THE FIVE HEADLINES
#1: Metroid Prime 4 development restarted
In a surprisingly transparent announcement from Nintendo, Metroid Prime 4 is restarting its development after it has failed to meet internal standards. Retro Studios will be taking over the helm from scratch, even though few creative members remain on the team from the days of the original Metroid Prime trilogy. There is no word for what this means about Retro’s frequently-rumored project Star Fox: Grand Prix. Other rumors suggest that a port of 2009’s Metroid Prime Trilogy has been prepared for Switch as a holdover and an announcement was even supposed to happen last month at The Game Awards.
If you ask me, the project must have been in bad shape for this drastic measure to be taken. Still, Nintendo deserves credit for how and why they delivered this message. Don’t expect this one before late 2021, at the very earliest.
#2: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate breaks a sales record
The NPD Group has accumulated sales data for the game industry in 2018 and it was a record year. The industry generated more than $43.4 billion in revenue in 2018, which is up 18% over the year before. The best-selling games of the year, according to the research firm, include Red Dead Redemption II, Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, NBA 2K19, Madden NFL 19, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Smash’s inclusion on this list is significant, because it had less than a month to reach the top five and it doesn’t include digital sales on Switch. Furthermore, Smash Bros. Ultimate set a launch month cash generation record for a console exclusive game, beating 2010’s Halo: Reach, and exceeding its previous franchise record – Super Smash Bros. Brawl – by 70%.
#3: SteamWorld shows its “Hand” in a Nindies presentation
As Nintendo fans continue to anticipate the first Nintendo Direct of the year, an Indie Highlights presentation for Switch arrived instead. The biggest announcements included the Advance Wars-like Wargroove arriving February 1st, the card-based RPG SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech coming in 2019, and the acclaimed 16-bit adventure CrossCode comes to Switch in 2019. When Ski Lifts Go Wrong, Unruly Heroes, and Goat Simulator: The GOATY are all available now. Finally, other 2019 announcements include the heavy metal rhythm shooter Double Kick Heroes, the land simulator and dungeon crawler Forager, and the grim adventure platformer with Hollow Knight vibes Inmost. The big Nintendo Direct will just have to wait for another week.
#4: Hbomberguy raises money with Donkey Kong 64
Harry Brewis, the YouTube essayist known as Hbomberguy, raised over $340,000 in a charity livestream marathon that featured him playing Donkey Kong 64 for 57 hours. The proceeds are going to Mermaids, a UK-based charity that provides transgender support for young people. The livestream not only drew interest for its remarkable duration and donations, but also for the guests that called in live. Chelsea Manning, John Romero, Mara Wilson, and even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were just some of the popular figures featured during the N64 marathon.
#5: Resident Evil in the works for Netflix
In the same week as the release of Resident Evil 2’s remake, Deadline reports that a Resident Evil TV series is in the works for Netflix. This would continue the trend of video game-based serials coming to the platform, following Castlevania and Devil May Cry. Nothing is confirmed yet, though according to the report, Constantin Film is the production company. This makes sense, as they produced the six Resident Evil films that starred Milla Jovovich.
GAME AND RELEASE DATE ANNOUNCEMENTS
- Yakuza Kiwami (February 19 – PC)
- Stellaris: Console Edition (February 26 – PS4, Xbox One)
- Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain (April 11 – PS4)
OUT THIS WEEK
- Kingdom Hearts III (Tuesday, January 29 – PS4, Xbox One)
- Dragon Ball FighterZ: Jiren & Videl DLC (Thursday, January 31 – PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
- Bombfest (Thursday, January 31 – PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC)
- Downwell (Thursday, January 31 – Switch)
Until next time, I’m at @petespeakeasy
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