Jungle Party over for Battlefield V, Pokémon Battle Series

TODAY: Helping your friends move house can be fun, if a bit frustrating — Nearly one in four VR headset owners played Half-Life: Alyx in March — Game Freak confirms a case of COVID-19 at their Tokyo office

Final Content Update for Battlefield V

New Battlefield V update this summer

Senior producer Ryan McArthur at DICE has posted an update talking about what’s next for Battlefield V.

“As we look to the future, we will release one more standalone update this summer that brings with it some new content, weapons, and game tweaks,” he said. “We’re still tackling the challenges from working from home and will let you know how things progress for us over the next month.”

  • New content update this summer, scheduled for June
  • Company Coin will be weekly rewards after the update
  • DICE is planning “various weekly initiatives” for events
    • Reintroduction of #FridayNightBattlefield servers
    • Throwback Thursdays to bring community together
  • Continuing work on Community Games Updates

Loose lips: DICE is also hard at work implementing new anti-cheat measures for Battlefield V. “Discussing technical detail into our methods may unfortunately make cheating worse, but we want you to know that we’re constantly fighting the battle,” said Ryan. What will the next chapter be about? Looks like we’re leaving the jungle for a nice dip in the Pacific.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

What did Naughty Dog call Crash Bandicoot during early development?

  • Polygon Platformer 0.5
  • One Naughty Dog
  • Aw Gee Whiz, That Mammal’s Up to No Good
  • Sonic’s Ass Game

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

Rayman and the misplaced apostrophe

Genitive isn’t always easy and who really cares where those little apostrophes go anyway? Grocers, Grocer’s or Grocers’ – all the same, right?

At least that seems to have been Ubisoft’s take judging by 2005 Game Boy Advance title Rayman: Hoodlums’ Revenge, which had box art naming it “Hoodlum’s Revenge” in North America.

This suggests Rayman is faced with a single hoodlum thirsting for revenge instead of a veritable horde. We could have understood if no-one caught the error on the spine print, but this little orthographic blunder is right there in the front cover art. Whoopsie-daisy.

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

Game Spotlight

Moving Out

Version tested: Switch

Moving Out features the same kind of wacky physics-based fun as I Am Bread and Surgeon Simulator, but the fun dissipates after a while. Sure, you will chuckle at throwing a television out of a window and into a truck, but you will also get frustrated by everything always going wrong – despite the helpful assist mode.

While it’s definitely one of the more fun and polished examples of the things-go-wrong-in-physics-land idea and it has a lot of character, but still has limited appeal. If you really enjoy playing games that are about fighting intentionally bad controls and moving stuff into a truck is your idea of fun, then you’ll love Moving Out – but you can’t really play it on your own, and there’s no point to the difficulty, unlike a game like Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy.

DailyBits Verdict: Wait for Sale

Pokemon News and Events

New ruleset for Pokémon Sword & Shield Ranked Battle Series 4

Game Freak has announced the ruleset for Pokémon Sword & Shield’s Ranked Battle Series 4 and all Gigantamax Pokémon are now eligible. The Pokémon Japan Championships have unfortunately been cancelled.

Pokémon Sword & Shield

  • Ranked Battle Series 4 Ruleset
    • Valid: From May 1st until June 30th
    • Restrictions: All Pokémon must be caught or hatched in Sword & Shield, or traded through Pokémon Home
    • Limits: 3-6 Pokémon in singles, 4-6 Pokémon in doubles; levels 1-100 or set to level 50
    • Allowed Gigantamax:
      • Charizard
      • Butterfree
      • Pikachu
      • Meowth
      • Machamp
      • Gengar
      • Kingler
      • Lapras
      • Eevee
      • Snorlax
      • Garbodor
      • Corviknight
      • Orbeetle
      • Drednaw
      • Coalossal
      • Flapple
      • Appletun
      • Sandaconda
      • Toxtricity
      • Centiskorch
      • Hatterene
      • Grimmsnarl
      • Alcremie
      • Copperajah
      • Duraludon
    • Banned:
      • Mewtwo
      • Mew
      • Celebi
      • Jirachi
      • Cobalion
      • Terrakion
      • Virizion
      • Reshiram
      • Zekrom
      • Kyurem
      • Keldeo
      • Cosmog
      • Cosmoem
      • Solgaleo
      • Lunala
      • Necrozma
      • Marshadow
      • Zeraora
      • Meltan
      • Melmetal
      • Zacian
      • Zamazenta
      • Eternatus
    • Match Length: No limit
    • Battle Time: 20 mins
    • Your Time: 7 mins
    • Preview: 90 secs
    • Turn Time: 45 secs

Championships: The Pokémon Japan Championships have been cancelled, along with the Japanese competitive circuit. The 2020 International Challenge May online competition for Pokémon Sword & Shield is not affected.

Pokémon GO

  • Marill Day event
    • Returns to Europe on April 26th after problems
    • Higher Marill rewards and shiny chance in Go Battle League

Pokémon Rumble Rush

  • Shaymin Cup
    • From April 22nd until May 6th
    • Power up bonus for Grass-type
    • Two new pieces of Poké Glam

Coronavirus Impact

Production is slowing down, but sales are soaring in the games industry

The COVID-19 emergency response has forced a lot of people to stay at home and work from there if possible, and the games industry is no exception – but it has consequences.

Productivity has decreased as companies have been forced to reorganize their development practices, and many games are likely to be delayed as a result. On the other hand, the quarantine measures have led to a huge surge in game sales as people turn to escapist entertainment.

Slow-burn fatigue: “The very first week, it went really well,” said Swen Vincke of Larian Studios. “Everyone had all the information they needed to just smoothly go work from home.” However, cracks started to show as the weeks dragged on: “We started seeing more stress on the leads in terms of communication,” he explained.

The silver-lining: “Gaming is one of those areas that people are diverting to from other activities that they would have done in a normal world,” said analyst Mat Piscatella of NPD Group. “The game sales that are coming out are breaking franchise records.” The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X still remain on track for release in late 2020.

VR Bits

Estimated Half-Life: Alyx sales

It’s not exactly a surprise that Valve’s new Half-Life game did well, but how well? SuperData estimates Half-Life: Alyx generated $40.7 million in revenue, which makes it one of the best-selling VR exclusives.

Over 860,000 people played Half-Life: Alyx in March, which is pretty impressive considering there are less than 4 million VR users on PC. Valve Index (which includes a free copy of Half-Life: Alyx) is still sold out all around the world.

VR Ears brings Valve Index-style speakers to other headsets

Rebuff Reality is Kickstarting VR Ears, an off-ear speaker for all major VR headsets. Valve Index was the first headset featuring this audio solution, and VR Ears ups the ante with wireless connectivity

That means you can use VR Ears on any VR headset, including Oculus Rift Quest and S, HTC Vive and even PSVR. Rebuff Reality is asking £81/$99 for the VR Ears, but the first 2,000 customers get a discount, bringing the price down to £73/$89. VR Ears is scheduled to release in December.

3dSen VR 0.8 adds support for six new games

3dSen, the NES emulator that brings a set of games into VR, has been updated to support six new games: Mega Man 3, DuckTales 2, Adventure Island, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Adventure of Lolo 2 and Adventure of Lolo 3.

The update also adds two-player support (with the second player using a monitor), a quick save/load feature and an improved UI showing 12 games per page. 3dSen VR is currently on sale for £10.84, 30% off the original price.

What Else Happened Today?

  • Conscript is a survival horror set during WW1 where you fight to survive in the trenches as a soldier searching for his brother, who is missing in action
  • First trailer for rebooted Trackmania shows the next generation of the frenetic racer. Release has been delayed from May 5th until July 1st
  • Actor Michael Mando teases revival of Vaas, the infamously unhinged Far Cry 3 villain. Seems a bit far-fetched, though
  • Crash Bandicoot Mobile out on iOS and Android in first foray on mobile, but when will we see a fully fledged console game?
  • Game Freak confirms COVID-19 case among a staff member in Tokyo, who had not been in the office since April 2nd so the risk of spread is low

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

What Naughty Dog call Crash Bandicoot during early development?

Answer: Sonic’s Ass Game!

Sure, it’s a bit crude, but it was also true and pointed at a generally unsolved problem. But where did the title come from, and what does the blue hedgehog have to do with the orange bandicoot?

Naughty Dog had a bit of a problem on their hands. They were trying to bring the platform genre into 3D, which created a lot of design issues – especially since they’d decided to try making the main character run into the screen.

This meant the player would spend a lot of time looking at, well, the hero’s butt. Thus Sonic’s Ass Game was born, and eventually turned into Crash Bandicoot. It also means Naughty Dog scrapped their initial idea for a 2D platform game with time travelling and dinosaurs with names like Al O. Saurus and Dinestein, but that might really have been for the best anyway.

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