E116: The drama between Microsoft and Sony continues to unfold.
Good morning gamers! Last year, Techland (makers of the Dying Light franchise) announced that their new project was a “AAA open world action-RPG set in a fantasy world”. Since then, the only other details we've seen about the game is concept art. Fast forward half a year later and Techland has finally given fans a little bit more to get excited about. The polish studio tweeted that their newest game will be a “narrative-driven fantasy epic with an exotic open world”. They’re trying to develop a game that combines a compelling story-focused title with the gameplay that they’re known for. Techland also shared a new piece of concept art that showed off a mountainous terrain filled with lakes and trees, castles in the background and a person climbing a tree staring into the distance.
Splash Damage has teamed up with Twitch streamers Shroud and Sacriel to develop a AAA open-world survival game set in a new and original world codenamed “Project Astrid”. The game is currently in pre-production where both Shroud and Sacriel are “providing brand new insights into what fans and creators actually want from their gaming experiences”. Splash Damage specializes in multiplayer FPS games and has worked on major titles such as Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, Gears 4 and 5, Gears Tactics, and the Halo: Master Chief Collection. They’re also currently working on the Transformers: Reactivate game.
Microsoft, Sony and Superman?
Microsoft is not currently working on a new Call of Duty deal with Sony after failing to reach a formal agreement, says to Brad Lee Smith, President of Microsoft. Smith also said that Microsoft is going to bring Call of Duty to “many more devices and many more platforms […] any decision on the deal would be subject to judicial review”.
Superman, a PlayStation exclusive game that has not been announced, was referenced by Microsoft in a recent document filed to the Competition and Markets Authority. Unfortunately, upon further review of the document, it seems that Microsoft’s lawyers actually meant to write “Spider-Man”. The last console dedicated Superman game was Superman Returns in 2006.
Sony is exploring different ways they can use NFTs and blockchain technology in video games according to a newly published patent. Sony believes that game functionality could be improved if players can transfer assets to one another via NFT.
Mobile Gaming revenues in 2022 reached $103.5 billion according to Newzoo. The three leaders for revenue include: Tencent ($32.5 billion), Apple ($14.8 billion) and Google ($12.4 billion).
DreamHack San Diego has officially released their full list of events. The three day esports festival will host a $250k Fortnite ‘Zero Build’ Duos tournament, the RLCS Winter Major, the Snapdragon Pro Series featuring Clash of Clans and Brawl Stars, a DreamHack Fighters event featuring Brawlhala and 14 other fighting games (Tekken, Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros, etc.) and a $130k Magic: The Gathering Regional Championship.
Riot Games has confirmed that organizations competing in Riot-sanctioned Valorant events are not permitted to partner with gambling companies. Reports of a more relaxed policy have been circulating recently but Riot issued an official statement to Dot Esports saying “while there has been no change in the current policy regarding approved team sponsor categories, we will continue to evaluate all opportunities that deliver safe, secure, and meaningful experiences that best support the growth of our esports ecosystem globally”.
The Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) have officially removed Hearthstone from being a medal event at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou. This decision is mostly a result of Hearthstone's servers being shut down in China after Blizzard Entertainment failed to renew their distribution partnership with NetEase. This leaves FIFA Online, PUBG Mobile, Arena of Valor, Dota 2, League of Legends, Dream Three Kingdoms 2 and Street Fighter V as the event's official games.
Atomic Heart 2 is in planned development according to journalist Aleksey Makarenkov who spoke with the developer Mundfish.
Mafia VI is reportedly in pre-production according to a LinkedIn job listing that states “an unannounced multi-platform game is in pre-production using Unreal Engine 5”.
IO Interactive is putting their Hitman franchise “a little bit on hiatus” while they focus on their upcoming James Bond game codenamed “Project 007”.
PS5 Pro is in development and slated for a tentative “late 2024” release date. The PS6 is unlikely to release until at least 2028 according to Tom Henderson.
Naughty Dog Co-President Neil Druckmann says "I know the fans really want The Last of Us Part III. We're already into our next project”.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is coming to Xbox and Game Pass on April 12th alongside the “Spider’s Thread Update”. The game was a PS5 and PC exclusive for one year.
Assassin’s Creed codenamed Red will reportedly star a female Samurai and Shinobi with a focus on stealth. The game could release in 2024 or 2025.
Forspoken reportedly had a budget of over $100 million according to the LinkedIn page of a former Luminous Productions team member.
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