Glory, Games, and Gossip



Crisis After Crisis

The gaming world is no stranger to controversy. It seems like nearly every day, there’s a new scandal, or more problems that reach the headlines in the games industry. From Riot Games employees staging walkouts, “Anthem” losing even more of its developers, and the former head honcho of “Minecraft” being excluded from the anniversary edition due to certain “comments,” there’s no shortage of bad news this week. Positive news includes the relative success of “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.” There’s a lot of bad news to get to, so there’s no further need for introduction.


The Good

Getting the good news out of the way first, Activision has commented on the performance of “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.” They were very impressed by the games sales, citing them as “better-than-expected”. It is curious to see that Activision did not have large expectations for “Sekiro,” given that it was developed by the studio behind the massively successful “Dark Souls” and “Bloodborne.” However, it is infinitely preferable than expecting massive sales and being disappointed. The game is an excellent marriage of innovation as well as the difficulty that has come to be expected from the “Souls” series developers, and any bit of praise and or success is well deserved. “Sekiro” is available on all triple-A consoles including the PC.

The Bad

Riot Games cannot escape controversy, it seems. Kotaku’s scathing expose that revealed horrible cases of sexism within the company continues to cause problems for the “League of Legends” developer. Employees have become frustrated with a lack of change within Riot, and have been threatening to stage a walkout. Their points of anger include a recent attempt by Riot Games to prevent employees from taking legal action against the company. Furthermore, employees were upset that Riot COO Scott Gelb continues to work at the company, despite multiple allegations as well as the Kotaku article providing evidence of sexual harassment and toxic culture. While Riot Games has released several statements promising employees and the public that they would do better, it seems that they haven’t put their money where their mouth is.The video game industry is one that many people are passionate about. These same people are getting preyed upon and will remain in a horrible job simply because it’s “what they love”. It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the games industry needs unions for their workers. Hopefully, this happens sooner, rather than later.

“Anthem” can’t escape, even after months of bad press. It’s become customary for the press and social media to bag on “Anthem,” simply because it’s what gets clicks. Regardless, the news is that “Anthem” is no longer BioWare’s primary focus, as their lead creators have jumped ship on development of “Dragon Age 4.” The game is purported to be yet another version of ‘games as a service’, but not much other information is known. It is troubling however, as BioWare have not released a good game in several years lately. Not only that, “Dragon Age 4” was rumoured to be in development hell, stuck on the creative process for years on end. That same problem plagued “Anthem,” and was the primary reason behind why it failed so badly. It’s just hard to be optimistic about a game from BioWare anymore, and that is an absolute shame.

“Minecraft” needs no introduction. The game has become the second best-selling video game of all time. They, as well as the developers behind them, Mojang, were sold to Microsoft for an astronomical $2.5 billion. As they approach their 10 year anniversary however, one notable figure isn’t included. Markus Persson, or “Notch” has been excluded from the anniversary due to very offensive comments on his social media, including transphobia, amongst other questionable statements. Microsoft has announced that his comments do not represent “Minecraft,” and that he has not been involved with the game or studio since 2014. It’s scary to see his comments, especially since years previously he was seen in a positive light. Notch was the key influence behind why indie gaming is on the map nowadays, and “Minecraft’s” meteoric success had to have taken a toll on his mental health somehow. To see someone have such archaic views on gender and race is… concerning, and quite sad.

And that is about it for gaming news for the week. I’d like to talk about “Days Gone,” but the game hasn’t been out for long enough for me to come up with a concrete opinion about it. Hopefully in the next few weeks we’ll start having more positive news. It is important to note, that bad news is what garners attention. So, stay happy, stay positive, and try to live life to the fullest.

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