Happy Day After Valentine's Day! To celebrate, Replay has … some incredibly grim stories in the games sphere, sorry to say. Activision Blizzard's huge layoffs and instability in the indie gaming market aren't what anyone wants to hear about, but it's what we've got. Let's dive into this week in games.
Activision Blizzard Rocks the Industry With Massive Layoffs
Monday was a dark day in the industry as Activision Blizzard, one of the biggest companies in the business, began the process of laying off roughly 8 percent of its staff—according to Kotaku , almost 800 people. The move comes amidst a failure to meet expectations for the 2018 fiscal year, though, notably, the company still achieved record profits, according to CEO Bobby Kotick.
- Julie Muncy
Surprisingly, Disney Is Happy With EA's Star Wars Games
- Peter Rubin
Don't Blame Fortnite for Activision Blizzard's Layoffs
- Julie Muncy
'Resident Evil 2' Zombie-Hunts Its Way to Massive Success
The layoffs hit Blizzard especially hard. Blizzard, which merged with Activision in 2008, sold itself as the sort of company where people came to build long-term careers, and instead many departments—especially departments not immediately involved in what's considered core development work—were decimated.
The response in the industry has been almost unanimous outcry—to mourn the jobs lost, to point out the injustice of the cuts, and to lament the current state of the industry. As Variety reports , Game Workers Unite, a pro-union advocacy organization that's become a major player in industry conversations, is calling for a campaign to get Kotick fired. Whatever the solution is, it probably isn't more Fortnite .
Unity Might Be Going Public, Which Could Be Troubling for the Independent Developers Who Rely on Unity
Unity Technologies, the company behind the incredibly popular Unity game engine, might be up for an IPO in 2020, according to rumors rounded up by Variety . If market conditions are favorable, according to anonymous sources, the company could embark on the offering in the first half of next year—though, of course, Unity isn't confirming anything.
This is possibly concerning news. Unity, at present, is known for presenting an accessible engine and an asset marketplace that's frequently used by independent developers of all stripes. It's core both to the company's present identity and to the livelihoods of a lot of devs. But it's not necessarily the most profitable way a company could be using its creations, so the question remains: If an IPO happens, and Unity becomes beholden to public shareholders, what will become of their free services and their affordable assets? Time will tell.
Deadmau5 Has as Dead Twitch Channel After a, Um, Heated Gaming Moment
Ever since it was used as an ill-advised defense of PewDiePie, the phrase "heated gaming moment" has been an apt descriptor for the upsettingly common phenomenon of people on gaming streams getting angry and saying something horrifically offensive that no one should say out loud. The latest offender? Get ready: Deadmau5. Yes, the EDM artist.
What happened? Well, as Kotaku reports, he was playing PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds , and he got shot. So he dropped a homophobic slur. And Twitch temporarily banned him. In response, the musician took to Reddit to not actually apologize and then to threaten to quit Twitch permanently, which has a real "you can't fire me, I quit" vibe.
Recommendation of the Week: Portal 2 on Just About Every Platform
Yesterday was Valentine's Day, so celebrate your love by playing Portal 2 co-cop with your significant other. Collaborate, argue, commiserate, and probably eventually succeed with four mind-bending, reality-breaking portals at once. Cooperative videogames are great sites of frustration and joy, and they'll either make your relationship stronger or lead to one of you sleeping on the couch. I say, roll that die.
- The Redditors who reclaimed r/FatPussy (and other subs)
- Inside the push to legalize magic mushrooms
- Ride with the guy who builds roller coasters in his yard
- Can lettuce survive climate change?
- Glitches reveal Google Books' human scanners
- 👀 Looking for the latest gadgets? Check out our latest buying guides and best deals all year round
- 📩 Want more? Sign up for our daily newsletter and never miss our latest and greatest stories