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This week the Zed Crew ask you to subscribe to 4ZZZ to keep the lights on and the show live and weekly for you all.
The show’s host, Paul, leads the team with Zahra, Rani and the all new Cameron talking gaming news, Caroline hailing the virtues of new game Cult of the Lamb, and Paul collecting the unique narratives of Hindsight and Before Your Eyes.

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Subnautica Developers Set To Unveil New Game, Sonic the Hedgehog in Fall Guys, and MultiVersus Beta Player Count Explodes!

This week in gaming news…

Subnautica Studio Debuting New IP at Gamescom

Unknown Worlds Entertainment, developers of Subnautica, will be debuting a completely new sci-fi game at this year’s Gamescom Opening Night Live event according to a now-deleted tweet from host Geoff Keighley. The game is assumed to be the same project that was first hinted by the studio in October 2021 and along with Sonic Frontiers will be one of 30+ games showcased during the opening night event. Australian viewers can catch the event in 2 weeks on August 24th at 4AM Brisbane time, but there’ll be a replay for anyone who doesn’t feel like waking up at 4am on a Wednesday to watch 2 hours of trailers.

Final Fantasy 14 Streamer Plays With Spellbook

Final Fantasy 14 streamer Super Louis 64 is infamous for configuring the game to be played with wacky controllers including everything from a Nintendo Switch Ring Fit controller to an actual edible pizza. This week he debuted his latest project: playing the game with a literal book and pen and using it to write out his spells in the book to cast them. The control method is still in its early stages but Louis has apparently had some success hammering out the bugs and actually managing to play the game with it. He tweeted early Wednesday morning Brisbane time to say that the project was done and uploaded a YouTube video of him playing the game with it.

MultiVersus Hits 10 Million Players During Beta

Warner Bros’ free-to-play fighting game MultiVersus launched an open beta recently and in just a few short weeks the game has picked up 10 million players. The game promises Smash Bros-esque gameplay with a hilarious mix of Warner Bros characters from Batman to Velma and Shaggy from Scooby Doo to Steven Universe. MultiVersus has already been the focus of online memes due to the inherent comedy of Bugs Bunny beating the hell out of real life NBA player LeBron James and the ensuing discussion of strategies, gameplay meta, and ranking the characters in tier lists.

Leak Says Fall Guys Sonic Crossover Coming Soon

Twitter user FGPancake, known for leaking Fall Guys event information ahead of official releases, has stated that the game’s new Sonic the Hedgehog crossover event will release this week on the 11th. Previous leaks showed off Sonic the Hedgehog character costumes that will be available in-game and a Green Hill Zone map that were subsequently confirmed by the official Fall Guys Twitter.

Upcoming Releases

Now for some upcoming releases… we’ve got a big week ahead as August 11 brings Arcade Paradise and Cult Of The Lamb to PC, Playstation, Xbox, and Switch and Tower of Fantasy to PC. August 12 sees Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered releasing on PC and Voyage on Playstation, Xbox, and Switch. Backpack Hero comes to PC on August 15 and launching August 16 are Blossom Tales 2: The Minotaur Prince on PC and Switch, Rollerdrome on PC and Playstation, Tribes of Midgard on Xbox and Switch, and Way of the Hunter on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X. Finally, Catizens comes to PC on August 17.

That’s all this week in gaming news!

No Steam, No Awards, No Friends

Indonesia Bans Steam

As Indonesia rolls out new content moderation laws, many online services have been affected, including Steam, PayPal, Epic Games, and even Yahoo.

Companies that are considered private electronic system providers have to register with the Indonesian government’s database to operate in the country. Any companies that failed to do so by 27th July have been banned.

Aside from making it challenging for those in Indonesia to access video games, the requirement is part of an overarching law that is intended to allow the Indonesian government to obtain data about users, and remove content that “disturbs public order”.

Microsoft, Google, Apple, TikTok, Netflix, Spotify, and many other service providers have successfully registered a licence, allowing them to continue to operate.

As of now, Valve is attempting to comply with the requirements, and PayPal has been temporarily unblocked.

Steam Bans Award Logos

The practice of putting award logos and review scores in key art on Steam is coming to an end. Valve is introducing new rules for store key art, or “store graphical assets”, prioritising cleaner images for the storefront.

Review scores, award names, and promotion of a different product are all banned starting from September 1st. If developers want to promote a major update, they can use “artwork overrides”, which slaps a separate layer over existing images.

Valve states that the move is prompted not only to reduce visual clutter, but also to avoid review scores that may be outdated, or even the sketchy practice of making up award names to make a game look a little fancier.

Diablo Immortal Player is Alone

Diablo Immortal has been having some bad press, but now the focus is on a player who has spent $142,000 AUD on the MMORPG, effectively locking him out of the game.

Diablo Immortal’s system allows players to invest financially in order to upgrade their character, a system often called ‘pay-to-win’, and it definitely works. Now this player’s barbarian is so overpowered that he has won hundreds of matches against other players, with very, very few losses. As a result, the game simply will not match him with another player, as there are simply none who could be fairly matched against him.

The player has contacted Blizzard hoping for a way to resolve this problem, however with an upcoming event called the Rite of Exile, he is unable to assist his clan, and with being stuck in matchmaking purgatory, he is unable to even qualify.

He isn’t exactly being met with sympathy, with some players saying that ‘he got what he paid for’.

And now for some upcoming games!

August 4

  • Hard West 2 (PC)
  • Turbo Golf Racing (PC, XSX, XBO)

August 9

  • Thymesia (PC, PS5, XSX)
  • Two Point Campus (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)

August 10

  • Lost In Play (PC, Switch)

August 11

  • Arcade Paradise (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
  • Cult Of The Lamb (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)

When Robots Attack, Roblox Piracy, and More

Chess Robot Breaks Bones

As it turns out, robots don’t like it when you try to rush through a chess game. During a chess tournament in Moscow, a seven year old boy who is among the top 30 chess players in Moscow under the age of nine, faced off against a chess robot. Playing chess against AI is hardly anything new, with Deep Blue being the first computer to win a match against a reigning chess champion in 1997.

However, in this case the AI reacted in response to the boy moving a piece earlier than he should’ve, and as a consequence grabbed the boy’s index finger and squeezed it firmly. People rushed to help, but not before his finger was broken.

However, the young player did return to the tournament the next day, and his parents are now considering filing a lawsuit.

Russia’s Making Their Own Games

Following the invasion of Ukraine, several companies have stopped trading with Russia, and many sanctions have been placed, leaving the country without video games. Nintendo has announced suspending all exports to Russia, as well as Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft, and more.

As a result, Russia is now turning to making games internally, with Rostec planning on creating its own game engine. This project is being looked at cautiously by the government as this would be the first Russian game engine.

Minecraft Says No NFTs

Mojang has taken a firm stance against blockchain technology and Non-Fungible Tokens, preventing third-party operators from creating Minecraft NFTs.

The company has stated that the use of NFTs violates the spirit of the Minecraft usage guidelines, although the guidelines do permit server owners to charge for access. Mojang has clarified the difference between money and tokens, stating that “we have these rules to ensure that Minecraft remains a community where everyone has access to the same content. NFTs can create models of scarcity and exclusion that conflict with our guidelines and the spirit of Minecraft”.

However, they haven’t closed the door entirely on NFTs, explaining that Mojang is open to the possibilities of blockchain technology in the future.

Roblox Fighting for Innocent Gamers

Christopher Boomer, a developer behind Roblox games such as Weight Lifting Simulator 2 and Muscle Legends, recently obtained a DMCA subpoena in order to compel Roblox to identify alleged pirates. Boomer’s games have been viewed over two billion times, and according to Boomer’s legal team, fellow Roblox developers have copied Boomer’s games.

As a result, Boomer filed for a DMCA subpoena to unmask the alleged pirates. Roblox objects however, explaining that 10 days is too short of a time to produce the requested information, and has called the request unreasonable as Boomer is attempting to obtain information on a potential 460 thousand players, along with the alleged pirates.

Roblox objects to the request to unmask anonymous speakers without the provision of notice to the speakers so that they may directly address any potential concerns, First Amendment or otherwise,” states Roblox.

Roblox objects to this request as overbroad because it seeks a wide swath of user information that Petitioner has not established is relevant to any alleged copyright infringement, and thus the information requested does not qualify as discoverable subject matter.”

And now for some upcoming games!

July 28

  • Autonauts vs Piratebots (PC)
  • Bear and Breakfast (PC)
  • Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions (Switch)
  • Sweet Transit (PC)

July 29

  • Avenging Spirit (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
  • Digimon Survive (PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)
  • Madison (Switch)
  • Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town (PS4)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (Switch)

August 1

  • The Gallery (PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)

August 2

  • Frogun (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)

August 3

  • South of the Circle (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)

August 4

  • Hard West 2 (PC)
  • Turbo Golf Racing (PC, XSX, XBO)

Branding, New Studios, and a lot of Strays

Get Diablo 4 Beta Access by branding yourself with Blizzard’s IP

To celebrate Diablo’s 25th anniversary, Blizzard is running a Diablo Hell’s Ink tattoo takeover
event from July 16 to September 10, spanning 8 cities in 4 different countries, including
Australia. Diablo fans can queue for the chance to get a free flash tattoo and with it, access to
the Diablo 4 beta and a free digital copy of the game upon it’s release. The takeover is coming
to Melbourne’s Oculus Tattoo studio on September 3rd and Sydney’s Little Tokyo Tattoo studio
on September 10th so if you’re in the area and love Diablo, maybe swing on by to get yourself
some free ink and access to Diablo 4.

A new game studio approaches!

Jerry Hook, former Head of Design for Halo Infinite who 2 months ago left 343 Industries, has
announced the creation of a new games studio, Jar of Sparks. Along with several other big
names in the industry (Paul Crocker, Greg Stone and Steve Dyck) and with the backing of
NetEase (a chinese tech company) the studio is currently hiring across all fields of game
development. Jerry Hook made clear in an interview with IGN that the plan is not to jump
straight into huge AAA titles but to focus on making quality games at a mid-sized budget and
forming a strong team and a dedicated following to build from.

A Purr-fect way to spend some money

The recently released feline focused game Stray (which reached over 60 000 concurrent
players on steam within 24 hours of it’s release) has collaborated with Travel Cat to create a
merch line of travel accessories for that special kitty cat in your life. The collection consists of a
harness and leash set that is a replica of the one worn by in the game and a cat backpack, a cat
carrier that you carry on your back. In addition to this there is a virtual launch party scheduled
for Friday at 10am Australian eastern standard time where in addition to live gameplay there will
be a backpack and harness training hangout on zoom so you can learn how to safely take your
cat on your very own adventures.

Upcoming game releases

July 21st: Bright Memory: Infinite (PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X), Coromon (Switch Port),
Hell Pie (PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch), Severed Steel (Switch).

July 22nd: Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch), Live A Live
(Switch Port), Severed Steel (Xbox)

July 26: Immortality (PC, Xbox Series X), MultiVersus (PC, PlayStation, Xbox)

Mighty Returns and a Little loss

E3 will return in 2023

The LA based Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 as it is commonly referred, previously known as the worlds largest video game trade show has had a rough couple of years due to exhibitors moving away from paying for expensive booths and shutdowns due to the Covid 19 pandemic. E3 has struggled to redefine itself in a changing world and had been making moves towards a more consumer friendly show akin to PAX.  This week those intentions were realised as the owners of E3 the ESA,  announced that the show will now be produced by Reedpop, the company behind PAX, Star Wars Celebration, New York Comic Con and many others.

Local boy and Ex Reedpop Global Gaming Content Director Guy Blomberg has rejoined the company as the Business Development Director for E3.

New Skate game gets shown

Full Circle, the developer of hotly anticipated Skate sequel recently released a promotional video for the game titled “Still Working On It” to show fans the current state of the game and what they hoped to achieve in the final product.  The game is still early in development and the humorous video bares the jank and bugs proudly but shows a lot of what they intend to include. What the developer didn’t intend however was that a copy of the build from September 2021 would leak onto the internet.

The state of the build is described as pre-pre-alpha and the developer took to their blog to recommend not playing the leak

“While we understand you’re excited to get into the game, we encourage you to    be careful when downloading files from unknown sources[sic]. The best way to get the chance to play is by signing up for skate. insider playtesting

NPD: Uncharted 2 leads October sales, Wii outsells PS3 - Good Gear Guide

Games with Gold loses 360 games

Microsoft has announced that as of October 1st this year Games with Gold will no longer include 360 games with it’s monthly releases. In an email to subscribers

“We have reached the limit of our ability to bring Xbox 360 games to the catalogue; [sic]

This will not impact any Xbox 360 games that you downloaded before October 2022. Any Xbox 360 titles that you redeem via Games with Gold before that time are yours to keep on your Xbox account, regardless of whether you continue your subscription.”

Upcoming heavy hitters

Two hotly anticipated sequels have received release date for later this year. God of War Ragnarok will be released on the 9th of November continuing the tale of Kratos and his son in the world of Norse Mythology. Meanwhile Nintendo has tweeted out, along with a new three and a half minute long trailer, the release date for Bayonetta 3. You can get your witch on come the 28th of October.


Upcoming game releases

Escape Academy (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC), Rune Factory 5 (PC) – July 14

As Dusk Falls (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) , Endling – Extinction is Forever (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) , Into The Breach (iOS, Android) , Stray (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, PC) – July 20

Bright Memory: Infinite (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Switch) – July 21