February brings with it Nintendo’s big Direct for the first half of the year, while Microsoft reaffirms its multiplatform promise with Activision Blizzard, in this week’s gaming news. Game Rant has compiled some of the biggest gaming news stories from this past week together into a concise post for fans and enthusiasts to stay up to date on the most important events in the industry per week. Highlighting the most relevant stories, this list is not inherently and totally objective, and will not contain every news story this week. Rather, this is intended for gaming fans who want a quick rundown on the largest/most impactful stories that occurred in the last week in games.
In this week’s gaming news, a new Nintendo Direct brought reveals for already-announced games like Kirby and the Forgotten Land, as well as brand-new announcements for upcoming titles like Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes and Xenoblade Chronicles 3. PlatinumGames makes a public plea to Microsoft in an effort to potentially revive Scalebound. Meanwhile, Microsoft reaffirmed its multiplatform promise in the wake of the Activision Blizzard acquisition, all while Activision has confirmed details about 2022’s Call of Duty title. All this and more in this week’s roundup of the biggest news in the gaming industry.
Highlights From February’s Nintendo Direct Showcase
This week brought February’s big Nintendo Direct showcase, bringing with it several reveals for Switch games coming in the first half of 2022. While some things were leaked beforehand, there were certainly plenty of surprises as well. Whether it was the additional Kirby and the Forgotten Land gameplay, the announcement of new DLC coming to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, or the reveal of Xenoblade Chronicles 3, there were some big announcements from the latest Nintendo Direct.
PlatinumGames Wants To Bring Back Scalebound With Xbox
A little over a year after the Xbox One was revealed, PlatinumGames had announced a partnership with Microsoft to produce Scalebound, the studio’s first action-RPG. However, as the years past, fans would eventually learn that the Scalebound project had been canceled in 2017 after it had been delayed from a 2016 release window. Both Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer and PlatinumGames president Atsushi Inaba have lamented the game’s cancellation publicly, but Inaba and PlatinumGames vice president Hideki Kamiya have recently expressed a desire to return to the fantasy ARPG.
In an interview with IGN Japan, both Inaba and Kamiya expressed a sincere desire to revisit the game, imploring Microsoft to open conversation about bringing back Scalebound. “Kamiya has always wanted to do Scalebound. So we’d like to have a proper discussion with Microsoft,” stated Inaba. Kamiya also jumped in enthusiastically, stating “Phil! Let’s do it together!” It’s unclear what state of development Scalebound was in prior to its cancellation.
Microsoft Reaffirms Multiplatform Promise With ABK, MW2 and New Warzone Coming In 2022
While there were some initial fears among fans after Microsoft announced the acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer helped quell those concerns. In a statement by Microsoft president and vice chair Brad Smith, the company would honor existing content exclusivity and release plans for franchises on PlayStation. Additionally, Microsoft “will also make them available on PlayStation beyond the existing agreement and into the future so that Sony fans can continue to enjoy the games they love.” Microsoft also made a similar comment in relation to Nintendo, though the platform difference Switch vs. Xbox/PlayStation is more defined.
That being said, Activision was surprisingly candid with announcing the upcoming plans for the next Call of Duty game, as well as Call of Duty: Warzone‘s future. In a blog post, Activision confirmed that the next entry in the Call of Duty franchise would be a sequel to 2019’s Modern Warfare. Additionally, “a new Warzone experience,” as well as the upcoming sequel, will be designed on a new game engined by Infinity Ward. No release date/window was provided yet.
Lost Ark Becomes Second Most-Played Game On Steam In 24 Hours
Upon its free-to-play release in the west, Lost Ark has quickly become the second most-played game on Steam for concurrent players. The Amazon Games-published, Diablo-like ARPG was originally developed by Smilegate RPG and released for the Asian market in 2019. With its North American and European release, Lost Ark has surpassed Valve’s Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive for the most concurrent players on record of release. As of this writing, Lost Ark has an all-time peak of 1,324,761 concurrent players, only behind PUBG‘s record of 3,257,248 concurrent players.