Voice actor strike reveals unannounced games like Lego Marvel 2, Brothers in Arms, more
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard on PlayStation VR Hands-On Preview: A Resident Evil 20th Anniversary Tour Report
Call of Duty: Zombies comic book miniseries will launch in October
The Big List of Nintendo Switch Games
Voice actors represented by SAG-AFTRA union go on strike against game developers
Daily Scoop: October 25, 2016 – Humble Gems Bundle
Square Enix is “committed” to bringing more Dragon Quest games to the US and UK
Take on Medal Challenges in this new Super Mario Maker For 3DS trailer
Meet the Children of Arkham in a trailer for Episode 3 of Batman: The Telltale Series
Monster Boy announced for Nintendo Switch; Oceanhorn likely in development as well
- Love Warp Zoned?
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Even though Skyrim and NBA 2K17 appeared in Nintendo’s Switch trailer, they haven’t officially been announced yet
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and NBA 2K17 both played a huge role in the “First Glimpse” trailer for the Nintendo Switch. In addition to showcasing two games that are extremely popular with players around the world, the two games proved that Nintendo was taking significant steps towards expanding the third-party offerings of their next console.
But hold on a second, it seems that Bethesda and 2K can’t yet confirm that Skyrim and NBA 2K17 will be available for the Switch.
In nearly identical statements to Polygon, both publishers said they were “happy to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Nintendo” and “[weren’t] confirming any specific titles at this time”:
However, when contacted by Polygon, representatives for both 2K Sports and Bethesda declined to confirm whether their respective games were in development for Nintendo’s new console. The two publishers sent remarkably similar statements, too, telling Polygon they were “happy to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Nintendo” on the trailer. Both companies added, “While we are not confirming any specific titles at this time, we are pleased to announce our partnership with Nintendo and support of Nintendo Switch.”
Nintendo likely had a hand in helping craft their statement to the media, but then why oh why were Ubisoft (Just Dance 2017) and Sega (Project Sonic) allowed to announce projects for the Switch (nee NX) earlier this year?
The answer to that probably lies in a statement a Nintendo spokesman made to The Wall Street Journal after the reveal. He said the consolemaker won’t make any new announcements about possible games for the Switch or reveal specific hardware details until 2017. That said, I think Skyrim and NBA 2K17 will definitely both eventually make their way to the Switch. It would be an incredibly terrible PR move to showcase both games in the console’s reveal trailer and then hope fans just forget about them over the next five months.
The Nintendo Switch doesn’t currently have a release date, but it is expected to be released next March.
After debuting earlier this week with the mega-sized “Early Enlister Edition,” EA and DICE are back with the basic edition of Battlefield 1. Now available to download through the Xbox Games Store for the Xbox One, Battlefield 1 is one of the first games to be set during World War I with an “adventure-filled campaign” and “epic multiplayer battles” on land, sea, air, and horseback.
Also available to download this week is The Jackbox Party Pack 3, yet another collection of party games for the Xbox One from Jackbox Games. This time, players will be able to answer endless questions in “Quiplash 2,” deal with deadly trivia in “Trivia Murder Party,” guess the results to silly survey questions in “Guesspionage,” fight it out with custom t-shirts in “Tee K.O.,” and trick their friends in “Fakin’ It.”
On the other hand, the only people invited to the party in Slain: Back From Hell are the the undead kind. In this new “MetroidVania” for the Xbox One, players will control the fate of Bathoryn, “a doomed hero in a Gothic world, who seeks to liberate six cursed realms from six deadly overlords.”
Finally this week, Horse Racing 2016 brings the “Sport of Kings” to the Xbox One.
More information on all of these games can be found after the break. (more…)
SAG-AFTRA, a union representing voice actors and stunt performers, authorized a strike against game developers that began this morning. As part of the process, the union has published a list of projects that members are no longer allowed to work on, and it includes several unannounced games.
It wasn’t much of a shock to learn that EA Sports is already hard at work on Madden NFL 18 and NHL 18, but listings for Lego Marvel 2 and Brothers in Arms were a bit more surprising (though not unexpected). While WB Games has yet to make any noise about a new Lego Marvel game, Gearbox confirmed the existence of a fourth Brothers in Arms game last year.
A large number of mobile games also make up a large part of the list, as well as a few games that are denoted only by codenames. For example, Take-Two is working on something called “Alligator,” while EA is developing games under monikers as diverse as “Odin,” “Fearless,” “Scorpion,” and “Timbits.” We may never know what these codenames refer to (they may even belong to games that have already been released), but one of the union’s major demands is for developers to be more transparent during the hiring process and to use a game’s actual title when contracting with vocal/stunt performers.
Finally, several highly-anticipated 2017 titles will be affected by the strike including Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8: Final Chapter Prologue, Injustice 2, and Crash Bandicoot Remastered. So hopefully the two sides can reach an equitable agreement soon.
Negotiations between game developers and the voice actors and stunt performers represented by the SAG-AFTRA union began in February 2015, but after more than 18 months of discussions, the two sides appear no closer to an agreement. Because of the impasse, and to protest against a contract they believe is decades out of date, the members of the union went on strike this morning.
“SAG-AFTRA has gone to the negotiations table with serious concerns affecting voiceover and stunt performers,” said Ray Rodriguez, the Chief Contracts Officer for SAG-AFTRA. “It’s time for video game employers to take our concerns seriously and negotiate a modern contract based on actor safety, industry precedent and best practices.”
This strike won’t affect all developers, and currently only applies to games that went into production after February 17, 2015 at Activision, Electronic Arts, Insomniac Games, Take-Two Interactive, and WB Games. However, the strike also extends to several independent vocal production studios that do a lot of contract work with the big publishers.
The game developers are offering an immediate 9% salary hike for all performers, and “additional compensation” depending on the number of recording sessions. However, the union’s demands for better working conditions went unmentioned in a statement from the Chief Negotiator for the game developers.
The SAG-AFTRA union plans to push the game developers for a better deal over the next few weeks, and their first order of business is encouraging all members to join a picket line in front of EA’s headquarters this Monday, October 24.
Football season is in full swing, and the NBA season is getting ready to tip-off this weekend, so it’s a great time to check out this year’s newest sports simulations. Gamers definitely agreed, as four sports titles were at the top of September 2016’s sales report from The NPD Group.
2K’s NBA 2K17 was #1, and it was followed by three from EA Sports: Madden NFL 17 (#2), FIFA 17 (#3), and NHL 17 (#4). Shooters dominated the rest of the list with BioShock: The Collection rounding out the Top 5, and Destiny: The Collection (#6), Overwatch (#8), and Call of Duty: Black Ops III (#10) all in the Top 10.
Believe it or not, Minecraft failed to find a place in the Top 10 for the first time in nearly a year. Perhaps this is why hardware, software, and accessory sales totaled $838.2 million last month, which is down from September 2015’s $1.09 billion tally. But the NPD is pinning the blame on the PS4 Slim and Xbox One S.
“Spending on software, hardware, and accessories declined by 23% compared to this time last year,” NPD Analyst Sam Naji told GamesIndustry.biz. “The release of the PS4 Slim and the second month of the Xbox One S was not enough to stimulate total hardware spending and this month’s new software releases could not compete with last year’s stronger slate of new games.”
The full Top 10 from September 2016 can be found after the break. (more…)
Microsoft has announced (via the Xbox Wire) that Frank West will find a few extra toys under the Christmas tree this year thanks to the Dead Rising 4 Season Pass. Priced at $24.99, the Season Pass will include three downloadable content expansions which will be available sometime after its launch on December 6.
The highlight of the collection is clearly Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf, which reconfigures the town of Willamette (and the Willamette Memorial Megaplex Mall) into a zombie-filled golf course. However, if you’d prefer to extend the story, the Frank Rising expansion forces a freshly-infected Frank West to search for a cure in a time-limited version of the campaign after he’s bitten by a zombie. Finally, the Stocking Stuffer Holiday Pack is your standard issue “bonus content” pack and will include an assortment of “festive” weapons, vehicles, and costumes.
More information about each expansion can be found right here:
- Stocking Stuffer Holiday Pack: Frank West is home for the holidays and he’s got a naughty list the size of Willamette, Colorado. Tear up the streets with festive weapons, zombies, vehicles, costumes, and more.
- Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf: You’ve mastered the outbreak – now it’s time to master the green, with eighteen holes of pure wanton destruction you can play with up to three friends online. Flip zombies the birdie where bloodthirsty, over the top zombie mayhem is par for the course. The world of Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf is extreme and the fairways are the town of Willamette, Colorado, including the iconic Willamette Memorial Megaplex Mall. Use Frank West’s favorite weapons as your set of golf clubs. With an oversized golf ball, drive down the fairways, reaching for the green to nail the perfect putt. Watch your score as you do not want to bogey in this zombie filled eighteen-hole golf course. Mini golf is made crazier with the zombie horde as obstructions and hazards. Dead Rising Fore!
- Dead Rising 4: Frank Rising: In this DLC, Frank West is freshly infected and needs to find a cure before he becomes a zombie and is lost forever. While searching for a cure, Frank discovers that everything is not the same as it was; zombies are getting smarter, people cannot be trusted and paramilitary forces are plotting to wipe out Willamette. Frank has a limited time before he reverts to the full zombie state and the city is wiped out. Frank will have to get to the truth first… or die trying.
The Season Pass content can also be obtained as part of the Dead Rising 4 Deluxe Edition ($79.99), which will be available exclusively as a digital download. And don’t forget, if you opt for a digital download of Dead Rising 4, you’ll receive the game on both the Xbox One and Windows 10 PC thanks to the Xbox Play Anywhere program.
Don’t worry, Nintendo didn’t forget about this week’s Nintendo Download amidst all the hoopla for the Switch reveal…
This week, Wii U owners will be able SteamWorld Heist, a side-scrolling strategy game from Image & Form. Players will be able to take part in “turn-based tactical shootouts” and perform “awesome bullet-bouncing trick shots” while they scour the universe for treasure.
Also available to download for the Wii U this week is The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Link’s second adventure on the DS. Originally released for the DS in 2009, Spirit Tracks offers plenty of exploration and dungeons for Zelda fans… as well as a Spirit Train to travel around New Hyrule.
Wii U and 3DS owners will also get the chance to try out Pirate Pop Plus, a retro-styled bubble-popping arcade game that emulates the monochromatic colors of the Game Boy. Best of all, players who purchase Pirate Pop Plus will receive access to it on both platforms.
Finally this week, the classic Super NES RPG Breath of Fire is now available to download for the 3DS. Originally released in 1994, the Capcom-produced game was eventually followed by five sequels.
More information on all of these games (and a few other new releases) can be found after the break. (more…)
Just when you thought the Nintendo Switch spiggot got turned off for the day, Image & Form has confirmed they’ve got a game in development for Nintendo’s next console. If you’re unfamiliar with Image & Form, they’re the developer behind the retro-styled side-scroller SteamWorld Dig and strategy game SteamWorld Heist.
Image & Form CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson sat down with Nintendo Life today to talk a bit more about the project, which is still shrouded in mystery:
Nintendo Life: So, what game are you developing? We have to try and ask that!
Sigurgeirsson: Can’t comment on that, except it’s going to make a lot of people happy.
Nintendo Life: When did development start?
Sigurgeirsson: Earlier this year. It’s an idea we have had for quite a while and Switch will be the perfect platform for it.
Nintendo Life: What features of your game, and separately the NX hardware, are you most excited about?
Sigurgeirsson: I’m confident that Switch will be a hit for Nintendo, since they’re once again reinventing the gaming industry. As for our own game: it’s an Image & Form title, and it’s going to be our finest work to date. If you liked anything about our past games you’ll absolutely love it.
Sigurgeirsson and Community Manager Julius Guldbog also sat down to talk a little about their experience with the Switch in the latest episode of Image & Form’s behind-the-scenes video show, “The Engine Room.” You can find the video after the break. (more…)