Good morning gamers. A February filled with amazing game releases is just around the corner.
Any Star Wars fans out there? We hope so because EA and Respawn have officially announced THREE new Star Wars games in development. We also have a surprise announcement from Blizzard regarding their brand-new IP.
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Star Wars - Three New Games
Electronic Arts and Lucasfilm Games have announced that three new Star Wars titles are currently in development at Respawn Entertainment.
Star Wars Jedi is getting a sequel to the 2019 Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The game is being directed by Stig Asmussen of Respawn Entertainment and it is expected to be revealed on May 4th (the day of the force).
A Star Wars Strategy Game is in development by a group of Firaxis Games veterans who worked on the XCOM franchise. The game will be made in collaboration between Respawn and Bit Reactor.
A Star Wars First-Person Shooter is being developed by Peter Hirschmann, former VP at LucasArts and co-creator of Medal of Honor. Hirschmann also served as an executive producer on the original Star Wars Battlefront games and he says “this is a story I have always wanted to tell”.
Here’s a quote from the official announcement by Douglas Reilly, VP of Lucasfilm Games.
“We are excited to continue working with the superbly talented developers at Respawn […] They have demonstrated excellence in telling epic Star Wars stories along with best-in-class gameplay across different genres and we are looking forward to bringing more amazing experiences to the galaxy far, far away.”
You can check out our TikTok coverage on the Star Wars news here.
Things Are Brewing at Blizzard
Blizzard Entertainment has officially announced that they’re working on a brand-new AAA survival game for PC and console, set in a whole new universe. It’s a “place full of heroes we have yet to meet, stories yet to be told, and adventures yet to be lived” , said the blogpost. Blizzard is currently building the game’s development team and is seeking environment artists, character artists, level designers and software engineers. The game's name and release window have not yet been revealed.
This project will be Blizzard’s first new IP since the release of Overwatch in 2016, their first venture into the survival game genre, and according to gaming industry reporter Jason Schreier, it’s a game that all the Blizzard employees are raving about. It’s clearly still in early development and by the time it officially releases, we’re pretty confident that it will be available on Xbox Game Pass day one.
What about other upcoming Blizzard titles? At the tail end of 2021 Blizzard announced the cancellation of their BlizzConline event and that both Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 were being indefinitely delayed. News about their new survival game is exciting but fans have also been left in the dark regarding their other games for far too long… until last week. Replying to a fan on Twitter, Head of Blizzard Entertainment Mike Ybarra said “Blizzard is a big studio and we have talented and growing teams supporting live games as well. Over the coming weeks, you'll be hearing more on that from Warcraft and Overwatch. Diablo will follow. Stay tuned!”.
ESL 🤝 FACEIT
We’re only a month into the new year and the gaming industry has already seen three major acquisitions - with esports now being part of that. Savvy Gaming Group, a Sweden based gaming organization announced that they acquired ESL Gaming and FACEIT in a deal worth $1.05 billion. The deal was backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and is expected to pass all regulatory approvals sometime in Q2 2022. Both companies are set to merge into the ESL FaceIt Group, a global gaming platform that will support game publishers and developers to build sustainable competitive gaming communities and esports ecosystems.
Nickmercs Joins The Apex Pro Circuit
Nick “Nickmercs” Kolcheff, one of Twitch’s most popular streamers, is officially going pro in Apex Legends starting with next month's ALGS tournament alongside snip3down (also a pro Halo Infinite player) and streaming partner ItsDeeds. The streamer was most notably known for streaming Call of Duty Warzone but ultimately ended up quitting the game due to the large number of cheaters and his loss of enjoyment. Since then, Nick has poured all his time into Apex Legends and has recently hit the Apex Predator rank for the second time. The Apex Predator rank is the game’s highest achievable rank reserved for the global 750 best players.
Team Liquid Is Going Strong
Team Liquid is one of the worlds longest standing and most popular esports organizations that competes in more than a dozen games across console, PC and mobile. According to EsportsCharts, they were the most watched esports organization in 2021 with 117.15 million hours watched (a 43% increase from 2020) held mostly by their CS:GO, League of Legends and Valorant teams. In addition, the organization is making a big leap forward into World of Warcraft by buying Limit Guild, the most successful North American guild in the WoW scene. This acquisition kickstarts Team Liquids new foray into MMO games under the new Liquid MMO division.
Game Review - Pokémon Legends Arceus
Do you want to be the very best, like no one ever was? Well, Pokémon Legends Arceus is a great place to start. Major props to Nintendo, The Pokémon Company and Game Freak for pushing their beloved franchise into a much-needed, and much more challenging, new direction. Between the new exploring, battling and catching mechanics, interacting with Pokemon and the environment places a lot more accountability on the player’s ability to strategize. I often found myself feeling like a true Pokemon trainer, just like Ash and his friends in the anime. The game feels like a fresh new experience but there is a lack of refinement when it comes to the graphics and world design. The world is huge, yet empty with many stones left unturned. We’re going to assume that the game will receive additional content down the road, leaving us confident that much of the massive world will expand and develop over time. Pokémon Legends Arceus is the most advanced and challenging game in the series so far. If you’re a lifelong Pokémon fan looking for something new and fulfilling, we highly encourage giving this game a try. We give Pokémon Legends Arceus a rating of B.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson confirmed he’s starring in a film based on a video game. Unfortunately, Johnson did not say what game it is but he told GamesRadar that he’s bringing “one of the biggest, most badass games to the screen”.
Crytek announced last week that Crysis 4 is in the early stages of development. The studio says it will be awhile before the game is released but they plan to get input from the community throughout every step of the development process.
According to a YouTube discussion between Jez Corden and Rand al Thor 19, Apple has reportedly been poaching Xbox engineers to help make their own console. Jez said that this rumbling is coming from a half-reliable source.
According to industry insider Tom Henderson, the producer of Gran Turismo 7 Kazunori Yamauchi will be presenting the game on February 3rd. Henderson says the game is still on track to release on March 4th.
NetherRealm Studios senior producer Jonathan Anderson tweeted a picture of his desk featuring a file with a Mortal Kombat 12 message. Anderson deleted the tweet 10 minutes later but fans are still eagerly waiting for the official MK12 announcement.
According to industry insider Tom Henderson, Warzone 2 from Infinity Ward is scheduled to be released in the 2022 Holiday season. The new map will have players start from scratch with new weapons, new operators, new statistics and more.
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