Archived News:

Tuesday, Nov 16, 2021

ActiBlizz Walkout Amid Kotick Cover-up Allegations

A report from The Wall Street Journal (may require registration or subscription) alleges that Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick was aware of allegations of sexual misconduct at the company, including a rape accusation, but failed to inform the company's board of directors. The story is paywalled, but CNBC has details, naturally including its own obsession with how this impacts stock prices. Also, Kotaku reports how this states the recent resignation of Jen Oneal after a brief stint as Blizzard co-lead was due to her being "tokenized, marginalized, and discriminated against." In response, a statement from the Activision Blizzard Board of Directors provides a vote of confidence. This says it "remains confident that Bobby Kotick appropriately addressed workplace issues brought to his attention" and "remains confident in Bobby Kotick's leadership, commitment and ability to achieve these goals." That confidence may not be shared by all of the company's staff, as The Washington Post reports over 100 employees staged a walkout today, demanding Kotick's resignation. Here's a bit from the CNBC story:
According to the report, Kotick failed to inform the board of directors about the allegations on many occasions, including an alleged rape, the Journal reported.

An Activision spokesperson told CNBC in a statement that the WSJ report was “inaccurate” and a “misleading view” of the company’s CEO.

“We are disappointed in the Wall Street Journal’s report, which presents an inaccurate and misleading view of Activision Blizzard and our CEO,” an Activision Blizzard spokesperson said. “Instances of sexual misconduct that were brought to his attention were acted upon.”
Continue here to read the full story.

The Crew 2 Free Content Tomorrow; Free Weekend Thursday

Ubisoft announces a free update is coming to The Crew 2 tomorrow, kicking off the new Season 4 in the open world motorsports sequel. This will introduce a new multi-tiered reward system with both free and premium levels. This comes along with the news that the game will be free to play this weekend, allowing everyone the chance for a test drive. This page has all you need to know about that. Here's more on tomorrow's Season Four: Episode One release, titled The Contractor:
Season 4 Episode 1: The Contractor will be accompanied by a new version of the optional multi-tiered reward system, The Motorpass. It offers both free and premium rewards including vehicles such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio Ed. (Street race), the Chrysler 300 SRT8® Limousine (Street Race), the Cadillac Coupe Deville Marco’s Cab (Street Race) and the Chevrolet 3100 The Rocket Co. (Street Race).

Apart from the Motorpass, Season 4 Episode 1: The Contractor will continue its free monthly vehicle drops letting players enjoy and drive new vehicles including the Ford Crown Victoria (Street Race), the Ford Crown Victoria Limousine (Street Race) or the Chevrolet 3100 (Street Race) all available on November 17th. Additional vehicles will be available over the course of the Episode alongside new vanity items, including new rooftops, as well as smokes, tires, underglows and window tints. This new season will also bring a batch of new LIVE Summit, the weekly PVP competition.

Far Cry 6 Vaas: Insanity Released

Here's more from Ubisoft: The release of Vaas: Insanity, new DLC for Far Cry 6 which adds new content to the open world shooter. It can be found on the Ubisoft Store and the Epic Games Store. Vaas: Insanity features a Breaking Bad reunion, allowing players to play as Vaas Montenegro (actor Michael Mando) from Far Cry 3. Here's a Michael Mando Video Interview discussing reprising his role. Here's word:
For the first time in Far Cry history, players will be able to embody Vaas Montenegro, the iconic villain from Far Cry®3, played by Michael Mando (Better Call Saul), who is reprising his role in a brand-new experience inspired by the roguelite genre. Blending intense action and storytelling, Vaas: Insanity will provide a unique opportunity to better understand Vaas’ past, personal demons and motivations.

Players will be able to dive deep into Vaas’ psyche in solo or two-player co-op. In addition, players who own Vaas: Insanity can invite a friend to discover the DLC with them for free if their friend owns Far Cry 6 and are playing on the same family of devices. This applies to all platforms the game is available on.
Continue here to read the full story.

Hammerting Officially Launches

Early Access to Hammerting is now complete, so the mining colony simulation has officially launched on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, and Steam. The version 1.0 patch notes can be found on Steam. No dwarves were harmed in the filming of the action-packed Launch Trailer. Here's a bit on the release, and what's new:
To coincide and celebrate today’s launch comes a hoard of new content, as well as online cooperative multiplayer gameplay. Controlling a colony of subterranean denizens, forge the most efficient mine possible and utilise every tool available to craft the ultimate subterranean base.

In addition to the cooperative gameplay that allows players to join up with friends to work together, the launch update introduces new game mechanics that provide further depth to the experience: Factions in the Overworld will now declare war against one another, sending armies to engage in combat until one side is crowned victorious; the ‘Book of Tings’ has been updated with new text and images, and topics are now categorised; ‘Hammertings’ can now be held in the Great Hall, bringing together the colony and granting bonuses to the Mountain Home; more items, materials, and recipes have also been added alongside a plethora of performance updates, gameplay tweaks, and bug fixes.
Continue here to read the full story.

Combat Mission Cold War Released

Battlefront and Slitherine now offer Combat Mission Cold War for Windows on the Matrix Games Store and Steam. This offers turn-based strategy set during the frostiness of the Cold War. This does not rule out multiplayer play, however, as it's the first Combat Mission game to utilize Slitherine's play by email system. Here's a trailer and a briefing:
Combat Mission Cold War is set in the tipping-point years of a conflict that gripped the world for 45 years. Between 1979-1982, both the NATO and Soviet Warsaw Pact militaries began the shift away from industrialized warfare of the early 20th century and towards the modern digital battlefield of today. Combat Mission Cold War simulates several “what if” conflict scenarios between US and Soviet forces centered on the strategic Fulda Gap and environs in West Germany. The game also simulates the early days of the US National Training Center (NTC) as US forces began to rapidly transform away from Vietnam era doctrine and towards the revolutionary AirLand Battle concepts that would define warfare in the modern era.
Continue here to read the full story.

Surviving the Aftermath Released

Surviving the Aftermath is now officially available for Windows on Steam, as this is the aftermath of surviving the Early Access process. The post-apocalyptic strategy game is also now available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For PC gamers, this post has the change log for the new version 1.0 and this one has reflections on the occasion from the developers at Iceflake Studios. Here's a Release Trailer and here are some details on the game, and the raft of DLC that will follow:
Paradox also announced they are staying true-to-form and providing post-launch content to Surviving the Aftermath, promising three expansions for the survival colony builder. Those ready for more adventures in the post-apocalypse can purchase the Surviving the Aftermath Expansion Pass for $24.99 USD / £21.99 GBP / €24.99 EUR on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

Restore civilization to the end of the world as you build your colony. Explore, trade, develop, and expand into a new world full of risk to reap the rewards. As the fearless leader of the colony, it is up to you to make the tough choices necessary to see your colonists through to a thriving dawn. Surviving the Aftermath launches alongside the Endgame content update, allowing players to uncover the secrets behind the world-ending event and prepare to survive another apocalypse.
Continue here to read the full story.

Two League of Legends Spinoffs Launch; Two More Announced

Riot surprises everyone with the launch of two games in its new line of spinoffs of League of Legends. Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story is now available for Windows the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, and Steam as well as on Switch. This is a rhythm running game that you can see in the Official Launch Trailer. The other is a turn-based RPG titled Ruined King: A League of Legends Story which is available for Windows on the Epic Games Store, GOG.com, and Steam. Here's the Official Launch Trailer for that one. Finally, Riot also announced two more such projects today, Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story and CONV/RGENCE: A League of Legends Story. Here's a summary from GOG.com:
That’s not all! Two more titles will arrive on GOG.COM in the future:

CONV/RGENCE: A League of Legends Story™ is an action platformer game where players will explore the spectacular world of Zaun as Ekko, a young inventor with an ingenious device to manipulate time.

Song of Nunu: A League of Legends Story™ is a gorgeous adventure game in which you venture into the idyllic but treacherous world of the Freljord as Nunu, a young boy on a quest to find his lost mother.
Continue here to read the full story.

Pro Basketball Manager 2022 Tips Off

Pro Basketball Manager 2022 is now available for Windows and macOS on Steam, offering the chance to get an ulcer managing a sports franchise. This includes a couple of licensed international leagues, though no NBA teams or players. Is this a slam dunk? There's a playable demo to help you decide. Read on for more:
Have you ever dreamt of replaying the last possession during the playoffs’ finals? Which player should have taken that last shot? With Pro Basketball Manager 2022 you become the coach of your favorite team and will be able to change history.

With more than 160 playable competitions - including 25 international competitions, 11 continental competitions, 12 female competitions, over 40 national cups - spread across 55 countries, you will never run out of new opportunities, each team will face different challenges depending on their league, budget or history.
All teams include updated rosters for the 2021-2022 season.

DRAGON BALL: The Breakers Announced

BANDAI NAMCO announces DRAGON BALL: The Breakers, a new installment in the series coming in 2022 to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch. This is an asymmetrical online game featuring seven-versus-one matches to combine both cooperative and competitive play. PC player interested in this should stay tuned for a Closed Beta Test announcement "soon." Cross your eyes and check out the Announcement Trailer and read on for the details:
DRAGON BALL: THE BREAKERS consists of 7v1 matches where seven normal “Survivors” have been sucked into a mysterious phenomenon called the “Temporal Seam” and must contend with the overwhelming power of the eighth player, the franchise iconic rival “Raider,” whose task is to obliterate the Survivor team. The Survivors don’t have any superpowers and must rely on various power-up items, weapons, and pilotable vehicles to battle and evade the Raider while searching for the Super Time Machine to escape oblivion. Concurrently, the Raider will be able to play as Cell, Buu, or Frieza and amass overwhelming power to destroy the Survivor team throughout the match, ensuring complete dominance.

DRAGON BALL: THE BREAKERS also features a Survivor character customization mode which enables players to design their match avatars by using familiar DRAGON BALL Survivor skins and decorative equipment earned with in-game credits or via optional in-game purchases. Additionally, DRAGON BALL: THE BREAKERS will link save data with DRAGON BALL XENOVERSE 2. Stay tuned for more updates in the future.
Continue here to read the full story.

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One Opens

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One is now available for Windows on GOG.com and Steam, offering a chance to live through the early adventures of the world's most famous consulting detective. Each store has preorder bonuses that are still in effect for the next week. Each includes a free copy of Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments and other goodies. Here's the Launch Trailer and more on the game, which thankfully was not titled Young Sherlock:
As Sherlock, your legacy is written by the decisions you make in this open world detective adventure. Deception, violence, and deduction are just a few resources in your arsenal—your mysterious companion and sounding board, Jon, is another.

Whether you choose brute force to solve problems or stay one step ahead of your enemies by using your wits to spot vulnerabilities, you decide what each situation demands as you hone your investigative skills. It’s time to confront your past so you can become the legend you’re destined to be.
Continue here to read the full story.

New GeForce Drivers

An update from NVIDIA discusses NVIDIA's "full stack of scaling solutions for gamers," including improvements in a new version 2.3 of DLSS. Also, this post announces the release of new game-ready Windows drivers for GeForce graphics cards. These aren't yet available through the for direct download, so this will require embracing experiencing the GeForce Experience for now. Here's word:
Our latest GeForce Game Ready driver ensures the definitive gaming experience in Battlefield 2042, which on PC is enhanced with NVIDIA DLSS, NVIDIA Reflex, and ray tracing.

In addition, there’s support for NVIDIA DLSS in Assetto Corsa Competizione, Bright Memory: Infinite, Farming Simulator 22, and Myth of Empires. As well as support for 9 new GeForce Experience Optimal Playable Setting profiles.

And together with a new GeForce Experience update, the driver introduces support for updated NVIDIA Image Scaling features in GeForce Experience and the NVIDIA Control Panel.

New Adrenalin Drivers

AMD now offers new Radeon Software Adrenalin drivers for running AMD Radeon graphics cards under Windows. The Release Notes call these version 21.40.03.01 drivers "Radeon Software Adrenalin for Halo Infinite," supporting yesterday's surprise launch of Halo Infinite multiplayer. Word is:
Support For

  • Halo Infinite™
    • Multiplayer mode

Continue here to read the full story.

Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodhunt Delayed

Sharkmob announces Founder's Early Access to Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodhunt will end on Monday, thanking players for their participation. The plan was to launch this horror-themed battle royale this year for PC and PlayStation 5. But now word is that its release is being put off until early next year to bring improvements based on what was learned during Early Access. Word is:
Feedback received from players over the course of Early Access has helped Sharkmob immensely in understanding where the game shines but also where they want to apply even greater focus to meet the high standards that both they as developers and the players expect.

The plan was to launch the game this year for both PC and PS5 as they moved out of the Early Access: Founder’s Season. Based on key learnings from this early season, they have decided to take the time needed to address the valuable feedback they have received and postpone the release until early 2022. During this period the public servers will be taken offline.

Bloodhunt Founder’s Season is coming to an end and public servers will close on Monday 22nd of November at 10:00 CET.

Op Ed

  • Dexerto - Halo Infinite's early launch makes CoD Vanguard & Battlefield 2042 look foolish.
    "2021’s season of shooters is now in full swing. Three gaming industry titans are jostling for attention together for the first time since 2015, with a new CoD, Battlefield, and Halo all dropping in the same calendar year.

    While Activision’s FPS franchise continues on with its annualized structure and EA pushes out a new Battlefield every few years, Microsoft’s next step with the Halo series has had more time in the oven than everything else. Just hours into Infinite’s launch and it’s immediately clear this extra time has paid dividends.

    While Vanguard and BF 2042 both suffer from critical launch issues, Halo Infinite appears to be thriving."

Out of the Blue

Well I'm glad I mentioned my face itching yesterday, since it prompted a few recommendations for beard oil. I always figured this was a hipster thing for glossy artisanal whiskers, so I've never tried it. But I've always had to power through this itchy phase whenever growing a beard. So the prospect I can find relief is enough to sell me, and I have some beard oil of my own on the way. I'll probably shave the whole thing off when November ends, but that's still two weeks of suffering I can prevent. Thanks again!

Well-oiled Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Stories

Science
Thanks Max.

Media

Follow-up

About That Ad Blocker
We see you're using an ad blocker. While we strive to make our ads behave, we understand your desire for peace and privacy. So please consider becoming a supporter to take advantage of the no ads version of Blue's News. This will help sustain our efforts to bring you the best in gaming and tech news without requiring you to see ads or suffer a guilty conscience. You'll even get a nifty forum badge that will be the envy of the neighborhood!
Support the Site!