Serveur minecraft

Les années 2010 turbulentes: une décennie de controverse sur les jeux vidéo – Un bon serveur Minecraft

Par Titanfall , le 4 janvier 2020 - 91 minutes de lecture

"Où êtes-vous, Nick Monroe?" Je suis sur Telegram / Minds / GAB / Parler. Mais surtout Telegram.

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Je vais imaginer que vous vous êtes réveillé d'un coma de 10 ans qui a commencé le 31 décembre 2009. Permettez-moi de vous parler de la dernière décennie dans le monde du jeu vidéo.

Nous avons blâmé Effet de masse pour un tournage dans une école en 2012. En 2019, les politiciens indiquent toujours que les jeux vidéo en sont la cause. En 2012, Mega Man et Pac-Man ont été enfermés en tant que contenu exclusif pour la version PS3 de Street Fighter x Tekken, en dépit d'être sur le disque Xbox 360. En 2019, le nouveau Call of Duty: Modern Warfare face à un jeu, car le mode Spec Ops Survival est exclusif à la PS4 pour la première année.

Vous pouvez regarder cette décennie et proclamer que l'industrie du jeu n'a rien appris. Mais je suis plus optimiste. Il y avait plus que de se plaindre Metal Gear Solid V's Le calme était trop sexy. Des controverses sur les jeux vidéo au sens littéral? Prenez 2018 Homme araignée Insomniac Games. Il y a eu le cas du gars qui a demandé aux développeurs de mettre une proposition de mariage d'oeuf de Pâques. "Nous venons de passer nos cinq ans en avril, donc je pense qu'elle sera toujours là en septembre lol", a déclaré Tyler à Insomniac. Il s'est trompé. Quel désastre. Mais parfois, les jeux vidéo peuvent rendre les politiciens drôles. L'ancien vice-chancelier autrichien Heinz-Christian Strache aurait une dépendance au jeu. Il est ce qu'on appelle un gros dépensier «baleine». Strache aurait coûté à son parti FPÖ jusqu'à 3 000 € par mois pour Clash of Clans les dépenses.

Voyons Pokemon Go dans ce terrier de lapin et réfléchissez aux années 2010.

Ma controverse sur les jeux vidéo préférée est l’œuvre classique de Geoff Keighley «Dorito Pope». Un journaliste de jeux shilling évidemment pour Mountain Dew et Doritos dans un Halo 4 spot publicitaire. Le cas de Geoff hurle de regret. Keighley a eu un coup dur pendant un moment. Lorsque les prix du jeu vidéo ont été organisés par Spike TV, ils se sont révélés être un gadget. Mais les choses se sont améliorées. Après que le réseau ait décidé de mettre fin à l'émission annuelle après une décennie, Geoff Keighley l'a adopté pour lui-même. Le résultat a été une présentation qui avait l'air bien. Même si la course des VGA de 2014 à 2019 a encore ses caprices, Keighley a finalement atteint son rythme de course aux opérations annuelles.

Je regarde l'industrie des jeux et je vois l'espoir de toujours s'améliorer.

Dans la même veine, les VGA ont servi de guillotine pour le service des relations publiques de Konami. Geoff Keighley a invité le célèbre développeur de jeux Hideo Kojima. Konami a empêché Kojima d'être présent. Konami a été vu par beaucoup comme mesquin envers le gars qui a fait Metal Gear Solid un succès retentissant. Konami a supprimé la mention de Kojima sur les jeux. La rupture éventuelle entre Konami et Kojima signifiait le très apprécié Silent Hills la démo n'est jamais devenue un jeu complet. Hideo a dû recommencer. Il a créé son propre studio et fait Échouement de la mort. Ce nouveau titre qui a exploré le thème des expériences sociales interconnectées a reçu des critiques mitigées de la part des critiques. La réception mitigée a conduit certains à se demander pourquoi Hideo Kojima et Death Stranding ont obtenu une multitude de nominations aux Video Game Awards pour 2019. Beaucoup ont émis l'hypothèse que la relation étroite de Geoff Keighley avec Hideo Kojima a payé. Si c'est la plus grande controverse de Keighley ces jours-ci, il a fait un bond remarquable par rapport au Dorito King qu'il était autrefois.

Il y a d'autres émissions de récompenses de jeux vidéo à regarder. Les Games Media Awards (GMA) de 2012 ont mis en évidence la contrepartie de l'industrie avec la presse. Les sociétés de relations publiques ont voté pour leur «Yes Man» préféré, qui a fait le meilleur travail pour éliminer les éditeurs de jeux. Les participants aux GMA pourraient gagner une PS3 s'ils tweetaient à propos de leur jeu préféré avec un hashtag particulier équivalait à un parrainage informel. Rab Florence a remarqué à quel point les médias devenaient confortables et a écrit un article sur Eurogamer à ce sujet. Il y a souligné que Lauren Wainwright du magazine MCV MCV a participé à ce concours. Elle a menacé de poursuites judiciaires et a forcé Eurogamer à retirer sa mention. Le drame a conduit Florence à quitter Eurogamer. C'est l'un des premiers cas où les tweets ont causé la perte de leur emploi. Mais il y a plus. Lauren Wainwright a caché un lien de carrière avec Square Enix dans son curriculum vitae en ligne. Elle a prétendu être une «consultante» pour Square Enix, déclarant en outre: «Je n'ai jamais examiné les produits». Mais elle a menti. Nous avons donc eu notre premier grand scandale de conflit d'intérêts de la décennie ici aussi.

Ce n'est pas la seule nuance de scandale à exister, bien sûr. La controverse «Dickwolves» de Penny Arcade s'est infiltrée dans la conférence annuelle de PAX en 2013. Il était basé sur une bande dessinée audacieuse de Penny Arcade 2010 commentant les quêtes du jeu vidéo. Vendre des T-shirts et des fanions sur Dickwolves comme si c'était une équipe sportive était très ironique. Penny Arcade a dû retirer de telles marchandises. Avance rapide jusqu'en 2013 et Robert Khoo a interviewé Mike Krahulik et Jerry Holkins, les gars qui ont fait la bande dessinée. Krahulik a déclaré à Khoo que retirer la marchandise Dickwolf était une erreur. Tout cela a débordé avec The Fullbright Company (développeurs de Rentrés chez eux) décider de se retirer de PAX.

IGN et Niche Gamer sont tombés au courant des scandales de plagiat. En août 2018, le critique de jeux IGN Filip Miucin a été appelé pour avoir soulevé des réflexions sur Cellules mortes d'un YouTuber. De nouveaux cas se sont produits lorsque IGN a commencé à supprimer les articles de Filip. Il a fallu 8 mois à Miucin pour présenter des excuses complètes. Brandon Orselli de Niche Gamer a pris la chaleur de Gematsu pour soulever des articles avec peu ou pas de modifications. Brandon a avoué cela en plus d'avoir menti à propos d'un «écrivain fantôme». Il a blâmé cela en essayant d'équilibrer les pressions du travail et de la famille.

Kotaku n'est évidemment pas sans scandale. Avec des cas comme Patricia Hernandez, il est difficile de faire la différence entre un vrai et un faux article. Laura Kate Dale a tenté d'affirmer Super Smash Bros.Ultimate«S Persona 5 Le contenu téléchargeable contenait une «accusation de handicap». Non, selon Nintendo. Ce fut une rétractation embarrassante. Quelques mois plus tôt, Internet avait finalement raison de questionner une «fausse gameuse». C'est arrivé avec une personne nommée «Ellie» qui jouait en compétition Overwatch. Nathan Grayson de Kotaku a crié «THÉORIES DE CONSPIRATION» lorsque la communauté des joueurs a remis en question les capacités d'Ellie. Il a fini par se tromper. Ce n'était pas un cas de harcèlement quand Ellie est partie. Le gabarit était en fait en place. Alors que le sujet de l'intimidation est un vrai problème, Grayson a sauté le pistolet et en a tourné en dérision. Au-delà du drame habituel de GamerGate, leur mise sur liste noire par Ubisoft et Bethesda a été une révélation. Les chaînes officielles de relations publiques ont prétendu officieusement que Kotaku n'existait pas. Tout cela parce que des gens comme Jason Schreier ont avancé dans des scoops sur de nouveaux Tomber et Assassin's Credo Jeux. Bravo à Schreier pour savoir comment faire son travail de temps en temps. Les gens lui donneront toujours du fil à retordre Couronne de dragon débâcle, mais le bien qu'il fait l'emporte sur le mal. Même si je contesterai toujours sa comptabilité des événements en ce qui concerne la situation de Trendy Entertainment. Dans ce cas, j'ai conclu qu'il avait rapporté les pensées d'employés mécontents.

Kotaku est efficace quand ils y pensent (fausses nouvelles à propos de Grand Theft Auto apprendre à une femme noire à conduire à l'écart). En août 2018, Cecilia D’Anastasio a fait un reportage sur «La culture du sexisme aux Jeux anti-émeute». Ils décrivaient un environnement de travail qui était comme Des hommes fous mais horriblement moderne parce que c'était la réalité. Mis à part les problèmes de genre politisés, Cecilia a prouvé que Riot Games était un gâchis. L'entreprise n'a eu d'autre choix que de le reconnaître. Les anciens et actuels employés ont poursuivi Riot pour discrimination fondée sur le sexe, harcèlement sexuel et inégalité de rémunération. Le chef de l'exploitation, Scott Gleb, a été évincé. Les accusations de «péter à plusieurs reprises sur les employés, de les baisser et de frapper leurs testicules» ont été des facteurs contributifs. Riot a ensuite embauché un chef de la diversité. Ce n'était pas suffisant, car les employés ont quand même protesté contre l'entreprise. Finalement, Riot Games s'est installé et Kotaku a mis un trou de 10 millions de dollars dans son portefeuille.

L'industrie du jeu a eu quelques tirs directs à travers l'arc. Rien qu'en 2019, la Entertainment Software Association responsable de la mise en place de l'E3 chaque année n'a pas pu garder les informations personnelles des personnes privées. Plus de 2000 médias et influenceurs ont vu leur nom, leur adresse, leur numéro de téléphone et leur adresse e-mail exposés au grand public. La grève des acteurs de voix SAG-AFTRA a été une longue bataille au cours de cette décennie. À mesure que l'industrie des jeux mûrissait, des talents plus expérimentés et expérimentés se sont syndiqués pour exiger des conditions de travail plus agréables. En général, ce fut une période de croissance difficile et tous les studios de jeux n'ont pas survécu. La fermeture de Visceral Games a été un choc. Le coffrage de Lionhead Studios en a surpris beaucoup. La fermeture en 2012 des 38 studios de Curt Schilling n'était pas encore terminée en 2019 en termes de poursuites. Même Telltale Games avec son énorme Les morts qui marchent série de jeux étouffée financièrement. C'est un concert difficile de faire des jeux vidéo. Deux développeurs impliqués dans ARMA III a passé 129 jours dans une prison grecque à cause de leur travail.

le Effec de masseLa franchise parvient à se bloquer de chaque côté de la décennie. Effet de masse 3 avait de grosses chaussures à remplir car les deux jeux précédents ont reçu des éloges universels. Auparavant, le pire problème dans la presse était de dire Fox News Effet de masse eu trop de sexe. Pourtant, des signes de problèmes ont frappé ME3 avant même la sortie. Bioware a atterri dans l'eau chaude en enfermant l'un des nouveaux membres de l'équipe pour ME3 comme contenu DLC. L'espèce prothéenne est la pierre angulaire de Effet de masse lore, et Bioware a décidé de payer bâclement DLC spécial sur ce qui était déjà partiellement sur le disque.

Effet de masse 3La fin originale était si mauvaise que Bioware a dû la réparer après le lancement. Les Reapers étaient effrayants, mais il n'y avait pas de catharsis ni de boss final. Juste un gamin holographique qui a donné au joueur un choix de terminaisons "A" "B" et "C". Ce qui se résumait à sauver la galaxie dans un échange de palette bleu, vert ou rouge. Les gens étaient si désespérés de trouver des réponses que la théorie de l'endoctrinement est née. Cela s'est transformé en toute cette discussion sur le «DROIT DE JEU». Ce fut l'un des premiers exemples d'indignation de masse des consommateurs de la décennie. Mais il y avait de nombreuses bonnes raisons d'exiger la qualité. De nombreux jeux vidéo n'ont pas réussi à se lancer correctement au début: Île morte , Final Fantasy XIV , X: renaissance , Halo: Master Chief Collection, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Battlefield 4 , Driveclub , Total War: Rome II , et Batman: Arkham Knight. SimCityLe lancement a été un tel désastre qu'il faut le dire deux fois.

Tout Effet de masse: Andromède a dû faire était de ne pas bousiller. Bioware ne pouvait même pas gérer cela. Les animations faciales étaient atroces. Les insectes étaient endémiques. C'était ennuyeux.Les développeurs ne se sont même pas souciés du DLC de l'histoire. Ils ont apparemment giflé le jeu ensemble en 18 mois (après plusieurs années de tripotage). Ce qui était censé être le début d'une nouvelle Effet de masse série conclue avec EA fusionnant le Andromède studio dans le bureau EA Motive. Hymne était un «Je vous salue Marie» destiné à ramener Bioware sur la bonne voie. Il a fini par faire Andromède regarder mieux rétrospectivement. Anita Sarkeesian n'a pas pu sauver Hymne en utilisant le pouvoir du féminisme.

Appuyez sur F pour vous présenter vos respects.

Bethesda a commencé sur une bonne note cette décennie. Le lancement de Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim a explosé comme des gangbusters. En réalité, Todd Howard a sorti les jeux sur à peu près toutes les plateformes possibles. Elder Scrolls en ligne était au départ un peu un flop mais a réussi à se réparer et à gagner un suivi. Il y a eu un court épisode de mauvais RP lorsque Bethesda a décidé de faire équipe avec Valve pour sortir des mods PAYÉS. Étant donné les relations antérieures de l'entreprise avec la communauté de modding, gratuit, c'était comme une gifle au visage. Bethesda a rapidement changé de cap et s'en est débarrassée. Mais deux ans plus tard, il l'a réinventé dans le magasin Bethesda.

En 2010, Bethesda a laissé Obsidian Entertainment essayer de Tomber Jeu. Ce que nous avons obtenu était New Vegas. Les gens croient depuis longtemps que Obsidian Tomber être supérieur. La dichotomie Bethesda / Obsidienne s'est manifestée dans la génération suivante. Alors que Bethesda a fait une version super brillante et rationalisée de Fallout 3 en 2015 Fallout 4, Obsidian Entertainment est revenu avec le Les mondes extérieurs et a époustouflé tout le monde avec sa créativité. Même sans Tomber licence et à partir de la case départ, Obsidian Entertainment a pu donner au monde un supérieur Tomber expérience. Les développeurs n'aiment pas que les gens fassent cette comparaison.

Bethesda libéré Fallout 76 et c'est l'avortement qui a continué à donner. L'historien d'Internet a fait une vidéo de synthèse décente. Malheureusement, il est dépassé compte tenu du nombre de nouvelles catastrophes survenues depuis lors. C'est plutôt bon.

Pour cette section, je me suis appuyé sur YouTuber YongYea comme mon Charon à travers l'enfer de Bethesda.

  1. MARCHÉ PHYSIQUE EN BOUCHÉ: Les sacs en toile annoncés sont sortis en nylon. La réponse officielle dans un premier temps? "Désolé tu n'es pas content. Non, nous ne faisons rien à ce sujet. Les bons sacs étaient trop chers à fabriquer. »Le compte Twitter de Fallout a répondu en minimisant ce type de support client en tant qu '« employé sous contrat temporaire ». Bethesda a ensuite gracieusement distribué 500 atomes pour que leur boutique en jeu commence à faire les choses correctement. Il ne suffisait même pas d’acheter un numérique sac de toile. Heureusement, Bethesda s'est engagée à fabriquer éventuellement des sacs en toile de remplacement. Bethesda à peu près avait à, vu qu'ils ont donné la réel Fallout 76 des sacs en toile aux «influenceurs». Ensuite, il y avait le Nuka Dark Rum de Silver Screen Bottling Company. Regardez-le. Cela avait un goût horrible et l'appel "objet de collection" annoncé ne répondait pas aux attentes de base. Les personnes qui ont produit le Nuka Dark Rum ont dit qu'elles sont allées avec les bouteilles en plastique pour être plus «dramatiques» et qu'elles ont passé «100 heures à coder» l'apparence du prototype. Un casque Power Armor spécial édition collector distribué par Gamestop a dû être rappelé pour des problèmes de moisissure. Cela n'a touché que 32 unités vendues (bien que les 20000 unités produites aient été rappelées), il s'agissait donc d'une insulte plus collective que d'une blessure. Le pire snafu ici est certainement les fuites de support client. Un bug sur le site Web du support client a été autorisé n'importe qui en ligne pour voir: les e-mails, les adresses personnelles et le type de carte de crédit utilisé par le compte de quelqu'un. Bethesda s'est excusée parce qu'aucune conversation douce sur les relations publiques ne fonctionnerait cette fois. Au moment où Bethesda a déployé une veste en cuir, la communauté des joueurs a cessé de hululer.
  2. JEU DE BASE: Fallout 76 n’a pas utilisé Steam, mais le lanceur interne de Bethesda à la place. Alors, bonne chance pour essayer d'obtenir des remboursements. Début 2019, Bethesda a promis d'apporter éventuellement Fallout 76 sur Steam, mais ici à la fin de 2019, il n'y a rien à voir. Le manque initial de quêtes dirigées par les PNJ a dissuadé les gens. Les fanatiques de Lore étaient agacés que Bethesda ait retrouvé les origines de la Confrérie de l'Acier. Un bug sur PC a supprimé tous les fichiers du jeu bêta. C'était ÉNORME étant donné le laps de temps limité pour la participation. Il était impossible de retélécharger à temps compte tenu de la taille massive du fichier. Puis vint la libération. Les critiques l'ont universellement balayé et il a obtenu l'un des scores les plus bas de la franchise. Jeff Gerstmann de Giantbomb ne pouvait pas être dérangé de jouer suffisamment pour le revoir. Les quêtes terne et un monde plus stérile en étaient la cause. Les ventes ont été catastrophiques par rapport à Fallout 4. Quelques semaines après le lancement, Bethesda a reconnu sur Reddit qu’ils étaient affreux en communication. Une interview de Todd Howard a confirmé que Bethesda était au courant des nouveaux obstacles qui se présenteraient pour lancer une expérience connectée en ligne. Mais cela n’excuse pas de bousiller le support de la résolution 21: 9. Fallout 76 a lancé 2019 avec des bombes atomiques car l'horloge dans le jeu ne pouvait pas gérer le changement par rapport à 2018. Fallout 76 être en ligne signifie que Bethesda doit contrôler les actes répréhensibles. Ils ont choisi une voie d'excès et ont interdit tout ce qui pouvait même sentir la tricherie. Plus tard, les joueurs ont trouvé la salle de développement en jeu que tous les titres de Bethesda ont à des fins de test. le Fallout 76 on avait des armes pas encore officiellement libérées, ce qui a conduit à la création d'un marché noir pour ces goodies spéciaux. Bethesda a tenu les comptes des joueurs en otage, leur demandant comment ils étaient entrés. Les interdictions n'étaient pas limitées aux pirates informatiques stricts. Un gars qui a fait une carte utile pour les autres Fallout 76 joueurs a été banni. Son «crime» tentait d'aider Bethesda en traquant les exploits. Essayer de corriger pour résoudre un problème a ajouté un tas de nouveaux. Le patch 11 de juillet 2019 a éclaté: une boutique atomique à effet de serre, AUCUN objet ne tombe d'ennemis légendaires, les dégâts ne sont pas enregistrés et le port de Power Armor est devenu un putain de cauchemar. En décembre 2019, un patch a cassé la durabilité des armes / armures et S.P.E.C.I.A.L. les bonus de Legendary Armor ont chuté de façon spectaculaire après que les joueurs aient simplement rechargé leurs armes. Fin 2019, des pirates ont repris l'intégralité du joint. Ils ont trouvé un moyen de faire apparaître des accessoires Fallout 4. Bethesda l'a corrigé. Mais d'ici là, les pirates ont trouvé un moyen de voler l'intégralité des inventaires des autres joueurs.
  3. MONÉTISATION: Bethesda voulait traire Fallout 76 au-delà de l'achat initial des gens. Les avocats enquêtaient sur les poursuites judiciaires puisque Bethesda était volage de remboursements. Bethesda a une boutique d'articles en jeu qui permet aux joueurs d'acheter des choses via une monnaie ATOMS achetable avec de l'argent réel. L'entreprise a eu l'occasion de fixer le prix de la gouge et d'être trompeuse sur les remises. Il en coûte 18 $ pour peindre votre armure de puissance en bleu. Ce qui est flagrant c'est Fallout 76 a promis de garder ce genre de chose uniquement cosmétique. C’est ce que Bethesda a dit aux gens du documentaire NoClip. Pete Hines l'a dit dans une interview à Gamespot en octobre 2018. Pourtant, un an plus tard, il a changé d'avis. Ouais. "Après avoir examiné toutes les données, il est devenu clair que pour fournir de manière cohérente du contenu qui garde Fallout 76 frais et passionnant pour tous, nous devions repenser notre approche de l'Atomic Shop. Alors que nous avions de nombreuses idées sur ce qu'il fallait ajouter à l'Atomic Shop, l'une des façons était le résultat direct des commentaires de la communauté. Nous avons entendu beaucoup d'entre vous qui voulaient des articles avec une réelle utilité.«La société a fait tout son possible pour vendre par microtransactions, bien qu'elle ait rassuré les médias autrement. Les kits de réparation facilitent la fixation instantanée des éléments. Vendre un bot de collecte de ferraille qui était censé être dans le jeu de base en tant que DLC à 5 $. Fallout 76Le programme d’abonnement «Fallout 1st» a tout simplement pris la monétisation. ONE HUNDRED BUCKS pour un «abonnement» d'un an au jeu que les gens ont déjà acheté. Il donne accès à: des mondes privés, une boîte à déchets avec un stockage illimité, un nouveau point de voyage rapide, 1650 atomes par mois et des tenues, des icônes et des emotes uniques.

Bethesda n'a même pas pu lancer correctement le service Fallout 1st. C'était cassé aussi. Cela vaut la peine de visiter https://falloutfirst.com cependant. Croyez-moi.

Fallout 76 essayé de faire un jeu de style Battle Royale avec leur mode Nuclear Winter. Champs de bataille de PlayerUnknown a été le premier à populariser le style. Mais le succès de Fortnite mettre le mode multijoueur en ligne du dernier homme debout pour tous dans les livres de l'histoire pour toujours. Cela fait PUBG assez jaloux pour essayer de poursuivre Fortnite pour «copier» des idées. Ça n'a pas marché. Les gens essayaient toujours d’obtenir une tranche de FortniteC'est la tarte cependant. L'enfant qui a fait danser "The Floss" et Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton sur Le Prince de Bel Air) a tenté de poursuivre en justice parce que Fortnite vendu des emotes de ces styles. Un rappeur nommé 2 Milly a également poursuivi. Forza Horizon 4 a dû retirer des emotes similaires de leur jeu à cause de cela. Le bureau du droit d'auteur a refusé Carlton et 2 Milly pour leur requête en droit d'auteur. Mais le gosse de danse Floss a réussi.

Apex Legends a réussi à devenir un succès de style Battle Royale sans même trop d'effort. Il est sorti gratuitement et est soutenu par des microtransactions. Un événement à durée limitée Iron Crown a rompu l'équilibre délicat de l'équité, alors les joueurs ont déclaré la guerre. Respawn s'est excusé pour la monétisation injuste de la boîte à butin. Bien que le studio ait rapidement écouté les demandes des consommateurs, la bataille entre les développeurs et les joueurs n'était pas terminée. Le chef de projet Drew McCoy a jeté de l'essence sur le feu avec un tas de commentaires insultant les consommateurs. Le directeur de la communauté Respawn, Jay Frechette, n'a aidé personne en l'accompagnant. Le PDG de Respawn, Vince Zampella, a dû s'excuser directement au nom des erreurs de son équipe.

Certaines personnes ne peuvent tout simplement pas supporter le prix de la célébrité. Prenez le 2014 Flappy Oiseau l'engouement. Le jeu a gagné en popularité en raison de sa simplicité. La recherche d'un sens plus profond Flappy Bird compliqué les choses. Le créateur Dong Nguyen a décidé de quitter alors qu'il était en avance et a retiré le jeu de l'App Store. Pensa Dong Flappy Bird est devenu trop addictif. Cela n’a certainement pas aidé que Jason Schreier de Kotaku se soit piqué sur l’argent gagné par le jeu. Abattre le jeu n’a pas dépassé Flappy Bird clones d'essayer de faire un profit rapide.

Dans le cas de Minecraft, le prix de la renommée lui-même ne pouvait pas supporter le créateur. Markus Persson. «Notch» était techniquement libre de toute responsabilité en 2014 après le rachat de Microsoft Minecraft. Mais il y avait toujours une relation entre Markus et Microsoft aux yeux du public. Notch a qualifié Zoe Quinn de «putain de con» en juin 2017. C'est parce que Quinn a harcelé un autre développeur de jeux indépendants. À la fin de 2017, les médias se sont déclenchés lorsque Persson a dit "c'est bien d'être blanc". Apparemment, notre société fonctionne sur un système à trois temps. En mars 2019, Notch a tweeté des opinions sur les personnes transgenres qui allaient à l'encontre de ce que la société «progressiste» juge acceptable. Le mois suivant, Microsoft a décidé d'effacer Markus Persson de MinecraftL’histoire. Il n'a pas été invité aux plans du 10e anniversaire du jeu et le texte dans le jeu le référençant a été supprimé.

Microsoft a connu un début de décennie difficile avec le lancement de la Xbox One. Le gros hoopla était fini, il était toujours en ligne et une étrange augmentation des protections DRM. La société a nié qu'elle pouvait simplement «actionner un interrupteur» et éteindre ce genre de choses. Mais la communauté des joueurs était suffisamment folle pour convaincre Microsoft du contraire. Ce n'était pas le seul hoquet pour Xbox One. À l'origine, la console était livrée avec Kinect par défaut. Ce dispositif de capture de mouvement corporel «obligatoire» n'était en fait pas si obligatoire. Le seul jeu vraiment mémorable de ce fut le Guerres des étoiles danser un. Microsoft a par la suite tenté de faire valoir la domination du marché des jeux sur PC via sa plateforme Windows universelle (UWP). Tim Sweeney d'Epic Games s'est prononcé fermement contre Microsoft pour cela, même si son entreprise allait éventuellement se lancer dans une guerre similaire.

Les gens craignaient que Microsoft ne limite les joueurs à une seule plate-forme. La vitrine manquait de piquant en termes de contenu. En portant Gears of War Ultimate Edition en tant qu'otage n'a pas non plus rendu service à la société. Pendant un certain temps, Microsoft s'est fortement engagé dans cette idée UWP. Mais au début de 2018, des crackers ambitieux ont franchi les protections de sécurité mises en place par l'UWP. Fin 2018, les perspectives étaient sombres. Ars Technica a répertorié le long voyage qu'il a fallu pour obtenir Forza Horizon 4 travailler avec UWP. En mai 2019, Phil Spencer de Microsoft a annoncé que la société allait enfin assouplir les restrictions UWP.

Sony a déclaré la guerre sur la scène du piratage en poursuivant George Hotz pour avoir jailbreaké la Playstation 3. Les pirates informatiques ont cherché à se venger après que Sony ait fait sortir ses avocats. Une violation du Playstation Network en avril 2011 a permis aux pirates d'obtenir les informations personnelles de 77 millions de personnes. Environ 10 millions de personnes ont vu leurs informations de carte de crédit exposées. L'incident a fermé tout le réseau de Sony pendant près d'un mois et a coûté 171 millions de dollars. Ce n'était pas la dernière fois que cela se produisait. Fin 2014, Sony Pictures a subi une cyberattaque massive. Les logiciels malveillants sont entrés dans le réseau mondial et ont paralysé la moitié de leur infrastructure en ligne. Les pirates ont obtenu une copie des informations sensibles de l'entreprise avant de les effacer complètement des machines Sony. Des e-mails ont été divulgués et Sony a lancé une censure empêchant des endroits comme Gawker d'en discuter. Ces deux incidents ne doivent pas être confondus avec les attaques par déni de service distribué (DDoS) menées en août et décembre 2014 par Lizard Squad.

Sony a eu d'autres erreurs dans les années 2010 en plus d'une sécurité médiocre. Faire en sorte que la PS4 coûte environ 1800 $ au Brésil a fait ressembler l'entreprise à un tas de connards. Sony a également été le dernier géant de la console à implémenter une fonctionnalité formelle de jeu croisé. Avec le succès retentissant de Fortnite en septembre 2017, Epic Games a accidentellement implémenté le crossplay PS4 et Xbox One. L'outrage est venu quand ils l'ont retiré à nouveau. Le chef de Xbox, Phil Spencer, est sorti de cette situation en ayant l'air bien disposé à coopérer. Playstation était l'intrus. La société avait précédemment aboli le jeu croisé en tant qu'idée plus tôt lorsque Microsoft a annoncé MinecraftCapacités multiplateformes. Cela a pris un certain temps, mais finalement Sony a cessé d'être têtu. En octobre 2019, Sony a officiellement fait le crossplay.

Alors que la décennie tire à sa fin, Sony laisse dans le sillage une vague de censure du clivage sexuel et anime. Les jeux concernés incluent: la version PS4 de Devil May Cry 5, SENRAN KAGURA Burst Re: Newal (plus d'une fois), Dead or Alive Xtreme 3: Scarlet, Super Neptunia RPG, Omega Labyrinth Life, Super séducteur, DATE A LIVE: Rio Reincarnation, Zanki Zero: Last Beginning, Arc de l'alchimiste, Nora à Oujo à Noraneko Heart, et même la couverture du profil PSN d'un type aléatoire de Voyage d'Akiba. C'est arrivé progressivement. En décembre 2015, le directeur de Sony, Shuhei Yoshida, a blâmé «les différentes idées culturelles sur la représentation des femmes» en Occident pour l'annulation de Dead or Alive Xtreme 3. En 2016, Sony a déplacé le siège de Playstation en Californie et a créé Sony Interactive Entertainment.

En novembre 2018, il a été découvert que Sony avait changé de vitesse pour se conformer globalement aux normes «occidentales». Un mois plus tard, le président japonais de Sony a déclaré que les mesures de censure devaient correspondre aux «normes mondiales» et protéger les enfants. En avril 2019, un article du Wall Street Journal a détaillé un changement dans les directives internes pour le contenu. "Nous n'avons pas de critères dans les directives écrites ou ce genre de choses parce que la politique a été introduite soudainement à la suite du mouvement #MeToo", a déclaré un responsable de Sony. C'est vrai. Le tout est arbitraire. C'est une préoccupation sérieuse pour les développeurs de jeux japonais. Un gars a laissé son travail dessus. Les politiciens japonais ont fait de cette question une partie de leur plateforme. Une pétition a recueilli plus de 11 000 signatures.

Nintendo avait l'air bien alors qu'ils prenaient une position officielle ne pas ajouter plus de censure sur les versions de Nintendo Switch. La société a fait un rebond de 180 degrés similaire de zéro à héros que Microsoft a traversé. En termes d'arc de rachat, de toute façon. La société a fait trop peu de pas en avant avec la Wii U. L'appel de gadget n'était pas associé à une meilleure technologie dans l'appareil. À son tour, cela a provoqué un manque de soutien tiers. Sans une base de joueurs suffisamment solide, il est apparu que cela ne valait pas la peine de développer des titres pour la plate-forme. Un catch-22 voyant comment un manque de titres exclusifs tiers a freiné la croissance de la base de joueurs Wii U. Le plus étrange était des cas comme Bayonetta 2. Même si Platinum Games a affirmé que le jeu n'existerait pas sans Nintendo, mais pour les joueurs, cela semblait juste aliénant.

La mort de Satoru Iwata en 2015 a été un coup dévastateur pour Nintendo. Il était l'un des cadres de la vieille garde qui comprenait l'esprit et la passion du jeu. Il est décédé des suites d'une complication d'une tumeur des voies biliaires.

L'une des plus grandes réalisations d'Iwata a été la création d'un «National Dex» pour la 2e génération de Pokemon. Cela signifiait que tous les Pokémon de la 1ère génération étaient disponibles pour Or et argent Jeux. Cela a créé un précédent pour la franchise. Avance rapide jusqu'en 2019. Nintendo a depuis longtemps commutateuront fait bouger les choses avec le lancement de leur console Nintendo Switch. Ventes record! Le plus gros problème que Nintendo a ces jours-ci est le National Pokedex manquant Épée Pokémon et Bouclier. Selon les développeurs, les coupures Pokemon se sont produites en raison de la transition approximative de l'ordinateur de poche à l'espace de console à part entière. Les fans sont devenus laids. Les critiques ont accusé Game Freak de réutiliser les actifs 3DS pour le Switch. Mais des jeux comme Super Mario Odyssey et Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild étaient une bouffée d'air frais dans le modèle commercial de Nintendo.

Pendant un moment, les gens se sont fâchés contre Nintendo parce qu'ils avaient des règles strictes concernant les séquences YouTube. Si vous montriez des produits de jeux Nintendo, votre chaîne devait rapporter une bonne partie des revenus publicitaires au grand Mario à l'étage. C'était au dessus de si vous avez été accepté dans leur programme partenaire. Mais alors Nintendo s'est débarrassé de tout ça. YouTubers se réjouit.

Miiverse était une fonctionnalité de la Wii U et de la Nintendo 3DS. Cela peut également être considéré comme une controverse en raison des publications que l'on pourrait y trouver. Nintendo voulait créer une sphère de médias sociaux unique. Ils ont échoué et ont réessayé avec Miitomo qui a également échoué.

Le problème de la «dérive Joy-Con» s'est manifesté sur les consoles Nintendo Switch. Imaginez jouer Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Sans toucher à aucun stick analogique, la caméra du jeu commence à tourner d'elle-même. C'était quelque chose qui n'est devenu évident qu'avec le temps, car les appareils Switch étaient couramment utilisés. Nintendo a résolu d'offrir des réparations gratuitement en ce qui concerne le problème de dérive. Garantie ou non. Les personnes qui avaient déjà payé à l'avance pour de telles réparations pouvaient obtenir un remboursement.

PARLER DE REMBOURSEMENTS….

Les années 2010 ont été l'ère de Kickstarter. Prenons un moment pour réfléchir aux projets qui n’ont jamais dépassé la ligne d’arrivée. Aura Tactics (874 contributeurs / 11 557 $ amassés). Licenciements. LA Game Space (10 354 contributeurs / 335 657 $ amassés). Le récit officiel est que la portée était trop grande. D'autres affirment que l'argent a été mal géré. BRUIT (9 023 contributeurs / 526 125 $ amassés). Une mauvaise gestion du temps ne pourrait pas attirer plus d'investisseurs. Rival Threads: Last Class Heroes – Le dernier coup de pouce (684 contributeurs / 24 812 $ amassés). En attente temporaire pour les cinq dernières années. Moon Rift (506 contributeurs / 8082 $ amassés). Aucune raison donnée, les gens étaient juste fantômes. De même pour Empire brillant (116 contributeurs / 3056 $ collectés). Dans le cas de The Stomping Land (4427 contributeurs / 114060 $ amassés), les images fantômes sont arrivées à l'un des développeurs du jeu. L'artiste des personnages 3D Vlad Konstantinov a cessé d'entendre le créateur du jeu malgré plusieurs tentatives de contact. Certaines histoires ne tirent pas de conclusions comme Haunts: The Manse Macabre (1214 contributeurs / 28739 $ amassés), les développeurs se sont manifestés et ont dit qu'ils avaient gaffé.

Mon cas préféré est Ant Simulator. Il n'a pas demandé d'argent via Kickstarter et a plutôt utilisé son site Web pour un financement participatif. Il a échoué car les partenaires commerciaux du jeu ont utilisé l'argent pour l'alcool et les décapants.

Palmer Luckey est arrivé et a fait exploser l'industrie des jeux avec ce projet Oculus Rift. Comme un Thomas Edison mais avec la réalité virtuelle. Ce n'était rien de plus qu'un gadget jusqu'à ce que Luckey électrifie l'intérêt des gens en utilisant le pouvoir de Kickstarter. Il comptait 9 522 contributeurs et a rapporté 2 437 429 $. Mais ce n'était qu'un tremplin compte tenu de la façon dont Facebook a acheté Oculus pour 2 milliards de dollars en mars 2014. Cela a conduit certains membres de la communauté des joueurs à éliminer Palmer Luckey en guise de liquidation. Mais le gars a gardé son sang-froid. C’est la société qui l’a fait moche en septembre 2016. Alors que les tensions lors des élections présidentielles s’échauffaient, un vautour dégoûtant du Daily Beast a poussé Milo Yiannopoulos à vendre l’identité de Palmer Luckey. Palmer s'est impliqué dans une campagne d'affichage avec les gens qui dirigent le subreddit r / the_Donald. C'était un signe avec une caricature d'Hillary Clinton qui disait «trop gros pour être emprisonné». C'est tout. Mais les médias d'extrême gauche ont utilisé cela pour peindre Luckey comme une sorte de monstre raciste misogyne dégoûtant. Un merci spécial à Bryan Menegus pour être le bâtard qui a amené la petite amie de Lucky dedans, parce que GamerGate. Les développeurs de jeux ont débattu de la prise en charge des produits Oculus sur ce problème. Mark Zuckerberg is the one who made Palmer Luckey put out that letter saying he supported Gary Johnson, even though a book by Blake J. Harris proved Mark was making Luckey lie.

Kickstarter was a great opportunity. It’s just sometimes the dreams don’t mesh with reality. Remember the Ouya? Now you do. You definitely forgot about it until just now. De même pour Mighty No. 9 (67226 backers/$3845170 raised). Terrible community management debacles were eclipsed by a terrible final product. People backed it because they wanted a new Mega Man Jeu. Kickstarter “stretch goals” for additional features (plus an animated series!?!?) made crowdfunding more lucrative. People were naive. Game director Keiji Inafune demanded more money for English voice acting and DLC. The beta looked okay, so people were reasonably hyped for the September 2015 release date. Wait, actually February 2016. Whoops. Wrong again. I mean Spring 2016. But it’d be worth the wait, right? They made a Collector’s Edition, so it doit be legit. (Nope.) The game was a total disaster. The infamous Masterclass trailer should’ve been a red flag. The nearly four hour long credits turned into a wall of shame for the game’s 70,000 backers.

Excitement became excrement. These were wild times. Some times things were easily explained, though. Project GODUS (17,184 backers/£526,563 raised) was Peter Molyneux’s last video game hurrah. It ultimately failed because Peter Molyneux is Peter Molyneux.

It highlights the pitfalls of game development orbiting around one particular personality.

We can call Star Citizen a decade-long controversy as that’s roughly how long the game has been in development. Chris Roberts came back in 2012 after a long hiatus. He wooed the gaming community in by piggybacking off the success of his Wing Commander séries. Chris decided to play his hand in this new age of Kickstarter crowdfunding. 34,397 backers and $2,134,374 came out of that. His gamble paid off. So much in fact that Chris Roberts never stopped fundraising. By May 2019 Star Citizen fans raised $242 million dollars. In some cases, one “whale” alone can generate roughly $57,600. It only took someone $30,000 to make the news. Kotaku even talked to a measly $13,000 whale.  Fans in this community often discuss how much money they’ve sunk into the project. What do they buy? Luxury ships. Not real ones, but digital. Which in themselves may or may not even exist in-game yet. So you buy JPEGs. You can buy a bundle of everything in Star Citizen for $27,000.

By 2015 Star Citizen hit bumpy waters after Derek Smart became a prominent critic of the game. What made Derek special was that he was a sizable backer for the Chris Roberts dream machine. The feud began once Star Citizen‘s company refunded him. He still managed to leverage “inside connections” at the company. Given the stressful work environment, Derek Smart ended up being one of the few places that disgruntled employees could vent to. He wanted Chris Roberts to sue. Liz Finnegan of The Escapist Magazine released a bombshell article with damning allegations against the company. Besides the terrible workplace environment, Chris Roberts hid the fact Sandi Gardner was his wife because of the nepotism involved in giving her an executive position. Many believed Sandi wanted Star Citizen to be a stepping stone for a Hollywood acting career. Chris Roberts got mad and The Escapist had to take it down.

In August 2016 I tried capturing the essence of the Star Citizen story. The game was supposed to come out that year. To my surprise, somehow, the project is still going. These days they’re working on caves. Glasses? Glasses.

It’s all about the fidelity.

Star Citizen is taking a long time because Chris Roberts is trying to capture an incomprehensibly large sense of scale.  Forbes released an update article earlier this year and I can see not much has changed. They spoke to twenty different former Cloud Imperium employees who detailed the inner chaos and resource mismanagement that happens when working for Chris Roberts. A lot of the money is blown on the fact Roberts is obsessed with fiddling round with the most mundane details. One former prominent Star Citizen investor has jumped ship and has a series dissecting the ins and outs of all the project’s flaws. Back in the day I found getting a refund was possible. But that JPEG has long sailed.

Star Citizen fan fiction is a breeding ground for degeneracy. The fandom themselves are a devout bunch. Often toxic. Especially Reddit. Dare I say, it might be a cult. “There’s no controversy with Star Citizen! You just don’t know anything about game development.”  There’s actually two games. Star Citizen est le World of Warcraft MMORPG in space aspect. Squadron 42 is the singleplayer campaign that takes place in the Star Citizen universe. The latter has acting talent involved: Mark Hamill, Henry Cavill, Gillian Anderson, and Gary Oldman are involved. le Star Citizen YouTube channel exists to maintain continuous attention and interest for the project. There’s actually a fleshed out system of distraction in place, so people can tolerate the fact they’re playing the world’s longest waiting game. Here’s a road map if you can decipher it. The constant flow of bugs sustain the community for entertainment. Imagine waiting five years just so you could rent a space ship. Every year Star Citizen has a convention so fans can gather round to wait for the game together. At one point Star Citizen switched from Crytek’s CryEngine to Amazon’s Lumberyard. Crytek ended up suing Chris Roberts over breach of contract.

No Man’s Sky is a twin of Star Citizen in some respects. But at least the cycle of hype and delivery actually happened. It all began at the VGX Awards 2013. That’s where we first met the game’s creator, Sean Murray.  The mystery game showed up again at The Game Awards 2014 to dribble out just a tad more information. He was incredibly vague in the years before release. In the meantime, the games media did all the heavy lifting. “This is the most ambitious game in the universe” said The Verge.

Alors, qu'est-ce-qu'il s'est passé? It left a legacy that consumers should prepare to be disappointed with the final product. It postured itself as this space game where you could do pretty much anything to heart’s content. Sony bought into it. It ended up being something in the “survival genre” of games in the same sense that Minecraft was.  This lofty goal is what caused a mass wave of disappointment upon release. Plus the bugs. Sales slumped. Many gamers demanded refunds. The subreddit self-imploded. Official governmental advertising bodies investigated No Man’s Sky for false advertising (they eventually ruled it wasn’t). The game’s official Twitter account called No Man’s Sky a “mistake,” in what was later blamed on a hack. When the game won the GDC Innovation Award, nobody from the dev team was there to accept it.

The biggest blow was that two players standing in the same spot in-game couldn’t see each other at first. But they promised multiplayer! Sean Murray even lost the favor of Geoff Keighley, who expressed his regrets about No Man’s Sky to the press. There were many months of silence at first. But, the story of No Man’s Sky has a much happier ending than Star Citizen. The Foundation update (November 2016) added base building, the Path Finder update (March 2017) added vehicles, and The Atlas Rises update (August 2017) beefed up the story and lay the groundwork for multiplayer. No Man’s Sky Next (July 2018) gave players the game they wanted in the first place. Maintenant No Man’s Sky was a fully realized multiplayer experience with in-game avatars and plenty of activities for them to do together. le Beyond update in August 2019 expanded these features even further.

For a game that released as a dud, it’s actually pretty cool now.

Speaking of space, Star Wars Battlefront 2 was a disaster. People bought into the comfort that EA and DICE had a chance to make improvements in response to the previous title. They were naive. u/MBMMaverick complained on Reddit about Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s microtransactions. EA defended it by saying “the intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.” The rest was history.

It made the 2020 Guinness book of world records for most downvoted Reddit comment. It was one hell of a moment for the “Worst Company in America” (2012 and 2013). The loot box controversy tanked sales and EA’s stock price. What’s humorous in hindsight is that EA claimed to have developed a moral compass. “Live services” (microtransactions) was 40% of EA’s total net revenue during FY 2018, so I have a hard time believing them. Need for Speed 2015 didn’t have microtransactions, but the follow-up Payback game certainly did. Money talks. Après le Star Wars Battlefront 2 fiasco, it was a safe bet EA would continue to tap this microtransaction gold mine. But to be fair, EA never finally put the Battlefront 2 loot boxes back as they first were. On March 21st 2018 the developers cut out paid loot boxes. They reinstated their “Crystals” currency system the following month, but then it was only for cosmetic Appearances. Finally in September 2019 they stripped out the loot box in lieu of routine rewards integrated into the game’s Daily Quests feature.

The loot box concept has been around for a long time. The problems towards the end of the decade came about because games implementing them poorly. Take Terre du Milieu: Ombre de la guerre. Reviewers of the game felt like the game bottlenecked game progression to a tedious grind necessary for unlocking the game’s true ending. Shadow of War‘s microtransactions functioned as a time shortcut. WB Games got rid of the game’s microtransactions a month before releasing the Desolation of Mordor DLC. Their statement acknowledged how microtransactions took away from the game experience. Ironic considering in an earlier Eurogamer interview a Shadow of War developer made the exact opposite case in favor of loot box inclusion. Similar case for Forza Motorsport 7. Ils avait loot boxes but got rid of them. Sadly they’re a fact of life now: FIFA Ultimate Team, Team Fortress 2, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Call of Duty: WWII, Battlefield 4 et Battlefield 1, Halo 5, Destiny 2 and even the free-to-play game Paladins turned into pay-to-win by introducing a cards system. If you’re wondering where this “loot box” epidemic started, look back at Effet de masse 3 and keep going up the river of EA’s sewage.

Loot boxes (“ethical surprise mechanics”) were a step too far for gaming. This ain’t about the usual “my toddler accidentally purchased $XXXX on an app” stories.  EA screwed the pooch in that sense with Dungeon Keeper. It was an earlier example of pay-to-win mechanics infesting the direct game product. Apple acknowledged the era of in-app purchases when they changed FREE to GET on the App Store in November 2014. But certain video games hosted marketplaces that allow the exchange for digital items back into real money. Entrer CS: GO«. If you don’t know how CS: GO loot boxes worked back in the day, here’s some YouTube douchebag that can show you. You bought these keys to open up the shadow cases with weapon skins and items that had real-world value. Also, when you opened these particular loot boxes it played off like a slot machine. TmarTn and ProSyndicate ran a gambling den scam called “CS Lotto.” They used these third-party websites that let you gamble skins in a high stakes game of chance. The big problem is that the two YouTubers owned the website they themselves were using. This wasn’t disclosed at the time these videos were uploaded. It was only when TmarTn got called out that efforts to retroactively add disclosure happened.

There’s debate over whether or not they’re gambling. While not directly wagering something of value, and not directly being able to exchange rewards for money, these concepts in of themselves are at play. Some argued pay-to-win was a better term instead. Regardless, the profit potential was limitless. You can buy DLC once, but loot boxes are forever.

The ESRB and PEGI ratings boards were obligated to rule on the loot box issue seeing as how games “Rated for Everyone” like NBA 2K20 had gambling-like systems in place. But the ESRB declared loot boxes were ne pas gambling since players are guaranteed some kind of return. PEGI said the same. The problem with that being the lack of distinction between cosmetic and utility items. Something that Blizzard’s Mike Morhaime stressed the importance of in Overwatch‘s case. The ESRB addressed this on February 27th 2018 by making a broad “In-Game Purchases” label. Something that covered all potential digital goods whatsoever, including standard DLC. What’s worrying was ESRB president Patricia Vance remarked at the time that loot boxes are “fun.” I think she’s referring to the psychological dopamine rush people talk about in the loot box debate. Patricia’s remarks seem naive given a heavily–cited study that points to a link between loot boxes and gambling. Something that hit at the psychological undercarriage of the practice.

Good luck trying to get the ESA to do anything. It’s a never-ending disaster inside that organization.

It was obvious that the ESRB had their hands in their pockets. Especially considering how in February 2019 OpenCritic launched a feature flagging games that had “monetized random reward mechanics” in them. Ironic that Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two Interactive, also held the position of President at the ESRB. Grand Theft Auto V‘s Diamond Casino update played right into the whole video game gambling debacle. Players could buy in-game dollars with actual cash, and then convert that into gambling chips for this fancy new casino. Multiple countries banned it. The theme being gaming companies who added loot boxes were flirting too close to “the lines” of regulation. But they were necessitated in the first place to offset development costs.

By the end of the decade, the gaming community lived in a world where loot boxes were available to purchase for Twitch. The concept broke free from being in just video games. There were extremes. Like the guy in Japan who threatened to kill Square Enix staff because he blew $1794 on a loot box style game and didn’t get the item he wanted. Loot boxes exist because people buy them.

Regulation was inevitable. Many in the games industry feared it. A war began over the very existence of loot boxes altogether. In the lawsuit against Epic Games, we see one of the focuses being on disclosure of loot drop rates.

Hawaii State Rep. Chris Lee was one of the first to come out against loot boxes in November 2017. One guy at the press conference compared them to Joe Camel in terms of marketing for kids. Legislation was going to happen. By February 2018 Hawaii delivered. House Bill 2686 and Senate Bill 3024 aimed to prohibit the sale of games themselves that contained loot box style randomized rewards to anyone under the age of 21. House Bill 2727 and Senate Bill 3025 dealt with disclosure of probability rates and demanded mandatory warning labels for in-game purchases. In February 2018 Chris Lee explained how the ESA sent lobbyists to Hawaii to add pressure on the loot box debate. Sadly Hawaii’s bill never went to fruition. What matters is it sparked interest. US leaders like Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker joined the call to action. Senator Josh Hawley made another go at a Loot Box bill. The Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act prohibited “offering randomized rewards to players through microtransactions, manipulating a game’s progression systems to encourage players to spend money, or giving players who purchase microtransactions competitive advantages over others.”  In an interview with Kotaku’s Jason Schreier, Hawley was confident his bill made the industry worried. There were still questions, of course. Was banning pay-to-win mechanics a bridge too far? Lobbyists again clapped back. It caught the attention of the FTC. It reached international attention too as Gambling Commissioners worldwide came together to tackle the loot box problem.

Of course it varies country by country.

Over in the UK, Daniel Zeichner, Labour MP for Cambridge, was the one who kicked off regulation discussions. In October 2017 he made two requests to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport about addressing loot boxes. An official petition obtained 16,969 signatures and the UK government was obliged to respond. All three of these routes came back with the same answer: talk to the Gambling Commission. The director of the commission told Eurogamer a few months later “we don’t yet understand enough of what the actual risks are.” It was time for them to get to work.

The following year, questions about loot boxes were added to a Young People and Gambling survey given to 3000 children. 3 in 10 children responded that they have opened loot boxes before in video games. But the UK Gambling Commission emphasized to the media this wasn’t a damning link between loot boxes and gambling. At first, UK authorities didn’t see loot boxes such as FIFA packs as outright gambling. But things changed when games industry people gave unclear answers to MPs. The British government wasn’t thrilled that EA representatives referred to loot boxes as “ethical and fun” during the infamous “surprise mechanics” hearing. The UK Children’s Commission did research and released an eye-opening report about the perspective of youth when it came to loot boxes. The conclusion was clear: gambling laws needed updating to address loot boxes.

New Zealand refrained from doing that. Ireland too. Sweden investigated and is considering restrictions. France was weird about it, so CS: GO added an X-Ray item to screw with them. It allows players to “peek” into the loot box before opening it. Finland is investigating. Germany looked into it and is considering new protections for minors. Austraila ended up agreeing with the “loot boxes are gambling” crowd. China was ahead of the curve. Their authoritarian regime took care of regulating that back in December 2016. But they might be in the mood to legislate it again by limiting how many loot boxes people can buy in one day. Blizzard and 2K Sports removed features linking to real-world currency in their games as a result of rulings in the Netherlands and Belgium. Valve too. Belgium took a hard stance against loot boxes. “They’re gambling and people should be prosecuted over it.” Square Enix pulled three games from Belgium altogether because of it. EA put up a fight over Belgium calling FIFA cards gambling, but stopped short of taking the matter to court. 2K took a different route by telling their fans to contact local Belgian government officials and tell them to bring loot boxes back.

In August 2019 the Entertainment Software Assocation revealed Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft were working on loot box odds disclosure policies for their platforms. The implementation deadline is the end of 2020. Apple on the other hand, had these rules since the end of 2017.

This all started because of Star Wars Battlefront 2. It all comes back to EA.

Yogventures (13,647 backers/$567665 raised) represents an interesting moment as it shows the lasting power of YouTube channels. The Yogscast YouTube channel managed to crowdfund a video game project using the power of their online clout to fuel interest. Although I should note that Yogscast attempted to distance themselves after the fact and put as much blame on the Winterkewl Games development studio. Yogventures never reached completion because the studio went bankrupt. Yogscast’s Lewis Brindley doled out Steam keys to a sandbox game called TUG au lieu. The Yogscast launched a controversial system called Yogdiscovery back in July 2014. They launched it at the same time as the Yogventures venture went tits up. Basically the Yogscast were going to take a portion of a game’s sales in return for covering it. Based on a measurable increase in sale’s figures over the relevant amount of time. A metric that could be skewed if YouTubers outside of Yogscast talked about the same game. Regardless, it was a harder sell to make in the long run. Seeing as how three different members of Yogscast left after misconduct allegations: 1.) Matthew ‘Caff’ Meredith  2.) Mark “Turps” Turpin 3.) Paul “Sjin” Sykes

At the start of the decade, multi-channel networks (MCNs) were considered kings of YouTube as a platform. If you wanted to be a “legit” player on YouTube, especially in the gaming department, you picked what was essentially a “faction” to align your channel with. Machinima was the main hub for the bulk of aspiring wannabe “Let’s Play” stars on the scene. But a mysterious bunch of upstarts known as The Game Station had much more charm about them.

A primary factor in joining an MCN was securing monetization for your YouTube channel. Earlier on in the decade much of the predicament fell back on copyright claims and fair use. It was much easier back then to justify being in an MCN as a means of protection. But when channels got big enough this became a moot point. They produced enough advertising dough that YouTube’s content ID system didn’t get in the way as much to their overall bottom lines. This was reason enough for most folks to eventually drift away. But you can chalk a lot of that up to MCNs performing poorly in the long-run too.

On the one hand this sort of thing came in handy. Sony abused YouTube’s copyright claim system willy-nilly regarding No Man’s Sky. For another example in April 2017 when the game studio Atlus made a strange move in regards to policing live-streamed content for Persona 5. “If you decide to stream past 7/7 (I HIGHLY RECOMMEND NOT DOING THIS, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED), you do so at the risk of being issued a content ID claim or worse, a channel strike/account suspension,” they wrote. It was a bizarre overreach that thankfully no company has repeated ever since then. The rules over video content were strangely specific.

Thankfully Atlus backed off of this somewhat by the end of the month. The point being, one can appreciate the level of inside access that a MCN provided channels when it came to situations like that. However, if you wanted to leave a place like Machinima it would’ve been like escaping a black hole. In the case of Ross Scott it took over a year. Machinima didn’t have the best track record. In September 2015 the FTC ruled the network deceived consumers with certain videos about the Xbox One. Machinima hid shady advertising practices as a front of “objectivity” when YouTubers brought the console up. A lack of proper disclosures landed the network in a heap of trouble. The YouTube channels in question were reportedly not allowed to reveal the money Machinima paid them.

Let’s examine the life cycle of one of YouTube’s multichannel networks. Rooster Teeth took their Red vs. Blue series and evolved into a full company over the course of the decade. They snagged the term “Let’s Play” as a YouTube channel and cashed in. They branched out into doing animation and movies and anything else under the sun. In November 2014 YouTube McN Fullscreen bought them out. Otter Media acquired Fullscreen and in turn AT&T bought that. In retrospect, the December 2018 and September 2019 layoffs seem to make sense, given the years of acquisition shuffle. Rooster Teeth’s Burnie Burns took a stance against GamerGate. But on at least one occasion the company was hypocritical on ethics. They criticized Jeff Gerstmann’s review score for Fallout 4, and in response he pointed out the sponsorship deal Rooster Teeth did with Bethesda at the time. Later on there was the firing of voice actor Vic Mignogna from Rooster Teeth’s RWBY series. But that’s a drama llama too long and complicated to discuss at length in this piece.

It still stings to see Rooster Teeth Vice President Michael Quinn arrested on felony domestic violence charges though. He reportedly said to his wife “if i’m going to kill you i’m going to use my hands.” Video games!

The controversy surrounding Pewdiepie ended up defining the last third of the 2010 decade. It all began with a February 2017 hit piece from the Wall Street Journal that targeted Felix for making edgy jokes and humor. It caught media attention because  Felix used Fiverr to get two kids in India to hold up a sign with “DEATH TO ALL JEWS” written on it. Pewdiepie said the Wall Street Journal took Felix out of context in their article’s “collection” of evidence. He even apologized but that didn’t matter to the outrage mob.  Fiverr banned Pewdiepie over it. YouTube cut their business ties with him, as did Disney. The Wall Street Journal went to Kjellberg’s brand partners first instead of talking to Felix. Media tried getting Twitch to do the same. People threw a lot of baseless accusations at Pewdiepie after the Wall Street Journal fiasco. “YouTube’s Monster: PewDiePie and His Populist Revolt” ran a New York Times headline.

They tried calling Felix an anti-Semite. “Racist internet figure.” Salon linked Pewdiepie to Daily Stormer. Draw Pepe and criticize CNN? Mic says that’s “leaning into the alt-right.” The only thing you can blame Felix for is having that one heated gaming moment. That time where he got upset at his opponent in a match of PU:BG and called them the N-word. It just goes to show that nobody is perfect. It’s better than throwing your cat over your shoulder or kicking the crap out of your dog. Campo Santo, the developers of Firewatch, used YouTube’s copyright strike system on Pewdiepie’s video playthrough of their game. It was pure political theater but YouTube allowed that. Political activists policed his every move. Kjellberg made a video about TikTok and a guy named Baked Alaska showed up briefly. Bad actors depicted it as intentional on Twitter when it clearly wasn’t. Pewdiepie gave a shout-out to the E;R YouTube channel, and Vox crucified him for that because E;R made Nazi jokes that one time.

The most polarizing moment was when the New Zealand shooter said “subscribe to Pewdiepie,” knowing how upset the media would get. Ça a marché. Even though the phrase was a harmless meme used in Kjellberg’s subscriber war with T-Series. They went on to claim Felix inspired the shooter. Pewdiepie had to unfollow people on Twitter because the outrage mob targeted his following list. By the end of the year Pewdiepie quit Twitter and I can’t blame him given the crap he has had to go through.

They called Pewdiepie a liability. “Dangerous” for brands. It’d signal the start of a larger campaign to go after political incorrectness. They’d even drag him back up in totally separate situations like Logan Paul. Since Felix Kjellberg was the most popular guy on YouTube, there was an evergreen media narrative accusing him of being a bad influence. A video of a school teacher demonizing Pewdiepie for a class lecture was secretly recorded and posted online.

A prominent YouTuber named JonTron vanished off the face of the internet after getting into a political debate and mentioning FBI crime statistics. The more sensitive folks on the internet (NeoGAF) thought he was being racist. They screeched loud enough that Playtonic Games buckled into removing JonTron’s voice acting lines from Yooka-Laylee. JonTron was no stranger to controversy. When he was a part of the original Game Grumps, his decision to abruptly leave the show was a shock to many. In retrospect, Jon Jafari got off more clean than his old NormalBoots colleague ProJared. In the first half of 2019 he made a sudden announcement about divorcing his wife after a long hiatus in uploading to YouTube. Now we knew why. In the background his wife Heidi had taken issue with this bizarre polyamorous relationship that blossomed between him and one Holly Conrad. But that wasn’t all that was going on. Once Heidi spoke publicly about her relationship with Jared, this semi-secret Tumblr account situation bubbled up too. Jared sent nudes to fans. The general public saw pictures of his penis after they leaked. It was a goddamn mess. ProJared was cancelled for a while. But he came back with a video and managed to dispute rumors of abusive behavior.

But everything bad in the world was Pewdiepie’s fault. It was by 2017 that the media went blind in their deplatforming frenzy. Pewdiepie and Jontron were the new bigots of the world in their eyes. Pewdiepie was the gateway for the Old Media to attack YouTube’s New Media. YouTube themselves now suppress him in their trending tab.

Pewdiepie was convenient. Back in December 2016, the Wall Street Journal was targeting “fake-news sites” having big brand advertising on them.

Rupert Murdoch was reportedly angry at Mark Zuckerberg for this exact thing, after Trump got elected. It cut into his business at News Corp, after all. You know. The owners of publications like The Wall Street journal. It was easy. After Pewdiepie, big advertising spenders like Procter & Gamble made a push against Big Tech companies. By March 2017 Google added more controls and began the effort to keep ads away from “controversial content.” This was in light of a campaign by companies like AT&T and Verizon, who pulled their Google ads because of “hate” videos. The kerfuffle started in the UK markets but it spread worldwide.

News Corp pulled the strings to fuel this fight. “Google’s YouTube Has Continued Showing Brands’ Ads With Racist and Other Objectionable Videos” said a March 24th 2017 headline.

Let me give you a spicy quote from that piece. It’s behind a paywall.

“Google has likely been showing major brands’ ads alongside questionable content for years. But the media’s public airing of the issue prompted advertisers to pull spending and forced Google to make changes. A Journal reporter, checking YouTube videos peddling conspiracies and racist views over the course of about five hours Thursday evening, found ads from major brands running on about 20 videos filled with racial slurs, hateful titles or other content that appears to violate Google’s existing standards.”

Is it any surprise that, by April 2017, Google began allowing “brand safety” monitors come in? In June of that year it happened again. This time with UK political campaign ad spends. But it worked to scare away the likes of “Wal-Mart Stores Inc., AT&T Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Starbucks Corp. , Procter & Gamble Co. and at least a dozen other major brands.” August 2017 YouTube rolled out new “brand safety” changes. The next month ads began disappearing for right-wing YouTubers. Month after that? Time to tweak search results.

Tu obtiens le point. It’s also why I hold no remorse over the waves of layoffs at BuzzFeed, Vice, CNN, or Huffington Post.

In September 2018 Becca Lewis of Data & Society released a report alleging YouTube’s recommendation system was leading users down a far-right rabbit hole. There was flimsy backing to this, as Lewis weaved a guilt-by-association web that connected YouTubers to each other by mere interaction.  The media ran with the narrative and began throwing out suggestions that YouTube suppress certain individuals on the platform. “Watch out! YouTube might make your children dangerous!” Fast forward to June 2019 and YouTube began purging content deemed controversial by these newly established limitations. Another round happened in September.

"WHAT DOES THIS GOT TO DO WITH VIDEO GAMES??”

Oups. Let’s get back on track….

In August 2014 Amazon surprised the world by buying Twitch. Everyone thought Google would do it and implement their same strict copyright policies that YouTube was getting. The nearly $1 billion deal solidified Amazon’s place in the Big Tech sphere. The technical resources at Amazon’s disposal turned Twitch into a dominating powerhouse service. Experts conclude the intent for Amazon’s purchase was so they could formally get their foot in the door of the games industry. YouTube tried to compete with Twitch with a section dedicated to gaming. But that fizzled out.

Twitch’s version of Pewdiepie comes in the form of someone named “Ninja.” A longtime eSports video game streamer that electrified his reach in March 2018 after streaming Fortnite with famous people: Drake, Travis Scott, and Juju Smith-Schuster. Ninja is symbolic about video game streaming’s future as a profession given how Microsoft’s competing platform Mixer managed to woo him over for exclusivity rights. He wasn’t immune from controversy though. Ninja refused to stream with female gamers out of respect for his wife. He didn’t want to foster an environment of internet rumor milling and speculation. It’s very much the Mike Pence way of life when it comes to navigating the #MeToo age.

Totalbiscuit was the best YouTuber of the decade. He taught people to value and respect different opinions, about proper disclosure for YouTubers, why you shouldn’t preorder video games, the rise of microtransactions (especially relevant given how Payday 2 did a 180-degree turn on that), and online harassment. When SEGA went on a YouTube video takedown spree in late 2012 over Shining Force III, TotalBiscuit took a stand by boycotting coverage of SEGA games for the next five years. He was one of many YouTube channels hit in the strikes. A year later, the developers of Day One: Garry’s Incident tried taking down TotalBiscuit’s review of the game. They quickly reversed course and apologized to TB for the inconvenience. A few months later it happened again when Bain reviewed Guise of the Wolf. The developers, FUN Creators, tried to use a copyright claim yet aussi denied taking it down (emails proved otherwise). Again, thankfully, this was reversed. John Bain made the best of this by educating us common folk about such matters. The frontier was newly explored, YouTube didn’t have a way to deal with DMCA claims. It happened to Jim Sterling too. His case of vengeful game developers was Digital Homicide. They decided to go all the way and sue Jim Sterling for $10 million. I’d say more but I don’t want to get sued like how Digital Homicide tried to (and failed to) sue 100 random Steam users. The Sterling case didn’t have any lasting impact in terms of the final judgement. But H3H3’s lawsuit against Matt Hoss was close.

Unfortunately John “TotalBiscuit” Bain is mentioned in this piece because people tried to paint his life as a controversy. After he died in May 2018 from a long battle with cancer. Even in life people saw John Bain as polarizing. You either loved him or hated him. People condemned TB for simply retweeting to support charity lives-treams. I absolutely refute the notion that TotalBiscuit encouraged bad behavior online. He only got involved with GamerGate in the first place over the concern Zoe Quinn DMCA’ed YouTuber MundaneMatt’s video talking about the drama. Quand cette post from TB was posted to Reddit, it turned into a censorship graveyard of heavy-handed moderation.

In October 2014 he had a chat with Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo. This discussion with one of GamerGate’s main opponents was a brave move that sought to ease tensions in the gaming community. What Totilo presented was a defense of journalists networking for the sake of their jobs. He gave insight on what it’s like on the other side of the games journalism fence. That the press grew into a lazy routine of parroting press releases, and that the big companies essentially co-opted the media’s interests. (Thank god OpenCritic did away with Metacritic’s monopoly that determined the bonuses for Fallout: New Vegas developers). He also made a solid argument justifying objectivity to mean reporters writing how they honestly felt about subject matters. Whereas the traditional definition of objectivity meaning how reporters are supposed to fairly entertain both sides of an argument. It was a better showing than what Polygon chose to do in coming out and just flat-out saying “we’re all progressives deal with it.”

Things like Bain’s “Framerate Police” weren’t a gestapo meant to enforce the PC Master Race ideology. That term wasn’t even political, despite what some outlets believed. TB just advocated for quality. Without him 30 FPS  would still be allowed on the grounds of “filmic look.” Valve saw enough value in TB’s work to invite him to their office. Pourquoi pas? Bain encore is the top curator on Steam. He was a bridge between a Big Tech company and consumers. Through TotalBiscuit, both sides learned more about each other.

Valve spent the decade growing Steam to becoming the dominant marketplace for PC gaming. A new digital world that circumvented the physical business model. Valve seriously spent the decade procrastinating on the next Demi vie Jeu. They turned in their homework at the last minute releasing a trailer for a VR title set in the Demi vie universe.

But with great power comes great responsibility. Valve had to play gatekeeper. In the earlier half of the decade they formulated the “Greenlight” model that put the power in the hands of audiences. Which in itself turned into a cornucopia of half-finished products and eternal beta demos. In December 2014 Valve removed a game called Hatred from Steam Greenlight. “Based on what we’ve seen on Greenlight we would not publish Hatred on Steam. As such we’ll be taking it down,” Valve’s Doug Lombardi told Eurogamer. A game about a spree shooter that massacres innocents was controversial. It caused a moral panic in the same vein Postal et Chasse à l'homme fait.

Gabe saw right through this and overturned the ban on Hatred.

“Hi, Jaroslaw. Yesterday I heard that we were taking Hatred down from Greenlight. Since I wasn’t up to speed, I asked around internally to find out why we had done that. It turns out that it wasn’t a good decision, and we’ll be putting Hatred back up. My apologies to you and your team. Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers. Good luck with your game. Gabe.”

Being nice pays off. Unlike that developer who threatened to kill Gabe Newell. He had his game removed from Steam.

Towards the end of the decade Valve flip-flopped on their sexual content policies.  It started in May 2018. Three separate developers of naughty Anime games were told to change things to appease Valve’s rules and guidelines. It came out of nowhere according to them. The next month, Valve did a remarkable 180-degree turnaround. They “decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling.” The media was triggered. It took time for Valve to put the new rules into practice. What Valve came up with in September 2018 was genius. Developers of games with explicit content needed to provide context, if they wanted to be on Steam. It fit great with the updates to user filters they added in. It was only a matter of time before Steam’s new boundaries were tested. In March 2019, Valve had to clamp down on a visual novel called Rape Day. It was a game all about rape. The poor bastards at Valve had to debate about whether or not to allow this game. “We respect developers’ desire to express themselves, and the purpose of Steam is to help developers find an audience, but this developer has chosen content matter and a way of representing it that makes it very difficult for us to help them do that.”

Nobody can fully understand what the hell is going on at Valve. However, making cuts and changes isn’t a new thing in games. “We have removed apps from the App Store that use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways, which is in violation of our guidelines,” Apple said in June 2015. That statement being what they told even the Civil War educational titles. Thankfully the education games were put back without any hassle. The move was an overreaction to a recent shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. Apple had a problem with the Confederate flag as an icon. In the 2010s, Apple was weird about censorship. People couldn’t understand it in the same vein as Valve’s problems. They were prude on nudity and sex. No nipples on Instagram. Apple’s policies crippled Tumblr. When it came to video games? You couldn’t talk politics. No games about sweatshops. No Syrian civil war. No Palestine. No commentary on immigration. Même The Binding of Isaac was seen as too violent. Even the popular Papers, Please faced opposition.

Mais pourquoi? In Apple’s case, one answer is obviously China, China, China, China, China, China, China, China, China, China, China, China, China, China, China, China, China. Apple’s market interests there mean they’re malleable to whatever censorship marching orders the Chinese government enacts. It’s something deeper than Bungie getting rid of Peter Dinklage’s voice acting from destin. Something more politically complicated than WWE 2K16 cutting out Hulk Hogan. Mesut Özil spoke out against China’s abuses towards the Uighur population. In response China erased him in their localized version of Pro Evolution Soccer.

People were worried Epic Games sent their data to China because of the company’s relationship with Tencent. Epic Games Founder and CEO Tim Sweeney “fiercely denied” this notion brought forward by data miners. Some of the other big video game companies wanted a slice of Valve’s market. That meant setting up clones of what Steam did. Which was already a thing with GoG and they managed to innovate by offering DRM-free gaming experiences. Copycats like EA’s Origin offered nothing unique. It worked out great for Valve in some cases. Gabe Newell could wipe his hands clean when it came to disasters like the launch of SimCity in 2013. Assassin’s Creed Unity was the low point for Ubisoft when it came to monetization direction. Their Uplay system was one part of a larger digital dumpster fire. Thankfully at least EA eventually realized this was all unnecessary and brought games back to Steam.

Epic Games Store was different to EA and Ubisoft. They launched it in December 2018. Game developers were given a lower 12% sales cut for Epic, compared to having to give Valve 30%. A game changer. Right before Epic revealed their store, Valve announced an update to their revenue sharing policy. Make $10 million? It turns into 75%/25% share. Make $50 million? It becomes 80%/20&. It smelled desperate. While  free games to bait people in is nice,  exclusivity deals hooked in game developers. Aggressively so. Ubisoft decided to commit Anno 1800 to Epic instead of Steam on launch. Les mondes extérieurs et Contrôle did the same. An indie title called Observation made a similar move. Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney vowed to back down only if Steam committed to matching Epic’s 88% revenue share plan. Obviously not toutes les personnes jumped over to Epic’s store. The developer of DARQ turned Epic Games down when offered a deal. He wanted Steam and Epic launches simultaneously, but Epic themselves wanted exclusivity. People got worried games like Rocket League would get taken down from Steam when they hopped on the Epic train. Exclusivity  created drama in the gaming community. Shit hit the fan when Ooblets developers announced they’d be going exclusive with Epic. Tim Sweeney got involved and Epic Games had to release a statement condemning the public backlash towards the Ooblets équipe. The fact that Valve allowed pretty much anything didn’t help Steam any. “We’re not in the porn business” said Tim Sweeney in response to Valve’s Rape Day controversy.

On January 28th 2019, Deep Silver announced Metro Exodus was going to be an Epic exclusive. It was following in the footsteps of Ubisoft’s La division 2, who made that choice a few weeks earlier. People questioned if this practice was legal, from both a consumer standpoint and in the eyes of Valve. The Steam page is still up for purchasers wanting to buy Metro Exodus DLC. Valve left a message accusing the developers of being unfair. One 4AGames developer threatened that the next Métro game wouldn’t be on PC either if consumers boycotted Exode. The studio had to put out a statement clarifying how little say the developer had on that. They reiterated what THQ Nordic said: the Epic Store decision was Koch Media’s call to make. They weren’t the only ones. The long-anticipated Shenmue III decided to switch from Steam to Epic exclusive. The problem with that is the game’s studio used Kickstarter to fundraise, meaning they had commitments to backers.  After a brief scare, the developers confirmed offering refunds. Another Kickstarter game called Phoenix Point (by the creator of X-COM) went Epic exclusive and faced the same sort of backlash.

Aside from Epic, Blizzard Entertainment runs their own launcher for their games. The company had a rough year. Much of people’s recent spite stems from the company’s controversial punishment of a Hearthstone player, Blitzchung. The gentleman decided to use his livestreamed tournament victory speech to make a political statement supporting Hong Kong’s protests. Given the censorious nature of China this was like dropping an atomic bomb on Blizzard’s doorstep. The company took away Blitzchung’s winnings and banned him from participating in official tournaments for a full year, but eventually gave the money back and cut that time in half after a huge public backlash. The likes of which was amplified by chance as South Park and the NBA had China-related issues too.

I wrote about that over here if you want the full story from start to finish.

But otherwise the problematic highlights for Blizzard this past decade dealt with Diablo. Dans le cas de Diablo III, gamers were outraged that the login authentication servers crashed on release night. “ERROR 37” popped up and set the internet ablaze. But it was an outburst born out of love. Blizzard’s community has one of the oldest and most passionate player bases out there. L'idée de WoW Classic was something that Blizzard made official entirely because of that. Before that was a private server called Nostalrius. It was widely popular, but since Blizzard themselves didn’t run it they had to slap a cease-and-desist on it. The story has a happy ending. It started a movement around the concept of “vanilla” World of Warcraft. For nostalgic people who wanted to revisit what it was like before all the expansions. Fast forward to Blizzcon 2018, the public’s admiration is tested with the unveiling of Diablo Immortal. A mobile game that came off as a cash grab, made possible due to Blizzard’s partnership with a Chinese company, NetEase.

“Do you guys not have phones?” said one of the developers as the audience booed..

People had superficial complaints about Overwatch personnages. Some were mad Tracer’s butt was too big. Mei had to deal with that too before she became a Hong Kong protest symbol. Then there was the social media storm over Tracer being gay in the Overwatch lore. Blizzard tried to be as diverse and tolerant as possible. So much so that people got mad when Overwatch got a new white guy hero.

Mais Overwatch did better than its main competitor, Gearbox’s Battleborn. Let history remember that Gearbox’s CEO tweeted out a link to cartoon porn of it. Randy Pitchford is a weird guy. I’m not just referring to his bizarre responses in regards to Epic Games Store timed exclusivity for Borderlands 3. He’s free to do whatever he wants when it comes to that (even though how 2K Games distributed review copies was bonkers). Gearbox’s Aliens: Colonial Marines was an abortion that magically got fixed after changing one simple line of code. Randy wouldn’t have needed to bribe reviewers if Gearbox caught that mistake in time. No. The weirdest thing about Randy Pitchford came out when David Callender’s lawsuit hit the public eye. The lawsuit alleges that in 2014, Randy Pitchford left a USB drive full of sensitive company documents at a Medieval Times restaurant. This memory stick also had a pornographic video on it. By some stroke of luck Pitchford was able to get this USB dongle back thanks to a good Samaritan. When I saw that tidbit of information, the whole “Randy Pitchford may have funneled a $12,000,000 bonus meant for Gearbox to his side business” allegation paled in comparison. Eventually it came out that Randy Pitchford physically assaulted someone at GDC. It turned out to be David Eddings. The guy who voiced Borderland‘s Claptrap. Awkward all around.

“I would hate for anyone to think that I cannot tell the difference between legal, natural female ejaculation and legal, simulated female ejaculation. Both are beautiful, but only one is natural,” —  Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford, January 12th 2019.

“Gamer entitlement” didn’t exactly work as a cop-out for Epic Games Store. It’s easy to write off Epic’s China connection as a conspiracy. But that doesn’t stop real concerns surrounding mishandling of GDPR information and games vanishing from user libraries were prevalent.

Steam Greenlight was the gateway that helped the world of Indie gaming flourish. These folks were the wild cards of the gaming industry, seeing as how it let anyone dedicated enough have a shot at success. Phil Fish was a controversial indie developer because of his hubris. He was lauded with so much praise for his Fez game that it went to his head. L'histoire de Fez contributor Jason DeGroot was lost by the wayside. Twitter destroyed Phil and became his tomb. The fact he told someone “suck my dick choke on it” is the gaming industry quote of the decade. Hands down. But the real kicker was when Phil Fish melted down on Twitter and decided to quit making Fez II. That came around because Marcus Beer called Fish a “toss pot” on a GameTrailers podcast. At least that’s how they came off in Indie Game: The Movie. He charged Fish and Jonathan Blow as egotistical anomalies of the indie game sphere.

It happened so fast you’d miss it if you blinked.

Enter Zoe Quinn, stage left. The first time anyone really heard of her was in December 2013. She submitted a game called Depression Quest to Steam Greenlight. Things got hairy when a site called Wizardchan reportedly targeted her. In March 2014 someone thought it’d be a remarkable idea to slam together Indie developers and YouTubers in a “GAME_JAM” reality show contest. It was a disaster. An outside marketing consultant named Matti Leshem came in and trashed the production. He was there in the first place because Pepsi/Mountain Dew sponsored this $400,000 project. A Game Jam devrait focus on the development process of the game but this particular one threw in nonsense reality show style challenges. Matti Leshem tried to start a fight between JonTron and Zoe Quinn. This snowballed into both teams in the competition to leave the set in protest.

This happened at the same time as Maker Studios being bought out by Disney.

GamerGate started with The Zoe Post. August 16th 2014. They paint the ex-boyfriend Eron Gonji as some kind of dramatic jilted lover with an agenda. The main slights against Zoe Quinn included: her affair with Joshua Boggs, (this scoring a job), the fact she slept with Kotaku writer Nathan Grayson (admitted as professionally inappropriate), lying to Eron, sleeping with Robin Arnott and two other people, et deleting the digital paper trail after the fact. A lot of the immediate concern for Gonji was STDs. He said Quinn lied about getting tested during her escapades. In a more broader sense, we see Eron was emotionally manipulated. By the end of it it’s more clear that Gonji did all this just to process what happened. The Zoe Post was a simple outline of toxic, abusive behavior on Quinn’s part.

The inclusion of Nathan Grayson matters because it could’ve easily biased his reporting on the GAME_JAM incident. He lists Quinn and Arnott as sources. Kotaku saw it as serious enough to look into. Kotaku investigated Kotaku and found no wrongdoing. This is the moment where the “Grayson reviewed Depression Quest” myth came into play. Something that Totilo denied ever happening, but for some reason stuck all these years.

A character named “Internet Aristocrat” made a few YouTube videos about the subject. Something that caught the attention of Adam Baldwin. He tweeted them out with the #GamerGate and a movement was born.

It was after this a Pandora’s Box happened and a full blown culture war erupted online. Something that couldn’t even stay contained to the gaming community. It spilled over to the outside world and shook up everywhere else on the internet. Politics, tech, comic books, movies, you name it. A lot of the crossover was natural but GamerGate became the definitive cop-out to use whenever a large public spectacle arose.

The gaming community saw an avalanche of articles that declared gamers a “dead” identity. It was a mass response by the media to condemn the community because of the growing controversy surrounding Zoe Quinn. Some claimed the outlets conspired. But it also can be attributed to the “piggybacking” of stories. Which in this case was everyone bandwagoning off of Dan Golding and Leigh Alexander. The effort was geared at reframing it into “players” instead, and asserting that people who played video games were a more diverse group. They themselves pushed a notion that the previous “status quo” for gamers was dominantly white males. GamerGate wasn’t a group of basement dwelling nerds. The movement cared about optics so much they had the #NotYourShield hashtag that was all about diversity. This effort demonstrated that females and minorities weren’t by default going to agree with Anita Sarkeesian or “woke” culture. But that isn’t to say GamerGate didn’t lean liberal. Brad Glasgow proved they did with a survey.

People on 4chan got together to help raise money for a diverse group of aspiring developers. The Fine Young Capitalists let them pick the mascot for their upcoming video game project. GamerGate made Vivian James their mascot because it went against the media narrative.

Back then, “gamers” weren’t mad about this push to call video games art. They hated the “SJWs” who took advantage of the gaming industry on that basis. As in, using political rhetoric and superficial morality to prop up themselves and tear down those around them. Tim Schafer here being a prime example.

That’s how Feminist Frequency came into the mix. On August 27th 2014, a Twitter egg account threatened violence and listed Sarkeesian’s address. A follow-up tweet from her says she went to the cops. The media fires were lit. Social media places like Reddit were banning everyone in sight by this point. Phil Fish supported Zoe Quinn and someone hacked him. Polygon and Kotaku made statements regarding staff engaging in Patreon support.

You’re free to read Anita Sarkeesian’s accounting of GamerGate. Although, I still can’t believe the games industry fell for someone who took Teleseminar Secrets classes. Anita Sarkeesian came into the games industry to sell people timeshares. But it wasn’t for a beachfront property. The age of social media means people’s attention is limited, and Sarkeesian wanted people to donate that precious time to her. Anita’s college thesis alone should’ve been a red flag to how faulty her logic was. Advocating for segregated “Women Only” subway cars is a step backwards. The games industry either listen and believed Anita Sarkeesian or saw this chick was cutting corners and stealing video game footage from other YouTubers. All so she could push baseless arguments for games like Hitman: Absolution et Watchdogs. The Intel Corporation gave Sarkeesian millions of dollars but by 2019 her cash ran out.

If you take a step back and look at the story of Anita Sarkeesian, she peaked in October 2014 with that appearance on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report.

Let’s make something clear. I understand the need for some to be sensitive towards particular video game marketing. Like when 2013’s Pilleur de tombe reboot had a potential rape scene. Luckily it wasn’t that. But the developers got weird when communicating about it. While calling the Hitman: Absolution nuns trailer “sexist” was a stretch, the Facebook campaign that marketed death threats to your friends certainly went too far. It’s something we all spent the decade trying to figure out where the lines were. Advertisements for Détroit: devenez humain et The Last of Us Part II sparked debates around excessive violence, for instance. But we’re talking about Sarkeesian, who once said “everything is sexist, everything is racist.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that. This is someone who has no end goal in sight and was willing to chip away at the games industry for as long as possible. They were never willing to have debates or discussions with anyone. Look at the 2017 VidCon debacle with Sargon of Akkad. Anita couldn’t handle the fact one of her most prominent critics simply showed up to her panel. She showed up to Notch’s house uninvited and gloated about it on Twitter (probably regrets that now).

That’s how we got to a point where people say Witcher 3 is racist.  With the success of the Netflix series, who’s laughing now!?

There’s a few things I’m willing to agree with Anita on. The connection between GamerGate and Trump is absolutely true. It’s all because of Milo Yiannopoulos. A gay British bloke who caught wind of the GamerGate happenings. He was in the sphere of Conservative politics and acted as a gateway for the 4chan/gamer culture.

Joseph Bernstein of BuzzFeed, who was one of the “Gamers Are Dead” article authors, did an expose on Yiannopoulos in October 2017. Bernstein went with the “Milo made racism mainstream” narrative (which Milo denied). But Milo’s own confession to his obsession with controversy is just as damning enough.  Bernstein demonstrates how Milo networked with the White Nationalism scene and made it difficult to talk about GamerGate in its own right anymore. Everyone now just jumps onto that.

The whole GameJournoPros revelations that solidified the concerns about coordination of narratives in the games industry. 4chan always imagined a secret group of games journalists conspiring together. It sounded foolish but there it was. The charges of sexism fall flat when considering The Fine Young Capitalists and Zoe Quinn’s harassment campaign to sabotage them. “Outsiders” wanted to help bring better representation to the gaming scene yet couldn’t because they didn’t please the gatekeepers who decide if you’re in or out. Another case of this happening was in June 2017 after indie developer Tim Soret got in Quinn’s crosshairs. After receiving widespread praise for his beautiful The Last Night project, Zoe couldn’t help but insert themselves back into the public limelight. People dug up old tweets from Soret that pointed toward his rejection of third-wave feminism and his support for GamerGate’s causes. In August 2019 Zoe Quinn did it again when accusing Night in the Woods developer Alec Holowka of harassment and abuse. Quinn publicly crucified him. Alec’s colleagues threw him under the bus. Holowka committed suicide a few days later. A waste of a life given how Zoe’s accusations fell apart upon further investigation in the aftermath of Alec’s death. Zoe Quinn isn’t credible. The FBI investigated GamerGate and came up empty. One of those occasions being someone making a bomb threat to Utah State University in the days leading up to a Sarkeesian talk. The person signed “Mr Repzion” as their name. As you can see in this video from Mr. Repzion clearing his name, it was not credible. The FBI wasted their time.

Suicide is awful. Alec wasn’t the first prominent indie developer suicide either. In June 2018 Chloe Sagal went to a park and set herself on fire. That was pretty hardcore. Back in October 2013 there was a controversy surrounding mismanagement of funds. Chloe Sagal claimed to need cash for a “life-saving operation” to remove metal shrapnel from their body. But that was a lie. Chloe was raising money for gender-switching surgery instead. The only reason we found out about any of this was thanks to Allistair Pinsof. He lost his job at Destructoid because in revealing the campaign as fraudulent, Allistair outed Sagal as transgender. He was just doing his job. When discovering the true purpose behind the fundraiser, Pinsof brought it to the attention of his boss. Destructoid didn’t know what to do. Yanier ‘Niero’ Gonzalez fired him for “disobeying orders.” The GameJournoPros informally blacklisted him from the industry.

Law and Order: SVU made an episode about “GamerGate.” I say that term loosely because it ended up being some kind of fictitious extreme that extended far beyond even what the media smears depicted. A cell of militant terrorists organize on a site called ReddChanit. There they coordinate first a SWATing, followed up by kidnapping a female game developer. The background subtext of this episode is that these extremists did it because they were radicalized by a game called “Kill or Be Slaughtered.” An idea that comes off as ridiculous in how the episode depicts violence. The ways that the gaming industry tried to contend with harassment sometimes were just as ridiculous. Like with the Bully Hunters debacle. It was a cringe effort where some group of marketers tried to turn a real contentious issue into a TV show. When you had sponsors like Vertagear and Steel Series involved that’s a sign of taking the Hollywood angle too far. Bully Hunters came and went for a very confusing week in April 2018. People online have a habit of asking questions especially when it pertains to statistics. It all came crashing down when the internet found old tweets from ZombiUnicorn.

If GamerGate wasn’t about pushing for ethical journalism, please explain this whole website they set up dedicated to it. PC Gamer had to do a note on disclosure after their writer Tyler Wilde was exposed for his relationship to Ubisoft’s Anne Marie Lewis. Ubisoft articles that involved Wilde were then removed. Eurogamer ran a Cara Ellison review of Christine Love’s game Hate Plus. Ellison gave it an 8/10. How much of that score is biased in Love’s favor given how Ellison would “spank [Christine] for some pretty decent maple syrup” and volunteered to do Love’s PR? Why did the Escapist update their ethics policies? GamerGate.

I also agree with Anita Sarkeesian that the game journalists were a bunch of cowards who piss themselves at the first sign of danger.

The case of Alison Rapp being fired from Nintendo is blamed on GamerGate. Even though Rapp herself said she was fired for moonlighting. The company told her she was “no longer a good, safe representative.” Nintendo made it clear to the media that it wasn’t the result of a harassment campaign. Alison Rapp was the subject of a Kotaku piece in early March 2016 that combined video game localization with GamerGate drama. Patrick Klepek buried the real lede about the discovery of Rapp’s controversial college essay on child pornography laws in Japan. He defends Rapp’s past leniency of teenagers being sexualized. Even further down Klepek finally discusses the actual Fire Emblem: Fates localizers that were of GamerGate’s interest in the first place. As is the Kotaku way. Just to be clear: “Although [Rapp] did work in Nintendo of America’s Treehouse team — responsible for localizing games for audiences outside Japan — Rapp’s role was in marketing, rather than translation, development, or editing.” Jamie Walton tweeted about making Nintendo aware of Alison Rapp’s controversial comments.

The ArenaNet firings of Jessica Price and Peter Fries were because of a Twitter argument with a Guild Wars 2 influencer named Derior. All because Price thought Derior was telling her how to do her job. The YouTuber was polite, but the employees blew up at him and others. The firing wasn’t GamerGate’s fault even though Jessica Price: openly went after gamers, hated men, sees politics in everything, and was generally hostile on Twitter. GamerGate didn’t force Jessica Price to stoke a flame war. It was a scapegoat. But that in itself brought a collective desire for video game companies to review their social media policies. Jessica Price blamed her former employer after she was let go. The official explanation according to ArenaNet president Mike O’ Brien is that the Twitter incident that Jessica Price and Peter Fries got involved in was an attack on the community. Price believes freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from consequences.

UNE confirmed fake Reddit post was passed off by games media as real to stoke the flames. The author of it explained: “I was hoping I’d appeal to some sort of sense of decency by writing the most vile shit I could think of. […] I went too far and should’ve added “this is what you all sound like” at the end, or something.” Kotaku, The Verge, Paste Magazine, and Daily Dot depicted it as real. Kotaku au moins corrected after the fact. Polygon, on the other hand, made a full article centered around this fake news. It’s still up today.

I could talk forever about GamerGate. It’s a bottomless barrel of fish that the media spent the last five years shooting.

It’s time to stop.

Bien. If you reached it this far, thank you for reading. For the past four and a half years I’ve made a go at this writing thing. A lot of late nights and sweat went into making this at least worthwhile. My hope here was to capture the essence of everything. Everyone else’s retrospectives of the decade focused on cette ou cette and it missed the bigger picture. Our society has been stumbling around in the dark. Technology and social media evolved. It integrated the world together in this digital world. I have my worries. That we’ll continue to make the same mistakes, march ourselves to some authoritarian state. It’s easy to feel powerless in this whole mess. I know I do sometimes. But then I remember the power of just showing up. Every single last one of us does our part to drive our inevitable destinies.

I hope you leave this page feeling a bit more hopeful. Oui. There were tons of mistakes in the 2010s. But many of these stories have lights at the end of the tunnel. For all the bad going on in the world, there’s always good close nearby. Remember that.

Cheers to the new decade. Cheers to the 2020s. I’m glad I did my part.

And no, Samus Aran is not transgender.

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