#50: Never Tell Me the Odds!

TODAY: Death Stranding may no longer be stranded on Sony platforms – Halo: Reach flight tests having trouble taking off – Duke Nukem is finally back … as a Serious Sam 3 mod!

Top Story

Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft agree to better loot box disclosure

If there’s one thing most gamers and politicians can actually agree on, it’s that loot boxes are bad. These little pseudo-gambling random-stuff crates pop up everywhere, from free mobile games to expensive AAA titles like Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Middle-Earth: Shadow of War – and in those particular cases they even messed up those two games so badly they had to be removed.

Now the USA’s Entertainment Software Association – the biggest games industry trade body – has announced plans to force publishers to disclose loot box odds. Many mobile titles already do, albeit subtly – while bigger console games usually don’t. If this plan goes ahead, which it probably will, you’ll finally know that there’s only a 1% chance of you getting that skin if you buy that loot box. A real game-changer.

This way to the Egress

This initiative is supported by many of the biggest names in the industry – including Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony – who have agreed to improve disclosure of paid loot box drop rates across their games and systems by the end of 2020. Other publishers include Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Take-Two, Ubisoft, Warner Bros., and Wizards of the Coast. And some of these don’t even have games with loot boxes.

Among those who haven’t yet signed up for the initiative are Capcom, Epic Games, Focus Home Interactive, Gearbox, Kalypso, Konami, NCsoft, Nexon, Riot Games, SEGA, Square Enix, THQ Nordic, and Tencent – and there are some major free-to-play actors there, including the makers of Fortnite and League of Legends. However, with the console manufacturers on the side of the ESA – and since Apple and Google already comply – expect to see loot box drop rates in every game soon. And it’s about time.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

:Which of these Disney Afternoon cartoon games by Capcom came first?

  • DuckTales
  • Chip ‘N’ Dale Rescue Rangers
  • TaleSpin
  • Darkwing Duck

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

News Bits

Death Stranding no longer exclusive?

Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has had close ties with Sony for a long time, and his latest game Death Stranding – we say “game”, it could be a movie, perfume advertisement, or postmodern artistic movement for all we know – appeared to be a PlayStation 4 exclusive.

Now, however, it has been quietly removed from Sony’s page of PS4 exclusives. A PC version was all-but announced a while ago, but does this mean we could see Kojima’s Norman Reedus baby-carrying simulator on Xbox One or Switch? We can only hope.

Daily Fact

DuckTales Remastered features the last appearance of the original cartoon’s voice cast

As we’ve covered in another issue of DailyBits this week and mentioned in the quiz, DuckTales Remastered is getting delisted from stores today. This means that, due to the license expiring, the game may not be sold ever again. Most licensed games have an in-built expiration date – which is why we’ve never seen a re-release of such great titles as Batman NES, Aliens Vs Predator 2, Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth, GoldenEye and many more.

Which is a massive shame, not just because it’s a fine remake of a classic platformer, but also because DuckTales Remastered contains the full surviving voice cast of the original show – of which several have passed away between then and now, including Alan Young’s incredible Scrooge and Russi Taylor as Huey, Dewey, and Louie. If you pick the game up RIGHT NOW youíll still have access to this piece of cartoon history – but by tomorrow? You’ll just have to watch in envy at Let’s Plays on YouTube.

Daily News

Halo Reach PC Firefight tests delayed

Despite being nine years old at this point, Halo fans are excited about the pending re-release of Halo Reach – particularly since it has never been on PC before. It’s the first part of the Halo Master Chief Collection PC port, bringing the majority of the series to a platform outside Xbox for the first time since the dodgy Halo 2 port for Windows Vista.

Unfortunately, those fans might have to wait for a while, since the next Reach beta test – centered on the Firefight game mode – has been delayed. Again! The first Halo Reach “flight test” was famously delayed several times, and now it’s happening again. With at least two more tests due before the release of Reach – one on PC, the other on Xbox One – it’s entirely possible that Halo Reach will not be released until 2020.

Finish the Flight

According to the latest update from 343 Industries, the “FireFlight” beta test was delayed due to “severe blocking bugs”. Blocking bugs are basically serious errors that prevent a player’s progress – so while the flights are meant to identify bugs, these “blockers” are bad enough to stop people playing altogether. These include getting stuck on the settings menu, frame drops, and major matchmaking errors. So, pretty bad!

Once these bugs are fixed the studio will be able to get on with testing – but it’s pretty safe to assume future tests will be delayed too, and that’s even before we consider putting all that work back into Halo Reach’s final release. The blog post goes into detail, but it all boils down to “it’s ready when itís ready”. It’s great that 343 are committed to making a quality product – but the waiting is the hardest part, as the song goes.

Bully 2 is rumoured for next-gen

Alright folks, get your pinches of salt to hand, raise those eyebrows, and prime your ox manure detectors – we’re heading deep into internet rumour-mongering loony-land! What’s the hottest new crazy hotness, then?

Will the Superman game finally be revealed at E3? Nah. Are the Covenant based on actual secret alien technology? Nope! Apparently Rockstar’s next game will be a sequel to Bully.

If you’re not aware of Bully, it was released on PlayStation 2 in 2006 – in between GTA: San Andreas and the then-next-gen GTA IV – and ported to most other systems, including Nintendo Wii and even iPhone. Despite the title – and the UK’s knee-jerk reaction to it – it’s not actually a bullying simulator or anything, but it is set in a school. There have always been expectations of a sequel, but why would it come now?

Canis Canem Edit

It started with the new Diamond Casino & Resort update for GTA Online, which included a childish painting called “Canis Canem Edit” – the revised UK name for Bully after certain parts of the press went bananas – showing the icons from the crest of the school where Bully takes place. While that in itself isn’t exactly proof there’s a sequel in the works, a few sources have since crawled out of the woodwork to confirm that Bully 2 is indeed in development.

YouTube Bully channel SWEGTA claims to have been contacted by a Rockstar insider saying that Bully 2 is due for release late next year. Supposed Rockstar Games insider Yan2295 agreed on Twitter and the GTAForums that Bully 2 will be Rockstar’s next game after Red Dead Redemption 2. Comicbook.com reported this, and suggested that it had heard reports that lent credence to the rest of the rumours. Whether any of it is actually true, on the other hand, remains to be seen…

eSports Roundup

Dota 2 TI9 Prize Pool breaks records

Remember that huge Fortnite tournament just a couple weeks ago where the sixteen-year-old in first place won three million dollars? Valve has decided to blow that prize pool out of the water. On August 7th – just eight days before it is due to begin – the prize pool for Dota 2’s “The International 2019” broke $32,000,000.

This is the largest prize pool for any single event in the history of esports, making it a momentous milestone. With TI9 starting on August 15th, there’s still time for the prize pool to grow even further. Valve may not have quite hit the mark for the new Treasure in the Battle Pass, but here’s hoping TI9 cheers up the community.

The biggest EVO 2019 announcements

EVO 2019 took place last weekend, bringing with it a load of hype matches and, most importantly, a tonne of announcements for all of your favourite fighting games. In addition to the Guilty Gear and Riot fighting game announcements we covered earlier this week, there’s still plenty of news to go through.

To kick things off, Capcom unveiled and released three new characters for Street Fighter V: E-Honda, Lucia and Poison. Bandai also joined in on the fun, announcing a brand new season pass for Tekken 7 which introduces a new fighter named Leroy Smith and also adds new moves for each character in the roster. Finally, Janemba was shown off in Dragon Ball FighterZís second season pass and got an August 8th release date, alongside a first look at SSGSS Gogeta.

First ever PUBG Nation Cup Tournament kicks off this weekend

This weekend (August 9th to 11th) marks the first PUBG Nations Cup, which will be taking place in Seoul. A total of sixteen teams are gearing up to compete in the three-day event in matches that will be played on the Erangel and Miramar maps. Each of the sixty-four pro players have been selected by their peers to represent their country.

Casters will include Richard “The Simms” Simms, Lauren “Pansy” Scott and more, with post-match breakdowns hosted by James “Kaelaris” Carrol, Martin “Avnqr” Goeth and others. With a prize pool of $500,000 and with this being the first event of this scale for PUBG esports, it’s sure to be an exciting event.

News Bits

Duke Nukem 3D gets serious

It’s been a long time since Duke Nukem Forever disappointed the world, but fans haven’t given up on the aging one-liner-spewing action hero. This latest fan creation is particularly impressive – it recreates the entire first episode of Duke Nukem 3D in Serious Sam 3, along with new areas and enemy models pulled from Forever. You can even play it in VR. It looks like a whole new game, or the remake we’ve always wanted but probably won’t get.

Grab it before Gearbox’s lawyers pull it down.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which of these Disney Afternoon cartoon games by Capcom came first?

Answer: DuckTales (woo-oo)!

The recent sad news that DuckTales Remastered is getting removed from digital storefronts – which happens today, so buy it RIGHT NOW if you want it – has got us thinking about all the different games based on the “Disney Afternoon” block of cartoon classics. DuckTales, Chip ‘N’ Dale Rescue Rangers, TaleSpin, Darkwing Duck, Gummi Bears, Goof Troop – what a time to be alive!

All of these cartoons were made into games of varying quality, but which came first? That’d be DuckTales, the very game pulled today! It came out in 1989, and is regarded as a classic. The Remaster isn’t perfect – but it contains the last performances of several voice actors as the DuckTales characters, including Alan Young as Scrooge and the recently departed Russi Taylor as Huey, Dewey, and Louie. So it’s worth grabbing as a piece of history, then. TODAY!

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