Thursday, September 30, 2021

Capcom's Monster Hunter Showcase: Everything Announced - Tokyo Game Show 2021

Capcom knows you love to hunt monsters so the company brought almost nothing but Monster Hunter news to Tokyo Game Show 2021. In a video presentation, series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and Monster Hunter Rise director Yasunori Ichinose outlined a few upcoming additions coming to the game, and then offered a glimpse behind the scenes of the four-year development process.

Here's everything the show covered in one place:

Sunbreak's "Massive Expansion" Gets New Details

Sunbreak expansion director Yoshitake Suzuki joined the video to talk about what he's been working on. Scheduled to arrive next summer, Tsujimoto said Sunbreak is a "massive expansion" of the base game which includes "new locales, monsters, gameplay, and a new quest rank: Master Rank." Suzuki explained that Sunbreak will take place in a new base of operations far from Kamura Village, and the "flagship monster" of this game is the elder dragon Malzeno. He also added that Shogun Ceanataur from Monster Hunter 2, a crab-like beast with a hard shell and pincers, would be returning in Sunbreak.

Monster Hunter Rise Comes to Steam in January

Via a new trailer, Capcom revealed that the Steam version of Monster Hunter Rise will launch on January 12, 2022, and that a demo will go live on October 13. This new version of the game will include all free DLC from the Nintendo Switch version through the end of November. No technical specs were revealed, but the trailer did mention 4k resolution, higher-resolution textures, uncapped frame rates, and an ultrawide display. An official website, along with pre-orders, should be live by the time this story is up.

30th Anniversary Sonic the Hedgehog Collaboration Announced

Very little about this Monster Hunter Rise collaboration was revealed, other than the fact that it's coming in November. Ichinose mentioned that Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate had a Sonic collaboration and stressed that this one would be different.

More Free DLC Coming to Monster Hunter Stories 2

The RPG spin-off will be adding new Monsties, quests, co-op challenges and more – a trailer (above) outlined a full schedule of upcoming free updates to the RPG, and a trial version is now available which allows players to carry over save data to the full game. Also, by linking save data from Monster Hunter: Rise, players can receive "Kamura Garb" layered armor in Wings of Ruin.

Ghosts n Goblins Collaboration Coming to Monster Hunter Rise in October

After a series of Monster Hunter Rise crossovers with other Capcom titles, the fifth internal collaboration will be with Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection. On October 29, players can earn materials as an event quest reward that will transform their hunter into the legendary Sir Arthur, the hero of the Ghosts n Goblins series. Equipping this layered armor will turn players' throwing knives into Arthur's signature lances, as well as unlock music from the recent revival of the spooky series.

Monster Hunter Rise's Japanese Themes Explained

Tsujimoto and Ichinose spent a few minutes delivering a "behind the scenes chat" outlining what went into making Monster Hunter Rise, in particular the Japanese themes that inspired many of its monsters. Many of the giant beasts players hunt were based on yokai, mythological creatures from Japanese folklore. Ichinose cited many specific examples: Aknosom resembles the umbrella-like Karakasa-obake, Tetranadon looks like a Kappa, and Teostra draws on the story of Yama, lord of the underworld who judges souls after they die (you might remember a giant, red version of that figure in Dragonball).

Ichinose said that they took so many ideas from yokai that they eventually ran out of fantastic beasts to draw upon, such that Valstrax ended up borrowing a bit of mythos from Halley's Comet. We also saw a series of performances of music from the game, showing off the traditional Japanese instrumentation used.

Capcom Expands Street Fighter V Tournament to 8 teams

WIth no more Monster Hunter news, Capcom's show closed with a "news corner" dedicated to eSports. There will be a Street Fighter League tournament on October 5 (with an English language broadcast) where the number of teams has been expanded from six to eight, meaning the total number of matches increases to 56.

Diamond Feit is a writer/podcaster in Osaka, Japan who uses Twitter and Twitch as feitclub.


Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Rated by South Korean Games Rating Board

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition - which one could assume would contain remastered versions of Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City, and San Andreas - has been rated by Korea's Game Rating and Administration Committee.

This rating was spotted by those like @Nibellion on Twitter, and it appears to confirm Kotaku's report from August 2021 that said these remasters - all of which would be remastered in Unreal Engine - are on their way to PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC, Stadia, mobile devices, and even the Nintendo Switch.

Kotaku noted that these games were in their "final stages of development" and would use a mix of "new and old graphics." It was also said that the COVID-19 pandemic had shifted Rockstar's plans to release this collection, and that it originally planned on releasing them as a "thank you gift" for those who purchased the next-gen ports of Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online.

Now, with the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S version of GTA V and GTA Online delayed to March 2022, Rockstar may be getting ready to release them a bit sooner. It's important to note that things could change and this doesn't mean this collection's release is imminent, but it should give some hope to those who would love to play these classic GTA games with some modern upgrades.

That being said, Kotaku's report did say that the trilogy would be released "around late October or early November," so it also could be just around the corner.

For more on Grand Theft Auto, check out the story about how a reverse-engineered GTA 3 and Vice City fan project was taken down and that a new GTA is development alongside Rockstar making changes to fix its crunch culture.

Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.


Sony Has Acquired Demon's Souls Remake Studio Bluepoint Games

After years of making critically acclaimed remakes of PlayStation exclusives, Sony has finally brought Bluepoint Games officially into the PlayStation family. Announcing the acquisition on the PlayStation Blog accompanied by an announcement video on Twitter, Head of PlayStation Studios Hermen Hulst welcomed the new studio. 

“With each of its projects, Bluepoint has raised the bar on console-defining visuals and gameplay, and the studio’s vast expertise in world building and character creation will be a huge plus for future PlayStation Studios properties,” Hulst said in the blog post about what Bluepoint brings to Sony’s portfolio. 

Bluepoint has made itself a top studio for developing game remakes by preserving the core spirit of the game while updating visuals and mechanics with modern sensibilities when it makes sense. The studio is known for releases like Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, 2018’s Shadow of the Colossus remake, and last year’s masterful PlayStation 5 launch title Demon’s Souls. We aren’t aware which game Bluepoint is working on right now, but whether it’s remaking a classic (fingers crossed for an update to Bloodborne) or something new entirely, we’re excited to play whatever it is.

How do you feel about Bluepoint Games joining the PlayStation family of studios? Which game would you like to see the remake masters work on next? Let us know in the comments!

Here's The Bullet-Riddled First Look At Gungrave G.O.R.E.'s Gameplay

As Tokyo Game Show takes off today, publisher Prime Matter pulled the curtain back on the first gameplay footage for Gungrave G.O.R.E. The sequel to the dormant Gungrave franchise has been in the works for some time, and if today’s video is any indication, its bloody brand of over-the-top action seems to be coming along quite nicely.

The trailer below provides an extended look at the previously shown cinematic trailer, revealing new scenes before transitioning into footage of anti-hero Grave doing what he does best. That is, mowing down undead targets using his twin pistols and weaponized transforming coffin. Gungrave G.O.R.E. looks absurdly frenetic, which likely couldn’t make fans happier.  

Click here to watch embedded media

Prime Matter also announced that former Platinum Games and Tango Gameworks designer Ikumi Nakamura is working on the game. You may remember the bubbly game developer from her endearing and viral presentation of Ghostwire: Tokyo during Bethesda's E3 2019 showcase. Nakamura formerly served as creative director for Ghostwire: Tokyo before departing Tango Gameworks in 2019. She also worked as a lead artist for The Evil Within series, Bayonetta, and Okami and formed her own independent studio this year. It's not clear what her exact role is on Gungrave G.O.R.E. other than she's working alongside developer Iggymob to help bring its vision to life. Senior Editor Blake Hester recently interviewed Nakamura and wrote detailed biography about her fascinating journey through the game industry, which you can read here

Gungrave G.O.R.E. is slated for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC and launches in 2022. 

What do you think about this first look at Gungrave G.O.R.E.'s action? Were you a fan of the previous entries or does this new title entice you to jump in for the first time? Let us know in the comments! 

Tango Gameworks Is Already Developing Its Next Game After Ghostwire: Tokyo

As fans continue to wait for the release of Ghostwire: Tokyo from Tango Gameworks, studio founder Shinji Mikami has revealed another new title is already in the works, and it's being led by Evil Within 2's director.

Mikami appeared in a video with Xbox head Phil Spencer as part of Microsoft's livestream event during the first day of Tokyo Game Show and hinted at a new title, saying that John Johanas, the director of The Evil Within 2, is working on it.

Mikami mentioned Johanas when prodded by Spencer to talk about the Tango Gameworks’ philosophy of fostering young new talent: "Right now John is in the middle of working energetically on a new game," Mikami told Spencer.

Mikami did not drop any further hints on what type of game Johanas may be working on. Due to Microsoft's purchase of Bethesda Softworks' parent company, ZeniMax Media, and its studios last year, it's likely whatever title Johanas is hard at work on is being developed with Xbox platforms in mind.

Johanas has been with Tango Gameworks since August 2010 and was the visual effects designer for the 2014 survival horror title The Evil Within. Johanas served as director for the game's two DLC offerings.

He then took the torch from Mikami and directed The Evil Within 2. Shouldering both the pressure of building upon the franchise and taking the reins from a survival horror legend in Mikami, Johanas helped deliver an experience that garnered mostly positive responses from critics and players when it was released in 2017.

Mikami has mentioned in past interviews that part of the reason he tapped Johanas to helm The Evil Within 2 was because the veteran game designer views Tango Gameworks as a place to nurture talent and give young creatives a chance to spread their wings and succeed.

Mikami has had a long career in the business and has been paying it forward by providing opportunities to young talents like Johanas and giving them the space and freedom to create and come up with new ideas.

Spencer alluded to that as well during their TGS chat: “One of the things you and I have talked about is the importance of young people in our industry, bringing new voices onto our creative teams, and hearing from a new generation of creators,” said Spencer.

Rather than having young creatives wait for their turn, Mikami gives some of them a chance and the space to create by providing opportunities sooner rather than later. He mentioned that philosophy again during his talk with Spencer during the TGS presentation: "As a studio that tries to give young people big opportunities, we're always taking on the challenge of creating new games."

Spencer asked Mikami about the young talent within his studio and in addition to singling out Johanas, Mikami also mentioned Kenji Kimura, the director for the upcoming GhostWire: Tokyo. "He is a young creator who is working hard and doing his best as a director," Mikami said. "He really has a lot of ability."

Ikumi Nakamura is another example. Nakamura joined Mikami at Tango Gameworks in 2010 and worked on both The Evil Within and its sequel. Her energetic presentation at E3 2019 as part of the Ghostwire: Tokyo team went viral on social media. Nakamura has since left the company and heads her own independent studio.

While Johanas' project will likely remain under wraps for a while, Ghostwire: Tokyo, which Kimura is at the helm of, experienced a delay and is scheduled to be released for the PlayStation 5, where it will be a limited console exclusive, and PC in 2022.

Jason Coskrey is a writer based in Tokyo. Find him on Twitter at @JCoskrey.


Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Expansion Will Include a New Hub, Monsters, and Locations - Tokyo Game Show 2021

Capcom has revealed a number of new details about its "massive expansion" to Monster Hunter Rise, Sunbreak.

Announced during a Capcom showcase at Tokyo Game Show 2021, we saw a little more from the game's cutscenes and learned new details about the monsters and locations we'll be visiting. It's very much an expansion for seasoned Rise players, only allowing access after finishing the 7-star quest Serpent Goddess of Thunder.

After finishing that quest, you'll be able to take your hunter on a journey, leaving behind the core game's hub, Kamura Village, and taking you to a brand new base of operations (which hasn't yet been revealed). The eerie location we saw in the game's introductory trailer was confirmed to be a new hunting locale, complete with castle ruins to scale using your wirebugs.

We also learned more about some of the monsters involved. The Elder Dragon seen in the first trailer is called Malzeno, but other details remains scarce. We'll also see a number of returning monsters from older games, including Shogun Ceanataur, which got a trailer introduction of its own.

Capcom also announced that the PC version of Monster Hunter Rise will be released in January 2022. Given that Sunbreak doesn't arrive until summer 2022, it will be released for PC at the same time.

It's sounding like a very similar approach to expansion as Monster Hunter World's Iceborne DLC. In our 9/10 review, we called it "a true beast of an expansion", and that it was almost big enoughn to be a sequel on its own, adding many new monsters and locations, as well as quality of life improvements. Here's hoping Sunbreak follows suit.

Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to


Monster Hunter Rise Comes to Steam in January - Tokyo Game Show 2021

Capcom has announced that Monster Hunter Rise for PC (via Steam) will be released on January 12, 2022.

Announced during Tokyo Game Show 2021, the Steam version of the game boasts a number of updates to the original Switch version: 4K resolution support, high-res textures, uncapped framerates, optimised keyboard and mouse controls, voice chat, and ultrawide 21:9 display support.

A demo for the PC version of the game will arrive on October 13, giving you a look at what's to come. The demo will include online multiplayer and offline solo play, allow use of all 14 weapon types, and include two tutorials. After the tutorials, three quests are available, against Great Izuchi, Mizutsune and Magnamalo.

Released as a Switch exclusive in March, we awarded Monster Hunter Rise an 8/10 review, saying that it "mixes classic Monster Hunter ideas with some of World’s best improvements and a whole bunch of clever new mechanics of its own."

After leaks suggested the game would eventually get an improved PC release, Capcom confirmed that the game would get a PC release. "“We received a lot of requests for a PC version of Monster Hunter Rise, particularly from overseas players, and so we have decided to develop a version for PC," said producer Ryozo Tsujimoto at the time.

Rise will receive a "massive expansion", Sunbreak in the summer of 2022 – the PC edition will receive it at the same time.

This article was updated after publish with new details provided by Capcom.

Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to


New Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Details Revealed At TGS 2021

Capcom’s Tokyo Game Show presentation this morning was all about Monster Hunter, showcasing new additions coming to existing games like Monster Hunter Stories 2 and Monster Hunter Rise. However, all eyes were on the significant expansion for Rise next summer, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak.

The Sunbreak segment introduced us to Director Yoshitake Suzuki, who has been simultaneously leading the development of the upcoming expansion and the updates for Rise since release. He introduced the new mystery monster from the Sunbreak trailer as a new Elder Dragon called Malzeno, but that’s all the information the devs were willing to spill on the headlining wyvern.

We were also treated with additional information on Sunbreak and what players can expect when venturing into its content. Suzuki confirmed Sunbreak will bring Master Rank hunts to the game, giving hunters their most daunting challenges yet. After completing the final Hunter Rank seven story mission, Players will leave the cozy village from Rise and embark on a journey to a new hub area. We don’t know much about this new base, but Suzuki promises the team will share more information in the coming months.

One of Sunbreak’s hunting locations will be the moonlit castle area, which debuted in the announcement trailer during last week’s Nintendo Direct. At night the sky and crumbling, abandoned gothic architecture in this area are painted with an ominous red moonlight. As for other monsters you’ll have to contend with on your way through Master Rank, the giant crab beast Shogun Seanataur is making its long-awaited return to the mainline series. Introduced initially back in Monster Hunter 2, this Carapaceon monster wears a giant skull on its back for protection and uses its long, sharp pincers as deadly weapons. Sunbreak will have many returning monsters, but those announcements will have to wait for another day.

Those looking to try out the base version of Rise on Switch have plenty of time to do so before Sunbreak releases in 2022. During the presentation, it was announced Rise will make its PC debut in January, with a demo coming in a few short weeks.

New Deadmau5 Music Video Made By Game Designers Around The World

In August, we interviewed renowned electronic artist Joel “Deadmau5” Zimmerman about his upcoming project in Core, a creative space where designers can make their own video game experiences with an emphasis on multiplayer interactivity. Called Oberhalsi, the multiplayer world is slated to be a place where listeners can discover new music, interact with one another, and play games. To celebrate Oberhalso – and in collaboration with a number of game designers/fans – over 130 dystopic virtual worlds were created for the music video of the hit single “When The Summer Dies.” The top ten selections from around the globe were ultimately chosen to be showcased as backdrops for the song. You can watch the video below.

Click here to watch embedded media

“I’ve been experimenting with the confluence of music and tech for a long time, and now with games, I’m able to take it to a whole other level,” said Deadmau5. “Typically it takes months and hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars to make a music video. In this case, we were able to pull together a video with stunning 3D worlds in just a couple of months by crowdsourcing the creation to the Core community and deadmau5 fans. The quality of the interactive experiences and the speed with which they were made was unbelievable and demonstrate why more artists are seeking out unique opportunities inside of games to extend new experiences to their audiences.”

During our interview with Deadmau5, the musician also talked about his experiences as a solo developer and overall excitement for Oberhalsi:

“Creating a world like Oberhasli has been a vision of mine for years now, but I quickly discovered how daunting it can be to create a multiplayer experience as a solo developer,” said Zimmerman. “The amazing thing about Core is that anyone can jump in and create content regardless of experience or resources. We’ve seen virtual concerts in the past, but after making a splash, they fizzle out; there’s no shelf life to them. With Oberhasli, I want to create a permanent mainstay for the artists’ metaverse, regularly updating it over time, switching things up, and keeping it cohesive with real-world news and ancillary events.”

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Oberhalsi debuts on Core next month – October 14, to be exact – with an exclusive, live music performance in the works for folks that log in.

Monster Hunter Rise Comes To Steam In January With New Features And Enhancements

Monster Hunter Rise finally rides to PC via Steam on January 12. The port takes advantage of its powerful new home with a host of graphical and performance improvements to make it the best version of the best-selling Switch title.

Rise on PC features 4K resolution graphics, an ultrawide display option, and uncapped framerates. Gameplay has been optimized for mouse and keyboard and even includes voice chat, making multiplayer sessions a lot more sociable. The PC port also bundles every piece of DLC to have arrived on the Switch version up to the end of November, which would include collaboration goodies such as the upcoming Ghost ‘N Goblins event. Capcom also confirmed that the Sunbreak expansion will launch on both the PC and Switch versions of Rise next summer. 

Don’t want to wait until January? Capcom announced a Steam demo for the game launches on October 13, giving PC-centric Monster Hunter fans a chance to test drive Rise on their powerful rigs. The demo includes online multiplayer and offline solo play, three hunting quests, access to all 14 weapon types, as well as tutorials for newcomers. 

Have you been holding out for Monster Hunter Rise on PC? Are you a Switch player planning to double-dip? Let us know in the comments! 

Forza Horizon 5's PC Specs Have Been Released

Playground Games has announced a range of details surrounding the PC version of Forza Horizon 5, including its recommended system requirements for AMD and Nvidia setups.

In a post released on the Forza website, the developer says that it has worked diligently to ensure that everyone experiences the best version of Forza Horizon 5 as players look to set out across the game's stunning Mexican landscapes.

In order to deliver that experience, Playground Games says that it has updated its minimum specifications "from the previous estimate given on the Microsoft Store and Steam." At the low end, Forza Horizon 5's minimum specs are relatively modest. Player's harnessing older graphics cards such as a Radeon RTX 470 or Nvidia GTX 970 should theoretically be able to run the game - although Playground does recommend that fans come equipped with at least an RX 470 or GTX 970 for a better experience.

As part of the update, the developer has said that "Forza Horizon 5 is built from the ground up on PC to deliver the open road in extraordinary detail at limitless speeds." In game, this means that players will have access to a wealth of graphics settings when Horizon 5 releases - spanning from the inclusion of HDR for more luminous lighting to 4K graphics options and the ability to unlock the game's framerate.

In addition, the PC version of Forza Horizon 5 will feature built-in support for 21:9 ultrawide displays and is confirmed to work in line with a range of popular Logitech, Thrustmaster, and Fanatec steering wheels. For players not quite up to date on their latest driving peripherals, haptic feedback on the Xbox Wireless Controller will be supported by all versions of Forza Horizon 5, including the Steam edition for the very first time.

Playground notes that powerful graphical features in Forza Horizon 5 have allowed the team to develop a world with stunning realism. The developer says that players embarking on their adventures through the world's environments will experience "extreme draw distances and robust levels of detail" down to the "tiniest features like the light that glows through each needle on a cholla cactus."

Forza Horizon 5 is set to be released on November 11 for PC and Xbox consoles. In the meantime, make sure to check out this article detailing hundreds of cars set to appear in the game. Alternatively, you can check out some of the latest gameplay footage to be released for Playground's latest driving installment below:

Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.


Monster Hunter Rise Is Getting Big Doses Of Ghost 'N Goblins And Sonic The Hedgehog

Monster Hunter Rise is about to get spookier before going supersonic. Capcom announced during its Tokyo Game Show Monster Hunter Spotlight that two new collaborations are in the works, first with Ghost ‘N Goblins: Resurrection and then Sonic the Hedgehog. 

On October 29, hunters will soon have the materials to create layered armor based on Ghost ‘N Goblin’s hero, Arthur. Besides making your hunter resemble the chivalrous knight, the special event features music from the game, including the classic theme song.

Sometime after that, Sonic the Hedgehog celebrates its 30th anniversary in style by crossing over into Monster Hunter. While it’s not the first time the two franchises have collided – a similar collaboration took place in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate – Capcom promises this mash-up will be even grander. However, it didn’t have any details to share regarding what the collaboration entails. 

These collaborations join previous crossovers such as Street Fighter and Mega Man and won’t be the only updates hitting the game. Rise’s first major expansion, Sunbreak, was recently announced and launches in 2022.

God of War: Ragnarok Delay May Have Been Due To Actor's Surgery

God of War: Ragnarok is one of Sony's most anticipated releases. The sequel to the 2018's megahit was initially teased about a year ago, and we initially expected Ragnarok to release sometime this year. However, in June, Sony confirmed that the title was getting pushed to 2022. Several factors likely led to this delay, but Kratos' voice actor Christopher Judge recently took to Twitter claiming responsibility.

In reality, it's hard to say that Judge was entirely responsible for Ragnarok's delay. Voice actors don't know every detail in a game's production pipeline, and factors such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also likely played a part in Sony's rescheduling. Even so, it's interesting to hear Judge's perspective on the matter. We're glad to hear that he's doing better these days. The actor brought a lot to Kratos' personality, and we're happy that he'll be returning for Ragnarok. 

For more on God of War: Ragnarok, be sure to read our recent interview with director Eric Williams, where he talks about his vision for Thor and how not having kids affects his overall design for the characters. Regarding Thor, Williams said, "Marvel's interpretation of him is one thing. It's interesting. We wanted to, you know, go a little deeper into the mythology itself," Williams says about Thor having a burlier body type. Being godly is all about presence, and while this version of Thor doesn't look like a sculpted underwear model, his traits of power and intensity are no less effective. Williams also talks about people he knows in real life with a bigger stature and how that translates into Thor: "They have a presence immediately. And it's not always because of muscles. They're just like that is a wall of a human being, you know. So this is a wall of a God, you know, and that's why it was very important."

Xbox Showcase at Tokyo Game Show 2021: The Biggest Announcements and Reveals

Xbox held its digital showcase at Tokyo Game Show 2021 today, announcing Cloud Gaming for multiple countries, as well as introducing new Game Pass games and seeing Phil Spencer announce his intention to add more Japanese games to the Xbox line-up.

To ensure sure you don't miss anything, we've included all the big news from the showcase (which you can watch below):

Cloud Game Streaming Coming to Australia, Japan, Mexico and Brazil Tomorrow

In a video presentation at Tokyo Game Show 2021 Online, Microsoft's Phil Spencer and an assortment of guests revealed that Xbox Cloud Gaming will be available in Japan, Mexico, Australia, and Brazil starting Friday, October 1. Spencer expressed his gratitude to Japanese Xbox fans, stating that the Japanese market "is the fastest-growing market for Xbox anywhere in the world."

Phil Spencer Wants Xbox to Increase Its Japanese Game Line-Up

Phil Spencer said that Xbox is working "every single day to increase our line-up of Japanese games", in order to "help bring Japanese games around the world."

"It's an honour to support [TGS] and our Japanese partners," Spencer said in converation with Shinji Mikami. "We're working with Japanese publishers every single day to increase our line-up of Japanese games on Xbox. We know it's really important to fans and customers on Xbox."

Earlier in the show, Spencer had reiterated that Japan is the fastest-growing market for Xbox anywhere in the world, and it's clear that the company wants to make the best of that burgeoning interest. Spencer points out that there have been over 100 Japanese titles on Xbox Game Pass, 200 Japanese indie games in the ID@Xbox program, and that the company is actively working on console supply issues.

Tango Gameworks Is Developing a New Game, Evil Within 2 Director Leading

In a long-distance conversation with Phil Spencer, Tango Gameworks' Shinji Mikami expressed his hope for the future of Japanese games, stating that his studio actively sought to give young talent a chance to create new concepts. When asked to highlight a specific name, he mentioned two: Kenji Kimura, director of the upcoming Ghostwire: Tokyo, and John Johanas, director of The Evil Within 2. He added that Johanas is "hard at work at a new game" but did not elaborate.

Scarlet Nexus and More Head to Game Pass

Following her introduction, a series of trailers highlighted new games available on Xbox Game Pass effective immediately. The biggest title was Scarlet Nexus, but Ai: The Somnium Files, and Mighty Goose are also playable as of today. Upcoming Game Pass titles playable upon release will include Back 4 Blood, Forza Horizon 5, and Halo Infinite.

Redfall, Starfield and More Will Be Localized for Japan

Various developers joined the presentation to promote the fact that their upcoming games would be fully localized into Japanese at launch. Harvey Smith of Arkane Studios said Redfall will include a complete Japanese voice cast when that game debuts in the summer of 2022. Todd Howard of Bethesda likewise said that Starfield will include Japanese text and voices, adding that this is "our largest translation ever" with "over 300 actors and 150,000 lines of dialogue."

SWERY's The Good Life Gets an Xbox-Exclusive Demo

A showcase of upcoming Asian indie games included a few tidbits regarding upcoming releases. Swery's The Good Life has an exclusive Xbox demo available today; the full game launches on multiple platforms on October 15.

Eternal Return Gets a Release Date and Trailer

A new trailer for Eternal Return preceded the news that the game is coming to the Microsoft Store on October 19.

Overall the presentation was light on breaking news but instead served as a reminder to Japanese game players that Microsoft isn't going anywhere and that buying a console isn't the only way to enjoy Xbox games.

Diamond Feit is a writer/podcaster in Osaka, Japan who uses Twitter and Twitch as feitclub.


Xbox Tokyo Game Show 2021 Indie Round-Up

Microsoft kicked off the first day of the Tokyo Game Show with a presentation that included the news of Scarlet Nexus hitting Xbox Game Pass today and the expansion of Xbox cloud gaming to other regions. While those are big announcements, the publisher also sprinkled looks at upcoming indie titles in the works. If you’re someone who is always on the hunt for games off the beaten path, here’s a look at some upcoming lesser-known games slated to hit the console in the coming year. 


Lapin is an adorable platformer about five abandoned rabbits searching for a new home. You’ll explore a city park alongside your friends while preserving memories of your journey by filling a scrapbook. With a lovely 2D art direction and pleasant soundtrack, Lapin seems impossible not to gush over. The game comes courtesy of Seoul developer Studio Doodal and launches May 31 on Xbox and Steam.


If you love hardcore 2D action games, Unsouled looks to check the right boxes. As a fallen prince, you slice apart all manner of foes in an adventure developer Megusta Games says is inspired by Onimusha 2. Despite boasting interactive environments, the team says Unsouled firmly commits to delivering stylish action – there are no puzzles or major forms of exploration. When your action looks as satisfying as Unsouled’s, why focus on anything else? The game is coming to Xbox and PC sometime later this year though you can try it out via a Steam demo right now. 

Eternal Return

This intriguing blend of battle royale and MOBAs throws up to 18 players on a remote island battle it out to be the last one standing. Eternal Return heavily focuses on survival elements by tasking players with tracking opponents, hunting wildlife, and crafting gear and traps. Weapons range from swords, guns, and shurikens as well as vehicles like motorcycles, all of which grant buffs to your character. Eternal Returns looks bonkers and is currently free to play in Steam Early Access. It’s making its way to Xbox but no release window was given.

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising

Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising serves as a prequel to the Suikoden-inspired Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes, which launches in 2023. Rising is a 2D side-scroller as opposed to a JRPG, and also features a town-building mechanic. Today’s gameplay trailer was narrated in untranslated Japanese, but the gist is that you’re a canine-like warrior slashing your way through a storybook world using a very large sword. Those interested in Hundred Heroes will want to keep an eye on Rising, as it features backstory and plot details that resurface in the larger Hundred Heroes. Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising launches sometime in 2022 for Xbox consoles and PC.


Enjoy Pokemon and farming sims? Re:Legend gives you both. You've been stranded on a desert island and have lost your memories. Thankfully, you still know how to grow food, which is what you’ll be doing along with plenty of monster catching. When you’re not taming and training wild critters (which can evolve into new forms), you’ll cultivate fields, catch fish, cut trees, craft items, and befriend villagers. There’s also plenty of combat as you and your monsters work together to battle foes. Re:Legend can be played alone or with friends in multiplayer and is currently playable in Steam Early Access. There’s no release window on when Re:Legend comes to Xbox, but 505 Games promises more information during its TGS presentation on October 1.

Looking for more upcoming indies to keep an eye on? Check out our list of exciting indie titles to arrive…; target="_blank">during the month of September. 

SWERY's The Good Life Coming to Xbox Game Pass on Launch Day

White Owls Inc. and Playism have announced that The Good Life, the next game from Deadly Premonition creator SWERY, will be available on Xbox Game Pass from launch.

The Good Life, which will release on October 15, is a "debt-repayment RPG" that lets you experience a slice of life in the small British town of Rainy Woods. It will launch on Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and Steam, as well as on the Game Pass subscription service.

If you're curious as to what weird and wonderful things Hidetaka “SWERY” Suehiro and his team has dreamed up for The Good Life, a demo is available right now on Xbox One. PC players will be able to play this demo when it arrives on Steam as part of the Steam Next Festival, which begins October 1.

That demo will give you a first taste of a game in which you play Naomi, a photographer from New York who's arrived in Rainy Woods to discover the truth behind the "happiest town in the world". Unravelling that mystery requires cooking, eating, sleeping, shopping, farming, taking photos, and other "unconventional quests". You can also play as a human, cat, or dog, which is not what you'd usually expect of a mystery game.

The Good Life was announced back in 2017 and was crowd funded, albeit suffering initial setbacks after the first round of funding failed. Back in 2018 The Good Life was listed as coming to Xbox Game Pass in that November, but the release never happened. Finally, though, it looks like The Good Life is about to make it's debut on October 15.

Matt Purslow is IGN's UK News and Entertainment Writer.


Phil Spencer Says Xbox Is Working 'Every Single Day' to Add More Japanese Games to Its Line-Up - Tokyo Game Show 2021

Phil Spencer has said that Xbox is working "every single day to increase our line-up of Japanese games", in order to "help bring Japanese games around the world."

Speaking during the Xbox Showcase at Tokyo Game Show 2021, the Head of Xbox was asked about the company's commitment to Japan by Tango Gameworks founder Shinji Mikami. "It's an honour to support [TGS] and our Japanese partners," Spencer replied. "We're working with Japanese publishers every single day to increase our line-up of Japanese games on Xbox. We know it's really important to fans and customers on Xbox."

Earlier in the show, Spencer had reiterated that Japan is the fastest-growing market for Xbox anywhere in the world, and it's clear that the company wants to make the best of that burgeoning interest. Spencer points out that there have been over 100 Japanese titles on Xbox Game Pass, 200 Japanese indie games in the ID@Xbox program, and that the company is actively working on console supply issues. He also announced that Cloud Game Streaming is launching in Japan on Tuesday.

However, Spencer made clear that the company's interest isn't just in increasing the number of Japanese Xbox fans, but to actively become part of bringing more Japanese-made games to other areas: "We're excited by the growth of the Japanese gaming market, and we want not only to participate, but to help bring Japanese games around the world."

Xbox has had a famously difficult history in Japan, something it's actively been looking to improve on with the Series X and Series S consoles – and early signs are seemingly looking good. While Spencer has previously played down rumours that Xbox was looking to acquire Japanese developers, it did get one, Tango Gameworks, when the company bought Bethesda this year.

Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to


The Good Life Gets Xbox Demo Today, Comes To Game Pass At Launch

The Good Life, the bizarre photography mystery game by Deadly Premonition mastermind Hidetaka “Swery” Suehiro and his team at White Owls, has a demo on Xbox Game Pass available now. The crowdfunded game recently got a release date of October 15 after several years of development and multiple delays. The demo is good news for those wary about the title after its bumpy development cycle, and Xbox fans can rest even easier knowing it’s launching to Game Pass on day one.

The Good Life stars Naomi, a New York photographer who visits the British town of Rainy Woods to investigate why it’s known as “the happiest place on Earth”. She needs a big scoop in order to repay a massive debt, and she gets more than she bargains for when she discovers Rainy Woods has an unusual secret: when the sun goes down, its residents transform into cats and dogs. Solving this mystery involves taking photos and collecting clues. You’ll also work to repay your debt by taking odd jobs and saving money, which you can also use to source up your home and garden. You can also ride sheep because why not? 

In addition to Xbox, The Good Life is also coming to PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC. A demo will also be available during the Steam Next Festival on October 1. 

King of Fighters 15: SNK Reveals Its First All-New Character - Tokyo Game Show 2021

SNK has unveiled the first brand-new character for the upcoming The King of Fighters XV. This new fighter, a young woman named Isla, is a "rival" to Shun'ei, who was the hero of The King of Fighters XIV.

Revealed during a special video program amid the first day of Tokyo Game Show 2021, Isla's most striking feature is a pair of "phantom hands" which hover beside her at all times. This makes sense for a rival to Shun'ei, who is famed for his own oversized phantom hands – although his ones only deploy during certain moves. Isla's "hands" are closer to human-sized and are always visible. Most of her attacks make use of them, giving her an array of long-range moves. In that sense, Isla more closely resembles Verse, the monstrous final boss of KOF XIV, who also had glowing ghostly gauntlets floating next to him.

Is Verse coming back to KOF XV? SNK isn't saying, but Isla is the first wholly original character in the game to receive a full introduction, and she was prominently featured in a trailer introducing various characters hanging out in Tokyo. "The story revolves around Isla and Shun'ei, so they both play a large part," said KOF XV creative director Eisuke Ogura.

As far as the rest of the lineup goes, SNK has promised that KOF XV will feature 39 characters split into 13 teams, of whom 30 have been officially revealed so far (31 if you count Heidern appearing on posters). However, during today's video the team did mention that a KOF XV "Deluxe Edition" will include two teams of DLC characters (six fighters total) and early access to the game as a preorder bonus. Early purchases also include a free DLC costume for Terry Bogard based on his look in Garou: Mark of the Wolves, while those who purchase digitally will get a free costume for Leona based on her classic outfit in the ’90s KOF games.

SNK had already announced that The King of Fighters XV will feature rollback netcode for online matches, but today they revealed that rollback netcode is also coming to The King of Fighters '98 Ultimate Match Final Edition on Steam as part of a "major update" this winter. KOF XV chief producer Yasuyuki Oda said that the company will hold a beta test soon and invited players to join.

The King of Fighters XV is scheduled for a worldwide release on February 17, 2022 on PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox Series X|S, Windows 10, Steam, and the Epic Games Store.

Diamond Feit is a writer/podcaster in Osaka, Japan who uses Twitter and Twitch as feitclub.


Twisted Metal Revival Reportedly Under Development By Destruction AllStars Studio

Sony has reportedly trusted the developers of PlayStation 5 exclusive Destruction AllStars with the rumored Twisted Metal revival.

VGC reports that Lucid, the UK-based creators of Destruction AllStars, are working on the first new Twisted Metal installment in over a decade. Rumors of a Twisted Metal game surfaced earlier this month, when GamesBeat's Jeff Grubb said he had heard that a revival was in the works, but that it could be a long ways off. The television show the game is reportedly tied to will star Anthony Mackie as John Doe.

There hasn't been a mainline game in the series since 2012's Twisted Metal reboot, which we called 'amazing' in our Twisted Metal review. According to one source in the report, the game will feature a free-to-play model, which would be similar to Destruction AllStars' last-minute development shift.

Destruction AllStars was originally set to be a full-priced, $70 launch title for the PS5. Just weeks before launch, the game was delayed into 2021 and was free to all PlayStation Plus subscribers for around two months, before being listed in the PlayStation Store for $20.

The developers said it made the most sense to go free-to-play, to get the game to the, "widest audience possible." Despite the goal to get the game in as many hands as possible, the developers added bots to the multiplayer to make up for times with low player counts. We called Destruction AllStars 'okay' in our review, saying, "There’s the basis of a great party game here too, but at launch it's far too shallow an experience for Destruction AllStars to be considered one right now."

Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.


Microsoft Expands Xbox Cloud Gaming, Which Is Good For Everyone

Today, Mircosoft announced that Xbox Cloud Gaming is expanding to four new countries: Japan, Mexico, Brazil, and Australia, starting on October 1. 

Microsoft's service allows users to play games remotely over the internet on their PC, tablet, or smartphone. The service launched in the U.S. around this time last year and has only continued to expand since. Xcloud users stream over 100 games from the cloud, including Yakuza: Like a DragonMinecraft Dungeons, and Dragon Quest 11 S: Definitive Edition. The service is a great way to experiment with games quickly, allowing for great game discovery, as you can easily try out a game within seconds and see if you like it without waiting for a download. 

But this isn't an ad for Xbox Cloud Streaming; I like the service, but you should check it out for yourself. Microsoft continues to push Xbox Cloud Gaming, which shows that the publisher is committed to putting its content wherever players can easily access it. This is especially great considering that "next gen" consoles remain hard to find even almost a year after launch. If Microsoft continues to refind the service, many users might feel that they don't need to upgrade to the new Series X/S platform, finding they're content to play the newest games on old hardware. Case in point, the cloud service is coming to Xbox Consoles this Holiday, letting users play select Xbox Series X games on their Xbox One

In a recent blog post, Microsoft said, "With the expansion of Xbox Cloud Gaming to gamers in Australia, Brazil, Japan and Mexico, we’re now opening the opportunity for over one billion people in 26 countries across five continents to be able to play Xbox Game Pass games from the cloud on their phones, tablets and PCs. Since cloud gaming is powered by custom Xbox Series X consoles, that means these games are being played on an Xbox in the cloud, bringing faster load times and improved frame rates to the gameplay experience." 

As Microsoft continues to put its resource into services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Game Pass the services will only improve, creating a great alternative for those without a Series X/S. Still, we hope that Microsoft continues to work to solve the consoles shortage problem so that players who want to get their hands on the latest tech can do just that. Games are fun, and having more ways to play them is always better. 

Scarlet Nexus And Other Titles Come To Xbox Game Pass Today

Xbox Game Pass gets a dose of anime action, supernatural murder mystery, and a tank driving goose. Bandai Namco’s stylish action RPG Scarlet Nexus headlines a batch of new titles hitting the service today, which Microsoft announced during its Tokyo Game Show presentation this morning. Game Pass subscribers now have a chance to check out one of the year’s best action games. 

Scarlet Nexus comes from the makers behind the Tales series and is set in a dystopian “brainpunk” world. You control one of two protagonists, each with their own separate campaigns and both blessed with powerful supernatural abilities and part of a task force of similarly gifted individuals. Bizarre, extradimensional creatures known as the Others have invaded Earth, and it’s up to you to stop them in their tracks. In his 8.75 out of 10 review, senior editor Dan Tack described Scarlet Nexus as a “stylish and compelling fantasy that's all about the combat.” Bandai Namco also hinted that it has additional cosmetic content to the game “coming soon.”

AI: The Somnium Files

Another game hitting Game Pass is 2019’s AI: The Sominum Files. In this sci-fi detective game, you’re trying to solve a woman’s murder by exploring people’s dreams (under a six-minute time limit). You’ll gather intel by finding clues, interrogating suspects, and solving puzzles in a strange murder mystery that comes for the director of Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward.  

Mighty Goose

Mighty Goose is a side-scrolling action shooter that launched back in June. As an adorable, bounty hunting goose with an itchy trigger finger-er-feather, you’ll run and gun your way across colorful pixel art environments. If you adore geese and love mowing down enemies in arcade-style action, Mighty Goose might be up your alley. 

Will you be giving any of these titles a shot now that they're on Game Pass? Let us know in the comments! 

Kratos Voice Actor Christopher Judge Says He Is the Reason God of War: Ragnarok Was Delayed

Christopher Judge, the voice behind Kratos in 2018's God of War and the upcoming sequel, has said that his surgery was the reason that God of War: Ragnarok was delayed from its original 2021 release window.

Judge shared this story on Twitter following God of War being crowned the champion of IGN's Best Video Game of All Time Bracket. He Quote Tweeted a Tweet from God of War's engineering lead Jeet Shroff that was responding to the victory and he then continued to thank the fans and send love to his God of War family.

"Thank you to all the fans. Not just of GofW, but to the gaming community," Judge wrote. "ALL OF OUR GAMES,have been a lifeline during these difficult times. To my GofW family, I will NEVER be shy about telling you how much I love all of you! We will continue to laugh, cry, and be great!"

An hour later, he revealed the news that God of War: Ragnarok, which was revealed at September 2020's PlayStation 5 Showcase with a release window of 2021, was delayed to 2022 because of him.

"[100%] in my feels right now," Judge continued. "I need to be forthcoming. This has been approved by no one. To the beloved fandom, Ragnarok was delayed because of me. August 2019, I couldn’t walk. Had to have back surgery, both hips replaced, and, knee surgery. They waited for me too rehab.

"No threats, no , 'who do you think you are?' Nothing but love and support. And @SonySantaMonica has never said a word about the delay, and what caused it. Studios are assholes, but this company from top to bottom, should give us hope.

"What they did for the crew is way more… That I can’t talk about, but I’ve said to all involved, [it is the classiest] thing that ive EVER heard about in this business. Everyone involved in the GofW franchise puts their hearts and souls in every frame you see. I want thank everyone that’s has allowed me to play… And laugh, and love, and cry, without judgement, but with unconditional support and love, in this thing of ALL OF OURS"

Judge ended by also revealing that he quit after he was told that Cory Barlog would not be directing the sequel and that Eric Williams would be taking his place. However, Barlog quickly eased his worry and Judge would go on to realize that "ERIC WILLIAMS is a mortherf***** BEAST!!!"

"Last thing. Barlog told me @Tribeca that he wouldn’t be directing sequel," Judge said. "I quit.(no joke) he said, do you trust me?(yes) He said Eric is a beast. I said he better be… UPDATE, ERIC WILLIAMS is a [motherf*****] BEAST!!!"

Barlog responded to Judge's Tweets by saying, "would walk through a thousand fires for you, my friend." As if that wasn't enough, he also included a gif of The Lord of the Rings' Aragorn saying, "You have my sword."

For more of God of War: Ragnarok, check out Barlog and Williams' thoughts on Ragnarok changing directors and why Williams was decided as the right choice, how this sequel will further Kratos and Atreus' story, and why this game will be the final entry in the Norse Saga.

Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to

Adam Bankhurst is a news writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @AdamBankhurst and on Twitch.


Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Evo Showcase 2021 Canceled Due To COVID-19 Concerns

Evo 2021's return to Las Vegas has been canceled due to rising concerns surrounding the Delta Variant of COVID-19. In a tweet, Evo's organizer said they will continue to work on bringing back big, live events.

The statement said, in part, "The players invited to participate in the Evo 2021 Showcase represent many of the best fighters in the world. We're incredibly saddened to cancel the event." You can read the whole statement below.

Evo 2021 was scheduled to take place in Las Vegas on November 27 and 28. The lineup was set to include Guilty Gear Strive, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, Skullgirls 2nd Encore, Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, and Tekken 7. Evo is still scheduled to hold an in-person event in Las Vegas in August of 2022.

Last month, Evo held its Evo 2021 Online event, which featured players from all around the world. The last in-person event was held in 2019, as Evo 2020 was canceled shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Last year, the Evo community was also rocked by a sexual abuse scandal surrounding Evo organizer Joey Cuellar. This caused multiple companies to pull out of 2020's Evo Online events. Cuellar was put on leave shortly after the allegations came to light.

Earlier this year, PlayStation bought the Evo Fighting Game Championship Series. Despite that, the event is still open to platforms beyond PlayStation, according to Evo team members. Super Smash Bros. was noticeably absent from this year's planned lineup, with Nintendo saying, "we will continue to assess Evo, and other opportunities, as we plan for future online and offline Super Smash Bros. tournament activity.”

Other gaming events are also taking the Coronavirus into account, with the Call of Duty League becoming the first major esports organization to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test ahead of its 2021 Championship Weekend last month.

Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.


Halo's Creator Offers a Gorgeous Glimpse of Halo In Unreal Engine 4

Macus Lehto, co-creator of Halo, has given fans a look at what the original Halo: Combat Evolved might have looked like if it had come out in 2021. The image, which was made using 3DS Max and Unreal Engine 4, features Master Chief, the Warthog, weapons, and the iconic Halo ring itself.

Lehto also showed off a shot of Chief from the back, showing that he included the easter egg of his initials on the bottom of Chief's right foot.

Lehto was a longtime art director with Bungie, who developed the original Halo trilogy, as well as Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach. Lehto was the director on Halo Reach. He later formed V1 Interactive, which released FPS title Disintegration in 2020. Earlier this year, the studio shut down.

Recently, Lehto also took to Twitter to show off unused weapon assets from the original Halo, including a microwave gun, a particle beam rifle, and more.

It's a big year for Halo fans. We're less than three months out from the launch of Halo Infinite, the next entry in the series from 343. For more, check out our Halo Infinite multiplayer impressions from this past weekend's test flight. You can also watch our in-depth interview with Lehto, where he talks all things Halo.

Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN. You can find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.


In-Person Evo Fighting Game Showcase Cancelled

Complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Delta variant of the virus have caused the cancellation of another gaming event. This time, it was the culmination of this year’s online Evolution Championship Series, commonly known as Evo, which was set for an in-person event this November. The cancellation announcement came in a statement on the Evo website and later on Twitter. You can read the complete statement below.

  The goal of the Evo Showcase is to bring together the best players from around the world in a live, in-person format. Due to the continuing complications of COVID-19 and the spread of the Delta Variant we have made the tough decision to cancel the Evo 2021 Showcase.

The players invited to participate in the Evo 2021 Showcase represent many of the best fighters in the world. We’re incredibly saddened to cancel the event. The Evo team will be contacting each player individually to recognize their efforts. We remain dedicated to Evo’s mission of celebrating the FGC, and will continue to work towards the return of the big, live events that you expect from us.


Evo Online 2021 took place over two weekends in August. Players fought it out online in five headline games: Street Fighter V: Champion Edition, Tekken 7, Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate, Guilty Gear Strive, and Skullgirls 2nd Encore. The winners from every regional tournament were set to meet up in Las Vegas and compete to see who was the best in the world in their respective fighting game this November. Now that the event is no longer happening, the Evo team has decided to “individually recognize” the efforts of these regional champions.

Next year is supposed to be the full return of in-person Evo in Las Vegas. The tourney took place in Vegas for over a decade before organizational controversy and COVID hit. While now owned by PlayStation, Evo hasn’t been quite as big or prestigious as it had been before its multiple derailments in 2020. Let’s hope the plans to get the fighting game community together for the largest tournament of the year aren’t thwarted yet again for 2022’s event.

Can We Talk About How Stacked 2022 Gaming Is Looking?

We are currently in the beginning stages of the holiday window, the time in which, traditionally, most of the year's biggest blockbuster releases hit store shelves and digital storefronts. This year's holiday window promises a ton of big releases that we're all eagerly anticipating from franchises like Halo, Far Cry, and Metroid, but we can't ignore the looming leviathan that is 2022.

Elden Ring

The Stage is Set

Next year looks to carry this holiday season's momentum and give players little time to recover from the relentless releases. Right out of the gates, we have two hotly anticipated games – From Software's collaboration with George R.R. Martin, Elden Ring, and Game Freak's most unique experiment with the mainline Pokémon franchise in decades, Pokémon Legends: Arceus – launching on the same day in January. But if you think that's a mere coincidence, look no further than February. In the shortest month of the year, we have Dying Light 2 Stay Human, Horizon Forbidden West, Destiny 2: The Witch Queen, Saints Row, The King of Fighters XV, and the extremely promising brawler Sifu.

However, after those first couple of months, things slow down ... at least in terms of games with hard release dates. Sure, you have the new entry in the long-running racing-sim series, Gran Turismo 7, the D&D-meets-Borderlands looter shooter, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands, and the exciting retro strategy RPG, Triangle Strategy, hitting in March, as well as STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl hitting in April, but after that, the solid release dates are few and far between. You know, aside from Bethesda's next big title, Starfield, which for some reason already has a release date of November 11, 2022; I guess maybe this date pays tribute to Bethesda's most popular game, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which launched on November 11, 2011 – Who knows? But the hits don't stop with the games that have solid release dates.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel

Beyond The Opening Acts

Most of the games that have dates already are undeniable heavy hitters, but if you dig into the list of games currently slated for a broader release window within 2022, you'll see we're only scratching the surface. Looking purely at the triple-A titles, we have a ton of great games, including The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel, God of War: Ragnarok, Redfall, Bayonetta 3Splatoon 3, Marvel's Midnight Suns, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope, Rainbow Six Extraction, Kirby and the Forgotten Land, and plenty of others. That doesn't even include smaller (but just as exciting) titles that recall beloved past franchises like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge and Metal Slug Tactics.

Sequels to well-liked games including Two Point Campus, Salt and Sacrifice, A Plague Tale: Requiem, Company of Heroes III, Slime Rancher 2Blossom Tales 2: The Minotaur Prince, and Earthlock 2 are also on the docket, giving players, even more, to look forward to.  Meanwhile, The Callisto Protocol is set to pay homage to Dead Space, while Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes is sure to please fans of Suikoden. Those embedded in the comic book world have way more to look forward to than the aforementioned Midnight Suns, as DC is also bringing the heat with both WB Games Montréal's Gotham Knights and Rocksteady's Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League scheduled for next year. 

God of War: Ragnarok

It's undeniable that 2022 has some incredible games lined up for release, but before we get too carried away with the coronation ceremony, I think some perspective is in order.

Stacking Up

When I look at the long list of games currently scheduled to hit in 2022, I absolutely think it outshines the last couple of years. However, how would it stack up against some of the best years of all time? Many point toward years like 1997 (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Final Fantasy VII, GoldenEye 007, Star Fox 64), 1998 (Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Half-Life, StarCraft, Banjo-Kazooie, Spyro the Dragon, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil 2, Grand Theft Auto, Gran Turismo, Pokémon Red & Blue, Baldur's Gate, Mario Party), or 2007 (Assassin's Creed, Mass Effect, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Portal, BioShock, Super Mario Galaxy, Rock Band, Crysis, God of War II) as the greatest years in the history of gaming, but often overlooked are the later years in the 2010s. 

For example, just a few years ago, in 2017, we received a new contender for the greatest years of all time, as players were treated to an onslaught of outstanding games, many of which are now considered among the greatest of all time. In that calendar year, which also included the launch of Nintendo Switch, players received Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, Persona 5, Nier: Automata, Fortnite, Resident Evil 7, Hollow Knight, Sonic Mania, Night in the Woods, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, Splatoon 2, Injustice 2, Uncharted: Lost Legacy, Nioh, Assassin's Creed Origins, Cuphead, Divinity: Original Sin II, Prey, What Remains of Edith Finch, Metroid: Samus Returns, Destiny 2, and a shocking number of other massive, critically acclaimed games. 

Then, just a year later, the industry doubled down on the greatness with 2018, a year that included Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War, Marvel's Spider-Man, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Forza Horizon 4, Return of the Obra Dinn, Dragon Ball FighterZ, Frostpunk, Monster Hunter: World, Celeste, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Into the Breach, and Dead Cells. However, as great as 2017 and 2018 were, those earlier years, which laid the foundations for series and genres that we still enjoy to this day, will always have a leg up when talking about the best years of all time.

While looking at the list of games coming out in 2022 includes mostly sequels and new series from established developers, players can expect plenty of new franchises to take root next year as well. The trick with forecasting ahead is that we don't know many new franchises are worth keeping an eye on until we get closer to their release dates and learn more about them. Are we likely to get the first game in the next series that will rival Grand Theft Auto in 2022? It's unlikely. But it's also entirely possible that we'll be completely blindsided, and the game we most clearly associate with 2022 when our future selves reminisce isn't even mentioned in this article.

Senua's Saga: Hellblade II Senua's Saga: Hellblade II

The Unknown

Who knows if 2022 will carry the same historical significance as 1997, 1998, or 2007, but with so many games that capitalize upon past successes and continue the formulas of games that came before, there may be more likely-to-be-good games than any of those years. This list also doesn't account for any number of surprise hits that could emerge that aren't on our radars. After all, how many people in 2014 could have foreseen a crowdfunded indie darling like Undertale bursting onto the scene as one of the most beloved games of 2015?

Not to mention, many publishers have recently made a habit of shorter marketing cycles. Look at 2021, for example; we didn't know games like Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Metroid Dread, and Forza Horizon 5 even existed as we entered the year. How many games like that will be announced in summer 2022, only to launch in the subsequent holiday season? Also, will other games that currently don't have an official release window, such as Overwatch 2, Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, and Fable, finally get release dates in the next calendar year? As wild as 2022 already looks, it could become substantially more stacked.

Of course, as we've seen these last two years, no game's release date is guaranteed, particularly as the pandemic continues to affect how development studios operate. Also, any game, regardless of the studio, pedigree, or franchise, could turn out as a flop. Still, with so many exciting games scheduled to enter our homes in the next 15 months, the biggest question comes in figuring out where we'll find the money to buy all these games and how on Earth we'll find the time to actually play them. 

How is 2022 looking for you so far? Which releases are you most excited about? If everything scheduled in 2022 comes out as planned and is as good as expected, where would the year stand among the greatest years of all time? Sound off in the comments below if you feel so compelled. Otherwise, have a great day.