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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'll be discussing a certain cereal mascot who is venturing into streaming, announcements from QuakeCon, game delays and more!

Subscription services

One of the downsides of a subscription-based approach to gaming is that sometimes, games that you really love end up leaving the services that you're paying for. Such as it is, this month is your last chance to play both Spiritfarer (mentioned on last week's blog) and Hades (one of the absolute best games of recent years) on Xbox Game Pass.

spiritfarer-screen

While it's part of what you signed up for, it's always a shame to see great titles leave a service. As the industry progresses, and as fans get more discerning about which subscriptions to keep when money is tight, platforms like Game Pass will need to ensure that their incoming games are just as exciting as the ones on their way out. Beloved titles, like Hades, leave a pretty large gap to fill.

On the other side of this coin, I found out this week that Before Your Eyes (one of 2021's best games) is now available on Netflix. Yes, Netflix. If you've yet to try Netflix games, this is the perfect opportunity - games are included in the same deal as movies and TV shows on the service, so if you're a subscriber, you can play it right now for no additional cost.

Adam

 

Tony the Tiger is streaming

This week, some grrrreat news from the world of streaming and engagement from household brands. This evening, Kellogg's are launching their first VTuber (a virtual persona or avatar used for video content creation) in the form of Tony the Tiger of Frosted Flakes fame (known here in the UK as Frosties). The character has been put together in collaboration with Twitch and will be launching with a campaign seeing Tony engaging with popular Twitch Streamers to play some battle royale games on some custom hardware.

The involvement of Twitch gives confidence this will hopefully be pitched right to appeal to the gaming audience but we'll have to wait and see how well it lands. It will certainly be interesting to see how good an example this might be for other non-gaming brands to authentically engage games audiences.

You can find out more about this over on The Drum.

Dan

Image of Tony the Tiger as mascot and as VTuber

QuakeCon Game Pass announcement

PC Game Pass users now have access to more classic Bethesda and id Software games, including old Elder Scrolls spin-offs and old-school shooters, like Wolfenstein 3D.

Announced yesterday as part of QuakeCon, Microsoft has expanded the PC Game Pass library to include five new titles.

Microsoft bought Bethesda last year and is now adding its vintage games to Game Pass. We’ll have to wait and see if any of these games get Xbox ports, but for now these are only for Game Pass users on PC.

And, if you’re a PC gamer but don’t have Game Pass, Microsoft also announced that The Elder Scrolls: Arena and The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall, will be free to play via the Microsoft Store.

Ben G

bethesdaxboxgamepass

Across the Obelisk

This week, I'm talking about steams latest hit, Across the Obelisk, which has just come out of early access alpha. The game brings together a D&D and Slay the Spire style to create a table-top, co-op deck builder type game.

Across the Obelisk, has all the deckbuilding basics where you can utilise the powers from over 500 cards. There are dozens of characters to unlock and most importantly a party system. This allows up to four players and is fully playable in co-op... A game like this is right up my street. Following the D&D style, players can jointly make decisions about how to respond to in-game events.

This game is definitely worth checking out, as a fan of deck based games and D&D it's on my huge list of games to play.

Mehdi

Across the Obelisk screenshot

1 million lambs

Last week I wrote about how excited I was for Cult of the Lamb. This week I'm back to tell you how AMAZING the game is! Wow! I can't stop playing it and I know others on the Play Team agree.

In fact, so many people around the world agree, that Cult of the Lamb has now sold 1 million copies! Devolver Digital announced this on Twitter earlier this week. What an achievement - 1 million copies in the first week is an amazing goal for any game, but for an indie game made primarily by a small team it's dream-worthy.

I'm not surprised, as Cult of the Lamb does so many things REALLY well. It has a great main gameplay loop - you go on a dungeon crawl, you bring back goodies - you develop your cult and keep your cultists happy - you get stronger - and you go back to the dungeon. It's such a satisfying loop that many players simply can't put the game down. This is the core of it's success in my opinion, enhanced by beautiful cartoon graphics, cute character designs, witty writing, great sound work and the overall impeccable VIBES.

Seriously - go play it!

Taya

Commandos

When I was younger a game that me and my brother used to spend hours on was Commandos. Yesterday the HD remastered release date trailer dropped announcing the remaster will be available with Game Pass on 30th August for console and PC.

The remaster also comes with additional features such as improved controls, autosave, a rookie mode, refined UI and an improved tutorial. Later in the year the game will come to other platforms and potentially more new features. Seeing the trailer brought back some fond childhood memories.

Pete

 

Hogwarts Legacy delayed again

If you were waiting to play Hogwarts Legacy, you're going to be waiting a bit longer. This week Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment has announced that the the game will now release on 10th February 2023. 

When the game was first announced it was given a 2021 release window. That was then pushed back to 2022. So this is now the second delay the game has seen. Announced on Twitter WBIE have said "The team is excited for you to play, but we need a little more time to deliver the best possible game experience."

It's a growing trend in games, and is now almost becoming expected by players to see titles be delayed from when they are originally announced to be releasing.

Ben J

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? Watch yesterday's show right here 👇

 

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