New games, new team-ups, and new gameplay
They did it. They invoked the Summer Game Fest hashtag. But it’s Annapurna Interactive, a publisher on a real hot streak that doesn’t seem like it’ll fizzle out anytime soon, so we can let it slide. And come to think of it, last year might’ve been an endless tide of publisher-led showcases that didn’t always justify themselves, but 2021 hasn’t really been tiring on that front. Post-E3, I kind of forgot Summer Game Fest was a thing.
Today’s stream is the Annapurna Interactive Showcase, and I feel confident that it’ll be worth showing up for based on the company’s track record and its current slate of upcoming titles — Stray, Solar Ash, Neon White, and Fullbright’s Open Roads, to name a few that have clicked with me. Not that critical reception is everything, but it is worth reminding that AI was the second-best game publisher of 2020, per Metacritic.
Eric and I are hoping for some locked-and-loaded release dates for a few of those known quantities. On Twitter, Annapurna Interactive said to expect “gameplay reveals, new game announcements, and a few more surprises.” Post-show, the Twitch Gaming channel will have “exclusive bonuses, like interviews with a few of the devs featured.”
The teaser trailer for this showcase had a bit of Outer Wilds, so that’ll be swell. You see that? I am capable of calling Mobius Digital’s time-loop adventure by its correct name.
Annapurna Interactive Showcase recap
- The Artful Escape is releasing for Xbox and PC on September 9, and Carl Weathers is along for the ride.
- Neon White is a fast-moving game for “freaks.” We got new gameplay.
- A Memoir Blue is a stylish magical realist narrative adventure coming to basically all platforms — from PC, to PlayStation and Xbox, to Switch and iOS.
- Storyteller is trying something new in the puzzle genre with intuitive, playful story-crafting, and some fantastic art. It’s coming to Nintendo Switch and PC.
- Solar Ash is touching down on PC and PlayStation on October 26.
- Skin Deep is a bonkers immersive sim from Blendo Games, and we saw fresh gameplay.
- Stray has settled into an early 2022 launch across PC, PS4, and PS5. New (great-looking) gameplay debuted.
- Outer Wilds: Echoes of the Eye is an expansion — the first and last — coming out on September 28.
- New partnerships with Annapurna: Outerloop Games (Falcon Age), Jessica Mak (Sound Shapes), Ivy Road (Davey Wreden of The Stanley Parable, Karla Zimonja of Gone Home, and C418 of Minecraft), and No Code (Observation).
- Other tidbits: Gorogoa and Telling Lies are headed to Xbox Game Pass, I Am Dead launches on PS4, PS5, and Xbox on August 9, What Remains of Edith Finch is hitting up the App Store on August 16, and The Pathless will reach Steam on November 16.
Loved the pacing and tone of this showcase.