Thursday, October 28, 2021

Kena: Bridge of Spirits Has Already Recouped Its Development Costs

Kena: Bridge of Spirits was released in September to largely positive reviews (including a 9 out of 10 from us) and has performed well in sales. So much so that, according to developer Ember Labs, the game has already broken even on its development cost. In an interview with Bloomberg, Ember Lab heads Josh and Mike Grier discussed Kena's road from development to release. To their surprise, the game has apparently sold well, and while they don't divulge specific sale numbers, they say it's already recouped its initial development costs. It's unclear how much money Kena had behind it, but this is great news for the small studio.  "It's hard to tell what's a huge success," said Josh in the article. "Sony's happy." Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a third-person action-adventure title that stars Kena, a spirit guide, who guides small critters called the Rot to purify a land plagued by a supernatural blight. Along the way, you'll assist wayward souls to help ferry them to the afterlife, while action consists of melee and ranged combat. The game has an old-school linear design and scope, plus it's quite the looker in the art department (Ember Labs cut its teeth as an animation studio, after all). Kena is available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, and PC via the Epic Games Store.  Be sure to read the full interview to learn more about the Kena: Bridge of Spirits' pre-release marketing, as well as our coverage hub for extensive background on the game itself. [Source: Bloomberg]

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    New Marvel's Avengers Content Is On The Way, Next-Gen Versions Delayed

    The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions of Marvel’s Avengers have been pushed from launch-window releases to next year. The news comes from a lengthy blog post by Scot Amos, Crystal Dynamics’ head of studio. The delay comes from the team needing more time to deliver on the next-gen experience. If you already have the game and play it on the new machines, you will still experience faster load times and better framerates.

    The release of new characters has also been met with delays. Kate Bishop, who serves as the game’s first DLC character, was supposed to release this month, but is now floating without a date, although Amos says her launch is just pushed “back a bit.” Bishop will bring new story content that will show where the game goes next. Crystal wouldn’t reveal if Clint Barton (Hawkeye) is also delayed, but did make it sound like he’s arriving at some point in 2020, as the next bit of news is that 2021 will bring the biggest Avengers Initiative project yet which introduces another hero, region, and more story content.

    Amos also addressed some of the launch issues. saying “Marvel’s Avengers’ launch was not without turbulence, and we recognize that a number of issues detracted from your enjoyment of the game. This does not align with Crystal Dynamics’ value of craftsmanship, and for that we sincerely apologize.”

    In that apology, Crystal Dynamics is giving all players 1,500 credits, 7,000 units, 250 upgrade modules, 20 DNA keys, and a Sarah Garza-inspired nameplate from October 22 to November 5.

    The development team is also listening to players and is implementing a number of things to help improve the game, including a ping system that allows players to mark things in the environment, the ability to replay the campaign with higher-level heroes, and better indicators for offscreen enemies and attacks.

    Along with the recently released Mega Hive and Tachyon Missions, Crystal Dynamics is releasing Omega-Level threats in the weeks ahead. These challenges are designed for high-level players and Amos calls them the “equivalent to raids.”

    Amos says the development of Marvel’s Avengers has been affected by the pandemic and other issues that have made 2020 a difficult year.

    “In our nearly 30-year history, Crystal Dynamics has never shipped a game under conditions like these; from working at home to avoid a pandemic, to some of us evacuating said homes to stay safe from wildfires,” he wrote. “While the challenges 2020 has surfaced are many, it’s also instilled a strength in us; to reassemble a team divided by geography and life circumstances, and come back stronger, united by a mission to do right by you.”

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