Howdy, gamers! What have you been playing lately? I’ve been deep in Return of the Obra Dinn on Switch, which is sating my need for a good mystery game. I’m trying to savor the visuals and interesting gameplay, but cannot rest until I have solved everyone’s fates. I also revisited Coffee Talk to get a secret ending and enjoyed Glass House Games’ discussion on the game’s themes. Now, let’s discuss this week’s news.
More Events Postponed Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
We mentioned last week that the Game Developers Conference (GDC), originally scheduled for March 16–20, has been postponed until summer after a number of companies pulled out. Now more events have been postponed or canceled, with participants and organizers citing concern about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Canceled events include SXSW in Austin, TwitchCon Amsterdam, and esports events in Europe and South Korea. Other events, like qualifier rounds for Tekken and SOULCALIBUR World Tours and EA Global Series Events, have been postponed.
— TwitchCon (@TwitchCon) March 6, 2020
Events like GDC are no small investment for indie developers, and many are taking a financial hit in the wake of GDC’s delay. To help indie developers recoup these expenses and ease financial burden, Wings Interactive has partnered with a number of other companies to set up a GDC Relief Fund. Indie developers affected by the GDC postponement can apply for aid at Wings Interactive’s website.
Are you an indie dev, financially affected by the GDC postponement?
— WINGS (@wingsfundme) March 2, 2020
Chromecast Ultra Owners Can Enjoy Google Stadia Free for 3 Months
Last year, Google announced it was getting into the gaming business with its new streaming service, but Google Stadia’s November 2019 debut was plagued with problems like performance issues and missing features. Even four months later, there are only about 40 games available, with several indie developers saying adding their games to the platform simply isn’t worth it. However, on March 5, the company began sending promotional emails offering 3 free months of Google Stadia service to anyone with a Chromecast Ultra device. This follows the opening of a new Stadia Games and Entertainment Studio in Playa Vista, California.
In other news, Google is running its first-ever Stadia promotion starting this month. Chromecast Ultra buyers can get access, just like the buddy pass system, for three months & no controller required.
This is the first time Google has opened Stadia beyond the early adopters. https://t.co/WvSxwziwuP
— Nick Statt (@nickstatt) March 6, 2020
The Last of Us is Getting an HBO Adaptation
On March 5, HBO announced Craig Mazin (creator, writer, and executive producer of HBO’s Chernobyl) and Neil Druckmann (writer of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us) will team up to adapt The Last of Us for television. Since its 2013 release, The Last of Us has earned widespread critical acclaim (no, really, its awards have their own Wikipedia page) for its gripping, emotional story. Druckmann has confirmed characters Ellie, Riley, Tess, Maria, and Marlene will have roles and that Ellie will still be gay in the adaptation. Previously, Sony announced a movie adaptation, but it seems like production is no longer moving forward. Though HBO hasn’t released details about when the show will air, fans are already speculating about who will fill the roles of Joel and Ellie. In the meantime, there will surely be no shortage of The Last of Us content with the release of The Last of Us Part II in May.
And now you have Ellie, Riley, Tess, Marlene, Maria, ⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️, and a few others! 😉 https://t.co/GMozU0TaZE
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) March 8, 2020
- The University of Washington is crowdsourcing COVID-19 research with a puzzle game.
- The PlayStation 2 turned 20, and IGN and Eurogamer celebrated by curating lists of the best PS2 games.
- Twitch suspended a pro Call of Duty streamer who accidentally fired a real gun at his monitor.
- The prototype Nintendo PlayStation, a collaboration between Sony and Nintendo that never came to market, sold for $360,000 at a recent auction.
- Overwatch League celebrated International Women’s Day by highlighting Overwatch‘s (fictional) female characters but left out the real women involved in its community.
they literally highlighted plays from ALL MALE PLAYERS, didn't show anything from their *1* female pro player (Geguri) and didn't highlight any of their female desk casters (1) https://t.co/Mr1viGynOM
— W.I.T.C.H. (@appleciderwitch) March 8, 2020
Madison Butler writes about advertising by day and about video games the rest of the time. She can usually be found crying about Final Fantasy and Nier: Automata on Twitter @madisonrbutler.