Welcome to get your game on! I’m Maddi, here with the good, the bad, and the somewhere in-between gaming news for the last week. But first, hey. How are you doing? Been playing anything new or good lately? Recently I’ve been consumed by the urge to landscape and redecorate my entire Animal Crossing island, Flavortown, with mushroom decor. Let us know what you’ve been up to over on our Twitter, or if you subscribe to our Patreon at the Sega Genesis Tier or higher, you can bring your hottest recommendations to our Discord! Now, speaking of Animal Crossing, here’s this week’s news.
Paizo Staff Members Have Formed the United Paizo Workers Union
Though video game studios are usually the ones in the news for mistreating and overworking their employees, current and former employees at tabletop game company Paizo have been speaking out about experiencing a hostile work environment there. Paizo is best known for the Pathfinder and Starfinder RPGs. Now, Paizo employees have formed the United Paizo Workers union, one of the first of its kind in the tabletop gaming industry.
Remember: when one party member is in trouble, we *all* roll initiative. This movement is built of Paizo staff, out of the love we have for our games, each other, and the community. We can’t do this without your support. 13/n
— United Paizo Workers #UnionizePaizo (@PaizoWorkers) October 14, 2021
Back in September, Paizo fired its customer service and community manager for unknown reasons, which led to another employee resigning in solidarity. Shortly after, game designer Jessica Price wrote a Twitter thread detailing some frankly horrifying office conditions during her time there. Other former employees, including Crystal Frasier and Lissa Guillet, also made allegations of mistreatment. For a more thorough rundown, mods on the Pathfinder subreddit have compiled a full list of every allegation made. According to the press release on the United Paizo Workers site (linked above in the first paragraph), these events spurred on the union’s formation, which was already in the process of organizing when Price, Frasier, and Guillet spoke out. At time of writing, more than 35 employees have joined the union.
Welp, Paizo just fired their two most senior customer service people (one a woman, one a POC) for apparently being too willing to push back on abusive management.
Of course, this also means that the last person they might retaliate against for me airing dirty laundry is gone.
— Jessica Price (@Delafina777) September 13, 2021
Now the United Paizo Workers are calling for voluntary recognition from management as the first step toward building a healthier and more equitable workplace. If you would like to help the union, you can do so by using the #UnionizePaizo hashtag on Twitter and emailing Paizo executives to express your support. (They also have a merch shop that supports the union’s website and any other expenses it might incur.)
Metroid Dread Doesn’t Give Credit Where Credit Is Due
The long-awaited Metroid Dread released to critical acclaim earlier this October. However, several employees who worked on the game said they have not been credited for their efforts. According to Ars Technica, this is because the studio requires that an employee works on a project for at least 25% of the development cycle to receive credit for it.
We spoke to MercurySteam, who confirmed most staff who worked on a game for less than 25% of development time are not credited: https://t.co/NrRQGrYSIm
— Gabe Gurwin (@GamingAngelGabe) October 14, 2021
Sadly, this practice isn’t uncommon. Developers on Deathloop said some were either left out of the game’s credits or relegated to a “special thanks” section at the end. Additionally, Rockstar Games (known for Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto V) notoriously only credited developers who stayed with projects to completion until earlier this year.
Not only does this make it difficult for developers to further their careers, this practice devalues the necessary support work that goes into making a video game.
Animal Crossing Gets Its First and Final Major Update
In March 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons emerged as one of the most popular games of the year as players used it to connect with one another when they couldn’t spend time together in real life. However, many players quickly burned out on Animal Crossing thanks to repetitive interactions and a lack of quality of life updates. Since the game’s launch, updates have mostly focused on holiday-themed NPCs, items, and DIY recipes.
On October 15, Nintendo announced new New Horizons updates in an Animal Crossing direct. Animal Crossing version 2.0 will include the arrival of fan-favorites Brewster, Kapp’n, and FROGGY CHAIR. It will also introduce Gyroids to players’ islands along with a few other features. Personally, I’m most excited to grow ingredients and cook recipes. This update will be available for free on November 5.
The free Ver. 2.0 update launches on 11/5! Whether you're heading to the Roost for a cup of Brewster's finest coffee or taking a boat trip with Kapp'n to a mysterious island, you'll soon have new ways to enjoy your island life. #AnimalCrossing #ACNH pic.twitter.com/iNkraGqtdF
— Isabelle (@animalcrossing) October 15, 2021
Additionally, Nintendo will release Happy Home Paradise, a paid expansion, on November 5. This DLC allows players to build vacation homes for their favorite characters and will make new home-decorating techniques available to players. The Happy Home Paradise DLC will be available to purchase for $24.99, or for free with the recently announced Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership.
Create dream vacation homes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise!
This paid DLC for #AnimalCrossing: New Horizons arrives on 11/5 as paid DLC for $24.99, with preorders starting 10/29.
— Isabelle (@animalcrossing) October 15, 2021
Epic Games is capitalizing on Valve’s crypto ban by saying it is open to blockchain-based games.
Epic Games Store will welcome games that make use of blockchain tech provided they follow the relevant laws, disclose their terms, and are age-rated by an appropriate group. Though Epic's not using crypto in our games, we welcome innovation in the areas of technology and finance. https://t.co/6W7hb8zJBw
— Tim Sweeney (@TimSweeneyEpic) October 15, 2021
Free-to-play RPG Genshin Impact announced a community challenge: If enough players followed a Twitter account for NPC Ella Musk, Genshin Impact would invite real human Elon Musk to their headquarters. Though developer miHoYo framed the challenge in a jokey way, the real-world harm Elon Musk and his company have caused is uh, not funny at all. Needless to say, fans did not respond well. Perhaps realizing that, miHoYo quickly deleted the community challenge.
Froggy chair? Froggy chair.
greetings froggy chair enthusiasts pic.twitter.com/JFVE2nIlDO
— no gods, no kings, only sam @ halloweeeeeeeeeeeeen (@Dt75Art) October 15, 2021
frasier looking at froggy chair pic.twitter.com/oMf8VEmodl
— frasier looking at video games (@frasier_looking) October 15, 2021
Madison Butler is Sidequest’s self-proclaimed jock editor. She co-founded the blog Critsumption and once got really into powerlifting via Fitness Boxing for the Nintendo Switch. She tweets at @_maddilo.