Game News Roundup: June and July 2021

Welcome back to your monthly report of game news, where I do my best to compile everything into one convenient ad-free place, so you don’t have to worry about the pesky cracks that info can fall through at other publications!

Thanks and credit for the banner image as always goes to the Avocado’s one and only Space Robot!

As discussed previously, this is a “The Rest of June” and all of July Roundup, if you’re looking for my core E3 coverage, you can find it here.

I’ve wound up taking several of the E3-timed presentations I had left to cover and cut them for time and length…again. July wound up being a rather involved month. I’d rather be caught up now on most of what I’ve been writing up for weeks and have less to do again in the future. I’m sorry. But I promise I won’t leave those news stories behind.

On the subject of what I’m covering, I have a couple other notes. I am once again issuing a content warning for discussion of violence, primarily workplace violence in this case, including a suicide. In response to the recent news of this violence and mistreatment, many other publications right now are resolving to stop covering certain major games publishers discussed below until they can prove that they’ve improved. I’m happy to hear other voices on this matter, but this series is fundamentally based on being a comprehensive overview, summary, and commentary of available game news. The comprehensiveness is the core service that I must maintain to the best of my ability. I consistently frame my coverage of harmful entities with reminders of the harm they do, and I consider that the best method available for balancing respect for these victims with maintaining the intended service of the Game News Roundup.

IGN Expo on June 11th: The Creative Director of Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, Matt Cox, provided new commentary for the game’s reveal trailer, but not with very substantial information. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus was announced in perhaps the highest profile feature of this presentation. This is an expanded (Side Stories, music player including new music tracks) and priced HD edition of the hit indie, which digitally launched for Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, and PC on June 30th 2021. A physical release for PlayStation and Switch is forthcoming. When I heard about it ahead of reveal I thought it might be part of the third party slate in the Xbox or Nintendo shows, but no dice on that prediction. I guess I should thank Salvato that I didn’t have to see it twice in one week. Even with the technical issues that plagued the game’s launch, and my own personal feelings on the title that better content warnings can’t wholly fix, this freeware indie getting this kind of moment in the mainstream prestige sun is still a big deal. World War Z: Aftermath was officially announced, an expanded rerelease of the licensed survival game coming to Xbox One, PS4, PC at 40 bucks US or 20 bucks as an upgrade for existing owners, with free upgrade next-gen versions coming early 2022. It features a new melee system, new first person mode, and new characters and monsters. AudioClash: Battle of the Bands was announced, it’s a musically themed deckbuilding autobattler coming to Steam Early Access later in 2021.

Many other games were newly announced or detailed further, such as: 2D strategy game Core Keeper coming to PC in 2021, the 2.5D horror platformer Bramble: The Mountain King coming to PC, Xbox One and PS4 in 2022, the co op game Survival Machine coming in 2022, first person open world narrative adventure game Blacktail coming to PC and next-gen consoles later this year, along with new Arcade1Up cabinets, a teaser trailer for Mortal Shell‘s Virtuous Cycle DLC, a new gameplay trailer for Sloclap’s Sifu, a new cinematic trailer Frogwares’ latest Sherlock Holmes, The Forgotten City‘s release date announcement (July 28th), the Metroidvaniaexpanded rerelease Death’s Gambit: Afterlife coming first to Switch later this year, a September 3rd release announcement for Big Rumble Boxing: Creed Champions, a July 28th release date announcement for the Metroidvania Unbound: Worlds Apart, the announcement of console versions for Splitgate, a July 9th Early Access release for Black Skylands, an August 12th release date announcement for Skatebird (also that it’s a Day One Game Pass title and newly coming to Amazon Luna), a new gameplay trailer for OlliOlli World, a new gameplay trailer for Two Point Campus, a new trailer for the upcoming next-gen horror game Martha is Dead, a new trailer for uniquely medieval styled strategy game Inkulinati, a new gameplay trailer for Disciples Liberation, a trailer for the puzzle game Unpacking, a trailer for timeloop adventure game Broken Pieces, a showcase for unique management sim Wild West Dynasty, a new gameplay trailer for the questionably titled first person survival game Chernobylite, a new gameplay trailer for the flight combat horror game Haunted Space, a showcase for roguelike souslike Arboria, and a new story trailer for Spiders’ next big game, Steelrising, which we’ll discuss further later.

Physical release distributor Limited Run aired its latest annual summer presentation on Monday June 14th, AKA the “E3 is only technically happening” day of the summer event’s latest iteration. I’ve personally increasingly soured on Limited Run’s business practices and what they contribute to the state of the indie and retro games markets, especially the latter. They’re providing a very short term, stratified ‘relief’ that sustains the broader unhealthiness in the longer term, the kind of unhealthiness that gives us that those obscenely expensive Mario 64 or Zelda NES sales. However, I don’t blame anyone for still saying, “Well I would really like X rare game, if this is how I can get it…” There really is bigger proverbial fish to fry, as it were. Anyway, here’s what they announced.

A Night Trap esque revival for Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties, the virally infamous and extremely rare mid-90s “alleged FMV game,” physically and digitally rereleasing for Windows, Switch, PS4, and PS5 Several releases from WayForward, namely the newly announced River City Girls 2 and a first-time English language port of River City Girls 0, physically and digitally releasing on PS4, PS5, and Switch for 2 and just Switch for 0, an additional full Shantae series release and reprint for PS5, the new remaster BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites, coming digitally to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and Switch, and physically to PS4 and Switch. There’s Zombies Ate My Neighbors+Ghoul Patrol physical releases for Switch and PS4 and reprints on Genesis and SNES; a physical release for Castlevania: Requiem, the PS4-exclusive Symphony and Rondo bundle, along with the first ever print of Rondo of Blood for TurboDuo in the US. Physical releases exclusive to Switch are Double Dragon and Kunio Kun Retro Brawler Bundle, Strife, Huntdown: Collector’s Edition, and RWBY Grimm Eclipse. Physical releases for Switch and PS4 are Superhot, Haven, Skatebird, Axiom Verge 2, The Takeover, Dusk, République Anniversary Edition, Going Under, RetroMania Wrestling, One Step From Eden, and Contra Anniversary Collection, plus dedicated PS5 versions for Haven and Axiom Verge 2.

Indie Showcase


The Japanese version of the E3 Nintendo Direct on June 15th included some exclusive material. Super Robot Wars 30 was announced, and has since been dated for an October 2021 launch. Mushihimesama saw a global shadowdrop on Switch with more titles by CAVE inbound. An alternate version of Shin Megami Tensei V’s trailer aired, and alternate features for the third party sizzle reel were included such as NEO TWEWY and The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.

Comments from Overwatch 2 technical director John Lafleur during a May 24th Reddit AMA started getting more widely covered recently. Lafleur responded to concerns about the Switch version of Overwatch 2 by affirming that it remains in development, presumably to release day and date with other versions if possible, with an emphasis that they will ensure any and all new gameplay features make it into the release, even if not every higher end visual update does.

Shortly after the E3 Direct, on June 17th Nintendo and The Pokémon Company released an opening cinematic and new gameplay footage alongside announcing that the MOBA game Pokémon UNITE which officially launch as a console exclusive for Switch in July 2021 before releasing on mobile in September, with crossplay and cross progression fully supported from launch between the game’s versions. The final Switch launch date of July 21st was announced some weeks later.

2021’s as the Australian and South Korean ratings boards listed the title Castlevania Advance Collection in June, suggesting an upcoming new rerelease of the series’ trio of GBA games, Circle of the Moon, Harmony of Dissonance, and Aria of Sorrow. 2019’s Castlevania Anniversary Collection was similarly leaked by ratings board posts ahead of announcement, but as of publication this game hasn’t been announced yet.

June 24th: Microsoft announced and released the Windows 11 OS at a “What’s Next for Windows” livestream. This announcement came with some concerning details, like that the OS only supports from 8th Gen CPUs onward, cutting off quite a few of their own fairly recent PCs and those PCs’ owners, and that the Microsoft Store starting on July 28th will allow for 100% of revenue for third party apps will go to those apps’ developers, but with anything classified as a game being excluded.

I hear we have some fans of this series in the Avocado gaming community, so I made sure to get this in here: the Epic Game Store listed early several titles in the cult classic Legend of Heroes and Trails JRPG series, 2010’s Trails from Zero, 2011’s Trails to Azure, 2012’s Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails, and the most recent entry, 2020’s Trails into Reverie, leaking that all four will receive worldwide newly English localized releases on Windows, PS4, and Switch between 2022 and 2023. Series fan site Geofront secured a contract with publisher NIS’ Western branch to use their fan localizations as the basis for the official localizations of the narrative duology Zero and Azure.

A tech showcase video for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora was released by Ubisoft, with discussion but no actual presentation of additional elements for the game, promising among others “thousands of assets in one frame”, enhanced vegetation and clouds in the environment, real-time lighting, and a system of constantly updating NPCs on state of world, time of day, and player progress.

June 25th: A demo from Square Enix for NEO: TWEWY was suddenly released ahead of the game’s launch in late July, featuring support to transfer the demo’s saves over to the full game.

June 27th: Square Enix’s 30th anniversary livestream for the Mana/Seiken Densetsu series announced the mobile game Echoes of Mana, an anime series based on the recently remastered Legend of Mana, and most notably, the first brand new mainline entry console game in the series since the PS2’s Dawn of Mana was announced off the strength of the 2020 Trials of Mana remake‘s performance. Only spinoffs and rereleases came for the series in the 15 years since, until now. This new entry is very early in development and as such does not have any further details, other than that it is likely to be fully 3D like Dawn and the Trials remake. Echoes of Mana is a free to play action RPG crossing over the entire series, and will release in 2022 on Android and iOS. The Legend of Mana anime has no current release window.

On the 27th, GameXplain, which I generally avoid discussing due to the allegations of extensive overworking and underpaying that surrounded the recent high profile departures of many of its previous high profile employees, streamed a video interview with Giles Goddard. Goddard has a long history with Nintendo from the original Star Fox to the Steel Diver series, and is currently the founder and CEO of Chuhai Labs, formerly Vitei, which just released an Oculus VR snowboarding title, Carve Snowboarding, a spiritual successor to Goddard’s work on 1080 Snowboarding for the N64. In the interview, Goddard detailed how his partnership with Nintendo ended for now when the publisher turned down several pitches past his studio’s last 3DS title, most notably a demo for a F-Zero game on Switch where hundreds of cars raced in a sandbox at once in a complex, realistic physics engine. Nintendo representatives asked why it couldn’t fund the project as a new IP with no risk of disappointing established fans and damaging series pedigree, and seemed to show a broader distrust for this particular partner despite their long history together, requesting for all of these failed pitches that Vitei be able to pony up more of its own resources so the risks would be on Vitei instead of Nintendo. Eventually Goddard and his company evidently simply got fed up and moved on.

On June 28th, Yoko Taro’s free to play action RPG mobile game Nier Reincarnation had its final Western release date of July 28th announced exclusively by IGN. Also, several titles were delisted from GOG at EA’s request, namely Ultima Underworld 1+2, Syndicate Wars, and Syndicate Plus. While for most of these this is only making them exclusive to EA’s Origin storefront (which obviously is still bullshit and quite bad), for Syndicate Plus, GOG was the only way to officially access it, making it currently fully delisted and inaccessible.

June 29th: Remedy finally pulled the lid off their next projects, alongside the previous CrossfireX campaign coming to Xbox platforms this year. Remedy’s press release “The Future of Control” from series director Mikael Kasurinen announced Project Condor, a four player co op PvE spinoff of their 2019 hit Control focused on its broader world rather than the Oldest House itself, and briefly, vaguely announced a bigger budget, separate from the spinoff, follow-up to Control, which is to say, a sequel to Control, if perhaps not a sequel to Jesse’s story. These were announced as part of announcing a major co-publishing and co-development contract with 505 Games.

Sony and PlayStation announced the same day that Housemarque, Finland’s oldest developer and producer of Returnal and past PS-exclusives, has joined PlayStation Studios as a full first party team upon the completion of its acquisition. Per a Famitsu interview with Herman Hulst and Housemarque’s Ilari Kuittinen, the acquisition process for Housemarque began in 2020 in active competition against other publishers and will lead directly into an expansion of both the developer’s resources and the scope of their next project. Hilariously, PlayStation Japan’s social media about the acquisition explicitly highlighted Bluepoint Games alongside Housemarque, seemingly confirming longstanding rumors that the studio which remade Shadow of the Colossus and Demon’s Souls has also been purchased to become a full first party studio. The post was retracted and this has not been officially announced at this time.

Magic: the Gathering‘s online Diablo-like spinoff Magic: Legends by the same team as Star Trek and Champions Online was announced to be closing its servers completely on October 31st 2021 instead of launching 1.0 as previously planned. The game’s open beta running since March, which had been subject to major design, performance, and monetization criticisms, was deemed unsuccessful enough to outright cancel the game’s launch rather than attempt to address the issues. All real public money spent on the game will be fully refunded before the end of the summer.

June 30th:

Publisher Spike Chunsoft released the announcement trailer for AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative, the sequel to 2019’s detective adventure game. Despite his departure from Chunsoft for Too Kyo Games, Zero Escape‘s Kotaro Uchikoshi did return to write the new script and story, while the first’s assistant director Akira Okada took over as the sequel’s sole director. nirvanA Initiative is scheduled to launch in Spring 2022 on Switch, PS4, Windows, and new platforms for the series Xbox One and Xbox Series. The new game centers on Mizuki, a central character and daughter of the original protagonist, paired with the AI Aiba.

Dreams developer Media Molecule formally announced and launched a project which they had first teased on June 18th via Twitter, a collaborative game built within Dreams entitled Megapenguin Rehatched, in which the starting three levels will be expanded upon by the Dreams community itself, building and submitting new levels for review to be officially added to the game.

The release date for the first three Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters was announced as July 28th. The video detailing this was accidentally listed early on Monday the 28th before being officially released two days later. Pricing is now official for each and every one, even while a release date for IV through VI is still unknown: $12 US for FF and FF2, and $17 US for the other four, plus a bundle of all six with pricing proportional to the individual games combined, and pre-release discounts on all six and the bundle. The Pixel Remasters feature newly rearranged soundtracks overseen by Nobuo Uematsu, but do not feature any of the bonus content from previous rereleases, and are outright replacing the soon-delisted previous Steam and Mobile versions where applicable. A Square Enix shareholder Q&A on July 22nd included an addressing of the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters, stating that sufficient demand comparable to “everyone owning smartphones” is needed to put them on consoles.

July 1st:

Two days after the ESRB accidentally leaked the release by listing it early on its ratings site, Sony and Sucker Punch released the announcement trailer for Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut, which launches on August 20th for PS4 and PS5. This is a package of the base game, all present free updates like the Legends multiplayer mode (now encoded on disk), and the new main expansion to the game’s world and story, the neighboring Iki Island with which Jin has a hidden past. Cross-save between the game’s original and new releases is supported on both consoles, allowing anyone who already played to get right to Iki Island, since it only enters the story in Act 2. Iki Island is presently exclusive to this new package (during the phase of rumor reporting on it, a stand-alone expansion release called Ghost of Ikishima was suggested, so that may be in the cards), and there are features exclusive to just the PS5 version of the Director’s Cut as well. This includes not just obvious performance improvements and DualSense support but also the highly requested full lip synch for the Japanese audio track.

Director’s Cut is a full price release, $60 US on PS4 and $70 US on PS5, with several upgrade options for current owners: if you bought the original, you can upgrade to this new release for $20 US, or upgrade to its PS5 version for 30. If you buy this release’s PS4 version as your first copy of the game, there’s an option to upgrade it to the PS5 version for $10 US. All of this really just emphasizes that there are still myriad ways a customer can be punished for buying at launch despite it being the best available way to support a developer. I also “like” how it underlines that this package is kind of actually just a $70 game where you pay the last chunk at a later date. Director’s Cut‘s launch will be accompanied by a free update for all versions of the game which offers controller remapping, combat lock-on, photo mode improvements, and a brand new game mode which will be described further in the future. And additionally, Sucker Punch’s representative directly commented in the PS Blog post: “And for the person who tweets at us all the time asking for an option to hide your quiver during gameplay: yes, we’ll be adding that, too!” It’s hard not to see these recent uses of Director’s Cut as the latest example of highly prestige-seeking image-conscious branding by Sony, symptomatic of the industry’s desire for the trappings of cinema without an appreciation for its distinctions of context and meaning. To his credit, Hideo Kojima recently decried the other upcoming Sony Director’s Cut’s title despite it being his own project, directly stating that it’s an inaccurate, meaningless usage.

And speaking of PlayStation Studios news, a second acquisition for full first-party Sony was announced earlier the same day, and not the one many were anticipating. Sony has officially completed its purchase of the Dutch developer Nixxes, which specializes in their PC ports and optimizations, most notably for Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics (Marvel’s Avengers, Tomb Raider trilogy, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided).

Departed Rockstar Games cofounder Dan Houser was discovered on the 1st to have started filing to begin a new company in February and June across different territories. The new company is Absurd Ventures in Games, and Houser is its producer, corporate director, and creative director. The company’s UK classification code indicates that it is indeed a games and software development studio. On a side note, Steve Hammond and Mike Dailly of DMA Design rightfully responded critically to some journalists describing Houser as the series’ creator while reporting on this story.

Nintendo launched a new Ask the Developer pre-recorded text interview series hosted on its main website and modeled on the Iwata Asks series. The series has begun with an entry focused on Game Builder Garage through its director and assistant director, Naoki Masuda and Kosuke Teshima.

July 2nd:

During the weekend after the E3 Nintendo Direct’s premiere, websites for Skyward Sword HD were suddenly updated to list additional, previously unmentioned QOL features, which were fully detailed by the release of the aptly named Quality of Life trailer on Friday July 2nd. The trailer directly addresses and demonstrates fixes for popular criticisms of the game’s original 2011 Wii release in order to reel in double dippers, showing that Fi’s advice and explanations are now more optional than forced on the player, dialogue can be put on fast-forward, cutscenes can be skipped, full item descriptions won’t be repeated past their initial encounter even after quitting out, changes to the camera and regular autosaves, as well as further showcasing the previously announced 60fps gameplay, enhanced motion controls, and button-only support. This was later followed up with additional trailers showcasing refinements to the game’s actual starting tutorial section itself, and detailing the camera controls (hold the left bumper to switch the right stick from sword to camera control). It’s still pretty foolish that this info wasn’t given a more premium spotlight with more views like in one of the main Directs, but as discussed previously, I see the logic in the sense of trying to avoid sending mixed or negative messages to the many people unfamiliar with the game that make up its new primary market. The game’s launch on July 16th (and breaking street date in the days prior, as is seemingly tradition at this point) in turn led to confirmation that the remaster was co-developed by Tantalus Media, who most importantly also worked on Twilight Princess HD, but since then had done the Age of Empires II and III remasters for Microsoft before or during their latest project with Nintendo. .

Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate and the Kombat Pack 2 featuring Rambo were reaffirmed to be the game’s final DLC and final major updates by Netherrealm’s Twitter account Friday morning, as the studio has focused on its next project since their release in November 2020, fully since the final patch in May 2021. Nothing concrete is known about this next project, although an Injustice style Marvel Comics fighting game has been popularly rumored.

July 6th:

At the end of a long holiday weekend, the moment finally came, sort of. Following in the model of the Switch Lite’s post E3 early July announcement, Nintendo released a trailer announcing the latest addition to the Switch family, the Switch (OLED), which is launching alongside Metroid Dread on October 8th for US$350. This internally identical external update of the base Switch hybrid is so named for its new high quality 7 inch OLED handheld screen, replacing the previous larger bezel and smaller LCD screen, but it has several other new key features as well which address various criticisms of the hardware. A broad and sturdy kickstand replacing the flimsier original, a native Ethernet port (a first for Nintendo hardware) as part of an enhanced new dock with improved ventilation, improved new internal speakers for audio in handheld mode, and expanded internal storage of 64GB, are all part of the new model and likely what is planned as the new standard external shell going forward once existing stock of the v2 hybrid sells off. In addition to full current software and controller intercompatibility, all Switch hybrid models and docks are intercompatible with each other. The new 2.0 dock will also be available for first party stand-alone purchase soon.

Nintendo representation has repeatedly since the announcement asserted and reasserted that no alterations have been made for the Joy-con controllers shipping with Switch OLED bundles. This has once again raised the question of if and when a long-term fix for “Joy-con drift”, the high rates of thumbstick drift that plague all first-party Switch controllers due weak durability in the sticks, is coming. This is a very serious problem in its widespread effects and recurrence and continually failing to act on it in any serious way is a serious failure on Nintendo’s part, regardless of the extent to which it can get away with it via its profit margins and the casual market. The most frustrating part of course is that corporate attitudes towards transparency in this industry, Nintendo’s especially, will obscure any developments on this problem right up until something actually happens.

This is as good a place as any to issue the following statement: I acted with some recklessness and irresponsibility as a reporter in my handling of Switch hardware stories. I dearly apologize for this, I apologize for spreading any potential misinformation, I apologize for speaking too authoritatively about unconfirmed stories. It’s been a frustrating and mortifying few weeks for me on this matter, the exposure of getting a little too caught up in personal excitement and allowing it to compromise my journalistic standards and practices. Even with the full context, even with what details are already accurate and what could ultimately still be accurate, it is regrettable. I will henceforth not dwell on the particular upcoming hardware narrative in either formal reporting or casual commenting. If new official information comes out, I will comment on it then and only then. I will also henceforth adjust my overall approach in reporting on rumors to more so emphasize when they have actually been corroborated by official firsthand announcements, rather than consistently reporting them as practical fact on their own. You my readers have been very patient and understanding for the more than two years I’ve been doing this work. I trust you to continue to be and I can only thank you for that. I can only count my lucky stars I’m not in a position to face much of a backlash, but I do promise you I fully recognize my errors and I will do better.

EA announce that Dirt developer Codemasters will lose its CEO Frank Sagnier and CFO Rashid Varachia at the end of July as part of its acquisition process into EA. The publisher’s spokeperson, as part of announcing and confirming this news, claimed that it was always part of the acquisition plan and had been sped up by the efficiency of the process.

As part of a Nacon Connect presentation, Western RPG developer Spiders and parent company/publisher Nacon released the gameplay reveal trailer for their next game, Steelrising, a fast paced Soulslike in a steampunk setting exploring the French Revolution, and announced that it will launch June 2022 on Steam and all next-gen consoles. Also featured in the publisher’s presentation: RoboCop: Rogue City, a licensed FPS coming in 2023 from the developers of Terminator: Resistance, was announced; the new exploratory action game in the Zeno Clash series, Clash: Artifacts of Chaos, was announced, it’s coming in June 2022 to PS4/5, X1/XSeries, and PC; new stealth and traversal gameplay footage was shown for LOTR: Gollum; new footage was presented from Ad Infinitum, a survival horror game about WWI trench warfare set to release in 2023; a new trailer was shown for the return of Warhammer sports action in Blood Bowl 3; roguelike strategy game Rogue Lords, featuring the devil commanding gothic horror icons, was announced to launch on PC September 30th, with current gen console versions in early 2022; new details were shown for various sim titles from the LIFE series (Chef Life, Hotel Life, Train Life, Surgeon Life, Architect Life) to Rugby 22 and motorcycle game RiMS Racing; the newest entry in its licensed sim racing seres was announced, WRC 10; while the other racing series’ latest game, the Hong Kong set Test Drive Unlimited: Solar Crown, got a launch date of September 22nd; new free updates were announced for deckbuilder Roguebook and skateboarding game Session, the latter of which released at the same time; the latest holdover Vampire the Masquerade spinoff, the foreboding, perhaps aptly named Swansong had a new character trailer ahead of its February launch, and new console accessories like a PS5 arcade stick, headsets, third party standard controllers, and smartphone controllers for xCloud, were all introduced.

After announcing the title with no date at E3, Spike Chunsoft announced on social media that the collection of Danganronpa Decadence and the digital single games will release on Switch December 3rd, with pre-orders going live at the same time.

July 7th:

Jason Schreier via Bloomberg reported that an upcoming entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise is a live service project in early development codenamed Assassin’s Creed Infinity. Inspired by Rockstar’s GTA Online and Red Dead Online, and of course Fortnite, this game developed in collaboration between the series’ main development teams, Ubisoft Quebec and Ubisoft Montréal, will regularly incorporate multiple distinct worlds of new historical settings that are kept separate but can be traveled between. Ubisoft formally confirmed the project’s existence in response to the report.

Linda Guillory of Texas officially set/broke two Guinness World Records for the largest collection of playable gaming systems overall and largest collection of LCD Gaming systems, the Tiger Electronics type stuff. As a middle aged black woman, she is far from the face of the conventional hardcore gamer image and I believe she is eminently worth highlighting and celebrating. All marginalized people, especially women of color, have a right to see her in their passion and celebrate her.

Dave Gilbert and Wadjet Eye’s biggest modern hit, point and click adventure Unavowed, surprise launched on Switch.

July 8th:

The next Sony State of Play presentation aired, focusing on indie and third party news and culminating with an extended deep dive on Arkane’s Deathloop. New first-party Sony announcements weren’t included, but are likely coming later this year, as the publisher formally stated the following in its announcement of the presentation on the 6th: “This showcase will not include updates on the next God of War, Horizon Forbidden West or the new PlayStation VR. Stay tuned throughout the summer though, as we’ll have more updates soon.”

The presentation opened with the announcement trailer for the new PSVR title Moss: Book II, a sequel to the 2018 adventure game starring a cute mouse girl named Quill. The series works akin to fellow PSVR game Astro Bot: Rescue Mission, where the player employs their perspective to guide the Quill character through the world, in this case through puzzles, platforming, and combat alike. Moss Book 2 has no public release window, and the question of whether it’s primarily a PSVR1 or PSVR2 title is currently unanswered, but more news is expected soon, based on the word of developer Polyarc. Illfonic, former developers of Friday the 13th: The Game and previous Sony partner on Predator: Hunting Grounds, announced its next multiplayer game and first self-published title, the PS5 console exclusive and Epic Store PC exclusive Arcadegeddon, releasing in Early Access the same day and set for full release in 2022, February by the devs’ estimate. Arcadegeddon is a a co op horde mode third person shooter with a cyberpunk arcade game aesthetic. Gearbox-published Tribes of Midgard stopped by to detail its post-launch content ahead of launch later in July.

After being announced last summer and featured at the 2020 Game Awards, F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch, the sidescrolling 2.5D Metroidvania starring a gritty rabbit hero with a huge metal fist, announced its new launch date of September 7th 2021 for PS4, PS5, and PC as a console exclusive. Hunter’s Arena Legends is a 30 player battle royale in an East Asian fantasy setting, featuring both free for all and three-person team modes, and was announced to be launching its 1.0 version and releasing on PS4 and PS5 August 3rd as a PS Plus bonus title for that month. Sloclap’s martial arts game Sifu returned from earlier Sony presentations this year with a new gameplay trailer emphasizing the game’s unique roguelike mechanic of aging the player character one year each time he dies, and announcing the game’s delay to early 2022. Sword & Sworcery co-developers Superbrothers made their first appearance since the summer 2020 PS5 event for the gameplay reveal of Jett: the Far Shore, which is still set to release for PS4/5 and Windows later in 2021 after its delay from last holiday. Both God’s Eye POV footage of remotely piloting a scout ship, and first-person footage as the player character Mei herself on the planet’s surface, were featured in the trailer for this space sim game. Jett is about exploring in search of a new home while endeavoring not to destabilize the dynamic interconnected ecosystem, investigating without active resource harvesting, and evasion and distraction employed instead of combat against dangerous local flora and fauna.

Sega showcased its licensed fighting game Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Hinokami Chronicles, launching worldwide October 15th on Windows and all current Xbox and PS platforms, and Lost Judgment. The full trailer for Death Stranding: Director’s Cut premiered, announcing its release date as September 24th 2021 exclusively on PS5, and showcasing many new features. There are several new melee maneuvers to more effectively non-lethally neutralize enemies, new weapons like “Maser” stun-gun and mounted turrets, a firing range to practice combat outside the heat of battle, new delivery equipment to be shared with the game’s community like a jump ramp for the vehicles, a cargo catapult, a support skeleton, and a buddy-bot capable of carrying cargo and Sam alike, and perhaps most uniquely, a multiplayer racing circuit. Only a brief look was offered at the new story missions containing new dialogue, environments, deliveries and combat encounters, but they were all confirmed nonetheless. Finally, a nine-minute extended gameplay trailer for Arkane Lyon’s Deathloop was featured, presenting in full one of the main target encounters of the game and player abilities along the way, like a limited mid-mission return before the full reset, and regaining something from the spot where you died . A disclaimer at the end of the Deathloop trailer reconfirmed that the game’s PS5 exclusivity is timed to one year, meaning that it will currently release for Xbox Series S/X in September 2022 as a first party Microsoft-Bethesda title.

July 11th: In the face of rumors persisting about further sales of game development teams by WB-Discovery after it was announced that the mobile game developer Playdemic is being sold by WB to EA for $US1.4 billion, WB Games representative Remi Sklar formally stated that NetherRealm and Traveller’s Tales are both safely remaining as part of WB Games and WB-Discovery, as those studios are the ones currently rumored about.

July 12th:

The Persona series 25th Anniversary Event promotional website launched, describing that celebrations will launch in September 2021 and last for roughly one calendar year, featuring various merchandise, events, partnerships, and “of course game information.” The website says that the series has reached 15 million total sales only two years after it hit 10 million, assuredly from the performances of Persona 5 Royal, Persona 5 Strikers, and Persona 4 Golden‘s Steam release. The front page has seven entries for main announcements through Autumn 2022, while two merchandise listings on a subpage are accompanied by graphics depicting, respectively, every main protagonist and every mainline entry from the series, each ending with one or two panels labeled SECRET. Both sets of merchandise are listed to go on sale in September 2021, at the same time as the first anniversary announcement. All of this seems to suggest that the next mainline entry in the series and a new protagonist design could be revealed as part of this promotional cycle, and perhaps sooner than later, in time for the very final stretch of SMTV‘s marketing cycle. The second slot on the main games list adds even more intrigue, from new rereleases/iterations to new spinoffs. Some new form of Persona 3 and its iterations (as the game was the first to include social links, there is no one definitive version of it, and HD assets for it were already produced for its dancing spinoff) remains the most popularly and widely speculated option. Nothing is guaranteed, of course. One of them could be Persona 5 Even Royaler, somehow. But at least in the meantime I can appreciate the inclusion of the previous female player characters.

On July 19th, this news was followed up on by a Famitsu interview with Atlus Brand Owner and Executive Producer Naoto Hiraoka, discussing that Persona anniversary events are planned internationally, and detailing that there are ten total projects currently in development to be published by Atlus, “5-6” in internal development, with only Project Re:Fantasy (and maybe SMTV still being counted in its final stages?) currently known, and 4-5 from Vanillaware and other collaborators.

An interview on the Japanese entertainment news site Nikkan Taishu has suggested that the controlling behavior of actor Takuya Kimura’s talent agency, Johnny’s, is leading to Sega halting the Judgment subseries after its next entry releases in September. Reportedly, Johnny’s is refusing to allow Sega to publish the games on PC and Steam to minimize the online presence of images of their contracted talent, the locally iconic actor and singer Kimura, and Sega is simply canceling the series over the obstruction and inability to maximize series revenue after negotiations failed. While this primary information is not official on its own, Johnny’s is already rather infamous for its behavior around its talent even among Japanese idol agencies, so the story is currently seen as far from unlikely.

July 13th:

Bethesda, Tango Gameworks, and Shinji Mikami announced via social media that Ghostwire: Tokyo has been delayed from Fall 2021 to Early 2022 to “protect the health of everyone at Tango.” That’s as specific as it gets, so it’s easy to read both matters of avoiding crunch and COVID safety as informing the decision. This in turn pushes the game’s Xbox release to 2023. The game’s former creative director, Ikumi Nakamura, founded her own independent game studio earlier this year and has done multiple recent freelance promo artworks for games such as Life is Strange: True Colors.

Per Venture Beat, Google is introducing various new policies and financial incentives to attract developer and promotional support to its floundering Stadia service. These entail varying better rates for the revenue proceeds of games on Stadia, dependent player engagement, as well as compensation for any sponsors and streamers who can successfully secure a new player into a paid subscription. All of this is to say, it’s still entirely dependent on actual Stadia traffic and doesn’t entail Google dipping any further into its own deep coffers even in the slightest. But it does continue the trend on where the winds are blowing for digital store revenue share.

After Gamefly leaked it by accidentally listing the game mere days early, the announcement trailer for Smash Bros. clone Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl was exclusively debuted by IGN and release online. The game will launch October 5th 2021 on all current PS4, PS5, Xbox one, Xbox Series, and Switch hardware, and is courting the fighting game community courtesy of its co-developers, Fair Play Labs and Ludosity, the latter of whom has experience with this via its own indie crossover fighter Slap City. Single player, local and online multiplayer, and support for rollback netcode and the “wave-dashing” technique have all been confirmed, the latter two on Ludosity’s Discord channel.

July 14th:

An interview in Famitsu with Tetsuya Nomura and Motomu Toriyama revealed that a rough outline for a third Final Fantasy X game by Kazushige Nojima is complete, but that it won’t be on the table to greenlight until at least the next part of the FF7 Remake series is complete, given Nojima’s role in the project. Square Enix happened to announce a Bravely Default mobile gacha game shortly after.

July 15th:

On July 15h, Valve officially announced its new handheld gaming PC, the Steam Deck, launching its website immediately and pre-orders the next day. This device was first reported in May as the Steam Pal by Ars Technica and of course relayed by yours truly shortly after. The Steam Deck is set to release in December 2021 in three models, all running on Linux and the new SteamOS 3.0, ready to synch with existing Steam accounts and their pre-established libraries. The device features support for installing other storefronts and operating systems from Windows to Epic Games, a 60HZ 7 inch 800p LCD screen, two trackpads on the front and a whopping eight triggers on the back, a 2 to 8 hour battery, and it’s a bit heavy at roughly 1 and a 1/2 pounds. The starter model costs $400 US, has 64GB of internal storage and lacks the faster cheap solid state drive employed in the more expensive models for fast-loading without straining the battery or fans too much. The medium model costs $530 US with 256GB of storage, and the top model costs $650 US with 512GB of storage. All three models have a microSD slot for storage expansion, and anyone who wants to buy the cheapest model and install modern AAA titles on it will certainly need it most. All models are compatible with both existing USB-C hubs and an official dock from Valve for transference to external displays, but docking has no performance boost, and the official dock is exclusively sold separately at extra cost, with no additional information available yet.

Pre-orders for the Steam Deck require an additional $5 US fee on Steam, advance slot reservations with a 48 hour waiting period and a lock for one device for one account maximum, and originally also included a system meant to exclude accounts that are too new or unused, all in an attempt to curtail scalpers, but other complications arose in the process. For starters, Steam’s servers were actually overloaded by the high traffic of those attempting reservations, a rare sight indeed these days, and in addition to those overload-based errors, many user accounts that have been active for many years were accidentally classified as too new to reserve. To address this problem, on July 18th reservations on Steam were opened to all accounts regardless of age, with the hope that the firewalls would be enough. Additionally, reservation queues are region-specific and currently are only provided for the US, Canada, UK, and European Union. The hardware will not release elsewhere in the world until undetermined times in 2022, and as such Steam users in those regions have no current preorder access.

I think Valve certainly has potentially accomplished something meaningful with the Steam Deck. There are many levels on which it’s still simply completely not for me personally, especially ergonomically, but I’m happy for the people that it is right for. I do generally really advise waiting for reviews and seeing how its first year goes though, considering Valve’s previous track record on hardware in both quality and support.

The launch of Xbox Series console exclusive Warhammer 40K Darktide was delayed to Spring 2022 by its developer Fatshark due to COVID-induced development complications.

After no sign of its physical release in Europe at launch, Game Builder Garage got exactly that set to arrive on September 10th, raising hopes that other delayed physical versions are in the cards for first party games currently digital-only in the West, such as the Famicom Detective Club Remakes.

July 16th:

Systemically abusive publisher Ubisoft once again announced delays for two of its major titles, pushing both Riders Republic and Rainbow Six Extraction out of September and the third quarter after dating them both for that month only a month ago. The games are now scheduled for October 28th and January 2022 releases respectively. The company proceeded to also announce a new multiplayer FPS mobile title, Tom Clancy’s XDefiant, on July 19th after it was teased and leaked in the days before, and the French union Solidaires Informatique which has been on the ball on matters pertaining to abuses within Ubisoft finally completed its filing of the collective lawsuit against the publisher it began working on last summer. The union is pledged to be covering all legal costs for those signed to or testifying for the suit and does not require membership in the union for participation or coverage. This of course won’t be the only class-action suit against a publisher we’ll be discussing this month, hmm?

Following from its feature at the Indie Live Expo, the launch date for King’s Bounty II was reconfirmed for all platforms with a new trailer and website update. The game will release simultaneously on Switch, Xbox One, PS4, and Windows on August 24th 2021.

July 19th:

Chinese conglomerate Tencent announced its two latest major moves within the games industry on the same day: Sumo Digital was full-sale bought by Tencent for $1.3 billion US, its biggest acquisition yet which Tencent had been reported as planning and assembling funds toward for the past year or so, and Tencent also became the majority stakeholder in free to play MOBA developer Stunlock Studios, five years after Tencent first distributed Battlerite in China and two years after Tencent became a minority stakeholder in the small Swedish team.

July 20th:

Streaming giant Netflix officially confirmed in its letter to shareholders and earnings report that video games are coming to the service in the near future (“within the next year”), building off the interactive TV and film specials the company has produced for its service in the past several years. The company has hired Mike Verdu of Zynga, EA, and most recently Oculus as its new vice president of game development. Video games on Netflix will be a distinctly produced, licensed, and advertised “content category” like the service’s original movies and TV, and with the infrastructure necessities potentially involve a new app or dedicated section of the app, but are confirmed by the company to be included in the service’s overall subscription price at no additional charge and with no in-game ads or purchases. Netflix isn’t Google Stadia level stupid, they know they need a real bundle like Apple Arcade or Game Pass or what have you. Development will first focus on mobile devices, mobile games, and new and existing games licensed from official Netflix IP.

Word of Netflix’s move first came from The Information in May with the report that Netflix was searching for an executive to oversee gaming on the service. Then Lucas Shaw and Mark Gurman at Bloomberg and Richard Lawler at The Verge accurately reported further details of Netflix’s plans on July 14th, roughly one week ahead of announcement. Netflix representation had confirmed the hiring of Mike Verdu to The Verge at that time. Hedgeye’s Andrew Freeman and The Tape Drive’s Steve Moser in turn offered that they had seen an in-development app and UI for Netflix gaming, with a new Shark logo and title attached to it, along with images of the Sony DualSense controller and Ghost of Tsushima game contained within the app’s code. This seems to at least confirm support for remote connection of console controllers on Netflix app games, and has sparked speculation that Sony could be partnering with Netflix to leverage its established subscriber numbers in competition against Xbox Game Pass. Lucas Shaw then chimed back in to state that he also saw the UI and featured images, but was told these were placeholder images when he was shown them. He also conceded the obvious, that Netflix would need to deny this information whether or not it is accurate to respect intended announcement time planned with its partner. Suffice to say, that aspect of this report is presently unconfirmed, we don’t know the real extent of implications for these plans yet.

In other news:

Across the 20th and 21st, Kotaku published two features on developer Ubisoft Singapore and its work on the game Skull and Bones featuring the anonymous testimony of dozens of current and former employees. The key takeaway is that after eight years, the game has only just now entered alpha, struggling to take shape the entire time and to this day, scrapping or changing major aspects both technical and narrative over and over, with its employees mostly replaced, and those replacements by now lack any more motivation than those who have departed. All of these problems in place, but Ubisoft corporate is treating its production scale and investment costs (cost more than $120 million US at present, far past initial budget) as “too big to fail” by now, rendering the project less a game and more an infinite meat grinder to churn through workers’ bodies and spirits for the foreseeable future. Lastly, the workplace is not only mismanaged and unprofessional, but also, perhaps unsurprisingly by now, deeply riddled with toxic behavior like harassment and wage discrimination targeting both race and gender, as well as aggressive excising of any employees openly questioning the project in any sense. Three separate sources for Kotaku all state that the only improvements made at Ubisoft Singapore are the shuffling or removal of a handful of problematic individuals like Hugues Ricour, with the actual wider problems utterly unfixed just like they are everywhere else in this rotten publisher. Around the same time as these reports, Assassins’ Creed franchise art director Raphael LaCoste left Ubisoft after a 16-year tenure.

Konami officially announced that the new entry in the now legally retitled overall Pro Evolution Soccer series is eFootball, a free to play full-crossplay live service game launching this autumn on mobile, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS4, and PS5, the final title in the series for the foreseeable future as the live service model substitutes for annualized releases. Video Games Chronicle accurately reported the plans for this game roughly a month ago at the beginning of July.

Nintendo of Japan announced that starting on January 18th 2022, the on-console 3DS and Wii U eShops in Japan will no longer natively accept credit cards and fare cards like Suica. Funds towards digital purchases for both of these consoles can still be input from a linked Nintendo Network ID account on the browser website or the Switch via prepaid gift cards or credit cards. This is a change for security purposes which has already been in effect in Europe, Australia, and Latin America for some years, it still hasn’t been announced to be instituted in North America regardless, but most importantly, despite misinterpretations, it is not whatsoever an outright store closure like the Wii experienced in 2018-2019.

July 21st:

On July 19th, the government of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing, formally filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard Incorporated for systemic workplace discrimination. This was the result of a two year investigation by the state agency which uncovered systemic workplace and sexual harassment targeted towards marginalized people and especially women in the company’s ranks, failure to prevent or respond appropriately to said numerous cases of harassment, and further unequal employment practices like unequal pay, promotions, and delegations of duties. Between the suit report itself and the public response to it, massively numerous allegations of specific incidents have been publicized and are being formally added to the lawsuit as we speak, including the horrifically disturbing story of a woman who died by suicide on a work trip for the company due to the emotional damages from coworkers’ ceaseless sexual harassment of her. The agency and its suit are seeking an injunction against Activision-Blizzard to force it into compliance with existing workplace protections, including financial compensation to female employees for unpaid and lost wages, adjustments and benefits.

This is only the latest major report on games industry abuses in the past few years following from Riot and Ubisoft among others. I myself had seen accounts of incidents from leadership at Sumo Digital and Insomniac Games right before this broke. Widespread public awareness of the lawsuit emerged on July 21st from Maeve Allsup’s coverage of it via Bloomberg Legal, and distribution of it by other Bloomberg reporters like Jason Schreier. Dozens if not hundreds of people responded with their stories and their loved ones’ stories both from Activision-Blizzard and across the games industry, from companies big and smallI, because this is an industry problem, period. Notably, Blizzard-related stories go back to the company’s “glory days” before its purchase by Activision, and specifically, repeatedly implicate J. Allen Brack in refusing to respond to problems. If you are curious to read more of the many still publicly available personal testimonies, as I have, I encourage you to engage on your own from social media and elsewhere where the victims in question and their contacts have full control over their stories. I do not want to repeat the mistakes of some of my journalistic colleagues in intruding and acting on their behalf without their input.

Several further responses to these events have occurred since the weekend after the story broke. Hundreds of World of Warcraft players canceled their subscriptions and resolved to spend their remaining playtime in an organized sit-in protest within the game’s hub to raise awareness of the issue and fundraise for Black Girls Code. On July 26th, an open letter was written, sent to Activision-Blizzard leadership, and published by current and former employees of the games publisher, criticizing the company’s internal and public responses to the suit as abhorrent and insulting, calling for leadership to cooperate with employees in providing a proactive workplace atmosphere better for victims’ stories to be shared and listened to without fear rather than ignored, slandered, and kept within the company at all costs, and calling for former George W. Bush admin member Frances Townshend to resign over her role in managing the response so far. As of writing, the letter has more than 2600 signatures. An Activision-Blizzard employee walkout protest is officially announced and formally planned for Wednesday July 28th starting shortly after this article goes to publication. The protest is accompanied by a series of formal demands building on the open letter’s, including ending mandatory internal arbitration, revising policies for recruitment, hiring, and promotion, improving pay rate transparency, and hiring a third-party organization to review the company’s reporting policy, HR department, and executive staff.

Employees involved in the protest proceeded to report that leadership is offering a trap bait of formal “free time off” specifically for the walkout, which the leadership blatantly can and will use as a record of who is striking, since it’s illegal to directly ask, and use it against them as punishment. Corporate leadership then issued a new statement (“A Letter from Bobby Kotick to all Employees”) on the evening of the 27th, responding to the letter, the protest, and the drop in company stock that occurred in response to the letter. The Kotick letter concedes the initial response as tone-deaf and lists five actions planned (1. adding additional staff and resources towards claim investigation and decisionmaking, 2. listening sessions moderated by third parties for employee discussion and input, 3. immediate reevaluation of all managers to monitor for obstructing of reports and investigations, 4. efforts and resources towards mandating compliance with equal hiring practices, and 5. committal to removing in-game content considered inappropriate by staff) for immediate implementation to address company problems, together offering a mere partial answer to the striking employees’ demands. Faith in the execution of the actions already should also not be given freely, but earned, and Bobby Kotick of all people certainly hasn’t earned that. The letter is an embarrassingly half assed attempt at appeasement by a man notorious not only for the harm his greed has wrought on his own employees but his own incidents of harassment and punishment of the victim for speaking out in the case of Patricia Glaser.

In other news, Ubisoft announced that its racist conspiracy-mongering mobile title Tom Clancy’s Elite Squad will shut servers down on October 4th 2021, just more than a year after the game’s launch, due to underperformance.

July 22nd:

During the EA Play Live 2021 presentation, the new seasons for Apex Legends and Knockout City were promoted, but miraculously, there was less news from the live services than from the other games for once. The newly acquired Codemasters revealed their next project, Grid Legends, a heavily narrative-driven racing game featuring the series’ returning Nemesis system and the “extended reality” virtual set technology pioneered for The Mandalorian, and is scheduled for launch sometime in 2022 on PS4/5/ Xbox One/Series, and PC. Zoink Games, developers of Fe from 2018, and EA finally announced the launch date of the gothic stop-motion style action-RPG Lost in Random a whole two years after I covered the game’s initial announcement at E3 2019; the game is launching simultaneously on Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and Windows on September 10th 2021. The final Battlefield 2042 mode was revealed as the rather unique Battlefield Portal, a community driven custom match builder in the vein of Halo 3‘s Forge, with the hook that it allows for mixing and matching of exclusive features from different past series titles such as Battlefield 1942, Battlefield 3, and Bad Company 2. The presentation closed out with a brief cinematic teaser trailer officially announcing the Dead Space Remake, built in the Frostbite engine and coming sometime in the future exclusively to PC and next-gen consoles from Star Wars Squadrons developers EA Motive.

Rumors that EA Motive was next working on an “IP revival” for EA first emerged mid-June shortly after E3, preceding full now-confirmed formal reports from Venture Beat, Eurogamer and VGC through June and July. These reports detailed that a new Dead Space game is in development from Motive, the first new series entry since the failed third main entry in 2013 and the closure of original series developer Visceral in 2017 is in development, that it is a remake and reimagining of the original 2008 game in the vein of and inspired by Capcom’s recent Resident Evil remakes. That means it will A. remix and reinterpret the original narrative, establishing a new continuity free of Dead Space 3‘s complications and ready for new sequels if the game does well, and B. update the gameplay in ways inspired by the other previous entries in the series, potentially the evolutions of survival horror since 2013, and aspects cut from the original. An IGN interview with the creative director then elaborated on that later on the 22nd where it was stated that they’re returning to the original level design rather than recreating the changes made in level design due to technical constraints. This title’s greenlight is both part of the broader initiative to invest again in single player only titles off the success of Jedi Fallen Order, and directly motivated by Capcom’s recent success with its premiere survival horror series.

Both the rumors and the official announcement have inspired fairly widespread and criticism that it is ghoulish to monetize the series again without any regard for the original developer who EA leadership specifically ran into the ground by mismanaging the series, and that maybe this behavior shouldn’t be rewarded by consumers. I at the least greatly sympathize with the argument, it reminds me of my utmost desire for all big companies to broken up and to no longer be consolidating so many series whatsoever, regardless of the degree of mismanagement. Comment from former Visceral developers on this discourse, both that are known to now be a part of EA Motive and those who are elsewhere is not currently available, and I do believe they are important to consider here as well.

July 26th:

Joe Otterson at Variety reported that a live-action Pokémon television series is in early development at Netflix with Joe Hendserson attached as a writer. Henderson has been a writer and co-showrunner for the procedural Lucifer, and has recently wrapped his work on it with the series’ final season coming this fall. Little other detail on the series is currently available given its stage of development, but Variety is one of the best Hollywood pressers out there. This is most likely real. This story naturally reminds one of the Legend of Zelda Netflix series from several years ago, which was dismissed as rumor at the time but has since been confirmed as having been canceled after being leaked while it was still in the negotiation phase. A stop motion animated Star Fox Netflix series that was further along in development was canceled out of caution alongside it despite said production status and it not even being leaked. So one naturally wonders what might become of this series with the report now out, but I figure the companies partnering again five years later (building off the other Pokémon deals with Netflix in the last couple years) and getting as far as they have might not have happened without other agreements in place for this eventuality.

July 27th:

Invites for Halo Infinite‘s technical preview started going out, with a First Look at the technical preview set to air on Wednesday the 28th ahead of its going live on Thursday.

Nintendo’s announcement of the release date for the reappearing fireworks event in Animal Crossing: New Horizons was accompanied with an explicit promise that additional brand new update content is currently in development for the game, its production has not stopped.

Nintendo’s mobile game Dr. Mario World was announced to be ending service on iOS and Android, and shutting down completely on October 31st 2021 after releasing just back in summer 2019. The game’s premium currency will no longer be available starting on July 28th. Both of these decisions are in response to the game’s status as the least successful mobile release by Nintendo.

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