Plus Disco Elysium drama continues and Sonic Frontiers set to get more content for free
NEWS THIS WEEK
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SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Daniel Ang & Adam Christou. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer. Thanks to Omny Studio for their support of SIFTER.
KYLE: Hi I'm Kyle Pauletto,
FIONA: and I’m Fiona Bartholomaeus
KYLE: Welcome to Walkthrough, SIFTER’s weekly recap on the biggest news in video games.
FIONA: This week loot boxes could be restricted in Australia, Nintendo acknowledges buggy Pokemon launch and the Disco Elysium drama continues.
Here is the news for Sunday 4th of December Let’s go
PROMO: Join the SIFTER community on Discord at sifter.com.au/discord
KYLE: While the loot box is slowly drifting out of favour, Andrew Wilkie an Australian independent member of parliament wants to see them in another box, a coffin.
Here’s Wilkie introducing the bill into parliament.
"And that's why today I'm introducing my classification publication films and computer games amendment loot boxes bill 2022, which aims to regulate how computer video and online games that contain these loot boxes are classified."
"The amendments also require a warning to be displayed when games contain loot box type mechanisms. This means young people will be restricted from buying and playing games with these features, and parents will be able to easily identify when these rather surreptitious tactics are included in gameplay."
"Speaker many parents may not know that loot boxes featuring games such as Star Wars, Call of Duty, FIFA, and even Mario Kart. Indeed, research by the Australian Gaming Council found 62% of the best selling games contain loot boxes"
Wilkie has been a long time opponent of gambling and would like to see Australia’s classification system changed so that all games with lootboxes would be R18+ which restricts their sales to adults.
Belgium and the Netherlands already restrict the sales of lootboxes in games which has meant games like Diablo Immortal don’t release there at all, maybe we might see something similar in Australia if this bill passes.
FIONA: Australia's classification system isn’t always the best for players, but this seems like a pretty reasonable change and has been one that many people have been waiting for since Belgium and the Netherlands introduced their restrictions.
FIONA:, Nintendo has finally acknowledged the buggy launch of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet and have promised to fix it.
The game got its first patch this week, it wasn’t massive… mostly fixing a problem with game audio during the elite four, but attached was a short note from Nintendo apologising for poor performance and a promise to fix these issues.
Players are mixed on whether this patch fixes anything at all, but it sounds like more fixes are on the way.
Let us know in the SIFTER discord how you go!
KYLE: I know there are a lot of fans out there who are still enjoying this title, but I just cannot understand why the gaming community continues to let GameFreak get away with this. Y’all have stockholm syndrome for real.
KYLE: The Disco Elysium drama continues this week, with the legal battle now having uncovered IP ownership issues, and alleged misuse of company funds.
If you missed the start of this story, over the last couple of months, creatives at the studio behind Disco Elysium ZA/UM were forced out of the company late last year, and it has not been pretty ever since.
Former team members Robert Kurvitz and Aleksander Rostov claimed that now CEO Ilmar Kompus obtained a majority stake in the company illegally. It gets weirder though.
To get the money, Kompus allegedly used a shell company he controls to purchase concept sketches for the Disco Elysium sequel for just one euro, and then sold them back to ZA/UM for 4.8 million euros.
Kurvitz and Rostov claim that once this information started circulating internally, they were quickly let go.
It’s a complex situation, and one that will continue to unfold in the coming months. We’ll keep you updated here on walkthrough, in the meantime head to the show notes for a link to a really great breakdown of the situation by Danielle Partis at Games Industry.
FIONA: I agree, it’s such a complex situation with more information coming out every month. It’s always sad to see game developers and companies go through difficult times.
FIONA: Here is a weird one, dedicated Genshin Impact players have convinced themselves that they’ll get free primogems currency if the game wins at next week’s Game Awards.
Spotted by Sonic Frontiers fans who are definitely a little miffed about this situation, it looks like some players have built a voting campaign based on the assumption Genshin developer Hoyoverse will give out coin if they win.
Geoff Keighly host of the Game Awards said in a reddit AMA that it doesn’t look like bots are impacting the vote at this stage in the Player’s Voice category but the team was looking into it.
The Game Awards will stream on Thursday December 8 in the US, but land pretty perfectly into Friday 9th December for us here in Australia. Thanks Geoff.
KYLE: This sounds like QANON for gamers. I hope for the fans sake that this play out how they want, but given the success rate of of online conspiracy theories I wouldn't be holding my breath.
KYLE: Speaking of Sonic Frontiers the game is set to get a lot more DLC into 2023, including a photo mode, new challenges, new playable characters and costumes.
Sega shared the roadmap with three phases of updates to come throughout next year, and they’ll all be free.
Sonic Frontiers might not be a perfect game but it does a lot of things right so this free content is a bit of extra icing when it goes on inevitable discount.
FIONA: It’s great to see that despite the mixed reactions to the game, the game is getting more content and a plus that it’s free. It’ll be interesting to see if new players jump on board with the DLCs.
FIONA: Australian made Wylde Flowers has won the Apple App Store’s Arcade Game of the Year.
This cosy witchy farming sim has been a huge hit when it launched on Apple Arcade earlier this year, picking up the Apple Design Award for inclusion just a few months ago.
Apex Legends Mobile won iPhone game of the Year, and Inscryption won Mac game of the year.
Originally an Apple Arcade launch title, you can pick it up now on Steam and Switch.
KYLE: A big year for the Melbourne based Studio Drydock who also picked up two Australian Game Developer Awards for mobile game and Narrative. Congratulations
PROMO: Articles to read, videos to watch and podcasts to listen to at sifter.com.au
FIONA: That’s it for news, here are the games releasing this coming week.
KYLE: Out on the 5th is Swordship by French developers Digital Kingdom. It’s a fast-paced modern take on vertical arcade shooters, except players don’t have any weapons, and can only use their enemies' attacks against them. It looks and sounds great, and is out on all platforms on Monday.
FIONA: Hello Neighbor 2 is out on the 6th, the follow up to 2017’s very unsettling and funny stealth horror hit. You’re tasked with digging up dirt on your super creepy neighbor, learn his routines, plan your movements, and uncover the mystery. Grab it on Playstation, Xbox, and PC on the 6th.
KYLE: Another fantastic looking indie coming this week is IXION [ix -eye-on], by Bulwark Studios. It’s a city builder set on an enormous space station that incorporates survival, exploration and resource management. If city building is your thing this could be an interesting take on the genre. It’s out on PC this Wednesday.
FIONA: After months of waiting, Portal with RTX is coming as free DLC for anyone who already owns the game on Steam. Anyone lucky enough to have a RTX-equipped GPU will get to experience the classic puzzler with high-res textures, high-poly models and fully ray-traced lighting features. That’ll be available this Thursday.
KYLE: Choo-Choo Charles the survival horror game where you’re stalked by a horrifying spider train is out on Friday. Take out an evil Thomas the Tank Engine on the 9th on PC.
KYLE: This has been Walkthrough by Sifter, my name is Kyle Pauletto,
FIONA: And my name is Fiona Bartholomaeus Thank you so much for listening.
KYLE: We know you love listening to SIFTER so why not show your support by backing us on Ko-Fi. Your help lets us keep making our shows so head to sifter.com.au/support that address again is sifter.com.au/support
FIONA: SIFTER is produced by Kyle Pauletto, Fiona Bartholomaeus, Daniel Ang, Daniel Hyndes & Adam Christou. Mitch Loh is Senior Producer and Gianni Di Giovanni is our Executive Producer.
KYLE: Thanks to Brian Fairbanks from Salty Dog Sounds for composing the Walkthrough theme tune.
Thanks to both Audio Technica Australia and Omny Studio for their support of SIFTER’s three podcasts.
FIONA: Thanks again for listening, we’ll be back with more news next Sunday.