This week’s GamesBeat Decides podcast was already a long one, and then — right before we were going to upload it — we had to make it even longer. That’s because hosts Jeffrey Grubb and Mike Minotti pulled an emergency bonus session to talk about the breaking news that Electronic Arts has closed Dead Space developer Visceral and canceled its Star Wars game. That revelation is shocking on its own, but EA made it even more startling with a candid blog that explains why it made this choice.

Put simply: loot boxes.

It looks like EA only wants to invest its money in games-as-a-service (GaaS), and Visceral’s Star Wars was a single-player linear game. It turns out that it’s difficult to sell loot boxes in something like that, so EA has found it difficult to justify its budget.

In addition to EA pulling the bandage off of one of its multiple Star Wars projects, we talk about some other news involving loot boxes. For example, is Hearthstone too expensive and why doesn’t the ESRB game-rating organization think this is gambling?

VB Transform 2020 Online - July 15-17. Join leading AI executives: Register for the free livestream.

For the second segment, we spend a lot of time trying to figure out what is going to take Super Metroid’s place at the Awesome Games Done Quick speedrunning charity marathon. That is a classic game for the speedrunning community, but it’s not on the playlist this year.

On top of that, Mike and Jeff discuss some recent releases they’ve spent some time with, which include the following:

  • Cuphead
  • Divinity: Original Sin II
  • Golf Story
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole

Follow us:

See you next time, kiddo.