Another week, another Wednesday. I’m taking a break from Trombone Champ to bring you this week’s gaming news, which is—well, you know. It’s gaming.
A Selection of Ways the Games Industry Was Awful This Week
Content Warning: Links to stories about the Activision Blizzard lawsuit contain graphic descriptions of sexual harassment.
Activision Blizzard is once again in the spotlight for another worker filing a lawsuit suggesting that the company looked away from accusations of sexual harassment and discrimination. The new lawsuit suggests that Miguel Vega, a former manager with the company whose employment was terminated in September 2021, made sexual advances and harassed the employee, named as Jane Doe. Other claims include revenge porn and sexual battery. Vega’s termination took place five years after Doe joined the company and the beginning of Vega’s harassment. The Bloom Firm, which represents eight women currently engaged in sexual harassment claims against Activision Blizzard, will represent Doe, and seeks damages and lost pay for Doe. The lawsuit also seeks to force Activision Blizzard to get rid of arbitration policies that prevent employees from suing the company for sexual harassment and gender discrimination claims.
Hellena Taylor (original VA for Bayonetta) reveals that she didn't return in her role for Bayonetta 3 because she was only offered $4,000 for the whole game and is asking people to boycott the game and instead donate to charity https://t.co/X78PVmT2Ha
— Wario64 (@Wario64) October 15, 2022
Hellena Taylor, the voice of Bayonetta in the English translation of the series, is calling on fans to boycott Bayonetta 3. Earlier this month, PlatinumGames announced that Taylor would not be reprising her role due to “various overlapping circumstances.” Taylor claims that Platinum offered her just $4,000 to appear in the game. In a series of videos, she explains the reasons behind her refusal to take the offer, and even states that she reached out to executive director Hideki Kamiya about the pay, but the offer remained the same. According to Kotaku, Kamiya, who is known for frequent use of Twitter’s block button, appears to be blocking individuals and publications who discuss the issue on social media. Jennifer Hale, who was tapped to replace Taylor, issued a statement on social media stating that she was under NDA and could not speak to the situation, but that she is “an advocate for all members of the community,” and that her “reputation speaks for itself.” Hale went on to encourage audiences to “keep an open mind.”
On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Taylor had been offered between $3,000 and $4,000 per session for about five sessions, not a flat payment of $4,000. In response, Taylor reportedly asked for a six-figure payment and residuals, which Platinum refused. Bloomberg’s sources claimed that Taylor was then offered a cameo appearance for the price of one session, which she also refused. Taylor denied these claims, stating that Platinum is just trying to save face.
G4TV, which returned in 2021 as a web-only channel for video game and related content, is being shut down once again. Comcast’s Spectacor division, which brought G4 back from the dead, stated in a company memo that the revival did not gain traction and was not sustainable from a financial perspective. Though none of this is particularly surprising—G4 had a troubled history even when it was on TV, and internet media loves to demonstrate again and again how easy it is to shut something down—some of the heat for G4’s second death is being pointed at Indiana “Froskurinn” Black, who left G4 at the end of September. Froskurrin is known for being an outspoken commentator for League of Legends, and had previously noted sexism in her reception as part of the rebooted G4, including saying “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.” Social media and the comments sections of articles on G4’s shuttering have been filled with comments blaming Froskurrin for G4’s ending, which… really just proves her point, doesn’t it?
In other news…
After 16 years, Dwarf Fortress is getting a tutorial.
Content Warning: The links in this paragraph contain descriptions of emotional abuse. Twitch streamer Amouranth revealed over the weekend that she was married and that her husband had been abusive toward her, including controlling her finances, making threats against her, and forcing her to stream. Tuesday, she updated fans to let them know that she was safely away from her husband and back in control of her own finances. She also stated that her husband is seeking help.
Final Fantasy 7: The First Soldier, a mobile RPG, will go offline early next year, only a year after it was launched.
Persona 3 and 4 are coming to modern platforms early next year.
BREAKING: Nintendo hiring agency Aston Carter agrees to pay tester Mackenzie Clifton fired earlier this year $25,910 as part of a settlement over a union-busting complaint.
— AmericanTruckSongs8 (@ethangach) October 13, 2022
Nintendo of America has reached a settlement with a QA worker who filed a National Labor Relations Board complaint earlier this year. The staffing agency Nintendo of America worked with to find the worker will pay almost $26,000 in back pay, damages, and interest to the worker. Nintendo of America is also required to post a notice of worker rights under the National Labor Relations Act in email and on-site for 60 consecutive days.
That was a lot! Enjoy this video of Sephiroth playing Trombone Champ much better than I ever could:
Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.