The Geek Dojo Weekly

Hi, I’m Jeff and welcome to the The Geek Dojo Weekly for the week of April 22nd 2021! This is a weekly video games newsletter featuring my top 5 stories of the week. This week only features 3 top stories. Next week we will get back to the normal 5.

Jeff Kaplan leaves Blizzard, a new game has been revealed from the developers of Celeste, and we got a a small win in the fight for game preservation. Let’s get to it!

Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan Leaves Blizzard

Via: Play Overwatch

After nearly 20 years, Jeff Kaplan has confirmed his departure from Blizzard Entertainment. No need to be alarmed as Overwatch 2 is still in development. With Kaplan’s exit, Aaron Keller will be stepping in as game director. Aaron Keller has been at Blizzard for 18 years and he is the founding member of the Overwatch team so Overwatch fans shouldn’t have to worry about anything going wrong.

Kaplan’s departure definitely comes as a shock to the video game industry. Blizzard has been a different company after being acquired by Activision in 2008. Recently they have been pushed to get more games out the door and a number of layoffs has rubbed a lot of people in the industry the wrong way. Fortunately, some of it’s those ex-Blizzard employees have gone to start up their own studios like Frost Giant and Dreamhaven. I wonder what exactly happened behind the scenes to make Kaplan want to leave, but we more than likely will never know. I also wonder will we see him join either of the aforementioned studios or start up his own studio. I do know I will miss hearing, “Hi, I’m Jeff from the Overwatch Team.”

Happy trails, Jeff. Can’t wait to see what you do next.

The PS3 and PS Vita Stores Will Not Be Shut Down After All

Via: PlayStation Blog

A couple of weeks ago, Sony dropped the news that the PS3, PS Vita, and PSP stores will be going offline this summer. A lot of consumers, including myself, were pretty upset about this, especially from a game preservation standpoint. It seems like PlayStation’s current CEO Jim Ryan actually heard our frustrations about this move. He released statement on the matter this week:

Recently, we notified players that PlayStation Store for PS3 and PS Vita devices was planned to end this summer. Upon further reflection, however, it’s clear that we made the wrong decision here. So today I’m happy to say that we will be keeping the PlayStation Store operational for PS3 and PS Vita devices. PSP commerce functionality will retire on July 2, 2021 as planned. 

Unfortunately the PSP still gets the short end of the stick and support will end this summer as planned, which is understandable. As far as I know, a majority of the PSP library is available in the Vita store. Ryan goes on to mention the decision was based on, “a number of factors, including commerce support challenges for older devices and the ability for us to focus more of our resources on newer devices where a majority of our gamers are playing on.” After the initial announcement of the store closure, they were able to see how passionate we all are about these older products and the storefronts will be open for the foreseeable future.

This was the right move by Sony, but it’s still not a good look, because it seems like it was a way to get people to spend more money. Many still use the PS3 and the PS Vita to this day for older classic games that are not available in the current iteration of the PlayStation Store. I personally think Sony should not think about shutting these stores down until they come up with a viable solution for backwards compatibility. Until then, I will keep my Vita and PS3 close by for some old school video game fun.

Extremely OK Games, the team behind Celeste, Revealed Their Next Title, Earthblade

Via: Extremely OK

Extremely OK Games founder Maddy Thorson describes as a, “vibe reveal,” as they, “didn’t want to reveal much about the game or its story yet, but we think that this well establishes the world and the feeling of being in it.” Earthblade has been described by the team as a, “2D explor-action game in a seamless pixel art world.” It’s going to be a long time before we see anything on Earthblade and we can expect it, when it’s ready, in “20XX.”

Check out the teaser poster and a snippet from the game’s soundtrack here!

Noteworthy:

Discord and Microsoft end acquisition talks: Game Informer

Apex Legends is coming to mobile devices: EA

Valkyrie is Apex Legends new character for Season 9: Apex Twitter

Everything shown off at the Resident Evil Showcase: IGN

Xbox free to play games are now free to play: Xbox

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is finally coming to America: Twitter

Catch me every Monday on The Skill Tree: A Gaming Podcast

Legally (Episode 13) The Skill Tree (A Gaming Podcast)

Episode 13 is here and #TheSkillTree's talking about their reactiions to "Returnal" (4:37), WePlay being effectively neutered due to seedy business relationships (33:15), Respawn Games thriving with Apex Arenas and Titanfall 2's skyrocketing player base (44:13), and more in our Respec Section (55:10). Of course, legally, we can't address CinnPie at the 16:25 mark, or her statement she put out that seems… off… but legally, you can catch this content, which you can play out loud again (no language warning)! — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/theskilltree/message
  1. Legally (Episode 13)
  2. Spoilers (Episode 12)
  3. Always (Episode 11)
  4. Milestone (Episode 10)
  5. Vocab (Episode 9)

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