Gaming is a mess

Edition 3 - December 14th to December 20th

The holidays are upon us and as official members of our Weekly Recon newsletter family, we wanted to be the first to wish you all a safe and relaxing next few weeks. That said - it’s a great time to play video games so here’s everything you need to know from last week. 


A PLEDGE FOR SAFER GAMING - Putting players first

Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have partnered together and issued a joint statement via Xbox Wire committing to making gaming a safer place for all players. Dave McCarthy, Corporate Vice President of Xbox Operations said that,

"We believe gaming is for all people of all ages, including our youngest and most vulnerable players [...] Technology makes compelling entertainment experiences possible, and we want to ensure that those experiences – especially when they involve interaction with others – are positive and respectful.

The three video game giants continued to discuss their alignment on the matter and said that protecting players requires a “multidisciplinary approach” that combines multiple elements such as the benefits of advanced technology, a supportive community and skilled human oversight. They want to empower gamers to understand their control in the gaming experience, partner with industry regulators to help keep communities safe and hold themselves accountable for the safety of their players. 


CYBERPUNK 2077 - What else can go wrong? 

One week after thanking their fans via twitter for the 8 million sold copies of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red had to issue an apology. Following the worldwide release the game had a lot of game breaking bugs on the previous generation consoles. So much so, that CDPR advised gamers to reach out to Sony, Xbox and their local retailer to get a refund for their game.

Following the tweet from CDPR gamers began requesting refunds from both Sony and Microsoft. Sony pulled Cyberpunk 2077 from its store and offered all those who purchased digital copies a full refund. Microsoft followed suit by allowing customers to request refunds on Xbox a few days later. Cyberpunk 2077 is still available on Xbox, however, there is now a message on Xbox One prior to the purchase stating that the game has performance issues.

Consequences ensued for CDPR as following the news their shares declined 22% and $1.8 billion was wiped from their market capitalization.


INDIE WORLD SHOWCASE - There is an Imposter…Among Us!

Last week was Nintendo’s last Indie World showcase of 2020 and we got a great opportunity to see some of the games scheduled to release in 2021 on the Nintendo Switch. To kick things off we learned that Among Us, Grindstone and Calico were additions available in the eShop as soon as they were announced during the event. There were also a handful of other games highlighted so here’s a quick recap of some of the main ones to look out for (If you’d like to read up more on each of these games, or watch their trailers, Eurogamer has a really sweet roundup). 

  • Spelunky 1 and 2 (summer 2021)

  • Fisti-Fluffs (“first on Switch” early 2021)

  • Very Very Valet (early 2021 as a timed-exclusive)

  • Funche (“first on Switch” March 2021)

  • Cyber Shadow (January 26th 2021)

  • Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (spring 2021)

  • Gnosia (early 2021)

  • Happy Game (spring 2021)

  • Super Meat Boy Forever (December 23rd 2020)


CALL OF DUTY - The Rebirth of Warzone?

In the first edition of our newsletter we covered the new features coming to Season One of Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War. The changes and features were finally implemented this week and they left players feeling disappointed (including us). 

  • Rebirth Island is a newly added Warzone map and experience. The map is much smaller than Verdansk as it includes a 40 person lobby and resembles a mini battle royale. The resurgence game mode also has players respawning every 30 seconds if their teammates are still alive.

  • Gulag, as we know it is no more. No...it hasn’t been removed, however, the original Gulag map has been switched for a new version. The new Gulag is similar to the original Nuketown map and it offers a new experience for players in their quest to return to Verdansk. 

  • Weapons from Black Ops Cold War were added to both Rebirth Island and Verdansk. The floor loot has been updated and players who played both Cold War and Modern Warfare can mix and match their loadouts from the different Call of Duty iterations. 


ESPORTS CORNER 

Supercell announced part of their plans for the upcoming 2021 Clash Royale Esports season which includes their biggest ever prize pool of $1.6 million ($600K for Qualifiers, $1M Grand Finals). More information will be announced in the upcoming week but from what we know so far, it will take on a whole new global format which sees the elimination of team based competitions and focuses on single player in-game leaderboards. 

In 2021, the LCS is getting a format overhaul to help drive international success for North American teams. The competitive season will start with a “Lock-In” tournament which is mainly for bragging rights and to get teams ready for competition (there is also a $150K prize). The regular season schedule will be expanded to 5 games a day, 3 days a week and both the Spring Split and Summer Split team records will be used to seed the LCS Summer Playoffs. The LCS Championship will take from the top seeded teams in both the Spring and Summer competitions, with the top 3 qualifying for Worlds 2021. 

Capcom has announced that the 2020 Capcom Cup Finals and the Street Fighter League World Championships will be held offline in the Dominican Republic. The tournament will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana over the weekend of February 19th. Capcom has put many COVID health protocols in place to ensure the safety of their staff and players including on-site testing and individual practice stations.


THE GAMING ROUNDUP

  • Steam breaks records with almost 25 million concurrent online players.

  • EA is buying UK based racing game developers Codemasters for $1.2 Billion.

  • Riot Games executive confirms that they are in the process of developing an MMO game based in the League of Legends Universe. 

  • PlayStation announced that some outfits inspired by iconic PlayStation characters are coming to Ghost of Tsushima. 

  • Mega Man and Final Fantasy celebrated major anniversaries of their original game releases this week.


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