Last week gamers took on the corporations and won. They collectively voiced their concerns about the Xbox Gold price increase and the lack of Esports prize money, both of which were quickly rectified in their own way. Hitman 3 was finally released and Resident Evil Village details were shared. Also, our friends at Innersloth gave us a glimpse into their Among Us 2021 plans. Gosh, that’s a lot going on.
XBOX LIVE GOLD CHANGES - To be or not to be?
Microsoft made a surprise announcement on Friday telling fans that they were increasing the price of their Xbox Live Gold subscription services. They noted that moving forward, 1-month of Gold was increasing by $1 (to $10.99), 3-months of gold was increasing by $5 (to $29.99) and the 6-months of Gold option would be priced at $59.99 (prices at your local market equivalent). They also noted that for existing members with a 12-month or 6-month subscription, there would be no price change if they decided to renew their service.
Well… fans were NOT having it. After a ton of backlash throughout the entire day, Microsoft caved and announced that they were reversing the price changes and that free-to-play games will no longer require an Xbox Live Gold membership (something they’re actively working on). They tweeted,
HITMAN 3 - Biggest digital launch in franchise history
This week saw the release of Hitman 3, one of 2021s most anticipated games and the final instalment of IO Interactives stealthy trilogy. So, is it any good? Everyone seems to think so. GameSpot summarized it by saying “it’s not just a great stealth assassination game on its own, but also a satisfying conclusion to the series as a whole”. We’re not in the habit of giving away spoilers so we really suggest that you give the game a try on your own. However, to help you make an informed decision, we’ve included some reviews from other notable media outlets.
VGA247 5/5: “Taken individually, Hitman 3 feels like great value, with plenty of variety and lots to do. When taken as a whole, the World of Assassination trilogy is hands-down one of the best and most complete-feeling trilogies in video game history.”
Game Informer 9/10: “There’s an abundance of content and side activities on offer, and the trilogy as a whole is bound to be a long-term destination for would-be assassins. IO Interactive’s final act in the trilogy anticipates and rewards player experimentation, features meticulous level design, and has moments of ghoulish catharsis that makes me cackle aloud.”
IGN 9/10: “Rich, rewarding, and highly replayable, Hitman 3 is a superb instalment of IO’s idiosyncratic but much-loved stealth series. The fundamentals haven’t changed since 2016 but its collection of outstanding maps makes for a refined, reliable, and robust curtain-closer to the current Hitman trilogy.”
RESIDENT EVIL VILLAGE - RE Overload
On Thursday, Capcom revealed the Resident Evil Showcase where they confirmed that Resident Evil Village will be coming to the PS5 & PS4, Xbox Series X & S and Steam on May 7, 2021. There will also be a deluxe version of the game available with a Samurai Edge Weapon, a tape recorder from Resident Evil 7 and other bonuses.
The new trailer for the game also revealed Lady Dimitrescu and her three daughters, however, they did not further elaborate on her role in the story. The gameplay was also premiered and the combat system has been revamped, including new ways to engage with enemies. In addition, the blocking mechanic returns from Resident Evil 7: Biohazard.
Maiden, a PS5 demo was also announced and is available now. The demo will act as a side story from the Resident Evil Village world. You will be playing as a woman known as “maiden” trying to escape the castle. The demo can be completed in under 30 minutes.
To celebrate Resident Evil’s 25th anniversary, they unveiled a brand-new online multiplayer game called Resident Evil Re:Verse. The trailer reveals familiar locations from the Resident Evil universe with some of the characters from previous games. More details and the official release date will be announced soon.
AMONG US - Let’s be patient
Consoles: Among Us recently launched on the Nintendo Switch, however, there were several bugs that they needed to address. According to the blog post, Xbox consoles will also get the game in 2021 but with no specific date as of now. Their goal is to allow gamers to play Among Us on their preferred platform.
A public roadmap for Among Us in 2021, will be released soon. The Among Us team is currently only four people and they’re looking to hire more as the games popularity grew beyond anyone’s expectations. Due to the small team size, the speed at which the team is releasing content makes sense. The developers planned to make an Among Us 2 game but ultimately decided to scrap the project completely to focus on Among Us.
Accounts will also be added to the game. This will allow players to add their friends and invite them to games. Also, you will be able to report players in the lobby for bad behaviour and cheating. Players currently join a game with a screen name of their choosing which they can alter as many times as they’d like.
After some major backlash from the pro scene about the lack of esports prize pool money in 2021, two major publishers took note. Epic Games announced that they increased the total prize pool to $20 million for the 2021 Fortnite Champion Series. $12 million will be distributed equally across 4 FNCS seasons, and then the remaining $8 million will be allocated for mid and end-of-year competitions. The Call of Duty League also revealed its 2021 season plans with a total of $5 million in prize money. Half the total prize pool is reserved for each of the 5 major stages (tournaments) where each finale has a total prize of $500,000 distributed across the top 8 placing teams. The teams qualifying for the Call of Duty Championships will duke it out for the remaining $2.5 million.
Ubisoft has decided to move forward with the fifth edition of their Rainbow Six Siege Invitational, except this year they’re moving it from Montréal to Paris. 20 teams from across 4 regions will compete in group stages starting on February 9th and playoffs starting on the 17th. The current prize pool for the event is set at $500,000 but could grow much higher since a portion of the “Road to S.I.” battle pass revenues get funnelled into the total prize pool. When it comes to COVID, players must test negative 3 days prior to travelling to France and a live audience will not be permitted into the venue.
Twitch Rivals is an esports event that features Twitch streamers, pro players and sometimes celebrities.This week’s event was the $250K Twitch Rivals Doritos Bowl featuring a custom Call of Duty Warzone lobby with pre-made trio squads. What was supposed to be the biggest Warzone event to date was quickly overshadowed by cheating allegations. Certain players were suspicious of a team after noticing their aim would lock on to players in an unnatural way. The tournament organizers were quick to disqualify the squad and continue the tournament. After a pro player took to social media to prove the allegations, they were later dismissed and proven wrong so METZY_B had his name cleared (but was still wrongfully disqualified from the event)
Our take (and likely everyone else's too): Warzone desperately needs an anti-cheat system. This Twitch Rivals situation clearly shows how quickly players turn to cheating accusations. If there was a more structured system in place to prevent cheating, we wouldn’t see so many people get “trigger happy” when it comes to cheating suspicions.
THE GAMING ROUNDUP
The Uncharted movie starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg has been delayed until February 11, 2022.
Neil Druckmann the Co-President of Naughty Dog said he’d like to make games for these five existing IP’s: Punisher, Half Life, Ghost Rider, Hotline Miami and Cowboy Bebop.
Apex Legends announced that Season 8 - Mayhem would be starting February 2, featuring the new Legend: Fuse (demolitionist).
Resident Evil 2 celebrated its 23rd birthday on January 21.
Reddit group caused the GameStop stock to surge by over 220% in a single day.
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