Welcome to this week’s Get Your Game On! I am December, and it’s time to FALL BACK into some gaming news! (Yes, my name does give me permission to make bad seasonal puns). Let’s see what’s happening this week:
Valhalla Calls! (For You to Come Back and Play Some Free Updates)
Amidst some senior development turmoil, Ubisoft announces the latest updates for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, which include base game updates in November and December, as well as free game activity Tombs of the Fallen and a free limited-time event, the Oskoreia Festival.
— Assassin's Creed (@assassinscreed) November 5, 2021
More details can be found on the Assassin’s Creed Twitter.
Blizzard Continues to Be the Worst to Their Employees
While Bobby Kotick claims that workers are being taken care of and positive change is coming, further allegations of harassment and poor working conditions have been brought to light by Activision Blizzard King workers earlier this week. Many workers now part of the A Better Activision Blizzard King Workers Alliance were temps or contractors hired through outside agencies, who were promised full-time employment only to have their contracts ended abruptly. Common complaints include ever-present crunch and 12-hour workdays, 7 days a week. Although some of these complaints predate Kotick’s commitment to change, it doesn’t seem like conditions have improved for contract workers.
We have learned from contractors across ABK that they are being forced to take mandatory unpaid leave during the holidays, putting them in immediate financial and housing crisis. Displacing workers who help create the products that generate ABK’s revenue is inhumane.
— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) November 4, 2021
Just three days prior to the contractor news breaking, Jen Oneal, Blizzard’s co-lead of fewer than three months, stepped down from her leadership role effective immediately, while also announcing that she plans to leave the company completely at year’s end. Her full statement can be found on Blizzard’s website. She claims that she is “doing this not because [she is] without hope for Blizzard, quite the opposite” …but would anyone blame her if it was because the situation is hopeless?
Mass Effect 5 Teased with a Poster on N7 Day
Yes, it’s finally been confirmed. A full year after the official announcement, Mass Effect 5 was teased on November 7th (known to Mass Effect fans as N7 day after the in-game intelligence agency):
We have another #N7Day surprise for you from the team working on the next Mass Effect. 👀
Thank you all for being the best fans in the world! pic.twitter.com/kUwASGJhcx
— Mass Effect (@masseffect) November 7, 2021
The image shows a new ship and some teeny tiny new crew members. A high-definition wallpaper can be found on EA’s Mass Effect page while the official Twitter account encourages fans to scour the high-res download for hidden details. Let me know if you find any shifty space cows in there.
In other news…
Netflix has released the first three episodes (known as “Act 1”) of its League of Legends series Arcane to positive reviews. The next three episodes (“Act 2”) will be released Saturday, November 13th.
Evil Hat Productions launched a Kickstarter for a new Thirsty Sword Lesbians expansion, Advanced Lovers and Lesbians. The Kickstarter has more than tripled its modest goal of $15,000, and at the time of this article is sitting at just over $48,000 with two weeks left on Kickstarter.
Early reviews of Shin Megami Tensei V compare it unfavorably to SMT’s spinoff property Persona 5 because it… isn’t Persona 5. Although the SMT series predates the Persona series by quite a bit, the gap in time between SMT IV and V, as well as the breakout popularity of Persona 5, have left the older series in the shadows. SMT V releases worldwide as a Switch exclusive on November 12th, at which point we can all judge it on how unlike Persona it is.
Maps, music, and features for the upcoming Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl leaked online late last weekend. Fans continue to scour for more information on the remakes while Nintendo tries to take down all leaks as they pop up. For a remake. Of a decade-old game. Do y’all wanna know the starters, too?
December Cuccaro (she/her) is an MFA graduate from the University of Nevada, Reno and a member of the 2021 Clarion West cohort. When not rambling about video games, she writes about sapphic werewolves and sad necromancers searching for friendship.