#173: EA hikes up prices, Ubisoft's Fab Five

TODAY: PlatinumGames wants to self-publish next Bayonetta — Enough hot deals to keep you warm for the rest of the winter — Did you know there was a touring Pokémon musical back in the early 2000s?

Top Story

EA quietly hikes up prices on Steam

EA has been quietly nudging up the prices of older games, according to SteamDB.

SimCity 4: Deluxe used to cost £9.99 / €9.99 / CA$19.99, but now goes for £17.99 / €19.99 / CA$26.99. That's an 80% increase in the UK, and a whopping 100% higher in Euros.

No more race to the bottom for EA

The Mass Effect Collection has not gotten cheaper either, increasing from £22.99 / €27.99 / CA$34.99 to £29.99 /€34.99 / CA$45.99 and Crysis: Maximum Edition has gone from £19.99 / €19.99 / CA$29.99 to £24.99 / €29.99 / CA$39.99.

A bunch of other titles have had their prices hiked too, including Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition, Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, Mirror’s Edge, Medal of Honor and Dead Space.

EA hasn't said anything about why they're increasing the prices, but it might well be a clever ploy to make users purchase games on Origin rather than Steam.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

What was the name of the American Pokémon stage musical?

  • Pokémon: 2.B.A. Master
  • Pokémon Live!
  • Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew
  • Pokémon Adventures

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.

News Bits

Take-Two revealing new projects soon

Take-Two Interactive's third quarter financial report revealed that Hangar 13 has been busy with a new project. The Mafia 3 developer's new project is still kept under wraps, but Take-Two will be revealing more in the coming months. 2K Silicon Valley is also hard at work on something, under the leadership of Sledgehammer Games co-founder Michael Condrey.

Gigantamax Toxtricity Max Raid Battles

Pokémon Sword & Shield is turning toxic with Toxtricity Gigantamax Max Raid Battles. Sword owners can face Amped Form Toxtricity, while Shield owners may defeat Low Key Form Toxtricity until March 8th. You need to go online to participate in the Max Raid Battles.

Daily Fact

Dead or Alive 5 Last Round probably the most expensive fighting game ever

Team Ninja and Koei Tecmo's 2015 fighting game Dead or Alive 5 Last Round might be the most expensive fighting game in history, thanks to the enormous amount of DLC.

The base game is just £29.99 on Steam, which is hardly noteworthy, but if you add all the 68 DLC packs on top, you are looking at a wallet-whopping £973, meaning the full package comes in at £1003!

That's a bit of a knock-out right there. Fortunately, Dead or Alive 5 Last Round: Core Fighters is free to play, so you won't need to pawn the family jewels to get in on the fun.

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

Daily News

Ubisoft report their Q3 earnings, still commit to five triple-A titles next fiscal

Ubisoft hasn't had the greatest year judging by their third quarter financial report: Sales are down 25% from last year.

Net sales for the quarter ending December 31st were €416.2 million, compared to €605.8 million in the third quarter of 2018. 27% of sales was on PC, followed by PlayStation 4 with 26% then Switch and Xbox One tying with 15% each.

The low performance was as expected, since Ubisoft pushed many major releases into the next financial year following Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint's poor performance and a subsequent re-evaluation of development methodology.

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Gods and Monsters, Rainbow Six Quarantine and Watch Dogs Legion are due Q3 2020

Rainbow Six Siege now has over 55 million users, Uplay sales are up 73% overall for 2019 and back-catalogue sales helped offset the quarter's low performance and helped Ubisoft beat their revenue target of €410 million.

Next year is looking more promising, with no less than three major AAA titles scheduled for the third quarter of 2020 and another two for the fourth quarter.

PlatinumGames might be self-publishing the next Bayonetta

Following the overwhelmingly positive response to their Kickstarter campaign for
The Wonderful 101: Remastered, PlatinumGames is considering other self-publishing projects.

The Wonderful 101 was originally published for Wii U by Nintendo, but the IP appears to belong to PlatinumGames after all. Since no publishers had interest in the port, PlatinumGames turned to the community – and now they're considering doing the same with Bayonetta.

Bayonetta released in 2009, and Bayonetta 2 in 2014

Of course, nothing is set in motion just yet according to Atsushi Inaba: Bayonetta is actually owned part by Sega and part by Nintendo, so there's a lot of legal issues to work out before PlatinumGames can pull a Wonderful 101 on the IP.
The studio asked for £38,149 or ¥5,425,000 for The Wonderful 101: Remastered and has already raised more than £1,114,917 or ¥158,547,301 from more than 22,000 backers. It's not hard to imagine even more fans throwing money at their screens to fund more Bayonetta.

Weekly Deals Roundup

What are ya buyin'?

It's friday, and you know what that means, right? It means deals!

This week's stand-out deal is a bundle from Bandai Namco which puts together two of the finest games ever made in one sweet deal: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Dark Souls III. If you have yet to enjoy these two RPG classics, you can get both for the very low price of £14.95.

UK & Europe

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt + Dark Souls III (Xbox One) £14.95 @ Ebay

Astral Chain (Nintendo Switch) £35 @ AO

Axiom Verge (PS4) £4.95 @ The Game Collection

Death Squared (Nintendo Switch) £1.49 @ Nintendo eShop

Control (Xbox One) £27.99 @ Argos

Sony has a Critics' Choice sale on, so you can bag yourself some of the finest games on the platform at very friendly prices. Death Stranding is a pretty good choice, but it's not the only one.

US

Death Stranding (PS4) $35.99 @ PlayStation Store US

Dead Island Definitive Edition (PC) $2.49 @ Green Man Gaming

FIFA 20 (PS4) $23.99 @ PlayStation Store US

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne Master Edition (PS4) $40.19 @ PlayStation Store US

Train Simulator 2020 (PC) $1 @ Humble Bundle

Microsoft keeps adding goodies to Xbox Game Pass, adding three new great games this week. If you're an Xbox Live Gold subscriber, you can try them out this weekend thanks to the Xbox Live Free Play Days promotion.

Rest of the World

Carcassonne & Ticket To Ride (PC) Free @ Epic Games Store

Return of the Skeletal (PC) Free @ Itch.io

Wolfenstein Youngblood, Final Fantasy XV & Death Squared (Xbox One/PC) £1/$1 for one month on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate/PC @ Microsoft Store

Xbox Live Free Play Days: Dead by Daylight, Secret Neighbor and Surviving Mars (Xbox One) Free* for Xbox Live Gold users until February 9th@ Xbox Live Gold

Play responsibly, pay frugally and enjoy your weekend! We are back with more blazing-hot deals next week.

News Bits

Haunted PS1 Demo Disc 2020 is out

That gritty PlayStation look is the hot new retro aesthetic, and the Haunted PS1 Demo Disc 2020 – which is not really for PlayStation – is really rocking it. Download the 2GB collection of indie goodness from itch.io and get ready for some fresh yet nostalgic scares.

Coronavirus outbreak wreaks havoc on Chinese game companies

The ever-escalating coronavirus panic in China has now led to delays for the Switch version of The Outer Worlds according to Private Division since developer Virtuos is affected by Chinese crisis response. There is also concerns that the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X might be affected by supply chain disruptions.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

What was the name of the American Pokémon stage musical?

Answer: Pokémon Live!

Believe it or not, there was an American stage show adaptation of Pokémon!

Touring between 2000 and 2001, the musical tells an original story following the anime show characters – but what's really outstanding is the cast.

James is played by Andrew Rannells – later Tony-nominated for his role in The Book of Mormon – who is quite open about how embarrassing he found the role. Ash's mother is played by Dee Roscioli, more famous as Elphaba in touring productions of Wicked.

You might be full of questions now, such as "how?", "why?" and "pika pika?!" – but the real question is, would these two famous performers be where they are today without Pokémon? We will never know. But you can know the glory of the Pokémon stage show, since the whole shebang is available on YouTube courtesy of producer Chris Mitchell.

If you missed out on this timeless classic back in 2000, now's your chance to relive the glory days of Pokémon Live.

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