This week in gaming: Nintendo Switch overtakes the Super Nintendo, House House pays the rent, YouTube eats Twitch’s lunch, 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!
- George took a deep dive into Super Smash Bros.’ latest addition, Fire Emblem: Three Houses’ Byleth, and why all the outrage surrounding their addition has left players blind to the fun character that lies beneath.
- Matt continued our Best of 2019 coverage by giving his Game of the Year nod to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order for its massive impact on not only him as a fan, but on the entire Star Wars gaming license.
- Kristian rounded out the Best of 2019 coverage with a (very) in-depth look at why Dirt Rally 2.0 was his favourite release of 2019.
Nintendo Switch overtakes Super Nintendo in lifetime sales, company reveals Pokémon Home pricing and Animal Crossing-themed Switch:
Nintendo has told its investors that it has now sold more than 52 million Switch units (including the recently-released Lite) worldwide, which makes the platform the company’s third best-selling one ahead of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Switch games also enjoyed a healthy holiday sales period, with the company moving 16 million copies of Pokémon Sword and Shield combined in addition to 5 million units each of Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Super Mario Maker 2.
In related news, the Japanese gaming giant also revealed pricing for its upcoming Pokémon Home subscription service, which, thankfully, includes a free tier. The service, which is slated to launch later this month, will set users back US$2.99 for 30 days, US$4.99 for 90 days, or US$15.99 for 365 days, and will include the following features:
Meanwhile, Animal Crossing fans can look forward to getting their hands on a colourful new Nintendo Switch system to coincide with Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s March release.
Untitled Goose Game’s developer joins Pay the Rent movement:
Melbourne studio House House has pledged to donate “at least 1% of [its] income” from its million-selling game going forward to indigenous Australian groups as “part of the Pay the Rent movement” that aims to pay reparations for the forced occupation of Aboriginal land. The company has listed the Wurundjeri Tribe Council, Warriors of Aboriginal Resistance, and Seed Mob.
YouTube signs Esports broadcast exclusivity deal with Activision Blizzard:
Google has announced that it has inked a deal with Activision Blizzard to ensure that it will be the exclusive streaming platform for the publisher’s entire Esports portfolio starting with the Call of Duty League. The Overwatch League and official Hearthstone Esports will soon follow along with more events to be announced in the future. Neither company has revealed how much the deal is worth as of this writing.
EA: Yes, Apex Legends is still coming to mobile:
During a recent earnings call, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen confirmed that Respawn Entertainment is still committed to releasing an Apex Legends mobile port with the help of a Chinese developer. This partner company is also working on a mobile version of the game that is specifically designed for the Chinese market. Sadly, however, Jorgensen did not reveal a release date for the mobile port.
Discord drops Activity Feed and Game Library features:
Discord has explained that it has removed the Activity Feed and Library features from its apps because the company considered them not useful “to stay up to date with game news and let [users] quickly see what [their] friends are up to”. Furthermore, the company has also removed the Universal Game Launcher to make the app faster on all platforms, but users who have or will make purchases from within the app will still be able to access their titles.
Phil Spencer wants Xbox Series X development to prioritise frame rate over resolution:
Although the console will be able to hit 8K (whether that’s native or upscaled is still to be determined), Spencer told our fellow Aussies at Stevivor that he would rather see developers prioritise “the feel of the games,” rather than “just throwing more pixels up on the screen.”
Although he acknowledged that Microsoft won’t be forcing developers to prioritise one thing over the other, Spencer lamented the fact that games in the current generation don’t “feel as amazing as they look…because the CPU is underpowered relative to the GPU that’s in the box.”
NOTABLE GAME RELEASES
- Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales (Switch)
- Warcraft III: Reforged (PC)
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS
Apex Legends – Season 4 Launch Trailer:
Revenant has a score to settle.
Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge – Exclusive Official Trailer:
Get over here… and watch this trailer.
Apex Legends – Stories from the Outlands – “Up Close and Personal”:
Revenant ain’t no joke.
DiRT Rally 2.0 – Colin McRae: FLAT OUT Pack Trailer:
Codemasters celebrates the man who inspired the series.
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales – Nintendo Switch Launch Trailer:
And we’ve got yet another Witcher spin-off game.
Overwatch – Developer Update | Experimentation & Hero Pools:
Mr. Kaplan refuses to say the “n word”.
Monster Train is “a new take on roguelike deck-building card games”:
Slated for Q2 2020, Good Shepherd Entertainment and San Francisco-based indie studio Shiny Shoe’s upcoming release offers “multiple ways to customise your tactics, online multiplayer, and an array of unique gameplay possibilities” as you work to protect Hell’s last pyre from the forces of Heaven. It’s also got five different clans for you to choose from, a variety of enemies and multiple routes to take on your journey through Hell, ensuring that no two playthroughs will ever be the same.
Those interested can sign up for the chance to be included in a closed PC beta by visiting the game’s official website. As of this writing, Monster Train has only been announced for Windows PC.
Dungeon Defenders is back, and it’s heading into Early Access:
On the back of a well-received closed beta, Chromatic Games is set to release Dungeon Defenders: Awakened onto Steam Early Access on February 21, with a full release on PC and Nintendo Switch planned for the second quarter of this year. The Early Access build will contain “nearly everything in the full base game,” with 12 levels across five game modes, four playable characters, “endless waves” of enemies, weekly content drops and “additional surprises from the team.”
- Blizzard, Valve, and Riot Games cancel Esports tournaments in China in the wake of the corona virus crisis: Polygon, Polygon
- This month’s free PlayStation Plus games include BioShock: The Collection and The Sims 4: EU PS Blog
- TT Isle of Man leads this month’s Games with Gold offering: Xbox Wire
- DICE is finally going to add tank customisation to Battlefield V in an upcoming free update: GameSpot
- Twitch Prime subscribers can claim some Destiny 2 loot: Official
- Atari has stretched its licensing to future Atari-branded hotels: The Verge
- Wizards of the Coast has founded a new studio run by ex-BioWare developers: GamesIndustry.biz
- As with the other games, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will only feature one island per console: Eurogamer
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Also published on Medium.