Stick em up, this is a roundup! 🤠 We've got 4 day working weeks, Amazon going big on games, and possibly a new name for FIFA. What are you waiting for, get reading!
This week, Eidos Montreal announced they're moving to a 4-day working week, to build "even more innovative games" and improve the work/life balance of their employees.
The studio (famous for recent Deus Ex titles, and the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy game) are actively recruiting, and this move will also be seen as a way to make the company more attractive to potential new hires.
4-day working weeks are a fast-growing trend among tech companies and being trialed by governments in some countries, but are currently rare in the games industry - which famously sees some teams working extremely long hours, especially as a game nears release, known as 'crunch'. It remains to be seen whether these changes will alleviate that behaviour, but it's certainly a notable shift for a large company to take: And lots of eyes at other studios will be watching in the coming months, to see whether it works.
Watch this space.
Frontline will launch with a flagship mode called ‘Expedition’ - a large-scale 102-person battle in which teams of three complete objectives across a huge open world map. There’s also a mode called Control, a deathmatch between two teams of nine, with more game modes planned to be added season by season.
Ghost Recon Frontline doesn’t have a launch date yet, but PC players in Europe can sign up for a closed beta test between 14th-21st October on the official website.
You can watch the full announcement video here.
Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon has said the he believes games could become the companies biggest entertainment category, ahead of video and music. It perhaps makes sense for Amazon to think this might be the case and to focus their efforts in this area. There is fierce competition with the likes of Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, the list goes on. And with Spotify and Apple Music dominating the music arena. Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music although by no means slouches in those lists, doesn't seem to quite have the household name as some of the others in that list.
We all know gaming is a high growth industry, and Amazon certainly have the money to put behind themselves to really have a crack at the industry, as long as they have the patience to get there. Winning in the gaming space is not an overnight sensation. There has been scepticism over Amazon's ventures into gaming, what with a couple of cancelled games , reports of struggling with "bro culture" and lots of different publications writing about how Amazon can't crack games.
That said, Amazon remains positive, and with New World, Amazon's latest release seemingly off to a good start, maybe things are turning around for them.
That said, it hasn't been a great week for Amazon owned Twitch this week, with major data breaches occurring! 😬
FIFA 2022 launched last Friday and has proved very popular racking up a whopping 9.1 million players. This week EA published a press release that gives detail on the numbers from the launch and interestingly shares insight into future plans that could involve a rename.
EA will be reviewing the naming rights agreement with FIFA as they strive to provide the "worlds greatest interactive football experiences". The press release states that this wouldn't affect the authenticity of the game as the licenses for the leagues, teams, stadiums & players are separate to these partnerships. As someone who has sunk a lot of hours in to FIFA, having the proper teams & players is a huge plus. I remember this always being something that was frustrating when playing the old pro-evolution soccer games. So, FIFA 22 could be the last FIFA. I wonder what we'll be calling it next year 😄
This weekend is World Mental Health Day and the games industry is coming together to support a number of activities around the matter.
Ukie are supporting this and have consolidated some more information on their website including the following standout activities:
* An Apex Legends tournament from Gaming Merchant and Simply Ashton, with the support of the team from Electronic Arts in the UK.
* A panel at EGX dedicated to games and mental health, featuring Ellen Rose from Outside Xtra and Rosie Taylor from Safe in our World.
* A Friday evening stream from Futurlab highlighting Powerwash Simulator to demonstrate the calmer side of play.
* Mental health messaging being included in games by Codemasters to support the Every Mind Matters campaign.
I'll be making some time this Sunday to play some games and chat to old and new friends and will stream some on the Etch Play Twitch account too. We'll share on our Twitter account when we're going live so give us a follow and follow Ukie for other related updates across the weekend.
Even more Etch Play
We're all over the internet, so if you want to get even more content from us and see what we've been working on recently you can find us in the following places:
- LinkedIn - we share all the latest content we've produced, case studies and just things we find generally interesting
- YouTube - industry interviews, marketing tips, gameplay, we've got it all here for you to enjoy
- Twitter - we hang out here for chats about all things games
- Twitch - every Thursday at 4pm we have our weekly live show where we chat the latest games news, have discussion about the wider industry, play some games and have a lot of fun
In fact, why not check out yesterdays episode of the weekly live show right here 👇 This week I put my games career in jeopardy as I took on Adam's videogame quiz. Head on over to Twitch and subscribe so you're notified when we're on the air so you can join in on the fun live!