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Forgive me if this Kaser Focus is a bit longer than usual, but this week really stood out. Last week we saw the beginning of the case between the FTC and Microsoft over the acquisition of Activision Blizzard. This week, the two sides wrapped up their arguments and it’s up to Judge Corley to deliver a verdict. Now, you know me – me Love legal drama in gaming, if only because every case is usually a treasure trove of passive-aggressive little nonsense that only corporate lawyers have the time to whip up. But this case is one for the record books.
I’m not going to break down all the juicy news from the lawsuit – read this week’s DeanBeat if you want to see some of the more interesting revelations. But I do think the FTC got behind on this case. There’s something in it that the judge had to remind FTC representatives that the case isn’t about protecting Sony, it’s about consumers. The FTC, in my opinion, also focused on Call of Duty at the expense of its other arguments. That said, Microsoft showed that it’s not unfair either – the documents reveal in this case that the company has considered lot from other publishers as a shortcut to a higher position in the market.
As with the Epic vs Apple case, the judge here is my real hero. Your Honor Jacqueline Scott Corey is now on my list of judges who are not afraid to invite gaming entities along with Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. It’s not necessarily a long list, but with those two on it, it doesn’t have to be. Judge Corley even closed the case with what I think was the only question of any merit: Why is Call of Duty so important? And would anyone at either company (or the FTC for that matter) even have thought of the consumers if Sony had signed the deal with Microsoft to share Call of Duty?
What else is going on?
Leaving all that aside, what otherwise happened this week? Well, Niantic and Daedalic have both announced they are moving away from in-house development and have laid off several employees. Niantic is still working on some games but has canceled Marvel: World of Heroes. Meanwhile, Daedalic is stopping game development entirely after the failure of The Lord of the Rings: Gollum. It’s a shame, because their adventure games are actually quite delightful – a Gollum title in the style of the likes of Deponia, for example, would have been more interesting than what we’ve got at the very least.
CD Projekt Red’s VP of PR, Michał Platkow-Gilewski, told Gamesindustry.biz that he felt the criticism of Cyberpunk 2077 at launch was overblown. His exact words are: “[It] became cool not to like it. We went from hero to zero very quickly. That was the difficult moment. We didn’t know what was going on.” Keep in mind that this is at the end of one terribly long interview where he talks about rebuilding their relationship with gamers. As someone who was present at the launch of Cyberpunk 2077 and rummaged through the groundbreaking glitches (on PC, no less) to scrape out whatever fun I could find, I can tell you this, Michał: we weren’t mad. We were just disappointed.
In personal news, it looks like it’s time to don my mystery games hat, as both Master Detective Archives and Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective launched this week. I also plan on getting cozy with the new Story of Seasons game because it’s been a long week and I just need some time to plant crops and play with some cows.
What to play this week
- Master Detective Archives: Rain Code
- Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective Remastered
- Story of seasons: a wonderful life
- Everyone 1-2 Switch
- AEW: Fight forever
- A lonely outpost
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakens
New on subscription services:
- Bramble: The Mountain King (Xbox Game Pass)
- FIST: Forged In Shadow Torch (Xbox Game Pass)
- Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town (Xbox Game Pass)
- Roguebook (Prime Gaming)
- Once upon a time there was a jester (Prime Gaming)
- Gems of Destiny: Homeless Dwarf (Prime Gaming)
- Darkest Dungeon (GeForce Now)
- Darkest Dungeon II (GeForce Now)
- Derail Valley (GeForce Now)
- Age of Empires: Definitive Edition (GeForce Now)
- I am fish (GeForce Now)
- Golf Gang (GeForce Now)
- Smuggling Police (GeForce Now)
- Ghouls ‘n Ghosts (Nintendo Switch Online)
- Centy’s Crusader (Nintendo Switch Online)
- Landstalker (Nintendo Switch Online)
- The Revenge of Shinobi (Nintendo Switch Online)
- Millionaire Trivia: TV Game+ (Apple Arcade)
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