Archived News:

Wednesday, Jan 13, 2021

Cyberpunk 2077 Roadmap

CD PROJEKT RED offers a tweet with a Cyberpunk 2077 roadmap of what they are doing to improve their sci-fi RPG between now and the end of this year. They created a graphic to represent three simple tenets, showing the rest of 2021 will include free DLCs, a free new generation console upgrade, and "multiple updates and improvements." There's no indication of when to expect the game's multiplayer mode, though if you're curious about that, this article has some general details allegedly datamined from the single-player game. There are more details on CDPR's plans including a FAQ on this page. This includes an Our Commitment to Quality Video featuring company co-founder Marcin Iwiński with a "personal explanation of what the days leading up to the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 looked like, sharing the studio's perspective on what happened with the game on old-generation consoles." Marcin asks unhappy users not to blame the development teams, saying he and the board are the final decision makers, and it was their call to release the game. He says they "never, ever intended for anything like this to happen" and offers assurances they will do their best to regain our trust. He goes on to explain how creating the game to look epic on PCs and then scaling it back for consoles turned out to be far more difficult than they anticipated. He also discusses the reasons reviews keys went out so close to the launch. Finally, he goes into more detail about setting things right going forward. We should expect large and small patches on a regular basis, the first of which should come in about 10 days and a larger, more significant update will come in the following weeks. Noting they planned to launch the free DLC shortly after launch, he says they now plan on getting these out after accomplishing the most important fixes and updates. We should expect more information in the coming months, which gives a sense of the broad timeframe they are now anticipating. The console update for Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 is expected during the second half of the year. Here's how he concludes the clip:
I'd like to end this video by assuring you that we treat this entire situation very seriously and are working hard to make it right. The guiding principles of our company are still core to what we do. We still want to make amazing games and have an open communication with you our players. For now our immediate focus is to work hard on making sure you enjoy Cyberpunk 2077 regardless of platform. Beyond Cyberpunk we have many plans for the future, which we'll share more about when we're ready.
Continue here to read the full story.

Steam 2020 Year in Review

Valve offers a Steam 2020 Year in Review Report. They look back at last year on the service in words and pictures, offering all sorts of statistics. Here's a bit:
As many of you already know, this past year had more than its share of challenges, with everyone's lives upended by the global pandemic. While Steam was already seeing significant growth in 2020 before COVID-19 lockdowns, video game playtime surged when people started staying home, dramatically increasing the number of customers buying and playing games, and hopefully bringing some joy to counter-balance some of the craziness that was 2020. This has led to new highs for monthly active users (120.4 million), daily active users (62.6 million), peak concurrent users (24.8 million), first-time purchasers (2.6 million per month), hours of playtime (31.3 billion hours), and the number of games purchased (21.4% increase over 2019).

Hogwarts Legacy delayed

WBIE tweets the announcement that Hogwarts Legacy will come in 2022 rather than this year as originally planned. They do not explain the setback to this game set in the magic school during the 19th century:
We would like to thank fans from around the world on the tremendous reaction to the announcement of Hogwarts Legacy from our Portkey Games Label. Creating the best possible experience for all of the Wizarding World and gaming fans is paramount to us so we are giving the game the time it needs.

Hogwarts Legacy will be released in 2022.

Brenda and John Romero Honored

The New York Videogame Critics Circle announces plans to honor Brenda and John Romero with the Andrew Yoon Legend Award tomorrow at 8:00 pm EST on Twitch and YouTube. This will be a separate ceremony from their awards show, which will air on January 26th, also on Twitch and YouTube. They are not the only recipients of this award this year, as they honored Jerry Lawson last week and will hand out another next week. Here's word:
The Legend Award recognizes individuals and organizations that exhibit a significant, sustained body of work that shows exceptional achievement and innovation. Brenda and John, the ultimate creative couple, are honored with the Legend Award tomorrow via Twitch and YouTube starting at 8 pm ET. Past recipients of the Legend award include Reggie Fils-Aimé, Jade Raymond, Richard Garriott, Todd Howard, Rockstar Games, Ralph Baer and earlier this month, Jerry Lawson.

“We present Brenda and John Romero with our Andrew Yoon Legend Award, as both Brenda and John have long, storied histories in games,” said New York Videogame Critics Circle founder and board president, Harold Goldberg. “Yet they've never been lauded together. It's time for that to change."

Ubisoft Making Open World Star Wars Game

Ubisoft and Lucasfilm Games Announce plans for a new story-driven, open-world Star Wars game. This is in the works at Massive Entertainment, and the announcement includes interviews with a couple of the developers. On Monday it was announced that the Lucasfilm Games brand was being revived, leading to speculation that EA would no longer be the exclusive creator of Star Wars games, which is now clearly the case. A Lucasfilm Games interview on StarWars.com indicates that their relationship with EA will continue: "We’re really proud of the games we have created with EA," says Lucasfilm Games VP Douglas Reilly. "We will continue working with them and our relationship has never been stronger. While we may not have a lot of details to share at the moment, we’ve got a number of projects underway with the talented teams at EA." Here's vague word on the new game:
Ubisoft and Lucasfilm Games have announced a collaboration on a new Star Wars game. Development on the project will be led by Massive Entertainment whose expertise and talent will be used to create a story-driven, open-world experience within the Star Wars galaxy that will also utilize the studio’s cutting-edge technology and advancements, including the Snowdrop engine.

“The vast Star Wars lore is an incredible source of inspiration for our teams,” said Yves Guillemot, co-founder and CEO of Ubisoft. “This is the beginning of a long-term collaboration with Disney and Lucasfilm Games, and we are pleased to be working hand-in-hand to build upon the incredible legacy of Lucasfilm to create a game that we know Star Wars fans will love.”

Take-Two Drops Codemasters Bid

Take-Two Interactive announces that their offer to acquire Codemasters has lapsed. In November they announced they'd entered an agreement to buy the racing games specialist, so it seemed like it was a done deal. But a month later it was revealed that Electronic Arts had intervened with a bid of their own. Now Take-Two says the deadline to accept their original bid has lapsed, and they are not extending it:
Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: TTWO) today announced that following the December 14, 2020 announcement by the Board of Codemasters that it had withdrawn its recommendation of the Company's offer to acquire Codemasters Group Holdings PLC, Take-Two has, with the consent of the Panel, lapsed its offer. As noted in the Scheme Document (the "Scheme Document") dated November 30, 2020, Take-Two was entitled to lapse the offer if the Court Meeting and General Meeting were not held on or before the 22nd day after the expected date of such Meetings set out in the Scheme Document. The expected date of such Codemasters' Shareholder Meetings set out in the Scheme Document was December 21, 2020, and the 22nd day after such date was January 12, 2021. Codemasters' Shareholder Meetings were not held on or before January 12, 2021 and Take-Two has not extended this date. As a result, the Co-operation Agreement has automatically terminated in accordance with its terms.

Elite Dangerous: Odyssey Delayed

An update to the Elite Dangerous Website says that the release of the Elite Dangerous: Odyssey expansion is being delayed due to COVID-19. They say this will enter alpha testing for PC in early spring and will be released in late spring. They say the console release will follow in August. Here's more:
2020 was a difficult year for many, but in spite of those challenges we are pleased with our progress towards what is a truly ambitious new era for the game. We’ve been delighted with the excitement and positive response to our development diaries, interviews, streams and trailers and want to thank all of you for your continued support.

The ongoing impact of the pandemic however, including the renewed lockdowns in 2021, continues to put added pressure on our teams and ultimately our development timeline. We have therefore had to make the difficult decision to make some adjustments and changes to our existing development roadmap.

Our PC plans have only been affected by a small amount, however our plans for the console release will unfortunately see a larger development shift. Please do know that these difficult decisions have been made with a focus on making Odyssey as incredible as it can possibly be for all our Commanders regardless of their platform, while also respecting realistic project deadlines for our teams during this difficult global situation.

We would like to sincerely apologise to all of our community. We know you have been waiting patiently and how disappointing and frustrating this must be. With that in mind, we would like to share with you our latest roadmap so that you are fully aware of our plans.

Little Nightmares II Giveaway

BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment announces Little Nightmares II will be released on February 11th (or February 10th according to Steam). They celebrate the news with a new trailer and word that a playable demo is now available for the console editions. The playable demo for the Windows edition that was released last month is still available on GOG.com and Steam. They are also offering a giveaway of Steam codes for the original game on their website, though it's not clear if this is a straight giveaway or a lottery, as they say: "Start your nightmare with Little Nightmares on PC via STEAM®! Sign up by January 17th, 2021 for your chance to claim a free copy." Here's word on the game:
Little Nightmares II is a suspense-adventure game in which you play as Mono, a young boy trapped in a world that has been distorted by the humming transmission of a distant tower. With Six, the girl in a yellow raincoat, as his guide, Mono sets out to discover the dark secrets of The Signal Tower and save Six from her terrible fate; but their journey will not be straightforward as Mono and Six will face a gallery of new threats from the terrible residents of this world.

Will you dare to face this collection of new, little nightmares?
Continue here to read the full story.

Blue Fire Next Month

Developer ROBI Studios and publisher Graffiti Games announce a February 4th release date for Blue Fire, their action/adventure game. This will come to Windows via Steam as well as on Switch. The Launch Date Reveal Trailer shows off this game based on the indisputably best kind of fire. Here's the hot word:
In Blue Fire players journey through the desolate kingdom of Penumbra to discover the hidden secrets of this long-forgotten land. Explore mystical temples, where players will need to master the art of movement to survive increasingly difficult 3D platforming challenges. Along the adventure, players will slash their way through daunting adversaries, encounter survivors and take on strange quests to collect valuable items.

“If you’ve been clamoring to play a new challenging 3D platformer then Blue Fire is for you, and we’re thrilled to announce that you can play it very soon,” said Gabriel Rosa, CEO of Robi Studios. “Nintendo has a storied history of awesome 3D platformers and we think Blue Fire will be the newest game to be part of the pedigree of titles. And if you don’t have a Switch, Blue Fire also plays amazing on PC. We just recommend using a controller.”
Continue here to read the full story.

Build and Discover: America Announced

Angry Bulls Studio announces Build and Discover: America, a strategy game that builds the city-building genre into a country-builder. This will include economics and construction based on actual events: "The game is based on the real history of the United States – but it doesn't mean everything will look like in the history books – how the final events unfold depends only on you." This trailer offers a look at the game, starting by raising a 24-star flag (1822-1836). The game has a Steam Listing currently showing a TBA release date. Here's more on this effort to form a more perfect union which began 12 score and five years ago:
You will take part in the first moments when the conquistadors arrived on the new continent.

For centuries, you will participate in developing the

  • political
  • economic
  • cultural foundations of the new continent

That will lead you to the signing of the constitution, the establishment of congress, and industrial cities.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Last Friend Announced

Skystone Games announces The Last Friend, an action/strategy game that will combine a brawler with tower defense when it comes to Steam this year. If that's not appealing enough, this also involves saving all sorts of doggies, as shown in the Announcement Trailer. Here's more:
In a world that has become yet another post-apocalyptic future where humanity is distracted by chaos, destruction, rampant mutants and a thing called surviving, something even more sinister is afoot...

The World's doggos are disappearing!

Now enters Alpha (you) who at an early age lost his man's best friend...

While traveling the wastelands he comes across some mutants up to no good dognapping a lost puppy!

During this battle he discovers has the ability to understand what the pup can say and his name is T. Juan!

Now T. Juan joins Alpha on this grand adventure looking for answers about what truly has happened to all the doggos.

It’s time to join them and put dem paws to the pavement! Woof!
Continue here to read the full story.

Out of the Blue

Deadline reports No Time To Die is going to be pushed back yet again, and the new James Bond movie is now targeting a fall release. I have mixed feelings about them continuing to delay the movie's release. I'm eager to see it, but I also prefer to see new Bond films in the theater. So I guess I can hope that things will change between now and autumn that will make me more willing to go to the movies to see this, as unlikely as that feels at the moment. So it's hard to say if I'm shaken or stirred by this news, but I just have to live with it either way.

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Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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