelda content, pictures of the PlayStation 5 development kit were leaked, and the FBI is using PSN to gather evidence of a cocaine dealer.

Top Five Stories

1/ Riot Games Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit With A $10 Million Pay Out: Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, is settling a lawsuit that started in 2018. The lawsuit alleged that the company created a hostile work environment with rampant sexual harassment toward women. The $10 million settlement will distribute money to women who worked for Riot Games from November 2014 until the date the settlement is finalized. Payment will be based on the length of a woman’s tenure and her full-time employment status. Women who have left the company or who have signed severance agreements will not receive any part of the settlement. (Los Angeles Times / Kotaku / Forbes / Ars Technica / The Washington Post)

2/ In the Valley of Gods development is “On Hold”: Campo Santo co-founder Jake Rodkin confirmed that In the Valley of Gods is “On Hold” and that the former team has distributed among various projects at Valve, including Half-Life: Alyx and DotA Underlords. Valve acquired Campo Santo in April 2018 with the announcement blog post stating the company, “[Would] continue production on our current project, In the Valley of Gods.” The game is not outright canceled but there is no announced release window. (CNET / Polygon / GamesIndustry.biz / Gamespot / Rock Paper Shotgun)

3/ Super Mario Maker 2 Is Adding The Master Sword And Link: Nintendo announced that new features are coming in a free patch to Super Mario Maker 2. One of these key features is the Master Sword from The Legend of Zelda series, which acts as a power-up. The sword transforms the player into Link and confers the ability to shoot arrows, throw bombs, slash enemies, and block projectiles with a shield. The update also adds new building blocks, new enemies, and a speed-running mode. (Kotaku / Ars Technica / Vice / IGN / Destructoid)

4/ The Look Of The PlayStation 5 Dev Kit Was Leaked: An alleged image of the PlayStation 5 development (dev) kit was leaked into the wild. The kits are stackable v-shaped computers with large vents in the sides and center. The kits also seem to be using a controller that looks similar to the Dualshock 4. The development kit’s look is not indicative of the final console design. The twitter user who posted the image (@alcoholikaust) claimed that the photograph came from a developer who, “just didn’t give a fuck apparently.” (Eurogamer / Gizmodo / PCMag / GamesRadar+ / ScreenRant)

5/ FBI Files Warrant To Obtain PSN Data Related To Alleged Drug Dealing: A search warrant filed by the FBI in the Western District of Missouri requested all information related to a PlayStation Network (PSN) user. The FBI alleges that the PSN user orchestrated the sale of cocaine by using voice chat. The FBI is attempting to gather a wide range of information about the alleged drug dealer, including the games they played, their IP address, and chat messages. (Gamespot / Vice / Polygon / The Daily Dot / Kotaku UK)

✏️ Notables

  • The Steam Controller can no longer be ordered, with some previously confirmed orders being canceled because Valve oversold their remaining stock. (Kotaku / The Verge)
  • U.S. Congressman pleads guilty to using campaign funds for Steam games. Duncan D. Hunter (R-CA) spent more than $1,000 on steam games. (Polygon / Gamespot)
  • The Resident Evil 3 Remake Cover Was Leaked confirming that the game is coming soon. (Gamespot / GamesRadar+)
  • The trailer for the next season of Destiny 2 content was revealed, along with the return of Saint-14 (Engadget / Kotaku)
  • Microsoft published Halo: Reach and the rest of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Steam. (Kotaku / PC Gamer)
  • The original PlayStation turned 25, which led to some nostalgic reflections. (The Verge, Kotaku)
  • Quantic Dreams was forced to pay a former employee because emlpoyees and leadership shared “homophobic, misogynistic, racist or deeply vulgar,” images in the workplace. (PC Gamer, Try aGame
  • YouTube relaxed its policy related to violent video game footage and will now allow creators to show footage without automatically flagging videos as age-restricted. (The Verge, Gamasutra)
  • Cloud Imperium Games raised more than $250 million via backers to develop Star Citizen. (PC Gamer, Eurogamer)
  • Mario Kart Tour was the most-downloaded iPhone game of 2019, even though it only released in September. (The Verge, 9to5Mac)

Games News Roundup: 11/21/19 – 11/27/19

This week in one sentence: Google Stadia is still getting complaints about graphics, DotA 2 added a grandma and another spirit edgelord, the Steam Controller died for our sins, Battleborn died because of server costs, and No Man’s Sky is getting even better. 

Top Five Stories

1/ Google Responds To Stadia Graphical Fidelity Complaints: Google responded to complaints that many Stadia games do not run at the advertised native 4K resolution with a statement that said, “We give developers the freedom of how to achieve the best image quality and frame rate on Stadia.” Google also stated that, “We expect that many developers can, and in most cases will, continue to improve their games on Stadia.” (9to5Google / Eurogamer / Ars Technica / Gamespot / GamesIndustry.biz)

2/ The Outlanders Patch For DotA 2 Was Released: Valve released Dota 2 patch 7.23 which added two new heroes to the game, Void Spirit and Beatrix Snapfire. Void Spirit is an edgy elemental melee character, and Beatrix Snapfire is an elderly woman who makes cookies and rides dinosaurs. The patch also gives every player a courier, replaces side shops with outposts, and a whole host of other adjustments to the game. (Rock Paper Shotgun / Engadget / IGN / Polygon / PC Gamer)

3/ Valve Has Stopped Making The Steam Controller: Valve’s last non-VR hardware, the Steam Controller, is dead. The divisive controller released in 2015 along with Steam Machines and Steam Link, and went on to sell an admirable 500,000 units in just a year. The controller never reached mainstream success, with most players choosing to use an Xbox 360 or PS4 controller to play Steam games. Valve is blowing out their remaining controller stock with a $5 sale. (Kotaku / Eurogamer / The Verge / VentureBeat / Screen Rant)

4/ Battleborn Is Shutting Down In 2021: Just three years after its release, publisher 2K Games announced that it is shutting down the servers for Battleborn in January 2021. The Gearbox developed game was removed from digital shelves on November 15th, 2019, and the game’s premium currency will no longer be purchasable as of February 24, 2020. The game will no longer be playable once the servers are shut down. (Gamespot / Polygon / Kotaku / Eurogamer / GamesIndustry.biz)

5/ No Man’s Sky Synthesis Patch Announced: No Man’s Sky is getting another huge update in the form of the Synthesis patch. This patch allows players to upgrade and salvage starships, edit terrain more easily, save custom outfits, and drive the Exocraft in the first person. The patch also optimizes the VR version of the game and adds other quality of life improvements. (Polygon / Kotaku / Gamespot / IGN / Destructoid)

✏️ Notables

  • Google offered refunds to Stadia Pro members who already bought the free games. The free games for subscribers this month were Tomb Raider (2013) and Farming Simulator 19. (Kotaku / Ars Technica)
  • The Pokémon Global Link Service Is Shutting Down for Pokémon Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, and Ultra Moon in February 2020. (Polygon / Nintendo Life)
  • Valve Removes More Than 1,000 Games From Steam because the publishers were abusing Steamworks allegedly. (Kotaku / PC Gamer)
  • Fallout 76 players have taken to using nuclear bombs on pacificts because the radiation can kill players who want to avoid combat. (Kotaku / VICE)
  • Fortnite held a fishing competition wherein players competed to catch the most fish to get a spray, pickaxe skin, and Llama trophy. (Polygon / Eurogamer)
  • Stardew Valley patch 1.4 was released on PC. The patch added new character events  clothes, hairstyles, fish ponds, and more. (Eurogamer / Polygon)
  • Beat Games, the developers of Beat Saber, were purchased by Facebook and are now part of Oculus Studios as an independent studio (Eurogamer / PC Gamer)
  • A new Tony Hawk game is rumored to be coming out, based on a podcast interview with professional skater Lizzie Armanto (Eurogamer / IGN)
  • Borderlands 3 has added Good Juju, a reference to the Destiny gun Bad Juju (Eurogamer / Polygon)
  • State of Decay 2 is coming to Steam, with Xbox Live cross-play (Eurogamer / PC Gamer)

Games News Roundup 11/13/19 – 11/20/19

This week in one sentence: Google released its Stadia platform, the next Pokémon game was released to fanfare and hatred, the story of Anthem may not be over, Shenmue 3 rose after more than a decade of slumber, and Logitech released a suite of accessibility tools.

This week in one sentence: Google released its Stadia platform, the next Pokémon game was released to fanfare and hatred, the story of Anthem may not be over, Shenmue 3 rose after more than a decade of slumber, and Logitech released a suite of accessibility tools.

Top Five Stories

1/ Stadia Came Out To A Whole Host Of Problems: Google Stadia was delivered on November 19th to people who pre-ordered the Founder’s and Premiere editions— or rather, to most people who pre-ordered  them. The new platform has been plagued by issues related to undelivered products, framerate stuttering, graphical flaws, and a UI that seems undercooked. Additionally, many reviewers are questioning if the business model makes sense and who the target market is for this service. (Eurogamer / Kotaku / IGN / Polygon / Gamespot)

2/ Pokémon Sword And Shield Released To Fanfare And Complaints: Pokémon Sword and Shield came out this week to both adoration from the games press and fans, and ire from a small but vocal minority of players. The series transition to Switch has sold well, and many reviewers have noted small ways that the game has evolved the series formula. Angry fans have criticized the lack of a National Pokédex, animations, and countless other grievances. One shared complaint between the fans and press are the technical issues that can arise, such as frame stuttering, texture and model pop-in, and camera issues. But, have you seen Grookey? They are adorable. (Digital Foundry / Kotaku / Gamespot / Polygon)

3/ Anthem Isn’t Dead Yet: Jason Schrier at Kotaku reported that BioWare hasn’t given up on Anthem. The developers are allegedly working on overhauling Anthem, similar to “Destiny’s critically acclaimed Taken King [DLC].” The report claims that BioWare is planning on rebranding the game as “Anthem Next” or “Anthem 2.0”. There is no announced release date or other official details. (Kotaku)

4/ Shenmue 3 Finally Released: Yu Suzuki has followed up his 2001 release of Shenmue 2 with the next game in the series. Shenmue 3 is out following its successful crowdfunding campaign that started back in 2015 on Kickstarter. Reviews have been mixed, with many reviewers focusing on how the game does play like it is straight from the 90s. (Polygon / Eurogamer / Screen Rant)

5/ Logitech Releases Adaptive Gaming Kit: Logitech released a new set of triggers, buttons, and other peripherals that work with the Xbox Adaptive Controller. The kit costs $99 and is available for order now. It was developed in conjunction with input from many accessibility groups to give people with disabilities people a customizable gaming setup. (Ars Technica / Polygon / Engadget)

✏️ Notables

  • Half-Life: Alyx was announced as a “flagship VR title,” but it isn’t technically Half-Life 3. (Kotaku / The Verge / Ars Technica)
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order came out to people praising its design but questioning the technical problems. (IGN / Kotaku)
  • Steam Remote Play left beta and is now available to people who want to play couch co-op remotely. (Gamasutra / Polygon)
  • Blizzard’s released their new “auto battler” Hearthstone Battleground. It’s fun but weird. (Polygon / Kotaku / Game Informer)
  • Amy Hennig, the writer of Uncharted 1, 2, and 3, is joining Skydance Media to make narrative games for streaming platforms. (VentureBeat / Polygon / Gamesindustry.biz)
  • The Oculus Quest can now play more games on PC via the new Oculus Link beta. (Rock Paper Shotgun / PC Gamer / Polygon)
  • Path of Exile 2 and a mobile version of Path of Exile 1 was announced at ExileCon. (Destructoid / Polygon / PC Gamer)