With the state of the world today, last week’s gaming roundup now often covers COVID-19 updates specific to the industry. Besides the now expected delays and cancellations, gaming culture continues to try to adapt to the situation as well. Changes have been made to online services among Microsoft, Sony, and Steam in an attempt to put less pressure on an internet meeting new demands under quarantine. Pokémon Go tries to encourage solo play while moving into seasonal events for spring. Hong Kong protesters continue to express themselves within Animal Crossing: New Horizons while staying indoors. Even a new card from a crossover between Godzilla and Magic: The Gathering was renamed because the original title resembled ‘coronavirus’ too closely and had some unfortunate connotations. Today’s roundup also includes reports that Gearbox employees have disappointingly been denied bonuses from Borderlands 3 profits, the PS4 getting five new games, and an interview with the CEO of Limited Run Games.
Highlights From This Week's Gaming News
In response to COVID-19, Niantic has placed a new emphasis on solo content for the Pokémon Go Spring Event 2020. This focus includes certain Pokémon like Chansey appearing more in the wild, Togepi-themed clothing and accessories in the store, a Pikachu with a flower hat, and a Buneary with a flower crown. The game's spring event will start on April 9 and continue until April 16.
While development on The Last of Us Part II is nearly finished, the game will be delayed again due to issues over shipping and logistics thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other new changes due to COVID-19 include another delay to Iron Man VR, the cancellation of QuakeCon 2020 during the game’s 25th anniversary, and Bethesda not having a digital showcase in June.
Prepare for a new crossover as Godzilla and other kaiju stomp into Magic: The Gathering! Also keep an eye out for a Spacegodzilla card renamed in response to COVID-19.
The PS4 is getting five new titles: Boundary, a "zero-gravity" shooter; Going Under, a colorful game about battling your way through various failed tech startups; a port of John Wick Hex, a strategy adaptation of the hit film series; Biped, a co-op game with cute robots; and Windbound, a survival game that starts with players stranded on a mysterious island.
Pendragon is the latest game from Inkle Studios, the award-winning developer of 80 Days and Heaven's Vault. Featuring a world that will evolve based on player choice, the goal is to rescue King Arthur from Sir Mordred.
If you can't get enough of expanding the dinosaur collection in Blathers' museum on your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Dinosaur Fossil Hunter launches this year with a self-explanatory title. In the upcoming game, players become paleontologists, and will be able to discover dinosaur fossils and display them in a museum they design.
Causes are apparently due to a contract that "[required] recoupment of development costs," which led to 2K being paid before Gearbox employees. Normally Gearbox uses a royalty system in which 40 percent of a "game's profits are split between developers in the form of quarterly royalty checks," and this is supposed to compensate for the normally low salary at Gearbox.
With Hong Kong and much of the world under quarantine due to COVID-19, protesters have found a new place to express themselves in Animal Crossing: New Horizons via the use of in-game items like gas masks, umbrellas, and Custom Design features.
Similar to Sony before, Microsoft takes steps to reduce stress on internet usage during quarantines held in response to COVID-19. To do this, Microsoft is collaborating with game publishers to strategically schedule game updates during times when the internet should be generally under less pressure. Minor changes also include turning off the ability to upload certain images. Steam is also responding to the new demands on the internet with a change to its auto-update feature.
Features and Reviews of the Week
The latest Screenshot Survey looks at work-in-progress projects like a firefighting game, a "diorama-like" action RPG, and a strategy game about the eternal conflict between orcs and humans.
At five years old, Limited Run Games has made one million sales during its mission to provide a limited physical release for games that had previously only been available for digital download. TechRaptor got to talk with the company's CEO about this success, their process, and their vision for 2020.
So what’s TechRaptor’s final verdict on the highly anticipated game and new form of stress relief during this time of quarantine? It's been hailed as the best entry in the Animal Crossing series, with better customization options, villagers, visuals, and more. This island getaway shines, despite a slow start and an underwhelming soundtrack.
Successfully incorporating Lovecraftian horror and iconography, the second pack of Borderlands 3 DLC impressed TechRaptor with various features like a new array of opponents to fight and entertaining voice acting.
What do you think of all these attempts to try to put less strain on the internet during quarantine? What new games are you interested in? 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.