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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.

Friday means it's roundup day. This week we've got the new Call of Duty title, self-publishing on Epic Games Store, and a growth in the German games market. Enjoy...


Making games is hard. Most developers have at least one story about the game's code behaving in ways they initially can't explain, and this week we got a couple of stories from behind the scenes of Skyrim, one of the biggest RPGs of all time.

Skyrim has lots of interconnected systems, which produces what some would call "emergent" gameplay - which means that sometimes the game acts in ways that people can't entirely anticipate. The result? Great game development tales of mystery.

Nate Purkeypile on how in-game bees derailed a very important cart:

Joel Burgess on how Skyrim's foxes accidentally led players to hidden treasure: 

Skyrim fans who are feeling nostalgic while reading these stories will be pleased to know that this week, Bethesda also announced a next-gen upgrade for the now decade-old game.


Epic have started a closed beta for self-publishing on the Epic Games store. Previously, any games that were to be listed within Epic Games Store had to be managed between developers/publishers and someone on the Epic Games Store team. With the launch of this beta, the tooling is seemingly in place for devs to manage this process themselves. This is a big milestone for the Epic Games Store as this would have been a significant bottleneck to the volume of content that can make it to the front end of the store for players to purchase.

The store will continue to be curated so this won't just allow anyone to publish to the Epic Games Store, but this will reduce the amount of hand-holding required by Epic staff. Whilst still lagging behind PC gaming storefront market leader Steam, this is a positive step for Epic and a significant quality of life improvement for game devs and publishers utilising the store.

epic games store logo


Sledgehammer Games announced Vanguard, the new game to hit the Call of Duty series coming out on November 5th. The game is going to be set in WW2 with the trailer showing allies battling on multiple fronts. There will be a single player campaign where you’ll be playing as four characters who form a special task force battling with Axis forces on four fronts.

There will be multiplayer set to feature 20 maps at launch as well as collaboration with other studios including Treyarch Studios providing Zombies and Raven Software with a new war zone map. I always love it when games go back to WW2 as it always reminds me of the original Call of Duty and Medal of Honor which were a couple of my favourite games back in the day.

call of duty vanguard key art

Ben J

We're well aware that the German market is a big one for videogames when it comes to players. What is encouraging is that as well as the player market growing, the number of gaming companies and those employed in the industry in Germany is also growing.

German trade group, Game, have announced there has been a 20% growth in the gaming market, and there are now 749 companies in the country who either publish games, develop them, or both. Their report also explains that the number of people employed by developers and publishers increased by 8% within the past year to 10,906.


Other stuff

Did you know you can get at lot more from Etch Play in a number of places across the internet? Well now you do... You can get games business insights from us on LinkedIn, chat with us on Twitter, and watch us share our thoughts and feelings on YouTube.

We also have a weekly live show. It's on every Thursday at 4pm over on our Twitch account, and you can watch the latest episode below.


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