Game News Roundup: September 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

September 7th: Jim Ryan fired back at Phil Spencer over the “inadequacy” of the previous proposal regarding keeping Activision Blizzard King’s Call of Duty on PlayStation, revealing that the offer from Xbox is only a three year extension to 2027, and saying that he wouldn’t normally bring a private business discussion into the open like this if Spencer hadn’t done so first in such a self-serving manner.

Not long before the official reveal, the third new Overwatch 2 hero leaked to the public, an embarrassing Japanese gamer girl stereotype in Support class named Kiriko, whose signature teleport ability also basically undermines one of Tracer’s signature abilities as well. The leak also reveals that future playable characters for the game, starting with Kiriko, are paywalled behind premium battle passes. It’s one thing to do that in any given free to play game, it’s entirely another thing to do it after Overwatch as a game had already conditioned its players to expect they all receive the same new heroes at the same time for free for four straight years of post-launch support. Especially when they’re also trying to see if they can get away with $45 individual cosmetics, and for any brand new players only starting after Overwatch 2‘s launch, it’s now confirmed that significant grinding will be needed to unlock the full roster of past characters. Ahead of the PVP half of the game finally fully launching on October 4th 2022, another hit to the game’s image arrived when PC Gamer reported on September 20th that the series’ lead hero designer Geoff Goodman, left Blizzard earlier this year, which ABK quickly confirmed.

September 15th: A Call of Duty Next event aired, focused entirely on Warzone 2.0 and Modern Warfare II ahead of their launches this fall. Details on Modern Warfare II multiplayer were provided, with the Loadout 2.0 system, and most notably the start of a closed preorder-based beta test, first for PlayStation on September 16th, then Xbox and PC on September 22nd. The presentation focused on Warzone 2.0, a free to play battle royale shooter which will fully replace its predecessor, as it will soon be delisted just like the original Overwatch is getting delisted. Warzone 2.0 was announced to be launching November 16th 2022 for PC, PS4/5, and Xbox One/Series S|X. Warzone 2.0 and Modern Warfare II will interact much like their predecessors did three years ago, including cross-progression.

September 19th: Diablo 4‘s new closed beta test on all platforms was confirmed for a November window, with an open test following in early 2023.

September 28th: Senior ABK QA tester Amber La Macchia spoke at the US Department of Labor’s Workers’ Voice Summit about the gaming industry’s crunch crisis.

September 29th: The release date for the Dragonflight expansion of World of Warcraft was announced as November 29th.

September 30th: Microsoft filed with the EU’s European Commission on the proposed ABK acquisition, which set a November 8th provisional deadline for the first phase of the buyout’s review, at which the Commission will either approve, or move to a phase 2 investigation just as the UK’s CMA review body did earlier in September. Jim Ryan flew to EU headquarters earlier in the month to discuss his concerns about the buyout.

October 2nd: ABK’s Chief Compliance Officer Frances Townsend, an infamous executive wrapped up in the battle by employees to improve the ABK workplace since last summer, and a former George W. Bush administration member, was announced to have stepped down from her position by an internal email by Bobby Kotick, which Bloomberg then reported. Townsend will remain an adviser to the ABK Board and to Kotick as CEO.

Everything Else

September 3rd: Kotaku senior editor Mike Fahey was disclosed to have tragically passed away at the age of 49 by his partner Eugene Abbot on social media. I didn’t know Fahey, I fully defer to his longtime colleagues and the beautiful obituaries they’ve written.

September 6th: After first being reported in August, Tencent and Ubisoft officially announced their deal: By buying a 49.9% stake in Guillemot Brothers Limited for roughly $300 million USD (almost double what the shares were worth) on top of the previous direct 4.5% of Ubisoft stock, Tencent now officially owns more of Ubisoft than its founding family, providing additional backing and stability to the troubled publisher while still taking minimal leadership control away from the Guillemot family.

A new PlayStation blog post announced a new entry in the Firewall series and new PSVR2 exclusive: Firewall Ultra, a live service multiplayer FPS.

Sony executive and multigenerational PlayStation hardware designer Masayuki Ito announced that he would resign from PlayStation and retire on October 1st 2022.

The sole DLC story expansion to Cyberpunk 2077 was formally announced and detailed as Phantom Liberty via a new teaser trailer. Phantom Liberty will feature a “spy-thriller” story in a new district of Night City, the return of Keanu Reeves as Johnny Silverhand, and will launch in 2023 exclusively for the PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S|X versions of the RPG. The final update to reach the previous gen versions of the game, patch 1.6 or Edgerunners update, was released the same day as the presentation and trailer.

September 7th: The NIS America showcase premiered with four main game announcements: confirming the Western release of the Vanillaware remaster GrimGrimoire Oncemore, which will arrive in 2023 for Switch, PS4, and PS5, and revealing for Switch and PlayStation Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook, Process of Elimination, and Void Terrarium 2.

Games Done Quick LLC announced that they were officially cancelling the physical event for AGDQ 2023 and returning to a digital-only event for this coming January. They chose to actively dissolve a contract already in place and lose significant money in order to be able to do so, as the contract was with a venue in Florida and the event’s organizers are unwilling to continue supporting the Florida government due to its COVID policies and targeting of the LGBTQ community.

Asher Vollmer’s indie studio Vodeo Games made history last December by becoming the first officially recognized video game union in North America ahead of much larger studios like Raven Software at ABK and Keywords. Vodeo Games has now sadly announced that they will close their doors shortly as they were unable to secure further investment and have run out of money, before their first collective bargaining negotiations with the union could be completed. Vodeo’s one and now only game, Beast Breaker, will release on Steam in 2022 before the studio closes, after previously releasing on Switch and the Epic Store.

Another major trailer for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet premiered, officially clarifying the three main narrative paths while also revealing the Auto Battle mechanic. Auto Battle allows players to continue exploring the world while their party independently engages in battles. The Pokémon League, the villain team, and the lore/legendaries via the treasure hunt are officially the three storylines. These are variations of the same typical past stories for the series, yes, but they now progress fully independently of each other. A player should now be able to take one storyline all the way through to the end without necessarily interacting with the other two, instead of the strict intersecting order of events for past games.

September 8th: In a new lawsuit filed by Miguel Licea in California, GameStop was accused of wiretapping customers via their customer support service and sharing the transcripts with a third party company specialized in personal data harvesting, without receiving the consent of those customers. All of this is regrettably business as usual in our modern life, but by not notifying customers that those conversations were being recorded as is standard practice, GameStop risked violating the California Invasion of Privacy Act, and California’s stricter laws on data harvesting.

A new Kotaku report alleged abusive behavior from the CEO of G Fuel after he was fired.

Xbox announced and previewed a forthcoming major UI update for the Xbox Series S|X consoles, testing with some players this fall ahead of a full release in 2023.

September 9th: Also on this date, indie publisher Rogue Games, known for Fisti-Fluffs and the upcoming The Last Case of Benedict Fox, announced that they are moving to a four day work week.

Disney and Marvel Games Showcase

The presentation opened with the reveal of Tron Identity coming to PC in 2023 from Mike Bithell and Bithell Games. Tron Identity is a visual novel and puzzle game building off Bithell’s previous works like Thomas Was Alone, and is the first game in the Tron franchise since 2010’s Tron: Evolution, a tie-in to that year’s Tron Legacy film. Then there was another brand new reveal, the Nintendo Switch exclusive Disney Illusion Island, a sidescrolling 2D platformer with local and online co op, developed by Dlala of Battletoads 2020. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy are all playable in the game’s island setting, and it’s scheduled to launch in 2023. Goofy said TBD a lot. The updated gameplay re-reveal trailer for Marvel’s Midnight Suns finally debuted next, showing off the more cinematic presentation and polish implemented after the original gameplay reveal last year was criticized, and also showing the first footage of the social link gameplay elements. The game was announced to be launching on December 2nd 2022 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S|X. As previously reported, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch versions are currently still in development for a 2023 release. There was also a brief preview of a series of animated shorts tying into the game, which fully premiere on October 31st.

Several mobile game announcements were in the show: the addition of Red Hulk on September 13th to Marvel Strike Force, the launch of the card game Marvel Snap on October 18th, a villains themed Halloween event for the crossover action RPG Disney Mirrorverse, and a showcase of Avatar: Reckoning, a mobile MMORPG shooter based on James Cameron’s Avatar and featuring a custom player character, which is ‘coming soon’ in 2023. The premium game from that franchise, Ubisoft and Massive’s Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, was also given a dedicated highlight slot in the video, but it was just brief preview footage with a narrated recap of basic details about the game. Similarly, many more upcoming major games, including Kingdom Hearts 4, Star Wars: Eclipse, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, were included in the show via brief montage snippets of recycled footage without any actual news from or sections on them. Summer Game Fest reveal Aliens: Dark Descent saw the reveal of its tactical shooter gameplay from developer Tindalos, with no update to its general 2023 launch window.

The rest of Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga‘s post-launch DLC were revealed, six packs adding up to 30 more new playable characters, with Cassian Andor, Reva, and Captain Rex highlighted. The DLC will be available both individually and via the Galactic Edition bundle on November 1st 2022. The digital-only Galactic Edition features the base game, the first wave of DLC, and the new wave of DLC. Shortly ahead of its September 19th launch, Return to Monkey Island made one last appearance which featured the new Scrapbook mechanic for discussing events of past games. The next entry in the Disney Classic Games emulated rerelease series (after Lion King, Aladdin, and The Jungle Book) was announced as Gargoyles Remastered, based on the Genesis platformer, with no further details at this time. Free to play kart racer Disney Speedstorm saw both a new cinematic trailer and gameplay footage, showcasing new Monster’s Inc. course and playable character additions. For the free to play life sim Disney Dreamlight Valley, a new Toy Story update was announced to be releasing later this fall, featuring a Toy Story world complete with a miniaturized player character, new clothes and Buzz and Woody as interactive characters.

The two final reveals were Amy Hennig and Skydance’s Marvel Game, and Marvel:World of Heroes, another Pokémon Go alike from Niantic, coming in 2023. The Skydance game is still untitled with no release window, and the trailer was just a concept teaser, showing the four playable characters and the setting. Captain America, Black Panther, Howling Commando Gabriel Jones, and Wakandan spy Nanali will journey through Paris, France and Wakanda to battle Hydra during World War II. Ahead of the Showcase’s premiere, info about the game was accurately leaked online by an anonymous individual and then backed by Eurogamer. Henning and Marc Bernardin then discussed the game in slightly further detail later during D23.

September 10th: Ubisoft Forward

The presentation opened with extended Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope gameplay footage, including a full boss fight, ending with a tease of the game’s DLCs, with the big reveal that, after the first game’s story expansion centered on Donkey Kong, this DLC will feature Rayman himself, playable for the first time since Rayman Legends 9 years ago. Skull and Bones appeared with new gameplay footage, and confirmation of both crossplay support confirmed and the option to just turn off PVP entirely in favor of only co op multiplayer. By the end of the month on September 28th, Ubisoft announced that Skull and Bones‘ launch was delayed from November to March 9th 2023. The Riders’ Republic Season 4 update was announced with a September 14th release date. The next two seasons of DLC for The Division 2, Seasons 10 and 11, were both announced: the former was coming soon with new difficulty modes and QOL features, while 11 is a story expansion leading into a full fifth year of support for the game.

Two different mobile Division games and a mobile Rainbow Six game were all discussed. Netflix Gaming appeared as a partner, announcing that they are adding Ubisoft’s Valiant Hearts 2, Mighty Quest 2, and a mobile Assassin’s Creed game to the service, plus briefly discussing the upcoming Netflix AC animated series. The first Mythic Quest season 3 trailer, now with 100% less F. Murray Abraham, premiered. Then there was a brand new reveal, a racer called Trackmania, coming in Early 2023 to PS4/5, Xbox One/Series, and Stadia (LOL) /Luna streaming, with full crossplay for all release platforms. Rocksmith + appeared on the heels of it launch earlier that week, still conveniently not mentioning the limits of the ‘education’ its expensive subscription service offers. Just Dance 2023 was revealed as a promised series overhaul, showing off a new UI and online multiplayer support ahead of a November 22, 2022 launch.

The event’s closing segment was of course all about the blockbuster Assassin’s Creed franchise, as previously teased. The first trailer premiered for the previously reported Valhalla spinoff Assassin’s Creed Mirage, with only a 2023 release window, but also Shohreh Aghdashloo in the voice cast. A documentary short film for the series’ 15th anniversary was announced and released. The final DLC for AC Valhalla, The Last Chapter, was revealed, a free story expansion concluding the story and post-launch support for the game, scheduled to release by the end of 2022. I wonder if Last Chapter is free because of the decision to change the game’s other final expansion into the premium retail release Mirage. Various multimedia ephemera like a concert and podcast, and a new mobile game (AC Codename Jade) set in China, were all discussed, before at last the big reveal of the mainline series’ future over the next several years and entries, albeit all in pretty vague terms.

Assassin’s Creed Codename Red, developed by Ubisoft Quebec, and Assassin’s Creed Codename Hexe (both working titles, obviously), developed by Clint Hocking and Ubisoft Montreal, are the next two premium flagship entries in the series, announced with only the vaguest of concept teasers and no release windows, though obviously well after 2023 and Mirage. Codename Red will bring the series to the long-requested feudal Japan setting, while Codename Hexe‘s setting isn’t officially announced, but it is said to have a different gameplay focus as not an RPG. Lastly, Assassin’s Creed Infinity was revealed (confirmed after recent leaks) as not a game unto itself, but a digital launcher hub hosting, and allowing for more seamless transition between, both past and future entries in the franchise, built into the individual retail releases. It’s planned to launch alongside Codename Red on PC, PS5 and Xbox Series S|X, and receive regular live updates from there to enhance interactivity between series entries.

September 12th: As the developer continues to struggle with supporting Halo Infinite post-launch, 343 Industries saw two more high profile departures within days of each other (after Jerry Hook previously left in May), cofounder and studio head Bonnie Ross, and tech/engine director David Berger, whose departure is presently reported with sourcing but officially unconfirmed. Ross was planning to stay on at 343 until the release of the game’s Winter Update, currently scheduled for November 2022, but she chose to leave early to attend to a family medical emergency. Production head Pierre Hintze will replace Ross as studio director, with several other leads shuffling their roles in turn.

Splatoon 3‘s long awaited launch broke records in Japan, when it sold roughly 3.5 million copies sold (physical and digital) just in that country in the first three days of sale, as officially confirmed by Nintendo. These records aren’t just for Switch games, but for any game’s launch in Japan; the previous recordholder was Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and before that, Pokémon Black and White a decade prior.

September 13th: A very eventful day for the industry, as two of the three hardware producers held major news events, the Fall 2022 Nintendo Direct and a PlayStation State of Play.

Fall Nintendo Direct

The first full Direct in seven months opened with the reveal of Fire Emblem Engage, the next mainline entry in the series, which will launch on January 20th 2023. Engage stars the custom player character Alear, a divine dragon awoken from a thousand year slumber in the continent of Elyos to fend off the dark Fell Dragon that was also sealed away for generations. Alear’s signature ability is use of the magical Emblem Rings, which summon many of the series’ legendary past heroes to aid them in battle, with Marth being the trailer’s emphasis, but Sigurd, Lyn, and Byleth also shown among others. Marth being visible in the game’s cutscenes intrigues me for the possibilities of the classic heroes’ narrative role. Engage features a fully explorable 3D central hub like Three Houses‘ monastery, which is briefly visible in this debut trailer. But according to my sources, to address criticisms of the monastery, this hub travels with the player across the world map as a flying castle, and more of the world map will be fully explorable as well. Gameplay footage in the trailer shows a refined UI, updated graphics and combat animations, and the ability to more fully customize the clothing of your party members.

Details and images of the game extensively and accurately leaked throughout 2022 ahead of this reveal, including by my own Patreon-exclusive reporting. The game was originally intended for a 2020-2021 release window in conjunction with the strategy RPG series’ 30th anniversary season, but it was delayed twice, first by COVID’s impact on development, then by overall first party schedule rearrangements. For management of this series in particular, two priorities in those rearrangements were 1. the plan to ensure that Engage‘s DLC had already completed development before the base game’s launch so that the post-launch window would be shorter than that of Three Houses, 2. short-term annualization of the series, with a spinoff (Three Hopes), and two mainline games, Engage and a remake of the SNES entry Genealogy of the Holy War respectively, each releasing in consecutive calendar years. FE4 Remake was described as similarly advancing in graphical quality from Three Houses but with a different “more mature” artstyle compared to Engage, while the priority for Engage was gameplay ambitions and the original anniversary theming reflected in the classic hero summons.

Something we don’t have official confirmation on yet is the reported developer makeup for Engage: it was alleged that it was a co-production between Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo, and KT subsidiary developer Gust (of Atelier Ryza), with the same setup as Three Houses of IntSys only managing story development and supervision while KT handles programming and design, while IntSys would be doing the FE4 Remake fully in-house. So far only IntSys has been credited for Engage by Nintendo.

The first batch of third party headlines announced the Switch port of EA and Hazelight’s GOTY winning It Takes Two, which releases November 4th 2022 with full local and online co op support, and which leaked ahead of reveal from the same source that leaked Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse. This previously Wii-exclusive, Japan-exclusive fourth entry in the survival horror series sees worldwide multiplat launch in Early 2023. Keisuke Kikuchi confirmed that the 2021 rerelease of Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water succeeded in sales performance and partially led to the greenlight of a second remaster for the series. The second wave of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 DLC was revealed with an October 13th release date. Square Enix and Forever Entertainment’s Switch exclusive remakes of the early entries in the strategy RPG series Front Mission returned from the February Direct for new details. Front Mission 1st: Remake was announced to be launching in November 2022, with its first gameplay footage shown, Front Mission 2 Remake will launch in 2023, and a Front Mission 3 Remake was newly revealed.

The second Splatfest for Splatoon 3 was announced to take place in late September with another threeway theme. Marvelous-Xseed revealed that the next entry in its acclaimed farm game series will be a remake of the series’ beloved Gamecube release, Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life, which will launch in Summer 2023. The game is currently only confirmed for a Switch release despite the original also being ported to PS2. The game will feature more than 70 new random life events, will add the series’ first black love interest to the now standard suite of bisexual romance options, and for the first time provide the option for the player character to not just be a man or woman, but also nonbinary as well. Marvelous-Xseed also announced a new Rune Factory game or series is in development alongside revealing Rune Factory 3 Special, a new remaster of the DS entry in the Story of Seasons dungeon crawling spinoff, set to launch for Switch in Spring 2023. 3 Special will include enhanced visuals, a new difficulty mode option, and fully voiced new story materials for all of the game’s love interests.

Square Enix and Team Asano revealed Octopath Traveler II for a February 23rd 2023 launch on Switch, PS4/5, and PC. This is the third 2D-HD game to release in a twelve month period, after Triangle Strategy and Live a Live Remake, and it features a new octet of player characters separate from the original’s, who will have more interactions with each other. I find it very funny that the original Octopath still hasn’t arrived on PlayStation, but the sequel will be there Day One while skipping the Xbox. Square also announced a brand new entry in their Final Fantasy rhythm action spinoff series, Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line, releasing exclusively for Switch on February 16th 2023. The game will receive a variety of extra music DLC from not only Final Fantasy, but also Nier, Octopath Traveler, Live a Live, and more.

A Switch exclusive indie farm game, Fae Farm, was revealed for a Spring 2023 launch, featuring Crystal Chronicles style co op multiplayer. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope saw a brief check in after its major appearance at the Ubisoft Forward days earlier. Before the end of the month, Sparks of Hope was officially confirmed to have gone gold, a full final main trailer was released, and two important tidbits were revealed: unlike the original, there is no multiplayer mode whatsoever, neither co op nor versus, so that the developers could focus all resources on the core story mode experience, and also the game thankfully doesn’t require a Ubisoft Connect account.

A new roadmap was revealed for 2022 and 2023’s ongoing monthly additions of N64 games for the Expansion Pack tier of Nintendo Switch Online, featuring Pilotwings 64 in its first rerelease ever, Excitebike 64, 1080 Snowboarding, all three of the original Mario Party games, both of the internationally released Pokémon Stadium games, and of course, the long-leaked Goldeneye 007 Coming Soon. In Japan, Harvest Moon 64, under the legally unproblematic title of Farm Story 2, was additionally announced as a 2023 NSO release. The options for dealing with this outside Japan are to release another Western exclusive game alongside it, or to romhack the other regional versions of the game to retitle it Story of Seasons or Farm Story.

Goldeneye was simultaneously announced to be releasing digitally on Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, and Game Pass, alongside Switch via NSO. The game will feature upscaling to HD on Switch and Xbox One and 4K on Series X, splitscreen local multiplayer on all systems while online multiplayer support is exclusive to the Switch due to techinical issues, plus widescreen support, achievements, updated dual stick controls, and stabilized 60fps on Xbox. The Xbox release is also emulated but is newly developed by Rare, legally distinct from the previous canceled remaster, and will also be available as a free download to owners of Rare Replay. There’s currently uncertainty around the actual release window for Goldeneye: in the West for both Switch and Xbox it is only said to be Coming Soon, while in Japan it was announced for 2023 . It’s unclear whether this is an actual regional release difference, or if Coming Soon was just a way of misleading and satiating audiences while the publishers remain uncertain about when to release Goldeneye due to the Ukraine war.

Square’s former Apple Arcade exclusive Various Daylife was announced as a shadowdrop release on Switch. Two acclaimed 2010s indie games saw their first console ports: Czech management sim Factorio was announced to be releasing for Switch on October 28th 2022, while the horror game Ib will arrive in Spring 2023. The second Mario Strikers: Battle League update, featuring Pauline and Diddy Kong as new characters alongside other content, was revealed and released before the end of the month. Koei Tecmo and Gust announced deep breath Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key, a conclusion to the RPG series launching February 24th 2023 for Switch and PlayStation.

The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC Wave 3 was teased ahead of a Holiday 2022 release, while the Nintendo Switch Sports Golf update was finally rerevealed, featuring eight player survival golf and 21 courses from past games, with its release delayed from Fall to Holiday. As third party headlines continued, Just Dance 2023 made a brief appearance, a demo for Harvestella was shadowdropped, a Master Detective Archives: Rain Code was fully revealed after being announced last year. The fully 3D mystery adventure game from Too Kyo Games, Spike Chunsoft, and Danganronpa‘s Kazutaka Kodaka is scheduled to release in Spring 2023 as a Switch timed exclusive. Bayonetta 3 made a quick check in ahead of its October launch, directing players to an uncensored 8 minute gameplay presentation outside the Direct. The limited physical release of the original Bayonetta on Switch was soon after confirmed for a September 30th (October in Europe) launch.

Capcom announced that all four modern Resident Evil games, Resident Evil 7, Resident Evil Village, Resident Evil 2 Remake, and Resident Evil 3 Remake, will release on Switch as Cloud streaming versions by the end of 2022, starting with Village on October 28th, the same day as the game’s major DLC launch. Said DLC will then arrive for Switch on December 2nd. Earlier this year for Patreon subscribers, I reported that these Cloud versions were in development alongside full native ports of the four games for the next major Nintendo hardware*. I believe this form of ‘parity’ in third party support between the two systems will be rather common in the future, though once again I will also assert that any game already announced for Switch is by definition releasing for base Switch, and games that aren’t announced as Cloud Versions are in fact native ports, period. This can’t guarantee a high quality native base Switch version, or that it won’t be canceled, (Hogwarts Legacy and Marvel’s Midnight Suns both seem likely to ultimately fall in one of these camps) but it did initially exist.

*As a quick recap for new readers: in February 2022, a ring of British teenage hackers successfully cyberattacked Nvidia, Nintendo’s current exclusive hardware partner, stole their data, and publicly released said data online. This attack exposed the source code of exclusive Nvidia software, doxxed numerous current and former employees, and incidentally exposed Nvidia’s next major hardware collaboration with Nintendo. Contained within the stolen and leaked files for DLSS software were references to compatibility with NVN2 and a T239 chip going back to 2019 and with updates ongoing through to the date the files were stolen. NVN is exclusively Switch software code, there is no other logical explanation for what NVN2 means and is direct evidence for the existence of from the companies themselves. T239 had been reported as the name of the microchip for a new generation of Switch the year before, and as of September 2022, Nvidia has now quietly publicly acknowledged the T239 chip as a real upcoming product of theirs that is physically completed.

The final batch of third party headlines continued. Sloclap’s timed PlayStation exclusive action game Sifu, in which the lead martial artist ages and evolves his skills with each defeat, was announced to be arriving for Switch on November 8th. Crisis Core: FF7 Reunion reappeared with its Switch version, and a December 13th 2022 launch date for all platforms was announced. Treasure and Live Wire announced that their cult classic shootemup Radiant Silvergun was launching on the Switch later that day as a shadowdrop release. The game then abruptly disappeared from the North American eShop within hours of launch due to a change in its age rating. One week later on September 20th, the game was finally relisted with its new age rating. Previously, Gematsu leaked the Radiant Silvergun announcement two weeks early. Amplitude announced that their next tower defense game Endless Dungeon will release on Switch, alongside its previously confirmed platforms, in 2023.

Bandai Namco revealed Tales of Symphonia Remastered for an Early 2023 launch on Switch, PS4, and Xbox One, an HD rerelease of the most acclaimed and popular entry in the cult classic action JRPG series, and another Gamecube game brought to modern consoles for the first time. As of April 2022, Symphonia is still the bestselling series entry, with the newest release, Tales of Arise, currently at 2 million copies to Symphonia‘s 2.4 million. Word is that this won’t be the last new remaster from the series after Arise‘s success, but the rerelease has been criticized because of the decision to base it on the PS2 port over the Gamecube original, which results in the remaster running at 30fps instead of 60fps, which, as of this writing, still only the Gamecube version supports.

Life is Strange: Arcadia Bay Collection, Romancing SaGa: Minstrel Song Remastered (December 1st), Lego Bricktales (October), Disney Speedstorm, and Fall Guys Season ‘2’ (September 15th), were then all briefly featured in a third party highlights montage. In the Japanese version of the Direct, the formerly PlayStation exclusive indie developer Clap Hanz announced and released Easy Come Easy Golf for Switch, an updated rerelease of the latest entry in their ongoing cult classic series of golf games (Hot Shots Golf/Everybody’s Golf), which first released as an Apple Arcade timed exclusive under the name Clap Hanz Golf.

As the Direct’s penultimate announcement, and the third and final release for Kirby’s 30th anniversary season, Kirby: Return to Dream Land Deluxe, a full remake of the 2011 Wii release and mainline 2.5D platformer entry in the series, was revealed for a February 24th 2023 launch date. The game, rebuilt in the Star Allies/Forgotten Land engine, has refined its four player co op and added a new addition to its minigames library as well. The final announcement was none other than the long anticipated re-re-reveal, AKA the third teaser trailer, for Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2, now finally with an official final title and launch date, plus key/box art: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, coming May 12th 2023.

Here’s how Nintendo’s official first party/exclusive 2023 release schedule now looks so far:

January: Fire Emblem Engage,

February: Kirby: Return to Dream Land Deluxe, Octopath Traveler 2, Theatrhythm: Final Bar Line,

March: Fitness Boxing: Fist of the North Star,

May: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom,

Spring: Fae Farm,

Pikmin 4.

State of Play

The event opened with the official gameplay reveal trailer for Tekken 8, featuring what is claimed to be entirely in-game Unreal Engine 5 footage from a match in the story mode, captured on PS5. Tekken 8 was confirmed to be launching for PC and Xbox Series S|X as well as PS5, though no release window is currently announced, it just ended on a card reading “Stay tuned,” so I’m guessing maybe Fall 2023 at the very earliest. Then there was a more minor than expected PSVR2 section featuring Star Wars: Tales from the Galaxy’s Edge – Enhanced Edition and Demeo. Later in September, with still no official launch date announced for PSVR2 hardware, just an Early 2023 window, Sony also confirmed that PSVR2 is not backwards-compatible with the original PSVR, even though the PS5 itself does support PSVR1 headsets and games, albeit in somewhat clunky fashion.

And regrettably, Hogwarts Legacy appeared once again with a new trailer because damn it, Sony spent a lot of money on those marketing rights, now with a new, apparently awful PlayStation console exclusive side quest. Sega and Ryu Ga Gotoku unexpectedly revealed Like a Dragon: Ishin!, a full remake of the previously Japan exclusive samurai spinoff to the Like a Dragon/Yakuza series. It will launch internationally on February 21st 2023. The new PS Stars loyalty program made a brief promotional appearance amidst many reveals, such as the current gen exclusive mecha action game Syn Duality coming in 2023 from Bandai Namco. Project Eve returned from last year’s PlayStation Showcase re-revealed as Stellar Blade in a new story trailer for the PS5 console exclusive action game by Korean developer SHIFT UP, coming in 2023.

Seattle indie developer Ironwood Studios revealed their debut title after many years of development, the first person survival horror game Pacific Drive, coming to PS5 and PC in 2023. A ‘premium 3D roguelike’ akin to Returnal, Pacific Drive is about navigating an apocalyptic, reality-bent Pacific Northwest by car to eventually complete the story and solve the mystery of those events. Lastly, Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo revealed Rise of the Ronin, a PS5 console exclusive 2024 open world action RPG samurai game set at the brink of the Meiji Era, while Sony featured a new God of War: Ragnarok trailer and Ragnarok themed DualSense controller.

Other news from September 13th: EA and Koei Tecmo announcing a new EA Original collaboration developed by Warriors developer Omega Force, described as a “Monster Hunter competitor” since titled Wild Hearts with its debut trailer released on September 28th announcing a February 17th 2023 launch date for PS5, Xbox Series S|X, and PC. Square confirmed that Babylon’s Fall servers will be closed in February 2023, only slightly under a year after the game’s launch. THQ Nordic announced, in the strangest way possible, that a port of the pirate RPG Risen will release for Switch, and new DLC was announced for Jurassic World Evolution 2 and released on September 15th.

September 14th: RGG Studio presentation

The Yakuza franchise will henceforth be Like a Dragon, its original Japanese title, worldwide. This was confirmed in conjunction with several major announcements: the long anticipated PC via Steam releases of Judgment and Lost Judgment both individually and as The Judgment Collection, additional details (LaD 0/6/7 characters added) for the remake Like a Dragon: Ishin! which was previously announced at the State of Play, and most importantly, the official reveal trailers of Like a Dragon 8 and Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased his Name. Gaiden launches in 2023 after Ishin!, as a spinoff following Kazuma Kiryu in 2018 during the time between Yakuza/LaD 6 and 7, while LaD 8 launches in 2024 with Kasuga Ichiban and Kazuma Kiryu both as playable characters and co-protagonists. Kiryu’s hair has been trimmed and grayed significantly in 8*. LaD 8 was reconfirmed as an RPG while Gaiden is an action game like earlier series entries. Gaiden is described as “about half the size of a mainline entry.” All three games are set to launch for: PS4/5, Xbox One/Series, and PC.

*Yakuza/LaD Series Spoilers
Giving Kiryu a distinct resemblance to the series’ legacy persona of Joon-gi Han.

The reborn G4TV suddenly fired 20-30 staffers on September 14th, having faced financial difficulties since its 2021 relaunch. One week after the layoffs, Xplay host Indiana Black departed the network as well, her remaining contract time bought out by G4’s parent company Comcast.

EA and Maxis announced that The Sims 4 will be free to play on all platforms starting October 18th, with support for the game expected to continue “for the foreseeable future.” Further information on the series’ future will be in a Behind The Sims Summit livestream on October 18th. Those who already bought the game in the past years since 2014 will receive the small compensation of one new furniture pack DLC for free.

Right on the morning of September 14th 2022, exactly one year after its launch on PC and PS5, ads for Arkane’s Deathloop already popped up on the Xbox store. Due to the timed exclusivity deal with Sony, Microsoft was not allowed to market or release the game prior to said exclusivity’s expiration. During the Xbox event at Tokyo Games Show not long after those ads first went up early, the game was officially announced to be releasing for Game Pass and Xbox Series S and X on September 20th, with all previously released updates for the game and a free new update releasing for the game on all platforms on the 20th. The game’s largest update since its launch last fall, the Goldenloop update features new powers and perks, a new weapon, new enemy type, and additions to the game’s endings.

Ahead of the game’s appearance at TGS, Square Enix gave the first update in a long time on the upcoming Dragon Quest spinoff Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest – The Adventure of Dai, saying that it will have a simultaneous global launch on Switch, PS4/5, and PC.

September 15th: I’ll be quickly running through the separate, specific September 15th headlines, then do a dedicated Tokyo Games Show 2022 section, then proceed with the rest of the month.

After Game Informer, G4, etc., in a truly terrible larger cycle of firings and turmoil in games and entertainment press, Fanbyte was gutted by its parent company as it abruptly, individually terminated several senior staff and games media veterans, including editor in chief Danielle Riendau, head of media John E Warren, and senior editor Imran Khan. Fanbyte’s parent company is the Chinese media conglomerate Tencent, which is a market leader in games software but has seen some recent financial underperformance, especially after a federal crackdown on gaming in China. Companies existing at this scale with that much money circulating are inherently destructive and will always resort to these methods first, sacrificing talent at the altar of capital.

There is indeed ethically dubious underlying dynamics to journalism owned by a conglomerate, whether it’s Tencent and Fanbyte or Amazon and the Washington Post, but that doesn’t mean great journalism and great writing can’t happen under such a roof, as it certainly did under Fanbyte. Khan in particular was a well-respected and oft-cited source around here, so this hit especially hard, but such firings are a loss for journalism no matter what. At least one writer has since departed the website out of solidarity. Remaining website management has since avoided acknowledging the layoffs or responding to inquiries about them, including leaving the site’s About Us section untouched despite the majority of the personnel listed no longer being employed there.

Bandai Namco finally announced a launch date for its major JRPG One Piece Odyssey: the game will release for PS4/5, Xbox Series S|X, and PC on January 13th 2023.

As is now typical for the anniversary of Undertale’s original launch (what is now also the anniversary of Deltarune Chapter 2’s release), Toby Fox shared a major development update on the Deltarune project alongside general celebratory events. As previously stated, Chapters 3, 4, and 5 are in simultaneous development and are planned for a simultaneous release. That release isn’t on track for 2022, but a lot of progress at a faster pace has been made in the meantime, with more team members joining in the last year as well. Fox provided new music and very vague new screenshots in the post, but an unannounced ARG event began shortly after the update, providing additional more detailed new screenshots and videos from Deltarune Chapter 3.

Graphics card manufacturer EVGA, a longtime hardware partner for Nvidia, was abruptly reported as planning to terminate its contract with Nvidia with no intent to pursue a new contract elsewhere in the graphics card market, thus exiting it altogether with no further products after the RTX 30-series reaches end of life. The two games press members who first broke the news were invited to a private meeting with EVGA leadership who then announced and detailed the decision, which was first made in April in response to multiple factors of dissatisfaction with Nvidia as a company. The decision puts EVGA as a relatively small tech business in a vulnerable position, while it’s unlikely to have significant effects on Nvidia, beyond further increasing its reputation as a poor collaborator after many previous high profile severed partnerships.

The battle between Cooking Mama owner Office Create and Planet Entertainment, developer of the series’ notorious previous entry, Cookstar, looks to be now over, as both a new Cooking Mama game on mobile via Apple Arcade and a new game by Planet for consoles, Yum Yum Cookstar, have been announced and are soon to be released.

Tokyo Games Show

This year’s event opened with an Xbox showcase as Phil Spencer continued to double down efforts to court the Japanese market, seeking a window of opportunity in PlayStation’s recent underperformance in the country. (At the time of writing, the most recent weekly hardware sales in Japan were 98% Nintendo Switch, PS5 and Xbox splitting the remaining 2%.)

Xbox’s showcase heavily emphasized Game Pass releases by and for a Japanese audience. They announced that the cult classic fighting games Guilty Gear Strive (Spring 2023) and BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle Special Edition, Ni No Kuni 1 and 2, Danganronpa V3 Killing Harmony, Fuga: Melodies of Steel, Assassins Creed Odyssey, and the aforementioned Deathloop, are all coming to Xbox platforms and/or Game Pass for the first time in the next year. Danganronpa V3, Fuga, and Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered all released on Game Pass the same day as the event. Previous announced ports and Game Pass additions Personas 3-5, Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, Overwatch 2 with the new Japanese character Kiriko highlighted, and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, were all highlighted with new trailers as well.

Capcom had a strong presence at TGS with an emphasis on Street Fighter 6. A major, massive new trailer featured the reveals of classic fighters Ken, Blanka, E. Honda, and Dhalsim, along with new info about the World Tour story mode and Battle Hub online lobby. The player character in World Tour has extensive visual customization options, while both their fighting style and their traversal of the sandbox levels is informed by choosing the various classic fighters as their mentors. A montage of these custom player characters displaying moves from Ryu, Chun Li, even Blanka and Juri, was shown, and again, this includes specializing in one fighter’s style over another’s in order to learn exclusive moves for accessing parts of the open world.

Battle Hub features options to socialize with fellow players and play other modes beyond basic ranked or casual bouts: a rotating selection of past series entries, classic minigames like the car smashing, and the new Extreme Battle mode featuring stage hazards, are all available to play. Capcom also announced that the game’s first Western Closed Beta Test will run with crossplay support on PS5, Xbox Series, and PC from October 7th to October 10th, with applications open through the end of September.

Lastly, Ken officially joined Chun Li in receiving a new voice actor: David Matranga of My Hero Academia among many other anime. For both SF4 and SF5, Ken was voiced by Reuben Langdon, the voice of Dante from Devil May Cry, owner of his own motion capture studio, and, as I’ve previously discussed, a notorious reactionary conspiracy theorist. I deeply, deeply hope that Capcom has officially severed all ties with Langdon.

Then on September 16th, Capcom went further by releasing the opening movie of SF6’s story mode, featuring artwork confirming the rest of the game’s starting launch roster, which totals 18 characters. Along with the previously revealed 11, the video features Zangief, Cammy, and Dee Jay, as well as four more brand new fighters, Manon, Marisa, Lily, and JP. The leaked roster art back in June featured those seven, as well as four more still unrevealed characters who could be hidden to be unlocked (Akuma has always been unlockable rather than in the starting roster) or among the first DLC releases. Those were the new fighter AKI, and three returning characters, Akuma, Ed, and Rashid.

Capcom’s other announcements at TGS included: a new story trailer for multiplayer shooter Exoprimal, detailing the next major free update for Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak and its September 29th release, confirming online multiplayer support in every single entry of the upcoming Mega Man Battle network Collection, and an extended trailer discussing all current upcoming Resident Evil releases, namely Resident Evil 4 Remake, the RE Village DLC, and the series’ aforementioned Cloud Versions on Switch.

RE4R was revealed to have a PS4 version releasing alongside the game’s overall launch. Like RE Village before it, this previous-gen build has existed for the project’s entire duration, but Capcom needed to review both its quality and the status of previous gen hardware sales before officially announcing it for release. Like with SF6, it currently seems that cross-gen is for thee and not for me, with only Series S and not Xbox One versions of the games because the Series S is already one downport of work to do, while also more popular in Japan than the One. Later in an IGn interview at TGS, Kento Kinoshita commented that the Shadows of Rose DLC is the end of the Winters family story started in Resident Evil 7, with the inevitable upcoming RE9 apparently going off in a new direction that Capcom won’t publicly detail at this time.

Although it was leaked beforehand, Konami’s heavily teased TGS announcement still delighted fans: more than a decade since the series last appeared, Suikoden I and II HD Remaster will launch in 2023 for Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and will be playable in BC on PS5 and Xbox Series. IGn has shown off new footage of the updated cult classic RPGs in the previous link. The original series rerelease will be going head to head against spiritual successor Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, whose major success in crowdfunding and publisher support is understood to have led directly to these remasters’ greenlight. Also Square Enix announced that it was porting Powerwash Simulator to Switch.

September 17th: A major story suddenly broke over the weekend when a hacker, fresh off targeting Uber, suddenly revealed that they had successfully cyberattacked Rockstar Games via their Slack channel and began releasing more than 90 gameplay videos from Grand Theft Auto 6‘s ongoing development onto the GTAForums, in one of the biggest gaming leaks ever, on the scale of Capcom, Nvidia, Half-Life 2 back in the day, and such. He threatened to leak the source code of both GTA5 and GTA6, a test build of GTA6, and upon request did release some documents from an ongoing Take-Two court case. There was about 50 minutes of total footage which confirmed many previously reported details about GTA6, such as the modern Vice City setting, and the duo of player characters in a Bonnie and Clyde framing with one of them being a latina woman.

Full voice acting and fully implemented takes on classic GTA gameplay systems, i.e. combat, driving, and dialogue, are apparent within a lot of what is, yes, footage of a visibly unfinished game, with placeholder visual assets of varying levels in many places, and even debug programs onscreen. As far as I know, separate 2019 and 2021 builds of the game are both visible within different parts of the footage, and there is a meaningful quality difference between them. Placeholder visuals are perfectly normal and an important part of game development, especially development of games at this large a scale, where different parts will be at different levels of completion for years, and overall polish is the very last thing to finalize.

The so blatantly obviously real, near impossible to fake footage was still accused of being fake in some online commentariat because it ‘didn’t look good enough’, and so once confirmed on Sunday morning to be real, was criticized as not looking like the leap they want after the game’s long development and from the next major Rockstar game after Red Dead Redemption 2, even though the game is known to be still years away from being finished. Fellow reporter and developer responses to this asinine discourse are well worth seeing, especially for the genuine insights they do provide into some now classic games.

Beyond typical community nonsense, the incident quickly spooled out in bizarre ways, with the hacker openly attempting to extort Rockstar and Take-Two, or individuals impersonating the hacker in order to scam people into buying fake data, like the guy who tried to pay $100,000US in bitcoin to buy GTA5’s source code. The official public response from Rockstar and Take-Two claims that these leaks will not adversely affect or further slow development for GTA6. For Take-Two, things got much worse before the week was out when 2K Games support services were also hacked, customer emails were stolen, and customers were then bombarded with phishing emails from the official 2K support email, all most likely done by the same hackers as the Rockstar slack. Some in the larger games industry fear a blowback against remote communications and remote work in their field as a result of these crimes.

By September 22nd, the London police had arrested a local 17 year old on suspicion of being the hacker behind the Uber and Take-Two cyberattacks, which they publicly confirmed on the morning of the 23rd. On the 27th, the accused hacker appeared in specialist youth court where he pleaded not guilty. This teen is reportedly believed to be connected to the Lapsuss hacking group, a larger ring of British teenage hackers, who previously saw several ringleaders be arrested back in March after several other major cyberattacks, including the Nvidia hack I mentioned earlier.

September 19th: Various major Twitch streamers threatened the platform with a boycott that would’ve taken place during Christmas week 2022, in protest of the platform’s support for an exploitative, openly deceptive ‘gambling stream’ which scammed viewers out of at least $200,000US. Twitch responded quickly the next day by banning unlicensed gambling websites from being used in streams, explicitly identifying several of the most popular websites that were used in gambling streams up to this point as no longer being allowed. The policy will go into effect on October 18th. In an unrelated incident shortly thereafter, one of the prominent streamers who threatened the boycott, Mizkif, has been suspended from the OneTrueKing organization pending an investigation into allegations that he covered up and downplayed a streamer’s accusations towards another streamer, his best friend and roommate, of sexual violence.

Tom Henderson reported that a more major new PS5 console revision is set to launch in 2023, following from the lower-weight and more efficient silent revisions of the last two years. Henderson’s multiple anonymous sources claim that Sony is looking to replace the current PS5’s chassis with a new chassis part introduced with this revision, but the most notable thing alleged about this model is that its disc drive is completely external, attachable/detachable, and portable, and planned to be sold both packaged with the console and individually.

September 20th: Upon being nominated for a Women in Games lifetime achievement award, writer Kim MacAskill, who has worked on the upcoming Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League from Rocksteady and Fable from Playground Games, announced online that she is declining the award in protest of the ongoing rampant sexism and harassment she experienced at Rocksteady while working on Suicide Squad, and in protest of Rocksteady sponsoring the event as a band-aid for its harmful workplace. She says that WB has offered hush money and reinstating her writing credit on Suicide Squad to earn her silence on the issue, and she refused it.

Marvel, Electronic Arts, and EA Motive, the developer currently putting the finishing touches on the Dead Space Remake, have officially announced that they are producing an untitled Iron Man game, which was first rumored earlier this year alongside the leaked/unannounced solo Black Panther game. The game will be a third person single player only action, and is currently in pre-production. Olivier Proulx, the senior producer of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy who left Eidos for Motive right before it was sold off by Square, will lead development on the Iron Man game.

Hot on the heels of the EVGA news, Nvidia officially revealed its next generation of graphics cards, the RTX 40-series, and DLSS 3.0 at the GTC 22 event. The launch title of sorts for the RTX 40-series and for DLSS3 is a free ray-tracing update to Portal, developed by Nvidia Lightspeed just as the Portal ports on Switch were. The update is compatible with all RT-capable GPUs. All of these products will release in October and November 2022.

Slime Rancher 2 was announced to officially launch in Early Access on September 22nd for Xbox Series S|X, Windows PC, and Game Pass, while Grounded‘s 1.0 launch was dated for September 27th.

September 22nd: Anemone Hug Interactive, a Canadian developer currently working on their own game but best known as an ongoing support studio for Hardspace Shipbreaker, successfully voted to unionize and join The Canadian Animation Guild, IATSE Local 938. They join a small but growing list of North American game development unions alongside Raven Software QA, Keywords Edmonton QA, and the late aforementioned Vodeo Games.

September 23rd: The first trailer for Spider-Man: Miles Morales on PC was released, reconfirming its Fall 2022 release window and showing native footage with no further details.

September 24th: After being promised for 2022 for ages without much in the way of substantial updates, the launch of Oxenfree II: Lost Signals was officially delayed into 2023 for all platforms, PC/Mac, PS4/5, and Switch.

September 26th: The ESA and new event management partner ReedPop announced new major details for their plans to relaunch E3 in 2023: the Los Angeles Convention Center is officially reserved for June 13th-16th 2023, and most significantly, the whole first two days of the main event are reserved exclusively for business again after years of ineffectual attempts at fan engagement. Day 3 will be split between business and fans and Day 4 is fan-focused. An entire half of the convention center will be reserved for business matters with aims towards quiet, comfort, and easier networking and other meetings. ReedPop says the event will be designed as more accessible to indie developers and publishers as well as those unable to reach the LACC itself. Besides previously coordinating PAX events, ReedPop is also the parent company of several major games press websites through Gamer network, such as Eurogamer,, and Rock Paper Shotgun.

Netflix Gaming’s latest investment was announced: creating a new fully in-house development studio, based in Helsinki and headed by Marko Lastikka after his departure from Zynga.

The unannounced Silent Hill: The Short Message was listed on South Korea’s Game Rating Committee website.

While they’ve been supporting Nickelodeon All Star Brawl with DLC fighters, developer Ludosity has also been quietly working on a Switch port for their previous biggest game, the indie crossover fighter Slap City. On the 26th, they announced that it would release that very day alongside the reveal of its own next new character.

September 27th: Take-Two Interactive abruptly dissolved its publishing contract with developer People Can Fly for their next action game, as announced online by the studio. “Project Dagger” was first announced in July 2020 with development led by Roland Lesterlin of Just Cause 3. Take-Two has formally declared it has no intention to claim ownership to the game’s IP rights, allowing work to continue (the game is still in pre-production) as People Can Fly seeks new funding and a new publisher.

September 28th: In between their two game launches this year, Supermassive Games also found time to make native next-gen releases for The Dark Pictures: Man of Medan and The Dark Pictures: Little Hope, surprise announcing and releasing the games for PS5 and Xbox Series S|X on the same day. Alongside the release of these ports, all versions of the games are receiving a major new free update with additions to UI, art, event triggers, accessibility features, and more, and Man of Medan is actually receiving new narrative content via a new chapter with new gameplay added to the climax of its story.

September 29th: Long after it became obvious that support for the service, months after the report that Google had shifted strategy to lending out its effective cloud streaming tech to partners, it finally became official on this date: the Google Stadia service will permanently shut down on January 18th 2023, just over three years after its 2019 launch. Google also announced that it is refunding all Stadia purchases, both hardware and software. Here’s a handy guide on acquiring said refunds. Typical for these awful mega-corporations, Google gave no early warning whatsoever about the Stadia shutdown to both its own employees affected and to developers that were in the middle of porting their games to Stadia. Developers are now being inundated with requests from players for help with preserving and transferring their game saves from Stadia to other platforms before they’re lost forever, some of whom that have committed to doing so.

Stephen Totilo at Axios released an exclusive public interview with the former Nintendo of America contractor who filed the famous NLRB complaints against the company earlier this year, who has revealed themself as Mackenzie Clifton. Clifton’s first project at Nintendo was Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, described as one of the best testers on the game’s team who struggled emotionally against strict working conditions for contractors and their hard-fought attempts to earn formal credit for themselves and their fellow contractor testers on the game.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi government-funded Savvy Gaming Group announced a further nearly $40 billion allocated to invest in the gaming industry, with more than $13 billion out of that total allocated for acquiring a leading game publisher much like the previous acquisition of SNK.

Just as Studio MDHR promised months ago, its long-awaited physical release of Cuphead on Xbox One, Switch, and PS4, bundled with the Delicious Last Course expansion, has been re-revealed as an iam8bit partnership ‘Coming Soon’ to major retail stores everywhere on the fifth anniversary of the game’s launch.

After previously leaking and days after info on the Returnal PC port leaked again, the PC port of Sackboy: A Big Adventure was officially announced by PlayStation for an October 27th 2022 release, alongside the Uncharted collection and Miles Morales ports also releasing this fall.

Ahead of its full gameplay reveal event in October, a new EA blog post unveiled new details on the Dead Space Remake. There’s new story side content included, allowing players to learn more about the experiences of Isaac’s girlfriend nicole and meet npcs that were originally only present via audio logs, space flight has now been enhanced with full 360 degree movement, and the game will feature a God of War 2018 style continuous camera and world.

Skyrim: Anniversary Edition surprise shadowdropped on the Switch eShop after the port leaked via international ratings boards for months. It’s available both as a full price stand-alone release and as a discounted upgrade for owners of the game’s first release on Switch from five years ago.

Sega joined Square Enix and Konami in continuing to move forward with its blockchain plans after all despite all of the many negatives attached, announcing that the next entry in the Sangokushi Taisen arcade strategy series as their first official blockchain game, in a partnership with Double Jump Tokyo.

September 30th: Ethan Gach at Kotaku reported on chaos at GameStop over a system overhaul which has completely derailed its inventory and pre-order management.

October 1st: Martin Luiga, an editor on the original ZA/UM lead creative team that produced the acclaimed Disco Elysium, unexpectedly revealed in a new Medium post that several fellow members of that creative team have left the company involuntarily. Writers Robert Kurvitz and Helen Hindpere, and lead art and design developer Aleksander Rostov, are the names Luiga dropped, saying that the allegedly forced departures occurred at the end of 2021, with a deliberate lack of transparency since to the public and staff alike. The three have since confirmed their departures. Despite this, Luigi then separately expressed optimism that the Disco Elysium sequel in early development could still turn out well. Ethan Gach’s report at Kotaku provided further details.

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