News
Episode
105

Developers panic after Warner Bros delist their games

Plus a trailer is leaked for a cancelled multiplayer Spider-Man game and Embracer sells Sabre Interactive

NEWS THIS WEEK

RELEASE RADAR

  • MLB THE SHOW 24 - 19 March 2024 - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch
  • ALONE IN THE DARK - 20 March 2024 - PC, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5
  • DRAGONS DOGMA II - 22 March 2024 - PC, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5
  • RISE OF THE RONIN - 22 March 2024 - PlayStation 5
  • PRINCESS PEACH: SHOWTIME - 22 March 2024 - Switch

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SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Courtney Borrett, 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.

TRANSCRIPT

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 Star Wars Battlefront has a rough takeoff, we get a look at a leaked multiplayer spider-man game, and a bunch of former Adult Swim games have been delisted by parent company Warner shocking their developers.

Here is the news for Sunday 17th of March. Let’s go!

— 

PROMO: Join the SIFTER community on Discord at sifter.com.au/discord

KYLE: A trailer has just leaked for multiplayer Spider-Man spin-off game, Spider-Man: The Great Web and boy does it look awesome. 

Play as iconic Web-heads like Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy and of course Peter Parker exploring New York, as well as a heap of other dimensions that suggests a pretty heavy Spider-verse influence. 

FIONA: Despite the promising co-op concept, Bloomberg's Jason Schreier has reported the project was shelved in 2023, it’s an interesting insight into a game that must’ve been so far along it had a full marketing trailer produced.  

Sadly it’s not all fun and games, as this leak was part of a significant data breach at Insomniac last year, which also exposed the personal details of developers at the studio. 

— 

FIONA: It’s a sad day for developers on Adult Swim as more games are being delisted and there isn’t much hope of them moving to new owners.

Warner Bros. who acquired Adult Swim back in 2022, have been sending out messages to various developers saying their games will immediately be delisted from digital storefronts.

Puzzle game ‘Small Radios Big Televisions’ has already disappeared, with other games including Soundodger+ and Fist Puncher also about to vanish.

Fist Puncher developer Matt Kain said they’ve tried to get Warner Bros. to transfer their game to their Steam publisher account so it can stay active, but got a very solid no in response.

According to them Warner Bros. said it’s because they’ve made the decision not to transfer games back to the original studios and they don’t have the resources to do so.

KYLE: It’s important to note that these developers didn’t choose to work with Warner Bros. Discovery, it’s just because their publishing contracts moved over when Adult Swim Games was bought out.

Interestingly though other games like Soundodger+ are being allowed to republish on Steam but they essentially have to start from scratch with 0 reviews and 0 wishlists, instead of transferring the game.

It’s not every game that is being delisted. Many developers still haven't been contacted but with this happening, I’m sure they’re all really nervous about what might happen to their content.

— 

KYLE: Speaking of Warner Bros., MultiVersus is returning in May to a console near you.

The Super Smash-like game featuring characters like Bugs Bunny, Scooby Doo, Adventure Time, originally launched in 2022 as a free-to-play open beta but shut down mid last year.

The game will be getting a lot of improvements, including more characters and iconic locations like Dexter’s Laboratory, new attacks and mechanics, new PvE mode with unique rewards, and the biggest change of all is the game switching engines to Unreal Engine 5.

FIONA: Kyle did you ever expect to see this game again especially after the mixed reviews and low player counts which lead it being shut down? 

KYLE: Absolutely not, I thought this was fully dead. And I forgot that it ever existed in the first place. 

FIONA Some people were annoyed they had spent money on in-game cosmetics and essentially lost access to the game, and others had no idea it was a beta at all.

Hopefully they’ll get what they bought back, when it launches on almost every console on May 28th.

— 

FIONA: In an exciting announcement from Ubisoft, more content is on the way for its latest Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown game.

The first content on the post-launch roadmap is Warrior’s Path, which will include a speedrun mode, permadeath mode and new outfits of Sargon.

The second DLC called Boss Attack will have Boss Rush and more outfits, and the Divine Trials DLC will have new combat, platform and puzzle challenges, as well as new amulets and of course more outfits.

KYLE: All three of the DLCs will be entirely free before we get one more paid DLC at the end of the year which will be a new story.

There’s not a lot of details about what some of these modes are, but either way it’s exciting to get new content. So if you haven’t had the chance to jump into the game, now is the perfect time.

— 

KYLE: Developers Aspyr have formally apologised for the atrocious launch of the highly anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection.

The game launched earlier this week, and gamers were pumped to jump back into the classic fan-favourite, but sadly for everyone involved it was not the experience anyone was hoping for. 

From the get-go there were severe server issues and bugs, With most players being completely locked out from the multiplayer aspect of the game…which is honestly the only reason anyone wanted to play at all. 

FIONA: Despite Aspyr adding more servers, players continued to report persistent problems that went further than just struggling to get into a game, with many left disappointed by poorly executed mechanics like the clunky aiming system.  

The Embracer owned Aspyr has apologised and said that the issues are due to critical network errors, promising ongoing fixes to stabilise online play. 

— 

FIONA: Speaking of Embracer the mega corporation is ditching studios almost as quickly as it acquired them, this week Saber Interactive was sold off for US$247m

It means that studios that sit under Saber like 3D Realms who made Ion Fury, or Nimble Giant who make Star Trek Infinite will have a new home, and the new owner will have the option to also pick up 4A Games who make the Metro series.

KYLE: All in all 9 studios are up for grabs and this means Embracer will also cease all game development in Russia. 

They aren’t giving up some studios that were formerly under Saber though, Tripwire Interactive who make Chivalry, Beamdog who made Mythforce, and Aspyr who lead all those remaster projects alongside five others will stay with Embracer.

Hopefully this means some of the painful studio closures have been avoided. 

— 

KYLE: That’s it for the big headlines, here are the games coming out this week

FIONA: Out Tuesday is MLB The Show 24. Build your dream team with modern and historic baseball legends in the latest entry in the series. That's coming to Xbox, PlayStation and Switch on the 19th. 

KYLE: Dive back into the shadows with Alone in the Dark, a kind of reboot slash reimagining of the 1992 horror classic. Pick it up on PlayStation 5, PC, and Xbox Series S and X on the 20th.

FIONA: After 12 long years of waiting, the Dragon’s Dogma sequel is finally here. Expect a massively expanded map four times the size of the original, destructible environments, and a heap of new gameplay features. Dragon’s Dogma 2 will be available on PC, Xbox Series S and X, and PlayStation 5 this Friday.

KYLE: Embark on a historic journey in Rise of the Rōnin, the PlayStation 5 exclusive out on the 22nd. Craft your character and wield katanas or firearms in a tumultuous 19th-century Japan. Explore cities and countryside with diverse traversal methods, and tackle challenges solo or in three-player co-op. Early reports are pretty optimistic, so keep an eye out for this one. 

FIONA: And the last release for this coming Friday is Princess Peach: Showtime, Nintendo’s first Peach-led game since 2005. Join Peach and her new ally Stella on a theatrical adventure, wielding transformation powers from Swordfighter to Mermaid Peach. Grab it exclusive to the Switch on the 22nd.

— 

PROMO: Articles to read, videos to watch and podcasts to listen to on sifter.com.au

— 

KYLE: This has been Walkthrough by SIFTER, my name is Kyle Pauletto

FIONA: And my name is Fiona Bartholomaeus, thank you so much for listening. 

KYLE: Walkthrough is up for an award this week! We’re nominated for Best Audio show at the Samsung IT Journalism awards, so keep your fingers crossed for us. SIFTER has also been nominated as best independent outlet and Courtney Borrett, Chris Button and Gianni Di Giovanni have also been nominated so send those good vibes our way next Friday!  

FIONA: SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, myself, Courtney Borrett, Adam Christou, Daniel Ang and Chris Button. The episode is edited by both Senior Producer Mitch Loh and Executive Producer Gianni Di Giovanni, who also is Walkthrough’s script editor.

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. See you then.

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Marvel's Spider-Man 2

PlayStation 5
Developer:
Insomniac
Publisher:
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date:
October 20, 2023
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