In this week’s news, EA makes several major announcements at their “EA Play Live” event, Cyberpunk: 2077 faces another round of delays and the FDA approves the first ever prescription video game.
EA Play Live makes waves
This year, Electronic Arts, like many video game publishers, switched from what would normally have been a massive E3 press conference in Los Angeles to a virtual-only event called EA Play Live. EA’s Play Live event focused on game content while addressing the transition to next-gen, making sure the company provided plenty of reasons for consumers to pick up the new hardware, while also being careful not to neglect players who are sticking with Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, or Xbox One for the foreseeable future. The AAA developer made a number of announcements, including a new Star Wars themed dogfighting shooter titled Star Wars: Squadrons, a new installment of the Skate franchise, and announcing a Switch port and cross play for Apex Legends. Polygon noted that Star Wars: Squadrons “looks great”, while IGN stressed how well the Skate announcement was received due to the cult following the series garnered over the years. The Verge also noted that the entire presentation showed a clear commitment to start supporting EA games on the Steam platform.
Cyberpunk (delayed until) 2077?
Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red’s upcoming RPG, has been delayed once again. Its new release date is set for November 19 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, two months after the previously scheduled September 17 date. The day after announcing the delay, CD Projekt confirmed that the title will be backward compatible on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series at launch when those next-generation consoles are released later this year. Gamespot and Polygon noted that while the content of the game is pretty much entirely finished, the studio needs more time to balance the game and work out some persistent bugs. PC Gamer also reported that the delay will also push back the DLC and multiplayer modes that are to come prior to the game’s launch.
FDA approves the first “prescription video game”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has for the first time approved a video game for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. The game, Akili Interactive’s EndeavorRX, requires a prescription and is designed for children ages 8 to 12 with certain symptoms of ADHD. It’s the first time the FDA has cleared a digital therapy for improving ADHD symptoms, and the first time the agency has ever authorized marketing of a game-based therapy for any condition. According to studies done over seven years of clinical trials, one-third of kids treated “no longer had a measurable attention deficit on at least one measure of objective attention” after playing the obstacle-dodging, target-collecting game for 25 minutes a day, five days a week for four weeks. Business Insider noted that The FDA has taken a more digital health-friendly stance amid the pandemic, and speculates that the regulatory agency will continue knocking down hurdles for digital mental health platforms even after outbreaks subside. While The Verge notes that they are a bit skeptical of the studies given disclosures included in the report which indicate that the doctors in charge of the studies work for the developers, the FDA’s approval is still a landmark moment for the industry.