Content warning: sexual harassment and misconduct; mention of war crimes.
Hello and welcome to Get Your Game On! My name is Zainabb and I’m on week six of a chronic illness flare, exacerbated by the snowy weather here in the UK. In mid-February. I’ll be attempting to manage the existential dread with some cosy gaming—specifically, I’m eyeing up Mutazione for my next play. I hope you’re able to stay warm if you’re somewhere cold and to be gentle with yourself if the weather is having an impact on your body and mind. Here’s this week’s news.
CD Projekt Data Has Been Stolen and Reportedly Sold
CD Projekt has reported that some of their data has been stolen by hackers, including the source codes for Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher 3, and Gwent. CD Projekt released a ransom note left by the hackers which outlines which data was stolen or dumped, alongside their assurance that the personal data of employees and gamers was not affected.
Cybersecurity firm Kela has since reported that the data was sold according to posters on hacking forum Exploit. Kela stated that the auction for the data began at $1,000,000. It hasn’t been confirmed how much the data finally sold for or who purchased it.
Just in: #CDProjektRed AUCTION IS CLOSED. #Hackers auctioned off stolen source code for the #RedEngine and #CDPR game releases, and have just announced that a satisfying offer from outside the forum was received, with the condition of no further distribution or selling. pic.twitter.com/4Z2zoZlkV6
— KELA (@Intel_by_KELA) February 11, 2021
CD Projekt is currently investigating the situation and has restored the stolen data using backups. The studio refused to pay the ransom or negotiate with the hackers. Further details are yet to be confirmed.
Riot Games CEO Faces New Gender-Based Harassment and Misconduct Lawsuit
Riot Games CEO Nicolas Laurent has been accused of gender-based harassment, misconduct, and creating a toxic work environment in a new lawsuit filed by former Riot Games executive assistant Sharon O’Donnell. O’Donnell has accused Laurent of a range of gender-based harassment and misconduct behaviours, including making unwanted sexual advances and demeaning remarks. O’Donnell has also accused Laurent of firing her when she did not reciprocate his advances.
To clarify: This is different from the class action suit Riot already faces. January has been a busy month for Riot, on the legal front.
A few weeks ago, they succeeded in getting the class action complaints moved to arbitration.https://t.co/NHGPqfeFkL
— ℳikhail Klimentov (@LeaderGrev) February 9, 2021
Riot Games has denied the accusations and stated that they will be investigating with the aid of an external law firm. Riot has stated that O’Donnell was terminated from the company following complaints from other employees and company partners. However, this is only the latest in a series of accusations made against Riot’s company culture of misogyny and sexual harassment. A separate gender discrimination lawsuit was filed against Riot Games in 2018, and the company agreed to a $10,000,000 settlement at the end of 2019, which they subsequently withdrew from.
In other news…
Terraria co-creator Andrew Spinks has cancelled the release of Terraria for Google Stadia after being locked out of his Google account with no explanation provided by the tech giant.
My phone has lost access to thousands of dollars of apps on @GooglePlay. I had just bought LOTR 4K and can't finish it. My @googledrive data is completely gone. I can't access my @YouTube channel. The worst of all is losing access to my @gmail address of over 15 years.
— Andrew Spinks (@Demilogic) February 8, 2021
UK MP Douglas Chapman has formally proposed a bill that aims to ban the scalping of gaming hardware. While unlikely to pass, the bill may put pressure on the UK government to regulate the reselling of gaming hardware, including consoles, in a similar way to how the government currently regulates ticket reselling.
E3 is hoping to bring their convention online this year, following difficulties to digitise the event in 2020. E3 is now awaiting approval from major games companies in order to move forward with its plans.
Paramount Pictures have announced Sonic the Hedgehog 2, a sequel to their first Sonic movie which starred Ben Schwartz and James Marsden. Sonic the Hedgehog 2 is set for release on 8th April 2022. Watch the announcement trailer below:
Materia Collective has stated that it intends to pay all outstanding royalties in full by mid-February. Materia’s outstanding royalties include those owed to Celeste composer 2 Mello. However, 2 Mello and fellow games composer Christa Lee have reported that Materia has continued to fail to pay their royalties with the interest owed.
Materia Collective, a company who defends themselves by saying they paid out over a million dollars to artists in 2020, is "unable" to pay us some measly interest on royalty payments that we have not received in 18 months https://t.co/13aFdmj8Nv pic.twitter.com/iwXNYtvOpb
— 2 Mello (@MelloMakes) February 10, 2021
An email from Materia arrives. Still no mention of interest on outstanding royalties. All composers who were not paid royalties Materia collected over an extended span of time contributed directly to Materia’s operations; in short, a non-consensual loan. Interest is owed. pic.twitter.com/r5To2faKyD
— christa lee (@OhPoorPup) February 13, 2021
Controversial war game Six Days in Fallujah has been picked up by Victura, 11 years after being dropped by Konami. The game will be developed by ex-Bungie employees, with a 2021 release date currently set. Set in Iraq and based on real-world events, the game has been heavily criticised for glorifying the Iraq war and romanticising US and British military involvement in Iraq, as well as capitalising on the massacre and war crimes committed in Fallujah in 2004.
Jack Black will play Claptrap in the upcoming Borderlands movie. Black will be joining Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Hart and Cate Blanchett in the Eli Roth-directed film from Lionsgate.
— Nibel (@Nibellion) February 11, 2021
Influencers and streamers who create branded content will soon be eligible for union benefits from the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), a major Hollywood union. Benefits include earning union income, healthcare benefits, and pension benefits.
Kingdom Hearts will be released on the PC via the Epic Games Store on 20th March 2021. Finally, trash gamers like myself who missed Kingdom Hearts on consoles will finally be able to play this bizarre series.
Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey have been cast as Joel and Ellie in HBO’s upcoming The Last of Us show.
— Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) February 11, 2021