Game News Roundup: August 2022

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!

ABK Updates

August 1st: Activision Blizzard King’s latest earnings report indicated ongoing and worsening difficulties for the massive publisher despite the successful launch of Diablo Immortal and the general fact of how its scale of revenue still vastly dwarfs that of many other games publishers. The most significant bit of data is this: the publisher’s monthly active users, which come primarily from various Call of Duty games, has precipitously dropped from 150 million in March 2021 to 94 million in June 2022. 60 million lost in one year. Call of Duty: Vanguard has already dropped off the monthly bestsellers list, which each series entry has traditionally dominated for years on end. The downturn for the publisher’s biggest earner is only worsening.

August 3rd: After its unionization efforts began in July, Blizzard Albany QA predictably reported that ABK is back to its usual unionbusting tactics as seen with Raven QA before, accusing their parent company of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on rehiring the anti union specialist law firm Reed Smith. ABK did itself confirm its return to the underhanded tactic of attempting to force a union vote to the larger Blizzard Albany studio (everyone working on the Diablo franchise as a whole, despite how unrelated that is to QA’s specific current experiences on Diablo 4), to dilute the voting power of the QA team, who once again never themselves forced their efforts on the rest of their studio. Dozens of ABK employees attended an August 12th virtual NLRB hearing over Zoom to protest their employer’s actions.

Diablo 4 also saw extensive leaks at the beginning of August alongside these other conflicts over the game’s development.

For financial reasons, Blizzard and NetEase jointly canceled the unannounced but massively leaked mobile World of Warcraft game, after three whole years of co-development. As a direct result, NetEase fired more than 100 developers who were working on the project.

August 21st: Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Competition officially became the first national regulatory body to give finalized approval to the ABK-Microsoft deal.

September 1st: The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority reached the deadline for its Phase 1 decision on the Activision-Microsoft merger, ruling that the investigation must extend into Phase 2. The regulatory body is concerned about the extent of potential advantage for Xbox not just overall, but in the specific markets of subscription services and cloud gaming. Microsoft and ABK have a week to respond, to attempt to head off Phase 2 before it formally begins by satisfying the CMA’s concerns. Microsoft’s public response so far acknowledged that, yes, of course they want to put the ABK library of console and PC games on Game Pass. However, it also recommitted to keeping Call of Duty multiplatform in more detailed terms: “making the same version of Call of Duty available on PlayStation the same day the game launches elsewhere.”

This went even further soon after. I don’t understand why this wasn’t simply explicitly said from the start, but here it is, recontextualizing the comments made from Xbox and Sony alike since January: By September 2nd, Phil Spencer revealed to Tom Warren at The Verge that back in January he had delivered a written, signed, informal commitment to Jim Ryan extending Call of Duty’s releases on PlayStation for “several more years beyond the current [Treyarch’s 2024 game] Sony contract” and with “feature and content parity.” Obviously this is a big deal for the industry. And yet over in Brazil with the ongoing CADE court case between Microsoft and Sony over the ABK buyout, a very different tone is still at play, as Xbox downplays Call of Duty‘s value and bickers over the companies’ respective subscription service exclusivity deals.

Everything Else

August 1st: The Indonesian government began enforcing strict new “internet control” laws by blocking numerous major websites and platforms, such as Yahoo Search, Paypal, Steam, Epic Games Store, and Nintendo Switch Online among others, for its entire population of 270+ million people. Google, Roblox, and Riot Games are all attempting to comply with the laws to avoid being blocked, despite the blatant infringement on human rights and free expression which the laws represent.

In its latest fiscal report, Sony PlayStation announced plans to further ramp up PS5 production and frontload shipment ahead of the holidays in conjunction with expected improvements to the global supply chain this late summer and fall, which have already started to bear fruit per improved sales results for July. Sony is trying to avoid needing to reduce its projection of 18 million consoles sold by the end of the current fiscal year.

August 2: The biggest headline of Nintendo’s latest fiscal briefing was that Nintendo is not currently making any adjustments to its forecasts for the fiscal year, but they did directly state that production is behind schedule and meaningful improvements will be needed to match their forecasts. Conditions have already begun improving and are expected to improve further into the fall, but I’m unconvinced it’ll be enough for accomplishing exactly what any of the console publishers are hoping for. In the meantime, Nintendo has deployed an unusual tactic: reducing the size of base Switch packaging to increase the efficiency of console transport. For the April to June 2022 quarter and beginning of the new fiscal year, Switch family consoles went from 107.65 million total copies sold to 111.08 million, bringing it within spitting distance of surpassing the PS4 and Game Boy/Color’s totals. For software, this was overall a continued steady decline from the peak of 2020, but was still significantly ahead of 2017-2019’s respective first quarters.

Nintendo Switch Sports sold 4.84 million copies in its debut quarter, making it definitively a big hit for a modern casual game. Mario Strikers: Battle League sold 1.91 million copies in its debut quarter, meaning it has already completely outsold both of its predecessors in the Mario Strikers series, but it has also launched better than either Mario Tennis Aces or Mario Golf: Super Rush on Switch, making it the biggest Mario sports game launch ever. This has been significantly carried by overperformance in Europe thanks to the popularity of soccer and soccer games.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land sold 1.88 million further copies in its first full quarter, bringing its overall total to roughly 4.5 million copies sold, putting it well on track to outsell Kirby’s Dream Land and become the series’ overall best selling entry. Nintendo preferred to use a measurement method which classifies Forgotten Land as already the bestselling series entry. It also updated the public sales data on the series’ previous mainline Switch entry, Kirby Star Allies, putting it at 3.98 million copies total. What Star Allies needed more than four years to achieve, Forgotten Land has already surpassed in three months. Forgotten Land and Switch Sports are on track for strong legs through the rest of the fiscal year.

As the game’s regional co-publisher, Nintendo doesn’t have the complete sales data (global, physical + digital) for Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes, only Koei Tecmo does, and Koei has since officially announced on August 17th that game had now surpassed 1 million copies sold, several months faster than the original FEW, which released on both new 3DS and Switch. All of these games mentioned, plus of course the eternal Mario Kart 8 Deluxe boosted by its DLC release, are currently the only Switch million sellers known so far for the new fiscal year

Wonderscope and Team17 announced that the life sim Hokko Life will enter 1.0 on PC and launch for Switch, PS4, and Xbox One on September 27th 2022.

August 3rd: A new Pokémon Presents video aired, and it started with brief updates on Unite, Go, competitive events, Pokémon Masters, and Pokémon Cafe Remix, before proceeding to an extended segment on the upcoming start of Gen 9, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. This specific presentation’s Gen 9 contents were accurately described on 4chan the night before it premiered, and the contents of the game in general have extensively, accurately leaked this summer thanks primarily to an anonymous playtester out of Asia.

There was a dedicated third trailer followed by an explainer, in which Game Freak established the region’s name, Paldea, the core mechanic of traversing the large open world with the game’s Legendaries as rideable mounts, the main story framework of students attending an academy which participates in a grand treasure hunt, and the Terastal/Tera Type mechanic in which Pokemon crystallize to boost their power and occasionally activate a temporary new type. Any one Pokémon species has multiple possible Tera types, there are three total main storylines to explore in the game, not just the treasure hunt and traditional Pokémon League circuit, the four player co op from Sword and Shield has been revamped into real-time and outside of just raid battles, and of course, a few new Pokémon, including the regional alt type Wooper variant, were introduced.

Some misunderstood the trailer’s cinematic presentation, which included in-character narration, despite the following disclaimer: “Trailer doesn’t fully reflect gameplay experience. The onscreen text and voiceovers are not present in the game.” 

Elsewhere, THQ Nordic released a very brief teaser and major press release for AEW: Fight Forever, the debut pro wrestling game for one of the top current competitors in that world, All Elite Wrestling. The game’s publisher, logo/cover art (featuring current champions CM Punk and Jade Cargill, and veterans Chris Jericho, Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega, and Britt Baker) release platforms, and some major gameplay info were all first officially divulged here ahead of a promised full reveal at the following week’s THQ Nordic Showcase. After the cover art had already leaked ahead of the teaser, Xbox proceeded to accidentally leak said full Showcase trailer (which fully presented the updated graphics and gameplay) on the same day as the teaser’s official release, by mixing up their scheduling.

Fight Forever is a premium live service game for developer Yuke’s, director Geta Iwashita, and AEW to continue supporting over time instead of constantly making separate annual game releases, in deliberate stark contrast to the past release strategy of former Yuke’s partner, WWE. It will release for PS4/PS5, Xbox One/Xbox Series, Switch, and PC. A variety of modes and matches (single, tag team, three/fourway, ladder, battle royale, lights out/hardcore, exploding barbed wire) will feature at launch, including career mode complete with various customizations and online multiplayer with leaderboards. Arcade minigames are also included. Wrestler and AEW Gaming division executive Kenny Omega said as of June 2022 that the game will launch before the end of 2022, pushed back from a previous September ’22 target. Omega was who originally convinced AEW owner Tony Khan to open and fund a gaming division as part of his initial contract negotiations. The game appeared again at Gamescom for the first public footage of a complete unedited match and an extended Q&A.

August 4th: Reuters reported that Tencent, the Chinese publisher which is the de facto market leader in games software, is seeking to become Ubisoft’s single biggest shareholder, a massive purported expansion from its current 5% stake.

After its extensive leak in July, Tactics Ogre: Reborn was finally officially announced with a reveal trailer just weeks later, which confirmed previous details, that this is a remake of a remake for the strategy RPG series’ original entry, that it’s releasing on November 11th, while also newly revealing announcing Switch and PC as additional launch platforms alongside PS4 and PS5.

Brace Yourself Games made multiple new announcements for their NecroDancer rhythm action series, with both a new paid DLC expansion for the original Crypt and the reveal teaser of a brand new sequel, Rift of the NecroDancer. The Synchrony expansion adds three brand new playable characters, new items and enemies, mod support, and online multiplayer. On August 24th, the full trailer for Rift was released, featuring gameplay inspired by both Guitar Hero and Nintendo’s Rhythm Heaven. Finally on August 30th, Brace Yourself Games announced that it was the latest successful indie developer to open their own publishing label in order to better support burgeoning fellow developers. Their first titles will be published “soon.”

Presumably to eliminate US customers’ associations with the Koch brothers, the subsidiary Koch Media officially rebranded to the name Plaion, pronounced Play On, with an accompanying new logo. Plaion has for four years now been one of the ever larger group of companies owned by Swedish media holding company Embracer Group, but along with THQ nordic and Prime Matter, some of the publisher’s marketing is under the names of these major subsidiary divisions.

Public preview testing for the Xbox Game Pass Family Plan began in Colombia and Ireland. It’s currently unclear how amenable the Family Plan will be to the kinds of discounts on annual Game Pass that I use (buy a year of Xbox Gold and upgrade), but with enough users to pitch in, the monthly cost in Ireland (equivalent to $22USD) might be manageable.

August 5th: The Evolution Championship Series fighting game tournament, or EVO, returned from August 5th to August 7th 2022 for its first physical event since 2019 at the traditional Mandelay Bay, Nevada. The tradition of a variety of major fighting game announcements at EVO returned in full force as well, starting with Capcom revealing a new Arcade1Up specialty arcade cabinet rereleasing every single arcade Capcom/Marvel game. X-Men: Children of the Atom, X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes, Marvel Super Heroes In War of the Gems, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, and Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes. Eight classic games, many which have been long out of print, are all featured here, along with online multiplayer/WiFi connectivity support. Hopefully a console collection can happen sometime too.

Most of EVO 2022’s announcements were on Sunday, leaving the first two days to things like rollback netcode update announcements for several games: it shadowdropped for Persona 4 Arena Ultimax‘s PS4 and PC versions on August 5th, Samurai Shodown will see it arrive for all non-Switch platforms in Spring 2023, and Dragon Ball FighterZ will receive rollback support exclusively on PC and newly announced native PS5/Xbox S|X ports, which have no current release window. Also, King of Fighters 15 will receive full crossplay support in 2023 alongside additional DLC characters, and two more commentators for the SF6 real time commentary feature were announced. Sunday featured competitive finals and accompanying announcements from MultiVersus, SNK, Tekken, Guilty Gear Strive, and Street Fighter 6.

MultiVersus showed a preview ‘snapshot’ of its Season 1, which since began on August 15th, promising Rick, Morty, and more new characters, a 50 tier premium battle pass, a classic arcade mode, ranked mode in online multiplayer, and plenty of new premium cosmetics, to be delivered over the season’s run from August to November 15th. Morty Smith as a fighter and the new battle pass have since been already released so far, while DC Comics’ Egyptian antihero Black Adam, and Gremlins’ Gizmo the Mogwai and Stripe the Gremlin have separately been announced as upcoming fighters for the current season. On September 1st, a cinematic teaser announced that Gizmo will release on Thursday September 8th. Marvin the Martian, BeetleJuice, and the Wicked Witch of the West may also release this season.

Meanwhile, SNK unexpectedly announced that Fatal Fury 5 or Garou 2 is now in development, which is to say the first narrative sequel to the Fatal Fury trilogy since the 1999 cult classic Garou: Mark of the Wolves. Garou, following an older Terry Bogard and his protégé, ended on a cliffhanger followed by 20 years of false starts on a highly demanded sequel which has now seen new life. For Tekken 7, there is ultimately no fifth and final DLC season, but a final major version 5.0 rebalancing patch that would normally accompany the start of a new DLC season was announced, then released on August 17th. Instead, Bandai Namco dove straight into the marketing cycle of (what I can confirm is) Tekken 8, by debuting a teaser trailer which featured the iconic “Kazuya smiles after killing his father Heihachi” ending cutscene, then remade that cutscene’s ending shot in the upcoming game’s next-gen engine.

Lastly, Capcom with the upcoming Street Fighter 6, and Arc System Works with the start of DLC season 2 for their hit Guilty Gear Strive, delivered gifts to the ladies and LGBTQs and blew the doors down on EVO 2022’s final hours all at once with three major fighter reveals between them. Guilty Gear Strive got the final reveal of the whole weekend, as season 2’s first character Bridget debuted and then launched the very next day. With Bridget coming after Testament, Guilty Gear has now had two separate fan favorite characters return after long hiatuses and officially be revealed as trans all in this same year. Bridget’s story mode in Strive is specifically dedicated to her journey towards coming out as a trans woman, and although she’s not fighting games’ first trans woman (hi, Poison), this is still a joyous and momentous moment that the gaming and trans communities alike have largely embraced.

Capcom announced one newcomer, Kimberly, and one returning veteran, Juri, back to back in one big trailer. Kimberly had previously been teased in the gameplay reveal trailer, she’s the series’ first Black American woman, a bushinryu ninja and gymnast who wields spray paint smoke bombs and studied under series veteran Guy. Juri debuted in Street Fighter 4 and has now returned for both 5 and 6 as the overall most successful SF4 character. She’s a bisexual Korean villainess making her way in the world after the fall of her employer, M. Bison and Shadaloo, and so far she’s my main in my practice runs with Street Fighter 4, I love the reach and power of her kicks. Capcom Germany accidentally announced the reveals on Sunday morning instead of Sunday night alongside the trailer, but general consensus is that the trailer was too good for it to matter.

Also on that Sunday, Ars Technica reported that GameStop’s NFT marketplace was hosting and selling stolen indie games as ‘interactive NFTs’ without their creators’ consent. Some wanted profit sharing, others correctly want nothing to do with cryptocurrency at all. GameStop has done little to cooperate with the victims, and what was sold prior to the hosted seller’s suspension has allowed unauthorized copies of these games to continue circulation.

August 7th: As originally reported at Axios, a new, second labor complaint has been filed with the NLRB against Nintendo (and contractor agency Aston Carter) as of August 7th, accusing them of concerted efforts to interfere with and coerce towards worker activities such as union organization and the speaking out on working conditions at Nintendo of America, especially its Redmond, Washington HQ office, that has occurred throughout this year. As of August 11th, per a redacted direct copy of the complaint obtained at Kotaku, Nintendo has specifically been accused of firing an employee for speaking up about working conditions, and prohibiting private discussions between employees about said conditions. Kotaku would have its own extensive, exclusive report on problems at NOA later in August.

August 8th: As part of a larger fiscal report, Take-Two and Firaxis delayed Marvel’s Midnight Suns again from October 2022 to Spring 2023, explicitly committing to launching the game no later than the end of their current fiscal year on March 31st 2023. Or rather, the PC and next gen console versions of the game will launch by then, while the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch versions are all delayed further into the next fiscal year.

Khee Hoon Chan at Polygon wrote and published a major feature on current forgery charges within the retro games market.

We now have the first hard data on Netflix’s gaming audience numbers since it started offering video games on the service last year. Per CBC as the original public source, analytics company Apptopia has reported that Netflix games in total have been downloaded around 23 million times total, with an average daily playing audience of 1.7 million people, out of Netflix’s more than 200 million total subscribers. It’s not exactly spectacular numbers, though in confirming the data, Netflix claimed to be satisfied with the performance so far.

August 10th: A 30 minute dedicated Splatoon 3 Direct provided an overview of the game and answered just about all possible questions still lingering about what the sequel had to offer over its predecessor.

Returning and new multiplayer Turf War maps add up to 12 at launch with more of course to come post-launch. Every single past weapon returns alongside 3’s additions like the previously revealed bow and arrow (Stringer) and newly revealed splatana wiper, among others. Anarchy Battle is the new ranked competitive format that you earn your way into, with several different modes to choose from. The city hub’s multiplayer lobby has many features: a test range, ways to directly join and interact with your friends, battle replays, the locker room, for comparing customizable sets between players (Banners, badges, ‘splashtags’, emotes, clothes, and more are among the customizable cosmetic options, all with no microtransactions), the art mailbox, a concession stand with battle boosting items, the local multiplayer oriented Shoal, a photo mode, and recon mode for peaceful tours of the multiplayer arenas. Players with Splatoon 2 save data will gain a small bonus in Splatoon 3, with the biggest advantage being unlocking base Anarchy Battle automatically.

There’s a new strategic puzzle card game mode called TableTurf Battle, with at least 150 cards available, playable at a dojo in the hub. Co op horde mode Salmon Run Next Wave is officially confirmed to now be playable at any time, 24/7, after the limited availability of the mode in Splatoon 2 was criticized. The final boss salmonid from the February Direct trailer is revealed to only be one of the several possible timed final battles for the mode, which count purely as a survival based bonus and don’t affect a player’s score on the other three waves. Big Run is a new limited event variant of Salmon Run which features the salmonids attacking the main city hub itself instead of isolated levels. Story mode is only discussed briefly, but it’s shown to be incorporating more complex and varied level design like Octo Expansion, and it’s described as “the finale to the saga.” Early reviewers and players of leaked copies have praised the story mode as well. Compatibility for past amiibo, plus several new amiibo figures coming holiday 2022, are confirmed.

The main cycle of post-launch support will last for at least two years to match Splatoon 2, with regular free additions of additional cosmetics, new weapons, new stages, etc., plus “large-scale” paid DLC to be detailed in the future. The additional competitive modes of X Battle and League Battle are also coming in free post-launch updates. Finally, Splatfest is now hosted by the musical trio (a South Asian inkling, a could’ve-been-nonbinary octoling, and a Manta Ray) Deep Cut, who perform live inside the city hub in a more traditional festival style of music with international influences instead of the idol J-pop of the past, and they add a new twist to Splatfest battles: after the first round, the battle shifts from two teams to three in a chaotic 4v2v2 setup, creating a steeper challenge for the leading team. Also, Deep Cut’s news broadcasts can now be listened to remotely while doing other activities in the hub, instead of required viewing of a full cutscene. Lastly: the first Splatoon 3 Splatfest was announced as a free demo battle World Premiere which went all day on August 27th 2022, culminating in Rock’s decisive victory over Paper and Scissors, while the very first Splatoon 3 invitational tournament would occur on September 5th at PAX West. 

Sim game developer Frontier Developments, of Jurassic World Evolution, Planet Zoo/Coaster, etc., replaced David Braben as CEO with chief creative officer Jonny Watts. Braben remains as president and founder. Thunderful Group, parent company of Steamworld series developer Image&Form among others, also made several executive changes of its ow after reporting a loss for the year so far, including removing Brjann Sigurgeirsson as CEO.

August 11th: During the Kirby 30th anniversary concert, an August 17th launch date was announced for Kirby’s Dream Buffet, while a visually updated blu ray release was announced for the Kirby anime, currently only for Japan.

SNK delayed the release of Metal Slug Tactics to 2023.

Veteran producer Hiroyuki Kobayashi, best known for his contributions to Resident Evil and Devil May Cry, announced that he has left Capcom to join NetEase, like several other notable Japanese devs have done.

August 12th: THQ Nordic Showcase – The current survival horror revival continued with the announcement trailer of a next-gen exclusive remake of the original Alone in the Dark, written by Amnesia and Soma writer Mikael Hedberg. There is no current release window. The aforementioned full AEW Fight Forever trailer saw its official release here. A new gameplay trailer premiered for Destroy All Humans 2: Reprobed ahead of an August 30th launch. The first full trailer for the Gothic Remake premiered. Several original games, Space for Sale (sim game for interstellar property development), Tempest Rising (Command & Conquer style RTS, Wreckreation (cross-gen open world racer from founders of Burnout‘s Criterion), were all revealed. Way of the Hunter saw its final trailer before launch.

For already released games, there were new details for updates of: Jagged Alliance 3, The Valiant, Knights of Honor 2, Outcast 2, and Stuntfest. The presentation ended in three parts: first, the gameplay reveal for new 3D platformer Spongebob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake (which is set to release for Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC later this year), secondly, a very minor tease of a new South Park game, and lastly, a closing statement that there are still “25 more unannounced games from THQ Nordic.” And several of the major featured games games (Wreckreation, Alone in the Dark, AEW: FF) all saw accurate leaks prior to the event.

Avalanche and WB Games delayed the launch of their RPG Hogwarts Legacy from this holiday to February 10th 2023, and pushed the native Switch version’s release date even further to an indefinite 2023, though the specific date officially “will be revealed soon.”

Owlboy developer D-Pad Games released the reveal trailer for their next game, Vikings on Trampolines, ahead of a demo appearance at Gamescom.

August 14th: Amazon Japan unexpectedly listed a game which has previously only been rumored: The RPG Avatar: The Last Airbender – Quest for Balance, listed as launching on November 8th for Xbox One/Series, PS4/5, Switch, and PC, from Avatar Studios and publisher Game Mill. This was soon followed by descriptions of the game on Avatar news, months after it was first reported there earlier this year. The game will reportedly feature: recast actors of a more appropriate age and cultural background for the classic ATLA cast, including the two actors for Aang and Toph added to nickelodeon All Star Brawl this summer, a “BOTW-style cel shaded art style”, and multiple player characters in an anthology story set across the original series, with some Marvel’s What If elements to these vignettes. These alternate takes on the classic story will vary between being more comedic and dramatic.

August 15th: The first ever Disney and Marvel Games Showcase was announced for September’s D23 event, where updates will be provided on a variety of major games licensed from Disney Animation, Marvel, or Star Wars, with Marvel’s Midnight Suns, life sim Disney Dreamlight Valley, post-launch support for Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, and Amy Hennig/Skydance’s untitled Marvel game, are all already confirmed to make appearances. Usually I would stick to reporting the contents of a game news event after it premieres, and not just the announcement of the event by itself, but this felt worth noting as another significant step forward in Disney’s reinvestment in the games industry after closing Disney Infinity and Disney Interactive Studios in 2016.

Unity, still embroiled in internal and external controversy, chose (in a unanimous vote from the board of directors) to reject a merger offer from Applovin in favor of moving forward with the purchase of IronSource, as accepting the merger would’ve violated a term of the latter agreement.

An electrical fire was reported to have broken out at Nintendo’s Kyoto HQ office on the afternoon of August 15th. Some furniture was damaged, but no injuries were received before employees successfully put out the fire themselves.

August 16th: As aforementioned, Kotaku had a full exclusive new report by Sisi Jiang about working conditions at Nintendo of America, once again focused at the Redmond, Washington headquarter office and on the experiences of contractor playtesters, and this time zeroed in completely on the experiences of sexual harassment and other violence in a broadly unhealthy workplace culture.

Jiang spoke to ten different sources who have worked for Nintendo at various points in the past decade, across both the Wii U and Switch eras. The product testing department specifically has that all too familiar description of a frat house culture where cishet men vastly outnumber women and other groups, and take every advantage of that fact to act without regard for the feelings and boundaries of others. It’s not a healthy workplace for anyone, that’s already been established, but we know now who gets treated the worst and singled out, and that applies in every regard: behavioral, financial, managerial, etc. The patterns here are consistent with other notorious gaming workplaces of consistent severe gender discrimination. Nintendo’s contracting partners like Aston Carter, Aerotek, and Lotcheck clearly hold direct responsibility in these issues as well, but Nintendo’s role of at best severe negligence can’t and shouldn’t be disregarded.

Excess need for networking connections over relying on merit of performance applies to all sectors of capitalism, but it had disproportionate gender discriminatory effects on who does and doesn’t climb out of contracting and into full time employment at Nintendo. A former employee speaking under a pseudonym for her protection was earning less than a junior male contractor after she’d been at Nintendo for nine years, and even after her eventual hard-won raise, hers was still below his salary. Victims who report incidents and their marginalized colleagues feel the brunt of the consequences instead of the perpetrators, and management explicitly orders employees to not speak out.

Queer employees were targeted for their sexuality with both sexual harassment and managerial discrimination like unequal enforcement of a PDA policy against a sapphic couple. Chris Ollis was willing to put his name on testifying to how his colleagues and supervisors, specifically Eric Bush and Melvin Forrest, treated women unacceptably. Full-time employees abused their power over contractors to predatorily pursue and date them, making them feel they have to tolerate it or else suffer the consequences. One senior tester stalked his coworker for more than six months straight without consequences due to his connections in the company. He outright told her he would have her fired if she reported him.

In much less important news, Square Enix and Deck Nine finally released a new trailer with a new final release for the Switch port of the Remastered Collection for Life is Strange 1 and Before the Storm, here titled the Life is Strange: Arcadia Bay Collection. It will release on September 27th 2022. At this point I am unclear on the status of the Life is Strange 2 Switch port I’ve previously reported, but hopefully it will see the light of the day.

August 17th: The aforementioned massive media conglomerate Embracer Group abruptly released a series of press releases that evening, announcing nine more new corporate acquisitions adding up to an estimated cost of $787 million USD. Embracer Group has entered deals to purchase all of the following at once: Middle-Earth Enterprises from the Saul Zaentz Company, meaning that it will own the multimedia licensing rights to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, specialized indie/retro distributor Limited Run Games, the developers of Teardown and Maneater (Tuxedo Labs and Tripwire Interactive respectively), Embracer’s first Japanese studio Tatsujin, another retro company in Bitwave Games, Singtrix of “vocal processing effect technology”, Gioteck of gaming accessories, and a currently officially unspecified ninth company within PC and console gaming. Embracer Group also newly established its newest distinct operating group or department, Embracer Freemode, to contain these latest subsidiaries.

That’s all on top of already owning THQ and Deep Silver, Gearbox, Aspyr, Saber, and 3D Realms, Asmodee, Dark Horse Comics, Little Nightmares‘ Tarsier Studios, Goat Simulator‘s Coffee Stain, MMO developer Cryptic Studios, and of course, let’s not forget Crystal Dynamics and Eidos, and their dozens of IPs which include Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Legacy of Kain, Thief, and Marvel’s Avengers/Guardians of the Galaxy. Word is that Embracer is currently negotiating with Disney/Marvel to extend their collaboration on Marvel games beyond the two it’s already been approved to inherit. So obviously there’s been a lot of movement for Embracer this month already, and then you have another new LOTR game recently announced by Private Division and Weta Workshop, a non-WB Middle Earth Enterprises deal which Embracer will inherit.

The Middle-Earth Enterprises buyout is just about the final nail in the coffin for Warner Bros’ relationship with Lord of the Rings as well: doing anything new with the franchise will require paying for third party licensing, and I think we’ve all learned by now just how much of a ruthless lunatic cost-cutter spendthrift the new WBD president is.

Speaking of which, you might be wondering how David Zaslav as the president of Warner Bros Discovery has affected the WB Games division, months after the rumor that the incoming Discovery administration was exploring selling WB Games just as AT&T had attempted to. Well, there’s still not a lot that’s very definitively known, there’s mostly just more loose rumors. What we do have officially is that at the early August investors’ meeting, Zaslav described WB Games as a main pillar of the company alongside streaming and theatrical releases. The alleged behind the scenes story is that Discovery’s assessment of WB Games concluded with satisfaction at the department’s profit margin, even surprise at how successful it is, so sale exploration was called off and WB Games is being treated preferentially right now, with expected further investment for ‘growth potential.’ The outsized success of MultiVersus (more than 20 million players in the first month of open beta) has assuredly helped with this.

Going back to Embracer as a whole for just one more moment: Look, it’s nothing y’all here haven’t heard before. It’s not to the depth I’d prefer as the article’s already long enough. But I have to keep saying it anyway as the barest of minimums: monopolies are bad. Wide-scale multi-level vertical and horizontal integration is especially bad. End of story.

August 18th: To commemorate the beginning of the annual QuakeCon event, Bethesda newly rereleased or added several classic games from its back catalog to the Microsoft Store and/or PC Game Pass, those being: Elder Scrolls Arena and Daggerfall, Wolfenstein 3D, Quake Champions and Quake 4, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire, The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Battleguard, Heretic: Serpent Riders, Hexen: Beyond Heretic, and Hexen: Deathkings. Arkane’s upcoming Redfall also saw a new showcase during the event.

Nintendo announced and released Wave Race 64 for NSO EP as the service’s latest regular retro offering.

August 19th: Publisher 505 Games revealed that its PC release of the original Death Stranding (not Director’s Cut, which is also on PC) will be added to PC Game Pass on the 23rd, a highly unique moment that can be hard to wrap your heard around in this increasingly exclusive-polarized industry.

August 21st: Developer Ember Lab announced a major free Anniversary update for their debut game Kena: Bridge of Spirits, arriving on September 27th. It will primarily add New Game + mode which adds new phases to some boss fights, new gear, and spirit guide trials. The game will also join Steam after one year as an Epic store exclusive on PC.

August 22nd: The UK consumer rights advocacy group Competition Appeal Tribunal filed a class action lawsuit against Sony PlayStation on August 19th, for the 30% commission fee for PlayStation Store digital purchases.

Schreier issued an update on his KOTOR Remake difficulties report from last month, effectively confirming what had already been suspected after that report was followed by parent company Embracer Group officially announcing in its latest fiscal report that one of its AAA projects had changed developer hands. Saber Interactive has taken over as lead developer on the KOTOR Remake from Aspyr. The game’s new internal release target is 2024, though that is very optimistic at best; there is internal optimism that this transition will lead to a better final product.

Disgaea 7 was revealed for a January 2023 launch for PS4/5 and Switch in Japan, and its Western release date currently pending.

Microids delayed Flashback 2‘s launch from Winter 2022 into 2023.

August 23rd: With Geoff Keighley back as an organizer and host contracted by a larger organization and marketing team, Gamescom Opening Night Live began with a pair of cinematic reveal trailers, for the original IP Everywhere and the very not much entirely original Dune: Awakening. Awakening is an open world survival MMO developed and published by Funcom of Conan: Exiles, produced in conjunction with Legendary, the studio which produced 2021’s successful Dune: Part One film. Everywhere is an Unreal 5 open world game scheduled for a 2023 launch, it was first announced in 2017 and is directed by Leslie Benzies, who was a lead developer at Rockstar from Space Station Silicon Valley all the way to GTAV until parting on infamously bad terms.

Benzies claims the Houser brothers depended on him for the quality of their games up until abruptly and extensively shutting him out shortly after GTAV‘s launch. He spent three years mired in an unpaid royalties lawsuit with Rockstar which culminated in a confidential mutual settlement. The legal battle included a charge by Rockstar that Benzies’ development studio for Everywhere was deliberately leveraging an image of and association with Rockstar, leading to the studio changing its name from Royal Circus Games to Build a Rocket Boy. When Rockstar made vague “scurrilous allegations” to justify Benzies’ termination, he fired back by directly accusing Rockstar’s still-current president Sam Houser of “orchestrating and encouraging” the rampant sexually inappropriate workplace culture at the company which we reported on last month as something that was very, very real, albeit something the studio has since allegedly improved upon. Rockstar’s hands clearly aren’t clean in this matter, but I doubt Benzies’ are either.

A single first party PlayStation announcement did technically make it into the show after all, following those opening reveals with the DualSense Edge “ultra customizable” wireless controller. After that, The Callisto Protocol returned with another gameplay demo, now focused on the reveal of the enemy mutations mechanic, in which enemies can change abilities if they survive long enough. Two more fully new game reveals followed, the unexpected sequels The Lords of the Fallen by Hexworks, and Moving Out 2 by DevM Games and SMG Studio. The Lords of the Fallen began as Lords of the Fallen 2, first announced back in 2014 as a followup to one of the very first non-From entries in the soulslike action RPG genre. It changed developers several times, and is now currently scheduled to launch on Xbox Series S|X, PS5, and PC in 2023, while Moving Out 2 is scheduled to launch in 2023 for Switch, PC, PS4/5, and Xbox One/Series.

There was a new trailer for Hogwarts Legacy following the game’s recent delay, that’s all I’ll say about that. Surely there’ll be something easier to talk about next- ah fuck, it’s “friend of the podcast” Randy Pitchford himself. The guy that literally assaulted a voice actor? You needed to bring him out on stage for a game when he’s not even in the game dev division anymore? Great principles, Keighley. Anyway, after previously being announced this summer, this was the full formal reveal trailer for New Tales from the Borderlands, a narrative adventure game succeeding the acclaimed Telltale original following a new trio of player character after the events of Borderlands 3. Developed by Gearbox Quebec with some former Telltale devs onboard, it’s set to launch October 21st 2022 for PC, Switch, Xbox One/Series S|X, and PS4/5. After all that embarrassment, Techland announced the first DLC expansion for Dying Light 2, which will release on October 13th. In a roundabout way, this is not the last time we’d see Techland at this event. From the creators of Port Royale, the new strategy game Tortuga: A Pirate’s Tale was revealed for a TBA release on Xbox One/Series, PS4/5, and PC. A multiplayer first person looter shooter published by Team17, Marauders, was announced for an October 2022 early access release.

The next Destiny 2 expansion, Lightfall, was showcased for a February 2023 release. The annual dedicated Destiny 2 event was on the same day in conjunction with Gamescom and announced that the widely unpopular strategy of removing past story expansions from the game has now been officially ended. Meanwhile, Sega had the already leaked release date trailer for Sonic Frontiers, showcasing far more story details and announcing that the game will launch on all platforms on November 8th 2022. And there was another Summer Games Fest returnee after it, Goat Simulator 3, which had its gameplay reveal trailer announce that the game will launch on November 17th 2023 for PC (Epic Store timed exclusive), Xbox Series S|X, and PS5, while showcasing said new generation of goat-based havoc gameplay. And another longtime coming sequel was featured after it, with the launch date of Return to Monkey Island for PC and Switch announced as September 19th 2022. The game will see releases on other consoles down the line, but in the meantime, those who pre order it now will receive the spectacularly out of date joke bonus of horse armor.

Okay, I can’t avoid mentioning another piece of shit’s studio any longer, tried as I might. Keighley once again collaborated with Quantic Dream to reveal another new game, Under the Waves, coming in 2023 to PC, PS4/5, and Xbox One/Series. This is developed by Parallel Studios with publication handled by QD. Also, author Brandon Sanderson introduced his collaborative new game/IP from the developer of Subnautica, Moonbreaker, a turn-based strategy game with a tabletop figurine aesthetic (complete with minifig painting) in a sci fi universe, which will release in Early Access for PC on September 29th 2022. Another reveal was a competitive multiplayer first person shooter with card game elements starring furries, Friends vs Friends, coming to PC and consoles in the future. Then that steampunk Pinocchio soulslike got a new trailer, featuring gameplay footage and a 2023 launch window for PC, both gens of PS and Xbox, plus Day One Game Pass. Its hilariously overwrought title is Lies of P, but I have to say that Pinocchio soulslike to make sure you know what I mean. Gameplay actually looked pretty good though, I am admittedly intrigued now.

An actual astronaut currently in space appeared to promote the survival game Stranded: Alien Dawn, coming this October. Amusingly, after the sequel’s appearance earlier, the developer of the original Lords of the Fallen, Deck 13, also appeared at this event to reveal their own next game, Atlas Fallen. Coming in 2023 for next gen consoles and PC, it is a 3D action RPG, but it’s not another soulslike from them, it’s inspired more by the cinematic action of PlayStation’s Horizon and modern God of War. Blackbird and Gearbox’s RTS Homeworld 3 appeared with new gameplay footage ahead of a scheduled H1 2023 PC launch. Mihoyo brought more new trailers for both Genshin Impact and Honkai Star Rail, while Squanch Games’ High on Life debuted new extended boss fight gameplay footage. Only four months after its 1.0 launch on PC, the acclaimed Hardspace: Shipbreaker was announced to be releasing for Xbox Series S|X and PS5 on September 20th 2022.

Two different montages from different parts of the presentation were grouped here for the sake of my sanity. Warhammer 40K Darktide (November 30th 2022 – PC, Xbox Series S|X – “Soon”) , Vampire The Masquerade Bloodhunt (launched in April), GTFO (launched December ’21), and Metal Hellsinger (September 15th 2022 – PC/PS5/XSX|S), all of those were featured among others. The other was dedicated to Day One PC Game Pass releases, highlighting Midnight Fight Express, Mad Streets, Grid Legends, You Suck at Parking, Ubisoft’s Immortals: Fenyx Rising, Beacon Pines, Disney Dreamlight Valley, Immortality, High on Life, Slime Rancher 2, Tinykin, and upcoming first party games.

Returning from a different recent Keighley-fronted event was the narrative adventure game Telltale’s The Expanse, developed by Life is Strange’s Deck Nine and currently scheduled for a Summer 2023 launch. The gameplay reveal trailer with developer commentary discussed an interest in less passive gameplay for this genre, with zero gravity navigation sequences as the highlighted example. Yet another1 licensed asymmetrical multiplayer horror game was also revealed, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, for an Early 2023 launch on PS4/5, Xbox One/Series, and PC. Third person shooter Scars Above made a new appearance with a new 2023 release window. The new studio Something Wicked Games, staffed with veterans from Bethesda and Obsidian, announced their ambitious new open world RPG, Wyrdsong. The game is very early in production, but it promises to explore horror elements, Portuguese cultural influences, and an unreliable narrator in its unique dark fantasy setting.

Xbox and Relic announced the free first anniversary update for Age of Empires 4, adding two additional civilizations, Malians and Ottomans, on October 25th 2022. A Gamescom Goes Green initiative was promoted. The latest in a long line of trailers for Gotham Knights announced that the game’s launch date has moved up by a week to October 21st, while newly revealing additional classic villains within the story, like Harley Quinn, Clayface, and Mister Freeze. A Chinese open world action RPG based on the Northern Song Dynasty, Where Winds Meet by Everstone and published by NetEase, was revealed for a beta test on PC this year. Longtime friend-of-Keighley Hideo Kojima appeared with still no real updates on either of his games in development at Xbox and PlayStation respectively, just the announcement of a Spotify exclusive podcast premiering on September 8th. That and a…Pokémon car, from the makers of the Mini Cooper, made for quite a particularly stupid section of the event. But back to real game news. There was another new cinematic trailer for theme park sim Park Beyond from Limbic Entertainment and Bandai Namco, which is scheduled to launch in 2023 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S|X.

A new trailer for developer Parasight and publisher Focus Entertainment’s Blacktail, a first person action RPG about the player shaping their own path as a burgeoning witch, good or evil, announced it will launch in Winter 2022 for PC and next gen consoles. A stylized melee action game about a mother and daughter, Phantom Hellcat was revealed by developer Ironbird Creations for PC, PS4/5, and Xbox One/Series S|X. Xbox and Smilegate revealed and shadowdrop released the new free CrossfireX update, Babylon, featuring new multiplayer maps, weapons, improved matchmaking, and other gameplay adjustments. Acclaimed city builder Dorfromantik was announced to be releasing for Switch on September 29th after its 1.0 launch for PC back in April. Multiplayer horror spinoff The Outlast Trials saw a new trailer with gameplay footage and a Closed Beta announcement for October 28th to November 1st. The new shooter The Finals, from new studio Embark and its ex-DICE/Battlefield developers, received the briefest of teaser trailers ahead of a full reveal in September.

After leaking earlier in the month and previously before that, Dead Island 2 did against all odds reappear as Gamescom’s closing reveal after many years of hiatus and multiple developer switches since it began development a decade ago in 2012. With both a cinematic trailer and a gameplay reveal trailer back to back, Embracer Group and Dambuster Studios announced that the more multiplayer arcade action focused open world sequel is scheduled to launch on February 3rd 2023 for PC, Xbox One/Series, PS4/5, and…Stadia.

As is tradition, GamesRadar’s Future Games show had an installment as part of the rest of the Gamescom event. You can see everything it featured here, but some highlights include: the opening announcement, the reveal of the cinematic narrative adventure game The Gap, coming to PC, PS5, and Series X|S, the gameplay reveal for Bloober’s Layers of Fears, appearances by The Last Case of Benedict Fox and System Shock Remake, a deeper look at Phantom Hellcat, and the survival folk horror game The Chant, coming november 3rd to PS5, Xbox, and PC.

August 24th: Indonesian indie developers Toge and Mojiken announced that they need to indefinitely delay their adventure game A Space for the Unbound due to terminating their contract with co-publisher PQube Games, who was going to distribute the game in Western regions. The developers charge PQube with deceptive, manipulative, and exploitative actions towards them surrounding PQube’s management of a diversity initiative fund from a console publisher. I should note that this doesn’t affect Toge’s other current game Coffee Talk Episode 2, as it is under a different co-publisher and deal. By September 1st, developer Corecell Team privately reached out to Toge and Mojiken in solidarity, and publicly added to the increasing chorus against PQube by saying that the publisher put them in financial straits by deliberately withholding payments owed.

Obsidian updated the release window of Josh Sawyer and co.’s experimental RPG Pentiment from just November 2022 to November 15th.

A third entry in the Voice of Cards RPG series by Yoko Taro, Voice of Cards: The Beasts of Burden, saw official art leak ahead of the game’s reveal. Square Enix ultimately announced the game on September 1st for a September 13th launch.

August 25th: Sony made the (now highly controversial) decision to announce a price hike for the PS5 console in most regions as a response to inflation and other economic difficulties. Countries and regions Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, Australia, and Asia including Japan are all seeing price hikes, while the US as PlayStation’s most core market in recent years will see no price increase. The price hike is for the most part consistently roughly proportional to an around $50 increase, though it is even steeper for some regions. It’s not actually the first time something like this has happened in the modern gaming era, but it’s easily the most visible and all-encompassing example of it, and it’s difficult for it to not feel pointed in a time when the next gen consoles have still failed to reach many of their prospective buyers for other accessibility reasons. In Japan and Australia, Sony did also just debut (the start of a staggered global rollout) its second silent revision of the PS5, further reducing the console’s total weight without reducing its size.

Another Treehouse Live gameplay presentation aired for Splatoon 3 and Square Enix’s Harvestella, after Nintendo had already debuted a newly constructed set for the Live a Live Treehouse show earlier in the year. Shock of all shocks that they used it again even with their redesigned marketing plans.

Seven months after FromSoft removed multiplayer for the Dark Souls series on PC in order to begin a process of fixing a major security vulnerability, Dark Souls 3 PC multiplayer has now been officially restored with DS1 and DS2 on the way.

August 26th: Hot on the heels of its massive series of other acquisitions earlier this month, Embracer Group announced that it has completed the acquisition of Crystal Dynamics, Eidos, and their respective game properties.

Indie dev and publisher TinyBuild, best known for Hello eighbor, announced that it has completed the $3 million USD purchase of development rights for I Am Bread, its sequel I Am Fish, and Surgeon Simulator. Those games’ original developer Bossa Studios see this as an opportunity to continue supporting the audiences of these two popular series while they pursue a different direction.

Developer Iggymob and publisher Prime Matter announced that their action game Gungrave GORE will launch on November 22nd for PS4/5, Xbox One/Series, and PC.

Action strategy spinoff Minecraft Legends saw its second major trailer as a stand-alone online release, focused on the game’s story of fending off destructive, greedy invasion, with some accompanying new gameplay footage.

After shadowdrop releasing the first two entries via the Nonary Games Collection back in March, Spike Chunsoft announced that the series’ third and final entry, Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma, will release for Xbox One (backwards compatible to Series S|X) on August 30th.

August 29th: Sony announced that it has acquired mobile developer Savage Game Studios in conjunction with plans for a broader, major investment into mobile gaming. Savage Studios will be part of a newly formed PlayStation Studios Mobile Division, which will focus on building new games in both original and established PlayStation series, nintendo style. Savage is working on an “unannounced AAA mobile live service action game” as its debut title, a game which was previously described as a shooter when they first began development and sought seed funding. Just like PS’ moves further into PC gaming and multimedia IP, this is primarily motivated by a need to maximize the available funds for the massive budgets on most first party games at this point.

Acclaimed indie dev Drinkbox announced that they will release a new major expansion for their latest game, obody Saves the World, on September 13th. The Frozen Hearth DLC will feature two new characters and playable minigolf among other things.

In an interview, developer Hangar13’s general manager Roma Hladik casually confirmed what had been reported earlier this year, that the next Mafia game is currently in early development.

August 30th: The Bear and Breakfast Switch version’s release date was newly announced as September 15th 2022.

August 31st: Infamous narrative adventure developer Quantic Dream announced that it has been acquired by the Chinese tech and games corp NetEase. In terms of its own games, NetEase is best known for Naraka: Bladepoint, but it also has an extensive partnership with Blizzard for managing the Chinese releases of their games. NetEase is second behind Tencent for Chinese game publishers and is in the top ten for games companies overall, and its business strategy largely mirrors Tencent with gradual investments in various Western studios alongside managing Chinese distribution of major Western games. Quantic Dream joins the aforementioned Grasshopper Manufacture and Nagoshi Studio as full NetEase subsidiary developers for console games, although Quantic Dream will continue to publish both its own games and those of third party partners.

For this headline, I’ve restricted myself from the usual sources cited and instead simply used Wikipedia in protest of how uncritical coverage of this acquisition news has been in major games press. Quantic Dream’s leadership, known abusers and abetters of abuse, are quoted generously without further comment, and some publications’ writers even did discuss the studio’s court cases, but only to mention a lawsuit that QD won and claim its exoneration, with no acknowledgment of the multiple court cases it lost against its victims and the publications which actually helped those victims, unlike my colleagues.

Sony and Tencent (Tencent subsidiary Sixjoy Hong Kong, to be precise) have purchased minority stake investments into Dark Souls developer From Software, making Tencent its second largest stakeholder and Sony its third largest after parent company Kadokawa FromSoft has its own history as an unhealthy workplace which should be more honestly and seriously engaged with by both the company itself and my game press colleagues.

Jet Set Radio spiritual successor Bomb Rush Cyberfunk had its launch delayed to Summer 2023 for additional polish.

Sons of the Forest‘s launch has been delayed again for further polish from October 2022 to February 23rd 2023.

The release date for Ubisoft’s subscription service ‘educational’ guitar rhythm game Rocksmith Plus was updated to September 6th.

September 1st: As the game had already extensively, repeatedly leaked, the still rampantly abusive and volatile Ubisoft went ahead and officially announced Assassins Creed: Mirage (formerly known here as Project Rift) ahead of its likely intended debut in the Ubisoft Forward presentation on September 10th. Mirage began as a DLC for Valhalla starring supporting character Basim as he returns to his home of Baghdad, but it’s now the series’ next full standalone game and is currently set to launch in Spring 2023. It’s envisioned as a stealth-oriented back to basics entry.

The latest dev update video for Halo Infinite arrived and none of what it had to offer was good news. The full release of (online) campaign co op has been delayed again to November 2022 as part of an extended season 2. The extended season 2, stretching from November to March, will also feature the beta test for Forge mode, plus mission replay and two new multiplayer maps. Thus season 3 with additional multiplayer content and Forge mode has been delayed to not start until March. And local/split screen campaign co op support has been entirely killed.

Ahead of Tokyo Games Show 2022 in mid-September, Gematsu has leaked the big news from developer Treasure that had been teased earlier this year: Treasure will have some project based on their acclaimed shootemup Radiant Silvergun, which originally launched in 1998 but didn’t see international release until 2011.

September 2nd: The Switch port of Ark: Ultimate Survivor Edition, a XIII-esque reoptimized rebuild + complete edition of Ark: Survival Evolved ahead of Ark 2‘s launch next year, has delayed its launch (as a free upgrade for existing owners + digital retail release) to October 25th.

September 3rd: The social media for the Japanese indie studio Miracle Kidz announced the passing of their President Mitsuhiro Yoshida on August 30th, who was best known as an original key creative leader on 80s classics like Kunio-kun/River City Ransom and Double Dragon. Miracle Kidz works on modern entries in the ongoing River City Ransom series.

September is expected to be another very busy time for the games industry, so forgive me if I right now take a little longer to rest than usual before jumping back into the fray. I’ll see y’all again soon both in and out of the news roundup space.

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