Business business business! We’re back for another speedy Friday afternoon roundup of some MMO and games industry business news.
Amazon’s next big thing
We’re not sure why why anyone would look at the way the Stadia has rolled out to the world and think, “Yeah, I gotta get me some o’ that action!” but that’s what Amazon is apparently up to. Cnet (via Gamasutra) notes that Amazon is planning a Stadia clone itself.
“Amazon is planning to announce its service next year, according to two people familiar with the company’s plans. It’s begun recruiting people from large game companies like Microsoft to help with the launch, as well as hiring for jobs in a “new initiative” within its Amazon Web Services team, which sources said is involved in Amazon’s future gaming service.”
Sexual harassment and games
A new paper examining toxicity in online video games, specifically sexual harassment, pinpoints some ugly realities in our field. Investigating sexual harassment in online video games: How personality and context factors are related to toxic sexual behaviors against fellow players, penned by researchers Wai Yen Tang, Felix Reer, and Thorsten Quandt, determines that “gamer identification” is a “predictor of sexual harassment perpetration.”
“The present study replicates and expands previous research, using a sample of 856 online gamers. The study supports earlier findings that found hostile sexism and social dominance orientation as predictors of sexual harassment perpetration in online video games. In addition, we expanded the previous research with additional predictors: machiavellianism, psychopathy, and gamer identification predicted higher sexual harassment perpetration. Our results have implications for the gaming community’s role in curtailing sexual harassment and making itself a more inclusive community.”
But don’t despair; the researchers also suggest ways to alleviate the problem: “As gamers identify with other gamers, this means that influential individuals, such as game developers, gaming journalists, gaming youtubers (e.g., Pewdiepie), or professional gamers among others, would have significant persuasive influence, where they communicate to their audience that they do not tolerate sexual harassment behaviors.”
Blizzard wins another lawsuit
According to Shine (via Gamasutra), Blizzard and its Chinese partner NetEase have emerged victorious in yet another copyright-related lawsuit overseas. A Chinese court ruled that Chinese studio 4399 Network had ripped off Overwatch’s character design, maps, and gameplay in a pair of its games, Clash of Fighters and Gunplay Battlefront. Blizzard and NetEase were award over half a million US dollars in damages and fees.
Finally, esports guru Rod Breslau tweeted a chunk of a stream from HomeStory Cup, a super long-running StarCraft esports event at the Tropical Islands resort (yes it’s called that) in Berlin, Germany; it includes a brief chat with former Blizzard president Mike Morhaime. Morhaime announced his departure from Blizzard a year ago and actually left earlier in 2019. So it might seem a little odd that he, along with former VP of Esports Amy Morhaime (his wife) and former Global Esports Director Kim Phan, would turn up at a TaKe-sponsored esports events as fans, but there they are, and as you can imagine, the thread quickly turned into adoration for Morhaime and other times he’s proven himself a gamer first – and how much Blizzard lost in nudging him out.
Blizzard founder Mike "The Man" Morhaime, Amy Morhaime and Kim Phan who led esports at Blizzard all went to the 20th edition of HomeStory Cup for of their passion and love for StarCraft and esports #HSCXX
that's the Blizzard I grew up with pic.twitter.com/40KoRxZLvL
— high class leakboy Slasher (@Slasher) November 21, 2019
As always, we welcome tips on all MMO stories, businessy or otherwise!