Curt Schilling Is Being Sued by Rhode Island
The State of Rhode Island, by way of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC), has launched legal action against the former head of 38 Studios, Curt Schilling. Rhode Island Governor, Lincoln Chafee, has retained the services of lawyer, Max Wistow, in order to ascertain the strength of their case against Schilling. While Chafee professes to be fighting like a bloody martyr in his attempts to claw back the tax money of the good folks of Rhode Island, in reality their tax money is long gone, and this move bares all the hallmarks of a vindictive political fix.
“I know you work hard for your paychecks, and for your tax dollars to be squandered is unacceptable. The board’s legal action was taken to rectify a grave injustice put upon the people of Rhode Island.”
While one is loathe to in anyway support the hapless floundering of 38 Studios, it is nevertheless the case that the grave injustice visited upon the tax payers of Rhode Island was of the State of Rhode Island’s own making. 38 Studios was never going to be able to pay back the entirety of their 78m loan on the strength of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, and one suspects that the aim of said loan was to boost employment, rather than to reap a dividend from 38 Studio’s output. It is also the case that Lincoln Chafee was (supposedly) a harsh critic of the loan, and thus once in office he saw fit to call in Schilling’s debt at the earliest possible convenience, making the failure of his studio all but assured. One suspects that the Man found much pleasure in making an abject lesson of his predecessor’s largesse. At any rate, due diligence was not adhered to when drafting the loan, and so the State of Rhode Island must now wear their bad debt.
Ragnar Tornquist To Delve into Another Secret World
Any gamer with a greater than passing interest in the point and click adventure genre is likely to be familiar with a little game known as The Longest Journey, and chances are fair that their memories of it will be fond ones. The game was quite rudimentary in its mechanics, yet gained strong acclaim for its enthralling narrative and visual elements. The game’s reception was strong enough to warrant a sequel, Dreamfall, yet nothing has been heard from the franchise these last six years, owing to the fact that series creator, Ragnar Tornquist, was busy at work on Funcom’s ailing MMO, The Secret World.
Such was the current state of affairs until this week when Tornquist announced that work had begun on a new project in the series titled Dreamfall Chapters. Tornquist claims that he has had to create his own studio, Red Thread Games, for this endeavour, owing to Funcom’s ongoing commitment to MMO gaming. He has apparently come to an agreement with Funcom on a profit-sharing model to license the Dreamfall property, and plans to finance the project independently, or at least that is what he is alleging.
Ragnar Tornquist is in fact full of shit, as a later interview with Rock, Paper, Shotgun would amply demonstrate. Tornquist currently has a small core of designers working on the game design, which has been paid for with a grant from the Norwegian government – yet when scrutinised on his independent funding bona fides, Ragnar Tornquist quickly admitted that once planning had matured, the firm would seek to finance the project via Kickstarter. Just like everyone bloody else.
While one will be glad to receive another entry in the Dreamfall series, it is nevertheless quite appalling to see all the developers of the world gorging themselves on free money, like so many pigs in a trough. One must additionally question whether this is truly an independent endeavour, given Tornquist’s continuing employ as the creative director of The Secret World over at Funcom. There is every possibility that the studio’s independent credentials may just be lipstick on the proverbial pig, while a mature development studio attempts to extract free money for their upcoming commercial venture.
Sexist Behaviour in Halo 4 Will Incur Lifetime Ban
Xbox Live has long had a reputation as a villainous hive of gender discrimination, homophobia, racism, and any manner of far flung invective. Now it would seem that one Woman has had enough, and will bring the clandestine patriarchy of Xbox Live’s normative gender paradigm to heel, in service of a very particular cause. Sexist language or behaviour will see users incur a lifetime ban from Halo 4‘s multiplayer, and that is the beginning and the end of it.
343 Industries’ resident Woman out of the kitchen, Bonnie Ross, is not at all impressed with the encroaching phallic power construct instituted by the unreconstructed cis-male normative gender bros who are the game’s overwhelmingly predominant audience. She feels very strongly that “This is behavior that is offensive and completely unacceptable. I’d like to think most of our Xbox Live players don’t support this kind of behavior.”
While it is a studio’s prerogative to define their community’s standards of conduct, it would have been nice if 343 Industries had at least started from a position of universalisable mutual respect, rather than merely addressing their own myopic pet peeve. Women may well bristle at suggestions that they should craft for Men a delicious ‘sammich’, but then one is equally certain that there are a heck of a lot of grown Men who are not overly enamoured with being called a ‘fagget’ by thirteen year old arseclowns. An overarching framework of respectful interaction may have done wonders in fostering a sense of belonging in the Halo 4 community, but instead of that 343 Industries has elected to embrace the division of partisan gender politics. At any rate, it is perhaps a trifle pointless to attempt to enforce a regime of good behaviour when that is clearly not what the game’s predominant userbase wants. Such over-regulation is particularly redundant with the gated community of the Wii U upon the horizon.