Hello! Welcome to the latest Geeky Brummie Gaming Roundup!
This week, Ghost of Tsushima vs Days Gone and more bloody NFTs.
Was Ghost of Tsushima Really More Successful Than Days Gone?
Sucker Punch Productions announced early on in 2022 that Ghost of Tsushima has sold 8 million copies to date. The superb samurai open world game released back in 2020 and saw a PS5 upgrade last August and has fast become another beloved property in Sony’s arsenal.
But it wasn’t good news for everyone, as Jeff Ross, director of fellow first party title Days Gone took to Twitter to complain about how Sony’s celebration of Ghost of Tsushima rubbed him the wrong way. His reasoning is because Days Gone was considered a commercial failure despite also selling 8 million copies. Aside from the unprofessionalism in doing this (a trait shared with his fellow director) it also sparked debate about how accurate these numbers were and if Ross was telling the whole truth.
One fact omitted from this initial tweet is one that got expanded on in an interview on David Jaffe’s livestream – the figure was based on trophy data, and from an external third-party site at that. Aside from the potential inaccuracy of a third-party site, Days Gone was also part of the free PlayStation Plus selection back in April, and downloads from that likely contributed to the number of players. Players who paid nothing beyond their subscription to play the game. It’s also part of the free PS4 game selection available to subscribers on PS5, who again, don’t pay more than their initial subscription. And it’s been there since November 2020 when the PS5 launched.
Similarly, Days Gone was notably placed on sale quite frequently over the past couple of years, and even saw discounts within months of release. Meanwhile, Ghost of Tsushima continues to sell largely at full price and has never seen a PS Plus inclusion.
And with all this additional context it’s easy to see that Ghost of Tsushima has likely brought in greater revenue for Sony than Days Gone, despite them seemingly having the same number of players. And as someone who loved Ghost of Tsushima enough to make an entire video about its ending while any potential interest in Days Gone evaporated when its reveal trailer showed it to be yet another zombie game, I can see why more people were willing to pay full price for the former but not the latter.
So it’s easy to see why Ghost of Tsushima is celebrated over Days Gone. And while it’s understandable that Jeff Ross is upset that his work has been shunned in favour of the work of his peers, diminishing the work of his former colleagues is not a smart move in my book.
We’re Still Living Through the NFT Bubble
You’re going to be hearing a lot about this stuff this year, so sadly I have to keep reporting on it. But because multi-level marketing schemes work best when they’re endlessly pushed on other people to join, NFTs are going to continue to be a push for at least the next 6-12 months until the bubble inevitably bursts.
First up, Square Enix President Yosuke Matsuda released a New Year message for fans and investors that waffled on for ages about the latest fads in tech, including the Metaverse (MMOs for people who want to pretend they’re back in the office) and, naturally, NFTs and how the company intends to implement them in their games.
It’s all the usual nonsense about how they’re the “future” and players will “own assets” but it’s the same song and dance we’ve been hearing from scam artists with monkey profile pictures for months. What’s notable, however, is how blatant it is in admitting the tech isn’t being pushed for enjoyment. Matsuda dismissed players “who play to have fun” and seemingly sneered at concepts such as “goodwill and volunteer spirit”. Essentially saying people who see games as art, enjoyment, entertainment or a place to find community can get stuffed. Bring in the venture capitalists, baybeeeee.
It has not been well received.
Meanwhile, Konami have also jumped on the bandwagon. Because of course they have. They stopped making games in favour of gambling machines years ago, so it’s not surprising they’ve thrown their money into this particular pit. To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Castlevania (a year too late), they’re auctioning off various NFTs based on the property. Including the key art that I’ve used as a header for this section. Which I got for free off the internet.
There is something hilarious about how the whole system for this scam is “Konami Memorial NFT” though. Likely a mistranslation but it really does feel like the last gasp of a dying publisher.
Anyway, it has not been well received.
And then there’s Sega, who have reversed their plans to incorporate NFTs in their games as they’ve seen this poor reception and decided it may not be the best idea. They haven’t completely ruled it out, just shelved the idea until it’s more palatable to people. Which hopefully will be never.
If you’re wondering why my disdain for NFTs is so obvious every time I report on it, I will be releasing a video on the subject on my YouTube channel in a few weeks’ time which will help explain it all. And yes, this is the second time I’ve shilled my channel in this roundup. Sorry about that.
Take-Two Acquire Zynga
Take-Two, owners of 2K Games and Rockstar, have added another major publisher to their arsenal – Zynga. If you’re unaware of who this is, they are best known for FarmVille, the Facebook game that everyone was playing in 2009, along with a bunch of mobile titles. It’s also the biggest video game acquisition to date, costing $12.7bn, almost double what Microsoft paid for Bethesda ($7.5bn).
It’s clear that Take-Two are looking to do more within the mobile space, and acquiring Zynga is the easiest route into that as they are one of the biggest names in the market. EA did something similar with PopCap, after all, as did Activision with King. And the mobile market brings in an absurd amount of money, so it’s obvious why they’d want to do this, although why they need to spend so much money is a little questionable.
EGX Tickets Go On Sale
UK game convention EGX is returning to Birmingham at last. It was last held here in 2018, in an event that would also my mark my start at Geeky Brummie. Since then it’s been held at the Excel Centre in London (or was entirely online in 2020) with a smaller event at the Tobacco Docks with more of an indie focus.
This has since shifted, with the indie event scrapped. In its place is a second major show, now held at the NEC here in Birmingham on 4-6 March. And tickets are on sale RIGHT NOW! We’ll almost certainly be there, so come say hi!
As you’d expect for January, it’s pretty quiet for new releases. However, we are seeing the PC release of God of War, the latest first-party Sony title to come to Steam. It’s the 2018 game that took Kratos from Ancient Greece to Midgard with his new son, Atreus. Another former console exclusive coming to PC this week is Monster Hunter Rise, which hits Steam after almost a year of Switch exclusivity.
You Will (Not) Remain (PC) is a 2D pixel art narrative adventure set in an abandoned apartment complex in a world full of Eldritch horrors. It looks weird and fascinating, and it’s free too!
The Anacrusis (PC, Xbox) was a game I mentioned last week! You may remember that this is the sci-fi spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead where you and your friends hunt aliens on a retro future spaceship instead of zombies. Should be a fun time!
Game of the Week
Game of the Week is Buck Up and Drive, an arcade racer with a ludicrous sense of style and more than a little bit of wackiness to it. It arrives on Steam this week after numerous updates over on itch.io.
An endless driving game in the vein of OutRun, Buck Up and Drive encourages you to drift your way to glory, alongside mechanics swiped from fighting games and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. I don’t even know.
It looks ridiculous in the best possible way, and for that it has to be the first Game of the Week of 2022.