#88: Shawn Layden Departing…

TODAY: Bungie didn’t start out making Halo and Destiny — Valve introduces X-ray scanner to circumvent loot box legislation — Apex Legends Season 3 goes live tomorrow

Top Story

Sony veteran leaving after 32 years

As announced on the PlayStation Twitter account earlier today, Sony Worldwide Chairman Shawn Layden is leaving Sony Interactive Entertainment. No reason has been given for his departure. The tweet reads:

“It is with great emotion that we announce that Worldwide Studios Chairman Shawn Layden will be departing SIE. His visionary leadership will be greatly missed. We wish him success in future endeavors and are deeply grateful for his years of service. Thanks for everything, Shawn!”

Fans might remember Layden from presenting at a number of E3 press conferences over the years. He started working for Sony in 1987, and rose through the ranks during his 32 years with the company. He previously served as President and CEO of Sony Interactive America and as Executive Vice President and COO of Sony Network Entertainment International. While no longer participating in development, he has most recently overseen titles like God of War and Horizon: Zero Dawn.

Who will be the next chairman of Sony Worldwide?

At the time of writing, Layden has not made any statement, and no statement has been issued by the company. Sony is gearing up to launch PlayStation 5 next year, so this is an interesting time to be leaving the company. Whoever takes over will most certainly have their hands full in the months to come.

Time For A Quick Daily Quiz?

Which of these planets were NOT patrollable locations in the original release of Bungie’s Destiny?

  • Earth
  • Mars
  • Venus
  • Mercury

The answer will be revealed at the end of this issue!

News Bits

Arise from your grave this December

Developer Piccolo will release Arise: A Simple Story for PC (exclusively on Epic Games Store), PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on December 3rd. Depicting an emotional journey through two characters’ lives, Arise starts just as the main character’s life ends. The game deals with themes like death and the afterlife, and the trailer shows how you will relive various moments from the protagonist’s life while making your way to the top of a great mountain.

Beast Quest slashes onto Switch

After a successful launch on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Beast Quest – based on the book series by Adam Blade – is making its way to the Switch on November 15th, both at retail and on the eShop. Explore the mythical land of Avantia, filled with secrets and boss battles and release the eponymous Beasts from the dark magic of the wizard Malvel.

Daily Fact

The last title Bungie made before Halo and Destiny was a third-person melee combat anime game

Now that Destiny and Halo developer Bungie is finally working on a new original game, we’re looking at the last game the developer made before being acquired by Microsoft and going on to create two of the most successful FPS franchises ever.

While Bungie is best known for their work on the Mac-exclusive Marathon series, their anime-themed melee action game Oni has also turned into a bit ofa cult classic.

Oni was the only game released by satellite studio Bungie West before it got absorbed back into Bungie proper to work on Halo – and it’s a pretty far cry from Halo and Bungie! Oni’s an out-and-out brawler with aesthetics clearly inspired by Ghost in the Shell, and it still looks and plays pretty well to this day.

Unfortunately the game didn’t fare particularly well with critics or customers, who were a bit underwhelmed by the absence of many advertised features, most notably multiplayer. The multiplayer had been touted as a major feature and was shown off at trade shows and in demos all the way up to release. Nowadays, Oni is hard to find – it’s not out on any digital stores, so your only hope is to find a used PC DVD copy and pray it will even run under Windows 10.

Daily News

Bungie to “become one of the world’s best entertainment companies”

In an interview with IGN, Bungie CEO Pete Parsons outlined the studio’s plans to “become one of the world’s best entertainment companies” by 2025. This means they’ll keep supporting Destiny, but also “other franchises within the marketplace. I think the long-term vision of Bungie would be, we have worlds like Destiny that are great places to go and build friendships in. And we begin to introduce new worlds that people care a lot about,” according to Parsons. While he didn’t go into detail, it seems safe to assume they’re building a new persistent online world like Destiny’s.

The Destiny community seems to think the project is connected to the $100 million investment Bungie recently received from Chinese tech and gaming company NetEase back in June of last year. It was widely believed that the investment was mostly spent buying Bungie’s freedom from Activision Blizzard, although NetEase has also been working with Activision Blizzard on Diablo Immortal, a high-end mobile title.

Expect new Bungie IP by 2025

Shadowkeep, the fourth expansion for Destiny 2, launches today for Pc, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Destiny 2 will also be a flagship title for Google Stadia, and pre-ordering the Stadia Founder’s Edition nets you a Chromecast with 4K support, a limited edition Stadia controller and the complete version of Destiny 2.

Valve introduces X-Ray Scanner to appease French lawmakers

French Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players will receive an X-ray scanner allowing them to see what’s inside a loot crate, in an effort to comply with recent legislation. French players can no longer open crates by using keys, but must use the X-ray scanner to reveal a crate’s contents. Players must pay for the revealed item before being able to scan for new ones.

The system currently makes sure that the very first crate every player scans contains a P250, to stop players creating new accounts and scanning the first crates until they find a rare and valuable item. The new system also makes crates slightly more expensive than before, since you must pay €2.20 for the first crate and the P250 is untradeable, so you can’t make the money back by selling it on.

The X-ray scanner is exclusive to France – for now

We can also expect to see the X-ray system rolled out in Belgium and The Netherlands, who have similar laws prohibiting loot box monetization schemes. The X-ray scanner scheme is obviously a pretty quick and dirty fix to circumvent the legislation, since it’s pretty much exactly the same as a loot box system, except slightly more expensive and showing the item before you make the purchase. Now the big question is whether the new legislation will adapt to prohibit this scheme too …

News Bits

Bandai Namco confirms My Hero One’s Justice sequel for 2020

While My Hero One’s Justice didn’t earn many critical accolades and averages less than 70% on Metacritic, it has apparently been successful enough to warrant a sequel. My Hero One’s Justice 2 will take place after the events of the first game, and will appear on the same platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Switch. You can check out the game at booth 515 if you’re at the New York Comic Con this week.

Apex Legends Season 3 launches tomorrow

EA’s free-to-play battle royale shooter Apex Legends is getting some brand-new content with the launch of season 3. The brand new map is bigger than King’s Canyon, and features a number of unique new environments such as the frozen landscape of The Epicenter. A new hero named Crypto will also appear, sporting a surveillance drone that can spy on other players and deal damage with its EMP attack. The update will also feature a number of gameplay tweaks and changes that should have a considerable impact on the game experience, and goes live tomorrow at 6pm BST.

Quiz Answer - Did You Get It Right?

Which of these planets were NOT patrollable locations in the original release of Bungie’s Destiny?

Answer: Mercury!

Destiny launched in 2014, and was a pretty rare beast: a cross-generation multiplayer game! Available on PS4, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One and featuring a fair number of locations. However, the odd one out was Mercury – it could be visited during certain quests and from certain multiplayer maps, but not at the player’s will and whim.

Mercury wouldn’t turn into a fully playable location until the Destiny 2 expansion Curse of Osiris in December 2017. Destiny 2 now features many more locations and expansions than the first game ever did, so for most players the release of Curse of Osiris is probably a distant memory. A new free-to-play edition arrives on Steam today, which will include Mercury and Curse of Osiris for free. Maybe it’s time to … face your Destiny?

Weekly Giveaway

Egress on PC

This week’s DailyBits giveaway is an unusual combination of fun things: Cthulhu, Dark Souls and Battle Royale – at once! We are giving away 5 Steam keys for Egress, the multiplayer melee combat game from developer Fazan, where you struggle for survival on an island slowly being reclaimed by the sea… and the Ancient Ones!

All you have to do to enter the sweepstakes is to follow Dailybits on Twitter, and we’ll also include anyone that follows us on Facebook too, although we’ll be posting detailed instructions on how to enter via our Facebook page this Saturday. We will choose five random followers over the course of the week, and each will receive a Steam code for Egress on PC! It couldn’t be any easier.

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