Activision Blizzard has “new IP initiatives” in the works
There are few internally developed new IPs from Activision Blizzard these days as they mostly stick with established franchises. Most will think of Call of Duty, Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo when looking at ActiBlizz.
Overwatch has been the new big thing from Blizzard Entertainment but the rest of the publishing goliath has been slow to bring about any new IP creations. COO Coddy Johnson says they have a “very rigorous” approach to new ideas and prototype a lot of new things, but most simply don’t make it. Activision, Blizzard and their mobile arm King are all part of the “new IP” initiative.
New IPs, remasters and sequels are on the way
During an investor call the topic of remasters was brought up and Activision do appear keen to see what the appetite is for more updated versions of past hits. Later this year the Spyro Reignited Trilogy will arrive for PC, having already glided onto consoles in November 2018. The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is already on console and PC having been well received. Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is the latest remaster that skidded onto consoles this past June.
Sequels are definitely Activision Blizzard’s bread and butter with Overwatch 2 in the pipeline, alongside the long rumoured Diablo IV at Blizzard. As long as there’s still air to breathe there’ll be another Call of Duty. What new ideas could Activision Blizzard be cooking up? Many, apparently, but what will we ever get to see released?
Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?
Up until now, how many ‘Episodes’ of DC Universe Online have there been?
- Maybe a lady godiva
- Pff, at least a cockle or so
- Prob’ly more than a pony
- Shedloads mate, a monkey’s worth
The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!
Just Cause 4: Danger Rising gives Rico a hoverboard
The third and final expansion to Avalanche Studios’ Just Cause 4 will let us live the Back to the Future dream of owning our own hoverboard, if we can pretend we’re Rico. This board-wot-hovers will come in handy (footy?) as we take on a submarine sent specifically to kill Rico. Just Cause 4: Danger Rising will be out August 29 for Gold Edition and Expansion Pass holders, otherwise it’s out September 5.
Trine 4 and Ultimate Collection is releasing October 8
The physics-manipulating action puzzle platformer that is Trine 4: The Nightmare Prince will be out October 8. Joining in the fun will be the Trine: Ultimate Collection, which includes all four games in a single package from developer Frozenbyte. It releases for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
Wildhammer Fact Checker, slayer of lore inconsistencies
If you manage to pull a real world Comic Book Guy moment – bringing the ‘Ackchyually’ meme to life – then you could find yourself immortalised. One such guy, who became infamously known as Red Shirt Guy, managed to strike fear into the hearts of World of Warcraft developers Blizzard Entertainment when he caught them out in a lore inconsistency during a Q&A at BlizzCon 2010.
This catapulted Ian Bates into the halls of geekdom and so blindsided were the devs that they decided to create a very special NPC named Wildhammer Fact Checker. He stays within the Alliance dwarven city of Ironforge, sitting next to Falstad Wildhammer, over which the lore inconsistency was spotted and corrected. His NPC self also wears a red shirt to commemorate the incident.
World of Warcraft has become a treasure trove of memes over the years and even likes to include some as Easter eggs. Leeroy Jenkins remains the most notorious, and is typically used to describe someone as having caused everything to go wrong for everyone else in a usually spectacular manner.
Two-part Genesis expansion revealed for ARK: Survival Evolved
Coming this December for ARK: Survival Evolved is a two-part expansion called Genesis. Simply put its split across two releases, effectively making it the fourth and fifth paid expansion for Wildcard’s survival action game.
Scorched Earth, Aberration, and Extinction were the first three expansions and these two new Genesis additions will make up the second season pass. ARK: Survival Evolved has spent much of its life as an early access title, and it ruffled some feathers when it began charging for paid expansions despite not having fully launched.
Turtles with worlds on their backs? [Terry Pratchett intensifies]
Much of the Genesis expansion remains secretive for now but it will feature a ‘really cool map’, according to an almost hour long ARK livestream. A much shorter Genesis announcement trailer has also been posted. The first map – which sports a snowy mountain, active volcano and water biomes – is part of a ‘simulation’ that lets Wildcard go crazy with new creatures and environments. Who doesn’t want a pet Lava Lizard that seems to be made of magma?
There’s even an underwater turtle so large you can actually build stuff on its shell, turning this permanently tamed creature into a mobile submersible base. It’s capable of growing resources on its shell and can generate a huge breathable bubble to keep players alive underwater. Genesis’ first part will be launching for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 this December, with the second part due around winter 2020.
Walmart purges demos and displays of ‘violent imagery’ from games
Bowing to certain public and political pressures, Walmart has been instructing employees to begin removing “any signing or displays that contain violent images or aggressive behaviour,” specifically mentioning videogames in some cases.
This of course comes in the wake of recent mass shootings in the United States that took place shortly after one another. Any event that was scheduled to promote shooter titles has also been cancelled, and a memorandum on playing scenes from violent movies or hunting season videos has been put in place as well. Two of the mass shootings were at Walmart store locations, with the first on July 30 at Southaven, Mississippi where an employee killed another two co-workers.
Comic books, films, TV, music and videogames are often scapegoated
The bigger incident was August 3 at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas that saw 22 people killed and a further 24 injured. This particular massacre is believed to have been motivated by supremacist ideology with police “reasonably confident” he published a manifesto. Another shooting then took place in Dayton, Ohio where 10 people were killed, including the gunman, and a further 27 were injured. The Dayton shooter’s social media activity reveals he was a far left activist, although precise motive is yet to be determined.
The US President in a speech on the massacres also suggested that “gruesome, grisly video games” may have had a role to play in the killing-sprees, despite most scientific evidence suggesting little connection between violence in video games and increased violence within society. Walmart continues to sell firearms within stores, and both mass shooters used legally purchased weapons. Walmart has stated they will not be changing their policy regarding the sale of firearms.