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Star Citizen Developer Threatens Legal Action Against The Escapist

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Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium Games has threatened legal action over an article published by The Escapist. Cloud Imperium Games (CIG) claims the article, published October 1, was defamatory and damaging to their reputation. The article, written by Lizzy Finnegan, claims multiple CIG sources commented on alleged troubles the developer is facing. The sources also claim that CIG has a “toxic culture” and has a pattern of discriminatory hiring practices. After the article was published, CIG boss and Star Citizen creator Chris Roberts sent The Escapist a strongly worded letter, threatening legal action if the article wasn’t retracted.

But that’s a bit of an oversimplification. The drama really started on September 25, when Finnegan published a separate article asking if Star Citizen was going to “crash and burn.” The article examined a series of blog posts by a backer of Star Citizen called Derek Smart. Smart has obviously come to regret his decision to back the game, and spends his time posting about CIG’s apparent misuse of Kickstarter funds and the woes of Star Citizen’s development.

The reason there’s so much drama around CIG is that Star Citizen is a crowd-funding superstar. The game garnered a massive $90 million in funds, which means any drama that goes on surrounding CIG also pulls that $90 million into question. Finnegan’s September 25 article spoke about the misuse of those funds, as well as long delays and changes to the Terms Of Service that the backers agreed to.

The October 1 article was, allegedly, published after multiple sources from CIG came forward to give more information about the developer’s woes. These sources added a string of new serious allegations. Most notable were allegations that Sandi Gardener, CIG’s vice president of marketing and Roberts’ wife, refused to hire people over 40 and, on one occasion, refused to hire somebody based on race, saying, “We aren’t hiring a black girl.”

The second article also claimed that Roberts was using Kickstarter funds to purchase a mansion and that CIG has already used up $82 million of its funds. Finnegan’s claims apparently come from 9 different current or former CIG employees.

CIG has since responded to the article in a strongly-worded letter. They’ve refuted some of the claims directly and cast some doubt on others. The Escapist claims it vetted its sources with documentation that proved they were employees of CIG, saying they saw “pay stubs and a Cloud Imperium Games ID.” Roberts says no CIG employees are given employee ID cards. It’s also emerged that many of the quotes in The Escapist’s article are word-for-word matches with quotes from Glassdoor Australia, an anonymous employment review site. While it’s possible the employees also posted on Glassdoor, it does cast doubt on The Escapist’s sources.

CIG’s letter concludes with three demands. First, they want The Escapist to apologise to Sandi Gardener. Second, they want that apology published, as well as to have the article retracted. And third, they want The Escapist to have an independent party investigate the events that led to the article’s publication. They effectively gave The Escapist until October 5 to meet these demands, or else they would take legal action in both the US and UK (which has tougher anti-defamation laws).

What this all means for Star Citizen and its backers remains yet to be seen.

Rhiannon likes video games and she likes writing, so she decided to combine them. As well as writing about video games, she also belts out the occasional science fiction or fantasy story, edits videos, and eats strawberry oreos. In that order.

Gaming

Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth’s Retry Wording Has Been Updated in a Subtle Manner

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Despite the numerous praises players have showered upon Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, there is one particular aspect of the game that has garnered nothing but criticism: the perplexing wording of its retry screen, which players encounter when facing a Game Over. Fortunately, the developers have discreetly resolved this issue in the game’s latest patch. They have fixed the Platinum Trophy progression, resulting in a slightly less confusing experience for players.

If you don’t possess exceptional combat abilities, chances are you’ve come across the game’s notorious four options: “Retry from Current Battle, Retry from This Battle, Retry from Before Battle, or Resume.”. As an avid gamer, I must admit that I’ve experienced the frustration of losing precious time due to my own foolish mistake. In this particular instance, I found myself engrossed in fine-tuning my matrix and equipping my party, only to have it all go to waste when I encountered a formidable enemy. To compound my error, I made the ill-advised decision to retry the battle, resulting in an hour of agonizing repetition. Lesson learned!

The “Retry from This Battle” option has become a source of frustration for players who are struggling with the game’s final boss encounter, leading to a significant number of rage-quits. Without giving away any surprises, opting for that choice after being defeated would result in players being sent back to the beginning of the final boss encounter, needlessly forcing them to forfeit approximately an hour’s worth of hard-earned progress in battle.

After the update, players now have the option to select “Retry from the Current Phase” instead of “Retry from Before the Current Battle.”. It’s worth noting that this change is only slightly improved. It’s rather disappointing that the screen is overly convoluted, which may lead to players feeling frustrated. While it’s better late than never, we can’t help but wonder if this issue will persist in the future.

 

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Baldur’s Gate 3 has received an impressive haul of 5 BAFTA Awards, with the prestigious title of Best Game among them

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Baldur’s Gate 3 continues to solidify its position as a standout title, garnering five prestigious BAFTA awards, including the highly coveted Best Game accolade. In addition to the top accolade of the evening, the RPG created by the talented team at Larian Studios also emerged victorious in the categories of narrative, music, players’ choice, and performer in a supporting role.

Several games for the PS5 and PS4 received BAFTA awards. Alan Wake 2 won for Audio Achievement, Cyberpunk 2077 was recognized as an Evolving Game, Viewfinder was named the Best British Game, and Nadji Jeter received the Performer in a Leading Role award for his portrayal of Miles Morales in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

Standing on the stage that night, Swen Vincke, the founder of Larian Studios, expressed his disbelief: “It’s truly incredible to be here.” The effort and dedication poured into creating Baldur’s Gate 3 is truly commendable. It’s truly remarkable, and I extend my gratitude to Bafta and everyone involved.

Here are the winners of the BAFTA awards for 2024:

  • Debut game: Venba
  • Audio achievement: Alan Wake 2
  • Multiplayer: Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • Evolving game: Cyberpunk 2077
  • Game design: Dave the Diver
  • British game: Viewfinder
  • Artistic achievement: Alan Wake 2
  • New intellectual property — Viewfinder
  • Narrative: Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Performer in a supporting role: Andrew Wincott, Raphael in Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Family — Super Mario Bros. Wonder
  • EE Players’ Choice — Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Animation — Hi-Fi Rush
  • Music — Baldur’s Gate 3
  • Game Beyond Entertainment — Tchia
  • Technical achievement: The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Performer in a leading role — Nadji Jeter, Miles Morales in Marvel’s Spider-Man 2
  • Best game: Baldur’s Gate 3

 

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V Rising embraces its theme by introducing a Legacy of Castlevania crossover DLC

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V Rising, a vampiric RPG, made its debut on PC in 2022 and is set to grace the PS5 in 2024. The game clearly showcased a strong influence from Castlevania. Now, Stunlock Studios is fully embracing the opportunity, officially teaming up with Konami for a captivating DLC with a gothic twist.

Featured in The Triple-i Initiative’s recent digital indie showcase, Legacy of Castlevania offers players the opportunity to immerse themselves in the timeless visuals of hair, cloth, and character design from one of the most beloved vampire franchises in gaming history. The pack is set to be released in May, and it’s possible that we’ll gain further insights into the PS5 port at that time. In the upcoming game, players will have the chance to encounter the renowned vampire hunter Simon Belmont, who will serve as a formidable adversary. Additionally, fans will be delighted to know that they can dress up as the enigmatic Vampire Prince, Alucard, with a special cosplay set.

There will be three distinct shapeshifting variants for players to fully embrace the darkness. Among the options available are the Wolf Form Variant, Soul of the Wolf; the Human Form Variant, Glamour of Maria Renard; and the Toad Form Variant, Guise of The Flea Man. In addition, you’ll have access to luxurious furniture and decorations to adorn your sanctuary, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a gothic masterpiece.

Did V Rising catch your attention? What are your thoughts on the Legacy of Castlevania collaboration? We eagerly await your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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