If one were to remove the acting talent from the production of a movie then there would not be much of a movie left. If one were instead to remove the acting talent from the production of a video game then one is left with a video game without voice acing – and the game might be all the better for it! After more than a year of striking against the video game industry SAG-AFTRA is poised to accept the terms that were essentially offered to them at the outset of the strike. SAG-AFTRA had been pushing for actors to be entitled to residuals based on the number of copies a game has sold, but is now set to accept a deal which will see actors being paid a small bonus once recording wraps. The bonus is set at $75 for one recording session, and caps at $2,100 for ten or more sessions. Actors will also be entitled to know some very general information about the roles they are auditioning for, including the genre of the game, and whether they are required to voice expletives or racism – because goodness knows that is a likely workplace scenario when employed by the risk averse shitlib video game industry!
This is all stuff that SAG-AFTRA were offered at the opening of negotiations. In all likelihood the size of bonuses were revised upward by some negligible amount to allow SAG-AFTRA to save face after dragging this out for a year, but ultimately this is a year of lost productivity on their end.
“This is an important advance in this critical industry space, we secured a number of gains including for the first time, a secondary payment structure which was one of the members’ key concerns. The courage of our members and their fortitude these many months has been admirable and I salute them. We are always stronger together.”
On the one hand it is satisfying to see SAG-AFTRA having to cuck on their unreasonable demands. On the other had it is saddening that a deal has been reached at all. The way that unions like SAG-AFTRA operate is by artificially raising the cost of voice acting by limiting the supply of talent: either a studio uses union talent exclusively at the mandated price, or the studio is forbidden from using any union members at all, and must source an entirely non-union cast. In either case the potential voice acting workforce is being artificially fragmented along union lines. What this usually amounts to is individuals being prevented from working unless they join a union – in short it is a racket, and a disgusting one at that. One would have been infinitely more happy if SAG-AFTRA just took their union actors and fucked right off for good and all.
Fuck Off Atlus
It will surprise precisely nobody following the recent conduct of Atlus that their abhorrent behaviour continues unabated. It is always weird reporting on these Atlus stories, because the fact that they still produce high quality JRPGs makes a person want to support them, but their actions when stripped of sentiment are some of worst and most tone deaf of the industry. So fuck them!
This week Atlus USA attempted to shut down the PS3 emulator RPCS3 for being able to play Persona 5, only instead of hitting the emulator’s developer Nekotekina with a cease and desist, they instead went behind their backs and delivered the cease and desist directly to Patreon. Complete bitch move.
“The PS3 emulator itself is not infringing on our copyrights and trademarks; however, no version of the P5 game should be playable on this platform; and [the RPCS3] developers are infringing on our IP by making such games playable.
We kindly ask that you remove both for this reason – to make Persona 5 work on the emulator, the user has to circumvent our DRM protections.”
Of course Patreon was having none of this malarkey, as there is nothing illegal about the creation of an emulator, and it is fucking ridiculous to suggest that an emulator should not be able to play any games! Studios do not get to decide which pieces of hardware we choose to play their games on, which is why it is perfectly legal to play licensed vidya on hardware clones. In the face of Atlus’ unreasonable demands, the only stipulation that Patreon required of Nekotekina was to remove any mention of Persona 5 from the RPCS3 funding page, as the extent to which it is possible to play through Persona 5 was being used as one of metrics employed to illustrate the progress being made on development.
Atlus later commented further on their bitch move in their official blog:
“You might have heard earlier today that we issued a DMCA takedown notice involving emulation developer group RPCS3 and their Patreon page. Yes, it’s true. We settled upon this action for two reasons:
1. We believe that our fans best experience our titles (like Persona 5) on the actual platforms for which they are developed. We don’t want their first experiences to be framerate drops, or crashes, or other issues that can crop up in emulation that we have not personally overseen. We understand that many Persona fans would love to see a PC version. And while we don’t have anything to announce today, we are listening! For now, the best way to experience Persona 5 is on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.
2. We appreciate the awareness generated by the emulation community for Persona 5 and know that it is a fantastic example of how much people are loving our game. We want to keep bringing you titles like Persona 5. Unfortunately, when our content is illegally circumvented and potentially made available for free, in a format we do not think delivers the experience and quality we intend, it undermines our ability to do so by diverting potential support from new audiences.”
Persona 5 plays better on the target hardware, Atlus? No fucking kidding?!! Considering that the degree to which Persona 5 could even be played on RPCS3 was what the development team was using as a metric for progress, it is such a huge surprise to hear that the game plays better on Playstation hardware! Fucking simpletons!
Do Atlus honestly believe that the ability to half-play a buggy version of Persona 5 on PC is actually costing them game sales?
It is possible to pirate the fuck out of Persona 5 and play it flawlessly on cracked PS3s running custom firmware – is this the method that Atlus would prefer for optimum enjoyment of the game?
Oh, that method is not to Atlus’ liking, eh? Well, perhaps go after those people instead of a bunch of emulation enthusiasts who are more concerned about the progress of emulation than they are about the ability to play vidya for free. Nobody sees emulation as a viable way to play through Persona 5 at this point in RPCS3’s development, so it is just perplexing why Atlus are so keen to portray themselves as a bunch of overreaching dicks – but fuck them!
Oh For Fuck’s Sake!
Lusipurr.com has previously discussed the news that the people who own the rights to Atari’s name are planning to crowdfund an Ataribox which comes pre-loaded with some retro Atari games. Well, it turns out that the funding campaign will surface on Indiegogo some time before the end of Autumn, and when it does it will have a pricetag that is somewhere between $250 and $300! This shitty Ataribox is going to be priced somewhere between the PS4 and the fucking Nintendo Switch! Suddenly paying $300 for a Switch does not sound all that bad! Fucking hell!
Not to be outdone, Retro Games Limited revealed this week that they are planning on releasing a Commodore 64 Mini in 2018. Mercifully, this plug and play shitbox will only be retailing for $70, making it something of a steal when viewed alongside the Ataribox. The Commodore 64 Mini will come pre-loaded with 64 games, which is kind of cute.
For the record, the Coleco Chameleon has already come and gone, and now we have the Ataribox and the Commodore 64 Mini – so next year expect to see the Amiga Micro and possibly the Sinclair Spectrum Jr! The nostalgia industry has much to answer for. Jesus!