MMO Business Roundup: Discord, Ubisoft, Twitch, WB Games, Starfield, and more

    
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Welcome back to another quick roundup of MMO- and MMO-adjacent games industry news! First, let’s talk about Clyde. He’s got a bit of a makeover.

Discord: The platform that pretty much everyone in the western world uses for organized gaming is seeing a birthday and a branding overhaul this week. The company has changed up its logo, font, colorway, and even its cute little icon, Clyde, which Sam insists still looks like Mickey Mouse’s butt. I mean, he’s not wrong.

Twitch: Amazon doesn’t have a cute new logo for Twitch, but it’s fixing its price situation. According to the company’s recent blog post, Twitch will be evening out subscription prices “adjusted for where viewers live,” starting with Mexico and Turkey later this week, so they won’t be paying through the nose relative to users here in the US. “The most important thing to take away here is that subscription prices in the vast majority of countries outside of the US will be lowered,” Amazon writes.

Microsoft: Microsoft is already throwing its might around when it comes to the buyout of Bethsoft, as GamesBeat reports that the upcoming space RPG Starfield won’t be getting a PlayStation release – basically, exactly the exact exclusivity thing everyone was worried about when the Bethsoft buyout happened. This is it. Here it be. “And I would predict that Xbox would make this call for The Elder Scrolls VI and beyond,” GamesBeat opines.

WB Games: This one’s adjacent-adjacent, but worth a RIP, as WB Games was once the entity that controlled the Turbine MMOs before half were sold and the other half sunsetted. AT&T, which owns WB, is apparently breaking apart the company in order to merge WarnerMedia into Discovery. The game studios themselves – VG247 notes there are 11 in total – will apparently be split across AT&T and the new company.

Ubisoft: GIbiz reports on an investigation by French publication Le Télégramme, which suggests that in spite of the massive blow-up at Ubisoft last year – when multiple executives were accused of sexual harassment in the workplace and were ousted – very little has actually improved for workers and very few changes have actually been made across the corporation. The articles point out that some of the toppled execs merely moved to other positions within the company, new harassment cases have been reported but are being “sidelined,” and management continues to fail to address employee groups’ concerns.

IGN: Finally, there’s a growing storm over on IGN and Game Informer, where management apparently unilaterally removed articles posted by editorial staff in support of Palestinian civillians – and in IGN’s case, replaced them with a tweeted statement crafted by the C-suite. The staffers themselves have continued speaking up in support of victims and against Ziff Davis and the assorted ownership congloms.

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Brinto Sfj

How about game companies and media just focus on gaming related news and not bother with world politics? The hypocrisy of western world politics is already very apparent to us non westerners. When we non westerners play western games, we don’t play the game expecting political assuage from them, we simply want to forget about all the shit and enjoy some fun games. Why not just do what you are supposed to do and not bother with political bullshit?

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rk70534

One can’t truly separate gaming and politics, as we have seen recently with Blizzard’s China debacle etc. It’ not a situation where a publisher for example could be utterly neutral. The luxury of taking no position often doesn’t exist.

Many gamers might not be interested about world politics, but governments and organizations involved in world politics are interested in gaming.

It’s one avenue, like arts and sports have long been, where large masses of people can be reached and influenced. The idea that it could stay as an innocent haven is, at best naive. To players of Rambo games in 1980s the games were usually just fun games, as the movies were mostly just fun movies (credit to the rather dark first one though) but even those games, as crude as they were from our standpoint, already tended to impart less subtle messages about world politics in their players.

When the 1976, 1980 and 1984 Summer Olympics were boycotted (1976 boycott is less remembered than 1980 and 1984 because it didn’t involve superpowers) many people thought that sports and politics should too be kept separate. Why should athletes not to go to Moscow just because a war was happening in Afghanistan, many thought? (See, here we get back to Rambo via Afghanistan…) )

But they can’t be held separate, even if we would wish, and same holds true about gaming. Any popular human activity will become a field for political issues to some extent. And perhaps the worst thing we could do is to try to pretend that isn’t the case.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

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discord invaders.gif
Leo
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Leo

well with no change in leadership at the top, I can’t see Ubisoft really doing much besides media blurbs

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IronSalamander8 .

Mickey Mouse’s butt…great I always thought of it as modern console controller outline, but this cannot be unseen!

Ubisoft not actually fixing anything is no shock. I haven’t even played Siege in a few months much less anything else by them. They keep making the same game over and over again, so combine that with them not cleaning up their act and their stuff is an easy skip.

IGN seems to be simultaneously ticking off people all over the place I see.