We're taking a look at the event season that's about to kick off, the Diablo 4 release, and news from Naughty Dog!
Summer of events
Summer is (nearly) upon us, which means it's a special time for marketers, and for gaming aficionados - the time when all the biggest names in gaming start to share information about their plans for the future.
This smorgasbord of marketing activity has already kicked off, with Sony showing off some good-looking Spider-Man 2 gameplay, during a showcase that overall left some people feeling a bit underwhelmed.
In the coming days of early June, we'll get to enjoy a multiplatform showcase to officially kick off the Summer Game Fest, and we'll see Xbox take to their stage to show off titles like Starfield and Fable.
In the absence of E3, which once dominated and centralised this activity under one roof and during one week, a number of other publishers will put on their own events in the next few weeks. Each will be hoping to wow consumers, attract pre-orders, and bolster investor confidence.
As for me, when I'm not watching dozens of hours of pure unadulterated advertisements, I'll be spending my time trying to finish Pokémon Violet. I've assembled a team of creatures that I quite like, and contrary to many opinions out there, I really enjoy the game. It's rough around the edges for sure. But for me it's got that magic Pokémon feeling - the exploration, the collection, and the vibe - that makes this one of the world's biggest and most enduring gaming franchises.
Ten years after going to the Diablo 3 midnight launch in London, I am unbelievably excited for Diablo 4 being out next month (and in early access on the 2nd of June!)
Diablo has been a really important gaming influence on my life - with Diablo 2 being one of the first computer games I'd ever played and Diablo 3 the first I went to a launch for and bought the collector's edition for. The aRPG series is set in a fantastical, lore-rich world of an eternal fight between angels and demons, with mortals (mostly Nephalem who are kinda like Sanctuary's superheroes) fighting to keep their civilisation going.
Having played the open beta weekend and server slam over the past few months, I know that Diablo 4 is special. The combat is smooth and weighty, and more strategic than Diablo 3's classic mindless hack-and-slash, making it more interesting and rewarding. The visuals are darker and grittier - and gorgeous, with character designs, world building and animations/vfx really standing out as an upgrade on the previous iteration. What I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I have is the music. Sometimes I'd stop in the middle of exploring or taking on monsters just to enjoy the gothic score.
There's a lot I can say about the things I'm excited to do in the full game, but there just isn't enough time to list them all! I'm excited to find out more about the story of Lilith and Inarius and how their conflict develops and resolves. I'm excited to experiment with the different classes and the new skill system. I'm excited to dress up my characters in pretty cosmetics and transmogs. I can't wait to get my horse!
Diablo has some great reviews already - go play it!
The Last of US multiplayer title delayed
With the success of the games, and now the TV show, there are a lot of fans of The Last of Us out there. Last year it was announced that Naughty Dog were working on a The Last of Us multiplayer title, which naturally got a lot of people excited. However, this month they have confirmed that the title is in fact delayed - which is more and more the norm we see in the world of videogames.
Although this is disappointing news for many, the announcement did come with a positive that seemingly a new single player experience was mentioned which seems to have perked everyone up immediately. So, with every cloud as they say, and I'm sure the vast majority of players would rather wait and get a more refined multiplayer experience, than have it come sooner and be lacklustre.
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.