Treyarch issues, letter to US government, more

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Transcript:

How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here from The Gaming Observer, and this is your Daily Gaming Update for June 27th, 2019. thegamingobserver.com for links and a transcript.

The Human Cost of Black Ops 4 – Jason Schreier

Jason Schreier has unleashed yet another important article, titled “The Human Cost of Call of Duty: Blacks Ops 4.” This one was unique in that while he did cover the insane amount of crunch they had to deal with, as usual with his articles, there was also a focus on the QA department. Apparently the company behind the Black Ops series, Treyarch, considers their contractors almost like a lower class. The entire department is on the second floor, while everyone else is on the first. They are rarely allowed to eat the catered food provided, and they park in a seperate parking lot 10 minutes away. They’re not even allowed to speak to the developers on the first floor. All of this with an insane work schedule, and on a wage where they struggle to pay the bills even on double overtime. Their office is in Los Angeles, one of the most expensive cities in the world, and these testers are still being paid only $13/hour. Did I mention that they got their holidays taken away as well? If it sounds like a sweatshop you wouldn’t be too far off, and it’s incredible just how badly these workers are treated. I encourage you to read the full article over on Kotaku, for even more information about the situation at Treyarch.

Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo write letter of opposition to U.S government

Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have written a joint letter of opposition to the United States government, regarding a proposed 25% tariff of many products. They hoped to get video game consoles excluded from the list. This was a vital move to make, as 96% of gaming consoles are imported into the US through China, and with their margins already being so tight, the tariff would inevitably fall to the consumer. They make some really good points in this letter, talking how every person in the process would be affected, and that general technical innovation would be impacted, with things like the Kinect, HoloLens, and Nintendo Wii being major innovations of their own. We’ll see how the government responds.

Glen Schofield leading Striking Distance, new narrative PUBG developer

Former CEO of Sledgehammer Games, Glen Schofield, has announced that he is now working for PUBG Corporation. Not only that, but he is at the head of a new studio called Striking Distance, based out of San Ramon California, and they are building an original narrative in the PUBG universe. An interesting approach, but it’s definitely a good sign to see Schofield at the helm.

Closed captioning is very popular in Ubisoft games

Ubisoft has revealed some accessibility statistics. The one making the rounds is that Assassin’s Creed Origins had 60% of players turning subtitles on in the options screen. So then, they turned it on by default in AC: Odyssey. Then, only 5% of people turned them off. So lots of people either like subtitles, or don’t care enough to turn them off. This is definitely something that developers should be paying attention to.

That’s all the news for today. Thank you for tuning in, and if you enjoy what I’m doing here, perhaps consider leaving me a review on Amazon, I’d really appreciate it. My name is Adrian Simple, see you tomorrow, and Happy Gaming everyone!

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