Howdy, everyone, I hope you are staying safe and healthy. I’ve been playing more games than usual lately—I wasn’t immune to Animal Crossing (my first!) and have been spending a lot of time in my orchard and getting stung by wasps in sunny Flavortown. When I need a break from island life, I’ve been playing a lot of Nier. While its fishing mechanics are… frustrating, its incredible soundtrack more than makes up for it. Let us know what you’ve been playing on Twitter and in the comments! Now, here’s what’s new this week.
Borderlands 3 Developers Aren’t Getting Promised Bonuses
Remember Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, who has previously been accused of assaulting an employee and misusing company funds? As reported by Jason Schreier at Kotaku, Pitchford told Gearbox employees that they will not be receiving the substantial royalty checks they were promised for last year’s Borderlands 3. According to 2K, Borderlands 3’s publisher, it became the fastest-selling game in 2K’s history, with more than 5 million units sold in the week after it launched in September. By the end of 2019, nearly 8 million units had sold.
NEWS: Gearbox, developer of Borderlands, pays below-market wages. To make up for that, the studio offers profit-sharing and promised staff five- and six-figure bonuses for BL3.
Until yesterday, when CEO Randy Pitchford told staff that wasn't happening: https://t.co/BRoRPyV3Hc
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) April 1, 2020
The Last of Us Part II is Delayed Again
The Last of Us Part II, which was originally scheduled to come out on February 21, 2020, has been delayed again. Previously, the release date was pushed back to May 29. This comes after Kotaku published a report on Naughty Dog’s seemingly relentless crunch culture. Last week, Naughty Dog announced the release would be put on hold “indefinitely” due to logistic issues caused by COVID-19.
New screenshots for the freshly-delayed The Last of Us Part 2 feature gorgeous environments, new characters, and Ellie and Joel together.
— IGN (@IGN) April 2, 2020
Cooking Mama: Cookstar Does Not Mine Bitcoin, According to Developers
Last year, a new Cooking Mama game was announced for the Nintendo Switch, due to release March 2020. Though the game’s Twitter account announced it is now available, Cooking Mama: Cookstar was pulled from the Nintendo eShop after only a few hours. Its digital listing has been removed entirely.
Over the weekend, a tweet that included a screenshot of a message that read, “THIS IS URGENT apparently if you own Cooking Mama Cookstar uninstall that immediately its Usiing [sic] your system to mine Crypto Currency and potentially handig [sic] your personal info as well” circulated widely. It gained nearly 10,000 retweets and 22,000 likes and prompted significant backlash, though it included no links or sources. Since then, 1st Playable, Cooking Mama: Cookstar’s developer, has stated that the game does not, in fact, mine cryptocurrency.
The confusion likely stems from the fact that Planet Digital Partners, the Cooking Mama’s publisher, previously said they planned to integrate blockchain technology. However, blockchain technology and cryptocurrency mining are two different things, and it is unclear if blockchain features ever made it into the final game.
This is a release from Feb 2019, and we presume hypothetical like most releases about blockchain are. Blockchain was never brought up to us developers, and we were entertained to hear about in late 2019. Not happening anytime soon.
— 1st Playable (@1stPlayable) April 5, 2020
Players are using Animal Crossing to build touching memorials. (Fair warning, this tweet and its replies might make you cry.)
so people are making memorials in acnh………. i’m not crying pic.twitter.com/0MvCw8OwI7
— ˗ˏˋ ria ˎˊ˗ (@riacrossing) April 3, 2020
Outer Wilds won Best Game at this year’s BAFTA Games Awards. Here’s the full list of winners.
Magical school simulator Witchbrook has a new style.
We have a first look as Chucklefish reveals a new look for the magical school simulator, Witchbrook. Check out the first screens of the new isometric art style. https://t.co/re9Za9a8wl pic.twitter.com/A7dzGZ0nnV
— Game Informer (@gameinformer) April 2, 2020
If you’re missing live music, you can attend this virtual festival in Minecraft.
The venue is Minecraft. https://t.co/DjljZqWzkM
— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) April 5, 2020
[CW: Sexual Assault] Far Verona Season 2 was canceled after players quit in response to an in-game sexual assault scene. Elspeth Eastman spoke about her decision to quit in a YouTube video.
Madison Butler writes about advertising by day and about video games the rest of the time. She can usually be found crying about Final Fantasy and Nier: Automata on Twitter @madisonrbutler.