Archive for the ‘gaming news’ Category

Nielsen Employee Moves To YouGov

October 13, 2021

Heina told SBJ in a prepared statement: “I am not sure any other data provider offers the same level of insight and innovation to esports and gaming analytics as YouGov.” YouGov has seen a huge increase in relationships with properties, sponsors, and rights holders in the past year. “I am excited by the prospect of building on this throughout Europe and Asia.” joins a growing list of former Nielsen and SuperData executives and employees who quietly moved on following the discontinuation of SuperData-branded products and services earlier this year. Former VP Product and Business Development Sam Barberie left in early 2020; former Nielsen Engineering and Innovation Lead and SuperData VP of Technology Albert Ngo left in July of this year; and former Head of Research and Strategy, Games and XR Stephanie Llamas also left in July.
In January 2018, Heina moved from the role of senior consultant at Nielsen Sports (where he served as head of esports Europe) to that of Head of Esports International. In a 2017 interview with The Esports Observer, Heina said that when he learned Nielsen would begin tracking data for esports, he insisted on being part of the team because he saw a lot of potential growth, especially in Europe and Germany.
Nielsen continues to track gaming and esports business data, but its acquisition of SuperData, which was hoped would bolster its existing operations, led to the company absorbing its brand, staff, and products. Nielsen acquired SuperData Research in late 2018, with plans to enhance its gaming and esports products, including Nielsen Gaming and Nielsen Esports, with SuperData’s products, services, and data. It became clear in March that the company was moving on from SuperData, informing clients and staff about its closure at the time.

California Fair Employment Dept. Does Not Like Settlemient Between Activision Blizzard and EEOC

October 9, 2021

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) objected to a $18M USD settlement between Activision Blizzard and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In order to finalize the settlement fund announced at the end of September to address claims of gender discrimination and harassment targeted at female employees, it needs to be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. Stephen Totilo of Axios Gaming first revealed the filing Thursday evening, posting scanned court documents on Twitter.
DFEH said it does not agree to the settlement because it would release the company from claims, even though the EEOC does not have to stand in state courts to prosecute alleged violations, and it would undermine the agency’s investigations and enforcement actions against the company. According to DFEH, the settlement agreement contains provisions that allow the destruction or alteration of evidence (such as personnel files and other documents related to sexual harassment, retaliation, and discrimination) that are vital to their investigation.
“Eligible” employees would be compensated, with the remainder allocated to non-profit organizations that advance women in the video game industry and raise awareness about sexual harassment and gender equality, “as approved by the EEOC.”
Activision Blizzard’s treatment of female employees remains under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Communications Workers of America union has filed a complaint with the Federal Labor Relations Board (FLRB).
The DFEH’s initial lawsuit filed earlier this year claims Blizzard Entertainment fostered a “frat boy” environment in which female employees were subjected to sexual harassment and discrimination. A two-year investigation into the company’s employment practices led to the lawsuit..

Pokemon Will Become Part Of Amusement Park In Japan in 2022

October 8, 2021

A Pokemon theme park will open in Osaka, Japan, thanks to the Pokemon Company and Universal Studios.
The collaboration means that Super Nintendo World will now include the Pokemon expansion, as reported by VGC. The Pokemon attractions will begin opening next year.
“Universal Studios Japan and The Pokémon Company will embark on a long-term collaboration in 2022 to explore innovative entertainment that will immerse guests in the world of Pokémon with innovative technology and creativity,” states the statement.
It is unknown what will be featured in the Pokemon expansion at the Japanese Universal Studios. If there isn’t a Pokemon Snap-themed rollercoaster, we’re going to be disappointed. It’s already on the rails! I love it!
“We are delighted to have a long-term partnership with The Pokémon Company while developing ground-breaking Pokémon entertainment at Universal Studios Japan for Pokémon fans and our guests,” said Universal Studios Japan president and CEO, J.L. Bonnier.
Pokémon characters, combined with Universal’s innovative approach, create an unparalleled theme park entertainment experience for the whole family.
‘Universal Studios Japan’s incredible team has creative vision as well as exceeding expertise in world-class theme park technology to craft an unforgettable Pokémon experience,’ says The Pokemon Company’s CEO and president, Masashi Ishihara

Game Bits: The Latest Award Results, People Can Now Apply For Diversity Program At StreamElements

October 7, 2021

The Latest Awards Results

Witch Beam’s Unpacking won Game of the Year at the 2021 Australian Game Developer Awards, one of two awards the game received.
The organizing trade group Interactive Games & Entertainment Association also awarded the Unpacking the Excellence in Accessibility Award.
‘The Artful Escape’ was the only other winner of multiple categories, winning for both Excellence in Art and Excellence in Audio.
Here is the full list of winners:

The Adam Lancman Award — Steve Wang (Wargaming Sydney)
The Raising the Bar Award — Chad Toprak (Freeplay Independent Games Festival)
The Rising Star Award — Kathleen Smart (Joy Everafter Stories)
The Rising Star Award — Ashley Van Wyngaard (Wargaming Sydney)
Studio of the Year — Black Lab Games
Game of the Year — Unpacking (Witch Beam)
Excellence in Art — The Artful Escape (Beethoven & Dinosaur)
Excellence in Gameplay — Webbed (Sbug Games)
Excellence in Narrative — The Forgotten City (Modern Storyteller)
Excellence in Audio — The Artful Escape (Beethoven & Dinosaur)
Excellence in Accessibility — Unpacking (Witch Beam)
Excellence in Mobile Games — The Oregon Trail (Gameloft Brisbane)
Excellence in Serious Games — Sharmila (Chaos Theory Games and the World Food Programme)
Excellence in Ongoing Games — Pico Tanks (Panda Arcade)
Excellence in Emerging Games — Video World (Things for Humans)

People Can Now Apply For Diversity Program At StreamElements

StreamElements announced that applications for its 2021 Creator Diversity Program are now open.
Similar to last year’s inaugural Creator Diversity Program, the 2021 program provides marginalized content creators with live streaming resources such as tools, equipment, and mentorship.
The deadline for the Creator Diversity Program is October 22 and the company expects to support 15 applicants.
StreamElements has also hired Kacie Harold as manager of the Creator Diversity Program. Harold’s hiring is part of the company’s plan to expand the initiative.
“The Creator Diversity Program was inspired by the adversity many marginalized groups experience in the games and live streaming industry, such as harassment and limited access to guidance, gear, and support,” Harold explained.
“Professional tools, services, and mentorship will help them have a stronger foundation for advancing in a field where the odds are stacked against them.”
Starting on November 30, the Creator Diversity Program will run until October of next year.

The Kingdom Hearts series is coming to Switch

October 6, 2021

Super Smash Bros creator Masahiro Sakurai revealed Sora as the last DLC fighter in Smash Ultimate today during the final “Sakurai Presents” live stream. Then, Sakurai revealed that Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 HD Remix, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and Kingdom Hearts III + Re Mind will all be arriving on Switch at an undisclosed date.
Only cloud streaming will be possible for all games on this list. Due to the increase in graphical power, this was probably to be expected for Kingdom Hearts III. The decision to go the same route with earlier fare, however, is a bit puzzling. It may just be that Nintendo is confident in their cloud service technology.
Nintendo fans will have access to Sora’s entire saga when these games are released. Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 HD Remix includes:

Kingdom Hearts Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (HD Remastered cinematics)
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts Birth by Sleep Final Mix
Kingdom Hearts Re: coded (HD Remastered cinematics)

Add 2.8 Final Chapter (including 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A fragmentary passage) and Kingdom Hearts III (with the Re Mind expansion) and you’ve got a date with destiny that should last you for hundreds of hours.

Chinese Esports Organization Has Created A Partnership With Marvel To Co-Brand Merchandise

October 5, 2021

Chinese esports organization FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) and Marvel Entertainment announced a partnership to co-brand apparel, merchandise, supplies, gaming peripherals, and other initiatives related to FPX and Marvel’s superhero lineup. FPX’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL) players were featured in a video released Monday.
Chun Li, CEO of FPX, told Sports Business Journal that the partnership extends to all FPX divisions, not just its LPL teams and that the Marvel logo will not be featured on the team jerseys during the League of Legends World Championship later this month in Iceland.
Disney-owned Marvel Entertainment has partnered with an esports team before. With Marvel Entertainment in 2019, Team Liquid provided co-branded merchandise drops, including Captain America, Spider-Man, and Black Widow. Team Liquid and Marvel extended their partnership through 2022 in 2020.
With the most commercial value, FPX is considered one of the most successful esports organizations in China. The organization currently has nine partners, including BMW as its global chief partner, OPPO and PUMA as global strategic partners, Herman Miller as its equipment partner; and Huya, a snack brand, Men’s skincare brand, spring water company, and fish restaurant. Huya is the only non-endemic brand among the nine partners. Furthermore, FPX is the only Chinese esports organization within BMW’s global esports sponsorship plan, alongside European teams Fnatic, G2 Esports, OG Esports, North American team Cloud 9, and South Korean team T1 Entertainment & Sports

Sream Might Be Blocking Older Content

October 4, 2021

After a Steam beta appeared to block older content, Valve has reassured users that it won’t stop disable older versions of games.
We wrote about Steam’s coming update last month. The beta test for this appeared to change the way players connected to content delivery networks. Gamers were concerned that the change would block players from switching to older versions of the game.
Archivists, speedrunners, and modders were outraged. If the rumors were correct, Steam would be disabling access to legacy builds of games. No more speedrunning attempts for specific builds and mods built on older games would die on the vine.
However, Valve, the company behind Steam, has stepped in to reassure people. According to a statement given to PC Gamer, Steam is not looking to disable access to older versions of games. They wrote:
“What we are working on is an approach on handling edge cases involving unowned content, and helping partners more easily take down builds that need to be removed for things like copyright issues. We’ll have more to share on that work when it’s ready to ship.”
As VG247 noted in their coverage – the statement did hint that there was a bigger announcement coming. It could be that Steam is looking to disable legacy builds that include copyrighted material – the gaming industry is clamping down on this type of content.
What do you think about Valve’s announcement? Are you a modder or speedrunner who uses legacy builds? Let us know via our social media channels.

Square Enix Announced The Release of Dungeon Encounters

October 2, 2021

In the Toyko Game Show Square Enix Presents live stream, Square Enix announced Dungeon Encounters, a single-player dungeon exploration RPG set to release on October 14 for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC (Steam). With a 20% launch window discount until late October, the game will be available for $29.99.
Developed by Cattle Call, Dungeon Encounters is a dungeon RPG where you lead your group of explorers into a 100-floor grid-based dungeon, using ATB-style combat to take on various enemies along the way.
It is being developed by several veteran Final Fantasy developers.

Director: Hiroyuki Ito (Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy XII)
Producer: Hiroaki Kato (Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age)
Character Design: Ryoma Ito (Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings, Heroes of Mana)
Music: Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy, Lost Odyssey, Fantasian)

Here is the announcement trailer, press release, and screenshot/artwork set from Square Enix. Here is the English website, and here is the Japanese website.

The press release is as follows:

Square Enix today announced, as part of their Square Enix Presents live stream at Tokyo Games Show, that Dungeon Encounters, a new single-player dungeon exploration RPG, will be available digitally for the Nintendo Switch system, PlayStation 4 console, and PC via Steam from October 14, 2021.
Directed by Final Fantasy series’ veteran Hiroyuki Ito and produced by Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age’s Hiroaki Kato, Dungeon Encounters challenges players to test their strategic skills with 100 levels of thought-provoking challenges. Using 2D grid-based movements, players are invited to lead an expedition charting the depths of an otherworldly labyrinth. Plan and prepare to overcome numerous obstacles, battles, and defeat monsters in a bid to outwit the formidable game system and reach the deepest level of the Dungeon. Strategize to survive!
Players can enjoy a newly polished and refined iteration of Final Fantasy’s classic Active Time Battle (ATB) system brought to you by the original creator, Hiroyuki Ito. Dungeon Encounters features an expansive range of fantasy-inspired characters by character designer Ryoma Ito, offering players a unique take on the dungeon crawler genre, and the ability to customize their team in order to complete the challenges and obstacles effectively. Fans can also enjoy a soundtrack overseen by musical director Nobuo Uematsu, featuring a modern take on classical tracks, as they put their minds to the test and venture through the many levels of Dungeon Encounters.
Pre-orders are available now for the Nintendo Switch system and Steam® with a 20% discount until late October*. DUNGEON ENCOUNTERS will be available to purchase on the PlayStation®Store from launch on October 14 with a 20% discount for PlayStation®Plus members until October 28.

New NBA 2K League Launches In Mexico

October 1, 2021

According to the NBA 2K League, DUX Gaming has agreed to launch an NBA 2K League franchise in Mexico. SBJ has learned that the purchase price for DUX Gaming’s NBA 2K League franchise slot was around $25M.
In the 2022 season, the team will officially begin competing from a city in Mexico to be announced at a later date. On Nov. 17, DUX Gaming will also take part in the third NBA 2K League Expansion Draft.
Rafael “RafaelTGR” Tobias Garcera Rodrigo, a former NBA 2K League Draft prospect and participant at the NBA 2K League European Invitational in 2019, will serve as DUX Gaming’s new General Manager.
Gen.G Tigers is the only other team operating outside the U.S. Team name, the host city, and logo will be announced at a later date.
A two-time Liga champion and an amateur player on the NBA 2K European circuit, DUX Gaming participates in a number of international esports tournaments and Spanish football leagues. In 2020, DUX Gaming became the first esports organization to own a semi-professional football club, DUX Internacional de Madrid. This year, it founded DUX Logrono, which competes in the second division of Spanish women’s football.

Donkey Kong Is Now Part of Super Nintendo World In Japan

September 30, 2021

Super Nintendo World in Japan is expanding to include a Donkey Kong themed area, and I am ready to plan my trip to Donk City.
If you’ve been daydreaming about your next holiday when travel restrictions ease, let me suggest Super Nintendo World. You can find it set inside Universal Studios Japan in Osaka.
Perhaps you want to race on a Mario Karts-inspired course? Or maybe you want to hunt for eggs with Yoshi? You can also punch real blocks and even eat one filled with tiramisu in a restaurant modeled after Toad’s house.
If that isn’t enough for you, though, everyone’s favorite executive ape (Donkey Kong is always wearing a business dress, after all) is getting his own area in the park in 2024.
According to reporting in Video Games Chronicle, the expansion will increase the size of the Super Nintendo world by 70%.
In a press release, Nintendo announced that the new area will include a roller coaster, interactive experiences, and themed food and merch.
Shigeru Miyamoto, the illustrious video game designer (and as he calls himself, ‘Mario’s dad’!), added:
“I am very happy to be able to make the world of Donkey Kong a reality following the world of Mario. I am looking forward to creating a thrilling Donkey Kong experience with the amazing team at Universal. It will take some time until it is completed, but it will be a unique area for not only people who are familiar with Donkey Kong games but for all guests.”
Super Nintendo World opened up in March of this year in Japan. There are versions being built in the Universal Studios theme parks in California and Florida. If you are excited to go ape (I’m so sorry), then you can start planning your trip to Donkey Kong’s area in Osaka in 2024.

Are you hyped to visit Donkey Kong at Super Nintendo World? Are you a fan of any other cool theme parks around the world? Let us know via our social media channel