This week in gaming: E3 returns this year, EA acquires Glu Mobile, Riot Games’s CEO comes under fire (again), 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!
- Ed named Cranky Watermelon’s Boomerang Fu as his Game of the Year for 2020.
- Kate explored BioShock Infinite’s flawed depiction of a people’s revolution.
- Tom reviewed Destiny 2: Beyond Light’s Season of the Hunt and found its story to have carried an otherwise slow content rollout.
The ESA is planning a virtual E3 this year
According to Video Games Chronicle, the Electronic Software Association has planned for this year’s E3 to be a fully online event that “would see three days of live-streamed coverage” held during June 15 – 17 local time.
In the leaked documents, the ESA outlined plans to “hold multiple two-hour keynote sessions from games partners, an awards show, a June 14 preview night and other smaller streams from games publishers, influencers and media partners”.
Furthermore, in private messages with VGC, one of E3’s long-time collaborators, Geoff Keighley, confirmed that he will not be involved with E3 this year either, choosing instead to focus on his very own summer event, Summer Game Fest.
Similarly, VGC confirmed that there is at least one major games company that has refused to sign up for E3 2021, citing that it will instead “continue to run its own separate digital showcase” instead of paying a six-figure sum that is allegedly required to join the official E3 schedule.
EA acquires mobile publisher Glu Mobile for US$2.1 billion
EA has continued its summer of acquisitions by announcing plans to purchase Diner Dash, Design Home, and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood developer Glu Mobile for approximately US$2.1 billion. According to the official press release, EA sought Glu to not only expand its mobile game “portfolio” but also to create new “mobile live service games” and “deliver strong recurring revenue”.
New lawsuit blames Riot Games’s CEO for toxic culture
Former Riot Games Executive Assistant Sharon O’Donnell has filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles County Superior Court against CEO Nicolo Laurent in which she accuses him of creating a hostile work environment at the company. Her suit also includes allegations of sexual harassment and unlawful termination.
The League of Legends and Valorant studio denied the allegations of wrongful dismissal in a statement to the Washington Post.
“The plaintiff was dismissed from the company over seven months ago based on multiple well-documented complaints from a variety of people,” the company wrote. “Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”
Riot has also stated that an internal committee has begun conducting an investigation alongside an external law firm.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Riot Games has come under fire for its workplace culture. In 2018, Kotaku released a damning report into a pervasive atmosphere of sexism and toxic “bro culture.” This report led to a class action lawsuit against Riot as well as two investigations by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Game of Thrones’s Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey sign on for HBO’s The Last of Us TV adaptation
Following last month’s announcement that indie Russian director Kantemir Balagov will be directing The Last of Us’ pilot episode for HBO, Deadline has now reported that Pedro Pascal is set to star as Joel. This continues Pascal’s prolific run after playing the villain in Wonder Woman 1984 and the titular character in Disney’s The Mandalorian.
Furthermore, according to another Deadline report, Pedro Pascal’s Joel will be joined by fellow Game of Thrones actor Bella Ramney as Ellie. Ramsey is best known for her role as Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones, but she has also made appearances in His Dark Materials, The Worst Witch, Two For Joy, and Princess Emmy.
While neither HBO nor Naughty Dog have not announced a release date for the show, but fans can rest assured knowing that it is in good hands and is, in fact, being worked on by Naughty Dog’s own Neil Druckmann and Even Wells, among others.
Jack Black to voice Claptrap in live-action Borderlands film
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Jack Black has signed on to play the iconic robot companion Claptrap in the upcoming live-action Borderlands movie. The movie also stars Cate Blanchett as Lilith, Kevin Hart as Roland, and Jamie Lee Curtis as Patricia Tannis. The House with A Clock In Its Walls Director Eli Roth will direct the film, which is based on a script by Craig Mazin.
The Borderlands movie was originally announced back in 2015 but has lingered in development hell since then before finally making headway in early 2020.
NOTABLE GAME RELEASES
- Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury (Switch)
- Little Nightmares II (PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One)
VIDEOS AND TRAILERS
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart — Release Date Trailer
June 11, people. June 11!
Little Nightmares II — Official Launch Trailer
Tarsier’s back for another round.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury — Launch Trailer
Why can’t everything in the world be cat-themed?
Persona 5 Strikers — Liberate Hearts Trailer
And here I was thinking that this was a Persona-themed soccer game.
Epic Games Store — Spring Showcase
Kingdom Hearts, Oddworld Soulstorm, and Chivalry II are coming to PC via the EGS.
- Steam users have broken another concurrent player record: Eurogamer
- Google plans on releasing 100 games on Google Stadia this year: Engadget
- KomodoHype is now Twitch’s official PogChamp emote: Kotaku Australia
- Tales from the Borderlands will return to digital stores later this month: Polygon
- Hackers got access to Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s source code: Twitter
- 505 Games is going to publish Eiyuden Chronicle: Eurogamer
- Unreal Engine users can create realistic looking people using the new MetaHuman Creator tool: Official
- Scientists have discovered that pigs can learn to play simple video games: The Conversation
- Ex-Bungie developers are bringing back Six Days in Fallujah: Eurogamer
Eduard Gafton, Cai Holroyd, and Abir Chowdhury contributed to this article.
Also published on Medium.