Plus Atari buys Digital Eclipse as part of their retro-focussed work and Xbox clamps down on third-party controllers
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SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Daniel Ang, Adam Christou and Chris Button. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer. Thanks to Audio Technica Australia for their support of SIFTER.
KYLE: Hi I’m Kyle Pauletto
FIONA: and I’m Fiona Bartholomaeus
KYLE: Welcome to Walkthrough, SIFTER’s weekly recap on the biggest news in video games.
FIONA: This week bad luck for the turbo buttons as Xbox cracks down on unlicensed controllers, Itch developers show their support for civilians in Gaza, and BlizzCon returns with new stuff for Warcraft. Overwatch and Diablo IV.
Here is the news for Sunday 5th of November. Let’s go!
PROMO: Join the SIFTER community on Discord at sifter.com.au/discord
KYLE: BlizzCon, Blizzard Entertainment’s regular convention in Anaheim California returned after a four year break and brought with it a stack of gaming news.
Head underground in the next World of Warcraft expansion The War Within, a secret underground realm that was there all along, this expansion looks to be focusing on the dwarven and earthen lore with some creepy spider nerubian stories thrown into the mix.
They also announced two other expansions as part of what they are calling “The Worldsoul Saga” Midnight and The Last Titan, which is pretty surprising seeing as they are normally pretty hush hush about what comes next.
FIONA: Speaking of Warcraft, mobile game Warcraft Rumble officially launches worldwide today, the autobattler has you placing little miniatures on a board and letting them fight it out.
It’s a little bit like a tower defence game, a bit MOBA like as well, but you can pick it up for free now on Android and iPhone.
KYLE: The first full expansion for Diablo IV has a name, it’s called “Vessel of Hatred” which launches in late 2024.
This time you get to visit nice colourful jungles rather than the grimdark grey and black of the original game, and will also feature a brand new playable class on launch.
FIONA: Overwatch 2 will get a new tank character called Mauga the Samoan hero, who has dual chain guns and can hand out infinite ammo to team mates.
There is also a new Japanese themed map called Hanaoka which is inspired by Hanamura from the original game.
Speaking of Overwatch 2, esports reporter Jacob Wolf is reporting that franchise holders of the Overwatch League will be voting on its future soon, with the esports company ESL likely to take over the new format competition.
KYLE: There will be more to come from all of these Blizzard Games so to stay up to date make sure you keep it locked to Walkthrough.
FIONA: Some game-changing news for younger siblings everywhere, Microsoft has announced a clampdown on unauthorised third-party accessories for Xbox consoles.
Players using unlicensed USB-connected devices have already been hit with an error message indicating these accessories will be blocked after November 17th.
What is likely, is some of those third party adapters that let Xbox console players use a Keyboard and mouse that pretends to be a controller could be facing the axe, after players complained it definitely gave an unfair advantage especially against other controller players.
KYLE: Smaller third-party manufacturers, particularly those producing wireless controllers, seem to be the target of the new measures, while the officially licensed third-party products, like those by SCUF and Turtle Beach, will continue to work as usual.
While Microsoft claims this new policy is to ensure performance, security, and safety, it has sparked concerns among users who rely on third-party devices, especially those using third party controllers for accessibility.
KYLE: You don’t get more retro than Atari and this week they are leaning even further in with purchase of the studio Digital Eclipse for US$20 million.
Digital Eclipse’s work has included a lot of arcade ports to consoles and PC including the recent ‘Mega Man Legacy Collection’ and ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection’ but they also created the acclaimed game documentaries ‘Atari 50: The Anniversary Collection’ and ‘The Making of Karateka’.
FIONA: Atari have also purchased the retro community and marketplace AtariAge, and developer Nightdive Studios.
The company is really committing to its retro-focused work with the announcement of the Atari 2600+ which sets you back about $190 AUD. It contains 10 games in one cartridge, the classic joystick and it features a HDMI output to current TVs.
Sounds like there’s a lot on the way from Atari, and it’ll be great to see what they do next.
FIONA: Developers on Itch have launched a new collection of games to raise money for Medical Aid for Palestinian civilians in the Games for Gaza bundle.
So far the fundraising effort has been a big success, quickly surpassing its initial goal of $10,000… like really surpassed it. At time of writing, it’s sitting at a massive US$280,000.
This bundle was organised by Esther Wallace of Oak Grove Games, but the community of developers have a good history of donating their games for good causes.
KYLE: The charitable bundle offers a collection of around 256 indie games, TTRPGs, soundtracks, and interactive novels for just $10, and will be available until the 9th.
If you need some recommendations from the bundle, check out the spellcasting TTRPG Inventing Incantations, Beam Saber, Hyper Gunsport, or the multiplayer game orchids to dusk.
KYLE: The soulslike RPG Lies of P has been revealed to be getting a sequel after the huge success of the game.
Jiwon Choi, the director of the game, announced that sales hit one million copies in October and let it slip that a sequel was already in development.
FIONA: Not many details were revealed other than the fact it would be a full game, but until then there is still plenty of content slated for the first game, including a DLC, an upcoming patch to rebalance some blades and monsters, and full release of the Lies of P soundtrack.
FIONA: If you’ve clocked Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 you might have noticed a couple of familiar names in the credits, Firefly fans in particular were thrilled to see Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk voiced characters in the game.
But while they got a credit, it didn’t say exactly who they were playing, until some people with an ear for voices found our two heroes.
If you want to find these two and check out some of their lines, head to Teo’s on the northern side of Little Odessa.
AUDIO - “Spider-man! Oh you’re not going to believe it, or maybe you will, I bet you’ve seen some things. This guy right here, my man, he saved a life! Right?
It’s true, you should’ve been there. When those monsters, when they started showing up everywhere, I saw them cornering him in his bodega and yeah. I mean I distracted them long enough for him to just get on out of there. And then I got on out of there.
No one at the bodega tried to help me, not even Kyle and he’s always going on about ‘I go to the gym’ but this guy did! So I quit, I'm putting those fat paychecks to good use by starting our own bodega with a new superhero mascot.”
KYLE: In other Marvel news Insomniac’s Spider-Man 2 Director Bryan Intihar confirmed that the upcoming Wolverine game also made by the studio would be in the same universe as the Spider-Man games.
Intihar said they made a decision not to put any extra easter eggs though in this game to let that team have “time to cook”.
KYLE: And Bungie joins the long list of studios who have sacked their developers, with around 100 or so or approximately 8% of the studio now without jobs.
It includes Michael Salvatori a composer who had been with the company since before Halo, and Lorraine Lees who designed the original Halo logos and many other senior devs.
FIONA: In a letter posted to the Bungie site signed by the “Destiny 2 Dev Team” the studio acknowledged they’d lost a lot of the player’s trust and noted the feedback and concerns from players.
Whether the game can recover from this point remains to be seen, but we’ll follow what this Sony owned studio does next.
FIONA: That’s it for the big headlines, here’s what’s coming out over the next week
KYLE: Get your sports nerd on this week with Football Manager 2024. Chart your team's rise with enhanced tactics and immersive gameplay, and if you played last years edition you can even transfer your progress to keep the winning streak going. That’s coming to PC, Switch, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series S/X on the 6th.
FIONA: The Invincible is a return to the walking simulators of the early to mid 2000s with a stylish scifi mystery set on a forbidden planet. Based on the novel by Stanisław Lem it’s out on PlayStation, Xbox and PC on the 6th as well.
KYLE: Step back into the shoes of Kazuma Kiryu in Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name. Sneak through the shadows of Osaka and Yokohama in a story set between the events of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life and Yakuza: Like a Dragon. Pick it up on PC, PlayStation, and Xbox on the 9th.
FIONA: Cuisineer is a dungeon crawling restaurant management game where you fight through areas collecting ingredients for your next dish. It’s got a cute art style for those anthro fans out there, you know who you are. It’s on the menu for PC players from the 10th.
KYLE: And also out on the 10th is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III. Not to be mistaken for Call of Duty Modern Warfare III from 2011 though. Expect the same intense multiplayer with remastered maps, new weapons, and kids yelling profanities into your headset. It does look good though, and I am keen to get stuck in when it comes to PC, PlayStation, and Xbox this Friday.
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KYLE: This has been Walkthrough by SIFTER, my name is Kyle Pauletto
FIONA: And my name is Fiona Bartholomaeus.
KYLE: If you’re looking for something to listen to now you’ve reached the end of Walkthrough, why not check out our review show Drop Rate! You were on the latest episode weren’t you Fiona?
FIONA: That’s right we get back into the swing of things with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 on PlayStation 5.
KYLE: Hosted by Chris Button and featuring great games journalists, such as our Fi, sharing their thoughts and feelings on the newest games. Search for SIFTER Drop Rate in your podcast player now, look for the green icon. That’s SIFTER and DROP RATE
FIONA: SIFTER is produced by myself, Kyle Pauletto, Adam Christou, Daniel Ang and Chris Button. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer who edited this episode, and Gianni Di Giovanni is the Walkthrough script editor, SIFTER’s executive producer.
KYLE: Thanks to Brian Fairbanks from Salty Dog Sounds for composing the Walkthrough theme tune and Audio Technica Australia for their support of SIFTER’s podcasts.
FIONA: We’ll be back with more news next Sunday.