Descenders dev talks Xbox Game Pass, new Niantic game, more

JULY 1, 2020

Daily Gaming Update


How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here and welcome back to The Gaming Observer, for Wednesday July 1st. It’s a brand new month, which means a brand new swath of video game news to talk about. Let’s jump in.
The developer of the game Descenders has just shared how effective the Xbox Game Pass is for the third party games that are on the service. His name is Mike Rose, and he has said that the Game Pass has been great not just because they have a licensing deal, but because it has raised awareness of the game signficantly, which impacted sales outside of the service. He said this, “If I take the month before we went into Game Pass, and compared it to sales of the game last week, we’re now selling around five times as many units each week as pre-Game Pass, on a weekly basis…Since we went into Game Pass, our total Xbox sales have tripled.” This isn’t the first indication we’ve had of this, the developers of Oxenfree and Outer Wilds have both praised the service as well, which I think is absolutely tremendous. The more that we have services like this elevating the popularity of indie games, the better. And at this point Microsoft is a great company to lead that charge. I say all the time, Xbox Game Pass, super cheap, tons of high quality games, go check it out.

Niantic has announced their fourth game, following the success of Ingress, Pokemon Go, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and this time it’s Settlers of Catan. More specifically it’s called Catan: World Explorers, and it’s exactly what you’re used to with these games, except Catan themed. You’ll be collecting brick, lumber, grain, ore and wool, you can trade, you can build settlements, and there’s team-based gameplay. You can pre-register for the beta which is arriving soon if you are so inclined.

Fallout 76 has just introduced its version of the battle pass, alongside its Seasons update which just came out today. As you would expect there are 100 levels, you can gain levels by completing challenges, or by purchasing levels, and each level has some kind of reward. I guess this first season is retro-space themed, and there’s a number of cosmetics around that. This update is free for all players, and the season will end some time mid-September.

Amazon’s newest game, Crucible, the multiplayer 3rd person shooter MOBA with a battle royale mode, is “un-releasing” itself into beta. This is a super interesting move I’m not sure if it’s been done before, but they had a full release a while back and everyone had access to the game. I played it, it wasn’t terrible by any means, but there was definitely a lot of work to be done. Well, their team has decided to go back into a closed beta. This doesn’t mean too much is changing for existing players, they’re kinda just closing up shop to new players while they work on the game and plan a future re-release. If you want to stay connected with that game, they recommend joining the official Discord server to find people to play with and talk about the game.

Monster Hunter World is getting its next big content update, titled Alatreon, on July 9th — next week Thursday. This was an update that was delayed thanks to COVID, and it reintroduces a dragon from Monster Hunter 3. If that’s something you want to sink your teeth into, there’s a dev diary coming out on Friday, otherwise enjoy the update!

Final story for today it’s a funny one, but Fortnite is officially exiting Early Access across all modes. It’s weird to think that it wasn’t already, but yeah I guess they are happy with the non-Battle Royale version of the game now, and are officially calling it the complete official release. Now that mode isn’t going free to play like previously planned, but the price is being reduced to $20.