Gaming News Episode 13

How does this thing work again?

First off, let me apologize for skipping last week. A couple of key factors played into it whether it be the lack of news, me starting a new freelance position with Twinfinite or my birthday week (sorry selfish plug) so I decided to play hooky.

This week will probably be shorter (I actually mean this), and it’ll have a lot of topics from the past two weeks so if it seems familiar I’m sorry… I’m late to the party!

Also, happy freaking May and a belated May the 4th be with you.

Gaming

Everybody’s selling

Word on the street is Ubisoft has been entertaining offers of being bought up. I’m pretty sure this has been in the news for some time now as Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said they’d prefer to remain independent but would “consider acquisition offers“.

It seems like the talks have been ramping up, and my guess is that this comes off of the heels off either the negative press the studio has been getting whether it be harassment or NFT bullshit, delays across many titles such as the new Ghost Recon titles and many failed projects. While the possible sale may seem cool, I guess the offers are coming from private equities which might not be a good thing.

Also, Ubisoft did announce a new title called “Project Q” and had to spend hours clarifying that there will be no NFTs in them… Nice!

Listen, I’ll put together the funds guys; don’t worry.

Yes the upcoming sale includes all of these titles and much more.

In other news, Square Enix sold Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix Montreal to Embracer Group for $300 million. Now, you’re probably wondering what this means so I have a nice breakdown for you:

  • Embracer Group are the big wigs who have started purchasing every studio known to man such as THQ Nordic, Saber Interactive, and Gearbox Software, to name a few.
  • This recent acquisition allows them to a) add these new studios to their collective and b) also own the IPs those studios have created.
  • Those IPs include Tomb Raider with a new entry in the works using the power of Unreal 5 (fuck yes), Thief, Deus Ex and over 50 more IPs.

Okay, I took the short end when it comes to listing all the franchises these studios have worked on, but it’s pretty massive. I hope this gives these studios the opportunity to focus on reviving those titles as a new Guardians of the Galaxy would go stupid hard (check out my review and forgive me for being hip), the Deus Ex games were pretty influential and a ton of the older properties would be a fan service like no other. This news has started triggering some hope in fans that we’ll see a revival of Legacy of Kain, and I’d really like a sequel to Sleeping Dogs.

That game was great.

Oh, and before I forget, Square Enix commented on the sale and what it means moving forward.

Their response?

the transaction enables the launch of new business by moving forward with investments in fields such as blockchain, AI, and the cloud.”

Yeah… good luck Square Enix.

Overwatch 1.5? Skull & Boned? Halo Forever?

Newest hero Sojourn joins the fight.

This was the best caption I could come up with, I’m sorry guys.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or just don’t care, the Overwatch 2 PvP closed beta kicked off on the 26th. For those who opted in, they got their chance to play while the rest of us had to watch Twitch streams for three hours to get a guaranteed beta key. The game saw some high numbers on Twitch, I can’t remember where, but there was a screenshot (edit: link to an article confirming the number) on Twitter of the Overwatch category on Twitch reaching a million viewers (largely in part of the Twitch drops and both OW1/2 sharing the same category).

That being said, it seems like reception is all over the place as to how the title is looking. I’ve read that people are enjoying things such as the implementation of a scoreboard (Battlefield 2042 is punching the air right now), but the core changes such as moving to 5v5 instead of 6v6 are weird. Part of what has caused a problem is that by moving to 5v5, a lot of gameplay elements had to be reworked such as certain characters receiving complete reworks causing the game to have this sort of identity crisis. Vice wrote up a really good article that echoes a lot of the common sentiments that I’ve seen; Overwatch 2 PvP’s beta looks just like Overwatch 1 but with questionable gameplay design.

Now, I didn’t really spend a lot of time playing Overwatch because my group of peeps didn’t enjoy it so don’t take my opinion as a professional take, but I think that article I mentioned was really good for someone like me. Time will tell how this game will evolve, or if Blizzard will go the BF 2042 route and stick by their design choices, but people don’t seem happy from what I’ve seen at this moment. Blizzard have gone to share updates such as future changes coming to characters and map updates, and that is a start. I hope it’s a good one for fans.

“Ubisoft Original” jk jk

Skull & Bones, that pirate game from Ubisoft that has been in the works since 2013, has sprung a leak as leaked gameplay footage has shored up.

Yo that’s two pirate puns in a row, argh I’m good.

….

Okay that was a force.

Anyways, you’re probably wondering why that’s a big deal. It’s a big deal because the game hasn’t received any new footage since E3 2017 and there have been numerous reports (link to leaked footage details and reports on delay) that this game is floating between numerous reworks whether it be based off of locale or gameplay elements. Not to mention, the reports say this game title has exceeded its budget a few times. Yikes.

I have not seen the most recent footage, but it seems like the game has completely changed directions from what I thought was supposed to be them building off of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag‘s naval sections and has become a Rust x adult Sea of Thieves type hybrid. It seems interesting, but all of the feedback has been kind of mixed from those who caught a glimpse at the footage.

Ubisoft went on to address the leaked footage stating it was from a technical test and that it’s not a representation of the final product. You know, the usual talk track. I will give this a fair shot as more information comes out, but I can’t help but keep in mind that this is Ubisoft we’re talking about.

Full breakdown of Season 2.

Lastly, Halo Infinite just launched its second season of content since its surprise drop back in November. The newest update brings in a bevy of new content such as game modes, a brand new battle pass with plenty of cosmetics and a ton of quality of life changes to the multiplayer experience. The new season will follow in the path of season 1 as it will last six months with developer 343 citing team health and sustainable development as priority zero for the team.

Listen, I’ve gone on the record in previous posts about Halo Infinite and how the game has been handled. Basically, if they were so hellbent on making this a live service they should’ve been ready to meet the demand live service’s have when it comes to content and updates. Please don’t get me wrong; I am all on board with the priority focus on the team. I just think that they weren’t ready, and after four chances at making Halo games, people are really starting to question if 343 are the right team for Halo in general. It also doesn’t help that the game launched buggy and full of microtransactions bringing to question what was their primary focus for this game.

Trailers

Thymesia

Fans of Dark Souls and the plague time period (not sure why’d you like the plague but hey no judgement over here), Thymesia is the game you’ve been waiting for. This actually looks really clean and polished, I just hope it matches the trailer come launch. This drops August 9th, 2022 on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5 and PC.

“Apex Legends: Saviors” Season 13 Gameplay Trailer

I’ve kind of fallen off from Apex Legends because I hecking love Valorant, but I always get hyped when the next season is set to launch. This season looks to introduce Newcastle who happens to be Bangalore’s brother. As a Bangalore main, I like that. The season also looks to do some reworking to the Ranked system which fans having begging for quite some time now. Pretty cool stuff as the new season starts May 10th.

Esports

Winners’ Circle

Over the past couple of weeks, esports events have come and gone with victors being crowned at the highest level. Here’s a recap of what’s been going down.

Image courtesy of OpTic Gaming’s Twitter

You know I hecking love me some Valorant, and on April 24th, OpTic Gaming continued North America’s winning streak in Iceland with a win over LOUD. If you look at the 3-0 scoreline, you’d think it was a blowout, but it was the closest 3-0 I’ve ever seen involving two OT’s. It was sad to see the Brazilian super team go down, but the amount of noise (get it cuz they’re LOUD) they’ve made in the scene was definitely a huge W for international Valorant. Plus, it was great to see OpTic put together a redemption arc after falling short in the last two international events.

Also, North America is the best America.

Image courtesy of Apex Legends Esports

In a different scene, the ALGS Playoffs started and concluded. Over the course of 3 days, 40 of the best teams in the world competed in a grueling series of matches with only one claiming the title of champion. This caught me completely off guard but Reignite, a Japanese org with Australian players, came on top over the likes of OpTic Gaming (whom signed a talented roster right before the event started with the Valorant Masters money… jk), TSM, NRG and many of the other talented teams.

I’m not in the loop with who’s good outside of the North American scene, but I do know RIG (Reignite for short) due to having the talented controller fragger Noyan “Genburten” Ozkose who was unfortunately out due to COVID. Kudos to RIG for the W (with a sub!!) and to everybody who participated especially to the subs who had to come in and fill in due to the COVID cases that populated in the scene before the event.

Image courtesy of Halo Esports

I almost forgot, but Halo Infinite held its next major event this past weekend in Kansas City. North America’s villains, Sentinels, took how the crown with an impressive 4-0 beatdown on Cloud9. I watched a bit of it, and it was nice to watch comp Halo for the first time in awhile. Kudos to NA’s villains for winning in such a dominating fashion!

Also, I had to farm those Twitch drops.

Memes

Ah yes, the highly anticipated sequel to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Modern 2 Warfare.
Absolutely savage response.
Alabama casters are Tier 1!

Other News

  • Final Fantasy 16, the next entry in the long running series, is in the final stages of development according to producer Naoki Yoshida.
  • At Pax East, Gearbox announced that a new Tales from the Borderlands game is in the works that will release this year. Great news as these games were awesome, mild news that it’s not Telltale Games making the new entry.
  • Former Nintendo of America director, Reggie Fils-Aimé, spoke about NFT’s and the blockchain technology offering his support in technology. He hopes to one day sell his island in Animal Crossing….
  • The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake is switching developer teams back to Ubisoft Montreal the team who made the first game happen. I don’t know why they weren’t in charge in the first place, but despite the cool news, I’m a little worried about the game’s status given it’s been delayed for nearly 2 years and has now switched to a different studio.
  • Riot Games has announced that they will be integrating a new partnership model to VALORANT next year similar to franchising, but not franchising, that will bring a ton of international tournaments and a ton of competitive support to the game. I’m still trying to process the details so, for once, I have no witty remark on this.
  • Speaking of Rito, former Sentinels starter Jared “zombs” Gitlin mentioned in a livestream that Riot withheld money from the Champions prize pool in order to cover unexpected event costs. Nobody seems to know if it’s true or not, but that’s a hefty bombshell if true.

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