Welcome back to your monthly report of game news compiled as much as possible into one convenient ad-free place, so you don’t have to worry about the pesky cracks that some info tends to fall through at most major publications!
Thanks and credit for the banner image as always goes to the Avocado’s one and only Space Robot!
World of Ratings Boards: Another quiet month in the wild world of ratings. All of the following are from the Australian Classifications board. PS5 pack-in Astro’s Playroom was amusingly only rated 10 days before its release on the 12th, Hitman 3 was rated on November 3rd, and Yuji Naka’s Balan Wonderworld on November 17th.
Capcom Hack: On November 2nd, Capcom internal networks were hacked, stealing a terabyte of data from email and file servers. The hacker group, known as Ragnar Locker, proceeded to send ransom demands to the company of 1.1 billion yen or 10.5-11 million US dollars, which Capcom rejected as they continued to communicate with both local and international law enforcement investigations. In response, the hackers as of November 16th began periodically releasing portions of the data as punishment, releasing fractions of the total data multiple times a week without halt as of this writing, having after two weeks only released somewhere between 170 and 200 GB, a small fraction of the terabyte total. By Capcom’s report and the testimony of witnesses to the documents, these releases contain not only corporate developmental and marketing assets, but also personal information (names, home addresses, contact info, signatures, and even passports and ID photos) of current and former Capcom employees, and potentially data from other associates such as: “callers to Capcom’s Japanese help desk, Capcom Store customers, members of Capcom’s North American esports teams, company shareholders, and former applicants for Capcom jobs.” By Capcom’s estimate up to 350,000 people have been compromised by this mass-doxxing. Due to this directly, severely harmful and compromising data contained within the documentation, and the illicit status of direct hosting or access to any of the data, I cannot in good conscience link to any direct sources of said data and I wholeheartedly discourage anyone from seeking them out either, while also needing to abide by the journalistic responsibility of reporting on such a major event for the industry.
As such, while I will be discussing contents of the documents that pertain exclusively to games themselves, summaries of which are already readily and widely accessible without directly supporting/accessing the hackers or darknet hosts, I will be formatting the info to be fully opt-in for my readers, so as to further avoid either encouraging the hackers or simply being ‘spoiled’ on much of what is likely coming from Capcom through 2024. Some of these documents date back to 2018 and some are as recent as having been logged in the last week of October 2020, so keep in mind a degree of things being subject to change, especially post-COVID release windows.
There were extensive Diversity, Inclusion, and Representation Initiative documents leaked, which include Capcom using examples from their own recent titles as what not to do going forward, including women’s armor designs in Monster Hunter World and cultural stereotypes in Street Fighter 5, as part of indicating a broader plan to substantially improve and expand this quality of their products. PC ports for Monster Hunter Rise and Monster Hunter Stories 2 are coming, in October 2021 for the former and in June alongside the Switch release for the latter. January and March Switch demos for Rise. Resident Evil Village is supposed to release in spring 2021, April or May, for PS4/PS5 and X1/XSeries, with a demo beforehand much like the previous three series titles. Records of Google paying $10 million for Resident Evil 7 and Village on Stadia, which have yet to be delivered, and Sony paying $5 million for full exclusivity on RE VR and demos, and timed exclusivity on DLC. Source code of Devil May Cry 2 and RE Umbrella Chronicles, and assets/concept art of titles like SFV. Schedule featuring: Arcade Stadium (codename Reiwa), new Ghosts and Goblins built in RE engine (codename Guillotine), RE Village and a battle royale mode for it marketed independently like RE3make’s multiplayer mode was, Great Ace Attorney Collection (English translated for the first time) and Ace Attorney 7 (intended to be gotten out in time for the series’ 15th anniversary), a new multiplayer IP codenamed Project Shield, and Resident Evil 4 VR in 2021, Resident Evil Outrage (codename, reportedly Revelations 3), two indie titles, Pragmata, Dragon’s Dogma 2, Street Fighter 6, and Mega Man Match in 2022, enhanced version of Project Shield, Resident Evil 4 Remake, Onimusha New Work, Monster Hunter Rise Ultra or otherwise enhanced edition, Monster Hunter 6/World 2, and Resident Evil Apocalypse in 2023, codename New C, Captain Commando, Final Fight remake, Power Stone remake, in 2024, and codename New B, Ultra Street Fighter 6, and Resident Evil Hunk in first quarter 2025. The sales performance of the Great Ace Attorney Collection will determine whether a new collection of Apollo Justice, Dual Destinies, and Spirit of Justice is developed and released. Most recently, a handful of early assets from RE4 Remake and Street Fighter 6, video of a new Devil May Cry 5 pachinko machine, further localization files for MH Stories 2 and Great Ace Attorney Collection, gameplay footage of Project Shield, and every single cutscene from Resident Evil Village, were all leaked. For undisclosed codenames, those most strict and vague like New B and New C are believed to entail high security non-Capcom properties such as Marvel, as there’s been word of a Marvel vs Capcom soft reboot scheduled for after Street Fighter 6’s release for some time.
On November 16th, the majority of the remaining staff at fellow gaming journalism publication USGamer were let go as part of still ongoing layoffs in lead-up to a likely site closure.
Spanish developers Out of the Blue announced the release date of their Xbox console exclusive Call of the Sea, a first-person adventure game first revealed at the May 2020 event, like most of the other games about to be discussed here, as December 8th 2020 on November 17th. This was one of Xbox’s only current platform-exclusive major third party partnerships that actually made it into calendar 2020, as Smilegate announced CrossfireX as delayed into 2021 on the 19th, Bloober Team’s The Medium (featuring dual-screen dual-reality gameplay and a score by Silent Hill‘s Akira Yamaoka) had a December 10th release announced in October before delaying it to January 28th 2021 on November 6th, while Scorn had gone without any release window until its late October gameplay trailer confirmed it for 2021. Of these four, the horror games The Medium and Scorn will be on fourth-gen Xboxes only while Call of the Sea and CrossfireX will be on all current Xbox platforms, as all partners are allowed to opt in or out of developing for previous hardware.
On November 19th, Hitman developer IO Interactive announced that they are working on Project 007, the first James Bond game since 2013, which they will develop and publish themselves after Hitman 3’s upcoming release.
On the evening of November 19th, individuals began reporting on social media that Gamestop had suddenly called to cancel their Doom Eternal for Switch pre-orders, causing a spiral of rumors that the port had been canceled after its lengthy post-launch development. After some half-hearted PR responses, Bethesda and id quickly stepped in to say: “While Doom Eternal is 100% on track for an imminent digital-only release on Nintendo Switch, the absence of a physical release at retail resulted in cancelled pre-orders. Affected customers will receive full refunds and should contact their preferred retailer for more information. Stay tuned for much more information coming later this month.” Aptly enough, the launch trailer proceeded to release less than two weeks later on November 30th, announcing Doom Eternal’s eShop-exclusive Switch launch date as December 8th 2020.
Within less than a week after it released on November 20th, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity set a record as the bestselling game of all time in the entire Warriors franchise, with more than three million copies sold.
On November 23rd, after being massively rumored and teased throughout the year, Square Enix announced Neo: The World Ends With You, a direct follow-up to the cult classic DS game coming to PS4 and Switch in Summer 2021.
On the evening of November 24th Nintendo announced that the Wii U title Super Mario Maker will be delisted from the eShop on January 13th, and online services will be discontinued after the end of the fiscal year, March 31st 2021. The game will still be redownloadable and playable, all courses uploaded prior to the latter date will still be playable, but no new courses will be able to be uploaded and online support will be unavailable, including the Mario Maker Bookmark site. This is the first global server shutdown for the Wii U console, following from the eShop closing for parts of the Caribbean and Latin America in Summer 2020.
During the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 26th, the 20th year in a row of Pikachu’s presence in the parade, the Pokémon Company announced that the series’ 25th anniversary will be celebrated in 2021 with more details to come, and unveiled a 25th anniversary logo banner. During the 20th anniversary in 2016, Pokémon Sun and Moon and Pokémon Go released. Currently, New Pokémon Snap has been announced with no release window, while a retro game collection for the series and Diamond and Pearl remakes remain popularly rumored and speculated upon.
On November 27th, Studio MDHR formally delayed their Cuphead DLC to 2021 after previously having no update on the project when the base game released on PS4 this summer.
After Square Enix began returning the SaGa series to the West with several retro rereleases in 2019 and 2020, on November 28th they announced the next addition to this project, original PlayStation title SaGa Frontier releasing remastered for PS4, Switch, and PC in the summer of 2021.
On the evening of November 29th, Super Nintendo World’s opening at its Osaka location was confirmed by Universal as February 4th 2021, along with providing the most extensive details yet on the park and its attractions. Kinda still seems to early what with the thousands of new COVID cases per day in Japan.
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