Sony and Microsoft will Merge their Cloud Services

To the shock of everyone (including PlayStation employees), Sony and Microsoft will be working together on their cloud services for gaming. While they have been competing in the video game console industry for years, Sony is not an expert in the Cloud system. Running a cloud server is expensive and Microsoft is considered the 2nd biggest company with the capabilities. Sony and Microsoft “will explore joint development of future cloud solutions in Microsoft Azure to support their respective game and content-streaming services.”

Essentially, PlayStation’s online services will be hosted on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud platform. Don’t expect PlayStation exclusive games or services to come to Xbox or vice-versa. This collaboration can be considered a response to the Stadia from Google and Amazon’s Cloud gaming system (which still isn’t out yet).

Cloud isn’t going to take over anytime soon

Despite the Stadia coming out this year, don’t expect Cloud Gaming to take over the industry. Reports from players have said there were mixed results including delays in registering actions and reduced graphics quality. I strongly believe that console gaming will be strong in the next generation however Cloud gaming can be a game changer once 5G actually comes out. An analyst has predicted that Cloud gaming will only take 2% of the industry according to Bloomberg. 

Sources:

Bloomberg

The Verge

Final Fantasy 7 Remake confirmed for Episodic Release

Back in 2015, Square Enix had stated that the remake of Final Fantasy VII would be released episodically. However, Square had been relatively silent despite multiple teasers being released until last night. Square is reconfirming that Final Fantasy VII Remake will be released episodically. This may lead to each episode being each disc for the PlayStation One release. That would mean three episodes.

It’s pretty disappointing to hear the game is being released as episodes because the game has been under development for so long. This may be the case if Tetsuya Nomura and Square Enix have been consistently changing the game’s direction similar to Final Fantasy XV. The trailer shown at the PlayStation State of Play only showed the beginning of Final Fantasy VII which may be an indication that they only finished the 1/3 of the story.

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Riot Walkout Starts Today

Riot Games (League of Legends) employees are planning to have a Walkout today from 2 – 4 pm regarding forced arbitrations. Arbitrations mean revolving disputes outside the courtroom. Last year, Riot faced 5 different lawsuits by current and former employees that stated the company had violated the California Equal Pay Act and more. Kotaku had written an article regarding interviews with Riot’s work culture of widespread and endemic sexism at the company, manifesting in Riot’s hiring practices, promotion strategies, and wider culture (Kotaku).

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In April, Riot filed a notion to block two of lawsuits and have the employees signed arbitration agreements, which waived their rights to a jury trial against them. News of the arbitration was heard amongst the employees. Angered, employees organized a walkout and Riot had a world-wide company meeting to hopefully address the issues. They announced that incoming employees are allowed to opt out of forced arbitration for harassment suits and maybe for current employees as well (Riot).

According to an anonymous employee, 100 employees are expected to walkout. It’s actually the first walkout in the gaming industry. Riot has been slowly making changes to the company culture, such as hiring their first Chief Diversity Office, Angela Roseboro, in March.

Angela Roseboro is the new chief diversity officer at Riot Games.
Angela Roseboro

According to an email from Riot Games’ employees, they are supporting the walkout. He stated:

“We have asked all managers to make every accommodation to allow Rioters to participate during the 2-4pm window, including freeing up meeting times. We respect Rioters who choose to walkout today and will not tolerate retaliation of any kind as a result of participating (or not).” Employees can rest easy knowing they will not be fired for walking out. The walkout is being supported by the Game Workers Union, an organization of game workers who are organizing unions in the gaming industry.

According to some Riot employees, their biggest fear is “leadership does not budge from their current position and continues to maintain that there will be a ‘future commitment’ about current Rioters” (Kotaku).

Hopefully, Riot will be making changes soon for the employees and fix their company culture. I am a fan of League of Legends to this day and I wish the best for all of the employees at Riot. I think it’s important we support the developers and the employees who want a good working environment; especially if you’re a fan of the games they create.

Sources:

Kotaku