Hello once again NAGibbits, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we have bad news for Uncharted fans, Microsoft’s new mission statement and how it affects gamers and the Shenmue 3 creator clarifies Sony’s involvement and how it affects the Kickstarter money. Then the Rust creators talk happy accidents and dick jokes, updates on the Arkham Knight PC disaster, an Overwatch rival comes out strong and Black Ops 3 teases something that surprises nobody. All that, more videos, news and highlights from the week, after the jump.
It’s starting to feel like video game movies are cursed. They’re either horrifically bad, or in the case of the ones that might actually be good, stuck in development hell forever.
The Uncharted movie is the latest victim, with the latest script being sent back for reworking and director Seth Gordon backing out of the project.
The script was written by Mark Boal, the guy behind The Hurt Locker – that movie with all the Oscars.
What Gordon didn’t like, apparently, is that the film was being made with a smaller budget and taking a “new creative direction”, which is presumably shorthand for “cheaper direction”. This is now the third director to quit the project.
To be honest, I’d rather it not get released at all than have it be a big turd anyway. I’m not sure if Sony’s heart is in it, considering the budget cuts and choosing the director of Horrible Bosses to helm it. No offense to the guy, but I’m not sure his resume is quite suited to the task.
Seems like when Microsoft said they were taking gaming seriously this year, they meant it. CEO Satya Nadella has sent out a new mission statement to employees, which highlights the importance of gaming in a “broader vision for Windows”.
“We will bring together Xbox Live and our first-party gaming efforts across PC, console, mobile and new categories like HoloLens into one integrated play.
“We will build the best instantiation of this vision through our Windows device platform and our devices, which will serve to delight our customers, increase distribution of our services, drive gross margin, enable fundamentally new product categories, and generate opportunity for the Windows ecosystem more broadly.”
It’s great to see how much of a focus MS is putting on gaming; far better than Ballmer going on about Bing and Surface tablets. Hopefully more profitable too.
After Shenmue 3’s Kickstarter was funded in less than a day, backers were a little rattled to discover that the game was being made with Sony’s help.
After all, it kind of corrupts what we think Kickstarter is about when we find out a crowd-funded game is being backed by one of the biggest companies in the industry.
However, creator Yu Suzuki has put fears to rest this week by insisting that every cent of that money will be going to the game’s development. In fact, Sony isn’t paying for dev costs at all, but production, marketing and publishing.
As he puts it, “While it is not business practice to discuss the specific details of such arrangements, I can say that with their assistance on the production and marketing end, and in Sony’s case with some publishing support as well, Ys Net is able to use more of the money we collect through Kickstarter purely for Shenmue 3’s development.”
Sounds reasonable to me, but I can’t help but wonder if Sony is using Kickstarter as a way to save a buck on not funding development costs themselves; but perhaps I’m just cynical.
Now let’s get onto some real news – Rust’s variable dong sizes. You may have read last week that Rust was using people’s Steam accounts to determine the size of their members in-game, which developer Facepunch find hilarious.
“We’re hoping like hell for more dick jokes. We might all range from 20-40 years old at Facepunch, but we’re all eight years old at heart,” says studio founder Garry Newman.
Apparently, the whole thing was actually a bizarre accident. “The dick thing wasn’t really planned, it just so happens that it has a separate bone there for the censorship cube that we can scale independently.”
You’ve probably heard that Arkham Knight for PC was pulled from Steam, after the final product turned out to be a shameful embarrassment for Rocksteady, riddled with bugs and game-breaking issues.
Apparently, retail store GAME has now also been pulling it from their shelves, with instructions not to sell it – even if gamers ask for it knowing the issues.
On Thursday, an Nvidia spokesperson said that the graphics card maker is working with WB Games and the devs to sort out the game’s various performance issues. Keep in mind, this isn’t an Nvidia specific problem.
Meanwhile, studio co-founder and game director the title Sefton Hill tweeted that he “totally supports” the decision to suspend PC sales, and that “the best engineers at Rocksteady are working like crazy to help fix the issues ASAP”.
The real burning question is, why weren’t Rocksteady engineers working on the game to begin with? People associate a level of quality with specific developers, passing the work off to a completely different, far less experienced studio is lazy, disrespectful and unethical.
MOBAs have been taking over the world in the last few years, and it seems like with Blizzard’s Overwatch, a new trend has been set to turn them into FPSes.
Borderlands creators 2K Games and Gearbox are showing off Battleborn this week, a distinctly Borderlands-esque MOBA with an FPS slant.
The action-packed, colourful chaos was shown off at E3 this year, and now this week gives us 20+ minutes of gameplay footage intended to orientate you to what the game is all about. It looks really fun, check it out:
Finally, this year’s Call of Duty release, Black Ops 3, has been all but officially confirmed to come with a zombies mode.
The news comes from a schedule listing for the San Diego ComicCon, which details “Zombies director” Jason Blundell demonstrating the new mode.
The thing to note here, really, is that there exists a man in the world who can print business cards with “Zombies director” on them. Take that, Patrick Bateman.
Whether or not it’s going to be one of those off-flavour efforts like the Alien swarms in Ghosts (did ANYTHING about that game work?), we don’t know. We also don’t know yet if it’s going to be hidden behind a paywall.
The smart money says no and probably.
Arkham Knight on PC is broken as all hell, but every cloud has a silver lining – check out these two videos of “beautiful” glitches.
This week we got our very first look at Star Wars: Battlefront on PC – albeit for only thirty seconds. Does it look good? Of course it does.
Next up is the E3 gameplay demo for XCOM 2, which was released on Thursday. This one is ten minutes!
Finally, of course, there’s another Overwatch video out this week. This time showcasing Zarya, the pin-haired Russian with giant guns.
Best of NAG
First up, read how The Witcher 3 is allowing Miklos to do what no other game ever has – not give a shit about anybody.
Then, why not win some free stuff? More specifically, tickets to GeekFest 2015. (entries close Tuesday the 30th)
After that high, give yourself a dose of depression with 15 minutes of the new Tomb Raider – for Xbox One only. Let’s hope this eventually makes its way to PC and PS4.
Finally, end your weekend news on a cynical note with my June rant about all the headline news items this month that I didn’t care about at all.