News
Episode
103

Scammers fake HELLDIVERS 2 to lure unsuspecting players on Steam

Plus everything announced at Pokémon Day and ten year old Assassin’s Creed rockets back up charts

NEWS THIS WEEK

RELEASE RADAR

  • THE THAUMATURGE - 4 March 2024 - PC
  • AS DUSK FALLS - 7 March 2024 - PlayStation 4, Playstation 5
  • UNICORN OVERLORD - 8 March 2024 - PlayStation 4, Playstation 5, Switch, Xbox Series X|S,
  • WWE2K24 - 8 March 2024 - PlayStation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PC    

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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

FIONA: Hi I’m Fiona Bartholomaeus

COURTNEY: and I’m Courtney Borrett

FIONA: Welcome to Walkthrough, SIFTER’s weekly recap on the biggest news in video games. 

COURTNEY: This week some undemocratic folk rip off Helldivers 2 on Steam, all the new games announced at Pokémon Day 2024 and Assassin’s Creed Black Flag shoots back up the charts after Skull and Bones launch.

Here is the news for Sunday 3rd of March. Let’s go!

— 

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

FIONA: Watch out for impostors Helldivers, some people who obviously don’t believe in freedom, liberty and the Super Earth way, have been impersonating the game on Steam. 

As spotted by Wario64 on Twitter, at least two games changed their name and all their assets on their steam pages to replicate exactly Helldivers 2, and then made it look like the game was on sale 50% off or 75% to snare unsuspecting players. 

Community manager Thomas “Twinbeard” Petersson said Valve quickly removed the games when notified and after numerous reports from players, 

COURTNEY: Helldivers 2 has been incredibly popular and one of the coolest things is that you have to discover a lot in the game as you play, but one thing that some people just don’t get is that you don’t need to kill your allies for resources.

A trend has emerged where random quick play players would jump into worlds and kill each other for the shared resources….that everyone gets. 

FIONA: Remember friends as Super Citizen grungonoid says “a democratic sample is a shared sample”

COURTNEY: Pokémon Day returned for this year, and it was a bit smaller than in past years, maybe because of the pending release of Switch 2 details.

The biggest announcement of the day was definitely the reveal of a new Pokémon Legends game called Pokémon Legends: Z-A. 

The trailer itself was incredibly vague but we know it’ll be set in Lumiose City from the Kalos region of X and Y so we might be getting a bit more of an open-city than an open-world. No release date as of yet but it’ll be out in 2025.

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are getting new Tera Raid Battle events with the chance to get a Mighty Venusaur, Blastoise or Charizard. The Mighty Venusaur event has already started so jump on now while you can.

FIONA: Pokémon cards are massively popular and an official app is coming to phones later this year, Pokémon Trading Card Game Pocket.

Every day you’ll be able to open two packs for free, which means there almost certainly are microtransactions. The cards will have special visual effects and you can engage in quick battles with streamlined rules of the Pokemon Trading Card Game. 

Pikachu will get a captains hat in Pokémon Go to tie in with the launch of the new anime series, Miraidon, Phalanx and Ceruledge will join the MOBA Pokémon Unite, and Pokémon Masters Ex gets a new event which adds Geeta and Glimmora to the game.

You can check out everything announced at Pokémon Day in the link in our shownotes.

FIONA: The long-awaited launch of pirate game Skull and Bones, has basically reminded everyone how good Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag with player counts spiking on Steam.

Since the release of the 2013 Assassin’s Creed game, player numbers have averaged around 1,000, it peaked on February 25 at 3,594 but hasn’t dipped back under 2500 just yet.

COURTNEY: Skull and Bones isn’t out on Steam yet, only available on PC via the Epic Games Store, so we can’t see how it compares.

So if you wanted to save your pieces of eight and find out if the pirate life is for you, why not dig through your back catalogue for buried treasure like Black Flag. 

COURTNEY: The number of studios that have sacked workers continues to grow, we’re about 60 days into 2024 and according to reporting from Zack Zwiezen at Kotaku more than 8,300 developers have lost their jobs. 

This week it was Wildfire Studios, EA who have also cancelled Respawns Star Wars FPS, Life is Strange developer Deck Nine, and Until Dawn and The Quarry developer Supermassive Games.

Playstation will lose around 900 staff across reductions at Guerilla Games, Naughty Dog, Insomniac, Firesprite, and shutter London Studio, makers of games like SingStar.

Indie studio Die Gute Fabrik halted production on the 19th of February making 10 staff immediately redundant and will give the rest about a month’s more more work as it tries to find more funding.

FIONA: There are some glimmers of hope in all this never ending bad news, with a couple of studios looking to become independent again after being acquired. 

Toys For Bob announced they were leaving Activision Blizzard and were going independent. The Crash Bandicoot and Spyro studio said they were already working on a partnership with their former owners at Microsoft too.

Borderlands developer Gearbox might escape from Embracer Group which has been on a sacking spree after a big deal fell over, Ethan Gach at Kotaku is reporting that a decision has been made about being sold to another studio.

And finally Remedy Games have been able to buy back Control from 505 Games, and all future sequels and spinoffs for €17 million, about $28 million Australian dollars, with Remedy saying they’ll have better control of the future of the series.

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

COURTNEY: The Thaumaturge is a turn-based RPG set at the turn of the 20th century in Warsaw packed with spooky demons made by the Frostpunk veterans at 11bit Studios. Experience the rich story on PC from the 4th of March

FIONA: After spending a couple of years as an Xbox and PC exclusive, the narrative driven adventure As Dusk Falls is coming to PlayStation. It’s been generally well reviewed since initial release, so If you’re a fan of the Telltale games or Until Dawn, this could be worth picking up when it comes to PlayStation on the 7th.

COURTNEY: March into battle with the brand new tactical RPG Unicorn Overlord. Lead exiled prince Alain against the Zenoiran Empire in large-scale, real-time battles across the war-torn continent of Fevrith in this modern nod to classic '90s tactical games, with plenty of Fire Emblem in there too. That’s out on PlayStation, Xbox and Switch on the 8th. Gianni and Adam are excited for this one.

FIONA: And also out on the 8th is the latest in the WWE series, WWE2K24. I wonder if Perth Stadium will feature as an arena? Expect a bunch of new features and microtransactions to sink your teeth into when it launches on PlayStation, Xbox and PC this Friday.

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

COURTNEY: And my name is Courtney Borrett, thank you so much for listening. 

FIONA: Want to support SIFTER? Tell your mates! Send them a link, download it on their phones, hit like and subscribe to the sifterHQ channel on YouTube. You know your friends best so a personal recommendation helps our work find new fans. And we’ll be a fan of you! 

COURTNEY: SIFTER is produced by myself, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Kyle Pauletto, 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.

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.

COURTNEY: 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

Unicorn Overlord

PlayStation 5
XBOX SERIES X|S
SWITCH
Developer:
Vanillaware
Publisher:
ATLUS / SEGA
Release Date:
March 7, 2024
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