#62: More Sunshine?

TODAY: Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to win Mable & The Wood — Grand Theft Auto was a happy, glitchy accident rather than a stroke of genius — Could fruity Nintendo props be teasing more Sunshine?

Top Story

DICE really needed “some house cleaning” after Battlefront II’s launch

It’s usually the what-ifs that keep people up at night. What if I hadn’t been late? What if I had made a better effort? What if I hadn’t chickened out? Or in DICE’s case, what if Star Wars Battlefront II hadn’t launched with loot boxes?

“We would have been a different place, that’s for sure, because we truly believe the game is a worthy sequel to Battlefront 1 and lives up to the legacy of the Battlefront franchise,” design DICE’s director Dennis Brännvall told GamesIndustry.biz. Battlefront II is another example of EA’s much-maligned ‘live service’ strategy, which really just seems to mean their games launch buggy and feature microtransactions.

“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment…”

According to Brännvall, DICE needed to follow the path Ubisoft blazed with Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege and take a step back, re-evaluate their goals in light of player feedback and make tough changes to ensure the game lives up to its potential. “They didn’t launch the way they wanted, but now it’s doing well and I think we’re on a similar trajectory,” he said. “We hit rock bottom in terms of player sentiment but now it’s climbing every month.”

The game’s loot box progression system faced swift and merciless backlash, since many players considered the requirements to play characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker rather exploitative. Each of them require about 40 hours of grinding to unlock – or purchasing a healthy amount of loot boxes.

“The community’s happier than it’s ever been, especially with the big announcement yesterday. I think we had to take a step back, the team had to look at itself in the mirror a little bit, pick ourselves up from a really rough Christmas for everyone and then just get back to work,” Brännvall continued. “Now it’s a lot of fun. It wasn’t that much fun in the spring of 2018. That wasn’t the best time at DICE, that’s for sure.”

DICE will launch new maps, game modes and characters before the end of the year, including a PvE co-op mode, large-scale Instant Action single-player battles, and tie-in content for The Rise of Skywalker, which is due this December. EA is also launching Respawn Entertainment’s single-player action-adventure Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 15th.

So far, EA’s stewardship of the Star Wars license has been rather lacklustre, with only a few releases of distinctly varying quality. Fallen Order will be their first single-player game based on the IP since they negotiated the licensing agreement.

Weekly Giveaway

Mable & The Wood!

Time for another great giveaway! Today we’ve got a fantastic new indie Metroidvania platformer for you called Mable & The Wood! The game is mostly the work by a single developer, and is about hunting down creepy creatures so you can assume their shape! You can also play non-violently if you want, and even bosses can be spared! Will you save the world… or destroy it yourself?

We have 5 Steam key to give away, and all you have to do to enter the sweepstakes is to follow us on Twitter and on our Facebook page, and we will choose five random followers who will each receive a Mable & The Wood Steam key! It couldn’t be any easier.

”The strange cult that resurrected you speak of an ancient prophecy that says you will hunt down the great beasts, take their shape, and use their powers to save this dying world. But what if they’re wrong? The prophecy is old, and words lose their meaning with time…

When the world is falling apart around you, what will you do? In Mable & The Wood, it’s up to you to make that choice. You don’t have to kill anyone, but you might kill everyone. Will you banish the darkness, or will you become it?”

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which one of these Mario characters was NOT introduced in Super Mario Sunshine?

  • Petey Piranha
  • Toadsworth
  • Baby Bowser

The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!

News Bits

No DICE for Battlefield V’s planned competitive 5v5

Battlefield V developer DICE has made the ‘tough but vital’ decision to delay the upcoming 5v5 competitive mode in favour of “bug-crushing and content goals,” according to a senior producer.

The Chapter 4 summer update caused “some issues to the overall quality” that requires the developer’s full attention. The next update will take care of stuttering and desyncs as well as include tweaks to the Commo Rose.

Daily Fact

Cop glitch inspired Grand Theft Auto

DMA Design’s Grand Theft Auto was originally named Race’n’Chase and was all about multiplayer car-racing and crashing. Thanks to a funny glitch in the early game code, the police were ramming players so aggressively that testers actually thought battling the cops was more thrilling than the racing!

The studio decided to listen to their players, and embraced the coppers’ relentless behaviour. Since the game was suddenly cops-and-robbers writ large rather than a racing game, DMA Design introduced all the violence, hooliganism and low moral fibre we know and love from the multi-billion-dollar series.

Not everyone had as much faith in the concept, and the developers had to fight to keep control of their game – with the Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64 versions apparently being casualties. It eventually appeared on PC in October 1997 in Europe, then launched in North America in February 1998. It eventually launched for Game Boy Color and PlayStation – and the rest is history!

News Bits

Nintendo’s Gamescom livestreams feature a Mario figurine and fruit

Could Nintendo be teasing a sequel to GameCube classic Super Mario Sunshine? The GameCube platformer saw Mario and his friends take a vacation to a tropical island, and was originally met with a bit of hesitation from fans – but eventually came to be recognized as a solid 3D Mario game.

Nintendo’s recent streams from Gamescom 2019 showed a Mario figurine alongside a pineapple or a melon – distinctly tropical fruits – oh, and then there’s this vacationing Mario tweet. Ok, so it’s not exactly solid evidence, but it’s also more than a coincidence. Fingers crossed!

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which one of these Mario characters was NOT introduced in Super Mario Sunshine?

Answer: Baby Bowser!

Oh, did we trick you? Yup, all of these Mario characters were introduced in the summerlicious GameCube classic Super Mario Sunshine – except Baby Bowser. The game’s villain is actually Bowser Junior, son of Bowser.

The completely and utterly different Baby Bowser is from Yoshi’s Island – and that’s literally Bowser himself as a young’un, not his kid. Yes, the Mario timeline is almost as convoluted as the Zelda one. Don’t even get us started on the Koopa Kids and who their mother might be …

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