Newsflash, newsflash, newsflash! Bethesda continues to lie about Fallout 76, EA sparks tension with David Rutter’s promotion, and even more outrage has been directed toward Cyberpunk 2077…
Yes, I’m back for another round of news. This time focusing again on the big three. Bethesda, EA and Valve! Yes Valve! But let’s start off with the biggest of them all. EA. Now I could talk about how NBA 2K20 is just an online slot machine, or the ongoing outrage about Apex Legends’ slow decent down the septic outflow pipe… But we’re focusing on the flagships here today. Battlefield 5 for starters.
So, recently EA has made a huge billion dollar decision, that FIFA boss, David Rutter has been made group manager of EA studios. He’s actually now the overseer for EA’s European division, including DICE, Criterion, and Ghost Games, which is currently preparing for the release of Need for Speed Heat. with EA stating to gaming news outlet Video Game Chronicle:
“David Rutter has moved to Europe and taken on the role of Group General Manager for EA Studios Europe, to lead creators at DICE Stockholm, Ghost and Criterion. For the last 12 years David has led our FIFA franchise and EA SPORTS development teams at EA Vancouver and EA Romania to amazing success.”Credit to Video Game Chronicle for publicising the above quote when reaching out to EA for clarification; https://www.videogameschronicle.com/news/fifa-boss-david-rutter-departs-ea-sports-studio/
Now I’m not a sports game fellow, unless it’s snowboarding, but as I understand it, FIFA and EA Sports games are pretty predatory with microtransactions and lootbox-type gambling. So I’d advise some caution about anything being released from DICE, Criterion or Ghost in the coming months. Especially since David Rutter was directly responsible for the notorious ‘Ultimate Team’ mode added into FIFA 09, pretty much the catalyst for today’s monetization issues… Or at least, partly so.
EA is clearly not learning any lessons here. A quote from a statement made on Gameindustry.biz by CFO Blake Jorgensien back in 2017 had this to say:
“Like Battlefield or Battlefront, our Star Wars game, which are very similar in the depth of play. We can possible add similar mechanics to that. We spend a lot of time thinking about it. Not for tomorrow but over the next couple of years you’re going to see more of that in our portfolios.”Credit to Gameindustry.biz for publicising the above quote; https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2017-03-01-eas-ultimate-team-now-worth-USD800-million-annually
So yeah, EA still hasn’t gotten the message that this sort of thing isn’t acceptable. They’re already facing a lot of backlash from their model of unstainable greed; consumers certainly did not like the last General Manager EA had overseeing things, so now David is in the firing line it seems. It’s fairly safe to say that moving forward, we will be seeing a lot more monetization in EA’s non-sports title games. EA specifically brought this guy in to make them as much money as possible, due to the recent slew of poor sales from Battlefield 5, Mass Effect Andromeda, Battlefront and Anthem.
Battlefield 5 is suffering especially hard, with recent content cancelations and delays that have fans frustrated and disappointed. The General Manager and VP for DICE, Oskar Gabrielson, even apologised to the Battlefield Community on Twitter:
At least someone at EA still cares about community; massive quotation marks withstanding of course. But Battlefield is a mess as it is.
…But now let’s talk about the massive blunder that is Need for Speed Heat. During a live, ‘Live! IGN’ interview, an EA representative, was asked if there were plans for monetizing the game. This representative said no, there are no plans to monetize the game and there will be no loot boxes – Then not thirty seconds later, stated there are plans to add a purchasable pack that reveals all in game collectables and a ‘car pack’ to let players buy new cars at their whim.
Let’s be honest, EA will probably be adding loot boxes in at a later date after all the nice 10/10 reviews come in.
Let’s move to greener pastures… Or shall we say, radioactive ones. Yes, Fallout 76 makes the news again with more of that lovely Bethesda greed – Now, Bethesda has made some progress in fixing Fallout 76 and small progress into mending community relations, but they, like EA, just aren’t getting the message. With Bethesda’s two latest flops, RAGE 2 and Wolfenstin: Youngblood, the future is looking somewhat bleak as Bethesda have been hiring a lot of monetization specialists recently.
With the ongoing Fallout 76 issues, the continued community disappointment and turn off, Fallout 76 is treading deep water, without a floatation device to boot. Bethesda has continued to add in more and more monetization to the game, breaking their promise of ‘no pay to win items’ multiple times now, and recently they have started adding in unique weapons, and labelling them as ‘skins’… When it is clear that they are their own unique entity.
With every addition to their ‘Atomic Shop’, the community continues to say things are going to get worse, but no one is listening it seems, or caring. Bethesda’s continued statements trying to justify every addition as ‘not pay to win’ are getting old, and it’s clear all they care about is your wallet and sucking every last dollar from it. Labelling all of it as ‘Player Convenience’, a bullshit excuse if ever there was one. Hell, even Fallout 4 and Skyrim are being eyed up for greedy monetization opportunities via Bethesda’s approved mods and downloadables. Bethesda wants to turn all their franchises to be live service type ordeals via the Creation Club.
Recent news has confirmed that Bethesda is adding the Capital Wasteland from Fallout 3 into said creation club, or at least, a portion of it, which has sparked a good deal of controversy from fans and community members, with confirmation that there will be eight new armour sets, based on Fallout 3.
Fans have been begging Bethesda for years for a Fallout 3 remaster, but this is probably all we’ll get. They’ll sell us an inferior nostalgia trip, bit by tiny bit. This is just the beginning, mark my words.
But now onto Valve! The godfather! A small entry for the news this week but a notable one. Valve is in hot water with the EU… In fact, Valve is fighting the EU; I am no law aficionado, but from articles I have read and videos on the subject matter, it’s regarding Valve applying ‘geoblocks’ to customers within specific EU countries to prevent them shopping in a different country’s Valve-owned storefront to get the cheapest possible deal. Think for example that a game being sold on the German Steam store, your home country, in this example, is valued at €40.00; the Italian Steam store however lists it for €10.00 due to a regional sale – EU law dictates that customers should be allowed to swap to the Italian store in this instance and get the cheaper deal, but Valve actively prevents this via their geoblocking. In fighting, Valve forfeits a 10% ‘guilty’ discount from the EU commission, and risks being charged an unspecified amount if the legal proceedings favour the EU.
More news from CD Red and Cyberpunk 2077. It seems Cyberpunk is in my news feed daily nowadays with more outrage from fans and more criticism and concerns from reporters and journalists – This time focused around the locked first person camera modes and customization concerns.
Further concerns about graphical quality; more boycotts… Oh boy where does it end..? I’d put it down to technical issues, myself – There is still 6 or so months till release, and they have plenty of time to polish and fix any issues that may be prevalent.
There is not much out of the new to really report on, however; people are a bit confused about the fixed first person perspective, as people are concerned and feel it should be optional, with most of the controversy being over the ‘no third person cutscenes’; CD Projekt Red stated it was decided against for the sake of immersion, which is a smart decision in my opinion. CD Red have stated multiple times now that immersion is their top priority for Cyberpunk, but fans and community members aren’t happy about it. I suppose it is warranted, some people have motion sickness and medical issues that could be affected by this decision; the game won’t be solely first person, third person cut scenes will be in game, just limited and far between.
To round things off this week, I’ll be passing you over to our recent article running over every single announcement at Nintendo’s 4th September 2019 Direct; Joe and Luke did a fantastic megapost that you should check out to get the lowdown!
That’s all for this week! Come again this time next week for more info on what’s going on in the gaming industry!Become a Patron!