Imogen Donovan by on Aug 16, 2019

The Best Video Game News This Week: Superhot Presents, DayZ cannabis ban, Ninja livestream mishap, and more

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening to you, dear reader. How have you been? How is it all going in life, the universe, and everything? I suppose it’s hard to keep track on such a scale. What if you just gave me a general idea, a summation, a brief breakdown? I could go first if that helps. Stage fright is incredibly common, don’t worry. So here’s what happened this week…

I watched a trailer for the dark dramedy Why Women Kill, and I must say, I am inspired. Inspired to watch it. It follows the stories of three couples, set in one house, in three different eras. In the sixties, housewife Ginnifer Goodwin discovers her husband is cheating on her with a diner waitress; Lucy Liu plays an ‘80s socialite married to a man who is secretly having flings with other guys and using their marriage as a cover; and in 2019, a couple’s open relationship becomes strained when they both vie for the affections of the same woman. I haven’t listed who’s playing the male partners in this show because I don’t want you to get attached, given the title of the show. But I really like historical period dramas, and this show has only gone and wodged three in one. And if you don’t like history stuff, you can count on 33 per cent of the content to be contemporary. Read on for more contemporaneous content, that isn’t about murderous misandrists. 

DayZ will be changed worldwide after Australian ban for its depiction of cannabis

As Bohemia Interactive had applied for a physical release of DayZ in Australia, the Australian Classification Board had to give its two cents on the themes and features in the game. One of these features is a cannabis joint that will heal your character, and the ACB didn’t like that. Apparently, the joint ‘offend[s] against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults.’ Yeah. It took steps to get the digital version removed, even though the item isn’t in that one. Bohemia Interactive chose to modify the game worldwide in order to align with the ACB’s requirements.

Twitch CEO apologises for the porn live stream on Ninja’s channel

Recently, popular Fortnite streamer Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins made the jump from Twitch to Mixer. But rather than leave his old channel dormant, Twitch has been using it to promote other Fortnite livestreams… and recently one that was streaming pornography. Yikes. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear apologised for the incident, but Blevins’ wife and manager Jessica Blevins found the apology wanting. She accused Twitch of sabotaging the Ninja brand, inferring that there’s bad blood regarding the split. The power couple were quick to leave it behind them, however. Ninja posted his phone number to the masses so that fans could hand over their personal information for cool behind the scenes photos and team ups in Fortnite. Life moves pretty fast.

Xbox Project Scarlett will focus on frame rate, playability, and backwards compatibility

Project Scarlett will achieve 4K visuals at 60 frames per second and prioritise smooth playability, if all goes to plan. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer revealed concrete details on Microsoft’s next generation console in an interview with Gamespot, and emphasised backwards compatibility with its predecessors. Not only will there be cross-gen play, but previous Xbox controllers will be compatible with Project Scarlett. It’s nice to know that the environmental impact of the new technology is already at the forefront of Microsoft’s minds.

Take-Two CEO says blaming video games for gun violence is ‘disrespectful’

In an interview with CNBC, Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick said that to link gun violence to violence in video games is ‘disrespectful’ to the victims and their families. He made the point that entertainment is distributed and consumed globally, but the U.S. is continually affected by mass shootings. If games were the problem Zelnick confirmed he would stop production of violent games instantly. ‘Gun violence is uniquely American and that has to change, and that will only change if we address the real issues,’ Zelnick stated. President Trump made the assertion that ‘gruesome and grisly video games’ were to blame for mass shootings when he addressed the tragedies in Texas and Ohio that occurred last week.

Need For Speed Heat will not use loot boxes to unlock car customisation options

Need For Speed Heat is the next game in EA’s racing series. It’s set in Palm City, Florida, and will pit players against a rogue police force for dominance of the city streets. The day and night system will change gameplay dramatically, and promises the staples of zoomy cars and new levels of personalisation. Additionally, slots and loot boxes for car customisation parts won’t make a reappearance, not now and not ever, according to EA.

Quantic Dream aims to become a multiplatform publisher

Following its departure from Sony Interactive Entertainment and an investment injection from NetEase, Quantic Dream founder David Cage revealed that the developer wants to release multiplatform games and become a ‘boutique publisher’. Its games Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls were ported to PC through the Epic Games Store, with Detroit: Become Human to follow suit. As an independent studio, its publishing duties would involve ‘backing a few titles and championing originality and high quality, while providing tech and industrial support… offering fair deals and not taking ownership of IP.’

A new Saints Row game is in development, announces THQ Nordic

As announced in THQ Nordic’s first quarter financial report, Volition is working on a new Saints Row title. It is in ‘deep development’ of the game, but no more details than that were shared. Dead Island 2 has once again changed hands; now Dambuster Studios are at the helm. THQ Nordic has acquired Gunfire Games and Milestone, and Fishlabs is working on unannounced projects. And Timesplitters creator Steve Ellis has joined Deep Silver to ‘plot the future course for this franchise’ with developer and publisher.

Superhot Presents is a new funding initiative to help indie games across the finish line

Superhot Presents comes from the Polish studio Superhot Team who developed and published indie slo-mo shooter, Superhot. That game did really well, so now the company is paying it forward and has set up a funding initiative to give other independent developers a leg up in the industry. Two games have already been taken under its wing; stylish RPG Knuckle Sandwich and comical mystery game series The Frog Detective. The idea is to support the game’s journey financially, so developers can stay flexible and reach out to other publishers or services based on what they need. In an interview with PC Games Insider, Superhot Team director of special projects Callum Underwood stated, ‘I think it's only a good thing that more funds are appearing…  We want to treat the developers we work with well and to make them money.’
 

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Need for Speed Heat

on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Release Date:

31 December 2019