Video Games

Video game news that reflects on the latest trends and cultural impacts brought on by gaming. From the perspective of a few guys who wish they had more time to play video games!

Episodes

June 22, 2022

Come On Roku

It was an all Microsoft kind of week. From their little TV gem to the big presentation with Bethesda among others that just kept dropping bomb after bomb. We'll take a look at all the announcements and give our thoughts on what made us go wow, what we thought looked cool, what we are looking forward to and what we thought was just meh on this episode of Joystick and Mouse.

Show Notes

Maybe it's time for a TV upgrade. Microsoft announced this week that they entered into an agreement with Samsung that all 2022 smart TVs will have XBox Cloud Play built in. No external boxes. Just pair a controller with the TV (doesn't even have to be an XBox controller) and with XBox gmae pass of course, you can play any Microsoft game available in their cloud service.
https://news.xbox.com/en-us/2022/06/09/xbox-app-for-smart-tvs/amp/

"E3 might have taken 2022 off, but the show(s) must go on. Today’s big one is the annual Xbox showcase, which shares title billing with the one first-party studio that’s only released games on PS5 since getting acquired by Microsoft for the price of a presidential election.
Over the course of 95 minutes, Xbox teased a ton of games from across its oeuvre. Some were new. Others have been previously announced. And, of course, the Game Pass logo was literally everywhere. All told, the show was…a lot. let's dig in and talk about all the things"
https://kotaku.com/xbox-bethesda-2022-starfield-redfall-diablo-4-overwatch-1849051030
https://www.ign.com/articles/xbox-and-bethesda-games-showcase-2022-everything-announced

Game Review

Diablo Immortal

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We have twists and turns of a plot nature. We revisit hell and not the dumping a studio kind and we take a look at the future of the video game development work force.

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Show Notes:

In an internal all-hands meeting with Xbox Game Studios employees, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said that he would recognize Raven Software’s union. This came after the QA testers at Raven voted to form the first labor union at a major studio. Later  Spencer said. “We absolutely support employees’ right to organize and form unions.” So what does tha mean for the Video Game industry?
https://dot.la/microsoft-activision-union-2657041417.html
https://kotaku.com/xbox-phil-spencer-raven-qa-union-activision-blizzard-1848982555

Last episode we told you that Square Enix was selling off it's western development studios. Well that deal dropped and frankly, they got hosed. For the paltry sum of $300 million the Embracer Group got game studios including Crystal Dynamics, Eidos-Montréal, and Square Enix Montréal. Embracer also purchased major intellectual properties from those companies, including Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, and Legacy of Kain. In all, it got more than 50 game properties and 1,100 developers.
https://embracer.com/release/embracer-group-enters-into-an-agreement-to-acquire-eidos-crystal-dynamics-and-square-enix-montreal-amongst-other-assets/
https://venturebeat.com/2022/05/06/the-deanbeat-the-crazy-sanity-of-the-square-enix-and-embracer-group-deal/

Hell is about to be unleashed this week on PC and Mobile as the "You all have Phones don't you" game is finally released. Of course I'm talking about Diablo: Immortal. This game was imfamously announced at Blizzcon 2018 to a great deal of negativity. Well I played it at Blizzcon that year and if you like Diablo, you're in for a treat.
https://kotaku.com/diablo-immortal-loot-boxes-crates-laws-release-belgium-1848996451

Everyone loves a good plot twist. One where everything you thought and were certain of isn't. Well in video games, what are the 10 best? We take a look at a screen rant list and see if they got it right.
https://screenrant.com/shocking-video-game-plot-twists-in-history-ranked/

Game Review:

Tiny Tina's Wonderland - Reviisited

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Another game studio is for sale. Gotta catch em all... literally. Which game characters are making bank? Disney looks to try and create a more adult game and there be dragons on this episode of Joystick and mouse.

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Show Notes

"Square Enix Selling Tomb Raider, Deus Ex & Thief (And Their Studios As Well)
Let's see if the new owners can also be disappointed by great games that sell well."
https://kotaku.com/square-enix-embracer-deus-ex-1848866849

Osceola County Sheriff’s Office deputies opened fire on four suspects believed to have stolen Pokémon cards and a pizza. One died after being transported to a hospital, while two others were charged with petty theft.
https://kotaku.com/pokemon-card-police-shooting-florida-target-shoplift-vi-1848870113

Video game characters may be the acme of escapism, but most of them do still have jobs within their own worlds. Which ones are paid the most? Online gaming site Solitaired did some number crunching to see who the biggest earner in the gamesphere is.
https://www.houstonpress.com/arts/the-highest-salaries-for-video-game-characters-13287293

New Disney Game Looks Perfect (For Disney Adults). Disney Dreamlight Valley definitely has its fingers on the fandom's pulse
https://kotaku.com/disney-dreamlight-valley-gameloft-ps5-pc-xbox-switch-ip-1848851631

The biggest news of the week, and the worst kept secret of the year was that Blizzard announced the next expansion for wWorld of Warcraft. The heros of azeroth are headed to the Dragon Isles to help restore their poweres and fight an new emerging evil.
https://www.pcgamer.com/world-of-warcraft-wow-dragonflight-release-date/
https://www.polygon.com/23031271/world-of-warcraft-expansion-dragonflight-wow-new-class-cinematic-trailer-release

Game Review

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga - Diddi - 9/10
https://www.starwars.com/games-apps/lego-star-wars-the-skywalker-saga

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April 20, 2022

Let’s Have a Playdate

Sony tries to play catch up with XBox, Blizzard is at it again. Theres a new handheld in town and WE HAVE A LIST!, on this episode of Joystick and Mouse.

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Show Notes

After months of speculation and reports, Sony finally unveiled its new PS Plus subscription service—previously referred to as codename “Spartacus”—which falls in line with the likes of Xbox Game Pass. The new service aims to streamline Sony’s offerings, effectively combining PS Plus and PS Now, with various options and benefits across multiple tiers.
https://kotaku.com/playstation-unveils-game-pass-competitor-shell-1848716609
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-03-25/sony-to-unveil-playstation-subscription-as-soon-as-next-week
https://www.inverse.com/gaming/new-playstation-plus-price-tiers-launch-games

A U.S. District Judge approved an $18 million relief settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission today. This settlement comes months after Activision Blizzard originally agreed to settle with the EEOC on September 27, 2021. But those attempting to hold the game publisher to account are split on how much of a win this will ultimately be for the victims of Activision Blizzard’s “frat boy” culture.
https://kotaku.com/activision-blizzard-settlement-eeoc-dfeh-trial-call-of-1848719873

There's a new player in the handheld console arena. This week the playdate was released by Panic which previously was primarily an apple game developer. So what is it about this quirky little hand held that has taken the gaming wqorld by storm?
https://www.axios.com/panic-playdate-handheld-video-game-system-859797c6-a484-4397-9ee6-244089096810.html
https://www.ign.com/articles/playdate-review

Man we love a list and this one hits a nerve (or two). IGN decided to give their list of the 255 best PC games to play right now and we have questions. 
https://www.ign.com/articles/best-pc-games

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March 25, 2022

Week of Meh

This is the week of "Oh, really, THAT happened this week. I hadn't noticed. The world of video games has taken a back seat to the Russian invasion of Ukraine but there was some news this past little bit as well as a very meh performance (again) by Sony. I guess they were saving the thunder for later.

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Show Notes

Amazon Luna, the retail behemoth’s cloud gaming service which launched in early access in October 2020, is now available everywhere in the mainland United States. Luna will offer à la carte subscriptions to five channels, and Amazon Prime members get access to a monthly rotation of games included with that subscription.
https://www.polygon.com/22956365/amazon-luna-release-date-price-games-list

Microsoft has announced that it will suspended sales of all its products and services in Russia, following the invasion of Ukraine. This seems like a no brainer and Microsoft wasn't the only one but how do we feel about the real world invading our sanctuary of video games?
https://www.ign.com/articles/microsoft-russia-sales-xbox
https://mashable.com/article/video-game-developers-publishers-russia-ukraine-war-sanctions

The news doesn't get any better for Activision/Blizzard/Microsoft as the parents of a female employee that committed suicide after being harassed filed a law suit against the company this week. Details of the suit were not disclosed but Janet and Paul Moynihan, parents of Kerri Moynihan, allege that sexual harassment was a “significant factor” in her death.
https://www.polygon.com/22962017/activision-blizzard-sexual-harassment-lawsuit-suicide

This past week Sony had a State of Play which was so Epic, I didn't even hear about it till after the fact. So here's what was announced and what we think looks cool or not so cool as the case may be?
https://www.comingsoon.net/games/news/1214033-playstation-state-of-play-everything-announced-march-9-2022
https://blog.playstation.com/2022/03/08/state-of-play-returns-this-wednesday/

In last episodes vein of everybody gets a develoment company, Sony doubled down after buying Bungie and snapped up Haven Studios. Who are they? Well they just happen to be the new studio of Jade Raymond. You know the one who was in charge (producer) of Assassins Creed and Metal gear Solid 4. So what is Sony up to with this buy?

https://www.gameinformer.com/2022/03/21/playstation-acquires-jade-raymonds-new-studio-haven-studios

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February 23, 2022

Coffin Nails

GPU's greater than posting. Stadia continues to dwindle in the rearview mirror. What Ubisoft has up its sleeve as well as everything announced ... and not announced at the latest Nintendo Direct on this episode of Joystick and Mouse.

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Show Notes

The company formerly known as Facebook got hammered this week and as such got over taken by NVidia in value. How and Why did a GPU manufacturer overtake the largest social media platform on the planet.

https://www.pcgamer.com/its-official-nvidia-is-now-worth-more-than-meta/

It wasn't by any means the final nail hammered into the Stadia coffin this week but it sure did seem like they were fitting the lid. Doe Stadia survive the latest Google move?

https://www.vg247.com/stadia-reportedly-deprioritized-inside-google-which-aims-to-secure-deals-under-google-stream-label

Ever wonder what Ubisoft was up to these days? We no, neither have I but IGN has and this week they published a list of all the games that Ubisoft is working on and there are some real gems on there.

https://www.ign.com/articles/every-ubisoft-game

The Nintendo Direct from this past week had a lot of interesting info as most do but was probably more noteworthy for what it didn't have.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhDFA_O7zNg
https://kotaku.com/nintendo-direct-switch-announce-news-metroid-mother-mar-1848510862
https://www.polygon.com/22926054/nintendo-direct-february-2021-biggest-announcements-trailers

Game Review

Horizon : Forbidden West

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You get a development studio and you get a development studio everybody gets a development studio. At least it's felt like an Oprah christmas special episode lately in the video game world. Let's dig into the latest games studio acquisition and see what that means for gamers, workers and the industry as a whole on this episode of Joystick and Mouse.

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https://www.patreon.com/joystickandmouse

Show Notes

This week Sony (We knew they had to respond in some way) purchased Bungie for 3.6 Billion. This come on the heels of theTake-two buy-out of Zynga (Farmville) and of course the Purchase of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. So what does this mean and how does this affect us the gamers and what does it mean for the industry at large?https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/31/sony-to-buy-video-game-maker-bungie-in-3point6-billion-deal.html
http://www.jordantimes.com/news/features/four-giants-major-players-video-game-industry

Will any of this change now that Microsoft is in charge? Raven software is doing some shady stuff to try and "bust" the unionization actions that the employees are taking and it just seems like it is business as usual.https://www.inverse.com/gaming/raven-software-activision-blizzard-union-busting?utm_campaign=inverse&utm_content=1643312109&utm_medium=owned&utm_source=twitter
https://jacobinmag.com/2022/02/pc-xbox-labor-sexual-harassment-unionization-exploitation?fbclid=IwAR0q8sBIKtbAyfQb5vlNd33D6EQkBN3eMlRKpqEBH5vCThgit-P7FwO2iyg

Halo is getting a TV series and it is glorious but what is with non blue cortana?

https://www.cnet.com/news/halo-tv-series-gets-explosive-first-trailer/

Ah, it's the end of an era, sort of. Sega is officially getting out of the arcade game business.
https://www.gameinformer.com/2022/01/28/sega-is-officially-ending-its-arcade-center-business

Game Review

Pokemon Legends: Arceus

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There was only one real story this week in video game news and that of course was the acquisition of Blizzard/Activision by Microsoft for 69 billion freaking dollars. We'll talk about what this means for the gaming industry and what we hope comes from this purchase on this episode of Joystick and Mouse.

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https://www.patreon.com/joystickandmouse

Show Notes

The skinny - Initial thoughts

https://www.axios.com/microsoft-to-buy-activision-blizzard-c2e1fe64-c5f8-4c77-bfa6-2893668ad173.html

What does Microsoft get

https://www.videogameschronicle.com/news/list-heres-every-activision-blizzard-ip-xbox-now-owns-including-crash-bandicoot-and-guitar-hero/

What does this mean for other companies

https://www.fool.com/investing/2022/01/24/microsoft-activision-blizzard-deal-wont-hurt-sony/

What about the lawsuit

https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/microsoft-deal-throws-obstacles-in-path-of-activision-organizers
https://www.polygon.com/22889580/microsoft-activision-blizzard-acquisition-bobby-kotick

Play Now
January 5, 2022

2021 Review Show

Welcome to our version of the 2021 video game awards where we give our take on the past year and look forward to the year to come. Oh and Alex drops a bomb.

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Show Notes

Biggest News Story
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_in_video_games

Best Narrative (Story)

Biggest Meh

Best Game

Favorite Game

Looking Forward to in 2022
https://www.gameinformer.com/2022

Play Now
December 15, 2021

2021 Video Game Awards

There was other news from the company that can't be named and in the Epic vs Apple ongoing saga but this week is dedicated to the Video Game Awards that were held this past week. Let's dive right in and let you know our thoughts on this episode of Joystick and Mouse.

http://www.joystickandmouse.com
http://shop.joystickandmouse.com/
https://www.patreon.com/joystickandmouse

Show Notes

The show as a whole

https://www.cnet.com/news-live/the-game-awards-2021-every-result-winner-announcement-trailer-and-more/
https://www.thegameawards.com/

The musical guests

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Game_Awards_2021#Performers

The awards

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Game_Awards_2021#Video_games
https://www.tomsguide.com/news/live/the-game-awards-2021-live-blog
https://www.ign.com/articles/the-game-awards-2021-winners-revealed

The announcements

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Game_Awards_2021#Announcements
https://www.tomsguide.com/news/live/the-game-awards-2021-live-blog

Video Game Review

Halo Infinite: Campaign

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