Hello, and welcome to Get Your Game On! I’m your host December and I hope everyone had a Halloween with more treats than tricks. Harvestella releases this week! And I am grinding my teeth down realizing that I will probably not get to play it until next month. Sigh. Anyway, let’s take a look at last week’s big gaming news:
Communication Workers of America Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge Against Activision Blizzard
The CWA filed unfair labor practice charges on behalf of the ABK Workers Alliance after it was revealed that Activision Blizzard’s chief communications officer Lulu Cheng Meservey sent a Slack message disparaging unionization shortly after employees at Blizzard Albany won the right to form a union.
BREAKING: The Communications Workers of America have filed unfair labor practice charges against Activision Blizzard in response to a slack message sent to employees by the company’s communications executive, Lulu Cheng Meservey. @ABetterABK @WeAreGWA @WeAreGWAAlbany
— CODE-CWA (@CODE_CWA) October 24, 2022
Meservey has publicly responded to accusations that she’s union-busting by… getting into fights on Twitter and bragging that she works for a 60 billion-dollar company.
I’m curious what makes me right wing? Or is it not meant to be literal, but just an insult for defending the company’s position that employees should consider reasons they might want to stay independent instead of becoming union members? https://t.co/vaukPZ82yf
— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) October 19, 2022
We’re closer to 60 billion dollars https://t.co/YwScv5J58H
— Lulu Cheng Meservey (@lulumeservey) October 20, 2022
Regardless of whether Meservey chooses to acknowledge this as a union-busting attempt, it is one, and only the latest in a long string of Activision Blizzard’s union-busting activities; just earlier this month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that Activision Blizzard illegally withheld raises from the QA testers at Raven Software. Activision Blizzard and the Raven Software QA testers will continue negotiations, but if the parties cannot agree to terms, the NLRB may file a complaint.
Creative Assembly Responds to Abuse Allegations
Content warning for brief mention of sexual abuse.
Creative Assembly, the Sega-owned developers of the Total War series, responded on October 25th to accusations of sexual abuse against former employee Baj Singh, who previously worked as Lead Character Artist and Project Art Director for Total War: Warhammer.
CA has hired an external party to assist in their investigations.
Witcher News: A Remake, a Replacement, and a Bad Writers’ Room
A surprising amount of Witcher news this week!
CD Projekt Red reveals that Project Canis Majoris (first announced earlier this month) is actually a remake of The Witcher “rebuilt from the ground up in Unreal Engine 5.” The game is being developed by Polish Studio Fool’s Theory with creative supervision by staff from CD Projekt Red.
The news on the Netflix side of Witcher is less exciting. Henry Cavill announced on October 29th that season 3 of The Witcher will be his last season as Geralt of Rivia. But don’t worry, Netflix isn’t canceling the series! They’re just replacing Cavill with… Liam Hemsworth.
(Maybe they should just cancel it).
The timing of Cavill’s exit coincides with two interesting pieces of news. Early last week, Witcher show producer and writer Beau DeMayo noted in an interview that “some of the writers… actively disliked the [Witcher] books and games (even actively mocking the source material).” This doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me as someone who’s read the books and seen the (not great) way the show diverges from the source material, but having it confirmed is still a little disheartening. Cavill has frequently gushed over his love for the games and books, so fans suspect that his exit has as much to do with the direction of the show as with his return to the role of DC’s Superman.
Dragon Age: Dreadwolf Hits Alpha, New Prequel Comic Series Announced
BioWare General Manager Gary McKay posted a blog announcing that Dragon Age: Dreadwolf has hit the Alpha milestone. Generally, hitting Alpha means the game is functional but in need of more internal feedback and playtesting.
Shortly after McKay’s statement, Dark Horse Comics announced “The Missing” for debut in January 2023, a four-issue prequel comic to Dreadwolf that follows Varric Tethras and Scout Lace Harding as they “descend into the abandoned Deep Roads beneath Marnas Pell in pursuit of a former friend.” Poor Varric. He hates the Deep Roads, but everyone keeps dragging him down there.
The Bayonetta VA Controversy Continues Because Hellena Taylor Is Anti-Abortion and Maybe a TERF
Remember a few weeks ago when voice actress Hellena Taylor claimed she was only offered $4,000 to play the main character Bayonetta in Bayonetta 3? And then that was disputed? It seems like Taylor made a play at saving face that went… poorly.
On October 27th, Hellena Taylor made a Twitter thread asking that people donate the money they saved by boycotting Bayonetta 3. She gave a helpful list of suggestions including “buy homeless people coffees” and “give money to pro-life billboards”:
Former Bayonetta actress Hellena Taylor, who asked fans to boycott Bayonetta 3 in a video that was later proven to be misleading, has posted a list of charities to which she would like fans to instead donate. The list includes a Kentucky group that runs anti-abortion billboards: https://t.co/K8AORuRUjB
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) October 28, 2022
Yikes. Twitter users have also been bringing up an older, suspicious tweet in which Hellena Taylor declines to give a pro-trans rights statement:
I'm gonna buy three copies now thanks pic.twitter.com/PK2LZ3w4pu
— I Hate Anime (@AniMaikaru) October 28, 2022
Double yikes. What does that mean, Hellena Taylor?
In other news…
Xbox price hikes probably coming, according to Phil Spencer.
Blaseball is returning with the Fall Ball arc, the prologue to its third era. Creative Director Sam Rosenthal calls this “a way to witness the reforming and birth of a new Blaseball universe.”
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.