Hello there NAGikins, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. This time around we have a game bundle with a slightly odd charity approach, more details on the Minecraft movie, Ubisoft under threat of a hostile takeover, new Pokemon games, Valve throws CS:GO a bone and a pair of movie stoners are starring in a video game (maybe). All that, more videos, news and highlights from the week, after the jump.
Forgotten “God” does the benevolent thing
It’s well known at this point that Peter Molyneux totally screwed Bryan Henderson, the dude who won Curiosity. Most people are happy to just call Molyneux a douchecanoe and move on with things, but GameBundle.com wanted to do a little more.
So they came up with a bundle of God games, with 10% of the proceeds going to Henderson. Pretty cool, huh? Well, the internet didn’t think so, saying it was a ridiculous cause and money should go to charity instead.
Henderson agreed, declining the offer and asking that the money be donated to charity instead.
I’ve got to say, the “there are worthier causes” argument doesn’t really hold water for me. Every time we spend any money at all on anything that we don’t need to survive, then there are “worthier causes”. This seems like a harmless gesture for a guy who got a pretty raw deal; I admire the humanitarian bit but the backlash seems unnecessary.
Finally, some info on the Minecraft movie
A while back we heard there was going to be a Minecraft movie, but no indication of what the hell it would be about or how it would work. I suppose it worked for the Lego movie?
Anyways, producer of the film Roy Lee gave an interview this week which shed some more light on things, emphasising the involvement of studio Mojang.
“They know everything [that] is going to be in the movie, and that can give us insight into future updates,” he said. “We can put things into the movie around the same time they relaunch newer versions of the game, and at the same time, potentially taking ideas from the movie and putting them into the game.
“So I don’t know exactly what things are going into the game, but they know exactly what’s going into the movie.”
He also gave a somewhat baffling description of the film’s story: “Minecraft would be part of a multiverse where humans can enter that has the feel of what the live-action version of a Minecraft experience,” he said. “[We’re going for] the same target audience as Jurassic World.”
Is this how producers think of audiences? Giant groups of people with unilateral interests? I’m still trying to figure out exactly how the Minecraft world and dinosaurs fit together, but it seems Mr Hollywood producer guy has got us covered.
Ubisoft under threat of Vivendi takeover
French multi-national entertainment giant Vivendi is attempting a “hostile takeover” of Ubisoft, buying up as many shares as possible.
Back in October Vivendi took a 10% chunk of Ubi, and set their sights on acquiring Gameloft, a mobile game company which was founded by CEO Yves Guillemot and his brothers. This was a movie which Guillemot called “unsolicited and unwelcome”. Meee-ow.
Now in February, Vivendi grabbed a 30 percent piece of Gameloft, which under French law triggers a mandatory take-over bid.
Now I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what any of that means, but basically Vivendi is buying as much Ubisoft as they can get their hands on in the hopes of having massive influence in a company which is essentially family-run. They’re employing some pretty dirty tactics too – trying to tempt Canadian investors out of their shares by offering 50 cents per share above their actual value. Sneaky.
Ubi isn’t taking it lying down though – Guillemot has met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to get some support, and he’s asking Canadian investors to pledge their allegiance. Presumably he’s trying to pitch to the PM that Vivendi could potentially eliminate thousands of jobs at the Canadian studio.
Since the take-over is happening under French law, the idea is to increase the number of Canadian shareholders and box out the French juggernaut. Still, Vivendi is determined and have some tens of billions of dollars behind them, this should be an interesting battle. What a successful takeover would mean for gamers, we can’t even speculate at this point.
Pokemon Sun and Moon announced
Now I want to say that nobody needs a new Pokemon game, but since every time one comes out it’s like printing money, I clearly have no idea what the hell I’m talking about.
It’s a pair of games for Nintendo’s most successful console, the 3DS, entitled Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon.
Sadly we know absolutely nothing about the games as of yet, except that they’ll support nine languages. Er, sweet?
Valve ups their game with a giant CS:GO prize pool
Counter-Strike fans have long been salty about the seeming lack of interest Valve gives the game, especially when comparing with the efforts given to their darling, DotA 2.
They’ve finally taken a step in the right direction, however, upping the prize pool for the major tournaments from $250,000 to $1,000,000. It’s a move that’s more in line with how successful the game is currently as an e-sport.
Even if you have no interest in CS:GO whatsoever, this is big news. This move comes at the same time as massive production studio Turner launches a league to be broadcast on ESPN. It’s been a long time coming, but e-sports is finally getting the recognition it deserves as a legitimate competitive sport, and big prize pools like this not only lend credibility, but increase viewership, interest and media attention.
Which is good for all gamers.
Jay and Silent Bob get into the videogame business
How many crowdfunding sites exist these days? A few apparently, since there’s one I’ve never heard about called Fig.
Anyways, the fruit-themed Kickstarter clone has a campaign going right now to get Jay and Silent Bob: Chronic Blunt Punch funded, a “colourful side-scrolling tag-team beat-em-up”, starring everyone’s favourite stoner miscreants.
Aside from the regular combat, you also engage in verbal psychological warfare by combining phrases into devastating insults in an attempt to break down your opponent. According to developer Interabang Entertainment, “It feels like a fighting game, but instead of breaking your opponent’s body your aim is to break them in a much more permanent psychological way.”
Of course, if you’re a pacifist, there’s a different approach. “If flattery and persuasion is more to your taste, you might try to avoid the fight entirely, perhaps even making an ally in the process. We are putting together an intricate facial animation system to articulate the expressive nature of insult combat.”
It sounds pretty awesome, and will have voice work from the men themselves. I can’t help but feel like this idea finally gained traction thanks to the success of the South Park tie-in. Interabang is looking for a fairly reasonable $400,000, and is looking to avoid having a publisher to answer to so they can stay true to Jay and Bob’s vulgar roots. If funded, the game is expected to arrive in February 2018.
Dark Souls 3 dropped a new gameplay trailer this week – enjoy.
Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Michonne also has a new trailer, and it’s pretty gritty.
Bus Simulator 16 is a game I don’t understand. Were there 15 before I didn’t know about? Anyways, here’s their release trailer to figure out what it’s about.
Finally, we finish strong by letting the PC shine bright like a diamond – with this 60FPS gameplay trailer of The Division.
Best of NAG
We’ll start with the serious business – Wesley Fick’s take on Nvidia’s Optimus technology, and how it impacts reviews.
Then we’ll go super not-serious, with my own column for the week – the sporadic News I don’t care about feature.
After you’ve clawed your eyes out reading that, have a look at the third entry into Tank’s Fallout 4 mod showcase.
We finish strong this week with a post from Our Glorious Leader, who tackles the controversial issue of finishing your damn backlog.