Games get announced, games get cancelled, players get mad. As Lion King fans might say, it’s the circle of hype—and it’s well-represented in this edition of Replay. Controversies, kiboshes, and the oddly high risk associated with surprise game unveilings. In other words, just a normal week.
Blizzard Announces a Diablo Mobile Game, Making Everyone Furious
At fan gathering Blizzcon late last week, Blizzard capped off their presentation with a surprise announcement: Diablo: Immortal would be a multiplayer mobile game set in the Diablo universe. It doesn’t not make sense for the publisher to try to tap the gargantuan smartphone market, but with it having been more than six years since the last core title in the dungeon-crawling franchise (the last Diablo III expansion came out in 2017), hardcore fans were … well, they weren’t happy.
This wasn’t the announcement a lot of fans wanted, and seeing a game that you don’t think is going to be very good is a valid reason for disappointment. But gosh, the internet response was ugly. Here, I have an idea: What if we didn’t announce videogames? Just release them when they’re ready. Keep hype cycles to a minimum. So much less shouting.
Final Fantasy XV Is One Director (and Three Downloadable Episodes) Short
Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XV has had a storied, decade-long history of development limbo, which didn’t stop just because the game came out: since release, the creators have worked to put out a wide selection of DLC that serves to patch in missing parts of the story, add multiplayer, and broadly expand its engaging world. That, however, is going to come to an end sooner than expected. Wednesday night, in one of the strangest announcement streams you’ll ever see, Square announced that it was cancelling three of the four currently planned DLC packs—everything except an episode about the character Ardyn—and that lead director Hajime Tabata would be leaving Square Enix altogether.
It’s not clear why Tabata is leaving, but the announcement mentions that he has another project in the works, and he’ll be founding another company to see it through. After everything, it seems, Final Fantasy XV will remain somewhat unfinished. So it goes.
Nintendo Removes Offensive Animation From Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Which, Good
Attentive viewers might have noticed something off about Mr. Game and Watch, a fighter in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate based on the line of retro Nintendo handhelds of the same name. As shown in recent promos, he has an attack based on the game Fire Attack, a game about a Civil War general fighting indigenous peoples and … well, you can see where this is going. During the attack, Mr. Game and Watch briefly turns into a racist caricature. Pretty upsetting stuff.
And, somewhat surprisingly, Nintendo is ahead of the curve on this one, announcing that the animation would be patched out upon release. While it probably shouldn’t have ended up in the game in the first place, it’s nice to see some swiftness from a company that’s generally been less than responsive to concerns about representation from its Western audience. Next time, maybe keep it out of the trailers, too, huh?
Recommendation of the Week: SUPERHOT for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 (and Oculus/Vive/PSVR)
It’s one of those weeks where I just want some good old-fashioned fantastical action. SUPERHOT isn’t exactly old-fashioned, but it distills that desire for adrenaline and excitement down to its most basic parts. The premise is simple: time moves only when you do. Shoot your enemies. Survive. That mechanic turns action into choreography, letting you slowly map out moves that would make the heroes from The Matrix jealous. With a basic, stylized art style, it really sings. (And check it out on VR, if you can handle it.)
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social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired https://www.wired.com/story/diablo-immortal-blizzard-controversy