August 20th, 2018: Meanwhile, in strategy games...20 Aug 2018 0
It's GamesCom this week, so expect there to be a lot of interesting strategy gaming news to pop up. Some of which has alraedy dropped (which we've related below). In the meantime, let's catch up on last week's news so you can start the week off with a clean slate.
Meanwhile, in strategy games...
Stellaris on console
First bit of interesting Gamescom news is the fact that Stellaris is coming to consoles! Paradox's newest - and arguably most troubled (in some respects) - grand-strategy game will be the first to cross the divide and join the console crowd, although no release window has been given.
The Console Edition seems to be an experiment in more ways than one - the build of the game will be Stellaris 1.7, not the current 2.1.2. Not only is this an older build, it dates the game to before several major changes that arrived with 2.0. Perhaps the development team are worried the current version of the game won't be as console friendly, or perhaps they want to keep the legacy version alive via the consoles. In terms of DLC, players who purchase the Deluxe Edition will be granted the Plantoids Species Pack, Leviathans Story Pack and the Utopia Expansion when they're released (so potentially, not at launch). There's also mention of a "roll-out" of other Stellaris DLC as well.
We'll try and keep an eye on this one as thing's develop.
Paradox Profits & Cancelled Projects
In other Paradox news, Paradox Interactive posted out an interim financials update last week – it was the first such update handled by new CEO Ebba Ljungerud after she took over from Frederick Wester at the beginning of August. In short, revenue is at an all-time high thanks to the likes of BATTLETECH, as well as the continued knock-out success of Cities: Skylines (also on console, doncha know).
Conversely, operating profit was down 39% this year. The main reasons given are the larger-than-usual amount of royalty payments to third parties, and the one-off costs that had been sunk into two projects that have now been cancelled without being announced.
The company also purchased BATTLETECH developer Harebrained Schemes, you may remember, although not until AFTER that game had released (meaning that Paradox still had to pay out those royalty payments, I imagine).
Space Hulk: Tactics
We haven’t heard much about Focus Home Interactive’s latest attempt at cracking the Space Hulk franchise since it was announced at the beginning of June, but the publisher as released a new trailer to celebrate the fact that it’s GamesCom this week.
It’s mainly cinematic stuff, but you get a bit of a whistle-stop tour of various gameplay elements – there’s going to be customisable squads (not only load-outs and gear, but looks/Chapter affiliations as well), two single-player campaigns, a map editor for community maps and a card system.
You can check out more details on the game’s Steam page, and the release date is slated for October 9th, 2018.
Total War: Three Kingdoms Dump
An embargo broke regarding Total War: Three Kingdoms last week, with fresh impressions of not only the tactical battles, but the campaign layer as well. Our sister website PCGamesN posted up some in-depth articles as to some of the new features they’ve discovered, so we’ll let them do most of the talking:
Notable Dev Diaries
Aggressors: Ancient Rome has published its ninth dev diary, with this latest update looking at infrastructure and the kinds of activities you can work on while at peace. The ‘city’ is the central backbone of the game’s economy and faction geography, and each city has a range of tiles it directly draws from. Learn about this and more here.
Age of Wonders: Planetfall is on Dev Diary #10, and last week they discussed the NPC factions, PvE and Diplomacy mechanics. You can have very complex relationships with minor NPC entities, as they are not just obstacles for you to steamroll (although you’ll end up steamrolling some).
Last but not least, Imperator: Rome races ahead into Dev Diary #13 and looks at how internal politics in Republics work, specifically the Senate of Rome. There are many different factions which can be in power and depending on who’s in power the player will get different bonuses and maluses.
That's all for this week update - stay tuned for more news as it drops, otherwise we'll round-up everything we've missed next week!