This week in gaming: Paradox delays Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2, Valheim scores 4M in sales, the System Shock remake is on track for 2021, 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 explored the origins of Konami’s beloved Castlevania series to find the person who started it all.
- Ethan speculated about how Pyra and Mythra might stack up in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Paradox delays Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 out of 2021, boots Hardsuit Labs as developer
Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 has suffered yet another major setback early in the week, as publisher Paradox Interactive posted a Development Update to confirm that the game is still in the works. In the same update, however, the publisher announced that “Hardsuit Labs will no longer be leading the development of Bloodlines 2” and that the game “will not be releasing in 2021 as previously planned.”
“This game is very important to us and it has been an ambitious project from the very start,” the publisher explained. “In order to meet our goals for it, we’ve come to the conclusion that a change is needed and, as a result, more development time is required.”
Paradox did not explain exactly why it parted ways with Hardsuit Labs, but this latest development comes only months after the studio parted ways with former Lead Narrative Designer Brian Mitsoda and former Creative Director Ka’ai Cluney, delayed the game beyond the console launch period, and saw the subsequent departure of Senior Narrative Designer Cara Ellison.
Worryingly, the publisher stopped short of announcing a new lead developer but what is even more concerning is the fact that it declined to provide a new release window, instead opting to “stop accepting pre-orders for the time being” instead.
Valheim crosses 4M sales milestone already
Valheim developer Iron Gate Studio has announced that its immensely-popular multiplayer survival Early Access title has sold four million copies in just three weeks since release. Furthermore, the company also noted that the game “hit 500,000 concurrent players” last weekend, which puts Valheim in “the top 5 most played games in the history of Steam”.
The System Shock remake is coming out this year
After almost five whole years in development, developer Nightdive Studios has taken to Kickstarter to announce that it’s planning to release its long-awaited remake of the 1994 classic System Shock late this winter.
In addition to the announcement, preorders for the game went live on Steam, GOG, and the Epic Games Store alongside a playable demo. The demo showcases the game’s new lighting systems, voice acting, and dynamic audio mixing along with other additions.
Halo Infinite looks much better in new screenshots
343 Industries has released a handful of new Halo Infinite screenshots that showcase the game in a much better light than previously shown. The images, which were captured on PC, demonstrate the developer’s “Time-of-Day lighting system” and improved texture quality.
BioWare officially pulls the pin on Anthem NEXT:
BioWare Austin Executive Producer Christian Dailey took to the company’s official blog to announce that the studio has stopped “new development work” on its much maligned multiplayer shooter, Anthem.
“2020 was a year unlike any other however and while we continue to make progress against all our game projects at BioWare,” he explained, “working from home during the pandemic has had an impact on our productivity and not everything we had planned as a studio before COVID-19 can be accomplished without putting undue stress on our teams.”
Publisher EA hasn’t announced plans to shut down the game entirely, but we’re not expecting it to wait much longer.
NOTABLE GAME RELEASES
- Persona 5 Strikers (PC, PS4, and Switch)
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS
PlayStation — State of Play (February 26, 2021)
Sony followed in Nintendo’s wake by hosting its own (ultimately uneventful) livestream late this week.
VALORANT — Astra Gameplay Reveal Trailer
She is a paradigm shift in multiplayer shooter game design.
Hood: Outlaws & Legends — The Ranger Character Gameplay Trailer
How can he see through that thing?
Hot Wheels UNLEASHED! — Announcement Trailer
Playing with fake cars just got real.
Aussie-made SWAT simulator Hot Brass is out now:
Developer Walk With Kings and publisher Treasure Hunters Fan Club have released their top-down tactical SWAT game on Mac and Windows PC. A mixture of action, stealth and strategy, Hot Brass casts you as an “elite SWAT operator” in the middle of a variety of dangerous situations, tasked with diffusing the situations without unnecessary violence or loss of life.
Hot Brass is available on Steam, where it will set players back US$14.99 (with a 20% discount available until March 5), with an Operator Edition offering the game and the official soundtrack for US$19.99 — a 20% saving versus purchasing them separately.
Boomerang X comes to PC and Switch in Spring (well, Autumn…):
Devolver Digital’s latest creative release comes to us from DANG!, and it’s “an action-packed FPB (First Person Boomeranger)” with an intriguing graphical style, some really cool traversal mechanics, and some seriously frantic encounters. It’s set to be released this coming Spring (Autumn here in the Southern Hemisphere); in the meantime, though, you can get a look at Boomerang X through a free demo that Devolver and DANG! released earlier this week over on the game’s Steam page.
Gnosia comes to Nintendo Switch next week:
Two years after its initial Japanese PlayStation Vita release, publisher PLAYISM is bringing Petit Depotto’s critically-acclaimed social deduction RPG, Gnosia, to Nintendo Switch consoles worldwide on March 4.
Resembling a single-player version of Among Us, Gnosia is set on a drifting spaceship that’s under threat from the mysterious titular entity. Each night, the ship’s crew puts one member into stasis to attempt to eliminate the threat, and the game asks players to choose between 30 different commands to deduce which crew member (or members) could be Gnosia in disguise.
If this sounds interesting to you, Gnosia is available for pre-order right now on the Nintendo Switch eShop.
- HP has bought Kingston’s HyperX brand for US$425M: The Verge
- Final Fantasy VII Remake leads March’s PlayStation Plus free game offering: PlayStation Blog
- Google reportedly spent millions on securing major AAA Google Stadia ports: Bloomberg
- Monster Hunter Rise won’t come to PC until next year: IGN
- Bungie has delayed Destiny 2: The Witch Queen to 2022: Bungie
- SIE has confirmed that it has wound down its JAPAN Studio: VGC
- US President Joe Biden has ordered a review into the semiconductor supply shortage affecting almost all consumer electronics: Reuters
- Cyberpunk 2077’s next major patch is now due “in the second half” of this month: Twitter
- GameStop’s CFO has resigned from his post: Gamasutra
Abir Chowdhury, Cai Holroyd, and Jake Colosimo contributed to this article.