This week in gaming: Twitch comes under fire, Ubisoft is committed to cross-save, Bloodlines 2 has more issues, 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 Monday night, and head on into the archive for news from weeks gone by!
Twitch deletes thousands of videos, Google distances itself from Stadia Creative Director’s response:
As first reported by Rod “Slasher” Breslau, Twitch kicked off last week by deleting thousands of videos from as many channels in an apparent move to comply with DMCA takedown notifications from various rights holders. In the email that the company sent to affected channel owners, Twitch explained that this email served as “a one-time warning” instead of a formal copyright strike because it deleted the videos without giving users the ability to “file a counter-notification or seek a retraction from the rights holder”.
In a statement that it sent to multiple outlets, Twitch acknowledged that the takedowns were, in fact, due to the use of unauthorised music by streamers and that it found it “crucial that [it] protect the rights of songwriters, artists and other music industry partners”. While Twitch actioned this latest spate of deletions, back in June, thousands of creators deleted their own videos after the company issued large amounts of copyright strikes due to DMCA takedowns raised for content streamed between 2017 and 2019.
While many may have sympathised with streamers given Twitch’s recent actions, one person who vehemently did not was Google Stadia Games and Entertainment Creative Director Alex Hutchinson. Taking to Twitter, Hutchinson wrote that affected streamers “should be more worried about playing games [that] they didn’t pay for as well” and added that streamers “should be buying a licence” to the games that they play live.
Streamers worried about getting their content pulled because they used music they didn't pay for should be more worried by the fact that they're streaming games they didn't pay for as well. It's all gone as soon as publishers decide to enforce it.
When answering questions from Twitter users, Hutchinson elaborated that he believed that live streams mainly help the streamers and not game developers or publishers because the latter group gets no licensing payments. Hutchinson has previously copped flak for saying that his team did not add female characters to Far Cry 4’s cooperative mode because there were no female staff members to “read” female dialogue and provide female body motion capture.
In light of Hutchinson’s latest comments, a Google spokesperson told 9to5Google that his ideas “do not reflect those of Stadia, YouTube[,] or Google”. Additionally, Google’s Global Head of Gaming, Ryan Wyatt, tweeted that YouTube considers “publishers and creators [to have] a wonderfully symbiotic relationship”.
Ubisoft commits to cross-save for its future games:
As part of its initiative to rebrand and retool its Uplay launcher to Ubisoft Connect, the French developer has announced that it plans to have “as many future titles as possible” support cross-platform saves. As this point, Ubisoft has confirmed support for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Hyper Scape, Immortals: Fenyx Rising, Riders Republic and Watch Dogs: Legion -– along with a number of other improvements – when Ubisoft Connect officially launches alongside Watch Dogs: Legion this coming Thursday.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2‘s Senior Narrative Designer leaves its developer:
Given that Bloodlines 2 has been delayed into next year, this latest bit of news doesn’t bode too well for the game or its developer.
All Minecraft players will soon need Microsoft accounts:
Starting early next year, all Mojang Studios games will require players to log in to a Microsoft account, and new players will be creating Microsoft accounts rather than Mojang accounts from the outset. In its announcement earlier this week, the Minecraft team explained that it’s making the change for safety and security reasons, as it will allow for two-factor authentication, improved parental controls and the ability to block chat and invitations.
Although this change will affect all editions of the game, Microsoft is promising that there will be no drastic changes to interacting with or playing the game. Moreover, the transition should be fairly smooth as players will indeed be able to migrate their Java and/or Mojang accounts and therefore keep their original usernames; they’ll even receive a free cape for completing the account migration.
Blizzard veterans found new RTS studio:
Founded by Tim Morten (Starcraft II, C&C: Generals 2) and Tim Campbell (Wasteland 3, Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne) and loaded with talent from Blizzard’s past, Frost Giant Studios is on a mission to build “the next great PC real-time strategy game”. It’ll do so with a US$4.7 million jump-start from investors BITKRAFT Ventures, 1 Up Ventures, GC Tracker, Griffin Gaming Partners and Riot Games — yes, the Riot Games — which it will use to “begin building a prototype for gameplay, conduct consumer research, and expand operations.”
In an interview posted on Team Liquid’s official website, CEO Morten further expanded on his company’s mission by explaining that “RTS isn’t small. RTS has millions of monthly active users. Even if we just had another success that was the size of StarCraft II, that’s a commercial success that nobody would look at the return on and be disappointed,” before mentioning his belief that “there’s an opportunity to do even better than that.”
As of this writing, Frost Giant has not announced any information about its first title — in fairness, it’s not likely to for some time. We will keep an eye out, though!
Bungie issues cease-and-desist letter against Destiny 2 cheating software:
Long fraught with cheaters and hackers, Destiny 2’s PvP arenas have become a little more tolerable for PC players with the news that Bungie has put a stop to PerfectAim’s sale of its “undetected Destiny 2 cheat”, which included a number of unapproved perks for weapons as well as aimbots, wall-hacks, the ability to teleport, and more.
Earlier this week, PerfectAim blocked off its website’s functionality with a note stating that the product is no longer available due to Bungie’s claim that the hacks “[violate] the game’s license agreement.” The developer even had the gall to say that it “won’t comment on whether these claims are justified or not, but [has] decided to comply with [the cease-and-desist letter] regardless.”
This is not the end of cheating in Destiny 2’s PC community, but it does reduce the accessibility of such game-breaking behaviours and serve as a stern warning to other cheat developers going forward.
Nintendo is finally bringing the original Fire Emblem to the West:
Nintendo is celebrating Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light’s 30th anniversary by finally bringing the game that kick-started a franchise to the West. It’ll be available digitally on December 4, and it’ll run you US$5.99 or AU$9.00, with a physical collector’s edition available on the same date for US$49.99 or AU$89.95; the collector’s edition will include a replica of the original box and Game Pak art, a game sleeve, an instruction booklet, a map, a deluxe art book and a miniature Nintendo Power collectible.
DOOM Eternal: The Ancient Gods — Part One — Official Launch Trailer:
If you needed even more convincing that The Ancient Gods — Part One is worth your time and money, here’s a trailer.
Scorn — 13 Minutes of Xbox Series X Gameplay:
Exclusive to GameSpot, this footage shows us that Scorn is going to be absolutely terrifying.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate — Official Rambo Gameplay Trailer:
Looks like the action hero’s going to be able to more than hold his own in the Netherrealm!
Jetboard Joust is available now, coming to Switch next year:
A sequel to 1989’s Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum release,Skateboard Joust, Jetpack Joust will see players “balance maintaining altitude, dodging incoming fire, and pursuing intergalactic threats through action-packed dogfights inspired by old-school arcade classics”. It’s out now on Mac and Windows PC, with Freedom! Games and developer BitBull aiming to release a Nintendo Switch version next year.
Ghostrunner is heading to next-gen next year:
Co-publishers All In! Games and 505 Games announced that One More Level, 3D Realms and Slipgate Ironworks’ cyberpunk ninja adventure is coming to PlayStation 5 and Xbox One at some point next year, with current-generation owners set to receive an upgrade to the next-gen version free of charge. In the meantime, Ghostrunner is headed to PC, PlayStation 4, Switch and Xbox One tomorrow!
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