Today’s gaming roundup lands on Easter Sunday. Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been (infamously) offering quarantine-friendly ways to celebrate the holiday, but other games have been getting into the spirit too, with Roblox and Dauntless offering their own egg hunts. In other gaming news, the PlayStation 5 controller was revealed, a Kickstarter for a Resident Evil board game will launch in late April, China is apparently limiting the sales of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and a new gaming-themed StoryBundle will donate a portion of proceeds to COVID-19 relief efforts.
Highlights From This Week's Gaming News
While not much is known yet, current audit issues include a delay of their yearly financial report and suspension of trading CMON stock on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. At the same time, CMON's Kickstarter for the Bloodborne board game and the CMON Time Machine bundle are in the process of being fulfilled. Whether audit issues will affect these Kickstarters and other crowdfunding campaigns remains to be seen.
About a week after TechRaptor reported on Hong Kong protesters finding a new place to express themselves in Animal Crossing: New Horizons while under lockdown, China has apparently started limiting access to the game. Public online shops like Taobao have apparently received government orders blocking or restricting sales of the hit game. According to industry analyst Daniel Ahmad, people in China can still get the game through these methods: Mom & Pop stores; downloading through the eShop after changing the region on the Nintendo Switch; and even privately getting in touch with a Taobao salesperson to buy “the game under the counter.”
While COVID-19 has indirectly increased the demand for games as it forces people to stay at home, it also stretches Nintendo's supply thin and leaves the company unable to meet demand. However, apparently “those who have already reserved a unit in Japan should expect to see it fulfilled in the near future;” but new orders seem to be out of the question. While a representative of Nintendo said that the supply of Switch consoles in North America is running low, there will be more. But in light of COVID-19, Nintendo may find their other inventories eventually stretched thin too.
StoryBundle's latest game-themed bundle of ebooks is “The Boss Battle Game Bundle,” and a portion of all sales “will be donated to Doctors Without Borders" fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Curated by author David L. Craddock, the bundle will include books like The Anatomy of Super Mario and Craddock's own Stay Awhile and Listen Book 1 - Legendary Edition. If you pay at least $15, you get the max number of books offered, such as Boss Fight Books: Breakout and The Anatomy of Mega Man.
Roblox's Easter event this year will last until April 28. During that time, players can track down eggs with a new Eggphone, searching through a variety of Roblox games. In a similar seasonal move, Dauntless is holding its own Easter festivities with egg hunts and other activities.
Composer Lena Raine (Celeste, Guild Wars 2, and Steven Universe: The Movie) made "Rubedo," "Chrysopoeia," and "So Below" for Minecraft. Raine also shared her creative process for the new music, discussing how she challenged herself to “push the sound of the piano," which she called "one of the primary instruments in Minecraft.”
After Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency that ordered citizens to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japanese CERO rating board closed. This shutdown may affect the release schedule of upcoming games. Japan's state of emergency is currently set to last until May 6.
Following behind the game Foldit that lets players help scientists conduct their research, Borderlands 3 is introducing a new in-universe minigame that will also let players help scientists and their research. In a partnership with McGill University, The Microsetta Initiative, and Massively Multiplayer Online Science, Gearbox has added Borderlands Science to Borderlands 3. Players can find Borderlands Science as an arcade game on Sanctuary III. Besides helping scientists sort out data in the form of puzzles, players can also get in-game rewards.
Sony unveils major design changes with the new PS5 controller. The new device also won't require a headset. It has a built-in microphone for voice chat instead.
A new Kickstarter for Resident Evil 3: The Board Game will launch on April 28. The co-op survival horror tabletop game can be played by 1-4 people as either one large campaign or multiple one-shots.
Features and Reviews of the Week
With 391 possible villagers in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, TechRaptor breaks them down into several types: Snooty, Sisterly, Peppy, Normal, Smug, Lazy, Jock, and Cranky.
In TechRaptor's latest Coverage Club entry, the platformer Wunderling is showcased. It ponders the age-old question: what if Goombas could jump? The answer: star in their own game, obviously.
How does Arc System's new fighter hold up? TechRaptor says it's a great spin-off from the original mobile game with a wonderful visual style. While enjoyable for experienced fighting game players and accessible to newcomers, a small roster and lack of genre innovation hold it back.
Though TechRaptor found the Resident Evil 3 remake genuinely unsettling sometimes, it wasn't as terrifying as Resident Evil 2. Still, its visuals and gameplay were great.
What do you think of COVID-19 continuing to affect gaming in different ways? Do you like the PS5 controller? Did you see other news in gaming this week that deserves attention? What did we miss from the last week in gaming? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. And for more on COVID-19’s impact on gaming, check out TechRaptor’s evolving hub of COVID-19 updates.