Wednesday news, part two:
A Total War Saga: Troy says screw it, have mythological monsters after all
In the most recently announced piece of DLC for A Total War Saga: Troy (titled Mythos), the strategy game about the Trojan War takes an unexpected turn: we get mythical monsters now.
A Total War Saga: Troy Linux port dropped because Valve's Proton means 'less demand for native titles'
Feral Interactive is a studio that specializes in porting games to MacOS and other platforms. Earlier today, following the announcement of the Mythos DLC for A Total War Saga: Troy, it announced on Twitter that it is bringing both the base game and the DLC to MacOS on Steam after the Windows release. At the same time, however, it also said that work on a previously-announced Linux port will not be resumed, because Valve has effectively killed the market for it.
Blizzard quietly reveals all the new cards in the Hearthstone: United in Stormwind expansion
Under normal circumstances, the launch of a new Hearthstone expansion is preceded by days of card reveals on gaming sites and YouTube channels, followed by a final Blizzard livestream in which the remainder are 'dumped' en masse in the form of some fun games.
But with Activision Blizzard facing serious allegations of discrimination, sexual harassment, and a pervasive "frat boy" culture, Team 5 has decided to forgo the usual fanfare for the upcoming United in Stormwind expansion, and instead have quietly released all the new cards at playhearthstone.com.
PAX West announces attendees now require vaccinations or negative Covid-19 tests
On June 24 events company Reedpop confirmed that PAX West will be held in Seattle this year, over September 3-6, but one part of the announcement had folk troubled. The event had a laundry list of health and safety precautions and new practices for the (hopefully) post-pandemic era of live events, but one thing it did not do was require attendees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition brought out the basic Paragon Shepards
No judgment, especially because all this data comes without any supporting info, but the basic Shepards are out in full force in Mass Effect: Legendary Edition, according to player stats released by BioWare. There's no way to know how many players are on their first run or their fifteenth, so I'll ignore the lack of context and carry on with the psychoanalysis anyway.
World of Warcraft developers pledge to remove in-game references that are 'not appropriate' following sexual harassment lawsuit
In the wake of Activision Blizzard's lawsuit for alleged widespread sexual harassment and discrimination, World of Warcraft's developers issued a statement that said it will be stripping out in-game references that are "not appropriate for [the game]"—most likely meaning NPCs and items related to former creative director Alex Afrasiabi who was directly named in the lawsuit as an alleged sexual abuser. Since the lawsuit became public, other women have also come forward to accuse Afrasiabi, who left the company in 2020, of sexual assault and harassment.
Fuse and Caustic will get major buffs in Apex Legends Season 10
Apex Legends Season 10 is close on the horizon with a new legend (the stealthy tracker Seer), new LMG, a bundle of new Arenas maps as well as Ranked mode, and a World's Edge map update that drowns even more of the landscape in hazardous lava pools. Beyond these flashy additions, Respawn is also preparing a few major buffs to underperforming legends that could finally inspire me to play Fuse and Caustic more often.
Activision Blizzard employees are planning a walkout on Wednesday
Activision Blizzard employees have announced plans to stage a walkout on July 28 to protest the company's response to a lawsuit alleging discrimination, sexual harassment, and a "frat boy" culture at the company. The call for a work stoppage comes as an open letter condemning company leadership and calling for "compassion for victims" has now surpassed 3,000 signatures.
Update: Blizzard senior software engineer Valentine Powell says the World of Warcraft leadership team will pay employees for the time they spend participating in Thursday's walkout.
Bobby Kotick finally responds to Activision Blizzard employees: our initial response was 'tone deaf'
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has issued a letter to all employees in the wake of a lawsuit alleging widespread sexual harassment and discrimination at the company. In the letter Kotick describes the company's initial responses to the lawsuit as "quite frankly tone deaf," and promises that leadership is "immediately evaluating managers and leaders across the company." The letter comes the evening before a planned walkout by Activision Blizzard employees.
Time-looping murder mystery The Forgotten City is out today
The Forgotten City is a murder mystery for an entire city: when one person sins, in this ancient Roman town, everybody dies. And it's out today, if you want that weight on your shoulders.
Guild Wars 2's End of Dragons expansion introduces a siege turtle and fishing
The pandemic has caused problems for lots of developers, and ArenaNet among them: last year it delayed the long-anticipated launch of Guild Wars 2 on Steam, in order to focus on the major End of Dragons expansion due by the end of this year. Then that got delayed until early next year too. Things are getting back on-track, however, and now we've got our first look at what's coming.
New blockbuster studio That's No Moon boasts an embarrassment of talent
New game development studio That's No Moon is opening across Los Angeles and San Diego, led by game development veterans from across some of the largest studios in the industry. That's No Moon intends to create narrative-driven experiences across both interactive and linear media.
Dull Grey looks anything but
Free will vs determinism is one of the more hashed-out philosophical debates. It's an easy one to see in action, too: how often is the answer to oversimplified advice, "it's not that easy—I don't really have that choice". It might technically be there, but there's a web of other factors involved.
This is what the trailer for upcoming visual novel Dull Grey highlights, as it drifts over the landscapes of its setting. (...)