We enter the final three months of the year and things are starting to get quieter. October would usually be incredibly busy with game releases, but with many games being delayed because of development issues related to the Covid pandemic, a lot of attention went elsewhere. One of the biggest announcements was the confirmation that Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy was real and due to release very soon. Elsewhere, rumors abound that some familiar Konami franchises may be making a return.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is Real
A trilogy of PlayStation 2-era Grand Theft Auto favorites remastered for the latest generation of consoles was another of the worst kept secrets in the video game industry. Rockstar announced Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition, which featured Grand Theft Auto III, Grand Theft Auto Vice City, and Grand Theft Auto San Andreas all remastered for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Unfortunately its release in November was met with some controversy. The PC version became unplayable after developer Grove Street Games halted sales of the game to remove files that had accidentally been left in, including the “hot coffee” content and licensed music. The console version was riddled with bugs and graphical glitches. Rockstar later apologised the game “did not launch in a state that meets our own standards of quality.” Title updates were promised, but then the physical edition of the game was delayed until the game was fixed. For now, the game remains one of the worst reviewed games of 2021 on Metacritic.
Konami May Be Reviving Castlevania, Metal Gear Solid and Silent Hill
There’s no doubt players would love to see a new Castlevania, Metals Gear Solid, or Silent Hill game. Rumors started circling in October that Konami was planning to announce revivals of all three franchises. Castlevania will reportedly be a reimagining of the series, while Metal Gear Solid will be a remake based on Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. There will apparently be multiple Silent Hill projects.
We’re not expected to see any news until some of the major gaming shows next year, but there have been other indications. Chinese studio Virtuos is currently working on an “unannounced AAA action-adventure game remake” reported to be the aforementioned MGS3. Bloober Team also stoked the Silent Hill rumors when they revealed they were working with Konami on a horror IP. We’ll have to wait until next year to see if the rumors are true.
Sony’s Play at Home Initiative was an Extraordinary Success
Sony’s Play at Home initiative encouraged players to stay at home and play games rather than go outside unnecessarily during the Covid pandemic. They gave away 14 games, three months of free membership to Funimation and Wakanim, and a variety of add-ons and other in-game content for several popular sports and free-to-play games. The initiative turned out to be an “extraordinary success” with 60 million games and 4 million free packs of in-game content downloaded over the two phases of the promotion. It turns out players love free games. Who’d have thought?
EA Sports and FIFA Argue Over the FIFA Trademark
Electronic Arts started thinking about renaming their famous soccer franchise from FIFA to EA Sports FC. The revelation emerged after EA filed a new trademark application in the UK and Europe. While EA sought to keep their licensing agreement with soccer players, there were a couple of reasons for why they were considering a name change. Firstly, FIFA wanted to charge EA $1 billion for a four-year license. FIFA also said they didn’t want EA to be the only company “controlling and exploiting” the license.
For their own part, FIFA released a statement saying it was extremely unlikely they would be using the FIFA license in the future and that they didn’t “foresee major risks so long as we continue to meet players’ expectations”. It would be the end of an era if they didn’t use the FIFA trademark, especially as their soccer games have been called FIFA since 1993.
PlayStation State of Play Puts the Spotlight on Third-Party Titles
A month after their PlayStation Showcase, Sony returned with a State of Play show that focused on third-party titles this time. They announced Death’s Door, Star Ocean The Divine Force, Deathverse: Let It Die, and Kartrider: Drift for PlayStation platforms, while Bugsnax was going to get an Isle of Bigsnax update. There was gameplay for several other titles too, including Little Devil Inside and Five Night at Freddy’s: Security Breach. Those expecting bigger names during the 20 minute show were disappointed, but the show was always going to pale into insignificance compared to the PlayStation Showcase.
Our Favorite October 2021 Anecdote
Who remembers Agent? Rockstar announced the PlayStation 3 exclusive action game at E3 in 2009. Set to take place during the height of the Cold War at the end of the 1970s, the espionage game promised to be very different to Grand Theft Auto. Shortly after the announcement, the game got its own website. Very little was heard from it after that. The game was still in development in 2011, but rumors of its cancellation began in 2014. Rockstar renewed the trademark in 2016 but then abandoned it in 2018. Although the game was never officially canceled, Rockstar finally took the game’s website down in October 2021. The address now automatically redirects to Rockstar’s official site. The story of the game seems to have finally drawn to a close.
PSLS Game of October 2021: The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes
The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes is an impressive addition to the series that not only looks stunning on next gen, but also plays out in multiple player controlled scenarios, than can vary from triumphant, to downright heart breaking. It’s a dark journey through horror and blood, with only you (and maybe a friend in co-op) to determine who makes it out the other side.
Tune in tomorrow as we conclude our series with the final two months of 2021. We’ll have more interesting news stories, anecdotes, and games of the month. In case you’ve missed them, you can check out previous months below:
- 2021 Year in Review: January
- 2021 Year in Review: February
- 2021 Year in Review: March
- 2021 Year in Review: April
- 2021 Year in Review: May
- 2021 Year in Review: June
- 2021 Year in Review: July
- 2021 Year in Review: August
- 2021 Year in Review: September
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