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.
Acquiblizz: This time it's personal
We love it when gamers get passionate about the things they love and with $69 billion hanging in the balance we love the fact that 10 gamers in the States have colluded, tooled up and swung their collective might in to help block Microsoft's proposed acquistion of Activision-Blizzard in the deal they're all calling Acquiblizz... OK... That's just us.
The FTC don't want it to go ahead and – watch out Microsoft – neither do these 10 guys!
The main driver for their lawsuit is their fear that the merger would enable Microsoft to "foreclose rivals, limit output, reduce consumer choice, raise prices, and further inhibit competition" Or to put it another way "Darren and his mates like Call of Duty and own PlayStations."
Guys, when you're ready to kick Russia out of Ukraine, crush Covid, and get the nurses a pay rise, we're right behind you.
Crash Bandicoot: On the Run, to shutter in 2023
Whilst this is outwardly quite a minor story, after all mobile games being pulled isn’t exactly big news, I think there’s still more that we can pull out from this. King are obviously a part of Activision-Blizzard, and this game itself relies on other Activision properties. Since the acquisition was announced earlier this year, I have a feeling that they weren’t expecting as many problems as were faced from regulator scrutiny, lawsuits etc.
Crash’s social media channels have been radio-silent since February, with the most recent post being the announcement of the game’s shuttering. Many people in the comments expressed shock and anger at how abrupt it seemed, and how they perceived they had been let down by the lack of content for what was essentially a very new game.
This, to me, points at possible turmoil behind the scenes. As people within King are still unsure of what the acquisition will bring, and as it sits in limbo, projects are being shuffled or in this case cancelled as a result. It may hint that they were hoping this acquisition would go through a lot sooner than it did, which was perhaps a naive assumption on their part.
In any case, despite the potential of Crash Bandicoot: On the Run it seems it’s going to join a number of other live-service games in being shuttered and removed. A problem of preservation as much as an issue of strategic oversight, if this game was set to go on the chopping block so soon after launch.
An estimated 2.3 million online teenage gamers have been exposed to white supremacist ideology
Gaming is a form of entertainment unlike any other, and just one way the industry stands out is a focus on connection. Many of the world’s most popular gaming franchises have strong multiplayer components, and the rise of online gaming has seen people communicate and make connections with others all around the world.
Unfortunately, there’s a disturbing downside to this connection, which is highlighted in this article: people can utilise in-game communication features for a variety of reasons, including unsavoury ones. In this case, players are using it to spread hateful ideologies to others worldwide, with millions of players worldwide being exposed to these messages.
This movement from the US senate signals a positive change, even in its early stages, as politicians are stepping in to help ensure that not only do publishers curb harassment, but help prevent people, especially vulnerable players, from being exposed to hate speech or prejudiced ideals.
Will this solve the problem? Absolutely not. People will always find ways to spread their ideologies, for better or worse. However, it will make it more difficult for people to either target or recruit others, which is always something to celebrate.