Welcome, friends! It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means—an update on how few games your humble editor-in-chief has been playing. It’s not my fault that I’m suddenly addicted to mobile games. 2048 Solitaire, yes. Choices, thanks. Dune, heck yeah. Assassin’s Creed Origins (yeah, I’m that behind) is sitting patiently, waiting for me until I overcome my love of soothing sounds and colors and melodrama and decide it’s time to return to it.
But enough about that, let’s talk about news!
The Telltale Saga Continues
The story at Telltale Games continues to develop. After most of the studio was laid off in the past couple of weeks, there have been inconsistent reports about what to expect from the remaining crew and the company’s licensed work, some of which was said to be continuing with a skeleton crew. However, narrative designer Rachel Noel, who had remained with the studio as part of the skeleton crew working on the final season of The Walking Dead, had been let go along with the rest of her team as of October 4.
Heeeeyyyy remember how there was going to be a skeleton crew staying on for a while and I was part of it? Nah, jk, we all just got laid off, too.
— Ro, Sandwich Enthusiast (@rnoelliams) October 4, 2018
The day before Noel tweeted that she and her team had been laid off, sources told Kotaku that Telltale was exploring a deal with an outside company that would hire members of The Walking Dead team as contractors to finish the game. The Walking Dead was previously pulled from digital storefronts in anticipation of this possible deal, which was announced at an NYCC panel on Sunday. Skybound Games, publisher of The Walking Dead: Road to Survival, will be taking over production of The Walking Dead. It doesn’t seem likely that the skeleton crew dismissed from Telltale will be rehired to continue work on the game at Skybound.
Gaming News Tidbits
VTM:B including this is certainly funny, I don't know if this is one of the default removed histories or an original one added by a patch pic.twitter.com/Bz2iL291Zu
— octahedron fantasies (@LowPolyRobot) October 5, 2018
Blizzard announced a whole mess of licensing deals for Overwatch, including Lego sets and a levitating snowball. And with Halloween on the way, there’s new skins available too, such as Doomfist’s “Swamp Creature” skin (very The Shape of Water, if you ask me) and Moira’s Banshee skin.
Build the perfect team, brick by brick.
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) October 2, 2018
Nintendo filed a patent for a Game Boy case for smartphones. Not just a case that looks like a Game Boy—though the patent leaves room for interpretation, it does seem as though the case will work with an app to allow players to use their phone as a Game Boy. We’ll have to wait to hear more, but for right now, this is an exciting development for fans of classic handheld games.
Video game composer Ben Daglish has passed away at 52. Fans of his work and colleagues in the industry shared their feelings on social media, including praise for his work on soundtracks like The Last Ninja and Deflektor.
Nintendo is planning to launch an updated version of the Switch for next year. Though sales are still positive for the console, the updated version will no doubt spur even more sales, pulling the console’s success forward into yet another year.
CEO and president at Blizzard, Mike Morhaime, has stepped down from his position after 27 years. J. Allen Brack, executive producer of World of Warcraft, will be taking his place,
Tencent, the world’s largest video game company, has begun testing facial recognition software on its Chinese players. This software would prevent underage players from spending too long on games, with children under twelve being restricted to one hour per day and children ages 12 to 18 having two hours per day. This software is part of an ongoing crackdown on video gaming, with the Chinese government concerned about both addiction and nearsightedness among Chinese children.
The Witcher series author Andrzej Sapkowski is demanding $16 million in royalties from CD Projekt Red, the studio behind the highly successful video game series. When Sapkowski sold the rights to CD Projekt Red in 1997, he didn’t expect it to become an international phenomenon and turned down a revenue-sharing deal. Because of the series’ success, he now wants royalties. CD Projekt Red said they hope to reach a solution with Sapkowski, but will not be paying him royalties because the deal the company signed with the author was legally binding.
The Seattle Police Department has introduced a new program to help prevent SWATting. By registering with the inexplicably named Rave Facility program, people who work in the tech or video game industries or might otherwise face SWATting can give the police department additional information to help prevent tragedies like the death of Andrew Finch, who was shot by police after someone phoned in false kidnapping accusations.
Discord’s new storefront is launching soon with a few timed exclusives. These exclusives, which will be available first (but not exclusively) on Discord, include Last Year: The Nightmare, Mad Machines, and Bad North. The storefront and games are due out later this year.
Unfortunately, Evil Hat Games is having to make some cutbacks to continue producing work. They’re not closing, but several staff members have left the company and the company is working hard to get back to a profitable state.
— Polygon (@Polygon) September 26, 2018
That’s it for this week! Get ready for the deals.
Welcome to Games Bleat! I’m Kael, your local sickly gamer, and it seems I’ve been infected by some strange virus that causes me to leak deals and new releases from my mucous membranes!
I’ll start as I often do with some hot sales I discreetly sneezed into this tissue!
- Burly Men at Sea $7.49
- Old Man’s Journey $7.99
- Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime $8.99
- PAN-PAN A Tiny Big Adventure $3.00
- Overcooked: Special Edition $9.99
After drinking some spicy soup I hacked up these new releases! Wow, this is a really gross bit I’m apparently sticking to!
First is The Swindle, which is hitting the Nintendo Switch this week. It’s a “steampunk cybercrime caper about breaking into buildings, hacking their systems, stealing all their cash, and quickly running away again before the police show up,” according to Size Five Games. Artistically it looks really cool, and I absolutely love heist games, so this is one I’m going to be keeping my eye on.
Next is To Leave. It’s a interesting platformer tackling issues of mental illness and recovery. It looks really cool, and the platforming doesn’t look quite like anything I’ve ever seen before. That might be because the main character is hanging on to a magic door the whole time, but I’m inclined to believe it’s got some interesting physics going on.
Finally I have The World Ends with You: Final Remix. This Square Enix classic is finally getting a remaster. I’ve always wanted to play the action-RPG-maybe rhythm game, but didn’t have a Nintendo DS when it first came out. I love that remixes like this allow older games to become accessible like that.
Anyway, that’s it for this week’s bleat. I’m going to go curl up in bed and sweat this fever out, but I’ll catch you next time!
Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.