Welcome to the Nano Gaming News Weekly Rewind for October 17, 2020 where we cover stories and events that we missed over the past week.
This past week saw The Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition wrap-up on Tuesday with demos, developer chats and game information of upcoming releases on Steam. Underwater combat vehicle shooter Aquanox Deep Descent was released by THQ Nordic and developer Digital Arrow. Lastly, it was a mostly quiet front in the Epic Games versus Apple however NGN is taking a quick look at the consequences this court battle may have for consoles.
Here is a quick recap of a few stories Nano Gaming News covered over the previous week. Wreck Tangle Games released the first two chapters of Quintus and the Absent Truth on Steam. The MOBA battle royale hybrid Eternal Return was released as a free to play early access title. Magical action roguelite Noita fully released on Steam and the interactive grappling platformer Get-A-Grip Chip moved onto Steam as well. God game genre fans got their first look at Fata Deum that will launch in Spring 2021.
Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition 2020
The Steam Game Festival: Autumn Edition for 2020 wrapped up last Tuesday after a week of game demos, developer chats, live streams and featured upcoming games on Steam. Like the Spring Game Festival this event allowed indie game developers to demo upcoming titles and have a moment in the spotlight to get feedback and exposure before their game’s release.
For developer’s big and small the event was huge success. For example the already popular Party Animals from Recreate Games that features comically cute animals in a party brawler saw 135,000 concurrent players with the free demo. This feat placed the game at number four at the time for the most concurrent players played on Steam while also during the event ranking number one in Trending/Most Wishlisted/Most Downloaded and Playing Now categories.
Other game’s also saw standout performances with their demos. Pumpkin Jack which launches on October 23, is a 3D action platformer with the right amount of spookiness before Halloween. Players take on the role of Jack as he battles his way through Boredom Kingdom that features colorful visuals and that perfect Halloween atmosphere.
Developer Serenity Forge and publisher Way Deep Down have a soon to be hit on their hands with Land of Screens. Hitting Steam in 2021this point and click adventure follows a protagonist named Holland. She is suffering through a breakup and deciding if reuniting with a high school best friend to talk about her experience is a good idea. As the gameplay unfolds players are treated with a frighteningly accurate representation of just how attached the world has become to their screens, their online personas. What really stands out and makes this game a future hit is the beyond exceptional dialogue and character personalities.
Seeing huge success with both of these digital game festivals, Steam has decided to make the Steam Game Festival a recurring event. Currently the tentative dates for next two events are scheduled for February 2021 and June 2021. New guidelines and criteria have been created for developers to help keep the selection of games relevant for customers.
Aquanox: Deep Descent Dives into Full Launch
Indie game studio Digital Arrow and publisher THQ Nordic have released the underwater combat vehicle shooter Aquanox: Deep Descent. As the next entry in the Aquanox Saga this game brings solo and multiplayer action to the dystopian deep sea world of Aqua.
Set in the near future, Earth’s surface is no longer habitable and those who remain survive in war-torn underwater settlements. The game is a first person underwater vehicle shooter with a variety of customizable ships. These player controlled ships are used to fight deadly battles, explore the vast ocean, salvage critical resources, and survive.
The game features a 4 player drop-in co-op with four distinct pilots. Each of these pilots are involved in the game’s story. Both classic multiplayer modes, Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch Dogfighting are included with the release. Now it is up to players to decide how they will out their enemies. Will on use well-aimed torpedoes or lay a network of mines?
Aquanox: Deep Descent is available now on Steam for $29.99 USD. A Collector’s Edition Bundle is available as well that features the Official Soundtrack and Digital Extras for $44.97 USD. Launch discounts for the game and bundle run until October 23, 2020. For more information about the game visit aquanox.com.
Epic Games and Apple Court Court News
It is Week 10 of the Epic Games versus Apple story and things were unusually quiet. Next week those following this story should expect some more back and forth as a pre-trial hearing has been set for Monday, October 19.
Looking at everything that has transpired in the court case has some possible deep ramifications for consoles makers. In the October 9 court order there was talk about the so-called “walled garden” or closed platform model that Apple maintains on iOS devices to ensure safety and security.
Currently Epic Games is arguing that Apple is different than that of Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft who also have varying degrees of a the so-called walled garden as “do not make much profit, if any, on the sale of the hardware or console—unlike Apple” who allegedly profits significantly off iPhone sales. The court in its analysis finds this “distinction is without legal precedent under section 2 of the Sherman Act” and a decision on this could have a potentially massive impact or rather “serious ramifications” for all three console makers.
Back on Tuesday, October 6, a court filling confirmed that the case is heading to a bench trial rather than a jury trial as requested by both parties. A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for Monday, October 19 with the actual trial will being on May 3, 2021. A pretrial conference will be held on April 21, 2021.
More development on this story can be expected this week during and after Monday’s hearing.
Thank you for reading the October 17, 2020 Edition of the Nano Gaming News Weekly Rewind. Don’t forget to check back with us next Saturday for the next edition of Nano Gaming News Weekly Rewind and until then, keep on gaming.