In this week’s TriplePoints of Interest, COVID-19 concerns rock the games industry events and workforce, HBO announces a TV series adapted from The Last of Us video game franchise, and Death Stranding and Control lead BAFTA nominations.
GDC, Google I/O, and more cancel over coronavirus concerns; E3 up in the air
As reported in the LA Times, this week California declared a state of emergency as several cases of coronavirus within the state’s borders were confirmed, leaving the fate of many tech and games industry conferences up in the air. Polygon reported that after a number of major players including EA, Sony and Activision Blizzard pulled out of San Francisco’s Game Developers Conference, organizers announced the event would be postponed, while others like Facebook’s F8 conference and the Google I/O event were outright cancelled. With the state of emergency and slew of cancellations, all eyes were on the ESA and the annual June E3 event. The ESA initially shared E3 was still on “full-steam ahead” as reported by GameSpot, though the lobbying group has since walked back the commitment noting the event’s viability was still being assessed amid the health crisis. Kotaku also reported on the number of games companies mandating “work from home” policies, noting that the move could help validate a work from home standard for developers moving forward.
A “The Last of Us” series is in the works at HBO
In an exclusive by The Hollywood Reporter, it was revealed that HBO “Chernobyl” creators will start production on a series based on the hit video game “The Last of Us”. The writers will adapt the story from the Sony and Naughty Dog game series ahead of the next installment launching later this year, “The Last of Us Part II.” IGN and other game sites reported on Twitter exchanges from the creators following the announcement, most notably confirming that the main character, Ellie, would remain gay in the show as she is in the games. The Washington Post noted that the show is the first show under a new PlayStation Productions studio and follows the massive hit Netflix recently had with “The Witcher” based on the game series.
Control, Death Stranding break BAFTA Games Awards record with 11 nominations each
This week the British Academy Games Awards nominations were announced, and both Control and Death Stranding broke nominations records receiving 11 nods each. Polygon noted the feat was impressive for both games, and mentioned that Untitled Goose Game received seven nominations – which fare well for the DICE Awards Game of the Year winner. In reporting from the BBC, the outlet mentioned that newer franchises have seemingly dominated the nominations this year. The Guardian noted that Kojima, creator behind Death Stranding, will receive the BAFTA fellowship this year, following in the footsteps of other video game greats such as Shigeru Miyamoto and John Carmack.