Welcome to Get Your Game On! My name is December and I’m your host this week. I’ve been replaying God of War in anticipation of Ragnarok and as much as I love the game, I’m already dreading getting to the place where Atreus becomes a little shit—but I do wonder how much of that will come back as he grows into himself as a god. Anyway! We’ve got gaming news, so let’s get to it.
Ubisoft Announces New Assassin’s Creed Games, Steps the Series Away from Its Ancient Aliens Roots (kind of)
At Ubisoft Forward, Ubisoft’s live-streamed digital conference, the company announced three new Assassin’s Creed games: Codename Red, set in feudal Japan; Codename Hexe, which seems to be leaning druidic (and, if I had to take a guess, will probably follow the witch-warriors of Avalon explored in the Valhalla tie-in book, Sword of the White Horse); and the mobile game Codename Jade, set in 215 BCE Qin dynasty China. AC Mirage, which had details leaked earlier this month, was also officially unveiled and, to the surprise of no one who played Valhalla, features the lackluster villain Basim as its protagonist (although the Aladdin-style street rat Basim might actually lure me in).
Codename Red and Codename Hexe have both been described as open-world RPGs, but Mirage and Codename Jade are both being touted as a return to the classic action-adventure style of older Assassin’s Creed titles rather than the RPGs the latest trilogy featured.
Perhaps the most interesting was the shift away from the in-game Animus experience; instead, the Animus is becoming part of the new game launcher Infinity. Going forward, all new AC games will be connected through the Infinity hub, which will also contain the in-game encyclopedias as well as the larger modern metanarrative. I’m not sure what other players think of the Animus, but I’ll state outright that I never cared about Desmond or the aliens or any of the modern parts awkwardly shoehorned into my experience as a badass assassin. So I’m excited to hear that the modern-day story will be easy to ignore if, as IGN reporter Matt Purslow surmises, “the main games will now be set solely in the past.”
However, I’m always wary of live service game models—if all the games are connected to each other through the Infinity hub, will we need a constant online connection? As someone who lived in the rural south for a few years (and still has friends in that area), I don’t think it’s necessary to force an internet connection on a single-player game, even if it does have multiplayer options.
Square Enix Is Still Betting on Blockchain
Squeenix, my love. Please.
Yosuke Matsuda is living up to his terrible promise to invest heavily in blockchain gaming. Square Enix has joined the Oasys blockchain as a “node validator” alongside 20 other game companies (including Bandai Namco, Ubisoft, and Sega). Oasys describes itself as an “eco-friendly” blockchain for games, claiming that its proof-of-stake validation process is less energy intensive than other companies’ proof-of-work. I haven’t been able to find any information on how they’re quantifying this, but it should be noted that “less energy intensive than Bitcoin” is not the same as “eco-friendly.”
In other news…
343 Industries studio head Bonnie Ross stepped down to focus on a family medical issue. Head of production Pierre Hintze has become studio head effective immediately.
Rumors abounded that the not-yet-announced Nintendo Direct would be postponed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. On Monday, September 12, a Nintendo Direct was announced for Tuesday, September 13… but it was not livestreamed by Nintendo UK.
Vodeo Games studio has announced its closure. Vodeo Workers United, the first officially recognized video game workers union, was in the midst of bargaining but had not yet reached an agreement when the news broke.
Vodeo Games has announced that it has closed its doors. Vodeo Workers United (CODE-CWA) were in the process of collective bargaining but had not yet reached an agreement when it became clear the studio was no longer financially viable. Therefore we decided to halt bargaining.
— Vodeo Workers United (@vodeoworkers) September 7, 2022
December Cuccaro (she/her) is an MFA graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno and a member of the 2021 Clarion West cohort. When not rambling about video games, she writes about sapphic werewolves and sad necromancers searching for friendship.