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Development problems for Call of Duty, and new Pokémon and Minecraft games are among this week’s video game news headlines.

The House of Mario captured many headlines this week with a jam-packed Nintendo Direct showcasing the gazillion items and features included in upcoming Switch game, Super Mario Maker 2.

The Epic Store also launched its first major sale, although things didn’t quite go to plan, with some publishers delisting their games.

And if you’re excited for the series finale of Game of Thrones, make sure you read Tom’s analysis of how the HBO series has become just like a video game.

Here are nine other stories we think are worth catching up on.

Happy Birthday Minecraft

To coincide with the Minecraft‘s tenth anniversary, Microsoft has revealed a new free-to-play mobile AR game called Minecraft Earth. The game lets players add their creations to the real world and is set for release later this year. It was also announced that Minecraft has now sold 176 million copies worldwide, very likely making it the best-selling video game of all time.

Red Dead Redemption 2 updated

Take Two confirmed in its earnings call that Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold over 24 million copies since its release in October, 2018. Last week, the game’s online component also left beta with a huge update that includes new missions, new open-world events, and hundreds of items to buy and earn. There are also new settings to improvement the performance of HDR on PlayStation 4.

Studio Istolia closes

Square Enix’s Studio Istolia has closed down. Project Prelude Rune, the game the studio was developing under the leadership of Hideo Baba, has been also cancelled.

Epic Games awarded special Bafta

Epic Games will receive a Bafta Special Award next month. Tim Sweeney will pick up the award which honours the company’s contribution to the industry, both for its games and work with the Unreal Engine development platform.

Pokémon Rumble Rush announced

The fifth game in the Pokémon Rumble series has debuted in Australia. The free-to-start beat ’em up is initially available on Android devices, with an iOS release and worldwide rollout coming soon. In summary: tap, tap, tap to defeat waves of Pokémon.

Save with Nintendo Switch Vouchers

Nintendo has launched a new voucher promotion for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. Members can purchase two vouchers for $99.99/£84.00 and redeem them against a list of first and second-party Switch games. The vouchers offer combined savings of up to $19.99/£36.00.

Call of Duty 2020

Kotaku news hound, Jason Schreier, reports on the troubled development of next year’s Call of Duty game. Studios Raven and Sledgehammer have been moved to support status, with Treyarch taking the lead on what it is now likely to be Call of Duty: Black Ops 5.

Sony and Microsoft announce cloud partnership

Microsoft and Sony have announced ‘a memorandum of understanding’ to share information and technology on their future cloud infrastructure and image sensor initiatives. Although the partnership has surprised many, Sony president Kenichiro Yoshida said of the relationship:

“For many years, Microsoft has been a key business partner for us, though of course the two companies have also been competing in some areas. I believe that our joint development of future cloud solutions will contribute greatly to the advancement of interactive content.”

Full steam ahead for Octopath Traveler

Pre-orders for the PC version of Octopath Traveler have opened on Steam. Players who purchase the game ahead of its launch will receive a collection of eleven desktop wallpapers featuring artwork of the game’s heroes and locations.

This week’s new video game releases

As usual, you can keep on top of the latest video game releases with our weekly updates for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

And do follow us on Twitter for more game-related whimsy.

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