What a big week in the world of gaming. Buckle up, because you’re in for one heck of a ride featuring some exciting news from Lucasfilm Games. Then, when you’re done raising a toast to Rust and Gotham Knights, throw your party hat on for some major game franchise celebrations.
LUCASFILM GAMES - Games are built on hope
Games are built on hope. To put our own spin on the Rogue One quote about Rebellions being built on hope… we hope that the future of Star Wars games will be great.
Last Monday, Star Wars announced via their website that Lucasfilm Games will now be the official identity of all gaming titles based on Lucasfilm iterations. They also noted that the doors are open to other studios who would like to work on Star Wars games.
Ubisoft was the first company to announce a collaboration project with Lucasfilm Games. The companies will be creating a new story-driven, open-world Star Wars game. According to the official announcement, the genre was highly requested by fans for years and it will be brought to life by Massive Entertainment. EA will continue to work on Star Wars games while being guided by Lucasfilm Games.
Bethesda announced via twitter that they will be teaming up with Lucasfilm Games to create an Indiana Jones game. According to Bethesda, the game will present an original story created by Machine Games studio and produced by Todd Howard.
RUST - It’s Back!
Rust is a multiplayer survival game which was released for Windows and macOS on December 11th, 2013. According to developer Facepunch Studios, the game has generated over $1 million twice in a single week.
But fans and critics alike are perplexed; why is a game released in 2013 so popular now? The game has followed in the footsteps of Among Us, as top streamers on Twitch have been streaming it for their large audiences. Streaming personalities such as Shroud, xQc, Pokimane, Trainwreckstv, and others have started playing the game again, which aligns with the sudden surge in downloads and new players.
Console gamers will soon be able to join in on the fun as the ESRB has rated the console version of the game. According to the ESRB website, the multiplayer first-person survival game will be rated Mature 17+ (M) for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The console versions were originally slated to release in 2020 but the launch was delayed until 2021. Rust is also expected to be playable on the Xbox Series X|S and the PlayStation 5.
GOTHAM KNIGHTS - The Heroes we needed
At DC FanDome in August, Warner Bros. Games announced Gotham Knights, a game based on DC’s Batman IP that takes place in Gotham City where Batman is supposedly dead. Since you can’t play as Batman, gamers will focus on a cast of multiple heroes such as Robin, Batgirl, Nightwing and Red Hood. Fans were skeptical of the new playable characters and disappointed to hear of Batman’s demise.
Gotham Knights will share some of the same characteristics from the beloved Arkham games, however, gamers will be playing in an all-new experience with a redesigned combat and progression system. The creative director of Gotham Knights Patrick Reading has been given creative freedom for the studio to leave its mark on the Gotham series. Gamers should look forward to experiencing an open-world, action packed Gotham City.
SUPER MARIO BROS. & POKÉMON – A year of celebrations!
This year Nintendo is celebrating the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros. with a multitude of special events and releases. They’ve already launched Super Mario Bros. 35, a battle royal version of the original Super Mario and the Game & Watch handheld system. This past week at CES Nintendo announced that an updated version of Super Mario 3D World with the new ‘Bowser’s Fury’ expansion will be released on February 21st alongside a special edition Mario Red and Blue themed Nintendo Switch console.
Pokémon is also celebrating a major milestone. To help honor one of the world’s most recognizable franchises in the year of its 25th anniversary, The Pokémon Company will be releasing limited edition collectibles such as reprinted versions of their iconic cards and remakes of their classic games. In addition, pop superstar Katy Perry has teamed up with the franchise which was revealed in their “25 Years or Memories” celebration video. She is one of the superstars headlining the ‘P25 Music’ collaboration between Universal and The Pokémon Company.
Magnus Carlsen, the 30-year-old Norwegian chess grandmaster and current World Champion is the highest earning Esports player of 2020 with an outstanding $510,000 in prize money. Competitive chess might not be a top esport game but it rose to popularity in recent weeks due to the Netflix original show The Queen’s Gambit. It’s important to note that esports prize money fell by 80% in 2020 due to event cancelations and postponements brought on by COVID-19 health restrictions.
After a successful Fortnite World Cup in 2019, Epic Games cancelled the 2020 edition due to COVID and then completely removed the event in 2021 to favor The Fortnite Champions Series (FNCS). Many players have voiced their concerns about the drastically reduced prize pool available for professional Fortnite competitors, and even this year's first major tournament, DreamHacks Fortnite Open only has a combined $250,000 prize pool for both North America and Europe.
Business Insider recently reported that the esports industry is on track to surpass $1.5 billion in revenue by 2023. This exponential growth path has caught the attention of media companies and major consumer brands who have realized the untapped potential of the gaming audience. Last week we saw a slew of major partnerships announced, some of the biggest being,
TSM partners with Cadillac to make them their exclusive automotive partner.
G2 partners with Adidas as their main sports apparel provider.
Team Vitality makes grocery chain ALDI their official shirt sponsor in an effort to tie in healthy lifestyles and gaming.
Twitch Rivals makes Samsung their exclusive mobile device partner in North America.
Gen.G partners with McDonald’s to launch the McDonald’s’ Crew League, an employee only NBA 2K21 esports league.
Alienware returns as the League of Legends European Championships (LEC) main partner for 2021.
THE GAMING ROUNDUP
Spanish content creator TheGrefg broke the record for most concurrent viewers on Twitch ever with over 2.4 million viewers.
CD Projekt Red’s co-founder released an apology video explaining the rocky launch of Cyberpunk 2077 from an internal perspective.
There were over 2 billion tweets about ‘Gaming’ in 2020.
Razer announced Project Hazel, revealing a prototype of the world's smartest mask currently in development.
Total investments in the games industry surpassed a total value of $33.6 billion in 2020.
Hogwarts Legacy, an RPG based in the Harry Potter universe has been delayed until 2021.
If you enjoyed this week’s edition of the Weekly Recon, please send it to some friends and share it on social media. With your help we can become your emails best source of gaming news.