Happy Wednesday! What are you playing lately? I’ve been playing Tomb Raider (it’s my first time!), which needs about 100x more Sam and Lara interaction. I also bought Florence, which so many of my friends have been raving about. The titular character of Florence is a Chinese Australian woman, and being able to play as an Asian protagonist in a popular game is so affirming and impactful to me.
Let us know on Twitter or in the comments what you’re playing! Here are some news and links we’ve been thinking about this week:
Xbox Adaptive Controller
This is one of the best and most important news announcements we’ve seen in a long time. Xbox announced the Xbox Adaptive Controller: “Designed primarily to meet the needs of gamers with limited mobility, the Xbox Adaptive Controller features large programmable buttons and connects to external switches, buttons, mounts, and joysticks to help make gaming more accessible.”
— Xbox (@Xbox) May 17, 2018
This post from AbleGamers tells about how the Xbox Adaptive Controller has been many years in the making, and will be released at the price point of $99:
— AbleGamers Charity (@AbleGamers) May 17, 2018
Steam targets several visual novels for removal
MangaGamer, the publisher of visual novel Kindred Spirits, wrote that Steam has threatened to remove the game due to a sudden change in Steam’s guidelines. USGamer reports that another company, Lupiesoft, the developer of Mutiny!!, saw its game pulled from Steam due to “reports of pornographic content,” despite prior assurances from Valve that the game’s content met Steam’s guidelines.
As of last week, at least four developers stated that Steam is threatening to remove their games. This thorough post by Gita Jackson also notes that in the past, developers could link to patches that would uncensor their games; in 2017, Valve forbid developers from talking about or linking to these patches.
Steam dominates the PC game sales market, with reports in 2017 noting 50 percent to 70 percent of all PC game downloads happening via Steam. Steam removing certain games is deeply concerning. Christine Love, developer of Ladykiller in a Bind, wrote:
Regardless of how you feel personally about the games affected, Valve pulling harmless content on a whim, with no consistency or policy, will absolutely have a chilling effect on small developers. This is terrifying.
— Christine Love (@christinelove) May 18, 2018
Lupiesoft stated on Twitter that they’d received word from Valve that their game was going back under review and that the two-week deadline had been called off. As of writing, Valve had yet to issue a statement on why this occurred or what developers of visual novels can expect in the future.
Overwatch Anniversary: new skins, dance emotes
Here’s an adorable video of Tracer and Reaper to celebrate Overwatch‘s latest event:
Get into the Overwatch Anniversary celebration spirit. 🎉🎂
Tracer’s baking up something extra special in this stop-motion video. pic.twitter.com/nbq8VOUpDB
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) May 19, 2018
This week begins Overwatch‘s annual Anniversary event, with new skins, dance emotes, a new map, and more. Tracer has a bright yellow “Lightning Tracer” skin that includes a shorter, bleached hair look:
We’re just a week away from Overwatch Anniversary 2018! Join us in the celebration as we count down with TWO new skin reveals.
Our SECOND skin reveal: LIGHTNING TRACER! (Epic) pic.twitter.com/21LgIZhNbl
— Overwatch (@OverwatchEU) May 17, 2018
Here are more new skins:
Perhaps coolest of all, check out Symmetra’s arm in this skin:
SYMMETRA'S ARM IS TRANSPARENT pic.twitter.com/A2Fg7hthc7
— Lola 🎀 @COMMISSIONS CLOSED (@LolaTempest) May 19, 2018
The new map, Petra, is based on the real historical location in Jordan.
Hazards beyond this point. Trespassers risk serious injury or elimination. 🛑🚧
Prepare to explore the ancient ruins of Petra—our new Deathmatch map coming soon to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One! pic.twitter.com/pU2qXPHrGr
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) May 19, 2018
Fortnite on Android releases this summer
Fortnite will finally release on Android this summer. A more specific date has not been announced yet. Voice chat will also be added to the mobile version. As we mentioned last month, Fortnite made over $25 million in its first month on iOS.
Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII (yes, IIII) reveal event
Last week was the reveal event of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which yes, really is stylized as Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII. Does Blizzard hate Roman numerals? Can no one at Blizzard conceive of a logo design incorporating “IV”? These are mysteries.
Kingdom Hearts 3‘s release date will be revealed next month
Kingdom Hearts 3, which was announced five years ago, will reveal its release date “early next month.” The demo has been played by some press; see the previous link for one take, and more impressions from another writer here.
No Man’s Sky multiplayer mode releases July 24th
No Man’s Sky is getting a cooperative multiplayer mode, and the free update for PS4 and PC releases on the same day as the game’s Xbox One release.
The full multiplayer experience comes to #NoMansSky this summer. 🚀
Help friends stay alive or prey on others to survive in No Man’s Sky NEXT, coming as a free update on 24th July. pic.twitter.com/DggtiKLCWO
— PlayStation Europe (@PlayStationEU) May 18, 2018
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen any friends mention No Man’s Sky.
The Shanghai Dragons and a multilingual team dynamic
I love this: writer Emily Rand spent the day with the Shanghai Dragons and saw how Geguri and her teammates interact.
— ESPN Esports (@ESPN_Esports) May 16, 2018
The Shanghai Dragons originally had a lineup of all Chinese players before adding four Korean players. This article notes how both in-game and out, the teammates will talk to each other in Korean, Chinese, and English, and learn the languages from one another.
More news and links
- Ever wanted to be the most popular kid in school who’s dating everyone and has to break up with them? That’s the premise of Heartbreak High, a new PC game that released this week. Most interesting to me is that the game progresses in real time: you have 40 minutes to accomplish breaking up with everyone.
- Here’s a round-up of competitive esports’ midseason updates, including League of Legends, Overwatch League, and Dota 2.
- Twitch streamer Narcissa Wright was banned from Twitch, but it’s not clear why.
- A new spherical arena is being built in Las Vegas and it looks and sounds similar to the blitzball arena in Final Fantasy X.
Welcome to Games Bleat! I’m Kael, the midnight shadow gaming beneath your bed, and I’m here to whisper news of the latest deals and prophecies throughout your insomniatic delirium. Perhaps they is just a vespertine image, but the following deals are here for you to pursue regardless.
- Green Man Gaming Birthday Sale (new sales every 8 and 24 hours)
- MachiaVillain $15.99
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl $4.99
- Turmoil $4.99
- Shelter $0.99
- Pan-Pan $10.39
- Secret Spaces $4.00
- AdvertCity $9.40
- Sleep or Life $2.94
- Artifice Machine Collection $20.00
- The Gum Machine
- Ad Sigillum
- Trash Hero
- Kitfox Games Bundle $18.99
- Moon Hunters
- The Shrouded Isle
- The Way Remastered $10.49
- Crypt of the NecroDancer $14.99
- Vostok Inc. $11.99
- Battle Chef Brigade $13.99
- Lumo $15.95
Games come and go like so many human lives. No sooner is Wizard of Legend released than it is that the magical dungeon crawler crawls back to the ether. From Ivan looks at the hidden world of the human resources agent that conveys the ephemera of condolences and congratulations from a corporate shell. Catastropieces plays with the human need to leave a mark long after their decaying forms are capable—through the medium of Rube Goldberg machines and paint globs.
If you feel more inclined towards narrative to distract yourself from my unholy whispers, there’s Sable’s Grimoire. Its monster girls and magic academies will do little to keep you from your appointed hour in the end. Even your shining phone and the comforts of the Golden Hour Otome Romance demo will only keep your mind from straying to the time and date of your demise.
Regardless, that’s all I have for this week’s bleat. I hope my muttered prophecies have brought you some form of joy. If not, there’s always next time.
Writer at Sidequest and WWAC; past: Newsarama, Comicosity, executive editor of Kollaboration. I’ve watched over 200 hours of Life is Strange playthroughs. Talk to me about LiS, The Last of Us, and the games and fandoms you love! Twitter: @loudlysilent