The games industry moves quickly and while stories may come and go there are some that we just can't let go of…
So, to give those particularly thorny topics a further going over we've created a weekly digest where the members of the PocketGamer.biz team share their thoughts and go that little bit deeper on some of the more interesting things that have happened in mobile gaming in the past week.
Yes, you read that right. A company that's all about connecting people and sharing experiences virtually, whose "mission is to build a human co-experience platform that enables billions of users to come together to play, learn, communicate, explore and expand their friendships" via their own "immersive multiplayer experiences using Roblox Studio" and their "intuitive desktop design tool" actually reckons that real life is way better than the metaverse.
Yes, after grinning and bearing it, drinking the post-Covid kool aid and being as 'right on' as 'right on' can be, Roblox have admitted that having tens of thousands of global employees lounging around eating crisps in bed isn't actually any good for collaboration, sharing, communicating, exploring and expanding virtual friendships after all.
Yup, Roblox employees - many of which were taken on to handle the demand during the pandemic peaks - will - come 2024 - be putting on actual trousers, passing through their real-life front doors and entering the real world instead. Wonder if they're going to stop paying them the big bucks and start paying them in Robux too?
Stereotypes around gamers are something that, as a lifelong gamer, I am very passionate about. We often get tarnished with the brush of living unhealthy lifestyles. Video games are also often the target of blame for bad news regarding violence; we've seen mainstream media branding video games as a cause for these issues, particularly in young people.
Studies like this one always interest me when they tell a different story. It shows that gamers do, in fact, venture into the great outdoors and actually, gaming can have an overwhelming positive effect on a person's mental health and learning ability. It can even be a great way to socialise.
The media doesn't seem to complain quite so much when people spend their entire day watching TV or TikTok so why should gamers get all the bad rep? It comes down to enjoying something in moderation and not neglecting the other essential aspects of your life, something which applies across the board, not just for gamers. I, for one, look forward to seeing more studies that dispel outdated gaming stereotypes.
As Bethesda veteran Pete Hines makes exit after 24 years, enjoy a brief history of Bethesda on mobile
I do think there’s something admirable about companies like Bethesda and how unchanging their upper-management has been. Say what you like about Todd Howard, but it’s rare to see someone like him remain in a top position - even gaming alumni like John Romero and John Carmack have moved on since the 90s.
But, regardless, that's not necessarily what I was interested in when writing this piece. It occurred to me that, in his 24 year tenure Hines has been there for some major moments in Bethesda’s history. From Morrowind, to Oblivion and even Skyrim, not to mention Bethesda’s resurrection of Interplay’s Fallout - yet it’s not the mobile games that are often talked about.
Of course there’s Fallout Shelter, and Blades, but for me the most interesting tidbit in Bethesda’s mobile history is The Elder Scrolls Travels. A stripped-back, laser-focused take on the Elder Scrolls franchise that stands out for pushing the hardware of the day as far as they could take it.
It’s an interesting look into pre-smartphone mobile gaming, so if you have time, check them out… if you can find a Nokia N-Gage that is…