Games journalism 2019 - Everything is streaming


There’s an article over Waypoint about extending the argument about millennial burnout to video game burnout as well. And here it is!

I tend to think this applies to a specific subset of gamers, those who make their living writing about video games, which to be honest has never sounded like much fun to me. But I’ve only recently discovered what “FOMO” stands for, and I guess there’s this constant fear of missing out that is gripping people these days? I recognize that most of us around here fall on the, you know, upper end of the age scale and maybe can’t relate to this particular fear. But it’s hard to deny that we’re flooded in games, good games, and it can be hard to keep up. I guess at some point you have to give up trying or just go nuts.


I am still burnt out on games after more than four years away.


This is false advertising: the guy is writing about game writer burnout, not some new sort of gamer burnout. It is why I stopped writing about games very quickly in my youth, experiencing the abondance of free titles flooding the good titles into the same mass as the plain or mediocre ones. It is also why I don’t envy people who choose to become game critics.
It’s also puzzling to me how people can think of a position they don’t like as one they shouldn’t quit. Trying to rationalize it by saying they are so lucky, that it’s such a good job, because it is about entertainment? But why should it be different from any other job? I think it might actually be worse, because of the perverse aspect of having your job also overflow in your free time, if you don’t have totally unrelated centers of interests to keep you fresh.

As for gamers, you talk about being exposed but we have the freedom to choose what we play, and while a lot of us are burdened with backlogs, I don’t think a lot of us get anxiety attacks because of our lack of time versus the number of games we own. If anything, I have the feeling that the majority of gamers I know say “fuck it” and launch Plants vs Zombies for their 101st playthrough as a way to comfort themselves.


Yes, you basically said what I did, but you used more words so you probably win. I don’t use Qt3 as a yardstick for measuring gamers in general - were a pretty self selected old fart crew, for the most part. We know what we like and while we’re open to being exposed to new ideas and games, I don’t think any of us stress out over the newest cool thing.

But, at least based on my poking around at other games boards, it seems like a lot of people do. You’ll see lots of posts about how this game is really the best game of the year, don’t sleep on it! And lots of folks getting caught up in the social aspect of gaming discussion. I don’t begrudge them that, everyone enjoys their hobby in their own way, but I can see someone feeling left behind if they can’t participate in the zeitgeist because they don’t have the money or the time to participate. At least after I chase them off my lawn.


I was just thinking about this concept from the player standpoint in the context of the upcoming release of Kingdom Hearts III. There’s a very real phenomenon of “if you don’t get this game on release and marathon it, some asshole on YouTube is going to spoil a major plot point for you in the thumbnail of a video the site automatically recommends because it’s popular,” and we’re at a point where this happens with basically any narrative-focused game and is especially bad with sequels to long-running series. It’s gone past FOMO into “fear of having part of your gaming experience ruined because you didn’t dive into your preloaded digital copy the moment it unlocked on release night, ignoring all other media that might talk about the game until you finish it.”


I can see where he’s coming from, but if you’re not actually a video game writer, you owe it to yourself not go too overboard with that sort of thinking. I dunno, slap yourself sane or something. Screw it, you can’t play every game, even the ones you’re interested in.

It is pretty overwhelming that 2-3 new AAA game come out every month and each one represents 20 hours at least to finish and 50-100 hours to master. It’s a commitment, especially if your free time is limited. And that’s without talking about the 20 indie games that come out each and every day on Steam.


I have so many thoughts about this whole thing, which I may write up tomorrow if I’m not too consumed with hanging out with my kids and doing housework.


Yeah Douglas Bader was a childhood hero of mine.


More Gearbox news: their former counsel filed a discrimination claim, with allegations against Gearbox, 10 days before Gearbox filed its November lawsuit.

On Monday, Ars obtained the formal October 27, 2018, filing made by former Gearbox general counsel Wade Callender. Its existence suggests that Gearbox’s November lawsuit could be retaliation for his claim with the Texas Workforce Commission’s Civil Rights Division. It alleges that Gearbox (and CEO Randy Pitchford in particular) engaged in “harassment, discipline, inequitable terms and conditions, and discharge” due to an employee being Christian.


And really, is there nothing more Christian than falsely accusing someone of possessing child pornography in a court filing?


This whole “You can say anything in a court filing” thing is weird to me. Over here you have to accompany your claim or witness statement with a statement of truth. Now it’s certainly the case that claimants will put their best foot forward and may go beyond what the evidence can support, but it’s certainly not the case that you can just make up shit wholesale. You may not get prosecuted for it but you’ll certainly piss off the judge and may have costs awarded against you.


It’s the same thing in the US.


Ironic when paired with this thread title.


IGN with another review issue!

Here is the current Resident Evil 2 review:

It includes this part:

(In an earlier version of this review I mistakenly played through the first versions of Leon and Claire’s stories back to back, which are even more similar. Having now played Leon’s 2nd Game, I’m still disappointed that there’s only marginally more new things to see and do there.)

A screencap from the old review:

The difference? 8.8 to 9.0.


I care about this just enough to ask someone to briefly explain what the hell they are talking about for RE2 in two sentences or less.

Some weird campaign structure? Is it the same as the original game?


from Steam:

Re: “Voice actors not paid?”

Hi all. It’s come to our attention that there’s information going around that we are not paying our voice actors. I’d like to shed a little light on this, as I feel that some misunderstandings and/or cases of our errors have begun digging a grave for us that we are doing our best to avoid.

During the time we’ve been developing MTAP and been working with voice actors, we have sent out countless payments, and have listened and adjusted our methods and systems several times when we discovered that something didn’t work. Did we make errors? Yes, we did, and we are not proud of them. But did we ignore them and leave people out in the cold? Absolutely not. We have attempted to address every case that was brought to our attention, and have always been ready to fix any errors on our part.

So, what went wrong? Obviously something isn’t right.
Past. Disconnection and difficulty in communication, and lack of clarity and explanation. We are still an inexperienced and ambitious studio, and did not have a solid structure in place to maintain adequate links to our actors and maintanance thereof, and this caused several issues. It started from volunteer work, to paid work, then to contracted work. From 11 voice actors to 60+. Why didn’t this work?
With our initial casting, we outlined an initial pay, along with additional pay once the game was completed. Everyone who auditioned at that time agreed to this, or they should not have auditioned. Those who auditioned and were accepted, recieved that pay, and would recieve the final pay on completion of the game.
Three months ago, a third party individual posted a thread on these boards declaring the statement that actors were being mistreated, and were not being paid, and that we were making excuses of “not enough funds”. That thread remains on this board with no instances of bans, or post deletions, because frankly, we have a habit of blaming ourselves. So, we spent the next 3 months establishing direct contact with our actors, attempting to fix line of communication, feeling that was where the issue was. We communicated with what actors were willing to come forward and share their feelings, and in turn, we concluded that periodic payment would be a better course of action than what we had plotted prior. Communication increased, payments were made, but it still wasn’t enough. The swift urgency of change brought some inconsistencies and conflictions with our structure, slowing things down, and timelineness not being handled appropriately… Ontop of that, was the initial pay that lingered as an intent to be a part of the full pay. This led some actors to submit a few lines, not meet the “credit”, and then in turn, we asked them for more lines without them having recieved any pay.

Over this last weekend, we have been addressing this as best as we can. We sent out payments to all actors whether we had implimented their lines or not, but this still left some people not recieving pay, due to that “credit”. After interacting with a few of those in question, it was made clear that this just wasn’t fair. We removed that credit/deduction, and are currently in the process of getting out the payments as due.

Right now, our top priority is making sure everyone is met with what they were expecting, rather than what we had in mind. We have grown attached to these voice actors, and are disheartened that we seem to be doing everything wrong. We wanted to include voice actors because we know how important they are for bringing something to life, and we wished to be as fair as possible to them, and show them how important they were. We are just simply an inexperienced studio that did not understand how to manage this best. In the future, we will be signing on a professional vo company to handle these things for us. It just didn’t work for anyone.

We appreciate all the voice actors that have supported and helped better our system, and My Time at Portia. They have given us patience, advice, suggestions, tips, and encouragement, when they were obligated to do none of those, and we will continue to return that appreciation the best we can.
We are still working to get all VO’s in the game, and I apologize to those who feel the game incomplete without them, along with any voice actors who feel we’ve not been fair.

Just a little thing going around. There credit systems sounds… weird. I assume there are several times when people work and have lines that are not used in an particular game, just like movies, but they still get paid.


Dear lord, that sounds like…inexperience is definitely the kindest spin you can put on it. I certainly hope that I never have to put up with that profound of a lack of professionalism in my own life.


It’s weird because you want to give them some slack because they are inexperienced, but at the same time, these other people’s livelihoods they’re messing with and communication fell apart so badly some of these actors went to the Steam forums to get it addressed.

I feel bad for everyone involved, but at the end of the day, one group wasn’t getting paid, so they get a bit more of my consideration.


So was it later casting that was messed up somehow? Did the VAs want more payments between the initial one and the one scheduled upon completion of the game? Did some not get the initial payment? What are the VAs upset about?

So the VAs decided that their initial agreement wasn’t to their liking and an adjustment to some sort of periodic payment still wasn’t? Did Panthea somehow mislead the VAs? Because based on the post from Pathea it sounds like the VAs are breaking their agreement, but then Pathea is acting like they somehow messed up too. I don’t get it.


Yeah, my strong impression from the whole story is “Pathea seems super confused and has no business being in charge of anyone’s income.”