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This week in video games: PUBG hits 3 million concurrent players, Psychonauts 2 is delayed, and unreleased Destiny music leaked.

With preparations for the Thumbsticks New Year party under way this week’s round-up of video game news is a little on the shorter side. We wish all our readers a prosperous and Half-Life 3 filled 2018. (You heard it here first.)

The week in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds continues to warrant its own 24/7 news channel. The game broke 3 million concurrent players on December 29, 2017, leaving DOTA 2 a distant second with a mere 708,000 players. It’s an achievement worthy of a song, so naturally we obliged.

The game’s Xbox One performance also continues to spark much debate. A second patch fell from Santa’s sack on Christmas Eve, but it has done little to allay the concerns of many players.

Meanwhile, Brendan Greene spoke to Polygon’s Charlie Hall about PUBG‘s prospects in China, and the ‘enthusiasm’ of fans. Speaking of fans, an anonymous Redditor seems rightly aggrieved at the striking similarities between their fan-made PUBG advertisement, and a genuine promo published by Microsoft.

Nintendo Switch Iwata tribute removed

The copy of NES Golf that was hidden within each and every Nintendo Switch, as a tribute to the late Satoru Iwata, has been removed by the console’s latest firmware update. Please understand.

Final Fantasy Ride comes to Universal Studios

A Final Fantasy ride is coming to Universal Studios Japan as part of the park’s annual Cool Japan Event. Final Fantasy XR Ride is a VR-enabled experience that uses the existing Space Fantasy the Ride roller coaster. It will be open from January 19, 2018.

Nintendo eShop down for Christmas

It seems like a lot of people received a Nintendo Switch for Christmas. Whether it was the sheer weight of numbers – or a day off for the Nintendo employee who peddles to keep the eShop operational – we do not know. As news organisations around the world scurried to report the meltdown, Nintendo issued this Tweet:

And then they resolved it.

Destiny Music of the Spheres

Music of the Spheres, the unreleased Destiny album created by long-time Bungie composer Marty O’Donnell, with Michael Salvatori and Paul McCartney, has been leaked online. Speaking to Kotaku, O’Donnell ensdorsed the leak, saying:

“I don’t know who actually did it but they have my blessing. I honestly don’t know how anyone could begrudge this any longer.”

At the time of writing you can listen to the album in full over at SoundCloud.

World Health Organization lists signs of Gaming Disorder

The World Health Organization’s upcoming International Compendium of Diseases includes an entry detailing Gaming Disorder. Fortunately, the description doesn’t ring true to any of us here at Thumbsticks. Not at all. Not one bit.

Nintendo 64GB cards on the way

It’s not taken long for the small file size of Nintendo Switch game cards to become a problem, particularly for third-party titles. According to The Wall Street Journal, Nintendo is preparing the rollout of 64GB cards, but they won’t be available to developers and publishers until 2019.

PlatinumGames to self-publish games

In a wide-ranging interview with Game Informer, Platinum Games’ Atsushi Inaba talks about the studio’s plan to complement it’s AAA work with smaller, self-published games:

“We can’t put together a AAA, $10 million-plus game, because we just don’t have that sort of cash as an independent developer. However, we don’t plan to go the indies route with just a few people on a team making a game, so it’ll be somewhere in the middle, looking at probably about 20 people on the staff making the game, so that’ll still be a healthy [size].”

Psychonauts 2 delayed to 2019

Double Fine Productions has confirmed – in an update on Fig – that the much-anticipated Psychonauts 2 will no longer be released in 2018.

“Now we are in full swing, we know a lot more about the size and scope of the game we are going to make, how long it will take us to make it, and the amount of time we need to make it be great. From those projections we know that Psychonauts 2 will not be shipping in 2018, like we originally estimated when we published the Fig campaign two years ago.”

Psychonauts 2 has been financed to the tune of $3.8 million raised through the Fig crowdfunding platform, with a further $8 million investment coming from publisher Starbreeze.

PlayStation Plus and Xbox Games with Gold

January’s PlayStation Plus and Xbox Games with Gold titles are confirmed. The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing III and Zombi head the Xbox lineup, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and season one of Batman: The Telltale Series are coming to PlayStation 4.

Thumbsticks Games of 2017, and review of the year

As the year comes to an end we have pulled together our list of the 11 best video games of 2017. And if Horizon Zero Dawn was your favourite, read why our own Josh Wise agrees with you.

Worth reading

Star Wars Battlefront II may have proved controversial, but it did include the single-player campaign many players – and John Boyega – were demanding. Gamasutra speaks to Mitch Dyer about the campaign’s structure and narrative design.

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