The Sunday Papers
Sundays are for saving a Steam Deck unboxing for when you get back from holiday, just to beat away those blues. Before you almost lose all willpower, let's read this week's best writing about games (and game related things).
Over on the Guardian, Keza MacDonald asks whether the Olympics is getting video games all wrong. The first Olympics esports week will feature nine virtual sports, but they aren't what you'd expect. Hearthstone, Valorant, Overwatch? Nah, Tic Tac Bow and Just Dance, mate. MacDonald examines why the IOC would've chosen lesser known, 'non-esportsy' games, as well as whether it's necessarily a bad thing.
“For the average esports fan, its inclusion in the Olympics should have been a triumphant moment representing a step forward for the community, which has grown from a few hundred gamers in the early 1980s to over half a billion this year,” says Matt Woods of the esports marketing and talent agency AFK. “Unfortunately, last week’s announcement left us feeling disappointed and, honestly, a little embarrassed. Instead of working with existing game publishers or well-established tournaments, it seems that the Olympic committee has instead decided to use this event as a marketing vehicle for brand-new, poorly thought out, unlicensed mobile games.”
Nicole Carpenter wrote a post for Polygon on an indie studio that hasn't paid its workers in months. A tough read, with some baffling moments - namely Oueslati joking about the whole situation.
Roughly 20 workers at Montreal-based indie studio Dynasty Loop are looking for answers — and money — after months of missed paychecks, four workers told Polygon. The studio, helmed by CEO Rania Oueslati, apparently owes its workers and external contractors more than $2 million in missed pay, expenses, and bonuses, according to the people impacted by the situation and supported by numerous documents and work chats reviewed by Polygon. These employees, who were granted anonymity as they were not authorized to talk to press, told Polygon they were asked to turn in their work equipment and have been unable to access the Montreal office space. The studio told them they were not laid off, but they’ve gone without an expected timeline for repayment or any work to do in the meantime.
On Eurogamer, Christian Donlan wrote about Idyll, a gentle social world from the creator of Library Of Babble. A lovely, quick piece from Donlan about little pills and conversations that might takes years to unfold.
I bumble around, a bright little pill person, and I gather I might encounter other pill people brought here through chance. I can announce my thoughts to the wind and sky, and when I reach the coastline, there might be a bottle floating in the surf, with somebody else's thoughts in it. I can add my thoughts to theirs if I want to.
For VG247, Dom Peppiatt wrote about Destiny 2 Lightfall's latest hidden Exotic quest, and why it's reminded them why they love Destiny 2, despite everything. Liam and I have been beavering away on our next Inventory Space episode, which just so happens to be Destiny 2 related. Stay tuned.
I’ve not been kind about Lightfall. Yes, I think there are some really cool moments, and yes, I have had some great fun playing through the Legend campaign. But overall, it’s a crapshoot – a weird tonal aberration that undoes so much of the work The Witch Queen did in righting the shaky storytelling of this nearly decade-old experience. But Destiny is so much more than its campaigns; the game lives and dies on its seasonal content, and the way it keeps bringing players back into its best-in-class FPS sandbox. And little missions like this newly added NODE.OVRD.AVAL.ON quest are great examples of where Bungie really succeeds.
Music this week is "on the street (with J.Cole)" by j-hope. Here's the Spotify link and YouTube link. I learned that j-hope is a member of K-Pop superband BTS, and that this song acts as a "see you later" before he does mandatory military service, and also features his idol J.Cole - hence the name "j-hope". J.Cole's verses remind me of typical rap features in pop songs, but elevated. He perfectly balances lyricism with approachability. The man looks so comfortable now.
That's it for this week folks, have a great weekend!