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.

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.

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.

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.

ICYMI