The serious business of making games

Marathon was the first multiplayer shooter I played. A bunch of us played it on the Apple IIs in the newsroom after we put the college paper to bed each night.

I had literally no idea that there are websites that let you sell CSGO skins for cash and then have built gambling sites on top of that. The video describes popular streamers that got in bed with these sites and played them on stream at rigged odds to entice viewers to play and lose money. Viewers who are often kids. Oh, and Valve has half-heartedly cracked down periodically, but never closed their API to shut it down because of course they’re benefitting.

This has been a problem for years. This case started in 2016:

Oh yeah, crazy problem with the CS:go skins gambling. I remember reading about this in 2016.

Been happening for 6 years. Valve certainly could do more, but they also have been pretty consistent with their policy of having the API open just as a standard, and being more “why should we change when they are the ones that suck” about it. It is a bit idealist for sure. I will have to watch the PMG video though, because they make really great stuff.

Another acquisition.

I believe that should read “Dead Island 2 delay to April '28”

Nicole Carpenter at Polygon made a primer for unionizing the video game industry:

Shout out to Nicole, who is a great reporter.

Oh, also: 300 QA workers at Zenimax (part of Microsoft) are voting to unionize, and Microsoft is not standing in their way.

Looks like FTC is pumping the brakes on MS buying activision/blizzard.

Why everything in USA is based on suing?

Isn’t the FTC a regulatory agency of the government? Why do they have to sue?

I’d think of it as having a way for the non-FTC party to be able to make their argument for why the merger should to a neutral 3rd party. The alternative is that the FTC says the merger can’t happen, then if Microsoft wants to argue their case they have to argue it to the government agency (or some part of it that may or may not appear to be impartial) that already said they couldn’t.

Because the government doesn’t have absolute power?

Isn’t this how it works in most countries with a rule of law?

Not really. Generally the government agency makes a decision and if the subject objects they challenge it, either in court or a dedicated tribunal.

Oh I gotcha, I see the distinction. Just about who is doing the suing.

Yep, same over here in Germany. Any major merger or acquisition of this kind would require the approval of the authorities. If the deal is not approved, the companies in question can appeal or make concessions (as Microsoft does by offering a 10-year offer for CoD to remain on other platforms), but not receiving approval is not akin to getting sued. The deal simply can’t happen.

Looks like FTC bagged itself an Epic catch:

I was surprised to see this make my local news and had to Google Epic’s projected revenue this year. $6.27 BILLION?!? Guess they can afford that tax.

In all seriousness, I’ve got a couple young kids who are just starting to need online accounts and parental controls, and Epic’s were pretty solid (as of maybe six months ago when I set them up.) Everything goes through the parent’s email and 2 factor authentication, and a PIN is configurable to be required for purchases, logins, enabling chat, and more. Other services have felt way more predatory or just opaque.

I’m all for regulatory backpressure against Epic wildly profiting from child-driven financial decisionmaking, but I’m more worried about other services.

UK developer Archer Maclean has passed.

As crazy as it seems now to say it, Jimmy White’s Snooker was a god damn revelation at the time.

The staff at Proletariat Games, recently acquired by Activision to support WoW development, are moving to unionize. What’s unique about this is that it covers all the departments at the studio, not an individual one like QA.