We’ve all fallen victim to the big letdown. You know, the game we had been dreaming about, longing for, and constantly checking to make sure the release date hadn’t been delayed. The long-anticipated day finally arrives, you’ve got the goods, and you fire it up on whatever platform you use.
It’s a bit clunky at first but it will just take some getting used to, you tell yourself. After several hours of plodding through the game you realize it’s not you, it’s the game, and it’s buggier than a Mississippi salt marsh in May.
You shake your head and ask how could they release something like this? Millions of dollars were spent on software engineers, designers, writers, voiceover talent, the whole enchilada but couldn’t someone throw a few hundred bucks at a fan to give it a test drive? Did anyone bother to see if the thing actually – ya know – worked?
It’s frustrating and can turn the biggest fan into the game’s most severe critic. It taints the entire franchise and can sometimes be the knell of any future iterations. Can you imagine if they rolled out Madden NFL ’94 before it was ready? We would never have seen the other 39 versions that followed. In fact, the Madden NFL franchise has become so popular that many of the best U.S. sportsbook bonuses can be used to bet on esports like Madden.
Well, it appears as though Marvel isn’t going to make that fatal mistake. Although fans have been clamoring for the Midnight Suns release, initially slated for a spring 2022 release, it’s not quite ready to roll and that should be cause for applause and not derision. They want the game to live up to their lofty standards and if the Marvel name is on the game, then it better be good.
Firaxis Games, developer of the legendary Civilization and X-COM franchises, is the force behind Midnight Suns and if anyone in the industry has a grip on the way things should be done, it’s them. Firaxis creative director Jake Solomon and senior franchise producer Garth DeAngelis have been quoted as saying that working with Marvel on Midnight Suns has been a “dream project” but fans would have to wait until the second half of 2022 to see its release.
The Firaxis press release by the tandem stated, “Hey everyone, On behalf of Firaxis Games, thank you for sharing just how excited you are for Marvel’s Midnight Suns. We’ve been thrilled to see your reaction to everything from our announcement of the game to the reveal of our card-based tactical combat. Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a true dream project for the team and we can’t express what an honor it is to create something new in the Marvel Universe.
“We decided to share that we’ve made the very tough decision to move our launch window to the second half of 2022. We know how many fans were looking forward to playing the game originally next Spring, and this decision did not come lightly. We decided to push our launch because we need more time to make this the best game possible.
“We believe in our creative vision for Marvel’s Midnight Suns and want to do justice in delivering an unforgettable adventure set in the supernatural side of Marvel. These extra months will be used to add more story, cinematics, and overall polish and will be essential in helping us make our vision a reality. Thank you for understanding.”
Riot Games in Talks with IOC
Riot Games wants their insanely popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, League of Legends, included as an Olympic sport. And they’re not kidding, as they are in talks with the International Olympic Committee about just such an event being included in either the Summer or Winter Olympics.
Although there are still many who are adamantly opposed to esports of any kind being allowed into the rarified air of elite athletic competitions, this is the dawn of a new age and physical skill along with quick decision-making and team play are becoming more and more popular. While no one will mistake a League of Legend pro with a competitive gymnast or track and field star, it is fair to say that neither the gymnast nor the track star could do what the LoL professionals do in their particular area of expertise.
The debate will rage but at least the esports world is being represented as a possible player on the world’s biggest sports stage. Whether or not the League officials are successful remains to be seen but the game has become so popular that it is being offered as a course in a South Korean high school.
Let’s also not forget that the addition of esports to the Olympic menu will attract an enormous new demographic that normally tunes out the Olympics. More eyeballs on the screen mean bigger ratings and more money in the IOC’s pocket. And that is very likely the point that the League officials are trying to drive home. Will it work? We will have to wait and see.