Posted in NEWS
February 7, 2020

The Outer Worlds delayed on Nintendo Switch due to coronavirus impact

The Outer Worlds delayed on Nintendo Switch due to coronavirus impact

The Outer Worlds publisher Private Division announced on Twitter Thursday that its Nintendo Switch port will be delayed indefinitely. The port is in development through Chinese team Virtous Games, which has been closed following the coronavirus outbreak in China. More than 20,000 confirmed cases have been reported, up thousands from only days ago.

“We’re delaying @OuterWorlds on Nintendo Switch due to the coronavirus impacting the Virtuos team working on the port, to provide them enough time to finish development,” Private Division tweeted. The Outer Worlds was originally slated for its Nintendo Switch release on March 6. A new date was not given. Private Division said it’s working with Virtuous to “determine an updated development timeline.” A new launch date is expected “shortly.”

The publisher also announced that it’ll also release a physical version of The Outer Worlds for Nintendo Switch.

Virtous was founded in 2004 in Shanghai — where its largest office remains — though now headquartered in Singapore. Other offices are located in Chengdu, Shanghai, and Xi’an. In late January, the Chinese and Shanghai governments extended the Chinese New Year holidays until Feb. 2 and Feb. 9, respectively. Chinese New Year is public holiday and offices are often closed for a period — but holidays have been extended and offices closed following the coronavirus outbreak. Government-mandated travel restrictions remain in multiple cities.

All three Chinese studios are expected to open on Feb. 10, Virtous CEO Gilles Langourieux said in a statement on Jan. 31. At that time, it said clients should expect “at least a week’s delay in deliveries.” Langourieux also said all staff “are well and accounted for, with no signs of infection reported” — just “a little stressed by the restrictions imposed to slow down the spread of infection.”

Virtous has been involved in development on games like Dark Souls Remastered, LA Noire, Heavy Rain, Batman: Return to Arkham, and art for Uncharted 4 and Quantum Break. Its clients include Activision, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Sony, and Square Enix, among others.

The new coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China late last year. Though the outbreak remains centered in the Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, it’s spread to multiple countries, including the United States. On Jan. 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus outbreak in China a global health emergency. There are more than 28,353 confirmed cases worldwide — most of which are in mainland China — according to the WHO. More than 500 people have died from the virus; all of the deaths, except one, have occurred in China.

The games industry is one of many impacted by closures and quarantines in China. Nintendo said it’s expecting delays on its Nintendo Switch consoles shipped to Japan. Likewise, multiple esports events in the region have been cancelled, including a League of Legends event, a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive meet, and the Overwatch League’s first international matches.

Published at Thu, 06 Feb 2020 22:09:52 +0000

Dark dungeon crawler Below is coming to PS4

Capy’s roguelike dungeon crawler Below is coming to PlayStation 4 sometime this spring, the developer announced Thursday. With that version will also come a new mode called Explore that offers a less punishing experience for players who found Below’s difficulty simply too much to handle.

Below was originally released on Xbox One and Windows PC in December 2018, after a lengthy development period. The dark and unforgiving dungeon crawler sends a tiny warrior to a procedurally generated island teeming with danger — and quick deaths.

The game’s new mode — which is also coming to the PC and Xbox One versions — is “optimized to encourage exploration,” Capy said in a news release. Changes to survival, damage, and death mechanics have been “tuned to be accessible for players who seek more of an action-adventure style of play,” according to the studio.

“It was clear that many players were intrigued by the game’s haunting underworld and rich atmosphere, but its difficulty made the game inaccessible to some,” Kris Piotrowski of Capy said in a statement. “We hope to see new players to get into Below, and for seasoned players to revisit The Isle and enjoy the game in a whole new way.”

The original, more challenging version of Below will still be playable, now known as a mode called Survive.

In our review of Below, we called Capy’s game “beautiful, subversive and frequently maddening,” thanks to its arcane systems and punishing difficulty.

Published at Thu, 06 Feb 2020 21:39:44 +0000

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