Weekly Gaming Round-Up
Updated: Apr 7, 2021
Written By: Max Mitchelson
Edited by: Mary Joaquin
Welcome to the Weekly Gaming Round-Up!
Activision’s various blunders alongside some promising new titles filled this week’s headlines. Niantic released its first public test of Pikmin mobile, Activision shut down stat sharing website SBMM, and Hello Games released a new No Man’s Sky update.
In other news, Analogue is delaying the shipments of its pocket handheld, and Platinum Games announced its Neo-Classic Arcade series and an upcoming game.
Monday, March 29
SBMM Warzone took their site offline after having been sent a Cease and Desist order last Friday.
The controversial site allowed players to get into ideal lobbies due to the lack of a ranking system in Call of Duty Warzone. SBMM uses public player information to gauge opponent stats and lower their own to play with lower-skilled players. A copy of the letter, verified by Eurogamer, claims that the site infringes on Activision’s copyright and poses privacy risks to players.
SBMM, however, is attempting to reach an agreement with Activision. Ben and Dave, the site’s creators, told Eurogamer that they are willing to rebrand and work with Activision as a partner, similar to Tracker Network.
"We want to be able to talk to them," Ben told Eurogamer. "We believe there is so much more we can bring to this community."
Tuesday, March 30
Niantic released a public test in Singapore of the new Pikmin mobile AR game.
First announced last week, the Pikmin early access app is available on Google Play. Though Singaporean players were discouraged from posting and discussing gameplay, leaks soon followed. In the game, players walk to generate step energy which allows the growth of Pikmin from seedlings that can be named and fed nectar to bloom different colored flowers.
All seven species of Pikmin will appear during gameplay, and even costumed Pikmin will appear in specific areas. Niantic also announced a pair of VR glasses that will run games like Pikmin mobile on its platform.
Wednesday, March 31
Hello Games released No Man’s Sky Expeditions, the acclaimed space sim’s next big update.
Almost five years after a disastrous launch in 2016, No Man’s Sky has seen update after update adding all of the features promised at launch. This latest update adds multiplayer missions, called Expeditions, as a new game mode. In Expeditions, players complete several exploration goals to earn rewards.
Expeditions also adds quality of life changes, performance improvements, gameplay and UI tweaks, improved textures, new mission rewards, among others.
Thursday, April 1
Analogue is delaying shipments until October for their highly anticipated portable FPGA console due to “severe electrical component shortages".
The console, as opposed to emulating retro games, can run games natively through cartridges for GameBoy, GameBoy Color, and GameBoy Advance, with expanded console support to come. Analogue points to the recent cargo ship that backed up Suez Canal for delays.
The console, first announced back in 2019, promptly sold out of its preorders in less than ten minutes after launching on Analogue’s store. Even Lord of Rings star Elijah Wood could not get one.
In response, Analogue introduced several protections last month to stop scalpers and bots from buying up stock alongside other fixes to their store. Analogue hopes to open up sales for the pocket again sometime this year, although the latest shipping delay might push that goal further back.
Friday, April 2
Platinum Games kicked off its newly announced Neo-Classic Arcade series with vertical shoot-em-up Sol Cresta releasing on digital stores in 2021.
The game picks up after the two original Hamster-developed classics, Moon Cresta and Terra Cresta. Based around a docking power-up mechanic, the series has not had a release since 1985, but Platinum promises this collaboration with Hamster will “create a shooting game with a focus on freedom.”
“Stay tuned for more games in the [Neo-Classic Arcade] series, in which the essential fun and spirit of classic games will be polished with modern technology and skill,” stated Platinum Games.
Originally announced last year as an elaborate April Fools joke, Sol Cresta will now be coming to Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, and Steam as a download-only title.
EGD’s Weekly Gaming Round-Up gives a quick look into the newest news in the games industry. From blockbuster triple-A games to indie startups and mods, the Weekly Gaming Round-Up covers it all.
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