This week in gaming: Spyro Reignited Trilogy gets delayed, Bethesda ups the pressure on Sony for cross-play, EA loses a senior executive, and more!
In the spirit of keeping our readers up to date with what’s happening in the video game industry, the Doublejump Digest is a brief collection of the major news stories from the past week. Keep an eye out for the Digest every Sunday night, and head on into the archive for news from weeks gone by!
Cai kicked off a busy week with a very important discussion about how the Australian Classification Board’s lack of respect for video games continues to let its consumers down.
Spyro Regnited Trilogy delayed almost two months: Toys for Bob studio head Paul Yan took to the Activision Blog on Thursday to announce the delay, which has come about because “the Trilogy needs more love and care.” The game is now slated for November 13, as opposed to September 21. Yan did, of course, promise that the “extra time [will be] worth the wait”; only said extra time will tell now.
Treyarch details Black Ops 4 changes following beta feedback: The monstrous post on the game’s “developer-supported, community-run subreddit” didn’t detail every change that has been made, instead choosing to focus on some of “the most-discussed topics that also intersect with the game’s design intent”: “Fog of War and Minimap Awareness”; “Tac-Deploy and Spawning”; “Body Armour and Gear”; “Free Cursor UI Navigation”; and “Loadouts in Killcams”.
Additionally, the developer has promised to award permanent unlock tokens to anyone who was unable to progress beyond level 34 (the first beta’s level cap) due to a bug, which is a nice touch.
Bethesda toughens its stance on companies not allowing cross-play: Since the game is “a strategy card game that encompasses…both cross-platform play and cross-platform progress”, studio executive Pete Hines told Game Informer that “it has to be those things on any system. We cannot have a game that works one way across everywhere else except for on this one thing.”
Although Hines didn’t name Sony – which has famously blocked Fortnite cross-play already and continues to wall its own community off – directly, he noted that cross-play is “non-negotiable”, and that “we can’t be talking about one version of Legends, where you take your progress with you, and another version where you stay within that ecosystem or its walled off from everything else. That is counter to what the game has been about.”
It will be interesting to see if Hines’ comments are the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Sony after the immense pressure it has come under since the Fortnite debacle, or whether the platform holder will stick to its guns and let an Elder Scrolls release slip.
Australian Defence Force drops YouTubers after controversial tweets surface: A Daily Telegraph report exposing a history of racism, sexism and other tasteless “humour” on Alen “ChampChong” Catak and Elliott “Muselk” Watkins’ Twitter and YouTube accounts has seen the ADF cancel a deal that saw the two paid $52,500 to produce content encouraging young people to join the armed forces.
As quoted by Kotaku, Defence Minister Marise Payne explained that “the material is offensive and has no place in any relationship with the Australian Defence Force or the Defence organisation,” and claimed that the deal represented a “failure of due diligence”.
Valve: Games with adult content may take months to be approved: Steam’s new content policy has been under fire since Valve announced it back in June, and some developers have had their games held up in the approval process since July as the company works to build new filtering options into its marketplace. The latest development in this story comes to us from a developer named Dharker, who posted a snippet of his conversation with Valve representative SeanJ, who revealed that Dharker would “have to do some additional store page work around describing the content in your game once we have completed those features.”
Although work on the tools is progressing, SeanJ wasn’t comfortable in providing an exact timeframe but did tell Dharker to “assume months at this point.” That’s no consolation to Dharker and their team, who were hoping to release the game on September 7.
Patrick Söderlund is leaving EA: Only a couple of months after he was promoted to Chief Design Officer, EA made the announcement by sharing an internal note from CEO Andrew Wilson in which he explained that the decision was entirely Söderlund’s. All that we know that this early stage is that Söderlund “will begin a new chapter later this year”; we will be sure to let you know what that is when it happens, and we wish him all the very best.
Ubisoft unveils Rainbow Six: Siege’s next two operators: Arriving alongside Operation Grim Sky are British Defender, Morowa “Clash” Evans, and the American Attacker Erik “Maverick” Thorn. Clash’s gameplay style appears to revolve around her Crowd Control Electro Shield, while Maverick looks to be a stealthy, smart Operator who uses a blowtorch to burn holes in metal surfaces and other things. Ubisoft still hasn’t announced a release date for Grim Sky, but we’ll keep our ears to the ground for any further information!
Valve accidentally unveils its own Twitch competitor: Originally spotted by Steam Database curator Pavel Djundjik, Steam TV very briefly showed footage of The International 2018 before the company took it down and told Kotaku that “what people saw was a test feed that was inadvertently made public.”
Kotaku’s Ethan Gach noted that the service appears to be a “much more robust” platform than Steam’s existing Community hubs, and allows players to “easily create groups for discussing streams with people you know” rather than forcing them to hang out in the public chat room and hope that their friends would see it. Of course, Valve has kept further information close to its chest, but it did note that it’s “working on updating Steam Broadcasting for the Main Event of The International”; with the main event starting tomorrow, it’s safe to assume that we’ll see this new Steam TV in the next couple of days.
Notable game releases:
The Walking Dead: The Telltale Series – The Final Season Episode 1: Done (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
Phantom Doctrine (PC, PS4)
Videos and trailer releases:
Battlefield 5 – Official Gamescom Trailer – Devastation of Rotterdam: This absolutely stunning in-game trailer shows new maps, new weapons and new gameplay footage… Did we mention that it’s absolutely stunning?
Diablo III: Eternal Collection – Announcement Trailer: The collection is heading to Nintendo Switch before the year is out!
Marvel’s Spider-Man – Just the Facts: MARVEL’S NEW YORK: A conversation between Spidey and J. Jonah Jameson serves as the backdrop for another showcase of the game’s beautiful graphics and gameplay features.
Tropico 6 – Gamescom Trailer: El Presidente returns in all his glory in January, with a PS4 and Xbox One release to come later next year.
GRIS is beautiful, and it’s coming soon: Nomada Studio’s lovingly hand-drawn exploration game may well be the most beautiful game of 2018, and it’s coming to Nintendo Switch and PC in December. Here’s the announcement trailer:
Australian industry veterans bringing Necrobarista to PS4 as well: The beautiful cel-shaded visual novel, which takes place in a coffee shop in a “magical modern-day Melbourne, Australia”, was originally slated for release on Windows and Mac in October, but found itself delayed until 2019. A Nintendo Switch version was added, and now it’s also headed to PS4. A free demo is set to be released on Steam some time before the full release.
Sir Patrick Stewartjoins My Memory of Us, reveals its release date: This is looking like a wonderful little game, a puzzle-adventure title that explores the power of friendship in adversity, and it’s sure to get a lot of attention due to Sir Patrick’s involvement. It’s set to be released on Steam, PS4 and Xbox One on October 9.
Interesting reads from other outlets:
Microsoft and Nintendo both rejected the Yakuza series: DualShockers
The Slender Man myth, and its tragic reality, was too big for a movie: Polygon
Popular Fortnite streamer Ninja explains his choice not to stream with women, reactions are mixed: Polygon (1, 2)
THQ Nordic is back on the scene, picks up TimeSplitters and Second Sight: Game Informer
Realm Royale has lost a staggering 94% of its player base in two months: Eurogamer
Celebi will be available in Pokémon GO next week: Polygon
Report: Bruce Campbell returning to Ash Williams for an upcoming Evil Dead video game: Bloody Disgusting
Spain’s La Liga is officially licensed for FIFA 19, bringing over 200 new faces to the game: Facebook
Alleged EA Games hacker ordered to pay AU$1m bail in cryptocurrency: Gizmodo