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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 update we're talking videogame/TV adaptions, virtual running for charity, speedrunning, and Sims pronouns.

Mario Speedrunning

One of my most controversial gaming opinions is that I think that New Super Mario Bros. Wii is one of the best Mario games ever made. Suck it, Super Mario Galaxy!

While it wasn't everyone's favourite edition, it did inspire a lot of speedrunners, and this week, Summoning Salt released a new video charting the history of this community.

It's a lengthy exploration of tips and tricks that were gradually discovered over many years of extremely precise gameplay. But if you've got a spare 50 minutes, and if you're curious about speedrunning - then this video is for you. Hit play, and see how small quirks in games can make huge differences to world records.



PlayStation TV Shows

Sony has recently announced they are working on a TV show adaption, for Netflix, of one of their most popular games... Horizon Zero Dawn


It seems like Sony are going in hard on adapting their games to watching experiences. The Last of Us is already in production for HBO and is expected to have a 2023 release. Along with the HZD announcement, there has also been announces of a God of War TV show for Amazon, and apparently a Grand Turismo pitch is being worked on as well. On top of this there is also a Twisted Metal TV show in development for NBC and a Ghost of Tsushima movie. And let's not forget, the Unchartered movie has just recently finished it's run in cinemas. 

Sony seem to be all in on this strategy. I'm starting to sound like a broken record as I talk about this a lot, but it is clear that creating new IP is so much harder than leveraging existing and well loved IP. So it does make sense that games companies are looking to diversify their offering for their beloved titles and characters into different media, to look for additional revenue sources. It's a great opportunity to extend the experience for existing players, and also offer a chance to get new eyes on the IP who may then look to explore the games. 

Ben J

Call of Duty Veteruns

Activision have come up with an innovative way to raise money for charity by inviting players to run virtual kilometres in Call of Duty Warzone Pacific. The event is taking place now and is running until 3rd of June. For every 10 kilometres run in the game, the player will have raised $1 with a maximum of $10 per player and up to a total of 1 million dollars. All the money raised will go towards the Call of Duty endowment fund, whose mission is to help military veterans find employment. Players can track their progress via an online leaderboard at



New pronoun options in The Sims

I'm back this week with more Sims news - and it's a great one. Players can finally customise Sims' pronouns, with they/them becoming a new drop down option and a Custom section where players can assign any pronouns they wish for all the fancy grammar cases where pronouns are used.

The update was designed with help from GLAAD and It Gets Better Project and so far has had a positive reception online.

Sims has always tried to allow players to "play with life" in all its diverse glory, and while this hasn't always been perfect, this latest move joins multiple updates for better representation in the game.


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?


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