DGB S2E10 SOURCES
Dear reader, I hope you’re in the mood to possibly suss out artificial humans from real ones, because there’s a new Blade Runner game on the way from Annapurna Interactive. Blade Runner 2033: Labyrinth will be the first game in the series since 1997’s Blade Runner on PC, and it will also be Annapurna Interactive’s first game developed in-house.
Annapurna Interactive held its 2023 showcase where it announced an upcoming game set in the cyberpunk world of Blade Runner. the 1982 film adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The last time this cyberpunk noir universe received the video game treatment was in 1997, with a point-and-click adventure from Westwood that resurfaced with a GOG rerelease in 2019 (let’s not talk about its disastrous 2022 remake). There aren’t a whole lot of details about this new Blade Runner game just yet, but today’s teaser trailer does a pretty good job of nailing those classic vibes. Cue the Vangelis (RIP):
Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is headed to more platforms. During publisher Electronic Arts' earnings briefing, the company announced that developer Respawn is now in the "early stages" of bringing the Star Wars game to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Jedi: Survivor launched at the end of April this year for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S. The game enjoyed generally favorable reviews, but the PC version left something to be desired in terms of performance. EA released multiple patches to address the issues over time.
Beyond the announcement of Jedi: Survivor for PS4 and Xbox One, Respawn said it is working on "additional performance improvements" for the existing PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S versions of Jedi: Survivor. Respawn said it continues to be a "top priority" for the team to release these improvements, and more information will be shared in due course.
A viral tweet about Assassin’s Creed creator Ubisoft’s account deletion policy has ignited some intense conversation online around data collection and game access. Though the company’s policy isn’t new, the wording has left players confused about what the consequences are for having an inactive account.
On July 19, Twitter user pc_enjoyer tweeted a screenshot of an Ubisoft email they received stating that because their account had been inactive, the company temporarily suspended it and put it up for permanent closure in 30 days—unless they stopped the deletion by logging in and selecting the “Cancel Account Closure” option. Ubisoft Support confirmed this in a reply to pc_enjoyer, saying it doesn’t want the user to lose access to their account or purchased games.
That you could lose everything Ubisoft-related simply because you haven’t accessed your account in a while is quite alarming, leading to headlines over the July 22 weekend that left some folks spooked. But it’s unclear exactly what users would lose in this scenario. It’s also a position the company’s held for a while now. If you check Ubisoft’s terms of service, it spells this out under a question regarding account termination. According to the ToS, an account can be deleted by you or Ubisoft. In Ubisoft’s case, the company can—and will—wipe your account if you fail to prove you’re the account holder, violated the ToS or rules of conduct, “for any other reason in relation to your actions in or outside of the services,” or have been inactive for over six months.
EA has spun up a new studio to create a Black Panther game in collaboration with Marvel.
EA has just announced the new studio along with the upcoming game earlier today, on July 10. The studio is called Cliffhanger Games, and it's based in Seattle, made up of veterans of Monolith Productions, the developer which previously made both Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Shadow of War. There are also veterans from God of War, Halo, Call of Duty, and more on the dev team.
The new Black Panther game is being overseen by Kevin Stephens, who also had a leading role on the Middle-earth games. "We're dedicated to delivering fans a definitive and authentic Black Panther experience, giving them more agency and control over their narrative than they have ever experienced in a story-driven video game," Stephens says in a press release.
"Wakanda is a rich SuperHero sandbox, and our mission is to develop an epic world for players who love Black Panther and want to explore the world of Wakanda as much as we do," the veteran developer concludes. EA has revealed little else about the Black Panther game itself right now, aside from the fact that it's being developed in collaboration with Marvel.
After nearly two decades, Xbox Live Gold will die on September 14. In its place is Xbox Game Pass Core, a cheaper version of the Game Pass service that’ll allow gamers to play online together, as well as offer a curated selection of games to play. And, yes, that also means Games with Gold is going away too. You’ll still have access to those games you downloaded via the program, but there are some things to consider.
Originally launched in 2002, shortly after the launch of the original Xbox, Xbox Live quickly became the standard for online play on consoles. The service evolved with the Xbox 360, featuring various networking capabilities such as cross-game voice chat and messaging, and in 2013, Xbox Live Gold also offered free games each month via Games with Gold. In 2017, however, Microsoft turned to offering another online service with Xbox Game Pass, allowing players to download countless games for around 11 bucks a month on consoles. Now, the services are essentially fusing together on September 14, with the Xbox Live Gold branding being phased out, and Games with Gold ending on September 1. Xbox Game Pass Core, which’ll cost 10 bucks a month, or $60 a year, will offer 25 games to play and access to online multiplayer.
The long-rumored Red Dead Redemption re-release has finally been revealed and it's coming to Nintendo Switch. Red Dead Redemption is one of the most beloved games of all-time and is a staple in Rockstar Games' catalog. The developer was able to immerse players into the wild west in a way no other game had at that point with rich characters, a beautiful world to explore, and a story with a great deal of depth and maturity. The sequel upped the ante in a big way and had many players demanding a remaster/remake of the first game, especially since it was a game that was locked away on much older hardware and could only be played through backward compatibility on Xbox if you wanted to play it on a modern console.
Now, after years of rumors and speculation, we can now confirm that Red Dead Redemption is finally coming to new consoles. The new version of Red Dead Redemption is being labeled as a "conversion", not a remaster or a remake, meaning it's more in line with the original version from 2010. It will release digitally on August 17th for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch for $49.99 with a physical release on October 13th. The PS4 version will be backward compatible on PS5, so players don't have to worry about missing out on it regardless of console generation. It will come with the acclaimed Undead Nightmare expansion and will not feature the multiplayer modes in either the core game or the expansion,. The re-release is being developed by Double Eleven, a studio known for helping port a variety of games. As of right now, no PC version has been announced and there won't be a new version for Xbox, as it's already available via backward compatibility.
Spider-Men were the talk of the town as San Diego Comic-Con 2023 kicked off Day 1 with an exclusive panel in Hall H about Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
Peter Parker and Miles Morales return for an exciting new adventure where they swing, jump, and utilize the new Web Wings to travel across Marvel’s New York. Players can experience switching between both Spider-Men throughout the story, each with their own epic powers, as the iconic villain Venom threatens to destroy their lives, their city, and the ones they love.
Charles Martinet, the actor whose voice has been synonymous with Mario since the mid-90s, is moving into a new role at Nintendo, the company announced on X (formerly Twitter). This takes effect immediately, as the company has confirmed that Martinet does not voice Mario in the upcoming game Super Mario Bros. Wonder.
Nintendo posted on X that Martinet will be “stepping back from recording character voices for our games.” In addition to Mario, Martinet has provided the voices of Luigi, Wario, and Waluigi. In his new role as Mario Ambassador, he’ll travel the world “sharing the joy of Mario” and interacting with fans.
Microsoft's Xbox Design Lab lets fans design and purchase their own personalized Xbox controllers. Xbox fans are unable to customize their console to such an extent, but Microsoft often gives away special edition Xbox Series X|S consoles based on new films and games. This fall, Microsoft will launch a new method of customization for fans who have been wanting to customize their Xbox Series X console for the past three years.
In a new Xbox Wire post, Microsoft announced that Xbox Series X console wraps will be launching this year. Each console wrap is precisely designed for Xbox Series X while ensuring cooling performance is unaffected. For example, Microsoft added small feet to the bottom of the wraps in order to allow air to freely flow through the console's vents. The wrap consists of solid core panels with high-tech fabric finishes, and a hook and loop enclosure secures the wrap onto the console. Pre-orders are available now in the Microsoft Store, and the very first console wrap is themed after Bethesda's highly anticipated Starfield game.
The classic id Software shooter Quake II is back and looking better than ever in a new remaster that’s out now on all the major platforms. And for folks playing on Xbox Series X/S and PC, you’ll be able to invite seven of your best friends over to play together on one (hopefully) big screen.
Originally released in 1997, Quake II was the follow-up to the tremendously successful Quake, which was one of the first fully 3D first-person shooters ever made. The sequel changed up the narrative and setting, moving the action to space and introducing the Strogg, deadly aliens who would appear in later Quake titles, including the forgettable Quake 4. While Quake II is sometimes overshadowed by its multiplayer-focused sequel Quake III Arena, it’s still a fun game that pushed graphics forward, in particular with its robust support for some of the earlier 3D graphics cards. And now the classic game has been remastered and released across PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, and PC.
The first thing that caught my eye when looking at the store page for Quake II on Xbox—which is launching as part of Game Pass—was the mention that the game supports eight-player splitscreen. I know it’s not the first game to support so many players via splitscreen, but that’s still a pretty rare thing. How many games even support that many players locally, let alone via eight separately rendered boxes on one screen? Wild! And it’s always nice to see a PC game include splitscreen support, too.
Backwards-compatible Xbox 360 titles will thankfully remain available to purchase and play on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S after the Xbox 360 store closes.
For any Xbox 360 games and DLC already purchased, nothing is changing--those games and content will still be available to use. This includes on Xbox 360, as well as Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S through backwards compatibility. Content can be re-downloaded as well.
"A lot has changed since the Xbox 360 launched in 2005. Technology has evolved, expectations from players have shifted, and we are focused on making Xbox Series X|S the best place to play now and in the future," Microsoft said regarding the shutdown.
Online multiplayer on Xbox 360 through Xbox network (formerly Xbox Live) will remain available after the Xbox 360 store closes, provided the publisher of the game still runs servers. Additionally, cloud saves will still be available on Xbox 360, and they can transfer to Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
Activision has officially teased 2023's Call of Duty after months of leaks. Titled Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, it will seemingly be a direct sequel to last year’s game and it’s coming out on November 10.
None of that is unexpected at this point considering Activision has released a new full-priced Call of Duty every year since the series debuted back in 2003.
Whatever the reboot brings, it will seemingly fit right on top of the existing, joint live-service platform established with last year’s entry and Warzone 2.0. The Call of Duty Twitter account previously teased that all of players’ existing operators, weapons, and cosmetic bundles would carry over between Modern Warfare II and III. Tons of new and returning weapons and killstreaks have also seemingly leaked ahead of the game’s official showcase, expected sometime before the end of August.
The biggest question remains just how much of a full-fledged Call of Duty game the November 2023 one will be. Bloomberg had previously reported that Activision was looking at skipping this year in terms of a new annualized release as the franchise buckles under the weight of all the costs and studios required to keep pumping out sequels.
Whether Modern Warfare III ends up feeling more like a smaller stand-alone update remains to be seen. We don’t yet know whether it will be priced at the new standard “next-gen” rate of $70. What we do know is that it will still be coming to PlayStation 5 as previously expected, despite the finalization of Microsoft’s deal to acquire Activision Blizzard fast approaching. The tech giant confirmed a 10-year agreement to continue supporting Activision games on Sony’s platform even after they technically become part of Xbox Game Studios.
In addition to the more cinematic, linear, and focused missions that fans have come to know and expect from Call of Duty, Modern Warfare III has Open Combat Missions that give players more freedom. Players will have "numerous additional choices" for how to complete a mission, Activision said in a blog post.
"For example, if you prefer to use stealth techniques, you may wish to undertake an OCM with a lights-out approach, using night-vision goggles and suppressed weapons and complete your objectives without your adversaries knowing you were even there," the company said. "However, if loud explosions and reckless abandon are part of your repertoire, strap extra armor plates onto your torso and hit those targets head-on."
Microsoft and Sony have finally reached a deal for keeping Call of Duty on PlayStation once the Activision Blizzard merger goes through. The surprise agreement comes after months of fighting between the two companies and is a sign the acquisition is all but inevitable.
“We are pleased to announce that Microsoft and PlayStation have signed a binding agreement to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard,” Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer tweeted on July 16. “We look forward to a future where players globally have more choice to play their favorite games.”
October is a highly competitive month for video game launches every single year, and that's true this year once again. Seemingly for that reason, Alan Wake 2 is getting delayed--but just barely--moving from its original date of October 17 to its new date of October 27. The news was shared by Remedy on social media.
"We’re moving Alan Wake 2’s launch from October 17 to October 27. October is an amazing month for game launches and we hope this date shift gives more space for everyone to enjoy their favorite games.
We can’t wait to show you what everyone’s favorite novelist is up to in the Dark Place next week. Thanks for your patience!"
Naughty Dog, the developer behind The Last of Us and Uncharted, is about to undergo a pretty big shakeup in leadership. Co-president Evan Wells has announced he’ll be retiring, and co-president and Last of Us director Neil Druckmann will be the sole president of the company moving forward.
Wells wrote about his departure on the studio’s website, saying he’s retiring from the studio after 25 years, but that he’s confident in Druckmann and the rest of Naughty Dog’s current management to lead the company in his absence.
“The decision brings with it overwhelming and conflicting emotions, but I’ve come to realize that I’m content with my time at the studio and all that we’ve accomplished together over the last 25 years,” Wells wrote. “I couldn’t be more confident in Neil’s ability to carry on running the studio. It’s the right time for me to provide the opportunity for him and the others on the Studio Leadership Team to steer the studio into a successful future.”
A new Walking Dead video game has been announced, and it's launching soon. The Walking Dead: Destinies re-tells "critical moments" from Seasons 1-4 of the AMC series through a third-person action-adventure game. The game gives players a number of choices to make, like electing who leads the group, if you choose to make the governor your enemy or friend, and more.
The game kicks off with players controlling Rick Grimes, who awakes in a hospital and surrounded by zombies. Like on the show, players need to make friends and battle baddies as they trace the story and locations from the TV series. Players will visit places like Atlanta, the Greene farm, and the prison.
The game lets players bash zombies with a variety of weapons, including bats, katanas, revolvers, shotguns, and crossbows. There are a dozen characters from the TV series who will appear in the game, including Rick, Shane, Michonne, Carol, and Daryl.
The Walking Dead: Destinies releases "soon" for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Preorders are available now for $50. The game is developed by Flux Games, which has experience with licensed titles with its Cobra Kai games.
In an era when it seems games are killed off all the time, it’s impressive to see Microsoft and 343 Industries continuing to support and update Halo: The Master Chief Collection nearly a decade after its initial release. And its next update, out July 12, is huge, adding a ton of new content to the already massive collection of classic Halo games.
It’s easy to forget in 2023 that The Master Chief Collection didn’t launch to critical acclaim or cheering fans. In fact, its initial release in November 2014 was a giant, embarrassing mess that was criticized heavily for network issues, missing content, poor performance, and other problems. But over the years 343 added more games to the collection, like Halo: Reach, brought back cut content, and ported over maps from Halo Online.
On July 10, 343 revealed all the details about the upcoming update via its official website. And there’s a lot being added to MCC. Here are some of the highlights:
Firefight will now support up to eight players and you’ll be able to find matches via the in-game browser. Firefight in MCC will also support “Join In Progress,” letting players hop in mid-game or return after a disconnect.
343 is also adding options to Firefight that will let you recreate the 3v3 Generator Protection mode that was only available in Halo: Reach’s network beta test.
After the July 12 update, Halo 4’s campaign and Spartan Ops mode will support theater mode. 343 warns that things might be a bit wonky as this feature uses legacy code from an older, pre-release build of Halo 4.
Halo 3 is getting a new mode: Slayer Escalation, aka gun game, aka that mode from Counter-Strike and Call of Duty in which each time you kill someone you get a new gun. 343 had already added this gametype to other Halo games in MCC so it’s nice to see it come to Halo 3.
343 has also added three pieces of equipment—Invincibility, Active Camo, and Auto Turret—from Halo 3’s campaign into its multiplayer sandbox. These will be available in Forge and other Halo 3 custom game modes.
The Acrophobia Skull can now be activated in Halo: Combat Evolved. This in-game modifier, which is already available in other Halo games in MCC, lets players fly around freely in single-player. Perfect for people looking to explore for Easter eggs or wanting to experience the original campaign in a brand-new way.