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The Week in Games
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Another totally normal week in video game land. We have the usual updates to streaming libraries, new game releases, a few new trailers, the internet argues over The Last of Us again, a £1,200 three-foot tall Lady Dimitrescu statue is announced, and one of the industry’s most celebrated and influential game designers gets wrongly accused of assassinating the former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Oh, and the GoldenEye remake still isn’t out.
You can find more details about all of the above in the News section below.
This week also marked 7 years since the passing of former Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. Iwata was a hugely influential figure both for Nintendo and gaming as a whole, and was seemingly unanimously loved and respected throughout the industry and beyond. One of the world’s genuine nice guys.
Iwata learned to code on a pocket calculator and made his first game in his teens. His first step into the industry was a job at HAL Laboratories, who would go on to become one of Nintendo’s most trusted studios and collaborators. Back then, HAL was small, and staff were required to take on multiple roles, a factor which perhaps shaped his outlook as his career progressed. “I was a programmer and an engineer, and a designer, and I marketed our games; I also ordered food, and I helped clean up, and it was all great fun.”
The relationship between HAL and Nintendo grew closer and closer as the years went by, and reached its peak in 1999 when HAL released Super Smash Bros. for the N64 - a game for which Nintendo rather incredibly allowed the use of characters from pretty much all of its major franchises. In 2000 Iwata officially joined Nintendo as Head of Corporate Planning, and in 2002 became company President.
Iwata’s background as a gamer and developer saw him introduce an innovation-first philosophy, a philosophy which would result in the Nintendo DS and the Wii - two of the company’s most daring and successful consoles.
Reports of Iwata all suggest a man who earned his respect rather than demanded it. A boss, a developer, a colleague, and a friend who led by example and who was never above helping others, regardless of his job title.
One particularly nice story involves Iwata stepping in to develop a bespoke compression tool for Game Freak. They were struggling with their Game Boy Pokémon title and he was “willing to do whatever I could” to help out. His compression tool “amazed fellow developers” and allowed Game Freak to double the size of their game and include the Kanto region alongside the new land of Johto as a result.
Iwata was a company President with the mindset of a fan, and ensured the sense of fun and passion that ran throughout his company started at the very top. He was a gamer at heart, and the embodiment of Nintendo’s long-standing ethos that fun should always come first. The ethos that if the customers are enjoying themselves, then success is sure to follow.
Satoru Iwata, who passed 7 years ago this week
Satoru Iwata, who passed 7 years ago this week
A quick hello to the new subscribers this week, and thanks to those who have supported The Week in Games with a membership, by sharing it online, or simply by opening and reading it each week. This newsletter is completely reliant on shares and word of mouth, so your help and support is crucial, and hugely appreciated.
If you have any thoughts or enquiries regarding the newsletter (or games in general) please reply to this email directly or catch me over on Twitter.
I hope you enjoy the rest of the newsletter.
Have a great weekend
Jeff
NEWS
NEW RELEASES:
A little slim as far as new releases go this week, but next week sees the game cat-lovers everywhere have been waiting for arrive on PlayStation and PC. Stray looks lovely, is being hyped up quite a bit by Sony, and publisher Annapurna Interactive rarely miss. This should be one to keep an eye on whether you’re a feline fan or not.
This week also saw the announcement of the Abyssal Archive from Tune and Fairweather. Promising to be “the most comprehensive study of Dark Souls’ mythos ever published”, the two volume set also includes the most stunning game map you’re ever likely to see. This one is going to hit the wallets of Dark Souls fans pretty hard. Pre-orders are open now until August 14th.
Abyssal Archive - Standard Edition with map and slipcase
Abyssal Archive - Standard Edition with map and slipcase
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – July 12
(Xbox) – July 12
(PC) – July 13
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, PC) – July 14
(PC) – July 14
(PC) – July 15  – Read review
UPCOMING RELEASES:
(Xbox, PC) – July 19
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch, PC) – July 19
(Switch, PC) – July 19
(iOS, Android) – July 19  – Read review
(PS4, PS5, PC) – July 19
(PS4, PS5, Xbox, Switch) – July 21  – Read review
(Switch) – July 22
GAME OF THE WEEK
A randomly selected game each week! Any and all games are eligible for selection regardless of age, platform, popularity, or otherwise.
This week, the honour goes to…
LittleBigPlanet (2008)
A relentlessly joyous celebration of game development, British studio Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet mixed a wonderfully charming aesthetic with deep but accessible game-creation tools to create a title which went on to win the hearts of millions across the world. 
GAMING ANNIVERSARIES
Another round of gaming anniversaries to make you feel old… Sorry!
Click through the links to see what people had to say about them.
The Dreamcast port of Virtua Tennis is 22 years old!
jeff
Virtua Tennis is 22 years old today!

This sublime Dreamcast port of Sega's arcade classic combines pick-up-and-play gameplay with mechanical depth for one of the all-time great sports games.

Did you play it? In arcade or console form? https://t.co/RERdp50UnG
The Metal Gear series celebrated its 35 birthday!
jeff
35 years ago today Metal Gear launched for the MSX2 and kicked off a series that was both stunningly brilliant and utterly bonkers.

Hideo Kojima's landmark games provided blockbuster thrills and mind-bending twists aplenty, but which is your favourite Metal Gear game and moment? https://t.co/lc4dBCabW8
RECOMMENDED READS
Keza MacDonald - The Guardian
The global market grew to almost $200bn in recent years, but such massive growth isn’t sustainable. But the industry has a few things on the horizon to console themselves.
Christopher Dring - GiBiz
The games veteran discusses building a studio in the cloud, and working with PlayStation architect Mark Cerny.
Alex Calvin - GiBiz
GamesIndistryBiz talks to Colossal Order CEO Mariina Hallikainen about why a seven-year-old game sold six million copies in the last three years.
CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGNS
Perfect Organism: An Alien: Isolation Companion
By Andy Kelly / Unbound
Ninty Fresh Magazine: Issue 7
By Ninty Media - Campaign ends July 20th
UNITHOR - A Brand New Joystick For Retro Computers
By UNI-Joy - Campaign ends July 21st
[lock-on] Volume 004
By Lost in Cult - Campaign ends August 1st
The Ranchers
By Ethan - Campaign ends August 4th
Abyssal Archive
Tune & Fairweather - Pre-orders close August 14th
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…and that’s it for this week!
I hope you enjoyed this issue of The Week in Games! I’d be delighted if you would consider forwarding this email to anybody you think may like it, by sharing this link on social media, or simply telling people about it!
I’m always looking at ways to improve this newsletter, so if you have any comments, suggestions or enquiries, please reply to this email directly, write to jeff@jeffsayhi.com, or catch me on Twitter!
Thanks again, see you next week!
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The Week in Games
The Week in Games @jeffsayhi

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