Rebekah, Brendan, Chris and James are on hand to discuss some of the biggest industry stories of the week, starting with (yet again) crunch.
We reflect on Brendan's fascinating interview with creative director Lorne Lanning about the irony of Oddworld: a game that focuses on the exploitation of workers at a time when developers themselves were frequently exploited.
Talking about what (if anything) has improved leads to another hard look at the impact of crunch on the industry, the potential solutions, and how it takes time for attitudes towards exploitative working practices -- even our own -- to change.
Then we talk about the comically perfect timing of Rockstar's big casino update for Grand Theft Auto Online, arriving amidst ongoing worldwide discussions about gambling and video games. Is this a sign of the developer's attitude towards such scrutiny, or has the conversation around monetisation models become too sensitive?
Finally, we touch on the Joy-Con drifting issues experienced by Switch owners, triggering a class action lawsuit against Nintendo. Oh, and it's very important that everyone know how much Brendan loves the GameCube controller.
As always, you can get your daily news, analysis and insight into the world behind video games at www.gamesindustry.biz.
As the old saying goes, “It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday.” That, of course, can mean only one thing: the GamesIndustry.biz Podcast is here.
This week Rebekah takes up hosting duties and is joined by Matt, Brendan, Haydn and, if you listen very closely, a selection of our assorted pets.
We kick things off with the crumbling world of brick and mortar game stores, and what they can do to slow their seemingly inevitable decline. Following the example of UK retailer Game, struggling US giant GameStop revealed this week to revamp its stores with a newfound focus on esports. Whether either can establish the success of yesteryear is still in doubt though.
Ubisoft recently announced it was once again partnering with Jason Gordon-Levitt’s creative crowdsourcing platform HitRecord for the upcoming Watch Dogs: Legion. Just like last year’s partnership for Beyond Good and Evil 2, the whole thing attracted a lot of criticism, but poses some interesting questions regarding where the lines get blurred with user-created content around games like Super Mario Maker and Dreams.
Finally, the news that Detective Pikachu is the highest grossing video game movie tie-in of all time came as no surprise, but why did it succeed where movies like Super Mario Bros. and Street Fighter failed? (Except for all of the really obvious reasons like a) being terrible, or b) not being very good).
Matt, James and Haydn discuss the biggest stories of the past week, including the ongoing dispute between indie developers and divisive marketplace G2A.
Recorded hot off the heels of G2A's proposal for a key-blocking tool, we discuss the various roots of the debate and why indie developers -- and the industry in general -- has such a rocky relationship with the company.
The core principle of G2A -- that players can sell on games they own -- is not all that controversial, but years of allegations regarding scams, fraud and stolen keys, plus the marketplace's occasionally inept attempts at defending itself make this an industry problem that may be impossible to solve.
Finally, we share our thoughts on the long-rumoured and in-no-way-surprising Nintendo Switch Lite. For both Matt and James, it suits their use of the device down to a tee, but would a Switch Pro capable of handling more powerful games be more appealing?
Load up your ears with the GamesIndustry.biz podcast, this week featuring James, Matt, and myself chatting about the big industry news.
Matt is in trouble this week for not using headphones while recording, so apologies in advance for the slightly wonky audio in places. But don't let that deter you from downloading this white knuckle thrill ride of all the hottest industry “haps.”
EA doesn't see itself as the "bad guys" but it's an image the publisher just can't seem to shake. We discuss EA's long legacy of missteps, whether that's the ancient sin of releasing Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II before it was ready, or it's attempted re-brand of loot boxes as "surprise mechanics", we’re spoiled for choice.
We also get embroiled once again in the storefront wars following comments made by Paradox Interactive's Fredrik Wester, who praised the more generous revenue split of the Epic Games Store, and described the 70/30 industry standard as “outrageous.”
The Department of Digital, Media, Culture and Sport inquiry into immersive and addictive technologies rolls on, this week with appearances from the Information Commissioner's Office, and culture minister Margot James MP.
We round things out with a little chat about our favourite mobile games, where James once again recommends Florence and I get misty-eyed about Runescape.