Video Games Are Expanding

Edition 26 - May 31st to June 6th

Good morning gamers. Last week the head of PlayStation Studios Hermen Hulst shed light on several different PlayStation projects, a rumour revealed that 2K Games has some awesome games in the pipeline, Valorant, one of the worlds biggest free-to-play games is expanding and the official E3 broadcast schedule finally dropped. So sit back, reload and get ready for another weeks worth of gaming news.

PLAYSTATION - What’s Next? 

On Wednesday, PlayStation released a podcast Q&A interview with Hermen Hulst, the head of PlayStation Studios. The PlayStation blog outlined the key points including some major updates on several titles.

God of War has been delayed to 2022. According to the interview, the project started later than anticipated so it will be pushed back to ensure the Santa Monica Studio produces a great game.

Horizon Forbidden West is currently on track to be released during the holiday season of 2021. The official release date is still uncertain but PlayStation is working to confirm a date soon.

New IP from Bend Studio is in the works. Bend Studio is very excited about a New IP that will feature deep open-world systems that they developed during Days Gone.

25 titles are in development currently at PlayStation Studios. According to Hulst, half the titles will be new IP, while the other half are titles that PlayStation users know and love.

Legacy Content for PC remains in the planning stage at PlayStation Studios. According to Hulst, he’d like for fans on PC to experience great PlayStation games. Unfortunately, it will not come at the expense of the PlayStation community. Days Gone was given as an example because it was released on PC two years after the PlayStation release. 

2K GAMES - Rumors 

A reddit user who supposedly has a trustworthy source within 2K Games has posted some insider information on upcoming games from 2K. Fans were quite sceptical when the details were initially published on r/GamingLeaksAndRumors (with mod permissions) but the information was later confirmed due to the corroboration of gaming journalist Jason Schreier and gaming news outlet VGC. This is what we know so far,

  • Marvel XCOM (unconfirmed name) is a new game being developed by Firaxis Studios featuring Marvel superheroes. It’s a turn-based strategy game described as “XCOM but with Marvel heroes”. 

  • Wonderlands is a Borderlands spin-off featuring Tiny Tina. The rumour was first revealed last year after Gearbox trademarked the name. Rumors suggest that it will be similar to the original Borderlands games. 

  • Codename Volt is a new action game described as “Cthulhu meets Saints Row”. The leaker said that there wasn’t much more information than this but he suspects it will be developed by Hangar13 due to a leaked contract last year stating they were working on an open-world sci-fi game. 

  • NBA 2K22 will feature Dirk Nowitzki as the cover athlete for a Legend Edition version of the game. 

VALORANT - To Mobile and Beyond

Last week Valorant celebrated their 1-year release anniversary. The free-to-play Hero FPS was developed by Riot Games and is available on PC. According to VentureBeat, in the first year of release Valorant has reached 14 million active monthly players on PC and achieved over half a billion games played.

The Future of Valorant begins with a month worth of celebrations. According to the Valorant blog, players will be able to purchase skins at a discount throughout the month of June. Valorant players will also be able to collect Limited Edition Year 1 drops through their player card checklist. Players should look forward to new ways to level up their accounts, squad boost and a new agent. 

Valorant Panel is set to take place on June 21 at 10AM PT on Twitch. The panel will feature developers and content teams from Riot Games where they will discuss Episode 3 and year two of Valorant.

Valorant Mobile is officially on the way. The details about the launch date and which devices it will be compatible with are still unknown. Apart from the name “Valorant Mobile,” the community remains in the dark. Riot Games seems andiment on building Valorant in other ways around the world.

Esports Corner  

Sentinels Making Money Moves

Sentinels have been crowned champions of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021: Stage 2 Masters in Reykjavik. The North American based team beat Fnatic in a thrilling grand finals match to finish the tournament with an undefeated record in both match and map counts. In addition to this amazing result, finals MVP Tyson “TenZ” Ngo was playing as part of a loan agreement with Cloud9. The Esports Observer is now reporting that Sentinels have triggered a buyout clause in TenZ’s contract to officially keep him with the organization. Sources are saying this was likely discussed prior to the event, but should be a done deal costing the organization a whopping “seven-figure” sum.

Crypto Jumps Into Esports

North American esports organization Team SoloMid (TSM) has signed a 10-year naming rights deal worth $210 million with crypto exchanges FTX and FTX.US. This agreement will see all of their teams be renamed to “TSM FTX” across the major titles they compete in. TSM announced the news themselves by tweeting that they’ve “signed the largest deal in esports history”. The partnership money will be used to further expand their operations globally, including new offices in Asia, Europe and South America, as well as a push into other gaming platforms such as mobile esports. TSM plans to distribute $1 million worth of FTX Token among their players and staff.

The Future of Fortnite LAN Events

After cancelling the 2020 edition of the Fortnite World Cup, Epic Games has been very quiet regarding the future of in-person Fortnite events. Early last week Elite Esports manager Connoreo posted a notice that their organization received from Epic stating “they do not plan to allow in-person events until Q2 2022, or when the global impact from COVID-19 has diminished”. This news definitely raises concerns regarding the state of Fortnite esports until LAN events are once again permissible. Epic will likely host more online tournaments similar to the Fortnite Champions Series (FNCS) but there has been no mention of an online Fortnite World Cup as of yet.

This Week in Esports

Game Review - Resident Evil Village

Resident Evil Village is the newest edition to the Resident Evil franchise and the direct sequel to Resident Evil 7 Biohazard. The game is a must play for any horror survival fan or Resident Evil fan alike. Visually, the game is horrifyingly beautiful with each location showcasing a very distinct aesthetic. The gameplay is solid and a lot of great features from Resident Evil 4 were re-introduced such as the merchant, village/castle settings and a grid style inventory.  RE Village retained many horror elements from its past games and improved by expanding the map and introducing new enemies like vampires, werewolves and Frankenstein-like creatures. Overall, Resident Evil Village is a great game and we give it a score of A-.

Gaming Roundup

  • Call of Duty Online will be shut down in August. The China exclusive game launched in 2015 and it included the “best” weapons and maps from multiple Call of Duty titles. Activision is expected to push players towards Call of Duty Mobile.

  • An Among Us shaped McDonald’s Chicken McNugget sold for $99,997 on eBay last week. The McNugget was recently produced in a Happy Meal partnership between McDonald’s and BTS (South Korean Boy band).

  • Crytek announced that the Crysis Remastered Trilogy will be launching on consoles and PC in Fall 2021. The bundle will include enhanced and optimized versions of all three games, and they will also be available as standalone purchases. 

  • The reveal of the next Battlefield game is set to take place on Wednesday, June 9th. Battlefield sent cryptic messages to several content creators. Community members decoded the message which points to the game being set in 2048.

  • Actress Jamie Lee Curtis shared images from the upcoming Borderlands movie featuring Kevin Hart and Jack Black set to release in 2022. The film is being directed by Eli Roth and it will take place in a parallel cinematic universe separate from the games.

  • The E3 2021 broadcast schedule has been released and it includes the following,

    • Saturday, June 12: Ubisoft, Gearbox Entertainment 

    • Sunday, June 13: Microsoft & Bethesda Games Showcase, Square Enix, PC Game Show, Future Games Show, WB Games

    • Monday, June 14: Take-Two Interactive, CAPCOM, Razer 

    • Tuesday, June 15: Nintendo Direct, Bandai Namco 

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