What happened to Star Theory, Paradox union, more!

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TGO After-Show

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How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here from thegamingobserver.com and this is your daily news update for Thursday, June 4th. We have got a tremendous amount of major news here today, so let’s get this balling rolling.

My friends, we now have the story of what is going on with the development of Kerbal Space Program 2. So if you didn’t know, Take-Two Interactive acquired the rights to KSP, and the original developer of the game is no longer in the picture. Take-Two went to an0 indie developer called Star Theory to make the sequel. That team is known for the games Monday Night Combat and Planetary Annihilation, but this would have been their biggest project thus far. Development was going smoothly, apparently, however two years after they began, Take-Two pulled the plug, and decid ed to go with a brand new in-house studio. Here’s the the thing though, the company found out that their contract was done via LinkedIn, where every employee was messaged an offer to be hired by Take-Two at this new studio. This took everyone by surprise, and in fact more than a third of the company took the offer. This was chaos for Star Theory, because they were relying on the money from the contract, and they just lost a significant number of their employees, including the studio head, creative director, and lead producer. The people who were left tried to cobble together something to strike up a new deal with a publisher, but then the pandemic hit only a few months afterward, and they had to close their doors. KSP2 continues to be developed at what is now Intercept Games. This story comes our way of Jason Schreier, previously of Kotaku now of Bloomberg, and he said it right, “Even by the cutthroat standards of the video games business, Take-Two’s tactics were extreme.” He goes to say “Publisherrs like Take-Two control a project’s financing, marketing, and distribution , giving them a great deal of leverage over most developers they sign. The swift demise of Star Theory…highlight the frailty of those business relationships and the power dynamics within the industry.” I think this is a super sad story, and it’s amazing how quick it happened. It explains a lot of the confusion around that game over the past few months though.

Paradox Interactive will be signing a collective bargaining agreement with two leading labour unions in Sweden. This means that workers will have representation and a voice over things like pay, benefits, and presumably working hours. This is one of the few game developers in the world to do this, in fact I struggle to even name another one, certianly none as high-profile as this, and let me tell you it is desperately needed. Props to them for making it happen, the company has been growing like crazy, and this will hopefully help manage it. I’m a big fan of them, I’ve always had a good impression of the company. And hey, if I have any employees of Paradox listening, feel free to reach out and let me know how things are going over there, I’d love to hear it.

Sega is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a new mini-console. This time around it’s the Game Gear Micro, which is indeed very micro it’s got a screen that is one-inch wide. Now, they are releasing four versions of this, each a different colour, and each come with a different set of 4 games on them. It’s about $50 American, and will be releasing in Japan on October 6th. Though, there’s no news on western release just yet, and considering how niche it is I’m not sure if it ever will, but I’m sure collectors will have their eye on these.

I’m going to steal a headline from Rock Paper Shotgun here, “Sea of Thieves has dropped anchor on Steam.” That’s right, the game is now available there for $40, and it will have cross-platform play and progression through the Windows store and Xbox. This is just in time for its newest update, and obviously a flock of new people playing the game, so no better time than now. Hop into it with a few friends, I’m sure you’ll have fun.

Alright folks that is going to do it for today, thank you very much for joining me here. There’s still a bunch of news I couldn’t get to, so I’m going to try and push it to tomorrow, and if I can’t then I’ll talk about it on Saturday. Anyway, I’d like to thank SalZilla and Nix for leaving me 5-star reviews on Amazon, as well Ishan for leaving one on Apple Podcasts. That’ll be all for today, see you in the after-show or tomorrow with the news. Until then, happy gaming everyone.