E100: The 100th Edition of the Weekly Recon.
Good morning gamers! 🎉 This week’s Weekly Recon edition is very special because it’s our 100th newsletter milestone. We wanted to say thank you to the hundreds of you who are subscribed, and that keep reading and sharing our content - we’re excited to keep bringing you video game news week in, week out. We also wanted to give you the sneaky heads up that we’re gearing up to launch our second annual Weekly Recon Video Game Awards with a giveaway. Stay tuned!
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Modern Warfare 2: Season 1
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is already the series’ fastest selling game ever, surpassing $1 billion in its first 10 days. In Activision’s recent Q3 report, they said that they’re looking to “build momentum in 2023, with plans […] including the most robust Call of Duty live operations to date, [and] the next full premium release in the blockbuster series”.
According to Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier, the “premium release” in 2023 is a paid expansion for MW2 developed by Sledgehammer Games that will feature “lots of content”. This includes an expansion to MW2s single-player campaign, other downloadable content, and the possible inclusion of remastered MW2 (2009) multiplayer maps. Activision’s reference to a “premium title” likely means we’re going to see a $50-$70 price tag but that remains unclear.
Modern Warfare 2: Season 1 starts on November 16th alongside Warzone 2.0 and the new DMZ extraction game mode. Content creators were invited to play and livestream the mode, and even though it’s an interesting concept, the reactions have been mixed. Teams of three drop into Al Mazrah (the new Warzone 2.0 map) where they must loot, complete objectives, fight the AI and extract the target - something very similar to Escape from Tarkov, but much more simplified. The common feedback shared across social media was that DMZ felt like an extension of Warzone, with little innovation - a slightly different version of Call of Duty rather than a whole new experience.
The MW2 Season 1 Battle Pass has been completely revamped for this year's game, now featuring a token system rather than the usual linear tier system. Players are given more freedom than ever before, where the tokens can be used to unlock specific items within the Battle Pass at their own pace (certain limitations still apply). There’s a lot of details to unpack so feel free to check out Activision’s detailed blogspot.
Game Review - God of War Ragnarök
God of War Ragnarök, the action-adventure video game developed by Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment was finally released for the PS4 and PS5. This was the first cross-generation release in the God of War series.
Ragnarök’s first-day physical sales in the United Kingdom were already greater than any other full-week launch sales for previous God of War games according to GamesIndustry.biz. Ragnarök joins God of War (2018), God of War 3 and God of War 2 as the only God of War games to debut at #1 in the United Kingdom.
In an interview with GQ, Sony Santa Monica Studios’ Cory Barlog and Eric Williams said that three months ago the team was freaking out about the game and they thought that it was “not good”. Williams says that the team must now have a completely different feeling towards the finished product and that they think “we've got to start building” the next game.
Ragnarök’s stunning graphics and outstanding acting make you feel a connection to the characters right from the start. Santa Monica Studios nailed it once again. The greatness of this game lies in the layers that it has, where the deeper you get into it the more epic and twisted it gets. The story, alongside the music, makes Ragnarök a genre-defining masterpiece. The only negative thing about Ragnarök is that you’ll only be able to play it for the first time once.
It’s a sad moment for gaming because Ragnarök is the last God of War game set in Norse mythology. It is with great pleasure that we give God of War Ragnarök a score of A.
🥇 Congratulations to Outsiders for winning the first ever IEM Rio Major 2022.
The European Parliament has passed a vote to officially recognize the value of esports and the video game industry. Part of the recommended long-term strategy is to support the industry by providing funds, and by developing a charter for promoting European values in esports competitions.
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 has already surpassed $1 billion in sales and this has fans extremely excited about the upcoming 2023 CDL season. With online qualifiers set to kickoff in early December, the Call of Duty League has officially released their v1 competitive ruleset which seem to include only three game modes (Hardpoint, Search & Destroy and Control), six total maps and a very limited amount of weapons.
October brought many major esport events to enjoy, and although they didn’t all conclude within the month, they all accumulated some big viewership numbers. Here’s the October recap,
MPL Indonesia Season 10 was the most popular tournament of the month where the Grand Finals match between RRQ Hoshi and ONIC peaked at 2.385 million viewers.
The 2022 League of Legends World Championships were next in line as most popular, coming in with 2.23 million peak viewers.
Surprisingly, The International 2022 only came in 3rd place with the Grand Finals match between Tundra Esports and Team Secret peaking at 1.75 million viewers. Rumors around T1 selling their 2023 Dota Pro Circuit spot to Bleed eSports are also circulating.
IEM Rio Major 2022 only played their first matches on the last day of the month but they had already reached 750k viewers, a great start for the event.
Control 2 is in initial development with a budget of $50 million Euros as Remedy Entertainment signed a co-development agreement with 505 Games.
Kevin Conroy, the actor that voiced Batman (including the Batman: Arkham video games) for more than 30 years has passed away at the age of 66.
Battlefield 2042 will be added to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and EA Play (with season 3) alongside free access periods across all platforms.
Project: The Perceiver is an open-world action-adventure game based on Chinese Lao Zhuang canon. The game will have martial arts inspired combat.
The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake is "not canceled" and "the game is currently in development” according to a statement from Ubisoft.
Netflix and The Coalition announced that they’ll be making a Gears of War live action film and an adult animated series.
Sony is reportedly working alongside South Korean studio NCSoft (makers of the Guild Wars series) to create a Horizon MMO codenamed ‘Project H’.
Transformers Rise, a game that is reportedly in development by Certain Affinity, had some of its cinematic footage leaked.
Naughty Dog has hired former Fortnite Senior Systems Designer Anders Howard. Howard will work as a principal monetization designer.
On This Day
Last week, some legendary video games celebrated their release anniversaries.
November 7th, 2006, Epic Games released Gears of War.
November 7th, 2008, Epic Games released Gears of War 2.
November 8th, 2000, Valve Corporation released Counter Strike.
November 8th, 2011, Activision released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
November 9th, 2004, Bungie released Halo 2.
November 10th, 2009, Activision released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
November 11th, 2006, Sony released the PlayStation 3.
November 11th, 2011, Bethesda released The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
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Congrats on the 100th issue! WR is one of my favorite newsletters to read every week. Here's to 100 more!