Hello and welcome to Get Your Game On! I’m Maddi and I sure do have a regrettable (read: non-zero) amount of NFT news for you this week, but, dare I say, it is not all bad. Before we get to that, though, tell me: have you been playing anything good lately? Because I have been playing a lot of mobile games, including My Horse Prince, and while it is hilarious, I would not go so far as to call it good. Please save me from myself, and feel free to send us your recommendations on Twitter, or, if you’re a member of our Patreon at the Sega Genesis tier or higher, in our Discord! Okay, now it’s time for the news.
Google Stadia Has Been “Deprioritized”
It may seem like several decades have passed since then, but remember when Google officially announced Google Stadia back in November of 2019? Stadia is Google’s bid at a cloud gaming service, which allows players to purchase games and stream them on Chromium-based web browsers, Chromecast and Android TV devices, and a mobile app for Android smartphones. It launched to mixed reviews thanks to some missing features and a limited catalogue, and never quite reached the popularity of native platforms like Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Now.
Almost exactly a year ago in February 2021, Google announced in a blog post that it was shutting down SG&E, the internal game development studio founded to produce Stadia exclusives. Now, according to a Business Insider report, Google has decided to deprioritize the Stadia. The Business Insider report is behind a paywall, but Ars Technica reported that Google Stadia will likely pivot to a “Google Stream” service that would essentially allow companies to use Google’s technology to distribute their own games. While the Stadia Twitter account assures users that the team is working hard to ensure “a great future” for the platform, that future doesn’t seem very certain at the moment.
If you hear one thing, hear this: The Stadia team is working really hard on a great future for Stadia and cloud gaming.
We hope you agree, and we know the proof is in the playing.
— Stadia ☁️🎮 (@GoogleStadia) February 5, 2022
Creators Are Starting to Walk Back NFT Plans
Perhaps realizing that players do not wish to be roped into thinly veiled money laundering schemes, some are starting to reconsider their NFT projects. Troy Baker, who announced his partnership with VoiceVerseNFT in January, has stepped away from the project after “careful consideration.”
Thank you all for your feedback and patience. After careful consideration, I’ve decided to not continue the partnership with VoiceVerseNFT. Intentions aside, I’ve heard you and apologize for accusing anyone of “hating” just by simply disagreeing with me.
— Troy Baker (@TroyBakerVA) January 31, 2022
Quickest backtrack award goes to game publisher Team17, who announced MetaWorms, an NFT collection based on the Worms franchise, on January 31, and cancelled it on February 1 after backlash from development partners and community members.
Team17 is today announcing an end to the MetaWorms NFT project.
We have listened to our Teamsters, development partners, and our games’ communities, and the concerns they’ve expressed, and have therefore taken the decision to step back from the NFT space.
— Team17 (@Team17) February 1, 2022
Naturally, some have instead chosen to double down on NFTs. After the launch of its Quartz platform in December, Ubisoft has started offering employees an exclusive NFT as a thank you gift for their efforts on Ghost Recon Breakpoint.
Over the weekend, digital self-publishing marketplace Gumroad announced it had “no plans” to get into the cryptocurrency or NFT business. Cartoonist Brian Box Brown replied with a screenshot of a conversation between himself and Gumroad CEO Sahil Lavingia that suggested otherwise. Lavingia proceeded to “tweet through it,” as the kids say, on both his personal and company Twitter accounts.
And for absolutely no reason at all, digital self-publishing marketplace itch.io reminded users that you could simply not get involved in the first place, and save yourself some ire.
A few have asked about our stance on NFTs:
NFTs are a scam. If you think they are legitimately useful for anything other than the exploitation of creators, financial scams, and the destruction of the planet the we ask that please reevaluate your life choices.
— itch.io (@itchio) February 6, 2022
In other news…
FromSoftware is still trying to figure out that whole Dark Souls 3 RCE vulnerability thing, but new reporting suggests the issue goes back much further than January.
I spoke to the people behind the Dark Souls 3 RCE vulnerability discoveries, including the one we saw demonstrated back in January. Some of the reports to Bamco go years back, and they claimed the Elden Ring CNT had the same vulnerable code – just no exploit yet. https://t.co/bhoQ5Amotz
— Andrea (@Maajora) February 2, 2022
Sifu, the kungfu game developed by a bunch of white people, shipped a creator kit that appropriated a bunch of Chinese cultural objects. I have no plans to play the game, but I did enjoy this thoughtful review by Khee Hoon Chan.
I see a lot of ppl misunderstand why cultural tourism in games is an issue worth mentioning if players from the source country don't complain and it's well done. It's this: if a white dev can do this and pass, POC are losing access to their own representation. It's colonialism.
— Malindy (@yourkyotowife) February 7, 2022
Rockstar Games confirmed development of a new Grand Theft Auto game is underway.
Madison Butler is Sidequest’s self-proclaimed jock editor. She co-founded the blog Critsumption and once got really into powerlifting via Fitness Boxing for the Nintendo Switch. She tweets at @_maddilo.