Most anticipated developers of 2019.

What to expect from Xbox developers in 2019?

This is a huge year for Microsoft and Xbox in gaming, and there is a lot to look forward to, games and console wise.

The first of these is Fable 4. This is a name we thought might not see the light of day again. After previous developers Lionhead Studios closed, we thought that would be the last time we heard of the much-anticipated game. Now though, Playground Games, owned as of 2018 by Microsoft Studios, is rumoured to be working on Fable 4. This comes after Eurogamer reported last year that Fable 4 exists after getting a scoop, and rumours continued to circulate around 2018 and it is now pretty much confirmed that Xbox is bringing Fable back very soon. So, are we getting Fable 4 in 2019? If all goes to plan, we should have at the very least an announcement from Playground Games. It is unlikely but cannot be ruled out to be released in 2019. Maybe Xbox is waiting for Project Scarlett?…

fable

So, what is Project Scarlett? If you haven’t heard, Project Scarlett is the new evocative name for the forthcoming future of Xbox (and whatever that may hold). But yes, for the first time since 2013, Microsoft are expected to announce a brand-new Xbox console this year. Xbox chief Phil Spencer has already confirmed that Microsoft are currently working on new Xbox consoles. The rumours that are going around right now is that the brand-new upcoming Xbox consoles will be fully compatible with all previous generations of Xbox. As well as this, the codenames that are rumoured for the consoles are “Lockhart” (for the less powerful and less expensive version) and “Anaconda” (for the higher-end version). As ever, it will be interesting to see where Xbox go with the next generation of consoles.

Excitement Factor: starstarstar

Michael Goulding

Will 2019 be Star Wars’ chance to Respawn?

The general public perception of Star Wars has taken a particularly negative turn over the past few years.

Ever since EA let Battlefront 2 loose rupturing the games industry, followed by Disney cranking out The Last Jedi which equally split fans, it’s fair to say that Star Wars has a long way to go before returning to a healthy state. The question is, with the upcoming new title release and the highly anticipated episode IX hitting the box office, could 2019 be the start of that journey?

Before the new year, there were originally two scheduled Star Wars games to be released however, EA has since axed one. Supposedly in development by Visceral Games before their shutdown, the unnamed Star Wars title was believed to be an open world game, giving lots of fans the hope of a stunning game set in a universe far, far away. The second of the two remains alive, for the time being.

Developed by Respawn, the Los-Angeles studio who created the Titanfall universe, little information besides a speculated name, Jedi: Fallen Order and a release date of fall 2019 have currently been announced. Does that mean that this Star Wars project is on the rocks, similar to Visceral’s open world game, that remains unclear? Although, it’s fair to say that every fan of the expansive franchise has been aching for a new title to sink their teeth into.

Whatever ends up coming from this Star Wars title, Respawn may have a busy year planned. Alongside Jedi: Fallen Order, it is believed that Titanfall 3, the sequel to the 2016 game will be released sometime during 2019. For a relatively small developer of Respawns size launching two AAA titles as such, with one being a Star Wars title, 2019 will be a make or break year. However, this year ends up unfolding for the team over at Respawn, I can say that personally I am very excited to see what they can do and hopefully Titanfall 3 will be as fantastic as its predecessor.

titanfall

Excitement factor:    starstarstarstar

Ben Lyons

What’s next for Bungie after split from Activision?

In October of 2007, a month after the release of Halo 3, developer Bungie had split from Microsoft and become a private LLC (limited liability company). Three years later, Bungie made a ten-year publishing deal with Activision. As of January 10th, 2019, that deal has been terminated, and with it they have retained all rights to their current flagship game, Destiny.

Fans of Bungie and Destiny took to social media to celebrate the split while Bungie themselves were cheering and popping champagne according to Kotaku. This means that Bungie are free to fully take Destiny in the direction they want to. Players of the Destiny series believe that it was Activision who were behind Bungie’s downfall with the addition of micro-transactions to the game, and the rather skewed loot system in Destiny 2 where the more casual players will receive the best loot while hardcore players will receive little more than a pat on the back. But will all the celebration and rejoicing be justified?

Activision have stated that they are “committed to a seamless transition for the Destiny franchise and will continue to work closely [with Bungie] during the transition” meaning that until Bungie are fully capable of running the game solo, Activision will be supporting them still. But after this, what will Bungie have in store for Destiny? Already there is speculation of Bungie not being capable of keeping Destiny alive and well on their own. Activision helped Bungie by bringing in various subsidiary studios to help make content for Destiny 2 such as the Forsaken update which has been a favourite among the fans. With the split, it’s safe to assume that Bungie will lose access to these subsidiaries and will very much be on their own for now.

Destiny 2 could suffer a shortened life span due to this but could also see many improvements like the skewed loot system and micro transactions mentioned before. But could we be seeing Destiny 3 sooner than we had thought? Because I’m sure no one would be happy to start from scratch once again so soon.

forsaken

Excitement factor:  starstarstar

Cameron Hubbard

Matt Makes Games.

Celeste was the Indie game of last year picking up the award for Best Indie Game at the Game Awards, but quite possibly the bigger win was being nominated for Game Of The Year alongside major titles. With this success, it would make sense to see something more from Matt Thorson and his aptly named company ‘Matt Makes Games’, right?

Well, free DLC is on its way at some point. We’re expecting this to be soon though as Thorson has been quite active on Twitter recently promoting these new ‘very hard’ levels with a short GIF showing a sneak-peak of what’s to come (and believe me it looks terrifyingly difficult at a glance). They’ve been described to be separate from the rest of the game and even more excitingly there is said to be a couple new mechanics to freshen up the DLC. Which is truly fitting for Celeste as it is a game that grew in depth by adding new mechanics as it went along chapter to chapter and interconnecting them all together.

Extra levels will always be a plus in Celeste, especially since they’re free on all platforms. If were up to me I’d have a constant stream of new levels for me lose sleep over in trying to complete them. However, these are said to be a ‘farewell’ to the award-winning game. Indicating that we’re not going to be getting any more after that. So what other games could Matt be making.

As of now, we can simply speculate that he’s leaving Celeste aside to focus on other, newer projects. Presumably anything new will be in the now well-known pixel art style he’s used for both Celeste and his other staple franchise Towerfall. We may know more once these new levels are fully released so definitely keep an eye of Matt Thorson on Twitter or even the Matt Makes Games blog site.

celeste

Excitement Factor:  starstarstarstar

Adam Coates

Kojima Productions.

According to Sam Lake founding member of Remedy Entertainment, the company behind Max Payne – Death Stranding “to push the boundaries”.

Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima and Sam Lake met during a visit at Remedy Entertainment headquarters. The meeting was to compare notes which accidentally ended up sending fans into a mini hype spiral over their meeting.

Kojima also recently stopped by Guerrilla Games office in Amsterdam to show them what he has been making with the engine; created by them. Guerrilla’s Decima Engine is what powers Death Stranding, so it’s no real surprise that the Dutch devs would be among the first to see Kojima’s work. Horizon Zero Dawn director and Guerrilla Games were left speechless by the two-hour long footage they were shown of Death Stranding. And given their status within the gaming industry, Guerrilla Games’ opinion holds a lot of weight.

Guerrilla Games Co-founder and managing director Hermen Hulst tweeted he was “so impressed” with Death Stranding, while Horizon Zero Dawn director Hermen Hulst was left “speechless”.

Death Stranding is not fully complete yet however, Aki Saito who previously worked for Konami but recently joined the Kojima Productions team as Head of Marketing and Communications claimed “the game is nothing I thought it was!”. Here’s hoping we have another Kojima masterpiece on our hands.

Since the game’s announcement, we’ve heard small bits of information about a design philosophy featuring ropes and sticks, and seen hints of gameplay in a trailer. But we still don’t know what the moment-to-moment gameplay will involve. We also know that Sony is skipping E3 this year which is important since the game is in development exclusively for Playstation 4.

Reports, rumors, and teasing suggests the game may be out this year. However there’s still a lot of speculation over when it will be released but fans have high-hopes it will become available this year. At this point in time, little to nothing is known about the actual story so far.

death stranding

Excitement factor: starstarstarstar

Regan Peart-Price

 

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