Welcome back to Get Your Game On, which might as well be renamed, “What garbage is Activision Blizzard pulling today?” Let’s find out!
The Ongoing Blizzard Fight: A Better ABK Organizer Leaves the Gaming Industry, Activision Blizzard “Removed” from Game Awards
In the midst of the uphill struggle to improve Activision Blizzard’s working conditions, Jessica Gonzales, an organizer for the worker group A Better ABK, has left both Activision Blizzard and the gaming industry itself. In the resignation announcement she posted on Twitter, she singles out Bobby Kotick’s “refusal to take accountability” as the driving factor behind the company’s loss of employee talent.
My resignation from Blizzard Entertainment pic.twitter.com/eJeTsYGFv8
— Jessica Gonzalez 💙 #WeAreRaven (@BlizzJess) November 30, 2021
Multiple employee petitions have called for Kotick’s removal, but the Activision Blizzard board (which is filled with Kotick’s friends) continues to support Kotick and his reign of misogyny, indifference to worker struggles (which now includes layoffs in a department that was just promised raises), and general awfulness.
Activision Blizzard continues to see minor consequences from the decision to support Kotick over their workers: stock prices have plummeted 39% over the past six months, and although earlier in the week The Game Awards creator Geoff Keighley claimed that the awards show “wouldn’t take sides,” it has since been announced that Activision Blizzard won’t have any role in The Game Awards beyond having their nominated games announced during the awards. It’s unclear what Activision Blizzard had planned for The Game Awards, if anything, but more and more the ceremony has also come to include E3-style announcements such as trailers for game-based shows and previews for upcoming games. So if you were looking for Diablo IV news this week, look elsewhere (or just… stop).
343 Celebrates Halo’s 20th Anniversary with a Strange Collectible
Swarovski Crystals and 343 Industries have teamed up to release a crystal Master Chief Helmet and crystal Energy Sword to celebrate the release of Halo Infinite and the series’ 20th anniversary. These bizarre collectibles, aimed at whatever demographic is simultaneously your grandmother and a frat bro, can only be won in a drawing on Swarovski’s website. The registration form also includes a survey asking what other games you’d like to see made into crystal collectibles, with diverse offerings such as Minecraft, League of Legends, Sonic the Hedgehog, and The Sims. There is also an “other” box, in case, like me, you want to suggest Swarovski Solas.
It Takes Two Abandoned Trademark in Dispute with Take-Two Games
It was revealed earlier this week that Hazelight Studios abandoned the trademark claim for their co-op puzzler It Takes Two in late March when Take-Two Interactive Software, the parent company of Rockstar Games, filed a trademark dispute against them. Take-Two is notorious for their wide-ranging claims of trademark infringement and have racked up dozens of claims in the past year filing against companies that include words such as “rockstar” or “social club” in their name.
In other news…
The full list of nominations for The Game Awards (which take place on Thursday, December 9th) can be found here.
G4TV relaunches on Twitch and Youtube.
Stardew Valley released update 1.5.5 for PC.
As of December 4, just days before the wide release of the Endwalker expansion, Final Fantasy XIV has broken its previous record of 67,000 active players on Steam with an astounding 90,000 active players. Endwalker went live for early access players on December 3; the expansion official launch is December 7.
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.