This week in gaming has seen a big acquisition and lots of drama, so let’s dive right in!

As the calendar flips to July, things are as busy as ever in the world of gaming. That’s par for the course, with the last week having seen its fair share of announcements and controversy. Let’s take a look at what took place over the last seven days!

Cuphead DLC delayed, but gets a trailer

Last Course

When Studio MDHR first released Cuphead in 2017, the world took notice of the game’s gorgeous hand-drawn visuals and challenging gameplay. The game was due to get a DLC follow-up in the form of The Delicious Last Course, but this week, Studio MDHR announced that the upcoming DLC was being pushed back to 2020.

Studio co-founder Chad Moldenhauer explained that the studio wants to ensure the DLC matches the same amount of quality that made Cuphead such a hit in the first place, while also safeguarding the development team’s healthy work-life balance ratio. The studio also released a new teaser trailer for the DLC, showcasing a very quick glimpse at some of the new upcoming boss battles.

The Delicious Last Course DLC will introduce an entire new island to gamers and it’ll come filled with new bosses, new weapons and a new playable character in the form of Ms. Chalice, who appears briefly as a non-playable character in the Cuphead ghost minigames. She’ll have unique abilities like double-jumping and will be playable in both the DLC island and the original one when the DLC releases next year.

Remedy Entertainment acquires the rights to Alan Wake

Alan Wake

Remedy Entertainment has acquired the publishing rights to Alan Wake, a self-developed game, after paying upwards of $3.5 million to Microsoft, who originally published it. The initial Alan Wake released in 2010 as an Xbox 360 exclusive, while a potential sequel was scrapped in the prototype phase.

Remedy Entertainment explicitly stated that it could now release Alan Wake on multiple platforms if it chose to. The studio’s current project, Control, is already confirmed to be a multi-platform release.

With Sony actively looking to purchase new studios, we speculated that Sony should acquire Remedy Entertainment. The Finnish studio has an impressive portfolio of single-player campaign experiences with the likes of Alan Wake and Max Payne under its belt, and these kinds of titles would lend themselves well to Sony’s own library of story-driven experiences.

While what happens to Alan Wake remains to be seen, Remedy Entertainment’s acquisition of the publishing rights is certainly an interesting move that bodes well for a potential multi-platform release, regardless of whether this comes in the form of the original game or a new one.

Screenshot from Alan Wake video game

Sony changed its PlayStation Plus July lineup

Detroit

Sony made headlines this week when the company made a last-minute switch to its already-announced PlayStation Plus free games lineup for July, with PES 2019 making way for a drastically different title in the form of Detroit: Become Human.

The company had previously announced that PES 2019 and Horizon Chase Turbo would be July’s free offerings for the month but opted to pull the former game and replace it with the Detroit: Become Human Deluxe Edition, which comes with the story-driven Heavy Rain as a bonus.

The reaction has been mixed. While fans who aren’t into sports were happy for the change, others didn’t like to see Sony pulling a last-minute swap that seems to have come out of nowhere and questioned whether they could expect this uncertainty to repeat itself in the future.

Sony Plus FIFA game and Detroit Home video game

EA struggles with the perception that they’re “a bunch of bad guys”

Matt Bilbey

Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz earlier this week, Electronic Arts executive vice-president of strategic growth Matt Bilbey—who has been with the company some 25 years—made waves when he was quoted as saying that he still struggles “with the external perception that [EA is] just a bunch of bad guys”.

The quote has been widely spread online in a negative fashion, with many gamers using the opportunity to knock the company for aggressive microtransactions, studio closures, and various mistakes over the company’s 37-year history.

The company had posted on Reddit to defend itself…with the post quickly becoming the most downvoted post in the history of Reddit itself.

Bilbey also touched on criticism that the company shies away from original ideas, which was a public perception that led Electronic Arts to create EA Originals, a system that helps independent games get to market. In that system, EA keeps enough to cover operating costs, but developers get all the profit (assuming there is any). The end game for that is EA connects with the talent behind original, new ideas, while indie developers can operate at reduced financial risk to themselves under the platform.

While the widespread quote has received a lot of attention, it didn’t quite receive the vitriol that the company’s infamous “sense of pride and accomplishment” response did a year ago. The company had posted on Reddit to defend itself during the microtransaction and grinding controversy from Star Wars Battlefront II, with the post quickly becoming the most downvoted post in the history of Reddit.

Electronic Arts EA logo on blue background

Rainbow Six Siege got a western game mode

Showdown

Having already surprised Rainbow Six Siege fans with an April Fools Day “Rainbow is Magic” update that ran for several days, Ubisoft is no stranger to quietly releasing big updates for the tactical shooter. This week, the company launched a new out-of-the-blue in-game event called Showdown which is heavily influenced by westerns.

The new event features 3-on-3 multiplayer on a new, cactus-filled map called Fort Truth. Sides switch between being the attackers (“The Law”) and the defenders (“The Graveltop Gang”). Players can only use a magnum and a shotgun in Showdown, adding to the western-themed fun.

The event runs until July 16th, so operators who want to dawn their tactical cowboy hat and dive in have ample time to do so. I’ve saddled up with a posse of my own to experience Showdown, and I think it’s certainly worth a look.

This Week’s Game Releases

Next week
Game Release Date Platform Metacritic
Stranger Things 3: The Game July 4, 2019 PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One TBD
Attack on Titan 2: Final Battle July 5, 2019 PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One TBD
Sea of Solitude July 5, 2019 PS4, Switch, Xbox One TBD

What’s up next week?

Next week

Dragon Quest Builders 2 releases for Nintendo Switch and PS4 late next week, so it should be a fun week for Dragon Quest fans. If the first week of July is any indication, it may be a drama-filled month of gaming action, though only time will tell what unfolds next week!

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John's Take

Author

The summer heat seems to have a few people riled up, and as a result we’ve seen a lot of conflict online regarding what free game that people will get, what EA struggles with, and even what kind of e-sports pop off celebrations are appropriate. It’s easy to get caught up in the madness, but it’s important to remember to breathe: there are bigger problems out there.

I agree with the consensus that it would be a smart play by Sony to acquire Remedy. Sony has built a strong reputation for its story-driven exclusives, and this is an area where Remedy specializes. The two companies certainly have similar strengths, though it’s all speculation for now. At the end of the day, gamers lose as a whole when it comes to exclusives: in an ideal world, cross-play and multi-platform releases are king.