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The Casual News
Every week we are going to be bringing you a Friday news round up. These will be bitesize articles that will give you a taste of the most interesting news from the industry, along with links for you to find more details. Let us know in the comments if you have any opinions on what you have read!
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The biggest news from this week has to be the $300 million dollar acquisition of some Square Enix studios, including Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal, by The Embracer Group. These studios were mostly responsible for Western IPs, such as Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Legacy of Kain and The Avengers, so there won’t be any impact on the likes of Final Fantasy. In some respects titles like Legacy of Kain have been hugely negated so it will be interesting
As usual, Square Enix is going to Square Enix. They’ve stated that they are looking to use this money to invest in “blockchain, AI and the cloud”. Whatever that means. For every successful period they have, like the release of Final Fantasy VII Remake, the developer and publisher has mental moments like green-lighting The Avengers, or releasing mad games like Dirge of Cerberus. Things have looked promising over the last couple of years, and it seemed like Square were on the way to realising what gamers actually want from them. Perhaps trimming their studios down will be a good thing, allowing them to be focused on their priority titles.
On the downside though, this seems like a real cut down price to be selling properties for, especially when this has been done to focus on blockchain at a time when the NFT market is crashing. On top of that, NFTs in gaming is a really controversial topic and not popular at all with a lot of people. Time will tell if there is a genuine place for blockchain within gaming, but we won’t be holding our breath.
The weakest link
Speaking of breath, there’s been some interesting developments recently with the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel. Firstly, as you may remember from a couple of weeks ago, BOTW2 has been delayed until 2023. This is a huge shame, but I’d much rather them get it right than rush it out. The first game was a masterpiece, so obviously there is a lot to live up to, but beyond that the Switch is also an ageing piece of hardware so Nintendo really need to get it right.
Another major news story related to the game broke this week, with an Italian voice actor seemingly leaking key details about the game’s story in an interview with a YouTube channel. I am purposefully ignoring the leak as I’d rather go spoiler free, however, if you want to find out what the details are then click here. Allegedly it confirms some fan theories, but I wouldn’t know as I haven’t looked!
Beta late than never
The Overwatch 2 beta dropped last week and was by all accounts underwhelming. Many people have labelled it as a glorified patch, with only one new character, one new map and one new mode available to play. Granted, there has been complete character reworks and a reduction in team sizes to 5v5, but it’s not been enough for some people. On top of that, the new team sizes have resulted in lots of players being miffed at the balance of the games, particularly for support players.
This has left the development team needing to express that this wasn’t the end of the changes, and that more were coming in further beta patches. Neither of us have had a chance to grab a place on the beta, and I didn’t really fancy watching 4 hours of a Twitch stream, or even an hour of Overwatch League, to get one. Still, there are means to get a pass if you’re after one and I might yet change my mind before the weekend is up, depends on how hungover I am tomorrow.
Gotta go fast
Sonic 2 has had an absolutely blistering start to it’s time in the cinema, smashing the opening weekend record for a video game movie and already beating the money made for Sonic 1, and with the film still to be released in Japan too. Eggcellent work by Jim Carrey and the gang. You can find some of the figures here. As a bit of a Sonic game series geek (not quite uber fan, but very familiar with the series) I had mixed feelings about the first film. It got lots of things right, but it felt a bit too Hollywood and having the human characters in it was jarring at times. I’m looking forward to catching the sequel though, with having no kids it feels a bit awkward going to the cinema to watch it, so I’ll be waiting for the home release! If you’ve seen Sonic 2, drop a comment below and let us know your thoughts.
With E3 cancelled yet again there seemed to be a bit of a hole in the gaming industry for the summer. Call me old fashioned, but I’ve always loved the big expos that release a ton of information in a week, granted it’s not ideal for those in the industry, but attending E3 has been the dream since I was a kid. However, in to replace it is Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest, and whilst this isn’t the first time it’s taken place, it now has a bigger place in the schedule. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this, and the previously announced Xbox/Bethesda showcase, with a few bumper issues no doubt coming out afterwards.
Each week we’ll be posting a rundown of the latest games that have come out, or are coming out, during the last week or so. Here’s what we’ve kept our eyes on:
The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe- 27/05/22
Rogue Legacy 2- 28/05/22
Nintendo Switch Sports- 29/04/22
Trek to Yomi- 05/05/22
Citizen Sleeper- 05/05/22
Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Gate-Daemonhunters- 05/05/22