Category: News

New Events, New Legislation, & News

 

Loot box bill filed in Parliament

A bill has been introduced into the Australian Parliament, which could tighten Australia’s notoriously strict video game ratings.  The Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (Loot Boxes) Bill 2022 aims to have all video games using the loot box business model to be given an R18+ rating regardless of content, which would stop children from engaging with them. Federal politician Andrew Wilkie, an independent, introduced the bill into parliament yesterday. It was also seconded by MP Andrew Wallace.
“By tempting young players with the potential-to-win game-changing items, encouraging risk-taking behaviour for a possible reward, delivering random prizes on an intermittent basis and encouraging them to keep spending money, it’s clear that loot boxes give rise to many of the same emotions and experiences associated with poker machines and other traditional gambling activities,” Wilkie said.

 

GO423 this Weekend

Saturday December 3rd will see the Game On 423 festival at Brisbane Powerhouse once again. GO423 brings together Queensland game developers and studios to showcase their games to the community. It’s an all-ages event that runs from 10am to 5pm and is free to attend!

A group of us from ZedGames will be there on the day running a Game Dev Hot Seat throughout the day. This is bringing the people behind the games on stage so they can share their stories, ideas and ambitions and dive into the process of game development. For game designers early in their career, you can take the chance to consult with experienced developers in mentor sessions. There are also workshops running where you can flex your creative muscles and a trivia head-to-head on stage to round off the day.

For more information check out the Brisbane International Game Developers Association website, we hope to see you there!

 

New Gaming Convention Opens Next Year

Australian game fans rejoice! At least those of you in Victoria. A new gaming convention has been announced – “The Game Expo”.

In their own words, The Game Expo is “THE event dedicated to gaming, celebrating its culture and creativity. TGX is all about YOU, and everyone who loves video games. Whatever you love in gaming, you can find it at The Game Expo.” Details of the schedule aren’t available yet but the website promises a full experience of games tournaments, cosplay competitions, shopping, guests, panels, and an extensive game library available.

Most gaming events and conventions run in the later half of the year when the industry itself is more active. TGX is trying to fill the early-year lull, with the 2023 show scheduled for the 11th and 12th of March. The Game Expo will run at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre which is already home to Pax Australia and GCAP. If you aren’t in Victoria and can’t make the journey, it’s still an exciting sign of the growing demand for gaming events across Australia. For more information visit The Game Expo website.

Upcoming Releases

December 2nd:
– The Callisto Protocol (PS5 | PS4 | Xbox One | Xbox Series X)
– Marvel’s Midnight Suns (PS5 | Xbox Series X)
– Need For Speed Unbound (PS5 | Xbox Series X)

December 6th
– Hello Neighbor (PS5 | PS4 | Xbox | Switch)

News? In My Media?

Ads? In My Windows 11?

You’re probably familiar with the start menu in windows, an easy-to-access feature that allows you to access programs quickly. Well, it seems ads will be joining the start menu, with testing underway. Some of these ads will be used to promote Microsoft services. Recommended website listings, and an ad in the account menu, are already present in preview builds, and there’s more features planned for Windows 11.

Windows states on their site, “We’ve been working on adding more valuable content to the Recommended section in Start and are excited to introduce a new content type: websites.

PS5s? In My Honda?

Honda and Sony have recently created a new venture called Sony Honda Mobility, and with this venture comes an interesting proposal: a car designed to maximise the entertainment possibilities Sony has to offer.

That’s right, an electric car that’ll allow drivers to always be prepared with music, movies, and video games.

Yasuhide Mizuno, chair of the joint venture, says that the first car model may hit North American markets by 2025. However, a very specific feature may need to be developed first before we can see PlayStation 5s in cars; autonomous driving. After all, you can’t drive and play video games at the same time.

Shovelware? In My PlayStation Store?

PlayStation is cracking down on shovelware games, that is games that have been reskinned, non-games, and games designed just to give people platinum trophies. A letter to developers states that shovelware games will be either banned or delisted, and involved developers are at risk of being banned from publishing future games.

PlayStation states, “SIE strives to ensure that customers can search and discover the full breadth of experiences on PlayStation, and that partners have a fair means of being discovered. When partners oversaturate or “spam” PlayStation Store with many variants of the same type of content, it can negatively impact both the customer and partner experience.”

Monsters? In My Pocket?

Despite Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s rocky launch, with the games being criticised for glitches, bugs, and generally underwhelming, Nintendo has reported 10 million sales, with it being reported to have the highest global sales level on any of the company’s consoles in the first three days.

However, many players have reported returning their copies due to their experiences with the game, and successfully receiving refunds.

And now for some upcoming games!

November 24

  • Dysterra (PC)

November 25

  • Horse Club Adventures 2 – Hazelwood Stories (PS5, PS4)

November 28

  • Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr: Sororitas DLC (PC)

November 29

  • Gotham Knights: Heroic Assault (PC, PS5, XSX)
  • In Nightmare (PC)
  • The Knight Witch (PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch)
  • Soccer Story (PC, PS4, XBO, Switch)

November 30

  • Warhammer 40,000: Darktide (PC, XSX)

December 1

  • Dwarven Skykeep (PC)
  • Gundam Evolution (PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO)
  • Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered (PC, PS5, PS4, Switch)

Anticipation, Momentum, & Delays…

2022 Game Awards Nominations Revealed

Geoff Keighley, CEO of The Game Awards, has recently announced the nominees for the 2022 awards show. The nominees for the top prize of Game of the year are:

  • A Plague Tale: Requiem (Asobo Studio/Focus Entertainment)
  • Elden Ring (FromSoftware/Bandai Namco)
  • God of War Ragnarök (Sony Santa Monica/SIE)
  • Horizon Forbidden West (Guerrilla Games/SIE)
  • Stray (BlueTwelve Studio/Annapurna)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (Monolith Soft/Nintendo)

God of War has dominated these nominations with several nominations beyond Game of the year, including Best Game Direction, Innovation in Accessibility, Best Art Direction, Best Audio Design, and more!  The massively popular Australian game Cult of the Lamb has been nominated for Best Indie where it’s up against Neon White, Sifu, Tunic, & Stray.

With 31 Categories, it’s impossible for us to list them all here but you can check the official site for a complete list. On that site you’ll also be able to have your own say by lodging your vote online.  If you just want to find out the winners, you’ll have to wait until December 9th when the event will be livestreamed from LA via Youtube & Twitch.

 

Screen Queensland Launches Game-Changing Residency Program

Recently Screen Queensland announced they would be launching a residency program designed to support skill development and growth in early-career games developers. The Screen Queensland Games Residency offers 10 games developers (individuals, duos, or trios) access to a yearlong program including a dedicated co-working space, access to leading industry experts, business mentoring and income support through Self-Employment Allowance. It is the first program of its kind in Australia and is part of Screen Queensland’s commitment to championing local talent and fostering the growth of our games industry. For more information about the program and how to apply, please visit the Screen Queensland website.

 

Overwatch 2 Patch Delayed

Free to play shooter Overwatch 2 had a rocky start when it launched last month, and it’s still dealing with some significant problems. More than 2 weeks ago, Blizzard removed Mei from the hero roster so they could fix a crucial issue in her gameplay. This came not longer after two other heroes had been readded from their temporary detention. The Mid-Season patch was scheduled for November 16th to return Mei to the game, remove several other bugs, introduce a slew of balance updates, and release more cosmetics in the store. Hours before it would go live, then update was delayed when Blizzard discovered a ‘critical issue’ that has not been specified but seems to have threatened the integrity of the game. The only thing that wasn’t put on hold was a new selection of cosmetics to the in-game store – including a new ten USD skin for the still-unplayable Mei. It’s unclear yet if this is part of the game finding its feet or a sign of a consistently tumultuous future.

 

Upcoming Games Releases:

17th November –

Goat Simulator 3 – Playstation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC

 

18th November –

The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil In Me – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC

Pokemon Scarlet/Violet – Nintendo Switch

 

22nd November –

Evil West – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC

Just Dance – PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch

Gungrave G.O.R.E – PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Windows PC

 

And that’s all, this week, in gaming news.

VR and the End

PSVR 2 Release Details

The Australian release date and price for the PSVR 2 have been announced. For a kingly sum of $879.95 AUD, which is $80 more than the console itself, you can pick yourself up a headset and sense controllers on February 22nd, 2023. Pre-Orders will open on November 15th. Together with the details there was an announcement of 11 games coming to the platform during the release window along with the previously announced Horizon Call of the Mountain. Most titles are already available on other VR platforms, but a new Dark Pictures game was announced as well as a new game in the Crossfire series subtitled Sierra Squad.

If you die in the game, you die in real life

Oculus founder Palmer Lucky has decided to commemorate the date of “the SAO Incident” from the fictional series Sword Art Online in which players were trapped in a virtual world with very real consequences, by creating a VR headset that can kill you.

“I used three of the explosive charge modules I usually use for a different project, tying them to a narrow-band photosensor that can detect when the screen flashes red at a specific frequency, making game-over integration on the part of the developer very easy. When an appropriate game-over screen is displayed, the charges fire, instantly destroying the brain of the user.”

Palmer posted the headset on his blog also noting that he considered it an art piece to provoke thought and did not intend to try it out.

Disco Drama

Former leads at Disco Elysium studio ZA/UM have released a statement accusing the current ownership, Ilmar Kompus and Tõnis Haavel of gaining control of the developer via fraudulent means.

“Needless to say, it has been a very difficult time for us. After five years of gruelling work we released Disco Elysium, a game beloved by millions. As our reward, we were summarily fired and cut off from our life’s work — the world of Elysium. The company we built has been looted, while our own earnings are insufficient even to cover legal fees.

Until now, we’ve refrained from speaking out. This has been entirely voluntary, out of consideration for the people still working at ZA/UM — and for our own mental health. But given the severity of our suspicions — and the seriousness of the evidence we have — we think it’s time people knew what has transpired at the company.”

Robert Kurvitz and Aleksander Rostov who acted as Game Director and Art Director respectively on the hit game along with Writer Helen Hindpere were fired from the company last year. The current owners have fired back claiming the creative leads were fired due to toxic behaviour.

News Bites

  • In what might be the longest gap between release and DLC the Tomorrow Corporation has announced a holiday themed expansion to their 2012 burning-things-in-a-fireplace game Little Inferno. The expansion called Ho Ho Holiday will launch of November 19th.
  • For all you fans of pocket monsters… watch out! The upcoming Pokémon Scarlet & Violet has leaked, and the internet is awash with spoilers. If you’re sensitive to such details, it might be advisable to avoid certain platforms until the games release.
  • Dark Souls Remastered for the PC has finally had its online features returns. The online was originally taken down in January along with the rest of the series due to a hacker exploit. The two sequels returned in October, but the original Prepare to Die Edition is not set ever have its online restored.
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons is now Japan’s highest selling game ever at 10.45 million copies pulling ahead of the previous front runner Pokémon Red / Green / Blue.
  • Nintendo streamed an Indie World event to show off a few upcoming indie titles coming to the switch. The event ended with a announcement of the release window for Queensland’s own Sports Story the follow up to the hit sport rpg Golf Story. The game will be available on the Nintendo Switch this December.

Release Schedule

Tactics Ogre: Reborn (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch, PC), Valkyrie Elysium (PC) – November 11

Floodland (PC), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge (PlayStation 5) , Pentiment (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC), Somerville (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) – November 15

Bayonetta Again, Console Crash, and some Tid-Bytes

Bayonetta Controversy Continues
In the most recent evolution of former Bayonetta voice actress Hellena Taylor’s vendetta against Bayonetta 3’s developer PlatinumGames Inc, Taylor doubled down on her call to boycott the recent release and asked fans to instead donate the money they would have used to purchase the game to a list of possible charities. While this call to action may seem innocuous, several of the charities listed have strong anti-abortion stances. So far, Taylor’s controversy seems to have only had minimal effects on the sales of Bayonetta 3 with reviews marking it an overwhelmingly positive success.
In other good Bayonetta 3 news, Anna Brisbin announced they voiced playable character Voila and would be doing a charity stream of her playing Voila while also raising money for the charity Trans Lifeline! The stream went on to raise over $5000 USD.


Console Crash
With the Xbox versus PlayStation console wars of 2022 starting to come to a close, announcements for the subscriber numbers for Games Pass and PS Plus have been released in financial filings, and things aren’t great for either team. On one side, Microsoft have announced that they are losing up to $200 per console purchase and that Game Pass subscriber growth has fallen around 50% short of the company’s projections, but still exceeds the last announced numbers of 25 million subscriptions. This is theorised to be due to the lack of major releases and appeasing competition watchdogs after the acquisition of Activision. Since then, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has announced the indefinite Call of Duty support for PlayStation, with the pledge that Call of Duty would come to the console “as long as there’s a PlayStation out there to ship to”.
On the other side, after PlayStation’s rather rocky revamp of the PS Plus subscription model, the recent financial release of subscription numbers have estimated a drop of over 2 million subscribers. Sony CFO Hiroki Titoki does not blame this drop on the new system, but rather, and I quote

“More people are now going outdoors…”

Yep, you heard it here folks, PlayStation gamers have been accused of touching too much grass.

And now for some Tid-Bytes;
You asked for it, now it’s time to eat your cake! It has been confirmed in a recent Q&A that God of War: Ragnarok will have a transmogrification system. Design Lead, Mihir Sheth confirmed the system saying “The short answer is yes. There is a way to do it…it’s there in the game.” So finally you can dress up your own God of War as prettily as they will permit you.
The Store is Closed has seen litigation even before its Kickstarter finished its countdown. After this co-op survival horror was pushed online by press as a horror game set in IKEA, developer Jacob Shaw received a letter from lawyers representing IKEA. This letter gave him 10 days to “change and removed all indicia associated with the famous Ikea stores.” The game is currently in a working pre-alpha and is populated with packs of generic furniture assets.
Lastly here’s some Overwatch 2 Titbits;
Did you know that there is system in World of Warcraft where you can sell in-game items for WoW Tokens to other players via the in-game auction house, and that these tokens can then be used to charge your Battle.net account. This means that while completing challenges within Overwatch 2 may be satisfying, if you’re just grinding for Overwatch Coins, your time could be better spent in World of Warcraft.
Want that new Pachimari in-game charm? Did you know it’s cheaper for you to buy it in real life than on the digital store for your in-game character? Buy it once, have it in your hands forever.

Now for the week in gaming releases.
Thursday November 3rd is the big day this week with horror survival The Chant coming to PC and next gen consoles. 1v1 one-hit-kill fighter Die By The Blade, aperture-esque puzzle shooter The Entropy Centre, and racer WRC Generations are all coming to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. Indie hoard chibi shooter From Space comes to PC and Switch. Live your inner horse owner’s dream with Horse Tales: Emerald Valley Ranch coming to PC, PlayStation, and Switch. And finally, indie puzzler How to Say Goodbye, tactical arena brawler Kingshunt, arcade typing runner Outshine, and robot maker sandbox RoboCo all come to PC.
Friday November 4th is Switch Day with Square Enix’s new life sim/RPG Harvestella coming to PC and Switch. And Aeterna Noctis and It Takes Two both get their own Switch ports.
Monday November 7th, smite and raise your enemies in The Unliving and another indie survivor game Soulstone Survivors, both coming to PC.
Tuesday November 8th, cosy indie puzzler A Little To The Left comes to PC, Football Manager 2023 comes in various forms to PC, PS5, Xbox, and Switch. And Sonic Frontiers comes to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch.
And last, but not least, Wednesday November 9th, God of War: Ragnarok comes to PlayStation.

Spoopy Game News

New content for Cult of the Lamb!

The Blood Moon Festival: Cult of the Lamb’s first seasonal event is underway and will go until the 10th of November.  For the duration of the festival a new ritual is available to perform, giving players the opportunity to unlock 3 new forms to spook up your followers and 4 new creepy decorations.  In the same announcement, Massive Monster announced that they are working on a major content update that will be available to players for free.

Disco Elysium writer files lawsuit against ZA/UM

Earlier this month it was revealed that Disco Elysium’s lead designer and author of the book the game is based on Robert Kurvitz, lead artist Aleksander Rostov and the main writer of the game Helen Hindpere had no longer been working at ZA/UM due to what was described as an involuntary departure since late 2021.  Robert Kurvitz has been revealed to have filed a lawsuit against ZA/UM although at this point the exact details of this lawsuit are unknown.  There is speculation that Kurvitz is looking to gain control of the rights to the game in order to produce a sequel.

Pokemon’s gone to the dogs

Just in time for Halloween Nintendo has revealed yet another new Pokemon from the upcoming Pokemon Scarlet and Violet and it’s a heccing spoopy pupper.  Greavard has the internet in raptures despite the fact that the Pokemon company has said that it drains the life from you.

“Greavard is so affectionate that paying it any attention will make it so happy that it’ll follow you wherever you go,” The Pokémon Company tweeted. “However, Greavard will slowly and inadvertently absorb the life-force of those around it.”

Amazon is doing the least

Finally in celebration of Fallout’s 25th birthday, amazon has released a single screenshot of the upcoming live action fallout TV show.  Very little is known about the show, with no news on when it is supposed to be released or what can be expected from the story.

Upcoming game releases

October 27:

Brewmaster- Playstation, Xbox and Switch

Horse Club Adventures 2 – Hazelwood Stories PC, Xbox and Switch

Moonshine Inc. – PC

Paper Cut Mansion PC, Playstation, Xbox and Switch

The Pinball Wizard- PC and Switch

Star Ocean The Divine Force – PC, Playstation, Xbox and Switch

Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr -Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X

October 28:

Bayonetta 3 – Switch

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2- PC, Playstation, Xbox

Live by The Sword: Tactics – Xbox One, Switch

Resident Evil Re:Verse PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One

Resident Evil: Village: Shadows of Rose DLC PC, Playstation and Xbox

October 31

The Unliving – PC

Fights, Frights and Plights

Bayonetta Voice Actor Scandal

Hellena Taylor the English voice actress for Bayonetta 1 and 2 has taken to twitter regarding her absence from the 3rd game. She claims developer Platinum Games had only offered her $4K to reprise her role in the game and called for fans to boycott it in response to her treatment.  Since the claims, Bayonetta’s new voice actor Jennifer Hale (of Mass Effect fame) released a response after receiving abuse online for taking the role. While light on details due to her NDA she stated:

“As a longtime member of the voice acting community, I support every actor’s right to be paid well and have advocated consistently for this for years. Anyone who knows me, or has followed my career, will know that I have great respect for my peers, and that I am an advocate for all members of the community.”

Jason Schrier of Bloomberg filled a report on the situation in which, according to multiple sources, Taylor was actually offered $3K-$4K per recording session of which each lasts a maximum of 4 hours and was in fact offered at least a $15K contract for the Job.

Silent Hill Transmission

Konami held a streaming event to cover the future of Silent Hill. A slew of games were announced including the rumoured remake of Silent Hill 2 for PS5 and PC by Bloober Team. Silent Hill Townfall being developed by No Code in Scotland who have previously made the acclaimed Stories Untold and Observation and interestingly being published by Annapurna. Silent Hill Ascension from Genvid and Bad Robot games which will be an interactive online series where the community will make decisions that don’t just affect the story but the overall cannon of Silent Hill and finally a reveal of the mysterious Silent Hill ƒ by Neobards who have recently worked on RE: Reverse and the Resident Evil Remakes.

Additionally new silent Hill film was also revealed.   “Return to Silent Hill” is an adaptation of Silent Hill 2 and will be directed by Christopher Gans who headed the first live action film.

PS5 Jailbroken

The PS5’s security has been compromised and it is now possible to get access to the PS5’s kernel. While these methods only apply to PS5’s with firmware under 4.03 and do not yet allowed for the playing of pirated games they have led to a major victory  for the PlayStation community, Overcoming the security on the PS5 that specifically blocked Kojima’s P.T. from running on the console. Not only can the game be run on the hacked console it is then possible to transfer the game to a non-modified PS5. Game hacking aficionado Lance McDonald posted a video of the game running on PS5 on the cusp of the 2 year anniversary of news that P.T. would be deliberately blocked from ever running on the hardware.

He’s Swinging in Heaven Now

Prolific Voice actor Jan Rabson most notably known as the voice of Larry Laffer in the comedy adventure series Leisure Suit Larry has passed away. His other game credits include King’s Quest: Mask of Eternity, Sacrifice, and Thimbleweed Park. Additionally, he voiced Tetsuo in the 1990 English dub of Akira. He was 68 and the cause of death has not been released.

Upcoming Game Releases

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope (Switch), Second Extinction (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC), The Jackbox Party Pack 9 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4 , Xbox One, Switch, PC, iOS, Android) – October 21

Gotham Knights (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC), New Tales from the Borderlands (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC), Persona 5 Royal (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – October 22

New VR, Metaverse Flops, NSFW Squids, and AGDA Winners

Valve VR

Valve has posted a job listing. Nothing new, except that it gives us a hint of what’s to come, with the listing looking for someone to ‘prototype, ship, and support’ a virtual reality headset, saying “At Valve, we are pushing the boundaries of virtual reality experiences… The main scope of this position is to prototype, ship, and support consumer gaming products leveraging visual-inertial tracking, camera passthrough, environment understanding, eye tracking, and hand tracking.”

This certainly isn’t Valve’s first foray into VR, but it does signal a push to get ahead in the VR headset market.

Metaverse Isn’t Popular

Decentraland, a Metaverse project, hasn’t exactly been flourishing. It’s a sandbox environment where users can buy and sell virtual real estate, and has a market cap of $1.2 billion. The number of active users over a 24 hour period? 38.

Dencentraland do point out that active users are defined as unique blockchain wallet addresses, which leaves out users who just use it as a place to socialise and hang out, which may bring numbers up to 8000 users per day.

Doom’s On Notepad Now

You’ve seen Doom on PC, consoles, calculators, pregnancy tests, and more. Now get ready for 60 frames per second Doom gameplay in notepad, the very same notepad you have at home. It is playable, using text to create the visuals, much like ASCII art. In very quick, simplified terms, notepad is being used as a monitor, with other software running in the background doing the hard work.

Splatoon Gets a Bit… Rowdy

Nintendo had to release a public statement recently, reminding players of Nintendo’s streaming guidelines, and more specifically, how open streamers are to legal actions. Why? Streamers had started a trend of using chroma-key to superimpose explicit adult videos over the enemy’s ink, essentially treating it as a kind of greenscreen.

As it goes against Nintendo’s streaming guidelines, they can now take down posts, videos, and streams, and even pursue legal action.

AGDA Winners

The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association has announced the winners of the 2022 Australian Game Developer Awards. Judging goes through 70 game industry professionals, with winners from 13 categories announced, plus an additional 4 cultural awards, resulting in this year’s awards being filled with the highlights of what Australia has to offer.

Cult of the Lamb has left with four awards, including Game of the Year.

Julian Wilton, Creative Director of Massive Monster, says “After experiencing our success overseas, it was an amazing feeling to see our game really resonate with Australians as well. We received such strong support locally and we love that it’s being enjoyed, not just for the gameplay, but also for the art and music.”

Raymond Corrigan, the creator of Earthlingo, won the Rising Star award.

Ryan McMahon, art director at Playside Studios, won the Ambition award.

Clara Reeves, CEO of Hipster Whale, has been recognised for her ongoing contributions to the Australian games industry with the Adam Lancman award.

Gameloft Brisbane has come away with the last cultural award with the Studio of the Year award.

And now for some upcoming games!

October 13

  • The Case of the Golden Idol – PC
  • The Darkest Tales – PC, XBO, Switch
  • The Eternal Cylinder – PS5, XSX
  • Fueled Up – PC, PS4, XBO
  • GOAL! The Club Manager – PC
  • Kao the Kangaroo: Oh! Well DLC – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Lost Eidolons – PC
  • Sunday Gold – PC
  • Triangle Strategy – PC
  • Trifox – Switch
  • Winter Games 2023 – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch

October 14

  • Dragon Ball: The Breakers – PC, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • NHL 23 – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • No More Heroes 3 – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • PGA Tour 2K23 Standard Edition – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • Saint Kotar – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Scorn – PC, XSX
  • Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival – Switch
  • Trifox – PC, XSX, XBO

October 17

  • Destiny’s Sword – PC

October 18

  • A Plague Tale: Requiem – PC, XSX, PS5, Switch
  • Amberial Dreams – PC
  • Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • Marvel Snap – PC
  • Them’s Fightin’ Herds – PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch

October 19

  • The Last Hero of Nostalgaia – PC, XSX, XBO
  • The Last Worker – PC
  • Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection – PC
  • The Valiant – PC

October 20

  • Batora: Lost Haven – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO
  • Hell is Others – PC
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 9 – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch
  • Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope – Switch
  • The Pegasus Expedition – PC
  • Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef – PC, PS5, XSX, PS4, XBO, Switch

In with the NEW – Overwatch 2 Overwhelmed, CD Projekt Goes Big & Dream Reveals

 Overwatch 2 has replaced Overwatch 1
Love it or hate it, Overwatch has had a huge impact on multiplayer gaming since it was first announced. It released to huge acclaim, continued strong for some years before losing a fair part of the player base recently. Blizzard, still embroiled in scandal, hopes to win back those players, and more, with the recent launch of Overwatch 2.
Overwatch 1 officially died on October 4th when Blizzard turned the servers off to prepare for the sequel’s launch shortly after. Leading up to the shutdown many players declared ceasefire so they could come together and celebrate the game they all enjoyed.
Servers for Overwatch 2 went live in the early morning of October 5th. Huge amounts of players logged on to try out the game but were unfortunately met with long queues and error messages caused by the surge in popularity and a DDoS attack. Blizzard president Mike Ybarra was quick to assure the community that “Teams are working hard on server issues with Overwatch 2,” he tweeted. “We are humbled by the excitement of players and will continue to focus on issues and get players into the fun! Thanks for your patience.
Thankfully these hiccups are slowly being smoothed out and fans should soon be able to explore the game more freely. It’s still too early to know how Overwatch 2 will be and energy it has received already could be a good sign for the IP.

CD Projekt Red Announces Ambitious Plans
CD Projekt Red – the developer behind Cyberpunk 2077 and the Witcher Games- has released a strategy document outlining their direction for the future. Notable was a sequel to Cyberpunk 2077, currently codenamed “Project Orion” that is promised to “prove the full power and potential of the Cyberpunk universe.” There isn’t much more information on the game at this point but it’s safe to assume it won’t be complete for many years. In the meantime, Cyberpunk fans can look forward to the upcoming expansion “Phantom Liberty” which is currently in its final stages of development.
If you’re yet to be convinced that the Cyberpunk name is turning a corner, or perhaps it’s just not for you – CD Projekt Red has also announced big things coming for the world of the Witcher. There are multiple games in production including:

  • Project Polaris: A story-driven open-world RPG built on the legacy of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
  • Project Canis Majoris: Story-driven, single player open-world RPG set within The Witcher universe.
  • Project Sirius (Developed by The Molasses Flood): An innovative take on The Witcher universe telling an unforgettable story for existing Witcher fans and new audiences.

On top of expanding their current IP’s, CD Projekt Red also announced they are working on an entirely new addition – codenamed “Hadar” still currently in the concept phase. The strategy document also promised the studio would be “Introducing Multiplayer to most of our new games to enrich the single-player experience”. CD Projekt Red has a rocky past for development, but they seem to be looking to the future with unshakeable enthusiasm. It’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Dream Face Reveal
Hugely popular youtube creator “Dream” revealed his face on October 3rd after many years hidden behind a digital smiley-face mask. The 23-year-old boasts over 30 million subscribers and owes a lot of that popularity to Minecraft videos & streams. In the video he revealed the move was necessary for him to branch out as a content creator and meet some of the friends he’s made online. He also spoke about the stress of people constantly trying to uncover his appearance and that he was looking forward to no longer being “bunkered up”.
Many fans were excited to see his face after so many years, many others like me, had no real knowledge of the streamer but were drawn to the spectacle of the event. As of writing, the face reveal video has over 4 million views.
There was no great shock or revelation- just a normal regular face. Still, he has faced an onslaught of cruel comments that’s all too common for similar content creators. #PutTheMaskBackOn trended on twitter, flooded with comparisons to cartoon villains and cruel mockery.
In contrast, Dream ended his face reveal with positivity. “Anyone can be under the mask, and I don’t want my face reveal to take away from that fact,” he said. “Dream could have been anyone from anywhere.”

Alleged GTA Hacker Caught, Cyberpunk 2077: Rebirth, Overwatch 2 goes Freemium, & some Gaming Bytes

Alleged GTA Hacker Caught
Last week we reported the hacking of Rockstar Games Studios and the release of over 90 videos of gameplay footage of the upcoming GTA 6. In response London Police have arrested a 17-year-old as well as a handful of other 16 to 21 year old’s associated with the hacker collective Lapsus$. The individual accused has previously been arrested and charged for similar hacks on Microsoft and Nvidia earlier this year. It has also been revealed that he is currently under investigation by the FBI and US Dept of Justice for an attack on the ride share company Uber.
Over the weekend of the 24th the suspect appeared in court and entered a plea of not-guilty to the charge of computer misuse brought against him. However, he reportedly plead guilty to breaching the bail conditions of his previous arrest. The accused has now “been remanded to a youth detention centre” according to detective inspector Michael O’Sullivan of London Police’s Cyber Crime Unit.

Cyberpunk 2077: Rebirth
In the wake of CD Projekt Red’s & Netflix’s Cyberpunk: Edgerunners, Cyberpunk 2077 has rocketed back into the public view, and after 6 major patches, going through delays, forced refunds, and discount hell… Is it finally ready for release?
According to you the players it is, with more reported concurrent players than the Witcher 3 at its peak. Over the last weekend the game accumulated over 1 million total players on steam in one day, leading to Director Pawel Sasko emotionally saying,

“But it’s good to be back, you know. It’s f##king good to be back, honestly.”

While the game still has flaws, players are reporting that they are finding things to love despite them.

Overwatch 2 goes Freemium
With Overwatch 2 free2play coming in the next week new details regarding the F2P model for new versus returning players have been dropped, with new players looking forward to roughly 20 hours of gameplay to unlock the heroes and game modes that returning players will enjoy on release. In this time, they will need to win 50 quick play matches, and complete around 100 matches to unlock all 32 original Overwatch heroes… or you could spend real money and buy the Watchpoint Pack.
Blizzard has also set up new security measures called Defense Matrix, named after D.Va’s shield ability. This system is a set of new moderation tools with SMS Protect binding a phone number to your battle.net account (required to play), and a new AI driven audio detection and transcription system recording problematic voice chat and features an automated review system. While this still relies on players reporting abusive speech, the system takes over from there. This system it estimated to be released within a few weeks after release.

Gaming Bytes:
E3 2023 has been announced under Reedpop’s management and is kicking off June 11. This time coming with dedicated business halls and days.

Netflix to open their own internal games studio neighbouring Next Games (also owned by Netflix) in Helsinki, Finland. However, current estimates are that there may be a few years before they can release anything to market.

Now for some game releases!
Coming out Thursday the 29th. Brew your own trouble in Brewmaster: Beer Brewing Simulator coming to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch. Retro 2D puzzle adventure C.A.R.L. comes to PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. Coming from Subnautica developers Unknown Worlds, turn-based tactical strategy game Moonbreaker comes to PC. Transport railway sim Railgrade is coming to PC, and Switch. And the action RPG Valkyrie Elysium is coming to PlayStation.
On Friday 30th, FIFA 23 is coming to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch.
And on October 4, escape into one of the largest off-road rally experiences with Dakar Desert Rally coming to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. And Overwatch 2 is coming to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch