The good, the bad, and the weird (Gamerati News Update)

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Hello, Gamerati! Marcelo here. Let’s review the top 5 game news of the week here on this episode of Gamerati News Update sponsored by Petersen Games.

Mass Effect: Andromeda is looking a bit weird

The newest game in the Mass Effect franchise hits stores in a couple of days, and things aren’t looking too good in the animation department.

A lot of streamers and reviewers, who have gotten an early copy of the game are posting animated gifs and videos of moments when facial and body animation behaves hilariously.

It’s not the first time EA or BioWare have released games with weird animations that were later corrected. Let’s see if they keep up after the game’s release on the 21st of March.

Indie games get a big push on iPhones and iPads by Apple itself

Since last week, if you get into the App Store from your iDevide, you might’ve noticed Apple is “celebrating indie games”. The page highlights a ton of iOS games from small developers and it seems the showcase is here to stay, with a permanent area of the App Store game section reserved for indie games.

They’re not only showcasing brand-new games, such as Big City, Card Thief, or Typeshift, but also great games from years ago such as Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery, Transistor, Monument Valley, and plenty of others.

Some game categories have also been tweaked to draw attention to indie games: if you browse the store, you’ll find “Indie games celebrate innovation”, “Outstanding gameplay”, “Unforgettable stories”, and “Incredible sound design.”

Way to go Apple!

D&D Beyond, the much, much delayed official Dungeons & Dragons campaign digital client, gets a beta release

During PAX East, Wizards of the Coast unveiled a digital toolbox for D&D 5th edition. Dubbed D&D Beyond, it’s pegged as a rules compendium, a character builder, and character sheet that you can update as you play.

D&D Beyond is being developed by Curse, a Twich-owned company who developed the Twitch desktop app and it’s mods. D&D Beyond is set to be released sometime during the summer; you can sign up as a beta-tester at www.dndbeyond.com

WotC is trying to get together digital tools for D&D for almost twenty years now. The first toolbox that came on that CD-ROM at the back of 3rd edition books (remember those?) was pretty good, but then we had a bunch of unfulfilled promises for 4th edition (apart from that online client that ran on Microsoft Silverlight for some reason) and now we get a beta version for a platform that aims at players at first, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if D&D Beyond slowly added tools for the DM too. That would be neat.

Two more high profile hires at CMON Limited

CMON has hired Adrian Smith as Lead Artist. No, not the Iron Maiden guitarist, although it would be pretty cool if they did and I bet the band wouldn’t miss one of its 200 guitarists. This Adrian Smith is also a Brit but he contributed art for Magic: the Gathering, Warhammer Fantasy, Warmahher 40k, Blood Rage, and Zombicide. He’s gonna work as Lead Artist for CMON.

Also hired by CMON is none other than designer who never sleeps,  Eric M. Lang. This tireless Canadian has been designing games for 20 years, and if I start listing the games he has under his belt, I’d stay here the whole day. I seriously doubt you didn’t play or own at least a couple of games with that guy’s name on the cover. Eric Lang is going to be Director of Game Designer for CMON, a truly deserved position.

Adrian Swartout retires from GenCon and will be replaced by David Hoppe.

Swartout is stepping down as CEO after ten years of stalwart management, from bringing the company from the brink of bankruptcy to standing up to Indiana discriminatory legislations against LGBTQ people.

She’s going to be replaced by David Hoppe, who has in his C.V. the vice-presidency of Wizards of the Coast, Senior Consultant at Upper Deck, and COO at Tenacious Games, although in the last several years he’s been working on the digital game domain, as Director of Business Operations at Xbox Live and, lately, publisher at BlastWorks, a company specialized in mobile games.

Hoppe and Swartout will be working together until GenCon 50 in August, then Swartout steps down and Hoppe completely assumes as CEO. Swartout will not depart GenCon completely, though — she’ll still be in the board of directors.

Good luck to David Hoppe. He’s got big shoes to fill.


Thanks for watching Gamerati News Update, your weekly dip into what’s up in the world of games and gaming. This episode was sponsored by Petersen Games. They have just released Orcs Must Die! the board game adaptation of the awesome video game. It’s a big box brimming with highly detailed miniatures. Head over to petersengames.com and check it out!

You should also check out Gamerati’s Instagram account — we post game-related photos and videos several times a day. I bet you’ll like it. That’s it, I’m out! See you next week.

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