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Adam Burt
Adam BurtSenior Developer (Games Marketing)

If you're looking for a roundup of the week in games, you've come to the right place. That's exactly what we do here on the blog every Friday. There's no time to waste, let's get right into it! 

Embracer acquires 3 studios from Square Enix

News broke this week that Embracer Group is set to acquire three notable studios: Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal and Square Enix Montréal. The deal is worth a reported $300 million, which sounds like a big number, until you think about how much videogame companies usually cost. The price point here is astonishingly low. I'm just going to call it: This is the deal of the year. 

Not convinced? Simply look at other acquisitions for a point of comparison. It's an absolute bargain compared to recent deals, such as Sony's acquisition of Bungie for $3.6 billion (with a b). Microsoft bought Rare twenty years ago for $375 million. Industry growth and inflation alone should dictate that these studios are worth a lot more.

As well as the talented staff of these three studios, Embracer Group will also be getting their hands on the IP for Tomb Raider (an all-time classic franchise), and a handful of dormant but potentially interesting franchises like Deus Ex and Thief. It's incredibly good business by Embracer, who will likely feel like they can turn around the fortunes of the three studios, who have admittedly suffered from some commercial underperformance in recent years. Both Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montréal have released Marvel-licensed games recently, and failed to sell as many copies as anticipated. 

Currently, Crystal Dynamics is at work on a new Tomb Raider powered by Unreal Engine 5, and is supposedly also assisting with development on Microsoft's Perfect Dark reboot

Adam Burt

"Just Die Already" impresses, as Epic Store's Free Game of the Week

Last month was the month of Ramadan, so my focus was more on spirituality than gaming or gaming news. But this week, I'm back! 

In an effort to entice more users to sign up, Epic give away games for free on their marketplace, the Epic Games Store, every week. One of this week's free games? "Just Die Already".

It's described as an "old people mayhem" game, which jokes about the stereotype that all old people hate everything and everyone. After being kicked out of the retirement home (for causing havoc), you are tasked with completing your bucket-list. You can go at this game solo, or with a friend, and it's great fun - a real good laugh. The ragdoll, bone breaking and limb losing physics are top notch, and the devs have done a great job in creating a fun sandbox. You don't have to focus or grind when playing, it's just a good time.

Mehdi Miah

Warcraft Arclight Rumble unveiled

This week, Blizzard announced a new mobile game titled Warcraft Arclight Rumble. The announcement features a reveal trailer, gameplay run through with the devs, and an extended gameplay run through.

The game contains everything fans would want from a Warcraft game including PvE, raids, PvP and co-op. The fun reveal trailer shows an arcade-like machine within a tavern in Azeroth, containing mini characters from Warcraft, that do battle against each other.

The title features a whole host of maps, where players will have to command units to defend their base in a tower defence style, and then turn the tables to go on the offensive and eliminate the level boss. The developer walk through video is well worth a watch, as it shows how passionate the team are about the project, and gives little insights into the development of the game - as well as doing a great job of explaining the gameplay, and exciting things fans can expect when this comes out.

A closed beta is dropping soon, so it's well worth signing up for the pre-registration on the Warcraft Rumble website.

Pete Keating

No Man's Sky Renaissance Continues

This week, I made a return to No Man’s Sky. It’s been over a year since I last played, and rather than try and pick up where I left off, I decided a fresh start was in order.

One of the things I’ve always enjoyed about No Man’s Sky is that the pace of it is completely up to you. Once the initial repairs to your ship are done, you can literally do what you want. It’s a great game to get lost in.

The Etch Play team work closely with Hello Games to help craft the visual patch note pages for each of No Man’s Sky’s many free updates, so I’m no stranger to how much this game has expanded since 2016.

No Man's Sky Screenshot

Since playing last year, I’ve been impressed by the numerous quality of life changes that have been added to the game. Having not played in so long, I found the mission prompts and checklists super helpful. They make a daunting list of elements, crafting and technology easy to find your way around.

No Man’s Sky will be six years old this summer, and it’s still going from strength to strength - long may it continue! I’m looking forward to exploring some more planets this weekend! 

Ben Gammon

The Sims teases new season

This week, in their usual enigmatic fashion, Sims 4 social accounts dropped a teaser for the next "season" of content that will see a game pack and two kits themed around Nightlife released over May and June.

The clever teaser trailer seems to showcase the theming of these content drops by showing clips on a TV watched by a sim. Since the teaser, Sims have released some further information including the names of the packs, though not much else.

Between the teaser and the pack name, many have speculated that werewolves are finally returning to the Sims. I'm excited to find out more about this next season and to maybe "Go Wild" with my Sims in June

Taya B

Other stuff

Xbox helps Fortnite sneak back onto iOS. Sort of.

Overwatch 2 beta impressions - a step backwards? 

Summer Game Fest slated for June 9th, will play in some cinemas.

More Etch Play

You can find Etch Play on all the usual social networks you might imagine. In particular, we hang out on Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube

We also have a live show every Thursday, where we recap the latest games industry news in video podcast form. It's a lot of fun. If you'd like to check it out, why not follow us on Twitch

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