Hey, everyone, and welcome to the Weekly Gaming Rundown! I am Sam Luna, thebr0keg4m3r, and let’s get to the news!
Ubisoft Disproportionally Raises pay across multiple dev teams
Kotaku this week reported that staff at Ubisoft’s Canadian studios received pay raises meant to encourage the developers that are still with the company to stick around a little bit longer after many experienced developers have left the company recently. ABetterUbisoft, a group that consists of current and former Ubisoft employees who are lobbying the company to change their ways had made a few quick announcements through their social media accounts this past week on how Ubisoft had not responded to the demands that they make changes to their company in the wake of worker abuses and sexual harassment claims. The group reported that the pay raises are disproportionate, with junior staff expected to only receive a 5%-7% pay raise, while senior staff may receive a 20% pay raise. This is seen as a band-aid response to worker complaints that were seemingly swept under the rug after a light internal investigation and some shuffling around of higher ups who were accused of these workplace atrocities, like some sort of sexual predator ball and cup game.
Blizzard contractors share work experiences including crunch and low pay
Even more accounts were made public this past week on ABetterABK, a twitter account run by employees of Activision Blizzard King who are pushing for the company to change, sending out a tweet asking former contractors to detail their past work experience for the company as well as inside the game industry. Jessica Gonzalez and Zach Fischer were a few that tweeted in response, with Gonzalez stating that they were treated like shit, not paid well even to the point of having to be on welfare to get some sort of medical insurance, the contractors were not promised fulltime but usually dismissed a few months after their contract was signed, and crunch was a constant. Fischer even stated that he wasn’t told what was happening with his position at the company when the COVID-19 pandemic began, only to lose contact with everyone in the company as the pandemic went on. This brings up a major issue with contract workers in general, not just at blizzard but the video game industry. Pay these people living wages, especially if your company is making record earnings during a pandemic where people are forced to stay home and have to option to play video games in their free time.
Psychonauts 2 update makes it easier to find every collectible
Tim Schafer, everyone’s favorite video game dark comedy writer, announced a quality-of-life update for Psychonauts 2, which will make it easier for all of those completion-ists who haven’t yet finished the game or are stuck on getting a collectible somewhere. The update includes everything from a figment menu that displays the figments that the player hasn’t found yet to a change of how the yellow checkmarks in the game appear in the menus to indicate what you’ve collected in the game. Thanks, Double fine!
Seth Rogan Donkey Kong solo movie reportedly in the works
Entertainment site Giant Freaking Robot reported this week that Illuminations, the studio behind all those Gru movies and the makers of the upcoming Chris Pratt featured Mario Movie, is working on a Donkey-Kong focused cinematic experience. As you all know, Seth Rogan, who looks to be making a bundle of money off of this deal, will star as everyone’s favorite ape, Donkey Kong, and no doubt his sidekicks/extensive supporting cast will show up in the feature. I bet it will be a movie about those ancient kongs depected in those temples from like Donkey Kong country 2.
Nintendo 64 controllers now work with Super Mario Allstars – Nintendo says it will improve and expand on N64 Expansion pack
Sticking with Nintendo, the new Nintendo 64 controllers now work with Super Mario All Stars, so if you weren’t having a hard enough time trying to beat that damn penguin in Cool Cool Mountain, then ratchet up the difficulty with this damn controller designed by the demon in charge of giving everyone carpal tunnel syndrome.
Also, Nintendo says it will improve upon the N64 expansion pack, noting that people are having difficulty with the service and promise to expand it as well soon. Please see episode 3 when I stated that they should just charge more money and fix the damn online service… ridiculous. I hope that check I sent in bounces. Anyway..
Nintendo Sells out of Switch Online N64 controller, will restock next year
Speaking of the controller from the 64th circle of hell, Nintendo has reported that they have sold out of it online and will most likely not have a restock on the item until sometime in early 2022. You’re going to have to get your younger siblings or kids another Christmas present now, procrastinators… or just rebox and give them yours… we all know you won’t.
Harry Potter: Wizard’s Unite will close next year, will be removed from app stores in December
The “walk around and become a wizard” AR game released a few years, Harry Potter: Wizard’s Unite, will close next year, Niantic announced this past week. The game will be taken off the app or play stores this upcoming December, and the game will be shut down January 31 of next year. Niantic is releasing a ton of content in the next few months, so don’t delete that app yet, but they probably need all those servers for the 5 people playing pikmin, so say your goodbyes now.
Sakurai is undecided on whether to produce another Super Smash Bros installment
Everyone’s favorite ageless fighting game developer, Masahiro Sakurai, has stated that he isn’t sure if there will be a sequel to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, saying that he hasn’t been thinking about one, but won’t rule one out, Sakurai said while looking over his shoulder, paranoid. Being finally released from his window-less office-dungeon, he was found running in a field barefoot by Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu and was asked about the game. Thank you, Sakurai, for all your hard work, and please, enjoy that sun.
Fortnight China is closing for no known reason
Fortnight, known as Fortress Night in China, is being shut down on November 15, a casualty of China’s crackdown on video games. Fortress night, a partnership between Epic and Tencent which allowed the game to even be released in the country, was released as a “test” version back in 2018. Beijing has a very tight grip on the video game sector, with a recently announced 3-hour limit on video game playing for anyone under the age of 18. They couldn’t just wait for these people to have kids, eh? Set a self-imposed limit on games. All my free time goes to this 10-minute podcast… I haven’t played a video game in months. I download them… just haven’t played anything… moving on
Sega and Microsoft Azure are planning a strategic cloud partnership
Sega and Microsoft have struck a deal!… of sorts. Sega, responsible for the happiness in many of the kids I knew lives while I was growing up, is now exploring the use of Microsoft’s Azure’s cloud system to hopefully customize it to account for different styles of work and infrastructural changes to create unique gaming experiences for users of their software, an initiative Sega is referring to as “Super Game”. This caused many Xbox fans on social media to think that this would lead to Sega being brought under Xbox’s wing as a new studio, or at least a studio that offered third party exclusives. It may be Microsoft’s “long con” approach to maybe signing an exclusive pact with Sega, since the companies have always been close, but this was a much-needed move, especially after genesis games appeared on the N64 expansion for the Nintendo Switch Online service. Is this the big “Japanese Studio” acquisition for Xbox that most “insiders” and fans pointed at since the middle of summer? Most likely since deals like this don’t happen overnight.
Halo Infinite Battle Pass Plan revealed
The Halo infinite Battle Pass plan was revealed in a first look for IGN, which was extensive, so here is a quick breakdown:
- You can switch between battle passes, but only have one battle pass active at a time, making that battle pass the one gaining experience as you play.
- Every quarter of the battle pass will contain a legendary cosmetic, which will be character related or a new type of customization object with special attributes or effects.
- The first season of battle pass will be the Heroes of Reach Battle pass, which will allow you to gain attributes and weapons from all the characters from Reach.
Xbox and Adidas unveiled a new XBOX 360 inspired sneaker
Hey, sneaker heads, need something new and nostalgic to line your growing gallery of kicks in your closet? Xbox has the answer for you with their newest collaboration with Adidas, a sneaker inspired by the Xbox 360. They are white, with neon green highlights, reminiscent of the launch Xbox 360, and they went up for pre-order last week. Am I getting these? No, I have a size 13 foot, and these things are white. They would make my foot look enormous.
On a sidenote, I like all the stuff that Microsoft is collaborating on, from the fridges to the sneakers, but who has the money for all this stuff? I don’t have the income for any of these exclusive items, even though I would like to grab an item here or there, having been a fan of the industry and an active video game player since the 80’s, but these collectables have gotten out of hand. It feels like most of this stuff is only for influencers so they can show it off on their social media.
Elden Ring Collector’s edition advertised; more gameplay revealed
Speaking of special editions, Elden Ring’s Collectors edition was revealed in twitch advertisements. The special edition will include a 40-page hard cover art book, a statue, a digital version of the soundtrack, and a 1:1 replica helmet worn by Melenia (remember when the companies used to give some of this stuff for free or as a pre-order bonus at a gamestop?). This announcement was accompanied by about 15 minutes of gameplay for the game, which ranged from showing off horse riding to battling a big ass dragon. Honestly, it looks like more souls to me, just with a horse.
Marvel’s Avengers to remove paid consumables after fan backlash
In an announcement that shocked no one, Marvel’s Avengers will remove paid consumables after fan backlash. It seems like Square is learning the lessons now that everyone should have learned from EA and other companies released pay to win tactics. Sticking with Marvel’s Avengers, Square said they would drop the Klaw Raid and Spider-Man at the end of November.
And now, for the Quick Rundown:
- In another delay announcement, Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 have been delayed. In a response, Blizzard Stock dropped after the Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2 delay announcement.
- Marvel’s Midnight Suns, the rpg card game that caught Marvel fans and gamers off guard after its announcement has been delayed to late 2022
- Netflix Games to launch on mobile app
- Battlefield 2042 gets PC-Exclusive features including ray tracing
- Halo Infinite might be getting an Early Access Bundle, which appeared on the Microsoft store, which contained the Halo Infinite multiplayer, as well as some listing for four new Halo infinite dlc’s. No other details about the bundle have been released.
- Target cancelling Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl pre-orders due to supply chain issues, so make sure you check your email boxes if you have those pre-ordered.
- Forza Horizon will receive more accessibility features, including ASL and color blindness mode.
- A continued leak from GeForce Now showed that Take-Two and 2K cancelled an Unannounced game from Hangar 13 codenamed Vault and confirmed there is no Mafia 4 in development.
- EFootball is delayed until spring 2022, to no one’s surprise. That recent release was dreadful
- Last but not least Bloober team is collaborating on a new game with another studio, Rogue Games, on a next generation console and PC game. No other details were given at this time.
Games released last week:
- Ghost Recon: Breakpoint Operation Motherland was released November 2
- World War Z was released on Nintendo Switch, November 2
- Just Dance 2022 was released on November 4th on Switch, the PlayStations, Xbox’s, and Stadia.
- Forza Horizon 5 was released for pre-orders on Nov 5, and will be on game pass November 9th
- Call of Duty: Vanguard was released on November 5, everywhere.
- And the big one, Animal Crossing: New Horizons Free 2.0 update and paid DLC was released on Switch on Nov. 5
Thanks for reading! You can find me here, on theopentabnews.com, or on twitter @thebr0keg4m3r, so feel free to send a message or reach out. Have a great week gaming!