For those that don’t know Cavern Blogs are pretty much my end of/start of the week post (depending how you look at it) that wraps up the previous weeks news highlighting a selection of the posts. There is also a final thoughts section on the bottom where I’ll briefly discuss my own thoughts about select stories from the week or my own gaming experiences.
This Week in Gaming News
Street Fighter V Blanka Trailer – Street Fighter series veteran Blanka will at last be joining the roster of Street Fighter V as part of the third season of characters.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance Launch Trailer – The final trailer for open-world action RPG Kingdom Come: Deliverance has gone live, giving one last brief tour through this long-awaited title that hopes to rival other greats such as The Witcher series.
Dynasty Warriors 9 Launch Trailer – This week we saw the launch of the ninth entry in the main Dynasty Warriors series which brings back much of the historical Chinese set hack and slash gameplay against massive armies that fans love, however with a more modern open-world twist.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Goldpaw Tour – Bandai Namco have uploaded a new Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom trailer giving a tour of Goldpaw, a city which thrives off of gambling and as such is filled with bright lights and money making opportunities.
Crossing Souls Launch Trailer – If the game itself wasn’t brimming with enough 80’s, check out the launch trailer for Crossing Souls which is delivered like a over-the-top classic commercial from that period.
Devil May Cry HD Collection Trailer – The previously announced current gen version of Devil May Cry HD Collection got itself a new trailer revealing it will be launching next month on March 13 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Fear Effect Sedna Release Date Announcement Trailer – It’s been 17 years since we’ve seen a new entry in the Fear Effect series which found its home originally on the PlayStation, however that is about to change very soon as Forever Entertainment have announced Fear Effect Sedna will be launching next month on March 6.
Rumor: Spyro Trilogy Remaster Coming – Kotaku has reported on a rumor that a Spyro the Dragon trilogy remaster is currently in development at Activision.
Destiny 2 Crimson Days Trailer – The Valentine’s Day themed Crimson Days event has arrived in Destiny 2, offering a new 2v2 Clash Crucible mode, a new map, and a variety of cosmetic goodies.
EXTINCTION Features Trailer – Iron Galaxy have shared a new trailer for their upcoming game EXTINCTION, a action-packed title that pulls story inspiration from the Attack on Titan manga series, however instead of Titans, the towering beasts in this universe are orc-like beings known as the Ravenii.
Vermintide 2 Release Date Announced – Fatshark Games revealed that Warhammer: Vermintide 2, a sequel to their Left4Dead inspired Warhammer universe co-op action game, will be launching on March 8th for PC via Steam.
Secret of Mana Launch Trailer – Square Enix has launched their remake of SNES classic Secret of Mana, which is now in full 3D and has modified gameplay features to hopefully be a more enjoyable experience.
Nintendo Labo Kit Showcase Videos – Nintendo has shared a few new videos detailing the first two Nintendo Labo kits that will be available this Spring on April 20th.
Fe Launch Trailer – Zoink Games, a Swedish indie studio previously known for Stick it to the Man!, has launched Fe, a platforming adventure game that is the first member of the EA Originals program to launch.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Hydropolis Tour Trailer – A second city tour trailer was shared for Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, this one offering panning shots of Hydropolis, a water country ruled by the beautiful Queen Nerea.
Bayonetta & Bayonetta 2 Overview Trailer – Nintendo has packed in two overview trailers in one in a new video covering both the original Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 for Nintendo Switch.
I typically like to avoid much of the drama in the industry as I rarely report in it to avoid adding any more fuel to a usually meaningless fire in addition to my preference to keep the focus purely on games. However, every once in a while I make an exception and will bring these topics to the Cavern Blog. This week I wanted to share my thoughts on the ongoing witch hunts in the industry by supposed gamers that want to get people they don’t like or agree with fired from their jobs in addition to boycotting developers who are harboring any of these supposed individuals that don’t have the right political views and opinions.
This was most recently brought up with Subnautica where an individual dug up old tweets from former Subnautica audio designer Simon Chylinski that offended them enough to go on a crusade to spread this information around to get them fired. The tweets themselves were nothing that extreme in my opinion, one of them simply making clear that the individual is against mass immigration. The statement they made was not hateful in any way, it was just them expressing their political opinion which does not align with the today’s proper groupthink. Just because someone is against letting massive amounts of people from other countries into their own does not necessarily mean they hate them. This individual actually specifically referred to them as being random, implying they are probably okay with a more controlled and screened method that prevents the wrong people from entering. Regardless, it is completely ridiculous for someone to lose their job over holding a political opinion that millions of others agree with. By this logic should we just start getting Trump supporters fired from their jobs since his ideals are inline with that too?
There were more tweets as well though, including a gender identity related one which seemed to cause the most upset. It involved an image of a question about what gender you identify with, including multiple other options beside male and female. As a response Chylinski said “Helecopter. The Attack Kind”. For those that don’t know, this is a common gender identity joke that is making fun of the variety of gender options people identify with in the modern world. It’s a dumb overused joke, but I think people are squeezing ridiculous amounts of hate out of it somehow like it is equivalent to someone using racist or homophobic slurs at an individual. In terms of gender-based jokes, it is perhaps as mild as it gets and I don’t think it even came close to it going over the line where it would be hateful in some way. Unless there is some hidden tweet out there where this man is declaring his hatred for the trans community I don’t think he should be removed from his job. If he really does, then yes, I would probably justify him being fired as a company would obviously not want to be represented by someone with this kind of hatred if it was a opinion he was holding publicly. I personally don’t think he crossed any lines though with what I’ve seen currently as he was expressing commonly held political views and repeated an over-used dumb joke. I’m not even trying to defending him specifically because his beliefs, I’m more upset because this is a clearly talented individual that people enjoyed hearing his work on who is now being removed from working on any potential future content for the game.
Part of me wanted to defend the developers of Subnautica as there game just launched and they were scrambling for some kind of damage control against this current gaming community that has a lot uncontrollable hatred for anything that doesn’t align with their politics. I think they made the wrong decision though and think and actually hope there hasty decision causes damage to their reputation and sales. It turns out that a very large amount of their supporters were very much against this decision which they have been very vocal about on the forums. They are being silenced of course though by moderators, even if they are constructive statements, which is unfortunate.
Another story resurfaced this week too thanks to the launch of Kingdom Come: Deliverance. The lead designer and director of this, Daniel Vávra, found himself targeted in a witch hunt as well back in 2016. This was of course unsuccessful though as funnily enough this man also is the founder of the game’s studio so you can’t really take him down unless somehow he broke actual laws. All of that drama started because this man refused to include people of color in his game because it wasn’t historically accurate to the setting. This resulted in a Twitter argument with an individual that brought this up which did get a little heated. One particular comment Vávra made said something along the lines of are people from other countries so incompetent that they need me to produce their culture in his game. This was then interpreted and twisted that he thought all people of color are incompetent, something which an individual proceeded to tweet at the Studio’s Twitter account to try and ruin Vávra’s career, however it didn’t work since as I said this was his own studio that he founded. It’s not Vávra’s duty to represent any other nation’s culture in his game, especially when it is taking away from the game’s historically accuracy and his own vision. Also he was not literally saying these people are incompetent, he was saying that it seemed that this is what the other individual was implying since he was trying to get Vávra to cover the job of showing their culture like it was required by him. If you are someone that is so upset that something is not represented in a game or any form of media, then why not go about it yourself to achieve this because no other person will be able to create what you want to see better than yourself if you work hard enough and find the right people to help you.
I am a big advocate for designers and developers being able to make their game ideas without outside influence. If you keep trying to please different groups, especially if attempting to be politically correct, you are going to ruin the integrity of individual creative design. We need to accept that no game is every going to please everyone, but that every single one of them deserve a equal chance whether it be something like this, a politically-charged indie project, or the latest AAA title from a major publisher. Kingdom Come: Deliverance shouldn’t be massacred because of its lack of people of color and its creators political views. Imagine if the tables were turned and the liberal views were what could get you fired or have your game stand no chance to find success. Constructive criticism is fine, but actively seeking out to sabotage a game or a individual is not only wrong, but it is scary behavior that has me worried for the future of the industry. This can scare people from wanting to become involved in it whether it be through designing, programming, or even writing about games as they feel like they will have to be someone they aren’t in order to avoid being the next witch hunt target.
The sad thing is that me defending some of these people will be interpreted as me being racist too. I personally could care less what anyone’s politics are, I just want to play good games and I think people that have talent for what they do in the industry should be able to make use of it regardless of their politics. I want to see an industry where individuals can make a game they love and are proud of without being maliciously attacked for their design decisions or their own personal politics and beliefs. All the drama is damaging and ridiculous and I wish we could just focus on the games themselves and not the person.
It says a lot about the lack of individuality (and intelligence) we have today in that people will favor certain games and give them bonus points simply because they give nods to today’s supposed right and only way of thinking. People need to realize that a lot of the reason we are seeing these so called “inclusive” designs added into games is simply because of money in many cases. It is really no different than everyone trying to cash in on the latest genre crazy, such as what we are saying now with all these battle royale games following PUBG. If a particular ideal or belief is popularly held by a large majority of their audience, they are going to exploit it through the writing and marketing for the game. It’s probably not even the writers or designers of themselves guilty of this and I am not accusing anyone of such a thing, but the higher ups are going to have to approve ideas, and they will accept whatever ideas are going to bring in money to impress investors. Basically, what I am getting at is that we should praise writing in games if they have actual interesting stories and believable characters with depth. Whether these characters are black, white, muslim, gay, trans, or whatever should be the last of our concerns just like real life and when this part of a character is put front as their most prominent feature, it is immediately clear that they are trying to sell based on politics with some cookie cutter character backstory. There is no way of proving that this is actually happening at any specific company I realize, but I think gamers need to be smarter customers and not be immediately sold on some game because one of the characters is of a particular race or identifies as a particular gender or if the game’s ad campaign insulted Donald Trump. I think most triple AAA game publishers today have been guilty of this in some form or another and if you want some genuine projects that include certain ideals, people need to look to indie developers in most cases. Even then you still need to be smart though because in the end everyone making games is probably interested in making money, so stay well aware of those that are trying to exploit you.
Anyway, I hope I didn’t come across as hateful in any way because that is not my intention. I want everyone to be able to play, make, and write about games freely regardless of their politics, skin color, gender, or sexual preference. I want there to be games like Kingdom Come: Deliverance as much as I want there to be games like Gone Home and Life is Strange because all games and developers deserve a chance. If someone was attacking a developer because they are trans or if they don’t like Donald Trump I would defend them as well. Lastly, I want developers to deliver on a game designers original vision, and if that included some political values or certain character traits then that is fine, but don’t start injecting these later on in development or even post-release because you think it would do well with customers in turn bringing positive press and of course more money.
Peace and love! Have a great week.