Games Industry News Roundup – July 2nd, 2024

Here at Goonhammer, we know that it’s hard to keep track of all the news happening all the time in the games industry. So much is always going on with games of all sorts, and their related media, it can be a real blink-and-you’ll miss it situation. 

That’s why every week, we round up five of the biggest stories in the gaming sphere from the past week in the Games Industry News Roundup. Our trusty news boy, Dan “Swiftblade” Richardson, is here with the scoop.

Credit: Mattel

Mattel Plans to Make 80% of its Games Catalog Colorblind Accessible

One of the worlds most well known names in games, Mattel, announced plans last week to make it’s catalog more accessible for people with colorblindness.

Mattel projects that 80% of its game portfolio will be colorblind friendly by the end of 2024, with the company expanding to 90% of its games on retail shelves becoming colorblind accessible by the end of 2025. Games included in this initiative are Uno, Phase 10, Bokus, and Tumblin’ Monkeys, using methods such as patterns, tactile indicators, and colorblind-friendly symbols. 

This isn’t the first time Mattel has made changes to make their games more accessible for those with colorblindness. In 2017, Mattel unveiled the ColorADD deck for UNO, a unique Uno deck created in collaboration with the color blindness advocacy group ColorADD. This special version of UNO uses the color alphabet system created by ColorADD to differentiate between the four colors used during games of UNO.

In addition to the initiative to improve color accessibility in their games, Mattel will be donating colorblind friendly games to YMCA summer camps. Mobile versions of games included in this initiative will also be adjusted to be accessible for colorblind players. 

Wizards of the Coast Announces Beginner-Friendly Magic Set

Credit: Wizards of the Coast

Wizards of the Coast is going back to basics later this year with the release of its new Foundations set for Magic: The Gathering.

Foundations is a set focused on providing an approachable entry point for new Magic the Gathering players. Foundations will feature many of Magic’s most iconic cards, such as Llanowar Elves, and will be Standard legal until at least 2025. Along with the full suite of booster packs associated with set releases, Foundations will also include the new Foundations Beginner Box and Foundations Starter Collection. The Beginner Box will include 10 packs of 20 cards, with individual packs focusing on one of the five colors of mana. The Starter Collection acts as a new players next stepping stone after mastering the contents of the Beginner Box, featuring 350 Foundations set cards for deckbuilding.

In an interview with Polygon, Wizards Game Design Director Bryan Hawley shares how he hopes to improve the new Magic player experience with Foundations, saying ““One of the things that Foundations is really trying to do differently than any of our past attempts at an onboarding experience is to really focus on that full pathway, [taking a new player from] I am interested in Magic, but I don’t know anything! up through Oh, I’ve identified what I like to do and I’m going to do more of that!”

Foundations is scheduled to be released on November 15th, 2024.

Official Tie-In Board Game for Berserk Announced

Credit: Monolith Board Games

Game publisher Monolith announced on social media in June that it’s planning to bring one of the most iconic manga in the world, Berserk, to the tabletop world with their officially licensed Berserk board game.

At the time of writing, little is known about the Beserk board game. Monolith’s announcement gives us only a little insight into the game, writing “This privilege pushes our team to offer you the best and most beautiful gaming experience possible. So we’ve decided to offer you a brand-new game system dedicated to this classic manga series–accessible, rich and intuitive! We can’t wait to tell you more.” 

Monolith’s other games include several original games and games based on licensed properties like Batman and Conan the Barbarian. While Monolith has made no official announcement at this time, it’s likely that Berserk will use crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter for funding, like most of the previous titles released by Monolith.

Berserk, written by the late Kentaro Miura, follows the tale of the black swordsman, Guts, on his quest for vengeance against his former comrade in arms, Griffith. Berserk was first published in 1988, and since then has been adapted several times into anime, movies, and video games. Miura passed away suddenly in 2021 before finishing the story of Berserk, and after a hiatus the manga has been resumed by some of the author’s closest assistants.      

Art of War Adds a New Member to it’s Team

Credit: Art of War

Art of War announced on it’s social media today that they’re adding Russell Tassin to it’s crew as both a team member and coach.

Russell Tassin is a Warhammer player from the Houston, Texas area, and an expert in his ride-or-die faction, Chaos Space Marines. Tassin has placed very well in multiple large Warhammer events across the United States, such as his 2nd place finish at the Wardome GT earlier this year. Russell is also one of the leaders of Swamp Fox 40k, a Warhammer team based out of the Houston Greater area. Swamp Fox 40k are back-to-back winners of the Texas Tournament Circuit (TCC), and even our fearless Goonhammer Rob praised the team.

We reached out to Russell Tassin regarding joining Art of War. “I am super excited to be joining Art of War.” said Tassin, “I feel honored to be part of the team. I love their approach to sportsmanship and community. The best part is there is no pressure to win, it’s all about playing the right way. That’s the approach I take to 40K. It’s more about fun and community building! Winning is great but making friends and having fun is what it’s all about.”

Tassin will remain on the Swamp Fox 40k team while working with Art of War, as he continues to work on helping players improve and have fun with competitive Warhammer in his local area as well as internationally through Art of War.     

The 2024 Warhammer Grand Narrative Expanded to Include Nottingham

Credit: Games Workshop

Warhammer Community gave players excited about the upcoming 2024 Grand Narrative event even more to be excited about. This year, the narrative event will expand to include Warhammer World in Nottingham, as well as its usual venue in Atlanta, Georgia.

The two narrative events will happen on the same weekend, November 22nd-24th. Despite being located hundreds of miles from each other, the two events will all be a part of one singular narrative in the universe of Warhammer 40,000, with the possibility of one event affecting outcomes in the others depending on how each team fares. The Nottingham arm of the event plans to incorporate every part of Warhammer World into dictating the fate of the story, teasing on the blog post that “Interaction with the staff in Bugman’s Bar and the Warhammer World store may well be integral to the success of your missions.”

Speaking on this year’s narrative plot, Warhammer Community writes “This year, the Grand Narrative turns its attention to the Chalnath Expanse, where desperate wars of faith and fury rage in the hellscape of the Imperium Nihilus. In one corner of this benighted region of space, three new Lords of War prepare to lead their forces in pursuit of knowledge, survival, or the will of the Dark Gods.” 

Tickets for both the Atlanta event and Warhammer World event can be found on the Warhammer Eventbrite page. 

And that wraps it up for our Games Industry News Roundup this week! Join us again next week for more news about the tabletop games industry and related media.

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