It has been a big week of game news, announcements and releases. So, let’s jump right in to the top stories:
Summer Game Fest
Summer Game Fest took place this past week. The public relations event was headlined by the main show on Thursday, but numerous other studios and gaming entities had announcements throughout the week as well. We plan to post our favorite game announcements later this week, but here are a few of the top stories and trailers:
Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth will launch in “early 2024” and be on two discs for PlayStation 5.
Starfield offered more on the game’s story and a new trailer. Microsoft also announced the game would run at 30 frames per second on consoles.
Ubisoft is creating a new Star Wars game. Star Wars Outlaws releases in 2024, and focuses on smugglers during the Empire’s reign.
Mortal Kombat 1 got a new trailer and a release date: September 19, 2023.
People really like hell on earth
Diablo IV’s launch was big. How big? In less than a week since it officially launched, it has become Blizzard’s fastest-selling game of all time. In four days of early access, Diablo IV “has been played for 93 million hours, or over 10,000 years --- the equivalent playing 24 hours a day since the beginning of human civilization,” according to Blizzard.
Strong reviews are helping game sales, but unlike previous Blizzard games, Diablo IV is not available on Mac. Not everyone is happy about the exclusion of Apple’s hardware, including Whoopi Goldberg, who posted a video asking Blizzard to bring the game to her Mac.
One criticism of Diablo IV is costly microtransactions. The game offers an in-game shop where players can buy cosmetic upgrades for their characters. Want to change the look of your armor? A premium armor set will cost around $25. If you wanted to buy everything available in the game, the total cost would be $357. Still, these are not required to play the game, just to give your character a unique look.
Women make up nearly half of gamers
Gaming is getting more diverse. What once was a young male-dominated hobby continues to expand in reach. In April, AARP announced that 84% of adults over 50 played video games. This week, Mat Piscatella of Circana, a consulting company that researches customer behavior, posted their latest data on women and gaming:
Male gamers disputed the results of the survey. While women make up half of console gamers, you couldn’t tell it by events this week. Summer Game Fest, one of the biggest gaming events of the year, featured no women on stage during its nearly two hour internet broadcast. And Diablo IV posted videos of a corset-clad Megan Fox eulogizing players whose characters died in game. So far, equally clad Zac Efron readings are not being offered for those who might prefer male condolences.
Side quests (more stories worth reading)
🏳️🌈 It’s pride month. Check out what gaming companies are doing to support LGBTQIA+.
🍎 Apple announced they are making a virtual reality headset. The Apple Vision Pro will be available in early 2024 and cost $3,500. Meta and Oculus CEO Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t seem worried about the announcement.
💰 Microsoft was fined $20 million by the Federal Trade Commission for “collecting personal information on Xbox players younger than 13 and not properly informing parents.”
🎮 We’ve discussed Roblox before, but former Vice writer Patrick Klepek has a great piece about when his kids finally asked “can I download Roblox?”
🏈 College football players are being offered $500 for their likeness rights in the new EA college football game. The Player’s Association says they are being exploited, and is urging them to boycott.
🤖 There is a lot of discussion about AI in gaming as of late, but in China, AI is already claiming game illustration jobs.
📺 Twitch rolled out new streaming guidelines, only to roll them back a day later when streamers protested.
⚔️ While the Final Fantasy remake (Rebirth) made the most headlines this week, a remake of Final Fantasy 9 could be next.
😮 Friday the 13th will be delisted from gaming stores in December. Until then, it’s $5.
⌨️ EA will shift production of Star Wars: The Old Republic away from their BioWare studios so they can focus on Mass Effect and Dragon Age. Broadsword will take over development of the long-running MMORPG.
🎙️ The inspiration for the new Wicca Phase Springs Eternal album? Red Dead Redemption 2.
New Releases this week:
6/13: Dordogne (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
6/13: Heist Kitty: Cats Go a Stray (PC)
6/14: DUBIUM (PC)
6/15: Fall of Porcupine (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
6/15: Layers of Fear Remake (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)
6/16: F1 23 (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)6/16: Park Beyond (PlayStation, Xbox, and PC)
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