Welcome to 2022! I’m December and this is Get Your Game On! Let’s see what’s good and (more likely) what’s terrible in the gaming world today:
Square Enix Wants in on the Blockchain and It’s Still a Bad Idea
Coming hot off the heels of Final Fantasy XVI’s delay, Square Enix gets the new year off to a terrible start with an announcement from President Yosuke Matsuda that the company’s 2022 resolution is to invest heavily in blockchain games. Gross.
Square Enix isn’t the first game company to try and get in on the blockchain craze: Ubisoft caught major flak for promoting NFTs for Ghost Recon Breakpoint (and their sales have been absolutely abysmal).
But here’s the thing: we all railed against microtransactions when they first started becoming a thing and now AAA developers are practically lining up for the bandwagon. While Square Enix might go the way of Ubisoft’s NFTs, eventually we’ll reach the point where an in-game incentive that comes from owning an NFT (or whatever the new blockchain gamification becomes) outweighs the backlash against it. Granted, NFTs are even less tangible and more expensive than most microtransactions, but I don’t see the end result being too different without major boycotts.
Here’s hoping that Square Enix listens to fans and puts this idea in the trash.
Riot Games Settles $100 Million Gender Discrimination Lawsuit
A 2018 lawsuit filed by former and current female Riot Games employees against the League of Legends publisher was settled for $100 million in favor of over 2,000 female employees and contractors. The suit covers employees going back to November 2014.
The lawsuit was almost settled for $10 million in 2019, but that agreement was denied by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). The new settlement has been approved by DFEH.
DFEH had similarly planned to intervene in the Activision Blizzard case, which is currently expected to be settled around $18 million, but was blocked by a ruling from a federal judge. Hopefully, the outcome of the Riot case bolsters the Activision Blizzard employees’ own case.
In other news…
A small library of Slovak games from the late 80s has been translated into English by a joint project between the Slovak Game Developers Association and the Slovak Design Museum using funds from the Slovak Arts Council. You can find the list of games (and the emulator to play them on) here.
Games Workshop Co-Founder Ian Livingstone was knighted this week to honor his services to the online gaming industry. Blood for the English queen! Pixels for the English throne!
John Madden, NFL coaching legend and namesake of EA’s Madden NFL series, passed away on December 28th at the age of 85.
Sega discussed its plans to make the Persona series a global brand with investors earlier this week. The plan includes some heavy merchandising and potential multimedia opportunities. Does this mean that Sega will bring the (three parts and counting) Persona 5 stage play to the states? Fingers crossed!
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.