Latest Gaming News: Crunch culture is stopping Naughty Dog from revealing its next game and Steam has broken a new record

Ellie and Joel from The Last of Us
Image via Naughty Dog

In today’s gaming news, an interview with Naughty Dog’s co-president has revealed that the next Naughty Dog game has not been revealed yet because of the studio’s past crunch culture. Speaking of Naughty Dog, modders have now allowed you to see what Bella Ramsey would have looked like in The Last of Us Part II, and Steam has broken its record for how concurrent in-game players.

Read about all this and more in today’s gaming news roundup.

Naughty Dog’s next game is not being revealed because of crunch

via Naughty Dog

Neil Druckmann recently revealed that Naughty Dog’s next game is being kept under wraps because of the studio’s history with crunch culture. Druckmann, who is the co-president of Naughty Dog and one of the directors behind The Last of Us, recently talked about why they are keeping quiet about their next game in an exclusive interview with Comicbook

Druckmann refers to both Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and The Last of Us Part II as being announced in advance, which he says “caused a little bit of the work-life balance issues that we’ve sometimes had at the studio”. Both games did experience hefty delays after they were first announced, which was in part due to the departure of employees who had overbearing schedules after the departure of Amy Hennig on Uncharted 4. If not knowing what Naughty Dog is working on next cuts down on the crunch culture at Naughty Dog, it should be worth it. 

Steam breaks its record for concurrent in-game players

Gamers have started off the new year by being very busy. Steam has broken its record for concurrent in-game players by reaching the 10 million point mark over the weekend. As you can see from the tweet above, there were also 32 million players online at one point as well. It really is impressive that the platform was able to hit 10 million players all in one game or another at one point. Of course, a large chunk of those players were probably playing either Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Dota 2

A new mod puts Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us

The Last of Us on HBO

The first episode of The Last of Us is set to debut on Jan. 15, 2023, on HBO Max. Playing the main characters of the series, Joel and Ellie, are Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey respectively. If you previously thought that Ramsey looked nothing like Ellie in the original game, a new mod might prove you wrong. The mod in question is for The Last of Us Part II on PlayStation 4, and it was made by Alejandro Bielsa, a game developer.

You can watch the mod in action here, which takes some of the cutscenes from The Last of Us Part II and makes Ellie look like Bella Ramsey. The result is something that looks like it came straight out of the uncanny valley. Just think of what modders will be able to do once The Last of Us Part I comes to PC on March 3, 2023. Let’s hope that Pedro Pascal as Joel is one of the first mods to be cooked up. 

We might be in for an Xbox Showcase

Image via Bethesda Softworks

Take this information with a grain of salt, but gamers might soon see themselves treated to a showcase of what Xbox has to offer in 2023 and beyond. Of course, one of the most anticipated titles of 2023 is an Xbox exclusive, with Bethesda’s Starfield delayed into the first half of the year. According to Windows Central, the showcase is apparently scheduled for Jan. 25, where Starfield, Redfall, Forza Motorsport, and Minecraft Legends are all expected to make an appearance.

But ultimately, at this stage, it is just a rumor and we should find out more about it over the next week if it does end up being accurate. It would be great to see what Xbox has been getting up to as lately there have been more conversations about their acquisitions than any of their actual games. 

Take a bite out of Xbox with the upcoming Xbox Oreo cookies

Xbox Oreo Cookies
via Xbox

Have you ever wanted to munch on an Xbox? Well, you probably shouldn’t, but you can always take a bite out of the upcoming Xbox Oreo cookies. The upcoming collaboration is only available in Europe so you will have to check on the website to see if your country is one of the 22 countries taking part in the promotion. If you manage to get your hands on one of the packs you will notice that the cookies “bear the Xbox logo, as well as the iconic A, B, X, and Y controller buttons alongside a directional arrow”. So you can finally eat the Konami Code, well, if you don’t count the start button that is.

Check back with us tomorrow for the latest in gaming news.