Welcome to our weekly video games news roundup, featuring stories from Thumbsticks and elsewhere on the internets.
EA financial results
There was a lot to chew over in EA’s latest financials. There were some huge successes, notably Battlefield 1‘s 19 million players, and revenues climbing from $1.31 billion to $1.53 billion in Q4. However, all the big stories were focused on BioWare. Not only has their new IP been bumped into the next fiscal year, BioWare Montreal is being downsized into a support studio, and, as Kotaku’s Jason Schreier reports, the Mass Effect series is being put out to pasture. Shepards not required.
Wonder Boy gets boxed
If you haven’t played Wonder Boy The Dragon’s Trap – Lizardcube’s sumptuous remake of the Sega Master System classic – then you really should. In our review, Tom Baines calls the game a “stylish and sensitive makeover.” It’s available digitally on all platforms, but if you would prefer a boxed edition, we have good news. Limited Run Games have announced that a physical edition is heading to PlayStation 4. It will be a limited run release, naturally, so you’ll have to be quick.
Dead Island lives
Is the Dead Island franchise dead, or just awaiting reanimation? Mike Williams at USgamer reports on the status of Deep Silver’s zombie franchise, which is now in the hands of talented Sheffield-based developer, Sumo Digital.
Prey review round-up
Arkane Studios’ sci-fi reboot has garnered a positive response from most critics. Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, in his Eurogamer review, calls the game an “ornate and clever, if slightly under-cooked System Shock successor” and Dan Stapleton at IGN praises the game’s unnerving atmosphere, saying “The unsettling sense of paranoia that comes from knowing any object could turn out to be a hidden enemy gives even the quiet moments a palpable tension.” However, Gamespot’s Tamoor Hussain strikes a contrary note, calling Prey “a game of uneven pacing and uninteresting characters.”
Nickel and Rime
Nintendo’s propensity to stick with proprietary media formats has always caused problems. Gamers with long memories will recall that GameCube discs were often more expensive than their Xbox and PlayStation 2 counterparts, and the manufacturing cost of Nintendo Switch game cards looks set to cause similar issues. Credit, then, to Tequila Works, who have lowered the price of Rime‘s Switch digital edition, and thrown in some extras to make the price of the physical release a little more palpable.
Going down the tubes
YouTube’s recent advertising policy changes have had far-reaching consequences for many video game channels. YouTuber Michael Sawyer has written an excellent primer on the changes, providing a rare insight into the world of game broadcasting, and the challenges of maintaining a steady revenue stream.
Square Enix ditches IO interactive
Despite wide-spread critical acclaim, the indications are that the recent episodic Hitman game was not as successful as we thought. Square Enix – who announced a ¥4,898 million loss in its recent financials – is withdrawing support for developer IO Interactive, and is now actively seeking a buyer for the Danish studio.
Virtual Reality bites
The future for virtual reality is bright/gloomy. PlayStation VR is a success/floundering. The games are great/boring. It’s a leap forward/another gimmick. With the lay of the land hard to determine, Rob Fahey at GamesIndustry.biz considers the prospects of the most popular tethered virtual reality platform, PlayStation VR.
Wild Wild West
Fans are so eager for Red Dead Redemption 2 news that leaked images depicting Western scenes – and a John Marston lookalike – sent some corners of the internet into a frenzy. PC Gamer stepped in to reveal that the screens are actually from upcoming MMORPG, Wild West Online. The game is being developed by 612 Games with support from publisher DJ2, and although it’s not Red Dead Redemption 2, it does look rather promising.
More from Thumbsticks
If you want to keep up-to-date with the latest games coming to Nintendo Switch, 3DS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, and Xbox One, bookmark our New Releases page. And if you’re a PC gamer, make sure you have the right specs for the latest games by visiting our System Requirements roundup.