Hello and welcome to GYGO! I’m Joesph, your local can’t-play-a-modern-game-to-save-their-lifer, and I’ve spent this past week running through Chrono Trigger, which is just as good as I remember it. The way it makes use of the SNES’s limited resources absolutely blows me away sometimes. And luckily, being an old-style JRPG, I had plenty of time to look for this week’s gaming news while I waited for the turn-based combat to play out.

Enjoy!

Gaming Events Embrace the Safety of Home

This week the Entertainment Software Association confirmed on Twitter that E3 2021 would be a free digital event. This came as a response to reports that the ESA was considering locking some aspects of the show behind a paywall. The ESA ruffled feathers in their confirmation, calling their announcement “real news” in contrast to a quote tweeted report from Video Games Chronicle about the possible paywalling.

Summer Games Done Quick also announced this week that the 2021 event will be entirely online. The charity speedrunning showcase will air July 4–11 and is open to submissions from April 1 to 11.

Law Enforcement Cracks Down on Gaming Problems

Tencent and Chinese police collaborated to disrupt a massive video game cheat ring. The group reportedly sold cheats for Overwatch, Call of Duty Mobile, and others—pulling in as much as $76 million. The bust led to Chinese police seizing $46 million in assets and making 10 arrests.

Meanwhile, the Esports Integrity Commission has been working with Australian Police to look into match-fixing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, according to an interview with ESIC commissioner Ian Smith this week. The ESIC is a non-profit organization that esports leagues, teams, and platforms can choose to join to add an extra layer of protection against cheating. The commission is not a law enforcement agency, but are working with agencies in Australia, where match-fixing is a criminal offense.

According to Smith, the ESIC is currently interested in CS: GO‘s North American Mountain Dew League, where Smith says a small number of players have been bribed by third parties to throw matches. To address this practice the commission is currently working with the FBI’s relatively new sports betting investigative unit, which was formed in the wake of the United State’s legalization of sports betting in some areas in 2019.

In Other News…

This week Activision was hard at work issuing DMCA takedowns for videos related to an alleged map revamp in Call of Duty: Warzone. The footage apparently showing the map overhaul leaked earlier this week, and though some have theorized Activision’s zealous takedown strategy all but confirmed the changes.

Microsoft is reportedly moving forward with an almost $22 billion deal that will provide militarized VR Headsets to the US Army. Adapted versions of the Hololens are to be used directly by soldiers to “improve their efficiency,” which is a pretty dark way to frame acts of war. The deal, which started with $480 million in prototypes back in 2018, has long drawn criticism from Microsoft Workers 4 Good, a collective of Microsoft employees who aren’t comfortable producing weapons of war.

 

When Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time released on PC last month, players without internet struggled to play it. This is because the mostly single-player game with no online elements required an internet connection as part of its Digital Rights Management. A cracker, Empress, spent no time working on a solution that bypassed the inconvenient DRM and had one out within 24 hours of the game’s release.

Crab shells and other forms of chitin are showing promise as an efficient material for building PC parts. The chitin can be formed into a type of nanocarbon that may be both more conductive and more sustainable than current methods. I for one am ecstatic to build my first crustaceous PC.

It was discovered this week that the save files for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5+2.5 ReMIX for PC are stored within the metadata of pictures of Mickey and Sora’s faces. Metadata is most commonly stored in .txt files, and it’s not entirely clear why Square Enix decided to tie saves to image files other than because it’s a cute Easter egg.

Disco Elysium – The Final Cut is available this week. The free upgrade adds new features and an English voiceover, as well as new quests, animations, and clothing.

 

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