After a frenetic Not-E3 season, July has been fairly quiet in terms of PlayStation news. Despite the lack of announcements, perhaps one of the few that made headlines was the one most fans have been waiting for: God of War Ragnarok has a release date set for November. It’s funny that Ubisoft also revealed the release of Skull & Bones in November, a day before Ragnarok was released. I’ve seen a lot of video games taken up alive by not properly planning their release, and this game seems ripe for disaster. But we will see!
Elsewhere, Bloomberg reported that the version of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was in trouble for Aspyr, and it doesn’t look good for the popular RPG.
Although it was a quieter month, here’s what you missed out on in the PlayStation world.
God of War Ragnarok finally has a release date
I’ll readily admit that I didn’t think God of War Ragnarok would be released this year. Although insiders claim that most of the work on the game is over and that actor Christopher Judge is to blame for its initial delay because he needed multiple surgeries in 2019, I fully predicted when it will release in 2023. As it turns out, whether that’s because it’s in Reality ready or Sony feels pressure from investors, Ragnarok is due for release on November 9, 2022.
Alongside the announcement came pre-order details, including a Collector’s Edition and Jotnar Edition that comes packed with a 16-inch replica Mjolnir hammer. I can’t justify the purchase having already purchased the Regalla edition of Horizon Forbidden West earlier in the year, but I am disappointed that I will miss this awesome dice set.
I loved God of War from 2018 and consider it one of the best PS4 games I’ve ever played, so I’m eager to see how Ragnarok stacks up. Sony Santa Monica has been reticent to reveal too many details about what players can expect. While I appreciate staying in the dark for the sake of surprise, I hope we learn little bit More on this topic goes beyond just that Ragnarok is coming.
Skull & Bones hits PS5 a day before Ragnarok
Speaking of late games, do you remember when Skull & Bones was originally scheduled to release in 2018? That was four years ago, well before the pandemic started. Reports, including one of my box, noted that Skull & Bones is going through a very turbulent development cycle going through several changes. It only appears to have been launched because Ubisoft is legally obligated to do so (the government in Singapore, where the main studio operating at Skull & Bones is located, has supported a lot of it).
That led us to today, with Skull & Bones getting a fixed release date from Ubisoft of November 8, 2022. Yes, that’s exactly a day before God of War Ragnarok launches. I feel bad about the development team having to deal with that (provided none of the release date crashes). However, the two games cater to different audiences, so the release dates probably won’t matter.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Edition is in deep trouble
Fans have been begging for a Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake for years now, and when it feels like it will come in handy thanks to a deal between Aspyr and PlayStation, a new report from Bloomberg dash those hopes. According to the article, the re-formation of the Knights of the Old Republic was postponed indefinitely amid the internal turmoil of Aspyr.
Earlier this month, the studio allegedly sacked the game’s art director and design director. Despite finishing off the vertical slide that the team seemed happy to show Lucasfilm and Sony, the drive still paused the game, indicating it wasn’t where it wanted.
Near the start of the project, Aspyr told partners that the game will be ready by the end of 2022. Speaking to Bloomberg, the developers believe a 2025 release date will be more realistic at the rate the project is moving.
Aspyr also appears to be pursuing “new contracts and development opportunities,” according to the report. Some inside the studio believe Saber Interactive, which joined the project in May for outsourcing work, will take over the entire development.
As a huge Star Wars fan, I hope the project can get back on the right track, but we’ll stop making any assumptions until we hear any further news.
Bungie is officially part of the PlayStation family
2022 began with PlayStation revealing it had entered into a deal to buy Bungie for $3.6 billion, and that deal finally closed as of July 15. Bungie is now officially, for better or worse, part of the PlayStation family.
It will be interesting to see how this is done, not only in terms of what Bungie brings to the table with its live service experience on Destiny 2, but also how it might affect the general PlayStation culture. For example, PlayStation privately prevented its developers from speaking publicly at the time about leaked Supreme Court documents suggesting it had the votes to overturn Roe vs. She renewed her position this month, saying:
“The US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has cut millions of Americans from this access and left open the possibility of further restrictions on life-saving health care for all of us.
“Bungie is committed to ensuring that every one of our employees and their families have safe and affordable access to essential healthcare needs. As we continue to expand our first digital workplace to more states, we will now implement a travel compensation program for any employee who uses it when he or she cannot A dependent can access the health care they need where they live.
“We remain unwilling in our commitment to defend reproductive choice and freedom.”
Could Bungie have spoken publicly if the deal had been closed earlier? It’s hard to say, but I hope he continues to bring change both inside and outside the PlayStation organization.
Cats are actually good
Stray was released for PlayStation and PC on July 19, and I had a lot of fun playing it. I’m a dog person through and through, but by the end of Stray, I was so moved by the cat’s journey and attachment that I just sat there wanting to adopt a cat of my own. My current dog would never allow that to happen, but I think thinking is what matters.
If anyone has 6-8 hours to spare and is looking for a cool atmospheric adventure to play, I highly recommend giving Stray a shot. It’s simple, but there are some clever puzzles, an easy pace, and even a slightly frightening and mysterious story. Those who have been interested since it was announced have nothing to worry about here as developer BlueTwelve stuck its down with this.
How many games allow you to press O to meow? Game of the year, no notes.
PlayStation collaborates with Backbone
PlayStation’s transition to mobile gaming has been rapid recently, with the company regularly reiterating its commitment and investments in the sector. Much of the mobile gaming over the past few years has come back to handheld consoles, which Backbone knows all too well.
After revealing that an Android version of the Backbone One console will be available this fall, a partnership with PlayStation has now been announced to bring Backbone One: PlayStation Edition to stock shelves.
Aside from its design, which aims to emulate other PS5 accessories like DualSense and PULSE 3D, the Backbone app will now include various PlayStation integrations. Players browsing the app will be able to find a row dedicated to the latest PlayStation releases and updates, and choose a game that will connect players directly to the PlayStation app where the title can be downloaded to PS4 or PS5.
While Backbone One: PlayStation Edition appears to be only available for the iPhone at the moment, an Android version is expected at some point. Regardless of when the Android-compatible model appears, this is just another way that PlayStation shows gamers how serious it is about mobile.
PlayStation Stars rewards gamers for games
PlayStation has a new loyalty program that rewards players with digital collectibles, and we must have done something right as a community somewhere because thankfully they won’t be NFT or using the blockchain. It’s similar to Microsoft’s rewards program and will allow PlayStation fans to earn points by doing various tasks, such as playing a game or being the first to be awarded a certain platinum title in your region. These points can then be spent on games, downloadable content and digital collectibles from popular Sony franchises.
I don’t use my Microsoft Rewards much (or even at all because I just checked and my age points are 7,066, just like my available points), so we’ll see how useful PlayStation Stars is. For what it’s worth, I can get a $5 Xbox Store Gift Card for 5,000 points. So I guess free money is better than no cash?
Prepare to fall
I have to admit, July has started and I’m excited—though cautiously optimistic—that God of War Ragnarok is ready for release this year. Now that July is over, my focus has shifted toward Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and I’m a little more concerned about what this report means for the project. In any case, the next few years should be fun to watch as it unfolds.
– Jennifer Locke