EP Daily Rundown for September 16, 2016

Today in the Rundown, we have an exclusive interview about the future of the NHL video game series with producer Sean Ramjagsingh! We also have the latest on South Park: The Fractured but Whole, new developments in the controversy surrounding No Man’s Sky, find out when Xbox One owners can play Axiom Verge, and finally, have the latest intel on the Star Wars spin-off movie Rogue One.

EA Sports might be bringing a very cool new feature to the NHL video games. Future titles in the annual hockey series might have a single-player story mode, similar to what we’ve seen in other big sports titles. EA is introducing a single-player story mode in their latest soccer game FIFA 17, and since the NHL series is made at the same studio, it would make a lot of sense for them to do the same thing with NHL. That’s according to NHL producer Sean Ramjagsingh, who says that they’re watching what the FIFA team is doing very closely, and will decide whether or not to implement a story campaign in future NHL titles depending on how well reception of the new soccer game. NHL 17 hit stores earlier this week so it’s too late for them to do it this year, but we’ll let you know if it happens next year or beyond. That’s not the only new thing that might be coming to the series. The developers are also looking at new technology like VR and AR to see how they can help improve future titles.

South Park won’t be fracturing your butt hole this year. In what’s already a huge disappointment for fans, Ubisoft has delayed the new game South Park: The Fractured but Whole until next year. It was slated to arrive this December, but will now land in the first quarter of 2017. That means you won’t be getting it for Christmas or Hanukkah, but the developers say they need more time to polish the game and make sure it’s able to meet its high expectations. The last game, The Stick of Truth, was very well received, and is frankly one of the few licensed games based on a TV show or movie that’s actually worth playing. Hopefully this delay will allow The Fractured but Whole to be just as good. The delay also happens to come as Ubisoft is fighting off a hostile takeover bid by the mass media company Vivendi, which is expected to come to a final showdown at Ubisoft’s annual shareholders meeting in two weeks.

The online haters of No Man’s Sky may have found a very unlikely ally. The massive space exploration game launched last month, but quickly ignited controversy after many gamers complained that it didn’t have nearly as many features as developer Hello Games had promised. Now, it looks like Sony might agree with them. Speaking with Eurogamer, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida says that he understands some of the criticisms the game has received, and admits that it sounded like the developers, and specifically director Sean Murray, were promising more features than the game actually had. Ouch. Yoshida adds that the game didn’t have a great PR strategy, and the developers probably should have had a trained PR person helping them with their marketing. These are surprisingly candid statements given that Sony is the exclusive publisher of No Man’s Sky on consoles. Yoshida hasn’t completely turned his back on No Man’s Sky. He says that, despite the problems, he still really enjoyed the game and is looking forward to new features and updates that the team is working on.

One of the coolest retro games in the last few years is finally coming to a Microsoft console. The Metroidvania game Axiom Verge will hit the Xbox One on September 30. This marks the final step in the game’s roll out; it was first released on the PS4 and PC early last year, and found its way to the Wii U a few months later. Developer Thomas Happ says the Xbox One version took so long because Microsoft changed some of the developer API tools that he had been using when they switched over from the Xbox 360 to Xbox One. Better late than never.

The Star Wars spin-off movie Rogue One might sound a little different than what you’re expecting. With just a few months to go before release, the new movie has replaced its composer. It was set to be scored by Oscar-winner Alexandre Desplat, but now according to The Hollywood Reporter, the music will now be written by Michael Giacchino, who scored the recent Star Trek films. This means the final film could have a very different sound: Desplat’s music is known for being more dramatic and moody, while Giacchino has a more action-oriented style, similar to original Star Wars composer John Williams. The reason for the swap is actually very simple: Desplat is no longer able to do the music because the post-production schedule was pushed back following the reshoots that took place earlier this year. Many outlets made a big deal of the reshoots, suggesting that they’re the result of problems with the film. This is probably blowing things out of proportion, though. Most big budget movies have reshoots these days, including all of the recent Star Wars films, so they’re a normal part of the creative process and probably nothing to be concerned about. Rogue One will ignite the rebellion this December.

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