Hey everyone. This week was a bit more slow in regards to gaming news as we’ve entered that season on the other side of the holidays when things calm down. There still were some noteworthy news items that will be covered in this post. The Gaming News Wrap-Up is a weekly feature that appears on The Video Gamer’s Advocate each and every Saturday that highlights five news stories. Please note that you can also access news links at any time in the main menu under “NEWS” and also scroll down to the RSS News Feeds (IGN, Gamespot, PCGamer) to get the latest gaming news.
LUCASFILM GAMES IS NOW PARENT COMPANY OF STAR WARS GAMES
Games involving the Star Wars assets, properties, and characters are now under the umbrella of Lucasfilm Games. The announcement was made this week. It was later reported that Ubisoft is working on an open world Star Wars adventure in partnership with Lucasfilm Games. This means that Electronic Art’s exclusivity deal with the Star Wars brand will not be renewed once it runs its course.
This news is certain to create jubilance in many gamers. Many people, including myself, felt that Electronic Arts did not use the Star Wars brand to its full potential. Although Star Wars Battlefront II is a great game today, it took the public outcry of gamers over the lack of content and aggressive micro-transactions for EA DICE to take notice and improve the Star Wars title. I played and completed Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, finding it a decent game but uninspired. It will be nice to see what other studios can create and I’m already excited about what the same studio behind The Division can do with the Star Wars universe. I am of the notion that true competition exists outside of exclusivity. There used to be a time when there were four to five NFL video games a person could purchase every year. Since EA acquired exclusive rights to create NFL-sim games, gamers have been stuck with whatever EA puts out without any other current options. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing some unique Star Wars games emerging from all of this.
Star Wars isn’t the only brand affected by the announcement of Lucasfilm Games. Bethesda is currently working on a new Indiana Jones title.
STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II CELEBRATION EDITION FREE ON EPIC GAMES STORE
In what is probably the best offering by Epic Games yet, Star Wars Battlefront II Celebration Edition is now available to download for free on the Epic Games platform. The Celebration Edition means you get two years of content updates and all of the customization items that were at cost when the game was first released. I would not have recommended this game to anyone if it was still in its 2017 state. But the work the developers did with all of the free updates over time made Battlefront II into a great game. If you are a PC gamer, click on the link above and download it today. You have until Thursday, January 21.
Because of all the mods available on PC, that is my preferred platform for Battlefront II. The mods add everything from weapons and new maps to more heroes and skins. Check out all of the mods for yourself at Nexus Mods.
ARCADE1UP EXPANDS ARCADE CABINET LINEUP
The number of options for Arcade1Up’s arcade cabinets continues to grow as X-Men, Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace, and Killer Instinct are the latest additions to the already impressive lineup that includes titles such as Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, NBA Jam, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. One cool aspect of Arcade1Up cabinets is that many of them include multiple games. For example, the Killer Instinct cabinet will also include Killer Instinct II, Battletoads, and Battletoads/Double Dragon. I think the emergence of arcade cabinets at home in our current time is great.
I can understand why home arcade cabinets are becoming more popular among gamers. For older players, it brings back the nostalgic feeling of the arcade. But it is also a way to introduce younger players to a piece of history. The main flaw I see with the Arcade1Up units is that they are too small for teenagers and adults. I was able to see this first hand over a year ago when my local GameStop store had an Arcade1Up machine on display. The overall design could have been benefited from better spacing.
OPENING OF SUPER NINTENDO WORLD DELAYED AGAIN
Due to Osaka, Japan being one of the areas affected by a new State of Emergency order, the opening of the Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios in Japan has been delayed indefinitely. The order, due to COVID-19, is in effect until February 7th, three days after Super Nintendo World was scheduled to open on February 4th. COVID has been an absolute nightmare for many businesses and workers, as well as local economies. An announcement regarding a new opening date will be made when the State of Emergency status is lifted. Check out the official Super Nintendo World website HERE.
CD PROJEKT RED NAVIGATING STORMY SEA OF BACKLASH
Instead of celebrating the launch of one of the most anticipated games of 2020, CD Projekt Red has been spending the past month picking up the pieces of a disastrous Cyberpunk 2077 launch. Game breaking bugs, mass refunds, lawsuits, developers going before the company’s shareholders demanding accountability, and safety concerns over some of the game’s content potentially causing seizures have dominated the headlines over the past 30 days. CD Projekt Red issued another public apology this week and again re-emphasized its commitment to making things right.
CD Projekt Red was known for The Witcher series prior to Cyberpunk 2077. The Witcher games have been very well received over the years and were one of the main reasons why gamers had high expectations for the developer/publisher’s first foray into the cyberpunk world. I truly hope they will be able to turn this around, but the company should not have released the game in the first place. While I didn’t experience anything game breaking when playing Cyberpunk 2077 on PC, I did find numerous glitches such as people walking through walls and also walking on air. Hopefully, other developers and publishers will view what has happened with Cyberpunk 2077 as a reminder of what happens when a game is put on the market and is not ready.