Hello friends, and welcome to Week in Review.
Last week, I talked a bit about NFTs and their impact on artists. If you’re inundated with NFT talk just take one quick look at this story I wrote this week about the $69 million sale of Beeple’s photo collage. This hype cycle is probably all the result of crypto folks talking each other up and buying each other’s stuff, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be lasting impacts. That said, I would imagine we’re pretty close to the peak of this wave, with a larger one down the road after things cool off a bit. I’ve been wrong before though…
This week, I’m interested in a quick look at what your kids have been talking about all these years. Yes, Roblox.
The big thing
Roblox went public on the New York Stock Exchange this week, scoring a $38 billion market cap after its first couple days of trading.
Investors rallied around the idea that Roblox is one of the most valuable gaming companies in existence. More than Unity, Zynga, Take-Two, even gaming giant Electronic Arts. It’s still got a ways to go to take down Microsoft, Sony or Apple though… The now-public company is so freaking huge because investors believe the company has tapped into something that none of the others have, a true interconnected creative marketplace where gamers can evolve alongside an evolving library of experiences that all share the same DNA (and in-game currency).
The gaming industry has entered a very democratic stride as cross-play tears down some of the walls of gaming’s platform dynamics. Each hardware platform that operates an app store of their own still has the keys to a kingdom, but it’s a shifting world with uncertainty ahead. While massive publishers have tapped cloud gaming as the trend that will string their blockbuster franchises together, they all wish they were in Roblox’s position. The gaming industry has seen plenty of Goliath’s in its day, but for every major MMO to strike it rich, it’s still just another winner in a field of disparate hits with no connective tissue.
Roblox is different, and while many of us still have the aged vision of the image above: a bunch of rudimentary Minecraft/Playmobile-looking mini-games, Roblox’s game creation tools are advancing quickly and developers are building photorealistic games that are wider in ambition and scope than before. As the company levels-up the age range it appeals to — both by holding its grasp on aging gamers on its platform and using souped-up titles to appeal to a new-generation — there’s a wholly unique platform opportunity here: the chance to have the longevity of an app store but with the social base layer that today’s cacophony of titles have never shared.
Whether or not Roblox is the “metaverse” that folks in the gaming world have been hyping, it certainly looks more like it than any other modern gaming company does.
Summon the Spirit of Retro Shooters in Prodeus
- Prodeus 1.0 arrives today on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Windows 10/11, and with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass.
- Paint the walls red in a first-person shooter of old, re-imagined using modern rendering techniques and technology.
- The game features a campaign designed by FPS veterans, co-op and PvP modes, and community-made maps.
Looking for some pure, classic FPS chaos with a healthy injection of modern flair? The officially official version 1.0 of Bounding Box Software’s brutal, bombastic boomer shooter Prodeus launches today on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Windows 10/11, and with Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass!
Kickstarted in March 2019 and launched in early access in November 2020, Prodeus channels the spirit of first-person shooters of old — think shotguns, blue keycards, deathmatch arenas, and legendary LAN parties — and infuses it with a jolt of modern technology.
That means an aesthetic mix of high-quality 3D art and retro rendering techniques, and plenty of over-the-top visual effects. Explosions of lo-fi pixels and hi-tech particle effects fill the screen as you clash against the Prodeans and forces of Chaos, and buckets of blood and gore paint the walls red courtesy of a delightfully demented dismemberment system.
Prodeus features a hand-crafted campaign from industry FPS veterans, along with multiplayer drawing on classic modes. You can take on the campaign solo or in 4-player co-op, and dive into the fray in 16-player Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, CTF, and more.
PC players can take things to the next level by making their own maps using the game’s easy-to-use editor — then upload them to be discovered in the community map browser, where both PC and Xbox players can find some new fragging grounds. (There are already some sick levels out there, too, since people have been forging maps since prior to today’s v1.0 release.)
And of course, as with any good Boomer Shooter with abominable monsters from unspeakable places, the game also features an appropriately metal soundtrack — this one from retro FPS composer Andrew Hulshult — that dynamically changes gears to accompany your shotgun blasts and rocket fire.
Prodeus is a first-person shooter of old, re-imagined using modern rendering techniques and technology. Experience the quality you’d expect from a modern AAA game, designed with retro aesthetics and gameplay that invoke the tech-imposed limits of older hardware.
The game features a hand-crafted campaign from industry FPS veterans, co-op and competitive multiplayer play drawing on classic modes*, a fully integrated level editor, and a built-in community map browser for instantaneous action with nearly limitless levels to play.
Get ready to paint the walls red. This is the Boomer Shooter you’ve been waiting for.
Retro look, modern era
Shooters past and present collide with graphics that combine today’s high-quality 3D tech with retro visuals. Experience over-the-top explosions of lo-fi pixels and hi-tech particle effects as you clash against the Prodeans and forces of Chaos.
Pure retro FPS chaos
Steel yourself for fast and frantic nonstop action. Blast and blaze your way through hordes of chaos-spawned creatures using an arsenal of classically over-the-top weapons.
Splatter the steel walls and alien halls with the blood of your enemies. Experience the gory thrills of the elder shooters, dialed up to 11 thanks to Prodeus’s delightfully demented dismemberment system.
Discover new arenas through a built-in browser filled with community-created maps, and keep the visceral combat fresh.
Team up and go head-to-head in a variety of multiplayer modes. Take on the campaign in 4-player co-op, and dive into the fray in 16-player Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, CTF, and more—then take things to the next level by creating and sharing custom game modes.
Frag to the Music
Burst blood vessels listening to a supercharged metal soundtrack by retro FPS composer Andrew Hulshult that dynamically changes gears to accompany your actions.
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