Telltale releases its Remaining Employees

Source: r/SBFP

Last week, Telltale released a majority of their staff with no severance pay. They kept a skeleton group of employees to finish the last projects they owed to the shareholders. Apparently, that didn’t last long as Telltale just released the last remaining staff members.

The last project Telltale had was The Minecraft Story for Netflix. What remains of that project remains to be seen. Telltale has faced heavy scrutiny by the public for their mass layoffs without providing warning or severance packages for the employees. According to Kotaku, Telltale will finish The Walking Dead: The Final Season with another developer which is a slap to the face of the employees who worked so hard on the game. The future of The Walking Dead: The Final Season looks bleak but the Telltale hasn’t responded on the employee layoffs. Guess they chose the no answer option.

Image result for telltale no answer option

Sources:

Former Employee announces the release of the skeleton crew for Telltale

Kotaku – Telltale looks for others to finish the Walking Dead

Should Gaming Addiction be considered a Mental Disorder?

Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared video game addiction is a mental disorder. For clarification from WHO, gaming addiction is prioritizing games over relationship building, interacting with others, daily activities and thought process. For it to be considered a gaming disorder, it has to be seen over the course of 12 months. Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, spoke further on the topic and stated only qualified doctors should be able to diagnose properly. While it stated it has to be seen over the course of 12 months, severe cases can be an exception. They have compared gaming addiction similar to gambling and substance use. Poznyak hopes” that inclusion of gaming disorder in the classification will stimulate debate as well as further research and international collaboration.”

Recently, BBC posted an article/video of a teen talking about his “addiction” as play games for 20 hours a week. The article became famous and spread throughout the internet on Monday which further villainized gaming. However, we should remain skeptical of the reasoning. Games have been villainized by organizations and government for causing violence and shootings despite huge lack of evidence. With the popularization of Fortnite in mainstream media, it has caused an even bigger target regarding gaming addiction.

Even researchers disagree on the gaming addiction as a mental disorder such as Anthony Bean, a licensed psychologist and executive director at The Telos Project, a nonprofit mental health clinic in Fort Worth, Texas. He stated, “I’m a clinician and a researcher, so I see people who play video games and believe themselves to be on the lines of addicted.” In his experience, they’re actually using gaming “more as a coping mechanism for either anxiety or depression.” He also noted that most clinical doctors aren’t too familiar with gaming habits, in general, to diagnose people with “gaming addiction.” If they aren’t familiar with a illness, how can you accurately state somebody with a mental disorder if you are unfamiliar with the topic? Bean also noted that different effects on different people. Someone playing “Minecraft” is going to be completely different from someone playing “World of Warcraft,” he said: “They’re two vastly different genres.” They have different effects because the games are in different environments and you interact with people differently.

Games often receive a harsh feedback because gaming isn’t age-gated like drugs or gambling. Anybody can play which is the beauty in it. Of course, anything done in excess is bad, whether it’s eating, watching television, or exercising. Scientist and researchers don’t have enough information to fully develop a conclusion on the effects of gaming because every game is different. Other countries like Korea and China have huge gaming addicts who go to PC cafes all day. Korea even has gaming rehab centers for addicts. It’s a tricky thing to solve but I personally believe considering gaming addiction as a mental disorder is too extreme.

What do you think about people who play too many games? Do you know anybody whose gaming has ruined parts of their lives?

Sources:

WHO statement on Gaming Addiction

NBC news

BBC – 20 hours weekly video

CNN – WHO and Bean’s statement on gaming addiction

Business Insider – South Korea rehab centers

Ubisoft defends itself from Vivendi and why its important

Despite creating amazing games and long-lasting franchises, you would be surprised to hear Ubisoft was trying to avoid a hostile takeover of their company for several years from Vivendi. Vivendi is a French multimedia company. They are active in music, television, film, and video games. They were the previous owners of the most shares for Blizzard Entertainment (World of Warcraft, OverWatch) before they became Activision Blizzard. Vivendi began to purchase shares of Gameloft and Ubisoft to own the companies. CEO of UbisoftYves Guillemot and Michel Guillemot, viewed their acquirement as a hostile takeover and worked together to prevent Vivendi from purchasing more stocks.

What do Shareholders do?

Investors can purchase a majority of shares than others to have influence on the Board of Directors (BoD). The Board of Directors vote to determine which direction a company should move and they represent the shareholders. Depending on how much a person invests into shares determine the amount of power within their votes. Vivendi attempt to buy more shares was to own Ubisoft just like they bought most of the shares for Gameloft. Vivendi denied the accusations on December 2016. They had owned 27.5% prior to the current news. France laws states if a person owns more than 30%, they are obligated to offer to buy the company.

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Yves worked with individuals to prevent Vivendi from purchasing more shares. Vivendi is now selling its 27% shares for 2 billion euros. Ubisoft and the Guillemot Brothers C.E. (Representative company of Ubisoft‘s founders Guillemot family) will acquire 15% of Vivendi‘s shares.  Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan — an independent organization that administers pensions for about 318,000 teachers in Canada’s most populous province- and Tencent (League of Legends, PUBG China), a Chinese conglomerate will purchase the 3.4% and 5% of the remaining stock but won’t have seat on the BoD. The rest will be sold through accelerated book building.

Why is this important?

The Board of Directors have huge influence on companies but they may not follow the same views as the CEO or how people want the company to act. Their biggest focus is on the companies to earn as much money as possible. With Ubisoft owning most of the shares and already setting plans for 2018 – 2020, they can choose their own business practice. Shareholders won’t have the influence to force Ubisoft to use “dirty” business strategies such as releasing more DLC, releasing unpolished games or creating more mobile games. We want gaming companies to choose their own business goals without compromising their principles because of the shareholders.

Sources:

Global News Wire

Polygon

Overclock

Invenstopedia 2