I have returned! After a short hiatus, I’m back, and oh boy do we have some news to cover. With this week’s episode proudly featuring Activision… So let’s get into the news.
It seems good old Mother Britain has had enough of the lootbox system in games – Following the USA’s lead, and after a frankly embarrasing showcase from industry lootbox advocates EA, the UK Parliament appear to be cracking down hard on loot box monetization, or at least they are getting things into motion – An article published by VG 24/7 laid heavily into gaming as a whole, with a rather scathing and long article that is getting a good modicum of attention from a lot of people; I highly recommend you give it a read, or even just a quick skim over.
Following on from our previous segment, it’s no secret that EA loves its FIFA games. Why? Ultimate team, that’s why. EA’s single biggest cash cow, and one that EA wants to implement into all of its properties and markets…
…However, their dreams and their cash cow may just come crashing down around them, with more and more governments worldwide cracking down hard on predatory and unsustainable greed based marketing plans currently in motion or in place within gaming. This includes, of course, lootboxes and predatory microtransactions, but also EA’s precious Ultimate Team format.
EA, for lack of a better term, essentially spat in the face of the UK Parliamentary Committee report on the predatory microtransaction and lootbox systems in current gaming media, as EA continue to try and spin their greedy model as unpredatory and acceptable, with little sympathy – Basically lying through their teeth to try and make themselves look good, by downplaying the damage their greedy business model has done to many families. They’re fighting this head on, and are throwing a lot of money at all these roadblocks that threaten to dismantle EA’s dream of rolling out not only Ultimate Team mode to presumably not just FIFA, but more predatory lootbox mechanics throughout all their current and future games.
Ah Anthem; is it good news or bad news this week? Well, actually, its good news… Sort of. Recently there have been decisions within BioWare to scale back on Anthem’s promised roadmap and various content, to focus on fixing the core issues of the game, with Head of Live Service, Chad Robertson announcing significant changes coming to Anthem’s ongoing content.
“We’re nearing the end of the Cataclysm, so I wanted to talk about what’s coming to Anthem. […]”
Further on he details:
“[…] So what’s next for Anthem?
We hear your concerns on core issues in Anthem and are acting on it. Those systems require a more thorough review and re-working versus quick fixes. We’ve got a team working on that now, and early results are promising.”Credit to Chad Robertson, Head of Live Service at BioWare; quote source: http://blog.bioware.com/2019/09/17/what-is-next-for-anthem/
He goes on in further detail to discuss the redesigning of the roadmap and what the overall goals for Anthem are going forward from this point. This being said, EA’s reputation of axing properties that aren’t making money – and BioWare’s performance as of late – has many people not particularly trusting. Especially after the announcement that the ‘Acts’ style of updates has been scrapped entirely. Yet, Anthem is now going free to play across all major platforms, so who knows, maybe this is a turn around?
So Call of Duty’s latest entry, the rebooted Modern Warfare franchise, is in full swing with back to back Beta’s having been rolled out these last few weeks. Overall opinions are positive, or at the very least a solid ‘Ok’ from most involved… However Activision have been following old Uncle EA rather closely it seems, starting off with an exclusivity deal of all things – Something that is not sitting pretty with fans of the franchise; now, Call of Duty is no stranger to exclusive timings for DLC and the like, however here, the optional Survival gamemode will be a timed PlayStation exclusive for a full year. Yes, a timed, exclusive PS4 only gamemode which was a staple back in Modern Warfare 3. Planned to run all the way up until October 2020; as I am to believe, the Survival mode is a pretty big feature for the new series as well, and since the standard Call of Duty cycle is one year… Well… Sorry Xbox and PC I guess..?
However! There are speculations that Activision is just outright lying about this ‘Exclusivity’ deal with PS4. ‘charlieINTEL’, one of the biggest Call of Duty websites out there, had this to say.
“There’s been a lot of conversation after Activision and PlayStation announced that the Survival Mode of the Special Ops mode in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will be timed exclusive on PlayStation 4 for one year.
Many players reacted negatively with some even canceling their pre-orders. Infinity Ward’s Studio Narrative Director Taylor Kurosaki responded on Twitter to some fans stating that the Survival mode is just a ‘sliver’ of the Special Ops experience in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.”Credit to Keshav Bhat, co-founder of charlieINTEL.com; quote source: https://charlieintel.com/iw-dev-survival-mode-is-just-a-sliver-of-spec-ops-says-decision-was-made-above-our-pay-grades/56897/
Kurosaki went on further on twitter replying to fans, and TheGammingRevolution, a well-known call of Duty youtuber, who has basically leaked the entire game already, refuted Kurosaki’s responses further on twitter, whereas Kurosaki stated in a now-deleted Tweet that “Survival Mode is just 1% of the game” TheGamingRevolution stated the following.
“Survival makes up 50% of Spec Ops with the missions being the other 50%… there’s 3 game modes at launch: Campaign, Multiplayer, and Co-Op. So 1/6th =16.6% of the game is PS4 exclusive content. Spec Ops isn’t just a measly addon”Credit to TheGamingRevolution, YouTuber; quote source: https://twitter.com/TheGamingRevoYT/status/1176643300213833733
All this has led to speculation that Activision is Lying about this Exclusivity deal or at least not telling 100% of the truth about it. When called out about these speculations, Taylor Kurosaki simply responded (In the same prior deleted Tweet) with “There are decisions that are above all of our pay grades that have to be considered”… And that’s that. But that’s not where it stops oh no, TheGamingRevolution continued on later about the various plans for Activision’s ‘player forward’ monetization plans for Modern Warfare, stating:
“Who wants 300+ emotes in supply drops, who wants 500+ titles, who wants over 200 sprays in supply drops
Weapons are coming too, forget any cosmetic only malarkey”Credit to TheGamingRevolution, YouTuber; quote source: https://twitter.com/TheGamingRevoYT/status/1176647126891282432
Do keep in mind that this YouTuber has been leaking information about the game for quite a while now – It’s pretty much been confirmed that yes, there will be a lootbox system or lootbox-style system for monetisation and microtransactions in game. Activision seem to just be ignoring the Black Ops 4 backlash entirely.
Can anyone say arrogance? ‘Cause that’s what this is sort of thing is sounding like. Well, it definitely seems like it because again, it doesn’t stop there, with allegations that Activision is stealing promotional art from other sources; Blackpowderedearth, had this to say.
“It has come to our attention that the latest #CallofDuty game featured a reproduction of one of our photos for @bravocompanyusa . This is completely unauthorized use of our art. Thank you for bringing it to our attention…”Credit to Black Powder Red Earth (@blackpowderredearth) on Instagram; quote source: https://www.instagram.com/p/B2uwl28glLm/
I’d wager there’s at least a cease and desist on its way to Activision. It isn’t the first time either, as there has been a few allegations of Activision doing this over the last seven months.
That’s all for this week’s issue; catch up with us next week and take a look at our other content, with plenty of the latest big name reviews and other content!Become a Patron!