Epic Madness in the Gaming World

Edition 13 - March 1st to March 7th

Last week highlighted some major gaming acquisitions and new game announcements. Virtual Reality is becoming ever more prominent in the gaming industry and Sony is leading the way with their new VR lineup. We also look into what’s happening at Electronic Arts (EA) as well as a glimpse at some of the new Nintendo rumors. Let’s slide-cancel right into the news. 


FALL GUYS - Is getting more Epic

On Tuesday, Epic Games announced the acquisition of Tonic Games Group, the makers of Fall Guys. Epic Games made it clear that they do not plan to change the Fall Guys experience and that they’d like to continue to invest into the game. Despite the acquisition, Fall Guys is still set to release on the Nintendo Switch and Xbox.

The acquisition comes at a time where both companies would like to continue to grow their brands as they share the common goals of making the best possible games. Paul Croft, the Co-Founder and Chief Games Officer thinks the acquisition will take their company to new heights and insists that the vision for their games will not change.

The founder of Epic Games Tim Sweeney said “It’s no secret that Epic is invested in building the metaverse, and Tonic Games shares this goal,” meaning they’d like to create a world where anyone can play games, go to concerts and watch movies. 

Epic Games’ legal battle with Apple and Google is still ongoing over their app stores’ removal of Fortnite. Therefore, mobile gamers should not be expecting Fall Guys to be available on mobile anytime soon.


SONY - Virtual Reality (VR) Showcase

Last Wednesday PlayStation announced their VR spotlight where they made six announcements and reveals for new PS VR games launching later this year. Unfortunately, they did not share more information about the next-generation VR system for the PS5. 

Doom 3: will feature the original game and all of its expansions configured for VR technology. Players will be able to wield the entire iconic weapon arsenal and face off against waves of enemies from Hell in over 15 hours worth of action. 

Zenith: is a VR MMO where the players enter an open colorful fantasy world. The game will feature a massive multiplayer experience and a hyper-immersive combat system. 

Fracked: can be defined as the VR version of an action movie. Players are stuck deep inside a mountain and must take on enemies and save the world before it is too late.  

After the Fall: drops you and your friends into the 1980s post-apocalyptic world where players have to fight for survival. The game will feature full cross-platform multiplayer support.

Song in The Smoke: is a survival game where players must survive by staying at different campsites, crafting weapons to hunt, exploring caves and more.

I Expect You To Die 2: The Spy and The Liar: is the sequel to the previous game released in 2016. Players will have to risk their lives for the greater good and channel their spy skills.


EA - Battlefield makes Need for Speed slow down

This week Electronic Arts announced that the next Need for Speed game will be delayed so that the studio can focus on the upcoming Battlefield game. Criterion Games will now focus on supporting the EA DICE studio to help make sure their Battlefield vision is successfully developed. EA has the flexibility to make these decisions since the acquisition of Codemasters in December, who will be releasing a racing game this year.

Battlefield is still set to release on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S this fall. EA’s chief studios officer, Laura Miele mentioned that the game is going to be great and the studios are working hard to push out the game this year. Criterion Games supported DICE on both Star Wars Battlefront (2015) and Battlefront 2 (2017), including the Firestorm battle royale mode (Battlefield 5). In Edition 9 of our newsletter we covered everything you need to know about the next Battlefield game.

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit remastered was recently released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC in November of 2020. Need for Speed Heat was their most recent new title released on November 8, 2019 but it is now available for free with EA Access and Origin Access.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 celebrated their 11th anniversary this week. The game was developed by EA Dice and released on March 2, 2010 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. The game has a 9/10 rating on Steam and an 8.9/10 on IGN.


Nintendo Switch - Something is in the works 

The Nintendo Switch celebrated its fourth birthday last week. The console revolutionized the handheld market and has been one of their most successful products ever. According to Nintendo’s recent financial reports, the Switch has shipped 80 million units worldwide and sold more than 500 million games.

Other than a small battery upgrade in August 2019, the Switch has remained relatively unchanged since its initial release. We’ve seen a variety of special editions hit the market, and the introduction of the Switch Lite but nothing major has changed on the main console over the four years.

Let the rumors BEGIN! 

Last week we saw a plethora of rumors starting to surface about the “Nintendo Switch Pro” (not a confirmed name). Bloomberg reported that Nintendo is planning to release a new model of the hybrid console equipped with a Samsung 7-inch OLED display and 4K TV output by the 2021 holiday season. There are some fan made concepts circulating but it remains unclear how much the Switch design will change with the implementation of any upgraded features. A proven industry insider is even reporting that the upgraded switch may feature exclusive games not playable on the current console.

In an interview with Polygon back in December 2020, Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser confirmed that Nintendo believed the Switch is “entering what they consider the middle of its lifecycle”. Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa later said that they were not planning to introduce a new model anytime soon but did not comment on the potential of an upgraded version.


ESPORTS CORNER

On Wednesday, Seth Abner, otherwise known as “OpTic Scump” announced that he has signed a sponsorship agreement with Oakley. This marks the first esports athlete sponsorship from Oakley who typically sponsors NFL stars such as Patrick Mahommes and Lamar Jackson. In February of 2021, Oakley teamed up with Turtle Beach to launch an exclusive sunglasses collection and according to their Global Marketing Director, they’re “determined to level up their commitment to gaming”. Scump is considered one of the best players in competitive Call of Duty history and one of the best content creators in gaming. 

Riot is planning to host two major esport tournaments in Reykjavik, Iceland later this year. The League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) is scheduled to start on May 6th and the Valorant Champions Tour (the games first ever live international tournament) will start on May 24th. Players will be required to quarantine upon arrival and both events will be held in the Laugardalshöl indoor sporting arena with no in-person spectators. Unexpectedly, Iceland has been hit with thousands of earthquakes this week raising concerns over potential volcanic eruptions. The conditions are still being monitored but Riot has stated that as of now, there have been no changes to their plans for hosting the MSI and the Stage Two Masters in the Nordic island nation. 

In early 2021 we heard that esports was officially going to be a medal event at the 2022 Asian Games. This week, the Chinese Government officially recognized esports as being a reputable profession, and have categorized it into five levels of experience. China's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (CMHRSS) considers an “esports professional” someone who takes part in esports events, trains with professional players or competes in esports tournaments while an “esports operator” is someone who organizes and develops content for an esports event. Asia holds the world’s biggest esports market so it makes sense that China is finally recognizing it as a legitimate career path.


GAMING ROUNDUP

  • Aliens: Fireteam announced a summer of 2021 release. The game will be released on consoles and Steam and will take place 23 years after the “Aliens,” movie trilogy. Twenty-five minutes of gameplay can be found here on YouTube.

  • An Elden Ring gameplay trailer was leaked this week. Several sources have also indicated the game will not be released in 2021 due to internal setbacks.

  • Zynga announced the acquisition of Echtra Games (Torchlight 3). Zynga would like to bring their mobile game collection to PC and consoles.

  • Comic-Con announced that their 2021 in-person event will be cancelled and transformed into a free online event on March 26 and 27, 2021. 

  • The PlayStation 2 (2000) celebrated its 21st anniversary this week.


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