Portal's Month in Games - May 2024


July 17, 2024

min read

Well, here we are. It’s two degrees warmer than last month, and some days, it barely rains at all. It can mean only one thing: summer’s here! But before you head outside for your first and perhaps only barbecue of the season, let’s dive into some red-hot games industry news.

Nintendo casually confirms Switch successor

Rumours of Nintendo’s next console have been swirling for a while, but now, for the first time, we have confirmation of its existence from the platform holder itself. And it couldn’t have happened in a more low-key manner.

On the morning of May 7, a tweet went out from Nintendo’s corporate account which read:

‘This is Furukawa, President of Nintendo. We will make an announcement about the successor to Nintendo Switch within this fiscal year. It will have been over nine years since we announced the existence of Nintendo Switch back in March 2015. 

We will be holding a Nintendo Direct this June regarding the Nintendo Switch software lineup for the latter half of 2024, but please be aware that there will be no mention of the Nintendo Switch successor during that presentation.’

And that was that. We’re looking forward to Switch 3 being confirmed via carrier pigeon sometime in 2032.

Industry rocked by high-profile studio closures

May saw more brutal layoffs and studio closures. Early in the month, it was revealed that Take-Two Interactive would be closing UK studio Roll7 and Intercept Games, which is based in Seattle.

Roll7 is the studio behind the acclaimed OlliOlli series; in 2023, they won a BAFTA for Rollerdrome. Intercept Games were busy making a follow-up to Kerbal Space Program.

For reference, Take-Two's revenues were $5.35 billion in 2023. Next year, the publisher plans to release GTA 6, a game widely predicted to obliterate sales records.

On 7 May, it was revealed that Microsoft would be closing Arkane Studios (Redfall) and Tango Gameworks (Hi-Fi Rush). Mobile dev Alpha Dog Games and Roundhouse Games (formerly Human Head Studios) are also to be closed as part of the same move.

The news comes not long after Microsoft announced a jump of 49 per cent in its gaming revenue. Last year, the platform holder coughed up $69 billion to buy Activision Blizzard.

It’s grim reading. When award-winning studios and those owned by the world’s largest company aren’t safe from closure, who is?

Bertie from Eurogamer has written a wonderful tribute to Roll7. Read it and wonder what could have been.

Sony puts the hell in Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2 has been a phenomenal success. Its sales figures are gigantic, and the fans adore it. Surely, you’re thinking, nothing can halt this game's path to world domination. Well, get ready because Sony has a giant beer it’d like you to hold.

Early in May, the PlayStation maker announced that those playing Helldivers 2 on Steam would need to connect to a PlayStation Network account to play the game. Why? To ‘protect our players and uphold the values of safety and security’, of course.

This news went down like a pint of microwaved sick on a hot summer’s day. Steam players who felt like the rug had been pulled from underneath them went to Valve to successfully demand refunds

The shooter was review-bombed within an inch of its life and pulled from sale in 177 countries (isn’t that most of the countries?) where PSN isn’t available.

In a bid to calm the situation, Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt took to Twitter to offer an apology. It didn’t touch the sides. After three more days of consumer fury, Sony stepped in to announce a reverse ferret. Fans were understandably pleased with their own efforts, a sentiment shared by Johan Pilestedt

Has trust between players, devs and publisher been broken forever? Possibly, although the community has rallied in an attempt to reverse the earlier review bombing. Sadly, this particular campaign has been less successful, with Helldivers II’s Steam recent reviews rating stuck at ‘Mixed’ at the time of writing.

IGN buys Gamer Network

Gamer Network, the company behind Eurogamer, GamesIndustry.biz and more, has been bought by Ziff Davis, the US media publisher responsible for IGN.

Gamer Network had been up for sale since November of last year when previous owners ReedPop announced that they were looking for a buyer.

The deal was revealed on May 21 with Ziff Davis announcing redundancies across the GN portfolio on the same day. Those affected include Alice Bell, deputy editor of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, and Brendan Sinclair, managing editor of GI.

Response to the deal from GN readers and those in the industry has been pretty negative. Some fear the consolidation of the games media landscape, and others worry that it’s only a matter of time before we see further redundancies and even site closures.

For an in-depth analysis of the deal and its potential repercussions, we’d like to point you in the direction of Video Games Industry Memo. Writer George Osborn has done a terrific job of breaking it all down, including plenty of ITK (taps nose) insights. Check it out.

The secrets of Steam unlocked

Marketing games is our bag, and maybe it’s yours too. If so, here are a couple of treats for you to watch courtesy of this year’s GDC. Thanks to GameDiscoverCo for highlighting them.

First up, game marketing guru Chris Zukowski and his talk ‘The Steam Secrets Nobody Tells You...Until Now’, which shines a light on Steam’s opaque algorithm. Watch it for tips on how to get your game seen by more people on Valve’s platform.

Next up, ‘Make the Trailer Before the Game: A ‘Marketing First’ Way to Prototype’ by Derek Lieu and Dana Trebella. This in-depth talk outlines in detail the first 12-18 months of your game, beginning with its announcement and ending with its launch.st.

New Astro Bot, Dynasty Warriors, and more announced for PS5

Sony held a State of Play event on May 30 and revealed a slew of new games and updates for already announced titles. We’ve posted our highlights below, but you can find the full event, with everything revealed, on the PlayStation blog.

Astro Bot

The world’s cutest robot returns for a new platforming adventure. This is our first time seeing the beautiful bot since 2020’s Astro's Playroom. Team ASOBI is handling development once again, and the game will launch on September 6.

Monster Hunter Wilds

We got a fresh look at Monster Hunter Wilds, the next instalment in Capcom’s increasingly successful monster-bothering series. This time, you can bother monsters while riding a scaly-looking mount. Finally.

Marvel Rivals

Fancy Overwatch, but with Marvel superheroes? Well, you’re in luck because Marvel Rivals is inbound with a closed beta announced for PS5 this July. Check out the distinctly Overwatch-y trailer below.

Dynasty Warriors: Origins

The Dynasty Warriors franchise is one of this writer’s personal favourites. There’s nothing more relaxing than wading through hordes of enemies, dispatching them with increasingly ridiculous special moves. 

It’s been six years since Dynasty Warriors 9, when Omega Force tried, and largely failed, to bring an open-world vibe to the series. The name Origins suggests that the game might make a welcome return to basics with this version, which will launch in 2025.

Out this month

Surprise! Hades II jumped out from behind a bush this month, launching on Early Access on May 6. Supergiant’s first-ever sequel has been an immediate success, reaching a peak of over 100,000 concurrent players in its first 24 hours. 

Fans are chuffed with the much anticipated follow up. Hades II has an average user review rank of ‘Very Positive’ from over 30,000 reviews. Impressive stuff.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door launched on Switch on May 23. Nintendo’s remake of the 20-year-old Gamecube original has been met with high praise from critics. Sales figures have been equally impressive, with the role-playing adventure reaching number one in the UK boxed charts.

Signing off

And that’s where we’ll leave you for now. Check back this time next month for June’s MiG. While you wait, why not join us over on X, Instagram or LinkedIn and give us your thoughts on the latest industry happenings.


July 17, 2024

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