Pokémon of the Year, Horizon: Zero Dawn for PC?

TODAY: Tiger Woods hid an inappropriate secret, but not what you think — Square Enix isn’t ready to go all-in on next-gen games just yet — Facebook bolsters Oculus with another high-profile acquisition

Pokémon Events and News

More Pokémon Day celebration events

Pokémon Day is upon us, and that means tons of stuff happening! There’s a Wild Area Event for Pokémon Sword & Shield, and free Gems for Pokémon Masters players. The Pokémon of the Year has also been chosen!

Pokémon Sword & Shield

  • Special Pokémon Day Wild Area Event from now until March 1st @ 23:59 UTC
  • Mewtwo and Kanto starters including Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Pikachu and Eevee in Max Raid Battles
  • Gigantamax Grimmsnarl, Kingler, Hatterene, Orbeetle and Toxtricity will also appear
  • Mewtwo can’t be captured but defeating him yields big rewards

Pokémon Masters

  • 3,000 Gem login bonus in celebration of Pokémon Day
  • Over 10,000 Gems in login bonuses during the event
  • Red & Charizard Sync Pair added in a Poké Fair exclusive Scout
  • Story events now feature Event Maps to aid progression
  • More areas and rewards from Travel Tokens obtained in battle
  • The Battle Villa goes live today and introduces Lucky Skills, with new skills for Sync Pairs
  • Up to 9 Sync Pairs can go through Battle Stages in Battle Villa, carrying over HP and Move Points
  • Improvements to Legendary Events and Sync Grid, as well as new Pokémon Eggs

Pokémon of the Year

The results of The Pokémon Company and Google’s Pokémon of the Year vote are in, and will be broadcast live today @ 2.00pm UTC.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Who voices Aloy in Guerrilla Games’ PlayStation 4 hit Horizon: Zero Dawn?

  • Laura Bailey
  • Rena Strober
  • The Mary Elizabeth McGlynn
  • Ashley Burch

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

Tiger Woods’ objectionable Easter Egg

Tiger Woods 99 PGA Tour from EA Sports isn’t exactly the kind of game you’d expect to feature an unusual Easter Egg, but the first 100,000 PlayStation copies contains something that got the game recalled by publisher EA.

What’s the big deal? Why, the precursor to South Park, of course! The style and characters that eventually became South Park started out in Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s animated short Jesus vs. Santa, and it is included on that first run of Tiger Woods 99 PGA Tour discs.

The video is named ZZDUMMY.DAT, and EA threw a bit of a fit when they found out, recalling the offending discs claiming it was “objectionable to consumers”. Blame Canada.

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

Shovel Knight Direct

Yacht Club Games Presents round-up

Indie darlings Yacht Club Games have broadcast their second announcement stream Yacht Club Games Presents, revealing what they’ve been working on.

  • Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon – TBA (Switch) – Trailer
    “Delve with Shovel Knight into the depths of the Pocket Dungeon in an action-packed puzzle adventure mashup like none other! Join your mysterious guide Puzzle Knight as you shovel through scads of foes, procure new equipment, and battle bosses both familiar and new. Explore a tale with endless twists and turns, quest as your favorite heroes, and even challenge a friend for fast-paced head-to-head competition in Shovel Knight Pocket Dungeon!”
  • Cyber Shadow – Fall 2020 (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) – Story Trailer
    “Cyber Shadow is shaping up to be an epic adventure full of pulse-pounding action with plenty of twists and turns. We can’t wait for you to get your hands on it!”
  • Shovel Knight Dig – TBA 2021 (PlayStation 4, Switch) – Introducing Hive Knight!
    “What’s up Diggities! Development on Shovel Knight Dig is going well, with new enemies, objects, and areas being developed and polished every day! We’ve been iterating on the upgrades and items that will affect your gameplay each run, as well as fleshing out the story and characters you’ll meet on this new adventure.”
  • Shovel Knight Stickers, Comin’ at ya! – Out Now – Trailer
    “Introducing… Shovel Knight Stickers! Finally, you can insert Shovel Knight characters and reactions into your text messages! There should be a funny and appropriate sticker to apply to almost any situation. The stickers are available now on the iMessage App Store, and LINE, so you can start sticking right away!”
  • Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove – Final Update Excitement!
    “Yo yo Treasure Trove lovers! We’d like to fill you in on some way cool upcoming changes to Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove. And no, we’re not adding any more campaigns!”

Squaring up for next-gen

No Square Enix next-gen games yet

Publisher Square Enix will be too busy making sure their titles are backwards compatible to have time developing any next-gen exclusives for either Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5.

“The next-generation consoles will have backward compatibility, so we plan for the time being to make our new titles available for both current and next-generation consoles,” said Square Enix. “It will therefore be somewhat farther down the road that we release titles exclusively for the next-generation consoles.”

Baby got back: Both Microsoft and Sony are touting their perfect backward compatibility that apparently does not depend on much – if any – developer work. Judging by Square Enix’s statements, it might require a bit more investment than Microsoft and Sony are letting on, although it’s not exactly clear what kind of work is keeping Square Enix busy.

Buy once, play forever: Microsoft’s newly announced Smart Delivery feature for Xbox Series X is an optional choice for third-party studios that provides customers with free cross-generation versions of a game. CD Projekt RED recently announced that Cyberpunk 2077 will support Smart Delivery.

VR Bits

Facebook acquires Sanzaru Games

Facebook has acquired Sanzaru Games, developers of the Oculus-exclusive Asgard’s Wrath. Asgard’s Wrath has gotten a lot of positive media attention, including several awards from VR-centric gaming sites. Facebook bought Beat Games, the studio behind Beat Saber, in November last year.

Over 100 VR exclusives have made over $1 million dollars in revenue

VR Fund investor Tipatat Chennavasin published a report on growth in the VR sector earlier this month. More than 100 VR games have earned over $1 million dollars in revenue, with most of the developers being smaller indie studios. The top twenty VR games have topped $4 million, while the top seven have made over $10 million dollars.

New update for Waltz of the Wizard

The latest Waltz of the Wizard update introduces a brand new Scavenger Hunt mode, 144hz support and a host of optimisations that help the game perform on lower-end hardware. Scavenger Hunts task you with finding out what Skully is hiding, and features over 40 new unique items to interact with.

What Else Happened Today?

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Who voices Aloy in Guerrilla Games’ PlayStation 4 hit Horizon: Zero Dawn?

Answer: Ashley Burch!

Most performers would consider themselves lucky to get one career-defining role, but Ashley Burch has racked up a good handful already.

Her first notable performance was Tiny Tina in Borderlands 2, a role she got from her brother Anthony Burch who wrote for the game. Then she really hit her stride as Chloe Price in Life is Strange, winning a Golden Joystick for her performance.

However, her biggest role to date is probably Aloy in Horizon: Zero Dawn, which was a huge success. She also appears in The Outer Worlds as Parvati Holcomb, so Burch is definitely keeping busy. Oh, yeah, and she’s not even 30 yet, so her career has only just begun! You’re gonna hear a lot more Ashley Burch in the years to come.

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