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This Week In The Business: The Privilege Of Working At Rockstar

Illustration for article titled This Week In The Business: The Privilege Of Working At Rockstar

QUOTE | “We remain deeply committed to developing immersive experiences for consumers through groundbreaking augmented and virtual reality.” - A Viacom statement regarding the company shutting down its AR and VR development studio, Viacom Next.

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QUOTE | “We have a hard-working company. It’s a privilege to work at our company and our labels. And I believe that our work practices are sound and appropriate. It is a very busy time, but it’s a time that people are anxious to participate in. And I stand behind it.” - Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick’s response, when asked what he’s doing to make sure the twice-delayed sequel to Red Dead Redemption doesn’t also produce a sequel to the original’s Rockstar Spouse controversy over developers’ working conditions.

STAT | 6 million - Copies of Monster Hunter: World shipped to stores or sold digitally just two weeks after launch, making it the fastest Capcom game ever to hit that mark.

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STAT | Less than 1% - The difference in VR market share on Steam between the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. Last fall, Vive had an 8.5% edge on its competitor.

QUOTE | “Data is not a solution, data is another tool to understand things. You have to ask the right questions, and you have to always put the data in context. It doesn’t just answer things for you.” - Obsidian’s Josh Sawyer, creative director for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, on using telemetry data from beta players to improve the game.

QUOTE | “We want everyone to not only feel welcome on Twitch, but to be proud to be part of the community. To that end, we are strengthening our stance on harassment and hate.” - Twitch has updated community guidelines to crack down on harassment and… sexually suggestive content?

QUOTE | “Over the weekend we discovered that one of our team members had made many hateful statements online that are against our company values. After discussing the matter with him, we decided to stop working with him immediately.” - Subnautica director Charlie Cleveland explains why the team dumped its sound designer.

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QUOTE | “Don’t look for the right influencer, look for the right demographic.” - Benedikt Seitz of GameInfluencer says developers should consider reaching out to non-gaming influencers more frequently.

QUOTE | “Capcom Vancouver has undergone a restructure which has impacted approximately 30% of the studio, as part of its regular periodic assessment of upcoming projects and overall studio goals.” - Capcom confirms a recent round of layoffs at the Dead Rising developer.

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QUOTE | “It had been 11 years of work-for-hire and it was a tough slog out there. We’d been making games and learning a lot, but it’s really kind of impossible to get ahead.” - Piranha Games co-founder Russ Bullock explains what pushed the developer to gamble its future on free-to-play with MechWarrior Online.

QUOTE | “We tend to obsess about the top of the charts and what we forget is there are quite a lot of companies that aren’t at the top of the charts and are making a ton of cash.” - Douglas Hare, CEO of Angry Birds Pop developer Outplay Entertainment, says there’s still a lot of money in mobile gaming beyond the biggest hits.

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DISCUSSION

The whole risque content on Twitch needs to be a softer stance. I don’t understand how they’ve had straight up neo-nazi speech on Twitch (hur hur, it was tRoLLinG you!), but a woman in a bra and some boy shorts causes an uproar. Create parental controls and access levels - it would inevitably help out the people who are trying to make quasi-sensual content to help bolster their viewership by sort of advertising “yes, you’re probably going to see a nipple poking through a shirt.”

They’re not hurting anyone, and so long as you don’t have full on nudity or sexual content, you’re not going potentially run afoul of any regulatory committee. But if a girl wants to play the newest FPS in full lingerie for some clicks - more power to them.

If we can have some streamer screaming all kinds of really brutal, sexualized, nigh racist obscenities - surely we can have more intentionally adult content as well.