In this edition of the roundup we're chatting abut licensing, Psychonauts, Sony's State of Play and much much more,
The Pyschonauts documentary
If you're reading this at the end of February, then it's officially been a whole month since I deleted Marvel Snap from my phone - a game so good that I've literally had to prevent myself from playing it, in order to have a functioning life. Put that quote on the box.
With my new found gaming freedom, I've been revisiting some things, including Titanfall 2 - which we now know sadly won't be getting a spiritual sequel - and Psychonauts 2.
The latter of those, Double Fine's rather excellent sequel to Psychonauts, is the subject of a recently released documentary. I'm still working my way through it (it's over 20 hours long, covering seven years of development!) but so far it is incredible.
Throughout the series, 2 Player Productions pull back the curtain on game development more thoroughly than any documentary I've ever seen before. If you're interested in how games are made, you simply have to watch it.
Warzone and Apex
Feb came and went way too fast... This month has been a hectic one so I haven't found myself being able to devote a lot of my time to games, but the main three I have been putting time towards are:
- Horizon Zero Dawn
- Call of Duty Warzone - Ashika Island
- Apex Legends
The new Warzone 2.0 season 2 has come out, and there are so many much needed changes that have been brought in. Its nice to see so much effort on the devs behalf listening to their community. Whole new map (lots of cherry blossom trees, so I'm already happy), new game modes, 1v1 gulag and much more. So if you took a break because of the buggyness you could experience in the game previously, now is the time to get back in!
Apex legends, oh how I've wasted so much of my life away in this game. I found it had gotten to a point where I was finding the game un-playable and un-enjoyable. However, I've decided to take a leap back in because nothing can compare to a violent, Battle Royale at 2am whilst spouting out questionable "Would you rather?" questions to each other. The new season 16 (wow, they're really firing these seasons out) has brought a host of changes but some key ones needed still are missing. If you're after something more faster paced but with a slower time to kill time (compared to Call of Duty), Apex is a great bet. Player abilities do really change up the game so every fight is a challenge in the 60 player lobbies.
That's it from me, See you next time 👌🏽
When I was growing up (a long time ago now), if you wanted to play the best football games on the market, you had two main choices: EA’s FIFA or Konami’s PES (Pro Evolution Soccer). At that time, I was firmly a member of team PES, with Konami’s game engine feeling more fluid and natural to me than EA’s offering. But gameplay aside, there was always one area where PES fell short compared to its biggest rival: licensing.
EA had the licensing for everything: the leagues, clubs, stadiums and players. Where FIFA had Manchester United and Old Trafford, PES fans had to settle for Man Red and Trad Brick Stadium. It definitely took some of the shine off.
The game engine could only take PES so far. And, when EA improved its own engine over the years that followed, there was very little in that department to separate the two. Choosing which game to play became a much simpler decision and all of my friends inevitably picked FIFA. I was forced to follow suit to ensure I kept getting invited around to play.
If people want to play games because they feature the actual teams and players they see and support in real life, then it should come as a surprise to no one that it costs a lot of money to secure those rights. Sky reports that “20 Premier League clubs were briefed at a meeting on Friday that a new six-year partnership with EA Sports worth about £488m is close to being finalised”. According to Sky, it’s estimated to be “worth more than double the existing deal involving the two parties”.
Huge sums of money. And that’s just the deal for the rights to the Premier League. If you’re wondering how EA could possibly afford that, the last time the publisher released financial results for its Ultimate Team game mode that allows players to buy digital cards, they had made £1.3 billion!
Baldur's Gate 3
This month has been big for games of all kinds, but the announcement that's been extra special for me is that of the Baldur's Gate 3's release date: 31st of August 2023!
Larian has been one of my favourite game developers since I played Divinity: Original Sin and later Divinity: Original Sin 2 (which is one of the best games ever released on PC). I've also finally played the original Baldur's Gate games last year, so knowing that the franchise is being continued by a studio so well known for their amazing story telling is like a dream come true!
I played the Early Access of BG3 when it first came out and even then the game showed so much promise and I know it has gone from strength to strength since (I've not touched EA since it came out as I want to experience the game from new at launch).
This has been my most wished for upcoming game and now I know exactly how long I need to wait for it (I'm going to be insufferable in September).
Events and State of Play
It's been a good month for getting to events in the Play Team. We first attended the Guildford Games Festival 2023. Although volunteering and helping out on the day, both me and Adam managed to make time to each get to one of the many brilliant talks you could attend. You can check out Adam's full review of the event here. The festival was a huge success and certainly got me back in the event going mood.
Which was great, as a few weeks later me and Taya then headed off to the Games Growth Summit in London. Another fantastic event which was filled with fireside chats and panels covering every topic you could imagine would provide value to game studios who are looking to grow. You can read my full review of the event here.
In other gaming news, we also saw a Sony State of Play this month, with loads of updates and announcements. Some of my highlights included were the announcement of the launch date for Tchia which is less than a month away, and also the deep dive into Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League where we got a new trailer and a behind the scenes which provided even more details about the game. Check out everything that featured at the State of Play in this handy article from Eurogamer.
More Etch Play
If you enjoyed this roundup, why not check out the rest of our blog for previous editions and plenty of articles full of game marketing tips. If video is more your style then head over to the Etch Play YouTube channel where you'll find industry interviews, marketing discussions and good old gameplay.