“The Stealing of Torches”
This week the gaming world mourned the devastating passing of Satoru Iwata, gained more insight into the ongoing Kojima/Konami cluster, and found out Dead Island 2 developer, Yager has officially been removed from the project. On top of that, whispers emanated that Batman: Arkham Knight, on PC, may not see the light of day until September. Here’s everything noteworthy from this week’s round of gaming news.
Metal Gear Solid 5’s Box Art Removes Kojima Name
This week we got a look at the new, and seemingly final, box art of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Judging from the photo above, the final game will carry no mention of Kojima, where as the previously revealed box art had shown the Kojima Productions’ logo and the line “A Hideo Kojima Game.” Yet, this wasn’t the only news surrounding the ongoing relationship between Kojima and Konami. Just a few days before the images surfaced online, Otsuka Akio, the Japanese voice actor of lead protagonist, Snake, claimed the development studio had been disbanded. This isn’t the first time Konami has removed Kojima’s name from its games, either. Earlier this March, when the Silent Hills/PT hubbub was gaining traction, Konami had deleted the Kojima Productions’ logo from the website, before eventually canceling what looked to be an extremely promising horror game, altogether. If anything else, the seemingly endless whispers and rumors to what is really going on with Kojima and Konami will make for an outstanding documentary one day. Until then, the incredibly ambitious Metal Gear Solid 5 is set for release on September 1 and will inevitably steal up my life as I know it.
Batman: Arkham Knight on PC Broken Until September
Batman: Arkham Knight’s tragic performance problems on PC may not be fixed anytime soon. According to a leaked internal email sent to EB Games staff, it details the game won’t be fixed until the Australian Spring. The retail memo reads:
“As previously advised, we have stopped sales of Batman: Arkham Knight PC while Warner and Rocksteady work on addressing performance issues with the game. The latest information from Warner is that the updates won’t be available until Spring. Due to this we have made the difficult decision to recall all PC stock from stores to return to the vendor until an acceptable solution is released.”
This essentially means Warner Bros. isn’t expecting to see the Dark Knight return to the streets of Gotham on PC before September. Batman: Arkham Knight’s catastrophic launch on PC, coupled with Warner and Rocksteady’s significant course of action, have undoubtably made the launch one of the most notorious the industry has seen in recent years. It’s all the more frustrating considering Batman: Arkham Knight is actually a really great game and runs outstanding on consoles. My guess is when the PC port is in a reliable enough state to re-release, it’ll come packaged with all the currently criminally overpriced DLC, for free. Yet, at this point, it’s anyone’s guess as to what the olive branch may be.
Dead Island 2 Developer Removed From Project
As of this week, there’s one less zombie game on the docket to worry about. Following April’s news of Dead Island 2’s delay into 2016, publisher, Deep Silver, has announced the zombie game’s developer, Yager–the studio behind Spec Ops: The Line–is no longer working on the project. In a statement, Deep Silver detailed the following:
“With Dead Island 2, Deep Silver has always been dedicated to delivering the sequel that Dead Island fans deserve. After careful consideration, today we announce the decision to part ways with development partner Yager. We will continue working towards bringing our vision of Dead Island 2 to life, and we will share further information at a later stage.”
Deep Silver has yet to announce which studio will be taking over development duties, for Dead Island 2 seems too far along to entirely scrap. The publisher offered no other reason why the developer had been removed from the project. Yet, Yager Managing Director Timo Ullman managed to shed a bit more light on the subject when speaking with GamesIndustry.
“Our team is made of the best creative minds and tech specialists, who all share a common identity. The team worked with enthusiasm to take Dead Island 2 to a new level of quality. However, Yager and Deep Silver’s respective visions of the project fell out of alignment, which led to the decision that has been made.”
Besides that, little else has been spoken this year surrounding the state of Dead Island 2. This past January, original Dead Island developer Techland, released Dying Light, an open-world zombie survival game similar to Dead Island. Dying Light was a far more robust game than any Dead Island has been, likely causing Deep Silver to step back and reevaluate, after seeing what Techland had done.
The Legacy of Satoru Iwata Lives On
This past Sunday, Nintendo announced that its President, Satoru Iwata passed away at the young age of 55 due to a bile duct growth. Iwata was more than just the face of Nintendo, offering his hand in the development of several of Nintendo’s most formative properties to date, including Kirby, Pokémon, Super Smash Bros., Animal Crossing, and The Legend of Zelda. Iwata’s remarkable achievements spanning across his entire career, no doubt, shaped the industry into what it is today. Chances are, the creators of your favorite games were, in some way, influenced by the far-reaching breath of inspiration Satoru Iwata exuded. Countless developers, publishers, gamers and members of the press have spoken kind words and paid their respects to Iwata and his lasting legacy over the week. One feature in particular by Gamespot’s very own Danny O’Dwyer, shined through. In it, O’Dwyer takes a look at Iwata’s remarkable life, and brings to light some of the lessons that gamers and developers should learn from it. It’s extremely well crafted and does a terrific job of reminding us just how important Iwata has been to the medium. His passing is tragic, but his vision and dedication to bring smiles to the face of gamers will forever live on. I wish his friends and family the very best. Rest in peace, Iwata-san.
To keep up with my thoughts on all things video games, along with plenty of other shenanigans, you can follow me on Twitter @BraxHaugen