Sunday News Roundup: The War Z, Ubisoft, and more!

SNRHeaderDec1723

Good evening citizen. This is the Sunday News Roundup, where I, your cybernetic police officer, will guide you through the week’s gaming news. Come quietly or there will be…trouble.

There are only two days left before Christmas, or whatever it is you celebrate, which naturally means that there’s nothing to write about. It’s like the news makers and industry folks want to be with their families for the holiday or something like that. It’s crap, because what do I have to write about now? Think of me next time, you selfish doers of industry. Oh wait, things actually happened? Well, let’s get started then!

By far the biggest news of the week was that whole controversy surrounding The War Z. Not only did the advertising flat out lie about the game being made, but the developer’s community manager started to ban people outright at the mention of refunds, criticism (constructive or not), or anything else that doesn’t make the game seem like the second coming of a bearded fellow. And that’s not even getting into the issues of the actual game, and the fact that it costs $15 for what is essentially a free to play game in concept. Valve has gone so far as to removing the game from Steam’s store page. While I haven’t played the game, I do think that developer Hammerpoint Interactive has really shot itself in the foot with this release. I can guarantee that whatever their next game is, one of two things will happen. Either the studio will learn from this horrible mistake, or they’ll just keep doing what they’re doing now. If the latter happens, kiss every potential sale goodbye. Oh, and if you want a little more insight on this whole ordeal, check out Chris Sheridan’s wonderful feature about everything that’s transpired thus far.

Not long ago, a horrible shooting took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, where many innocent children lost their lives. It took the National Rifle Association a week to come up with their official stance on the tragedy. The culprit in their eyes? Videogames.

God dammit.

With every highly televised act of violence, the media, and those who don’t understand the medium, are quick to condone violent videogames as the sole reason the killer did the thing they did. Instead of, you know, actually digging deep into a story to find out actual reasons. Such as an unstable psyche, a failing mental healthcare system, the fact that we televise these tragedies for days on end without a break. But no, the reason is videogames, because it’s quick and easy. To anyone who actually thinks that violent videogames made this guy kill children, then you’re a coward, and incapable of critical thought. To anyone in the media who thinks videogames make people kill other people, you don’t deserve to talk into a camera. I’m sick and tired of living in a world where videogames are a scapegoat instead of a wonderful art form. And to quote the ever great George Carlin, “What kind of a name for a gun nut is ‘Wayne LaPierre’, anyway?”

To end on some lighter news this week, Ubisoft may be in line to purchase THQ. What would this mean, though? If the rumor is correct, we may see Saint’s Row 4 as published by Ubisoft. There’s no word on how this deal would come across, but I’d assume that if Ubisoft buys THQ’s assets, that also includes any THQ-owned studios such as Volition and Vigil Games. Let’s just hope Ubisoft doesn’t pull an EA with this deal. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Remember when EA purchased Westwood Studios and then closed them down? Or how about when EA bought Pandemic Studios and shuttered the company? I’m all about companies buying others, as long as it keeps folks employed. Let’s hope Ubisoft has more of a heart than EA in this case, as the incredible talent over at THQ deserves every break they can get.

That’s all I have for you this week. As always, you can yell at me in the comments, or via Twitter if you’re into that kind of thing. Oh, and if you like this week’s header image, check out the artist who doodled it. Mikey Turvey is a great artist, and for a few clams, he’ll doodle you!

Max was born at the tender young age of zero in a town noted for its horses and baseball bats. He enjoys giraffes, puppies, Robocop, oft forgotten movies of the 90's, British comedy, and bicycling.