Updated: Mar 22, 2021
Written By: Max Mitchelson
Welcome to the Weekly Gaming Round-Up!
The games kept coming this week, with a slew of announcements, updates, and rumors. More controller lawsuits continue to roll in, Payday developer, Starbreeze Studios, is still recovering from a massive flop, and Nintendo released its first Nintendo Direct in over a year.
Minit is now a franchise, and the new release's profits are going to charity, and Viking survival game Valheim is the next big viral success.
Monday, Feb. 15
Shortly after several Nintendo JoyCon-Drift lawsuits, a US law firm sued Sony for drifting joysticks on the DualSense 5, according to Game Industry Biz.
Controller drift occurs when a joystick detects an input even when a player is not moving it. Drift can affect DualSense 5 controllers as soon as ten days after the purchase, according to Kotaku, who first reported the issue last week. The lawsuit, filed by Chimicles Schwarts Kriner & Donaldson-Smith LLP, also referenced the report.
"Plaintiff brings this action to redress Sony's violations of state consumer fraud statutes, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment," stated the lawsuit. "Plaintiff seeks monetary relief for damages suffered, declaratory relief, and public injunctive relief."
Tuesday, Feb. 16
Starbreeze Studios, developers of the Payday series, has partially recovered from the massive losses suffered in 2019 due to the critical and commercial failure of Overkill’s The Walking Dead.
The fallout from the flop caused seismic shifts in the company. CEOs have changed every year since 2018, Starbreeze has divested itself from several studios, and it laid off 25 percent of the staff. Now Starbreeze is reporting more modest losses and is looking for a publisher for Payday 3.
Even their flagship game, Payday 2, has performed well this year, becoming the largest game community on Steam with 7.1 million members. Sales of the game increased by 37 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, with a 69 percent increase in sales of DLC, alongside other gains.
"Starbreeze is a much stronger company today than it was one year ago. We are hugely confident, thirsting for revenge, and thrilled to be able to focus to the max on developing our IP with Payday front and center," stated Tobias Sjögren in the company’s financial results.
Wednesday, Feb. 17th
After over a year, Nintendo released the next Nintendo Direct. Along with the addition of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 content to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Nintendo also announced Splatoon 3, Mario Golf: Super Rush, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, and much more.
Reactions to the Nintendo direct have been positive, as fans eagerly await new IPs and the return of old favorites, but there were some major omissions. Neither the much anticipated Metroid Prime 4 or Bayonetta 3 received a spot in this latest direct. Though Eiji Aonuma, producer of the Legend of Zelda series, hinted that more information on Breath of the Wild 2 is coming later this year.
In recent years, Nintendo has reduced its presence at major conventions and industry showcases like E3 in favor of releasing news and announcements through steamed pre-recorded videos on their website and Youtube channel.
Thursday, Feb. 18th
The monochromatic puzzle-adventure game Minit received a spinoff released on Steam and Itch.io today, and publisher Devolver is donating all proceeds to charity.
The collaborators on Minit got back together to make Minit Fun Racer: a side-scrolling racer where you avoid obstacles, make jumps, upgrade your motorscooter, and take laps under a time limit. The game offers three different price points on Steam and a customizable price on Itch.io, starting at $2.99.
"Hop on your scooter into the twisting traffic of the bustling city and the debris-covered sands of the barren desert just in time to watch the sunset," states the description on Itch.io.
Friday, Feb. 19th
The Viking survival game Valheim has sold 3 million copies in sixteen days since the developer, Iron Gate, released it through the Steam Early Access program.
The game has quickly become a viral sensation on Twitch, regularly popping up on top streamed titles, and at its has had over 390,000 players online concurrently at its peak, according to Eurogamer.
Though the virality of indie titles from the first half of the 2010's first seemed like flash in the pan, indie successes like Fall Guys, Among Us, and now Valheim continue to prove the potential of the business model.
EGD’s Weekly Gaming Round-Up gives a quick look into the newest news in the games industry. From blockbuster triple-A games and indie startups and mods, the Weekly Gaming Round-Up covers it all.
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