Mike Ybarra, boss of Blizzard, has released a blog post laying out the steps he says will "rebuild trust" in the developer following the reports of toxic workplace culture and sexual harassment which emerged last summer . Ybarra is now Blizzard's sole leader following the departure of former co-head Jen Oneal, who resigned from her role after only a couple of months . "2021 was challenging for all of us," Ybarra wrote , in his first public message this year. "As individuals, we care about treating everyone around us with respect and dignity. As professionals, we care deeply about our crafts, and we want to work in the most supportive and safe environment possible. "Our top priority - now and into the future - is the work we are doing to rebuild your trust in Blizzard." Managers and top brass at Blizzard will now see their success and pay measured against creating a "safe, inclusive and creative" work environment, Ybarra said. Meanwhile, an "upward feedback program" will … [Read more...] about Blizzard boss lays out plan to “rebuild trust”
Onstar basic plan for 5 years
The record $68.7 billion purchase of Activision Blizzard has brought with it renewed hope across the gaming industry that Microsoft can create a more positive working environment for studios that have been caught up in numerous controversies over the last few years. In a post on Blizzard's blog , company boss Mike Ybarra pledged that the company would look to rebuild the trust of its fans by making positive changes to its studio culture. Some of these changes include new appointments, which Ybarra shed more light on. A Culture leader who will help us maintain the best aspects of what we have today, and change and evolve where needed to ensure everyone brings their best self to Blizzard. A new organizational leader for Human Resources who will build trust, empower our teams, and help foster a safe, positive work environment for everyone. A Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leader solely focused on our progress across multiple efforts in this area. Blizzard's compliance and … [Read more...] about Blizzard Boss Details Plans To Rebuild Trust In The Studio
Mario Kart 9 will apparently feature Pikmin, Starfox, and ARMS racers according to a leaker. As spotted by The Gamer , Nintendo leaker Zippo - who previously correctly predicted that Diddy Kong Racing was coming to Nintendo Switch Online and more - has claimed in a recent blog post that a new Mario Kart game is in the works and that Nintendo is "planning to celebrate it in a big way." Perhaps most excitingly though, Zippo also claims that Pikmin, Starfox, and ARMS will be making their way into the next game as racers. According to the leaker: "This new game will feature more guest characters and tracks than the previous Mario Kart game," with the aforementioned Nintendo IPs being the only ones mentioned so far. Zippo also says: "Alternate costumes will also be featured in some way, as well as expanded single-player content, of some kind." This rumor becomes slightly more plausible when you remember that not even two weeks ago it was also suggested that Mario … [Read more...] about Mario Kart 9 could include new racers from Pikmin, Starfox, and ARMS
Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said he is keen to revive Activision franchises the publisher has recently ignored. Spencer also suggested Activision studios such as Crash Bandicoot 4 developer Toys for Bob would also be released from its recent retooling to become cogs in the Call of Duty machine. "I was looking at the IP list, I mean, let's go!" Spencer told The Washington Post . "'King's Quest,' 'Guitar Hero,'... I should know this but I think they got 'HeXen.'" On the topic of developers like Toys for Bob, Spencer said his team would talk to studios about working on games from Activision Blizzard's franchise history. "We're hoping that we'll be able to work with them when the deal closes to make sure we have resources to work on franchises that I love from my childhood, and that the teams really want to get," Spencer continued. "I'm looking forward to these conversations. I really think it's about adding resources and increasing capability." Aside from Crash, Guitar Hero … [Read more...] about Xbox boss keen to revive dormant Activision franchises
The room shifts ever so slightly to the right, back to centre, then left and back again. Lightbulbs flicker above, then pop like bubble wrap. A child's xylophone plays a looping, unsettling melody against the omnipresent purr of a ship's engine somewhere in the distance. You ease tentatively down the red carpeted aisle of the lunch hall as its bloated patrons moan through contorted expressions and slump to the floor before you. When the closing 10 minutes of a horror game evokes everything from Greek mythology to the works of Guillermo del Toro, Tim Burton, Hunter S. Thompson, and Roald Dahl in one swoop, it's doing something right. Little Nightmares is bloody terrifying, right to the very end. "Ultimately, you're a small child in a wilderness not meant for children. And with that, everything is planned so meticulously on a design level, from the layout of levels, to movement patterns of enemies, the timing of scares, and audio cues," says Little Nightmares senior producer Lucas … [Read more...] about Creativity and risk are driving modern horror games – but where does the genre go next?
Activision's Call of Duty charity, the Call of Duty Endowment, is not technically a part of Activision Blizzard, and for that reason, it might not be included in the proposed sale to Microsoft. The details are still being worked out, though, and there are no firm answers yet about what will happen should Microsoft's deal to buy Activision Blizzard go through. Contract details for the proposed Microsoft/Activision Blizzard acquisition have been published, and the document includes a line pertaining to the Call of Duty Endowment. It points out, "CODE is not a part of Activision Blizzard. It is an independent non-profit organization." It goes on to say: "We are at the beginning of a comprehensive integration planning process that will help finalize the specifics of the future organization and this will take some time. There are currently no changes to our anticipated events or pipeline." The Call of Duty Endowment Bowl was scheduled to take place on December 10 as a live event … [Read more...] about What Will Happen To Activision’s Call Of Duty Charity After Microsoft Buyout?
BioWare's Dragon Age 4 won't be ready for release this year, according to new reports. The EA-published role-playing game has never had an official release date - and still doesn't - but Eurogamer understands the game was once pencilled in for this year. Reliable Battlefield leaker Tom Henderson said there was "no chance" Dragon Age 4 would arrive in 2022, which GamesBeat journalist Jeff Grubb has also backed up. According to Henderson, EA's 2022 release calendar will instead host Criterion's delayed Need for Speed game and Respawn's Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order sequel (which is still to be officially revealed, even though EA has suggested a follow-up is coming). Some form of re-release for Battlefield 2042 may also be on the cards, with EA reportedly talking over the possibility it could become free-to-play following its disappointing launch. BioWare has been working on the next Dragon Age for years, and has dropped several teaser trailers and pieces of artwork to tide … [Read more...] about Dragon Age 4 won’t launch in 2022, reports suggest
The existence of an ending for Ubisoft's annual Assassin's Creed series is "not exactly true", one of the franchise's lead writers has said. Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag director Ashraf Ismail told Eurogamer last year that the developer had "an idea of where the end is, what the end is", despite the mega-selling franchise having no end in sight. Speaking to Edge , Assassin's Creed Revelations and Black Flag scribe Darby McDevitt has now said that while the current story arc may have a conclusion, the series could still continue. "There's been a bit of confusion in that [Ismail] once said that Assassin's Creed has an ending - that's not exactly true," he explained. "This storyline has an ending, but because all of history is open to us we see the universe as a Doctor Who type thing. There are so many possibilities we don't want to definitively end the universe, but we can have storylines that have endings." McDevitt described last year's piratey adventure Black Flag as a … [Read more...] about Assassin’s Creed series ending existence “not exactly true”
Assassin's Creed developer Ubisoft has said it has ideas in place for the series' eventual ending - whenever that might be. In a conversation with Eurogamer, Assassin's Creed 4 game director Ashraf Ismail explained the franchise's bosses had a rough idea of how they wanted the series to finish. "We have multiple development teams, then we have the brand team that sits on top and is filled with writers and designers concerned with the series' overall arc," Ismail explained. "So there is an overall arc, and each iteration has its place inside this. "We have an idea of where the end is, what the end is. But of course Yves [Guillemot, Ubisoft's overall boss] announced we are a yearly title, we ship one game a year. So depending on the setting, depending on what fans want, we've given ourselves room to fit more in this arc. But there is an end." "We have an idea of where the end is, what the end is. But of course Yves announced we are a yearly title." One advantage of having … [Read more...] about “There is an end” to the Assassin’s Creed series, Ubisoft says