In this classic feature, EVE Online player Alexander “The Mittani” Gianturco examines the ups and downs of having a player council in your game who can advocate directly to the dev team. …
Last night at Square Enix's Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV event in Los Angeles, a lot of exciting information was announced. This included an upcoming feature film called Kingsglaive. The CG movie will include some big-name talent, such as Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul and Game of Thrones' Sean Bean and Lena Headey, but they won't be reprising their roles for the actual Final Fantasy XV game.
Square Enix took to Twitter to set the record straight and clear up any confusion:
— Final Fantasy XV (@FFXVEN) March 31, 2016
So there you have it. Don't expect to hear them in game; they're only voicing their roles for the movie.
As revealed yesterday, Kingsglaive will focus on what's going on in Noctis' kingdom, while he's off on his big road trip. This allows for insight into other characters, such as Noctis' father and love interest Luna.
Kingsglaive will not be showcased in theaters, but will be available via stream and download before Final Fantasy XV's release.
For more on Kingsglaive, check out our story from last night's event complete with a trailer.
This isn't all the surprising. These big-names have busy schedules and probably don't come cheap. Plus, we don't even know how much the actors' characters are actually in the game. It could only be a few lines of dialogue, or maybe it's more and they didn't have time in their schedules to make the commitment. I don't see this as a big deal, as I'm more excited to play the game and learn more about the universe through the movie. I like that Square Enix cleared up any confusion as quickly as possible.
The official Street Fighter mini figure collection from Multiverse got some new images today, along with the reveal of the official packaging for the toys. Check out the high-res shots in the gallery below.
The collection is designed by illustrator Miguel Wilson, and will comprise eight figures in total. The first available series will include Ryu, Chun-Li, Blanka, and Guile.
They measure between four and five inches tall (depending on the character), and are made from solid PVC. Each one is packaged in a window box designed to resemble an arcade cabinet.
The collection will retail for $ 13.99 and launches in the later half of this year.
Pitched as “game dev summer camp”, the Stugan accelerator is calling for applicants to its second game-making program, which will see 20 devs spending 8 weeks making games in a cabin in Sweden. Applications close March 31. …
“This 2013 talk from Blizzard’s Joe Rumsey describes how World of Warcraft’s JAM networking layer came to be, and how it is used today using real world sample code from WoW and other Blizzard projects.” …
The K20 Center at the University of Oklahoma is looking for an individual interested in infusing sound game mechanics into educational games, and a candidate that is proficient in the Unity 3D game engine. …
This tough shooter with base management elements harkens back to the glory days of classic FPS titles like DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D. …
The University of California at Irvine is launching a big eSports initiative this fall, with backing from League of Legends developer Riot Games and PC gaming seller iBuyPower. …
The veteran Florida-based console developer n-Space has closed its doors after 21 years in operation, according to a Twitter statement from staffer Ben Leary. …
Yesterday (and for almost three years), Alison Rapp was a Nintendo employee working in communications and marketing for the company's Treehouse localization group. Today, Nintendo fired her.
Rapp announced on Twitter earlier that Nintendo made the decision to terminate her employment. "As many of you know, the last couple months have been quite a whirlwind of controversy and [Gamergate] harassment," she writes. "Over the last few wks, I’ve had to talk safety measures w/my family – including talks w/police to warn them of possible suspicious activity. Throughout this, GG has been digging up all kinds of things about my personal life and contacting Nintendo about them. Today, the decision was made: I am no longer a good, safe representative of Nintendo, and my employment has been terminated."
Nintendo tells a different story, though. The company says she was fired for moonlighting in another job.
"Alison Rapp was terminated due to violation of an internal company policy involving holding a second job in conflict with Nintendo's corporate culture," a company representative told us via email. "Though Ms. Rapp's termination follows her being the subject of criticism from certain groups via social media several weeks ago, the two are absolutely not related. Nintendo is a company committed to fostering inclusion and diversity in both our company and the broader video game industry and we firmly reject the harassment of individuals based on gender, race or personal beliefs. We wish Ms. Rapp well in her future endeavors."
We've followed up with both Nintendo and Rapp to find out what the second job was, especially given the language Nintendo uses to describe it. Rapp told us that moonlighting is acceptable at Nintendo; however, the company did not approve of her second job.
In recent months, Rapp has become a target for a group of increasingly angry Nintendo fans. Because of her work at Treehouse, she has become the name attached to decisions some deem unpopular.
You might have heard that Xenoblade Chronicles X had something colloquially known as a "boob slider" in Japan. That didn't make it into the North American version. Fire Emblem Fates also included changes in localization to remove a "face petting" minigame.
Rapp didn't have a say in those decisions, though. But that didn't stop people from digging up personal information and allegedly bombarding Nintendo with complaints about her.
The group, which Rapp has associated with the larger Gamergate movement, latched onto a paper she wrote in college in 2011. In it, she investigated Japan's child pornography laws and sympathized with that country's cultural norms related to teen sexualization that are often seen as taboo in western society.
The two stories, from Rapp and Nintendo, don't perfectly align. Rapp told us that she held a second job, but in her Twitter comments, she insinuates that the harassment she faced was the cause of her dismissal. Nintendo cites an unspecified "second job in conflict" with the company's corporate culture, though what that could be hasn't been revealed by either party. The harassment put Rapp under a microscope, which could have led to her employer scrutinizing her behavior. The problem for Nintendo is that if it allows moonlighting, it puts itself in a position to dictate what is moral and suitable for its employees outside of work hours.
Rapp says that those complaints and harassment, which began in earnest during her honeymoon, led to changes in her position. She was given a "lateral move" within the organization. Her second job, which she shielded Nintendo from by using an alias, was outed by someone external to the company. "Here’s the thing: Do you honestly think that without GG’s attack campaign, the “lateral move” and the obsessive privacy digging would [this] have happened?" Rapp says.
The result is that the Internet is aflame with ire directed at Nintendo. Brandon Sheffield from Necrosoft Games (Oh, Deer), Frank Cifaldi from Digital Eclipse (Mega Man Legacy Collection), BioWare's Mike Laidlaw (Dragon Age), Midboss (Read Only Memories), and Innes McKendrick of Hello Games (No Man's Sky) are just five of dozens of developers, journalists, and fans enraged at the House of Mario.
— brandon sheffield (@necrosofty) March 30, 2016
Wow, I actually thought @NintendoAmerica was becoming a progressive company because they let Alison be Alison. Good job caving to neo-Nazis!
— Frank Cifaldi (@frankcifaldi) March 30, 2016
I don't have a lot of context on the Nintendo story, but the more I read, the more it just makes me sad and angry.
— Mike Laidlaw (@Mike_Laidlaw) March 31, 2016
In support of women in the game industry we are forced to halt production of currently planned titles on Nintendo consoles as of this time.
— MidBoss! (@WeAreMidBoss) March 30, 2016
When people ask "what can we do to get more women into games?", how about not throwing the existing ones under a bus for a *** start
— Innes MᶜKendrick (@innesmck) March 30, 2016
Despite her termination, Rapp says that she hopes the harassment problem in the gaming industry gets more attention instead of focusing on her or those that attacked her over the past few months. "I would LOVE if the convo was less about specific actors and more about how we can make the industry the best, most progressive it can be," Rapp writes. "Again, please remember that there are so many good ppl at the big N who do incredible work. Let's make the industry better for them too."
(Disclosure: Alison Rapp was a Game Informer intern prior to my hiring as news editor.)
While the stories don't completely line up, there is one thing of which we can be certain. Nintendo remained silent as Alison Rapp was harassed over the past few months. She took the brunt of attacks for localization decisions made by the company and, as she states, were in opposition to her own opinions in some cases.
What ultimately happened at the end of her employment with Nintendo follows months of the company turning its back on her. Whether you agree with the localization decisions made for Xenoblade Chronicles X, Fire Emblem Fates, or any other game brought over from Japan, remember that these decisions are rarely made by a single person in a vacuum. No one deserves the level of harassment Rapp faced.