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Screenshot: Steam/Axios

Sony PlayStation's "Days Gone" is currently the top-selling game on PC gaming marketplace Steam, just a day after a release that was unthinkable not long ago.

Why it matters: For the last several years, once unbreakable rules about where games appear have snapped, as games from two of the big three console makers now frequently make it to PC and even mobile.

Between the lines: "Days Gone" was made by one of Sony's internal development studios and was released for PlayStation 4 in 2019 to mediocre reviews, though it developed a loyal following.

  • The action-adventure is set in a vast swath of Oregon wilderness in which a player rides a motorcycle and fights for survival after a global pandemic (too real, Sony).
  • Under gaming's old rules, "Days Gone" would have been consigned to success or failure on Sony's consoles.
  • But Sony announced plans last year to bring some top PS4 games to PC, beginning with 2017's woman-vs.-robot-dinosaurs adventure "Horizon Zero Dawn," which became an immediate PC hit.

The big picture: Console makers that used to rely on marquee exclusive games to sell loss-leading hardware now also see a benefit to getting their expensive productions in front of an even bigger audience.

  • Millions of people may own a PlayStation or Xbox, but there's another market of the millions more who don’t and have been happy to play games on PC.
  • The potential audience on mobile is even larger, though big console games can't run on phones unless they're streamed from a remote server that runs the game.

These changes were triggered by Microsoft, which began offering Xbox games for PC and console as a package deal in 2016, eroding the need to buy its console to play its games.

  • While Sony is only bringing back catalogue PlayStation games to PC, Microsoft has now spent years selling its new Xbox games to PC players on the same release date.
  • Microsoft is even pushing its games to phones, as it expands a recently launched cloud gaming program that streams some of its biggest games to mobile devices.

What's next: While Microsoft has made its Xbox consoles an optional purpose to play its games, a PlayStation remains mandatory to play Sony’s highly-regarded exclusives when they launch.

  • As for Nintendo, don't hold your breath. The Switch maker famously keeps its content to itself.

Go deeper: Trial documents reveal Sony's PlayStation's price for playing together

Go deeper

EA pushes for more accessible games for players with disabilities

A player uses the Ping System in "Apex Legends" to let the team know of the placement of a Jump Pad. Image: Courtesy of Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts will give other developers access to its accessibility patents and technology as part of a new initiative to make video games more inclusive for players with disabilities.

Why it matters: Attitudes toward accessibility in video games have shifted in a more positive direction over the last decade, but that work needs to be ongoing.

A game review, with one less string attached

Screenshot: Marvelous/Grasshopper Manufacture

It’s unclear if the upcoming Nintendo Switch releaseNo More Heroes 3” is good or bad, but an outcry over its review embargo raised a red flag.

Driving the news: A restriction that would have blocked critics from reviewing the game until nine hours after it went on sale was altered last night in a reminder of how fraught the game-reviewing process tends to be.

Updated 6 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

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