Respawn Entertainment calls out its community over harassment of devs

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It’s not every day that you see a large developer striking back at its community. However, that’s exactly what has happened today with Respawn Entertainment. Respawn are best known for creating Apex Legends and has recently fired back at its community over the harassment of its developers.

The announcement made via a tweet on Respawn’s Twitter account. The tweet reads: “We welcome community input, however the line between construction feedback and the harassment of our dev team cannot be crossed”. It also goes on to emphasize that to protect its employees Respawn is taking a “zero tolerance,” stance and is willing to “take appropriate action”.

To close out the tweet Respawn shifts the focus from harassment to praise. The Apex Legends developer acknowledges that community feedback is important in creating the best experience possible. However, that doesn’t excuse the abuse and attacks being made against certain Respawn employees.

The exact trigger for this tweet is unclear but it’s fair to say that Respawn has a point. Some particularly vocal members of the Apex community regularly criticize individual developers and are not afraid to make it personal. There are even some professional players that are guilty of this. Wanting changes in a game you love is one thing but attacking developers directly is never acceptable.

Abuse of developers

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Unfortunately, stories like this are not all that uncommon. Respawn may be the latest developer to be affected by community harassment but it certainly isn’t the first. And realistically speaking it won’t be the last either.

The difficulty for developers is figuring out what they can do to stop it. For the worst offenders legal action can be taken but that doesn’t work in most cases. There are countless hateful comments posted on social media every day from anonymous accounts. It’s not easy to take action against those accounts in a meaningful way.

Leaked gameplay of Diablo 4 has surfaced showing off 40 minutes of action

It’s the season of leaks with Grand Theft Auto 6 being leaked over the weekend. Following that is today’s development of another major upcoming AAA game being leaked, Diablo 4. Leaked gameplay of Diablo 4 has been spotted showcasing over forty minutes of action.

Diablo 4 is Blizzard Entertainment’s latest entry in its popular action RPG franchise. An official reveal of Diablo 4 was probably not too far away but fans don’t even have to wait for that anymore. Reddit user iV1rus0 spotted the footage and uploaded it to r/GamingLeaksAndRumours. The leaked gameplay of Diablo 4 appears to be from the friends and family alpha test that was announced back in August.

Although the footage is watermarked by a banner that reads “Private Test Build,” we can still get a good idea of what’s happening. Gameplay wise Diablo 4 looks a lot like its predecessors. This isn’t overly surprising given how successful that design has been. Diablo 3 sold over five million units and the more recent Diablo Immortal generated over $100m in revenue.

The conversation between the testers suggests that the person responsible for the leak was not associated with Blizzard. However, those streaming the leaked gameplay appear to be someone who got access to the Diablo 4 alpha through a Blizzard employee. Given that this is a clear breach of NDA it’s likely that someone is going to be in a lot of trouble.

GTA and now this?

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Having two major AAA games leaked in just two days in unheard of. But it isn’t thought that the leaked gameplay of Diablo 4 and the GTA 6 leak that preceded it are linked. The two leaks following each other so closely is just a coincidence albeit a wild one at that. Leaks are nothing new to gaming but publishers don’t like the idea of their big project being shown long before release. No one wants their beloved game to be revealed through means out of their own control.

Warzone 2 is bringing proximity chat to Call of Duty for the first time

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Over the last few days Activision has been unveiling all kinds of new information about Warzone 2. The sequel to Call of Duty’s popular battle royale game is releasing on November 16. It is changing a lot of the old Warzone gameplay mechanics but one feature has players talking more than any other. Call of Duty: Warzone 2 is introducing proximity chat to Activision’s signature FPS.

Proximity chat is a fairly common feature in survival games. Titles such as Rust, DayZ, and Ark have been using proximity chat to encourage unique user interactions for years. However, it isn’t as common in competitive games and even less so in battle royale games.

The only notable battle royale games to feature proximity chat are PUBG: Battlegrounds and Fortnite. Even then it’s isn’t exactly a core mechanic in either of those games. In fact, you can only enable proximity chat in Fortnite whilst playing its Among Us inspired Imposter game mode.

But that isn’t the case in Warzone 2. Warzone 2 will have always on proximity chat enabled in all of its game modes. This not only lets players talk to one another but also can be used for positional scouting. By listening to an enemy’s voice, you’ll be able to figure out what direction to head towards. It’s a fun social mechanic for those that enjoy that kind of thing.

Can I turn proximity chat off in Warzone 2?

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From the limited information Activision has given it would appear so. From what we understand players will be able to disable proximity chat in the game’s audio settings. Although even if there isn’t an official option it won’t take long for players to work around it. PC players for instance could just set there in-game microphone to something not being used and then talk to their friends on a platform like Discord instead.

Assassin’s Creed Mirage given rare Adults Only rating due to gambling

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A worrying development has bene revealed about Assassin’s Creed Mirage. Recent reveals about the upcoming parkour action game have listed Mirage as an Adults Only rated game. If true then Assassin’s Creed Mirage could become the first ever AAA game to release with an Adults Only rating.

Mirage’s controversial rating has been awarded by the ESRB. The ESRB are responsible for age rating games in North America. In general, they rate games based on the present content from E for Everyone up to M for Mature. These provide useful guidelines for consumers and parents to decide if a game is suitable.

However, there is a rare additional rating that is almost never seen. Above Mature is AO for Adults Only. This is a rating usually reserved for sexually explicit games, online gambling, and exceptionally offensive content. It is unheard of for a mainstream game to launch with this rating.

However, on the Xbox Store Assassin’s Creed Mirage has been listed as having an Adults Only rating. The reason for this is because the ESRB has determined that it contains ‘Real Gambling’. We’re not just talking loot boxes here. Real gambling means that you bet real money for a chance of getting bigger returns back. This classification is often given to online casinos and digital slot machines but never to video games.

A false alarm?

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Although its Adults Only ratings has Assassin’s Creed fans worried it could still be a false alarm. After the Xbox store listing publisher Ubisoft uploaded a trailer for Mirage on its official Instagram. In this trailer Assassin’s Creed Mirage only has a ‘Rating Pending’ rating. That would mean that the ESRB hasn’t finished rating it yet and the Xbox Store listing could be incorrect. Although it’s also possible that Ubisoft is fighting the rating and refusing to list it in official marketing material in the meantime.

Kiriko is the final hero coming to Overwatch 2 on launch day

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The name of the final new hero being added into Overwatch 2 has been revealed. The 35th playable hero in Overwatch 2 is called Kiriko. The rumored fox girl has been known to exist for some time but specific details about her were unclear. However, recent leaks have revealed a lot of new information.

The first reference of Kiriko was spotted on Battle.net. The official Overwatch 2 page listed a legendary Hinotori skin for the “latest hero Kiriko,” as one of the premium battle pass perks. This was further validated by John ‘Wanted’ Lin a professional Overwatch League player. Whilst steaming he stated he wants to main a character called “Kiri…” before quickly stopping himself after realizing what he was about to say.

And now the third and perhaps most substantial leak of all has dropped. An unfinished version of what looks to be an Overwatch 2 cinematic for Kiriko was posted on YouTube. Overwatch publisher Blizzard was quick to take it down but the community had already taken their screenshots and reuploaded it all across the internet.

Based on her name and the environments in the cinematic Kiriko seems to be of East Asian descent. Kiriko is an uncommon Japanese name that can mean hope or refer to something of value. The specifics of Kiriko’s background are still unknown and all we can do for now is speculate based on what we see in the cinematic.

Kiriko is pay-walled

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In a first for Overwatch 2 Kiriko will not be available for everyone on day one. Instead, Overwatch 2 players will either have to level up the battle pass or purchase the premium battle pass to unlock her. This will make Kiriko the first ever Overwatch hero to be locked behind any kind of monetization. This decision has not gone down well with many members of the community feeling as though it goes against what Overwatch is all about.

New BioShock patch makes its unplayable on Linux devices

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Publisher 2K Games recently released a series of patches for BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite. These were described to be “quality of life updates,” but further information was not provided. However, now the updates have released it’s clear that this was not the case with Linux players now unable to run BioShock.

The supposed quality of life updates were actually introduced to add 2K Launcher integration. 2K Games is trying to move its titles to its own launcher but is having to tweak older titles to make that possible. Unfortunately, an unintended side effect of these patches is that none of the three games affected now run on Linux devices.

It’s troublesome that Linux PCs are affected but the real issue lies in the handheld market. Many handhelds run on Linux software including Valve’s Steam Deck. The portable PC’s entire selling point is that it can run Steam games on a handheld device. But as of this patch none of the three BioShock games function properly on the Steam Deck anymore.

Thankfully, there are work arounds to get BioShock running on your Linux devices. All three games still run via Proton 7.0-4 on Steam Deck. Proton 7.0-4 is the latest version of a piece of software intended to make running Windows only applications possible on Linux.

Probably an accident

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Even the biggest sceptic will acknowledge that this was probably just an accident. 2K doesn’t benefit much from alienating its Linux audience even if that audience is relatively small. We expect 2K to work on a fix at some point in the future to give Linux users easy access once again. However, if this happens in a few weeks’ time or in the distant future is unknown. All Linux users can do is pray that 2K Games values them enough to take action sooner rather than later.

Domina removed from Steam following developer’s transphobic comments

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Valve has removed Domina from its platform. Domina is a pixel graphics strategy game developed by Dolphin Barn Incorporated. For the longest time it was actually a very well received indie game with many praising its impressive combat. However, the recent comments of one developer have resulted in Domina being removed from Steam.

As with any other update patch 1.3.25 for Domina came with an accompanying set of patch notes. But these patch notes didn’t exactly detail what had changed. Instead, they were used as a platform for lead developer Nicholas John Leonhard Gorissen to rant about transgender people.

Gorissen’s troubling patch notes read: “We’re Out of Ideas, Mentally Unstable, Totally Degenerate, & Desperate for Clout – Let’s Pretend We’re a Completely Different Game to Regain Relevance!”. This article mocks deadnaming which is when someone deliberately and maliciously uses a trans person’s name from before they transitioned. The patch notes were targeted toward Keffals, popular Twitch streamer.

Domina being removed from Steam wasn’t just a reaction to this though. Gorissen is a repeat offender having previously lost his cool over Steam’s review system. He claimed that many of the negative reviews for Domina were “fraudulent,” and therefore he should be able to flag them. The rant was very dramatic with Gorissen even calling out Gabe Newell himself at one point. In reality, most of these reviews were perfectly legitimate and he just didn’t like that his work was being criticized.

Valve’s response

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After removing Domina from Steam Valve followed up with an official response. It states that Dolphin Barn Incorporated had been given prior warning that further action would run the risk of its games being taken down. The developer’s continued failure to follow the rules has left Valve with no other option. Based on its history with handling cases like this Valve is unlikely to ever let Dolphin Barn Incorporated publish on its platform again.

The Resident Evil Netflix series has been cancelled after just one season

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Fans of the Resident Evil Netflix series have been hit with some bad news. Despite the efforts of all involved the production of the Resident Evil Netflix adaptation has been cancelled. The first season broadcasted earlier this year but its story will not be continued.

The series itself started out strong bringing in over 70 million hours’ worth of viewers in its opening weekend alone. However, this viewership shrunk over time and ended up falling into mediocrity. Many fans and critics alike felt that although it wasn’t awful it wasn’t exactly great either. There was some appreciation for the attempt made to honor the source material but the overall execution left a lot to be desired.

There hasn’t been an official reason as to why the Resident Evil Netflix series was cancelled but we can take a pretty good guess. Netflix probably doesn’t think that a sequel is worth producing as it won’t be able to attract enough viewership. A fair verdict given that sequel series rarely outperform their predecessors unless they are exceptionally well received.

In defense of the show its shortcomings as an entertainment product weren’t the only reason it failed. Be it bad luck or poor planning Resident Evil was broadcasted during the launch of The Sandman and the final few episodes of Stranger Things. With such strong competition it was difficult for Resident Evil to lure viewers in. Although that doesn’t excuse its inability to keep those around who did give it a chance.

Netflix adaptations

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Although the Resident Evil Netflix series has been cancelled there are several more video game Netflix adaptions on the way. Some examples include Dragon Age: Absolution, Devil May Cry, Tekken: Bloodline, Bioshock, Cuphead, and Assassin’s Creed. How they’ll all turn out is to be seen but the demand to see our favorite games on the big screen is clear.

Creative Assembly is creating a new action game to diversify its line-up

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Developer Creative Assembly have recently announced some exciting news. The British games developer has been responsible for a variety of successful projects including Total War and Alien: Isolation. Creative Assembly specializes in grand strategy games but looks to be moving away from that for its new game.

The announcement of a new game was posted on the developer’s official website. Although details are sparse it does describe the game as an “action project,” as well as a totally “new franchise”. That means that this won’t just be a Total War spin-off. Creative Assembly is creating something entirely new unlike anything it has made before.

A new action game is certainly an interesting choice as a differs so much from what Creative Assembly is known for. Traditionally, it has worked almost exclusively on strategy games. Seeing Creative Assembly now consider creating a new action game suggests that it is looking to diversify its line-up.

Even so, Creative Assembly clearly understands the potential risk of this announcement alienating its core fanbase. In the announcement it clarifies that Creative Assembly Sofia will continue to work as a dedicated Total War team. It does not intend to move resources away from its signature franchise to facilitate this new title.

Not its only project

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This is not the only project that Creative Assembly is currently working on. Hyenas is a flashy multiplayer shooter that was revealed a few months back. It promises to be an ambitus multi-platform FPS that will be able to survive in the industry’s most competitive genre.

If you’re interested in trying out the other new game made by Creative Assembly you won’t have to wait long. Players can already sign up to the alpha for Hyenas on the official website. However, the closed alpha will only be available on PC so console players will have to remain patient.

PGA Tour 2K23 gets October release and Tiger Woods is back

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PGA Tour 2K23 has been given a release date. The upcoming golf simulator published by 2K Games will launch on October 14. Those who purchase either the Deluxe or Tiger Woods Edition will be able to play early on October 11.

Yes, you heard that right. Golf legend Tiger Woods is back with his very own special edition. What’s even more exciting is that the PGA tour wins record holder will feature as the cover star for PGA Tour 2K23. This will be the first time he has appeared on the cover of a major golf game since Electronic Arts’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14.

Following the announcement of its release date Woods spoke about being the cover star for PGA Tour 2K23. He states: “It’s great to be back on the cover of a video game,” and goes on to describe 2K as the “perfect partner”. Woods isn’t the only sports icon to make an appearance either. Basketball legend Michael Jordan will be playable too.

We also found out some new gameplay details about PGA Tour 2K23. It will feature 20 licensed courses and 14 unique playable golfers. More content will be added post-launch with 2K looking to implement a long-term business model. Also, if you purchase either the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 version of PGA Tour 2K23 ahead of its release you will have access to the next-gen version at no additional cost.

Multiplayer limitations

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Unfortunately, PGA Tour 2K23 will not support cross-play. This means that players on different platforms will have no way to play with each other. This isn’t the first 2K sports game of 2022 to not deliver on this feature. Just last month 2K also revealed that NBA 2K23 will not have crossplay either. It’s a huge disappointment as competitor EA is making an effort to introduce crossplay to its sports games. If 2K follows suit in the future is to be seen.