In the first full week of 2021, tons of surprising news comes from the likes of SNK and Square Enix, among additional shake-ups at Twitch.
The first full week of 2021 brings a surprising amount of news, whether it’s unexpected game announcements or some semblance of silver linings to an already hectic week. Game Rant has compiled some of the biggest gaming news stories from this past week together into a concise post for fans and enthusiasts to stay up to date on the most important events in the industry per week. Highlighting the most relevant stories, this list is not inherently and totally objective, and will not contain every news story this week. Rather, this is intended for gaming fans who want a quick rundown on the largest/most impactful stories that occurred in the last week in games.
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In the first full week roundup of gaming news for 2021, the Nintendo Switch Store’s servers buckle under pressure for one specific game demo, more than likely caused by the sheer amount of Switch sales that continue to break records. A new reveal from SNK brings some exciting news for fighting game fans. The after-effects of the US Capitol attack reverberated throughout the Twitch community. Some interesting early history of Xbox (and Nintendo) was recently revealed. Rust continues to extend its newfound popularity, thanks to Twitch as well. Plus, Atlus has something in store for 2021’s Persona anniversary. Here’s a recap of the biggest gaming news of the week.
Monster Hunter Rise Demo Downloads Strain the Nintendo Switch Store
On the night of the switch-exclusive Monster Hunter Rise‘s demo release, the Nintendo Switch Store evidently struggled to keep up with demand. Many players hoping to jump into the next Monster Hunter experience on Switch were greeted with numerous server maintenance messages.
Nintendo asked players to be patient, stating that downloads were being delayed and rolled out by several minutes after pushing download. The load on the Switch’s store makes a lot of sense, considering the Monster Hunter Rise demo is only available for a limited time, ending on February 1.
Nintendo Switch Consoles Continue To Break Sales Records
In perhaps unsurprising news, the Nintendo Switch ended 2020 with some incredibly impressive sales figures around the world. In the UK, the Switch outsold every other gaming console combined throughout 2020. In just the last two weeks of 2020 alone, the Switch sold over 500,000 units in Japan at the end of December.
This is just a few additional sales achievements to go along with the console’s continuous, record-breaking sales throughout 2020. In many countries, like Canada, the Switch has been the best-selling console month-to-month for more than a year. The console has even surpassed 3DS lifetime sales of almost 76 million consoles.
King of Fighters 15 Revealed, Releasing in 2021
It seems a new King of Fighters tournament will be launching in 2021. According to a leaked announcement which was later confirmed by SNK, King of Fighters 15 is planned to release at some point this year. The announcement was bolstered by a quick gameplay teaser, showcasing characters like Kyo, Benimaru, and Mai.
This follows up an even earlier teaser published late last year, showing some early character concept art. This same announcement, which was meant to release alongside reveals for Samurai Shodown, was just recently delayed prior to the leaked press release. There is no specific release window for King of Fighters other than “2021.”
The After-Effects of the US Capitol Attack and Twitch
Last Wednesday was a harrowing event for the United States, but some of the after effects ended up affecting the Twitch community significantly. For one thing, HasanAbi’s Twitch stream viewership skyrocketed as the broadcaster live-commentated over the events of the Capitol attack.
Additionally Gootecks, the FGC personality of whom the “PogCamp” emote is based on, ended up posting disrespectful comments in the wake of Wednesday’s events. Thanks to a push from Zombaekillz and other notable streamers, Twitch has since removed the original global emote. Instead, Twitch will be utilizing a daily-rotating database of similar PogChamp emotes from various Twitch streamers on the platform.
Microsoft Had Attempted to Acquire Nintendo in 2000, Was Laughed Off
According to a special report from Bloomberg, members of the early Xbox executive team had offered to acquire Nintendo several years ago. Speaking to Bob Mcbreen, who was head of Xbox’s business development at the time, Xbox had supposedly sent a team of executives to Japan to meet with the company.
Needless to say, that meeting didn’t go so well. Xbox founder Kevin Bachus was part of the team who pitched the acquisition to Nintendo, who “just laughed their asses off.” Some early hardware discussions were also had with Nintendo as well, but they never amounted to anything at the time.
Among OfflineTV Drama, Rust’s Playerbase Breaks Records
As the OfflineTV Rust server brings renewed viewership to the game, so too have the games’ sales been boosted as a result. Rust has been around a long time, as the coop/PvP survival games first launched in early access in 2013 as a DayZ clone. The game’s full release, alongside a completely new game engine, has seen renewed popularity thanks to the many streamers playing the game.
For all of the controversy that seems to have been garnered by the drama in OfflineTV’s Rust server, the game’s playerbase has boosted significantly. Concurrent players rose to over 200,000 this week, the highest it’s ever been for Rust.
Final Fantasy 11 Continues to Receive Renewed Support In 2021
Six years later, Final Fantasy 11 is receiving new story content and character options in 2021. This comes after a new story arc surprisingly released for the game last year, reinvigorating the MMORPG that’s still very much alive, despite Final Fantasy 14‘s massive popularity. Final Fantasy 11‘s producer Akihiko Matsui promises expansions to the Voracious Resurgence story arc, as well as expanded growths for all of the character jobs in Final Fantasy 11.
Atlus Plans a 25th Anniversary Celebration for Persona Later This Year
Lastly, the Persona series has something significant planned for later on in 2021, according to an interview with Famitsu. After sharing a New Year’s message on the company’s social channels, Atlus also teased a commemorative project is in the works for the Persona series’ 25th anniversary. No other details have been provided at this time, but Persona fans should certainly keep an eye out for the celebration later this year.
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