News: A Tale of Two Developers

Kingdom Cummies

If readers have been hearing a shrill background thrum that sounds like a sibilant chorus of indignation and rustled jimmies, and were wondering what it might be, then allow this author to ease your mind by providing some assurance that it is just the sound of impotent rage which comes when some very self-important people are made to realise that nobody is listening to them.

A million copies sold!

REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Kingdom Come: Deliverence saw its release this month, and ‘Game Journo Pros’ were pretty much of a mind that they wanted the game to fail. They implored their readers not to buy it, and in some cases they refused to cover the game at all on principle [because the game’s creative lead was an outspoken GamerGate supporter]. They ensured that Kingdom Come received a terrible Metarating of 68%, though this may arguably still be deserved due to performance issues. SJW bloggers greatly dislike the game because it is a historical game which depicts a historically white region as being populated by white people who practice white medieval cultural life, with a universal adherence to Christianity. How terrible for them that the game is not some faggy post-modern deconstruction of religion and culture, or at the very least a power fantasy where they can play as a ‘strong independent womyn who don’t need no man‘!

Sadly for San Fransisco-style Socialists, Kingdom Come is not a game that will allow them to LARP as Hogwarts students and play pretend with their silly little wands. Kingdom Come is a serious historical game which contains many deliberately onerous mechanics, which were deliberately chosen to try and convey to players the difficult slog that was daily life in the medieval period. This was a bold creative decision, and many gamers have responded well to this deliberately harsh gameplay style. More to the point gamers have failed to pay any heed whatsoever to the bad mouthing the game has received in Communist blogs like Polygon. In short the game has been a huge success.

In Kingdom Come‘s first two days on sale it was able to move 500,000 copies – and now two weeks later it has sold over a million copies. Not at all bad for an indy game that began life on Kickstarter! The funniest thing of all has been seeing the way that various blogs have reacted to Kingdom Come becoming the biggest release of February. Some like Polygon have grudgingly started following the title, while others like Giant Bomb have had an altogether different reaction. Observe as Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gerstmann tries to explain to confused readers why his site is not covering the biggest game release of the month:

It didn’t come up during the call-in show yesterday. Saw a few people talking about this off-site and thought it might come in the chat room.

Anyway, a couple of us looked at it around the time it came out and didn’t find it interesting enough to pursue. The head guy’s shitty views certainly don’t help, but I doubt we’d have covered it either way.

That guy is so not mad at the game’s success! Not mad at all. The game is just not all that interesting, guys. This certainly has nothing at all to do with the SJW agendas at play here. You are just being paranoid!

Simpsons Did It!

… And from one moral panic trainwreck to another – this week has seen the release of a key piece of Assassin’s Creed: Origins DLC. The DLC in question enables players to go on guided tours around the various historical locales that form the game’s Egyptian setting. Ubisoft have been crowing for months about how they expect this DLC to be an educational tool, and want it to be used in schools to instruct children about the game’s historical setting [what an insidious piece of marketing]. So Ubisoft goes and releases said DLC this week, and it turns out that they committed an act of grotesque cultural vandalism by slapping pasties over any of the exposed nips of the game’s marble statues!

Marble fanciers are going to be left ubiSOFT by this turn of events!

Assassin’s Creed thinks it’s a teaching aide, when really it’s more like having AIDS inflicted upon teaching!

This cannot be real life. It feels like a cartoon. In fact it feels exactly like an episode of The Simpsons, because it was an episode of The Simpsons! Busy-body Marge is incensed at plans to bring Michelangelo’s David to the Springfield museum, because she fears that his exposed marble wang will warp the minds of the town’s children! This is exactly the same! School age children can no longer be trusted to view some of history’s greatest artworks because they feature exposed human anatomy! This is the world we live in now! Just in case readers wanted it straight from the donkey’s mouth, Ubisoft had this to say:

Discovery Tour was created to offer the maximum amount of people from various ages and cultural backgrounds the ability to visit the long lost world of Ancient Egypt and learn about its history. We worked hand in hand with educators and academic institutions to tailor the content to be suited for every audience, including younger students, taking into account cultural sensitivities that can be different from one country to another.

Are you fucking kidding, Ubisoft? You have taken a look at some of the finest artworks that antiquity has to offer, and then concluded that they needed to have pasties slapped all over them! What historic value is there in your piece of shit DLC now? What other things have been changed to spare the triggering of modern sensibilities? Are the Pharaohs all Kangz now?

This is unfit for purpose!

Next Assassin’s Creed to be set in Wakanda!

There was nothing shameful on display with this art, yet when Ubisoft crawled out of the dumpster with their pornographer’s mindset and cast a hungry eye towards ancient Egypt, they saw only smut. Fuck off, Ubisoft! If one ever had need to introduce children to the art and culture of ancient Egypt, then this author would show them unmolested pictures of the real artworks. This DLC hackjob can fuck right off. In their effort to sanitise their DLC for the consumption of all people, Ubisoft have succeeded in making it equally as worthless to all parties concerned!

It is kind of funny that this DLC was released in the same month as Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Because Warhorse went to a massive effort to make their game historically accurate, whereas Ubisoft’s game stomps all over the history and then calls itself a teaching aide. Teach Kingdom Come in schools, and steer well clear of this crap. There are few things that anger this author more than squandered potential, and this DLC looks like it might have very nearly been something special before the committee got to work on it.

[UPDATE]: After writing this section of the post one has subsequently discovered that Ubisoft has outright altered pieces of art in order to make them more inclusive. A piece of ancient pottery which currently resides in London’s British Museum depicts boys busy at study, yet was altered by Ubisoft to also depict girls, despite this being historically inaccurate:

Don't be silly goy, history has always been this way!

The next evolution of fake news is fake history, and Ubisoft is getting out ahead of the pack.

Here both girls and boys are shown attending a class given by one of the rhetoricians of the era.

The team made the choice to show both genders attending class within the context of the game world. Even though it is historically inaccurate, the team felt it was not necessary to prioritize historical sexism over inclusive gameplay.

There are also multiple instances of brothel sexual artworks having one of their partners arbitrarily either lightened or darkened in order to create the impression of miscegenation taking place.

Who in their right mind would use this revisionist history mush as a teaching aide? Ubisoft is not producing educational material, they are producing blatant propaganda. They are making Anita Sarkeesian’s wildest dreams a reality. This is what she wants all vidya to be. Changing our present [and destroying our future] by rewriting our past. The loss of history is a pretty scary thing.

Anita’s Trip to Bioware

Speaking of the beast herself, one briefly mentioned in a post last month that Anita had visited Bioware. The post itself was primarily focused on the likelihood that Bioware would delay Anthem out of concern that they had not produced enough content, and Anita’s trip was only mentioned in passing because there was not really any other information to go along with it. This week an anonymous Bioware source has leaked information suggesting that much of the team was deeply unhappy with Anita’s presence in their offices.

Anthem is fucked either way.

Interesting if true.

This actually makes a fair bit of sense, given the picture that Sarkeesian tweeted directly after her visit to Bioware. The tweet reads:

I had such a great time touring @Bioware’s Edmonton office and having tea with this great group of women (and allies!). Thanks for your hospitality.

And the photo shows Sarkeesian surrounded by fourteen cat ladies and one very awkward looking balding soy cuck with a rictus grin and dead eyes. Cameras can certainly distort perceptions of reality by occluding the things that are happening outside of the frame, but on the face of it that picture suggests that the majority of the studio wanted nothing to do with her visit. This definitely fits with the insider account of what went down.

Apparently a number of employees were “pretty pissed that she was brought into the studio“, while one specifically felt “sick to their stomach” at some of the things she was saying. The source felt that:

The amount of fire and negativity that came out of the office about her toxic nature was pretty clear.”

Apparently the management was aware of this rift between these unhappy employees and the Sarkeesian clique, and attempted to paper over everything by stressing the urgency with which they had to work so as not to fall any further behind schedule. The picture painted was that Anita’s visit was very much an EA thing, which was sprung on the team with little notice. This is probably what happened.

If one were to don the tin foil hat of truth for just a moment though – then what if this information were being fed to us, the public, in order to perform damage control. Public confidence in Anthem had already been damaged by the disastrous release of Battlefront II, and now Anita Sarkeesian’s involvement with Anthem was drawing absolute fire from unhappy Bioware fans. Anita herself wrote:

When I tweeted about a recent visit to @bioware, a firestorm of hate inundated my feed as well as the studio’s. If you want to continue seeing more inclusivity in games, help drown out the hateful voices & express support for the change you want to see.

The situation here is very similar to the anger which greeted her appointment as consultant on Mirror’s Edge 2 – and that was like a kiss of death to Mirror’s Edge 2 at retail. Perhaps Bioware did not count on Anita publicising her trip to their offices. Perhaps an insider leak was their way of unofficially disavowing her to mollify angry gamers, while not doing so publicly, which would have tarnished their SJW cred.

At any rate this is all just idle speculation. Bioware is pozzed, Anthem is in trouble, EA is a fucking nightmare, and Sarkeesian’s involvement in this shit-tsunami probably does not make the situation a great deal worse. It certainly does not help though.


warning: not real news

News! News! NEWS!

TDT Solicits News of All Descriptions for Podcast Discussion

As described in the comments, SiliconNooB is injured and unable to produce a new news post for the week. So we’re updating this post to solicit your help in turning these life lemons into news lemonade! Or something! Just go with the metaphor, folks.

If you would like our take on a news story, let us know in the comments below! If you wanted our take on a completely false news story, and wanted to see how we reacted, you might write a little fake news blurb and we will respond to that here or on the podcast in TSM Episode 472: Fake News–an episode in which we respond to and discuss fake news posted by our readers. If it proves popular we can make it a recurring segment.

So let us know what news stories–real or imagined–on which you would like us to comment!

8 comments on “News: A Tale of Two Developers”

  1. This week’s news makes me feel nostalgic for 2014!

  2. We’ve got another wave of J. Bruce Thompson-style ‘Games are murder makers!’ going on, so it’s more like 2009 than you think!

  3. Kingdom Come has been on my radar for a while. The publishers of Persona 5, Deep Silver, are also publishing this game in the UK. At £55, the PS4 version is a little above what I like to pay for my games. This could be because it seems to be selling through well on Amazon.co.uk

    Strangely the game is absent from the GAME.co.uk website.

  4. Slight correction regarding the Simpsons episode if I may.
    Marge is attempting to get the violence censored out of the Itchy & Scratchy cartoons. She see stirs up an outrage mob, who then turn to her to lead the charge against Michelangelo’s David when it’s brought to town. She basically loses her credibility when she decided against bringing her moral crusade to classical art, with Itchy and Scratchy going back to normal as a result. It was a good episode during those prime Simpsons years, and its tone matches your suggestion.

    Lol @ Giant Bomb. Can you imagine being that petty and spiteful? It’s sad that sites and “journalists” that ignore games and devs on the basis of ideological differences have the influence that they have. At least, as you point out, their influence is largely contained to their bubble, and games like Kingdom Come can succeed in spite of their antics.

    Great article! Sorry that I haven’t commented in a while. Keep up the great work!

  5. @DefChaos: I’m not much of a Simpsons fan, so I was going off what I could remember from when I watched it as a child. I don’t think it really changes the analogy though; censoring marble statues is fucking unbelievable.

  6. HEADS UP TDTers!

    SiliconNooB fell down and broke his crown this afternoon. I understand he was trying to perform a ‘sick riff’ with his ‘board on a set of concrete steps in ‘laide, and he took a tumble. Not to worry, his skateboard is alright, but his pre-distressed jeans are in a right state and he dropped and broke his iPod, so that’s his entire collection of Green Day, ripped from vinyl, gone.

    Oh yeah, there’s one more thing! SN himself is pretty beat up, so there won’t be a news post this week. We’ve got him on a beer drip (it’s an Irish stout, we’re not holding back), so he should be fine by next week. But, in the meantime, I had an idea: if you would like our take on a news story, how about posting it in the comments here?

    Then I had an even better idea (this happens often), if you wanted our take on a completely false news story, and wanted to see how we reacted, you could write a little fake news blurb and we’d respond to that here or on the podcast in TSM Episode 472: Fake News. In which we respond to and discuss fake news posted by our readers. If it proves popular we can make it a recurring segment.

    So let us know what news stories–real or imagined–on which you’d like us to comment!

  7. BREAKING NEWS: The president of Antarctica was found in possession of the only copy of the long-awaited Grandia 4.

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