Mojang teasing new Minecraft related games?

Today: Activision Blizzard faces legal pressure from investors — Sony’s online services have better uptime than Microsoft’s — Deathloop stuttering issues on PC fixed by a new patch

Mojang is teasing Minecraft concept art

Mojang concept art for Minecraft

Pixel art is being posted regularly by the Mojang team depicting the Minecraft universe in various other art styles, hinting at possibly more ways the huge IP will be branching out in the future.

Minecraft Dungeons is one such spin-off that sticks close to the original Minecraft in presentation but focuses on adventure mechanics over simply building in a giant sandbox.

Retro vibes: Some concept art shows Minecraft in 2D or uses 2.5D reminiscent of handheld Pokémon-style games. Mojang does reportedly have at least two new Minecraft-related games in the works.

Conceptual: This would mean they aren’t directly related to Minecraft or Minecraft Dungeons but are something different for the Microsoft-owned franchise. Perhaps these aren’t just concepts anymore?

What song plays in the original Robot Unicorn Attack?

a) Always
b) Chains of Love
c) A Little Respect
d) Star

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.

Activision Blizzard presents “workplace initiatives” in face of mounting lawsuits

Large Activision Blizzard logos at convention

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has issued subpoenas against Activision Blizzard, asking for records of communications and minutes from meetings. To assuage worried investors, the publishing giant is undertaking “workplace initiatives”.

“We are deeply committed to making Activision Blizzard one of the best, most inclusive places to work anywhere,” said CEO Bobby Kotick, and Activision Blizzard will “continue to work in good faith with regulators”.

Legal loss: Meanwhile, Blizzard's chief legal officer and senior vice president Claire Hart has resigned after Rosen Law Form launched a lawsuit against the company on behalf of investors.

High exits: Overwatch executive producer Chacko Sonny has also left Blizzard Entertainment, another significant departure following Jeff Kaplan’s exit earlier this year.

Sony beats Microsoft on online uptime

Picture of ToolTester’s US outage research

Research by ToolTester has shown that Xbox Live is more prone to outages and service failures than Sony's PlayStation Network.

Steam is worse than both of them, while Discord takes the dubious honour of being the least reliable game platform network service. The data covers logins, multiplayer, websites, and other parts of the services provided by each company surveyed.

Outage stats: 65% of Xbox Live outages in the US affected online gaming, while 30% prevented logins and 5% affecting the store. 64% of PlayStation Network outages affected online gaming, while 13% affected its store.

Disconnected: Steam's website is its most fragile component, being affected by 39% of outages against 38% for online gaming and 23% for login. The vast majority of Discord outages simply boot users off the service due to failure to maintain server connection.

Dive into the Darkworld yet again

The battle mode for Deltarune shows turn-based combat

Surprise! The second chapter of Deltarune is out for free on Steam and itch.io, and Undertale fans can look forward to another quirky journey through the mind of creator Toby Fox.

Surfing the Web: Chapter 2 leaves behind the board game aesthetics of the previous one, and takes place in cyberspace ruled by a queen that speaks in all-caps and sports a serious case of noblewoman's laugh. It's a pretty silly story with several laugh-out-loud moments and a spectacularly catchy soundtrack, including a final boss theme that must be heard to be believed.

Spare or Slaughter: Like in the first chapter, battles give you the option of defeating or sparing foes. That might not sound very inventive considering that was Undertale's whole shtick, but the new enemy variety adds some new twists to the already monumental pile of tricks the series has built up.

The release might have been a surprise, but it's hardly surprising that Deltarune Chapter 2 is a delightful romp bristling with so much charm and invention that it's hard to describe. Bottom line is that if you like Undertale and the first chapter of Deltarune, you will be more than satisfied by this.

PROS:

  • Charm overload
  • Amazing soundtrack
  • Plenty of secrets

CONS:

  • Leaves you wanting more
10/10Masterpiece

2K Publisher and Tenacious Tactics Sale

2K Publisher and Tenacious Tactics sale banners

Humble Bundle has served up a juicy buffet of savings, and the main course is the 2K Publisher Sale offering up to 84% off. Great time to pick up some XCOM, Borderlands, Mafia and Civilization.

If you want some strategy for dessert, then the Tenacious Tactics Sale slices prices up to 90%. Plunder the past with Anno, conquer stars with Stellaris, and try to keep your guests from being eaten in Jurassic World Evolution.

What song plays in the original Robot Unicorn Attack?

A screenshot from Robot Unicorn Attack, showing the titular unicorn dashing with a rainbow trail.

ANSWER: Always!

Robot Unicorn Attack is perhaps the most emblematic example of the avalanche of quirky browser games that were released in the late 2000s and early 2010s. An early infinite runner where you galloped through a colourful world, charging through crystals and sang along with Erasure's spectacularly cheesy ballad Always, Robot Unicorn Attack represents all that is good in the world.

While it was followed up by several re-releases, variants, and sequels none of them quite managed to recapture the sheer thrill of the original – and Robot Unicorn Attack 2 even made you pay to unlock Always. Writer Kieron Gillen described this as “decapitating the Mona Lisa”, and it's true: Robot Unicorn Attack without Always is a crime against art.

🕹️ Editor's Note: Nintendo has revealed that a 40-minute direct will take place this evening at 6pm ET / 11pm BST, but if you can't watch it live we'll have a full roundup in tomorrow's issue. Will we see the new rumoured Switch controller, what's your predictions?

Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey. If you have any feedback or news tips for the team, please email us!