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Can Returnal pave the way for $70 AAA roguelikes? | Podcast

Latest episode also discusses the demand for socially responsible developers, and Toys For Bob's shift to Call of Duty support

On this week's podcast, the editorial team discusses the biggest stories of the past week, starting with the inevitable discourse around Returnal and difficulty in AAA games.

The PlayStation 5 exclusive released to critical acclaim last Friday, but while it's designed to be a challenging experience, it has prompted a discussion as to whether intentionally challenging gameplay is viable at the level of $70 AAA releases.

We share our thoughts on the alternatives to punishing difficulty, the importance of accessibility and why it is separate from the difficulty discussion, and how indie title Hades has changed expectations for the genre.

Next, we reflect on the results of the recent Accenture survey, which showed 66% of gamers are keen to see more titles from socially responsible developers and discuss how to better drown out the 9% that actively don't.

Finally, we look at the recent changes at Toys For Bob, the Crash Bandicoot developer that has become yet another Call of Duty support studio. Are Activision's eggs all in this single (admittedly best-selling) basket?

You can listen to our latest episode in the player above, subscribe to our directly here. It is also available via Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Overcast, Player FM, TuneIn and other widely-used podcast platforms.

Don't forget to check out the latest episodes of The Game Developers' Playlist and The Five Games Of, all episodes of which are on the same podcast feed.

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