Get Base Version of FFXIV for Free, and 30 Days Subscription
TDT has a bit of a history with Final Fantasy XIV. Back when we were still lusipurr.com we covered extensively the run-up to Final Fantasy XIV’s disastrous launch, and the aftermath of that smouldering crater made for a ton of easy news content – so cheers for that, Square Enix. This disaster was so complete that it effectively ended the career of Hiromichi Tanaka, the producer behind Secret of Mana, Xenogears, and Chrono Cross. lusipurr.com was also there as the Final Fantasy XIV project was salvaged by Yoshi-P, and then relaunched as the phenomenally successful A Realm Reborn – which gets right to the heart of this story.
Until May 26 Square Enix are giving away the base version of Final Fantasy XIV, normally priced at $20, completely free of charge to PS4 owners. This is not just some promotional free weekend with the game, as people who take up this offer will keep the game in perpetuity. With this offer, players will also get a free 30 day subscription to the game. Players need not be subscribed to Playstation Plus in order to play online. This offer does not seem to apply to the PC version of the game.
This offer does not include the Heavensward, Stormblood, or Shadowbringers expansions, though the base game should be more than enough to let people know whether or not they wish to invest further. If readers are interested in this offer then haste is of the essence, because it will only be available for the next three days or so.
Twitter Simps for Naughty Dog
It seems like there is nary a website on the internet not willing to completely destroy its model in order to appease progressive corporate interests. When Death Stranding was rightly met with negative user reviews, Metacritic moved heaven and earth in order to delete them, thus denying consumers an outlet for their voices to be heard – and how well has that decision aged? Where is Death Stranding now? If Death Stranding were a person, it would be festooning the back of a milk carton! Not to be outdone, Rotten Tomatoes joined their fellow review aggregation site by deleting user reviews for Captain Marvel, and for many other protected movies in the months since. Twitter lost their credibility years ago, but this week they have changed the way their entire social network operates just to protect Naughty Dog from their own colossal mess – or at least that is what it looks like.
The entire concept of Twitter is that anyone can put a tweet out there, and then anyone else on the platform can respond to it. This concept has been somewhat watered down in recent years by allowing people to block specific others from viewing their tweets, which in turn opened the door to people running blockbots to exclude hundreds of thousands of people. For the most part though, that step down the slippery slope did not impact the function of the site too much, as the people running blockbots are comprised of a small handful of insane Marxists. Now Twitter has this week revealed that they have pushed through a far more impactful change.
Twitter now supports the ability for a user to prevent anyone not tagged in a tweet from commenting on it while still having it visible for all twitter users, but this feature is only available for “a limited group of people globally”. And who was one of the first, if not the very first, of these limited privileged entities to make a tweet that the plebs were prohibited from replying to? Naughty Dog, shilling for the disgusting abomination that is The Last of Us 2 – what a coincidence! How coincidental that right at a time when Sony and Naughty Dog were looking for a way to exclude the voices of gamers from the conversation surrounding The Last of Us 2, Twitter just so happens to implement a feature that completely alters the way their platform works, and Naughty Dog just so happens to be one of the extremely select recipients of this new functionality? What a fortunate turn of events for Naughty Dog! For the last week Naughty Dog and Sony have been going crazy trying to DMCA copyright claim everything from news stories to internet memes in order to prevent word spreading that Joel and Ellie get murdered my a transsexual in The Last of Us 2. How convenient that these corporate entities can now shill their awful game on Twitter without fear that the plebs might respond with negative feedback. This is some weak, fragile shit, Sony.
The Chinese Government Owns the Vidya Industry
This week it came to light that Kenichiro Imaizumi has (allegedly) left his role as a Kojima Productions producer in order to join Tencent. This occurred in the same week as it came to light that Tencent now owns System Shock. This one-two punch has led to people putting Chinese ownership back under the microscope and, well, one hopes that readers did not have their hearts set on playing vidya based on the Chinese coronavirus plague, because such a game probably cannot be made in the current industry.
The Chinese Communist government owns Tencent, and essentially serves as their executive, influencing their global strategy – and very, very probably using them as an instrument of global espionage [though this is not necessarily true of every company they have a stake in]. As such the Chinese Communist government now owns 100% of Riot Games, 100% of Sharkmob, 84.3% of Supercell, 80% of Grinding Gear Games, 40% of Epic Games, 36% of Fatshark, 31% of Stunlock Studios, 29% of Funcom, 13.5% of Kakao, 11.5% of Bluehole, 10% of Sumo Group and Sumo Digital, 9% of Frontier Developments, 5% of Ubisoft, 5% of Activision Blizzard, 5% of Paradox Interactive, and have an undisclosed stake in Yager. Holy moly, that is a lot of studios that are tied to the Chinese Communist government!
So what does this all mean? Well, it does seem extremely unlikely that the Western workers staffing these partially owned studios are working as Communist sleeper agents for the Chinese government. That said, these studios likely retain a huge amount of user information, and there is no telling how much of that could be passed along as a part of their corporate governance structure – especially in instances where Tencent own a large enough stake to be able to appoint their own chairman to the board. Regardless, the amount of damage that could be done with this information is probably pretty low. The bigger threat that this poses is one of censorship. Tencent need not say a word, and still these studios will self-censor in order to curry favour with their corporate overlords. Epic Games’ Tim Sweeney has signalled the studio’s unwillingness to play ball with this kind of thinking, but that is because their financial performance is white hot at present, which creates a buffer. The other studios mentioned might not be so strident in their beliefs.