Pokémon Day Ends, FF7 Remake Demo on PSN

TODAY: Pokémon Day is winding down for now — FIFA pros forced to settle the score by playing rock-paper-scissors — Looks like Rockstar is getting ready to announce something new

COVID-19 Postpones More Events

Game Developer Conference cancelled

Organiser Informa has decided to postpone the conference after a significant number of major companies cancelled their appearances at Game Developers Conference over COVID-19 fears.

Informa made an official announcement following Microsoft, Sony, Facebook, Amazon and many more announced cancellations. The conference was originally scheduled for March 16th to 20th, and no new date has been announced yet.

GDC this summer: “Having spent the past year preparing for the show with our advisory boards, speakers, exhibitors, and event partners, we’re genuinely upset and disappointed not to be able to host you at this time,” said the announcement, which also added that they “fully intend to host a GDC event later in the summer.”

More cancellations: EVE Fanfest 2020, an annual event for MMO EVE Online has also been cancelled by their organisers over the outbreak: “In light of the recent and ongoing global developments surrounding the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel EVE Fanfest 2020,” said the organisers. EVE Fanfest was scheduled for April.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which Doom developer worked on classic tabletop RPG Call of Cthulhu?

  • Sandy Peterson
  • John Romero
  • John Cormack
  • Shawn Green

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.

Daily Fact

A young child’s illustrated primer

The 1998 point-and-click adventure Skipper & Skeeto: The Shadow of Mr. Shade from Ivanoff Interactive is based on a Danish ‘edutainment’ cartoon, and features four chapters with over 200 tasks and puzzles for a younger audience. Somewhat incongruously, it’s also chock-full of mature sci-fi references.

There’s fortunately nothing untoward in there, but it’s hard to imagine an audience of 6 to 10 year-olds catching references to HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Voight-Kampff test from Bladerunner, Cyberdyne from Terminor or Shodan from System Shock.

They’re probably there to delight the parents playing the game with their kids.

Join up with our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today’s fact.

The Week Ahead in Gaming

Go to Xen, or become a Pokémon

PAX East has wrapped up, so this week is going to be a little bit more quiet – but still quite exciting: Fan-made Half-Life remake Black Mesa is finally complete and the last part will launch this week. Adorable rogue-like Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX where you play as the Pokémon is coming to Switch.

Thursday – March 05

  • Black Mesa launches for PC
  • Ibb and Obb launches for Switch
  • Murder by Numbers launches for Switch

Friday – March 06

  • Murder by Numbers launches for PC
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX launches for Switch

Pokémon News And Events

Pokémon Day events winding down

All good things must come to an end, and so too the Pokémon Day festivities.

The Pokémon Sword & Shield Wild Area has calmed down a bit as Mewtwo and the Kanto Starters will no longer appear in boosted raids. Kingler, Grimmsnarl, Orbeetle, Hatterene and Toxtricity are still sticking around, but the event spawns are over for now.

Pokémon Go’s new Research Breakthrough Reward for March is Ferroseed, which increases the amount of stardust earned. Facing Giovanni this month gives access to Shadow Entei, while Thundurus will appear in Raid Battles from March 2nd.

Other hightlights this month:

  • Three special raid weekends
    • Darkrai Raid – March 6th-9th
    • Altered Forme Giratina – March 13th-16th
    • Cobalion – March 20th-23rd
  • Global takeover by Team Go Rocket between March 6th and 9th
    • More Poison and Dark-types in the wild
    • Team Go Rocket Leader Shadow Pokémon available
  • Psychic Spectacular between March 27th and 30th
    • Solosis and Gothita available in the wild and from 5km eggs
    • Solosis available during the day, Gothita at night

Esports Bits

FIFA pros resort to rock-paper-scissors

Players at an official, EA-licensed FIFA 20 qualifier event were forced to play rock-paper-scissors to determine a winner after the FIFA 20 servers went down. Shaun Galea explained how he went from a 2-0 lead to a 2-3 loss after the competition switched to rock-paper-scissors.

Na’Vi champions of IEM Katowice 2020

After defeating G2 Esports in the grand finals of the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2020 tournament, Natus Vincere are the new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive champions. Na’Vi won the tournament in style by crushing their opponents with three straight wins. IEM Katowice 2020’s viewership peaked at over 1 million viewers, setting a new record for non-Major events.

FaZe bans Fortnite pro for racial slur

FaZe Clan has issued a statement concerning their banning Daniel ‘Dubs’ Walsh for using a racial slur on a Twitch stream. Walsh was not aware he was being broadcast to thousands of people, and in response FaZe are suspending Walsh and are forcing him to go through sensitivity training.

What Else Happened Today?

  • New art appears on the Rockstar website possibly teasing a new game. The accompanying text says “bullying the weak”, pouring fuel on the embers of existing Bully 2 rumours
  • DOOM Eternal supports 1000FPS “if you have the hardware” for it. According to id Software, that means the game is ‘future proofed’ and claims that id Tech 7 has “no upper limit”
  • Valorant could be Riot Games’ secret Project A since it appears to be a tactical first-person shooter, set in the League of Legends universe
  • Hideki Kamiya wants you to pester Capcom to convince them to let him make games like “Okami 2… Scalebound… Viewtiful Joe 3… Dante vs. Bayonetta… Devil May Cry 0”, so get on it!
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake demo available now on the PlayStation store, but beware: Savegames from the demo “cannot be carried over” to the full game since it might change before launch.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which Doom developer worked on classic tabletop RPG Call of Cthulhu?

Answer: Sandy Peterson!

Sandy Peterson was a fan of both HP Lovecraft and Dungeons & Dragons growing up, and went on to design the Call of Cthulhu rulebook in 1981.

The game was based on Chaosium’s BRP system, but additional rules were designed for the game’s iconic Sanity system. After working on various videogames, including Sid Meier’s Pirates!, he ended up at id Software doing level design for Doom, Doom II, and Quake.

Considering his tendency to work on games with a tendency towards cosmic horror and satanism, you might be surprised to hear he is a practicing Mormon. He was never bothered, though – according to Masters of Doom, he said: “I have no problems with the demons in the game. They’re just cartoons. And, anyway, they’re the bad guys.”

Peterson might not be as famous as Romero and Carmack, but he’s a central figure in the history of both pen-and-paper role-playing games and videogames.

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