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I Heard a Rumor
Edition 25 - May 24th to May 30th
Good morning gamers. The final few weeks leading up to E3 are always filled with exciting rumours and announcements. Last week definitely did not disappoint. Square Enix is working on multiple new projects, Horizon Forbidden West and Far Cry 6 got highly anticipated gameplay reveals and Nintendo has a lot going on between their multiple Pokémon game releases and the rumoured Switch Pro announcement.
SQUARE ENIX - Big Moves
Guardians of the Galaxy the video game may be in development at Square Enix. According to Jeff Grubb’s podcast, Square Enix is currently working on the Guardians of the Galaxy game. The publisher recently released Marvel’s Avengers in 2020, which lost them $63 million USD. Even after the failure of Marvel’s Avengers, perhaps Square Enix has learned from their mistakes ahead of another Marvel game.
Dragon Quest XII: The Flames of Fate was announced last week on Square Enix’s Dragon Quest 35th anniversary livestream. Unfortunately, apart from logo and title there were not many details revealed at this time. The game will run on Unreal Engine 5 and it will be directed by Takeshi Uchikawa.
There were also another five Dragon Quest titles revealed at the 35th anniversary livestream. The games include: Dragon Quest Treasures (RPG), a remake of Dragon Quest III (HD-2D), Dragon Quest X expansion (Japan-only), Dragon Quest X Offline and Dragon Quest Keshikeshi (Mobile Puzzle Game).
A New Studio is being formed by the developers behind Bulletstorm and Outriders. According to IGN, the studio will produce a new First-Person Shooter (FPS) game. Gruby Entertainment was founded by developers Grzegorz Michalak, Karol Szyska, and Kamil Misiowiec. The studio’s goal is to take a fresh approach to action games.
The Pre-E3 Showcases are in Full Force
Last week’s edition of the Weekly Recon outlined everything we knew about E3 so far, as well as a few rumours to keep us excited. This week we’re covering two major reveals ahead of the E3 conference, Horizon Forbidden West and Far Cry 6.
Horizon Forbidden West had a very extensive gameplay reveal at Sony’s State of Play last Tuesday. The event featured 14-minutes of never-before-seen gameplay footage captured directly on the PlayStation 5. The events of the game begin 6 months after Horizon Zero Dawn where Aloy must travel across uncharted lands to investigate a mysterious blight and battle against various tribes and machines. The State of Play footage received incredible praise for being graphically stunning, but it also gave players a glimpse into some of the new movement mechanics as well as the new diving mask and hang glider tools. Sony will not present at E3 and there is still no confirmed release date for Horizon Forbidden West.
Far Cry 6, the next instalment in the Far Cry series, had a worldwide reveal last week. Ubisoft released a character trailer, an extensive gameplay deep dive and a directors Q&A. Players were introduced to Dani Rojas, the game’s hero. The story is about a revolution where players play as a freedom fighter set in the fictional open world of Yara. The goal is to fight against the brutal dictator Anton Castilo (and his son) played by Giancarlo Esposito. Far Cry 6 is set to release on October 7 for PlayStation 5, playStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC, Google Stadia and Amazon Luna.
NINTENDO - Let’s Go Pro!
Nintendo Switch Pro will reportedly be revealed ahead of the 2021 E3 event scheduled to take place between June 12 and June 15. According to Eurogamer, the reveal will happen before E3 so that third-party Nintendo Switch games can be showcased at the event. Bloomberg has reported that the console is set to release in September or October.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl will be launching on November 19, 2021. The games are remakes of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl versions initially released for the Nintendo DS in 2006. They will be fully revitalized and trainers can adventure through the Sinnoh region for the nostalgic feel.
Pokémon Legends Arceus will be released worldwide on January 28, 2022. According to Nintendo, the game will follow a new direction for the series as it will be an open-world RPG. Players will race to fill up their Pokédex in a Sinnoh region long before the events that took place in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
Nintendo and Esports
Nintendo has partnered with PlayVS and the National Federation of State High School Associations to grow varsity esports in the USA and Canada. This initiative will see Nintendo invest in new competitions, allowing high school students to compete in officially sanctioned and organized events. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2 will be available starting in the Fall of 2021, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will be added to the scene in early 2022. Nintendo’s relationship with competitive gaming has had a very rocky history but this new initiative is surely a great way to grow a competitive community around Nintendo IPs.
Last week brought some major partnerships and sponsorships to the world of esports. Here is a quick recap for some of the most notable ones.
Kit Kat has extended their partnership with the League of Legends European Championships (LEC) and the European Masters through 2023. This partnership also makes Kit Kat the main sponsor of the LoL Continental League and the 12 European Regional Leagues part of the 2021 summer season.
Asus and eNASCAR have renewed their gaming hardware partnership for the remainder of the 2021 season. Asus will continue to be the official PC and Monitor of the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series.
Betting website Betway has partnered with FURIA, one of Brazil's biggest esports organizations. This agreement will see the Betway brand be displayed on the team jerseys and on their streamers Twitch streams.
Fnatic is Making Moves
European based esports organization Fnatic has raised $17 million in a recent funding round led by Japanese investment conglomerate Marubeni. The money will be used to help Fnatic further expand their esport operations in the Japanese and Asia-Pacific markets, and the strategic investment will see Fnatic relocate their Rainbow Six: Siege team to Japan. CEO Sam Matthews confirmed that Fnatic has had a strong financial performance with revenues growing by 80% in Q1 2021 and 91% year-over-year growth in digital and physical performance product sales.
This Week in Esports
June 3 | IEM Summer 2021
Game Review - Knockout City
When you used to hear about dodgeball, video games never came to mind - until now. Knockout City is the start of something special. From the very first 3v3 it was such an easy game to pick up and play. Probably the most fun we’ve had with a video game in a long time. The sound of successfully knocking the opponent out gives you such a rush of excitement. EA has done a great job with every aspect of the game. The different game modes, the maps and cross-play really shows how much thought went behind the development process. We can see this being one of the next big esport games because of all the hidden potential. Knockout City scores and A from us and we highly recommend that everyone gives it a try with their squad.
Knockout City has surpassed 2 million players for their Block Party free trial. The game comes with cross-play and cross-progression for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
Blizzard announced that it is cancelling this year’s edition of Blizzcon due to the ongoing pandemic. They will instead focus on hosting a global event in early 2022.
Borderlands 3 was reportedly set to have cross-play on all platforms but PlayStation pulled out of the project. The CEO of Gearbox, Randy Pitchford tweeted that the publisher was asked to remove cross-play support for PlayStation consoles.
Microsoft announced last week that they will be hosting a combined Xbox and Bethesda showcase on June 13th. The showcase will be 90-minutes and feature games from Xbox partners and creators from around the world.
SEGA announced that several Sonic games are on the way including Sonic Colors: Ultimate which arrives on September 7th, 2021. The other releases include Sonic Origins, Sonic Prime (Animated Netflix series) and a new Sonic game in 2022.
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