DIY Pokémon Diorama Cube, No Man’s Sky Gets Pets

Today: Once upon a time Pixar sued Nintendo for stealing a design — Microsoft is still just getting started with Xbox Game Pass service — Valve and Netflix unveils an unexpected collaboration

Bait and switch at Stadia game studio

Google vice president Phil Harrison apparently congratulated developers at Stadia Games & Entertainment on making “great progress” just one week before the studio was shut down.

Stadia had big exclusivity dreams but now focusing just on tech

Stadia Games & Entertainment was Google's short-lived attempt to produce first-party games for the Stadia cloud streaming service. Harrison praised the studio for making “great progress building a diverse and talented team and establishing a strong lineup of Stadia exclusive games.”

Short con: Just five days later, Harrison announced that Google would “not be investing further in bringing exclusive content from our internal development team SG&E.”. What caused the sudden change?

Sunk cost: Apparently, Microsoft's acquisition of Zenimax Media was one of the factors contributing to the decision. “Creating best-in-class games from the ground up takes many years and significant investment, and the cost is going up exponentially,” Harrison explained.

Who’s the voice of Oracle in Dota 2?

a) Mike Shapiro
b) Jim French
c) Harry S. Robins
d) Gina Davis

The answer will be revealed at the bottom of today's issue. Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss what the answer could be.

Bad boys even before Grand Theft Auto

DMA Design, the Scottish studio that would eventually become Rockstar Games, got one of their first tastes of legal trouble after developing Uniracers with Nintendo.

Uniracers was known as Unirally in PAL territories

Pixar slammed Nintendo with a lawsuit claiming the unicycle design in Uniracers was stolen from the 1987 short film Red’s Dream, and forced Nintendo to pull the game after they had distributed 300,000 units.

Join our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today's fact.

Make your own Pokémon diorama cube

Looking for a DIY project that will both keep you busy during lockdown and demonstrate your fanatical devotion to classic Pokémon games? Make your own diorama cube!

Print, snip and glue your very own Littleroot town

Follow along with the video and make your very own diorama cube based on Littleroot town from Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire. You'll need a bit of paper and glue as well as a pair of precision scissors – oh, and a bit of patience helps too.

Print and paste: Download the supplied sheets and get scissoring while you watch the video. It's not terribly long, clocking in at around six minutes, but it shows you everything you need to do to do a professional-looking job.

Do it yourself: The video description also links to all the tools used in the video, so fire up your printer and celebrate Pokémon's 25th anniversary with some good, old-fashioned arts and crafts fun.

Xbox Game Pass still just ramping up

Is Xbox Game Pass too good to be true? It sure looks that way, since the service offers hundreds of games for a very low monthly rate. How can Microsoft be that generous?

Xbox Game Pass now features cloud streaming

Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad suggests that Microsoft is “very much in a user acquisition stage" and is essentially subsidizing the service to convince users to sign up. Xbox Game Pass for PC has already had its price increased since the beta ended.

The first one is always free: “…once people have that library, they're very unlikely to unsubscribe, and they're going to keep subscribing then for years to come, so they can maintain their game library and access to the games they want,” continued Ahmad. What does that mean for the future of the service?

Too big to fail: Once Xbox Game Pass reaches a critical mass of subscribers, the continuous and predictable income will become enormously valuable for Microsoft and more than pay for the losses incurred early on. Microsoft is aiming for Netflix scale, meaning hundreds of millions – or even billions – of subscribers.

Wishlist Coromon and win a console

Fancy yourself a tamer of monsters? Feast your eyes on the retro world of Coromon, with a demo available to play right now through Steam with a planned 2021 launch. It’s a modern monster taming RPG chock full of adventure, puzzles and turn-based monster battles.

Coromon Giveaway

Wishlist Coromon and you can enter a competition to win a console or some Steam keys! Check out Coromon Giveaway – Win a Console of Your Choice to learn more and maybe even claim a PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X or a Nintendo Switch bundle with 6 games. Good luck!

Who’s the voice of Oracle in Dota 2?

ANSWER: Mike Shaprio!

The odds are with us. Or are they?

Okay, Oracle might not be the highest-tier character in Dota 2, but his dispels can turn the tide of battle. Combined with both defensive and offensive capabilities, he is a flexible hero that can be deadly in the right hands. Even if you don’t particularly care about the intricacies of Oracle strategies, you might be interested in his voice acting – especially if you’re a Half-Life fan.

Shapiro also voiced Barney Calhoun, as well as the enigmatic G-Man. If you tell a prophecy as Oracle, there’s a small chance he says “Prepare for unforeseen consequences”, a reference to one of G-Man’s lines in Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

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Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey.