SciTech

Video game headlines: Bethesda, 'The Stanley Parable,' 'Final Fantasy XVI'

Bethesda in the news

Bethesda has made several appearances in the news this week. The first announcement was that two classic “Elder Scrolls” games are now available on Steam: “The Elder Scrolls Arena” and “The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall.” Though both have “Very Positive” reviews on Steam currently, the comments tell a different story. Many users note that the current versions of the games on Steam are not the most polished, with many bugs and lack some features present in the later versions of the game.

On April 27, Bethesda announced that players could begin migrating their games from the Bethesda Launcher to Steam. They originally said that the Bethesda Launcher would be retired on Feb. 22. Games like “Fallout 76” will need to be migrated to Steam to be playable past May 11. Bethesda has already disabled real-money transactions and other sales of game products on the launcher.

The following day, April 28, Xbox announced plans to host the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase on June 12 at 10 a.m. PST. The stream will be broadcast on a variety of platforms and available in over 30 languages.

‘Final Fantasy 16’ nears end of development

In an interview published in a free magazine given away at Uniqlo stores in Japan, “Final Fantasy XVI” (FFXVI) producer Naoki Yoshida stated that the game is approaching the end of its development. While originally developed for Microsoft Windows, FFXVI will also be released as a timed console exclusive for PlayStation 5.

FFXVI was originally announced in 2020 as part of Sony’s PlayStation 5 showcase event, but has since faced delays. In October 2021, Yoshida claimed that the finishing touches for the game, like finalizing side quests, were being completed. However, in a later announcement, Yoshida stated the game’s development fell almost half a year behind schedule due to COVID-19. The game’s “next big reveal” is supposed to be announced this spring.

‘Dragon Age 4’ quality assurance developers announce intent to unionize

In one of many recent announcements about unionizing in the video game industry, quality assurance (QA) developers that work on “Dragon Age 4” announced their intent to unionize. This comes after a fellow QA team at Raven Software got the green light to have a union vote, which will be counted May 23.

The QA developers who worked on “Dragon Age 4” are employed through Keywords Studios but work directly with BioWare, the company responsible for developing “Dragon Age 4.” The QA developers cited two main reasons for unionization: bad pay and concerns over a full-time return to office. A review by the Alberta Labor Relations Board is expected to be completed on May 3, with a vote by mail held in the following two weeks.

‘The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe’ sells 100,000 copies on Steam within 24 hours

Described as a “re-imagining of the critically acclaimed, award winning indie game” the expanded version of "The Stanley Parable" released on April 27 on a variety of platforms, including Steam, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. The game's release massively expanded the original world, adding new content, choices, and secrets for the player to uncover.

According to the developer of the game, Crows Crows Crows, the game sold over 100,000 copies on Steam within its first 24 hours of sale. For those who owned the original version of the game on the platform, they were offered a 33 percent coupon. The version on Steam includes new achievements, including “Super Go Outside,” which the player earns by not playing the game for 10 years (already earned by 2.9 percent of players), and “Commitment,” which is earned by playing the game the entirety of a Tuesday (earned by 0.2 percent of players).

‘Overwatch 2’ launches first run of beta testing

Starting on April 26 at 11 a.m. PST, players were able to access the first closed beta of “Overwatch 2.” Those selected to participate were told how to access the beta build; more were given access to the build at later periods during the initial test. This test was conducted exclusively for those on PC, but console players will be included in future beta tests. This initial test is currently planned to run through May 17, though this date is subject to change according to the FAQs from Blizzard.

“Overwatch 2” is slated to introduce new heroes, one of whom was included in the closed beta: Sojourner. Another new feature of the game is 5v5 combat, which is expected to give players more individual impact. Additional game modes are also expected to be added. The first announced was “Push,” which requires players to push a robot toward the enemy base across a symmetrical map.