The final month of the year ended just yesterday and The Game Awards made sure 2021 went out with a bang with plenty of AAA announcements. The were also plenty of rumors about PlayStation’s potential answer to Xbox Game Pass, and a surprise announcement of a remake.
The Game Awards Announces 11 New Games and a Remake
The Game Awards is the final game show of the year. As well as the expected Game of the Year awards, there are usually plenty of announcements and other trailers to show in between the awards. This year was no exception as a massive 11 titles were announced for PlayStation platforms: Alan Wake 2, Star Wars: Eclipse, Wonder Woman, Arc Raiders, Sonic Frontiers, Star Trek: Resurgence, The Expanse: A Telltale Series, Slitterhead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Rumbleverse, and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine II. There was also Persona 4 Arena Ultimax for the PlayStation 4.
There were plenty of trailers and new content for existing games to see too. In terms of the awards, It Takes Two got Game of the Year at the awards, as well as best multiplayer game and best family game. Deathloop and Kena: Bridge of Spirits also took home two awards each. All in all the awards show made sure the year went out with a bang.
Project Spartacus May be Sony’s Answer to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
Sony had been saying throughout the year that they were working in their own cloud gaming service, potentially making improvements to the existing PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now services. A name for this service appeared in december: Project Spartacus. According to rumors, Project Spartacus will apparently charge a monthly fee for access to a library full of classic and modern video games on PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4. PlayStation Plus and Playstation Now will be merged into the service and this will lead to PlayStation Now eventually being phased out. Sony hasn’t commented on the rumors yet.
Splinter Cell Remake Will Rebuild the Game on Snowdrop Engine
Players have been clamoring for a new Splinter Cell game for years. While it isn’t the new game they’re wanting, Ubisoft revealed they are remaking the original Splinter Cell “from the ground up” in the Snowdrop engine. The game’s graphics and gameplay will be updated, but the fundamental elements of the game will remain intact. Splinter Cell Remake has entered the “very earliest stages of development” and the studio is actively recruiting, so it’s likely to be quite a while before we hear anything more.
Ubisoft Heads Into the World of NFTs
Ubisoft announced it would begin selling NFTs through its new Ubisoft Quartz platform. They trialled it with 2,000 weapon skins for Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, almost identical except for each having a unique number. They were later joined by 1,000 items of clothing, again with very little to differentiate between them. Players were outraged and sales of the NFTs were poor. Of the few items that sold, all went for well below the asking price.
Despite this, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot told concerned staff members that the company has many more plans for implementing blockchain technology into their games, although he didn’t elaborate on this. Ubisoft’s blockchain technical director Didier Genevois is also convinced that players will get used to NFTs as long as Ubisoft uses NFTs “responsibly”, builds a “safe environment”, and that it focuses on “meaningful value propositions for players that benefit their gaming experience.” NFTs remain a controversial subject and only 2022 will decide whether they’re here to stay or whether they’re just the latest fad.
Our Favorite December 2021 Anecdote
Rockstar pitched Grand Theft Auto III to Microsoft executives as an Xbox exclusive. They rejected the pitch because they didn’t believe Rockstar was capable of transforming the franchise from 2D to 3D. They also felt Grand Theft Auto 2 hadn’t been successful either and this wasn’t much of a platform to launch a new game. The result was GTA 3 came to be a timed PlayStation 2 exclusive. It sold 14.5 million units and was the top selling game of 2001 in the US. This is just one of the decisions that Microsoft came to regret, although they don’t make mistakes of this magnitude very frequently.
PSLS Game of December 2021: Beyond a Steel Sky
Although there are some bugs and missed opportunities, the issues that plagued Beyond a Steel Sky release on PC and Apple Arcade have been largely solved, making the console experience far smoother. The result is a game that suits both newcomers and those who experienced Beneath a Steel Sky. Newcomers will find a great story that can be enjoyed as an independent game. Those familiar with the franchise will find a sequel that was well worth the wait, although it’s unlikely to reach the critical acclaim of its predecessor.
This concludes our year in review. We hope you’ve enjoyed all of the interesting news stories, anecdotes, and games of the month we’ve seen over the past few days. In case you’ve missed them, you can check out previous months below: