Hi, I’m Zainabb and welcome to GYGO! While my brain and body are struggling with a sudden shift to cold weather and grey skies, I am nonetheless excited for winter blankets, scary movies, and Animal Crossing at Halloween. Bring on spooky season! Here’s this week’s news.
Content warnings: mention of sexual assault and harassment
Ubisoft Erases Its Women Assassins While Former Creative Director Accused of Toxic Workplace Behaviour
Ubisoft recently posted a short promotional video on Twitter featuring several characters from their successful Assassin’s Creed series—but not any of their female characters. The video focused on the series’ hidden blade, one of the franchise’s most recognisable weapons, and showcased almost every male character who has used the weapon over the course of the game series.
After criticism from fans, Ubisoft updated the video to include most of its female assassins who use the hidden blade, including Assassin Creed III: Liberation’s Aveline, Syndicate’s Evie, and Origins’ Aya. The video now also includes a final split-screen shot of the male and female models from the upcoming Valhalla.
We clearly missed some great assassins in this video, and we apologise. We've updated the asset to highlight ALL the assassins who master the hidden blade. Thanks to our passionate community for their input. pic.twitter.com/xqzL9Cd2yn
— Assassins Creed UK (@Assassins_UK) September 22, 2020
It’s important to note that Adewalé, the assassin from the Freedom Cry DLC for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, is still not included in the video.
Ubisoft has been accused by multiple people of sexual assault, harassment, and misconduct, and faced backlash earlier this month for a Tom Clancy cutscene that seemed to associate the Black Lives Matter movement with terrorism. In which characters it chooses to erase, this latest Assassin’s Creed video raises questions around whether Ubisoft is doing anything meaningful to address its toxic workplace environment and safeguard its employees.
A video in Ubisoft's new game appears to link Black Lives Matter to terrorism. Yesterday, Ubisoft staff expressed outrage on an internal message board. In one message seen by Bloomberg News, the game's director apologized and said they'll remove the video https://t.co/5YlFpSKXbv
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) August 31, 2020
Two reports published by Libération this week outlined several employees’ allegations about misconduct and a toxic workplace environment fostered by former creative director Michel Ancel. Ancel, who created Beyond Good & Evil and Rayman, recently resigned in a surprise announcement, which Ubisoft confirmed alongside a glowing statement about Ancel’s “passion” and “vision”.
The reports detail experiences of abusive interactions with Ancel as well as a culture of burnout and depression amongst Ancel’s employees. Ancel has since denied the allegations and insists that he left Ubisoft of his own accord, but did confirm the internal investigation prior to his resignation. Ubisoft’s internal investigation remains ongoing but evidently Ancel, at least, has not faced accountability within the video games industry.
The WIRED Union Held a Half-Day Strike to Protest Condé Nast’s Delays to Recognition and Attempts to Union Bust
The WIRED Union held a half-day strike in response to parent company Condé Nast’s failure to recognise the union as well among other union-busting actions, including attempting to prevent some WIRED employees from joining the union.
Today, @wiredunion is holding a half-day work stoppage to protest @condenast’s inexcusable delays in recognizing us and their attempts to bust our union by carving out multiple groups of @wired editorial staff from our bargaining unit.
— WIRED Union (@wiredunion) September 22, 2020
In a Twitter thread outlining the tactics used by Condé Nast, the union detailed the parent company’s attempts to divide editorial staff and their failure to attend and prepare for meetings with the union, five months after the union was formed. The union pointed out the disparity between the time taken for union recognition at WIRED in comparison to timeframes for union recognition at The New Yorker, Ars Technica, and Pitchfork, publications which are also owned by Condé Nast.
It shouldn’t have taken this long — it didn’t for @newyorkerunion, @ars_union and @p4kunion. In fact, we’re breaking @bfnewsunion’s record for the longest voluntary recognition process in recent @nyguild history.
— WIRED Union (@wiredunion) September 22, 2020
The WIRED Union continues to await recognition from Condé Nast. The union seeks to address pay disparity, job security, and a lack of diversity at the publication. You can find out how to support the union by visiting their website.
In other news…
The Among Us devs have canceled their plans for a sequel, instead choosing to rebuild the core of Among Us due to the game’s unexpected popularity. They will later add the features originally planned for a sequel, including a colourblind mode and a friends system.
Life is Strange developer DONTNOD Entertainment has announced a new studio in Montréal which will focus on creating a new IP. The studio will be led by Luc Baghadoust as Studio Executive Producer and Michel Koch as Creative Director.
Some World of Warcraft players are experiencing a glitch which suddenly reverts their characters to their level and appearance from a decade ago, with some players finding their characters missing altogether. Blizzard is currently investigating the issue and confirmed that no characters have been permanently lost.
A Halloween update is coming to Animal Crossing: New Horizons, featuring Halloween costumes, new DIY recipes, and the ability to grow your own pumpkins. Watch the trailer below:
Tiffany Treadmore, or @HotGirlVideos69, has outlined the expansion of their cam girl-led team, which breaks video game news including the cancellation of this year’s E3 and PAX events. They will be hosting an in-person event in Pittsburgh later this year.
12. We are going to host an in person event in #Pittsburgh the week of Christmas. We're still working out details.
13. We are prepping to begin streaming in a – unique – way.
— @HotGirlVideos69 – Tiffany Treadmore (@HotGirlVideos69) September 27, 2020
This year’s Tokyo Game Show revealed gameplay from Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, Monster Hunter Rise, and a new version of NieR: Replicant, which will be released in the west next year. You can watch the show stream below:
Classic browser game RuneScape is coming to Steam in October as developer Jagex celebrates the game’s twentieth anniversary. The news comes after RuneScape entered early access on mobile platforms this year.
Amazon has announced a new cloud gaming service called Luna, which will be playable on PC, Mac, mobile, and Amazon’s Fire TV. Players will be able to subscribe to ‘channels’, some of which will be publisher-specific, with confirmed titles including Resident Evil 7, Panzer Dragoon, and Abzu.
Zynga has announced that they are officially closing the original FarmVille game on Facebook due to the social media platform no longer supporting Flash from next year. The game launched in 2009 and has achieved remarkable success on Facebook.
Too queer for this plane of existence. Disabled, brown, we ain’t postcolonial yet. Find me in The Fade or its real-life equivalent: Twitter @ZainabbHull.