New coronavirus-motivated changes include delays for tabletop companies, like Asmodee, and Summer Games Done Quick 2020, slower download speeds for Sony to reduce stress on Internet traffic, and threats to the continued existence of the National Videogame Museum in the U.K.. On the flip side, the Steam Spring Game Festival did well, successfully providing a space for game demos meant for the postponed GDC and offering entertainment for people under government-ordered quarantine. The organizers of Summer Games Done Quick are also compensating with a new event in April focused on raising funds to help those affected by the coronavirus, and the National Videogame Museum is actively seeking donations. To help with the newly expanded area of distance learning under quarantine, Minecraft has new educational areas, and the Polish government plans to launch initiatives teaching children game development while they stay at home. Today’s gaming roundup also covers reviews for Doom Eternal and Half-Life: Alyx, as well as new releases like BioShock: The Collection on Nintendo Switch, an additional mode for Ring Fit Adventure, and more Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC.
Highlights From This Week's Gaming News
Steam Spring Game Festival Had Nearly 3 Million Visitors
The online event organized largely in response to GDC’s cancellation over the coronavirus threat was well received, with festival demos downloaded over 550 thousand times and over 385,000 wishlists made. Steam’s new section devoted to game soundtracks also enjoyed similar success.
Summer Games Done Quick 2020 Postponed, Charity Event Announced
While the speedrunning event has been delayed due to the current outbreak, an extra event will be organized: Corona Relief Done Quick. Scheduled for April 17–19, the new event will give all of its donations to Direct Relief, " a humanitarian organization that helps people who are affected by poverty or emergencies." Submissions for Corona Relief Done Quick have already started, and are open until April 2.
PlayStation Download Speed Now Limited in the United States
To reduce pressure on overall Internet use during the coronavirus quarantines, Sony announced that they will lower the speed of PlayStation downloads in the United States. They previously made the same announcement for Europe.
Epic Games Publishing Next Games From Control, Inside, and The Last Guardian Creators
Epic Games is set to publish new games from Remedy (Control), Gen Design (The Last Guardian), and Playdead (Inside). The deal will provide full funding from Epic, as well as give developers 50 percent of the profits and ownership over their intellectual property.
Nintendo Mini Direct Releases With a Ton of News And New Releases
New games coming to the Switch include Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, Panzer Dragoon: Remake, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy, Bravely Default II, Borderlands Legendary Collection, BioShock: The Collection, and Catherine: Full Body. Games already on the console are also getting updates and new content, like an Easter event in Animal Crossing: New Horizons and a rhythm game Mode for Ring Fit Adventure.
Super Smash Bros Ultimate to add a new DLC fighter from ARMS
Kicking off the iconic crossover fighter's second DLC pack is a character from the Switch-exclusive ARMS. The new roster addition to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be available in June.
Asmodee and Alliance Halting All Tabletop Game Shipments Temporarily
Like other businesses impacted by the coronavirus crisis, major tabletop game companies Asmodee and Alliance have stopped shipping their products. According to Asmodee's website, a large chunk of their staff continue to work from home when possible. WizKids, another tabletop company, has been similarly affected by the coronavirus.
Coronavirus Threatens UK National Videogame Museum's Future
The National Videogame Museum in the U.K. does not have the funds to survive a government-ordered closure due to the coronavirus outbreak. It's now asking for donations to save it for the future. As the only museum for video games in the U.K., it holds a huge collection of historical items and helps "children from disadvantaged backgrounds."
Inside Final Fantasy VII Remake Episode 2 Promises Big Changes
Square Enix has started releasing a series called Inside Final Fantasy VII Remake that focuses on shedding more light on the upcoming game for fans. The second episode focused on story and characters, and how both will be fleshed out more.
Microsoft Announces a 'Free Educational Marketplace' for Minecraft
Largely in response to the coronavirus outbreak closing down schools, Minecraft Marketplace has launched a new category for education. People can learn about a variety of topics ranging from Greek history to marine biology in the new category.
Polish Government Helping Kids Learn How to Make Games While In Quarantine
Curriculum will include game design, scripting basics, prototyping, learning the game engine Unity, and more. Poland has also launched Grarantanna, which hosts game competitions, streaming, webinars, and puzzles.
Features and Reviews of the Week
With immersive environments and great voice acting, Half-Llife: Alyx manages to leave TechRaptor with the impression that it can push the VR platform forward despite its shortcomings in length and lag.
Fusing an action RPG with deckbuilding, Thomas Moon Kang's One Step From Eden comes alive with swift and exciting gameplay, "fluid pixel art," and accessibility as well as the potential for mastery.
10 Video Games that Actually Live Up to their License
While licensed games used to normally be mediocre affairs, they've vastly improved over the years. Now licensed games have great titles on a more regular basis. TechRaptor shares their list of some of the best ones, including Batman: Arkham Asylum, Marvel’s Spider-Man, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
Got Cabin Fever? Animal Crossing: New Horizons Is Your Medicine
The highly anticipated release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons ended up coinciding with a time of crisis and quarantine, and has consequently offered a form of much needed stress relief with its calming nature, sense of community and more.
20 Years of Thief II Fan Missions
TechRaptor takes a deep dive into the creativity of the fandom behind Thief II. Conversation with fan creators covers origin stories, level editors, community building and more.
With entertaining and ridiculous writing, Doom Eternal is a wickedly fun FPS that allowed TechRaptor to cut loose and wreak havoc upon hordes of demons.
Are you going to watch or participate in Corona Relief Done Quick? What do you think of Sony slowing the speed of downloads? 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.