It’s that time again: Replay, where we catch up on all the week’s gaming news. We’ve got loot boxes, PewDiePie, and an old gem coming back around for a second time. Let’s get started.
The UK Parliament Thinks Loot Boxes Be Regulated as Gambling
The saga of loot boxes continues. This time, it’s Parliament weighing in, with the UK’s governing body releasing a report from its Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee on the issue of loot boxes in games and how they should be handled by regulatory bodies.
The big takeaway? As many people have insisted for a while now, the report suggests that loot boxes—wherein you spend real money for the chance to get a thing you want—are gambling. And, specifically, as Rock Paper Shotgun explains, this committee thinks they should be regulated under UK gambling law since they are “games of chance played for money’s worth.” If this regulation happens, it could have pretty big ripples. We’ll be following this one.
PewDiePie Tried to Do a Good Thing. It Didn’t Go Well
This whole story is a big yikes. Remember PewDiePie, he of the controversies for supporting anti-Semitic messages and other troubling things? Yeah, well, in an apparent gesture to clear his name, PewDiePie announced earlier this week he would be donating $50,000 to the Anti-Defamation League, a nonprofit group with a long history of combatting anti-Semitism and other forms of hate speech.
And then, the next day, he canceled the donation. As reported by Kotaku, he explained that the charity was not precisely what he thought it was and was not a cause he felt passionately about. Kotaku also notes that many of his fans began spreading conspiracy theories about the ADL, suggesting that the organization had somehow blackmailed PewDiePie. It’s unclear if these reasons are why the YouTuber decided to take back the donation offer. But it is clear the whole situation is a mess.
Control Announces DLC That Might Include a Major Crossover
Remedy’s Control is one of my favorite games of the year, and more of it is coming in the form of several major downloadable content (DLC) packages, including two paid story updates next year. That’s neat but normally wouldn’t be that notable. What is notable, though, is that Remedy may be using the opportunity to continue one of the most beloved cult-classic game franchises of the modern era.
The promotional art for the second paid expansion, called AWE, suggests that the game may be a crossover with Remedy’s Alan Wake. The game already features several Easter eggs suggesting it takes place in the same universe as Control, and that art (you can see it here) includes visual features (the lighting, the flashlight) that immediately evoke the cover art of Alan Wake. And AWE, while it stands in-game for altered world event, could also stand for Alan Wake expansion.
The original Alan Wake games were well-loved but didn’t do particularly well, and Remedy canceled a sequel some years ago. So putting that game in a crossover with your new, very successful game, allowing you to continue your unfinished series via Trojan horse? That’s just next level. We applaud you, Remedy.
Recommendation of the Week: Ape Out by Gabe Cuzillo, on Nintendo Switch, PC
Some elegant drums, and one very angry ape. Ape Out is a game with smooth, compelling action and bright colors, all centered around one very big rampage. You’re an ape, fighting against those who want to capture and take advantage of you. As an ape, you can punch, throw, and run. That’s about it. But what else could an ape need? To go on destruction sprees that would make the Hulk jealous, of course! Animal rights have never been this thrilling.
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social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired https://www.wired.com/story/loot-boxes-parliament