Welcome to the last Etch Play Roundup of the year! We know you'll be itching to get your holiday break started, so let's dive straight in...
Last night Riot Games VP, Greg Street, announced on his personal Twitter that they will be making an MMORPG and hinted that it'll be based around popular esports game League of Legends. Greg didn't give too much away other than a reference to "League Universe" and that it will be massive. The tweet had a lovely note at the end to inform people that they're hiring, so it's great to see that a new game will be creating new job opportunities, and it sounds like it'll be something really rewarding to be a part of.
I have news!— Greg Street (@Ghostcrawler) December 18, 2020
My recent job at Riot has been to help develop the League universe, which we’re going to need!
Because it is time. My new job is to kick off a big (some might say massive) game that many of you, and many Rioters, have been asking us to create.
PS We’re hiring
I'm going a little different this week, I actually want to talk about a podcast I listened to instead of a game... Although it is game related! Victoria Tran, Community Director at Innersloth recently appeared on Game Dev Unchained, a series to help smaller developers reach their potential. Her episode is entirely dedicated to marketing your game with little to no budget, what platforms are worthwhile, influencers, partnerships and more, I don't want to spoil it all here so go give it a listen instead!
It's been a week that CD Projekt Red would probably rather forget. The highly anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 has sold incredibly well, but hasn't met consumer expectations and in many cases, is borderline unplayable due to prevalent bugs and recurring crashes.
The worst of it affects players on PS4 and Xbox One, especially for players on base versions of either console. Unhappy customers were directed to seek refunds from retailers by CDPR, but retailers (both physical and major digital players like PlayStation) hadn't agreed any special refund or recall procedure, leaving many fans confused, as several stores do not permit refunds once a game has been opened, downloaded, or played.
The latest escalation is the most shocking development of all: Sony have pulled Cyberpunk 2077 off of the PlayStation store, and implemented a special refund policy for anyone who has bought the game from them thus far. At time of writing, Microsoft haven't followed suit, but you are able to request a refund from the Xbox store which will be considered.
Rocky launches aren't uncommon, but this is undoubtedly a huge blow. All eyes will be on CDPR, in 2021 and beyond, to see if they can turn this one around.
Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have teamed up to promote safer gaming. In a post shared across all three companies' websites on Monday, the big three have released a joint set of principles to foster a safe gaming environment across all of their platforms:
- Prevention: Empower players and parents to understand and control gaming experiences
- Partnership: We commit to partnering with the industry, regulators, law enforcement, and our communities to advance user safety
- Responsibility: We hold ourselves accountable for making our platforms as safe as possible for all players
It's great to see the three companies' commit to making gaming a safer, less toxic place. If you want to read the full announcement, here are links to each website (depending on what team you're on): Microsoft | Nintendo | Sony
Last week EA Sports announced that Beckham will be back to FIFA 21 (FUT and Volta Football) by 15 Jan 2021.
From what I can remember David Beckham was last in FIFA 2013 and he's back again after 8 years and it's only cost £40 million to EA Sports reported by The Gamer.
If you missed our Live Show yesterday, firstly how could you? 😭 Secondly, that means you may have missed the news that Steam are experimenting with a new way for users to browse and find games. The idea is to bring more niche categories of games to the forefront to let more developers have their games found. I hope that this gets rolled out past the experiment phase, as it will be a huge advantage to both players and developers. There are some great articles you can read about it from Steam themselves, and from Lars Doucet who contracted on implementing the experiement. Or you can watch me discuss it below 👇
Another crazy week in the world of games as we can see from the variety of news above. Something that has just caught my eye is that the Epic Games store is branching into non-games apps. Seemingly starting with Spotify. This is another interesting move from Epic and potentially another jab in their ongoing rift with another major digital storefront the Apple App store.
I can see the integration of apps and games becoming a common feature in 2021 as games becomes well and truly rooted in our collective down time. We listen to music whilst we play, we share our experiences on social media whilst we play the convergence of attention seeking digital experiences is a near certainty so I can see the sense in trying to be the facilitating platform.
Spotify is now available on the Epic Games Store!— Epic Games Store (@EpicGames) December 17, 2020
Discover new music and podcasts while you game. Listen to the songs you love and enjoy music from all over the world.@SpotifyNews 🎶 https://t.co/93l6jP1HXA pic.twitter.com/d8CFHnXIDw
We know it's been a difficult year for everyone, and we just want to thank you all for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you all in 2021.
Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year! 🎅 🎄
Before you go, you can catch the recording of yesterdays Live Show right here 👇