MMO Business Roundup: Activision-Blizzard rebuffs diversity proposal, gaming Kickstarters are on the rise again

You were a pretty place.

Welcome back to another roundup of MMO and MMO-adjacent gaming industry news!

MMO Kickstarters may have lost the faith of the genre’s playerbase, but for video games on the whole, the platform is raising more money than ever. According to a new ICO Partners report (via GIbiz), video games scored $23M through Kickstarter last year, the highest since 2015, though that was for slightly fewer games than in 2019 (meaning the games that funded made more than those that funded in 2019). But it’s also worth noting that only six of those games generated more than half a million dollars on the platform.

Rockstar and Take-Two have apparently stymied another cheat website, this one known as LucaCheats. As first reported on Eurogamer, the hackers announced that development has ceased and the purveyors will be donating past proceeds to a charity selected by Take-Two.

Riot Games is likewise stamping out cheaters. Valorant’s anti-cheat team recently posted a missive to players discussing how it’s vetted accounts for its First Strike tourney and the competitive ladder system and how it’s working to prevent future cheating, including implementing 90-day penalties for “bussing.”

Finally, Activision-Blizzard is being called out around the industry this week after a Vice/Motherboard report that suggests Blizzard is balking at improving its hiring diversity. US labor group AFL-CIO and Acti-Blizz shareholders proposed that the company adopt policies akin to the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which requires executives to interview diverse (across race and gender) candidates for key jobs. The idea behind such rules is to improve the diversity of candidates, which theoretically would improve the diversity of hires. Activision-Blizzard, however, has characterized the proposal as “micromanagement” and said that “implementing a policy that would extend such an approach to all hiring decisions amounts to an unworkable encroachment on the Company‚Äôs ability to run its business and compete for talent in a highly competitive, fast-moving market.” EA, we point out, received a similar proposal and told Vice that the board of directors would consider it. EA. E. A.

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