#37: The XBox Live Price Crisis, Vicarious Visions' Fate, and Cyberpunk's Struggles


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Jarret and Nick are back this week to talk about all the latest in gaming news! First, Jarret explains why the show is coming out on Monday and Nick talks a bit about how he's playing through Final Fantasy XII ahead of his four year old. Then they get right into what's been going on!
Microsoft shocked fans by announcing a price hike for XBox Live Gold, doubling it from $60 to $120 a year. After the backlash, Phil Spencer announced that they would not be raising the price and instead would be getting rid of the XBox Live subscription requirement for free-to-play games. Jarret points out that this is another example of Phil Spencer's effective leadership as he is fixing a wrong by Microsoft, but Nick points out that Spencer is also to blame for the price hike in the first place. They try to raitionalize why Microsoft would raise the price so dramatically in the first place without anticipating the blowback and are left baffled.
Valve, Capcom, and Bethesda were all fined $9.5 million dollars for geo-blocking in the EU. Jarret and Nick struggle to understand how these companies did not understand they were breaking the law with their decisions.
Some new information was released about Resident Evil Village. Jarret talks about how he's excited they are returning to a mansion setting and emphasizes that the vampire lady is huge. Jarret wonders about why they are including a multiplayer arena shooter called Re:verse.
In the weekly Cyberpunk drama segment, Jarret and Nick talk about the Jason Schrier article that described some of the problems at CD Projekt Red leading up to the game's underwhelming release. Jarret talks about how the game was really only in development since 2016 and it does not compare favorably to games that have come out since 2018. He argues that it is a development on the GTA style of gameplay, but not enough. He points out that crunch may have pushed the employees to want the game released regardless of its state.
Activision-Blizzard has merged Vicarious Visions into Blizzard to work on a Diablo II remake, among other things. Nick cites some Jason Schrier tweets talking about how Blizzard's team makeup has changed and says this is just as likely to be J. Allen Brack's doing as it is Activision corporate. Jarret points out that studios usually progress until they can develop their own IP, but he and Nick wonder if Vicarious Visions was the exception and wanted this arrangement instead.
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Episode URL: http://mtb.gg/2er
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Jarret Redding
Nick Zielenkievicz
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