SEGA Makes Total War with Epic, Isle of Armor Update

TODAY: Double Fine Productions is celebrating its 20th anniversary — Nintendo announces new details about Pokémon Sword & Shield expansions — Sony has postponed their big PlayStation 5 reveal

Top Story

Creative Assembly signs exclusivity deal with Epic Game Store

Creative Assembly has released the first trailer for A Total War Saga: Troy. The game will be exclusive to Epic Game Store for a year after launching on August 13th.

Epic will give away copies of troy on launch day, although the promotion will only last for 24 hours. In addition to paying for exclusivity, Epic Games is also paying for each copy given away on launch day. That’s a pretty sweet deal, and also offers a great way for Creative Assembly to mark the Total War series’ 20th anniversary.

  • Creative Assembly has asked fans to direct criticism to the company rather than individual employees on social media
  • A Total War Saga: Troy will hit Steam on August 13th 2021

More exclusivity? The deal only covers A Total War Saga: Troy, and Creative Assembly has no plans to pursue exclusivity deals for future games. If you want to know more about the exclusivity deal, have a look at the Total War blog.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which Destiny character had a change of voice actor after several years?

  • Uldren Sov
  • Ghost
  • The Speaker
  • Cayde-6

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

20 Years of irreverence and hilarity

Double Fine has never been a household name, but it has always been an interesting studio. Founded in 2000 by ex-LucasArts employees, the company has slowly but steadily worked its way to the big time.

Co-founder Tim Schafer left LucasArts in 2000 and set up shop in an old San Francisco clog shop along with David Dixon and Jonathan Menzies.

The company name is inspired by a sign on the Golden Gate Bridge that warns that this particular stretch is a double fine zone. Double Fine’s logo is a two-headed baby, often shortened to 2HB – which is also an abbreviation for the Moai integrated development environment.

Microsoft acquired Double Fine in 2019, and the studio is getting ready to publish their first game under the auspices of Xbox Game Studios: Psychnoauts 2, the sequel to their very first game from 2005.

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

Pokemon Sword and Shield Update

New Sword & Shield expansion details

The first part of the Pokémon Sword & Shield expansion The Isle of Armor will be released on June 17th, while the second part – The Crown Tundra – will launch in autumn.

The trailer offers a peek at both Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra, as well as a few new Pokémon such as Galarian Slowbro and the Gigantamax forms of Venusaur and Blastoise.

  • Isle of Armor will introduce the Cram-o-matic, which allows players to switch 4 items for another
  • You can also find rare ingredients for Max Soup – which grant certain Pokémon Gigantamax forms – on Isle of Armor
  • Earn Armorite Ore in Isle of Armor Max Raid Battles and trade it in to teach your Pokémon new moves
  • The Crown Tundra city of Wyndon is home to the Galarian Star Tournament

Legendary birds return That’s right: Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno are back – but it looks like they are only found in the Crown Tundra region. That means you won’t get your hands on them until the second half of the expansion launches later this year.

PlayStation 5

Tim Sweeny defends his PS5 storage speed comments

Epic debuted Unreal Engine 5 on PlayStation 5 with a tech demo two weeks ago, and Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney highlighted the PlayStation 5’s custom SSD, prompting gotchas from hardware nerds.

One of the biggest differences between PlayStation 5 and a modern gaming PC is the speed of its SSD storage. PlayStation 5 boasts data transfer rates of 9GB/s, significantly faster than most of the fastest SSDs available on PC. However, there is enterprise-grade hardware that can theoretically perform 2.7 times better, although it is not available at retail.

  • Most mainstream SSDs have read and write speeds around 550 MB/s
  • Even the fastest NVMe drives for PC are unable to deliver their theoretical performance due to motherboard and operating system overhead

Sweeney’s response: “PS5 can transfer and decompress textures and geometry from storage directly into video memory without CPU decompression and driver abstraction overhead, which makes the overall performance much higher than PC.” Unlike PC SSDs, the PS5’s SSD can communicate directly with the GPU which significantly improves efficiency.

What Else Happened Today?

  • Boneloaf is breaking up with Double Fine Presents following Microsoft acquisition. Boneloaf will self-publish Gang Beasts.
  • Bloober Team teases Observer: System Redux with two comparison screenshots, and will show footage at IGN’s Summer of Gaming on Friday.
  • Sony postpones their PlayStation 5 event due to protests around the world following the murder of George Floyd. The PlayStation 5 event was originally scheduled for the same day as George Floyd’s memoral service.
  • Activision says now is not the time to launch new Call of Duty seasons, and urges players to speak up for equality, justice and change.
  • Sneak a peek at the new Destiny 2 chapter ahead of the official unveiling on June 9th at 6pm CEST.

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Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which Destiny character had a change of voice actor after several years?

Answer: Ghost!

The difference between vanilla Destiny and The Taken King is pretty noticeable.

One of the big ones is Ghost’s voice actor: Peter Dinklage was replaced with Nolan North, most famous for voicing Uncharted’s Nathan Drake. Not only that, but North re-recorded all of Ghost’s lines.

According to Destiny’s lead concept artist Jesse Van Dijk, the voice work was replaced to keep Destiny consistent. While North generally had a favorable reception, many fans also miss Dinklage’s slightly dryer performance. Who do you prefer? Dinklage or North?

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