Archived News:

Monday, Sep 06, 2021 Labor Day (USA)

Paradox Employee Survey Reports "Offensive Treatment"

Amid growing scrutiny of the corporate culture in the field of game development, GamesIndustry.biz has a translation of a story from Breakit on the troubling results of an employee survey at Paradox Interactive. The Swedish report on feedback from the staff of the developer/publisher claims that 44% of the 133 employees who responded have experienced "mistreatment" at the company. Just days ago it was announced that Ebba Ljungerud had resigned her post as CEO of Paradox. This was attributed to "differing views on the company's strategy going forward," and there are no visible indications that the leadership change is connected to these survey results. Word is the negative feedback is disproportionately concentrated among the company's female staff and its Swedish locales:
These reports were particularly high at Paradox's Swedish operations, which employ over 400 people.

Of that number, female employees make up 26% of the respondents (around 35 employees) and 69% said they had experienced abusive treatment, compared to 33% among the larger percentage of male staff.

The survey also described a "culture of silence" at the firm, with almost zero employees feeling as though their treatment had been handled appropriately.

"Offensive treatment is a systematic and far too common problem at Paradox," the report concluded.

Focus Home Interactive Rebrands

This announcement reveals Focus Entertainment is the new name of the gaming giant formerly known as Focus Home Interactive. This seems like a logical move, as the old name sounded, well, old. Here's the news:
The acquisition of studios such as Deck13 Interactive, StreumOn Studio, and more recently, Dotemu and its label The Arcade Crew, demonstrate Focus' desire to integrate talents and studios with singular visions in our strong and ambitious Group, to promote value creation, anticipate new trends, and unique gameplay.

From now on, the Focus Entertainment brand covers all of Focus' activities, with the term Entertainment being representative of the desire to diversify its games, products, services and revenue streams. Entertainment also emphasizes the ambition to offer players around the world unique experiences, supported by an editorial policy that stands out thanks to innovative concepts, inventive gameplay and original worlds that transcend the boundaries of video games.

Super Arcade Football Kicks Off

Super Arcade Football is now out of Early Access and officially launched on Steam. This Windows game based on association football/soccer comes with a 40% launch discount for the next week. The Steam Trailer shows how this game plays on a PC, since it was originally designed for mobile devices. Here's word:
OutOfTheBit is proud to announce that Super Arcade Football - their fast-paced, modern take on classic football games that has been warming up in Steam Early Access since 2016 - has now left Early Access and is available to play on Steam.

As well as classic matches against the computer, players can take Super Arcade Football online against other players, and play with four players locally via couch co-op. Match modifiers can also be introduced to keep things fresh and exciting, like changing the size of the goal, adding turbo objects, and adjusting the game speed, tailoring the experience to suit your style of play.
Continue here to read the full story.

Those who Came Demo

A playable demo for Those who Came is now available on Steam, offering a Windows sample of this upcoming sci-fi RPG in the works at ROLLDBOX GAMES. This game emphasizes teamwork, but in an unusual twist, features no combat. But that does not mean it is without danger. Check out this previously released trailer for a fairly vague look at what to expect, and read on for more details:
This demo will give players a short experience of what “Those Who Came” is about. You can explore alone even though we recommend living it as a multiplayer experience!

“Those Who Came”is an immersive experience that will put your skills to the test and awaken your lateral thinking, where cooperation and teamwork are keys to evolving throughout the game.
Continue here to read the full story.

Necropolis Suite Announced

Freesphere Entertainment announces Necropolis Suite, with the independent developer saying their debut title is a cosmic horror game, though it is set in the Victorian era. This now has a listing on Steam with a to-be-confirmed release date. The Reveal Trailer is online, but this focuses on atmosphere, rather than gameplay. As for that, we're told the game embraces quite a wide variety of influences: "Necropolis Suite s a truly immersive horror adventure blending classic Lovecraftian narrative with German expressionism and Soulsborne sensibilities lovingly enveloped in the gaslight romanticism of Victorian England." Here's more:
You are JP Chambers, a Detective for the newly created Metropolitan Police Force based out of Whitechapel. When the mad Ulaevan turns himself in, raving about dark visions and unspeakable secrets, you must go to his estate and discover what has actually taken place within the impossible twists and loops of the architecture.

It is said that madness is repetition, and you must navigate a cycle of insanity as you acquire forbidden knowledge on your quest for the truth. The more you learn, however, the more you lose your grip on reality. Succumbing to madness will start your journey over, but you keep the knowledge you’ve gained, using it to get a little further, to learn a bit more before insanity inevitably overtakes you once more.
Continue here to read the full story.

Op Ed

  • Bloomberg - How Gaming Will Change Humanity as We Know It. Thanks Slashdot via Ant.
    "The self-contained nature of games also means they will be breaking down government regulation. Plenty of trading already takes place in games — involving currencies, markets, prices and contracts. Game creators and players set and enforce the rules, and it is harder for government regulators to play a central role.

    The lesson is clear: If you wish to create a new economic institution, put it inside a game. Or how about an app that gamifies share trading? Do you wish to experiment with a new kind of stock exchange or security outside the purview of traditional government regulation? Try the world of gaming, perhaps combined with crypto, and eventually your “game” just might influence events in the real world."

Out of the Blue

Happy Labor Day is probably something no one has ever said, but today is the annual commemoration of hard work here in the US, so yeah, happy Labor Day. As always, this is best celebrated by not working. It's another celebration for us, as today is a birthday party for the twins, our favorite littles. We first met them and their folks when the Gunnar-man and the she-twin (a true animal whisperer) became best friends through their fence during our walks. The kids were barely one year-old at the time. Exceedingly charming, but tiny and pre-verbal. It's hard to believe they are already turning eight, but that's how it seems to work with kids. They grow up so darned fast.

Obituary: French film great Jean-Paul Belmondo dies at 88.

Laborious Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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