E3 2019: Jason Schreier sits down with Marcin Iwi?ski, founder and co-CEO of Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red, to follow up on their conversation about crunch a few weeks ago. They also talk about Cyberpunk 2077's ambitious scope, controversies over trans issues, racial stereotypes, Keanu Reeves, GOG financial issues, and whether Cyberpunk will come to Switch.
At E3 2019, Maddy sits down with Alex "Goldenboy" Mendez, esports commentator and event host best known for his work on Overwatch League, Call of Duty, and Halo. Mendez actually used to cover esports for Kotaku years ago; now, he commentates and hosts massive esports tournaments in stadiums around the country. We talk about the traditional sports influences on the esports industry, the wide spectrum of esports personalities out there, and whether Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games will be the next great esport (it will). Lastly, Mendez talks about his new show, LVL UP, which is like Pimp My Ride but for gaming rigs.
E3 2019: Jason Schreier sits down with Destiny bosses Luke Smith and Mark Noseworthy for a deep dive into the future of Destiny 2, which is an MMO now. They talk about RPG elements, story loose ends, technical challenges, cross-play (or lack thereof), whether there will ever be a Destiny 3, Stadia latency, and what 2020 looks like for this franchise.
E3 2019: Jason Schreier talks to Larian Studios boss Swen Vincke and D&D creative chief Mike Mearls about how the Baldur's Gate 3 deal came together, what it's like to make a video game based on Dungeons & Dragons in 2019, and whether Minsc and Boo will be in the game. They talk about the confusion of D&D spell slots, the "infinite possibilities" in a game like this, and how great role-playing games are made.
Nintendo just announced a sequel to Breath of the Wild?? Also, a bunch of other E3 press conferences happened, with some good-looking games, some Keanu-shaped surprises, a very good dog, and a lot of loud music.
Kirk, Jason, and Maddy get together to talk through it all, breaking down highlights from Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Square Enix, and Nintendo. Jason and Maddy will be back all week with interviews from the E3 show floor, so stay tuned to your feed for more.
PRESS CONFERENCE ROUNDUPS:
Episode 182: Hell yeah, it's time for E3! Kirk, Jason, and Maddy talk about the games they've been playing (Outer Wilds, Timespinner, Gato Roboto) before jumping into E3 guesses, hopes, predictions, and rumors (32:46) involving EA, Microsoft, Bethesda, Ubisoft, Square Enix, Nintendo, and much more. Will The Avengers and FF7 live up to the hype? With Sony skipping this year's show, can Microsoft blow us all away as it fights for console dominance? And what kind of whispers has Jason heard about Ubisoft's showcase this year? You'll have to listen to the show to find out. The gang closes things out with off-topic talk (1:24:38) including Dragon Ball Z, 24, and Rocketman.
Music pick of the week: ?Hangin? with My Baby? by Tower of Power from their 2018 (!) album Soul Side of Town
Jon Bois on 24: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_P52G4Kyq5M
Episode 181: Baby Ghost... Recon? Kirk, Jason, and Maddy talk video games, from Dark Souls 3 to Observation, then dive into news of the week (29:00) including Death Stranding's ridiculous new trailer (and 2019 release date!), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and EA Play. The crew hears from a listener who does game analytics for a major video game company, then they get into off-topic talk on Veep, Educated, Fleabag, 24, 24, and 24 (1:04:54).
Music Pick of the Week: ?Grey Seal? by Elton John from his 1973 album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Justin McElroy on Anor Londo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5yw0wHQx9A
Episode 180: We've gotten so many interesting listener e-mails about privacy in gaming, we just had to keep talking about it! First, the Splitscreen gang talks about some of the games they're playing including Phoenix Wright, Rage 2, and Destiny. Then they get into the news of the week (28:18) on Minecraft Earth, the God of War documentary, and a major shakeup in Call of Duty-land.
After the news, Kirk, Maddy, and Jason read some listener emails and talk more about advertisers using our data, targeted marketing, and whether the internet is just broken or what. Then it's time for off-topic talk (1:11:55) on Designated Survivor, Lemony Snicket, and much more.
Music pick of the week: ?Ageless Beauty? by Stars from their 2004 album Set Yourself On Fire
The game of thrones has ended, and so has Game of Thrones. On this final bonus episode, Jason and Kirk wrap up their coverage of HBO's grand fantasy series by recapping the events of "The Iron Throne," then looking back at the show as a whole.
Zeynep Tufekci on the series' shift from sociological to psychological storytelling: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-real-reason-fans-hate-the-last-season-of-game-of-thrones/
Zach Kram on its shifting relationship with consequence: https://www.theringer.com/tv/2019/4/10/18304037/game-of-thrones-season-8-consequences-jon-sam-arya-cersei
Gita Jackson on Game of Thrones' Fullmetal Alchemist problem: https://kotaku.com/game-of-thrones-has-a-fullmetal-alchemist-problem-1834512907
Episode 179: Jason's wisdom tooth removal has left Kirk and Maddy by themselves to discuss Phoenix Wright and the music of mystery games. Kirk is also playing Rage 2, Destiny 2, and a tabletop game about bluffing called Sheriff of Nottingham. This week's news (33:32) includes a very pretty Final Fantasy 7 teaser and the announcement of Ghost Recon Breakpoint, which Kirk is excited about. We also discuss the Vox article ?Angry Birds and the end of privacy? and our own concerns about games and apps that collect our data. We close out with off-topic talk (58:50) that ends up veering off into discussion of the works of Patrick Rothfuss.
With each new episode of Game of Thrones, the gods toss a coin and the world holds its breath. Too bad for us, "The Bells"' coin landed on the "unfortunate plot developments" side.
Kirk and Jason talk through the ins and outs of Dany's big day, along with the highs and lows of what was, in the end, a pretty disappointing episode.
Episode 178: Jason, Kirk, and Maddy talk about the new Kotaku piece about what it was like to work on Mortal Kombat 11's ultra-violent scenes, then get into the games they're playing: Danganronpa, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and a potpourri of Kirk video games. This week's big news (35:05) includes a U.S. senator introducing an anti-loot box bill, Riot employees walking out, and the Sonic movie changing course. Finally, lots of off-topic talk (1:01:28) on all sorts of TV shows and movies.
Kirk and Jason discuss the fourth episode of the final season of Game of Thrones, "The Last of the Starks." Jon's secret gets out, Brienne has some wine, Dany has a latte, Varys and Tyrion scheme, Cersei does evil stuff, and no one pets the dog. Let's discuss.
It's time for Teeth Talk with Kirk, Maddy, and Jason! First the Splitscreen gang talks about some video games they've been playing, like Final Fantasy X, Final Fantasy XII, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Danganronpa, along with dropping some wisdom about just letting games go (like Days Gone) when you've had enough. Then they bring on former Kotaku writer and current comics writer Evan Narcisse (30:49) for a big spoilery chat about Avengers: Endgame, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where the future of Marvel movies might go, comic references you might have missed, and much more.
Music pick of the week: ?Juice? by Lizzo from her new album ?Cuz I Love You?
Squint and turn up your monitor's brightness, and you'll see that our special coverage of Game of Thrones season 8 continues with episode three, the nightmarish "The Long Night."
Our surviving heroes wage a desperate battle against the Night King's overwhelming zombie army - will the walls of Winterfell hold? Could the good guys possibly win? And in a battle like this, what does "winning" even look like, anyway? Let's discuss.
Kotaku Splitscreen's special Game of Thrones coverage returns with a double-header recap of the first two episodes of the show's final season. Kirk and Jason go over what they liked (and didn't like) about both "Winterfell" and "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms," then share their hopes for the future, make some wild predictions, and guess who'll live and who'll die this coming Sunday.
We'll be back to recap that episode on Monday, and will be publishing Monday recaps from there on out to the end.
Links:"The Key to ?Game of Thrones? Season 8 Isn?t Dragons or Swords or White Walkers or Even Incest. It?s Consequence." - The RingerA post from r/GameofThrones listing parallels between S8E1 and S1E1"Exhuming Lady Stoneheart: What We Lost in Game of Thrones? Biggest Cut" - Tor.com
Episode 176: Jason's back from vacation to talk about all sorts of video games with Kirk and Maddy, including Mortal Kombat 11, Baba Is You, Hitman 2, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and Phoenix Wright. Then the trio dives into Days Gone (42:16), the new PS4-exclusive that's all about killing zombies -- sorry, freakers -- and being sad on a motorcycle. Finally, some off-topic talk (1:02:10) on Avengers: Infinity War, Carmen Sandiego, and Barry.
Music Pick of the Week: ?First it Giveth? - Queens of the Stone Age from their 2002 album Songs for the deaf
Show notes:"I watched 21 Marvel movies this month ? and witnessed a decade of progress for women" - Washington Post
Jason's on vacation, so Maddy and Kirk get the podcast to themselves. We start with a listener email about how we'd react if our significant others broke our game consoles, then we cover the news, from the PlayStation 5 announcement (!) to the way that the Notre Dame fire has brought Assassin's Creed: Unity back to the forefront. We then talk about games we're playing (32:15); Maddy's enjoying a Switch indie puzzle game called The World Next Door, and also some good old Street Fighter. Kirk's still playing Root and Sekiro, the latter of which inspires us to discuss difficulty, accessibility, and the ways people say games "should" be played. We wrap up with off-topic talk (1:05:23) about what we're watching (Leaving Neverland, Shazam, and Captain Marvel) and reading (Kim Stanley Robinson?s Red Mars). Kirk's music pick of the week is ?Bustin? Out? by GRiZ, featuring Bootsy Collins.
Episode 172: Just what does newly minted Bloodborne expert Jason think of Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice? How does Kirk feel about missing out on all that sweet, sweet GDC content? And why is Maddy playing Pokemon Go? Today on Kotaku Splitscreen, all those questions are answered and more. First it's video game talk, on the likes of The Division 2, Baba Is You, and Sekiro. Then it's the news of the week (50:29) on Zelda indies, Switch rumors, and Google Stadia, followed by off-topic talk (1:20:19) on The Dropout, Hamilton, and Umbrella Academy.
Music pick: ?When it Rains? by Brad Mehldau from his 2002 album ?Largo?
Episode 171: Devil May Cry 5 is outrageous, and Splitscreen's here to talk about it. First, Jason, Kirk, and Maddy get into the games they've been playing -- Breath of the Wild, Broken Age, Destiny, etc. -- before diving into the mania of the newest Devil May Cry. Then it's time for news of the week (36:03) on Nintendo's Labo VR, EA skipping E3, and Valve removing a game called Rape Day from Steam. Finally, some off-topic chat on Captain Marvel, Succession, Leaving Neverland, and tips for working well from home (59:53).
Music pick of the week: The Wood Brothers, ?Snake Eyes? from their 2015 album Paradise
Episode 170: Surprise! It's a one-day-early episode of Kotaku Splitscreen, here to talk to you about Bloodborne (which Jason's finally finished), Danganronpa (which Maddy's almost finished), and the many games Kirk is playing, like The Division 2 and Ape Out. There's news of the week (36:13) on Pokemon, Anthem crashing PS4s, and THQ Nordic's major screw-up, and then Jason shares some impressions of the upcoming zombie game Days Gone, which he got to play for an hour and a half at a Sony event two weeks ago. Then it's time for some off-topic talk (59:16) on Killing Eve, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Big Mouth, followed by Kirk's music pick of the week and a brief Russian Doll spoilercast.
MUSIC PICK OF THE WEEK:
?Under the Sea? by Fearless Flyers from their Debut EP
Episode 168: BioWare's Anthem is out! But is it any good? First up, the Splitscreen crew talks about the games they've been playing, like Bloodborne, Tetris 99, and Far Cry New Dawn. Then it's time for a breakdown of BioWare's new loot shooter (31:16), which Kirk and Jason have both been playing. They discuss Anthem's many bugs, the problems with EA's early access program, and how the game generally looks and feels. Finally, off-topic chat on The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Russian Doll, and Bohemian Rhapsody.
Music pick of the week: ?Bohemian Rhapsody? by Queen from their 1975 album A Night At The OperaLindsay Ellis - 'Independence Day vs. War of the Worlds': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KioF1sTQFtEJake Kaufman & Tommy Pedrini - Final Fantasy VI 'The Impresario': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xFhULStbkQ
It's Nintendo Direct week, and you know what that means: Everything old is new again. First, Jason, Maddy, and Kirk talk about the games they've been playing, from Danganronpa to Bloodborne. Then they talk about Nintendo's big announcements including Super Mario Maker 2, Box Boy+Box Girl, and a remake of Link's Awakening (22:31), and close off the show by talking Sex Education, Big Mouth, and other shows they've been enjoying (49:43).
Kirk's music pick of the week: ?Dancing Queen? by ABBA from their 1976 album Arrival
Kotaku's music pick of the week Spotify playlist
Maddy, Kirk, and Jason unite to talk about the many games they've been playing, including Resident Evil 2, Wargroove, Bloodborne, and Destiny 2. Then they take a deep dive into Kingdom Hearts (34:01), debating over whether the story is convoluted, analyzing why people love it so much, and dissecting the pros and cons of the brand new Kingdom Hearts III. Finally, off topic talk (1:06:45) on the Fyre Festival documentaries and Happy Endings.
Music pick of the week: ?Use It? by The New Pornographers from their 2005 album ?Twin Cinema?
Jason, Kirk, and Maddy open up the mailbag to answer some of your great questions on Bloodborne, video game music, the cults of personality that surround the video game industry, our dream Assassin's Creed settings, and much, much more. Plus: NFL playoff stories!
Music pick of the week: ?Green Lights? by Sarah Jarosz from her 2016 album ?Undercurrent? (video here)
Kirk, Maddy, and Jason unite to talk about one of the wildest video game news weeks in recent memory! First they talk about the games they're playing, including Resident Evil 2, Danganronpa, and Destiny 2. Then they dissect this week's news (32:41) on Bungie ditching Activision, the messy Gearbox lawsuit, and EA canceling its open-world Star Wars game. They close things off with off-topic talk (1:18:58) and the NFL playoff story of the week.
Music pick: ?Overtime? by Knower, from their YouTube channel (seriously, watch it!)
Maddy, Jason, and Kirk talk about Pokemon Let's Go Eevee, Destiny 2, Crosscode, and Bloodborne before listing their video game predictions for 2019 (38:22). Each one makes 10 predictions, and whoever gets the most right throughout the year will get to force the other two to play a game of his or her choice. Then on off topic talk (1:03:13), Orphan Black, trackpads, and one wild football story.
Music pick of the week: ?Thriller? by Michael Jackson from his 1982 album of the same name
On the very first Kotaku Splitscreen of 2019, Kirk, Jason, and Maddy talk about the games they've been playing to kick off the year, including CrossCode, Life Is Strange Season 2, and Minit. Then Kirk and Jason revisit their 2018 predictions (34:19) to figure out who won their big yearlong bet and gets to force the other to play a game of their choice. Finally, off-topic talk (52:09) on Into The Spider-Verse, Vice, Widows, Happy Endings, and The Fifth Risk.
Music pick of the week: Vulfpeck, ?Animal Spirits,? from their 2016 album The Beautiful Game
Everything changes on today's episode of Kotaku Splitscreen. We start off the episode with a very special surprise, followed by some discussion of games like Celeste, Obra Dinn, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (33:28). Then The Game Awards host Geoff Keighley joins the show (48:34) to talk about the success of last week's show, how he puts together his exclusive reveals, and why he chose to support the streamer Ninja. Finally, off-topic talk and Kirk's music pick of the week (1:15:25).
Kirk's Music Pick Of The Week: Beyoncé, ?Single Ladies,? from her 2008 album I Am? Sasha Fierce [Also examined on this week's Strong Songs]
Legendary Cypher on Twitter
"How To Travel In Time" exhibition
Celeste original soundtrack by Lena Raine
There are oh so many games to play this fall, and you should start with Return of the Obra Dinn, the fantastic puzzler that Kirk and Jason both adore. This week they talk all about that, along with Hitman 2, the Sega Genesis Classics collection, and other games they're playing. Then it's time for the news of the week (37:50) on Red Dead Online, Diablo 4, and The Game Awards rumors, along with some off-topic talk on Bohemian Rhapsody and A Star Is Born.
Music pick: Paul Simon, ?You Can Call Me Al,? from his 1986 masterpiece Graceland