Doublejump Digest: August 22, 2021

by Abir Chowdhury

This week in gaming: Ubisoft Singapore and Riot Games compete for worst gaming workplace, Aussies get a new PS5 model, Activision finally reveals Call of Duty: Vanguard, and more!


In the spirit of keeping our readers up to date with what’s happening in the video game industry, the Doublejump Digest is a brief collection of the major news stories from the past week. Keep an eye out for the Digest every Sunday night, and head on into the archive for news from weeks gone by!


FROM DOUBLEJUMP 


MAJOR NEWS

The Singaporean government is investigating the country’s Ubisoft office for potentially breaching workplace laws

Ubisoft seemed determined to beat out Activision-Blizzard as the worst place to work in gaming with the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) launching an investigation into Ubisoft Singapore this week.

According to The Straits Times, the TAFEP – which is Singapore’s official workplace welfare watchdog – received “anonymous feedback” on July 23 of media reports of allegations of sexual harassment and poor employee treatment. The TAFEP has called on anyone with knowledge of such acts to report it to the police.

The Straits Times added that, during a recent press event, Ubisoft Singapore Managing Director Darryl Long stressed the “need to start to change the way [that] we are perceived and the way we act internally as well.”

When The Verge asked Ubisoft to comment on the TAFEP’s investigation, a spokesperson stressed that the French publisher is intolerant of mistreatment and supports hiring the local workforce.

“We do not and will not tolerate discrimination or abuse,” they said. “We celebrate our international culture and work to ensure our teams are deeply integrated into their respective local communities.”

California government alleges that Riot Games has been delaying harassment investigation

Not to be outdone by Ubisoft or Activision-Blizzard, League of Legends developer Riot Games has also caught the ire of California’s Department  of  Fair  Employment  and  Housing  (DFEH).

This time, the DFEH has “asked” the Los Angeles Superior Court to “compel” Riot Games to comply with a June court order that required the developer to inform employees of their “rights” to contact the DFEH.

In its filing, the DFEH noted that it is illegal, under Californian law, for companies to prevent employees from contacting the government with concerns about their workplace environment and that it had successfully argued that Riot Games’ 2019 private settlements with approximately 100 female employees (who were allegedly advised not to speak with the DFEH) were unlawful.

When approached for comment, a Riot Games spokesperson told Kotaku that “this issue is mainly related to former employees” and that the company “has never and will never retaliate against anyone for talking to any government agency”.

Australia gets first shipments of new, revised PS5 model

Press-Start has reported that Australian suppliers have received the first shipments of a newly-revised optical drive-equipped PlayStation 5 (model: CFI-1102A) that features a new screw that eliminates the need for a screwdriver to attach the baseplate.

As of this writing, the outlet was not able to confirm if anything else has been revised internally or if the new model is lighter like the new PS5 Digital Edition.

Sigh, Call of Duty: Vanguard is yet another return to the series’s WWII roots

Activision Publishing and lead developer Sledgehammer Games officially took the wraps of their latest mainline Call of Duty title, Call of Duty: Vanguard. As with Sledgehammer’s own Call of Duty: WWII – in addition to Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 3, Call of Duty: World at War, and Battlefield VVanguard is set during the events of World War II.

The game’s campaign will take players on missions across the war’s four main theatres: the Eastern Front, the Western Front, North Africa, and the Pacific. Call of Duty: Warzone players can also expect to see the battle royale title’s Verdansk map updated to a similar WWII setting, but Activision has yet to confirm specific changes as of this writing.

Call of Duty: Vanguard is slated for a November 5 global release on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Halo Infinite won’t launch with co-op or Forge mode

In this month’s Development Update video feature, Halo Infinite Creative Lead Joseph Staten revealed that developer 343 Industries will not include the game’s co-operative campaign and Forge multiplayer modes at launch.

“Unfortunately, as we focused the team for shutdown and really focused on a quality experience for launch, we made the really tough decision to delay shipping campaign co-op for launch,” he explained. “And we also made the tough call to delay shipping Forge past launch as well.”

Staten added that the development team did not feel like it could deliver both modes in a way “that meets the quality bar across all platforms” at Halo Infinite’s launch later this year.

The Nintendo Switch clean sweeped the Famitsu charts for the first time in 33 years

According to Axios, the Nintendo Switch is the first console since the original Nintendo Famicom back in 1988 to sweep Famitsu’s Top 30 game sales chart for the week ending August 8.


NOTABLE GAME RELEASES

  • Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut (PS4 & PS5)
  • Humankind (PC)
  • Madden NFL 2022 (PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S)
  • Quake (PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One)
  • Twelve Minutes (PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S)

VIDEOS AND TRAILERS

GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE- — Season Pass 1 Playable Character #2 Trailer

Jack-O’ Valentine is back, baby!

WWE 2K22 — SummerSlam Trailer

Oh, boy. The facial animations still look dead.

Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut — Launch Trailer

The Iki Islands await.

Quake — Official Trailer (2021)

Where’s the ray tracing, though? :’(

Zombie Army — Legion of the Dead

Official game-related short films are getting popular, aren’t they?


OTHER NEWS

  • Epic Games has added an Among Us-style mode to Fortnite: The Verge
  • Destiny 2: Beyond Light’s Season of the Lost will introduce Stasis weapons: Polygon
  • Expect to see a new Saint’s Row game revealed next week: Kotaku
  • Intel’s Arc graphics card are due to start coming out next year: Engadget
  • Despite boasting 3.5 million players, Outriders still hasn’t broken even: Gamasutra
  • Check out this fans made The Simpsons: Hit & Run remake: Eurogamer
  • Years later, former 38 Studios employees are starting to receive their last payment slips: Gamasutra
  • World of Warships players are pissed off about its new monetisation features: Kotaku
  • NHL 22 will be the first EA hockey title to run on the Frostbite engine: Engadget

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Also published on Medium.

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