Opinion and News Roundup

I’ve got several things I’ve been sort of loosely following and keeping tabs on. I could probably write an entire post about each one, but that would be a slog and some of it is already old news and/or unsurprising news.

Starbreeze

This one is a moving target. It originally got my attention when they filed for reconstruction and their former CEO, well, “resigned.” I actually couldn’t remember why I knew the studio name till I looked it up and saw Payday 2, which is the only title of theirs I’ve played, though I recognize many others.

This was done due to a “shortage of liquidity.” Certainly not a good sign.

As of now authorities in Sweden have raided their headquarters and someone has been arrested, just two days after the other news dropped. I’m curious to see how this develops, but my guess is someone inside the company probably had a suspiciously timed stock transaction.

Since the Payday developer Overkill is a direct subsidiary of Starbreeze I have pretty much assumed that Payday 3 is unlikely to happen. In fact, my expectations for continuing support of Payday 2 are pretty much zero as well.

Bless Online

Bless is still continuing to struggle for relevance. I’m not surprised that there was a consolidation announcement a week ago that goes live in a couple of weeks. Population is fairly low and, at least on Steam, in a steady decline.

It’s a shame, this is a game that I really want to like. I log in once every month or so and poke around, but it doesn’t take long to remember why it isn’t popular. It’s poorly optimized, the controls are weird, the localization is likewise strange, skill binding has a strange interface and is poorly explained, etc.

I think they could have been overcome, if some had been addressed maybe a month ago, but I suspect the damage is done.

Epic Games Store

Epic, the creator of the Unreal Engine and Fortnite are opening their own digital distribution platform. You know, I was just complaining about this the other day. Their main feature is their 12/88 revenue split vs the standard 30/70. This is actually a huge move and one that I welcome. They stand a decent chance of luring new and current developers with this type of program, provided it’s cost effective for them to operate.

Like Steam or GoG it’s an open platform and non publisher-specific, which is good. That’s the area we need actual competition in. Unfortunately it’s yet another launcher to keep around.

I look forward to poking around once they get it up and running.

Fallout 76

So, Bethesda is walking back their crazy nylon bag shenanigans and giving everyone the chance to submit a ticket in the next two months to receive a replacement canvas bag. I realize it’s all damage control at this point, but I think this is a good move on their part.

On the other hand, they left a bunch of changes out of their patch notes after promising better communication, so the dumpster fire continues to burn unabated.

If it goes on sale again this month I’ll at least entertain the idea of trying it myself so I can form my own opinion.

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