This week in gaming: We cap off 2018 with disappointing Riot behaviour, new Fortnite lawsuits, Walking Dead developments, 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!
This is the final Doublejump Digest for 2018. Thank you for all of your support throughout the year. We’ll be back on January 20th!
Riot Games suspends COO over alleged lewd behaviour:
Kotaku has received an alleged internal email confirming that the League of Legends studio has, in fact, suspended COO Steve Gelb for two months without pay and receive training over “inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour”. According to current and former employees at the studio, Gelb has frequently touched employees’ testicles and bottoms (as part of a “ball-tapping” prank) and farted in their faces.
CEO Nicolo Laurent told employees that he will “root” for Gelb as he “chose ownership and redemption” for his actions and that he will “leverage him as a great leader” upon his return to the company. Understandingly, employees have criticised Riot management for not issuing stronger punishment to Gelb, with one saying that “protecting their awful friends matters more than protecting their vulnerable employees.”
Carlton and Backpack Kid’s mum sue Epic over Fortnite emotes:
TMZ has reported that Alfonso Ribeiro, the actor who played Carlton Banks on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has filed a suit against Fortnite developer Epic Games over its use of his popular “Carlton” dance in the game as the “Fresh” emote.
“Epic has earned record profits off of downloadable content in the game, including emotes like ‘Fresh’”, Ribeiro’s attorney David Hecht told TMZ. “Yet Epic has failed to compensate or even ask permission from Mr. Ribeiro for the use of his likeness and iconic intellectual property.”
In related news, Russell “Backpack Kid” Horning later told the outlet that his mother is suing Epic Games on his behalf for the use of the “Floss” dance that he popularised as an emote in the game. David Hecht is also representing Horning alongside Carolynn Kyungwon Beck.
Both Ribeiro and Horning join rapper 2 Milly in suing Epic Games over alleged pilfering of dances that they either created and/or popularised.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season is now an Epic Games Store exclusive:
Skybound Games has inked a deal with Epic Games to ensure that all future releases of The Walking Dead: The Final Season on PC will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store. As part of this, customers who have already purchased the first episodes on other storefronts will still get to download the remaining two episodes from their place of purchase.
G2A comes under fire for charging inactive users to maintain accounts:
Game key reseller G2A has defended its decision to charge users of its G2A Pay digital payment system €1 (roughly AU$1.61) for not logging in after 180 days to recoup “upkeep” costs.
“It costs money to upkeep accounts (IT infrastructure, server maintenance, etc.) and if someone does not use the account, it doesn’t make sense to upkeep it,” the company wrote. “We don’t require these users to buy anything, just log in at least once every 6 months, just so that we know they are still with us. As a financial institution we are also monitored, supervised, and audited and have to back up and explain all our accounts and the funds stored on these accounts.”
G2A previously drew negative attention, back in 2016, over allegedly selling game keys that were fraudulently obtained.
Blizzard announces plans to shut down Heroes of the Storm Esports:
In disappointing news for the game’s fans and Esports participants, developer Blizzard Entertainment recently announced that it has begun scaling the game’s development back to focus on “long-term sustainability”. This should result in a slower content update cycles as Blizzard “shift[s] some developers from Heroes of the Storm to other teams”, with the company also effectively shutting the game’s Esports scene.
“We’ve also evaluated our plans around Heroes esports—after looking at all of our priorities and options in light of the change with the game, the Heroes Global Championship and Heroes of the Dorm will not return in 2019,” the company added. “This was another very difficult decision for us to make.”
As reported by Kotaku, various Esports personalities condemned Blizzard for the decision and especially criticised the use of a blog post – and not a more personal medium – to convey the news.
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS:
Control – World Trailer:
Remedy Entertainment is back at it with a mysterious new adventure.
DiRT Rally 2.0 – Rally Through the Ages:
We’ve got some real classics to look forward to driving!
Devil May Cry 5 – V Trailer:
I want my own animal Familiar for Christmas…
Life Is Strange 2 – Live Action Trailer:
Just under a month away, folks.
343 Industries chief Bonnie Ross will be inducted into the Academy og Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame: Xbox Wire
Bethesda will gift classic Fallout games to Fallout 76 players next month: PC Gamer
Tobey MaGuire’s suit from the 2000s Spider-Man films is coming to Marvel’s Spider-Man: EU PS Blog
Mojang is not bringing new Minecraft content to PS3, PS Vita, Xbox 360, and Vita: Eurogamer
Pokémon GO developer Niantic is running a competition for aspiring AR developers to use its Real World Platform: GamesIndustry.biz
Celeste leads January’s Games with Gold offering: Xbox Wire
Soulja Boy has brought out two more dodgy consoles: Eurogamer
Mobile gaming giant Zynga has paid US$560 million to acquire Empires & Puzzles studio Small Giant: GamesIndustry.biz
PUBG’s concurrent player count has crossed the million mark for the first time since January: Eurogamer
Kage (Evil Ryu) is Street Fighter V’s newest character: YouTube