E83: PlayStation reveals their new free-to-join loyalty program.
Good morning gamers! Sony has announced PlayStation Stars, a brand-new free-to-join loyalty program that will allow gamers to “earn rewards by completing a variety of campaigns and activities”. All PlayStation Stars members will have the opportunity to earn loyalty points which can be redeemed for PSN Wallet funds, select PlayStation store products (standalone games, DLC, add-on content etc.) or new “digital collectibles”. The program is meant to appeal to both new and veteran players, further emphasizing that “Play Has No Limits”.
Digital Collectibles are the “digital representation of things that PlayStation fans enjoy, including figurines of beloved and iconic characters from games and other forms of entertainment, as well as cherished devices that tap into Sony’s history of innovation”. This may worry some people but Vice President of Network Advertising Grace Chen adamantly told the Washington Post that “It’s definitely not NFTs. Definitely not. You can’t trade or sell them. It is not leveraging any blockchain technologies and definitely not NFTs”.
PlayStation Stars will launch later this year in a phased regional approach. The program will evolve over time but loyalty points can currently be earned by,
Earning specific trophies in-game
Being the first to platinum a blockbuster game (in each time zone)
Simply playing a game part of the “Monthly Check-in” campaign
With all PlayStation Store purchases (PlayStation Plus members only)
The Last of Us Part I
Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of Us Part I remake has gone gold. When a game goes gold it means that development has wrapped up and the game is being prepared for digital and physical distribution. This makes any delays extremely unlikely so the game is still fully expected to launch for PS5 on September 2nd.
According to Naughty Dog, they will be showing off the game's visuals, tech and gameplay over the coming months. They also went on to thank PlayStation who has significantly contributed to the project. The gameplay trailer says that the remake is in development for PC, but there is no release date set.
Anthony Vaccaro, the principal development artist for The Last of Us Part I remake tweeted that “This is the first time in my 13 year career, across multiple studios, that I didn't need to crunch to finish a game”. Vaccaro says the studio is working on being healthier and it is hitting the same quality that they achieved for The Last of Us Part II.
According to Niko Partners, the Asia esports market now accounts for an estimated 57% of the global esports industry generating a combined $634.3 million in 2021, growing nearly 17% YoY. The Asia region saw a 13% increase in audience growth, and is being led by China as the largest single-country market. The most popular esport genres are Battle Royales and MOBAs, with League of Legends, PUBG, Valorant, PUBG Mobile, Free Fire and League of Legends: Wild Rift being the most popular titles.
TSM CEO and co-founder Andy Dinh has been fined $75,000 and given a two-year probation by Riot Games following an investigation by the LCS where “the league believes that there was a pattern and practice of disparaging and bullying behavior exhibited by Dinh” towards multiple TSM players and staff. Many current and former members said that Dinh fostered a culture of fear and often publicly shamed employees. As part of the probation, Dinh must undergo executive management and sensitivity training within the next 60 days.
Twitter is one of the most important and active social media channels amongst the esports scene. Last week, Twitter recapped their global gaming conversation insights from the first half of 2022 and there’s a lot of interesting esport results.
Three of the top five “Most Tweeted about Esports Athletes” are Brazilian. The top 5 include FalleN, TenZ, Nobru, Fnx and Rekkles.
The three “Most Tweeted About Esports Teams” include Loud Esports, Karmine Corp and Crazy Racoon (honorable mention to FaZe Clan for being #4).
The five “Most Tweeted About Esports Leagues” are the Brazilian League of Legends league, Apex Esports, the LCK, the Call of Duty League and the Overwatch League.
Out of the top 10 “Most Tweeted About Games” only two are prominent esports titles, Apex legends and Valorant.
Hellpoint was scheduled to ship on July 12th for Xbox Series X/S but has now been delayed due to technical issues.
Bloodborne is not currently being remastered by FromSoftware for the PS5 or PC according to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier.
EA’s next game in the Skate franchise is officially titled “Skate.” and will be a free-to-play, live-service game featuring crossplay and cross-progression.
Bayonetta 3 is officially releasing for the Nintendo Switch on October 28th alongside a family friendly mode called “Naive Angel Mode”.
Bandai Namco confirmed that they’ve fallen victim to a major ransomware attack and are investigating what information has been stolen.
Redfall Co-Creative Director Harvey Smith sat down with IGN and noted that “Solo is very much a classic Arkane experience, but so is its co-op mode, which is faster paced and offers a different kind of challenge as the dangers escalate".
Nintendo has announced their plans to acquire Tokyo based animation studio Dynamo Pictures and rebrand their name to Nintendo Pictures.
Servios is developing a new single-player, action-horror ‘Aliens’ game for console and PC in UE5. It has an original storyline set between the “Alien” and “Aliens” movies.
Ghost of Tsushima has sold more than 9.73 million copies globally for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 since its release 2 years ago.
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