Hello everyone. Welcome to another issue of Emmen Weekly, our new twist on gaming news.
This week’s issue is going to be a little longer to cover some interesting news from around the games industry that popped up over the last two weeks. We’ve been away for a week after all.
So with no further ado, let’s get into this issue of Emmen Weekly.
Valorant Introduces Brand New Agent
Riot Games’ first person tactical hero shooter Valorant has introduced a brand new agent into the game.
The new character is called Fade and is a Turkish mercenary with the power to control nightmares to reveal foes and immobilize them.
According to the developers, the intent behind Fade was to create a character who was a foil to Sova. He was the game’s only agent focused on scouting ahead.
Fade’s “Haunt” ability allows you to throw an orb into an area and reveal enemies in line of sight while her “Prowler” ability sends out a creature that seeks out the enemy. She can also immobilize enemies. Her Ult is a kind of area scan for enemies.
Fade debuted at Valorant’s Masters Reykjavík tournament. You can see her debut cinematic below.
Genshin Impact Reaches 3 Billion USD in Global Earnings
Mihoyo’s popular gacha game Genshin Impact has reached USD 3 billion in global earnings through player spending.
This amount accounts for the total earned since the game’s launch in September 2020. The game is currently the top ranking gacha game in the first quarter of 2022.
Genshin Impact earned its first billion dollars a merre 171 days after the game’s worldwide release. The two billion dollar mark was reached just 195 days after launch. And currently, the game has average earnings of about USD 1 billion every six months.
Looking at the breakdown of where this money comes from, China is in the lead with 30.7% of the game’s total revenue coming from it. Japan comes next with 23.7% of total revenue. The US makes up 19.7% of the revenue.
The data from Sensor Tower also revealed that 70% of the game’s total revenue comes from Asia.
Prince of Persia Remake Gets New Studio
Ubisoft has announced that the previously announced remake of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time will continue development under a new studio.
The game was previously being developed by Ubisoft Pune and Ubisoft Mumbai. However, the new studio in charge is now Ubisoft Montreal, the original creators of the game.
In a statement released on Twitter, Ubisoft stated that, “This decision is an important step and the team, building upon the work achieved by Ubisoft Pune and Ubisoft Mumbai, will now take the time they need to regroup on the scope of the game to deliver you the best experience for this remake of an all-time classic, when it’s ready.”
The remake of beloved classic, The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time was first announced in September 2020 with a release date of January 2021. However, the game was delayed to March 2021 before being delayed indefinitely.
It seems that the game is back in development again but there is no release date in sight for now.
For now, you can add this game to the pile of promised Ubisoft games such as Beyond Good and Evil 2 or Skull and Bones.
Final Fantasy 16 in Last Stages of Development
The producer of Final Fantasy 16, Naoki Yoshida has stated that the game is in its final stages of development.
Yoshida made his statement in an official pamphlet that was released with the official clothing line of the Final Fantasy franchise.
He went on to state that the story of the game will be a very different experience from Final Fantasy 14 (which he also produces), adding that it is a fleshed-out experience that will bring back older fans.
As with his work on FF14, Yoshida has been very open about the development timeline of the game. For instance, he had previously stated that the story and the English voiceover of the game was almost complete.
Yoshida also stated that fans can expect a big reveal in spring this year.
Considering that this is the 35th anniversary of the franchise and that the game is reportedly in its final stages of development, there is a decent chance that we might see it come out this year.
Final Fantasy 16 being released this year would make it the first mainline FF game to come out since 2016.
Activision Blames Call of Duty: Vanguard Underperforming Sales on World War II
Despite being the best-selling game in 2021, Activision Blizzard has deemed Call of Duty: Vanguard to have underperformed, sales wise.
The company went on to propose a culprit for this supposed underperforming; World War II.
It stated that while the company recognizes that the franchise is one of the biggest selling in the world, the 2021 premium didn’t meet its expectations. The reason given is that the World War II setting might not have resonated with the audience.
The company also blamed this lack of performance on a lack of “innovation” in the mainline Call of Duty franchise. But what this exactly means is unclear.
Additionally, Activision Blizzard faced several lawsuits dealing with high-profile sexual discrimination in 2021 and are still facing even more complaints to this day, as of this writing.
These new complaints deal with its recent sale to Microsoft, accusing this of being an attempt to dodge the fallout from the controversies.
Whatever the case, the reason why the best-selling game in 2021 “underperformed” is likely NOT World War II as a setting.
Embracer Group Acquires Eidos, Crystal Dynamics, and Square Enix Montreal
Swedish holdings company Embracer Group has acquired Eidos, Crystal Dynamics, and Square Enix Montreal from Square Enix for USD 300 million.
This purchase comes with several well-known IP which includes the Tomb Raider franchise, the Deus Ex franchise, the Thief franchise, the Legacy of Kain franchise, and more than 50 back-catalogue games from Square Enix Holdings.
This acquisition also covers about 1,100 employees across three studios and eight locations across the globe.
Once this deal goes through, Embracer will own 14,000 employees, 10,000 game developers, and 124 internal studios. It has also confirmed that more than 230 games are being worked on, with more than 30 of them being AAA titles.
This announcement comes after the news that the next Tomb Raider game will be developed on Unreal Engine 5.
Sony to Require Some Games to Offer Timed Trials
Sony has begun communicating with the various developers that release games on its PlayStation platform about offering timed trials for PlayStation Plus Premium subscribers.
According to reports, games having a wholesale price of more than USD 34 or higher (EUR 33, JPY 4000) are now required to create time-limited game trials of their games.
These trials are also required to be at least 2 hours long.
Developers have a three-month period after the release of their game to put out this timed trial.
Several developers were updated about this new policy through Sony’s portal for developers.
What this means for developers is that they need to allocate time and resources to make this timed trial. This is more viable for larger developers but might get smaller ones in trouble.
Game demos were common in the past but had declined due to various reasons, official and unofficial. However, demos have been making a slow comeback.