This week in gaming: “Gaming disorder” is an official illness, 2K pulls Borderlands 3 from Epic Games Store, PlayStation embraces big screen game adaptations, 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!
It’s official: the World Health Organisation has adopted the revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) that includes “gaming disorder” for the first time. The “disorder” is listed immediately after “gambling disorder” – known as “pathological gambling” until 1990 – and essentially repeats the latter’s definition word-for-word: it’s considered “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline”.
According to the revision, which is set to formally take effect on January 1, 2022, patients with gaming disorder may present with “impaired control over gaming,” an “increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that [it] takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities,” and the “continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”
Of course, this revision has been met with significant criticism. Last year, when the revision was initially finalised, the Entertainment Software Association suggested that gaming disorder’s inclusion “recklessly trivialises real mental health issues like depression and social anxiety disorder;” yesterday, the ESA released another statement, this time with the backing of industry associations from around the world imploring the WHO that “its guidance needs to be based on regular, inclusive and transparent reviews backed by independent experts.” It continued on to state that “‘gaming disorder is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify its inclusion in one of the WHO’s most important norm-setting tools.”
While it’s important to note that the ICD is not law, but it is highly influential in medical practices, and the news of its inclusion as an “official” disease is sure to send many a concerned parent or friend into a spin.
2K Games joins other companies by pulling Borderlands 3 pre-orders during Epic’s Mega Sale:
After it suddenly pulled Borderlands 3 from the Epic Games Store during last week’s “Mega Sale”, publisher 2K Games told Eurogamer that players will, once again, be able to preorder the game on PC.
“We are working closely with Epic and have temporarily removed Borderlands 3 from their storefront,” 2K Games wrote. “We look forward to the game being back on the Epic Games store soon. Games bought during their Mega Sale will be honored at that price.”
Frustratingly, 2K Games did not offer an explanation for pulling the game from sale, but one may speculate that the company shares the fear of other publishers and developers that reducing the game’s price devalues it in consumers’ eyes.
Sony announces PlayStation Productions:
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sony has started up a new “production” studio named PlayStation Productions that will be responsible for turning the company’s original gaming franchises into feature films and television shows. Sony Interactive Entertainment President Shawn Layden is using the Marvel model to effectively retain creative control of its franchises rather than licensing them out to potential studios. This could potentially help get the long-rumored Uncharted and The Last of Us films off the ground.
Australia’s consumer video game spending eclipses $4b:
In its latest annual research report, The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association (IGEA) has valued Australia’s yearly consumer spending on video games at over $4 billion. The company found that Australians purchased more than $2.85 billion in “digital sales” (up by 39 percent from last year), with physical copies accounting for $1.18 billion (up 0.2 percent). The IGEA further divided digital sales into “Digital Games” including microtransactions (an increase of 71 percent to $1.52 billion), Mobile Revenue from Android and iOS (up 11 percent to $1.19 billion), and Subscription Revenue (which increased 31 percent to $214 million).
Paramount delays the Sonic the Hedgehog movie:
The film’s Director, Jeff Fowler, took to Twitter to announce that Paramount Pictures has delayed the live-action adaptation to next St. Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2020) to give the film’s animation staff more time to change the titular character’s visual design. The announcement follows in the wake of expressing concern about the welfare of animation staff who may have been forced to work unhealthy hours to meet the film’s original release date despite Paramount announcing that it would change Sonic’s design for the movie.
Report: The next Call of Duty is called Modern Warfare:
YouTube channel LongSensation has tweeted that this year’s Infinity Ward-developed Call of Duty game will be named Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, with Kotaku later reporting that the game will be “a soft reboot” of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
GOG Galaxy 2.0 is an ambitious project looking to bring all of your games to the one library; GOG pulls Telltale’s games:
GOG has announced an upcoming revision of its GOG Galaxy launcher that will attempt to let players combine all of their libraries and friends lists from various other digital storefronts into one single application. A company representative told PC Gamer that it plans on working with other digital storefronts to ensure that its “official integrations” work safely and within each company’s individual policies.
In related news, GOG also announced that it will remove all of Telltale Games’ titles for sale from its storefront this week “due to [the] company’s closure”. However, existing owners will still have the games in their libraries.
NOTABLE GAME RELEASES:
Dauntless (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
Team Sonic Racing (PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One)
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS:
Fortnite: Battle Royale – Fortnite X Jumpman:
Because of course this was going to happen!
Dauntless – Launch Trailer:
You can now hunt monsters across platforms.
GRID – Coming September 2019:
Codemasters is teasing a return to GT racing.
Overwatch – Overwatch Anniversary 2019:
All the fan favourites have returned!
F1 2019 – RISE UP AGAINST YOUR RIVALS:
What better way to celebrate the Monaco Grand Prix than with a new F1 trailer?
Doctor Who: The Edge of Time – Teaser:
It’s about time that we saw another Doctor Who game.
BeardedBrothers.Games invites Switch owners to Go Nuts in July:
The Skrzypkowski brothers have announced that their multiplayer platformer/”colourful game of ‘the floor is lava,’” Let’s Go Nuts, is on its way to the Nintendo Switch, releasing on July 17 – just over a year after its original release on Windows PC. The game and its “nutty adventure for players of all skill levels” will set players back $9.99, with a 70% discount on Switch for “a limited time.”
No Code’s A.I. thriller, Observation, has woken up:
Billed as a “larger scale follow-up to No Code’s cult classic Stories Untold,” Observation sees players cast in the role of an artificial intelligence named S.A.M as it assists Dr. Emma Fisher in figuring out what’s happening to her space station, her vanished crew… and S.A.M itself. It promises to be an epic thriller, and it’s available now for AU$30.95/US$24.99/£19.99 on PlayStation 4 and the Epic Games Store.
Rescue HQ – The Tycoon is set for dispatch this week:
Publisher Aerosoft and simulation specialist stillalive studios are ready to dispatch their emergency services management simulator onto Windows PC (via Steam) this coming Tuesday, May 28, priced at US$29.95. Players will see themselves “grow from a small humble office into an emergency services empire” – if there can really be such a thing – by training their team and developing their facilities to protect Berlin and San Francisco from all manner of emergencies.
Xbox head commits to building a safe and inclusive gaming community: Microsoft
An Elder Scrolls miniatures game is on the way:Polygon
New Apex Legends patch eliminates numerous PC-specific bugs: Official
Double Fine’s latest title is coming to PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One in August: Eurogamer
Lords of the Fallen 2 is back in “development hell” as its publisher drops its developer: DualShockers
The Division 2 is getting raid matchmaking after all: GamesRadar
The next Mortal Kombat movie now has a release window: Eurogamer
Pokémon Sword and Shield will feature trainer customisation, but not Uniqlo’s design contest winner: GameSpot