Hello, friends and welcome to this week’s GYGO! I’m Avery, Sidequest’s resident little red panda, and I’ve dug my way out of my ever-growing blanket pile again to bring you this week’s biggest weekly gaming news.

New Death Stranding Trailer Gives Us a Lot to Talk About

It’s been a big week for Death Stranding news, with the release of a new trailer on May 29th and the announcement that the game will be available November 8th, 2019. Originally available via a PS4 Twitch stream, the trailer was looped for a number of hours and slowly uncovered through creepy handprints appearing on the stream as more viewers tuned in. The appearance of an unexpected new trailer and a release date in the not too distant future set the internet buzzing, although the trailer also attracted criticism given Hideo Kojima’s naming of female characters.

Welcome Home, Trainers: Nintendo Announces New Pokémon Projects

May 29th was a busy day for gaming announcements, as the official Pokémon Twitter account also announced four exciting upcoming Pokémon projects: a Detective Pikachu game for Nintendo Switch; Pokémon Home, a cloud service to transfer Pokémon across Switch, iOS and Android devices; Pokémon Sleep, an app that allows you to continue playing even whilst you sleep, and Pokémon Masters, a new battling game. Both Pokémon Home and Pokémon Sleep have been announced for 2020, although there are currently no dates available for the Detective Pikachu or Pokémon Masters games.

UK Games Expo Delivers Swift Response to RPG Sexual Violence

During UK Games Expo, reportedly the UK’s biggest hobby games convention, an attendee took to Twitter to share her account of a horrifying RPG session in which the GM, without discussing the plot prior to a play session, had the player characters kidnapped and gang-raped. Senior members of staff at the Expo reached out to the distressed player to offer assistance and immediately launched an investigation into the complaint, which was later followed up by an official statement on the Expo’s website. In their statement, UK Games Expo explained that the sexual content had not been included in the game description and that if it had, the session would have been rejected outright.

We have spoken personally to the player who first raised the issue and have unreservedly apologized for the distress caused. We are currently contacting the other players so we can offer them our apologies and any assistance they might need. We have made it clear that this kind of behavior and content has no place at UKGE and will not be accepted.

We immediately halted the game the GM was currently running and cancelled all of the games he was due to run.

The GM has been ejected from the show and will not be allowed access to any of the NEC halls or Hilton function rooms that are under the control of UK Games Expo.

He has also been banned from submitting any games for the foreseeable future.

This Week In Crunch

As games and the gaming industry get larger and more ambitious, developers and studios have taken to forcing mandatory overtime on their workers to meet deadlines and demand. This controversial and exploitative workplace culture—where employees are overworked, underpaid, and burnt out, followed frequently by mass layoffs and ever-increasing wage inequality between workers and high-paid executives—is known as “crunch.” TWIC is a column within a column where Emily Durham brings you news about this week’s world of crunch.

The situation at Riot Games is, unsurprisingly, still ongoing. Riot employees who organized to stage a massive walkout on May 6 to protest Riot’s sexist and discriminatory work culture and policy of forced arbitration are continuing with further actions after Riot announced it would not be changing its policy. Forced arbitration is the practice of requiring employees to settle disputes internally rather than allow them to take outside legal action. Riot organizers have responded to the announcement by pushing the issue further, petitioning employees and presenting their case to the Riot Games board of directors.

Fortnite has been wildly successful this year, and it turns out that Epic Games owes a lot of its success to crunch (and to Apex Legends). With a grueling weekly update schedule, Epic Games has been placing extreme pressure on its employees to maintain Fortnite’s early success. Fortnite’s (extremely crunchy) weekly updates have recently been implementing features that are strikingly similar to some features in Apex Legends, whose developers actively decided to keep updates less frequent so as to avoid the crunch Epic Games is so infamous for.

Games Workers Unite International and Solidaire Informatique, a French union, have joined forces to challenge the recent “restructuring effort” by Activision Blizzard in which 134 French Blizzard Entertainment SAS workers were let go. Nearly 800 total workers overall were let go during this “restructuring.” Solidaires Informatique and Game Workers Unite International “refuse to accept these layoffs are justified” and aim to support any workers who want to challenge the layoffs in French Labor Court, Tribunal, or “any other means.” The organizations can be contacted via email at sud.solidaires.blizzard@gmail.com, with “anonymity guaranteed.”

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