Content warning: mention of harassment and discrimination.
Hello and welcome to Get Your Game On. My name is Zainabb and can we go a single week without a new episode in the Activision Blizzard saga? No. No, we can’t.
Remember to drink some water, take your meds, and have a nap if—like me—you’re completely exhausted all of the time.
Activision Blizzard Faces a Federal Investigation While Quantic Dream CEOs Win One Libel Suit and Lose Several Others
Activision Blizzard is now involved in a federal investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC has subpoenaed CEO Bobby Kotick, alongside other unnamed senior executives. The investigation aims to examine how Activision Blizzard has handled allegations of harassment and discrimination from employees.
Alongside this investigation, the company faces a lawsuit from California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Blizzard’s Chief Legal Officer, Claire Hart, announced this week that she recently resigned from the company, while Overwatch 2 executive producer and Blizzard Vice President, Chacko Sonny, also announced his resignation. Neither announcement acknowledges the lawsuit or its subsequent spate of resignations.
Meanwhile, Quantic Dream co-CEOs David Cage and Guillaume de Fondaumière have won their libel suit against French newspaper Le Monde—but lost their libel suit against Mediapart, another French publication. Both publications, alongside French media outlet Canard PC, published a joint report in 2018 which included employee allegations of a toxic work environment at the studio. Cage and de Fondaumière won their suit against Le Monde as the publication could not verify some of its reporting without revealing the identities of anonymous sources. Mediapart was ruled to have proved its good faith reporting practices.
These lawsuits are separate to libel cases brought against Le Monde and Mediapart by Quantic Dream as a company. Alongside Cage and de Fondaumière’s failed lawsuit against Mediapart, both Quantic Dream suits have failed. The allegations published in the original 2018 report have not been disproved, with these rulings in favour of the publications potentially bolstering the validity of the report’s claims.
Anyway, Quantic Dream is currently developing a Star Wars game so I’m expecting to continue to see white men failing up.
In other news…
Epic Games CEO, Tim Sweeney, stated that Apple has “blacklisted” Fortnite until the exhaustion of its appeals process, which could take up to five years. Sweeney tweeted a notice from Apple stating that Epic’s developer account will not be considered for reinstatement until the end of the appeals process, due to Epic’s “breach of contract, and… trust”.
Late last night, Apple informed Epic that Fortnite will be blacklisted from the Apple ecosystem until the exhaustion of all court appeals, which could be as long as a 5-year process. pic.twitter.com/QCD7wogJef
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) September 22, 2021
In other Fortnite news, the game has launched a new Venom skin, allowing you to play as—or destroy—Tom Hardy (as Eddie Brock). Fortnite players can look forward to seeing Tom Hardy running, shooting, and flossing his way around the map.
NEW VENOM SKIN!!!
(via @RatioFN & @InTheShadeYT) pic.twitter.com/ERVcIi87AG
— Shiina (@ShiinaBR) September 23, 2021
The National Music Publishers’ Association and Twitch have reached an agreement over the use of music on the streaming platform. The agreement isn’t a licensing deal so streamers still won’t be able to use copyrighted music. The agreement focuses on future partnerships between music publishers and Twitch, but further details remain unclear.
Following last week’s release of Deltarune Chapter 2, developer Toby Fox has stated that the next three chapters will be released at the same time. The dev team will then start charging for the whole game.
This week’s surprise Nintendo Direct stream resulted in a host of announcements, including a new Kirby game, an expanded Nintendo Switch Online library, and Genesis and Nintendo 64 controllers for the Switch. Animal Crossing: New Horizons players can expect Brewster and the Roost to return to the franchise in November in an eagerly-awaited major update to the game.
Nintendo also announced that the upcoming feature-length Mario movie will be released on December 21st, 2022 in the US, and the film will star the worst Chris, Chris Pratt, as Mario for some reasonz? Reading through the cast list makes my head swim, with Jack Black, Anya Taylor-Joy, Keegan-Michael Key, and Seth Rogan all featuring.
Imagine surviving two recessions and a pandemic only to have to endure Chris Pratt as Mario
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) September 24, 2021
A Blade Runner tabletop game will launch from Free League Publishing in 2022. The game takes place between the original film and Blade Runner 2049, with players in the role of detectives searching for artificial people. Further details are yet to be announced, but expect hard-boiled noir and investigative gameplay.
The Sims 4 released a significant base game update, increasing the number of colour and pattern swatches available for many base game items and plants. This means that some of these items now finally have patterns and tones that match! Two new DLC kits have also been released, featuring fashion inspired by India and South Korea.
Dekanalog has released the first trailer for upcoming horror film Detention, an adaptation of the Taiwanese video game of the same name. Set in 1960s Taiwan, during the White Terror era, the film follows a school-girl (played by Gingle Wang) confronted by supernatural forces haunting her high school. The film releases on October 8th, and you can watch the trailer below.
We are so unbelievably proud to be releasing John Hsu's brilliant, terrifying DETENTION on October 8th… just in time for the Halloween season!
Get ready for one of the creepiest rides of your life, because this nightmare – based on a true story – is NOT messing around. 👻🇹🇼 pic.twitter.com/nZxW2QK970
— Dekanalog (@dekanalog_) September 22, 2021
Netflix’s The Witcher has been renewed for a third season on the streaming platform, which will be released on December 17th. Somewhat bizarrely, Netflix also announced a kids’ spin-off series based in the world of The Witcher, but no other details have been announced.
Life is Strange Remastered will now be released on February 1st, 2022. The game was originally supposed to be released shortly after Life is Strange: True Colors but was postponed due to the pandemic.
The UK’s Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has published guidance on advertising in-game purchases, including premium currencies. The guidance applies to in-game adverts and ads seen elsewhere, such as on YouTube or television. The ASA aims to restrict misleading information about purchases, and to prevent consumers from feeling pressured into making purchases.
In heartwarming news, hundreds of EverQuest players have raised over $10,000 for a family whose home was destroyed by Hurricane Ida. The players gathered on a private server to run through the classic MMORPG, using Discord to communicate and spread links to the fundraiser. As a result, the fundraiser reached its $10,000 goal in three days, and yes, I am tearing up over this. If you’re looking for other ways to support people impacted by Hurricane Ida, please consider donating to and sharing the GNO Caring Collective and their efforts.
Zainabb Hull is an editor at Sidequest, a freelance writer and videographer, and sort-of artist. They’re also a trans, queer, and disabled brown femme. They tweet into the void at @ZainabbHull.