Hello and welcome to Get Your Game On. My name is Maddi, and this week I am obsessing over Knotwords, a new game by Zach Gage and Jack Schlesinger that’s kind of like a crossword where you get letters instead of clues. It’s part word scramble and part logic puzzle, which is like candy for my little monkey brain. If you’ve been playing anything good recently, tell us about it on Twitter, or, if you’re a member of our Patreon at the Sega Genesis tier or higher, in our Discord! Alright, on to the news.
Square Enix Sells IP and Western Studios to Embracer Group
I’m sorry to have to type this, but Square Enix announced their intention to sell a number of studios and intellectual properties (IPs) to Embracer Group—and plans to use the $300 million to invest in the nebulous technologies of “blockchain, AI, and the cloud.” When the deal goes through, Embracer will acquire about 1,100 employees and more than 50 games from Square Enix Holdings’ back catalogue. While a full catalogue has not been released, Embracer announced in a press release that Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, Thief, and Legacy of Kain are among the IPs they will acquire. The group will also acquire studios like Crystal Dynamics (the studio behind Tomb Raider and Marvel’s Avengers), Eidos-Montréal (Deus Ex, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy), and Square Enix Montréal (which primarily works on mobile titles based on Eidos-Montréal properties).
Though Embracer isn’t exactly a household name, it has acquired a number of companies over the last few years, including (but not limited to) Gearbox Software, Saber Interactive, Dark Horse Media, and Koch Media. The deal does not seem to include any games that Square Enix published by external studios like Life is Strange or Just Cause.
The short of it:
– SE Western Studios have underperformed over numerous titles
– Its biggest growth areas in the past year have been from JP studios (Smartphones / MMO)
– SE was looking to offload Western studios for a while
– Embracer is paying the full amount upon completion https://t.co/7Qww4phzxd
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) May 2, 2022
In other Square Enix news, Yuji Naka, director of Balan Wonderland, announced that he filed a lawsuit against Square Enix over his departure six months before Balan Wonderland‘s release. Naka said Square Enix and Arzest, who co-developed the game, forced him from the title over conflicts with Square Enix and a dispute regarding Balan Wonderland‘s soundtrack. Naka also said the relationship broke down after he brought up the issue of bugs within the game, and that because they weren’t fixed Balan Wonderland was released as an unfinished game. Naka’s thread on the matter and anecdotes from previous projects seem to suggest that he is difficult to work with.
Important to note too that it's not just an irresponsible SquareEnix suit that wanted him off Balan, it was (in his own words) everyone else including HR, and even his longtime collaborator and the actual designer of Sonic, Ohshima.
Thanks to Cheesemeister3k for the translation pic.twitter.com/HOXPfGqcyE
— Mom (@shinimomi) April 28, 2022
Twitch May Cut Partners’ Pay
Last week, Bloomberg reported that Twitch is considering changes to its partner program. Instead of taking a 30% cut of revenue from Partner channel subscriptions, part of Twitch’s proposed plan is taking a 50% cut. (It should be noted that a number of Twitch partners already receive the 50/50 split on Tier 1 subscriptions.) Twitch is also considering more ad options for its streamers in an effort to increase ad view time on the platform. In short, the changes Twitch is considering means less pay for streamers and more ads for viewers. The proposed changes could go live as early as this summer. They have not been met with enthusiasm.
imo twitch should just implement ads that don’t directly interfere with a stream (sidebar, picture in picture, underlay, etc).
i understand advertisers are essential to make a platform profitable, but intervening with the viewer’s experience isn’t how they should go about it 😦
— imane 💜 (@imane) April 27, 2022
In other news…
Quality assurance workers on Dragon Age 4 are trying to unionize, citing COVID safety and low pay as their primary motivators.
Fans will have to wait another year for Nintendo’s upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie.
This is Miyamoto. After consulting with Chris-san, my partner at Illumination on the Super Mario Bros. film, we decided to move the global release to Spring 2023–April 28 in Japan and April 7 in North America. My deepest apologies but I promise it will be well worth the wait.
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) April 26, 2022
Pokemon developer GameFreak announced an optional 4-day work week for its employees, although it comes with some caveats. The policy seems to be meant for employees with children, and those who opt in will only receive 80% of their pay.
— Nintendo News (@NintendoNews) April 26, 2022
Dead By Daylight announced its first gay character, David King.
David King is among the central characters of our brand-new Tome, but he is also a first step toward more representation in Dead by Daylight.
— Dead by Daylight (@DeadByBHVR) April 27, 2022
With the release of The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe, completionists are going to have a harder time getting the “Super Go Outside” achievement.
remember the stanley parable "go outside" achievement that you get after not playing for 5 years?
we just bumped it up to 10 years pic.twitter.com/pth41tgiYA
— Crows Crows Crows (@crowsx3) April 27, 2022
Scram is now Shrek 5.
If you open the game it displays a fullscreen picture of Shrek and starts playing “All Star” by Smash Mouth. https://t.co/SBwezxtibF
— Waypoint (@waypoint) April 30, 2022
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.