Plus Austria orders Sony to refund FIFA customers after new gambling ruling and POKÉMON SCARLET & VIOLET bug deletes save files
NEWS THIS WEEK
You can support SIFTER's independent gaming journalism by
☕ Tipping us on KoFi https://www.ko-fi.com/sifterHQ
👕 Wearing our merch https://sifter.store/
💬 Talking to us on the SIFTER Discord https://www.sifter.com.au/discord
SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Daniel Ang& Adam Christou. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer. Thanks to Omny Studio 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 Starfield gets a delayed release date, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet players are warned of a major save-file bug and rumours indicate Counter Strike 2 is almost here.
Here is the news for Sunday 12th of March. Let’s go!
PROMO: Join the SIFTER community on Discord at sifter.com.au/discord
FIONA: This week Bethesda has announced that Starfield will be delayed…again.
The new release date has been confirmed for September 6 and will launch on PC and Xbox Series X and S.
Originally slated for November 11 2022, Starfield is the first new IP from Bethesda Game studios in 25 years and promises to bring Bethesda’s openworld RPG gameplay to a science fiction setting.
That’s not the only Starfield news - Microsoft also announced a Starfield Direct livestream for June 11 - right after the Xbox Games Showcase, which will hopefully provide a deeper insight on what to expect.
KYLE: A late game is a good game..or at least a better game than it would have been I’d hope.So I say take your time Bethesda, we don’t need another Fallout 76 situation on our hands.
KYLE: After a disappointing launch late last year, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet is still giving players trouble.
According to some players, connecting their game to Pokemon Go since downloading the latest update has completely wiped their save files.
The consequences of downloading the new DLC have been varied, with some more serious than others. But players are convinced the issue is with the update, and the connection to Pokemon Go.
Nintendo hasn’t officially responded to the claims yet, and luckily this seems to only be affecting a small number of players. But it definitely has a lot of people spooked.
FIONA: In other, less video game related Pokemon news, a new species of cockroach discovered in Singapore has been named Nocticola Pheromosa, after the bug type pokemon Pheromosa. And I think that’s pretty neat.
FIONA: The rumour mill is grinding away and it looks like we might get our hands on Counter Strike 2 sooner rather than later.
Despite not being officially announced by Valve, games journalist Richard Lewis said the game has been in the works for a while and we could see it later this month or early next.
It’s being backed up by some datamined drivers launched for Nvidia graphics card for a game called csgos2.exe and cs2.exe
You don’t need drivers unless it is almost ready to go, and you might remember that we reported that Counter strike hit a peak all time player record recently, so now would be a perfect time for a new game.
Nothing official yet but hey it’s a good rumour.
KYLE: This is pretty exciting stuff. I’m definitely taking it with a grain of salt, but secretly hoping this is all true.
KYLE: Publisher Paradox Interactive held a showcase this week, announcing a whole bunch of games and updates that are on the way.
The popular city builder and strategy game Cities: Skylines 2 is coming to more platforms, promising realistic transportation and economy systems, construction improvements and customization options. You’ll be able to grab that on Playstation 5, Xbox Series X and S and PC later this year.
Crusader Kings 3 is getting a new expansion called Tours and Tournaments. Players will be able to explore their monarch’s realm, host or fight in grand tournaments, and even plan royal weddings. No release date as of yet but we’ll keep you updated.
A brand new turn-based strategy game from Battletech developers Harebrained Schemes called The Lamplighters League will be coming to PC, next-gen Xboxes and Game Pass later this year.
You’ll be put in the shoes of a ragtag group of rogues trying to survive an alternate-universe 1933 where the world is on the brink of destruction.
Here are Game Director Chris Rogers and Executive Producer Mitch Gitelman.
MITCH GITELMAN: "Just like our other games Lamplighters features turn based tactical combat."
CHRIS ROGERS: "But unlike our other games, this one adds a real time infiltration phase."
GITELMAN: "In real time you'll scout the enemy exploit the position before deciding that things are gonna get loud."
FIONA: Paradox also unveiled details of “Life by You’ - a brand new ‘the Sims’ style project. We didn’t get much in the way of details, but Rod Humble who is known for his work on The Sims and Second Life is helming this project. There’ll be more info on the way on March 20.
Pen and Paper, the pop-culture turn-based RPG series is getting another installment with Pen & Paper 3, Mechabellum is a new sci-fi auto-battler game on the way featuring mechs, robots and heavy weapons, and Across the Obelisk, the deck building RPG is getting its first expansion called The Wolf Wars.
Plus more long-running Paradox strategy franchises are getting new content expansions with Europa Universalis (uni-ver-sal-is) IV set to get new mission trees in the expansion Domination, and Stellaris (stell-aris) receiving two new updates this year - Overlord and First Contact which will expand both civilization and alien race systems in the game.
KYLE: Sony has been ordered to refund players after an Austrian court ruled that ‘lootbox’ style microtranactions in FIFA 23 are ‘gambling products’ under Austrian law.
The loot system in FIFA 23 revolves around what are called Ultimate Team card packs - like most regular loot box systems, they involve an element of chance as to what sort of rewards you may receive with your purchase.
According to the Austrian district court; these card packs are deemed illegal gambling, because the item rewards are random and a secondary market exists where they can be sold for real world money - essentially they’re gambling.
Authorities have ordered affected players to be refunded, since Sony were the defendant in the lawsuit - they’ll be responsible for the bill; but there’s still a chance that Microsoft and EA may be in hot water with the precedent that’s been set here.
Either way, we love to see it.
FIONA: It’s so great seeing countries jump on board when it comes to banning loot boxes and microtransactions, its been a long time coming but definitely worth the wait
FIONA: The Ukrainian Government is urging Valve to remove Atomic Heart from Steam after concerns that profits raised from the game may be directly funding the Russian government’s war efforts.
The letter, shared online by Ukraine’s Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov, alleges that ‘there is a potential risk that money raised from the purchases of the game will be transferred to Russia’s budget, so it will be used to fund the war against Ukraine’.
Federov’s concerns have stemmed from Atomic Heart devs Mundfish being a Russian company with Russian management.
KYLE: There have also been issues raised with Mundfish’s financial investors, including GEM Capital - a company founded by a former Russian state-owned oil and gas executive.
At this point in time, we’ve yet to see a response from either Valve or Mundfish.
FIONA: That’s it for news, here are the games releasing this week
KYLE: Over a year since it came to PC in early access, Valheim is finally coming to console. This sandbox survival title has received largely positive reviews over the past year, and I know a lot of people, myself included, are very excited to give it a go when it comes to Xbox on the 14th. And if you want a deeper dive into the early stages of Valheim, you can check out our review from last year in the Mainstream podcast feed.
FIONA: Coming just months after the release of Bayonetta three comes the spin off title Bayonetta Origins: Cereza (sir-ee-za) and the Lost Demon. This entry in the series changes things up with an isometric point of view and a gorgeous cell-shaded art style. That’s out on the Nintendo Switch on the 17th.
KYLE: And out Friday is the latest installment in the WWE 2K series, 2K23. Alongside the classic shuffling around a ring, players can expect more customisation, more characters, and in true 2K fashion, a predatory progression and season pass system that locks content behind paywalls, even though you’ve paid for the game already. Fun! That’s out on all platforms on the 17th.
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 so why not show the love and sign up to be a monthly backer. It’s easy, 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 , Daniel Ang & Adam Christou. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer who edited this episode and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer.
FIONA: Thanks to Brian Fairbanks from Salty Dog Sounds for composing the Walkthrough theme tune.
Thanks to both Audio Technica Australia and Omny Studio for their support of SIFTER’s three podcasts.
KYLE: Thanks again for listening, we’ll be back with more news next Sunday.