Welcome back to the Weekly Gaming Rundown, where I will be covering the latest news from the gaming industry from the past week. Now, lets get to the news.
Court makes decision on Apple vs. Epic Lawsuit
A federal judge issued a long-awaited ruling in the Epic Games legal battle with Apple over its App Store Policies. The judge ruled that Apple was breaking the law by forcing its App Store users to pay for apps and in-app items through their App Store. This allowed them to take a cut of every transaction that was processed by Apple. The Judge, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, told Apple to loosen the control over the options to pay for apps and in-app items within 90 days of the ruling.
The judge also ruled that Apple is not an illegal monopoly because it has competitors in its definition of a “relevant market” – the 100-billion-dollar world of gaming transactions. The judge stated that Apple has many competitors where gaming payments are processed that gamers could choose from, so there is no way they can be a complete monopoly. Along with this ruling, the judge in turn stated that Epic owed 30% of its 12 million dollars in sales since the launch of their own payment system for Fortnite, breaking the app store rules and their contract with apple to release the game on Apple devices. Expect more appeals from each side on this case moving forward.
Dead Space developers announce no new news until 2022
Motive Studios have announced that there will be no new announcements for their upcoming remake of Dead Space until 2022. Motive will be keeping their heads down to work on the game, taking some time to review all thoughts, theories, and suggestions the community has shared with them. They will be back with future updates once they are further along in development.
Total War Warhammer III delayed until early 2022
In one of many delays announced in the last week, Creative Assembly has announced that Total War: Warhammer 3 has been delayed to early 2022. The developers have stated that they are going to take the extra time to accomplish more than they thought they could if they kept the original release date of Holiday 2021.
Base Switch Model gets price cut in Europe, no plans for change of price in US
Nintendo has dropped the price of the standard switch model in the UK from £279 to £259 but left the Switch Lite price unchanged. Some industry insiders state that this is because the OLED model is releasing soon, so they may be trying to get rid of inventory before the new one becomes available. No price drops have been rumored for the US concerning the standard Switch model, but keep an eye out for Black Friday Bundle deals.
Nintendo releases update to allow for Bluetooth headset connectivity
Nintendo released an update this past week which enabled Bluetooth Connectivity for their Switch console. This update allows Switch owners to connect any Bluetooth headset they own to the system, but keep in mind: this does not apply to the microphones on headsets.
Pokemon 25: The Album gets a release date
The highly anticipated Pokémon 25 music album comes out next month on October 15. The album will be released by Capitol Records and will feature prominent artists such as Post Malone, Katy Perry, Vince Staples, plus many more.
Dying Light 2 delayed until February 2022
Techland, developers of Dying Light 2, have announced that they will be delaying the game until February 4, 2022. Due to the size and ambition of their current project, the development team stated that they need more time to polish and optimize the game and its features to meet the high expectations of their player base. We are, of course, living in a time where work from home makes it more difficult for games to hit their release date more than ever, but here at the Weekly Gaming Rundown, we would rather a delay be implemented for games than for the working conditions of the developers to change.
Playstation 5 Update launched September 15, Allows for SSD Expansion
The second major system update for the PlayStation 5 launches tomorrow, September 15, to all owners of the system globally. A few major enhancements are included in the update, as well as some new minor features added to the trophy system for owners of the PlayStation 4.
The most anticipated update is the ability to expand the hard drive space with an M.2 Solid State Drive, released as a beta back in July. They have also updated 3D sound for internal tv speakers, the ability to send messages to friends or parties directly in Game Base, some PS Remote Play updates allowing for mobile data usage, and separate game tiles for PS4 and PS5 games.
Splitgate Dev 1047 Games will remain independent, acquires 100 million in funding
1047 Games, developers of the newest online multiplayer shooter Splitgate, has announced their plans for the future of their company, as well as for the game. After releasing the beta of one the fastest growing user bases on the market, Ian Proulx, CEO and co-founder of 1047, has revealed that the company has been able to secure $100 million of funding to keep them not only as an independent studio, but will also allow them to hire more developers, making it able to finish Splitgate while planning better and more frequent updates, add more features that the community would like to see implemented in the game, get to bugs and fix them more quickly, as well as expand to a number of new platforms.
Twenty One pilots staged an elaborate Roblox Concert Experience Friday, Sept 17, which kicked off their Takeover Tour. The experience featured a five-song set combining their hits with some new material from their 2021 album Scaled and Icy. The Concert was made available throughout the weekend for the millions of Roblox community members.
Battlefield 2042 release date moved to November 19th, 2021
The launch date for Battlefield 2042 has been shifted to November 19, 2021, EA stated in an earlier press relase for the game this past week. The inability for the development teams to be back in the studio as the game neared it’s release was stated as the main cause for the delay.
Activision Blizzard employees file NLRP lawsuit accusing company of union busting, intimidation
A new development that surprised no one this week, Activision Blizzard employees along with the Communications Workers of America (also known as the CWA) have filed an unfair labor practice lawsuit against the video game company accusing them of union busting and worker intimidation. The union claims Activision Blizzard used coercive tactics to stop employees from unionizing. This adds to the many lawsuits against the video game company, including the one from California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing which filed a lawsuit in July of this year due to gender-based discrimination and harassment.
Halo Fan releases compendium website of all Halo lore
Afraid you won’t know what is happening in the story of Halo Infinite? Don’t worry. Halo fan and blogger Alex Wakeford aka @Haruspis on Twitter, has launched the site Previously on Halo, a compendium of Halo lore for newcomers to the series, as well as people who might have missed a few books or comic stories. Wakeford also runs the site Previously on Destiny as well.
Keeping with Halo, Halo the Master Chief Collection will get last official update this year later in the fall, and seasonal updates will end when Halo Infinite is released. MCC will continue to be supported, but expect it to be bug fixes and stability improvements only throughout the life of MCC multiplayer, with a shift of focus from releasing new content for the game.
Pokemon Unite Exceeds 9 Million downloads
Pokemon Unite, a free to start cross platform game for Nintendo Switch and mobile devices which was developed jointly by the pokemon company and tencent games’ TiMi Studios, has surpassed the 9 million download mark.
Pokemon Unite will be down for 10 hours to receive maintenance this upcoming Tuesday, September 21st, from 5pm – 3 am eastern. The downtime is to prepare for the release of the mobile version of this game the next day.
Sonic 30th Anniversary Symphony Album available on iTunes and Apple music
The Sonic 30th anniversary Symphony album was released this week on the iTunes and Apple Music Stores. The collection features the Sonic Symphony Orchestra performing classical renditions of retro and new tracks from the last 30 years of Sonics games. Expect the hour and 46 minute long album to be available to more platforms shortly.
Castlevania Advance Collection rated for PS4, Xbox One, Switch & PC in Taiwan.
In possibly the worst kept gaming secret since The Initiative making a new Perfect Dark game, Castlevania Advanced Collection has received its third set of classification board ratings, this time in Taiwan. Before being removed from the Taiwan Entertainment Software Rating Information website, Castlevania Advanced Collection was rated PG-12 for “sex, violence, horror and inappropriate language”, and was slated for release on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC platforms.
THQ Nordic 10th Anniversary Show
To celebrate their 10th anniversary, THQ Nordic held a quick livestream and announced some upcoming games:
- Destroy All Humans 2 Re-probed – DAH 2 Remake, which leaked earlier this week was officially announced, building from the ground up but keeping its original voiceovers.
- Outcast 2 – 1999 cult game, Outcast, is finally getting a sequel. Outcast was one of the first open world games, and the next game will place Cutter Slade, the games protagonist, stranded on a massive alien world waiting for him to explore it. The game is in development for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and PC.
- Jagged Alliance 3 will be a tactical RPG from Haemimont Games, where the player will build a team of mercenaries and use the environments to tactically fight their way through any camps to ultimately save the world from annihilation.
- Expeditions Rome is a turn-based tactical RPG set in the ancient Roman Republic during the turn of the millenia, featuring Rome at the height of its power.
- MX vs ATV Legends is the next installment in Rainbow studios
- off-road game series featuring all new extreme racing tournaments, challenges and some additional side activities.
- Superpower 3 is a politically based game allowing the player to be selected as the head of state of one of the 193 nations recognized by the United Nations. You can develop your countries global standing as well as wrestle for power in your home country.
- Elex 2 is a sci-fi RPG looking to build on the first game released back in 2017, aiming to fix some of the prior bugs that the first one had.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake is a brand-new game for the much beloved title character of the Nickelodeon cartoon hit, SpongeBob SquarePants. Not much was revealed about the upcoming game, just a teaser trailer.
Games released this week:
Cruisin’ Blast, the latest addition to the Cruisin’ game series released September 14 on the Nintendo Switch.
DeltaRune Chapter 2 released September 17. Creator Toby Fox has cancelled the release schedule of Deltarune, stating that he will release the follow-up chapters all at once on Mac and PC.
Flynn: Son of Crimson – Studio Thunderhorse has released this high-octane action platformer on PlayStation 4, Steam, Switch, and Xbox.
Skatebird, A game where you play a bird who skateboards, was released on September 16 on PC, Switch and Xbox.
Eastward, a detailed and charming 2D adventure game from Shanghai based studio Pixpil, was released on September 16 for PC and Nintendo Switch.
Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 8 was released, meaning even more punch-card missions, new and returning weapons and some party quests for everyone who enjoys a little Fortnite in their life.
Deathloop – Arkane Studios’ newest first-person shooter to hit the shelves since Prey. This game is getting high marks and is an early front runner this season to be GOTY.
Thanks again for reading. If you would like to check out the podcast, you can find it anywhere you listen to or download your podcasts from every Saturday at 3 pm Eastern, 12 pm Pacific. Just search for “Weekly Gaming Rundown” anywhere you can get your podcast. You can follow me here, or on Twitter at TheBr0keG4m3r. Until next week, happy gaming!