Welcome to the Nano Gaming News Weekly Rewind for February 20, 2021 where we cover stories and events that we missed over the past week.
This past week was a week of game launches such as the early access release of the dark humor ARPG Good Night, Knight. However, all eyes in the gaming industry turned to two big events, Nintendo Direct and BlizzConline. Epic Games ramped up their legal action against Apple in Brussels while Valve gets dragged into the fray.
Other stories posted this past week on Nano Gaming News include the release of Peacock Pie Productions casual customer service title Click and Collect. Full Screen Games released their spin on the tower defense genre with Bugvasion TD. White Vortex took players on a wild survival horror story in Hidden Shelter. Allaith “ZAX” Hammed and Headup Games is showing that being tiny isn’t so bad in their 2D arcade shooter TinyShot.
BlizzConline 2021 Day 1
BlizzConline kicked off with a pre-show featuring music from Kristian Nairn who is best known for the roll of Hodor in Game of Thrones. The opening ceremony kicked off with an epic montage of interviews and game moments discussing video games and the connection between players from around the globe. After the video the 30 years of Blizzard celebration started with an opening speech from J. Allen Brack who recanted the story of Blizzard.
The first big announcement came in the form of Blizzard Arcade Collection. Featuring ports of The Lost Vikings, Rock N’ Roll Racing and Blackthorne the Blizzard Arcade Collection will be available on PC and consoles. Players who purchased any Blizzard digital bundle via Battle.net should have received the collection on Friday.
World of Warcraft has a lot in store. Patch 9.1 is called Chains of Domination and is on the horizon. A video teaser shows some major story movement with Anduin clearly possessed by The Jailer as he launches a devastating attack on Bastion.
Chains of Domination was not the only burning details for the Warcraft franchise. World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade Classic was also announced. Players will have the option to play on Classic, Burning Crusade Classic, or both.
Other big announcements included the Rogue class for Diablo IV and Diablo II Resurrected which is a remaster of the classic Diablo II title. Hearthstone is seeing some major changes that take the game back to its roots that includes a core card set. The full BlizzConline Day 1 events can be viewed on YouTube.
BlizzConline 2021 Day 2
Day 2 of BlizzConline featured several Q&A sessions in addition to several community focused events. World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Diablo all featured question and answer sessions that provided a balanced mix of details for upcoming content and titles.
Information about World of Warcraft Patch 9.1 revealed that the story starts in the aftermath of the previous day’s trailer. The Jailer has set his eye on Ardenweald and players will have to protect it. Dreadlords are returning in this patch with more lore about them. While 9.1 does not have a date players who have finished their covenant campaign will unlock flying.
Burning Crusade Classic will give players the option to keep their character in the Classic Era. If the character stays in Classic Era it will appear inactive until the Classic Era is installed. Players have a paid option to have a copy of their character in Classic Era while also moving on to Burning Crusade.
Overwatch fans will see a new Midas Roadhog skin and will be available before the 2021 Overwatch League season start in April. While the San Francisco Shock have been shocking the world with their back to back wins, the Shock stood no chance against The World in the Shock vs The World tournament. The World featured professional players, Blizzard employees and notable guests in non-sanctioned matches that were all about having a good and fun time.
A full viewing of the BlizzConline Day 2 activities can be found on the Blizzard Entertainment YouTube channel.
Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney Talks Legal Preparation Details
While recent weeks have been a bit slow in terms of Epic Games progressing its legal battle with Apple, this week was no sleeper. Two developments of note that stood out was Epic Games complaint against Apple in the European Union and the other is Valve’s fight against a subpoena from Apple.
Midweek, Epic Games filed a complaint with the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition where the complaint alleges antitrust claims against Apple. More specific the complaint states that through a “series of carefully designed anti-competitive restrictions, Apple has not just harmed but completely eliminated competition in app distribution and payment processes. Apple uses its control of the iOS ecosystem to benefit itself while blocking competitors and its conduct is an abuse of a dominant position and in breach of EU competition law.”
While Apple has yet to respond to the complaint it should be noted that the European Commission had already been investigating Apple.
Valve is not a name one would have expected to see brought up in the Epic Games and Apple feud. One could guess from Valve’s resistance to a subpoena from Apple, which requests a wide range of PC game sales data from their Steam platform, is that they have no intention in getting into the fight. Valve’s response to the subpoena claims that its information is proprietary and is not relevant to Apple’s case in addition to the high costs and difficulty in gathering the requested data.
Apple claims the data is crucial to their case and is asking the court to comply citing a previous court order for similar sales information from Samsung. Valve is countering that they do not compete in the mobile app market like Apple, Google, and Samsung does.
Currently Epic Games is taking legal action in the United States and Australia over their app store war with Apple in addition to a complaint filed in the UK. Later in 2021 as disclosed from an October 2020 court filling the Epic Games versus Apple case in the United States will be heading to a bench trial on May 3rd. A pretrial conference is scheduled for April 21, 2021.
Thank you for reading the February 20, 2021 Edition of the Nano Gaming News Weekly Rewind. Don’t forget to check back with us next week for the next edition of Nano Gaming News Weekly Rewind and until then, keep on gaming.
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