News
Episode
121

HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST television show on pause after allegations against showrunner

Plus Nintendo Puzzle Swap players find the final elusive puzzle after 13 years and Helldivers 2 loses majority of its PC players after seven months

NEWS THIS WEEK

RELEASE RADAR

  • ARK OF CHARON - 9 July 2024 - PC
  • ONCE HUMAN - 10 July 2024 - PC
  • ANGER FOOT  - 12 July 2024 - PC

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SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Courtney Smith, 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

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 Helldivers 2 loses the majority of its PC players, 3DS Puzzle Swap players have discovered the final missing piece after 13 years, and the Horizon TV series is canned before it even begins.

Here is the news for Sunday 7th of July. Let’s go!

— 

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

KYLE: Seven months on from its phenomenal release, Helldivers 2 has lost 90% of its PC player base. 

Just four months ago, the co-op Terminator slash Starship Troopers sim had an insane concurrent player peak of 458,000 players on Steam, but today the number has dropped to around 38,000.

While most live service games taper off eventually, it is worth noting that of that 90% who have abandoned democracy, 63% of them did so in May shortly after the PSN account requirement controversy, suggesting that even though it was rolled back, it may have had a bigger impact on the future of this game than first thought. 

FIONA: While the framing of this story has been leaning into the negative, I would say most people got their money’s worth with this one. 

And if continual growth is the only measure of an online games success, then maybe we need to be reassessing what the hell we want from developers. 

And hey, if Sony wants to boost those numbers back up, they could always release on Xbox…just saying. 

FIONA: Sadly it doesn’t look like we’ll get to see the world of Horizon Zero Dawn on the big screen, as the Netflix show has apparently been scrapped.

Rolling Stone’s Cheyenne Rountree reported that the cancellation was due to a string of allegations around the showrunner Steve Blackman for toxic, bullying and manipulative behaviour in the workplace.

Twelve former staff members have spoken out with the allegations but right now neither Netflix or Sony have said anything about the allegations or the state of the TV show.

KYLE: To be honest, we actually didn’t know that much about the show. The title, casting details and everything else were kept firmly under wraps although the rumoured project title was Horizon 2074.

It may be a while before we see Aloy in real life but there is heaps of Horizon games on the way, with brick-based spin-off Lego Horizon Adventures set to be released sometime this year and Guerilla Games is working on an online spin-off of the series, and let’s not forget the long-rumoured Horizon MMO that’s been a floating rumour for years.

— 

KYLE: The Vatican has announced that the Catholic Church will canonise its first gamer saint.

Carlo Acutis was known as ‘God’s Influencer’ as he shared gospel online and through playing video games, with Halo, Super Mario and Pokemon being his favourites.

He unfortunately passed away at 15 from leukaemia but dedicated his life to spreading awareness of the Catholic faith and helping others.

FIONA: The process to become a saint can take decades or sometimes hundreds of years, as the person has to have two distinct miracles attributed to them, which are examined by church authorities.

Once canonised he will become the Catholic Church’s first ‘millennial saint’.

Last year ‘The Acutis Game’ was announced and it’s reportedly the first Catholic open-world metaverse. It features Carlo Acutis as the main character and the game follow him as he time travels to meet other saints and key figures of Catholic history.

FIONA: A group of Nintendo 3DS Street Pass fans aren’t puzzled anymore as they’ve finally completed Puzzle Swap.

It’s the first time, since StreetPass Mii Plaza: Puzzle Swap released 13 years ago, that it has been officially 100% completed, 

This challenge was made harder every single day because StreetPass relies on people carrying around a 3DS powered on as they move through the world, which of course is pretty unlikely these days.

For months the small community have been trying to find every puzzle made available on the Street Pass app, including multiple time and region limited puzzles that are now quite rare.

KYLE: But as of this week, they finally tracked down the final rare puzzle which was aeroplane-themed.

It all happened after a random person emailed Benny, the community leader, with a friend code and zip file with the text "I hope the following information is exactly what you're looking for."

After the community worked together to decrypt the data and put it into a usable format, the final picture was revealed.

Congratulations guys, what an awesome and incredibly nerdy achievement. 

— 

FIONA: And an odd one to finish off the news this week. A kind of online hostess club was launched for Overwatch players via Twitter, where players could pay to have a woman game with them. 

And if having a gamer girlfriend isn’t your cup of tea, some simple flirting was available, or in some cases they would simply talk to you over voice chat. 

The top priced service that was listed with detail was the falling asleep option, where the hostess will speak to you over chat for two hours while you fall asleep.

But then there’s the exceptionally pricey hidden option, the details of which were not available. So we’ll just leave that up to you to imagine what could be on offer there. 

KYLE: Of course this was promptly shut down, with outlets reporting that an unhappy Blizzard is behind the crackdown.

Thankfully for all you lonely gamers, just as fast as the Overwatch club was shut down, it was replaced with one for Apex Legends.

What a time to be alive.

— 

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

KYLE: It’s a big week for some ripper indie titles you might have missed. First up is Ark of Charon, a tower defence colony sim where you mine, craft, and build a civilization all on the back of a giant walking tree. Oh and you’re being attacked by monsters too. Grab it on PC on the 9th. 

FIONA: Next we have Once Human, a multiplayer post-apocalyptic survival game akin to Sons of the Forest. It looks really ambitious for a first time developer, and is definitely one to keep an eye out for if you’re a fan of the genre. It's out on PC this coming Wednesday. 

KYLE: And finally, out Friday is Anger Foot. This game looks insane. It’s a super stylized fast paced FPS that focuses on giving people the boot whenever you have the opportunity. Even just the gameplay trailers for this one are worth checking out. It looks like a lot of fun, and it’ll be out on PC on the 12th, and keep an eye on sifter.com.au for Gianni’s review.

— 

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

— 

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 link again is sifter.com.au/support or check the shownotes

KYLE: SIFTER is produced by Fiona Bartholomaeus, myself, Adam Christou, Courtney Smith and Chris Button. The episode is edited by both Senior Producer Mitch Loh and Executive Producer Gianni Di Giovanni, who is also Walkthrough’s script editor.

FIONA: Thanks to Brian Fairbanks from Salty Dog Sounds for composing the Walkthrough theme tune, and Audio Technica Australia and Apple for their support of SIFTER’s podcasts.

KYLE: We’ll be back with more news next Sunday. See you then.

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Helldivers 2

PlayStation 5
PC
Developer:
Arrowhead Game Studios
Publisher:
PlayStation Studios
Release Date:
February 8, 2024

Horizon Forbidden West

PS4
PlayStation 5
Developer:
Guerrilla Games
Publisher:
Sony Interactive Entertainment
Release Date:
February 18, 2022

Anger Foot

PC
Developer:
Free Lives
Publisher:
Devolver Digital
Release Date:
July 12, 2024
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