It’s not all doom and gloom.
Hello and welcome back to another Weekly News Roundup! It’s the best time of the week, that sweet, sweet Saturday morning. Right now you should be tucked up in bed with a cup of tea on the side, a bit of Radio 4 chatter on the radio (what? It’s a good station), and looking for a quick rundown of this week’s news. And you’re in luck, because we’ve got exactly that. SO, forget about last night’s match (it’s fine, I don’t care about the FA Cup anyway, no really – it’s fine) and get caught up with this week’s news.
The developer transfer window is in full swing
We’ve seen not one but two big name moves in what I’m calling the developer transfer window because, football. The week kicked off with Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3’s writer and director, Sebastian Stepien leaving CD Projekt Red for Blizzard.
The move was spotted after Stepien’s Linkedin profile was updated to confirm his move to Blizzard’s California offices as a creative director. Exactly what he’s working on isn’t known but with a recent slew of jobs opening up in the Diablo department, could Stepien’s move be connected with a possible Diablo 4?
It could be the case but the move itself comes at a pretty strange time. Considering we still don’t know how far along Cybepunk is in its development, the move either means that the game is far enough along in its story and design that CD Projekt Red were happy for one of the game’s lead figures to move one. The alternative is that Stepien either dropped out of the project mid-development or that a decision was made to move the game in a different direction, leaving Speien as surplus to requirements. Whatever the answer, it’s a bit of a coup for Blizzard.
We also saw a bit of move on the console front, with Microsoft’s first-party collective, The Initiative, snapped up God of War developer Chris O’Neill. O’Neill acted as lead designer for God of War but has now joined fellow former Santa Monica dev Brian Westergaard and ex-Rockstar dev, Tom Shepherd.
The Initiative collective was introduced by Microsoft last year in a bid to create more first-party narrative-driven games, y’know, like the ones EA said were dead a while ago. It’s been a busy time for The Initiative, with these string of new hires and studio acquisitions, though there hasn’t been any new announcements from Microsoft yet, and with the Xbox Scarlett rumoured to be announced next year, it’s seeming more and more likely that The Initiative is being geared up for next-gen titles.
Fallout 76 isn’t going free to play, says Bethesda
There were a few rumours swirling about this week that Bethesda was planning to switch its recent MMO, Fallout 76, to a free-to-play model. But those rumours have quickly been quashed by the developer, saying that there are no plans for the post-apocalyptic adventure to go free.
But the rough time that Fallout 76 has seen in its early days hasn’t swayed Bethesda to switch the game’s model. And given that it took Elder Scrolls Online to really get going, it more than likely that Bethesda think it’ll be a similar journey for Fallout 76.
And finally… Metroid Prime 4 is going back to the drawing board
The highly anticipated Metroid Prime 4, announced with only a logo, has had its development scrapped and restarted from the ground up. Having been announced back in 2017, the game will now have a pretty lengthy delay until it arrives on the Switch.
The decision to restart the game’s development comes after Nintendo executive Shinya Takahashi said that the game had “not reached the standard we seek in a sequel to the Metroid Prime series.” Takahashi went on to announce that the game’s producer, Kensuke Tanabe, would now work closely with Retro Studios as development for Metroid Prime 4 begins anew.
Retro Studios were the team behind the original series, a move that Takahashi says will mean that “we can make this game something that will meet our fans’ expectations.”
He ended the update by saying that it “will be a long road” until Nintendo is able to update fans on the progress of Metroid Prime 4 again.