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!
- Ben upgraded his launch-day Nintendo Switch to the OLED Model, and now he won’t go back: the OLED Model is “the new gold standard”.
- It hasn’t got a bunch of flashy additions, but Alan Wake Remastered adds very welcome extra polish to a narrative experience that still stands up as one of Remedy Entertainment’s best.
- John summarised some of the ongoing workplace drama in the industry and highlighted the latest developments at Metroid Dread developer MercurySteam, Quantic Dream, and Activision Blizzard.
- On Doublejump Radio Episode 036, Kate joined John & Abir to talk lovingly about Deathloop, disappointingly about the Battlefield 2042 Open Beta, optimistically about Eidos-Montreal switching to a four-day work week, and more.
Twitch says that no passwords were exposed in recent leak
In an official news update following last week’s source code and payout leak, Twitch has claimed that user passwords “have not been exposed” and that it is “also confident that systems that store Twitch login credentials…were not accessed” and neither were banking information or “full credit card numbers”.
Still, it would be a good idea to change your Twitch password and check your bank statements for unusual activity just in case your linked credit card was compromised.
Report: FIFA demands US$1B from EA for naming rights, wants more companies making office football games
According to The New York Times (via GameSpot), that global football governing body FIFA has given EA a US$1 billion asking price for the rights to use the former’s official branding and include the World Cup in EA video games for four years (i.e. the standard World Cup cycle).
This figure reportedly represents “more than double” the amount that EA paid for the current licensing agreement through to 2022. Furthermore, EA and FIFA are allegedly unable to agree upon whether this new licensing agreement will also include the rights to real match highlights, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and more.
Neither EA nor FIFA specifically commented on this report, but FIFA later wrote that it wants to move away from signing exclusively with EA going forward.
“FIFA is bullish and excited about the future in gaming and [Esports] for football, and it is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights,” the organisation wrote on its official site. “Technology and mobile companies are now actively competing to be associated with FIFA, its platforms, and global tournaments.”
FIFA added that it has started consulting with “various industry players, including developers, investors and analysts to build out a long-term view of the gaming, eSports and interactive entertainment sector.”
In related news, EA has announced that it has re-signed a “long-term commitment” with players representation organisation FIFPRO to retain the likeness rights to tens of thousands of real players, teams, and leagues.
Nintendo unveils paid Animal Crossing: New Horizons expansion, announces new Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack pricing, apologises for serious Metroid Dread bug
During its recent Animal Crossing-themed Direct, Nintendo announced both a free update and paid expansion for last year’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Set for release on November 5, New Horizons’ 2.0 update will be the last major free update for the title. The update will see the return of fan-favourite characters like Brewster at the Roost Cafe, shanty-singing Kapp’n, and fortune teller Katrina; Gyroids are also back as a collectible item (last seen in 2013’s Animal Crossing: New Leaf); and the addition of a host of new decorations.
Nintendo also announced Happy Home Paradise, a paid expansion for New Horizons, which will add additional home design options, such as in-home pillars and walls, alongside a new gameplay mode working as a vacation home designer. Reminiscent of 3DS spin-off Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer, the player will be tasked with designing new holiday homes and interiors for vacationing villagers.
Both the free update and Happy Home Paradise are set to release on November 5, with the game’s expansion pack priced at AU$37.50.
As part of the Direct, Nintendo also announced the launch details for the upcoming Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack subscription tier.
Annually, Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack will cost AU$59.95 for individual users and AU$109.95 for a Family Membership. This is essentially double the price of the base subscription, which currently sits at AU$29.95 and $54.95 respectively. As of writing, options for one- and three-month membership packages are seemingly unavailable for the Expansion Pack tier and can only be purchased on a yearly basis.
On top of the Nintendo 64 and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis titles already included in the service, the Expansion Pack tier will also feature the newly-announced Happy Home Paradise DLC.
The Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack is set to launch later this month on October 26.
In other Nintendo news, the company has apologised for a major progression-preventing bug in the newly released Metroid Dread. A patch resolving the bug is confirmed for later this month.
Valve bans NFTs and blockchain games from Steam, Epic Games considers different approach
Age of Rust developer SpacePirate Games this week revealed (via The Verge) that Valve banned its game because it included NFTs and that the gaming giant quietly-updated its Steam Onboarding documentation to now specifically mention that it won’t allow anything “built on blockchain technology that issue or allow exchange of cryptocurrencies or NFTs.”
Valve has not commented as of this writing, but one of its main competitors, Epic Games told The Verge that it is “open to games that support cryptocurrency or blockchain-based assets” on its Steam rival, the Epic Games Store.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney later tweeted that some of the rules that blockchain games’ developers like SpacePirate Games will need to adhere to are: “follow[ing] the relevant laws, disclos[ing] their terms, and [age-rating] by an appropriate group”.
DICE reveals Battlefield 2042’s new Hazard Mode
Battlefield 2042 lead developer DICE finally revealed the first details about the game’s more objective-focussed Hazard Mode.
The new 32-player mode (24-player on previous-gen consoles) pits multiple four-player squads against each other in a race to collect the most data drives from fallen satellites and then fight their way to a specific location to be “extracted” out of the match.
There are only two extraction opportunities per match, and only one team can extract per opportunity, so this mode should result in higher stakes firefights than the traditional Conquest.
Players will also be able to buy weapons and gadgets at the start of each match, with currency(Dark Market Credits) carried over between matches and also awarded for successfully extracting with data drives.
NOTABLE GAME RELEASES
- Back 4 Blood (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
- Crysis Remastered Trilogy (PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
- Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
- The Jackbox Party Pack 8 (PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
- Lone Echo II (Oculus, PC)
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League — Official Story Trailer
The Justice League is high on alien meth, and Task Force X is all that humanity has left to stop them.
Gotham Knights — Official Court of Owls Story Trailer
Okay, so this is the non-Rocksteady DC game. Gotcha.
Destiny 2: Beyond Light — Festival of the Lost Trailer
Eva the Horny Grandma is back and handing out more candy than ever before!
Call of Duty: Vanguard — Story Trailer
The hunt for the Reich October begins.
Call of Duty: Vanguard — Zombies Reveal Trailer
Billie Eilish in a Call of Duty trailer? Why not.
J. Balvin — Ten Cuidado (Pokémon 25 Version)
I want to live in a world filled with breakdancing Hitmontops.
- Activision Publishing is taking more drastic anti-cheat measures for Call of Duty: Vanguard: Eurogamer
- Analogue is debuting a new, retro game-focussed OS with its Pocket system: The Verge
- Xbox Series X|S Japanese sales have finally passed 100,000 mark: GameSpot
- Amazon is shutting down New World farming bots: Eurogamer
- Ubisoft delays Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Frontline: Polygon
- The Quake remaster now runs at 4K/120fps on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S: The Verge
- Report: Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy could be more fully-reworked remasters than expected: GamesRadar
- Report: Binge is working with Nightdive Studios on a live-action System Shock show: Deadline
- Blizzard blames Diablo II: Resurrected’s server issues on the original’s game code and growing player base: Polygon
- Dbrand stops selling PS5 Darkplates due to Sony legal threat: The Verge
- Halo: The Master Chief Collection is free-to-play until tomorrow: GameSpot
Abir Chowdhury and John Reeves contributed to this article.
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