Weekly Gaming Round-Up
Updated: Mar 22, 2021
Written By: Max Mitchelson
Edited by: Mary Joaquin
Welcome to the Weekly Gaming Round-Up!
Expected departures and dramatic developer disputes defined this week in gaming alongside many PS VR announcements. Sinking City developers urged players not to buy their game, Hardsuit Labs laid off a large portion of its staff, and Hogwarts Legacy's lead designer resigns over controversy.
Animal survival game Shelter 3 is releasing later this month, along with the divisive classic Doom 3 on PS VR.
Monday, March 1
Last week on Friday, The Sinking City’s developer, Frogwares, urged players on Twitter to not purchase its game on Steam today, the publisher Nacon responded.
The Sinking City was first delisted from storefronts after Frogwares claimed Nacon withheld around €1 million (about $1.2 million) in royalties, among other conflicts. On Oct. 28, last year, the Paris Court of Appeals determined that Frogwares had violated its contract by delisting the game without consent.
The developer refused to provide an up-to-date version to the publisher for rerelease. Nacon and pushes the blame on Frogwares, alleging that they followed through on both the financing for the game as well as the royalties delivered.
“Frogwares would like to revise the terms of the contract to their sole advantage. It's easy to play the victim, but all we seek is that Frogwares respect its commitments both in the contract and as demanded by the courts,” stated Nacon in a Steam post.
Tuesday, March 2
Last night, Hardsuit Labs, the former developer of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, laid off a large portion of the staff.
The sequel to the cult-classic RPG was reassigned to another team by publisher Paradox last week to reach development goals. Preorders were canceled, and the release is now indefinite. Tweets from various members of the narrative design team members seem to suggest the entire team was laid off.
The team suffered numerous controversies and delays, including the departure of many of its creative leads, one due to sexual harassment allegations. Hardsuit Labs has yet to comment on the latest line of layoffs.
Wednesday, March 3
The divisive id software classic Doom 3 is getting a VR adaptation on PS VR later this month.
The game was initially one of the first demoed prototypes for this generation of VR back in 2012, but now this full release will include Doom 3 in its entirety and its two expansions. Doom 3 VR boasts improved visuals as well as many practical features for VR, like quick 180-degree turns and vitals readings on the wrist to rework the HUD.
Unlike the reboots and the originals, Doom 3 leans into survival horror and is full of jump scares and dark hallways. It trades twitchy combat for tense and sometimes terrifying enemy encounters. Players will fight off demons and unravel the secrets of those who released them, all to stop hell on earth.
The game will be available on PS4 and PS5 (through backward compatibility).
Thursday, March 4
Developer Might and Delight announced Shelter 3 with a new trailer and release date of March 30.
Each of the shelter games allows players to inhabit the life of a different animal, learn their habitat, make difficult decisions, and above all else, survive. Players in the first two games controlled a badger and then a lynx. Now things are getting bigger as this latest installment player must lead a herd of elephants as the matriarch.
“As a new mother, you must protect your calf, but you must also take responsibility for the whole herd, protecting old and young from lurking predators and the threat of starvation,” Might and Delight state.
Friday, March 5
Troy Leavitt, lead designer on Hogwarts Legacy, developed by Avalanche Studios, resigned last night over his anti-social-justice youtube channel.
Liam Robertson, a contributor to 'Did You Know Gaming?', first spotted the channel and posted a screenshot of Leavitt's videos to Twitter. In his videos, Leavitt defends Gamergate, calls the #metoo movement a "moral panic," among several other anti-social-justice positions.
Leavitt announced his departure through Twitter and said:
This controversy adds to the pile, as Hogwarts Legacy also tries to distance itself from J. K. Rowling's transphobic views by allowing players to create transgender characters.
EGD’s Weekly Gaming Round-Up gives a quick look into the newest news in the games industry. From blockbuster triple-A games and indie startups and mods, the Weekly Gaming Round-Up covers it all.
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