Sony's early successes evidently have an unfortunate side effect, as E3 confirms 2021 show dates in this week's gaming news recap.
Admittedly, all is not well, as Sony's initial PlayStation strategy comes at a cost as the other console makers prepare for the digital return of E3 this year. Game Rant has compiled some of the biggest gaming news from the past week into a concise post for fans and enthusiasts to stay up to date on the most important industry events by week. Highlighting the most relevant stories, this list is not inherently and entirely objective and will not contain all of this week's news. Rather, it's aimed at gaming fans who want a quick rundown of the biggest/most impactful stories that have taken place over the past week in gaming.
In this week's roundup of gaming news, a report by Bloomberg's Jason Schreier emphasizes the side effects of Sony prioritizing its biggest AAA developers. Additionally, this week the ESA formally announced E3 2021, a fully digital event scheduled for June this year. Xbox is rumored to be in talks with Kojima Productions, potentially publishing Kojima's next game exclusively on Xbox. Another game was also misinterpreted as a secret Kojima game this week. The Epic Games Store reveals a surprisingly bleak financial outlook as part of its ongoing lawsuit with Apple. All that and more in this week's gaming industry news recap.
Sony Strategy, The Last of Us Remake, Days Gone 2 Was Rejected, and More
On Friday, a detailed report on Sony's game development studios sheds some light on the company's "conservative" business practices with PlayStation. Centering on the history of Sony's Visual Arts Service Group, the Bloomberg report seems to indicate that Sony's support for studios like Naughty Dog and Santa Monica Studio has stifled smaller development efforts. The developers of the blockbuster PlayStation are getting all the budget attention from Sony, while other teams hesitate.
Along with that news came some information tangentially related to Sony's business practices. The Visual Arts Service Group had reportedly started a project to remake The Last of Us, after a failed attempt to remake the first Uncharted game. However, it appears that Sony has essentially handed the project over to a team at Naughty Dog, and it's unclear whether this project is still in development.
Furthermore, it appears that Sony's Bend Studio has switched to a completely new IP after Sony itself denied a presentation of the Days Gone 2 sequel by Bend. Prior to that, Bend Studio would have assigned a separate team to work on an Uncharted game under the supervision of Naughty Dog, before moving on to an entirely new game.
E3 2021 is confirmed
It looks like E3 is making a full return this year, albeit in an all-digital format. This year's fair, E3 2021, is scheduled for June 12-15 this summer. A surprising wealth of publishers are attending the event, though many of them have organized independent storefronts in the past year. Nintendo and Xbox, alongside notable publishers like Konami, Capcom, Take-Two, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. and Koch Media, are confirmed to be in attendance.
There are several notable absences on the show floor as well, including the previously absent Sony, alongside publishers like Square Enix, Sega, Bandai Namco, Tencent, 505 Games, and Activision Blizzard. The ESA clarified and stated that the confirmed attendees are part of a list of "initial appointments" to the show, though that doesn't necessarily mean any of these absentee editors will be in attendance.
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According to GamesBeat journalist Jeff Grubb, regarding another story involving Abandoned and how many assumed it was a "secret" game by Hideo Kojima, the next Kojima Productions could be published by Xbox. This hasn't been confirmed, but Grubb mentioned that Xbox and Kojima Productions are in talks over a similar deal, though it's unclear if this pertains to publishing rights, console exclusivity, or anything more specific than that.
Then again, Grubb also confirmed that Xbox boss Phil Spencer's "taunts" and his now-infamous bookshelf were largely intentional. Considering that the Ludens Kojima Productions statue was placed next to an Xbox sign, many fans are interpreting this as a sign. It wouldn't be the first time Spencer has teased something on his livestream background, as he did with the Xbox Series S console tease earlier.
“Abandoned” is not a “secret” game by Hideo Kojima
In the same vein, Blue Box Game Studios' Abandoned is not confirmed as a "secret" Kojima project, despite many fans spreading the rumor. In a statement from the studio, Blue Box Game Studios clarified that it has no association or relationship with Hideo Kojima, on the contrary, this game is a passion project for the team. Blue Box Games Studio was a supplemental developer that had assisted “various studios” in the past, but had never branched out into their own project until now.
The Epic Games Store operates at significant losses through 2023
Involved in its ongoing lawsuit with Apple, Epic Games' legal battle has brought to light some interesting financial revelations for the company's storefront. According to a recent lawsuit in Epic Games v. Apple, it appears the Epic Games Store is operating at substantial losses. Boasting its positive developer revenue split, monthly free game deals, and developer exclusivity deals, the Epic Games Store lost $450 million in operating costs.
Epic Games makes it clear that the 12% revenue split, among other store efforts, is still enough to cover expenses. Epic Games expects the store to be profitable by 2023 by financial estimates.
Arkane Studios' Deathloop Delayed to September
Arkane Studios' upcoming first-person shooter Deathloop has been delayed to September 14, 2021. Game director Dinga Bakaba mentions that Arkane wants to ensure the quality of the game without sacrificing the health and safety of the development team, a story always similar to many other games delayed by the after-effects of the pandemic. Deathloop was originally planned to be released on May 21, 2021, for PC and PS5.