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    This Week In Gaming 8-13-19


    Blake Hester speaks with developers about the time and cost of trying to get the little details right in games, a year after her reporting on the culture of Riot Cecilia D'Anastasio interviews employees about progress made, consoles now require loot box odds disclosure and FTC reveals relationship between streamers/youtubers and loot box creators, recent political blaming of video games for US shooting have Joshua Rivera discuss why we are past the point where games require defending while Rowan Kaiser covers why companies and the ESA are afraid to aggressively call out bad faith attacks, Colin Spacetwinks uses increasingly ridiculous Call of Duty interviews to talk about PR speak and useful idiots that benefits corporate PR, Jacob Geller tells the story of the decade long quest to find the final secret of Shadow of the Colossus, threats against multiple game studios, Richard Meredith on the ignored difficulty of releasing PC games on every storefront, and more.



    Gaming News (Announcements, previews, release dates, interviews and writing on upcoming games, DLC and game updates, company and developer news, country news, tech, mods)


    Morgana Won't Be Such A Bedtime Dictator In Persona 5 Royal



    It’s not as ideal a scenario as being able to sneak out of your room, get some drinks and hang out with magical teens, but it’s something.


    GreedFall's new gameplay trailer shows off stealth, skills, and romance


    GreedFall, a pseudo-historical action RPG coming on September 10th, has a new gameplay overview trailer out today. And it is quite the overview, giving a mention to everything from character creation, to classes, action and stealth, and (oh yes) romance with party members.


    River City Girls Character Spotlight: Misako


    Say hello to Misako, one of the hot-blooded heroines of River City Girls! Tough, impulsive, and always ready for a fight, she's teaming up with her best friend Kyoko to rescue her boyfriend Kunio by any means necessary when this action-packed beat-’em-up hits Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Sept. 5! Rated E10+.

    River City Girls Character Spotlight - Kyoko


    Kyoko is ready for action in River City Girls, hitting Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Sept. 5! Compared to her BFF Misako, Kyoko is definitely the more cheerful and bubbly of the two, but don't get her angry or she'll knock your teeth out, especially if you mess with her boyfriend Riki. Check out her moves in this trailer! Rated E10+.


    Skullgirls studio launching Indivisible in October


    I’d almost forgotten about Indivisible, the hand-drawn platforming action-RPG from Skullgirls studio Lab Zero Game. Oh we’ve seen bits and pieces in the four years since its crowdfunding campaign, but it slipped onto the back burner. Soon it will leap onto… the front burner? I’m not sure how to adapt this metaphor. I’m trying to say that Indivisible finally has a release date and it’s coming up fairly soon: October 8th. Here, come have a look in the new trailer. I am delighted to see one potential party member is a giant fluffy dog.


    Double Fine’s Rad is a game about disrespecting your elders to save the planet



    The world has undergone ecological collapse. The smug grown-ups who thought they had all the answers, the master plan that would save everyone – they’ve fallen quiet now.


    New Impressions Of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare's Campaign And Development


    Game Informer's Ben Hanson, Dan Tack, and Brian Shea share more details from their trip to Infinity Ward to see and play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. They talk about the new groundwar mode and its similarities to a battle royale and share everything they know about the game's campaign and development.

    The Origins Of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's Reboot


    FACEBOOK POST TWITTER TWEET EMAIL EMAIL COMMENT COMMENT All month long we're rolling out features to highlight Infinity Ward's reboot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. We've focused on new multiplayer modes and the campaign, but with the video above we wanted to take a closer look at the game's development. While visiting the studio, we spoke with campaign gameplay director Jacob Minkoff and studio narrative director Taylor Kurosaki about their experience so far working on the game and how the project began.

    129 Rapid Fire Questions About Call of Duty: Modern Warfare


    Game Informer's Ben Hanson interviews Infinity Ward's studio art director Joel Emslie about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's campaign, multiplayer modes, and Emslie's journey from Infinity Ward to Respawn and back again.


    The longtime developers of 2K's WWE series are moving on to new things. Yuke's, who has been working on mainline WWE titles like the PlayStation One era, will not develop future games in the WWE series, as 2K hands the reins over to NBA 2K developer Visual Concepts.


    Vampire: The Masquerade—Coteries of New York detailed



    "You’ll build your Coterie and learn your undead companions' deepest secrets."


    New Guilty Gear Will Be a "Complete Reconstruction" of the Series


    Arc System Works is distilling the genre and then reinventing it.


    An enhanced version of System Shock 2 is in the works


    Nightdive Studios is working on an enhanced, improved version of the classic System Shock 2.


    Still There is a dark, pensive game starring a space lighthouse keeper, out this year


    A game about grief, but with a sense of humor.


    Gears 5 lets you create custom maps for Escape, and here’s how it works


    Get ready for your Escape Briefing, a brand new 3 player co-op mode in Gears 5, with the one and only Victor Hoffman.


    Shapeshifting Guns, An Evil Fridge And 7 Best And Worst Control Features


    Our Control gameplay is taken from the first two hours of the game. Sadly it’s Control PS4 gameplay - we’ve not tested the PC version yet. But we will in our upcoming Control review. This isn’t our Control PC review, just early Control impressions based on the first areas of the game. The meat of Remedy’s new action thriller unravel after the moments you see in the video, so you don’t have to worry about major spoilers. If you’ve seen the Control trailer, you know the basic Control story: Jesse Fayden is uncovering the truth behind a childhood traumas, things that led her to this ever changing, ominous building.


    Grandson Makes WWII Game Based on 92-Year-Old Grandmother's Tragic Memories


    'Brukel' takes inspiration from games like 'Gone Home' to capture what it was like to grow up on the frontlines of war.


    Borderlands 3 - FL4K Character Trailer: "The Hunt"


    Meet FL4K, an emergent AI whose three loyal pet companions help them track and claim their quarry on a never-ending hunt across the galaxy.


    Remnant: From the Ashes - Official Corsus Gameplay Trailer


    Take a look at the primordial swamp of the ice planet of Corsus, which is inhabited by a race of elf-insectoid hybrids forming the Iskal cult. Remnant: From the Ashes will be released on August 20, 2019 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.


    The Killing Floor 2 devs will sell weapon DLC for real money to keep the game going


    Killing Floor 2 has been around for almost three years now, and while the game presumably still has a fanbase, developer Tripwire Interactive is almost certainly ready to move on to its next game – possibly even Killing Floor 3. However, Killing Floor 2 has mostly stayed popular through the continuous free updates from Tripwire over the years – and while the developer wants to keep the game going, it’s apparently no longer in a position to offer those free updates anymore – and so the next DLC to get released will cost real money.


    Shogun 2’s Fall of the Samurai expansion is now a Total War Saga game



    It’s now officially A Total War Saga: Fall of the Samurai. If you already own the game, you’re getting a special gift in the form of all its DLC – except the blood pack – for free. If you don’t have it yet, it’s currently 75% off on Steam, and you can also pick up the previous Total War Saga, Thrones of Britannia, at a 66% discount.


    Just Cause 4 expansion adds hoverboards with gosh dang KICKFLIPS


    O, the tale of wiley explosion-magnet Rico Rodriguez is indeed drawing to a close. Just Cause 4‘s third and final expansion Danger Rising brings an end to the series yarn about ludicrous chaos, secretly evil government agencies, and demons(?). And like the final chapter of any great work of cultural significance, the conclusion of Just Cause will feature the most important element of storytelling: Kick-flipping hoverboards.


    Battlestar Galactica Deadlock DLC adds new campaign and ships later this month



    The fifth expansion for the space strategy game.


    Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony to require loot box odds disclosure



    Activision Blizzard, Bethesda, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Wizards of the Coast, and other publishers will also comply

    FTC panel reveals troubling relationship between streamers and loot box creators


    Content creator says a publisher once offered to misrepresent the odds of winning to viewers

    Epic Games promises loot box transparency going forward


    Epic joins Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo and more in promising to make loot boxes less unpredictable.


    Epic hit with class-action suit over hacked Fortnite accounts



    The suit was brought on behalf of those affected by a security gap in Epic’s log-in system


    Discord is launching in-server streaming later this month with new 'Go Live' feature



    Server-based chat platform Discord is rolling out a new feature called 'Go Live' that builds a small-scale streaming platform directly into Discord itself, an addition that aims to replicate the feeling of playing games on the couch with your best pals.

    Discord Explains How It Handles Harassment, Doxxing, And Threatening Behavior



    Discord, the only way young people communicate via voice after we collectively agreed to stop answering phone calls several years ago, is trying to be more open about how it handles harassment, threats, doxxing, and other forms of abuse on its platform. In order to do this, it plans to release regular “transparency reports,” the first of which is available to peruse now.


    Borderlands 3: Take-Two Addresses Investigation Into Streamer Leaks


    According to sources familiar with the matter, previously listed perks on SupMatto's YouTube channel allegedly offered access to a private Discord channel that included further Borderlands 3 leaked information in exchange for a $5 membership to his YouTube channel.

    Time To Break The Silence And Fill You In


    My statement. Big thanks to Bryce Blum for his class and legal advice.

    Big thanks you guys for giving me time to figure it out.


    Outer Wilds publisher says 'we're not going anywhere' following bankruptcy speculation



    Annapurna Interactive has published some great games over the past few years, including What Remains of Edith Finch, Gorogoa, Donut County, and the widely acclaimed Outer Wilds. But its parent, the film company Annapurna Pictures, isn't faring quite as well. According to Hollywood Reporter, the company is exploring bankruptcy options following the poor box office performance of films including The Sisters Brothers (which I thought looked fun) and Destroyer.


    Ninja 'disgusted' after Twitch accidentally promotes porn stream on his dormant channel


    "This is the line," he said. "I'm trying to get the whole channel taken down to begin with, or at least not promote other streamers on my brand, on my frigging profile. So for anyone who saw that...I apologize, and I'm sorry."

    Ninja gave out his number to the internet, but it’s a silly marketing scheme


    Blevins is running his outreach program through a company called Community. A brief look at Community’s Terms of Use reveal that becoming best friends with Ninja isn’t exactly what fans are signing up for.


    Police are investigating a possible shooting threat at Twitch's headquarters, but say there's no longer an 'active threat'



    The San Francisco Police Department responded to the headquarters of the streaming company Twitch on Wednesday after a threat was made against the company.


    Bandai Namco Is Investigating a Potential Bomb Threat At Its US Office



    Acting on a tip, IGN contacted Bandai Namco about a possible bomb threat made to its offices, and whether it was a credible threat. Bandai Namco provided the following statement:


    40-Year-Old Man Arrested For Threatening Square Enix With “A Repeat Of Kyoto Animation”



    A 40-year-old man named Kenichi Hiratsuka was arrested for allegedly sending death threats to Square Enix, including a threat of a “Repeat of Kyoto Animation” referencing the tragic incident that took the lives of 35 people last month.


    Subnautica dev to G2A: 'You now owe us $300,000'


    Unknown Worlds founder Charlie Cleveland wants the reseller to live up to its chargeback refund promises.


    Xbox open to some first-party games appearing on other consoles



    The Xbox One generation started off with a whimper, but has ultimately led to a period of great transformation for Microsoft’s games division. With an increasing focus on subscription and services (bolstered by an ever-improving Xbox Game Pass), cross-platform support, Xbox Live support for iOS and Android, and a newfound commitment to accessibility, diversity and inclusion, the Xbox business of today barely resembles the one that caused consumers so much angst in 2013.


    Paradox reports significant revenue increase in expansion-heavy Q2 2020



    Paradox continues to expand its portfolio beyond grand strategy and the PC platform and seems to be working out great.


    Fortnite's Teenage World Champ Swatted Live on Stream



    Thankfully, this particular situation was quickly defused because one of the officers attending the incident lives in Bugha’s neighbourhood and recognised the teen.


    A Look Back At Some Of The Games Australia Has Banned



    While Australia has a long history of video game development, as a nation we're probably more famous for the games we have banned.


    We Do Not Need To Defend Video Games From Politicians



    Video games will continue to be a scapegoat for disingenuous lawmakers and lobbyists for as long as a scapegoat is needed. And as long as gun violence remains a problem in America, a scapegoat will be needed. Every second spent defending video games from blame is a second not spent addressing the root causes of what’s become weekly massacres: a complete lack of sensible gun control, a government utterly disinterested in even entertaining the possibility of said gun control, or combating the racist and misogynist ideologies that fuel the men who massacre the innocent.

    Walmart Removes Violent Video Game Signage, Still Sells Guns


    The retailer is asking employees to take down signage and playable demos for violent video games, as well as hunting videos, in the wake of shootings at two of its stores.

    The video game industry must stand up against the right’s bad-faith attacks


    There are some explanations, and they’re not good ones. The satirical website Point-and-Clickbait posted a barely joking article after the shootings about how the ESA might consider donating slightly less to President Trump when he blamed games. Meanwhile, Vice’s Rob Zacny makes the clever argument that the ESA’s current scandal of accidentally/deliberately leaking media members’ private information and their inability to rise to the need of the industry when its under attack both stem from its short-sighted profits-over-people mentality, where it praises tax cuts for the megacorporations and seems to stand for nothing else.


    Video Game Consoles Won't Get Pricier In America, At Least For Now



    A 10 percent tax on video game consoles and other consumer electronics has been delayed until December 15, the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced today. According to President Trump, the purpose of the delay is to prevent the tariffs from hurting the holiday shopping season.


    A First-Person Adventure Is One of the Coolest Mario Maker Levels Yet


    They somehow pulled this off using tools meant for a platformer. It must be seen to be believed.


    Esports News


    Apex Legends tournament pulled from TV following US shootings


    The decision to pull the weekend broadcast was confirmed to RPS by an ESPN spokesperson, who tells us the tournament will now be broadcast on the channel in October. “The decision was made out of respect for the victims and all those impacted in the immediate aftermath of the shootings and it seemed the prudent thing to do given the swirl of that moment,” they said.


    You Should Watch Ultra Fight Da ! Kyanta 2’s Tournament at Evo 2019



    As I’m sure anyone who follows fighting games will tell you, the genre is currently in the midst of an extremely strong period in its history. Even if its biggest name Street Fighter V has struggled, other games like Tekken 7, UNIST, or Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have only increased in popularity and recognition, leading to one of the most stacked lineups of any Evo tournament ever this year. Despite all this, there was one game in particular that I’ve been obsessed with and eagerly awaiting for weeks, a tiny, free indie game made by one person being played in a small side tournament under the AnimEVO umbrella. That game is, of course, Harameself’s Ultra Fight Da ! Kyanta 2.


    Russia wins Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Nations Cup, UK manages not to come last



    Competitive Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is a strange beast. Teams rack up points across multiple games for eliminating others and being one of the last few left alive, in various amounts depending on the tournament. That usually means that you can tell who’s going to win before the end, but not this time. Home team South Korea had pulled ahead early and stayed there – until the last game, where Russia pipped them to the post. And down at the bottom of the table, Great Britain managed to save themselves from last place by a single point.


    Crowdfunding News (not sharing everything I find, just ones that look interesting, have known talent behind them, and a chance to succeed)


    Dog shelter simulator To The Rescue hits Kickstarter goal after two days


    This pet shelter simulator is all about caring for pups and finding forever homes.


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


    The 18-month fence hop, the six-day chair, and why video games are so hard to make



    We look at the effort behind the small details in games


    Riot Employees Say Company Has Made Real Progress Fixing Its Sexism Issues



    In the year since Kotaku’s investigation into sexism at Riot Games, the 2,500-person company behind League of Legends, the company has crafted and self-injected its proposed antidote to its so-called “bro culture.”

    Over the last week, 14 current or recent Riot employees spoke with Kotaku about the game company’s forward momentum toward equitable workplace conditions. Now that it’s all out in the open—the slanted hiring practices, the chauvinism, the ball-tapping frat antics—employees are witnessing the rollout of a belated justice. Everybody we spoke to was optimistic about the future of Riot Games, even as some at the company disagree on how best to implement cultural change.


    After It Doxxed 2000 Journalists, Why Should We Ever Trust the ESA Again?



    In a world personal data can be used as a weapon by harassers and hackers, the risk of attending E3 has gone way up.


    For MMO diehards, there's only one conversation: is the genre dying or already dead?



    "Where can I find a contiguous, massively multiplayer experience? Not a solo experience. Not instanced. A living breathing economy, a world to exist in. I've been chasing this since I first experienced MMOs with RuneScape and WoW in 2004," they continue. "Does it exist? Am I just missing the shining diamond in the pile of dirt that is this whole genre? … Everywhere I look, it seems people are burnt out on the modern MMO experience, yet where is the alternative? Where is my simulated massively multiplayer world? Emergent gameplay? … Why don't MMOs exist anymore?"

    In retrospect, the MMO apogee was about as intense as it was misguided. Just look at some of the names on these tombstones: Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa, Warhammer Online, The Matrix Online, Everquest Next. What about the MMOs that remain online, toiling for a splinter of the boom? Star Wars: The Old Republic and Final Fantasy 14 recovered from famously ignominious launches. Elder Scrolls Online is still telling new stories. Plenty others fight for tiny scraps of the MMO population. But many more have died. As the body count piled up, it became clear that there could really only be one World of Warcraft.


    Perfect Character Balance Is 'Boring,' Says Samurai Shodown Director



    During Evo 2019, I sat down with Samurai Shodown director Nobuyuki Kuroki to discuss his work on the new game. Since the game’s release in June, players have noticed some character balance issues in Samurai Shodown. In our interview, Kuroki admitted he’s not a fan of making the power diversity in the game’s cast “too flat.”


    Launcher Builds


    Meet the YouTubers Using Math to Unlock the Depths of Monster Hunter: World



    An inside look at Monster Hunter Math, a mathematical video series from masterminds JinJinx and Tuna.


    Deep-Pocketed Collectors Are Fueling A Retro Game Gold Rush


    Danielle Smith has spent half a million dollars on rare video games, most of it in the last nine months. And she’s just getting started.


    Planning Novigrad



    Something about The Witcher 3 makes finding your way around its largest city, Novigrad, surprisingly intuitive. This defies an easy explanation, but at least part of Novigrad’s legibility comes from a quirk of our own psychology.


    “Killing Nuance,” by Reid McCarter



    This seems like the logical progression of the increasingly flimsy storytelling that’s filled The New Order and its direct sequel, 2017’s The New Colossus. Both of those games, despite the surface-level exceptions of The New Order’s multinational band of resistance fighters, are pop historical revisionism of an ugly sort. They eagerly reconfigure the nuances of the Second World War’s calamitous fighting into a simplistic core. Rather than confront less obvious facts about the War or the modern world, the games consist almost entirely of digestible moral outrage over a distant Nazi Germany; rather than acknowledge how fascism has slithered into today’s mainstream culture, Wolfenstein is is a series that dangerously attempts to both assert the mythological goodness of post-war America and gesture broadly toward a base acknowledgement of the country’s abhorrent 20th century history.


    Fire Emblem Doesn't Just Need Gay Characters, It Needs Queer Life



    In preparing to write this article, I watched video of some of the S-rank romantic supports main character Byleth can have in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. As I'm still playing through the game myself, I needed context for the ongoing discussion about the same-gender romantic supports in the game. I was entirely prepared to be angry at the male/male options in the game, which are—to be blunt—incredibly bad on multiple levels. What I did not expect was to watch Byleth's marriage proposal to Edelgard and be infuriated by it.


    One of Judgment’s Biggest Enemies is Male Entitlement



    Judgment is one of my favorite games of this year. Developed by Ryu Ga Gotoku, as a spin-off to the Yakuza series, the tonally different Judgment is full of fun but has the heart of a nitty-gritty detective drama by which you can’t help but become enraptured. The story is one of the best I’ve seen and you’ll often feel the weight of the moral choices Yagami and co. have to make long after you’ve put the controller down. Everyone is complex and the line between friend and enemy often blurs.


    Baba is You is a Postmodern Masterpiece



    Baba Is You is the unique puzzle game from Finnish developer Arvi Teikari where you solve puzzles by manipulating their established rules in order to get the eponymous Baba to their goal. The distinctive PC and Switch game is clever, difficult, and takes a very postmodern approach to designing both puzzles and games.


    Redesigning Hitman's Agent 47


    Become a PATRON to unlock more videoshttps://www.patreon.com/noclip

    We talk to Hitman's lead writer Michael Vogt about creating a contemporary Agent 47, and the world of assassination that surrounds him.


    The Decade-Long Quest For Shadow of the Colossus’ Last Secret


    a mystery which will never happen again,
    a miracle which has never happened before–
    and shining this our now must come to then


    09 to '19: A Decade of Approachability in Fighting Games


    In this 2019 GDC talk, Iron Galaxy Studios' Noah Sasso surveys the ways developers have attempted to broaden the audience for one of the oldest and most exciting genres in the industry: fighting games.


    Things I found entertaining throughout the week relating to the game industry


    Fire Emblem With Sax

    Fire Emblem Voice Actor

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