Japan Commits to PS4 For Console JRPGs
The success of the PS4 seems to have caught Japan by surprise, as evidenced by the industry quickly scrambling to include the PS4 in their 2015 roster of games. The PS4 may still be struggling in its domestic market of Japan, yet its strong international sales appears to have left Japanese developers feeling bullish enough to chance their hand at reconnecting with western gamers, and establishing the PS4 as the go-to place for console JRPGs – this has resulted in the announcement of three games that the Lusipurr.com community is sure to be very happy about. The big announcement of the week was undoubtedly that Persona 5 is set to receive a PS4 version along-side the PS3 version when it releases. Unfortunately the trailer which accompanied this announcement contained only anime cutscenes, but at least gamers were finally able to see what the game’s protagonist is set to look like. This announcement was followed up by tidings tailor made for Lusipurr’s delight, which is to say that Disgaea 5 is currently in production for the PS4. Apparently the extra processing power of the PS4 has allowed the Disgaea team to stage battles between hundreds of opponents rather than tens of opponents. Finally, a new as yet unnamed title in the Ys series was announced for both PS4 and Vita. One is not overly familiar with the series, but its reputation is that of a solid action RPG franchise.
It is not just the smaller developers who appear to have been caught flat-footed by the PS4’s rapid success, as both Square Enix and Capcom appear to be moving back towards the console space. Square Enix this week posted an advertisement to fill positions for a brand new development studio geared towards producing console JRPGs. Positions to be filled include: Battle Director, Event Director, Lead Planner, Battle Planners, Lead Programmer, Programmers, Marketing Director, Technical Artists, Lead Effects Designer, Lead Animator, Lead 3DCG Character Designer, Lead 3DCG Environment Designer, and Lead Menu Designer. In terms of production values this is likely to be a B-tier studio, on account of the fact that experience with the Unity engine was specifically requested. Meanwhile, Capcom this week has announced Resident Evil: Revelations 2, which is oddly being developed for home consoles this time around. The original Resident Evil: Revelations was akin to a numbered Resident Evil experience released in a portable format. As such, one assumed that the only reason that it was not granted a number was so as to not upset the series’ console following. If this sub-series is now set to be exclusive to home consoles then why not just give it a number? Do Capcom really lack this much faith in the draw of the numbered series after the calamitous sixth entry? Only time will tell why this project was selected to occupy a sub-niche of the series proper.
Gearbox Attempt to Thwart Duped Gamers to Reduce Liability
Sega’s marketing of Aliens: Colonial Marines was misleading and unprincipled. It cannot have been pleasant for Sega management to swallow the bitter pill of realisation that much of the money they had paid to Gearbox just went straight into the development of Borderlands 2, and that cheap guns-for-hire were sub-contracted to finish up the eventually awful Aliens game, yet the consumer shares no responsibility for this happening, and Sega continued to advertise the game using assets and demos that Gearbox had fabricated for tradeshows. In August of this year Sega reached a tentative settlement agreement to the tune of 1.25 million dollars with the plaintiffs of a class action lawsuit which sought redress for being sold a game that bore little resemblance to the product being advertised. This sum of money was to be paid out to anyone who bought the game before the thirteenth of February 2013, but then Gearbox stepped in with their self-interested bullshit.
Gearbox were offered the opportunity to buy into this settlement for $750,000, but have instead chosen to attempt to get the settlement thrown out of the case on the grounds that it would leave Gearbox “holding the bag in future lawsuits despite being a contractor, that they weren’t a part of the settlement negotiations and that it isn’t a fair deal for gamers”. Yes, Gearbox actually has the unmitigated gall to attempt to speak for gamers. The broader case was against both Sega and Gearbox for fraudulently selling copies of Aliens: Colonial Marines, and while Sega have admitted their part and sought to make amends, Gearbox are instead protesting their innocence and saying ‘Sega made me do it’. Gearbox is alleging that they had no say over marketing, that Sega paid them no money throughout development [in contravention to every single other publisher/developer relationship in the industry], and that they are in fact just a poor, innocent developer [or contractor?] trying to make ends meet.
Sega has tabled a large quantity of internal emails this week confirming what we all already suspected – that Gearbox is full of shit. Gearbox were paid millions throughout development when they hit certain milestones such as tradeshow demos, and Gearbox is in fact entitled to a share of royalties if Sega is ever able to recoup the money paid to them throughout development. The demos themselves were obviously something that was totally under the control of Gearbox, and it comes to light in Sega’s emails that Gearbox had actually assured them on multiple occasions that the E3 2011 demo for the game set the qualitative bar that the rest of the game would meet. It has been made clear that while the original agreement between Sega and Gearbox stipulated that joint assent was required for all marketing decisions, Sega nevertheless lost control of the marketing initiative after Randy Pitchford went rogue on at least eight occasions. Gearbox did in fact release content that they had been specifically told not to release in several instances, cementing their bad faith relationship with Sega. One Sega email penned by Matt Eyre details the situation as such:
“I spoke face to face to [Gearbox’s Steve] Gibson about their persistent panel leaking. Effectively — it’s Randy [Pitchford] doing whatever the fuck he likes. Apparently he did it twice on [Borderlands 2] also, against, against all plans and despite the fact they asked him not to. I think our best result here is that we have no more panel sessions …”
Sega initially counted Randy Pitchford’s celebrity as a boon, but quickly found it a nightmare to deal with someone as ill-disciplined as him and his studio. It is not often in this industry that one feels sorry for a publisher in their dealings with a development studio, but Sega clearly did not deserve to be saddled with this shitpile of a company – and nor did the consumers who purchased Aliens: Colonial Marines.
Indy Developers Back Their “Journalist” Buddies
Readers may recall that last week game “journalists” attempted to write gamers out of existence, well, this week it appears to be the Indy Developer’s turn to shame gamers for their “hate speech” [and to implore their followers to bedevil any gamer who does not get with the program by reporting their comments]. In the face of minority gamers calling for corrupt “journalists” and developers to desist from using them as a Trojan horse for their partisan agenda, Spaces of Play employee Andreas Zecher this week attempted to shame gamers into silence with an open letter signed by over six hundred [predominantly] Indy Developers – no doubt terrified at the prospect of losing their free advertising cum cheerleaders cum literal bedfellows.
Zecher’s appeal focused on condemning the death threats that social justice activists have recently been subject to – readers will no doubt be aware of the recent inundation of death threats so pervading the industry on account of their blanket reportage. It would seem that such death threats are made by gamers who are also white heterosexual misogynists, because they are just the worst, and very, very naughty. Never mind the fact that evidence of any sort in support of this has been incredibly thin on the ground. In an amusing aside, Zecher’s letter links to a further reading page which quotes Forbes’ David Their stating:
“The gaming industry is changing, whether those people like it or not, but it’s up to those who criticize and make games to initiate true, active change and show the cranks that their worldview is not shared. An open letter is nice — let’s see more.”
Zecher then subsequently links to some external reading that he recommends supporters check out, titled: ‘You Can’t Build Inclusion on Exclusionary Language‘, proving once and for all that social justice warriors are incapable of experiencing cognitive dissonance.
Readers may recall that this current hysteria surrounding gamer death threats began several weeks ago with Anita Sarkeesian claiming to have been driven from her home by threats of rape and violence at the hands of gamers, shortly before holding out her cap and requesting alms. Never mind the fact that she only ever supplied evidence of one person threatening her, never mind the fact that the veracity of this threat has been plausibly called into question, never mind the fact that the person issuing threats never said anything to identify himself as a gamer [Sarkeesian’s celebrity extends well beyond the sphere of gaming]. We will assume for the moment that Sarkeesian’s claims are genuine, and that the man in question is also a gamer – that is still only one person. Does one solitary death threat made on the internet require an industry wide petition? Well, of course not, so it is a good thing that there has been mountains of other death threats made by gamers that game “journalists” have been more than happy to document, along with some particularly egregious death threats made on Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, 4chan etc. which rank-and-file social justice warriors have been helpfully pointing out – and one can tell that these threats have been genuine on account of the fact that they have been mentioned so often. Never mind the fact that no one thought to take a screen capture of them.
This is the internet we are talking about, wherein it would probably be more newsworthy to report on an instance where absolutely no threats occurred anywhere online than it would to draw attention to a few minor instances – that is to say that if one looked hard enough it is more than likely that a few social justice warriors have been legitimately subjected to death threats in the last couple of weeks, but is this any reflection on gamers? It is not as though gamers are the only people capable of abuse, as Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos likely did not ask to receive death threats this week for writing an article that was critical of the leftist colonisation of the gaming industry, and nor was feminist author and philosopher Christina Hoff Sommers looking to be torn to shreds after spoiling this braying pack’s happy little victim narrative by asserting that gamers [for the most part] were behaving in a perfectly understandable way at finding themselves shackled by political ideologues and corrupt sycophants. In fact the predominantly white heterosexual male demographic which comprises the social justice mob has shown itself more than willing to silence the voice any woman, transvestite, gay, or coloured individual who refuses to throw themselves a pity party at the injustice of the status quo – as apparently they have been indoctrinated by the patriarchy. Never mind that though, it is only noteworthy when a Tumblrite special snowflake is able to find a death threat or harassment somewhere on the internet – allegedly.
Speaking personally, one has had direct dealings with an individual who claimed the existence of death threats where none existed. Roughly two weeks ago it became apparent that a stoush had occurred between gaming personality, JonTron, and a group of social justice warriors on an Anita Sarkeesian video that had been tweeted by the industry’s least responsible developer, Tim Schafer. After seeing Borderlands 2‘s writer, Anthony Birch, personally bad mouth Jon several times for his “gross opinions“, one’s curiosity was piqued at what delightful nugget of hilarity he might have brought crashing down upon their heads. Disappointingly, JonTron’s comments were nothing of the sort – his argument was merely along the lines of wishing that Schafer would be more willing to countenance the legitimate grievances of gamers before sharing the blind dogma of demagogues like Sarkeesian – respectful stuff. The very next day the author of this article found himself in conversation with someone who boldly asserted that social justice naysayers were the worst, and that in particular a bunch of JonTron supporters had taken to Twitter and had threatened the life of Tim Schafer for simply sharing a video. This struck one as odd on account of encountering nothing of the sort when riffling through the comments to Schafer’s Tweet, though of course it was entirely possible to miss such a thing when skimming through several hundred Tweets. Thus, one requested that this fellow supply a screen capture of his claims, which he responded to by linking Schafer’s Tweet. Very nice, but that was not what was asked for, so one pressed him again to provide evidence of his claims, which, alas, he was unwilling or unable to do. And here one was thinking this was a golden opportunity to be educated about one’s privilege…
These people are blithely spreading falsehood en masse. Whether they are deliberately telling lies, making grand assumptions, or simply repeating the hogwash told to them by gaming “journalists” it makes not a jot of difference, because the results are all the same. If one repeats a lie often enough it becomes the accepted truth, even if there was not a shred of evidence to back it in the first place.