Hi everyone! Hope you're doing well. June was, as usual, an absolutely massive month for the gaming industry. Even with the absence of big shows from a couple of the usual players (looking at you, Ubisoft and Nintendo), events like the Xbox and Bethesda showcase and Summer Game Fest provided plenty of different gaming announcements.
Outside of that, there's some ugliness threatening portions of the U.S. gaming industry (and the U.S. at large). Let's dive in.
Xbox and Bethesda provide a 12-month roadmap
We got the big Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase earlier this June. In a small but surprising move, Microsoft revealed towards the start of the show that it would be entirely focused on games that are slated to release within the next year. As such, some heavy-hitters like Avowed and Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2 weren't present, as they're presumably not launching until after June 2023.
Instead, we saw a solid lineup of titles headed to Xbox Game Pass, from first-party games like the final release of Grounded and Forza Motorsport to third-party grabs like the Persona franchise. The not-yet-first-party Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 made appearances, while PC Game Pass got a huge shot in the arm with the addition of Riot Games and in-game perks.
Finally, Bethesda Softworks titles Redfall and Starfield got gameplay blowouts. We even got the confirmation that yes, Hideo Kojima and Kojima Productions are working with Xbox Game Studios on a Cloud-native title. No matter what you're into, great Xbox games are on the way.
Our Xbox editor Jez Corden wrote that the showcase sent a clear message that Xbox was here for everyone, and I wholeheartedly agree. While it does come at the cost of not seeing some big games that are further out, I really, really appreciated how everything showed off is set to arrive within the near future, with tons of gameplay footage showing what the games really look like in action.
Capcom unleashes a triple threat of big games
Capcom showed up in force this summer. The Japanese publisher technically announced Street Fighter 6 a while ago, but it was during the June 2022 PlayStation State of Play that we got to see it in action. Running on RE Engine, the game looks great, with tons of classic and new Street Fighter characters like Ryu, Luke, Jamie, and Chun-Li. It's not only slated to arrive at some point in 2023, but it's also returning to Xbox consoles, and I absolutely cannot wait.
Not content to stop there, Capcom revealed the Resident Evil 4 remake in the same State of Play, confirming the reports that a darker take on the story was on the way. It'll be launching in March 2023.
This comes while the company is also providing more support for its other Resident Evil games, with free current-generation upgrades for Resident Evil 2, 3, and 7, while more DLC is on the way for Resident Evil Village.
Finally, while we didn't get to see a lot of it — all we have is a logo and the knowledge it's being built in RE Engine — Capcom also confirmed that yes, Dragon's Dogma 2 is in development.
Capcom is on a roll, and you love to see it.
The Callisto Protocol and A Plague Tale: Requiem get release dates
A duo of story-based horror games got release dates, and I'm excited for both. The Callisto Protocol, a spiritual successor to Dead Space, is slated to arrive on Dec. 2, 2022.
Before navigating a frozen moon, we'll be checking back in with Amicia and Hugo with A Plague Tale: Requiem, which is scheduled to arrive on Oct. 18, 2022. It's also launching day one into Xbox Game Pass.
Both games are high up on my most-anticipated list. I love the survival-horror renaissance we're in right now, and it's showing no signs of slowing down.
Marvel's Spider-Man and Miles Morales are swinging over to PC
Remember when I said I was curious where Sony's projected increase for PlayStation PC revenue was coming from? Yeah, here's the answer.
Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered and Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales are both coming to PC in 2022. The former is almost upon us with an August release date, while the latter will be sometime this fall.
This was surprising for a few of us at Windows Central. Even with PlayStation bringing numerous games to PC, this Spider-Man series sells extremely well, and I (incorrectly) thought they would be some of the last PlayStation games to head to PC. It's great to see though, and further emphasizes that Sony is no longer opposed to embracing the PC market. Additionally, The Last of Us Part 1, a remake of the original game, is headed to PC, though there's no release date.
Microsoft makes steps for gaming unions and Activision Blizzard workers
In a rare bit of positive news for workers and workers' rights, Microsoft brokered a neutrality agreement with the Communication Workers of America, committing to allowing Activision Blizzard workers to discuss and engage in unionization 60 days after the deal closes.
To say this is unprecedented would be an understatement. It's a huge win for unions in the gaming industry, especially as more groups work to make it happen. If unionization can also expand to Xbox Game Studios and Bethesda Softworks, it sets an incredible precedent for the gaming industry.
World of Warcraft: Dragonflight preorders open as Blizzard Entertainment expands
Despite the expansion being shrouded in mystery, Blizzard Entertainment is putting a fair bit of muscle behind it, acquiring Spellbreak developer Proletariat to work on it. This studio will be integrated into the network of Blizzard Entertainment studios, providing support on Dragonflight and other future World of Warcraft content with an additional 100+ staff. (Worth noting that Proletariat announced it was shutting down its battle royale Spellbreak the day before the acquisition news came through.)
While it seems weird that Dragonflight is slated for this year considering how little we've seen, it's good to see Blizzard Entertainment invest more and acquire additional support for World of Warcraft even before the Microsoft deal to acquire Activision Blizzard finalizes.
Roe v. Wade is overturned, the gaming industry responds
On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, ending decades of federal law protecting abortion. As people who can have abortions also work in the gaming industry, this caused an immediate uproar. Numerous studios and publishers issued statements, with leadership at some, like Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann, offering donations to support reproductive rights.
Some companies like Microsoft and Electronic Arts are also working to provide support and cover travel for employees as the situation evolves, but the entire thing is a mess.
I don't have a uterus, but I recognize how important this issue is all the same.
If you'd like to make a donation to support reproductive rights, you can give to the National Network of Abortion Funds, Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Indigenous Women Rising, the Repro Legal Defense Fund, or any number of local and nationwide organizations and charities.
Play some games
With the majority of the big summer announcements out of the way, I hope everyone can find some time to relax and play something. You could always try something new, attempt to tackle that big game in your backlog you've been swearing you'd play, or just go for some comfort food replays. There's nothing at all wrong with those. If you missed it before, be sure to check out my Xbox and PC recap for May 2022.
Right now, I'm playing more of the brilliant survival-city builder Frostpunk, and I recently picked up Dune: Spice Wars, so I'm hoping to try that soon. I'm also really enjoying Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course. Until next time,
— Samuel Tolbert
Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.
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