Some additional information in one line
Ben Joy
Ben JoyBen keeps the Play Team ticking, helps clients define their digital offering and manages the unruly team. You’ll often find him hitting the golf course too.

In this week's roundup we're looking at a new games studio that has just been announced, an indie game with exceptional results, and a cool reload compilation. 

Adam

This week, the developers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl announced that they were adding NFTs to the forthcoming game. After strong fan backlash, they tried to explain why they thought NFTs would be good for the game. Mere minutes later, all NFT integration with the game was cancelled.

It's unlikely to be the last story of it's kind, as Non Fungible Tokens are a hot trend among investors but yet to find a truly mainstream market within games. Player reaction (and the reaction of many developers) has been extremely strong, with concerns including the damage the technology can do to the environment, and a general distrust of the burgeoning world of blockchain and crypto.

Last week Ubisoft announced that NFTs would be used in forthcoming content for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, eliciting a similar reaction. So far, they're sticking to their guns, although even their own staff are concerned about the move.

As of yet, nobody has presented a convincing case for how NFTs and similar technology could meaningfully improve games for players, in ways that couldn't be done with technology we already have. There is of course, plenty of evidence that including buzz-worthy NFTs will attract lucrative investment.

Pete

Popular streamer Dr Disrespect has announced his own AAA game studio, called Midnight Society. The studio will be developing online PVP multiplayer experiences, with a focus on getting it in the hands of players from day 0. The team is made up of industry veterans with a wealth of experience in PVP games including Call of Duty, Halo & Gears of War, and they are actively hiring too. Their opening tweet includes a video showing off some concept art for what I'd assume would be the game being developed using Unreal Engine 5.

 

Ben G

Here’s a question I asked myself all the time: “What if someone took everyday items and reloaded them like video game weapons?“. Fortunately for me, Kommander Karl from TikTok has my back.

Karl creates immensely satisfying reload videos with things like toasters, smoke alarms and lamps. Chuck in sound effects, a game UI overlay, and a little bit of weapon sway, and you’ve got a guaranteed recipe for success.

So, enjoy this compilation video of Kommander Karl doing his thing. And, if you want more you can check him out on TikTok.

 

Taya

Unpacking is one of my top games of 2021 - it's a chill pixel unpacking simulator with a surprising emotional depth and super satisfying mechanics.

Looks like many others are in agreement because this week developers Witch Beam Games announced that 100K units of the game had been sold in the first 10 days. This is an amazing feat for an indie - and so well deserved too - showing that chill, high quality games that respect player time have a place in our backlogs.

If you haven't played Unpacking yet and are looking for a relaxing, emotional impactful experience - you should definitely add it to your Christmas list (it's also available on Games Pass).

 

Ben J

I'm very interested in the discoverability of games, as you might imagine with me working in games marketing (check out Simon Carless' newsletter if discoverability interests you too!). What I've been noticing recently is, I'm discovering a lot of games that are really catching my interest via LinkedIn. It's a channel that might not necessarily be at the forefront of everyone's minds as often LinkedIn can be seen as a very corporate network and for people looking to change jobs. However, there is a huge community of people who work in games on the platform, and what is worth remembering is that those that don't work in games, are also interested in games. 

You can obviously do paid advertising on LinkedIn, but it is the organic posts from the creators and people who have worked on the games that have appeared in my feed that have caught my attention. The principles for getting noticed on LinkedIn are similar to on the other social networks... Make sure you have an engaging trailer that gets straight to the action (if you don't have a trailer yet don't worry, get some artwork posted instead), explain in the post what your game is about, and be authentic. I love seeing the passion for the games that these people are creating coming through, it makes me even more interested in checking them out. 

A few things to be aware of though, try to upload videos direct to LinkedIn rather than posting a YouTube link as this is more accessible to get people to view the video. Also make sure to post a link to your Steam page, I've seen instances where I am super interested in the game, but there is no link and I have to go find it myself - make it as easy as possible for people to get to your storefront! Word of warning though, be sure to put all links in a comment on your post, as LinkedIn seems to de-prioritise posts that directly link away from the platform. Encourage people you know to like, share and comment on your post if they feel comfortable to do so as this will help get it in front of a wider audience than just your network. 

There are a couple of games that I've added to my wishlist after seeing them promoted by their creators on LinkedIn. The first being, Stuffed, a game where you play as a teddy bear fighting off your owners nightmares.

 

And Hypercharged: Unboxed, a very Small Soldiers-esque game where you play as an toy action figure where you take on other toys to defend your territory, be that a bedroom, a garden or a toy store. Both games look really fun, and it also appears that the opportunity to play as toy is a genre that is right up my street! 

 

More from Etch Play

If you enjoyed this roundup, why not check out where else you can find us on the internet...

  • LinkedIn - where we share all our latest content and things that generally catch our attention
  • 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
  • YouTube - we've got loads of interviews with industry experts, tips for your games marketing, gameplay, and an archive of every live show we've ever done
  • Twitter -  we hang out here to talk about anything games related

Before you go, why not check out yesterday's live show 👇

 

Popular Views

Competitive tagging: How to actually use the best Twitter hashtags
Marketing a videogame? Looking for help with hashtags? You've come to the right place. Tagging can be a powerful tool for discovery, reach, and..
Read More
Why a creative mindset is important for business success
Creativity (the intangible kind) can be a potent and powerful force for your business – but only when wielded correctly.
Read More
How videogames can help with mental health
For a few years now, I’ve been relatively public about my depression. It’s something I’ve tweeted about, something I’ve written about, and even..
Read More

Recent News

Etch Play Roundup (21/01/2022)
Happy Friday folks. Quiet news week in videogames, right? Let's see if we can rustle something up to talk about...
Read More