#79: A San Andreas Bribe You Can’t Refuse

TODAY: Rockstar gets in on the launcher and game store racket — What will Sony do with Insomniac’s Xbox exclusives? — Football Manager fans can finally decrease their carbon footprint

Top Story

Sonic the Hedgehog’s Yuji Naka working on “original action game” at Square Enix

A co-creator of Sonic the Hedgehog is hard at work on an “original action game” at one of Square Enix’s development teams. Yuji Naka joined Square Enix back in January 2018, and began working on the new project.

The project was only recently revealed to be an action game, when Naka tweeted in response to birthday wishes on social media: “Today I’m 54 years old. How many games will I be able to make by the retirement age, including the original action game that I’m currently making at Square Enix? I’d like to work hard to develop a game that everyone around the world can enjoy.”

Yuji Naka also worked on other projects with Sonic Team

Yuji Naka co-created Sonic alongside Naoto Ohshima and Hirokazu Yasuhara. He started out as a programmer and game designer in 1984 before starting work on Sonic the Hedgehog in 1991, and eventually becoming a producer and even director on other projects. The last Sonic title he worked on was 2006’s Sonic Riders for GameCube, Xbox and PlayStation 2.

What is this new original action game with Square Enix? No one really knows but apparently the only way to know more are wishing game developers a happy birthday. In other words, stay tuned for more details on September 17th next year!

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which major RPG series did Yuji Naka work on before the first Sonic?

  • Final Fantasy
  • Phantasy Star
  • Dragon Quest
  • Seiken Densetsu

The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!

News Bits

Four new PlayStation DualShock 4 colours are now available to buy

Remember that fashionable new line of autumn-colored DualShock 4s? The one with the, ah, slightly overblown announcement trailer? Well, the Fall 2019 collection is finally available, so now you can accessorize with the regal Rose Gold, bold Electric Purple, militant Red Camouflage or the modest Titanium Blue. So stylish!

An offer you can’t refuse: San Andreas free with Rockstar Games Launcher

Is it a bribe? Is it a sign-up gift? No, it’s a “bonus FREE copy” of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas! All you have to do is sign up for the new Rockstar Games Launcher, and the classic crime caper is yours.

What’s going on? Well, when a publisher and money love each other very much, sometimes they make a store! The Rockstar Games Launcher offers the studio’s own game catalog, no middle-man involved. Unfortunately GTA: San Andreas doesn’t hold up particularly well these days. Time for a remaster?

Daily Fact

Maximum Carnage was one of the first games actually based on a comic book

There have been many games based on comic book characters but 1994’s Spider-Man and Venom: Maximum Carnage for SNES and the Genesis was one of the first that was actually based on an established comic book storyline. Many of the cut scenes are even animated recreations of comic book panels.

This was also the first time a Spider-Man game received a Teen age rating: The Genesis version was rated MA-13, while the SNES port was rated ‘K-A’ by the ESRB meaning ‘kids to adults’, which was replaced by E for Everyone in 1998. Notably – and naughtily – the game’s soundtrack includes an uncredited version of Black Sabbath’s “The Mob Rules” during a boss fight.

Daily News

Insomniac Games’ Xbox title Sunset Overdrive now belongs to Sony

It’s not exactly unprecedented, but it’s a little bit unusual: Sony now owns the rights to an Xbox exclusive, since acquiring Insomniac Games earlier this year.

Sunset Overdrive never launched for PlayStation, so could this mean a port is in the works? “SIE holds the rights to past Insomniac Games works,” remarked Sony Worldwide Studios big boss Shuhei Yoshida. “I am looking forward to future titles.” Noncommittal, in other words.

The PC and Xbox One title was published by Microsoft Studios.

Microsoft unlikely to mourn lost Sunset Overdrive IP

Sony most likely snapped up Insomniac Games for its proud tradition of PlayStation exclusives like Spyro the Dragon, Ratchet & Clank, Resistance and – most notably – the hugely successful Marvel’s Spider-Man. Sony owns the movie rights to Spider-Man, so they probably want Insomniac to keep working their magic on the character.

Xbox exclusive Sunset Overdrive didn’t perform particularly well sales-wise, so it’s not terribly likely that Sony will be investing much in the IP. Why bother with a forgettable if colorful zombie shooter when you have a world-famous web-slinger rearing to go?

Troy: A Total War Saga revealed, hints at fantasy with “gods and monsters”

Creative Assembly has Troy: A Total War Saga, based on their famous Total War strategy game series via a PC Gamer UK cover story.

The new game seems to embrace the myths and legends of ancient Greece, with the cover teasing “gods and monsters”. It’s not the first time the Total War series has veered from their tried-and-true historical scenarios: Spartan: Total Warrior from 2005 offered a peculiar mix of historical scenarios and insane fabrication, while Total War: Warhammer adapts the classic Games Workshop fantasy franchise.

Trojan horse or Achilles heel?

The Saga spin-offs are focused on particular historical periods, events and figures, rather than the generational grand strategy of the main series. The new theme and setting is not exactly news, however, since the name had already been revealed by trademark filings. Maybe Sega will be making an official announcement soon?

News Bits

‘Eco-friendly’ Football Manager 2020 dropping plastic packaging

Sports Interactive will be shipping Football Manager 2020 in cardboard packaging, as they abandon their old-fashioned, mustache-twirlingly evil plastic packaging. The new one will be made from “100 per cent recycled board”, while the game manual will be printed on recycled paper with a vegetable-based ink. This apparently helps the studio “change the carbon footprint” for their games as well as their customers. While most games sales are now digital, around 30 percent are still disc sales.

Heart Forth, Alicia delayed into 2020 for Nintendo Switch as Wii U cancelled

Since the Nintendo eShop for WiiU has closed down, the WiiU version of Heart Forth, Alicia has been canceled. The Nintendo Switch version is still coming out, but it won’t be this year since there’s still a “considerable amount of things that must be achieved” before it’s fit for fight.

Anyone who backed the game and requested a WiiU copy will receive a Switch key instead, according to a new dev blog update.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which major RPG series did Yuji Naka work on before the first Sonic?

Answer: Phantasy Star!

Yuji Naka is best known as the lead programmer and co-creator of the Sonic the Hedgehog series, working on most of the games in the series – and heading up Sonic Team – until he left SEGA in 2006.

However, he’s the co-creator of SEGA’s flagship JRPG Phantasy Star, which Naka worked on prior to the first Sonic: The first two Phantasy Star games were released in ’87 and ’89, while the first Sonic the Hedgehog came out in ’91.

Naka’s last game for SEGA was actually a Phantasy Star game: Phantasy Star Universe for PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. While not as popular as the other games on the list – Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Mana series – Phantasy Star has its fans and certainly isn’t dead, although it’s been online-only since 2000.

Sega announced that Phantasy Star Online 2 is finally reaching to Western shores at this year’s E3, and hopefully that will be successful enough to inspire Sega to make a new single-player entry in the long-running series.

Weekly Giveaway

Jet Kave Adventure on Switch

It’s time to go on a prehistoric adventure in another DailyBits giveaway! We are giving away Switch keys for the amazing Donkey Kong Country-inspired platformer Jet Kave Adventure.

All you have to do to enter the sweepstakes is to be a Dailybits subscriber. We’ll choose five random subscribers over the course of the week – each will receive a Jet Kave Adventure Nintendo eShop code! It couldn’t be any easier.

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