Why Avalanche’s Contraband will debut on Game Pass (besides money)

“Game Pass has been really great for us, especially if we look at our self-published title,” says Holfve. “TheHunter: Call of the Wild helped us prove our service model and Xbox Game Pass was fantastic because we were able to reach so many more players. It’s a good way for people to try [the game], and since we have such a massive DLC catalogue for that title — over 20 DLCs — it’s a beautiful way of getting people in, getting engaged and showing that it’s a stellar game. Then people are really tempted to buy more. So the business model really works to our advantage.”

It’s important to keep this in mind. Developers have had a taste of this already so it’s not a matter of much debate whether the likes of Xbox Game Pass can be harnessed to increase game revenue. Just another reason the “Netflix for games” mantra is nonsense.

“It’s made Xbox a way more important platform than we ever initially thought. We thought [the game’s userbase] was going to mainly be on PC. So we’re reaching a way bigger audience.”

But we are still at the stage where a leap of faith might be in order. There’s no such thing as conventional wisdom yet when it comes to such services.

Tencent deploying facial recognition to stop children gaming at night in China

Internet and gaming giant Tencent has decided to take extreme measures to prevent those under 18 from playing games late into the night in China. The company is using a facial recognition system on its platform to identify players and prevent them circumnavigating existing controls by using adult accounts.

According to sixthtone.com the new system goes into action today. The facial recognition technology will be linked with a public identity database to ensure accuracy. With the aim to prevent minors from playing games during the curfew hours of 10pm to 8am.

If this sounds a like a company making decisions that parents are supposed to make, you’re in luck; that’s exactly what this is.

EU Parliament lets companies look for child abuse on their platforms, with reservations

The bill was stalled because of a provision that allowed companies to also scan for grooming, which does not constitute abuse, per se, but does include text and audio messages that indicate children are being manipulated by an offender. Parliament members fretted that allowing companies to scan for messages opens the door for them to monitor other communications. That view was enforced by Europe’s data protection regulators, who also warned that the rules would undermine the EU’s privacy rules.

It is always a matter of time till someone reminds someone else that politics is the art of the feasible. It is also difficult to argue against this notion. Still it is quite easy to argue that resining to this idea as the actual end goal instead of the unavoidable compromise that is designed to refer to.

Here we temporary legislation that even those that argued for it openly declare it is not legally sound and will not withstand a legal challenge in the courts, maybe not even out of them.

In a perfect example of “but what about the children?!” moral panic mentality, legislators chose to avoid answering the pertinent question: what should take precedence? Privacy for all (that was already been legislated, mind you) or a backdoor to privacy that is difficult to stay focused (as is the case with any backdoor) in order to better protect children?

This is grade A stupid posturing. It is not even kicking the can further down the road to deal with it later on. That would have been an improvement. This new legislation knowingly goes against legislation (AKA it’s illegal and everyone knows it) and this is supposed to be OK because, well, “what of the children?!”.

Of course, children are the apple of our collective eye. Children must be protected as well as possible. But this kind of posturing and straight up illegality is politicking, not an offering of protection.

They Resurrected MGM. Amazon Bought the Studio. Now What?

As part of their efforts, Mr. De Luca and Mrs. Abdy even had MGM’s logo reworked: Leo the lion is now digital and the gold film ribbons that encircle him have been sharpened “to own gold the way Netflix owns red,” Mr. De Luca said. The three Latin words encircling the lion — “Ars Gratia Artis” — are first spelled out in English: “Art for Art’s Sake.”

That’s music to Mr. Anderson’s ears.

“Long live the lion!” he said. “Whether it’s ‘The Wizard of Oz’ or ‘Tom & Jerry’ cartoons, the lion is a symbol of our business. The healthier, the better.”

And how does he feel about MGM being sold to Amazon?

“Who?” he responded.

Paul Thomas Anderson gets to play it like this and we get to tip our hats to Paul Thomas Anderson.

#27: Disaster report

The firstborn adored Ring Fit Adventure, but cannot play it on his Lite since it has no removable Joy-Cons (and no, father will not buy him another set, because he will only break them). We have spent many a pleasant hour building Labo kits together, but the not-Pro will not support any of them because it is 0.1 inches bigger. Nintendo has spent a chunk of the Switch era building great, innovative, truly different software that is full of potential and ripe, you would think, for further experimentation — then consigning it to history with its next hardware revision.

This kind of mentality is my own biggest gripe with the Switch as a platform. It’s also the reason I’m not a fan of the Switch Lite. It’s not a bad product. It certainly is a successful product. But it eschews, by design, the whole idea behind the branding of the Switch. For some reason Nintendo has yet to wrap its head around the idea of a coherent ecosystem with multiple systems. Nintendo surely creates platforms but I posit it never successfully tackled creating an ecosystem. With unified software and hardware development due to having a single platform with the Switch, things are better. Just not better enough in that regard.

Ubisoft at “high risk” of losing talent after abuse allegations

The firm noted that further toxic behaviour at the company could lead to “loss of talent, an obstacle to its attractiveness and to retention of talent, loss of efficiency, damage to the reputation and image of the group that could lead to a decrease in activity in our games, and in revenue.”

I saw multiple outlets picking this up and I don’t understand why. When risking possible risks that can knock traded company off-balance, resulting in loss of value, missed targets and whatnot, companies tend to list every possible risk one can imagine. If you can get your hands on a couple, you’ll be shocked at the size of such lists before you get a chance to be shocked by their content. Of course Ubisoft will add this in and absolutely anything else over which litigation can be brought upon it. By including this as a high risk Ubisoft is raising a shield against bad faith investor lawsuits. And that’s pretty much it. The rest is SEO.