Microsoft acquires Bethesda, How Big Is The PS5?

TODAY: Ms. Pac-Man had a colorful past under a different name — Spelunky 2 is a buffet of death for cave exploration connoisseurs — New pictures from Taiwan confirms PlayStation 5’s considerable girth

Commando Style

Microsoft gobbles up ZeniMax Media

Microsoft has just acquired ZeniMax media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks and that means a considerable stable of studios spread across the globe has become part of Xbox Game Studios.

The acquisition has taken the gaming world by surprise, with not so much as a leak or rumour ahead of the announcement.

“…we welcome some of the most accomplished studios in the games industry to Xbox. We are thrilled to announce Microsoft has entered into an agreement to acquire ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks,” said Xbox boss Phil Spencer.

Team Xbox: This means Bethesda Softworks, Bethesda Game Studios, id Software, ZeniMax Online Studios, Arkane, MachineGames, Tango Gameworks, Alpha Dog, and Roundhouse Studios are now Microsoft first-party developers.

The deal also means The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Wolfenstein, Doom, Dishonored, Prey, Quake, Starfield and other intellectual property belongs to Microsoft now.

Game Pass: What does this mean for games like The Elder Scrolls Online, Fallout 76 and any upcoming multiplatform games? Business as usual, apparently: “We will be adding Bethesda’s iconic franchises to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC,” said Spencer, while teasing that Bethesda has many “many unannounced” games in the works.

What was the last game released for the Game Boy Advance in North America?

a) Final Fantasy VI Advance
b) Rhythm Tengoku
c) Samurai Deeper Kyo
d) Arthur and the Invisibles

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.

Ms. Pac-Man started out as Crazy Otto

Ms. Pac-Man is no ordinary sequel. In fact, it started out as an illegally modified arcade cabinet called Crazy Otto by developer General Computer Corporation. This, of course, drew the attention of Pac-Man’s North American distributor Midway.

Following legal action from Atari, General Computer Corporation presented Crazy Otto to Midway, who decided to rebrand it as Ms. Pac-Man and launch it in arcades in 1982 as an official sequel to Pac-Man. It was the first game in the series not created by Namco.

Spot the difference, Pac-Man edition

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

13 Sentinels PlayStation 4 Codes and Artbook

You have a chance to nab a 13 Sentinels code for PlayStation 4 if you refer DailyBits to a friend! Use our widget to start earning referrals, which you can build up throughout the year to increase your chance of being selected.

13 Sentinels is releasing tomorrow on PlayStation 4 for $59.99 or £49.99, and we’ve got codes to hand out this week, with the giveaway ending this Friday. One lucky winner will also get the Artbook!

13 Sentinels Aegis Rim comes with an art book for one of our lucky subscribers

Vanillaware, the storytellers behind Odin Sphere and Dragon’s Crown, craft a sci-fi mystery epic spanning thirteen intertwining stories. Uncover the truth and delve into a 2D sidescrolling adventure featuring gorgeous art and environments. Battle the kaiju in fast-paced, top-down combat. Customize the Sentinels with an arsenal of mechsuit weaponry, and fight to defend humanity!

Spelunky 2 Review

Version tested: PlayStation 4
Developer: Mossmouth

It has been three long years since Spelunky 2 was revealed at Paris Games Week in 2017, but now it’s finally here – and it was well worth the wait. Hope on a rocket with Spelunky Guy’s daughter Ana and help her find her parents in the caves under the surface of the moon.

Spelunky 2 builds on its predecessor’s cute and colorful art style, but don’t let its adorable exterior fool you: This vicious game won’t hesitate to kill you again and again and again. It takes skill and dedication to reach the depths of its procedurally generated cave system, which spans a number of dramatically different themes. There’s thick jungles, icy caverns and weird Egyptian tombs, and this time you take a branching path through the different environments. Most of first game’s deadly secrets are present and correct, but expect new and rage-inducing surprises too.

The levels are tougher this time, featuring many more pixel-perfect jumps, difficult resource trade-offs and even requiring you to sacrifice health to make it to the exit. The environments are made more complex by liquid simulations that mean water and lava can slosh around in the level, making misplaced bombs even more deadly than before. Fortunately, there are cave turkey and rock dog mounts that give you double-jump abilities as well as the option of sacrificing the poor critters if things go south.

New worlds such as Tide Pool are fun to explore, but watch out for those hermit crabs!

Taking extreme care is still a core part of the experience, and while it might seem a bit tedious at first, it quickly turns into a weird kind of detective platforming experience where you try to deduce all the ways the developers and the level generator may conspire to kill you.

Spelunky is definitely the kind of game where death is not the end, and dying from strange combinations of circumstances and unlikely events is how you learn to play the game. Once you’ve built a mental map of all the game’s many dangers, the game really opens up.

If you’re a Spelunky fan, you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with the sequel. It’s simply more of everything, honing the knife’s edge of curiosity and caution you’re constantly balancing on – but if you’re a newcomer, it might actually be worth playing the first game before you check out the sequel! It’s very much for aficionados of the first game.

The PlayStation 4 version is £15.99 on the PlayStation Store

The PC version will hit Steam on September 29th

Thumbs up

  • Tons of new secrets
  • Incredible variety and replayability
  • New challenges for the discerning Spelunky fan

Thumbs down

  • A bit merciless on newcomers

10/10 – Absolute Masterpiece

Drop from orbit and ride the pope’s mecha

Halo 3: ODST is added to the Master Chief Collection for PC this week, and Serious Sam returns on Thursday … but can you refuse the offer of Mafia: Definitive Edition on Friday?

Get fitted for some concrete shoes in Mafia: Definitive Edition

Tuesday – September 22

  • 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim for PlayStation 4
  • Halo 3: ODST for PC

Thursday – September 24

  • Ginga Force for PC and PlayStation 4
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Complete Edition for PC and Switch
  • Serious Sam 4 for PC
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Night Road for PC, iOS and Android

Friday – September 25

  • Mafia: Definitive Edition for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
  • Panzer Dragoon: Remake for PC

First up-close photos of PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5 is a pretty chunky boy, and new photos from Taiwan’s National Communication Commission gives a sneak peek at Sony’s curvaceous next-gen console.

It’s a curvy size plus model for PlayStation 5

The pictures show all sides of the new console, complete with rulers to show its scale along all dimensions. Perhaps unsurprisingly, PlayStation 5 is bigger than Xbox One – although the Xbox Series X might yet out-chunk it.

Super-size: It might turn out to be difficult to fit the next-generation consoles into standard television furniture, as both flagship consoles are taller and more irregularly shaped than before – arguably continuing the trend started by Nintendo with the Switch.

November: PlayStation 5 launches in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea on November 12th at around US$500 for the flagship model, while a digital-only model missing the 4K Blu-Ray drive will be available for about US$400. The console reaches the UK, Europe and rest of the world November 19th.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Arena Mode taken offline following critical bugs

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds just premiered a 64-person squad-based Arena mode – which was disabled after just one day in the wild. The new mode was supposed to shake up the battle royale formula by challenging squads to duke it out in specific zones from the game’s Sanhok, Miramar and Erangel maps, with rounds culminating in a sudden death round with the last squad standing emerging victorious.

The new mode was apparently disabled “due to a critical issue impacting game stability”, cutting short the expected two-week test period in LABS. The developers are expected to announce new test sessions for PC and console on September 25th.

Clayster signs with New York Subliners

World champion James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks is joining the New York Subliners for the Call of Duty League’s 2021 season. Clayster will play alongside Tommy ‘ZooMaa’ Paparatto and Makenzie ‘Mack’ Kelley, with the fourth player yet to be determined. Fans spotted a New York Subliners cap on Clayster’s shelf during an appearance on a Call of Duty talk show, so the move was not entirely unexpected.

The Call of Duty League recently announced that their tournament format is changing from 5v5 to 4v4, forcing teams to cut one of their players. Clayster was dropped from world champions Dallas Empire, prompting him to look for a new home. Expect much more news about the Call of Duty League ahead of the Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War launch on November 13th.

Astralis Group rebrands its teams

Origen League of Legends European Championship and Future FC FIFA will rebrand to Astralis, since Astralis has established itself as one of the best Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams of all time. The Astralis Group wants to take advantage of that sweet brand recognition, and leverage it to boost their League of Legends and FIFA teams.

Astralis Group CEO Anders Horsholt said “the Astralis brand stands out as very strong and recognizable beyond the core esports scene”, and that “by merging all activities, not only do we become one of the most significant esports brands in a fast growing global industry, we will also be able to create a new space for fans of all kinds, with much more on the shelves when it comes to merchandise, media activities and new fan related products”.

What was the last game released for the Game Boy Advance in North America?

ANSWER: Samurai Deeper Kyo!

Truly, the most American thing to finalize the GBA market

The very last Game Boy Advance game was released on February 12th in 2008. Samurai Deeper Kyo was a top-down hack-and-slash game based on the manga and anime of the same name. But it was actually released more than six years earlier in Japan!

The game didn’t get a lot of attention since Game Boy Advance had been replaced by the Nintendo DS four years earlier, but it did get bundled with a re-release of the anime box set. Thanks to its late arrival and unusual distribution method, it’s hard to come by and can easily fetch $50 on auction sites.

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

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