Sony’s Focus on Blockbusters, Age of Empires Fan Preview

Today: Sony’s attention is turning to ‘blockbusters’ on PS5 – Super Meat Boy Forever arrives on more platforms this week – Find out about the Age of Empires 4 starting civilizations and campaign

Sony dev turmoil over ‘blockbuster focus’

There’s trouble in PlayStation land as recent top executive decisions by Sony aren’t sitting well across the internal PlayStation studios, as blockbusters take greater focus.

Sony backing bigger names going forward

With PlayStation’s central HQ now based out of California, it seems there’s an inevitable ‘Americanisation’ starting to occur that’s already made calls to cut much of Sony’s domestic Japanese development with iconic Japan Studio reportedly now a shell of its former self.

Blockbuster: Bloomberg reports just recently Sony Bend narrowly avoided obscurity by managing to convince execs to let them try out a new IP idea. They were set to be effectively split in two and tasked with just assisting Naughty Dog with their projects.

Not so niche: With everything now being geared toward bigger blockbusters the quirkier niche projects are getting pushed out and this is causing upset among devs. Smaller teams and studios are either closing, merging, or being made to support larger franchises.

Who created Age of Empires before Relic Entertainment took the reins?

a) Big Huge Games
b) Hidden Path Entertainment
c) Lionhead Studios
d) Ensemble Studios

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.

Some sly ribbing in an infamous world

Infamous 2 from Sucker Punch has a number of movie marquees dotted throughout the game’s world and each are a parody of a game franchise. Little Big Unit is a nod to Little Big Planet, with Latch It and Skank a tongue-in-cheek jibe at Ratchet & Clank.

Infamous 2 was the studio’s last PlayStation 3 title

Call of Booty for Call of Duty, Solid Serpent The Man, The Movie for Metal Gear Solid, Hey, Low Reach for Halo: Reach, Epic Hickey for Epic Mickey, and Assassin’s Need (Love Too) referencing Assassin’s Creed.

Join our community on Twitter and Facebook to discuss today's fact.

Super Meat Boy Forever on the menu

This week features Team Meat’s platformer Super Meat Boy Forever coming to Xbox and PlayStation, joining a classic Square Enix RPG repackaged as SaGa Frontier Remastered, which launched in 1997.

Super Meat Boy Forever is also coming to XBX and PS5

Tuesday – April 13

  • Poison Control for NS, PS4

Wednesday – April 14

  • Tasomachi: Behind the Twilight for PC

Thursday – April 15

  • Fighting EX Layer: Another Dash for NS
  • SaGa Frontier Remastered for PC, NS, PS4, iOS, Droid
  • Shadow Man Remastered for PC
  • Stitchy in Tooki Trouble for NS

Friday – April 16

  • Super Meat Boy Forever for PS4, XBO

Age of Empires 4 launches autumn 2021

Later this year an all-new instalment with Age of Empires 4 is coming to PC through Steam and Windows Store, as well as being available day one through Xbox Game Pass.

Turn William the Bastard into William the Conqueror

A special Fan Preview event was just held revealing some juicy info such as a Norman campaign telling the story of Duke William of Normandy as he wars for control of the English throne.

Eight empires: Age of Empires 4 will span four ages: Medieval, Feudal, Castle, and Imperial. Revealed civilizations so far are the English, the Chinese, the Mongols, and the Delhi Sultanate. More will be added post-launch but we’ll have eight playable from the start.

History at war: There are four planned campaigns in total and they want to cover large stretches of history. “We bridge the gap between missions with these wonderful historical films,” teased narrative lead Philippe Boulle. A closed beta is planned closer to launch.

Oddworld: Soulstorm codes for PC

We have 5 PC codes for Oddworld: Soulstorm to give away. The latest from Oddworld Inhabitants follows Abe's continuing struggle to save his people from becoming tasty snacks.

Oddworld: Soulstorm is the 9th game in the series

If you want to help save the mukodons from being cooked and served, you should visit the Oddworld: Soulstorm PC codes giveaway and learn how you can help us share DailyBits!

Who created Age of Empires before Relic Entertainment took the reins?

ANSWER: Ensemble Studios!

May flights of angels wololo thee to thy rest

Can you imagine how different RTS games would be without Age of Empires? It’s hard not to thanks to Ensemble Studios’ work on the Age of Empires series. Released in 1997, the first Age of Empires game sold remarkably well, especially in Germany. But its sequel was even more successful, with an estimated two million copies sold in three months.

The name actually came from the founder, Tony Goodman, and his original company, which was a consulting firm called Ensemble Corporation. This was probably a better fit, considering how Microsoft bought the company in 2001. Sadly, Ensemble Studios was disbanded in 2009 after developing Halo Wars. It didn’t just leave behind a legacy, but it was also reported to have been worth half a billion dollars!

Today's issue of DailyBits was written by Gavin Herman, Nick Akerman, Erlend Grefsrud, Simon Priest, and Jamie Davey. If you have any feedback or news tips for the team, please email us!