Gaming News Round-up

Originally published on Trevor Trove as writing samples for an eventual position as an IGN News freelance writer, the following Gaming News Round-up posts range from May 2-6, 2016

May 2, 2016

New Call of Duty Game Announced

The next installment of the Call of Duty franchise was formally announced today, alongside an official trailer.

Confirming earlier rumored reports, Activision’s next game in the series, as developed by Infinity Ward, is Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and will feature a mixture of futuristic Earth- and space-bound combat.

Included in the announcement was the reveal that the Legacy Edition of Infinite Warfare – retailing for $79.99 – will also include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, featuring an updated version of the original game’s campaign and ten multiplayer maps.

According to Activision’s FAQ page for the game, the Modern Warfare Remastered game will only be “available through the Legacy, Legacy Pro, and Digital Deluxe editions of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare,” indicating the game will not be available as a standalone purchase.

Stardew Valley Updates to Include Multiplayer and Console Ports

In a new update, Eric Barone (aka ConcernedApe) – the one-man developer behind Stardew Valley – detailed his upcoming plans for the surprise hit.

With Version 1.1, he intends to add in features including co-op multiplayer, non-English localizations, and ports of the game for Mac, Linux, and consoles. Merchandising options also seem to be in the works, though no additional details were provided.

Publisher Chucklefish will handle the technical aspects of the multiplayer mode, localizations, and ports, allowing Barone the time to focus on content updates. Planned updates for the game include new marriage candidates, additional scenes with townspeople and spouses, more farm buildings, crops, and artisan goods, and added late-game content.

No timelines have been given but Barone did confirm “that multiplayer, porting and localization are actively being worked on.”

Mighty No. 9 Has Officially “Gone Gold”

After repeated delays, long-awaited Mighty No. 9 has finally “gone gold,” according to the latest update on the Kickstarter page, and is now set to release June 21st in North America ans Asia and June 24th worldwide.

Originally launched in 2013, the Kickstarter for Mighty No. 9, from the mind of Keiji Inafune (Mega Man), quickly reached and blew past its $900,000 goal, ultimately landing at over $3.8 million. More recently, however, the game has suffered multiple delays, citing the need to “resolve any network issues [and] matchmaking.”

In today’s update, Inafune began by apologizing to backers for the game’s delays before stating, “the release date we are announcing is set in stone and there will be no further delays for the game.”

This news only applies to the console and PC versions of the game, as the post goes on to mention “[p]ortable versions for PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS will follow at a later point.”

May 3, 2016

Dishonored 2 Release Date Announced

Dishonored 2, the follow-up to the 2012 critically-acclaimed Arkane Studios stealth-action game, will be released on November 11.

Officially revealed at last year’s Bethesda Studios E3 conference, Dishonored 2 puts players in the shoes of Corvo Attano, the protagonist from the first game, or Emily Kaldwin, the Empress Corvo sought to protect.

Bethesda also announced that they will be debuting the world-premiere gameplay footage of the Dishonored 2 at their E3 conference, starting at 7PM PT on Sunday, June 12.

Additionally, members of the voice cast were revealed, featuring Vincent D’Onofrio and Rosario Dawson (Daredevil), Sam Rockwell (Iron Man 2, Galaxy Quest), and Robin Lord Taylor (Gotham).

Possible Watch Dogs 2 Character Revealed

A possible new main character for the in-development Watch Dogs 2 may have been discovered.

As discovered by NerdLeaks, the above Instagram post – now hidden – appears to suggest Watch Dogs 2 may feature a main protagonist other than Aiden Pearce, the playable character of the first game.

With Ubisoft having confirmed plans to skip the usual Assassin’s Creed offering this year, rumors have suggested that Watch Dogs 2 could be revealed at E3 and announced for a holiday release to fill that hole in the production calendar. In a financial report earlier this year, Ubisoft confirmed Watch Dogs 2 would release by the end of Fiscal Year 2017 ending in April of next year.

Expect more to be shown at Ubisoft’s E3 conference Monday, June 13, starting at 1PM PT.

Xbox E3 Conference Details

As announced on the Xbox Wire, Microsoft has revealed the first details of their plans for E3, including their conference, scheduled for Monday, June 13, starting at 9:30AM PT.

On their official site, Microsoft highlights that the media briefing will showcase “the newest games, tech and features coming to Xbox One and Windows 10.”

Apart from the conference, Xbox Wire announced they will be bringing back Xbox Daily: LIVE @ E3. The hour-long live shows will air on Xbox devices, the Xbox Twitch channel and on Tuesday June 14 and Wednesday June 15 from 4:00 – 5:00 PM PT. Larry Hryb and Graeme Boyd are set to host and the shows will feature “a variety of guest stars and prominent industry figures.”

Additional content will be shown throughout the week, as Xbox is partnering with Twitch for E3. Tune into the Xbox Twitch page during any of the following days/times for behind the scenes features, additional announcements, and gameplay:

  • 12 PM. to 4 PM PT on Tuesday, June 14
  • 10 AM to 4 PM PT on Wednesday, June 15
  • 10 AM to 5 PM PT on Thursday, June 16

May 4, 2016

New Star Wars Game Announced

As part of the May the 4th Star Wars day festivities, Respawn announced that they are working on a new Star Wars game.

God of War III director Stig Asmussen took to the Respawn blog to share the announcement that the Titanfall developer is at work on “a third-person action/adventure game set in the Star Wars universe.”

It is unlikely we’ll see or hear much more new on the project at E3 as the blog post also announces that they “hiring in all departments.”

Respawn is also hard at work on Titanfall 2, which will receive a worldwide reveal June 12.

Fallout 4 Far Harbor DLC Release Date

The first major story DLC for Fallout 4 Far Harbor will launch May 19.

Announced today alongside the above accompanying trailer, the final piece of the original three DLC additions to the game will take players to the largest map Bethesda has ever produced for expansion content.

Bethesda has also mentioned that this will not be the final piece of Fallout 4 content and that Season Pass-holders will continue to receive whatever new expansions they have in store.

As Fallout 4 had a prominent showing in Bethesda’s E3 conference last year, it is highly likely they will dedicate time to outlined the future of Fallout 4 at this years conference on June 12.

New Xbox One Backwards-Compatible Games

In honor of Star Wars day, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and its sequel Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II have been added to the Xbox One backwards-compatibility program. The announcement came by way of a tweet from Larry Hryb aka Major Nelson.

Both games follow the story of Darth Vader’s secret apprentice Starkiller in between the events of Episodes III and IV.

These additions to the program mark the second time this week titles have been added. Jet Set RadioMX vs ATV Reflex, and Texas Hold ‘Em were added yesterday, May 3rd.

May 5, 2016

Persona 5 Japanese Release Date

Persona 5 will be released in Japan on September 15.

Following the end of a countdown clock that appeared weeks ago, Atlus announced the release date alongside a new trailer today during a livestream event. A Western release date has not yet been announced.

Also announced was a special 20th “Anniversary Edition,” set to include an art book, the game’s soundtrack, and character costume DLC. No word was given on if the Western release will have a comparable offering.

Persona 5 will mark the first new mainline game in the series since Persona 4 launched on the PlayStation 2 in 2008.

Nintendo at E3

Following the reveal of Nintendo’s financials last week, Nintendo stressed that The Legend of Zelda on Wii U would be their only offering at the E3 conference. New details have arisen regarding their presentation.

The Nintendo Direct-style pre-recorded presentation that has comprised their presence in recent years will not be repeated this year, it seems. Instead, Reggie Fils-Aime – Nintendo Chief Operating Officer – will lead off a Nintendo Treehouse focused solely on The Legend of Zelda.

The video will feature “the world’s first in-depth look at the game,” behind-the-scenes features, and developer interviews.

While the game will be releasing on the Wii U and the NX platform, Nintendo has been adamant that only the Wii U version of the game will be featured at the event.

More Xbox One Backwards Compatible Titles

Following yesterday’s release of the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed games, the Xbox One Backwards Compatibility program released five more titles today.

Dig Dug, Samurai Shodown II, Runner 2, Phantasy Star II, and Sonic & Knuckles have all been added to the catalog, as announced once again by Major Nelson on Twitter.

This brings the week’s total to ten new games announced for the program. Jet Set Radio, MX vs ATV Reflex, and Texas Hold ‘Em were all added to the line-up Tuesday.

May 6, 2016

Battlefield 1 Reveal Trailer and Release Date

Set in an alternate World War I, the next Battlefield game will release October 21 (or October 18 for EA Access members, Origin Access members, or people who pre-order a deluxe version of the game).

Prior to being officially revealed during a livestream event, leaked images from an Xbox One ad, as well as retail display posters, identified the title and setting, as well as announcing a pre-order bonus. Those who pre-order the game will receive a Hellfighter pack, based on the Harlem Hellfighters – a regiment of real-life African-American infantrymen in World War I.

A beta of the game was announced separately and will be available to those who sign up on the official Battlefield website as Battlefield Insiders.

EA Boss On the Future of Consoles

Speaking to The Daily Orange, EA Chief Competition Officer Peter Moore discussed the notion that the future of consoles may look very different. Despite persistent rumors of the PlayStation Neo or Xbox 1.5, Moore theorizes that the consoles may soon be a thing of the past.

“Games will be accessed by streaming technology, so we don’t need hardware intermediaries in between the two. If you and I want to play ‘Battlefield 12’ against each other, we’ll just jump into a game via whatever monitor we happen to have in our homes. It’ll be on a chip, rather than in a box.”

Moore also spoke in the interview about the rise of mobile gaming and eSports and the notion that they will continue to rise in popularity, as well as the idea that augmented and virtual reality still have some hurdles to overcome before they will really take hold in the gaming industry. He specifically pointed out the lack of social tools as well as the general discomfort associated with long sessions of gaming in VR.

Activision Responds to Trailer Dislikes

In the five days since it was released, the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare trailer has amassed over 10 million views and over half a million dislikes.

When asked about the high dislike numbers in a quarterly earnings call, Activision CEO Eric Hirschberg responded, “while it’s very early, pre-orders are off to a very strong start. Views of the reveal trailer that you referred to are up and in fact the number of likes per view on the Infinite Warfare reveal trailer are also the highest we’ve ever seen.”

He later went on to draw the comparison to Call of Duty: Black Ops II, mentioning, “[that reveal trailer] had the most dislikes of any reveal trailer we had ever made at that time. And that, of course, went on to become our most successful game ever.”

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare launches later this year. Deluxe editions of the game will include a digital copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: