Good Morning Gamers! Last week Nintendo surprised their fans by announcing a last minute Nintendo Direct event. Despite the lack of news on The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild sequel or Metroid Prime 4, the 40-minute livestream was full of awesome reveals.
New Games: Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (September), Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes (June 24), Mario Strikers: Battle League (June 10), Nintendo Switch Sports (April 29) and Splatoon 3 (Summer) all headlined the event and are set to release this year.
In terms of DLC content for existing games,
Mario Kart Deluxe 8 is getting a Booster Course expansion pack featuring 48 classic courses from the past Mario Kart entries (6 waves of 8 courses) starting March 18.
Metroid Dread received a free update featuring a more difficult Dread Mode and an easier Rookie Mode, followed by a Boss Rush Mode coming later this year.
Other major titles coming to the Switch include,
No Man’s Sky (Summer)
Portal: Companion Collection, which includes Portal 1 and 2 (2022)
Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection (February 17)
Star Wars The Force Unleashed (April 20)
MLB The Show 22 (April 5)
Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece for Cloud (Already released)
Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition (April 7)
Advance Wars 1+2 Re-Boot Camp (April 8)
Front Mission 1 and Front Mission 2 Remakes (Summer)
Disney Speedstorm Racing (Summer)
PlayStation’s Next Move
According to VGC, Phil Spencer the CEO of Microsoft Gaming has expressed interest in acquiring a Japanese Studio. Despite Microsoft announcing their plans to acquire Activision Blizzard in a $68.7 Billion deal, they’re still actively looking to acquire more studios.
In an interview between Nathan Brown (founder of the Hit Points newsletter) and Japanese gaming industry analyst Dr. Serkan Toto, Dr. Toto says it’s unlikely that Microsoft is able to buy a Japanese game studio and that he believes “Sony is at least considering making a move in Japan soon”.
Dr. Serkan Toto is the CEO of Kantan Games, an independent game industry consulting firm founded in 2013 focused solely on the Japanese market. Kantan Games is one of the most trusted firms in Japan known for analyzing the Japanese game market and its key players.
Below is the market capitalization data for four publicly traded video game companies in Japan that could be acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Square Enix - $6B
Capcom - $4.22B
Sega - $4.09B
From Software (Kadokawa) - $2.94B
*Please note units are in billions
Esports on the International Stage
The Commonwealth Games and the Global Esports Federation have announced that the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham (England) will host a pilot esports competition. The Commonwealth Esports Championship is set to take place in August featuring three different “multi-genre global titles”, one of which is expected to be Dota 2. The competition will have its own medal system and the objective is to attract and engage a younger audience.
Wrongdoings and Revolt
Noble Esports, a North American esports organization, went dark last week after employees revolted and resigned over unpaid salaries. Most of the issues seemed to stem from team owner Kyle McDougal who was reportedly difficult to work with and wanted to sell the organization to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Safemoon. When those deals fell through, he started his own crypto coin called the “Nobility Token” and that quickly took over McDougal’s focus, tied up the organization's finances, spawned employee favouritism and tanked any possible strategic partnership that were being developed. You can read McDougal’s official statement on the NobelGG Twitter account.
Esports in 2022 - Updates
If you’re looking for a full outlook of the esports scene in 2022, check out the 2022 Esports Event Schedule by Esports Charts. Here are a few recent event updates,
BLAST has entered FIFA Esports by producing the 2021/2022 ePremier League season. The official EA backed league will feature an entirely new format and experience.
The Pokémon Unite Championship Series will officially start this month and will conclude with a $1m Championship Finals. Competing players from seven major regions must qualify over various events, and both Switch and mobile are allowed.
Lost Ark, the free-to-play MMOARPG surpassed over 1.31 million concurrent players on Steam and over 1.2 million viewers on Twitch.
Resident Evil 4’s remake will reportedly be revealed in 2022. It will not be an exact scene-by-scene remake and will include some setting changes.
Call of Duty announced that this year’s game will be a sequel to Modern Warfare 2019. Infinity Ward is leading the development of a new Warzone.
Harry Potter: Magic Awakened the collectible card game with MMO and RPG elements was announced. It is releasing F2P for iOS and Android this year.
Ubisoft decided to transition an Assassin’s Creed Valhalla expansion into a standalone title coming in late 2022 or 2023. It will focus on the life of Basim.
Dark Souls has decided to suspend their services on PC until after the release of Elden Ring on February 25th to ensure a smooth launch.
Destiny 2: The Witch Queen will have 50 new weapons total, six new exotic armor pieces and more. The expansion is set to be the biggest one released.
Phil Spencer says he wants Starfield to be the most-played Todd Howard gaming ever, launching on Xbox & PC November 11th.
Horizon Zero Dawn surpassed 20 million copies sold according to Herman Hulst. The sequel, Horizon Forbidden West, launches February 18th.
PlatinumGames wants to revisit the canceled Xbox exclusive Scalebound. The action RPG was developed between 2013 to 2017, when it was canceled.
Game Review - Sifu
Sifu is a breathtaking showcase of how modern games can be different and unique but still successful. Sloclap’s ability to translate one of martials arts core principles, mastery through practice, into a video game, is an unbelievable achievement on its own.
Whether you’re a fan of the action beat ‘em up genre or not, Sifu offers players a fresh combat experience with an incredibly unique aging mechanic and a culturally appreciative art style. The game is all about adaptability, mastering your skills and staying calm in the face of an adversary as you fight your way through the extremely challenging levels and bosses.
Despite the story being short, and at times frustrating, Sifu challenges a players persistence and their ability to learn from failed attempts. We’re excited to keep playing but do feel that the game will need additional content in the future to keep players engaged.
We give Sifu a score of A-.
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