Glory, Games, and Gossip



The Road to E3

We’re only a few weeks away from one of the biggest gaming conventions of the year, The Electronic Entertainment Expo. Publishers and developers are gearing up to unveil new titles and additions to their pool of products. It’s no surprise that as we’re approaching E3, gaming news has begun to ramp up. “The Last of Us 2” has reached its final stages of development, to the joy of thousands. The Nintendo Switch has astoundingly just passed total PS4 sales in Japan. The Epic games Store has come under fire over their “mega-sale”, as developers were uninformed of the discount and a lack of communication with Epic Games. An indie game, “Outer Wilds” has also received flack from investors due to becoming an epic games exclusive despite assuring backers that the game would release on Steam. In a continuation of the Riot Games Walkout story, Riot has rejected employee demands over forced arbitration. We’ve got a lot to get to, so I’ll dilly-dally no longer.


The Good

“The Last of Us” is considered one of the greatest video games ever made. A combination of a stellar narrative combined with excellent gameplay, a vast world, incredible sound design, I could go on. The game sold over 17 million copies, and within months, audiences were clamoring for a sequel. Developers Naughty Dog explained that they would only consider a sequel if they found a story worth telling, and found it they did, as Sony announced the sequel to “The Last Of Us Part II” in 2016. Instead of playing once again as Joel, players would now take control of the fully grown Ellie. Developer Naughty Dog has announced that “The Last of Us 2” is nearing completion, a good sign that the game will be coming out soon. Whether that means in a few months, or within a year is up in the fair, as Naughty Dog has explained that they want to ensure the game is made in their vision before they would release it to the general audience. However, excitement is growing, and rightfully so. Hopefully “The Last of Us 2” builds on the incredible first title to bring us more Joel and Ellie.

It certainly feels like everyone and their cousin owns a Nintendo Switch nowadays. The portable console has continued to prove a massive win for Nintendo, breaking record after record as they continue to add more fan favorite games to the Switch. Incredibly, Nintendo Switch recently surpassed total PS4 sales in Japan. That’s a massive sign of success for Nintendo, and while Japan is a very handheld-gaming focused culture, seeing the Nintendo Switch sell so well has to paint a promising picture to Nintendo. As long as they continue to innovate and maintain momentum with software or hardware updates, The Nintendo Switch looks to be a top contender for this generation’s console wars.

The Bad

The Epic Games Store recently tried to gain some attention with their equivalent of the Steam summer sale with a “Mega-Sale” of their own. However, some of the developers who had their titles on the store were apparently not informed. “Vampire: The Masquerade” and “Borderlands 3” are just a few titles that have disappeared from the Epic Games Store. Speculation has been that the Developers were blindsided by this sale, having been uninformed by the Epic Games store that their titles were going to get a 10 dollar discount. For a store that has already come under fire for their lack of features compared to Steam, this is not what they want to hear. To add to their controversy, the crowdfunded indie game “Outer Wilds” announced that they were snatched up by the Epic Games store, becoming exclusive for a period of time on release. Mobius (the company that is behind “Outer Wilds”) has gotten backlash from their backers, who were not happy that the game has become an Epic Games timed exclusive. Many backers wanted their pledges refunded, citing that it felt as though they were betrayed by the studio, especially considering they had said that the game would come out on Steam. One particularly upset reddit user stated that they would have rathered Mobius ask for more money rather than limit the games release on multiple platforms. I would normally say that competition breeds innovation, but it seems like the Epic Games store is just furthering gamer frustration over exclusivity, and their actions certainly aren’t doing anything in terms of bolstering their reputation.

Riot Games has released a statement after employees demanded they scrap forced arbitration, denying their request. This means that Rioters will unfortunately have to use private arbitration to get any complaints resolved-it is now illegal for them to sue. While Riot Games has certainly claimed that they want to do better in terms of improving their workplace life and culture, especially when it comes to dealing with sexism and harassment, a lot of it sounds like typical corporate Jargon. The employees behind the walkout have not responded to this blog, but chances are high that actions will be taken. This is really unfortunate for Rioters, but it’s unfortunately not that surprising. It once again points to the need for game industry employees to form unions. While there certainly could be negatives, the main thing is that it’ll be able to protect workers from crunch, harassment, toxic culture, and so many issues that have been prevalent in the gaming industry for years now. Hopefully, one day it’ll happen.

That’s about it for gaming news this week! Hope everyone enjoyed the article, as this one was a bit long, but there was a lot to cover. Till next time, stay safe and stay frosty.

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