Hello and welcome to GYGO! I’m Kael, an apparently dedicated journalist, and I braved a typhoon to bring you this week’s news! I mean, I stayed in my house the whole time, but there was some massive thunder happening while I researched this week’s events. Aside from surviving the tropical summer, I was able to play some Mass Effect Legendary Edition and even started streaming my first game in Japanese. Let just say, if you’re looking for a great entry level Japanese game (okay maybe lower intermediate level), Animal Crossing has your back!
Anyway, here’s the news!
Games Companies Respond to Abuse and Assault Allegations
The following stories all discuss abuse or sexual assault to some degree. I avoid specific details, but please take care of yourselves.
Tabletop game developers are reevaluating ties with tabletop accessories manufacturer The Broken Token. This comes after a former employee, Ashley Taylor, claimed that CEO Greg Spence sexually assaulted her while she was at the company. In a Medium article, Taylor described a pattern of both professional and sexual abuse that put both her mental health and job on the line. Taylor stated that the decision to come forward was sparked by the presence of another victim.
Spence responded via the Broken Token Twitter account, denying all allegations.
The list of companies who have reevaluated their relationship with The Broken Token includes Cephalofair Games (Gloomhaven), Bezier Games (One Night series), Evil Hat Productions (Dresden Files Competitive Card Game), Iello (King of Tokyo), and Floodgate Games (Sagrada). The Broken Token manufactures and distributes officially licensed game accessories for tabletop developers, including dice and tokens.
Statement regarding Pedro Silva pic.twitter.com/lAaf4BK4HK
— Button City 🌟 OUT NOW! (@ButtonCity) August 17, 2021
Developer Subliminal faced criticism this week over Button City’s inclusion of controversial music figure Pedro Silva (aka Slime Girls). Though the specifics of the allegations against Silva are not available, Silva released apologies for abusive behavior via the Slime Girls Twitter account late last year. The apologies came eight months before Button City’s release, during which time Subliminal remained silent on the matter. On August 17th they released a statement on Twitter stating that Silva was a freelancer on the project that they did not know personally and that it was infeasible for their small team to rerecord the soundtrack at that stage. They went on to say that they were advised to avoid posting about the matter on social media to avoid harassment of the team.
Finally, Ian Taylor, former composer for Runescape, was sentenced to 22 months in prison this week for sexual assault of a minor. Runescape developer Jagex dismissed Taylor earlier this year when allegations came to light.
Twitch Streamers Respond to Platform Hate
In response to an increasing amount of harassment on the platform, some streamers are planning to boycott Twitch on September 1st. The past few months have seen the rise of “hate raids,” in which bots and bad actors flood the chat of (usually) marginalized streamers with slurs and Nazi imagery. In preparation for the boycott, Twitter hashtag #ADayOffTwitch gained traction alongside #TwitchDoBetter, reflecting some streamers’ perception that Twitch isn’t providing robust enough tools to moderate on the platform.
Emblematic of the type of hate that streamers are facing on the platform, popular streamer Amouranth reported that her house may have been targeted by an arsonist this week. Amouranth, who has previously been the target of harassment, stated on Twitter that a fire broke out outside her home near her trashcans. As of reporting investigation is still ongoing, but Amouranth stated that arson is suspected. In the same thread, she also opened up about other attacks on her home, including having fireworks nearly launched at it and weekly standoffs with SWAT agents called during streams. She has since worked with her local law enforcement to limit SWAT responses to her home.
Fortnite Imposters Event Looks Pretty Sus
it would've been really, really cool to collab haha.
just sad indie hours rn.
— Victoria Tran 🧋 (@TheVTran) August 17, 2021
This week Fortnite announced a limited-time “Imposters” event. The game mode features 10 players, two of which are secret imposters who try to kill the other agents while they complete various tasks around the map. When a dead body is discovered, the game pauses and surviving players discuss who the imposters could be. If you think this sounds suspiciously like hit indie game Among Us, you aren’t alone. Among Us devs took to Twitter after the announcement to discuss uncredited similarities to their game.
We didn't patent the Among Us mechanics. I don't think that leads to a healthy game industry. Is it really that hard to put 10% more effort into putting your own spin on it though?
— Puff (@PuffballsUnited) August 17, 2021
In other news…
Weeks after complaining about biphobic storylines in Matchmaker, Fusebox employees, the developers of Love Island: The Game, are facing layoffs. Season four is indefinitely delayed.
Hey I can't believe I have to address this, but please don't send me hate messages about my character in Boyfriend Dungeon. I know he sucks, but I'm just his voice actor. Please be respectful.
— Based And Grappilled (@Octopimp) August 16, 2021
Following last week’s conversations over Boyfriend Dungeon’s content warnings, Alexander Gross (the voice actor for the game’s antagonist) took to Twitter this week to ask players not to harass him over his character’s actions.
People Make Games released a report on the business practices of Roblox, a game platform valued at $45 billion. One-third of Roblox‘s userbase is under the age of 12, and the game allows players to create games and draw income from microtransactions. Users are allowed to cash out $1000 worth of in-game currency at a time, which nets them $350, making the company’s share 65%. The report goes into detail on why this might be more than a little shady.
We’re thrilled to FINALLY confirm: our re-imagined version of Myst for PC/VR… and Mac…. and for the first time ever… Xbox(!!) will be available on August 26th!
— Cyan Inc. (@cyanworlds) August 17, 2021
This week Cyan Worlds is releasing a “reimagining” of the adventure game classic Myst. The company published the original under the name Cyan, Inc. back in 1993, and plans to launch the remake on PC, VR, and Xbox.
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.