Players will need 30 hours to finish Elden Ring

Today: Steam keeps growing, sets another concurrent user record — Could there be more Kirby on the horizon after Kirby and the Forgotten Land? — Toshihiro Nagoshi opens new studio with NetEase

Taipei Game Show’s Elden Ring gameplay

Elden Ring open world teaser

FromSoftware producer Yasuhiro Kitao presented a “special broadcast” about Elden Ring at the Taipei Game Show 2022, showcasing the game mechanics and answering some questions.

The 45-minute presentation reveals that Elden Ring was designed to relieve the stress of the player without compromising the tense and challenging combat that veterans of the Souls games have come to know and love to hate.

  • Not possible to complete 100% on the first playthrough
  • Smaller dungeons and crypts are all optional
  • Player is not always under threat, just mostly
  • Battle and combat styles not locked to classes
  • Spirits and stealth mechanics help reduce stress

Play time: The open-world design naturally paces the experience, with long-distance traversal – whether on foot or by mount – serving as downtime between encounters. The core game will take about 30 hours to complete.

Exploration: The game world will not be completely accessible from the very beginning of the game, although you will be free to explore its regions and tackle their challenges in whatever order you want. Elden Ring will be out on February 25th.

Which of these series has an unusual connection to Nier?

a) Disgaea
b) Dragon Quest
c) Drakengard
d) Final Fantasy

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.

Japanese magazine teasing new Kirby?

Nintendo Dream’s Kirby teaser from February 21 issue

Kirby fans already have Kirby and the Forgotten Land to look forward to, and the Japanese magazine Nintendo Dream hints that there could be more pink, fluffy action on the way.

Rumour has it next month's issue of Nintendo Dream could reveal another new Kirby game, although it's not exactly clear if it's an all-new game or not.

Teaser: “In addition to detailed news about Kirby and The Forgotten Land, we've also included a new game that we didn't expect! […] I have a feeling that a new title will be announced,” according to a translation.

Hopeful: Another translation provided by a Nintendo Life user claims that the magazine does not mention the word series, but says “a new title in THAT!?” which presumably implies the Kirby franchise.

Steam sets new concurrent user record

SteamDB chart of concurrent Steam players

Steam reached record player numbers on January 9th with 28 million concurrent players, and they have already broken that record.

On January 23rd, there were 29,201,174 concurrent players and the 30 million mark will presumably be broken soon.

Chart royalty: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive remains the most popular game on Steam with around 1 million concurrent users, followed by DOTA 2, PUBG, and the new Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is in fourth place.

Most Played: Other big hitters in the top 20 are Grand Theft Auto V, Rust, ARK: Survival Evolved, Football Manager 2022, Wallpaper Engine (yes, really), Team Fortress 2, New World, Warframe, FIFA 22, and Destiny 2.

Indie Houses and Brain Tickler bundles

The Indie Houses Game Bundle banner

There are two pay-what-you-want deals on at Humble Bundle right now, the first being The Indie Houses Game Bundle featuring a dozen smaller indie games.

The second one is the Brain Tickler Bundle with six items, including Mars Horizon, The Signifier, Retro Machina, Lumines Remasters, while True: learn() and Heal.

  • Former Yakuza series boss founds Nagoshi Studio as part of NetEase Games, and will focus on the worldwide console market
  • Dark Souls PvP servers “temporarily deactivated” while the developers investigate a major issue although console PvP servers remain unaffected
  • Pokémon Go’s Season of Heritage Story continues with Electric-type Helioptile making its debut during the Power Plant Event
  • Valheim ‘ready and verified’ for Valve’s Steam Deck according to one of the developers, who calls the handheld PC a “very impressive” piece of kit
  • No more official updates for Watch Dogs: Legion as the Ubisoft team gets ready to move on

Which of these series has an unusual connection to Nier?

Drakengard's final boss in Ending E, set in modern-day Tokyo

ANSWER: Drakengard!

Yoko Taro's mind-bending approach to storytelling might not be everyone's cup of tea, but he's undeniably a unique and daring voice. The Taroverse is also connected in tenuous yet meaningful ways, with Nier connecting to one of Drakengard's five different endings.

That ending brings Drakengard's antihero Caim and his dragon Angelus to modern-day Tokyo for a showdown with the final boss, resulting in Caim getting shot down by a fighter jet. This causes magic energy to spread across the earth, ending the world and setting the stage for Nier. Yup, Nier's apocalypse is basically a joke ending in a fantasy RPG.

It looks like Elden Ring is going to be a little bit shorter than Dark Souls then, as the main story took about 40 hours to complete, but we're expecting to spend well over that playing it. Just under a month to wait now, with the game finally going gold.

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!