In this week’s bulletin, we discuss Civilization VI Dog Petting, Immortals Fenyx Rising, Awards for Hades & Ghost of Tsushima, Excavation Pikachu, Battlefield, Transmedia Assassin’s Creed & it’s languages, PS3 & PS Vita Stores, Valheim, Crusader Kings 3 and Old World: The Barbarian Horde!

Yes, you can now pet the dog in Civilization VI!

We start this bulletin off with some great news. With the new update to Civilization VI, you can now finally pet the scout’s dog! Yes! We already had the ability to turn the dog into cats (for all you cat lovers out there), but now the dog-lovers get some love as well. As long as your scout still has actions remaining, you can pet the dog as many times as you like. Aside from this obvious great update, several civs have also been updated and new units have been introduced. More on those updates on the Civilization website.

Last Immortals Fenyx Rising DLC

Ubisoft’s Immortals Fenyx Rising was released last year November, but we’re already at the third DLC for the game! Called The Lost Gods, it will feature a new hero, called Ash, but also a new top-down game mode. Your task in this DLC is to return the lost gods (duh) to Olympos (among other Hades and Poseidon). With this new top-down mode, the game will be more like Hades or Diablo. Read more on the DLC on PC Gamer.

Awards and nominations for Hades & Ghost of Tsushima

Talking about Hades: we’re big fans of Hades. You already knew this of course, but we’re not alone! This week, Hades won multiple awards at the D.I.C.E. Awards of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (Gameindustry.biz). It not only got Game of the Year, but also the award for Action Game of the Year. It also racked up some Outstanding Achievement Awards, including one of Game Design and Game Direction. Ghost of Tsushima also got some love, as it won Adventure Game of the Year and the Outstanding Achievements for Art Direction and Music. There’s more awards up for taking, as both games has also been nominated for multiple awards at the Game Developers Conference, including GOTY, Best Audio, Best Visual Art and more. Check the entire list of nominees here. While you read those, why not check out our Hades stream from the Week van de Klassieken (Classics Week) below!

Japanese Museums will host Pokémon fossil exhibits

Are you ready for Excavation Pikachu? We are! Several museums in Japan will be hosting a exhibition of dinosaur fossils and Pokémon. Obviously, the exhibits will feature the Pokémon alongside the dinosaurs they were inspired by. With this, we are also getting a new Pikachu, called Excavation Pikachu. Isn’t that cute? Check out more in the Twitter Thread below, or on this Japanese website.

This year’s Battlefield will be the work of four studios

2021 will see the release of a yet unannounced Battlefield, but it will be made by the biggest team of devs ever. Four studios will work on the game: DICE (not the one of the Awards above), Criterion, DICE Los Angeles and EA Gothenberg. A fifth studio, Industrial Toys, is working on a mobile Battlefield game, set to be released in 2022. We don’t know what period the new Battlefield will be set in, but seen as though the development team is quite big, it will probably be a good one. Read more on Eurogamer.

Assassin’s Creed news and a guide to it’s languages

Before we start, this bit will have spoilers on Valhalla. So skip to after the image if you don’t want to know. With Valhalla in the running for over half a year and the first DLC coming up, Ubisoft have detailed eight new projects in the long running series. We are not getting a new AC game this year (as Ubisoft has moved to a biennial release for the series). However, it will be spreading into more media, such as books, graphic novels, series, manga and audios as the series is becoming a transmedia IP more and more. Basically, Ubisoft is working on spin-offs of aomong others the fan favorite Shao Jun and Edward Kenway stories. As fans have theorized, the Yggdrasil machine in Valhalla opens the series up for a multiverse, making all these spin-offs into canon(!) Ubisoft are also working on a Netflix series, which they say works better than a movie (because that wasn’t the best one, let’s be real). There’s so much more information on the series, which you can all read in this Eurogamer article, where Tom Philips sits down with content manager Etienne Bouvier and transmedia director Aymar Azaïzia.

Image: Ubisoft

Staying with Valhalla (no big spoilers here), have you ever wondered about the language in the game? Well, there’s more than just one. We of course have Norse, but also Old English, Welsh, Gaelic and even some languages of the Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) when Eivor eventually travels to Vinland. And yes, the Kanienʼkehá꞉ka are also the people from Assassin’s Creed III. But how accurate are these languages? WIRED’s Amy Briscoe (who is a linguist herself), dove into the languages used in the game and how they were created. Ubisoft consulted with multiple specialists on older languages, and according to Briscoe did a pretty good job on portraying 9th Century England as a multi-lingual place with no monoculture. There’s even a bit in there about the Isu Language created by Antoine Henry. Check out the entire article here (beware the WIRED 3 free articles before the paywall).

Video: Access the Animus

PS3 & PS Vita Stores will remain opened

A while back we reported on the imminent closure of the online stores of the PS3, PS Vita and the PSP. Playstation’s decision to close down the stores was met with slight fury from the audience, as well as journalists who claimed that Sony had a responisibilty (Gamesindustry.biz) to preserve these stores for the future of gaming. Luckily, Sony has now reverted the closure of the PS3 and PS Vita stores, claiming that even though the closure came to be from a multitude of (technical) reasons, the fans made it clear they were passionate about being still able to buy games for those platforms. Read more on Sony’s decision on the Playstation Blog.

Valheim Publisher Coffee Stain: Valheim’s success was like trying to tip over a bathtub full of water

Valheim is back on the menu! After an absence in the bulletin, we finally have some more news. In a recent interview with Gamesindustry.biz’s James Batchelor, Coffee Stain’s executive producer for Valheim Sebsatian Badylak, stated that they did not see Valheim‘s success coming. Even though they knew the game would be liked by many, they weren’t expecting 6 million sales in 6 weeks. Talking sales, Coffee Stain CEO Albert Säfström illustrated the succes: ‘It was like if you knock over a glass of water on your desk. Most of the water comes out in the beginning, and that’s what your sales are like. This felt more like if you tried to tip over a bathtub full of water.’ Basically, the sales just kept on coming. And rightly so, as Valheim is of course an amazing game! Read the entire interview on Gamesindustry.biz and also check out our second Lolheim video below!

Video: VALUE

What happens when you max out a Crusader Kings III ruler?

Small meme-alert. This isn’t a real news item on CK3, but more an exploration of what happens when you push the game to its creative limits. In CK3 you get to edit about everything from your character. With the use of the in game designt tool, you can even max out your character in every stat available. Of course, someone had to do it. Rock Paper Shotgun’s Nate Crowley created a nice ruler in the 1066AD world, called Emperor Gigaknight Excelsior, and it was truely a king of kings. He rebooted Gigaknight in the 869AD world, and it was even better. But even true king of kings who live to 130 die sometimes. So when Gigaknight died, Crowley is now vying up the upcoming succession wars. Because his (many) children inevitably inherited some, but not all, of his maxed out traits, there’s some true contenders to the throne of thrones. Now, this of course isn’t a real news item, but it’s very funny, and don’t hesitate to follow Nate’s story along on Rock Paper Shotgun!

Image: I’m no doctor, but that’s a big 130-year old ruler (normal human for scale). Courtesy of Nate Crowley / Rock Paper Shotgun

Old World: The Barbarian Horde Arrives

It has been a while since we have discussed the amazing Old World, but since we have some new content, it is about time we talk some Old World! And not any content, no, the Barbarian Horde has arrived! The first of multiple scenarios to be added to the game, the Barbarian Horde sees you defend from a massive invasion of barbarian raiders. This mechanic was already in the game, but this time it’s bigger and better. Conversly, other victory modes are disabled. Your only goal is to survive! Check out more on the website of Mohawk Games or listen to the podcast from the team.

Image: Mohawk Games

Omar ‘oomzer’ Bugter is a recently graduated Cultural Historian from Utrecht University. Since interning at VALUE, he’s stuck around, mainly working on the Interactive Pasts website and the weekly streams. He wrote a thesis on Sid Meier’s Civilization VI and mods, so knows this game very well. He likes many other games, including F1 2020, Hearts of Iron, Mount & Blade and Crusader Kings III. He’s also still looking for a job, so tweet to him at @oomzer if you want to know anything about Civ or have a job for him.