Pokemon Home Now Live

TODAY: Sometimes bugs ruin your game, and other times improve them — New data shows Steam is no longer a safe haven for indie games — English Heritage takes a swing at videogames

Pokemon Home

Pokémon Home has finally gone live

Pokémon Home is a new platform for cataloging and trading Pokémon across different games – and has just gone live.

Pokémon Sword & Shield and Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! & Let’s Go, Eevee! are supported, and the app is available for Switch, as well as Android and iOS devices.

Latest Home updates:

  • Professor Grand Oak is the face of the app
  • You’re rewarded a level 5 Pikachu the first time you open Home
  • Transferring from Pokémon Bank earns you 3000 Home Points
  • You can release Pokémon en masse through the app
  • Hyper Training isn’t transferring from Bank to Home, probably a bug
  • 35 previously unavailable Pokémon can be transferred to Sword & Shield
  • Open home on mobile to receive Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle
  • Earn a Pichu for completing a Mystery Gift challenge on mobile

Pokédex cataloging: If you have a battle form-only Pokémon, it will be added automatically to the Home Pokédex. If it’s a Gigantamax variant, you need to transfer it to Home to get it registered. Any forms catalogued in Bank will transfer to Home along with the Pokémon.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which of the following games was NOT developed by Edmund McMillen?

  • The Binding of Isaac
  • Cave Story
  • Super Meat Boy
  • The End is Nigh

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

Ninja Gaiden difficulty was an accident

The NES version of Tecmo’s Ninja Gaiden was famously difficult, and the steep challenge was actually accidental.

A glitch caused you to restart at the beginning of the sixth act if you died fighting any of the last three bosses. Game artist Masato Kato revealed that the team was surprisingly happy with the ‘problem’ as it made the final part of the game more tense – and fun.

Game director Hideo Yoshizawa put greater emphasis on the NES version’s story than in the arcade version. The NES version of Ninja Gaiden was a ‘Tecmo Theater’ title, featuring 20 minutes of anime-style cut scenes.

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

Indie Games Median

Indie games on Steam ‘unsustainable’ with median of just $1,400 over 5 years

A visualization showing various data about Steam games is making the rounds.

The numbers paint a bleak picture of the indie game market, showing that the top 25 percent of indie games in 2019 earn a median revenue of $12,000, which is dramatically down from $110,000 in 2013 . This is “obviously not sustainable” according to indie studio Grey Alien Games.

Data highlights:

  • Steam library has grown to 30,000 games
  • Number of new indie releases remain high, but are ‘levelling off’
  • Median income for indies has decreased since 2013 peak
  • Median indie revenue in 2013 was around $110,000, with the top 5% earning a median of $590,000
  • Median indie revenue in 2019 was $12,000 in the top 25%, and $413,000 in the top 5%.

Steam blows cold: Releasing a game on Steam is in no way a guarantee of sales. As the number of releases have increased, it has gotten harder to stand out – although the top 5 percent still earn a healthy amount, showing that it’s mostly the lower end of the market that has suffered from the glut of releases.

Heritage Apology

English Heritage charity sorry about gaming-unfriendly marketing campaign

English Heritage – a charity overseeing 400 historical sites across England, including Stonehenge – has launched a marketing campaign taking a literal stab at the games industry: “Isn’t it time to make their virtual world history?” they ask, illustrating the slogan with a sword piercing a DualShock controller.

Industry not terribly amused: Parts of the UK games industry are rolling their eyes at the campaign:

“That’s a no from me and also the entire UK games industry – how about collaborating instead of this nonsense?” said Mode 7 co-founder Paul Kilduff-Taylor.

Team 17’s Debbie Bestwick added: “Seriously this is ridiculous marketing …expected better. So many different levels this frustrates.”

Sword sheathed: English Heritage has offered an apology for “missing the mark on this one,” as a spokesperson put it. “This was intended to be a tongue-in-cheek take on a debate among parents, who this leaflet is aimed at.” They had no intent to “dismiss the value of digital culture but appreciate it may have come across differently.”

Gamers chimed in to claim games like Assassin’s Creed gave them a greater appreciation of world history, while English Heritage added that their “partnership with Google Arts and Culture, our Minecraft workshops and the recent VR reconstruction of St Augustine’s Abbey are just some of the ways we champion the gaming industry.”

What Else Happened Today?

Call of Duty Battle Royale, more SNES and NES, malicious Pokémon trading and GeForce Now Blizzard blues

  • The rumoured Call of Duty: Modern Warfare battle royale mode will be named Call of Duty: Warzone, if this leaked artwork proves real. The Season 2 update added a teasing ‘Classified’ tab to the main menu.
  • New SNES and NES games are coming to Nintendo Switch Online in February, one set in the West and another in Japan:
    • SNES: Pop’n TwinBee and Smash Tennis
    • NES: Shadow of the Ninja and Eliminator Boat Duel
    • SNES, Japan only: Pop’n TwinBee and Breath of Fire II
    • NES, Japan only: Atlantis no Nazo and God Slayer (Crystalis)
  • Pokémon Sword & Shield appears vulnerable to ‘maliciously traded Pokémon’ via Surprise Trade, leading to crashes when trying to access online features. It might be a good idea to avoid Surprise Trade until a patch is issued.
  • Activison Blizzard has pulled Battle.net from Nvidia’s streaming service GeForce Now. Cloud-based streaming is apparently forbidden by Battle.net’s terms of service, but Nvidia hopes to work out a deal in the future.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which of the following games was NOT developed by Edmund McMillen?

Answer: Cave Story!

Edmund McMillen has a truly distinct style, blending naive and cute imagery with vulgarity and sacrilege in fresh yet old-school games.

McMillen rose to prominence working on masocore classic Super Meat Boy, which grew out of a Flash game originally published on Newgrounds, but the game that really established him as a unique creator was The Binding of Isaac from 2011.

Telling a dark story and presented with equal amounts of religious symbolism and juvenile toilet humour while sporting a heavy metal-inspired chiptune soundtrack, the game became a huge success. It was expanded into Binding of Isaac: Rebirth in 2014 and ported to pretty much every platform under the sun.

Despite his considerable success, McMillen is not resting on his laurels and recently launched The Legend of Bumbo, a rogue-like deck-building game.

Message From DailyBits Team

Video Game Crossovers

Crossovers are a big thing in both videogames and other media today, and the launch of Pokémon Home got us thinking about what kind of Pokémon crossovers we would like to see:

  • Pokenite – 100 trainers armed with their favourite pokemon, battling it out to survive until the end in a brutal winner-takes-all battle royale
  • PokéKart – Pick your Pokémon and your kart as you tear through tracks zapping, scorching and freezing rivals – who needs bananas and Blue Shells?
  • PokéSouls – Delve deep into the darkest reaches of Johto region’s temples and caves to link the flame and unleash your darkness.
  • Grand Poké Auto – Go wild in the Unova region! Steal cars, smuggle casteliacones and work your way to the top of the food chain.

What would be your perfect Pokemon Crossover? Share them with us and include your name, then we’ll put our favourite ones on Twitter.

Today’s issue was written by Simon Priest, Erlend Grefsrud, Jamie Davey, and Gavin Harman.