EA Commits to Star Wars and Switch, Cyberpunk VR

TODAY: Microsoft shuts down Mixer, announces partnership with Facebook Gaming — EA is getting ready to unleash a wave of Star Wars games — Could Cyberpunk 2077 feature VR support?

Top Story

EA is finally taking Switch seriously

EA has given Nintendo short thrift for a while, but that’s about to change.

“You can expect seven new games coming to Switch in the next 12 months – including Burnout Paradise coming tomorrow, and Apex Legends later this year,” said Respawn Entertainment’s Senior Social Media Manager Alex Ackerman on EA Play 2020.

According to VentureBeat, the remaining five games are Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, Plants vs. Zombies Battle for Neighborville, FIFA 21, Lost In Random and an unannounced game from Velan Studios

  • Five of the seven games coming to Switch are ports of older games
  • Velan Studios signed a publishing deal with EA last year

Don’t expect crazy visuals: Looks like EA is playing safe when bringing games to Switch, and prefer to improve games from PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 rather than downgrading ones from PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which Smash Bros fighter is from a game never released in the West?

  • Lucas
  • Chrom
  • Mr. Game and Watch
  • Simon

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.

Daily Fact

From arcade games to cinema success

Capcom has been a household name for over 25 years, but their history extends all the way back to the mid-80s. Capcom started out as an arcade game developer, and their name reflects that: It’s a shortened compound of Capsule and Computer, a term the company used to describe arcade games.

Capcom was one of the last companies in the arcade business to transition into 3D, mostly because their home console of choice was the Super Nintendo, and in order to make it easier to bring their arcade games to home consoles they stuck with sprites and 2D graphics. Even long after 3D had become the standard, Capcom would produce sumptuous mixtures of 2D and 3D with excellent pixel art and animation.

They are also one of the few Japanese companies to successfully bring their properties to a global cinema audience. The Street Fighter movie by Steven de Souza starring Jean Claude Van Damme, Raul Julia and Kylie Minogue is a cult classic, and Paul W.S. Anderson’s Resident Evil movies starring Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez were remarkably successful. Can they repeat the success with the upcoming Monster Hunter movie?

Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Mixer Going Down

Microsoft shuts down Mixer and partners with Facebook Gaming

Mixer was supposed to be Microsoft’s answer to Twitch, but now Microsoft is shutting the service down and partnering with Facebook Gaming instead.

Microsoft will help content creators transition to Facebook, and all Mixer partner contracts will be terminated on July 22nd, allowing exclusive Mixer streamers to return to Twitch.

Mixer was the worst-performing streaming service, trailing behind Twitch, YouTube Gaming and Facebook Gaming. The Facebook partnership should help bolster Facebook Gaming’s numbers, although they have quite a way to go before catching up with YouTube and Twitch.

  • Streamers who signed exclusivity deals with Mixer are now free to stream elsewhere
  • Moving content and audience from Mixer to Facebook Gaming is supposed to be a simple process

Phil Spencer on the decision: “I think the Mixer community is really going to benefit from the broad audience that Facebook has through their properties, and the abilities to reach gamers in a very seamless way through the social platform Facebook has.”

EA's Star War Plans

EA wants to ‘double down’ on Star Wars games

EA CEO Andrew Wilson has told investors that EA will “double down” on Star Wars following impressive sales of their recent Star Wars games.

The Battlefront series has sold 35 million units and Fallen Order has sold million copies, while mobile game Galaxy of Heroes is doing well. The upcoming Star Wars: Squadrons is a bet that Elite and Star Citizen fans can be tempted to turn their attention to Star Wars games.

  • Star Wars: Squadrons is not a key title in EA and Disney’s partnership
  • EA has a long history with Disney, and have created new characters that will be incorporated in the Star Wars canon

EA’s partnership with Disney: “We’ve had success in first-person shooters, in RPGs, in action adventure, in MMORPGs, in mobile, and I believe we’re going to have success with Squadrons as well. We’re going to double down on that partnership. Disney continues to be very very committed to the IP and to the canon.”

Game Review

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated Review

Developer: Purple Lamp Studios

Tested on: PC

Miss the days of racing home from school, grabbing a snack and taking in the surreal adventures of SpongeBob Squarepants? Purple Lamp Studios are betting that you do. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated is a vibrant remaster of the 2003 platforming adventure, featuring improved graphics and content that was cut from the original release.

As always, Plankton’s up to no good and it’s up to SpongeBob and his buddies Patrick and Sandy to stop his pesky army of robots – and collect stuff. Unfortunately, the remake is still very much stuck in 2003, a veritable aeon ago in game design terms. Sure, it looks much nicer, but there’s no way around the fact that the game is pretty boring.

The major addition apart from improved art and leftovers from the cutting room floor is a multiplayer mode where two players battles hordes of enemies. Unlike the campaign, the horde mode has a top-down perspective, and there’s hardly any platforming. There’s not much to it, though: You can only play cooperatively and if either player dies the wave simply restarts.

From a technical perspective, the remake is perfectly decent, particularly the PC version. Ultrawide support, uncapped framerate and zero load times – well above and beyond what you would expect from a Spongebob game. There are no quality settings, but it makes sense since the game has incredibly low system requirements – practically any computer should be able to run it.

Battle for Bikini Bottom is a game for young children, and if you’re old enough read this then you will probably not be impressed with the gameplay: Smash some boxes, bonk some enemies and make your way through simple 3D platforming obstacles. If you have small children who love Spongebob, then this might be worth a look … although there are many other better mascot platformers out there too.

Score: 3/10

What Else Happened Today?

DailyBits Pre-order Alert

Star Wars: Squadrons Pre-order

EA just unveiled Star Wars: Squadrons, a first-person dogfighting game set in the Star Wars universe. Taking place after Return of the Jedi, the single-player campaign focuses on pilots from the original trilogy, including Wedge Antilles and Hera Syndulla. There’s also 5v5 online multiplayer where you can prove that you’re the finest pilot in the galaxy.

Star Wars: Squadrons is developed by Motive Studios, and features crossplay between PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ensuring there’s always competition to be found. There won’t be any microtransactions, so it looks like EA has learned a thing or two from the Star Wars: Battlefront II debacle.

If you pre-order Star Wars: Squadrons through our link, DailyBits will earn a small commission!

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which Smash Bros fighter is from a game never released in the West?

Answer: Lucas!

In hindsight, it’s pretty weird for some kid to be fighting a giant monkey, a blue hedgehog and an electrical mouse, isn’t it?

A lot of stuff in Smash Bros makes absolutely no sense if you’re not familiar with the Mother series. Several locations, Mr. Jupiter and of course fighters Ness and Lucas. Lucas was the hero in Mother 3, which never made it to the US despite the series’ considerable success and renown in Japan.

The series is written by the Japanese writer Shigesato Itoi, and deals with rather different themes than your average JRPGs. Fortunately, a fan translation was released in 2008, so you can still get a load of the weirdness – and maybe even cry your eyes out.

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