It Takes Two, the latest co-op release from Josef Fares, has been hit with a trademark claim by Take-Two, the parent company of Rockstar Games, 2K, and other studios. The claim was filed before the game’s release, and Hazelight abandoned name ownership shortly after. Only time will tell if this game will rename itself or if it will move on from this trademark claim.
Despite Titanfall 2 being a lot of people’s shooter darling, Respawn announced it pulled the first game from sale. The servers will remain online, but the game has already been pulled from sale and will be pulled from subscription services on March 1, 2022. The game originally launched 7 years ago.
In other related news, Respawn lead Vince Zampella has been moved to be the head of Battlefield. He will still operate Respawn projects, but he now has to also help with the Battlefield franchise as it’s in a low point with the release of Battlefield 2042. Other big names and studios are also working on expanding Battlefield 2042 and its universe including former Halo designer Marcus Lehto and Ripple Effect studio.
Ward B, an indie studio making a game called Oceanic, is accusing weapons manufacturer Kalashnikov Concern (A.K.A. Kalashnikov) of lifting and selling their shotgun design to other studios.
In early 2020, Kalashnikov contractor Maxim Kuzin asked Ward B to turn one of Oceanic’s shotguns into a real-life weapon. Despite excitement for the idea that this could be the first video game gun—turned—real-life mass-market gun, the studio didn’t give formal permission to make it as they never received any contracts from Kalashnikov. Despite that, Kalashnikov announced a weapon kit with a lot of similarities to Ward B’s design. The new weapon, titled MP-155 Ultima, is a remake of the companies MP-155 shotgun but with more modern elements, and those modern elements are thought to be lifted from Oceanic.
According to Kuzin, the deal fell through because of the riskiness of working with Ward B as he believes the studio didn’t have enough backing. He also claims the weapon licensing negotiations were impossible because the weapon’s concept artist was not paid, even though Ward B claims that the artist was on deferred payment, the artist referred Kuzin to Ward B, and the concept art includes Oceanic branding. Kuzin also says the company has a patent on the design that was made “from scratch” from a different designer. Soon, Ward B and Kalashnikov were going back and forth on the design.
In the midst of all this, Escape From Tarkov added the MP-155 Ultima to their game. Ward B asked Tarkov developers Battlestate Games to take it down, but they have yet to hear a reply.
Ward B eventually gave up on a legal case because the costs were too high. At this point, all they can do is raise awareness of the situation.
Recently, Ubisoft announced NFT (non-fungible token) items for some of their games starting with Ghost Recon: Breakpoint. This is part of a new program called Ubisoft Quartz in which unique cosmetic items called Digits can be used in-game.
After receiving a lot of dislikes on the Youtube video announcing this new program, Ubisoft delisted the video, though it seems that plans to implement this new program are still in place. What happens next with Quartz could determine how major publishers interact with NFTs.
The Game Awards, the award ceremony that puts the awards to the side, has happened once again. While I’m not a fan of The Game Awards, I still think it’s worth mentioning for its announcements and news. Some of its more notable announcements include Alan Wake 2, ARC Raiders, Evil West, Cuphead: The Delicious Last Course, and Warhammer 40,000: Space Marines 2.
Masayuki Uemura, known for his work as a lead architect of the NES and SNES, passed away on December 6th at 78 years of age. He’s also the brainchild of the Famicom. During his time at Nintendo, he also produced several titles including Ice Climber. After retiring from Nintendo in 2004, he worked as a professor at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto.
Senior Vice President of Engineering George Cacioppo was caught allegedly waiting to hook up with a 15-year-old boy. He was caught by a Youtube channel called People v. Preds. Cacioppo worked at the company for eight years, and was terminated shortly after the video released.
Raven Software, one of the companies under the Activision-Blizzard wing who predominantly works on Call of Duty: Warzone, saw a round of layoffs in the QA team despite all of them being in “good standing.” As a result, Raven Software employees staged a walk out in the hopes that Activision will bring the fired team members back into full-time positions.
During this time, some other big news stories happened. Sony announced their plans on making their own version of Xbox Game Pass. Godfall released a version of their game that is free to PS Plus members and free on the Epic Games Store that only includes the endgame. CD Projekt’s storefront GOG has been losing money. Apple was allowed to delay app store payment changes until the appeal process concludes. Fortnite is shifting development to Unreal Engine 5. Nick Offerman joined Last of Us show cast as Bill. Myth of Empires has been pulled from Steam after copyright infringement allegations, reportedly by by Ark: Survival Evolved people. Finally, Tencent created new publishing company Level Infinite.
A lot of releases also happened during this time. Since I gave most of this blog’s space to the news, I’m going to keep this section short. Notable releases during this time include Halo Infinite (campaign), Wartales, White Shadows, Solar Ash, Fights in Tight Spaces, Chorus, and Loop Hero for the Switch.
Similar to the Releases section, I’m going to keep this section short as well. On the 3rd, I released My Top Five Anticipated Releases of December 2021, looking at the last bit of games released before we hit award season. On the 6th, I added four more entries to The BRG Collection. Finally, on the 8th, I put out a satire piece in response to Ubisoft’s NFT announcement that Bethesda was making Skyrim NFTs.
Also, for the next month or so, I’m going to mainly release satire pieces and Ten After Ten blogs as I want some time to restructure my website and catch up on my writing backlog. I still plan on putting out my G.O.T.Y. list at the end of the month and my other scheduled blogs like Top Anticipated Games of the Month, but I will likely not put out any features, reviews, franchise rankings, or Before Liftoff blogs during this time.