Just days after the massive layoffs at Activision Blizzard, the developer of Guild Wars announced this week it would be letting go dozens of members of its staff members. But that doesn’t mean all the news in the world of videogames is bad. Fortnite‘s new season is here, y’all. Also, Pokémon! What else do you need to know? Read on.
ArenaNet Lays Off Much of Its Staff, Because This Industry Is a Cavalcade of Horrors
In this week’s installment of “Wow, layoffs are happening at a frightening and disturbing clip in the videogame industry,” ArenaNet, the developer of Guild Wars and its sequel, has laid off what GameDaily.Biz calls “a significant number of its staff.” The move, a cost-cutting measure, is part of a process that will eventually lead to ArenaNet merging fully with its parent company, NCSoft. Along with the layoffs, unannounced projects at ArenaNet were canceled, though as of press time no Guild Wars 2 content has been affected.
One thing is for certain: The videogame industry is going through a significant and painful turmoil, and jobs are as precarious as they’ve ever been. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this. Perhaps a better industry can be built in the aftermath.
The Next Generation of Pokémon Games Is Coming to the Nintendo Switch
In significantly lighter news, the next generation of mainline Pokémon games will be making its way to Nintendo Switch. Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield will be the eighth generation of core titles in the series and the first to appear on a home console instead of an exclusively portable system. Then again, the Switch is half portable, so it tracks.
The normal upgrades expected of a new Pokémon gen are here: new creatures to catch, a new region (called Galar) to explore, and a renewed graphical style to soothe your Pokémon trainer eyes. The new games don’t have a fixed release date yet, but expect them sometime this fall.
Fortnite Season 8 Brings Volcanoes and a Ping System
But, lo! What light from yonder window breaks? It is a new season of Fortnite, and I’m ready to build. And the light, it turns out, is from all the lava. That’s right, the eighth season of the battle-royal game is here, bringing some routine changes to the map’s biomes and some nice ease-of-use changes. There’s a volcano, vomiting lava all over the map, and there’s now a cannon to fire if you’re feeling exceptionally piratey.
The most notable change, however, is probably the addition of a ping system, like the one used in the juggernaut Fortnite competitor Apex Legends. The new season will let you mark items and points of interest on the map for your teammates to see.
Recommendation of the Week: Crackdown on Xbox One
Did you know that you can play the original Crackdown on the Xbox One now, via Microsoft’s Backward Compatibility initiative? It’s a remarkable, strange, enthralling little game. Jump around a city as a superpowered cop, fighting crime, slowly cottoning on to the dark satire of the whole thing, where clones of police officers throw their bodies at criminals to maintain what looks to be some sort of weird sci-fi dystopia. It’s also a game, largely, about making cool jumps and collecting orbs that make your jump better. They don’t make open-world games that feel like this anymore, even when they try to. You could play the new Crackdown 3, but I’d recommend the original instead.
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