Did you really think that just because Friday is a bank holiday we wouldn't be bringing you a roundup this week? Here it is, our weekly roundup, a day early. It's time to get your bank holiday weekend started!
This week I've been playing Genesis Noir, the weird (and occasionally wonderful) new point-and-click adventure on Xbox Game Pass. You can also find it on PC and Switch! It's got a striking visual aesthetic which helps it stand out among the hundreds of other games released every month, and I've been having a pretty good time poking at it and clicking on things to see what happens.
Ever Given, the massive container ship that got itself wedged in Egypt's Suez Canal for more than week, is now free, but the incident will live on forever in Microsoft Flight Simulator.
The Microsoft Flight Simulator community has released several third-party mods over the last few days that show a realistic model of the ship blocking the Suez Canal, along with reproducing the traffic jam caused by its grounding.
It's finally here, after months of waiting, Innersloth launched the new air ship map for Among Us. Along with the brand new map there is also the new account system, skins and some new mechanics such as choosing where you spawn. Innersloth also divulged what's on there roadmap, which should be faster with their new hires, that includes revamped art style, larger lobbies and plushies.
Yesterday, Sumo Group reported a substantial revenue growth in 2020, up 40% year on year. The full annual report is worth a read over on the Sumo Group website but of note is this statement on GIbiz from group CEO Carl Cavers:
"If you ask any of these companies, EA, Tencent, Microsoft, Embracer, Sumo... what is the biggest strength of this business? It's the talent. Obviously, acquiring studios is a way to accelerate that."
All of the mentioned games businesses have demonstrated numerous, significant acquisitions recently and that trend looks set to continue. Certainly the quest for talent is fierce in the industry at present and it's interesting to consider the benefit of talent as part of the acquisition conversation. When viewed through such a lens, the relative commercial success of a games business becomes less significant if there is a room full of talented game devs up for grabs. This in turn, generates value in a lot of businesses than might otherwise not thrive.
Not a week goes by the games industry without acquisition and investment hitting the headlines of the trade and wider press. Whilst I don't claim to be anywhere near an expert, it's certainly a fascinating trend to spectate in the ongoing "growing up" of the video games industry.
A free next gen update for Deliver Us the Moon is coming later this year for Xbox Series X and PS5 owners. The update will include upgraded audio and ray-traced shadows and reflections. The game is already available on Game Pass, and it is expected that with Xbox Smart Delivery there won't actually be a need to download anything new if you already have the game. This is a game I've downloaded on Game Pass and am excited to try out very soon. The trailer visuals already look great, and I can only imagine this free update is going to make outer space look even better!
Thanks for reading this week's roundup. We have plenty more content on our YouTube channel, including interviews, marketing tips and gameplay. If you prefer a live experience, join us on Twitch every Thursday at 4pm where we discuss more of the week's videogame news, have a discussion about the industry, and play some games.
That's all for this week. Have a great long Easter weekend! 🐰