Hello and welcome to Get Your Game On. My name is Zainabb and oh look, we’re back in the Activision Blizzard hellfire. In more lighthearted gaming news, the images from the Grand Theft Auto Trilogy remaster have been making me laugh this week.
Remember to drink some water, relax your shoulders, and maybe treat yourself to a Sega cologne if you’re feeling it. Let’s get to this week’s gaming news.
Activision Blizzard Come Under Fire from PlayStation, Xbox, Employees, and Shareholders
Last week saw a report from the Wall Street Journal which claimed Activision CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of complaints made about abuse and harassment at Activision Blizzard and failed to meaningfully respond. Kotick was also accused of harassment himself. Now, PlayStation and Xbox have criticised Activision in internal communications, with Xbox head Phil Spencer stating that Xbox is “evaluating all aspects of our relationship with Activision Blizzard and making ongoing proactive adjustments.” PlayStation have not made any similar comments, suggesting that the company isn’t planning to re-evaluate big contracts with Activision Blizzard like Call of Duty and Overwatch.
Spencer said he and his executive team are "disturbed and deeply troubled by the horrific events and actions” at Activision Blizzard following this week's revelations that Bobby Kotick knew for years about sexual harassment and was himself a perpetrator of misconduct
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) November 18, 2021
The Activision Blizzard board of directors has expressed support for Kotick in a public statement, where they claim that “under Bobby Kotick’s leadership the Company is already implementing industry leading changes including a zero tolerance harassment policy.” The statement also emphasises that “the Board remains confident that Bobby Kotick appropriately addressed workplace issues brought to his attention.” Bobby Kotick is himself a board member.
Why is Bobby Kotick still CEO of Activision Blizzard? Because the board is full of his pals — an old boys' club that's made lots and lots of money by sticking with him. This week's newsletter: https://t.co/70JuvSl1Ls
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) November 19, 2021
In the wake of this week’s news, Activision Blizzard held an all-staff meeting where company leaders continued to express support for Kotick. According to GameDeveloper, employees questioned whether the company’s “zero tolerance harassment policy,” as mentioned in the board’s statement, would apply to Kotick himself. Employees were apparently told that the policy would not apply to Kotick, as the company does not “have evidence” to support claims of harassment made against him in the past.
As a result of all this, a shareholder group is now calling for Kotick and two other board members to resign. The group owns approximately 4.8 million shares in Activision Blizzard (out of a total 778.89 million shares). In addition, over 1,300 Activision Blizzard employees have signed a petition calling for Kotick to resign, and over 100 employees walked out last week, led by ABK Workers Alliance. At the time of writing, almost 22,000 people have signed a public petition calling for the resignation of Kotick.
Almost 13k signatures on the public petition already! We are incredibly humbled by the support and solidarity showed to us by the community. Every voice matters and we thank you for using yours. Keep the petition going! https://t.co/1ZNGC9HPou
— ABetterABK 💙 ABK Workers Alliance (@ABetterABK) November 19, 2021
In other news…
The first trailer for upcoming platform brawler MultiVersus has been released. The game features popular characters from various Warner Bros franchises like Game of Thrones, Looney Tunes, and the DC Universe. Notably, it seems that the creators of the characters featured weren’t involved in the development of the game. You can watch the first trailer below:
Sega has dropped three colognes inspired by Shenmue, Yakuza, and… Sonic the Hedgehog? It feels like a weird move but the scents actually sound great. They’re currently available to preorder on Sega’s EU and UK shops, although the Yakuza scent seems to have sold out. (Am I considering buying the Shenmue one? Absolutely.)
Smells like something new has landed!
Introducing the Yakuza, Shenmue and Sonic the Hedgehog unisex Cologne from @numskulldesigns!
With three awesome scents, which is your favourite?
— SEGA Shop Europe (@SegaShopEurope) November 18, 2021
In other Sonic news, our fave blue hedgehog is coming to Monster Hunter Rise. From November 26, players will be able to access free content including Sonic armour, Sonic and Tails costumes, and collectibles for in-game homes.
Capcom has officially revealed the Monster Hunter Rise x Sonic collaboration and it is as crazy as you'd expect! pic.twitter.com/TqYFTfGrfU
— Stealth (@Stealth40k) November 17, 2021
Rockstar has apologised for the disastrous launch of the remastered Grand Theft Auto Trilogy and released the game’s first update this week. The patch includes a whole host of bug fixes, and Rockstar has promised further patch updates. They’ll also reinstate the classic PC versions of the games to the Rockstar Store.
Streaming software provider Streamlabs OBS has changed its name to “Streamlabs” following criticism and allegations that the company had copied its design and website from competitor Lightstream. Streamlabs released a short statement on Twitter announcing its name change and stating that they “take responsibility for our actions,” but did not mention the plagiarism claims made against them.
Near the launch of SLOBS, @streamlabs reached out to us about using the OBS name. We kindly asked them not to. They did so anyway and followed up by filing a trademark
We’ve tried to sort this out in private and they have been uncooperative at every turnhttps://t.co/r1eXr3VxcJ
— OBS (@OBSProject) November 17, 2021
🤡 Hey, can I copy your homework?
▽ Yeah, just change it up a bit so it’s not obvious you copied.
🤡 Bet. pic.twitter.com/xODY5uDZeP
— Lightstream (@Lightstream) November 16, 2021
A new animated series based on Earthworm Jim has been announced. The show, called Earthworm Jim, Beyond the Groovy, will follow Jim and his team as they traverse space, attempting to find their way to Earth. The show will be produced by Interplay Entertainment and the Agency for the Performing Arts. Interplay has stated that Earthworm Jim creator and known anti-LGBTQIA+ bigot Doug TenNapel has no involvement with the development of this show.
Handheld use of a mobile phone while driving, including to play mobile games, will be banned in the UK. Currently, it’s illegal to text or make phone calls by hand while driving. Hands-free use, such as via voice commands or a dashboard cradle, is not restricted. No date has been announced for when this change will come into effect but please don’t play Pokémon Go while driving, regardless of the laws in your local area. I can’t believe this needs to be said.
Alien: Isolation is coming to iOS and Android on December 16 and will include all DLC. The game will feature controller support as well as a fully customisable touchscreen interface. You can watch the trailer below: