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Tag: blizzard

He Needs Management

He Needs Management

ETERNALLY YOURS: After getting released on Disney+, our hosts finally discuss the most recent Marvel Studios release (not Spider-Man: No Way Home), Eternals. It’s a movie with a lot of new additions to the MCU, for better or for worse.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Sword Club” (30 July 2021): Where our hosts discuss the results of California’s investigation into the company culture at Activision Blizzard.
  • Scary Gongs” (19 November 2021): Where our hosts review the walkout at Activision over their dissatisfaction with Bobby Kotick as a leader of the company.

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FEATURED MUSIC:

Almond Molina

Almond Molina

THE DOCTOR IS IN…FLUX: With the most recent series of Doctor Who wrapping up––a six-episode event called Doctor Who: Flux––our hosts discuss its ups, downs, insides, and outs as the show leads to the exit of the current Doctor as played by Jodie Whittaker.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Smash Talk” (14 Dec. 2018): Where D. Bethel and Andrew discuss Jodie Whittaker’s first season as the main character of Doctor Who.
  • Halloween Still” (01 Oct. 2021): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the news that previous showrunner, Russell T. Davies, will be taking over Doctor Who after current showrunner, Chris Chibnall, steps down.

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Scary Gongs

Scary Gongs

KOTICK TOCK TIME’S UP: This week, after a scathing report, employees of Activision/Blizzard walked out calling for the expulsion of the company’s CEO, Bobby Kotick. Our hosts examine the situation and how it symptomizes larger aspects of video game culture.

RELEVANT LINKS:

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • Less-Impressive-Than-Expected No. 7” (01 July 2017): Where our hosts discuss the “interesting” game from a creator of Mega Man, Mighty No. 9.
  • Sword Club” (30 July 2021): Where Andrew and D. Bethel talked about Activision Blizzard being investigated by the state of California.

INFO:

FEATURED MUSIC:

Sword Club

Sword Club

A BAD BLIZZARD: Our hosts take a quick look at the controversy (and lawsuits!) that came out of an investigation led by the state of California into the toxic and dangerous company culture of Activision Blizzard.

I HAVE THE POWER: Having watched the first five episodes released for Netflix’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Andrew and D. Bethel look at this playful and creative reimagining of the classic ’80s toy commercial, er I mean, cartoon series.

RELEVANT EPISODES:

  • All-New, All-Same” (29 June 2018): Where Andrew and D. Bethel discuss the angry internet’s attempt to “destroy” Lucasfilm following the release of The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
  • Empty Justice” (01 March 2019): Where our hosts talk about internet trolls trying to review bomb Captain Marvel ahead of its release.

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Dating the Void

Dating the Void

ELEMENTARY, DEAR WOHN JATSON: A brief look at an upcoming multi-platform release from Capcom that gathers two Ace Attorney games previously unavailable outside of Japan. The collection, called The Great Ace Attorney, features some interesting localization of characters names. While not unusual in itself, the fact that in Japan a character named “Sherlock Holmes” had to be changed––to “Herlock Sholmes” for release in the United States points to some very strange aspects of copyright law. Andrew dives deep into the mystery.

Image Source: Capcom

CUTTING CUTSCENES: Based on an GamesIndustry.biz interview with Weird West narrative designer, Lucas Loredo, who posits the idea that maybe we live in a gaming world that no longer has a need for cutscenes in games. D. Bethel and Andrew dive into the purpose of cutscenes and do their best to answer the question themselves.

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ADDITIONAL MUSIC:

We Are Mostly Ignorant

We Are Mostly Ignorant

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.

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Shortcast 73 – English Major Math

Shortcast 73 – English Major Math

Image Source: Blizzard

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.

RELEVANT LINKS:

  • 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.

Image: BBC. Text: D. Bethel

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“District Four” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
-“Disco Medusae” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
*Tracks are licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Episode 150 – Comivention

Episode 150 – Comivention

WEEK IN GEEK: Andrew returns to a previous WiG by booting up a since heavily patched River City Ransom Underground (starts at 2:03) while D. was impressed with the pragmatism and instructional value of Brandon Dayton‘s Sketchbook Summer artbook (12:32).

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)

RELATED EPISODES:

LINKS:

  • Bethel, D. “Trials By Fire #001: Fantasy“: A 2011 article by D. Bethel where he talks about Orcs Must Die!, a game he compares to Fortnite.

WORKS CITED:

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Disco Medusae” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
-“Nerd Law” by D. Bethel
-“District Four” by Kevin McLeod (incompetech.com)*
*Tracks are licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Shortcast 37 – Rusty Interruptions

Shortcast 37 – Rusty Interruptions

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.

LINKS:

INFO:

For all intents and purposes, that was an episode recap.

FEATURED MUSIC:

-“Thunder Busters” by Wax Audio

News Blast: The End of the Starcraft Pro League

News Blast: The End of the Starcraft Pro League

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 Starcraft II dead altogether, Blizzard has yet to issue any response and the 2016 WCS (World Championship Series) Global Finals are still scheduled for early November.

Maybe it's time to pour one out for professional Starcraft...
Maybe it’s time to pour one out for Starcraft…

It’s no surprise to anybody that interest in watching Starcraft has decreased significantly in the past years while viewership of games like League of Legends and DOTA2 have dominated the eSports milieu. But, even considering the popularity of LoL and DOTA2, it just feels like the end of an era; Starcraft II was the impetus for the ever-popular “Barcraft” phenomenon that started in 2011 in the United States. That was the time where a bar could potentially fill any day of the week with either live streams or recently played games of professional Starcraft. Of course, with that being said, the whole “watching video games in a bar” phenomenon was arguably already losing steam before this announcement; both the Barcraft sub-Reddit and the TeamLiquid Barcraft listing are mostly vacant.

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 Race watch party in a bar than it would be an eSports event. Perhaps it just says something about the nature of watching events as a group.