Plus RPG Broken Roads gets delayed and Fortnite sets records with new season
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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.
FIONA: Hi I’m Fiona Bartholomaeus
KYLE: and I’m Kyle Pauletto
FIONA: Welcome to Walkthrough, SIFTER’s weekly recap on the biggest news in video games.
KYLE: This week Nintendo and Sony are working on a live action Zelda movie, Valve announces the Steam Deck OLED, and Aussie indie CRPG Broken Roads is delayed a week before launch.
Here is the news for Sunday 12th of November. Let’s go!
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KYLE: Get ready to grab the master sword and head to Hyrule, as this week it was officially revealed that a Zelda movie is in the works.
Announced on the official Japanese Nintendo site, The Legend of Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto will produce alongside Avi Arad, one of the producers of the recent Spider-verse films. It’ll be co-financed by Nintendo and Sony Picture Entertainment and directed by Wes Ball of The Maze Runner series.
There have been theories about a Zelda movie for years but with the release of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, those rumours picked up.
FIONA: We’re already curious about what flavour of Zelda it’ll be, will it adapt one of the existing games or will it be a completely new story? And will Link speak?
The Mario movie was surprisingly good, so with cautious hope we’ll keep an eye out for more details and bring you the latest on Walkthrough each week.
FIONA: Valve announced this week that they were putting some shiny new components into their handheld, with a new model called the Steam Deck OLED.
It’s got a slightly larger screen at the same 1280x800 resolution, but that new OLED is much brighter and has a higher refresh rate so it promises to look prettier.
There is also improved battery life and bluetooth connectivity, but under the hood it’s not a full revision, mostly sticking to what worked well with the first device.
Valve designers Lawrence Yang and Pierre-Loup Griffais also confirmed to The Verge that they have sold “multiple millions of Steam Decks since its July 2021 launch”.
KYLE: There are two standard models available when it launches next week on the 16th of November a 512GB model for US$549, and a 1TB version for US$649 which works out to be approximately $860 and $1,020 Australian dollars respectively.
BUUUTTTT if we’re talking about respect, Valve still refuses to sell the Steam Deck here in Australia, which feels pretty disrespectful if we’re going to be honest.
It’s available to order for people in US, Canada, European Union, and United Kingdom, as well as Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan now. Good for them. I’m soooo happy for them.
KYLE: If you were looking forward to experiencing the post-apocalyptic RPG Broken Roads next week, unfortunately you’re going to have to wait a little bit longer.
Drop Bear Bytes announced this week that they would delay their November 14 release date until early next year, as they spend more time on polishing and QA testing to make sure it’s the best possible game for their fans.
FIONA: The game is now content complete according to Drop Bear Bytes and is actually longer than they originally planned, now coming in at around 30 hours of gameplay.
Either way, we’re looking forward to when this game arrives on Windows, Xbox and Switch.
FIONA: After just six years, the Overwatch League is officially powering down, with Blizzard confirming a major shift in their esports strategy.
It's a bittersweet farewell to the ambitious project, which attempted to shake things up by going for a more NFL-style franchise system than the typical esports structure.
Interest in esports and Overwatch itself cooled a lot since the league’s launch, which meant this felt a bit like a foregone conclusion when it was revealed the league had financial issues.
KYLE: Activision Blizzard is gearing up to shell out a whopping $120 million in termination fees to the 20 teams involved.
But on a positive note, this likely isn't the end of competitive Overwatch altogether. There are whispers of a new, more open format for 2024. So stay tuned to Walkthrough for the latest.
KYLE: It’s been six years since Fortnite released and they’re still hitting record after record, this time breaking their all-time one-day player record.
On Saturday 4th of November, 44.7 million players jumped online for the launch of the latest season, Fortnite OG, which brought back the original Chapter 1 map.
FIONA: These players collectively clocked 102 million hours of play and at one point, according to live stats tracker Fortnite.gg, reached 6.2 million concurrent players.
FIONA: Sad news for those eagerly waiting for Revenant Hill, the Night in the Woods follow up has been cancelled.
Developers The Glory Society made the heavy decision after members were forced to step away from production due to serious health issues.
KYLE: From the wording on the site it also looks like The Glory Society is taking a step back and potentially going on hiatus as well.
Small indie teams often have to work in many different roles, so to lose one or two members can make a big impact. We wish all the devs at The Glory Society all the best and hope their health improves.
KYLE: Aladdin X, the minds behind the surprise viral hit Suika Game aka Watermelon Game, have announced they have sold 3.66 million copies globally.
Speaking with Japanese Video Game magazine Famitsu, a representative from Aladdin X said Japan accounts for the lion's share with 3.27 million, while international sales have surpassed 390,000 after releasing on the Switch and offering support for English, Korean, and Chinese language settings.
FIONA: Suika Game is simple. Players just need to align similar fruits, culminating in a large watermelon, all while grappling with the fruits' unpredictable rolling.
It sounds silly, but that hasn’t stopped it captivating players worldwide, and we here at SIFTER are absolutely all for it.
FIONA: Long running video game site The Escapist has imploded this week after the sacking of Editor-in-chief Nick Calandra for “not meeting goals” put in place by parent company Gamurs Group.
The entire video team at The Escapist quit in solidarity including Yahtzee Croshaw, creator of the extremely popular Zero Punctuation animated review series.
These staff have launched a creator owned outlet called Second Wind and have opened up crowdfunding to support their work.
KYLE: It comes in a week where ex-Kotaku US writers Nathan Grayson, Gita Jackson, Riley MacLeod, and Luke Plunkett launched Aftermath, a new video games and culture site in which they are all co-owners.
It’s clear that the commercialised venture capital-backed games journalism is increasingly not working, so as a small indie outlet ourselves we’re hoping that these incredibly talented people can show that this model works at scale.
KYLE: And the sad news continues, with Australian developers Samurai Punk announcing that after a decade, the company is ceasing development and parting ways.
Their story began in 2014, and they’ve since delivered nine really interesting, boundary pushing indie titles.
FIONA: In a statement posted to their website and socials, founders Winston Tang and Nick McDonnell said they're grateful for the community's support and will continue to maintain their existing projects, and thanked the players and fans for a remarkable journey filled with shared adventures and achievements.
From everyone at Sifter we say good luck with the future guys, looking forward to seeing what comes next.
KYLE: That’s it for the big headlines, here’s what’s coming out over the next week
FIONA: Hogwarts Legacy is finally coming to Switch after months of delays. This one was a massive hit when it released on other platforms earlier this year, and it’ll be interesting to see how it holds up on the Nintendo hardware on the 14th.
KYLE: Cool farming sim Coral Island launches from Early Access onto PC, Xbox, and PlayStation, packed with interesting characters and chill vibes. Check out our interview with Stairway Games’ Soma Putera in the Lightmap podcast archives if you want to learn more about the making of this game.
FIONA: Get your moody goth on this week in The Last Faith, a metroidvania soulslike coming to all platforms on Wednesday. Navigate a dark mediaeval world with a vast arsenal of weaponry, and unravel the past of Eryk, a character tormented by forgotten memories. That’s out on all platforms on the 15th.
KYLE: Head back into the world of Persona with Persona 5 Tactica. Join the Phantom Thieves in an alternate realm where war rules and alliances are key. Master grid-based battles, summon Personas, and forge a revolution against the oppressive Legionnaires. Out on all platforms this Friday.
FIONA: Rediscover a classic with the Super Mario RPG remake coming to Switch on the 17th. This time Mario's little venture into the RPG genre is in full 3D, have the option to choose between original or new soundtracks, and it includes enhanced battle mechanics. Plus, explore new post-game challenges and a handy bestiary. Jump in on the Switch this Friday.
KYLE: And guaranteed game of the year Bluey The Video Game launches bringing fun for the whole family on everything from the 17th, though disappointingly it was made by a Spanish studio Artax Games rather than a you beaut rigdy didge Aussie dev. Mitch is hyped for this so keep an eye out for our review on sifter.com.au.
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FIONA: This has been Walkthrough by SIFTER, my name is Fiona Bartholomaeus
KYLE: And my name is Kyle Pauletto, thank you so much for listening.
FIONA: We know you love our podcasts, so why not become a monthly backer on Ko-Fi? Your support lets us keep making our shows and it’s easy to do, head to sifter.com.au/support where support starts from just $1 a month that address again is sifter.com.au/support
KYLE: SIFTER is produced by myself, Fiona Bartholomaeus, 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, and SIFTER’s executive producer.
FIONA: 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.
KYLE: Thanks again for listening, we’ll be back with more news next Sunday.