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).

Image result for riot games

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

 

 

Borderlands 3 Trailer & More!

Gearbox just showcased Borderlands 3 at Pax East. While most of the announcements were just people talking about how excited they were to work on the game, the trailer showed a bunch of stuff.

As usual, there are 4 Vault Hunters you can play as in the game. While their names weren’t specified, you can see some of their abilities showcased.

  • There’s a buff female Hunter who has the markings of a Siren and can apparently spawn six massive arms. We see her briefly summoning a giant arm later in the trailer and holding an enemy in a containment bubble.
  • A younger female Hunter appears standing in front of a mech that she can apparently summon. Other players can apparently co-pilot.
  • An older male Hunter apparently uses a gadget that will let him create a holographic version of himself. He may be a character from Tales of the Borderlands
  • An android Beastmaster appears to fight alongside a variety of pets, including a Skag and Spiderant.

Some characters from their previous Borderlands titles will be returning. Brick, Lilith, Mordecai, (Borderlands) Maya, Ellie, Marcus, Tiny Tina (Borderlands 2), Rhys (Tales of the Borderlands) and other returning characters all make cameos.

The two antagonists may be called Troy and Tyreen according to GamesRadar. They could both be Sirens based on their tattoos and eye colours. This may not be true because Sirens have all be females according to the game lore.

The game’s announce date hasn’t been shown but Gearbox has stated they will release more information on April 3rd, the same day Borderlands Remastered is set to release.

I am excited for Borderlands 3. It’s one of my favorite co-operative shooters to play due to its colors, fun environment, and crazy gun types.

Xbox Live comes to Nintendo, iOS, and Android

You’re reading that correctly. Xbox Live services are coming to Nintendo and phones. Microsoft announced that they will release their own SDK (Standard Dev Kit) that will allow game developers to integrate Xbox Live into any titles that run across PC, Xbox, iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch. It will be fully announced during GDC (Games Developer Con) in March 22nd.

What will this do?

Xbox Live will provide achievements, friends list and Xbox Live functionality to existing mobile video games. Microsoft has been trying to reach out to a broader audience outside of PC and Xbox Users. Last year they announced their CloudX services that will provide will stream Xbox games to PCs, consoles, and mobile devices later this year.

It’s clear that Microsoft is moving toward a subscription-based service. They are one of the biggest revenue generating services in the industry (think Amazon Prime and Netflix). While Xbox has been losing in the exclusive game markets, perhaps this will be their new competitive advantage. The mobile gaming market makes over $1 billion in comparison to the hundreds of millions in consoles.

Sources:

GDC Schedule

Gamespot

The Verge

Eurogamer

How to improve at Fortnite: Have a better computer

There’s a current bug in patch 7.20 in Fortnite. If you’re playing on a Nintendo Switch or a weak PC, your frames rate are usually 30. This is actually worse for players as a lower frame rate means your maximum fire rate will be lower.

Reddit user 0x011A tested how fast certain guns fired on different frame rates. If you notice below, it takes longer to empty an entire clip when playing with lower frame rate.

No fire rate buffs

  • 30 FPS: 3.942 seconds (Actual fire rate = 15.22)
  • 60 FPS: 3.95 seconds (Actual fire rate = 15.19)
  • 120 FPS: 3.45 seconds (Actual fire rate = 17.39)

With War Cry (18 fire rate –> 23.4)

  • 30 FPS: 3.942 seconds (Actual fire rate = 15.22)
  • 60 FPS: 2.967 seconds (Actual fire rate = 20.222)
  • 120 FPS: 2.93 seconds (Actual fire rate = 20.478)

Eurogamer also tested it against metal gates and noticed its 1.44 seconds difference between 30 FPS and 60 FPS. Although it may not seem long, the time can be the difference between life and death. Higher frame rate such as 120 or 300 makes little difference.

Epic is currently looking into the issue