Written by John Perry

Rockstar‘ Loses Co-Founder

The future of Rockstar games seems a little shaky with the recent news that co-founder Dan Houser is due to leave the prestigious development company this coming March. 

Houser was responsible for contributing to huge consumer hits such as the Grand Theft Auto series & Red Dead Redemption. He was a lead writer on many of Rockstar’s creations for over twenty years, so many are shocked that Houser and the company have decided to part ways.

Sam Houser, Dan’s brother the other co-founder of the company, will be staying on as president. With the next GTA on the horizon and rumoured to be in development, it seems that Dan leaving could not have come at a worse time.

A statement released by Rockstar’s key investors has stated that Houser had been on an extended break since early 2019 after the exhausting 100 hour working weeks during the ”crunch” time for Red Dead 2’s release in November 2018. 

Whatever the future holds for Houser, judging by his past successful projects, he has earned a well-deserved rest from the industry in the eyes of his fans. And there is no reason to worry about Rockstar, as Sam will keep the company going strong for years to come yet.

Sony Patents Hint ”Tech”

The majority of gamers will know a game guide when they see one, online walk-throughs & YouTube videos dedicated to helping people who get stuck on sections of their favourite games.

Well, Sony has been paying attention to this heavily in recent years to the point where they aim to monetize the opportunity within the PlayStation 5 console live as you play. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has had a new patent filed by Sony to allow this technology to be implemented into future consoles with them having the sole rights to the idea.

Not much is known about how exactly this system would be accessed, or even work, but it seems that the technology will monitor a gamer’s performance & progression. This would allow the PS5 to see that you need some form of help and suggest guides and solutions all for a price which has yet to be estimated.

“When players become frustrated with their repeated failures to accomplish some objective, there is a higher likelihood that the player will quit the game and not experience the totality of what the game is intended to offer,” according to a sentence from the patent. (Source: https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf;jsessionid=478574A02EEA3FD9109CF9959D05B551.wapp2nB?docId=WO2020023321&tab=PCTBIBLIO)

However, with the boom of the internet and how anyone can find out anything whenever they want why would you pay Sony for the service? Just grab your phone and hit Google. Nothing is set in stone, but it’s unlikely Sony would patent such a system if it was not planning to implement it in some form in the future.

Anthem 2.0 Coming Soon

Anthem launched in February 2019 with huge sales totalling over $100 million with $3.5 million of that purely for in-game purchases or ‘Micro-transactions’. Anthem was met with a lot of praise at first, but as time went on, the cracks began to show; the controversies of what happened during the development were revealed and the game’s roadmap was deleted.

Over the last year, the player base has dropped significantly, but despite that many online users believe the game is not dead. Speculations began in late 2019 that the Bioware title would receive a drastic change or update, but over time these rumours gathered dust.

Now, one year later, we have some very exciting news from Bioware themselves that these rumours were indeed true, but it’s not as simple as an update or jumps to a sequel. An entire gameplay overhaul is planned and currently in development with no ETA yet given by the development team.

”Over the coming months, we will be focusing on a longer-term redesign of the experience, specifically working to reinvent the core gameplay loop with clear goals, motivating challenges and progression with meaningful rewards – while preserving the fun of flying and fighting in a vast science-fantasy setting.” – Casey Hudson, general manager of Bioware.

While fans have been rejoicing, sceptics are not so easily impressed. The game broke a hefty amount of promises, going as far as showing a gameplay trailer that was not the same as what the consumer received.

Anthem still has a bad reputation with the majority of gamers. Similar games like Final Fantasy 14 Online and No Man’s Sky have been culprits of launching broken or unfinished in recent years, and it seems Anthem has joined that list. 

It’s a growing trend of games launching broken, unfinished, or just completely falsely advertised over the last few years, with people in the gaming industry who have become a bit of a meme recently stating. 

”It’s not how you launch, it’s what it becomes,” Todd Howard, director and executive producer of Bethesda Game Studios said.

But to end on a positive note, titles previously mentioned did receive the much-needed extra development time and more. They are now considered to be amazing games by the online community, the devs came back swinging and got their home runs!