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Unfinished sympathy

The Week in Games
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A grand theft
I like to work on The Week in Games in piecemeal fashion. A lot of time goes into making it, so I like to add to it gradually throughout the week, slowly filling out the content ready for a final check and issue on Friday. Hopefully you’ll agree the finished product is something that is laid out sensibly and reads well. Something with a little bit of polish to it.
If you were to see The Week in Games on a Wednesday, that would most certainly not be the case. You’d find a half-written intro at best, news stories and links pasted randomly here and there, images with no context and out of date release dates.
Not good.
Sure, most people would understand that the newsletter doesn’t magically appear fully formed each Friday and was obviously sent out too early. But some would see a careless, nonsensical mess. Nobody wants that in their inbox, and so unsubscriptions would follow. The newsletter was never meant to be seen in its unfinished ‘Wednesday state’, but the damage is done.
Rockstar’s upcoming Grand Theft Auto VI was leaked in its Wednesday state this week. As you’ve probably heard, some pesky so and so managed to swipe a large quantity of photos and videos from Rockstar’s servers and release them to the public. Which meant that within a few minutes, they were everywhere. Inevitably, the resulting cries of “it looks unfinished” and “the graphics are awful” were as quick as they were vicious.
To be clear, the cries weren’t wrong - the game does look unfinished. But guess what? That’s because it is unfinished. The reason Rockstar hasn’t shown GTA VI yet is really rather simple; GTA VI isn’t ready to be seen yet.
Fellow devs such as Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann (who has experience in this field after devastatingly spoleriffic cutscenes for The Last of Us Part II leaked online before the game’s release) were quick to offer their sympathies. Many even released work-in-progress footage of their own games in a show of solidarity.
Thoughts go out to the Rockstar devs whose hard work was released out of context and in an unpolished state. But let’s be honest, GTA VI is going to be okay. Just as The Last of Us 2 was okay despite far more damaging, story-ruining leaks. The hype train for the biggest property in gaming is hardly going to be derailed by pretty uneventful footage leaking a year or two early.
One thing that’s for sure, however, is the reaction to this leak (alongside this week’s unrelated outing of a high-profile online leaker) certainly isn’t going help the already-strained relationship between eager, opinionated fans and a traditionally secretive industry. As much as we might clamour for early footage of our next favourite games, this week has shown that, collectively, we simply aren’t ready to see it.
I’m sure most people reading this know how games work, and would love for developers to pull back the curtain and give us a glimpse behind the scenes at their in-development projects. But trust and understanding has to go both ways, and with that unlikely to come from the vocal online community any time soon, those curtains are likely to remain firmly closed.
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I hope you enjoy the rest of the newsletter!
Take care everybody and have a great weekend
  • Sony’s Blockbuster Games Sale is still rolling over on the PlayStation Store, with up to 75% off some pretty big games. As is the Games Under £20 Sale.
  • PlayStation’s Deal of the Week sees discounts of up to 29% off the various editions of Horizon: Forbidden West.
  • Sony are still offering 7-day free trials for their new Extra and Premium PlayStation Plus tiers, if you’re not already a subscriber.
  • Xbox has a Bundles Sale running, with up to 80% off a variety of double packs and trilogies, and also a Publisher Spotlight Series Sale with up to 80% off various games both old and new,
  • Nintendo currently has over 1000 games on sale at up to 75% off, with a decent mixture of big-hitters and indies.
  • Ark: Survival Evolved and Gloomhaven are both currently free on the Epic Games Store.
  • As always, there are plenty of games on general sale over on the Epic Games Store, and Steam has a number of current Special Offers including 20% off Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade and 50% of Cyberpunk 2077.
  • The Video Game Library
The Video Game Library is a brilliant website “wholly dedicated to books about games”. It is constantly updated and provides information and purchase links for a huge selection of books. A must for fans of video game literature. You can check out the library here.
This week saw the release of the long-awaited Return to Monkey Island on PC and Switch, which arrived to extremely positive reviews.
Also this week the previously PS5-only Deathloop launched on Xbox, going straight into Game Pass and also hitting PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium. It’s very good.
A new Monkey Island! Out now!
A new Monkey Island! Out now!
Return to Monkey Island (Switch, PC) – September 19
Deathloop (Xbox Series X/S) – September 20
Hardspace: Shipbreaker (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S) – September 20
Jack Move (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) – September 20
Soulstice (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PC) – September 20
Gundam Evolution (PC) – September 21
No Place For Bravery (Switch, PC) – September 22
Serial Cleaners (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – September 22
Session: Skate Sim (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – September 22
Slime Rancher 2 (Xbox Series X/S, PC) – September 22
The DioField Chronicle (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – September 22
Shovel Knight Dig (Switch, PC, iOS) – September 23
Grounded (Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC) – September 27
Hokko Life (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC) – September 27
Life is Strange Remastered Collection (Switch) – September 27
The Fridge is Red (PC) – September 27
The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero (PlayStation 4, Switch, PC) – September 27
Tunic (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Switch) – September 27
Deathverse: Let It Die (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) – September 28
Brewmaster (PC) – September 29
Dorfromantik (Switch) – September 29
Let’s Build a Zoo (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) – September 29
Moonbreaker (PC) – September 29
Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous (Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch) – September 29
Valkyrie Elysium (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) – September 29
Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth (PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4) – September 29
FIFA 23 (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC) – September 30
My Little Pony: A Maretime Bay Adventure (PlayStation 5) – September 30
Witchy Life Story (PC) – September 30
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…
Astro’s Playroom (2020)
Not quite a full game but certainly more than a demo, this PS5 pack-in’s wonderful gameplay and myriad PlayStation references make it a glorious celebration of the brand’s history.
Team ASOBI! and Japan Studio’s follow up to PS VR’s Astro Bot: Rescue Mission was designed to showcase Sony’s new DualSense controller, and it succeeds in spectacular fashion. The feel of power ups, different floor surfaces and even raindrops are transferred wonderfully from controller to hand. A fabulous freebie for PS5 owners of all ages.
By Tim Henderson - IGN
A chat with the legendary designer about his entry into the industry and his love of retro games.
By Chris Schilling - GamesRadar
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 makes us wonder if modern JRPGs hold our hands too tightly?
By Jacob Ridley - PC Gamer
Has PC gaming grown out of absurd system requirements?
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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, or sharing on social media via the links below.
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Thanks again, see you next week!
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The Week in Games
The Week in Games @jeffsayhi

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