Hey, everybody! Before we get started, I wanted to direct you to a place where you can tangibly help stop the spread of hate in America against AAPI individuals. Targeted hate crimes against this community have severely spiked in recent months, and if you have the time and resources, I highly recommend donating to one of the listed organizations.

More Layoffs in the Industry

On the 16th, Activision Blizzard engaged in some pretty severe employee layoffs, the latest in a series:

To add insult to injury, reports suggested laid-off employees were a $200 gift card to Battle.net, Blizzard’s online store. Most of these recent layoffs were for teams dedicated to live events and esports, following the restrictions on large gatherings due to COVID. But will this trend of corporate shrink continue?

Things Entering and Leaving the Black Market

In better news, the controversial Taiwanese game Devotion is once again available for purchase:

Devotion has been taken off all selling platforms multiple times after a reference to the character Winnie the Pooh (largely verboten in China due to jokes about the resemblance between the bear and Chinese leader Xi Jinping). Developer Red Candle has taken matters into their own hands and is selling the game on their own website, in a win for everyone who wants to play this lauded horror experience.

Perhaps on the opposite end of the gaming spectrum and yet somehow still relevant under this heading, a story broke about the seedy underbelly of the beloved millennial game Neopets:

While it’s less back-alley and more quality-of-life improvement, it’s still kind of wild.

New Developments to Look Forward To

Finally, there are three big pieces of news this week for gamers about things they can expect in the future of their chosen hobby.

First, the controllers for the next generation of PSVR have been displayed, and boy, are they something.

As a PSVR player who hates the Move controllers with a fiery passion, I’m excited to see what these can do.

Next, although Square Enix’s Avengers has not seen commercial success, with only an average of 500 players at any time on Steam, they recently put forward a series of massive expansions, including several new areas and two new controllable characters, including my personal favorite, Black Panther.

Will these changes and the next-gen upgrade entice more players into the fold?

And finally, the sleeper indie darling Among Us is about to release a new map that promises tons of sleuthy, murdery fun

It seems like the devs’ decision to cancel the sequel and continue to pump out updates for the original game is paying off in a big way.