July was a lull for the games industry. Sony and Microsoft had both played their cards at E3, and the latter was still dealing with some of the fallout from those decisions, as everyone waited for Gamescom to spice things up again in August.
One moment Forza 5 was to get a day one patch to add additional content and an initial bunch of Drivatars, then they were having to deal with announcing that Japan would be considered a Tier 2 country for the Xbox One launch, so that it wouldn’t see the console until 2014, and the next they were reacting to the incessant badgering that they should let people self-publish games on XBLA.
This last one, of course, led to FEZ II’s cancellation, in a roundabout sort of way. While XBLA self-publishing was still a rumour, Jonathan Blow and Phil Fish took objection to journalists constantly asking their opinions on the matter, and quite publicly lashed out on twitter.
Marcus Beer was happy to spew vitriolic insults at the pair of them, when talking about the matter on GameTrailers, and this all spiralled into Phil Fish seemingly telling Beer to go kill himself, before cancelling FEZ II and walking away from the industry with the following statement:
FEZ II is cancelled.
i am done.
i take the money and i run.
this is as much as i can stomach.
this is isn’t the result of any one thing, but the end of a long, bloody campaign.
Amusingly enough, nobody really seems to have won the argument, or any brownie points with fans. You’ve just got Jonathan Blow, who’s making the lovely looking The Witness, and a bunch of Fez fans who now don’t get the sequel they would have loved to see.
On a brighter note, the real world had plenty of joy for the British public. Not only did we have a lovely little heatwave, with temperatures besting that 30C mark on a few occasions and the Met Office stating that we were in a Hot Dry Spell between the 3rd and 23rd of July – that evening then seeing Nottinghamshire get flooded - but there were plenty of great sporting moments to witness.
The British & Irish Lions won the third test against Australia, to finally claim a series win after a 16 year wait. That was nothing compared to the wait for a Wimbledon Men’s Singles Champion, with Andy Murray rocketing to victory on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Later in the month, Chris Froome followed in Sit Bradley Wiggins’ cycle tracks, to win the Tour de France, while the English cricket team got the perfect start to their defence of the Ashes, winning the first two tests.
The gaming news kept trundling along, as everyone waited for Gamescom during the summer lull, with Sony enjoying the fruits of their labours. The Last of Us was the stand out success of the summer, sitting at the top of the UK charts week after week, and selling 3.4 million copies in just a few weeks, to easily become the best selling PS3 title of the year.
They also gave us a few little details about Gaikai streaming, stating that it would include the best PS3 games in the service, while the Gran Turismo 6 demo came out to appease racing fans and show off some of the improved suspension and tyre modelling in the game.
The only minor blemishes were a Tearaway delay, and the hilarious video above, ostensibly from the PS3 version of Watch Dogs, in which Aisha Tyler gets hit by a truck. It has since been refuted, with one of the producers stating that a few too many checkboxes had been deselected in the build used for the video.
Of course, then Rockstar rolled up with the following walkthrough video for Grand Theft Auto V. Not only did it get everyone hyped up for this huge title, but it was recorded from the PS3 version of the game.
But in terms of major game releases, there were, as is traditional during the summer months, quite few to choose from. The biggest “release”, if you can call it that, was for DOTA 2, which came out of beta…
August was much busier in that regard.