Sony and Epic Games are Focused

Edition 19 - April 12th to April 18th

Good morning gamers. Last week we launched our very first giveaway as a thank you to the 140+ of you who support the Weekly Recon, and to our 1,200 followers on Instagram. If you haven’t done so already, you’ve still got time to enter for a chance to win a game of your choice, on the console of your choice. 


SONY - Big Titles Remain The Focus

In the last edition of our newsletter, we discussed how Sony has been under scrutiny for assigning their studios to remake existing games rather than creating new titles. According to VGC, studios like Naughty Dog are unable to maintain two full game productions, which has led to the lack of new titles. The expectation is that the “The Last of Us” series will continue to be their main focus, through the upcoming HBO tv-series and the PS5 game release.

Ghost of Tsushima may be getting a sequel and multiplayer. According to IGN, Sucker Punch Productions, the studio behind the game are looking for a multiplayer/network programmer. The company posted a job listing on their careers page and described the project as “a spectacular multiplayer game”. Back in October, Sucker Punch Productions were looking for someone to write stories about feudal Japan. 

Jak and Daxter games are not in the works at Naughty Dog according to GamesRadar. Naughty Dog President Evan Wells says there are people at the company who have love for the game but nothing is in production. Wells continued to note that the recent success of the Ratchet and Clank series makes him wish they had something in the pipeline. It has been 12 years since the last release of a Jak and Daxter game. 


EPIC GAMES - Growth Remains the Focus

Epic Games and CEO Tim Sweeney continue to focus on the future of their business. The creators of Fortnite spent $444 million in 2020 giving away free games and exclusive deals through the Epic Games Store. Epic Games is looking to continue this strategy going forward. 

Epic is no stranger to taking on the giants in the technology sector as they’re currently in a legal battle against both Apple and Google over their mobile stores. Epic Games has now found a new opponent this week as they’re taking on video game distribution platform, Steam. According to GI.biz, Epic Games are signing developers to lucrative deals to sell their games exclusively in the Epic Games Store with a potential $330 million loss. Sweeney considers this as a fantastic investment in the future of Epic Games.

Epic Games also announced last week that they completed a $1 billion funding round, raising their equity valuation to $28.7 billion. Sony Group Corporation invested $200 million as a strategic investment, as the companies have a shared vision to advance the art of technology. Epic looks to continue to deliver revolutionary experiences and to support creators in gaming and across the digital entertainment industry. 


All Things Resident Evil 

Resident Evil is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2021 and Capcom is definitely making sure that it's an action-packed year. Last week we saw the Resident Evil Showcase give fans a more detailed glimpse on what's to come for all things Resident Evil (or if you prefer, Biohazard).

The Showcase kicked things off with Resident Evil Village. 

  • The 4th Trailer: The new trailer highlighted some of the early game cinematics followed by a radio broadcast calling for all survivors. It then broke to a frantic scene of werewolf looking Lycans running around a mysterious village and Lady Dimitrescu having a taste of Ethan’s blood. The trailer clearly shows the lack of survivors and ends with a cameo by Chris Redfield. 

  • RE Demo: Resident Evil Village officially releases on May 7th but Capcom announced an upcoming limited-time demo. PlayStation players are up first with early access to the demo. They have an exclusive 8 hour window to experience 30-minutes worth of gameplay in the village on April 17/18 and then another 8 hour window for 30-minutes to explore the castle on April 24/25. The demo then opens up for players on all available platforms for the weekend of May 1st. 

  • The Mercenaries Mode: Capcom also confirmed that they’re bringing back the beloved Mercenaries mode. This mode will include a familiar fast-paced combat system with arcade-style action where players will have to fight in order to reach different stages. The Mercenaries mode is included with Resident Evil Village and will feature merchants selling supplies, guns and upgrades; and players will be able to select different abilities and skills. 

Some of the other news mentioned at the showcase includes a new trailer for the upcoming Netflix exclusive CGI series Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness, news that the live-action movie Welcome to Raccoon City has wrapped up filming and an announcement that Resident Evil 4 VR for Oculus Quest 2 will be in the first person perspective with more news coming later this month at the Oculus Showcase. Also, Resident Evil will join Dead by Daylight with more details coming out during the 5th anniversary stream on May 25th. 


GAMESTOP - CEO Needed

GameStop, otherwise known as GME is the stock that a subreddit called wallstreetbets used to take on Wall Street in a quest to land on the moon. If the previous sentence made absolutely no sense to you, I suggest you catch up here.

The company is now looking for a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to replace George Sherman as he moves onto an e-commerce company. Sherman did not meet his performance targets this year as per a regulatory filing. According to the filing, Sherman forfeited 587,000 shares that were originally granted in April 2019 which would now be worth close to $98 million based on last week's stock price. 

The next CEO will be taking over a company that is the face of day trading and whose stock is up 4000% from a year ago. According to Reuters, GameStop is working with an executive headhunter and their board of directors to find potential candidates from the gaming, e-commerce and technology sectors. The company also looks to fill the positions of Chief Financial Officer Jim Bell and Chief Customer Officer Frank Hamlin who have both left the company over the last few weeks. 


ESPORTS CORNER

The Overwatch League has been holding all of their events online for the better part of a year now, but that might be changing. As Season 4 is set to begin later this month, it looks like the OWL will soon be returning to live events in China. According to Blizzard, they’ve been monitoring the ongoing pandemic and due to improved conditions, have now scheduled three live events in China, in three separate cities.   

  • June 4-6: Hangzhou Spark (June Joust)

  • July 9-11: Shanghai Dragons (Summer Showdown)

  • August 7-8: Guangzhou Charge (Countdown Cup)

Esports tournament organizer Beyond the Summit has officially announced Smash Summit 11, one of the most anticipated Super Smash Bros. Melee events of the year. The event will take place in Los Angeles between July 15 and 18, and will be live streamed on Twitch. Some fans are speculating that this might be the first in-person major Smash event since the beginning of the pandemic which is made possible due to the vaccine rollout in the United States. The summit will be an invitational event but players will have a chance to qualify through various unannounced tournaments. 

More than a year after transitioning to an online-only format due to the ongoing global pandemic, Activision has officially announced that the Call of Duty league plans to return to LAN play at select events later this season. This decision comes in cooperation with all of the franchise teams but will most likely still see a heightened level of security measures. Prior to the official announcement, several CDL players and franchise teams were teasing the news on social media with the #BACK2LAN hashtag. The last in-person CDL event was a series where the Dallas Empire beat the Minnesota RØKKER. More details are still to come but a return to normalcy is on the horizon.


Gaming Roundup

  • Over 15,000 gamers have signed a petition for Sony to make Days Gone 2. Days Gone will be available for PC on May 18 through Steam and the Epic Games store.

  • Apex Legends surpassed 100 million players this week. Respawn Entertainment launched the Free-to-Play Battle Royale on February 4, 2019.

  • Battlefield 6 will potentially only be available on the PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC. The expectation is that Battlefield 6 will be available on Xbox Game Pass at launch.

  • Twitch Streamer Ludwig Ahgren surpassed 282,000 subscribers this week, a record initially held by Tyler “Ninja” Blevins who reached 269,154 subscribers in April 2018.

  • Square Enix has officially denied the recent rumors that a third party was trying to acquire them.  


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