Archived News:

Wednesday, Nov 09, 2022

Disco Elysium Inferno

A couple of new rounds were fired today in the ugly situation at ZA/UM, where there is an ongoing dispute over how the Disco Elysium developer changed hands and the reasons its most prominent employees were dismissed. On the one hand, we have a post on Medium by Robert Kurvitz and Aleksander Rostov, game director and art director, respectively, of Disco Elysium. The pair allege that the studio was taken over via fraud, and that they were terminated from the company when they began requesting financial documentation related to their concerns. On the other hand, there's an interview on where the ZA/UM discusses details from an article in Estonian about the uproar. The company does not name names, but says the reason behind recent dismissals are manifold, including employees showing limited engagement, creating a toxic work environment, engaged in misconduct and gender discrimination, and attempting to illegally sell the company's IP. There is a lot to unpack here, but this bit from the piece tries to put a bow on it:
Sources that spoke to the Ekspress described a clash of two visions between the business team of ZA/UM led by Kompus, and the creative team formerly headed by Robert Kurvitz, which considered profit "secondary."

This was corroborated by our sources, one of which described the situation as "CEO corporate scheming on one side, a toxic auteur on the other."

ZA/UM said in its statement to that "The rumour that our decision to terminate the contracts of these individuals was taken for financial gain is entirely unfounded and does not in any way reflect the facts."

Call of Duty Season 01 Details

Call of Duty Blog has more of what Call of Duty players can expect on November 16th when Season 01 launches in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0. The post is extremely lengthy, but we have a handy summary:
Warzone 2.0 Overview:

  • New Map: Al Mazrah: Use 18 major points of interest to plot out your victory in Battle Royale or explore them en route to extraction in the brand-new DMZ experience.
  • DMZ: DMZ is an open-world, narrative-focused extraction mode where Operators have free rein to complete faction-based missions, take on additional side objectives, engage with enemy Operators or AI combatants, and search for valuable items, all while fighting to survive toward exfiltration.
  • Custom Loadouts are Back: Players will have quicker access to their Loadout’s primary benefit: The Primary Weapon.
  • New Backpack System: Fully integrated for DMZ and streamlined for Battle Royale modes.New Gulag: The Gulag will be a 2v2 environment where randomly paired Duos must coordinate to take down their opposition. It will also include a Jailer, who will appear in the middle of the match to help speed up combat.
  • Third-Person Playlists Coming In-Season to Warzone 2.0: For the first time in Warzone history, we welcome fans of third-person Battle Royale action during Season 01.

Continue here to read the full story.

Dark Souls Remastered Revived

FromSoftware tweets that Dark Souls: Remastered multiplayer servers for PC are back online. They were taken down back in January in what was planned as a temporary measure to address core vulnerabilities. Word is:
Online features for the PC version of #DarkSouls: Remastered have been reactivated.

Thank you once again for your patience, understanding, and support.

HUMANKIND: Together We Rule Released

Together We Rule is now available on Steam, offering the first full expansion for HUMANKIND, the strategy game for Windows and macOS. This adds diplomacy and espionage features, six new cultures and wonders, and more. It also comes alongside a free patch to update the base game for all players. Word on that is: "All HUMANKIND players will also receive a major free update called the 'Metternich,' which adds new Stealth mechanics, revamps independent peoples, allows for third-party battle reinforcements, and adds new UI options and improvements." Check out the Launch Trailer for a look at what to expect and read on for more:
See the world in a new light and manage conflicts differently with new gameplay features focused on diplomacy and espionage:

  • Congress of Humankind - Get involved in an inter-empire forum with the Congress of Humankind. The congress will allow players to vote and decide on global doctrines and arbitrate international conflicts together.
  • Embassy - Use this new Quarter to sign agreements that are beneficial for both empires, like joint training or research agreements. Or use your Leverage currency to force an empire to take specific actions to your benefit, like lowering war support or enforcing demands.
  • Agents - Use this new unit family to gather Leverage. They will also allow you to infiltrate, sabotage and disinform other empires.
  • Diplomatic Affinity + 6 New Cultures - The new Diplomatic Affinity allows its cultures to have a more active role in the world’s diplomacy.
    • Their Active Ability allows them to demilitarize a territory for 10 turns, while their Passive Ability allows all their units, beyond just agents, to collect Leverage.
    • The 6 new cultures are the Sumerians, the Han Chinese, the Bulgarians, the Swiss, the Scots, and the Singaporeans.
  • 6 new wonders, new narrative events, new music – Monument Valley, Pamukkale, Chocolate Hills, Eldgjá, Palace of Versailles, and the Congress of Humankind Headquarters.

Continue here to read the full story.

DOOM Eternal OST Follow-up

My full statement regarding DOOM Eternal on Medium is a lengthy post a couple of years in the making from Mick Gordon, who worked with id Software on the soundtrack for DOOM Eternal. This responds to a reddit post by id's Marty Stratton from May 2020, summarized in a report we linked at the time titled id confirms it's parted ways with Doom Eternal composer after soundtrack controversy. Saying he spurned a six-figure payoff to stay silent about the situation, Gordon flat out accuses Stratton of lying, saying "the truth is more important." Gordon outlines what a difficult project this was, alleging an unrealistic plan, obstacles to doing his job, and problems getting paid for his work. This probably could have used an editor, as it's a little hard to digest. Here's a bit that more or less sums up the situation:
Breach of trust: Reading the Reddit post made me sick to my stomach. Lie after lie after lie, all pointing to me as the fault while posturing himself as the one who did nothing wrong. What hurt me the most was the feeling I’d been duped. I openly trusted Marty. Just days earlier, he told me he wanted to approach the situation professionally. To collaborate. That he had no intention of disparaging me. During our call, Marty told me he avoids social media and never posts online because he knows anything he says becomes the “next day’s news”. But here he was, using his platform to launch a direct personal attack. A public shaming event. A big put-down in front of the entire industry. Why? I felt humiliated. It was immediately clear to me that Marty had hostile intentions all along. He never wanted to work together. He wanted me on the call solely to gather information to create a scapegoat he could blame for the failure of the OST.

Out of the Blue

The special logo now gracing our masthead in our desktop view is for SiN, the first-person shooter released by Ritual Entertainment in 1998. I set up a spreadsheet with our collection of logos and added release dates from Wikipedia to help remember anniversaries. Based on the SiN article on the Wiki I entered November 9th as its release date. Back in those days games were sold in these things we called stores, and press releases did not generally accompany launches. But it's clear from our news archive that SiN hit North American shelves well before the ninth. It looks like it was as early as November 3rd, and it was clearly widely available by the fourth. Anyway, I was determined to commemorate the game's anniversary today, so it's just off by a few days. SiN was an extremely fun game that advanced the shooter genre at the time. It even had a Blue's News Easter egg! It feels like it ended up being overshadowed by Half-Life, which, speaking of anniversaries, went "gold" on this date in 1998. As always, hats off to Walter "2" Costinak for the specialized logo, and thank you to Scott for fixing it for our current format.

Obituary: Synth pioneer Don Lewis has died at 81.

Sinful Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

Breakfast Link


Thanks Max.


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