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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

ICYMI

Valve banned games with cryptocurrency or NFT trading. Probably because it’s difficult to make money from these in-game transactions but hey, I’ll take what I can get. Good riddance!

Epic Games is capitalizing on Valve’s crypto ban by saying it is open to blockchain-based games.

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.