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Games Inbox: What does Sony buying Bungie mean for gaming?

The Tuesday Inbox has trouble remembering which zombie game is which, as one reader worries that NFTs are proof the world’s gone mad.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]

Only the beginning
I was dismayed to hear the recent rumours of Sony looking to buy EA, and then out of nowhere they go and buy Bungie. It’s been my worry that there’ll be a buying war ever since ZeniMax, and it looks like that’s where we are going.

The reason industry consolidation bothers me is because it is my sense that games get worse as a result. So, I ask the other readers; is there any example of a gaming publisher massively expanding through mergers or acquisitions that resulted in better quality subsequent releases? I can’t think of one, but given the current forecast, I would like to be told otherwise.

Bungie is thankfully not as bad as buying EA, since it’s just one studio, but I can’t help but think that this isn’t the end of it. Ultimately, I think it would be better for gamers if more studios were independent, and it’s a shame Bungie has been gobbled up.
Twig Boss

Mad world
I feel like I’ve said this an awful lot in the last few years but does anyone else feel like the world is literally going mad? Trump, Brexit, COVID, cryptocurrency, NFTs… did IQs suddenly drop in the last decade, or has it always been like this and I never noticed?

NFTs are so stupid it almost seems like a joke. An almost literal Emperor’s New Clothes that some rich businessmen are daring us to call out as nonsense. And if we don’t then something even stupider will happen next.

As other readers have said, I applaud GC’s zero tolerance approach to them and this constant stream of announcements and retractions would be hilarious if not for the fact that they involve fat cats constantly trying to part people with their money for literally nothing.

A rogue to like
Like the reader from last week, I also thought that roguelikes weren’t a genre for me, having tried various ones. However, that changed last year when I came across Into The Breach. I decided to give it a go after wanting another turn-based strategy game to play and 50 hours later I think it’s as close to a perfect game as you can get.

I can’t really put my finger on why this game has clicked where other roguelikes haven’t as I have been a fan of the sub-genres they operate in too. So, all I would say is maybe give Into The Breach a go or any you think you might like, maybe when they’re cheaper or on game pass and you never know, you might come across one of your all-time favourite games like I have.
Angry_Kurt (Twitter)
PS. I’d also like to give another shout out to the Back Page podcast, which was mentioned in Friday’s Inbox. It’s a great listen, as they provide really interesting insight into their time working on games magazines, as well as a variety of other topics. It also makes me laugh out loud regularly. I’m a big fan of gaming magazines even now, being a subscriber to PC Gamer.
Now playing: Death Stranding (PC) and Pokémon Legends: Acreus (Switch)

GC: As a reader last week pointed out, many games have roguelike elements while being completely different genres; Into The Breach just happens to be one of the best strategy games ever made.

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

Play nicely
I too wonder why anyone ever tries to go up against Nintendo when it comes to legal stuff. There can’t be a gamer out there that doesn’t know they go for the lawyers at a moment’s notice and yet still people think they can come up with some kind of excuse or loophole that will let them get away with it.

I’m not saying it’s right but Nintendo owns what they own and they don’t anyone else touching their stuff. Instead of always trying to paint them as the bad guy can’t these people just ask for permission in advance and if the answer is no then take no for answer.

RE: your reader’s request. I agree the War For Cybertron series is best at the moment, the ‘core’ series models in particular are ideal for kids as easy to transform. They are normally £10-15, Megatron is particularly good – basically a micro version of his leader model.

Also, check out the Hasbro shop on eBay they have some discounts going (you won’t find leader class Optimus Prime much cheaper elsewhere! But Rodimus Prime is much cheaper elsewhere so it’s hit and miss) but he may be a touch advanced depending on your son’s skill). Best wishes.

Identity crisis
I just wanted to know, has anybody ever applied for Xbox All Access to purchase an Xbox Series X/S? The reason I am asking is because I only did this myself on the GAME website via Klarna. After applying for the credit of 24 months @ £20.99 per month for an Xbox Series S console and two years of Game Pass Ultimate I was accepted by Klarna, getting the QR code by email, etc. to take to my local GAME store. So I thought happy days! However, once I got to my local store to pick up my new shiny console that’s when it went Pete Tong.

You see, I took identity in like my household bills, other letters with my name and address on it, etc. and my bank cards and, yes, the one I put on the application details too, and also I had a work photo ID. Card as well, but because I don’t have a driving licence or a passport I was told at GAME I couldn’t have the console. Even though they knew I was the actual person who applied for the Xbox All Access finance.

Apparently, it states in the shops rules that any ID has to be either a passport or a driving licence only. The last time I went abroad was in 1984 and because I don’t drive either I unfortunately don’t have any of these. Now I was told by GAME that if you don’t collect the console the order will cancel itself after 28 days. But when I go online it states that it’s down to the retailer that has to actually cancel the whole order.

Anyway, I’m ringing Klarna customer services first thing tomorrow morning as I just managed to buy myself the last Xbox Series S from my local Smyths store but with a free one month of Game Pass Ultimate thrown in!

Dying to remember
All this talk about Dying Light 2 reminded me that for the life of me I cannot differentiate between all these zombie shooters. I recognise the names but I cannot tell which from which.

They are all a blur to me, and they may as well be one game: Dying Light, State Of Decay, Dead Island, Dead Rising, World War Z, Day Z, Days Gone – even their names are samey.
Ali K

Somebody’s got to make it
One thing that keeps coming up on podcasts and other reporting of Microsoft buying Activision, is that the studios who make Call Of Duty could get an opportunity to make something else. It’s nice to think that there are these poor employees about to be saved from the suffering of working on the same series all the time, but I ask you this. If they don’t make it who will?

And if nobody’s making it, then if the risk of PlayStation users not having the next Call Of Duty is bad, isn’t the idea of them making less even worse for the millions who buy it every year? After all people do buy it every year, I assume because they like it and want to play one every year.

It also seems a bit odd to buy an annual series that would be ideal for Game Pass and then make less. It would be like after Disney bought Marvel, they decided people were probably getting a bit of superhero fatigue and let the Marvel employees work on a hospital drama instead.

Lastly, if you worked for one of Microsoft’s older studios who are all set up around a particular franchise. Wouldn’t you be a bit annoyed to still be on Gears Of War, while the new kids get to build a new IP.

GC: Those are all very good points.

Inbox also-rans
I know DICE are currently working on patches to fix Battlefield 2042’s game bugs but is there any word on bringing back console (current gen) only cross-play option that was included in the beta and promised pre-release?

GC: Not that we’re aware of.

So, GC posting that picture of the Glitterworm NFT in their Team17 article, does that mean you’ve done something illegal or broken some sort of copyright infringement? You don’t own that piece of digital artwork.

GC: Neither does the person that buys the NFT. That’s part of why they’re so awful.

Just seen they are looking to adapt It Takes Two for a TV or film. I was thinking about buying the game soon, as I thoroughly enjoyed Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and A Way Out by the same developer.
Andrew J.

This week’s Hot Topic
This weekend’s Inbox is your chance to vote in the Readers’ Top 20 of 2021. As always, all you need to do is send us a list of your top three games of last year, in order of preference. Here’s our Top 20 if you want some reminders of what came out.

As long as it was released new last year you can vote for anything you like, but if you want to be featured in the Hot Topic itself then we want to know why you voted for what you did and how you think it ranks compared to other top-rated games.

Do you think 2021 was a good year for video games, given the limitations imposed by the pandemic, and what are your abiding impressions of the year? What events do you think will have a lasting impact and how do you hope 2022 will improve things?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]

The small print
New Inbox updates appear every weekday morning, with special Hot Topic Inboxes at the weekend. Readers’ letters are used on merit and may be edited for length and content.

You can also submit your own 500 to 600-word Reader’s Feature at any time, which if used will be shown in the next available weekend slot.

You can also leave your comments below and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter.

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