Hi there and welcome to Get Your Game On! My name is Zainabb and I can’t believe we’re halfway through January already. 2021 is off to a stressful start for many of us so please take time to look after yourself, play games, drink tea, and get through one breath at a time. Here’s our gaming news for this week.
Content warning: mentions of racism, sexual abuse and harassment, and transphobia.
CD Projekt CEO Apologises For Cyberpunk 2077 Launch And Outlines Support Roadmap
Earlier this week, CD Projekt CEO and co-founder Marcin Iwiński published a video apologising for the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 as well as outlining the game’s support roadmap up to 2022.
Iwiński apologised for the poor performance of the game on last-gen consoles, stating that the team were working on improvements up until launch, which is why reviewers were only provided with PC versions of the game to play. Iwiński also said that the responsibility for the release quality of the game lay upon him and CD Projekt’s board, not the developers, although the video did not acknowledge the issues around crunch, which the company has repeatedly been criticised for. Instead, the company’s website states that future fixes for the game will be produced “without any obligatory overtime,” although CD Projekt previously promised no crunch for their employees, a promise which they later broke.
Alongside the apology, the video outlined a support roadmap for Cyberpunk 2077 which promises both free next-gen patches and free DLC in the “second half of 2021.” DLC for the game was expected in early 2021 but the company is now prioritising fixes and improvements to the game, with DLC expected to come after.
This new timeline seems more in-line with developers’ expectations for the game’s release, with devs believing the game would be ready in 2022 based on their progress on the game in 2019. Developers were tasked with constructing the engine and the game itself at the same time, as well as having to work under crunch, with some employees receiving low wages.
Hades Studio Supergiant Games Criticised for Possible Use of Unpaid Translators
Supergiant Games have come under fire for their possible use of unpaid translators during the development of hit game Hades. Players of the game complained about the game’s non-English translations earlier this month, to which the studio responded by stating that community translators “bolstered the efforts of the professional translators” they had hired.
— Keru 👾🌿🎮 (@KWolframio) January 12, 2021
Gamers then criticised the studio, and the gaming industry as a whole, for not paying translators for their work, arguing that this is usually exploitative and results in a lower quality finish overall.
I'm not against community translation when done right.
But most of what I see is exploitation of eager fans who are amateurs at best, and the end result is everyone loses.
Pay your translators. They don't need to be veterans. But they need proper pay and working conditions.
— Cassiel SparklePony ✨ (@sparkleponycass) January 13, 2021
This cheapens the work of professionals who spend decades getting good enough to be professionals. Community translation is never the answer, especially not for a game as successful as Hades. Pay people for their work. Pay writers. Pay editors. Pay for the value of words.
— Michael Riser (@Quemaqua) January 13, 2021
Personally, I think it’s fundamentally immoral for commercial enterprises to rely on volunteer labor like that, regardless of the quality (or lack thereof) of the end product. Even when well-intentioned, it sets a bad precedent and devalues the work of pros and fans alike.
— Mr. Harocore (@Good_Haro) January 12, 2021
Supergiant later clarified their initial response, stating that they used a paid translation service alongside paid community translators while developing Hades in early access. They have not elaborated on the contracts offered to hired community translators. In a later tweet, Supergiant apologised for their initial, defensive response to the criticism and stated that they are “actively committed to improving [their] translations” moving forward.
SGG have apologised, and it's a good apology. They owned their mistake and committed to listening and learning.
I bet they're having some very hard conversations right now, and I don't envy them that! But I really hope they take this lesson to heart. 🧵https://t.co/ETYPQc1Rdf
— Cassiel SparklePony ✨ (@sparkleponycass) January 15, 2021
In other news…
Following the removal of Twitch streamer Gootecks from the PogChamp emote, Twitch announced that the emote would take on the role of a new streamer every 24 hours. Unfortunately—and predictably—this has not been a positive experience for racialised streamers, with Black streamer Omega Jones, known as CriticalBard on Twitch, receiving horrendous racist abuse during his time as PogChamp. Jones and other gamers have called for Twitch to put safety measures in place and protect marginalised streamers against abuse, doxxing, and threats of violence in the future.
I was supposed to do things today. From my own stream to chatting with @sandeepparikh on his channel.
But instead, I’m still in bed anxious to even open Twitch.
I’m still mad that yesterday was supposed to be about excitement & it ended with anxiety & panic attacks.
— CRITICAL BARD! ✊🏾 (@CriticalBard) January 12, 2021
GLITCH have set up the Moonrise Fund, an equity-based funding model that aims to provide financial support for diverse game developers. The fund aims to support game developers to produce the games they want, without the kind of limiting conditions that traditional funding often requires.
What would it look like if creators had the power to make the games they want to see without asking for permission?
Introducing the Moonrise Fund
🪑 Access to new damn table
🧵Our approach to backing bold new forms of play & the people who define them. pic.twitter.com/2hVgwbD3PD
— Evva Karr // BLM (@EvvaKarr) January 13, 2021
The fighting game community is developing a code of conduct in an attempt to stop harassment and abuse within the community. The code of conduct is an open resource aiming to establish best practices and accountability in the wake of several allegations of sexual abuse and harassment within the fighting game community.
A collective of community volunteers have written the Fighting Game Community Code Of Conduct.
This document is an open resource and was created to help community members take confident and uniform action against abuse and misconduct in the scene.https://t.co/IZ8vksozAA
— FGCoC Communications (@FGCoC) January 13, 2021
The MAGFest Board of directors has resigned, following the work of Friends of MAGFest, a group of MAGFest employees and volunteers, who raised allegations of a hostile working environment. Many MAGFest employees and volunteers were fired after speaking out against the Board.
ColourPop is releasing an Animal Crossing: New Horizons collection, featuring four eye palettes, three lip tints, two blushes, a gel, and an eyeshadow, all inspired by the characters and colours of New Horizons. The collection goes on sale at 10:00 a.m. PST on January 28.
The Federal Trade Commission has reached a settlement with adtech company Tapjoy, who allegedly defrauded consumers out of in-app rewards they were promised since 2016. Tapjoy would offer rewards to users of mobile games for completing tasks such as watching an in-app advert, but failed to provide users with the rewards promised. In addition, the company was collecting sensitive data from users. It’s hoped that the FTC settlement will push other adtech companies to protect user data and employ more ethical business practices.
Hogwarts Legacy, the upcoming Harry Potter roleplaying game, has been delayed to 2022, in order to “[give] the game the time it needs.” This may also provide the game some distance from the recent public controversy around J.K. Rowling’s transphobic views, with Warner Bros. and Avalanche Software stating that Rowling is not directly involved in the development of Hogwarts Legacy, although she will benefit financially from the game’s sales as the copyright owner of the “Wizarding World.”
Fan-made Dragon Quest content can now be monetised in Japan, under Japan’s equivalent of Fair Use. Square Enix in Japan applied Fair Use to the series, allowing creators to monetise content such as livestreams, videos, and fan art.
Capcom is holding a showcase for the upcoming Resident Evil Village on January 21st, which will feature a new trailer, gameplay reveal, and further news about the title. Details about the game are currently limited but Twitter is loving the tall vampire lady from the brief showcase announcement video.
GUYS, THE VAMPIRE LADY IS ACTUALLY EXTREMELY TALL!!! pic.twitter.com/VXcyVsjhBa
— Suzi Hunter (@TheSphereHunter) January 14, 2021
The first images have been revealed from the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie, set for release in April. The images show Lewis Tan as Cole, Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, and Mehcad Brooks as Jax among other characters.
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles have been criticised for their energy consumption levels when playing next-gen games. However, the consoles use less power than their predecessors when playing backwards-compatible games and when streaming video. The report from the Natural Resources Defense Council also praised the next-gen consoles for their low-energy modes but criticised Sony and Microsoft for not making these modes the default for each console.
Ubisoft has announced a new open-world Star Wars game, developed by the studio that produced Tom Clancy’s The Division. No further details have been announced.
Bethesda and Lucasfilm Games have announced an Indiana Jones game, with Todd Howard attached as executive producer. The game will feature an “original story” but no further details have been announced, including whether the game will appropriately explore the franchise’s colonialism or Jones’ history as a sexual predator.
Nintendo’s Switch made up 87% of all console sales in Japan in 2020, with the Switch selling 3,900,000 units and the Switch Lite selling 2,000,000. Nintendo also made up nearly 50% of all boxed game sales, with Animal Crossing: New Horizons the best-selling game last year.
John Wick writer Derek Kolstad is set to write the upcoming live-action Dungeons & Dragons series. I hope we can expect some great dog- and horse-related fantasy action.
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.