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Sonic the Hedgehog Is Ready For His Closeup—and It's Weird

Plus Epic's Steam-killing online store goes live, and the rest of the week in gaming news.

This week, as the year begins to wind down, the news certainly doesn't. We've got the ending of a long, nasty lawsuit, a couple of big moves from Epic Games, and one very fast, very uncanny hedgehog movie. Let's get to it.

Sonic Is Coming, Whether We're Ready Or Not

The speedy blue blur is about to race his way into film, and the first look is—well, it's weird. First, a poster for the new Sonic movie was revealed; then, a day later, another. And I, like many other people, have some questions. Why are his legs so human? And so long? Do the people behind this movie think Sonic is fast because he runs track and field? And how did he get on top of the Golden Gate Bridge? Is it safe for him up there? I'm so confused. Anyway, the movie is coming out in late 2019, giving us almost an entire year to anticipate its wondrous, uncanny splendor.

From the Anticlimactic Legal Proceedings Bureau: Facebook and ZeniMax Reach a Settlement

In VR news, the lengthy lawsuit between Facebook and ZeniMax over the provenance of the Oculus Rift is finally over. The suit, which began in 2014, was about whether or not Oculus misappropriated trade secrets, namely knowledge and tech gleamed from John Carmack, then employed by ZeniMax through subsidiary studio id Software. In 2017, ZeniMax won the suit for an award of $500 million—then the judgment was cut in half, then taken to appeals. Now, ZeniMax and Facebook have settled out of court, bringing the saga to a close with no seeming change in the sales of Oculus hardware.

The terms of their settlement? Confidential, naturally. Corporations gotta have their secrets.

Epic Games Quietly Launches an Online Storefront—and More

If you watched The Game Awards last week, you might have noticed something interesting. A number of the new titles announced were available on, or on their way to, a new commercial destination: the Epic Games Store. The Fortnite developers have opened a store that is, for now, small and curated, giving an 88 percent revenue cut to developers whose games are featured on the store. (That's a good deal better than Steam's usual 20 percent or so.)

As another big push on Epic's quest for gaming dominance, they're now launching a set of tools specifically designed to enable cross-platform play for multiplayer games. According to Variety, the toolset, which was first developed for Fortnite, will become available throughout 2019, and will include tools to connect players across PC and Mac, as well as other platforms (presumably the major game consoles), with social features, anti-cheat functions, and everything you'd need for a system like this to function. While these moves are obviously strategic for Epic, they could be good for games at large: more storefronts, and more available infrastructure, are good for everybody.

Recommendation of the Week: Fire Emblem Awakening for the Nintendo 3DS

If you still have a 3DS kicking around, and you've never played this classic, time to fix that. A charming, challenging tactics game, Fire Emblem Awakening tells a compelling fantasy plot, complete with magic, dragons, time travel, and enchanted swords—set against innovative relationship dynamics and some of the best turn-based combat ever made. A lot of characters from the series end up in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and if you're checking that out like everybody else, you owe it to yourself to check out this slice of its source material.



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