Welcome back to Wednesdays with me, your humble editor in chief! I have unsurprisingly fallen back into Overwatch thanks to the availability of every loot box. I’m a sucker for skins, what can I say! And I have the two most important ones thanks to some incredible luck: Barbarian Zarya and Shieldmaiden Brigitte. I can retire in peace.
When not playing characters I’m not particularly good at, I’ve been diving back into my playthrough of Final Fantasy X from 2014. I honestly thought my experiences of the game might be tainted by nostalgia, but no—I sincerely love this game. Sure, it sets my heart a-flutter to think about the feeling of playing it for the first time, but there’s just something so lovely and earnest about its story and performances. I guess you could call it corny, but I find it refreshing.
Anyway, on with the news!
Steam in Hot Water
Steam announced this week that they won’t “police” what games make it onto the platform, unless those games are “illegal” or “straight up trolling.” This is likely in part due to the backlash against the release of Active Shooter, as well as the response to Steam’s proposed removal of several LGBTQ+ visual novels.
Steam’s customer support is famously unhelpful, and this hands-off approach to curation echoes some of the worst parts of the service. As Pillow Fight owner and former Sidequest contributor Jo Kreyling wrote in a Twitter thread:
I get why folks are in a furor, but tbh I thought Valve’s abandonment of any kind of content curation was called Steam Direct, and it launched a year ago.
— Jo Kreyling 🥟 (@jozerphine) June 7, 2018
Itch.io’s co-founder called the move “ridiculous,” in a Twitter thread, and invited those upset with the change to move to Itch, instead.
To make matters worse, in the wake of this announcement, Steam also has reportedly removed the LGBT tag from the service, meaning players can no longer search for games with the tag. An absolutely stunning look for Pride month, in my opinion.
— nadia nova △ (@littanana) June 9, 2018
It’s literally impossible to keep track of all the news coming out of E3, so here are a few things the Sidequest team is talking about:
- BioWare’s Anthem won’t have any romance. We cannot kiss the big mechs. We are not pleased.
- The Last of Us Part II trailer featured Ellie kissing a lady, and we (and the fans) are pleased.
- Fallout 76 is online multiplayer only. We are no longer pleased.
- We’re all crushing on Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey‘s Kassandra. We are pleased.
- Beyond Good & Evil 2 look fabulous. Shame about the spec work. We are both pleased and displeased.
- The Life is Strange fans among us are feverishly trying to work out what The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is all about. We are… frightened for this child’s safety.
- ALERT. ALERT. KINGDOM HEARTS III HAS A RELEASE DATE. WE ARE OVERCOME.
— KINGDOM HEARTS (@KINGDOMHEARTS) June 10, 2018
Gaming News Tidbits
A developer with Harebrained Studios has been let go after reports that he had sexually harassed multiple people arose on social media. While the accused, Tyler Carpenter, told Patrick Klepek at Waypoint that he had resigned, the studio said that Carpenter had been “dismissed from the company with immediate effect. All of this took place prior to the acquisition deal between Paradox and Harebrained Schemes being finalised, so therefore Paradox have no comment to make.”
Life is Strange and Vampyr developer Dontnod announced their new game ahead of E3 last week: Twin Mirror. Billed as a “story-driven investigation game,” it looks to channel the somewhat supernatural mystery of Twin Peaks with a dash of Indigo Prophecy, and also looks incredibly like my jam.
Android: Netrunner the Card Game is coming to an end alongside Fantasy Flight’s licensing deal with Wizards of the Coast. Andrew Navaro and Michael Boggs discussed their time working on the game in a heartfelt blog post over at the Fantasy Flight blog.
New Jersey recently added a last-minute feature to a law allowing sports betting: while betting on numerous sport is now legal, betting on esports is not.
Game Advocacy has compiled a 50 over 50 list to raise awareness of ageism in the gaming industry by celebrating the achievements of game designers over age 50.
Facebook has introduced a new program for streamers specifically intended to help new streamers get into the game. Called Level Up, the program offers incentive to streamers who build their platforms on Facebook as opposed to other livestreaming services.
Ubisoft’s CEO has stated that he believes there will only be one more console generation before the industry moves to streaming only.
And finally, an adorable The Last of Us comic for Pride Month:
Welcome to Games Bleat! I’m Kael, your local plumber of untenable depths, and I’ve been delving into the abyss to bring y’all the hottest games and deals. There haven’t been many new releases this week, but between GOG and Xbox’s Summer sales I have plenty of games for you to try!
‘And that’s it for this weeks bleat! Come back next week after I finish dipping my toes in some other pool of eldritch knowledge!
Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.