(AKA E3 Season 2022 in Review Part 2)
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!
I highly recommend checking out this article’s predecessor if you haven’t already: If you’re not interested in the SGF recaps, please at least consider reading the other more regular news coverage which is included in both articles this year. I quite rightfully concluded that not publishing a more traditional June news roundup until late into July was a bad tradition of mine that needed to stop and become something more effective.
IGN Expo on June 10th
Aliens Fireteam Elite: Pathogen. Gun Rave C.O.R.E. DNF Duel. Ground Divers!. Freaked Fleapit. There is No Light – September 2022 for PC. Sunken Sea update for Core Keeper. No Place for Bravery September 22 2022 – PC and Switch. Project Warlock 2 FPS out now Early Access. SacrifFire 2023. Rose Locket Demo in October. Verge World Fall 2022. Madison July 2022 all platforms. Autopsy Simulator November 2022 (Surgeon simulator team, more serious atmosphere). The Unliving Early Access on October 31st. Moonscars Summer 2022. Outbreak Island – first person horror Q3 2022. Voidtrain currently on Epic, October 2022 Steam release. Forever Skies – PC and next gen consoles. Wanderlost. Wanted: Dead – Third person shooting and melee game, cyberpunk with bots, cop politics Q4 2022. Cartoony multiplayer fps with some minecraft mechanics – Block n Load. Blockbuster VR, movie production, not movie retailer. Trailout. Hype Squad. Glitch Busters – coming soon to PC Switch and Steam. Quiet Farm – cow fighting alien invasion. Ship of Fools – Co op game coming to PS5, Xbox, Switch 2022.
Gory Cuddly Carnage – Cat on a hoverboard fighting evil unicorns. DMC esque, Starkeepers 2023, Coral Island – 3D farm game October 2022 – plot dealing with pollution from corporations, Roots of Pacha appeared with, as far as I can tell, the exact same info as Day of the Devs. Super Zoo Story – This farm game’s artstyle is dangerously close to just Stardew Valley. But it has dinos and mammoths! – Xbox, PS, and Switch. Another farm game, 3D, Australia – Dinkum – July 14th 2022 early access. Outriders Worldslayer expansion. Ratten Reich – tactical shooter, visual inspiration from Maus. Card based 3d melee game Beneath Oresa – 2022. Orx – roguelike tabletop deckbuilder – August 2022. Superfuse – scifi Diablo-clone – early access Fall 2022. River City Three Kingdoms. The Last Worker – notable voice cast, PS5, Switch, Xbox, VR. Third person hack-stealth game – Evotinction – PS and PC. Vice NDRCVR. Lifeless Moon (sequel to Lifeless Planet) Q1 2023, Closing game – The Walking Dead: Last Mile – live online interactive game, where audience participation determines outcomes.
Wholesome Direct on June 11th
Terra Nil is about restoring damaged ecosystems, it’s coming later this year from Free Lives. Little Bear Chef – first trailer, Melodyssey 2023, LumbearJack fighting corporate pollution/destruction, out now (June 11) Switch and Steam – June 14th for Xbox One/Series, The Garden Path 2022 PC and Switch, Mika and The Witch’s Mountain Early 2023, 30 Birds, Mail Time Late 2022, Usagi Shima.
Intermittently throughout the event, the hosts promoted the Galaxy Fund project, which provides grants to BIPOC and queer game creators for getting games off the ground and taking care of life expenses to make game development easier. Two shirts were on limited-availability sale whose proceeds go 100% to the Galaxy Fund.
A Walk With Yiayia August 20th 2022 PC and Switch, Chicken Journey Late 2022 to Steam and Switch, Puffpals Island Skies, Freeride (MBTI based, blech) 2023, How to Say Goodbye Q3 2022, Calico – Pawsome Update in Summer 2022, Paper Animal RPG Kickstarter campaign opens Summer 2022, Fall of Porcupine, The Last Clockwinder VR game out now on Meta Quest and Steam VR, Lovebirb, Spirit Swap in 2023 with limited time Steam demo out now, Coffee Talk Episode 2 releasing in 2023, Oddada release TBD, Frogun 2022, Garden Witch Life release TBD, Princess Farmer out now with the first free Episode 1 expansion update coming this Summer, Ooblets 1.0 launch this summer for PC Xbox and Switch, Bubblegum Galaxy 2023, Here Comes Niko TBD, Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley, Feed All Monsters 2022, Skatebird update available now PC consoles a few days late with new level + costumes including Among Us skin,
Paper Trail, Soulitaire TBD, Passpartout 2: The Lost Artist, A Frog’s Tale Kickstarter campaign now, Freshly Frosted out today on PC Xbox PS and Switch, Kaichu coming soon 2022, Wholesome – Out and About, Paradise Marsh Xbox and Switch later in 2022, Gaucho and the Grassland 2022, Lil Gator Game 2022, We Are OFK, Potion Permit 2022, Pixelshire 2023, Schim TBD, Pekoe 2023, Bilkins’ Folly TBD, Kitori Academy 2023, Togges Q3 2022, Tracks of Thought 2023, DokiToki 2023, Critter Crops, Toroa coming soon, The Spirit and the Mouse 2022, Snacko 2022 PS4/5 Switch PC, A Little to the Left 2022 Switch, Kokopa’s Atlas 2023, The Wandering Village 2022, Lonesome Village 2022 Steam Xbox Switch, Hamster on Rails TBD,
Garden of the Sea VR, Olliefrog Toad Skater 2023, With You free on steam and itch.io, Miska early 2023, Bread and Fred 2022, Kitty Builder 2022, Garden In 2022, Petit Island TBD, Flore TBD, Pine Hearts 2023, Hello Goodboy 2023, Harmony’s Odyssey 2022, Seal World out now, Love Ghostie TBD, Potion Prodigy TBD, Moonstone Island 2023, Super Mini Mart 2023, Ova Magica 2023, PaperKlay TBD, Puzzles for Clef 2023, Lemon Cake 2022 Xbox PS Switch, Star Stuff 2023, San Zoolin 2024, Townseek 2023, Skye Tales 2022, Kulebra and the Souls of Limbo 2024, Tiny Witch September 1st 2022, The Courier 2022, The Hundred Year Kingdom available now Steam and Switch, Lost Twins 2 2022, Bloom out now on Playdate, lastly, Melatonin – rhythm game about exploring dreams, different rhythm minigames, level editor mode, Switch and PC September 2022.
PC Gaming Show on June 12th
The show opened with a story trailer for Soulstice, a next gen exclusive character action RPG officially announced to be launching on September 20th 2022 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S|X. Next, a new game from Klei Entertainment was revealed, Rotwood: there was no definite answer on when it will launch yet, even just in Early Access. Suspicious Developments then brought a new gameplay trailer for Tactical Breach Wizards. Starward Industries’ first person narrative adventure The Invincible had an extended gameplay reveal trailer and a scheduled 2023 release window. Amplitude showed new gameplay footage for Endless Dungeon and announced that the beta’s signups were open now. F1 Manager reappeared with gameplay footage while a new update was shown for Chivalry 2. Deceive Inc., a multiplayer espionage first person shooter, premiered its gameplay reveal trailer. It is set to launch in Early 2023 for PC, PS5 and Series S|X, and has public playtest signups open now.
Flintlock: A Siege of Dawn (cross-gen, cross platform open world action RPG, Early 2023) reappeared from the Xbox show, while 11 Bit Studios, developers of This War of Mine and Frostpunk, revealed their other new game after Frostpunk 2, The Alters. The Alters is a narrative adventure horror game with story altering decisions and surrealist stylization, and it has no current release window. Outriders’ Worldslayer expansion also reappeared from earlier in the summer game news season, and it has since launched. Another new potion making game, Potion Craft, was shown off: it will exit early access and enter 1.0 launch in Fall 2022. Super Animal Royale was promoted with its new updates forthcoming after it launched in August 2021. Two upcoming deckbuilders were presented next: the 80s action movie inspired Nitro Kid was revealed with a demo out now, while the previously announced samurai deckbuilder Mahokenshi was announced to be releasing in 2023. The Tidal Terror event for Killing Floor 2 saw a new trailer announcing that it would start on June 14th and run to July 12th.
An extended developer interview discussed new ideas and changes planned for the recently revealed upcoming Arma 4, including mod support. Developer Shiro Unlimited presented an entire slate of titles, including two brand new reveals. Dune: Spice Wars saw the multiplayer support update finally detailed for the game’s rather sparse Early Access version, alongside the announcements of new updates for Northgard (an expansion coming this winter) and Wartales (co op support coming this summer). Shiro’s two brand new announcements were 3D sci fi city builder Abyssals and 2D horror game Decarnation, both currently scheduled to launch in 2023. A new cinematic trailer announced that basebuilder I Am Future is releasing later this year, and strategy game Great Houses of Calderia is also set to launch in 2022. The BioSyn DLC for Jurassic World Evolution 2 (AKA the extensive tie in DLC for the latest franchise film) was announced to be releasing shortly after the show, on June 14th 2022.
Its first reappearance in quite a while, Nightdive and Prime Matter premiered a new trailer for the System Shock Remake, with gameplay footage and platform reconfirmations (PC, Xbox One/Series, PS4/5), but still no release window. The remake’s initial version involved serial sexual predator Chris Avellone on its writing team, but Nightdive has given assurances that Avellone departed the project ahead of its 2018 reboot, the current version. The same Super People trailer from the Xbox event reaired. Sam Barlowe was finally able to reveal the launch date of his latest, Immortality: July 26th 2022 for PC, Xbox Series S|X, and Game Pass. After that was a a trailer for cyberpunk city builder Nivalis, from the developers of Cloudpunk. Developer ysbryd and publisher Necrosoft revealed tactical RPG Demonschool coming in 2023 to all platforms. Ebb Software showed more new gameplay footage for its next-gen Xbox timed console exclusive survival horror game Scorn. Long awaited next gen exclusive shooter Warhammer 40K: Space Marine 2 was discussed in a developer interview.
Legally distinct Goldeneye homage Agent 64: Spies Never Die made a strong splash in its reveal as people continue to await the official Goldeneye release alleged to be set for this year. It’s releasing later this year, but the demo premiered right after the show. KeokeN announced that its upcoming major sequel Deliver Us Mars will launch on September 27th 2022 for PC, Xbox One/S|X, and PS4/5. Frost Giant’s Stormgate returned from Keigh-3 to show off its early-development Starcraft successor RTS gameplay. Two different 4x strategy games were discussed: Laysara: Summit Kingdom, coming Early 2023, and Paradox’s Victoria 3, which showcased gameplay and is set to launch in 2022. 3D multiplayer fantasy survival game Frozen Flame announced a Fall 2022 release window. A sizzle reel of games from New Blood showed off: Amid Evil: The Black Labyrinth, Ultrakill Act II, Faith: The Unholy Trinity, Fallen Aces, Dusk HD, before the long anticipated Gloomwood got an extended look and announced its early access date as August 16th 2022.
First person narrative adventure backfirewall is releasing later this year and showed off both its gameplay and story, in which a system fights back against the programmer updating it. Procedural medieval strategy and survival game Norland is also scheduled to launch in 2022. With its console ports arriving this fall, Them’s Fightin’ Herds arrived to remind its original PC audience that they’re not being left behind, announcing the free 3.0 update and that it would release on Steam right after the show. The Styx DLC of Icarus was also announced as available now as the show started to draw to a close. The previously covered Sunken Sea DLC of Core Keeper received a June 15th 2022 release date announcement. Medieval town builder Farthest Frontier got a new story trailer, while 2D sci fi city builder Synergy, with a Moebius artstyle, was revealed with gameplay and no current release window. The event concluded with an extended look for a major Half-Life Alyx mod entitled Levitation, which will launch for all PC VR sets that Alyx supports later this year.
Guerrilla Collective 3 on June 11th and 3.5 on June 13th
From Space is a twin stick shooter coming to PC and Switch this year, I Was a Teenage Exocolonist was revealed as an adventure game launching August 25th for PC, puzzle platformer Ugly was revealed and will launch in 2023, multiplayer shooter Boundary is set to beta this summer ahead of a 2022 launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, the since occurred launch date of action RPG Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms was announced as June 30th for PC, Switch, Xbox, and PS4, survival horror prequel Daymare: 1994 Sandcastle is set to launch on all platforms later this year, sci fi survival horror Signalis was announced to be launching on October 27th 2022 for PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Game Pass, horror game Gravewood High revealed multiplayer will be part of its 1.0 and console launch later this year, the launch date of the horror game Madison was announced as July 8th for all platforms, anthology horror game The Fridge is Red was revealed alongside the release of a demo,
already available next gen exclusive shooter Industria was promoted, 11 Bit Studios promoted its most recent titles South of the Circle and This War of Mine: Final Cut before teasing “one more thing” coming soon (reveal of The Alters, reported on elsewhere in this article), The Last Worker (seen elsewhere) received another new preview ahead of its 2022 launch, arcade snowboarder Slopecrashers released a new demo ahead of a planned late 2022 launch, Cassette Beasts is an open world RPG about combining monsters, it will release for Game Pass platforms and Switch, co op beatemup Contract Killer is coming to Switch and Xbox this summer, musical puzzle game Rytmos is set to launch in late 2022, TMNT Shredder’s Revenge gave another gameplay showcase ahead of its since successful June 16th launch, Skald: Against the Black Priory, arcade revival Arkanoid: Eternal Battle received its gameplay reveal and is coming to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox Series this October,
sidescrolling action game 9 Years of Shadows is coming to PC and Switch this year, RPG Wrestlequest is coming to all platforms soon, Zoeti, a poker based rogulike RPG, saw its gameplay reveal, Gravity Indie Games presented: Grid Force Mask of the Goddess, Live by the Sword Tactics, and Necroboy: Path to Evilship, the RPG Alterium Shift announced a new demo and December 1st launch date for PC and consoles, Greedventory is a decidedly unique RPG coming to PC, Keylocker was revealed as a rhythm RPG, the just launched strategy RPG Symphony of Qar: The Nephilim Saga was promoted, Batora: Lost Haven (seen elsewhere) , Asterigos: Curse of the Stars gave a full look at one of its boss battles ahead of a scheduled December 2022 launch for PC, PS, and Xbox, puzzle game Xel was previewed ahead of a Summer 2022 launch, roguelike Spells & Secrets is set to release for PC and Switch in Summer 202, River Tails: Stronger Together was revealed, a 3D co op platformer coming to all platforms,
Ikonei Island: An Earthlock Adventure started its open beta June 17th leading into early access launch, Time on Frog Island was announced to be launching July 12th for all platforms, Frogun (seen elsewhere) is coming to PC, Switch, and Xbox Series this summer, I Am Future (seen elsewhere), story driven resource management game Flat Eye is coming to PC this year, Garden In!, horror game Witch Strandings was announced with a cinematic trailer and will launch for PC on July 7th, survival game Monster Outbreak was announced to be launching for PC and Switch on August 25th, The Cub (seen elsewhere) had another new look ahead of its currently undated launch, the metroidvania Mira: The Legend of the Djinns will arrive in 2023, the Downpour DLC for Rain World is coming soon to PC, PS4, and Switch, the 3D exploration of Exo One is coming to PS4 and PS5 this year after its previous launch, and Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography is coming to PC.
Here’s everything featured specifically and newly at the separate 3.5 event, including a number of repeat offenders from elsewhere at Keigh-3 in both this article and the previous one.
Hell Pie July 21st, Nivalis (seen elsewhere), Lost in Play (seen elsewhere) August 10th, The Block 2022, Glitch Busters Winter 2022, Necrosmith July 2022, Elsie 2023, Biwar: Legend of Dragon Slayer 2023, Coral Island (seen elsewhere – October 11th, Lords of Ravage November 2022, Wanderlost , Spookulele 2022, Falling Out 2022, Kung Fury: Street Rage – A Day at the Beach expansion available now, Endling: Extinction is Forever – July 19th, My Lovely Wife available now, Eville Fall 2022, GhostLore available now early access, Above Snakes Early 2023 and Early Access now, Orx (seen elsewhere) August 2022, Please Touch the Artwork available now on PC and Mobile while Coming Soon to Switch, Varvarion, Research and Destroy available now, Ninja or Die – 2023, and Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions (seen elsewhere) – July 28th.
Nintendo Direct Mini Partner Showcase on June 28th
Capcom premiered a launch trailer for Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, which further discussed the forthcoming regular free updates like the Capcom Showcase did. The massive base game patch which is accompanying the paid expansion includes DLSS support for the PC version, making MHR the first Capcom or RE Engine game to support Nvidia’s performance enhancement tech. I wonder if this development will be relevant to Nintendo sometime in the near future.
Next, in another highly requested ‘miracle port’ moment from the PS4 generation, Platinum Games and Square Enix revealed that Nier Automata is coming as a native port to Switch later this year. This collects all previous content for the modern classic action RPG, including DLC, while adding exclusive new costumes. A full physical version is also confirmed. This New version Nier Automata: The End of Yorha Edition will launch for Nintendo Switch on October 6th 2022. Platinum quickly took to social media to announce the target performance specs of the port, which they directly contributed to in conjunction with freelance porthouse developer Virtuous: 1080p 30fps docked, 720p 30fps handheld. For those of you keeping track at home, that means the Switch version in docked has higher resolution than the game does on PS4 or Xbox One S, because it has been fully rebuilt and optimized, including leveraging its lowered framerate ceiling. Square Enix also updated the game’s sales numbers alongside the announcement, saying that is has surpassed 6.5 million copies sold.
Publisher Annapurna and developer Simogo, of the acclaimed Sayonara Wild Hearts, revealed their next game together, Lorelei and the Laser Eyes. Following Sayonara‘s success on Switch and Apple Arcade’s general mismanagement, Simogo is moving away from the latter by making this new game a timed console exclusive for Nintendo Switch when it launches in 2023. The announcement trailer kept details rather vague, mostly showcasing the strong visual style employed in this 3D, nonlinear mystery adventure game. Then Konami naturally followed up the recent news of a new Bomberman game and the shutdown of the series’ previous most recent release by announcing Super Bomberman R 2, which will launch in 2023. When it releases for Switch, Xbox One and S|X, PS4 and PS5, and PC, R 2 will feature a new single player story mode, the new level editor mode, the new asymmetrical Castle mode, and returning multiplayer modes including 64 player battle royale.
Just in time before the series loses its previous main form of accessibility on Wii U Virtual Console, Capcom finally revealed the long requested Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection, which is coming in 2023 to Switch, PS4, and PC. It assembles all ten main entries in the card based tactical RPG spinoff series for Game Boy Advance, even after the games started doing Pokémon style dual versions. The collection features: Mega Man Battle Network, Battle Network 2, 3: Blue, 3: White, 4: Blue Moon, 4: Red Sun, 5: Team ProtoMan, 5: Team Colonel, 6: Cybeast Gregar, and 6: Cybeast Falzar, along with dedicated galleries of 150 songs and 1000+ pieces of artwork. Like previous Mega Man Legacy Collections, the collection will digitally release in 2 volumes with a unified physical release, which will hopefully have both volumes on the cart unlike said previous collections. In 2021 on the series’ 20th anniversary date, Capcom’s Takekuni Uchida all but admitted that this collection existed, but had been delayed due to COVID.
Bandai Namco and NOWPRO revealed Pac-Man World: Re-Pac, a full remake of the classic series’ first 3D platformer from the PS1, which launches on August 26th 2022 for all platforms – PS4/5, Xbox One/Series, Switch, and PC. The game’s preorder page on Amazon went live less than an hour too early ahead of the Direct’s premiere. Following from Simogo’s earlier appearance, another brand new indie reveal was Blanc, from developer Casus Ludi and sighs publisher Gearbox. Blanc is scheduled to launch in February 2023 for PC and Nintendo Switch as a full stop Switch console exclusive. It’s a co op puzzle game about a fawn and fox surviving together Developer Terrible Toybox appeared with a full gameplay reveal trailer for the hotly anticipated adventure game Return to Monkey Island, for the first time showing off the revival’s distinct, divisive artstyle (I’m a big fan, myself), and announcing that it’s a Switch timed exclusive for its launch, which is currently still only scheduled for later in 2022.
First revealed in June 2021 with effective radio silence ever since, lead* developer Ubisoft Milan finally premiered the full second trailer and full gameplay footage of its Switch exclusive tactical RPG sequel, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope. Bowser was announced as a new playable character for the series, fulfilling a longstanding tradition for all Mario RPGs, and the game’s launch date was officially announced as October 20th 2022. The M+R series’ ongoing curse to always be leaked stayed strong when Ubisoft Latin America accidentally updated the game’s store webpage listing only one day before the Direct, revealing new screenshots, playable Bowser, and confirming that it will receive a single player expansion DLC like the first’s Donkey Kong Adventure. *(Ubisoft Paris, Ubisoft Chengdu, and Ubisoft Montpelier have also all contributed to Sparks of Hope‘s development.)
Ubisoft further detailed the game in a dedicated event the day after the Direct, showcasing its many new enemies both original and classic, NPCs and side quests, fuller voice acting, and updated movesets for returning characters (Rabbid Mario has gauntlets, Luigi a bow and arrows, Peach her parasol, and Beepo now provides a hover), and the Sparks’ role in gameplay. The soundtrack has three composers, not just the returning Grant Kirkhope but also Ori‘s Gareth Coker and Kingdom Hearts‘ Yoko Shimomura. Both Yoshis were confirmed to be the only player characters cut from the first game, leaving this game’s roster at a total of nine. The rampantly abusive publisher has further announcements set to be made in July for other projects coming soon, like Skull and Bones (reportedly launching November 8th 2022) and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora (reportedly launching November 18th 2022), though whether they will be collected in a single Ubisoft Forward presentation is no longer clear.
Cygames revealed its roguelike sidescrolling action platformer Little Noah: Scion of Paradise (a revival of a previous failed Cygames mobile IP) and announced that it would release right after the show on Switch, PS4, and PC. Train management sim Railgrade, developed by Minakata Dynamics and published by Epic Games, was also revealed, and announced for a Fall 2022 launch on Switch and PC. RPG Time: The Legend of Wright returns from an old Xbox event to end its timed Xbox console exclusivity, it releases August 18th for Switch and PlayStation.
Sonic Frontiers saw the official announcement of previously, repeatedly leaked Cyberspace levels, which are your typical self contained linear 3D courses separate from the open world, just like open 3D Marios have, and which here are retro themed. Disney Dreamlight Valley was featured, a previously announced life sim chock full of classic and modern characters, which will release in Early Access on consoles and mobile, including Switch, on September 6th. Nintendo and Square announced that Live A Live Remake would have a demo available right after the show, featuring beginning portions from three chapters of the game’s anthology story.
Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom is a new full spacefaring sequel to the previous crossover farm game from Marvelous (who own Story of Seasons) and Bandai Namco (who own game licensing for the beloved Doraemon franchise), it releases later this year for Switch, PS5, and PC. Minecraft Legends returned from the Xbox Showcase to remind you how much multiplatform support is important to Mojang and its franchise management. The quite pretty open world action strategy game will launch on all platforms in the first half of 2023. Square brought its DQ11 spinoff Dragon Quest Treasures back to announce that it will launch for Nintendo Switch on December 9th 2022. The traditional sizzle reel signifying the Direct’s imminent finale featured: Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes available now, the native Switch port of No Man’s Sky which will release on October 7th (without multiplayer support, at least for now), A Plague Tale: Requiem – Cloud Version which will launch alongside all versions on October 18th 2022, and Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions, which releases July 28th.
In the Japanese version of the Direct, a brand new Monster Rancher crossing over with Ultraman and classic monster pictures, Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher, was announced; its Western digital launch was confirmed at Anime Expo later that week. Several other Switch games were announced at Anime Expo 2022 as well. Portal: Companion Collection returned from the February Direct for a shadowdropped digital release on June 28th from Valve and Nvidia Lightspeed. This collection features 60fps performance, gyro support, full multiplayer support for local, online, and wireless tabletop modes, and the console exclusive challenge maps from Portal: Still Alive. It is the closest there’s ever been to a single definitive edition of the series. Due to the longstanding presence of extensive shared code and assets with Half Life 2, Switch hackers have already gotten the latter game partially playable within the collection by themselves, pre-empting the likely eventual official release. Square Enix revealed its latest new original IP, Harvestella – farm game RPG by Square, very heavy on the RPG/combat side Currently the game is only officially scheduled to release for Switch and PC when it launches on November 4th 2022.
As the closing announcement, just as I reported and promised throughout this year from January to June, Atlus and Nintendo officially announced that Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4 Golden, and Persona 5 Royal will all finally arrive as full native ports on Nintendo Switch in the next year. All of the versions of the new releases of the games are day-and-date with each other, meaning October 21st 2022 for P5R and Early 2023 for P3P and P4G. Persona 5 Royal on Switch will have a full physical release just like on Xbox and PlayStation, but the other two are reconfirmed to be digital only worldwide unless LRG eventually steps in.
Ultimately, nothing can truly diminish the magnitude of this moment after years and years of fan requests and anticipation, especially since the reveal of Joker for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. But boy has the universe kept trying to diminish it anyway, starting with the extra time it took for these to happen at all and the alleged Sony deal responsible, then the leaks this year which culminated in Atlus accidentally updating the Persona anniversary website early and confirming the ports mere hours before the Direct announced them, then lastly Xbox announcing its ports weeks first with an undeniably better* trailer. But at the end of the day, there’s still three heavily requested titanic cult classic RPGs now finally confirmed to be on a perfectly suited modern handheld platform. People who only have a Switch can play them. Dorks like my fiancee can buy Persona 5 multiple times across all consoles.
*I’m always happy to hear Cassandra Lee Morris, but this trailer was remarkably unceremonious despite how much Atlus and Nintendo clearly realize this is a big moment for them and their fans. You can’t blame Nintendo for reserving the announcement for a Direct and as the final announcement, even if it inadvertently further undermined the impact in the end.
Shortly after the full video’s premiere, Nintendo announced and premiered a Treehouse stream for Live A Live Remake.
Our good friend and peer Merve said it best right after the event: “This Direct proved that Partner Directs can be just as interesting and vital as first-party and general Directs.” It was substantial, varied, well-paced, with heavily requested news and intriguing brand new reveals alike, featuring multiple exclusives across both categories. Individual contents will always be subjective in their impact, and I know it’s frustrating to wait (I promise just a little) longer for the main first party and exclusive information. But it’s worth acknowledging just how worthwhile this really was relative to the baggage of its associations, the largely far worse and more inconsistent 2020 set of Partner Directs.
June 15th: Long-standing indie developer Zachtronics, which had made several acclaimed free browser games in the 2000s before starting to release priced games in 2011 including most prominently Eliza, revealed its next and final new game, Last Call BBS, and announced that founder and studio head Zach Barth is departing upon the game’s release. Barth recently became a full time high school computer science teacher, and after a brief past period of struggling to work two full time jobs at SteamVR and Zachtronics respectively, is ready to move on to fully focus on his new dream career opportunity while his colleagues seek other indie development opportunities after closing Zachtronics. You can read more about this at Kotaku.
June 20th: Tony Hawk and a former Vicarious Visions team member, Andy Gentile, revealed in a livestream that a Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3+4 Remake was being planned and concepted at Vicarious Visions before Activision dissolved the studio and reintegrated it into Blizzard. Other studios took pitch meetings to take over the project after, but it has never entered development and the series’ future looks bleaker than ever once more, despite the success its latest entry saw.
Aspyr confirmed that a small number of players for KOTOR 2 on Switch have experienced a game breaking bug of a recurring crash at a mid-game level which prevents story completion. A hotfix patch began development before officially releasing on June 30th.
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially marked the Intellivision Amico’s trademark as abandoned due to Intellivision’s failures to both file another extension request or a Statement of Use (which they can’t submit until the product is for sale, but is the only available alternative to an extension for an unreleased product) by the deadline. Intellivision has two months until August 20th to file a petition to revive and then match one of the aforementioned requirements to retain the product’s trademark. EDITOR’S UPDATE: Only days after this trademark issue received widespread coverage did the Patent Office update its page to say that Intellivision has restored its patent by filing a new trademark on June 30th.
June 21st: The annual main shareholders meeting for Activision Blizzard King was held, with both positive and negative results emerging from shareholder vote: on the bright side, a majority vote approved the proposal for regular public disclosure reports on internal efforts to prevent workplace discrimination and harassment, but on the other hand, 95% voted against the proposal to appoint a new Board of Directors member dedicated to representing employees. The shareholders also gave approval by majority vote to the reelections of all current Board members including Bobby Kotick, all of whom have unacceptably neglected and exacerbated the publisher’s terrible working conditions, and approved bonus compensation for executives.
Square Enix officially announced the new rescheduled launch date of Dragon Quest X Offline as September 15th 2022, currently still exclusive to Japan.
June 22nd: In a standalone announcement trailer hosted by IGN, Sega revealed an original multiplayer FPS from Alien: Isolation developer Creative Assembly, Hyenas. The preceding teaser from the day before got many anticipating a reveal from a classic Sega series, especially due to the somewhat dolphin like noise it featured.
PlayStation confirmed that it’s not participating in Gamescom 2022, continuing to leave what has previously, regularly been the highest attended games event in the world with little of the publisher support it once had, reflecting among other things the lingering effects of COVID in delays and dampened game schedules, and safety concerns for physical events.
June 23rd: Four years after the launch of Into the Breach, one of my all time favorite games, developer Subset Games had a new surprise major announcement for it, with still no next project in sight. On July 19th, all versions of the strategy game will be updated for free to the Advanced Edition new content update, while Into the Breach: Advanced Edition will release as a mobile game on the Netflix app, and a physical release on Switch for the expanded final version of the game will come later in 2022.
June 24th: After the US Supreme Court did officially strike down the Roe v Wade case and allow basic bodily autonomy, basic human rights, to be further banned and persecuted in nearly half of the US, the collective developers of many first party PlayStation studios were ultimately permitted after all to follow their industry colleagues by explicitly, publicly addressing this unacceptable decision. Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla, Media Molecule, Sucker Punch, Sony Santa Monica, Sony San Diego, and Sony Bend all issued public statements by official studio social media accounts, showing that executive leadership ultimately backed down on this conflict. Bungie also commented again, although their acquisition by Sony has yet to be finalized.
In a new interview at 4Gamer, Hidetaka Miyazaki discussed both already launched hit Elden Ring and FromSoftware’s next new game. From’s next game is officially “in the final stages of development” despite missing the E3 Season announcement slot of which the developer is usually so fond. Once again, this is not a rumor, Miyazaki has explicitly, specifically, said they’re working on this: that near-complete next game is the first Armored Core series entry in a decade, which saw images of it leak earlier this year after many years in development. He also commented on continued support for Elden Ring without much current specifics, and reiterated that the studio has multiple current projects led by other staffers as well, a consistent strategy for the last decade. His comment that the studio’s continued expansion includes increased wages follows many other major Japanese game companies’ recent strategy, while still not being enough on its own to address the exposed past history of worker mismanagement and mistreatment.
Square Enix recommitted to NFT integration in its upcoming game releases even as the blockchain industry continues its extended spiraling crash and many fellow major publishers are bailing out.
June 26th: Reputed former Sega and PlayStation executive Bernie Stolar, who successfully led the North American launch of the original PlayStation console, was announced to have passed away at 75.
June 28th: Sisi Jiang reported on the latest all-hands meeting at Xbox, at which Matt Booty responded to Kotaku’s own recent coverage of working conditions at Bethesda. He provided a highly flawed line of defenses, but this one line is more damning than any criticisms I can offer.
“As an employee what I’m taking away from this is that he’s saying to go through HR,” an anonymous Xbox employee told Kotaku. “And we know how that worked out at Blizzard.”
After previously being leaked by Tom Henderson, Sony announced a new gaming hardware line called InZone, a set of headphones and monitors with optimized compatibility for the PS5 and Windows PCs, which Sony has expressly as its latest investment into PC gaming. Beyond just being a way to support the existing audience it’s cultivated for PlayStation games on PC, these are also meant to achieve new inroads with the massive PC gaming audience in Asia. The hardware line currently consists of two monitors and three headsets.
June 29th: In yet another example of Activision Blizzard King sacrificing smaller games and studios at the altar dedicated to its floundering primary IPs, Blizzard announced that it is in the process of acquiring the developer Proletariat in order to exclusively put them to work as a World of Warcraft support studio, in turn leading to Proletariat’s battle royale Spellbreak now being abruptly, officially set to completely shut down in early 2023.
Square Enix and tri-ace premiered a new trailer for the latest entry in a cult classic, space opera action RPG series, Star Ocean: The Divine Force, announcing that the game will launch on October 27th 2022 for PS4/5, PC, and Xbox One/Xbox Series.
Publisher Microids revealed something completely unexpected for its critically reviled 2020 remake of the 2003 cult classic FPS XIII (which was based on a 1980s independent Belgian comic): they hired a new developer, Tower Five, to develop an extensive revamp of the remake which will release as a free update on September 13th, seeking to directly address criticisms of the game, starting with the stark differences between the original’s acclaimed cel shaded visuals and the remake’s. Features of the free update promised include: the aforementioned refined art style, enhanced AI, a reworked HUD, revamped sound design, and restoring the original’s online competitive multiplayer support, with 2 to 13 players. September 13th is also when the remake will finally release on Switch, solely in its new form.
Per Jason Schreier at Bloomberg: Mobile developer Niantic has canceled four different projects, including an announced Transformers game, and fired 8% of its workforce, roughly 80-90 people, due to ongoing financial difficulties. Despite Pokémon Go‘s success, various different factors, including that game’s profit share with TPC along with the dev’s sheer scale of production with nearly 1000 employees, and the struggles of its more recent games like Pikmin Bloom and the recently shutdown Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, have strained Niantic’s budget.
Atari and Game Informer revealed the Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration game collection, featuring a whopping 90 games spanning every Atari hardware generation, even the Jaguar and Lynx, and several previously unreleased games. Developed by Digital Eclipse, it is set to release in Holiday 2022 for PC, Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation. Earlier this year Atari announced some of its other 50th anniversary products: NFTs.
June 30th: By all accounts, including reporters like Jason Schreier and Tom Henderson, a new PlayStation blog post is ready to be published at any time and was set to be published on this date before being unexpectedly delayed. It’s unknown why it was delayed: common speculation includes a response to the leaks themselves, or an attempt to distance the announcements from the striking down of Roe v Wade. At any rate: the blog post was alleged to announce the launch date of God of War: Ragnarok as (EDITOR’S UPDATE: As of Wednesday July 6th, the blog posts have been published and announced the game’s launch date as November 9th 2022), schedule official preorders for the game, and detail the contents of the game’s collector’s edition, and will likely officially do so soon (it did).
Sabotage Studios delayed the release of their hotly anticipated indie RPG and The Messenger spinoff Sea of Stars from Holiday 2022 to 2023, in order to ensure quality of life for developers in the process of finalizing the game.
A very substantial free content update for Dicey Dungeons was announced to be releasing on July 7th.
343 officially dated the open beta release of campaign co op (for up to four players) and the full release of campaign mission replay for July 11th 2022. The co op beta will last until July 22nd and will lead into the feature’s final release this fall.
In its first official update since the July 2020 announcement (which was prior to the actual start of development, Electronic Arts released a brief new video about Skate 4, showing early gameplay footage and promoting signups for invitational playtests. The very first footage of the title leaked earlier this year out of a previous round of playtests, leading directly to EA scheduling this public gameplay and playtest reveal, alongside a few other small announcements from EA games throughout July.
NSO EP received its next update featuring several major Sega Genesis games: Target Earth, Comix Zone, Mega Man: The Wily Wars, and none other than Zero Wing, featuring one of the most memed localizations of all time. Prior to the premium tier’s initial release last year, Wily Wars was reported as an example of how Nintendo was investing further to get third parties onboard with its subscription service.
Sega exclusively informed IGN that its multimedia expansion following the Sonic the Hedgehog movies’ success includes planned live action adaptations of Atlus’ game catalog, such as Shin Megami Tensei, Persona, 13 Sentinels, or Catherine.
July 1st: Sisi Jiang published another exclusive follow-up report on the state of Bethesda Game Studios, now focusing on the response to the overturning of Roe v Wade. Workers are frustrated that Bethesda and Zenimax management are slow and limited in their engagement on this critical issue that affects them, feeling that their response is less effective than that of many other developers and publishers. Many of their developers, in Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, and Arkane Austin, are based in Texas and directly vulnerable to the state’s horrific outright bans and bounty laws. These workers feel they’re not being listened to or shown enough concern.
Zenimax continues to retain and abuse its ability to have separate benefits policies from Microsoft despite how these accommodate workers’ basic rights of health and autonomy where the law is failing them. The increasingly codified travel expense accommodations for employees relocating out of states like Texas is just one policy being formally denied to those under Zenimax’s umbrella: workers are also calling for guaranteed non-discrimination against pregnant workers, and guaranteed contraceptive access, but they are ignored. Internal tensions are only further exacerbated by the presence of the vocal, disproportionately powerful extreme minority which oppose abortion rights.
Sega announced that the free to play MMORPG Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis will release for Western PS4s on August 31st 2022, roughly ten years after its original launch and a year after the initial Western launch on PC and Xbox One as a timed exclusive. Crossplay is supported for the game on PC, Xbox, and PS4.
First party PlayStation developer Sucker Punch issued an official public statement on the status of its legacy IPs, specifically the Sly Cooper platformers and Infamous action games, declaring that neither series has a new project in development either at Sucker Punch or any other developer. There were longstanding rumors surrounding those series, especially Sly Cooper. For the sake of continuing to support these series in what ways they can, Sucker Punch did also confirm that Infamous 2‘s player created levels will soon be moved to new servers to keep them online for the time being.
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