Published on October 18th, 2020 | by Darren Paltrowitz


Exclusive: 10 Recent Video Game Industry Developments That Have Me & Notable Gamers Excited

Whether or not you are still quarantining full-time, odds are that some of your favorite dining and entertainment spots are still not open like they used to be. In turn, you are spending more time at home and are consuming more digital and streaming-based content that you were this time last year.

Fortunately, video games are still in a “golden age” of sorts. No matter your console of choice, the games these days are amazing, including the music used in them. And even if most of the video game developers were forced to change up how they make their games as of late, there are still plenty of new and exciting things for gamers to be psyched about, no matter how much gaming you do.

Below is a look at some recent video game industry developments which recently hit my radar, in addition to some exclusive quotes from influential gamers about what they are fans of lately.

UNO on Google Stadia

As of last month, you can now enjoy the classic board game UNO on all your favorites devices, thanks to the Stadia technology. Thus, you can play on your TV, laptop, tablet or even on your smartphone. The game gives you the possibility to customize your experience with a variety of house rules to ensure you and your friends never play the same game twice. The UNO Ultimate Edition pack contains UNO and the DLC UNO FLIP!, as well as the Just Dance, Rayman, and Rabbid DLCs.

Glorious PC Gaming Race

Glorious is a company of enthusiasts on a mission to push the boundaries in the world of PC gaming since 2014. Since the company released its very first mousepad, it has dedicated itself to ascending the bounds of possibility and shifting the status quo within the PC gaming industry. In turn, it developed a line of pro-grade, high-quality gear that was once out of reach for the average gamer, and sells it at prices that are always fair. I have tried out the brand’s Glorious Modular Mechanical Keyboard (GMMK), reportedly the world’s first RGB, modular mechnical keyboard, which requires no setup. I look forward to eventually trying out one of the Glorious Wrist Rests.

Serious Sam 4

Serious Sam 4 was developed by Croatian studio Croteam and published by Devolver Digital. It is part of the Serious Sam series and a prequel to Serious Sam 3: BFE. If unfamiliar with the Serious Sam, you can expect a fast-paced, first-person shooter with realistic graphics. It is a modern take on the earliest games of the Doom and Wolfenstein franchises, and Serious Sam 4 is slated to come out on PS4 and Xbox One in 2021.

Cake Bash

Cake Bash is a frantic party game from Coatsink. Playable for up to 4 players, the goal is to make yourself — or your character, rather — as irresistible as possible. You can expect colorful, humor-oriented, pastry-related challenges that appear in random order, as somewhat comparable to Fall Guys. Fun for all ages.

Shotcall’s Gaming Platform

Shotcall is a new interactive platform that I just learned about last week. Thomas Gentle, Shotcall’s co-founder and CEO, offered up an exclusive quote to The Hype, to explain exactly what it is:

“Shotcall brings fans off the sidelines and directly into popular games, such as League Of Legends and Fortnite, with their favorite creators. With one-on-one play, tournaments, coaching sessions, Q&A’s, queues and more, we’re creating a community on the Shotcall platform that sits at the heart of playing more of the games we all love, while also creating vital monetization opportunities that didn’t exist before through the marketplace. We have some big news coming out next week, so be sure to keep an eye out for that announcement and check out to start playing with your favorite creators!”

Call Of Duty Season 6: Haunting Of Verdanskas

Tikyra Jackson is a Grammy-nominated artist as a founding member of the Memphis-based band Southern Avenue. Her debut single “No More Fear” came out in August 2020, as written after the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the protests against racism that consumed the country afterwards. On “No More Fear,” Tikyra plays every instrument on the track beyond singing on it, as produced by Grammy nominee Kurt “KC” Clayton (Three 6 Mafia, Luther Allison) and mixed by Kevin Houston (North Mississippi Allstars, Samantha Fish, Southern Avenue).

Tikyra is also a gamer, per a quote offered up to The Hype: “When I was a senior in high school, I received my very first gaming system, a PS3 along with three video games that I still play till this day including Call Of Duty Modern Warfare. I’m beyond excited for the release of Call Of Duty Season 6: Haunting of Verdanskas. Bring on the Vampire bats, I’m so ready!”

Please note that the first-ever Halloween experience inside Warzone and Modern Warfare, the SAW and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre universes are part of The Haunting Of Verdansk, a limited-time community event set to take place from October 20th to November 3rd. This Halloween-themed event will feature the “Trick Or Treat” reward system, which contains frights or frighteningly good blueprints and personalization items. So come prepared for infiltrations at day or night, as select modes feature a nighttime variant of Verdansk that includes more than a few Halloween-themed frights.

And if you would rather spend the night fighting both the living and the dead? Then prepare for Zombie Royale, an undead twist on Battle Royale mode, where dead Operators use unnatural powers to feast on the living in order to rejoin their ranks.

The Last Of Us Part 2

Travis Miguel is a guitarist within the bands Atreyu and Fake Figures. He also happens to be a gamer. He offered up a quote to The Hype about his favorite video game as of late:

“I finished playing The Last Of Us Part 2 recently and I absolutely loved it — even despite all the fan backlash, which I still don’t understand. I think the reason I loved it so much was because I felt like garbage after I was done. It’s a very bleak, dark, and pessimistic game. There is no cheery celebratory feeling when you eliminate an enemy, especially those who are the uninfected humans. The NPC’s cry out in anguish, while their counterparts fearfully call out their name while you brutally-murder them. There’s a gut-wrenching weight to it.” He added with a laugh: “Super Mario Bros, this is NOT.”

Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is an upcoming action role-playing video game developed and published by CD Projekt. Per many critics, the game sets new standards for visuals, intricacy and depth. It is set to be released via Google Stadia, Microsoft Windows, PS4, PS5 and Xbox One next month, and will have Keanu Reeves voicing the lead character of the game.

IMPACT Wrestling’s X Division Champion Rohit Raju is especially excited about this title, per a comment offered to me for The Hype: “I’m looking forward to Cyberpunk 2077 this November. I’m a massive fan of Witcher 3 so this should be a fun playthrough; I recently played Witcher 3 after the Netflix series dropped. I had never beaten it so watching the show made me jump back into it. Like all good open world games I poured hours into it. The lore and history is so deep that I had to watch videos just so I knew what was going on.”

Concluded Raju: “If Cyberpunk is anything close to how good Witcher 3 is, count me in.”

Cyberpunk 2077 (again!)

Fanboytone of Banter & Babble is also all-in for Cyberpunk 2077: “I would say the game most anticipated for me is Cyberpunk 2077 by CD Projekt Red. It is finally, after a few delays, releasing on November 19th for PC, Stadia, Xbox One and PS4. I have been waiting about 7 years for this game to release, since its first announcement. It launches at an interesting time-frame, right as we usher out the current gen of consoles, into the new one. It’s one of the biggest most ambitious games ever made. Matter of fact, it’s said to contain about a million words of dialogue. It’s a massive FPS/RPG hybrid game, with a huge narrative. This will be a game that will become a basis for comparison, and be the type of game that sets new standards. That is exciting.”

Cyberpunk 2077 (yep, again!)

Earlier this month, I got a pitch related to a California-based author named Joel Miller. The pitch talked about how Miller’s new book Memoir Of A Roadie, which had recently hit the #1 spot on Amazon within the site’s biographies category. As a music-oriented person, I saw the word “roadie” and kept reading that e-mail. Ultimately, I caught onto the fact that Miller had worked on the road crew of a lot of major rock bands, including Guns N’ Roses, Stone Temple Pilots, Poison and The Cranberries.

In the midst of interviewing Joel Miller, I asked about which video game he is most excited about. Well, he, Fanboytone and Rohit Raju had the same answer: “I’m excited about the release of Cyberpunk 2077. I’m a Cullen Bunn fan and look forward to the adaptation. I’ve always been a gamer who’s been into narrative-driven games where I can craft and customize my character. The game is a cool genre and I dig the Witcher games.”

Cyberpunk 2077 (right, again!)

Video game reviewer Chris Balas — from my hometown of Long Beach, New York — is indeed in agreement with Rohit Raju, Fanboytone and Joel Miller. Per Balas: “This is maybe the most anticipated release of the year, and the one I’m most excited for. CD PROJEKT RED are the creators of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and with Cyberpunk, many are interested to see if they can duplicate their success in a vastly-different genre. Set in dystopian Night City, you are given an enormous amount of control in what you want your character to be — complete with customizable genitalia. Yes, you read that correctly. A great deal of money and talent has been poured into Cyberpunk, and its release date has been pushed back multiple times. Suffice to say, a lot is riding on the success of this game.”

Balas added 2 other quick picks while speaking to me for The Hype: “Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, after the massive success of the cross-platform Warzone battle royale mode, Call Of Duty looks to reestablish dominance of the multiplayer shooter market. The return of the fan-favorite zombie survival mode is sure to snare back those nostalgic gamers who grew up spending hours slaying hordes with friends. Also, Black Myth: Wu Kong, this game is attracting A LOT of attention. It will be a PlayStation 5 exclusive, and will not release at least until Holiday 2021, but the game, starring the mythic Chinese hero, has generated huge buzz around its innovative and fast-paced combat mechanics. I expect Black Myth to be a trailblazer in the best way.”

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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