When last week’s Nintendo Direct caused mass dejection among the Nintendonly faithful for not being a divine bounty bestowed from on high by Iwata and his celestial host of Ninvangelists, many Nintendo fans started claiming that it was not the real Nintendo Direct, and that a better one would be released before the end of the month. The Day Tonight’s response to this was, naturally, to mock them for their fanboy optimism, but it turns out that the joke is on us!
While there is not actually a second direct coming, it is nonetheless true that Nintendo were withholding their big guns from the presentation! Sadly, we failed to predict the announcement of Nintendo Labo! Boy do we have egg on our face! Nintendonlies have found their killer app for the first half of 2018.
Nintendo Labo is stunning and brave. Nintendo has decided to sell cardboard boxes to their fans, which they are calling Toy-Cons. They were right to call them Toy-Cons, since Nintendo is conning their audience. Regardless, Nintendo certainly seem to have done the trick with their announcement of Nintendo Labo. All of the Nintendonlies who claimed that last week’s Nintendo Direct was a red herring are now behaving like they have been completely vindicated. Nintendonlies appear to be hyped through the roof at the prospect of playing with cardboard boxes.
There is just one point of concern here. What will Nintendo do once their customers realise that they can play with boxes for free? It will be like a repeat of what Sega went through when Dreamcast owners learned how easy GD-Roms were to pirate! Maybe Nintendo can copyright cardboard and paper crafts? It is pretty hard to compete with free, especially when you are charging $70 and $80 respectively.
That said, Nintendo is releasing Labo on 4/20, so the stoners they are targeting as a key demographic may not make the connection between Nintendo Labo and the boxes that you can play with completely free of charge. The Nintendonlies look to be super excited!
Quantic Dream Gets #METOO’d
It seems like there is not a single facet of the entertainment industry that has not been effected by the #METOO movement, and vidya is no exception. This week Quantic Dream’s CEO, David Cage, and COO, Guillaume de Fondaumiere, have been #METOO’d by an indeterminate number of anonymous employees and/or former employees. It does not matter that these accusers remain shrouded in secrecy however, because for the #METOO crowd the accusation is all the proof required!
But what are the specific accusations being bandied about? David Cage has been accused of creating a toxic work environment by telling jokes with racist and sexist ‘undertones’. Well shit! That sounds awfully microaggressive! Also, Cage has been accused of malicious art acquisitions, by hanging a painting on his office wall depicting a penis replete with farting testicles.
As for Guillaume de Fondaumiere, he is accused of maliciously kissing people on the cheek as a form of greeting! Somebody stop this madman!
Not a terrible lot of substance in these accusations, is there? The story really sounds much more titillating in the headline, than in the body of the text. David Cage tells triggering jokes and Guillaume de Fondaumiere kisses people on the cheek. Stop the presses!
For their part Quantic Dream has come out and emphatically denied the fake news attempting to smear them:
“Articles published today level various allegations against Quantic Dream, its management and employees. We categorically deny all of these allegations […] Inappropriate conduct or practices have no place at Quantic Dream. We have taken and always will take such grievances very seriously. We value every single person who works at Quantic Dream. It is of the utmost importance to us that we maintain a safe environment that allows us all to channel our shared passion for making video games.”
One’s response to Cage’s predicament here is one of entertained bemusement. Quantic Dream does not produce good vidya, so there is very little at stake here. In one sense it is highly ironic, as David Cage goes beyond even Kojima in his attempts to LARP as a film director – and now he is being #METOO’d like a film director. However, Roman Polanski he certainly is not. There is very little substance in any of the accusations against Cage and de Fondaumiere. Probably the biggest risk to Quantic Dream is that a virtue signalling French government will cut off any government subsidies that the studio currently enjoys. That is not a particularly likely outcome though.
We Have Not Seen the Last of Fable…
Rejoice and make merry, for Eurogamer has it on very good authority that Lusipurr’s favourite RPG ever is set to make its triumphant return! Fable 4 has been resurrected by Microsoft, and handed off to Playground Games for development as an open world RPG.
Microsoft does not understand gaming. They know how to purchase assets, and they know how to say “make me one of those“, but they do not know how to make good games – at least not at the corporate level. Lionshead made hokey single player action RPGs – that was what they were purchased by Microsoft to do. When Kinect was still the next big thing Microsoft said “make me one of those“, which resulted in Fable Horsey Simulator. When games as a service was the next big thing Microsoft said “make me one of those“, which resulted in Fable Legends, and the death of Lionshead. Now that Horizon Zero Dawn has convinced Microsoft that single player RPGs are once again the next big thing they have tapped Playground Games on the shoulder and said “make me one of those“.
Playground Games produce the Forza Horizon series of games, so who better to create a Microsoft version of Horizon Zero Dawn? They both have the word ‘Horizon’ in their titles! This is precisely the type of unsophisticated thinking that I would expect from the company that thought they were buying Donkey Kong when they purchased Rare!
Regardless, this is all very good news for us – as we are set to see the return of Lusipurr’s very favourite series. Sound off in the comments about how excited you are at the prospect of having Lusi review Fable 4!