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Gaming Industry News
My Twitter feed exploded with this news on Monday: The ESRB ratings for the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters were updated to list both the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, leading to speculation that the titles would soon be released on those platforms.
We've had no official word from Square Enix that I can find, and today the ESRB ratings have been reverted to their original status of PC only.
Given the level of excitement over this leak, let's hope the news turns out to be true.
Square Enix is due to sell studios Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montreal, and Square Enix Montreal to Embracer Group for an estimated $300 million USD. The deal still needs regulatory approval, but once given, should be finalized sometime between July and September of this year.
This sale will mean Square Enix will no longer own the properties of Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, and Legacy of Kain, along with a back-catalogue of more than 50 games. Crystal Dynamics is already working on a new Tomb Raider game.
Square Enix has said that this deal was made so they could invest in fields including blockchain, AI, and the cloud.
In unrelated news, Square Enix registered several new trademarks recently. These trademarks include Fear Effect and Relic Strike. The former was a game released by Eidos in 2000 for the original PlayStation, so there is speculation the series is about to be revived.
Other recent trademarks filed include Valkyrie Profile and Lenneth, which might indicate those games are to make their way to PS Plus Premium subscription.
Source: The Verge, PCMag, MP1ST
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker continues to rack up the awards, taking three awards at SXSW this weekend.
The first award was for Excellence in Narrative: awarded to the game with the best storyline and dialogue. The other nominees in that category were:
- Deathloop — Arkane Lyon / Bethesda Softworks
- Kena: Bridge of Spirits — Ember Lab
- Lost in Random — Zoink Games / Electronic Arts
- Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy — Eidos-Montréal / Square Enix
The second award was for Excellence in Original Score. It was Masayoshi Soken's celebratory tweet that alerted this reporter the awards were happening this weekend! Other nominees in this category were:
- The Artful Escape — Beethoven & Dinosaur / Annapurna Interactive
- Kena: Bridge of Spirits — Ember Lab
- The Medium — Bloober Team
- Wytchwood — Alientrap Games / Whitethorn Games
The final award was for Video Game of the Year. SXSW's description for this award states: awarded to the game that exemplifies overall excellence and creates a distinct gaming experience across all platforms and genres. Other nominees in this category were:
- It Takes Two — Hazelight / Electronic Arts
- Psychonauts 2 — Double Fine Productions / Xbox Game Studios
- Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart — Insomniac Games / Sony Interactive Entertainment
- Resident Evil Village — Capcom
Congratulations to the Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker team for the well-deserved awards! For those readers who may be interested in starting their own journeys in Eorzea: the Final Fantasy XIV Free Trial is now active again and lets you play through all of A Realm Reborn and its first expansion, Heavensward.
Source: SXSW Official Site
The D.I.C.E. award winners have been announced, and Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker has won the award for Role-Playing Game of the Year. Other nominees in the category were Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous, Shin Megami Tensei V, Tales of Arise, and Wildermyth.
Endwalker was also nominated in the Online Game of the Year category, but lost out to Halo Infinite.
The D.I.C.E. awards are voted on by industry members -- those who develop the games themselves -- and the Academy boasts a membership of over 30,000 members.
Source: Game Reactor, Interactive.org
The Game Awards nominations have been announced, and Final Fantasy XIV Online has been nominated for two awards.
The first nomination is in the Best Ongoing category. The other nominees for Best Ongoing game are: Apex Legends; Call of Duty: War Zone; Fortnite; and Genshin Impact.
It's also been nominated in the Best Community Support category, with fellow nominees: Apex Legends: Escape; Destiny 2: Beyond Light; Fortnite; and No Man's Sky.
Other Square Enix games picking up nominations are Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, nominated for Best Narrative, Innovation in Accessibility, and Best Action/Adventure; and Life is Strange: True Colors, nominated for Best Narrative and Games for Impact.
The Game Awards will be hosted live from Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on December 9th. Gamers can vote on nominations at The Game Awards website.
Source: The Game Awards
Announced today, Square Enix is joining with Chinese conglomerate Tencent for a new "strategic alliance" for game development. It appears that the main thrust of this new alliance is the formation of a new joint venture company that will be used to develop new AAA tiles for both new IPs and also around the licensing of existing IPs. Square Enix Holdings' president, Yosuke Matsuda, was quoted as saying that the alliance will be a boost for diversifying content offerings and getting to a wider customer base.
For those unfamiliar with Tencent, they are a massive, publicly-traded conglomerate out of Shenzhen, China, with holdings in tons of tech-related industries. With regards to gaming, they are majority owners of Riot Games (League of Legends) and Supercell (Clash of Clans), and own stakes in Activision Blizzard, Epic, Ubisoft, Paradox, and several other smaller game companies.
There's a lot not said in the announcement, which is not surprising given the fact that it's a brand-new concept today. However, based on what we know right now, I think we can safely make a couple of assumptions. First, it doesn't seem like this will change too much in Square Enix' core business. Flagship franchises currently managed by the main Squenix offices will likely remain the same, since the new company is exactly that - new and separate. Second, this will likely impact Asian markets first, given the fact that the new partnership is between a Japanese and a Chinese company (no word yet on where the new company will be headquartered). Third, there's a pretty good chance that there might be some bizarre concepts using Final Fantasy characters and settings showing up in the future.
Source: Siliconera, Wikipedia
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