Epic crunch culture, MK 11 controversy, more

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How is it going everybody, Adrian Simple here from The Gaming Observer, and this is your Daily Gaming Update for April 25th, 2019. My school is officially over, no more exams whatsoever, so hopefully a lot less days off from here on out. Let’s get into the news, there’s lots of it.

Major crunch culture at Epic Games

A huge Polygon article came out recently from Colin Campbell, who talked to employees of Epic Games, specifically those working on Fortnite. Essentially, for as much praise as that game gets for being constantly updated, it comes at a price. Most employees are regularly working between 70 and 100 hour weeks. The executives will say that the overtime is voluntary, but most know that if they do not participate, they will be fired. This might remind you of the Schreier article on Rockstar a while back. The big thing I take away from this is that we need to start supporting developers who give their employees proper workloads. We shouldn’t point to Fortnite as the gold standard of battle royale, because the human sacrifice is too large to justify it.

China reforms game laws

China has officially reformed their rules on video games, which have even more restrictions. There are three genres of games that have been banned, which are gambling games, including Mahjong, any game that deals with the Imperial history of China, as well as any game that has corpses or blood. The blood was always a thing, but now developers can’t just change it green and call it slime. No blood at all, they say. Of course, having to adhere to censorship is never ideal, so hopefully this won’t make too large of an impact on the industry.

Controversy around Mortal Kombat 11

There has been a tremendous controversy around Mortal Kombat 11, which just released recently. The game has been critically praised, but the userbase is much more unhappy. There are a lot of far-right user reviews talking about how the game bows to social justice warriors. The examples used are mostly the female characters being better clothed, and because one of the characters has an ending where he abolishes the slave trade, which is apparently racist against white people. Other than that though, it has a pretty significant microtransaction issue which they are apparently remedying soon, so we’ll see what happens with that.

Custom scripts added to Overwatch

Overwatch is adding a Workshop mode, which allows you to use custom scripts to create new game modes, and even prototype a custom hero. It looks like they’re taking the Valve route of opening up the game for innovation, ala Dota 2. I’m looking forward to what this can accomplish, because there has been a lot of success with this type of idea previously.

Okay, that’s your Daily Gaming Update thank you for tuning in. I’d like to thank Aaron for leaving me a 5-star review on Amazon, thank you! As always I want to also thank Brandon, who supports the show through Patreon. I am Adrian Simple, have a magnificent day, and Happy Gaming everyone!

 

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