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Doublejump Digest: May 5, 2019

by Doublejump

This week in gaming: Riot Games relents slightly, Epic Games buys Rocket League’s developer, Gearbox clarifies Borderlands 3’s microtransactions situation, 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:

Riot Games commits to ditching controversial employment practices for new hires:

After several employees threatened to walkout earlier this week, Riot Games has publicly noted that it will give new employees the opportunity to “opt-out” of having to undertake private arbitration when making sexual harassment claims.

“As soon as current litigation is resolved, we will give all new Rioters the choice to opt-out of mandatory arbitration for individual sexual harassment and sexual assault claims,” the company wrote. “At that time, we will also commit to have a firm answer around expanding the scope and extending this opt-out to all Rioters.”

The company also explained how its arbitration process offers similar rights to their employees as if they were suing the company in court before revealing its 90-day plan for implementing new human resource practices.

Epic Games acquires Rocket League developer Psyonix:

Psyonix made the announcement on the game’s official website late this week, with the company later clarifying that Rocket League will remain on Steam for the time being and that Steam users should expect “continued support”. Neither Psyonix nor Epic Games has revealed the deal’s value, but we should learn about a specific figure once the deal is finalised by “early June”.

Gearbox finally clarifies Borderlands 3‘s microtransaction implementation:

Following a stream of angry tweets from Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford directed towards Game Informer, publisher 2K Games told the outlet that Borderlands 3 will not feature “pay-to-win” in-game purchases.

“Players will have the option to purchase certain cosmetic items like character, vehicle, and weapon skins, but none of these purchases would be considered pay-to-win or impacting on the gameplay, like weapons or actual gear,” the publisher wrote.

Respawn has banned more than 770,000 Apex Legends cheaters:

Project lead Drew McCoy announced the figure in a new blog post on EA’s official website and added that Respawn also “blocked over [300,000] account creations” and reduced the number of matches affect by cheaters on PC “by over half” over the past month.


VIDEOS AND TRAILERS:

The Elder Scrolls: Blades – Early Access Trailer:

This looks like a throwback to classic Elder Scrolls battle screens.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night – Release Date Announce:

ArtPlay wantas y’all to know that it’s learned from your “feedback”.

Borderlands 3 – Gameplay Reveal Event Trailer:

There are a lot more varied locations to look forward to in this sequel!

Sonic The Hedgehog (2019) – Official Trailer:

This trailer isn’t that bad, is it?


INDIE SPOTLIGHT:

The Gardens Between is coming to iOS:

After finding critical success on almost every other platform you can think of, the Melbourne-made adventure puzzler is headed onto the App Store to take advantage of the beautiful displays Apple has made available. It’s set to be released on Thursday, May 16 at a cost of just AU$4.99, and it’s available for pre-order now!

VA-11 HALL-A is now available on PS4 and Switch:

Three years after its incredibly well-received release on Windows, Mac and Linux, Ysbryd Games has brought Sukeban Games’ “booze-’em-up” to PS4 and Nintendo Switch, with limited physical editions – as well as a collector’s edition of the Switch version – set to come later this year. VA-11 HALL-A will set players back US$14.99/AU$22.95, and Limited Run will have more information about the physical editions when they’re nearer to release.


OTHER NEWS:

  • Microsoft Windows Solitaire and Super Mario Kart are part of the 2019 Class of the World Video Game Hall of Fame: Museum of Play
  • Ubisoft announces this year’s Six Master Rainbow Six Siege competition: Official
  • Microsoft isn’t inviting Notch to Minecraft’s anniversary event due to his controversial opinions: Variety
  • Aussie Harry Potter fans can now pre-register for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite: Kotaku Australia
  • Overcooked! And What Remains of Edith Finch are this month’s free PlayStation Plus games: YouTube
  • A New report claims mismanagement at Star Citizen’s studios: GamesIndustry.biz
  • The Golf Club 2 Featuring PGA Tour and Comic Jumper lead this month’s Games with Gold offering: Xbox Wire

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Also published on Medium.

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