The Curious Coincidence of the Switch Delays
Last week JRPG fans received the news that the release date for the
under powered Switch version of Dragon Quest XI was TBA.This came as no surprise to people with a brain, as the Nintendo Switch is a far less just as powerful system than as the PS4, and so it made no sense whatsoever to port this version of the game instead of the 3DS version. Square Enix’s official reason for the delay is that development of the PS4 version began on an earlier revision of Unreal Engine 4 than the one that Epic Games decided to adapt for use on the Nintendo Switch.
In all fairness trying to port a game that runs on an unsupported version of an engine would complicate the process,
but at the same time studios transition their games to newer revisions of game engines all the time in order to make use of newer features. This is the sort of thing that would delay a game’s release by months rather than years.
Imagine this author’s surprise when just weeks later Sega announced at their Fes expo that Valkyria Chronicles 4 would be delayed on the Nintendo Switch from a Summer release to Fall 2018. Well that was a bit of a curious coincidence! Nintendonlies keep telling us that the Switch can handle any game that the PS4 can, and that there is no impediment to bringing any game over to the Switch, so the problem cannot be technical in nature! Sony must be paying Sega to deliberately delay the Switch port of the game!
Sony did not stop there however, as they also bribed Bandai Namco to announce this week that Dark Souls: Remastered has also been delayed – only the Switch version!
“Due to the nature of causality, we must announce that the Nintendo Switch version of [Dark Souls Remastered] will be pushed back to summer of 2018, and with it, the release of the Solaire of Astora amiibo.
PC/PS4/X1 versions will maintain their May 25th release date.”
Causality! See, causality is to blame! Bandai Namco mentioned nothing about the Switch being under powered! This proves that Sony money hats are responsible for delaying Dark Souls: Remastered on the Switch! Everyone knows that PS4 software runs beautifully on the Nintendo Switch, so it is just despicable that Sony has paid Bandai Namco to delay the game on Nintendo’s platform!
Dutch Gaming Authority Comes Down Hard on Loot Boxes
EA made the implementation of Loot Boxes a huge deal with the release of Battlefront II. The randomized Loot Boxes felt a lot like gambling, causing many lawmakers the World over to mobilise in defense of their constituents. Hawaii has introduced bills to ban the sale of Loot Boxes for anyone under the age of twenty-one, and lawmakers in three other US states later moved to do the same. Both the Swedish and Belgium governments have signaled that they will be looking into Loot Boxes, meanwhile last week the South Korean Fair Trade Commission slapped Nexon, Netmarble, and NextFloor with fines owing to the misleading odds of their Loot Boxes.
Now just this week the Dutch Gaming Authority, which regulates both the sale of vidya as well as the operation of gambling withing the Netherlands, has come down hard on Loot Boxes. The primary point of contention for them appears to have been whether or not games allow players to trade items obtained through Loot Boxes between one another, because items that can be traded can be assumed to have a theoretical money value.
The Dutch Gaming Authority looked at ten current games, which included some of the most popular games on the market such as Dota 2, FIFA 18, PUBG, and Rocket League. Of these ten games four were found to be in breach of the Better Gaming Act, and will be given eight weeks to make the necessary changes in order to comply. Failure to comply may result in fines being imposed and / or these titles being prohibited from sale withing the Netherlands. The Dutch Gaming Authority did not name the four games which failed inspection, and we will not officially discover their identities unless these companies fail to comply with the ruling. That said, these games can likely be identified based on which titles adjust their Loot Box mechanics over the next two months.
The Dutch Gaming Authority had this to say:
“They are designed as gambling games are designed, with the feeling that you have almost won.
There are all sorts of sound effects and visual effects when you open such a loot box, so you have a tendency to play through and through.
I call on all game companies not to make loot boxes accessible to children anymore and to remove addictive elements.”
The other six games that were found to be in compliance were also admonished by the Dutch Gaming Authority for containing elements and mechanics similar to online gambling, yet they failed to meet the criteria of actual gambling, and so officials were not empowered to go after them. EA is likely persona non grata in the publishing community at present for killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. Lot Box legislation was likely inevitable at some point, but EA greatly hastened this process by arrogantly pushing their implementation to the extreme. Now new legislation is popping up on a weekly basis, and the hope is that there will be so many conflicting Loot Box legislations that it becomes impossible for publishers to implement a ‘one size fits all’ approach to including Loot Boxes in their games.
Deja Vu: Remaking a Development Team
Sometimes Final Fantasy is the gift that keeps on giving for a news writer, as it provides plenty of regular recurrent disasteriffic news tidbits with which to mock Square Enix with. Other times is can just be terrible tiresome, as it requires covering news that one has already written at length about.
Over a month ago The Day Tonight discussed at length on a podcast [and a subsequent news post] that Square Enix were advertising for some very fundamental positions on the Final Fantasy VII Remake development team. It would seem that nobody applied to those positions, as Square Enix has had to advertise them again! Either that, or they had to fill multiple such positions, and failed to get enough aplicants. This week’s job posting sees Square Enix seeking one or more Battle Planner and Level Planner, which is pretty much exactly what they were looking for months ago:
“Our goal is “the realization of game with quality that surpasses the original.” For that reason, we are continuing the recruitment of internal development staff.
Detailed Work Content
– Planning and specifications creation of a battle system that combines commands and action.
– Devising of ideas such as enemies and bosses.
– Construction of environments including setting parameters aligned to the player’s growth
– Construction of a workflow for location production.
– Devising of ideas for the level designs of each location.
– Implementation of data in Unreal Engine 4.
Create a “new Final Fantasy VII” not limited to a simple remake as a new Final Fantasy with action elements added to the traditional strategy, and deliver your creativity to the world.”
From this we are able to tell that the battle system has not been created yet, or at the very least has not been finalised yet, since the job posting requires that applicants contribute towards its creation. If there was ever any doubt that the game’s development was running behind schedule, then let that be put to rest now. The game is running behind schedule, and its first episode will be lucky to release within the lifetime of the PS4. This listing reveals one other thing, and that is that while the game is intended to be an action RPG, it nonetheless is attempting to implement commands in some way. Finally, it would be really great if Square Enix stopped talking about surpassing the quality of the original game, because nobody believes they are capable of doing so. Final Fantasy XIII aimed to surpass the quality of Final Fantasy VII and failed. Final Fantasy XV aimed to surpass the quality of Final Fantasy VII and failed – spectacularly. If Final Fantasy VII Remake manages to surpass the quality of the original, then great! But constantly talking about surpassing it while never showing any indication that it is even plausible that this will be the case, just makes gamers want to see the development team fall flat on their faces. Actions speak louder than words, so enough with the unjustified arrogance!