For many years, EA has had a stranglehold on the NFL license. Via their long running and iconic Madden franchise, they signed an exclusive deal with the league years ago that has since left any other other publisher unable to use the popular license. But things seem to be changing, if even so slightly, as a new deal was reached that will put 2K Games in the conversation.
It was announced earlier in the year that the NFL and 2K Games had reached a deal to create games together. The catch was that what they are going to produce will be "non-simulation" games, though what that actually means isn't entirely clear. What those games will look like is anyone's guess, but as reported by Business Wire, 2K games confirmed they have also reached a deal with OneTeam Partners and the National Football League Players Association to use the likeness and numbers of players in whatever they produce, so if you were worried about not having your favorite player in these "non-simulation games," you can rest easy.
It'll be interesting to see what 2K ultimately produces considering it's been so long since someone besides EA has been able to use the NFL license. 2K has created more arcade and cartoony games with some sports licenses they own, such as NBA and WWE. Whatever it'll be, it's a ways out it seems. But in the meantime, Madden NFL 21 will be releasing next month for your football fix.
Last year, we got the announcement that the infamous 'anti-RPG' Moon would finally be coming to the states via a Switch remake. We hadn't heard anything since then, but now we finally got a date for when those in the west can finally get the game, and it's very soon.
As announced by publisher and developer Onion Games, a new trailer came along to tell us that the title will release next month. The game is often cited as an "anti-RPG," because you play as a boy sucked into a RPG world and must use love, instead of violence, against monsters in an attempt to heal the world. The original release was in 1997 for the PlayStation, and this remake marks the first time since that initial release that the game has been available, and the first time the game will release outside Japan.
Moon: Remix RPG Adventure has been out on the Switch in Japan since October of last year, but will come westward August 27th exclusively on the Switch.
The Sims 4 has unquestionably been one of EA's most successful games these past few years, as it ha gone from strength to strength, consistently enjoyed a dedicated a growing playerbase, and still continues to be updated and supported by its developers. That's been reflected in how widely the game has been picked up by players as well, with EA recently confirming in its quarterly financial briefing that The Sims 4 has racked up over 30 million players since it came out.
EA also confirmed that daily, weekly, and monthly active player totals for the game across all platforms reached a record high during the previous quarter (running from April 2020 to June 2020). Considering the fact that The Sims 4's total lifetime player count was at 20 million just some months ago, that's a pretty significant and impressive boost the game has seen.
The Sims 4 is currently available on PC, Mac, PS4, and Xbox One. It recently also became available via Steam.
Star Wars; Squadrons is taking an approach that EA games don't usually take at launch. Not only have the developers made it clear that it's not a live service title, the game is also confirmed to feature no microtransactions, while it's also launching at a lower-than-standard price of $40. Specifically where the latter is concerned, why exactly did EA choose to launch the game at a lower price point?
According to EA executives, that price was decided based on the "breadth" of the experience on offer. Speaking recently during EA's quarterly financial briefing (transcribed by Twinfinite), EA's chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen said that in spite of being "an incredible game", Squadrons doesn't offer the breadth in gameplay that other EA titles do, and as such, a lower price point felt right for the game.
"We always look at the games and we want to make sure we are providing the greatest value for our players," Jorgensen said. "Games all have different scale and most of our games right now have huge scale. We designed this game to really focus on what we heard from consumers which is one of the greatest fantasies, to be able to fly an X-Wing or a TIE-Fighter and be in a dogfight.
"So it doesn't have the breadth of some of our games, but it is still an incredible game. That's why we choose to price it at a slightly lower level. To also allow access to as many people as possible who have that Star Wars fantasy."
EA CEO Andrew Wilson also spoke about the same and made comments along the same lines, also adding that Squadrons fits within EA's spectrum of differently priced games.
"I would start with what are the player motivations we're trying to fulfil and what are the expectations of these player groups in fulfilling these motivations," said Wilson. "We start there long before we ever get to pricing. As you've seen from us we have games across the spectrum of pricing, whether that's free to play, or $60, or $60 with an additional live service, or as part of our subscription offerings."
"At the end of the day, as we think about it, we start with the player, we start with the motivations and expectations that they have, and we build the game," he added. "In this case, this is a very deep and immersive game and $40 felt like the right price point given the breadth of the game."
Star Wars: Squadrons releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 2, and will feature VR support on PS4 and PC. At launch, the game will have 8 different Starfighters and 4 unique classes for players to choose from. You can check out extensive new gameplay footage through here.
As much news has been circulating about Halo Infinite's campaign reveal, multiplayer hasn't received as much attention. 343 Industries did confirm that the Grappleshot and Drop Wall would be map pick-ups along with quashing a rumor about multiplayer being delayed. But it seems there's one particularly big leap that it could take – going free to play.
Irish toy retailer Smyths Toys has a listing for Xbox Series X and it talks about Halo Infinite running at up to 120 frames per second. This doesn't seem particularly shocking since the campaign demo ran at 4K/60 FPS, making 1080p resolution and 120 FPS doable. But the retailer also notes the "groundbreaking free-to-play experience." This would certainly be a first for the franchise.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer said the multiplayer reveal for Halo Infinite would be "special" and this could be one reason why. Still, until Microsoft or 343 Industries officially announces the same, it's best to take it with a grain of salt. More Xbox Series X news is set to arrive this month, according to Spencer, so stay tuned for updates.
As for Halo Infinite, it will release this holiday season for Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC.
Sony has been quite the center of rumors lately, especially with reports indicating another State of Play in August. The PS5 will be the focus once more with first and third party game reveals apparently planned. According to VentureBeat's Jeff Grubb on Twitter, the show will take place sometime between August 5th and 11th.
Of course, there's also an "Xboxing day" taking place sometime between August 11th and 22nd. When asked if State of Play would come before, Grubb responded, "Right now, I think it's before. But that is *very* shaky." He also noted that it's the one that can change at the last minute.
When asked if people should look into where State of Play and the Xboxing day are placed on this, Grubb said, "A tiny bit, yes. But still not certain, so no date." Microsoft has already confirmed more Xbox Series X news for August – now it's up to Sony to announce its plans. According to other reports, the PS5 still has some third party reveals up its sleeve which could be revealed "soon."
How will the proximity of both events affect Gamescom? Will we see even more announcements at Gamescom Opening Night Live or perhaps additional details over the actual digital event? Time will tell so stay tuned for more.
Currently, both the Xbox Series X and PS5 are slated to release this holiday season.
I have found the obelisk hidden within Jeff Grubb's Summer Game Mess, and I now travel the universe reborn in the light of video games. It kinda sucks. pic.twitter.com/Q1rS5baY3K
— grubbsnax is back (@JeffGrubb) July 31, 2020
Right now, I think it's before. But that is *very* shaky.
— grubbsnax is back (@JeffGrubb) July 31, 2020
It's the one thing they can change at the last minute, but yeah, it's weird.
— grubbsnax is back (@JeffGrubb) July 31, 2020
A tiny bit, yes. But still not certain, so no date.
— grubbsnax is back (@JeffGrubb) July 31, 2020
August is just around the corner and more next-gen console news is to be expected. Xbox boss Phil Spencer said there would be more Xbox Series X news this month. Sony hasn't outright announced anything but rumors are already circulating about a new State of Play within the first two weeks.
What's interesting is what could be showcased. Imran Khan, who's an ex-senior editor at Game Informer and current co-host for the Kinda Funny podcast, discussed what he's heard about both companies for August. Hardware and all the details that go with it is one thing. However, as Khan noted, "I've also heard that – I don't know if it's this month or later – but they both do have more software to show. So, whether, like they do it now or before the launch or even after the launch. They both have things that are gonna be like 'Oh s**t, I can't believe they're revealing that here.'"
He noted that Microsoft knows what to prepare for since it would also know what "deals" it doesn't have. What about subsequent reveals from Sony? It wouldn't be too strange, considering rumors that point towards the Silent Hill reboot being officially announced in August. Khan didn't mention Silent Hill but said later in the podcast that there's more to Sony's third-party offerings than Project Athia, Deathloop and GhostWire Tokyo.
"There's more. They're holding onto some things that I'm like really surprised they're holding onto and I wouldn't be shocked if they showed them soon." Again, how soon is "soon" is unknown. Take this all with a grain of salt though since it's possible that any planned announcements could be pushed back.
The Xbox Series X and PS5 are slated to release this holiday season. Whether price and availability details come this month or not, both companies will need to make a move soon. Stay tuned for any updates in the meantime.
The Halo Infinite campaign reveal has been a hot topic for the past week. Regardless of which side of the fence you're on, there's no denying the sheer amount of feedback that 343 Industries has received on it. In a recent community update, the developer has attempted to explain its philosophy behind the art style, among other things.
For the art style, it admitted to going back to the "legacy aesthetics that defined the original trilogy." "With Halo Infinite, we're returning to a more 'classic' art style which was a key message going back to the very first reveal that garnered enthusiastic and positive responses. This translates to a more vibrant palette, 'cleaner' models and objects with less 'noise', though it doesn't mean less detail. While we appreciate this may not be everyone's personal preference, we stand by this decision and are happy to see it resonating with so many fans around the world."
As for the quality of the graphics, the developer acknowledged the feedback on things being below par. "Negative feedback in this area includes comments around characters and objects appearing flat, simplistic and plastic-like, lighting feeling dull and flat, and object pop-in. We've read your comments, we've seen the homemade examples of retouched content, and yes we've heard the Digital Foundry assessments.
"In many ways we are in agreement here – we do have work to do to address some of these areas and raise the level of fidelity and overall presentation for the final game." What's interesting to note is that the campaign demo build was is actually a few weeks old instead of a few months. "The build used to run the campaign demo was work-in-progress from several weeks ago with a variety of graphical elements and game systems still being finished and polished.
"While some of the feedback was expected and speaks to areas already in progress, other aspects of the feedback have brought new opportunities and considerations to light that the team is taking very seriously and working to assess. We don't have firm answers or outcomes to share yet but the team is working as quickly as possible on plans to address some of the feedback around detail, clarity, and overall fidelity. The team is committed and focused on making sure we have a beautiful world for players to explore when we launch."
Of course, the question is whether there's enough time left. Halo Infinite is slated to launch with the Xbox Series X this holiday season (which could be in November, as per Microsoft CFO Amy Hood). In these next few months, 343 Industries still has to showcase multiplayer among other things. We'll see how things pan out as more gameplay footage is revealed.
Halo Infinite is currently in development for Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC. It will be available at launch on Xbox Game Pass and support Smart Delivery.
The story of Kazuma Kiryu on Xbox One continues with the release of Yakuza Kiwami 2. The critically acclaimed remake of the 2006 classic is now available for Xbox One (and through the Microsoft Store for Windows 10). It can also be played through Xbox Game Pass. Check out the release trailer below.
Yakuza Kiwami 2 sees Kiryu dragged back into the underworld when the Tojo Clan and Omi Alliance are on the brink of war. Along the way, he'll deal with Ryuji Goda, the Dragon of Kansai, and old nemesis Majima Goro. Speaking of which, Majima is also playable and has his own story scenario.
Utilizing the Dragon Engine and sporting improved visuals all around, Yakuza Kiwami 2 also features Heat Moves and the Clan Creator from Yakuza 6, rounding out an already great game. It's also available for PS4 and PC via Steam. Check out our review for it here.
Though it's unconfirmed whether the Yakuza 3-5 and Yakuza 6: The Song of Life will be on Xbox One (or PC, for that matter), Yakuza: Like a Dragon will release on November 13th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC. It will release for Xbox Series X in Q4 2020 and later for PS5.
Following the live event's cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Bethesda Softworks confirmed that QuakeCon 2020 would be a digital-only event. A schedule for the same has since been released with the event running from August 7th to 9th. It will air live on Twitch.
The schedule includes titles like Fallout 76, DOOM Eternal, Prey (2017), The Elder Scrolls Online, Dishonored and The Evil Within 2. Oddly enough, there's nothing on Bethesda's upcoming releases like Deathloop and GhostWire: Tokyo. The latter isn't that surprising since it doesn't have a release date but that still doesn't explain the former's absence. Maybe at the next State of Play for PS5, rumored to be happening next week?
Of course, the other elephant in the room is the complete lack of any "reveal" or update on The Elder Scrolls 6 or Starfield. There might be some new details during the "Welcome to QuakeCon at Home with Pete Hines" segment. But don't count on any gameplay, much less a release date.
Check out the full schedule below for more details.
- 12:00 p.m. – Welcome to QuakeCon at Home with Pete Hines
- 1:00 p.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online Voice-Over Chat – Featuring Jennifer Hale and Robbie Daymond
- 2:00 p.m. – Fallout 76 – A Colossal Problem Boss Event
- 3:30 P.m. – DOOM Eternal – Ultra Nightmare with Achievement Hunter
- 5:00 p.m. – Representation in Video Games
- 6:00 p.m. – Prey Tell: An interview with Actress Janina Gavankar and Lead Producer Susan Kath
- 7:30 p.m. – DOOM Eternal Panel with Hugo Martin and Marty Stratton
- 10:00 p.m. – Alienware Hour with Rxysurfchic | Final Achievements in DOOM Eternal
- 12:00 a.m. – Fallout 76 – C.A.M.P. Competition and Showcase
- 12:30 a.m. – Fallout 76 – Australia and New Zealand Community Session with Tyr, MoonlitCharlie, and Captainoob
- 2:00 a.m. – Fallout – Cooking Show with Bethesda Australia and New Zealand
- 3:00 a.m. – Fallout Cosplay – Interview with Snovcreations
- 4:00 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online Charity Stream for Unicef
- 5:00 a.m. – Prey: Mooncrash – You Decide
- 6:30 a.m. – The Secrets of DOOM Eternal
- 8:00 a.m. – Arkane 20: Dishonored with Elly the Geek and Arkane Studios
- 9:00 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online – Conquering Icereach
- 10:00 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Challenges – Team Stormcloaks vs. The Imperials
- 11:00 a.m. – Fallout 76 – Creative C.A.M.P. Building
- 12:30 p.m. – DOOM Eternal Battlemode | Friday Night Fights | Invitational Finals
- 3:00 p.m. – CHAD: A Fallout 76 Story Podcast – QuakeCon at Home Edition
- 5:00 p.m. – The Best The Elder Scrolls Online Roleplay on Twitch
- 6:00 p.m. – A Dishonored Tabletop RPG Adventure featuring Arkane Studios' Harvey Smith
- 8:00 p.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online Gearless and Fearless Dungeon Run featuring Nicole Savoy
- 10:00 p.m. – DOOM Eternal with 3 Chubby Bastards
- 11:00 p.m. The Elder Scrolls Online Stream with Top UFC Middleweight Rob Whittaker and Pete Hines
- 12:00 a.m. – Bethesda Cosplay – Competition Showcase
- 12:30 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online – Australia Community Session with Tamriel Downunder
- 2:00 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls – Cooking Show with Bethesda Australia and New Zealand
- 3:00 a.m. – DOOM Eternal – Nightmare Blindfold Challenge with TheSpudHunter
- 4:00 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online – My World with Aeyvi
- 5:00 a.m. – Fallout 76 Sightseeing
- 6:00 a.m. – Fallout 4 – ItsJabo's Speedrun
- 8:00 a.m. – Fallout 76 – Global Community Team Free Play:
- 9:30 a.m. – Speedrunning DOOM Eternal on Ultra Nightmare
- 11:00 a.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online – PvP Masterclass with RubenSky
- 12:00 p.m. – DOOM II | FFA Finals | Take the Crown
- 1:00 p.m. – A Dishonored Tabletop RPG Adventure (Continued)
- 5:00 p.m. – Quake World Championship – Grand Finals
- 7:00 p.m. – The Elder Scrolls Online – Live Art Creation and Chat
- 8:00 p.m. – Prey: Mooncrash with Lawrence Sonntag and Ricardo Bare
- 9:00 p.m. – The Evil Within with Poiised and TeeCup181
- 10:00 p.m. – The Evil Within 2 with John Johanas and Jonny Roses