Doublejump Digest: February 22, 2021

by Doublejump

This week in gaming: Blizzard entertains fans at BlizzConline, Saudi Arabia spends big, Valve rejects Apple, 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!


FROM DOUBLEJUMP 


MAJOR NEWS

Blizzard shows off Overwatch 2, Diablo II: Resurrected, and Diablo IV at BlizzConline 2021

Blizzard Entertainment hosted a virtual version of its annual BlizzCon fan event over the weekend and showed off new character artwork for Overwatch 2 (via Polygon) featuring slightly modified depictions of McCree, Widowmaker, Pharah, and Reaper.

Oh, and Lead Hero Designer Geoff Goodman gave fans a rundown of Sojourn and her classic weapon type (the railgun) during a development update for Overwatch 2 where other team members talked about new maps, abilities, revised sound effects, and Hero Missions.

Blizzard also revealed that Rogue is a new class coming in Diablo IV, and ear-less assassins all around the world have been wondering why it took the company so long to acknowledge them.

We’re really hoping that Diablo II: Resurrected is a much better remaster than what the company pooped out with Warcraft III: Reforged.

The company also highlighted its more humble beginnings by bundling up Blackthorne, The Lost Vikings, and  Rock N Roll Racing as the Blizzard Arcade Collection on PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.

The Saudi Royal Family invests US$3B into EA, Activision Blizzard, and Take-Two

Al Jazeera has reported that the Public Investment Fund, which is backed by the Saudi Arabian royal family, invested a combined total of approximately US$3.3 billion into Activision Blizzard (US$1.4 billion), EA (US$1.1 billion), and Take-Two Interactive (US$825 million).

The news outlet also noted that one of the charities belonging to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was allegedly involved in the assassination of Saudi Arabian dissident and author Jamal Khashoggi, acquired a one-third stake in Japanese game company SNK.

Valve resists Apple’s call for it to join fight against Epic Games

According to a new California court filing (via PC Gamer), Apple subpoenaed Valve Software to reveal sales data that it may use in its ongoing legal fight against Epic Games and its own App Store monetary policy.

The firm that Apple has hired to represent it argued that Steam sales data would be relevant for Apple to argue its case against Epic Games because Steam is “the dominant digital game distributor on the PC platform” and functions as “a direct competitor” to the Epic Games Store.

The new documents show that Valve rejected Apple’s requests for Steam data and argued that the company should not be brought into the dispute because Valve doesn’t operate on any mobile platforms, which is where the Apple vs. Epic Games fight began.

Microsoft announces new wireless headset designed for Xbox Series X|S

Microsoft has announced its own competitor to Sony’s popular PULSE 3D wireless headset in the form of the brand new (and aptly-titled) “new” Xbox Wireless Headset. As with previous first-party wireless Xbox accessories, the new headset uses Microsoft’s proprietary Xbox Wireless protocol to deliver “low latency, lossless audio for exceptional sound quality”.

The new Xbox Wireless Headset also features “dual beamforming microphone elements” and “voice isolation tuning” to focus on clearly separating the wearer’s voice from their surrounding environment. Furthermore, Microsoft expects the headset to last up to 15 hours after a single 3-hour charge and up to 4 hours after a 30-minute charge.

Microsoft has priced the new Xbox Wireless Headset at AU$149 with pre-orders already open.

Here’s the first trailer for New Line Cinema’s Mortal Kombat adaptation

Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema have finally released the first trailer for the upcoming live-action Mortal Kombat adaptation. The film, which takes place in a new timeline, follows mixed-martial artist Cole Young as he… who am I kidding, let’s get right to the video!


VIDEOS AND TRAILERS

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War & Warzone — Season Two Gameplay Trailer

A Jungle map for Warzone sounds like a great idea!

Fortnite — Ryu and Chun-Li crossover trailer

I’m more of a TEKKEN man myself.

TEKKEN 7 — Video title

The Polish Prime Minister is the latest contender to take on the Mishima threat.

Persona 5 Strikers Launch Trailer

The Phantom Thieves are at it again.

For Honor — Shovel Knight Trailer

This is a genius move.


OTHER NEWS

  • Report: Google Stadia praised its studios just one week before shutting them down: Kotaku
  • The Xbox Series X|S’s FPS Boost may be the future of backwards compatibility: Xbox Wire
  • Twitch itself dubbed over Metallica’s BlizzConline performance to avoid a copyright takedown: Engadget
  • Intrepid game historians have showed off a nearly-finished build of Rare’ unreleased Dinosaur Planet: The Verge
  • Little Nightmares’s studio is focussing on creating a new franchise: IGN
  • Bungie has announced new hires and a new studio as part of its plans for expansion: Official
  • The Medium’s developer is working on a new entry in a beloved horror franchise: GamesIndustry.biz
  • YouTube took down PewDiePie’s “diss track” because it violated its guidelines: The Verge
  • NVIDIA is making new GPUs that are specifically designed for mining cryptocurrency: Official

Abir Chowdhury contributed to this article.


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