News: Stupid, Greedy Actors Vote to Strike!

Your money up in smoke!
With a budget of three million dollars, Tim Schafer squandered it on expensive actors.

Self-Important Voice Actors Vote to Overplay their Hand

Voice acting is one of the least necessary costs incurred during the development of a video game. Sorry voice actors, but it is true – what voice actors bring to the table is not especially important or unique, and in fact games were far better back in the days before unionised actors had begun pawing at the vidya industry’s door. People buy films in order to watch dramatic performances, but, funnily enough, most gamers buy games in order to play games. Fancy that!

There are many important aspects that go into making a game: the planning, direction, and programming along with high quality art and musical composition – all disciplines that America’s stupid and greedy voice actors consider themselves to be more important than, seeing as they are unique among industry colleges as being the only vidya production talent demanding a percentage of a game’s profits for their irrelevant contribution, along with ‘stunt pay’ for ‘vocally stressful performances’. Programmers are lucky to see a bonus if their game scores a 90+ metarating, and during a game’s final months of crunch period they certainly are not awarded ‘stunt pay’ for working days in excess of fourteen hours!

This week the foolish actors belonging to SAG-AFTRA have voted to entrench their irrelevance to gaming, and it was not even a closely run thing. The union requires the support of at least 75% of their members in order to authorise strike action – they got the support of 96.52% of their members. This vote does not mean that the union is automatically on strike, but it does mean that they now wield the power to do so. One thinks that the stick they are brandishing is rather smaller than the actors believe it to be, and possibly made of plywood.

Right now American voice actors have an absolute stranglehold over performance in video games, yet we have seen some fine performances emerge from the UK for games like Xenoblade, The Last Story, and Dragon Quest VIII. Presently, American actors are favoured for the convenience of their proximity to the American vidya industry, yet this convenience most certainly has finite value to video game studios [and particularly those with offices in Europe and Canada]. Moreover, imagine just for a moment that these foolish actors actually got their wish, and a percentage of a game’s profits was mandated to fall to their pockets – with voice actors that expensive why would the game industry give them work when they could simply hire recognisable Hollywood talent? Kiefer Sutherland did not replace David Hayter for his acting ability; one is a marketable silver screen actor, while the other is not. Thus, either way this falls, greedy American voice actors have this week voted to break their monopoly over video game voice acting, which is something that should be welcomed.

Is there any angle that Konami won't try to gouge gamers from?
This sort of thing should be illegal.

Konami Creates a Problem and Sells the Solution

Konami is a vile heap of shit – one can never say that often enough. Obnoxious microtransactions have become par for the course with the release of every game, so much so that nothing seemed particularly egregious about Konami’s initial monetisation of Metal Gear Solid V‘s FOB multiplayer raids. The idea was essentially that Konami would give players their initial FOB platform for free, but then players would have to purchase each subsequent FOB platform with realworld money in order to expand their capabilities. Players were then free to raid one-another, carrying off valuable materials and personnel. Crucially, players that had been raided could launch a counter-raid to get their own back. This week the merchants at Konami updated Metal Gear Solid V with a new type of FOB mission that they are calling ‘Event FOBs’ – an event which does not allow for the raided party to launch a counter-invasion against their assailant. Not to worry though, friend – as luck would have it Konami are also selling ‘FOB insurance’ as of this week! Now Metal Gear Solid V players can protect the base they have already paid for against attack without reprisal by simply purchasing Konami’s FOB insurance, just like a good Goyim!

Your FOBs are always at risk of coming under attack. Now, you can rest easy with FOB insurance (paid service). If you sign up for insurance, then during the insurance period you will be compensated for any materials and staff lost due to rival infiltrations. * Staff/materials stolen by the rival will in fact remain on your base, and an identical amount of staff/materials will be handed over to the rival instead.* MB Coins are purchased with real money, but free MB Coins are also distributed periodically as login bonuses, etc.* The following are not covered by FOB insurance:
・Staff/items that are not fully your property, such as abducted staff being held in your Brig (FOB)
・Wounded staff (staff lost due to death or extraction will be compensated)
・Staff used by you to deploy in defense of the FOB (neither death nor extraction will be compensated)
・Nuclear weapons

What does one even say to the evil scheming on display here? Surely this is the stuff of mustache twirling-cartoon devils. Konami is going to make it so that players cannot redress an enemy invasion, and then they are going to sell them the insurance for the harm incurred in the process! What has this industry come to? Will we next see Mario taking out Bowser insurance? Better yet, will Bowser be selling Goomba insurance to Mario after he has already launched another invasion of the Mushroom Kingdom? As far as business strategies go this one is absolutely fiendish, which probably means it will become par for the course in a couple of years time.

'We have a console for people who like to play physical games!'
Shovel Knight has been delayed on some consoles more than others!

Shovel Knight Physical Release Update

What is it they say about the best-laid plans? The road to hell is resealed with the bloody things. But alas there is naught one can do, and it is not as bad as all that. Yacht Club Games this week announced that the physical release date for Shovel Knight had been pushed back to the thirtieth of October for Europe and the third of November for America. One certainly cannot fault this slight delay in the release date however, as it was done so in order to have the disc/cart contain the Plague of Shadows expansion content – so one might well say that the delay comes as good news.

The final few steps of the Plague of Shadows content took a little longer than expected, but it was important to us that this update to be on the disc/cart right out of the box! Unfortunately that meant we had to push back the date just a little a bit.

A piece of news that is markedly less welcome [though understandable nonetheless] is the fact that Yacht Club Games has had to raise the price of the physical release, from $19.99 to $24.99. The reason for this is not due to increased cost pressures, but rather Yacht Club has had to do this to secure space on store shelves. Regardless, the game is still well worth the asking price, and people who have already placed a pre-order should still get their copy at the original price.

Although everyone initially agreed to a $19.99 price point, some retailers ran into trouble with limited space to show off their wares, and the rules in place about where games with certain prices are displayed. We didn’t want our ‘bargain priced’ game to go straight to the bargain bin of obscurity, so we had to raise the price.

However, we didn’t want anyone to feel as if they were getting hoodwinked just because of our retail situation! If you have already pre-ordered Shovel Knight, your retailer should honor the original price!

Finally, to end on a note of frivolous humour, the Xbox One version of the game has been cancelled. This is not down to a lack of interest, but rather due to an unspecified internal Microsoft policy. Many gamers have already suggested that Microsoft likely requires that Yacht Club place an order with them for an imprudent number of copies of the game. readers may remember that Xbox One owners have previously missed out on great games like Final Fantasy XIV due to bone-headed Microsoft policies, and now Shovel Knight is just the latest casualty of this. Microsoft needs to realise that they are no longer at the top of the console heap, and get with the program – if they want their users to have access to great content.That being said, one wonders whether Xbox One owners are even the sort of people who collect games. Maybe that audience would be perfectly happy with a digital download of the game?

... Though possibly not this one.
Ritsuka-chan will have to keep her cards close to her chest…

Anime Spotlight: Dance with Devils

Ritsuka Tachibana is a second year student at Shiko Academy, a role that she was contented enough with until learning that a number of her male classmates are in fact demons. Moreover, it would seem that a number of these demons have taken a keen romantic interest in her – setting the stage for this reverse-harem occult romance. Given that this is a reverse-harem scenario, one wonders whether we will see a male student president for a change? No, probably not.

Dance with Devils is being handled by Brain’s Base, the studio which produced the second season of Spice and Wolf. The series began its run on Funimation several days ago on the 7th of October, and there is currently one episode available. Dance with Devils‘ target demographic is listed as Shonen, so one hopes that does not bode poorly for its palatability.


  1. That FOB stuff from Konami is TOP-TIER bullshit. I am truly impressed at their Brahne-like levels of greed.

  2. Konami would have “invasion insurance” were they the publisher of Dark Souls. Absolutely disgusting.

    Full agreement regarding the voice actors’ fiasco.

  3. Bandai Namco publishes Dark Souls, so hopefully Konami’s bad habits don’t rub off.

  4. @DefChaos: I was thinking about that myself, given the similarities between invading someone’s base/game.

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