New World player count breaks 700k+ on Steam

Today: Activision settles lawsuit with EEOC — Marvel’s Avengers is coming to Xbox Game Pass tomorrow — Nintendo is up to some monkey business at its Osaka theme park

New World launches with 700k+ players

Short animation of New World

Amazon Games might finally have a hit on their hands with New World: Over half a million players picked up the game at launch according to SteamDB.

Those are pretty strong numbers for a premium game, managing to reach a higher concurrent player base than Valheim, which took a few weeks to achieve 500,000 players when it launched in February. Someone at Amazon is definitely getting promoted.

  • Most other Amazon releases have been mobile apps
  • New World is Amazon Games’ second major release
  • New World launched with server issues and long queues
  • Steam reviews for New World are currently “mixed”

Healthy start: New World will be watched with great interest by both players and other developers as it rolls out in different regions, and at least in the near term New World appears set for success.

Past failures: Amazon's track record in the games industry has been spotty at best, with several flops and major project cancellations including a Lord of the Rings MMO and the short-lived multiplayer shooter Crucible

What was Pandemic Studios’ only Lord of the Rings game called?

a) Lord of the Rings: Conquest
b) J. R. R. Tolkien’s Riders of Rohan
c) The Hobbit
d) Aragorn’s Quest

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 settles with EEOC creating $18m ‘compensation fund’

Seal of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Publishing giant Activision Blizzard has reached a settlement with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and has agreed to pay $18 million ‘to make amends’ for its sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit.

The commission's investigation came to light last week, and the $18 million fund will be used to “compensate and make amends to eligible claimants,”, as determined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Statement: “We thank the EEOC for its constructive engagement as we work to fulfill our commitments to eradicate inappropriate conduct in the workplace,” said company CEO Bobby Kotick. "There is no place anywhere at our company for discrimination, harassment, or unequal treatment of any kind."

Leftovers: Any money left over in the fund will be donated to charities, and Activison Blizzard has also committed to developing software tools and training programs to help improve workplace mangement and policies.

Xbox Game Pass adds Marvel’s Avengers

Animation of Marvel’s Avengers

Crystal Dynamics' Marvel's Avengers is launching on Xbox Game Pass on September 30th including all content and will be playable on PC, Xbox and Cloud.

Xbox Game Pass is also getting cheaper in certain territories such as Chile, Hong Kong and Israel. An Ultimate subscription will now cost 7,990 Chilean pesos, 79 Kong Kong dollars, and 55 Isreali shekels.

Improved HDR: Xbox Series X/S now support Dolby Vision, which will become available in over 100 titles supporting HDR and provide “brighter highlights, sharper contrast, and more vibrant colors.”

Slowly but surely: “In the future you’ll see more games like Halo Infinite taking full advantage of Dolby Vision,” said Microsoft’s Katie Slattery. Around 10 games will support Dolby Vision at launch:

F1 2021Psychonauts 2Microsoft Flight SimulatorGears 5Borderlands 3Immortals Fenyx RisingMarvel’s Guardians of the GalaxyCall of Duty: Black Ops Cold WarDIRT 5, and Metro Exodus

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What was Pandemic Studios’ only Lord of the Rings game called?

Boromir facing some orcs in LOTR: Conquest

ANSWER: Lord of the Rings: Conquest!

There has been a remarkable amount of Lord of the Rings games in the last 20 years, and plenty of studios have had a shot at interpreting Tolkien's fantasy universe. Pandemic Studios, best known for Star Wars: Battlefront, Mercenaries and Destroy All Humans! made a Lord of the Rings game alongside Peter Jackson's special effect shop Weta Digital, featuring Hugo Weaving as Elrond.

Lord of the Rings: Conquest is basically Lord of the Rings: Battlefront, and there's even a campaign where you help Sauron's hordes conquer Middle Earth. Critics weren't thrilled by the poor game balance and repetitive combat, however, and today the Lord of the Rings: Conquest is barely even a memory.

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!