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A Busy Week in Gaming
E113: PlayStation State of Play recap and Microsoft ABK merger update.
Good morning gamers! Last week Sony hosted their first Playstation State of Play of the year. The 45-minute showcase included an extended look at Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, as well as games coming to PSVR2 this year. Here’s what you missed,
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League got its biggest reveal yet, showing off the games combat for all four main characters (Harley Quinn, King Shark, Captain Boomerang and Deadshot) as well as a behind the scenes developer discussion about the games live-service elements (post-launch support, cosmetic battle pass and upgradable weapons).
Street Fighter 6 launches on June 2nd and Capcom revealed three new characters that are being added to the roster (alongside previews of their abilities and fighting styles), including the return of fan favorites Zangief and Cammy, and newcomer Lily.
Resident Evil 4 Remake premiered a new trailer which confirmed that the classic Mercenaries Mode is making a return. A special demo will be released soon.
PlayStation VR2 will be receiving five new games in 2023 including The Foglands (sci-fi western FPS), Green Hell VR (a survival game set in the rainforest), Journey to Foundation (sci-fi stealth game set in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation universe), Before Your Eyes (interactive eye-tracking adventure) and Synapse (first-person shooter).
Other Notable Announcements
Destiny 2: Lightfall launch trailer featuring a new look at the Strand subclass.
Naruto x Boruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections gameplay trailer featuring characters from across the series.
Wayfinder, a new online multiplayer adventure game, showcased a gameplay overview, and announced that PlayStation is getting an exclusive beta.
Baldur’s Gate 3 showed a new trailer, and confirmed an August 31, 2023 release date for PlayStation 5 and PC (still in development for Xbox).
Microsoft Isn’t Giving Up
Microsoft President Brad Smith, Xbox Head Phil Spencer and ABK CEO Bobby Kotick met with the European Commision (and other gaming executives) to defend their acquisition of Activision Blizzard King. Microsoft’s main argument is that the deal will enable more gamers to access ABK games and that the deal is committed to encouraging stronger market competition. Additional details that came to light include,
Microsoft rejects the idea of divisting the Call of Duty business.
Sony has an 80% market share in Europe, 96% in Japan and 70% worldwide (these are estimates provided by Microsoft).
A deal with Sony is being discussed but Sony isn’t interested in a license agreement for Call of Duty.
A hearing to discuss potential remedies is scheduled in London later this month.
In an effort to show their willingness to compromise and bring more games to more people, Microsoft announced two major commitments,
President Brad Smith announced that Microsoft has officially signed a 10-year legally-binding agreement to bring Xbox games to Nintendo gamers, specifically Call of Duty and other Activision titles.
Xbox Head Phil Spencer announced a 10-year agreement with NVIDIA that will allow GeForce NOW players the ability to stream Xbox PC games and Activision Blizzard PC games.
As the EU Commission hearings are still ongoing, we’re now starting to get a sense of which major gaming companies approve or disapprove of Microsoft’s ABK merger. Tencent, Take-Two Interactive, Epic Games, Riot Games, Warner Bros, Valve, NVIDIA, Bandai Namco, Nintendo, EA, SEGA, and Ubisoft approve of the deal while Sony, Google and an unnamed Chinese third-party disapprove.
🥇Congratulations to OpTic Gaming for winning the Halo Championship Series 2023 Kickoff Major Charlotte .
Capcom revealed that the 2023 edition of the Capcom Pro Tour (the CPTs 10th season) will start sometime in the summer featuring a $2 million prize pool. It includes a mixture of online and offline events, and the Capcom Cup X winner will earn a grand prize of $1 million. This is the biggest prize pool in Capcom Cup history, and to make things even more interesting, the CPT will be played on the upcoming Street Fighter 6 game.
Ubisoft’s next iteration of the ‘Six Invitational’ has been confirmed for Brazil in 2024. The event will be organized by BLAST, with the season’s first Major set for Coppenhagen (Denmark) and the second Major set for the USA. The Six Invitational is still expected to feature a $3 million prize pool and each Major is expected to feature a $500,000 prize pool.
The Valorant Pro Tour’s second major international event of the year will take place in Tokyo, Japan from June 11 to June 25. The VCT Masters Tokyo will feature 12 teams where the Americas, EMEA and Pacific regions each get to qualify three teams, followed by two invited teams from the China region and automatic qualification for the VCT LOCK//IN winner.
Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, the parent company behind esports brands The Guard, the Los Angeles Gladiators (Call of Duty League) and the Los Angeles Guerrillas (Overwatch League) have reportedly undergone massive layoffs and are now looking for “a suitable buyer” for both their Overwatch League and Call of Duty League spots. The future of their Valorant and Apex Legends rosters operating under The Guard remains uncertain.
Elden Ring has surpassed 20 million units sold worldwide days before the game's 1-year anniversary. It is FromSoftware’s fastest-selling game ever.
Hogwarts Legacy’s game director Alan Tew said during an interview at IGN Game Fest that “at the moment there are no current plans for DLC”. The game has already sold more than 12 million units and generated $850 million in sales worldwide in two weeks.
Mighty Doom, a top-down shooter starring the Mini Slayer is coming to mobile devices on March 21st. The game is set in an animated Doom universe by Alpha Dog Studios.
Blumhouse Games, a new division of Blumhouse Productions, are working on an “original horror-themed game” for console, PC and mobile with a $10m budget.
Bungie have been awarded $4.3 million in damages after winning their lawsuit against Destiny 2 cheat maker AimJunkies.
Gears of War 6 is being teased by former Gears of War 2 writer Joshua Ortega, who is reportedly back working for the game’s next installment.
Tango Gameworks founder and CEO Shinji Mikami is leaving the studio after 12 years working on the Evil Within franchise, Ghostwire Tokyo and Hi-Fi Rush.
EA Dice is building a new single-player team dedicated to creating brand-new campaign-driven experiences for future Battlefield games.
Konami will reportedly have a strong E3 showcase this summer and is expected to reveal a Metal Gear Solid 3 Remake and a new Castlevania game.
Mortal Kombat 12 was accidentally announced during Warner Bros. earnings call by their CEO David Zaslav, launching sometime in 2023.
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