Hello everyone. Welcome to another issue of Emmen Weekly, our new twist on gaming news.
We’ve got a pretty decent grab bag of news and updates from the games industry this time. From GTA to NFTs, it is safe to say that last week was another eventful week.
So let’s begin by looking at the biggest two pieces of news that dropped this week.
Rockstar Confirms New Grand Theft Auto Game is “Well Underway”
On 4th February, Rockstar released a “Grand Theft Auto Community Update” which updated players on matters concerning Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online.
However, the important part of the that update gave us a tease for the next part of the GTA franchise.
You read it right. After years of waiting, Rockstar finally confirmed there will be a new entry in the series and it is in “active development”.
Although Rockstar did not clarify that the new entry will be GTA 6 but that is what entire world is hoping for.
This news ended up being covered all over the place, including non-gaming news outlets like Entertainment Weekly.
PlayStation Acquires Bungie
Just after a mere 14 days after Microsoft bought Activision Blizzard for around $70 Billion, PlayStation have acquired Bungie for $3.6 Billion.
According to the PlayStation Blog post where the news was announced first, a Sony executive made it very clear that “Bungie will remain an independent and multi-platform studio and publisher”.
“We’ve had a strong partnership with Bungie since the inception of the Destiny franchise, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to officially welcome the studio to the PlayStation family,” said Sony.I
It also mentioned that Bungie will “sit alongside the PlayStation Studios organization,” and is “excited about the opportunities for synergies and collaboration between these two world-class groups”
Bungie is widely known to be the creators of one of the icons and exclusives of Xbox, Halo. The studio was first acquired by Microsoft in 2000 but split from them in 2005 and became an independent studio.
Despite the split Bungie continued to develop Halo games for Xbox and their last game being Halo Reach. After that they made a new IP called Destiny, a live-service FPS RPG where players can explore the galaxy as Guardians of Light.
It is worth pointing out that the studio is currently working on a new IP.
In a blog post made by Bungie, it mentioned what the acquisition meant for the company and mentioned that SIE is “a partner who unconditionally supports us in all we are and who wants to accelerate our vision to create generation-spanning entertainment, all while preserving the creative independent that beats in Bungie’s heart.”
Discord Arrives on PlayStation
In May of 2021, PlayStation announced there will be a new partnership with Discord,
According to the announcement, it will be working with Discord to bring new ways to integrate your PlayStation experience with Discord for your friends and communities to see.
Starting from last week, you are now able to link your PSN account from Discord and display your PlayStation game activity in your Discord profile.
You able to display your PlayStation Network online ID on your profile so your friends over at Discord can add you. Don’t worry, there is also option where you can hide your display your ID as well.
Connecting PSN Online ID to Discord is a very simple and short process.
To connect your Discord account to your PlayStation Network account, open up Discord and head into User Settings > Connections on either desktop or web. On mobile, go to User Settings > Connections.
On this page, you will see a PlayStation icon. Click on that and you will be directed to your browser. You just have to sign in to your account on the login page. That is the entire process.
Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak join Fortnite
Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, the musical duo behind Silk Sonic, are coming to Fortnite and are set to get in-game skins as part of the Icon series.
The Icon series is a skin line that is used for real people and celebrities. Other additions include streamers like Loserfruit and Ninja, athletes like Lebron James and Harry Kane, and other musicians like Ariana Grande and Marshmello.
The duo will have their own unique skins, along with several cosmetic additions to go with them.
Bruno Mars will get the Sound Scepter Pickaxe, which doubles as a back bling when he isn’t using it, and the Freedom Wheels Emote.
Anderson Paak will get the Boom Bap Pickaxe and the Sonic Snare Back Bling. Both skins will also come with alternate styles for their in-game skins as well.
All of this will be available in the item shop starting on February 10th. Although players are able to get them early via an in-game tournament on February 7th.
The duo will also get their own in-game radio station that players can listen to as they drive with Icon Radio. Although the station will be devoted to Silk Sonic on launch, there is possibility that Epic Games will add other artists from the Icon series in the future.
If you are wondering why this is partnership is happening, this is the only answer we will be accepting:
NFT News Roundup
Unfortunately, there were a couple of NFT related news over the week as well.
So let’s all take a deep breath and dive into the muck.
The first NFT news comes from Team17, the studio behind the Worms franchise.
First, they announced their plans to sell NFT’s and made a very bold claim that they will be “environmental friendly”.
Just after mere hours after the announcement Eurogamer reported that the employees of Team17 “had no knowledge of its controversial plans to launch a range of collectible Worms NFTs prior to the project’s public announcement this morning”.
A statement given to Eurogamer, Team17 told their they are ambitions to launch NFT collectibles would not translate into the introduction of NFTs into the indie games it publishes.
“Team17 has no plans to introduce NFTs or play-to-earn NFT mechanics into any of its indie games label titles.”
However, after the NFT announcement, developers of game that Team17 published slammed Worms NFT plans.
Aggro Crab, the developer of roguelike Going Under released a statement saying “We believe NFTs cannot be environmentally friendly, or useful, and really are just an overall f******g grift,”, and ended saying would never work with Team17 again.
Ghost Town Games, developer of Overcooked also released a statement via Twitter saying they “don’t support NFTs” as “they carry too great an environmental and social cost”.
Both of the statements sent a message to all the gamer that they should not harass employees or other developers working on Team17-published titles.
Due to the humongous backlash regarding this news, Team17 was forced to cancel its NFT project.
“Team17 is today announcing an end to the MetaWorms NFT project,” said the publisher in a statement via Twitter. “We have listened to our teamsters, development partners, and our games’ communities, and the concerns they’ve expressed, and have therefore taken the decision to step back from the NFT space.”
Second news regarding NFT comes from the one of most renowned video game voice actors out there; Troy Baker. He is known for being the voice of Joel from The Last of Us, among many, many other roles.
After a public announcement of backing an NFT project, he has since reversed course and abandoned any involvement with VoiceVerseNFT.
If you were wondering what this is about, it started two weeks ago when Baker announced that he would be supporting a new NFT venture around monetizing artists’ voice work.
“You can hate. Or you can create. What’ll it be?” He had tweeted at the time.
Predictable, this triggered an immense backlash against him from fans.
The same day Team17 announced their NFT project Troy Baker made a statement via Twitter he has “decided to not continue the partnership with VoiceVerseNFT”.
Despite his apology, there is no denying that this whole situation has hurt his reputation and trust amongst fans. Only time will tell if he can earn it back.
The third and final news regarding NFT comes from Konami, the studio behind the Castlevania and Metal Gear Solid Series.
In their latest financial report, Konami addressed the topic of NFTs in its ‘Digital Entertainment’ section.
Predictably, the report stated that Konami will continue to commit to the NFT business.
“We will also be selling NFTs in an effort to preserve content that has been loved by our customers as commemorative art.”
Konami was under fire that they were hosting a NFT auction for Castlevania’s 35th anniversary.
Over ’14 unique artworks” were sold in the auction which consisted of game scenes, BGMs and drawn visuals, and managed to bank $162,000 USD in total
The highlight of the auction was an artwork of the digital map of Dracula’s Castle from the original Castlevania game for $26,000.
And yes, the image below is the very same “NFT artwork” which was sold for $26k
Despite the huge backlash Konami still plans to go forward with the NFT plans.
You could check out our feature article about NFTs and their impact on the gaming industry and the environment over here.