The long-term fate of Stadia may be up in the air (and ready to fuel endless debate), but that's not stopping the platform from still managing to attract some AAA titles. Stadia's latest big score is Resident Evil Village, which lands this Friday, May 7. Google's welcoming it with another deal that offers a free Chromecast Ultra and Stadia controller with pre-order — and you've only got a few hours left to take advantage of it.
Activision Blizzard recently held an earnings call. During this call, the COO Daniel Alegre stated that Diablo Immortal "is on track for global release later this year," which is the first time Blizzard has mentioned an actual release date for the game. Up until this call, all we knew is that the title had entered into its second alpha, which I took for a spin and came away reasonably impressed. So it's looking like Diablo Immortal could be released soon, and after such a long wait (it was announced in 2018), I'm sure there are a few Diablo fans out there that are eager to get their hands on the game.
Google I/O is inching closer, but Google is already on an announcement spree. After teasing some launcher improvements coming to tablets and giving us a first glimpse at its response to Apple's Privacy Labels, the company is now getting ready to share some Assistant updates. For one, Assistant Broadcasts can now reach family members even when they're not home, but there's much more than just that.
If you're a big fan of games like Stardew Valley, Story of Seasons, and Animal Crossing, then the upcoming release for My Time at Portia should pique your interest. It's a farming simulation game at its core, but it also offers a host of life sim features, plus a few RPG mechanics, and it all takes place in a 3D open world. The game will arrive on Android and iOS this summer, but so far, there isn't a specific date.
Last year, Apple rolled out a new set of what it called Privacy Labels for the App Store. These disclaimers were sort of like privacy-oriented nutrition information attached to each app listing, with developers supplying the details regarding exactly what data their apps collect and precisely how it's used — assuming you trust them to be honest. The moment that news landed last year, expectations swung our collective attention at Google: When would Android and the Play Store get something similar?
The answer is "next year," assuming the tentative schedule Google for the new "safety section" announced today holds up. And based on the details provided, it might beat Apple when it comes to caring about your security instead of just your privacy.
NetEase has just announced that it's partnered with 11 Bit Studios to bring the popular post-apocalyptic city-builder Frostpunk to Android and iOS, but thanks to today's nebulous PR, it's unclear if this is going to be a port or an offshoot mobile interpretation. Thankfully NetEase has confirmed to me that this will not be a separate title but will instead exist alongside the core game with a few changes for mobile play, much like the difference between EVE Echoes and EVE Online.
WhatsApp isn't exactly a driving force of innovation in the messenger market, but the developers are always adding smaller tweaks to improve the experience. The company only recently brought back speed controls for voice messages and implemented improvements to its disappearing messages. As WABetaInfo reports, WhatsApp is now looking to make it much easier to add stickers to chats.
Twitter has been aggressively restricting access to third-party mobile apps, frustrating users by pushing them onto the company's branded version. But at least they've kept working on it, if not as fast as some would like. Case in point: the annoying image crop on the timeline is going away, making it easier to see vertically-oriented images without an extra tap.