2K Sets Next-Gen Retail Price At $69.99 With NBA 2K21

2K has set an example in what is likely to be a new trend by setting the suggested retail price (SRP) of the PlayStation 5/Xbox One version of NBA 2K21 at $69.99. This appears to be the first instance of an upcoming next-gen title listing its price.

The game’s press release notes that the game’s actual retail price may vary, but barring specific sales retailers typically sell products at the SRP.

We’ll have to wait and see if other publishers follow suit now or in the future, but with rising development costs, the power of the coming home consoles, and that this happens every few generations, it’s a good bet this is the new normal.

Furi Creators Bringing Co-Op RPG Haven To PS5, PS4

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Developers The Game Bakers are taking a different approach for Haven compared to the studio’s last title, action game Furi. Haven is designed as a simpler, less-frantic PS5/PS4 co-op action/RPG.

Creative director Emeric Thoa says he was inspired by the game Flower and its chill gameplay. Although Haven has standard elements like crafting, different approaches to combat, and much more, the aim was to make things as simple and un-confusing as possible, doing away with complex skill trees, crafting systems, and UI overload.

Instead, Haven wants you to focus on controlling Yu and Kay as they explore the world – including enabling seamless drop-in co-op – and becoming invested in the couple’s story.

Haven was announced as part of Sony’s PlayStation Indies initiative, but does not yet have a release date for either version.

Sony Starts The PlayStation Indies Initiative

Sony has announced the PlayStation Indies program, headed by former Sony worldwide studios head Shuhei Yoshida, to “spotlight and support” indie games.

Although further details regarding the program will be announced in the future, today Yoshida announced that nine titles will be be announced over both the PS4 and PlayStation 5 through the day.

Furthermore, every month an indie title – stating with Hello Neighbor – will be added to the PlayStation Now roster.

Yoshida pointed to games like the recently announced Bugsnax as the kind of indie title Sony wants to host on its platforms.

[Source: Official PlayStation Blog]

Update: Kobe Bryant Added As NBA 2K21’s Final Cover Star

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Final Update:

The late Kobe Bryant is the cover star for NBA 2K21’s Mamba Forever edition, which includes various extras through the game’s modes, including 100,000 VC, 60 MyCareer skill boosts, and more.

This version, which comes out this holiday for $99.99, is available for both the current and next-gen consoles, and buying it is the only way that fans can play on both generations (within the same console family such as PS4 and PS5) with a single purchase.

Microsoft has started its own Smart Delivery system which ensures that you only have to buy a game once no matter which generation you play the game on, but so far the list of third-party titles using this feature is selective.

For more information on this edition, head over to the official site.


Pelicans’ forward Zion Williamson has been added as NBA 2K21’s cover star for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of this year’s game.

2K says that more information on the game comes tomorrow when the release date, third and final cover star, and pre-order campaign are announced.

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Original Story:

Being a cover star is a career milestone, and this year Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard is adding that accolade to his already distinguished resume.

Lillard is the cover star of the current-gen version of the game out of a total of three, with the other two (next-gen and Legend edition) still to follow.

Not much has been said by developer Visual Concepts about the game itself so far, but the next-gen version was recently unveiled at Sony’s event, and it should make use of the upcoming systems with shorter load times, etc.

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NBA 2K21


PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Release Date:



Report: Microsoft Announcing Xbox Series S In August

Xbox Series X

It has long been rumored that Microsoft is preparing a second next-gen system codenamed Lockhart which is cheaper and less high-powered than the announced Xbox Series X. Eurogamer reports that this version – also known as the Xbox Series S – is going to debut in August.

The Series S – named similar to the cheaper Xbox One S – was originally going to debut in June at E3, but Microsoft had to change those plans when the industry event was canceled.

Microsoft has yet to announce the official date and price for the Series X, but it will be out this holiday season. Whether the Series S releases alongside the Series X also remains to be seen. Perhaps all will be revealed in August.

[Source: Eurogamer]

Report: Harry Potter RPG Scheduled For Late-2021 Next-Gen Release

Bloomberg is confirming the earlier report of an open-world Harry Potter RPG by Warner Bros. studio Avalanche Software (Disney Infinity), adding that the game will appear on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X in late 2021.

The information is based on conversations with two people working on the project, and Bloomberg’s article in general gives an overview of the game’s development, stating that the early video footage was real even if some information since its leak has not been.

COVID-19, Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling’s transphobic comments, and the possible sale of Avalanche parent company Warner Bros. have affected the title’s development, even though it remains on track to release next year.

The RPG was supposed to be announced at E3 in June, but will now make its debut after Batman goes first in August at DC’s Fandome event.

[Source: Bloomberg]

Sony Celebrates PS Plus Anniversary With 3 Titles

July’s PlayStation Plus free PS4 titles for members gets an and one to celebrate the service’s 10-year anniversary. Rise of The Tomb Raider, NBA 2K20, and Erica are available from July 7 to August 3.

Sony is also releasing a free PS4 theme later this week to celebrate the event, as well as holding a free multiplayer weekend starting July 4 (12:01 AM) to July 5 (11:59 PM) local time.

[Source: Official PlayStation Blog]

Disco Elysium TV Show In The Works

Variety reports that detective RPG Disco Elysium is being adapted into a TV series. It’s still very early in the development process, so no writers or actors have been attached to the project.

Although no talent is officially working on the show yet, Helen Hindpere, lead writer for the game from developer ZA/UM said, “We’re so gratified at the response Disco Elysium has received, and very happy to be teaming with dj2 to expand the franchise for other media and new audiences.”

Production company dj2 Entertainment is also working on a live-action adaptation of Sleeping Dogs, and CEO and founder Dmitri M. Johnson was co-producer for the Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

[Source: Variety]

Animal Crossing’s Free Summer Fun

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Summer is here, and maybe you’ve been going to the beach in real-life. Or maybe not. Either way, Animal Crossing: New Horizon’s free summer update (coming on July 3) is bringing the seasonal fun to the Switch.

The update features swimming, diving, mermaid furniture, additions for the museum, and more. 

July’s update is just the beginning, as Nintendo says another free entry is coming in early August.

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Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Creative Director Steps Down

Note: This story has been updated to include additional context.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail is stepping down from his role with the game to deal with “personal issues.”

In response to the situation, Ubisoft has provided a statement that reads: “Ashraf Ismail is stepping down from the project to take a leave of absence. The development team is committed to delivering a great game in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.”

The announcement comes on the heels of information that came to light this weekend, regarding an alleged sexual relationship between Ismail and a woman who didn’t know he was married.

The revelation surfaces as Ubisoft is already dealing with another separate controversy surrounding the sexual conduct of its employees.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla is currently scheduled to release for current- and next-gen systems, as well as PC and Stadia, by the end of the year. 

[Source: Ashraf Ismail]

Madden 21 Shows Off Some Of Its Gameplay Moves

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Publisher: EA Sports
Developer: EA Tiburon

Rating: Everyone
Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

Reveal trailers are just that – they’re meant to debut the game but not necessarily explain it. The other week Madden 21 had its debut, teasing some of this year’s features but not going in more depth to what would be happening. That paves the way for today, with developer EA Tiburon a new trailer covering gameplay aspects on both sides of the ball.

Usually when a feature for offense is added there needs to be a counter on defense, and vice versa. This year the addition of more right stick moves applies equally to everyone. Defensive linemen’s moves are now all on the right stick and triggers, and there’s actually an optional onscreen meter showing how many you have left. Furthermore, offensive linemen learn from what you’ve done, so you’ll need a varied arsenal to penetrate into the backfield.

Out in the open field, ball carriers are getting the side hurdle and a dead-leg pause. Both seem like they’re less time-consuming and transition easier into continuing to run that the traditional full juke and jump back. Thus, it’ll be interesting to see how balanced they are considering normal spin moves are already strong against players without a tackling superstar ability.

Speaking of making tackles, defenders will have another tool available to them through stuttering breakdown steps that help them prepare and size up an open field tackle.

These additions – as well as more animations for post-play momentum, sideline activity, QB throws, and user-generated celebrations for non-TD events like sacks and first downs – can help the game look good on your TV. However, the real test will be how accurate the game is at triggering and resolving these animations correctly, something I mention as one of the challenges for the series this year.

Of course, we won’t know how it all plays out until we get our hands on the game. EA Tiburon will have to blend all these situations together to make the experience seamless, providing that flow like that of a great running back or defensive end.

Madden NFL 21


PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Stadia, PC

Release Date:


Two Earth Defense Force Games Announced, Including EDF 6

Publisher D3 has announced a new numbered entry in the bug-busting Earth Defense Force series.

Earth Defense Force 6’s official website doesn’t have much info other than these screenshots and the fact that the plan is to release the game in 2021.

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The platforms the game will appear on is unknown, but it appears as if Sandlot is back to develop this entry given their copyright is listed at the very bottom of the game’s official website.

Before then, another new title – Earth Defense Force: World Brothers – is coming to PlayStation 4 and Switch this year in Japan. World Brothers is being developed by famed wrestling developer Yuke’s, which did the Iron Rain spin-off in 2019.

Not only is World Brothers’ look different, but the game brings back EDF characters and enemies from the series’ past. In fact, over 100 EDF members can be recruited back into the cause.

Neither game has been officially announced worldwide yet.

[Source: D3 via Siliconera (1), (2)]

Facebook Buys Developer Ready At Dawn

Facebook has announced that it has purchased developer Ready at Dawn, who’ve been working on multiple games in its Lone Echo VR series (shooter Echo Combat is shown above), and will continue to do so for Oculus, Facebook’s VR platform.

Ready at Dawn worked with Sony properties like the God of War series before handling its own IP, The Order: 1886 in 2015 for the PlayStation 4. Unfortunately, the title never took off.

The good news, however, is that the studio has since had success in VR and the Oculus, making multiple Echo titles. The latest, Lone Echo II, is due out in 2020.

[Source: Oculus]

Hands-On With Dirt 5

Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Codemasters

(Xbox One,
PlayStation 4), TBA (Xbox Series X,
PlayStation 5)

Rating: Rating Pending
Platform: PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

In recent years Codemasters’ Dirt series has added more layers to its career mode, and this year is no exception. Veteran voice actors Troy Baker and Nolan North are integral to your curated-with-choices journey through a career in Dirt 5, but let’s not forget what Codemasters has made its name on – the racing itself.

Of course, Dirt 5 isn’t as strict as company’s F1 franchise, but how you keep control of your vehicle on the track is important. I recently went hands-on with the game, and could immediately feel what the title is going after.

Racing is all about grip, and that’s particularly germane to off-road racing. The early PC demo I played (the title is out in October), immediately conveyed both the fun vibe the title is going after as well as its challenges.

The sense of speed is good, whether that’s on a straightaway or bombing down the hill in the demo’s Rio track. This only makes executing the turns and keeping your grip all the more harrowing. Add in the mud and contact with the other racers, and the game gives you a lot to keep track of without diluting your focus or feeling like you’re getting bogged down.

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Dirt 5


PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Release Date:

October 9, 2020 (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC), TBA (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X)


Dirt 5 features dynamic weather, and the rain, snow, ice, and even electrical storms – as well as the different times of day – add another layer to the laps.

The demo sampled four race types: ultracross, land rush, stampede, and sprint, and it’ll be interesting to see how different each of them feel when the final game comes out (there will be more race types, of course). Stampede has more “extreme” conditions like jumps, while sprint – with high-speed but jittery sprint cars – is more about drifting, so in a game filled with offroad races and tracks, the developers might face the challenge of not making the whole thing feel like just piles and piles of … dirt.

I guess that’s where the curated career is helpful – both in showing you new directions but also letting you race the types of events you like. The layout of the tracks and the cars, of course, may also make a big difference.

Codemasters has elevated the Dirt series in the past years, and its continuing attempts to inject new experiences into a seemingly familiar tale is admirable and part of what has made the franchise successful. Dirt 5 is trying this again, but doesn’t look like it’s forgotten its gameplay foundation.

Dirt 5 is out on October 9 (PS4, Xbox One, PC), later for the next-gen systems, and in 2021 on Stadia.

Microsoft Shutting Down Mixer Streaming Platform

Microsoft has announced that it is shutting down its Mixer video game streaming platform – once the exclusive home of the likes of Ninja and Shroud – on July 22, and partnering with Facebook Gaming as a new locale for viewers and streamers.

In a statement, head of Xbox Phil Spencer said:

Ultimately, the success of Partners and streamers on Mixer is dependent on our ability to scale the service for them as quickly and broadly as possible. It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences we want to deliver to gamers now, so we’ve decided to close the operations side of Mixer and help the community transition to a new platform.

Microsoft acquired Beam in 2016 and turned it into Mixer in 2017, and brought over superstar streamer Ninja last year from Twitch.

According to The Verge, which talked to Spencer about the developments, stars who signed deals with Mixer (like Ninja and Shroud) are free to go back to Twitch. As of the time of this writing neither Ninja nor Shroud has officially commented on the situation.

The Verge also talks strategically about Microsoft’s move, saying it gives Microsoft a broader base for its xCloud streaming service.

[Source: Microsoft, The Verge]

Report: Rocksteady Studios Working On Suicide Squad Game

Eurogamer is reporting that Batman: Arkham Knight developer Rocksteady Studios is working on a Suicide Squad game that may be called Suicide Squad Kill The Justice League.

Talk started when DriftingOrbit posted some uncovered domain names in resetera, and Eurogamer later said it “understands this to be accurate,” adding that the suicidesquadkillthejusticeleague.com domain in particular a contender for the final title and indicative of the final product.

Finally, although we should not expect anything substantive about the game for a while, Eurogamer it will be at the DC Fandome event in August.

[Source: DriftingOrbit and Eurogamer]

Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 Announced

CI Games has announced Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 for this fall on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Unfortunately the company isn’t saying anything else about the title at the moment, but naturally, players will be executing kills for cash and upgrades, so whether that keeps you up at night is between you and your conscience. The game’s current announcement tweet mentions justice, however, so maybe it’s not all so black and white.

[Source: CI Games]