More than a few bombshells went off this past week, though some detonations were more controlled than others. As expected, an Assassin’s Creed set in Victorian England was announced, complete with playable female character. A remastered Gears of War for Xbox One also has been known, but the videos of it that leaked were a mild surprise. (Less of a surprise: The banhammer falling on testers who violated their NDA.) Totally unexpected was director Guillermo del Toro’s studio being involved in a Fallout 4 leak.
Del Toro was, of course, involved in the Silent Hills project, and publisher Konami’s sad management of that story continues to play out. It’s also unlikely Castlevania will return as anything but a slot machine, so longtime producer Koji Igarashi raised $1.4 million on Kickstarter for its spiritual successor.
Below you will find some of the week's must-read stories, a mix of original reporting and long reads. Welcome to Press Start, a recap of the week in games and gaming culture to get you ready for the one ahead.
Last Week in Five Stories
Running a Kickstarter is more or less a full-time job. Interacting with the fans, spreading the word to the press and managing all aspects of a campaign is both time-consuming and often emotionally draining, so what does one do when a troll sinks a months worth of work?
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt takes the setting and complicated world-building of its predecessor and blows them out with an ambitious but logical next-step: an open-world game. For a studio without the AAA resources of a Bethesda or EA, transitioning from a more conservative linear structure to an undertaking so massive demonstrates a level of confidence bordering on insanity.
Republic's ICBM is a one-joke video game. It might take you a while to get the joke. You might even finish the game and wonder if you somehow missed the point. Or it might make you actually laugh out loud. But still, it's a joke.
Koji Igarashi didn’t sleep much last night. He blames jet lag, but he also has a big day ahead. The former Castlevania producer is in San Francisco to promote a Kickstarter campaign. It’s been many years since he released his last Castlevania game, and he wants to make something similar. A spiritual successor. Because that’s what you do on Kickstarter.
Rosalind Wiseman is an author and a media spokesperson focusing on issues in education, with a best-selling book under her belt called Queen Bees and Wannabes. You might know her work better from the movie it inspired — Mean Girls. But the games industry will remember Wiseman for the presentation she made at this year’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.