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This Week In Gaming: Our Top Stories – August 7th

A look back at the biggest gaming stories from this week

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This week saw the return of Ninja to Twitch. He was previously the most popular streamer on the platform, who rose to fame as the biggest Fortnite streamer, before taking a multimillion-dollar deal from Microsoft to stream exclusively on Mixer. Following the shutdown of Mixer, he was released from that contract, and so is free to stream wherever he wants. He first stream on Twitch in a year drew in an audience of 100,000 viewers in the first 15 minutes.

We’re not sure if he’s going to remain streaming on Twitch, or if this was just a one-off, but it’s going to be interesting to see what his future plans are.

Speaking of Fortnite, the latest big update has just arrived, following a temporary delay, the Joyride update is now available, that lets you find and drive a bunch of different types of vehicles. There’s cars, trucks, helicopters, and more.

These vehicles are super useful for getting around the map at high speeds, and for engaging in high-speed car chases.

Microsoft’s resurgence as a powerful publisher on PC continues, after the successful Steam release of Sea of Thieves and the very well received PC release of Halo: Master Chief Collection, they’ve followed up with a successful early access release of miniature survival game Grounded, from Obsidian Entertainment.

Grounded has clocked up over 1 million players in the first 48 hours, and hasn’t left the Steam top 3 best sellers.

Developer Obsidian Entertainment has stepped somewhat out of their comfort zone with this game, having previously only ever worked on fairly traditional RPGs, so it’s great to see this release find an audience so quickly. Microsoft is likely chalking this up as a success of their Game Pass business model, where a brand new IP can be successful out of the gate by releasing as part of a subscription model.

xcloud 1

Sticking with Microsoft, we’ve heard confirmation of when their game streaming service is going to be launching. It’s still known by its placeholder name of “Project XCloud”, presumably it’ll get a final name before it launches, but Microsoft’s game streaming service will be launching on September 15th. For a regular monthly subscription fee, this will let you stream games from Microsoft servers to any supported local device.

Spider man in Avengers

Disappointing news for web-heads out there, as the various corporate entanglements surrounding the release of the upcoming Marvel’s Avengers game are resulting in Peter Parker being excluded from the game on all platforms except for PlayStation. Some kind of shady back door deals mean that if you’re playing on PC or Xbox, you don’t get to play as Spider-Man. In an attempt at damage control, developer Scot Amos from Crystal Dynamics attempt to explain this situation, but ended up giving an incoherent and rambling statement that doesn’t really get to the heart of the issue.

This is far from the first time that corporate dealings have hampered a game on certain platforms, but it is perhaps particularly egregious because it’s not just some bonus weapons or skins, it’s one of Marvel’s most popular characters, and publisher Square Enix hasn’t really made any effort to placate players on platforms other than PlayStation.


Lewie Procter

Lewie skews Chaotic Good where possible, and loves pressing buttons, viewing pixels and listening to sounds. He's written for publications like Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, VG247 and Kotaku UK, and spent 13 years running Savy Gamer. If you ever get the chance you should ask him to tell you the story about that time he had a fight with a snake on an island off the coast of Cambodia.