#146: Mario Kart Tour Beta Starting Soon

TODAY: Dead Rising has a lot in common with Dawn of the Dead, maybe a bit too much — Google acquires first-party studios to work on exclusive Stadia games — New footage from Half-Life: Alyx, but no VR trailer

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Mario Kart Tour Beta on December 26th for Gold Pass subscribers

If you’re a Gold Pass subscriber, then you will be able to try out Nintendo and DeNA’s Mario Kart Tour multiplayer mode next week. The beta starts on December 26th and will last for a week, but don’t expect the service to be spotless just yet.

Nintendo warns that the beta might be subject to unstable connections, latency issue and game crashes. None of the progress you make during the beta will carry over to the final version either. The Gold Pass costs $4.99 / £4.99 / €5.49 a month, and gives access to various bonus content like Gold Gifts, Gold Chllenges and 200cc races.

Nothing in life is free, not even beta testing

Mario Kart Tour launched on September 25th, and was downloaded over 123 million times in its first month, making it Nintendo’s most successful mobile launch to date. It features both microtransactions and the Gold Pass subscription, and according to Nintendo business is pretty brisk. Mario Kart Tour’s holiday event started on December 17th, featuring festive additions like a Santa Mario.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Who developed the arcade version of Mario Kart?

  • Sega
  • Konami
  • Bandai Namco
  • Nintendo

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

Spooky new trailer for survival horror Remothered: Broken Porcelain

Creep yourself out in time for Christmas with a new trailer for Remothered: Broken Porcelain, the sequel to 2018’s Remothered Tormented Fathers from Italian studio Stormind Games. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable stay at the Ashmann Inn when it launches for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch in the third quarter of 2020.

First images of real-time 4X space sandbox Distant Worlds 2

We haven’t heard much about it in the last four years, but Distant Worlds 2 is finally making itself known. The first game offered a unique approach to galactic domination, and the sequel is updated with a new 64-bit engine and full 3D graphics.

The sequel will remain as complex as its predecessor, and the developer promises it will get even bigger this time. Have a glance at the Twitch livestream if this sounds intriguing.

Daily Fact

Plaid shirts, a helicopter and ‘sensationalist journalism’ got Dead Rising in trouble

Capcom’s phenomenal zombie sandbox Dead Rising is clearly inspired by George Romero’s zombie movies – especially Dawn of the Dead, which features a shopping mall under siege by zombies.

The company holding the rights for the film thought it was a little bit too similar, and decided to take Capcom to court in 2008. As part of their lawsuit, they pointed out the many similarities between the two:

  • Both featured zombies in plaid shirts
  • Both malls had a gun shop
  • Both were set in small-town America
  • Both start off with helicopters
  • Both used mall muzak for comedic effect
  • Both lampooned sensationalist journalism and rampant consumerism
  • Both featured creative use of common objects for killing zombies
  • Last but not least, both used the word ‘hell’

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the case was dismissed and the Dead Rising series went on for several more entries.
Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

Daily News

Typhoon Studios now an in-house Google Stadia developer

Alex Hutchinson, who directed Far Cry 4, left Ubisoft to start his own independent studio called Typhoon Studios and created Journey to the Savage Planet. Google has now acquired the studio, which will become a first-party developer for Stadia.

“They’ve really assembled a triple-A team, and the goal of acquiring the team is that it will really give us a head start in making the system-defining games everyone is waiting for,” said Stadia’s Jade Raymond.

Stadia received mixed reviews at launch

Jade Raymond used to work at Ubisoft too and was a producer and executive producer on a number of Assassin’s Creed games and the first Watch Dogs. Now she’s vice president of Stadia Games and Entertainment, and is currently looking for talented teams to bolster the platform’s library of exclusive titles.

“The reason we started Typhoon was to work with a particular set of really high quality people, to control the vision of the game we were making, and to make cool games, basically. Those three things will be preserved moving into Stadia,” Hutchinson said. Stadia launched on November 19th, and is the world’s first streaming-only game platform.

Embracer Group acquires Tarsier Studios for $10.5 million

The holding company that owns THQ Nordic, Koch Media and Coffee Stain have just bought Little Nightmares creator Tarsier Studio, a Swedish studio employing around 70 developers.

Embracer, which used to be called Nordic Games Publishing, spent SEK 99 million acquiring the studio, offering the owners 88 million in cash and 11 million in class B shares. All staff will keep their jobs at Tarsier, and Embracer will take ownership of all the studio’s IP except Little Nightmares, which belongs to Bandai Namco and The Stretchers, which belongs to Nintendo.

‘Tis the season for acquisitions

Tarsier Studios started out working on adventure game City of Metronome, which was eventually cancelled, and then went on to make DLC for Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet 1 and 2. They also worked on the Vita version of LittleBigPlanet as well as LittleBigPlanet 3. They kept working with Media Molecule on Tearaway Unfolded, before finally returning to their own creations with Little Nightmares, Statik and The Stretchers.

Tarsier will stay autonomous under its new corporate overlords, as part of a group called Goodbye Kansas Game Invest. Tarsier is working on Little Nightmares 2 for Bandai Namco, but once that’s done they will be free to do whatever Embracer has in store for them.

News Bits

Pokémon Sword & Shield’s Wild Area and Max Raid Battles full of Delibird

Galar is being overrun by the penguin-like Delibird pokémon! From now and until Christmas there’s a higher chance of coming across Delibird in the Wild Area and during Max Raid Battles – and there’s a bigger chance of finding a shiny one too. There’s also extra candy rewards to help you get into the festive spirit!

New footage from Half-Life: Alyx

Valve hasn’t released any official Half-Life: Alyx gameplay footage yet, but there will hopefully be a VR trailer closer to launch. For now, you’ll have to settle for footage recorded off a screen if you want to see the next Half-Life in motion.

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Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Who developed the arcade version of Mario Kart?

Answer: Bandai Namco!

Mario Kart has been one of Nintendo’s most popular series ever since the first game on Super Nintendo. Bandai Namco developed four different Mario Kart arcade versions – including a VR game – for Nintendo, and they were supposedly great fun. They never got released for console, though – maybe it’s time for a Switch release?

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