Welcome to 2021, Shackers! We’re back after a long and much needed break to kick things off in the new year. And what better way to get started than to get up to speed on some of the biggest stories that happened during the break? That’s right. Though we rested, the news never stops, and so we’ve gathered together some of the bigger headlines from the holidays in one easy to find place. Whether it was the surprise launch of Super Meat Boy, the massive Steam concurrent player milestone, or DOTA 2 perma banhammers, here’s some of the most interesting topics from the break.
Super Meat Boy Forever launched at long last
This isn’t entirely uncovered, even here at Shacknews. Super Meat Boy Forever actually got a release date at the Game Awards 2020. That said, it was on December 23, 2020 that the game finally came out on multiple platforms, including Nintendo Switch and PC via the Epic Games Store. The return of Meat Boy, Bandage Girl, their baby Nugget, and the nefarious Dr. Fetus are up to some intense platforming goodness alongside an array of all new characters and challenges. Expect Shacknews’ official take on the game in an upcoming review soon!
Class-action lawsuit filed against CD Projekt RED over Cyberpunk 2077
The rough publicity of Cyberpunk 2077 over the holidays was pretty much non-stop. Though there are arguably many merits to the game (something you can find in our Shacknews review), there are also a lot of problematic things about the way CD Projekt RED went about marketing the game. Over the holidays, this culminated in the formation of a class-action lawsuit filed against the CD Projekt company by the Rosen Law Firm on behalf of investors, the purpose of which “seeks to recover damages for CD Projekt investors under the federal securities laws.” The lawsuit alleges that the defendants (CD Projekt S.A.) mislead investors and purchasers throughout the marketing of Cyberpunk 2077, especially in regards to PS4 and Xbox One platforms, resulting in the removal of the game from PlayStation digital storefronts and refunds being offered from Sony, Microsoft, and CD Projekt. At this time, it remains unknown if the class-action will reach courts, so stay tuned as we follow this story with further information and coverage.
Former DOTA 2 The International champions & org banned for alleged match-fixing
When it comes to esports in DOTA 2, there is arguably more money on the line than any other competitive game in the world by far, so allegations of cheating and other malfeasance can’t really afford to go unanswered. Such is the case with DOTA 2 Chinese org and The International 2014 champions Newbee, who were accused of match-fixing in early 2020. Newbee was handed bans from Chinese professional circuits in May 2020, but would be allowed to continue to compete in Valve-sponsored events. That was, until Valve and DOTA 2 Chinese publisher Perfect World passed down their own ban. Though the Newbee organization denied any wrongdoing, Valve and Perfect World saw fit to permanently ban the organization and the participating players (Lipeng 'Wizard' Wen, Han 'Moogy' Xu, Rui 'Aq' Yin, Chao 'Waixi' Yan and Hongda 'Faith' Zeng, as well as player manager Feng “Feng” Yiqing) from further competitive events. As Newbee has taken the stance that no wrongdoing took place, the ban may be disputed, but for now, the 2014 DOTA 2 champion organization and its players are permanently benched from competitive play.
Steam reaches an all-time high concurrent player mark of over 25 million
With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, much of the world saw fit to stay inside on the holidays more than ever, and that meant more gaming went on by far than ever previously recorded. In fact, Steam recorded an all-time high concurrent player milestone of over 25 million players over the holidays, according to SteamDB. In fact, the all-time high reached a grand total of 25,418,674. Players were spread across the usual suspect games and apps with some new additions. DOTA 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Grand Theft Auto 5, and PLAYERUNKNOWN’s Battlegrounds kept their usual hefty player bases going, while being joined by the likes of Cyberpunk 2077 (despite its issues), the ever surprisingly strong Among Us, Dead by Daylight, Hades, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout and many more. In particular, it’s cool to see that games like Among Us and Fall Guys continue to hold high spots on the Steam charts, having become indie darlings in various points of 2020. It doesn’t seem like they’re slowing down anytime soon. More than that, and despite (or perhaps spurred by) COVID-19, Steam’s player milestone shows that gaming is bigger than ever going into 2021.
Binding of Isaac is wrapping up with one last expansion in March 2021
It’s absolutely wild to think that The Binding of Isaac launched in 2011. It’s even more wild to think that 10 years later, the developers are finally wrapping up on it with one last major content release for the game. The Binding of Isaac: Repentance is the final expansion for the game and it will be coming in March 2021. The Binding of Isaac: Antibirth mod was hugely popular for the game following the Rebirth expansion, and Developer Edmund McMillen has joined together with the creators of the Antibirth mod to create this final expansion, which is just awesome. The Binding of Isaac can be marked as the indie game that popularized roguelike game design and everything that has come to it since has been a cornucopia of punishing, yet fun additional content. With Repentance acting as the curtain call and collaboration between the official developers and the mod community, it will be interesting to see both what Repentance brings to the game and what comes after for its developers. Stay tuned for further news and updates on Binding of Isaac: Repentance as information becomes available.
And that covers some of the major topics of the holidays. Did anything in particular catch your eye in gaming news? Don’t forget that Awesome Games Done Quick 2021 is also going on and, in case you missed it, be sure to have a look at all of our picks for 2020 Shacknews Year of the Games awards! Welcome to 2021 at Shacknews. We hope you'll join us for all of the fun we have planned as we cover another year of gaming news and content.