Here’s our summary of the week’s most interesting video games news from Thumbsticks, and around the web.
This week we see Nintendo embracing season passes in new – and expensive – ways, an announcement of brand new game in the Darksiders series, and some grassy Pokémon on the loose.
Nintendo DLC raises eyebrows, and empties piggy banks
There were no big game announcements from Nintendo this week, but details of two upcoming season passes certainly caused a lot of discussion. The first half of the $20 Expanson Pass for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild adds new modes, a Tingle costume, and a cool new map feature. The fact that there’s a charge for some of these additions is offset by the prospect of the expansion’s more substantial second half, which will contain new story content, and a new dungeon. It’s hard to feel quite so generous about the DLC for the Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, however. The game’s season pass, although packed to the gills with content, costs more than the game itself. Ouch.
Persona 5 soundtrack
iam8bit’s Persona 5 vinyl soundtrack was announced this week, and will feature a selection of the game’s best music from composer, Shoji Meguro. The four LP set won’t be released until the end of 2017, but iam8bit and Atlus are endeavouring to keep customers entertained by documenting the entire manufacturing process from start to finish.
Chet Faliszek leaves Valve
This week in game industry moves, we call time on Chet Faliszek’s career at Valve. Faliszek contributed writing duties to the Half Life and Portal series, and was most recently a public advocate for the possibilities of storytelling in VR, and an ambassador for Valve’s Vive VR platform.
Oculus Story Studio to close
And on a related note… Oculus Story Studio, which has received wide acclaim – and an Emmy – for its VR shorts Lost, Henry, and Dear Angelica, is to close. In a blog post titled ‘The Next Chapter of Creative Development in VR’, Oculus executive, Jason Rubin outlines the reasons for the decision. According to TechCrunch around 50 jobs will be lost, but affected employees will hopefully be able to find other opportunities within Oculus and Facebook.
Darksiders 3 leaked, then announced
This week in leaks, we aim our sights at Amazon. Mere hours before IGN were about to pull back the curtain on Gunfire Games’ Darksiders 3, an erroneously published Amazon listing outed the third instalment of the action adventure series. More interesting than the game itself – which looks like a solid evolution of the franchise – is the story of the much travelled development team, whose journey from taken them from THQ and Vigil, to Gunfire and THQ Nordic, via Crytek. Talk about hell and back.
Steam Gifting changes
Changes to Steam Gifting system, including the removal of Gift to Email and Gift to Inventory options, have left resellers – and plenty of gamers – disappointed. Christopher Dring at GamesIndustry.biz reports on the changes to the programme and the ensuing reaction.
Pokémon in bloom
If you’re feeling the joys of spring and are out getting some sunshine this weekend, you might want to check back in with Pokémon Go. Niantic have announced that until May 8 there will be an influx of Grass-type Pokémon appearing in the wild. Lure Modules will also last six hours, so it seems like a good opportunity to capture Bulbasaur and friends.
Next week’s game releases
If you’re looking for details on next week’s Xbox, PlayStation and Nintendo digital releases, don’t forget to check out our weekly release updates.