A BLIZZARD OF CONTROVERSY: Activision Blizzard––makers of such hit games as World of Warcraft, Overwatch,and Hearthstone––have hit a geo-political wall as they take a stance over controversial statements made by the winner of a Hearthstone tournament about the protests in Hong Kong against the People’s Republic of China. Andrew and D. Bethel investigate the complicated relationship between popular American entertainment and China.
OPPORTUNITY DIABLOWN: At the end of the keynote presentation for this year’s BlizzCon––a convention devoted to game developer, Blizzard, created by game developer, Blizzard––the wildly successful PC developer announced a new entry into its long-running and beloved Diablo franchise: Diablo: Immortal. While ostensibly a new Diablo game, Diablo: Immortal is a phone game made not by Blizzard but by Chinese mobile developer, NetEase, and it was decidedly not the game fans wanted news about: Diablo IV. In a backlash of epic proportions, Blizzard has tried to course-correct which only dug them in deeper, D. Bethel and Andrew investigate the aloofness of Blizzard, the entitlement of fandom, and the hazy trouble in-between.
Bethel, D. “The Week – 26 October 2018.” Long John. ––Where D. Bethel wrote about people judging texts based on news, images, previews without actually seeing the final content.
NERD LAW: When legal stuff happens in the nerd world, Andrew is on the case (though not dispensing any legal advice). This time around, he talks about Epic Games suing players who use cheats in Fortnite and Comic Con International winning its copyright battle against Salt Lake Comic Con over the term “Comic Con” (19:40)
THE FORCE IS…EXPENSIVE?: With the hotly anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront II released recently, with it came a lot of controversy. It stands at the apex of a recent trend toward big-budget titles adopting monetizing tactics more commonly found in free-to-play mobile games, this time in the form of blind boxes aka loot boxes. Andrew and D. dive into this controversy and try to find the middle ground.
Today, the Korean Esports Association (KeSPA) made a big announcement: the formal Starcraft ProLeague would come to an end. Although there are a lot of different reasons that the Starcraft league was cancelled, the Chairman of KeSPA summed it up reasonably well:
[T]he drop in the number of ProLeague teams and players, difficulty securing league sponsors, and match fixing issues have made it challenging to maintain ProLeague.
This is not an isolated assessment. Professional eSports organization TeamLiquid also noted that five professional Starcraft II pro teams also disbanded. Although people on Twitter have already declared Starcraft dead in Korea or competitive StarcraftII dead altogether, Blizzard has yet to issue any response and the 2016 WCS (World Championship Series) Global Finals are still scheduled for early November.
Whether this is the end of the line or just a bump in the road, it’s hard not to look at this as a condemnation of eSports as nothing more than a fad, or at least something that will never have the social gravitas of “real” competitive sports. Nowadays, it’s probably easier to find a RuPaul’s Drag Racewatch partyin a bar than it would be an eSports event. Perhaps it just says something about the nature of watching events as a group.
WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew started playing World of Warcraft…again while Dan sees a trailer for Steven Okazaki’s documentary, Mifune: The Last Samurai, and they talk about killing your idols.
TOO OLD FOR THIS SHIT?: Dan and Andrew examine the sudden and growing trend of bringing back notable 1980s’ franchises back for modern audiences…but on television. Lethal Weapon, The Exorcist, MacGuyver, and even Magnum P.I. are heading to television. What does it mean? What can we expect? Can they be any good (were they any good in the first place)?
ROBOTS IN DISGUISE: Since he started uploading Let’s Play videos, Andrew has run into the static generated by YouTube’s content monitoring algorithms, which take down videos that may have copyrighted audio embedded in the video. They talk about this trend and how its damages may extend much further than lost revenue for both YouTube streamers and copyright holders.
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For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.
-“Stayin’ in Black” by Wax Audio
-“Magnum, P.I. Theme” by Mike Post & Pete Carpenter
-“Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell
-“Scene Change” by Johnny Douglas & Robert J. Walsh (from The Transformers)
WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew bides his time until Civilization VI releases by playing a bunch of Blizzard games while Dan swims through the lush animation and Old Norse world of Thunder Lotus Games’ Jotun.
NEWS BLAST – UPDATE – METAL GEAR SURVIVE:Metal Gear series creator and famous non-employee of Konami, Hideo Kojima, boldly said that he has nothing to do with Konami’s upcoming Metal Gear Solid V spinoff, Metal Gear Survive, on stage at this years Tokyo Game Show. Konami retaliated by releasing approximately fifteen minutes of co-op gameplay to a rather tepid response.
LEGACY CHARACTERS 2.0: Building off of the previous conversations about “legacy characters”––superhero mantles that can be passed from person to person rather than being locked to a single identity––in Episode 09 and, tangentially, in Episode 104, Dan and Andrew return to the topic now that the world has a new Superman––officially New Super-Man––and recent Legacy turns with Wolverine and the use of a Legacy character in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD: Ghost Rider v3.0, Robby Reyes. So, there’s lots of stuff to talk about.
Week in Geek: The guys felt the draw to local cinemas this week as Andrew saw Warcraft and Dan saw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows and debate a bit about what movies trading on nostalgia and fandom should do versus what was done and, of course, come to no conclusions.
Leave your thoughts as a comment at forallintents.net. Be sure to join the official Facebook page. Help spread the word by leaving a review on the iTunes store. You can e-mail the show at forallpod [at] gmail.com, or e-mail Andrew or Dan directly at andrew [at] forallintents.net or dbethel [at] forallintents.net.
For all intents and purposes, that was a shortcast recap.