Welcome to the Etch Play Roundup. This week, we're covering game delays, exciting news regarding Lucasfilm Games and some old school gaming.
In the latest ‘games that are delayed, thanks for that Covid’ news, Hogwarts Legacy has been delayed until 2022. In what I can only describe as a bid to play it cool, they put out this tweet that glosses over the delay, instead (hopefully) cementing the new release.
It was a big week for massive franchises, because this week the newly formed Lucasfilm Games division announced that they're working on an Indiana Jones game(!) with MachineGames (Wolfenstein) and Bethesda (Skyrim, Fallout). Punch a Nazi and then do some archaeology? Sign me up.
Will this iconic brand be exclusive to Xbox and PC once the ink dries on Microsoft's purchase of Bethesda? That's a fascinating question, as the particulars of how the Xbox division will wield their new power are yet to be confirmed. But I'll be prepared either way, because this week I finally managed to secure an Xbox Series X order. That's right, they do exist. Now all I need to do is find a whip... And I have no idea how to google that at work without getting in trouble with IT here at Etch Play.
I thought I had the same piece of news as Adam, but looks like Lucasfilm Games have been busy this week!
Yesterday Ubisoft and Lucasfilm Games announced they are collaborating on an open world story driven Star Wars adventure game. Development will be lead by Massive Entertainment who developed The Division, a game which I enjoyed playing a lot. There isn’t much information at the moment other than it’ll use the same Snowdrop engine as The Division and based on the recently updated recruitment page it’ll be an RPG shooter with linear & non-linear narrative. This also ends the around 8 years exclusivity that EA has had on the Star Wars license. This doesn't mean the end for EA however, as Sean Shoptaw, senior vice president of Global Games and Interactive Experiences at Disney, told WIRED, “EA has been and will continue to be a very strategic and important partner for us now and going forward... But we did feel like there's room for others.”
With the talk last week about it being 20 years since the Xbox was first shown to the world, I decided I'd dig out my original Xbox. It really was a blast from the past, and showed how far gaming has come in the last 20 years. That isn't to say it wasn't fun though. I spent some time racing around as Bart Simpson in The Simpsons: Hit and Run, and had a few wrestling matches on Raw 2. I might have had to hold the disk drive in to get the machine to read the disk, but after that it was relative plain sailing!
That said, I still think I'll be on the lookout for an Xbox Series X!
If you caught our live stream yesterday, you might already know what I'm going to talk about - Pokémon Snap! Nintendo released a new trailer showing off the game's atmosphere, some new Pokémon in the game, and most importantly, the release date! Switch owners will be able to pick up the game on April 30th, and, while I don't normally preorder games, this might be one I have to break my rules on, as I played the N64 version to death!
Steam has released its 2020 Year in Review, revealing huge stats like "50% more hours played than in 2019", showing significant growth for the company (and no doubt largely fuelled by the Covid-19 pandemic). Steam also announced that "various countries" government bodies and large internet companies approached them to see they could help mitigate the rise in global traffic that ISPs were seeing, because it was getting to a point where it was affecting people's ability to work from home and their children's remote schooling.
After my Christmas binge of games, these first couple of weeks back have been a complete U turn and I've barely picked up a controller since. The games industry news cycle is often entertainment enough to keep on top of and as highlighted in our weekly show and todays roundup, 2021 isn't looking likely to see any change there.
Of particular interest has been the recent apology video shared from CD Projekt co-founder and Cyberpunk 2077 creator, Marcin Iwiński. There's plenty of commentary around the content of the video and it's fitness for purpose but what has also been noteworthy is the coverage of said video. On top of the expected media outlets, over the rollercoaster of a ride that has been the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 we've seen everyone from the BBC to the Financial Times and The Economist weigh in on various beats. This goes another step into cementing games as not only mainstream entertainment but also now a regular feature of general business and finance discussions.
Dear gamers,— Cyberpunk 2077 (@CyberpunkGame) January 13, 2021
Below, you’ll find CD PROJEKT’s co-founder’s personal explanation of what the days leading up to the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 looked like, sharing the studio’s perspective on what happened with the game on old-generation consoles. pic.twitter.com/XjdCKizewq
Thanks for reading our roundup. If you want to get more Etch Play content you can head on over to our YouTube channel which is packed full of interviews and talks with industry experts, videogame marketing tips, and us playing some games. We also have a live show every Thursday at 4pm which we'd love for you to join us for on our Twitch Channel. Or, if you just want to say hello, you can message us on Twitter.
Until next week 👋
Before you go, you can check out yesterday's live show right here 👇