Nintendo brought several reveals this month in its most recent Nintendo Direct, while Activision Blizzard’s legal troubles continue to worsen, in this week’s gaming news recap. 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 recap of gaming news, an updated trailer for Bayonetta 3, as well as a brand new Kirby game, were unveiled for Nintendo Switch. Activision Blizzard finds itself under even greater scrutiny as the government investigates its handling of harassment allegations. The Perfect Dark reboot’s developer The Initiative is teaming up with another AAA studio to assist with development. Phasmophobia‘s one-year anniversary brings a surprise update, among other quality of life changes. Overwatch loses another high-ranking developer, just a few months after the previous director left the project. All that and more in this week’s roundup of the biggest gaming news.
Biggest Reveals From September 2021 Nintendo Direct
This week brought with it a surprise announcement and showcase with September’s Nintendo Direct presentation. In the leadup to this fall and the holiday season, several upcoming games received a few updates, alongside a few surprises coming next year and beyond as well. Announcements and reveals came for the long-lost Bayonetta 3, as well as the new Kirby game that leaked hours prior to the show. Here are all the highlights from September 2021’s Nintendo Direct presentation.
- Nintendo 64/Sega Genesis Games Coming to Nintendo Switch Online: Alongside the existing NES/SNES games on the Switch’s online service, Nintendo will soon be adding Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games to the Nintendo Switch in October. A beginning lineup consisting of Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Star Fox 64, and more, these games are included in a new subscription tier for Nintendo Switch online, the price of which is unknown.
- Kirby and the Forgotten Land: Kirby is finally getting some 3D love with Kirby and the Forgotten Land, the first game for the series in a long time that is not a 2D platformer. Taking players to a dilapidated cityscape, among other biomes, this is the first time players will explore an open-world-esque environment in a Kirby game. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is planned to release next spring, 2022.
- Bayonetta 3: Resurfacing after years with no subsequent news, Bayonetta 3 received its first gameplay trailer. After a quick Astral Chain fake-out, the titular Umbra Witch showed off a brand new character design, before quickly initiating a gigantic kaiju-like fight/gameplay scenario. The trailer also confirmed 2022 as the release year for Bayonetta 3.
- Super Mario Movie Main Cast Announced: In production by the same filmmakers behind the Minions, the long-dormant Super Mario movie received some news direct from Shigeru Miyamoto. The series creator of Mario introduced the main cast, including Chris Pratt as “Mario,” Charlie Day as “Luigi,” Anya Taylor-Joy as “Peach,” Jack Black as “Bowser,” and others like Seth Rogen as “Donkey Kong” or Keegan-Michael Key as “Toad.”
Activision Blizzard Under Investigation From SEC, Bobby Kotick Subpoenaed
Activision Blizzard’s legal troubles continue during the continued probe into the company’s harassment allegations, the government has taken a major step. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that the SEC had issued a subpoena to Activision Blizzard, and that the company was complying with an information request on how the company was addressing said allegations. Several higher-up executives in the company were subpoenaed, including CEO Bobby Kotick.
This is one of many developments in the ongoing story of Activision Blizzard’s harassment work culture and the subsequent legal action taken against the company. Since then, Blizzard Entertainment’s chief legal officer Claire Hart has left the company, separate from the many ousted former employees including president J. Allen Brack. Activision Blizzard’s stock has dropped significantly, employees have filed even further complaints of employee threats, among other enduring issues with the company.
Crystal Dynamics Assisting The Initiative on Perfect Dark Reboot
As Xbox Game Studios’ The Initiative continues production on the upcoming Perfect Dark reboot, the studio is planning a partnership with Crystal Dynamics to assist with development. This isn’t particularly surprising, given that The Initiative studio head (Darrell Gallagher) is former studio head of Crystal Dynamics, working during the time when the Tomb Raider reboot released. Perfect Dark does not have a confirmed release date/window at this time.
Phasmophobia’s Anniversary Update Adds Singleplayer
Viral cooperative horror game Phasmophobia celebrated the game’s first anniversary this week, with Kinetic Games issuing a new update one year after the game’s release date. Other than bug fixes, Kinetic Games also added a new singleplayer mode to Phasmophobia, allowing players to explore haunted sites without connecting to servers. Additionally, quality of life changes to journals and evidence management, contract payouts, and difficulty also make the experience that much better.
Overwatch Executive Producer Leaves Activision Blizzard
After previous Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan had previously left Activision Blizzard, three months prior to the initial Activision Blizzard lawsuit, Overwatch‘s producer is leaving the company as well. Overwatch‘s Executive Producer Chacko Sonny, who had worked on both Overwatch games previously, is leaving after working at the company for five years. Sonny also comforted fans in his goodbye statement, assuring them that Overwatch 2 is “in the final stages of production.”
Halo Infinite’s Second Multiplayer Beta Test Began This Weekend
343 Industries announced the next wave of Halo Infinite‘s upcoming multiplayer beta tests, with the first taking place this past weekend. The first recent Halo Infinite multiplayer beta took place from Friday, September 24, to Monday, September 27. The second Halo Infinite beta test is planned for Thursday, September 30, to Monday, October 4. Fan response has been largely positive to the test thus far, and it’s unclear if 343 Industries has any additional beta tests planned.