Before we get onto the video game news of the previous month, let's address the elephant in the room.
What’s worse than January? I’ll tell you – it’s those people who decide to make January last even longer by doing stuff like Veganuary or Dryanuary. January is a painful slog, why would you make it worse by removing stuff you enjoy? I don’t drink much (my last drink was Christmas Day) and I’m engaged to a Vegan, so meals with meat only really enter the house as a takeaway. So neither of these challenges would be difficult, but I still don’t do them! No, I do a little challenge called “January”. It involves waking up everyday, screaming into the void for about 10 minutes, and then dragging myself through the day until bedtime. It’s very cleansing.
Anyway, we’ve made it, February is here and 2022 can start properly. Let’s get on with it:
January really didn’t bother trying until the last minute. If it were any other month I’d say it was a last-minute Hail Mary save. But that’s not January’s style. No, January dragged things out and kept us waiting for both Pokemon Legends: Arceus on Nintendo Switch and Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection for PlayStation5 right until the 28th. Why? Because January hates us.
February on the other hand is throwing out hotly anticipated games thick and fast. Things start with Dying Light 2 on the 4th on PlayStation4, PlayStation5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S (sadly, it’s been delayed on Switch). Then on the 17th, The King of Fighters XV comes out on PlayStation4 and 5. Then, the very next day PlayStation exclusive Horizon Forbidden West kicks the doors off and really amps things up. The 24th sees the release of Assetto Cora Competizione on both PlayStations. And finally on the 25th Elden Ring hit Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PS4 and PlayStation5. If punishing combat isn’t your thing and you prefer some intense racing, then you’re in luck as GriD: Legends speeds onto the Xboxes and PlayStations the same day! Breathedge also hits PlayStation4 and PlayStation5. February hasn’t forgotten about Switch owners either, Life is Strange: True Colours finally hits the console on the 25th.
BioWare Focused on Building Back Trust of Fans and Community
Gary McKay has written about his first year as general manager at BioWare. He described how the studio intends to “rebuild its reputation” following the cancellation of its live-service shooter, Anthem.
He also reflects positively on the critical and fan reception to Mass Effect Legendary Edition, saying: “we’ve come together as a studio to help each other out, even in our personal lives. We show up for each other and pull together as a team”.
“For us, we want each game to earn the kind of reaction we’ve seen with Mass Effect Legendary Edition,” he wrote. “We feel that we have the right people, the right creative focus, and the support from EA to deliver on the promise.”
There was no mention of Anthem, however, which was panned by critics and players alike, and was formally cancelled at the start of last year.
The blog finishes on McKay stating he can’t wait ‘for you to see what we’ve been working on”, but stopped short of hinting on when that might be.
As for Dragon Age? Well, it certainly seems lessons have been learned from Anthem with McKay saying: “We are focused on a single-player experience that is built on choices that matter.”
Xbox Keen to Revive Dormant Activision Franchises
With Microsoft acquiring Activision Blizzard for a tasty $70 billion last month. Xbox boss Phil Spencer has already said he is keen to revive Activision franchises the publisher has recently ignored.
Spencer also suggested Activision studios such as Crash Bandicoot 4 developer Toys for Bob would also be released from its recent move into the Call of Duty machine.
Spencer also said his team would talk to studios about working on games from Activision Blizzard’s franchise history. Aside from Crash, Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk, Activision also owns the rights to Skylanders, Spyro, True Crime, Blur, Singularity and Geometry Wars, among others.
Fans of Crash Bandicoot and Tony Hawk games have been left in limbo, as the studios behind their recent releases were reassigned to other work.
A report also suggested Activision is now considering plans to ditch Call of Duty’s annual releases.
Respawn Working on Three New Star Wars Games
Respawn is making three new Star Wars games, EA has announced. One is the expected follow-up to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, with game director Stig Asmussen at the helm.
Another team at Respawn is working on a Star Wars first-person shooter. Former LucasArts VP of development and executive producer, Peter Hirschmann, as game director.
And finally, Respawn is working on a Star Wars strategy game via a publishing collaboration with Bit Reactor. A studio made up of veterans of XCOM and Civilization developer Firaxis Games.
Unfortunately, no release windows or platforms have been mentioned.
And That’s That!
So there you have it, January is finally behind us and February is bringing party bags! What games did you play to help get through January? Which ones are you picking up in February? Let us know on the Zatu social media pages. Until next time, have a good ‘un.