Thursday, December 8

Tag: Video game publishers

Gaming

Sonic Co-Creator Yuji Naka Arrested Over Dragon Quest Game

Over the past 24 hours a number of people in Japan—including a Square Enix employee—have been arrested on insider trading charges related to a Dragon Quest game announcement. Legendary Sega designer Yuji Naka is reportedly among them.The scandal centers around a studio called Aiming, which in 2020 was announced as the developer of a new Dragon Quest game, called Tact. Last night, it was first alleged that 38-year-old Square Enix employee Taisuke Sazaki, who has worked on Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts games, knew of the deal before it was publicly announced, and along with a friend purchased a ton of shares in Aiming, hoping to profit when their share price (presumably) went up.Naka, 57, who is credited as one of the main creators of Sonic the Hedgehog and who has also worked on everythi...
Gaming

Bobby Kotick Donates To Republican Who Protested 2020 Election

Rep. Mike Garcia on the campaign trailPhoto: Myung J. Chun (Getty Images)While it’s normal for prominent business people to donate to both sides of the political aisle—so that whoever wins an election they can call in some favours—as the Republican Party lurches further to the right, some of the candidates being supported are deserving of a bit more scrutiny than usual.As Axios reports, the race for a US House seat in California’s 27th District—part of the city of Los Angeles—is expected to go down to the wire on Tuesday, after the 2020 election saw Rep. Mike Garcia win by just 333 votes. His rival this week (as it was in 2020) is Democrat Christy Smith, and to help the incumbent over the line, three wealthy donors have handed Garcia $50,000.One of those three donors is Activision CEO Bobb...
Gaming

Controversial Executive Steps Down From Call Of Duty Publisher

Screenshot: CBS Viacom / KotakuIn a past life, Frances Townsend defended the legal basis for the torture method called waterboarding during George W. Bush’s war on terror. In a more recent one, she helped lead Activision Blizzard’s initially tone-deaf response to a major sexual harassment lawsuit by the state of California. Now she’s stepping down as the Call of Duty publisher’s chief compliance officer after less than two years in the position.CEO Bobby Kotick announced the move to staff in an email on Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reports. Despite stepping down from the position, Townsend will still remain an official advisor to Kotick and to Activision Blizzard’s Board of Directors, over which Kotick presides. This shift in the company’s governing structure comes as Microsoft tries ...
Gaming

Square Enix Is Drowning 2022 With RPGs, And We’re Here For It

Image: Square Enix / Kotaku2022 is a great year to be an RPG fan, particularly of Japanese games. The holiday season is usually crowded with new game releases, but this year Square Enix appears to be releasing games like it’s Christmas all year round. With so many out already, and so many more to come, are SE’s profligate ways good or bad for RPG lovers?Back in March 2022, Square Enix had a string of big releases all throughout the month: Babylon’s Fall, a live-service action game; Triangle Strategy, a strategy RPG game; Chocobo GP, a racing game spin-off of the Final Fantasy series; and Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy, an action RPG game in collaboration with Koei Tecmo.Square Enix has always had a habit of releasing handfuls of games in a rush, mixing big names from reliable IPs with...
Gaming

Tencent And Sony Acquire 30% Of Elden Ring Maker FromSoftware

Image: FromSoftwareElden Ring wasn’t just a hit with fans of FromSoftware’s notoriously difficult action-RPGs. Today Tencent Holdings and Sony announced they’ve acquired 30% of the Souls-series developer’s shares, split in favor of Tencent. FromSoftware is expected to gain $260 million from the arrangement.Today’s announcement from FromSoft’s parent company Kadokawa revealed that Sony and Tencent are acquiring 14.09% and 16.25% of FromSoft, respectively. The statement indicates that Kadokawa wants FromSoftware to be able to expand its development efforts; Kadokawa sees the “enhancement of capabilities for the creation, development and deployment of [FromSoft] game IP as one of the [Kadokawa] Group’s highest priorities.”One of the aims is to give FromSoft the resources needed to grow Elden ...
Gaming

Diablo Devs Say Activision Back To Its Old Union-Busting Tricks

Image: BlizzardNearly two months after Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick announced the company would finally begin bargaining its first union contract with the Game Workers Alliance at Raven Software, staff at Blizzard Albany, currently working on Diablo IV, say the publisher is back to trying to union-bust. They accuse Activision Blizzard of rehiring the law firm Reed Smith to undermine their own organizing effort rather than voluntarily recognize the company’s second union.“Instead of following Microsoft’s lead and committing to a labor neutrality agreement, Activision has made the clear and conscious decision to deny us our basic labor rights while once again spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a union-busting firm,” Albany Game Workers Alliance, which is organizing for thi...
Gaming

Call Of Duty’s Cute Samoyed Dog Is ‘Plagiarized,’ Artist Claims

If found, please tell him he’s a very good boyScreenshot: Activision / CODSploitz / KotakuIf you’ve been following along with Call Of Duty lately, you’re no stranger to seeing skins that remind of something you’ve seen before, be it John McClain from Die Hard or Ghostface from Scream. A recent, very adorable, very fluffy skin, however, is looking all too familiar to one artist, and they’re now accusing the publisher of plagiarism. The doggy skin was first shown off this week in a patch note update for Season Four of Call Of Duty: Warzone. The post details some celebrity appearances, such as the Terminators from Terminator 1 and 2 as well the adorable samoyed dog skin that bears a dramatically striking resemblance to a design originally uploaded to ArtStation two years ago from concept arti...
Gaming

Former Deus Ex, Tomb Raider Boss Unloads On Square Enix Japan

Image: Deus ExBack in May, Japanese publisher Square Enix announced it was selling a number of Western studios it had owned since 2009, including Eidos Montreal (Deus Ex) and Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider). For Stephane D’Astous, who founded Eidos Montreal and left the company in 2013, the deal marks the end of a decade-long “train wreck in slow motion”.In an interview with Gamesindustry, D’Astous lets loose on his former bosses, blaming Square Enix’s management in both Japan and London for many of their Western studios’ troubles. He particularly references Square Enix’s relentless drive for astronomical sales, which became so famous among the industry (and even fans) that it became something of a running joke. In this instance, one year Japan had been expecting a $65 million profit, when ...
Gaming

GOG Now Allowing People To Purchase Fan Remake Of Blade Runner

Screenshot: Good Old GamesThe drama and weirdness around the disastrous Blade Runner: Enhanced Edition remake continues this week. Last time we checked in, buyers were very unhappy at the state of the game, and the creators of a popular and long-running fan version had been stiffed by the release of this newer edition.Now, some changes have been made, at least on the GOG shopfront. When Nightdive’s Enhanced Edition was first released, it took the place of a faithful recreation of the original 1997 game that had been reverse-engineered by fans, removing not just the ability to download this version, but scrubbing its positive reviews as well (the remake, at time of posting, has an overall rating of 1.5/5).An attempt to rectify this was made when the Enhanced Edition started bundling the fan...
Gaming

Persona Movie Or TV Series Could Be On The Way From Sega

Image: Atlus / SegaVideo game publisher Sega, fresh off the success of its live-action Sonic films, is looking to adapt more games into films or TV shows. Specifically, Sega says it’s in the early stages to produce live-action adaptations of Atlus games, like Persona and Shin Megami Tensei. Sega revealed this bit of news to IGN, telling the outlet that it wants to expand how it tells stories, and its plans to make this a big part of its business strategy. Or to put it another way, some recent live-action game adaptations have raked in a ton of money at the box office, including its own Sonic films, and it wants to keep that money train rolling.JRPG franchise Persona sounds like it might be the first game to get the live-action treatment as part of Sega’s new adaptation-focused initiative.“...