Gaming News #148 – Digital E3 2021, Microsoft & Nintendo Possible Partnership, Borderlands Movie Update

Fresh news on a possible Microsoft and Nintendo partnership, the new format of this year's E3, an updated synopsis of the Borderlands movie, the highly promising gameplay of The Day Before zombie MMO, and much more.

The past week featured a healthy mix of news both big and small. We got a tease that Microsoft and Nintendo have some sort of partnership in store to be revealed later this year and we finally have information on how much is Epic exactly spending on all those exclusivity deals. Besides that, we got some new game showcases, updates on the format of this year’s E3, and a tease of the possible return of a beloved strategy franchise among other news. 

Is a Microsoft and Nintendo partnership looming on the horizon?

Is a Microsoft and Nintendo partnership looming on the horizon?

What sort of surprise do Nintendo and Microsoft have for us?

A leaker who previously accurately predicted the acquisition of Gearbox by Embracer Group and the eventual inclusion of Final Fantasy VII Remake to the PS Plus is foretelling something anew. This time, involving a possible partnership between two giant companies, Microsoft and Nintendo. According to the leaker, the collab will include Nintendo and Microsoft’s gaming division, Xbox.

This could be something fairly simple like Master Chief being included in the next Smash Bros installment but could also be something much bigger like Xbox Pass coming to the new Nintendo Switch console. Anyhow, if there’s any truth to this leak, we won’t hear more about it until fall which will make for a few interesting speculative months.  For more information on the leak and our thoughts on what it could entail, check out our original news coverage.

Epic is okay with losing a ton of money on game exclusivity deals

Epic is okay with losing a ton of money on game exclusivity deals

Epic is focused on gaining market share

Thanks to Epic’s deal with Apple, we now know that Epic spend approximately $450 million on their infamous exclusivity deals in the last year. While many gamers were opposed to the fact that they’d need to fracture their game library to another store, gaming industry experts see it as a perfectly okay strategy to take on Steam which was up until then fairly cemented as the go-to gaming platform. According to Epic’s report, they made only around $265 million on third-party games which means they are losing a serious amount of money on these exclusivity deals.

Seeing as the gaming giant plans to continue the exclusive and timed exclusive strategy for the foreseeable future, according to Apple, their store will become profitable only around 2027. They also see it as a perfectly understandable strategy where they’ve put long terms plans of acquiring a sizeable market share in front of their short-term profits. 

Microsoft and Relic Games still have plans for Age of Mythology

Microsoft and Relic Games still have plans for Age of Mythology

Expansion, remake, or a sequel? What would you like to see?

Just recently, ahead of Age of Empires fan event, Microsoft arranged a roundtable interview with developers from Relic Entertainment. While most of the questions concerned Age of Empires 4, a question was also asked about their spinoff strategy franchise – Age of Mythology. The creative director for the franchise, Adam Isgreen was quoted saying: “Stay tuned, we have not forgotten about it. I love Age of Mythology. I love mythology in general. We love the franchise. We’re not pretending it’s not there or anything like that. We know.” What this exactly means is unknown at this point.

The easiest route would be to release further expansions to the original game but somehow we feel like fans would be more inclined toward a full-blown sequel or at least a remake of the beloved original. Anyhow, the popularity of the spinoff franchise that dove deep into Greek, Norse, and Egyptian mythology can’t be denied and Microsoft would be crazy to let it be forgotten.

E3 2021 will be a digital event featuring many industry heavy hitters

E3 2021 will be a digital event featuring many industry heavy hitters

E3 has come to grips with the digital format and is improving

The ESA has confirmed E3 will return in 2021 with a digital event supported by several high-profile partners. This announcement follows a disastrous few years for the electronic expo including the cancellation of 2020’s event due to COVID-19 and a security breach that compromised the personal details of thousands of members of the games press. The statement goes into how that the ESA has “early commitments” from Nintendo, Xbox, Capcom, Konami, Ubisoft, Take-Two Interactive, Warner Bros. Games, and Koch Media to participate in the show with “more to come.”

This was later confirmed by E3 Twitter account, calling for everyone to sign up for updates and to “get hyped for the return of the most exciting show in video gaming”. According to the organizers, this year’s E3 will be a “hyper-engaged digital experience” perhaps hinting at a possibility of more player interaction with developers and their games. This isn’t a surprise as hopefully, they managed to come to grips with the fully digital format that’s going to reinvigorate the bruised reputation of the once highly regarded conference. For more information on E3 2021, check out our original news coverage.

The Day Before looks like a comeback for the zombie survival genre

The Day Before looks like a comeback for the zombie survival genre

At times, the game looks too good to be true

The “open-world MMO survival” – The Day Before showed us a 10-minute gameplay trailer which understandably has many gamers very hyped.  The game looks like a dream come true for many zombie apocalypses where you’ll be able to explore, scavenge, and of course, shoot zombies while fending off other players for the few previous available resources. Overall, the game looks stunningly atmospheric and filled to the brim with details both big and small.

Many gamers were quick to draw comparisons with the games like The Last of Us and The Division which is definitely an interesting combination that many are eager to try. Many are also wary of the fact that The Day Before is being developed by Fntastic that doesn’t have a good track record since all their games launched in Early Access and were quickly abandoned by the developer shortly after. Still, the development and budget for The Day Before looks to be on a whole new level in comparison to their previous games so it hopefully doesn’t suffer the same fate.

The Fermi Paradox is a narrative-driven strategy game that lets you play a galactic gardener

The Fermi Paradox is a narrative-driven strategy game that lets you play a galactic gardener

An interesting take on the sci-fi strategy genre

Good, high-quality strategy games are a rare occurrence these days. Well, The Fermi Paradox seems like it could very well fall into that category on its interesting premise alone. In this game, rather than playing as a single galactic faction, you can play gardener guiding up to 10 civilizations simultaneously. It offers choice-driven gameplay where every galactic event and your choice has far-reaching consequences for everyone involved.

The developers describe it like this: “Each play-through will become a unique interstellar saga. From the first decision of which lifeforms will evolve into sapient species, there will be numerous choices determining the history and values of that civilization – from their views on sexuality and religion to their treatment of weaker members of society.” It’s an interesting take on the genre and one that looks to have a fair bit of replayability in store for players as they explore all the possible outcomes that come as a result of numerous decisions made over the course of a single playthrough. 

The Borderlands movie gets a short and quirky plot synopsis

The Borderlands movie gets a short and quirky plot synopsis

Plot synopsis ticks all the Borderlands boxes

We are inching closer and closer toward that long-awaited Borderlands movie. Previously, we only had cast members and characters to base our speculations on but now we also have a short plot synopsis that gives us a lot more to go on.

Here’s what it says: “Lilith (Blanchett), an infamous outlaw with a mysterious past, reluctantly returns to her home planet of Pandora to find the missing daughter of the universe’s most powerful S.O.B., Atlas (Ramirez). Lilith forms an alliance with an unexpected team— Roland (Kevin Hart), a former elite mercenary, now desperate for redemption; Tiny Tina (Ariana Greenblatt), a feral pre-teen demolitionist; Krieg (Florian Munteanu), Tina’s musclebound, rhetorically challenged protector; Tannis (Jamie Lee Curtis), the scientist with a tenuous grip on sanity; and Claptrap (Jack Black), a persistently wiseass robot. These unlikely heroes must battle alien monsters and dangerous bandits to find and protect the missing girl, who may hold the key to unimaginable power. The fate of the universe could be in their hands—but they’ll be fighting for something more: each other.” Well, there you go, what more do you need. Sounds like Borderlands to us. Now if only they gave us a release date, that’d be great. 

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