Hello and welcome to GYGO! I’m Kael, your local gaming dilettante, and I’ve tried to play four separate JRPGs this week. It started with Ni No Kuni, which is absolutely beautiful but has a seemingly never-ending tutorial. Then it was back to Chrono Trigger, a slight dip into Dark Cloud 2, before I finally settled into Nier Automata. Now the fun thing about Nier is that my current PC has a mid-range graphics card from 2014, and can only reasonably run it on 480p. Personally, I think more games should consider worse graphics as an aesthetic because the PlayStation-2-style visuals really work with Nier.
Anyway, when I wasn’t making a vibe out of old hardware I was collecting this weeks gaming news. Enjoy!
Valve Gets Sued for Taking Too Big a Cut
Developer Wolfire Games and originator of the Humble Bundle, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Valve last week. The lawsuit alleges that Steam uses its market dominance to coerce developers into accepting its high platform fees. As it stands, 30% of every sale (except for games that sell over $10,000) goes to Valve. Platforms such as Epic Games have instituted fees as low as 12%, but haven’t been able to get anywhere near Steam’s hold on the market.
Following Epic Games’ example, the Microsoft Store is planning on reducing its fees to 12%, on PC platforms only. The computing giant reportedly has no plans for its 30% cut of all digital sales on the Xbox store. This contradicts a court document that came out during the Epic vs. Apple lawsuit this week, which outlined plans to bring down platform fees across the Xbox console too.
And this actually brings us to our next story,
Epic vs. Apple Lawsuit Begins
"I would suck all of you to get Fortnite mobile back," said one voice on the US district court conference call. https://t.co/Ri1J03nLQx
— PC Gamer (@pcgamer) May 3, 2021
So the Epic vs. Apple battle has begun. To quickly recap, in August of 2020 Apple and Google removed Fortnite from their mobile stores for bypassing their platform payment systems, which take a cut of every transaction processed. Epic Games responded by filing antitrust lawsuits against both companies.
Now the Apple case has officially started, and it’s already a mess. The trial is being held in person, but with a limited number of people allowed in the courtroom. To allow people to watch the proceedings live, the court installed zoom conference meetings capable of holding hundreds of people. That they didn’t mute. The calls allowed anyone to join as a host, which then allowed them to broadcast their audio over both the call and the courthouse speakers. The court was able to regain partial control over the mics, but occasionally throughout the proceedings Fortnite fans would get through and try to shout something before they got muted.
The trial is set to continue for the next few weeks.
Here's a thread of every collab that has been scrapped or postponed for unknown reasons as per the court documents from the Epic Games vs. Apple trial pic.twitter.com/07ZvqcSlIe
— Fortnite News (@FortniteINTEL) May 3, 2021
In other news…
Epic Games bought Artstation, a portfolio tool used by visual artists in multiple industries, including games. Epic announced they would be lowering the platform’s price following the purchase.
Bonuses are still set to go out for the Cyberpunk 2077 staff. This includes management, who will receive much higher compensation than developers, reaching millions of dollars. This is in spite of the widely reported mismanagement that contributed to crunch and a rushed launch for the game.
Last year Ubisoft Montreal received multiple false SWAT calls on their headquarters, leading to evacuations and fears of hostage situations. According to French publication La Presse, both Ubisoft and local police now suspect banned Rainbow Six Siege player Yanni Ouahioune. Ouahioune was banned for unrelated incidents of cheating. Ouahioune denied the swatting allegations and asked Ubisoft to reinstate his account.
the fact that this came out says to me that too many development studios do not have black people in decision making roles. it isn't wrong for mei to wear cornrows or whatever, but having a managers who are familiar with why this would be controversial would have been helpful. https://t.co/TCnrQtm1uJ
— Gita Jackson: know it all (derogatory) (@xoxogossipgita) April 28, 2021
This week Overwatch released an MMA themed skin for Chinese character Mei. The skin features Mei in cornrows, which irritated fans still waiting for a Black woman to be playable. Some have pointed out that it is common for MMA fighters to braid their hair for matches, and so the issue isn’t exactly the hairstyle itself, but that it highlights the lack of diversity already present in the Overwatch roster (and development team).
Medal of Honor developer Respawn Entertainment is now the first game development studio to win an Oscar. The win came for Colette, a short WWII documentary co-produced by Respawn and Oculus that follows one of the last surviving members of the French resistance as she revisits Germany. The film is available for free through The Guardian.
Final Fantasy XIV and Butterfinger are teaming up to release a new chocolate-themed mount within the MMORPG. Receiving one requires buying $5 worth of chocolate and uploading proof of purchase to the Game With Butterfinger site. Butterfinger is also putting together a charity stream for Extra Life, including a $50,000 match for donations.
Butterfinger isn’t the only company teaming up with a game. Rock Love Jewelry is joining with Pokemon to release a line of jewelry. So far this includes bracelets, necklaces, and earrings featuring Dragonair, Rowlett, and Mudkip respectively.
Whoooo’s that Pokémon gracing our latest collab with @RockLoveJewelry? 👀 It’s Rowlet—and Dragonair, Mudkip, and Piplup too!
See the whole collection at the #PokemonCenter!
— Pokémon (@Pokemon) April 29, 2021
Super Mario Party just got online play, which has been weirdly absent since it was released in 2018.
Keep the party going! A free update to #SuperMarioParty adds online play to the board game mode, 70 minigames , and the 2 vs 2 Partner Party mode. Available now!
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) April 27, 2021
Touken Ranbu, a popular Japanese gacha game known for its hot swordsmen, is officially available in English.
The Stadia store is getting a search bar, which does seem like something a digital storefront should have.
This now means…
High Moon Studios
Toys for Bob
…are now all working on Call of Duty.
— CharlieIntel (@charlieINTEL) April 30, 2021
Crash Bandicoot 4 developers, Toys for Bob, are now working on Call of Duty, making it official that all of Activision’s internal studios are working on the CoD franchise.
if ur having a bad day heres Terry Crews calling you his little pogchamp pic.twitter.com/BKhHeJECYk
— ✧･ﾟ: *Karis*:･ﾟ✧ (@kwehzy) December 6, 2020
Discord is coming to PlayStation, making it that much easier to connect with friends while gaming.
Riot is set to start recording all Valorant voice chats in a future update. The function is an attempt to curb toxicity in the player base by allowing for after-the-fact moderation. Players will only be able to opt out of recordings by choosing not to use voice chat altogether.
The last major games console magazine, Official PlayStation Magazine, is dropping its PlayStation licensing. This magazine will relaunch with the same staff as Play Magazine.
A genderless eldritch beast bound to mortal flesh. Interests include games, gardening, magical realism, and the complete restructuring of America’s political and economic systems. Frequently orders too much food at restaurants. Tweets @unnnez.