This week in gaming: Respawn Entertainment publicly apologises to players, Sony acquires Insomniac Games, Game Informer suffers layoffs, 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!
Vince Zampella, CEO of Apex Legends and Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment, has publicly apologised for comments made by staff members in the wake of players’ vitriolic response to the highly-priced cosmetic items featured in the game’s Iron Crown Collection event. Different staff members labelled players as “asshats”, “dickheads”, and “freeloaders” when discussing the pricing behind the new cosmetic items and the death threats received in its wake.
Zampella’s public apology come shortly after Reddit user cooloats presented a statement to the studio representing the community’s changed stance with regarding communication going forward.
“We won’t forget this. You’ve set a new tone for the kind of interaction we’ll be having with you,” they wrote. “It’s a cold one. One where there aren’t any illusions about the reality of the situation. Previous notions of “family” are dead. We are mere consumers to you, and that is obvious.”
Sony acquires Insomniac Games:
After years of letting Microsoft hog the spotlight when it comes to studio acquisitions, Sony Interactive Entertainment has announced that it has acquired Marvel’s Spider-Man and Ratchet and Clank developer Insomniac Games as part of its Worldwide Studios stable.
GameStop lays off more than 100 staff, with Game Informer heavily impacted:
Just a few months after shutting down Game Informer Australia, parent company GameStop has brought the axe down on several employees at Game Informer in North America. Game Informer Editor-in-Chief Andy McNamara confirmed that his team lost seven employees, including former Managing Editor Matt Bertz. This news is another tragic reminder that traditional journalism is an ever-shrinking market and our hearts go out to all GameStop employees who were laid off.
Rainbow Six Siege’s next expansion is Operation Ember Rise, and it’s coming with a battle pass:
Ubisoft has announced that it is going to launch a “Mini Battle Pass” during Rainbow Six Siege’s third Year 4 season, Ember Rise. This seven-day event will be completely free for all players and will pave the way for a traditional (featuring both paid and free “tracks”) Battle Pass that is slated to launch during the following season.
Ubisoft will unveil full Battle Plass details, including pricing, at a special panel later this year.
Surprise! Final Fantasy VIII Remastered is slated for this week:
Square Enix surprised us all by revealing that the fan favourite title is hitting PC, PS4, and Xbox One next week!
Supergiant Games’ HADES, Epic Games Store’s first exclusive, launches on Steam later this year:
Following almost a year of Epic Games Store-exclusivity, Supergiant Games has announced that it is bringing its much-awaited dungeon crawler to Steam Early Access on December 10. Alongside this, the studio also revealed that it expects the game to be released in its final form sometime during “the second half of 2020”.
NOTABLE GAME RELEASES:
Rad (PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One)
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS:
Ghostrunner – Official Reveal Trailer 2019
This is the Titanfall–Dishonored hybrid that we didn’t know we wanted.
Control – Launch Trailer
It looks like Remedy Entertainment might be onto a winner here.
Need for Speed Heat – Official Gameplay Trailer
Violent cops are so “in” right now…
Shenmue III – A Day in Shenmue
The voice acting and animation in this is certainly a throwback.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep – Gamescom Trailer
Please, stop teasing me like this, Bungie.
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep – Season of the Undying trailer:
Again, stop it.
DOOM Eternal – DOOM Hunter Reveal:
Come on, it was only going to be a matter of time until the minions of Hell were going to come up with a new monster designed specifically to hunt down DOOM Guy.
Death Stranding – Character Spotlights (Gamescom 2019)
The pieces are finally coming together… We learned more about Deadman (Guillermo Del Toro, voiced by Jesse Corti; trailer embedded below), as well as The Ludens Fan (Geoff Keighley) and “Mama” (Margaret Qualley).
Marvel’s Avengers – Gameplay Watch-Along!
That’s not my Iron Man!
DEEMO -Reborn- slated for November 21 on PlayStation 4 and VR:
Having been downloaded more than 22 million times across Android, iOS, Switch and PlayStation Vita since its initial release in November 2013, Rayark Games’ rhythm title is set to make its way to Sony’s flagship home console along with virtual reality support. The new release will feature more than 60 songs – both fan favourites from the original and a set of new additions – and a completely rebuilt castle for players to explore and find new sheet music in.
It is set to launch for US$39.99, with full PlayStation VR and PlayStation Move controller support, with separate songs to be added in future expansions.
EarthNight announced for Switch, other platforms to follow:
Nintendo made the announcement during its Indie World presentation, releasing a gorgeous trailer for Cleaversoft’s hand-drawn action platformer. EarthNight sees one of two playable characters – “the demon-possessed Sydney [or] sword-swinging Stanley – battle their way through a “dragon apocalypse” as they try to find enough power-ups to kill enough enemies to give humanity the chance to live a little longer.
Neither Nintendo nor Cleaversoft revealed a precise release date for the game, but Cleaversoft did reveal that it plans to release it on PlayStation 4 and Steam (Windows and Mac) later this year.
The Hotline Miami Collection is now available on Nintendo Switch:
Publisher Devolver Digital released a quick and simple trailer to make the announcement that both of Dennaton Games’ retro-styled masterpieces are now available on Nintendo’s hybrid console. Unfortunately, the Aussie version will still only include the original, with Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number still banned from sale Down Under.