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2 posts in this topic

Voice actors answer questions about union strike, industry insiders and Youtuber Writing On Games give thoughts on Bethesda's review policy, Blizzcon, Mass Effect news, Metro 3, talk on the Steam cheating community, mental health charity Take This helping to educate game industry, why many people find games boring, why Bloodborne is genius, look at past and present state of studio Halfbrick, Nintendo's plan to save games from congress, Windows Store Infinite Warfare copies can't play with Steam users, Youtube gives creators the ability to pin comments and more anti-harassment tools, one of the founders of Blizzard returns to the company after ten years, and more.

 

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AJSA Youtube's Angry Army Weekly

 

Gaming News (Announcements, release dates, previews, interviews, expansions, DLC, updates, company news, new tech, mods)

 

Steam's Redesigned Store Is Live

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Valve has launched the latest redesign of Steam, bringing new functionality and a new look to the storefront.

Dishonored 2 Steam page reveals the use of Denuvo DRM

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Steam has updated the store page for Dishonored 2 to reflect the fact the game uses Denuvo, a third-party DRM found in many other high-profile games released in the past couple of years.

 

Xbox One Preview Program opens up to all users, under a new name

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The Xbox Preview Program, which tested new features of the Xbox One, is being renamed and will be open to all users, Microsoft announced yesterday.

 

Day Of The Devs Festival Is Full Of Rad Indie Games

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Hosted by Double Fine, Day of the Devs is like E3 but inverted. Instead of big press conferences blasting commercials and talking points at an audience composed of journalists and industry enthusiasts, the event is small and interactive; a place for people to gather and talk about their pet projects and creative passions.

 

The Industry, the Union, and the Strike

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“We spent 19 months trying to come to an agreement on this contract. That’s the longest negotiation in SAG-AFTRA’s history. We did not take going on strike lightly. We really tried to compromise and come up with an agreement that would be fair. But after 19 months of not being able to put safer working conditions in the contract and being unable to share in the prosperity of wildly successful games, we felt we had no choice but to strike.”

Voice actors to picket outside Warner Bros. as strike continues

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Union calls earlier picket against EA a success

 

YouTube will let users pin comments to promote better discussions

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YouTube’s ongoing mission to exert control over its unruly comment sections continues with the addition of pinned comments and a new algorithmic screening process.

 

THATGAMECOMPANY TEASES NEW MULTIPLAYER GAME “ABOUT GIVING” FOR 2017

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Thatgamecompany has teased its next game after Journey (2012) with an image and the promise of its arrival in 2017. It’s also been confirmed that, unlike thatgamecompany’s previous three games—flOw (2006), Flower (2009), and Journey—it will not be exclusive to PlayStation platforms.

 

Sony Treating Action RPG Nioh as a First-Party PS4 Game, Will Pubish in the West

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Speaking at a PlayStation Pro event earlier today, Team Ninja head Yosuke Hayashi revealed that Sony will be publishing Nioh in both Europe and North America. The PlayStation 4 exclusive is due out in February 2017, and Hayashi said that the team is working with Sony in order to "get the game into as many hands as possible".

 

Here's a new trailer for Daedalic's Pillars of the Earth

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Hey, so it turns out that Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth is getting a game adaptation, and Daedalic is making it.

 

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 lead unveils first-person, alt history RPG, Project Wight

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Project Wight is the first game from The Outsiders, a new indie studio headed up by David Goldfarb, lead designer on Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3. While the game's title is a placeholder, the video above shows the concept already has promise at this early stage.

 

Metro 3 is releasing in 2017

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Metro 2033 and its sequel Metro: Last Light, for my money, are among the most underrated modern shooters in existence. Stalking through an irradiated storm, wiping the poisoned dirt from my visor as I try avoid mutants - all while looking for a new rebreather - is one of the most tense, atmospheric experiences I've ever had with a videogame. It's like a modern Stalker, and there's a sequel coming next year.

 

Iron Harvest is a new diesel punk RTS based on alternate history WWI

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Iron Harvest: 1920+ is a newly announced title from King Art Games. The real-time strategy game will be based on the alternate history world created by Polish artist Jakub Rozalski.

Reminds me a bit of Ring of Red, so I'm interesting. Likely going to see more games set around WWI with the popularity of Battlefield 1, which will hopefully lead to some interesting titles, or at least interesting settings.

 

Nihon Falcom dungeon crawler Xanadu Next hits PC

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Given official English translation at last.

 

Dishonored 2's latest trailer is a blood-splattered pop-up book

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Not my idea of bedtime reading, but pretty cool all the same.

 

Abandon Ship brings the pressure of FTL-style command to the high seas

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If "FTL-meets-Sunless Sea in the golden age of sail" strikes you as a good idea (and why wouldn't it?), then you might want to direct your attention to Abandon Ship, an upcoming high-seas fantasy game set in a procedurally-generated world rendered in the style of an oil painting. As the ship's captain, you must lead your crew through countless dangers, undertake quests, engage in tactical combat, deal with random shenanigans, and make the hard decisions that can impact your fate, and theirs, in all sorts of unseen ways.

 

Wasteland 3 - The Patriarch's Call

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The Patriarch has a message for the Desert Rangers...

 

Space Hulk: Deathwing Official Enter the Space Hulk Trailer

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Learn about the campaign's plot as well as the developer's attention to detail in this shooter.

 

EA confirms 2017 release for Star Wars Battlefront 2

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Electronic Arts spent a big chunk of yesterday's earnings call talking about Titanfall 2 and its plan for the franchise for "years to come." But it also revealed a bit about another of its heavy hitters, Star Wars Battlefront, when CFO Blake Jorgensen hinted that the sequel will arrive near the end of 2017.

 

Mass Effect: Andromeda N7 Day trailer analysis

A lot of really bad cliched lines in that trailer.

Mass Effect Andromeda - Andromeda Initiative Orientation Briefing Trailer

Loyalty Missions Return In Mass Effect Andromeda

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When it released in 2010, Mass Effect 2 made many big strides for the series. One of the most popular additions was the concept of loyalty missions. Each companion had one of these narrative-focused quests, and they allowed players to get more information about their allies’ backstories and motivations. Since the characters are such a draw for fans, the loyalty missions were a big hit – and after disappearing for Mass Effect 3, they are coming back in Mass Effect Andromeda.

Here's How Mass Effect: Andromeda Avoids Dealing With ME3's Ending

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But that 2185 is a key date: According to the Mass Effect Wikia, it's after Mass Effect 2 but before Mass Effect 3.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Is Not the Start of a New Trilogy

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Mass Effect: Andromeda is not the start of a new trilogy for BioWare's spacefaring RPG series. This is according to creative director Mac Walters, who spoke to Game Informer about how Andromeda's story isn't similar in structure to the three games in the Commander Shepard series.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Has Crafting, Updated New Game+; Story Described as "Different"

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More details about BioWare's Mass Effect: Andromeda have come to light. The December issue of Game Informer contains a huge feature on the upcoming RPG, in which BioWare talks about new features like crafting, the New Game+ mode, and how the overall story is "different."

Mass Effect: Andromeda Deluxe Edition, PC Version Box Art Leaks

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Images of Mass Effect: Andromeda's box art have appeared online, ahead of developer BioWare's N7 Day announcements. The pictures were posted by Best Buy and show the cover for the PC version of the game and the Deluxe Edition.

 

The Wild Eight trailer showcases co-op survival in some very dark places

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Alaska is a land of secrets, and not all of them are happy.

 

Maize launch trailer introduces your robotic Russian bear sidekick

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I have a feeling that the launch trailer for Maize, the game about sentient ears of corn and the government scientists who created them, will give you a pretty good idea about whether or not you're going to want to play it. It introduces Vladdy, a Russian robot bear of apparently ill temperament, who will serve as your sidekick in the game—but he doesn't quite get the opportunity to say hello.

 

NIGHT CALL WILL BRING YOU STYLISH FRENCH NOIR FROM THE BACK OF A TAXI

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Night Call‘s shade of noir-infused drama seems to be one part Drive (2011) and two parts Taxi Driver (1976). Upcoming for PC, iOS, and Android, Night Call will have you playing as a Parisian taxi driver who hopes to find the killer who has orchestrated a number of recent murders around the city. But you don’t do this in the usual videogame way—shootouts in industrial wastelands, chasing a black figure across a rooftop—the whole game takes place inside your taxi.

 

Watch Dogs 2: Remote Access #4 - Living World of San Francisco

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Remote Access" is a series of videos that go in-depth on various aspects of the game. In the fourth episode, "Living World of San Francisco" you'll learn about how San Francisco and the Bay Area comes to life in Watch Dogs 2, and some of the people and things you'll experience during your adventure.

 

Tyranny trailer explains combat, companions, spell creation

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Tyranny, the RPG where you play as an agent for the bad guy, is out, blimey, next week, and if you have the time for a big ol' isometric RPG over the festive period, you'll be getting one with companion combo attacks and spellcrafting, as explained in a new trailer.

 

Bastion Coming to Xbox One, Free for Previous Owners

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Bastion is getting an Xbox One release next month, Supergiant Games announced today. The action RPG originally launched for the Xbox 360 under Microsoft’s Summer of Arcade promotion in 2011, and has since been ported to PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita.

 

Explore the Magical Liquid Landscapes of Quur

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An alien dreamscape where the plants sometimes waft and sway like tidepool plantlife. A smooth, featureless black shade climbing up a slope, throwing pulses of neon orange and relatively softer violet at a fracturing rock. A stream of fluorescent paint that bursts, rushes, flows and ultimately pools in the area below. A smattering of colorful oases in an otherwise ash-white plain. Quur is profoundly vibrant.

 

Resident Evil 7 drops final pair of teaser trailers, reveals new demo date

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The slew of Resident Evil 7 teaser trailers that've surfaced lately have covered everything from green herb application to yellow balloon puzzle solving, among a number of other scenarios. The latest pair appear to be the last of the subtle shorts—the ninth named 'Shadow' and tenth 'Aunt Rhody'—and a new demo is on its way.

 

Dragon Quest 8 comes to 3DS in January

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Get ready for one busy week, JRPG fans

 

To the Moon successor Finding Paradise has a Steam page, original game has 85 percent discount

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Back in January, Freebird Games unveiled its To the Moon successor Finding Paradise—a similarly retro-styled adventure again starring Dr. Eva Rosalene and Dr. Neil Watts and A Bird Story's now fully-grown protagonist Colin. In August, Andy caught up with studio lead Kan Gao who noted "summer 2017" as Finding Paradise's due date, and it's now crept onto Steam sporting the same ETA.

 

Bohemia Interactive just announced two new projects

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Ylands and Project Argo couldn't be more different.

 

Battlefield 1 – The Road Ahead

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Following the launch of Battlefield™ 1, we’ve enjoyed witnessing how much fun you’ve had engaging in war on an epic scale. Today, we’d like to share our plans for ensuring that this fun will last. Coming up are new additions, exciting events, and gameplay tweaks based on your feedback.

 

Watch Dogs 2 season pass revealed, will sell for $40

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The Watch Dogs 2 season pass will include three separate post-release DLC bundles, as well as the Psychedelic Pack, a day-one customization package for hacker hero Marcus Holloway, and the Root Access Bundle, slated for release sometime this winter. Collectively, they'll provide "several hours of additional mission contents including new co-op challenges and difficulty levels, outfits, vehicles and tons of customization items."

 

Rainbow Six Siege: Operation Red Crow adds a pair of Japanese operators

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Ubisoft has confirmed that the Rainbow Six Siege expansion teased earlier this week is called Operation Red Crow. More interestingly, a handful of Redditors who believe that NDAs are for chumps have revealed that it is set in Japan, and will feature two new operators named Echo and Hibana.

Check out Rainbow Six Siege’s new Japan map

Rainbow Six Siege's Next Operator Teased in New Video

 

The Division's New Patch Has Made The Game Much Better

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The Division is worth playing again thanks to its ambitious new 1.4 patch. Ubisoft’s long-stumbling third-person shooter is back to rewarding players without forcing them to grind. It’s now more hospitable to people who play solo or aren’t leveled up enough to immediately find co-op partners. It’s still paradoxically drab yet beautiful, and it needs some new areas or missions, but it’s a good, fun game again.

The Division's Next Expansion Transforms It Into An Intense 24-Player Survival Game

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The forthcoming Survival expansion for Ubisoft’s huge third-person open-world shooter The Division will turn the game into a treacherous multiplayer survival game in which hunger, heat and thirst are as deadly as any enemies roaming the game’s virtual New York City. The game’s developers explained the ambitious mode during a surprise livestream on Monday morning—and they announced that it’ll be playable for some PC players today.

 

Terraria and Dungeon Defenders 2 content crossover announced for later this year

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Trendy Entertainment's and Re-Logic's games will spill into one another.

 

Turtle Rock's last unfinished Left 4 Dead campaign is now available to play

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'Dam It' creates an unusual scenario where survivors stand a better chance if they split up rather than sticking together.

 

Master Of Orion Adds Singleplayer Mod Support

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WG Labs’ Master of Orion [official site] revival has received mixed reviews (our own Wot I Think said “it’s simply boring”) but perhaps mod support can perk it up. As of this week’s patch v51.2, players can now mod the singleplayer to the their hearts content, with handy Steam Workshop support for players to grab mods themselves.

 

Third and final mission for pack StarCraft 2's Nova Covert Ops due November 22

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The trailer gives us a look at the newest commander, Alexei Stukov.

 

Varian and Ragnaros are coming to Heroes of the Storm

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Blizzard also has a new Brawl on the way, and the Nexus Challenge giveaway.

Heroes of the Storm interview: making a raid boss into a MOBA character

 

Overwatch Animated Short | "Infiltration"

Check out what Overwatch’s new hero Sombra can do

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Blizzard Entertainment finally introduced us to Overwatch’s new hero, Sombra, during BlizzCon 2016’s opening ceremonies after months of teases. The offense-heavy hacker has abilities that range from deadly to deceptive, which the Overwatch website teases in a series of short clips.

There are multiple videos up of people playing as her at Blizzcon that can be found on Youtube.

Try Overwatch’s new Arcade mode and map next week

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Overwatch will receive an Arcade mode, which will be playable on the Public Test Realm next week, Blizzard Entertainment announced during the opening ceremonies of BlizzCon 2016. It will be joined by Sombra, the game’s long-awaited new character, as well as a new map: Eco Point, which is based on the character Mei.

Have a look at Sombra's skins, emotes, and sprays

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Here are all of the skins and cosmetics for Overwatch's newest hero.

Overwatch interview: the death of hero stacking and the Sombra ARG outstaying its welcome

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Earlier today I sat down with the assistant game director Aaron Keller and senior game designer Jeremy Craig to talk about those new features and more—including the Sombra ARG, which Blizzard knows might have gone just a bit too long.

Overwatch's Play Of The Game Feature Is Gonna Get An Overhaul

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Overwatch’s Play of the Game feature is iconic as it is infamous. On one hand, it gives big moments a few seconds of fame and encourages friends and foes alike to say, “OK yeah, that was pretty cool.” But it goes against the grain of Overwatch’s team focus, and it misfires. A lot.

Playing Heroes of the Storm gets Overwatch fans a special skin

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Brush up on those MOBA skills, Genji fans

Blizzard names and shames 1,700 Chinese Overwatch cheaters

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Say goodbye to “It’s High N-ughhh” and “The world needs ass”

 

Blizzard is recreating Diablo 1 in Diablo 3, and the Necromancer is coming too

Diablo Interview - why Diablo 1 isn't being remade as a standalone game

Some Diablo III Announcements You May Have Missed

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In addition to the big announcements—the Diablo 1 remake and the Necromancer character pack—Blizzard revealed a few smaller tweaks that should make Diablo III players happy (or at least less angry). A quick list of new things they’ll be adding to the game:

 

Hearthstone's next expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, revealed

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Blizzard has announced Hearthstone's next expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, due in early December.

Heroes of the Storm interview: making a raid boss into a MOBA character

 

Blizzard isn't planning to remaster Warcraft 1 and 2

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"We had some dedicated folks that were passionate about the idea, dig up the Warcraft 1 assets and code. They got it working and they got it running in a window. And I played it. Warcraft: Orcs & Humans was awesome for its time. I promise you, in today's world, by today's standards, it's just not that fun any more.

 

Blizzard's Plan To Get Rid Of Gaps Between World Of Warcraft Expansions

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After more than a decade of expansion cycles, Blizzard is changing their approach to World of Warcraft. Step one? Take players to a new planet.

The vanilla World of Warcraft server Nostalrius is returning under a new name

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The team is sharing its source code and tools with the Elysium legacy project.

 

Blizzard’s prodigal son returns

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How one of Blizzard’s co-founders left the company, why he decided to come back and what it means for the future.

 

DICE GM Patrick Bach Departs Studio

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DICE, the studio behind EA’s successful Battlefield franchise, will undergo a personnel change at the very top very soon it seems.

 

EA defends awkward Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2 scheduling

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Though belonging to the same genre, they cater to different audiences, exec claims.

EA committed to Titanfall series for "many, many years" to come

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"The expectation is that Respawn will continue to support and grow the Titanfall community through Titanfall 2," Wilson said, as transcribed by Seeking Alpha. "And over time we'll work out what the right cadence for next version of Titanfall is and/or any other titles they're working on."

Respawn publicly distances itself from Titanfall’s official Twitter account

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Electronic Arts has had a week to forget, as far as Twitter is concerned. After causing outrage with some poorly considered World War I memes on the Battlefield 1 account, the publisher got into hot water again today with Titanfall 2’s Twitter account — which, it turns out, may or may not speak for developer Respawn Entertainment.

 

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare PC multiplayer won't work between Windows Store copies and Steam

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PC Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare may be temporarily cheaper on the Windows 10 Store (£33) than on Steam (£40), but if you buy from the Windows Store, you will not be able to play with people who buy on Steam.

Windows 10 Store Refunds ‘Call of Duty’ Player Because Nobody's Playing It

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Of course, it only works if you have other people to play with. A few gamers who bought Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare through the digital storefront built into Windows 10 have discovered they can only play with other gamers who also bought the game from Microsoft. Xbox One players can only play with other Xbox One players, and PlayStation 4 players can only play with other PlayStation 4 players. This has always been the case. The trouble is that this time not all PC players can play with other PC players.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare sales down almost 50 percent on Black Ops 3

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That last part is important because, despite topping the UK charts this past week, launch sales of the latest COD offering are down almost 50 percent on last year's series instalment, Black Ops 3. That's according to GFK Chart-Track, who pegs the year-on-year difference at 48.4 percent.

 

No Man's Sky will "reveal itself to be all that it can be" in time, Sony exec says

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No Man's Sky has been the topic of much debate and discussion over the past few months, and now SIE Worldwide Studios president Shawn Layden has given his two cents on Hello Games' ambition and execution of the space-faring survival game.

 

Payday owner Starbreeze announces new indie publishing label

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'Starbreeze IndieLabs' to promote independent games.

 

Industry insiders share their feelings on Bethesda's new post-launch reviews policy

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We wanted to see how the rest of the industry feels about the move, so we asked a bunch of industry insiders, from PR experts to developers, how they feel about the change in policy.

 

How's Square Enix Doing? Here Are the Key Takeaways From Earnings Repot

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Japanese video game giant Square Enix today reported earnings for the six-month period ended September 30, providing a new look into how the company is doing from a business perspective.

 

Darkest Dungeon breaks 1 million units sold, official mod support is on the way

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Red Hook Studios talks about its success and plans for the future—including a new game.

 

Mafia 3 is 2K’s ‘fastest-selling’ game ever

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Moves 4.5M units in first week

Take-Two Responds to Mafia 3 Review Scores, Talks Possibility of More Remasters

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In addition to confirming that Grand Theft Auto V had shipped 70 million copies, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick also discussed Mafia III's review scores and remasters during an earnings call today.

 

Nvidia and Unity bringing VRWorks and Ansel to developers

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Nvidia and Unity have announced that they will be bringing VRWorks and GameWorks to developers. Select partners will be given early access to an Nvidia version of Unity Engine with native VRWorks support.

 

XCOM 2 co-op mod available now

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Only for two, but 12-player co-op should be on the way.

 

'Skyrim' Is Reborn in 'Enderal'

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Enderal is the mod to end all mods for Skyrim, making an old world new again.

 

Esports News

 

First eSports arbitration court opened by WESA

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The World eSports Association (WESA) has opened up an independent arbitration court to tackle legal issues and disputes unique to the world of eSports.

Esports lawyer Bryce Blum weighs in on WESA Arbitration Court

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What exactly is an Arbitration Court? Esports lawyer Bryce Blum broke it down for us on Reddit. The WESA Arbitration Court is an alternative to the legal court system, of which the decision making process can be slow and expensive. With the arbitration system, decisions are still binding, but implemented in a way that considers the “unique set of challenges” that arise for athletes. This makes the arbitration system valuable to traditional sports and esports alike.

 

Spain government creates a federation of video games and esports

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The Spanish Institute of Youth (Instituto de la Juventud—INJUVE) and the National Association for the Promotion of Digital Entertainment (Asociación Nacional de Fomento del Entretenimiento Digital—ANFED), agreed to create the Spanish Federation of Video Games and eSports (Federación de España de Videojuegos y eSports—FEVeS), reports Spanish sports new website Marca. The official announcement is planned next Thursday.

 

Overwatch League is Blizzard's ambitious new esports org, includes city-based teams

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Blizzard wants to mature esports and shift the conversation away from prize pools

Watch the best highlights from the Overwatch World Cup

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The Overwatch World Cup has concluded at BlizzCon today, with Team South Korea coming out on top after stomping Russia in a decisive final where they didn't drop a single map. Sweden took bronze, edging Finland 2-1.

There was a Youtube channel with all the matches but they were all claimed last time I checked.

South Korea Walks All Over Russia In Overwatch World Cup Finals

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So that was a bloodbath, to put it mildly. Kind of like an Overwatch tournament finals brought to you by Quentin Tarantino. Perhaps South Korea was favored going into this match-up, especially after their triumphant march up through the rest of the bracket. But no one expected Russia to lose so easily, much less roll over and die.

 

Riot Games partners with Super League Gaming to offer League of Legends tournaments in US theatres

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Super League Gaming is having a big month. It has released today that it has joined in a partnership with Riot Games to add League of Legends tournaments to movie theaters across the country. This follows last week’s announcement that the aXiomatic and Toba Capital investment groups were putting $5 million into the North American company.

Riot Games reportedly to mandate LCS teams to fully employ players

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League of Legends developer Riot Games will reportedly require all participating North American and European League Championship Series teams to “contractually employ” players and staff in the 2017 season, ESPN reported.

 

Paladins Worldwide Open tournament Puts $60,000 On The Table

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Evie’s Winter Classic invites community players to compete for $10,000 per region

 

ESL Pro League announced for 2017

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As Season 4 of the ESL Pro League for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive comes to a close, ESL has announced details for its next two seasons set in 2017.

 

Crazy comebacks, Rag RNG, and huge misplays at the Hearthstone World Championship finals

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The five biggest talking points from this weekend's BlizzCon action.

 

Crowdfunding News

 

Jazon and the Dead

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Jazon and the Dead is a style-rich, blood-splashed, top-down, action-adventure game that mixes brain-twisting puzzles with an engaging narrative, dark humor and a hip 80’s vibe. The game’s stark comic book visuals set this game apart from others in the genre.

 

Trackless

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For 8 years Aubrey worked on Wolfire games like Overgrowth and Receiver, but in 2015 he decided to depart on a journey into making his own games. After a year of experimental prototypes, 12 East Games was founded in order to fully develop something new.

TAKE IN THE SIGHTS OF TRACKLESS’S SURREAL SCI-FI WORLD

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You might not have heard of Aubrey Serr but it’s possible you’re familiar with some of his work. For the past eight years, he’s been a designer over at Wolfire Games, mostly working on the still unfinished Overgrowth—the game with the ninja bunnies—but also helped contribute to the studio’s 7DFPS entry Receiver (2012), which tried and succeeded to install more true-to-life complexity to gun handling in videogames.

 

Content I found interesting this week (interviews, reviews, think pieces, history, music, culture, design, art, criticism, etc)

 

Bloodborne Is Genius And Here's Why

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This video is a light retrospective on the development of the Souls series, focused largely on what in particular makes Bloodborne special.

 

The Hardcore Steam Cheating Community Sounds Wild

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In a 40 minute “Anti-Cheat” talk delivered earlier this year at Valve’s annual Steam Dev Days, Simon Allaey and Aarni Rautava of Easy Anti Cheat dished on Steam’s seedy underbelly. It is a deep dive on the hows and why’s of cheating on Steam:

You can check out that Youtube from other developer talks from Steam Dev Days.

 

Tracking The Strange Trails Of The Adventure Game Genre

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Genres usually have specific requirements. A shooter needs to have players firing projectile-based weapons at targets, even if the projectile is ink instead of bullets. Strategy games such as StarCraft and Fire Emblem require you to make tough calls and carefully manage valuable resources to defeat enemies. However, “adventure” is such a nebulous term and the evolution this particular genre has taken over the years only reinforces just how malleable it is.

Once upon a time, an interactive adventure meant digging through your inventory for an item that would help you bypass a puzzle. Now, for many people, it means simulations that force them to make tough moral choices in life-and-death situations. From ancient quests in underground kingdoms to solving the disappearance of a child in a small town, we examine the genre’s twisted and unique evolution.

 

Video Games Are Boring

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Video games are bigger than movies. Everyone's a gamer. I've devoted my life-no exaggeration-to video games for 14 years, working on titles such as Company of Heroes, a few Assassin's Creeds, and Child of Light. But everywhere I go, I meet people who don't like video games. Most of my friends don't like video games. And one of my favourite things when I'm meeting a new person is to watch them squirm, to struggle to relate, after I mention I work in the video game industry. They'll mention some old game they used to play, try to say something nice about it, and then confess that they don't play video games.

 

How Mental Health Charity Take This Is Helping to Educate the Games Industry

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A conversation with the charity’s co-founders Russ Pitts and Shannon Gerritzen

 

Fruit Ninja's Creators Have Been Split By An Identity Crisis

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Halfbrick: the golden child. Halfbrick: the success story. Halfbrick: the enduring symbol of an Australian games industry in full recovery. Halfbrick: the phoenix from the flames. After years of redundancy, studio closures and flat out misery, Halfbrick: everything we wanted Australian game development to represent. Verve, creativity, agility, polish, quality. Independence.

Halfbrick: the dream in action.

But Halfbrick as we once knew it has changed, and has been changing — according to sources — for years now.

 

Bethesda's Review Policy: Can Some Good Come of it? - Writing on Games

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The purpose of game reviews, in their most prevalent form, is diffuse to say the least - hell, I made a video back in April as to why that is the case (you can watch it here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQrUQ...). Now that Bethesda have updated their review policy to send code out to press no sooner than a day before launch for titles such as Dishonored 2 and Skyrim Remastered, prepare for these waters to become muddied even further.

In this episode of Writing on Games I contribute to the melange of opinions you're currently seeing - examining the nonsensical nature of Bethesda's statement, why in a utopian world it could lead to some positive change, but why it probably won't. Ultimately, however, the reason is not Bethesda's business practices or big outlets crying about them - it's you, as a consumer, who has to expect more from your games criticism.

 

Inside Nintendo's Plan To Save Video Games From Congress

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The controversy around violence in games blew up around the release of Mortal Kombat and Night Trap in the '90s, prompting executives from Nintendo and Sega to arrive in Capitol Hill.

When comics was faced with the same question in the 1950s, it lead to the draconian Comics Code Authority, which effectively removed sex, violence, and other topics. The comics industry grossly overreacted to the threat of government intervention, impacting creativity for decades.

 

Suda 51 on bringing his avant garde adventure The Silver Case to PC

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The story of the long-overdue PC version.

 

The Armello Postmortem: A Journey of Spirit & Peril

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In this 2016 GDC session, League of Geeks cofounder Trent Kusters explores the development of the studio's debut game Armello, and explores how their alternative method for building a game company was necessary for the game's success.

 

How 'Dark Souls II' Reflects Our Historical and Political Anxieties

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I realize now why Dark Souls has gone on haunting me. In presenting a world where it's too late for heroes yet too early for the apocalypse, the series mirrors one of our greatest contemporary anxieties.

 

Inside the Uphill Battle of 'Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare'

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Which is, surely, disappointing for the developers of the new game. To see the franchise's most passionate supporters actively cheer harder for a nine-year-old title instead of one that's daring to at least slightly push the series somewhere new must be gutting.

 

It's Real Hard Making An Indie Game In Cuba

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It will take game developer Josuhe H. Pagliery thirty minutes to load this article in Cuba, where he’s making an indie game. Savior is an artistically ambitious 2D platformer where the protagonist, Little God, realizes it is in a “collapsing video game.” And the challenges Pagliery and his partner Johann Armenteros must face to develop it are not insubstantial.

 

Read an Excerpt from ‘The Bitmap Brothers: Universe,’ on the Creation of ‘The Chaos Engine’

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Waypoint is pleased to present an excerpt from The Bitmap Brothers: Universe, written by Duncan Harris and published by Read Only Memory, with design and editing by Darren Wall. The book is, to quote from the publisher's website, "a comprehensive history of the visionary British software house". I can confirm: it's a very big book. And it smells really nice, too.

 

SID MEIER’S ‘CIVILIZATION VI’ TELLS A NEW TALE OF HUMAN HISTORY

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I played a lot of Civilization IV back in Seminary. A lot. To the point that it certainly interfered with my studies and almost definitely influenced the direction my life took professionally. Given the choice between yet another class period spent parsing out the Minor Prophets in their original Hebrew or playing hooky to build an empire to stand the test of time, the latter usually won out. Realizing where my interests really were convinced me against a career in the cloth to instead cover pop culture media through a theological and philosophical lens. Mere months after dropping out of Seminary, Civilization V dropped, which would wind up becoming among my most played games at over 750 hours. Between the implementation of one unit per tile, the move from squares to hexes, and the inarguable graphical improvements, even the day one, patch 1.0, out-of-the-box vanilla version of Civilization V was significantly superior to the complete edition of Civilization IV. But whereas Civilization V was one giant leap forward, Civilization VI is one small step laterally.

Gandhi Is Still An Asshole In Civilization VI

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Gandhi’s been a notorious asshole in Sid Meier’s Civilization, first as a result of a bug and later because that bug was hilarious. Seeing the leader, a longstanding image of peace and pacifism, threaten players with nuclear weapons is a staple of the franchise. It’s not surprising that Gandhi is still an asshole in Civilization VI, but he’s a different kind of asshole this time around.

 

Who Gets to Be a CIVILIZATION? - Between the Lines

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In Sid Meier's Civilization, what's the real difference between the civilized and the barbarous?

 

10 players share stories from their funniest, strangest Civilization campaigns

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PC gamers share their best Civilization stories: twisted tales of subterfuge, ironic nukes and victory by concert.

 

#GLG27: Diversity in #Mafia3 pt3 #GamingLooksGood

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Shareef talks about Father James as the center of morality, segregation, drunk Irish stereotype, and the connection between McCall / Harris / Dupree case and modern times. What a game!

 

Ride or Die: Mafia III Review

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The fact is that 2K and Hangar 13 don’t give the player a chance to shy away from the real­ity of being called boy, nig­ger, coon every few min­utes by NPCs and by your ene­mies. You can’t escape the dis­cus­sions of how Lincoln is ‘that damn nig­ger that’s got so and so spooked’, and how he’s ‘unstop­pable’ when you sneak around to take out bosses is fan­tas­tic. It makes peo­ple uncom­fort­able, it makes them squirm at how preva­lent this was (and still is in some parts of the world).

That dis­com­fort is one that has made a lot of white review­ers react to the game unfa­vor­ably, the refusal to back down from the slurs my grand­par­ents, par­ents, and even I have endured over my forty-three years is some­thing they can for­get when they turn the game off. One exam­ple was a “review in pro­gress” that called the open­ing state­ment ‘para­noid’, even going on to say they were exhausted by the use of nig­ger in the game because they had watched all of Luke Cage prior to writ­ing their arti­cle. I and other black play­ers do not have that lux­ury.

 

After Nine Years In Development, Owlboy Is Worth The Wait

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When Owlboy first started making waves nine years ago, indie games were barely A Thing. Minecraft and League of Legends hadn’t even begun to take over the world. Netflix was still a DVD-by-mail service. There were, like, two memes, both spread via telegraph and the US postal service. Now, finally, Owlboy is here.

 

Review: HITMAN (Season 1)

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A week spent with gaming's most robust weirdo simulator.

 

Why VR arcades could be virtual reality’s salvation

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Earlier this week, the senior vice president of HTC’s virtual reality efforts announced initiatives meant to make it easier for people to open these arcades as small businesses. He also told Polygon that the company is considering opening two more arcade test facilities of its own. The company opened Viveland, a VR arcade in Taipei, last week. He said the company is likely to open Vivelands in Europe and the U.S. as well.

You might have seen VR Arcades from Youtuber Super Bunnyhop's video on Japanese arcades that I included in an article a few weeks ago.

 

How RimWorld’s Code Defines Strict Gender Roles

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Reed’s having a bad day: her spaceship crashed, she’s one of three survivors, and the other two won’t stop hitting on her. Unfortunately for her, she’s beautiful, which means that they’re immediately enamoured with her; unfortunately for them, she’s gay, which means the feeling is definitely not mutual. Her life is a constant hellish stream of corny pick-up lines and work for the colony.

An interesting look at the game's code and how societal and personal bias can potentially lead to effecting the content of procedurally generated games, either intentionally or unintentionally, made more interesting by the developer's angry reaction in the comment section. The rational part of it being explaining that a part of the system is the way it is due to being in an early state and a problem that was fixed with a recent patch. The rest involves talking about how he came to conclusions based on gay and bisexual people he knows or knew (which would imply that other parts of the code have nothing to do with bugs or an earlier build and saying that fits perfectly with the point of the article), complaining about journalism, saying that they didn't ask him questions then saying they did but he didn't agree to the way they do interviews, not wanting to be interviewed unless he had full editorial control over it (no site or news organization will ever do or agree to this unless they are incompetent or desperate), and calling the article a hit piece (none of the many journalists or developers I saw sharing this did so acting like it was an attack on the dev or saying not to buy the game, at least not until they saw his response which then lead to them looking at past things he's said and done). I didn't see the developer in a negative light from reading the article, as the article is just a natural thing to be expected of almost anyone developing a game like this. Even the developer seems to be saying he overreacted when I last looked.

Rimworld’s system for sexuality is both a work in progress, and fair game for discussion

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Sylvester has referred to the 1,800 word examination of Rimworld’s code, complete with graphs and pseudocode, as “anger-farming, combined with a moralistic witch hunt.” If the piece were malicious, or intended as a hit piece to be skimmed, I doubt it would be as long as it is, or as detailed. Nor do I think Rimworld is a juicy target if you’re looking to maximize traffic. If the only goal were to get people riled up for traffic, this was the path of most resistance.

 

‘Battlefield 1’ Offers a Unique Emotional History of the First World War

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EA’s shooter expresses a distinct respect for the timeless significance and impact of WWI.

 

Four Long Lost Kirby Games Found At Auction

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Four lost Kirby minigames from the Super Famicom’s Satellaview have made their way into the hands of preservationists after a surprise auction and some help from fans.

 

Why I love physical videogame maps

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The dying art of real life game cartography.

 

Fighting Game Locations in Real-Life

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If you’ve ever played a fighting game, this is no surprise whatsoever. As pointed out a ways back by fighting game historian Crayfis on the Shoryuken forums (via website SebastianMihai.com) here is a solid job of showing the sources of many iconic fighting game locations.

 

A Look Back On Metal Gear Rising's Last Boss, Who Wanted To Make America Great Again

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Election Day is tomorrow. America might elect a jackass to be their leader, and I am terrified. To cope, I recently played 2013's Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and fought a power-crazed politician using my cyborg ninja powers.

I remembered noticing the same thing when I played the game in January.

 

The Canyon of Titan was Wasteland 2 at its best

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Wasteland 3's multiplayer and vehicles sound exciting, but we hope it echoes the coolest zone in Wasteland 2.

It was nice to have an area where every decision felt like and was a bad one.

 

The Most Fundamental Deceit - Horror and How Rationality Betrays Us - Extra Credits

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Ever wonder why characters in horror stories take so long to realize that the danger they're facing is real - and deadly? True horror turns our strengths against us, turning our rationality into a weapon that makes us doubt our own perception before we dare to question the reality we always trusted.

 

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - Level Design

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An in-depth analysis on how Retro Studios managed to make levels in Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze packed full of fantastic design.

 

Quit Gettin' Mad at Easy Mode in Video Games

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There are many good reasons why someone might want to play a game in Easy Mode, and none of them impact you.

Never had any idea what left handed control options are, unless it's some weird peripheral we're talking about.

 

Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to video games

 

SMT Artwork

Love to see the battle system actually look like that.

 

Witcher Cosplay Learning the Controls

 
Overwatch's Voice Actors Hang Out, Are Cute As Hell

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I don't understand why journalists can get away with writing 20 paragraphs to say something you can say in 1 or 2 and people lap it up, but god forbid you write 4 paragraphs, then it's TLDR. Anyway, reading that, the large point that article was making was pretty much game design/theory/whatever is stagnant because their development teams aren't diverse and they consist of mostly straight white men who have an abnormal interest in fighting, killing, etc. The person even went so far to say that diverse groups come up with 'better' (their actual use of words ideas than groups who are more uniform...Because being white is somehow a more significant factor than... I don't know. Being rich or poor or in a big family or alone or religious or non religious. Nope, skin color is the variable that matters most of all. A group with 2 white rich spoiled guys raised by 2 lawyers for parents, 2 black rich spoiled girls raised by 2 lawyers for parents , and 2 rich spoiled Arabs raised by 2 lawyers for parents is more diverse than a group with a disabled white guy who was raised by a single parent who was on welfare, etc.

 

I know they didn't explicitly say this, but you can bet your head that these people will complain about skin color when it just so happens to be white long before complaining about the all female team spacekat whatever, or an all Brazilian team, etc. Furthermore, I don't even think forcing diversity on a team per team basis is a good idea regardless. I mean what is wrong with white men making a game for white men, and other groups of people gathering together to make a game for their audience (not that I think white men can only make games for white men, if videogames only interested white men, then the game industry would not be as large as it is). Point is gaming is SUPPOSED to be an 'art' remember? (I use quotes not because I disagree with it...or agree. I don't think gaming is an art period, but I do think it contributes to art in a significant way in of itself, amongst other things, it can also be a learning tool, while at the same time being art, while at the same time just being casual entertainment, among many other things). Art is not something you can say is objectively 'better' or smarter or whatever. It's a thing that may or may not suit each person's individual tastes, and it's about time people realize that than try and tell people some of them are wrong or worse or better or correct.

Plus games have had many non-violent options for a long long time. Sim games, games emulating board games, sports games, racing games (I seperate it from sports cuz it tends to attract different crowds), Some strategy games (though most are war related true), puzzle games. None of these aren't new to the industry either, they have been around for much much longer than before games became considered mainstream.

 

The 'white guy' companies aren't sabotaging or destroying any and every attempt to create companies made from more diverse groups, why the bleep are people trying to tell groups of white guys that they are doing it wrong, that they need to can some guys, and hire some girls and whoever else. I mean don't get me wrong, if you have a large commercial company with like 40 members and they're all white men, I'd think there is some kind of racist sexism going on too! But even studios with like 4-6 developers get ire for this sort of thing. Is it so hard to believe that maybe, just maybe these 4-6 white guys knew each other for similar interests without knowing any girls or something because many girls tend to actually 'oppress' other girls growing up that they need to be more interested in dress up, shopping, dating gossip, etc.

 

One thing to point out though is that I think the whole diversity = better potential progress mentality is flat out wrong. I mean that's kinda how evolution works, and even in computer programming, you can program AI using 'genetic algorhithms' which emulates evolution by throwing a large number of randomized 'solutions' to a problem, giving them scores, making new ones based on mixing elements of each other, giving a little bit of 'elitism' to the highest scoring ones (but not all, some of the elite need to mix with the non elite too), repeat, repeat... etc. The 'diversity' creates a strong final product depending on the nature of the problem you're trying to solve....But I think the issue is that people are trying to force diversity at too low a level. Diversity is good at a higher level, so you CAN have groups with all mor mostly group A, AND groups of Bs, and Cs, and an ABC, and an AAC, and a BCB, etc.. Making every single effing group ABC results in disaster.

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