Pokemon Go developer lays off staff to cut costs: How many studios will have to reduce staff size during this time?

I've mentioned this before... based on the way things are going, but developers are going to feel the heat just like the average joe when it comes to the economy. How they play their cards, determines how good or bad things can go... and support from fans is a huge factor.

Staff weren't the only ones to get cut from Niantic, a Transformers game + another title called... Hamlet, had their plugs pulled as well.

I won't say that working in game development is any more or less stable than any other field, but... it's one of those things you have to keep in mind if you desire to work in the industry (some positions are contract-based). It's not always the economy, it's unit sales, poor decisions in development, and even poor decisions that weren't even related to bugs.

Void Interactive (which isn't connected to Niantic at all)... had their title "Ready or Not" pulled from Steam based on what they said was a suggested trademark infringement, but there was something else that NME reported on first that made me look at the trademark thing with a side-eye.

NME pointed out that a new level featuring a nightclub shooting in the game was likely the reason behind the game being pulled. A nightclub level that involved shooting may have flown under the radar, but NME reported that the developer released the level on the anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting that took place here in Orlando, Florida. Major facepalm and I mention this situation because there are situations that you don't have control of... like unit sales (which are based on support), while others are completely avoidable.

I can't say whether Void Interactive knew about Pulse at all, but if it's the reason Ready or Not was delisted from Steam at the time... that doesn't help revenue or keep them further away from layoffs if they have to face the music sooner than later. Developers looking to whether the storm are laying off employees regardless, but for those trying to maintain their team... play it safe and avoid as many unnecessary L's as possible.

Valve ramps up Steam Deck production: Your wait could be over

Don't get taken to the cleaners, Steam is doubling up on Steam Deck shipments! According to Steam maker Valve wants to get out more than double the number of units on a weekly basis. Is this a sign that Valve has found a new route to cover their parts shortage? It's possible, so take this information and avoid being used by someone trying to jack up the price.

Say no to... price gougers.

I don't want to knock someone's hustle, but... there are literally open box units being sold for $1125.00. It's not even the 512GB model. I've even seen unopened options for $1500.00... which is nearly trip the price. Like... come on, keep your money in your pocket unless you come across a unit that makes sense and you're willing to buy from someone who isn't Valve or a reputable third-party reseller.

There are some people who kept things a bit more reasonable by selling units in a similar price range to the going price on the site. This technically defeats the purpose of reselling (unless they just don't want the device), but these are the only ones I'd entertain... if I ever went that route.

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Disgaea 6 Complete

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Mask Up Mondays: Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl - Garfield Gets It In!

I thought about what game I'd play in place of Muse Dash, and Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl came to mind. It's certainly a good alternative because it delivers competition, but also that SSB-like action.

I know that there are many of you who wonder when the pandemic will officially pass, while others have shrugged and figured they throw caution to the wind. There are multiple people still getting covid, I just think there's a burn out in terms of even giving a crap anymore... but try to play it safe as much as possible. For the essential workers, we still salute you, and certainly try to give you praise when we're out... because essential workers are the last step between normalcy and all hell completely breaking loose.

If no one worked at the gas stations, that would completely bring the axe down on tons of other things. Think about it. The same applies to grocery store workers, medical professionals, delivery drivers, etc. There are just so many things that disappear with essential workers, so just consider that.

We went out for pizza on Saturday, and there was a waiter and a cook from 11pm - 5pm. The waiter was trying to do his best, but you could tell he was in a panic and... service was held on by a thread. After telling him that we appreciated his service regardless, he was very appreciative, and also shared that it would be a little easier if his co-worker didn't call in with plans to come in late. She arrived early but didn't intend to clock in for another 1.5 hours. I'm not sure what she was going through, but with everything going on... I hope more of us make it a little easier. All it takes are the right amount of resignations to turn nearly everything belly up. So... game on, and be as awesome to others as possible.

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Bungie Awarded $13.5 Million in Lawsuit Against Cheat Maker Team

The cheat creator, Elite Boss Tech has admitted to incorporating its own overlay into Bungie’s Destiny 2's copyrighted work.

Bungie sued the cheat creator Elite Boss Tech for copyright infringement and the latter lost and have to pay $13.5 million in damages!

The Elite Boss Tech was found guilty of creating cheat software that adds an unauthorized "graphical overlay" in-game which injects third-party code into Bungie’s copyrighted material, resulting to be considered an unlicensed derivative work.

Additionally, the Elite Boss Tech admitted to willful infringement and how their software violates the anti-circumvention of DMCA constructed by Bungie. The software that the Elite Boss Tech created has been downloaded 6,765 times at a cost of $2,000 per download.

The Elite Boss Tech has been ordered not only to pay up but they are also prevented to create and/or distribute any software that could violate Bungie’s rights or the parents, subsidiaries, or affiliates’ rights!

The company also cannot abuse its power and reverse engineer any games owned or published by Bungie.

The legal battle between Destiny 2 developer Bungie and cheat makers began in August of 2021 when they filed a lawsuit against Elite Boss Tech for copyright infringement.

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Redout 2... Reviewed!

Shout out to 34BigThings + Saber Interactive for supplying us with a copy of the fast-paced... Redout 2. My opinions of the game are my own... so strap in and... let's go!

The original Redout caught my eye, so it's good to see the team had the right support to follow up with a sequel. Redout 2 is one of those games that pays its respects to the classics in the anti-gravity racing genre like... F-Zero & Wipeout. Believe it or not, I never really played those a great deal, but I was diving in and out of games/genres. Will Redout 2 bring the heat like the award-winning original? Let's find out!

 Off the bat, I love how they usher players into the game. You start off playing your way into the intro before you're brought to the main UI.

You might go from the intro and feel revved up enough to jump into Arcade or Multiplayer, but if you're new to the Redout franchise... or you need to dust off your skills, Career mode all the way (at least for now). So go to Career mode first... you won't be sorry because you'll be taught how to handle yourself and it also unlocks a certain option (as seen in the preview) that can help newer Redout racers like myself (I certainly need it, and I play racing games).

Arcade is easy enough to understand, you jump in... choose a ship, choose a location, choose a level... and you're off. Career is going to show you all the little ins and outs of what's needed for racing. You get RT to accelerate, LT for Break (the usuals), and you also get the LB to Boost + RB to Hyperboost.

The right analog stick is a major factor in this game. This team wanted to make full use of the controller, so the right analog stick allows your... hover ship to go up or down (Pitch), and even Strafe. This is with the right analog stick, and not only can you utilize these while soaring through the air during jumps, but you also use these while going up, down, and around tracks.

If you were just expected to know this stuff going in, it would be too complex, and for some gamers... it still might be. Do yourself justice and play the career mode, you won't be sorry... after going through the career mode... it's safe to say your inner beast will emerge because you have to fight to accomplish objectives. It's not a walk in the park (if you don't want it to be), but if you follow the steps... you should be good.

You should be good if you want to still have a challenge, but need a bit of assistance on the track so you aren't constantly crashing, overheating, etc. Going through the career, it's not a pain in the butt experience... it's rewarding when you proceed from one objective to the next. I've certainly improved from when I was unintentionally remixing the music by running into the sides of the tracks. I'm getting better and better, and now how custom options are unlocked after placing in the Career mode race. I fought like hell for that 3rd place... let me tell ya. 

So after that, I went over and took a look at the options. Options vary and so does the game difficulty (changing the difficulty also :

  • Zero difficulty - For players who just want to enjoy the ride without being pressured to succeed.
  • Chill difficulty - A Redout experience with some leeway.
  • Pilot difficulty - A balanced challenge for most players with experience in AG racing.
  • Redout difficulty - The complete Redout package for skilled drivers.
  • Master difficulty - For those who enjoy a real showdown.
  • Nightmare difficulty - Push beyond your limits.

By the way (for PC users), options also give you the ability to play with users on another platform. We have Redout 2 on Steam, and we're able to link our Epic Games account to play with those of you who on the game there.

Visuals: I'm going to start with the user interface. The UI is clean and showcases the different options available to you... as seen below. Nothing complicated here, but it doesn't need to be... it covers everything you need and gets you going. In the career area, you will have the different areas like the Trials, the sections might be limited, but you will notice in the B League and other sections of the SRRL Career... the sections will vary.

As you see... in the preview above, you get these colorful tracks going through some vibrant stylized environments. The tracks remind me of Hotwheels race tracks to be honest... and it's a beautiful thing.

There are tracks I have yet to set out on, but the tracks I've experienced... I'm not mad at. Kinda hard to be mad at something while I'm busy trying not to overheat or hit the side of the track at blazing speeds... but overall it's a beautiful-looking experience.

Music: Music is nice in this game, nothing I've come across thus far has been annoying enough to make me hit the mute button. As heard in the preview, and as mentioned above... when I said "Remix", they did something in this game that allowed the music to switch up in real-time. You even have a custom theme music for each ship based on the way you modded it. The menu music is smooth 

Price: Pricewise... you're looking at $29.99 for a game with 36 tracks (multiply it by 2 when you consider the reverse track options). The hoverships give you various mod options that change the performance of the ships, we're talking propulsors, rudders, stabilizers, flaps, magnets, wings, engines, spoilers, paint (duh of the day), etc. SRRL Career goes from Trials, to B League, A League, S League, and SRRL Invitational with 250 different events. So the career has plenty of replay value, and outside of the Arcade, the final frontier is certainly multiplayer... because you can take your bumps and bruises in career and arcade before taking on the competition online (showing off your ship). If you're concerned about your stats, no worries, there's SRRL Unranked & SRRL Ranked racing for you and up to 12 other players to enjoy.

By the way, the game is available on PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and will be landing on Nintendo Switch (July 2022). I'm glad that Switch gamers will have the option of hitting the track without waiting around for Nintendo to... finally release another F-Zero. Maybe Nintendo should give 34BigThings the option of selling F-Zero-related DLC, just a thought.

Overall, Redout 2 is an enjoyable... challenging change of pace that I embraced. I love my racing sims, but this also brought me to the edge of my seat as I fought my way to the finish.

Gameplay 5

Visuals 5

Music 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points

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PlayStation PC Games incoming!

Sony is changing its business strategy for PlayStation by focusing on releasing quality first-party narrative games and improving its PlayStation Now service.

However, PS Now on PC had some drawbacks, including the use of a PS4 controller and inferior streaming quality.

Sony is planning to develop more "live service" games to supplement their first-party narrative games. Sony plans to release 10 new games for their live service by Spring 2026, with the majority of them being PC games.

Sony expects to make $415 million in PC game sales in the next 3 years. This would have been possible if the games were exclusive to PlayStation consoles.

Take note that games that are best categorized as "catalog" bring in nearly half a billion dollars in revenue. Sony plans to release Spider-Man (a Sept. 2018 game) and Spider-Man Miles Morales (Nov. 2020) on PC to generate $300 million in revenue.

With a prebuilt audience and the ability to tap into an already established market, Sony will be able to increase revenue by expanding its focus on PC.

More gamers are starting to wonder if exclusive day one PlayStation games will eventually make their way over to the PC, eliminating console exclusivity and shifting gaming culture as we know it. It's no secret that Sony keeps its hands both in PC and console gaming. It needs to keep up with the competition, but at least one thing is for sure – if the revenue grows, so will the profit.

Their strategy so far has been to release catalog first-party games on PC, finding new and secondary markets without alienating day one buyers who would have bought the game console version.

The only thing holding PC gamers back is that it's up to Sony whether or not they make any first-party games available for PC. Sony announced in their last investor presentation that one-third of their first-party titles will be available on PC by 2025. Now, the million-dollar question that most gamers have is which ones?

If you want PlayStation Plus on PC, get it now (you will need Win 8 or Win 10).
You will need PlayStation Plus Premium for cloud streaming.

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