This week in games: Oculus founder departs, Mad Catz shutters, Battlefield 1 gets friendly

Gaming news for March 27 to 31.

Palmer Luckey
Credit: Martyn Williams

In the grand tradition of Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition, it's time to update our journal with another week's worth of video game news.

Rocket League is getting Fast and the Furious crossover DLC, Total War: Warhammer 2 announced, Palmer Luckey departs Oculus, Battlefield 1 makes it easier to play with friends, The Secret World goes free-to-play, and more.

This is gaming news for March 27 to 31.

Fated

I've been using Rocket League's Back to the Future-themed DeLorean for almost a year and a half now, but Psyonix may finally have found a car to convince me to switch: Dominic Toretto's Charger in Fast and the Furious. Well, the upcoming eighth installment Fate of the Furious actually, but who's counting?

War-hammer, too

Seems a bit premature to announce a Total War: Warhammer sequel, right? I mean, I know the plan is to add not just new races but an entire new campaign map, then stitch the three planned Total Warhammer games together into one massive campaign with like, two-dozen armies or something. But still, the first game just released last May. Maybe it would've been better to brand this a standalone expansion, not a sequel.

Anyway, it's coming sometime later this year. Here's a cinematic trailer:

Band of brothers

Battlefield 1's DLC system seems a bit archaic by today's standards. As more games move to a "We don't want to fracture our userbase" stance, like Titanfall 2, shelling out for Battlefield's Premium season pass seems straight out of 2011.

DICE is splitting the difference though with "Premium Friends." Put simply: If one person in a group owns the Premium DLC, all players in that group get to play on the expansion maps. Now you just have to convince your rich friend to pony up for the DLC and you'll be golden.

Guarded optimism

The onslaught of licensed Telltale superhero games continues next month with Guardians of the Galaxy. The first episode will launch April 18. From there? Who knows.

Brrr

Also launching in April: Syberia 3, along with its menagerie of Dark Crystal knock-off animals, some very angry-looking villain types, and maybe more than a hint of the modern-era Tomb Raider games. Looks like it has potential, though.

Keep it secret

The Secret World has probably one of the best MMO worlds and stories ever devised, wrapped around some of the worst mechanics. That might change soon though, with Funcom apparently reworking the game into Secret World Legends—and making it free-to-play at the same time. Maybe a reason to jump back in.

Yerp

How many weeks until May? I'm asking because it seems like we're getting new Prey trailers at a rate of one per week, sometimes two, and personally I'm a bit exhausted.

If you want to see a person jab a needle in their eye though—and you just can't wait a month until the game releases—well, this trailer's for you:

Requiescat

After months and months and months of trouble, Mad Catz officially filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy this week and announced an impending liquidation of all its assets. I can't help but feel part of the problem was the "Mad Catz" branding, which fit great into the "extreme" '90s and early 2000s but didn't age quite so well into the 2010s. Oh, and the reputation for shoddy knockoff controllers didn't help.

But it's still quite a blow for peripherals—particularly flight sticks. Mad Catz and subsidiary Saitek had the market cornered on low-end and even mid-range HOTAS systems, and it'll be interesting to see who steps up to fill that gap (or, more likely, purchases that division during the liquidation). Keep an eye out.

Part deux

Another, smaller toast to the fallen this week: founder Palmer Luckey has left Oculus. Perhaps it was inevitable—Facebook's certainly kept him out of the public eye the last six months after revelations he was secretly donating money to political campaigns that created Hillary Clinton-bashing memes.

It's crazy to see him depart, though. As the person who "invented" modern virtual reality, Luckey's Icarus-like crash into obscurity is staggering, and something I'm sure will be dissected for years to come. Anyway the official, very-restrained Oculus statement (via UploadVR) is:

"Palmer will be dearly missed. Palmer’s legacy extends far beyond Oculus. His inventive spirit helped kickstart the modern VR revolution and helped build an industry. We’re thankful for everything he did for Oculus and VR, and we wish him all the best."

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