🎮 Acquisitions

Edition 30 - June 28th to July 4th

Good morning gamers. We hope our North American audience had a great Canada Day and 4th of July weekend.

It seems like 2021 is the year of acquisitions and partnerships as both PlayStation and Konami made some power moves this week. Also, an industry insider revealed exciting news about GTA VI. So make sure you have Autosave on and let’s get into it.

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PlayStation - The Family is Growing

Hermen Hulst, Head of PlayStation Studios told British GQ that it’s not an “arms race” with Microsoft and other gaming companies to acquire new studios. Despite the comments, last week Sony made their first studio acquisition since 2019, with more moves evidently on the horizon. 

Housemarque was officially acquired by Sony last week. Housemarque is a Finnish video game developer founded in 1995 responsible for titles such as Returnal, Nex Machina and Matterfall. According to co-founder Ilari Kuittinen, the partnership was 26 years in the making and it will allow them to show the world that Housemarque has no limitations. 

Nixxes Software was also officially acquired by Sony last week. Nixxes is a Dutch software company that specializes in video game design and PC ports, which hopefully means more PlayStation exclusives on PC. Nixxes previously worked on games such as Marvel’s Avengers, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and the Tomb Raider series.

Bluepoint Games has also been reportedly acquired by PlayStation Studios. The PlayStation Japan twitter account tweeted and deleted a graphic with the Bluepoint Games logo. The studio is mostly known for the Uncharted collection, Shadow of Colossus and Titanfall.

Konami & Bloober Team - Silent Hill, is that you?

Konami and Bloober Team have announced a “strategic cooperation agreement” that will see the two “jointly developing selected contents and exchanging know-how”. Bloober Team is a Poland-based video game developer known for their Psychological Horror games such as Layers of Fear 1 and 2, Blair Witch, Observer: System Redux and The Medium. In a statement provided to IGN by Konami, they said “We are excited to work with Bloober Team and other highly regarded development partners to produce games from existing and new IPs”. 

According to VGC sources, one of the projects they’re working on is Silent Hill-related. Bloober Team CEO Piotr Babieno said back in February, “we’ve been working for more than a year on another gaming project, another horror IP, and we’re doing this with a very famous gaming publisher”. In response to an official request for information from Polygon, Konami told them “We don’t have any specifics to share at this time, but we can say while Bloober Team will continue to produce their own original content, we’re excited at the chance to collaborate with them on potential projects across our various IP”. Konami has reportedly also outsourced a different Silent Hill project to a big developer in Japan.

In the spirit of creating additional connections with Silent Hill, Japanese video game music composer, sound designer, and producer Akira Yamaoka served as a producer on the Silent Hill games and films. He also collaborated with Bloober Team to help compose the soundtrack for The Medium. 

GTA VI - It’s Coming.. Sort of

Last week, gaming industry insider Tom Henderson released a YouTube video about GTA VI saying that he expects it to be released in 2024 or 2025. Gaming fans have been waiting for the next instalment in the series since GTA V was originally released on Xbox 360 and PS3 in September of 2013.

According to Tom Henderson, the map will be a modern day Vice City, which will allow Rockstar Games to be as creative as they want with GTA Online content. The map will feature changes throughout its lifecycle similar to that of Call of Duty: Warzone and Fortnite. Unfortunately, the game is still in the early stages of development as Rockstar Games’ main focus remains GTA V Online and the well-being of their employees. Earlier this year, it was reported that GTA VI will have a playable male and female protagonist, which continues to be the rumour. 

Dan Houser, the co-founder of Rockstar Games, has founded a new studio called “Absurd Ventures in Games”. Houser left Rockstar Games in March of 2020 after an extended break starting in 2019. Even though he stayed out of the spotlight, Houser was a key contributor to both the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption franchises.

Esports Corner 

Welcome to Canada, Complexity

Canadian based Esports company GameSquare has acquired Complexity Gaming for $27 million. The North American based esports organization operates teams in a multitude of major games such as Counter-Strike, Valorant, Fortnite, FIFA, MTG Arena and others. The all-stock transaction will see Complexity’s Founder and CEO Jason Lake continue his duties running Complexity while simultaneously serving as GameSquares Global Head of Esports. In addition, Dallas Cowboys CEO Thomas Walker and Goff Capital President Travis Goff have been appointed to the Board of Directors. The acquisition will hopefully push Complexity into the “next phase” of growth by diversifying its offerings, scaling business operations and exploring new verticals. 

Tinder Matching Gamers Together 

ONE Esports, one of the most reputable and prominent tournament organizers in the Southeast Asia region has announced a partnership with the dating app Tinder. As part of the collaboration, Tinder is launching a new initiative called “Esports Passion” focused on matching users together who share a passion for gaming and esports. A major driving factor behind the collaboration is due to gaming being a top-ten dating category among their GenZ users in Southeast Asia. This partnership will also see Tinder introduce a series of experiences for Mobile legend players, as well as awarding 10 people who add “Esports Passion” to their profile with in-game currency. 

CS:GO is Back on LAN 

The ESL has confirmed that CS:GO competitive competitions are returning to in-person LAN events starting with this month's IEM Cologne. Twenty-four teams from around the world will compete for the $1M prize pool between July 6 and July 18. Eight teams have already qualified for the main stage event while sixteen others will need to participate in a play-in stage, where only half of them will move forward. Unfortunately, there will be no live audience attending the event, and players will be restricted to a closed studio for all competitive matches. 

This Week in Esports

Game Review - Mario Golf: Super Rush

Mario Golf: Super Rush is the sixth instalment in the Mario Golf series since the last release in 2014. This game adds a new dimension to Camelot’s (the developer) long running golf series. This isn’t your typical golf game as the different kinds of modes make it feel like an action game. Golf, the relaxing sport turns into an exciting race across the different golf courses. Super Rush can be really fun, especially with a group of friends. That said, veteran Mario Golf players may be disappointed because the adventure mode is mediocre, there is a small variety of courses and there is a lack of content and replayability. We give Mario Golf: Super Rush a score of B.

Gaming Roundup

  • According to EA and DICE, the Xbox Series X/S will be the official consoles of Battlefield 2042. Although it is still unclear what exactly this entails, it is rumoured the game will be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one. 

  • Kazuya Mishima officially joined Super Smash Bros. Ultimate alongside the Mishima Dojo stage and a selection of music from the Tekken series. Masahiro Sakurai said that there will be no further Super Smash Ultimate DLC after the Fighters Pass Vol. 2.  

  • Remedy Entertainment confirmed that their upcoming game codenamed “Project Condor” is a multiplayer spin-off of Control. It will be a four-player cooperative PvE game described as being “a bigger-budget Control game”.    

  • Id Software announced that they’re canceling the free Invasion mode update for Doom Eternal and instead focusing on a new single-player Horde mode. Executive Producer Marty Stratton said it’s due to the “unforeseen consequences of the pandemic and remote working”.

  • The Dead Space reboot is rumoured to be a full-fledged remake using the original game as a foundation. EA Motive will work on this project while a new Dead Space game is also in development behind the scenes. 

  • Star Wars: The Old Republic announced the “Legacy of the Sith” expansion coming Holiday 2021. The expansion will focus on sending players to the darkest depths of the galaxy while unlocking new abilities and making tough choices.

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