Hello everyone, I am back this week and raring to go! We've got Rocket League news (for a change 😋), some developments on Nintendo's game selling model, highlights from Apple's WWDC20 and much, much more!
Rocket League is turning 5 this month and they are celebrating with a special anniversary event allowing players to obtain collectables and play different game modes like Spike Rush & Heatseeker. It's no secret that we play a lot of Rocket League, but I also enjoy watching Rocket league esports. This week they announced RLCSX, which is the new format of the popular RLCS (Rocket League Championship Series) that is a tournament where the format spans the whole calendar year across multiple tournaments, with a prize pool of 4.5 million dollars. This is huge news for the community and shows the commitment the publishers have to the game, which is great for me. With over 1,500 hours logged so far, I'm still addicted to it.
This week, Nintendo shut down the practice of selling digital download codes for their Switch titles in Europe. Frugal gamers (and those who like to gift digital games) will be disappointed to learn that storefronts like ShopTo, which often had Switch download codes available for discount prices, can no longer offer those kinds of deals.
Why would Nintendo do this? Well, there have been cases of download code fraud on the platform, that Nintendo has struggled to deal with effectively. But perhaps a simpler explanation is the financial one, cutting out any middle men and encouraging direct eShop usage for a bigger slice of the pie.
Last week Apple had WWDC 2020 and other than new features to iOS, Mac OS and iPad OS they’ve also introduced some improvements to ARKit and RealityKit which could have a huge impact on gaming experiences.
RealityKit: Video textures, scene understanding using the LiDAR scanner on iPad Pro, Location Anchors, face tracking, and improved debugging tools.
ARKit 4: Ability to connect virtual objects with a real-world longitude, latitude, and altitude (Known as Location Anchors), Improved depth map using LiDAR Scanner on iPad Pro and improved face tracker.
I feel like for the past 14 years of my life I've been playing some variation of Trackmania, whether it be Nations, United, or Canyon. This week Ubisoft and Nadeo released the latest instalment to the series, a reboot going back to its roots simply titled Trackmania. It caused a bit of confusion with its "free to own" subscription model, but that aside, it looks like a great entry for the franchise and it's where I'll be dropping my time this weekend!
So, as you may or may not know, Universal's plans for their next new "world" within their theme parks over the upcoming few years is Super Nintendo World. This will first appear in Universal Studios Japan, before then being brought to the US sites. Although the opening has been delayed indefinitely at the moment, due to you-know-what, excitingly this week we have got a glimpse at how progress is being made over in Japan, and oh boy it looks amazing! You can check out a short video in this tweet below.
So my recent game-playing has included a good stint of State of Decay 2, followed by a total binge of the amazing The Last of Us Part II. You'd think I'd be all zombie'd out by this point. However, in the week I found myself browsing Game Pass and before I realised what I was doing, I had downloaded and started playing Dead Rising 4. It's a really fun take on the genre, focusing on comedy and being outrageous rather than the typical dark and scary tones. The game play is entertaining, and variety of props and craftable weapons/vehicles impressive, so it has been a good balance to follow the much more harrowing narrative journey of TLOU2. Who doesn't want to drift round a shopping mall in a death-dealing, golf-buggy-lawn-mower hybrid, wiping out hundreds of undead whilst wearing a comedy mascot turkey outfit?
That's your lot for this week. Don't forget you can find our rather good video content on YouTube and Twitch, and chat with us on Twitter. We'd love to hear what you're playing this weekend.
At Etch Play, we help games businesses think about, plan and execute on their extended experience. That means delivering value to players beyond the traditional boundaries of a game. You can find out more about our offering at etchuk.com/the-extended-experience.