In the game: Episode 3

Social media does not have the stereotypical slowdown.


By Connor Considine

While January is usually the slowdown for most media, including games, due to the end of the holiday season, it does not mean it has nothing. From console production, to weird collaborations, to the biggest acquisition in gaming history, I will be talking about them all. This is In The Game.

Console shortages for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S (more so X) have been a prevalent issue since their release back in November 2020. And thanks to scalpers, the shortage is not something fans are happy about. However, as of this month, both producers have responded in extremely different ways. Sony has said that they will continue, and increase PS4 production through 2022, and some of their most anticipated games, like the upcoming God of War: Ragnarok, will be released on both PS5 and PS4. Meanwhile, Microsoft discontinued the production of all Xbox One consoles (with the exception of the original, which was discontinued in 2016) before or slightly after the release of the Series consoles. Microsoft has said very little in terms of their response, even stating that the shortages will likely last through this year. Nevertheless, I hope fans of both consoles will be able to obtain one within this year.

In more fortunate news, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga got a game play trailer and proper release date a few days ago. The game will be released on April 5, and will feature 300 characters including 7 Downloadable Content Packs that will be available at launch, a “Mumble Mode” that revives the sounds and vibes of The Complete Saga, and a complete graphical jump from the aforementioned game.

This announcement follows a list of delays that set the release date back from October 2020 until the new release of almost 3 months from now, mostly due to COVID-19 forcing a massive work-from-home mandate on almost the entire world. Despite those delays, the game will be released, as well as a deluxe pack which contains those 7 DLC Packs along with a Luke with Blue Milk Minifigure. Have fun reliving the first two trilogies and making new experiences with the Sequel Trilogy when the game releases.

In the biggest acquisition both Microsoft and the gaming industry have ever made, Microsoft has acquired Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, gaining the rights to World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Candy Crush (yes really) among others. The acquisition will be completed in or before June 2023, assuming it does not get pushed back for monopoly threats, which considering the amount of third party companies still on the market, probably will not happen.

This deal comes off the 7 months of bad press and public decline Activision Blizzard has gone through for their treatment of women. For those unaware, a lawsuit was filed detailing women being sexually harassed, left to do work almost on their own while men played COD, and even harassment of a woman leading her to take her own life, with even the CEO, Bobby Kotick taking part in these cases. It is likely Kotick will leave as soon as the acquisition finishes, despite claims that he will stay.

Despite gaining the rights to these franchises, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has confirmed through Twitter that COD will stay on PlayStation consoles, meaning other franchises will most likely follow suit. There are also rumors that COD will forgo the yearly release schedule they have, in favor of reviving other franchises. I am interested to see how far this deal goes, and how it will change the gaming industry.