Players invade Warzone’s Gulag, ‘World’s Smallest’ portable N64

Today: Warzone’s new Gulag can be invaded by living players — Nintendo is buying Luigi’s Mansion developer Next Level Games — Epic Games is moving their headquarters to an abandoned mall

Zenimax acquisition completes this year

Microsoft acquired Zenimax Media last year, but the acquisition isn’t complete until later this year. That means Bethesda has yet to integrate with Xbox Game Studios.

ZeniMax Media is being acquired by Microsoft Game Studios

"2021 is when we'll get final approval, I feel really good about that," said Phil Spencer. Much of Zenimax's portfolio has already appeared on Xbox Game Pass, but that's just the first step in Microsoft's master plan for the studios they're about to take control over.

Not quite ready yet: "Everything is on track. We'll start then really getting to some of the planning we can do with them. Right now we're really hands-off with them as they continue to do the work that they're doing, because we don't own them yet,” Spencer continued.

First-party overkill: Bethesda is arguably the jewel in Zenimax's crown, and Spencer is very excited to welcome the RPG studio into Xbox Game Studios, alongside RPG heavyweights Obsidian and inXile. “It doubles the size of our first-party studios when Bethesda joins, which is pretty amazing to think about."

What was Epic Games’ first release?

a) Castle of the Winds
b) Unreal 
c) Jazz Jackrabbit
d) ZZT

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.

Built for four consoles, launched for one

Kameo: Elements of Power had a long and turbulent development process, spanning no less than four different platforms. The project began as a Nintendo 64 game, then moved on to GameCube before jumping to Xbox and finally settling as an Xbox 360 launch title.

Kameo had quite a wanderlust before settling down

Since it’s a Rare game, it obviously needs a few oddities and self-referential Easter eggs. If you go to the Forbidden Forest, find the house with a rock blockings its door and use the Thermite elemental to destroy it, you will find a radio that plays a rock arrangement of the Banjo-Kazooie theme.

Join our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today's fact.

Unova Celebration Event for Pokémon GO

The Unova Celebration Event begins today in Pokémon Go, rewarding trainers for catching certain Pokémon until January 10th.

Gotta Catch ‘Em Unova in Pokemon GO

There's also a The North Face x Gucci sponsored event that allows you to spin certain sponsored Pokéstops. You can find a special hat, backpack and T-shirt for your avatars.

Pokémon Café Mix

  • Sobble Special Customer Event until January 9th

Pokémon Go

  • Unova Celebration Event
    • Active between January 4th and January 10th
    • Increased spawn rate for Poémon from the Unova region
    • Blast Burn Genesect debut, with Shiny Snivy
    • Exclusive Field Research Tasks
    • Special 5km Eggs
    • Unova Collection Challenge
  • The North Face x Gucci Sponsored PokéStops across all regions
  • Battle League has shifted until January 11th
    • Great League, Ultra League, Master League and Ultra League Premier

Pokémon Masters EX

  • Pure Hearts & Rainbow Wings Legendary Event
    • Lasts until January 15th
    • Sync Pair Silver & Ho-Oh available

Call of Duty: Warzone exploit hits Gulag

Activision just launched a new Gulag experience for Call of Duty: Warzone, but they underestimated their player base’s ingenuity.

The Gulag offers killed players a chance to redeploy

The new Gulag arena sits close to the edge of the map, enabling players to push themselves through the ground and into the Gulag arena. That means players with full loadouts can suddenly interrupt your Gulag fight.

Nerf needed: There are also some growing pains after Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was integrated with Warzone last month. The DRM 14 tactical rifle has turned out to be massively overpowered, and the best gun in the game by a longshot.

King of the OP: Featuring very low recoil, devastatingly long range and no sniper glare, the DRM 14 is the only real choice – and it's not the only Black Ops Cold War gun that desperately needs to be rebalanced.

  • Nintendo buys Canadian studio Next Level Games making the Luigi’s Mansion developer a wholly-owned subsidiary
  • Epic Games has acquired an abandoned shopping mall and will redevelop it into a new company headquarters, hopefully without getting besieged by zombies
  • Blooper Team reveals 14 minutes of The Medium gameplay offering an “extended look” at the psychological horror title
  • Injustice 2 and Torchlight III will be added to Xbox Game Pass alongside a slew of new games on January 7th, while four games will cycle out on January 15th
  • ”World's Smallest” portable Nintendo 64 unveiled by hobbyist engineer who managed to squeeze the hardware into a case barely bigger than a cartridge

What was Epic Games’ first release?

ANSWER: ZZT!

I can’t wait to see this on Unreal Engine 5

Nowadays, Epic is one of the biggest players in the games industry but it has quite humble origins. Tim Sweeney founded the company as Potomac Computer Systems from his parents’ house, where he developed Epic’s very first game, ZZT.

Released in 1991, ZZT was named so that it would always be the last game listed in software magazines. It featured a built-in editor, which allowed players to build their own worlds and even game systems using ZZT’s engine, spawning one of the earliest modding communities. In a sense, that makes ZZT an early ancestor of the mighty Unreal Engine!

Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey.