Welcome to this week’s Get Your Game On! I’m fresh off the plane from a conference and spent every free minute of it playing Rune Factory 5. A great addition to the franchise so far (minus the still incredibly frustrating experience of only equipping party members by gifting them items and then watching their previous equipment disappear into a void. Yes, I gave the wrong weapons to the wrong party member and yes, I am bitter)
Let’s get to the news!
Microsoft Will Recognize Raven Software Union (but Only if Activision Blizzard Does First)
Friends, it is time for the latest in “Get Your Activision Blizzard Groaning On” (it’s a working title).
First reported by Axios, 15 Raven Software employees reached out to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to ask for clarification on Microsoft’s position on the union and to ask for Microsoft’s help against Activision Blizzard’s union-busting campaign:
A version of the letter is also slated to run in Microsoft's backyard this weekend in the Sunday edition of the Seattle Times pic.twitter.com/e1sHUSKFLY
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) March 24, 2022
Microsoft responded to Axios’s request for a response with the milquetoast “Microsoft respects Activision Blizzard employees’ right to choose whether to be represented by a labor organization and we will honor those decisions.” However, their statement did not provide an answer for what discussions had already happened within the company regarding unionization.
Kickstarter CEO Stepping Down
Aziz Hasan, Kickstarter’s CEO for the past three years, announced in a blog post that he is stepping down from his position beginning in early April. It is unclear whether Hasan’s decision to leave is motivated by the backlash against Kickstarter’s decision to move to the blockchain or by something else. The Board of Directors has started its search for a new CEO while COO Sean Leow will serve as interim CEO.
Despite the aforementioned backlash, Kickstarter is sticking to its techbro guns and has reaffirmed its commitment to eventually shifting to the blockchain.
FYI: even with the CEO resignation, Kickstarter is still serving up a whole heap-a buzzwordy nuthin' when directly asked about their commitment to integrating blockchain into the site.
If that commitment is what's making you explore other options? Don't stop exploring. https://t.co/JLzlcNwdv8
— Iron Spike (@Iron_Spike) March 24, 2022
D&D Announces a BIPOC-led Adventure Book
Wizards of the Coast announced its newest project, Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel, on March 22. The adventure book was helmed by Ajit George and F. Wesley Schneider, whose previous work together includes Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft. According to George, it is the first book in D&D’s 49-year history to be written entirely by BIPOC writers.
Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel explores 13 standalone adventures for levels 1–14 in disparate locations, each inspired by a writer’s culture and background, that are connected to a world floating through the Ethereal Plane.
I am incredibly proud to announce that I have conceived and co-led the first book written entirely by PoCs in @Wizards_DnD’s 49-year history: Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel!
— Ajit George (@ajitgeorgeSB) March 22, 2022
Journeys Through the Radiant Citadel is slated for release on June 22, 2022. A more complete list of contributors can be found in George’s Twitter thread.
In other news…
The Mariupol Computer Museum, a privately-owned retro gaming museum in Mariupol, Ukraine was destroyed in a Russian bombing. Owner Dmitry Cherepanov is reported to be safe and has since opened up a PayPal account to help fund the Ukrainian army as well as help other Ukrainians displaced by the Russian invasion.
Indie game developer Mohammad Fahmi passed away at the age of 32. The cause of death has not been revealed. Fahmi was best known for the visual novel Coffee Talk and prior to his death had been working on Afterlife EP, an upcoming slice-of-life adventure.
Netflix has acquired mobile game developer Boss Fight Games for an undisclosed amount. This is the third game studio Netflix has purchased.
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.