Howdy, everyone! What have you been playing lately? As part of my gauntlet of Dad Games in 2020, I recently finished God of War. Now I’m catching up on some speedruns from Summer Games Done Quick, which raised more than $2.3 million for Doctors Without Borders last week. (I really enjoyed the Arkham City run by ShikenNuggets!) Now, here’s the other news…
Epic vs. Apple Has Turned Into a Corporate Battle Royale
…Well, kind of. We mentioned last week that Epic Games is suing Apple and Google. The companies removed Fortnite from their app stores after Epic introduced a direct payment system for in-app purchases to skirt Apple’s 30% commission. According to Epic, Apple has now threatened to revoke the company’s access to developer tools, and on Sunday, Epic filed a new statement asking the court to prevent Apple from doing so. Microsoft also filed a declaration of support for Epic Games, as revoking developer tools would mean any developers using Unreal Engine would be unable to update or patch their games.
just in: Microsoft has filed a new declaration in support of Epic Games, stating Apple interfering with Unreal Engine would hurt creators, and keep people from playing not just their games but everyone's https://t.co/O7rml6WSOq pic.twitter.com/wY4u8fDAmB
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) August 23, 2020
Facebook Forays Deeper Into Gaming
For many, “Facebook gaming” conjures memories of seemingly countless Candy Crush invites. However, the company has also made significant investments in bringing other gamers to Facebook, too. Back in 2014, Facebook also acquired Oculus, which is known for virtual reality headsets. Last week, Oculus announced that starting October 1, 2020, first-time Oculus users will be required to log in with a Facebook account. Existing users will be allowed to continue logging in with an Oculus account, but are encouraged to merge their Oculus and Facebook accounts—at least until 2023, when Oculus will no longer support non-merged accounts.
Oculus Quest for sale, heavily used, low price – available January 1st, 2023. https://t.co/O9v2Gp8cVR
— Rami Ismail (رامي) (@tha_rami) August 19, 2020
Artist EU03 is Leaving Lab Zero Games Following Inaction Regarding Harassment
In June, cosplayer BunnyAyu accused Skullgirls lead game designer Mike “Mike Z” Zaimonthas of inappropriate behavior, prompting others, including coworkers, to come forward with their own stories of inappropriate behavior. According to artist EU03, Mike Z originally agreed to leave Lab Zero Games after the allegations came to light, but Mike Z has since dissolved the Lab Zero Games board and is now refusing to leave the company. As a result, EU03 and a number of other artists have left Lab Zero Games. Additionally, Hidden Variable Studios, which developed the mobile version of Skullgirls, and publisher Autumn Games have ended their relationship with Lab Zero.
It was never intended for Mike to own all of LZG; it was transferred from the previous co-owner for legal safety while offering us equity sharing for all employees. The papers were drafted and almost executed, but then this happened.
— EU03 (@ClickAgain) August 23, 2020
An official statement from Hidden Variable and Autumn regarding Lab Zero Games and the future of Skullgirls. pic.twitter.com/4qeoN9fgRj
— Skullgirls Mobile (@sgmobile) August 25, 2020
The next Call of Duty game will be Call of Duty: Cold War. Its announcement trailer centered a controversial political figure: USSR defector Yuri Bezmenov.
I wrote a short summary of the recent Call of Duty reveal trailer and its potential mainstreaming of far-right conspiracy theories and red-pilling pic.twitter.com/02vyyHCpK7
— Emil Hammar (@elhammar) August 21, 2020
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time developers are trying to help players avoid streaming takedowns.
If you create a video on Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time and include the intro/ending cinematic there is a chance your video will be automatically content claimed.
If this happens to you –
1: Dispute it on YouTube
2: Let me know
3: We'll take care of it
— Samurai Jack (@SamuraiJackGame) August 21, 2020
Both the lead narrative designer and creative director for Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines 2 have left the studio.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2's lead narrative designer and creative director have both exited the studio. Today, a replacement was announced: https://t.co/zyUBjpMvbr pic.twitter.com/pxHz7MxFUc
— Game Informer (@gameinformer) August 19, 2020
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.