Gamers Make Their Move Following USA’s Immigration Ban

Insomniac Games

Immigration Ban

Last January 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order stating the ban of immigrants entering the United States from seven countries. As stated in the executive order, these countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. And now, there is a recent news that the order will be ‘streamlined’. This news shocked the world and urged the gaming community to take action. Players, developers, publishers – the whole gaming community joined hands and made their own statements regarding the immigration ban. Read on and hear the various opinions and views made by the developers and publishers we all support and love.

Unity

Immigration Ban: Unity

 

For those of you who’s been living in a rock for the past decade; Unity is a renowned gaming engine that powers various video games that you might have played. Here are some of those games: War Commander: Rogue Assault, Werewolves Within, I Expect You To Die, Superhot, Ori and the Blind Forestand – the game that reminds us all of the beauty of Shadow of the Colossus – Prey of the Gods.

Now that we got that out of the way; Unity’s CEO, John Riccitiello, sent an internal message to Unity’s employees expressing the effect of the immigration ban to the company’s core values. He also stated that Unity is willing to match the donations (up to $1000) that the employees donate. The donations will be given to reasonable charities/countries like ACLU. Unity is also willing to fly 50 developers from the list of countries impacted by the immigration ban to the upcoming Unite Amsterdam. Now that is awesome.

 

ESA

ESA

Alright, I’ll say it real quick: ESA is the one behind E3. Multiple AAA developers and publishers refer to ESA’s statement. Here, have a look at their statement:

“The Entertainment Software Association urges the White House to exercise caution with regard to vital immigration and foreign worker programs. As a leading force in technology and exporter of entertainment, the U.S. video game industry thrives on the contributions of innovators and storytellers from around the world. While recognizing that enhancing national security and protecting our country’s citizens are critical goals, our companies rely on the skilled talent of U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, and immigrants alike. Our nation’s actions and words should support their participation in the American economy.”

Insomniac Games

Insomniac Games

The developers of Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive made their stand publicly with a video. Insomniac’s founder and CEO Ted Price said, “We at Insomniac Games stand united in strongly opposing President Trump’s immigration ban. There’s no question that these orders will harm us as a company, and many of our team members”.

He also begged the question, “We ask, is this the American way? Is discriminating based on religion, faith, or national origin American? Absolutely not.”

Price also asks those who support Insomniac games to make a stand and let their voices be heard. If you want to watch the whole video, you may click here.

Microsoft

Microsoft

Of course, Microsoft! Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, posted a while back about an email that was sent to the company’s employees. In the email, Microsoft states that the company is willing to provide legal advice and assistance for their employees and for their families who are affected by the order.

Aside from a lot of employee support from the developers and publishers. Some companies showed their support in a different way. For example, Humble Bundle offered bundles of games for only $30. Some of the bundles include: The Witness, Stardew Valley, Super Meat Boy, The Stanley Parable, and a lot more.

These are just some of the statements that developers and publishers made in response to the recent immigration ban. How about you? What do you think of the executive order and how do you think does it affect the gaming industry? We like to hear your thoughts in the comments down below. Let’s talk.

 

Enough Is Enough, Ubisoft…

Ubisoft

While browsing the internet in a tired stupor, I stumbled upon an article that immediately piqued my interest in all of the wrong ways. Within the piece, there was a quote from Assassin’s Creed writer Darby McDevitt in which he proclaimed that Ubisoft would be working on the Creed series until at least 2025.

Surely this is just a joke, right? After rubbing my eyes and attempting to wake myself from this nightmare, I was both crestfallen and ultimately unsurprised that this was no dream, nor was it optical trickery.

Of course this was real. Of course Darby was telling the truth. It is Ubisoft, it is an age of on-disc DLC, pre-order bonuses, pay-walls, day-one-patches, and unfinished products being sold on shelves without consideration for the consumer.

It is the world we live in. Assassin’s Creed is but one tiny entity in an amoeba of absolute bulls#&t, and I’m sick of it.

 Assassins-Creed-3-Perch

I – Hey you, with the suit… your hubris is showing.

I want to begin by analyzing the quote that started this whole thing.

“We’ve created 500, 600, 700 years worth of history that we hope to start teasing out for the next 10, 20 years or however long we’re around. I particularly love the lore. I’ve been working the past two years, with all the other writers, on getting a great document together on the First Civilization.”

At first it seems harmless. The guy has passion, I’ll give him that. He seems excited about the world they have crafted and having such an immense wealth of material at your disposal would make anyone optimistic.

The problem is that he talks about this as if it will actually last the next one to two decades. He assumes that his project has the means of surviving this long and that the fan base that he is so eager to cater to will remain interested after several years of absolute bollocks.

At this point it must sound like I’m about to start ripping into Darby for his words, so I’ll just state for the record that my anger is not directed towards him. My anger is directed at Ubisoft. When you take into account their track record and the rather arrogant attitudes they’ve had as a public entity, it’s safe to assume that Ubisoft definitely has this plan in mind. Of course they’ll try to suck every last dollar out of the fans to make a profit on this series. It makes sense from a business perspective, but they go way too far every time.

The assumption that Ubisoft can keep Assassin’s Creed as a franchise afloat for two decades is not only a sign of hubris, but a sign of blind greed. We’ve seen what happens to popular franchises like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, and it’s becoming a case of history repeating it self.

 

It’s worth mentioning that Assassin’s Creed’s sales figures are a bit of an early sign, as both Rogue and Unity combined sold on par (10 million) with Black Flag alone. Another example of this is that Brotherhood managed to almost topple (8 million) both Rogue and Unity’s sales as well.
It’s worth mentioning that Assassin’s Creed’s sales figures are a bit of an early sign, as both Rogue and Unity combined sold on par (10 million) with Black Flag alone. Another example of this is that Brotherhood managed to almost topple (8 million) both Rogue and Unity’s sales as well.

Away from the quote, I’d like to focus on the apparent five hundred to seven hundred years of lore that is being established for the franchise. I get that to build a great story, you must have a strong foundation. Tolkien proved this with his stories, and countless other authors and designers alike. it is disheartening however, when the products we receive from Ubisoft are coming packed with almost no story development. As the series has gone on, the main plot has taken such a back seat that it was almost non-existent in recent titles. This is the story that drives you, and it is neglected every single time in some manner so that it can be further extended into fifty more sequels.

 This practice is like spreading a small portion of butter over a large piece of bread. It has been spread too thin to have the taste you desire, rendering each bite a tease. I’m tired of being teased and mocked with this ‘modern day’ story that grows increasingly uninteresting and stale as we spend countless hours sailing ships and climbing buildings just to find out that Desmond took a breath!

 If you have so much lore and story planned, start using it to build better stories now rather than thinking so far ahead. Your franchise is in dire need of revival, and it might help if you focus more on the present instead of on what you could potentially do in years.This is assuming your shameless company doesn’t go under.

ACU_Screenshot_LuxembourgRiot

II – Self control is a thing of the past.

We’ve briefly touched on the prospect of popular franchises dying because of arrogant and selfish publishers sucking out every iota of magic that their intellectual property had. I think it is important that we look to the past to mold the future, something Ubisoft is clearly incapable of doing.

With Assassin’s Creed, you had an exciting and fresh – albeit limited – IP with a ton of potential. It was well received and sold well, so a sequel made sense. Assassin’s Creed 2 came out around two years later, armed with a ton of significant improvements over the original game. It was a breathtaking experience, and though it didn’t do much to change the combat or mission structure, it was a hallmark product for Ubisoft.

They started off with a bang, that much is sure. As the titles came out however, it came with increasingly shorter development times, increasingly large and disconnected studios teaming up for development, and a reckless abandonment of much needed polish and evolution in the form of new mechanics and the like, they’ve gone downhill at a rapid rate.

Beyond this, Ubisoft seemingly wanted to make every new game ‘bigger’ than the last. If you read my piece about why less is more, you’ll remember that my stance was this. While ‘more’ is great and fun, more for more’s sake is an awful way to do things.

Each Assassin’s Creed game after 2 that wasn’t simply a direct Ezio sequel, tried to outdo the last game by being bigger. Bigger worlds, expansive landscapes, endless side quests, eventual naval combat. While some of this stuff is excellent, each game comes out more unfinished and broken than the last. Biting off more than you can chew is not a good idea, and it seems Ubisoft doesn’t learn from their mistakes. Having a four hundred thousand gigabyte patch to fix what was possibly one of the worst abominations we call a ‘game launch’ in recent memories, proved this notion.

assassins-creed-2-pc-14

III – Give us what we desire.

If you’ve visited any Ubisoft or Assassin’s Creed message board, group or facebook page, you’ll see that there are always talks about what the fans want to see in the series. Ubisoft did a much appreciated survey that listened to players feedback to help mold the series, and that was a great first step. The second great step they took was that they actually fixed some of the long-standing problems the series had, such as the free running mechanics and mission structure. AC Unity was a good for this, but the game was still bogged down in many many other ways.

We can credit them for listening (a bit) but there are many more problems and requests for the series that go completely ignored. Where is our revamped combat system? Where is our fully finished, stable, bug free product? Where is our asianic setting that everybody and their Grandpa wants?

“Feudal Japan would work as an Assassin’s game, for sure, but I feel like it would start to look like ‘oh, have I played this?’ You know what I mean – ‘oh, I’ve been a ninja before, I’ve been a samurai before.” 

That’s where it is according to Alex Hutchinson, creative director for Assassin’s Creed 3. It is entirely bogus if you ask me, and I’ll tell you why.

Think of the last time you got to run across rooftops as an assassin in feudal China or Japan. Think of the last time that you were able to have a one on one showdown with a cloaked Samurai. Think of the last time you were able to navigate through the architecture that makes the feudal Asian time periods so interesting. You probably thought of games from the 90s and early 2000s that either sucked hard, or were cult hits that didn’t sell well enough to stay around this long.

The fact is this: We do not get these types of games any more beyond a few low budget flops. There is a huge market for them again, but the biggest franchise for playing as an Assassin neglects it, and it’s disheartening.

ACRO_Preview_Screenshot_Island_Gang_Air_rifle_aiming_1412933431

IV – The fans deserve better.

While I could talk all day about how lazy and vapid the Creed series has become, or how Ubisoft absolutely can’t find a single clue amongst their massive stack of cheddar, I’d like to end this with a statement. The fans deserve better.

Ubisoft is a company. Companies exist because of, and survive on, money. Consumers who buy the company’s products are the people that fuel the company to continue doing work. We can’t expect every company to then bow down to the consumer because of this fact, but a little appreciation would go a long way.

Ubisoft has earned a massive fan base that will basically mail them free money in the hopes that a new Assassin’s Creed game will come out. They should be recognising this and trying to make their games all the better for the fan’s sake. Hell, let’s just forget the fans for a second and say that they should do this for their own sake. Build up that reputation again Ubisoft, you sadly need to at this point.

New Assassin’s Creed Unity CG Trailer and Gameplay

Assassin’s

Every year’s Assassin’s Creed game gets a fantastic Cg trailer, and Unity is no exception. This year’s trailer features the four assassins we saw earlier today at Microsoft’s presser, again helping the revolutionaries get an aristocrat. They also announced that the game’s base progression will be different. A mission was demonstrated where a target was given, and instead of being locked into that objective the player walked away, preferring to take the target at a different time. Wile he strolled the streets the assassin picked up side quests, explored buildings and searched for more info on the target.

The gameplay showed some new traversal mechanics, like jumping from the series high vantage points to poles on a building and swinging off of them. After finally tracking down his target, the assassin took time in determining his approach, maneuvering around and above his location to see which best suited his intended strike. They also announced that the game’s base progression will be different. A mission was demonstrated where a target was given, and instead of being locked into that objective the player walked away, preferring to take the target at a different time. Wile he strolled the streets the assassin picked up side quests, explored buildings and searched for more info on the target.After striking down his target and facing a wall of guards, the player is backed up yet again by his three friends. The demo ends, and it feels to me like Assassin’s Creed is trying to return to it’s roots. Be the judge yourself, and check the gameplay and trailer below.

CG:

Gameplay:

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Assassin’s Creed Unity to add Co-op, New Gameplay

Ubisoft revealed today, during Microsoft’s E3 press conference, that next-gen exclusive Assassin’s Creed Unity will be the first entry to feature co-op. You and two additional friends can now sleuth around revolutionary France coordinating for complex assassinations.  The gameplay followed four assassins sneaking into a mansion in order to disrupt the guards, allowing the rebels to kill a local aristocrat. The game looked gorgeous. and featured some new mobility features that appear to make the gameplay even more fluid than before. For the first time in the series complete buildings enter the world, with complete floor plans that can be used to cut through a building.

Be sure to check back after Ubisoft’s press conference for more news on Assassin’s Creed Unity, and keep up with all the E3 new with Vgamerz.