Welcome to Gen Con week!

Also, a new Path of Exile game announced.

Welcome to Gen Con week!
Image by Jason Lavengood

Who is ready for the latest and greatest board games? If you enjoy tabletop, we have you covered this week. If not, we still have plenty of news for you. Check it out.

Gen Con: Board game delights

It’s Gen Con week.

The 4-day convention starts Thursday, and promises to bring over 60,000 tabletop gaming enthusiasts to Indianapolis. Participants will take over the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, providing even more competition in the home of the Colts.

Gen Con first started in 1967 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and was founded by the creator of Dungeons & Dragons, Gary Gygax. Its name is a play on “Geneva Convention,” referencing where it started. As the convention grew, it moved to the University of Wisconsin - Parkside campus in Kenosha in 1978, Milwaukee in 1985 and eventually to its new home in Indy in 2003.

The convention is a paradise for tabletop gamers. Participants will be awash in board, card, and role playing games. With COVID restrictions lifted for the first time in three years, Gen Con 2023 could be one of the biggest yet. The Games Letter will be covering the event. You can follow live updates on our Twitter account and our founder’s Mastodon, Instagram and Twitter. We are also planning plenty of content following the event, and our annual most anticipated games of Gen Con will appear here on Wednesday (Supporters can expect it in their inbox). This is the sixth year of the most anticipated list, and you can view previous versions from 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018 (unfortunately, you may encounter paywalls on these).

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Path of Exile 2 announced

What started in 2019 as an expansion to Path of Exile has grown into its own game.

At ExileCon - a convention dedicated to Path of Exile - developers announced Path of Exile 2, a game that takes place 20 years in the future from the original game. In an interview with Rock, Paper Shotgun, creative director Jonathan Rogers explained the change in plans.

"We realized at some point that our original plan we announced in 2019 of basically having POE2 being sort of a built-on expansion to POE 1 was just actually not something we could really do. The differences between the two games just became so major that effectively POE2 is now a completely separate game."

Fans of the free to play RPG need not worry about their purchases from the first game, as they will carry over to the second, says Rodgers:

"We're still keeping the policy where all of the microtransactions are shared between the two games. That was obviously really important, and that also means that all the purchases players will make going forward as well as all the ones they made previously will still be retained and they'll still be able to use that stuff."

The original Path of Exile game launched in 2013. A closed beta for Path of Exile 2 is expected to launch June 7, 2024. You can read more about the new game at PC Magazine, or check out a walkthrough of the game below.

💰 Sony has sold over 40 million PlayStation 5. Meanwhile, Xbox hardware sales dropped 13 percent.

🧒🏽 The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) wants to use facial recognition to verify the age of gamers. Does this make it easier to harvest the personal data of children?

🚀 Bethesda created three animated shorts to provide a glimpse of the Starfield universe. Check out Where Hope is Built, The Hand that Feeds and Supra Et Ultra.

🔫 Continuing the trend of celebrities in games, Nicki Minaj and Snoop Dogg will join Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Warzone as playable characters.

💵 You can soon use Venmo to buy Xbox games and subscriptions.

🧝 Classic Game Boy Color games Legend Of Zelda: Oracle Of Ages And Oracle Of Seasons are now available on Nintendo Switch Online.

🍟 Order a Happy Meal and get a side of Pokemon cards.

🍕 Microsoft created a pizza-scented Xbox controller as part of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles marketing campaign.

❌ Ubisoft reportedly canceled a sequel to Immortals Fenyx Rising.

🎮 If you plan to pick up Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart for PC, you likely want to install it on an SSD drive. Apparently, so far not many people are playing the game.

🐤 Square’s epic MMORPG FInal Fantasy XIV is coming to Xbox in Spring 2024.

👩 How men can help stamp out harassment of women in games.

New Releases this week:

Baldur's Gate 3

Check out our story on 12 New Games to Play in August.

7/31: F1 Manager 2023 (PlayStation, Xbox and PC)
7/31: Venba (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch and PC)
8/1: Diebrary (PC)
8/3: Baldur's Gate 3 (PC)
8/3: Flutter Away (Switch and PC)
8/4: Sclash (PC)
8/4: Super Space Club (PC)
8/4: Soul Stalker (PC)

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