Companies get bigger, games get cooler and gamers get older. Here is this week’s gaming news.
Gaming: it’s not just for teenagers anymore
A recent study by AARP found that over 45 percent of people over 50 are gamers, with almost half of those saying they play every day.
The study shows that 84 percent of older adults prefer to play games on smartphones, while 28 percent play on consoles. Both numbers are up since before the pandemic. Who are they playing games with? Most play with their children or grandchildren.
While seniors might not be schooling you in Call of Duty, there is one game that helps explain the increase in older Americans gaming: Wordle. The study shows 36 percent play word games, which is a new category since the survey was last conducted in 2019. Puzzle and logic games are the clear winner for older adults, with 73 percent saying they play.
Getting bigger all the time
While the Activision/ Microsoft merger continues to make its way through the courts, its rival continues to grow. Sony purchased Firewalk Studio, making it the 20th PlayStation studio. If Firewalk doesn’t sound familiar, it may be because it hasn’t yet produced a game. In a statement, Head of PlayStation Studios Hermen Hulst said:
The studio shares our passion for creating inspiring worlds grounded in exceptional gameplay, and we want to continue to invest in their mission. We’re excited for Firewalk to bring their technical and creative expertise to PlayStation Studios to help grow our live service operations and deliver something truly special for gamers.
Sony was not the only company making acquisitions this week. Atari purchased more than 100 game titles from the ’80s and ’90s. Some of those games include Bubsy, Hardball, Demolition Racer series, as well as the 1942: Pacific Air War, F-117A, and F-14 air combat series. According to the press release, Atari plans to “seek to expand digital and physical distribution of the classic titles, create new games based on the IP, and explore brand and merchandising collaborations.”
Developer events, streams and dreams
Multiple publishers had livestreams or online events this week featuring developers of some anticipated upcoming games. Here are the biggest announcements.
Blizzard announced another beta weekend of Diablo IV, May 12-14. If you missed your chance to play it last time, or just want to give it another spin, this will be your last chance until the game officially releases on June 6. Blizzard announced some changes to character classes that will be active for the latest beta round.
Meanwhile, Ubisoft provided updates on their Division franchise. First, to celebrate the five year anniversary of The Division 2, they are adding Descent Mode, a roguelite mode where you start with very basic weapons and no gear at the start of the run. These are unlocked throughout, and when you die, your character has access to more gear for the next run depending on how far your character made it. Check out the teaser trailer.
Ubisoft also provided an update on their next Division game, Heartland. You can watch the cinematic intro below or check out a deep dive with the developers.
Finally, Capcom released more information on Street Fighter 6, including a demo available to play now. You can also check out the latest trailer for the game, which launches June 2.
Diversity in the games space
One of the highlights of the recent London Games Festival was the Ensemble exhibit, which showcases UK video games talent from Black, Asian and underrepresented ethnicities. You can check out the video below for details about what the eight professionals chosen to be part of the Ensemble are working on, and read this interview with Romana Ramzan, one of the eight participants.
Want more? Check out Javon Goard’s excellent piece about representation of Black women in video games.
Side quests (more stories worth reading)
🍬 It seems appropriate that news of a mother who accidentally and unknowingly entered a Candy Crush tournament is dominating this week.
🧹 Disappointed that Hogwarts Legacy didn’t include Quidditch? Don’t worry, Warner Brothers studio has you covered, as they announced a separate game, Harry Potter: Quidditch Champions.
🐉 Gloomhaven announced a new roleplaying game based on their lore and universe. The game begins crowdfunding on June 10, and features over 600 miniatures. Gallons of paint for those miniatures sold separately.
🎮 Game revenue was down five percent in March. What were the top three selling games? Resident Evil 4 Remake, Hogwarts Legacy and MLB: The Show ‘23.
💼 The mimic is the original D&D jump scare, and has made its way into video games. Read the history of this angry piece of luggage.
🎮 A Switch hacker who helped jailbreak the device will have to pay Nintendo 25-30 percent of his income for the rest of his life.
🔁 Bethesda weren't sure if they wanted Dishonored 3, so they had the team work on a small project instead. The story of how we got Deathloop.
🎮 Makers of Desktop Dungeon almost accidently gave away their new game for free on release day. Luckily, Valve helped them out.
🎶 While a fun and critically acclaimed game, Hi-Fi Rush apparently “Didn't Make The Money It Needed To Make.”
📚 Which video games have the best story? While opinions differ, the folks at Games Radar created a list of their favorites. Agree? Disagree? Post your thoughts in the comments, or let us know on Twitter.
🎩 Still looking for that perfect version of Monopoly? Maybe the Day Man can help, as It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia gets its own version of the classic game.
New Releases this week:
4/24: Shadows of Doubt (PC)
4/25: Roots of Pacha (PC)
4/25: Afterimage (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
4/25: Strayed Lights (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
4/26: Honkai: Star Rail (PC)
4/27: ArcRunner (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)
4/27: Bramble: The Mountain King (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
4/28: Star Wars Jedi: Survivor (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)