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Doublejump Digest: October 10, 2021

This week in gaming: a hacker exposes Twitch’s guts, Eidos-Montreal takes a major step, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio confirms a Yakuza: Like a Dragon sequel, 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 

  • Ben’s had some time with Xbox Cloud Gaming, and although game streaming isn’t a new technology by any stretch of the word, he found it to be the first time it’s been truly good in Australia.
  • Deathloop does have a couple of significant issues, but Kate found that its delectable aesthetic, slow-burn story and great voice acting come together to negate those issues and create a very good video game that’s well worth your time.
  • In Episode 35 of Doublejump Radio, John and Abir had a chat about Squid Game, BAKI, Film Victoria’s recent game funding round, Twitch testing new features, and the announcements that came out of this year’s Tokyo Game Show.


MAJOR NEWS

Hackers leak Twitch’s source code and payout info, former employees reveal company’s profit-first culture

According to Video Games Chronicle, an anonymous hacker has leaked the entire Twitch platform to 4chan via a 125GB torrent. An anonymous Twitch source confirmed that the leaked data was legitimate.

The massive data breach includes source code for the Twitch platform, creator payout reports from 2019 to October 2021, and code for an unreleased Steam competitor called “Vapor”.

This news follows the rise of organised “hate raids” in recent months, which targeted minority group streamers, and the subsequent #ADayOffTwitch protest that saw a notable dip in Twitch viewership.

The user who posted the original torrent link stated that their goal was to “foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space” because “[its] community is a disgusting toxic cesspool”.

Following the breach, a former Twitch employee told The Verge that management consistently ignored safety concerns in favour of profits: “If it wasn’t generating revenue, then it wasn’t valued as highly.” Additionally, sources added that Twitch would regularly choose not to disclose platform security issues, allegedly leaving streamers at risk of scammers.

Eidos-Montreal is first AAA studio to move to four-day workweek

Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy developer Eidos-Montreal and support studio Eidos-Sherbrooke have announced that they have shifted to a four-day work week to create a more “healthy, creative, and sustainable work environment” – essentially becoming the first AAA studio to make this pro-employee move.

Head of Studio David Anfossi noted that the companies are not looking to “condense” the equivalent of the typical 40-hour work hours into four days but to instead make sure that more work can get done per hour.

“The idea is not to condense the working hours into 4 days, but rather to review our ways of doing things and our quality time invested, with the aim of working better,” he explained. “Above all, we want to increase the productivity and well-being of our employees.”

He later added that the studios hope to become desired places to work and maximise employee performance through this major move.

“The studio aspires to an optimal attraction and retention of its talents, effective recruitment, a reduction in the rate of absenteeism and the rate of sickness, better management of stress and anxiety related to professional performance, while improving the quality of deliverables made by the Eidossians of both studios,” he said.

Yakuza studio confirms Yakuza: Like a Dragon sequel as creator, producer depart

In a new blog post, Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has confirmed that a Yakuza: Like a Dragon sequel is in development amidst the news that Series Director Toshihiro Nagoshi and Series Producer Daisuke Sato are departing the studio.

For the sequel and the studio going forward, Masayoshi Yokoyama will succeed Nagoshi as Studio Lead while Producer Hiroyuki Sakamoto and Director Ryosuke Horii will, in Sato’s words, “become core leaders within Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio”.

This departure aligns with a report in August that Nagoshi (no mention of Sato) was in final negotiations with Chinese developer NetEase to jump ship, including setting up his own team and developing new games. However, neither RGGS nor Nagoshi confirmed this in the announcement.

EA might drop FIFA name from future football games

In a press release celebrating FIFA 22’s launch, EA SPORTS Group General Manager Cam Weber revealed that the publisher is considering renaming its popular football series.

“As we look ahead, we’re also exploring the idea of renaming our global EA SPORTS football games,” he said. “This means we’re reviewing our naming rights agreement with FIFA, which is separate from all our other official partnerships and licenses across the football world.”

While Weber didn’t provide a specific reason for the name change, we suspect that EA wants to distance itself from the continued controversy surrounding the FIFA organisation and its ethics.

Report: Sony is going to announce a major remake at Christmas

According to Video Games Chronicle, Irish folk singer Éabha “AVA” McMahon revealed that she has written a song with Irish producer Michael McGlynn for an unannounced PlayStation “remake”.

“For ages I wasn’t allowed to really… you don’t know what you’re writing for, it’s kind of undisclosed because they don’t want it to get out,” she said on WLR FM’s Lunchbox radio show. “It’s actually going to be announced at Christmas, the name of the game. I have heard of it now and I have been told, [and had it] confirmed [that] it is a big game, which is great. So it’s going to be an Irish language piece in the game, which is brilliant.”

VGC speculated that the game could be a remake of Square Enix’s Xenogears due to Square Enix composer ​​Yasunori Mitsuda recently tweeting a photo of him working remotely with McGlynn and his daughter (who sang the song that McMahon worked on).

Ubisoft announces free-to-play battle royale in Ghost Recon Frontline

Ubisoft has announced Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Frontline, a new free-to-play first-person battle royale led by Ubisoft Bucharest.

 

Frontline will feature support for over 100 players in a match and, at least in the highlighted game mode Expedition, a focus on objectives and accomplishing missions. Frontline will also feature player classes called “Contractors”, with three available at launch.

This announcement follows Ubisoft revealing its other new free-to-play efforts, Tom Clancy’s XDefiant and Tom Clancy’s The Division Heartland.

 

Frontline is set to release on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC, Amazon Luna and Google Stadia, with a PC Closed Test set to start on October 14 for players in select European countries.


NOTABLE GAME RELEASES

  • Alan Wake Remastered (PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S)
  • Far Cry 6 (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S)
  • Metroid Dread (Switch)
  • Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania (PS5, Switch, and Xbox Series X|S)

VIDEOS AND TRAILERS

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate — The Last Key

The final character for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has finally been revealed as Sora from Kingdom Hearts, with an appropriately dramatic trailer to match!

RESIDENT EVIL: WELCOME TO RACCOON CITY — Official Trailer

Five years after The Final Chapter, it’s time for the inevitable Resident Evil film reboot. It’s almost here, too: Welcome to Raccoon City is set to release in theaters next month.

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition — Announcement Trailer

After aggressively shutting down fan mods amidst rampant leaks, Rockstar’s worst kept secret has finally been revealed: Grand Theft Auto III, Vice City and San Andreas are getting re-released for current- and last-gen hardware (even Switch). The Trilogy is set to release later this year, with mobile versions arriving next year.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy — Zero to Hero (Animated Music Video)

Ahead of its October 26 release date, Eidos Montreal has revealed the origin of Star-Lord’s name via an impressive animated 80s-style music video (Metalocalypse, anyone?).

The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes — Character Introduction Trailer

Supermassive Games’ third entry in The Dark Pictures Anthology is slated to launch on October 22, a week before Halloween (👻).

Inscryption — Developer Overview

The Gothic-Horror deck builder/escape room title gets its own trademark Devolver Trailer, set to release on October 19 for Steam.


INDIE SPOTLIGHT

BAFTA-nominated Airborne Kingdom hits consoles next month:

Developer The Wandering Band and publisher Freedom Games have announced that they plan to bring Airborne Kingdom to consoles on November 9. The BAFTA-nominated city builder has you rebuilding the long-lost titular Airborne Kingdom: you’ll “meet and barter with ground-dwelling clans, gather resources, explore ancient ruins, and navigate across a randomly generated map,” while building academies, infrastructure and more.

Having been available on PC since last December, Airborne Kingdom is set to arrive on Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S next month.

No Longer Home is available now on Switch and Xbox:

Released on Windows and Mac PCs back in July and hailed here on Doublejump as “a beautiful personal story crafted with genuine talent,” Humble Grove and publisher Fellow Traveller have released No Longer Home on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S. If you haven’t had the chance to check it out, you absolutely should!


OTHER NEWS

  • New World fans are pissed at Amazon for not honouring region transfer promise: Eurogamer
  • Bloodborne’s Producer has joined Team Ninja: GameSpot
  • Square Enix is bringing Kingdom Hearts to the Switch as cloud-streamed versions: Gematsu
  • Bungie’s removing Destiny 2’s Forsaken campaign next year: Eurogamer
  • An LGBTQI+ group has called on Rockstar Games to remove transphobic content from GTAV’s upcoming current-gen ports: Outmaking.Games
  • Joe Shely is Diablo IV’s new Game Director: Eurogamer
  • Dragon Quest Composer Koichi Sugiyama has passed away: Polygon

Abir Chowdhury, Jake Colosimo, and John Reeves contributed to this article.


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