The Biggest Gaming News For January 21, 2022

Happy Friday gamers! It's been a hectic and exciting week in the world of gaming news thanks to the surprise announcement that Microsoft plans to acquire Activision Blizzard in a historic $69 million deal. Today's news isn't nearly as bombastic as that, but there's still some big stories here to round out the week. Today, we learned that EA is considering free-to-play for Battlefield 2042, Raven Software QA has formed North America's first video game union, and Jedi: Fallen Order might be coming later this year. We also got a new trailer for Pokemon-like Palword, and learned that there's one game that isn't currently working on the Steam Deck. Here are the biggest stories of Friday, January 21, 2022.

EA Is Reportedly "Very Disappointed" With Battlefield 2042, Considering Free-To-Play

Battlefield 2042 was poorly received by critics and players when it launched late last year, and the complaints about bugs, missing content, and a lack of "legacy features" have continued for several months. According to insider Tom Henderson, publisher EA Games is disappointed with Battlefield 2042's performance and is considering options for the future, including potentially switching to a free-to-play model.

Following five weeks of strikes, Raven QA employees have voted to unionize. Game Workers Alliance, as the union is known, is calling for an end to crunch, as well as more equity, diversity, and transparency with decision-making. Employees are asking Activision Blizzard to voluntarily recognize the union, though the company has not yet responded. In a statement, Activision Blizzard said it is "carefully reviewing the request for voluntary recognition from the CWA."

Gaming insider Tom Henderson believes that sequels to Fallen Order and Need for Speed will be released this year. According to Henderson, "EA is expecting Need for Speed by Criterion Games to release in September/October 2022." The next NFS was delayed last year as Criterion shifted to assist with development on Battlefield 2042. As for the Fallen Order sequel, Henderson says it's "expected to release Q4 2022."

Though the Steam Deck won't start shipping to customers until later this year, Valve and Steam platform developers have been hard at work testing games to make sure they run well on the handheld console. According to SteamDB, Persona 4 Golden is the only non-VR tested game that currently has an "Unsupported" status, meaning Valve has tried and failed to get the game running on Steam Deck. This could change before the console launches as "Valve is still working on adding support for this game," according to SteamDB.

Finally, a new trailer was released for Palworld, an open-world RPG that takes a lot of inspiration from Pokemon. The first trailer debuted last year and depicted Pokemon-like creatures working in a factory to assemble automatic rifles, which raised a lot of eyebrows at the time. The new trailer show even more cute creatures and firearms, including a shot of a Pal sitting atop a player's head using a gun. We also see a Pal organ-harvesting ring and Pals being eaten, so if there was any doubt that this game was going to be wildly disturbing, rest assured that this definitely a nightmare version of Pokemon.

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