This week in gaming: An ex-BioWare writer sets up shop in Melbourne, E3 threatens to be an “influencer-first” event, CD Projekt RED talks Cyberpunk 2077’s tailored quests, 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!
- Jake took a trip back to his childhood with Final Fantasy VIII Remastered and found that although Square Enix and its collaborators were only able to put a little bit of polish on the game, that little bit of polish was enough to enrich the experience and make a phenomenal game even better.
Former BioWare lead writer is setting up shop in Australia:
David Gaider, the writer behind Stars Wars: Knights of the Old Republic’s beloved HK-47 and Dragon Age: Origins, has set up a new Melbourne-based development house named Summerfall Studios. The company is planning on announcing a Kickstarter campaign for its debut project, an “illustrated character-driven adventure”, at 10.30am AEST on October 11 during Melbourne International Games Week.
Report: E3 looks set to become a “fan, media and influencer festival” next year:
According to GameDaily.biz, an anonymous source has leaked presentation slides allegedly revealing the Electronic Software Association’s new vision for its annual E3 media conference. As part of its plans, the ESA is reportedly planning on increasing the number of public tickets from 10,000 to 25,000 and allow companies to provide “queuetainment” to patrons waiting in line to play games. Furthermore, the plans also include an increased focus on bringing “influencers” and celebrities to the event to create “validation, attention, and excitement across media outlets beyond the video game space” that can be used to combat the impact of future “”negative video game stories”. The ESA has not issued a statement in response to this alleged leak as of this writing.
CD Projekt RED: All of Cyberpunk 2077’s quests will be crafted by hand:
Quest Design Coordinator Philipp Weber has taken to CD Projekt RED’s forum to reveal that each and every one of Cyberpunk 2077’s quests will be “handcrafted” unlike similar games such as Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
“Every quest in the game is handcrafted,” he wrote. “For us, quality is always more important than quantity, and we just couldn’t deliver this quality with modules we assemble in different ways to create these random quests.”
Weber also explained how everyone in his design team works together in pitching ideas and developing them into memorable and interesting quests.
Borderlands 3 has twice as many PC players at launch as Borderlands 2 did at its peak:
An elated Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford made the announcement on Twitter, where he revealed that Borderlands 3’s peak launch-day concurrent player count was “about twice as high as the all-time peak concurrent players of Borderlands 2.” That count increased the following day, according to Pitchford, which set a Gearbox launch record.
PC Gamer did the maths on Pitchford’s claim, revealing that Borderlands 2 peaked at anywhere between 123,000 and 124,000 players – depending on which sales tracker you believe – which means that Borderlands 3 reached at least 248,000 concurrent players on PC since its launch. Of course, we don’t have the same numbers available for consoles at this point, but it all comes together to show that Borderlands 3 has been a great success, despite controversies surrounding some technical issues, as well as its Epic Games Store exclusivity.
John Wick Hex is set to release in a couple of weeks:
Earlier this week, Bithell Games and publisher Good Shepherd Entertainment announced their plans to release the “action-oriented timeline strategy game” based on the John Wick universe on October 8, exclusively on the Epic Games Store on Mac and Windows. The game is set to “expand on the series’ universe with an original storyline, unique graphic noir art design and the world-class voice talents of Ian McShane and Lance Reddick”, who reprise their roles as Winston and Charon respectively, along with Troy Baker voicing the antagonist, Hex.
It’s looking like an interesting title, and we can’t wait to see how the John Wick universe translates into video games!
Rockstar releases its own game launcher, and GTA: San Andreas is free for all:
The New York-based juggernaut has joined a long list of publishers who have built their own software launchers, and it’s celebrated that fact by offering one of its best-loved titles for free. The Rockstar Games Launcher is the new place to be if you’re looking to play a Rockstar title; it won’t just scan your PC for any existing Rockstar installs, though, it’s also offering some pretty competitive prices on Rockstar’s library with recent releases such as GTA V and Max Payne 3 coming in under the $40 mark.
Players can download the launcher from the Rockstar Social Club, and it will link to their Rockstar Social Club account to access your cloud saves, update your games, and more.
The first three Dragon Quest titles are headed to Nintendo Switch this week:
Dragon Quest’s Hero is now in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is still going strong nearly a year after its release, and we’ll be seeing a Definitive Edition of Dragon Quest 11 S: Echoes of an Elusive Age on Switch this week, so Nintendo is capitalising on the buzz by releasing the three original titles on Switch.
They’ll be available on the Nintendo Switch eShop from September 27 (the same day as Dragon Quest 11): Dragon Quest will set players back $4.99, its sequel will come in at $6.49, and the final title in the Erdrick trilogy, Dragon Quest 3: The Seeds of Salvation will run you $12.49. They’re not simple ports of the original titles, either – they’ll be using graphics from the mobile ports that came out in 2014, so they’re a little prettier than they were back in the 1980s.
“Most” of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s post-launch content will be out across all platforms at the same time:
Infinity Ward confirmed its plans on Activision’s blog early this week and also promised to reveal more of its “post-launch content plans” prior to the game’s release at the end of next month.
A PlayStation State of Play stream is due next week:
PlayStation Social Media Director Sid Shuman has announced that Sony Interactive Entertainment will be hosting a twenty-minute State of Play livestream at 6am AEST on Wednesday, September 25.
NOTABLE GAME RELEASES
- Untitled Goose Game (PC, Switch)
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch)
- Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered (PC, PS4, Switch)
- The Sojourn (PC, PS4, Xbox One)
- AI: The Somnium Files (PC, PS4, Switch)
- Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son (PC, PS4)
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS
Destiny 2: Shadowkeep – Bungie ViDoc – The Moon and Beyond:
A new Dungeon, updated Crucible modes, and an even harder Nightfall experience are some more reasons to be excited for Shadowkeep.
GRID – Get Your Heart Racing:
Codemasters is really amping up the “competitive” aspect of its latest racer.
Apex Legends – Stories from the Outlands – “Forever Family”:
Here’s a look at why Crypto went from loyal corporate employee to vigilante hacker.
Fortnite: Battle Royale – Fortnite X Batman Announce Trailer:
Tilted Towers becomes Gotham City? Yes, please.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening – Overview trailer:
Check out this short primer for Link’s colourful new (old) adventure.
Terminator Resistance – Announcement Trailer:
The Resistance needs our help.
Point-and-click horror adventure 3rd Eye is coming next week:
Published by Sony Music Entertainment publishing label UNITIES, 3rd Eye is an incredibly unsettling adventure set in the Touhou Project universe that will see players “use [protagonist Koishi Komeiji]’s recently-opened [third] eye to uncover dreamlike manifestations reflecting the people and world around her.” It’s set to be released on Mac and Windows (via Steam) on September 30, with Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 versions to follow before the year is out.
Infini brings its interesting style to Mac, PC and Switch early next year:
Developed in Montréal by Barnaque and published by Nakana.io, Infini is a psychedelic puzzle-adventure game that “combines and outlanding narrative with rigorous mind-bending puzzles” to “[walk] a fine line [between] meditative and chaotic.” It’s slated to trip you out at some point during the first quarter of 2020; here’s a trailer for you if you just can’t wait to see what Infini is all about:
Projection: First Light is now available on Apple Arcade:
Sydney’s Shadowplay Studios and publisher Blowfish Studios brought their unique puzzle-platformer, which is based around “the rich artistic tradition of shadow puppetry”, to Apple’s new storefront earlier this week. Free with your Apple Arcade subscription, Projection: First Light asks players to “manipulate light to create new paths” as they traverse locales including China, Indonesia and Victorian England, battling enemies and solving puzzles while they learn more about the places they’re moving through.
It’s currently only available on iPhone, but Apple TV, iPad and macOS versions are in the pipeline.
- The big Steam library update is now available for everyone: PC Gamer
- There’s a LEGO-themed event running in Overwatch: Game Informer
- Crypto has been spotted in Apex Legends – but he’s not playable just yet: Eurogamer
- Twitch acquired the Internet Gaming Database: GI.Biz
- The Google Stadia Premiere Edition is replacing the sold-out Founders’ Edition: GamesRadar
- Ubisoft lawyers up to deal with Rainbow Six DDoS attacks: Kotaku
- French courts rule that Steam “cannot ban the resale of dematerialised games” – Valve plans to appeal: PC Gamer
- Twitch’s latest moves against “sexualised” content is upsetting streamers: Kotaku
- BioWare is moving away from major Anthem updates in favour of fixing its core issues: Eurogamer
- The Epic Games Store now features a “list view” for game libraries: PC Gamer
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Also published on Medium.