This Week In The Business: The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

Illustration for article titled This Week In The Business: The Waiting Is The Hardest Partem/em

QUOTE | “Assume months at this point.” - Valve representative SeanJ, in response to a developer’s question of when the Steam storefront’s new features for filtering adult content would be released. The representative said games with adult content are not being allowed to debut on Steam until those tools are ready.


QUOTE | “Due to the necessity of restructuring the company to better take on the changes in the market, these layoffs were an unfortunate consequence. This was not a decision that came easily and we sincerely thank them for their commitment and time with us.” - Sekai Project CEO Christopher Ling explains why the visual novel developer laid off much of its workforce this week. Sekai Project has been one of the studios running into problems publishing its adult games on Steam.

QUOTE | “Shouldn’t we be in the situation where we don’t have to wait for it to go wrong before we respond to it? It’s not regulation, it’s social responsibility. We know when we’re doing bad things.” - BAFTA gaming chair and Outright Games chair Nick Button-Brown would like the industry to show a little restraint, whether in marketing M-rated titles to kids or pushing loot box mechanics to the point of exploitation.


QUOTE | “Look, this is an industry (gaming specifically, but tech at large) that has a pretty terrible track record for women and minorities. It has been a problem everywhere I have worked, and sadly Riot is not immune either.” - Riot Games head of creative development Greg Street responds after numerous current and former employees have gone public recently with stories describing its toxic workplace culture.

QUOTE | “This is the business I was in. It used to be totally mainstream and accepted. I was on all of the UK TV channels, my book was published by Harper-Collins and Random House, and it’s only been a thing in the past few years where it went from being cool to teach dating tips to men to something that’s just pure evil where you might easily get compared to the worst people on the planet.” - Professional pick-up artist and developer of Super Seducer 2 Richard LaRuina is unhappy that the culture has changed to take a dimmer view of his work.

QUOTE | “We view game operation as a marathon, not a sprint. Our games are built to provide near constant updates over many years. By giving each major game its own dedicated studio and identity, we empower them to control their own destiny and focus exclusively on their player communities, while still having access to our leading shared publishing services.” - Hi-Rez Studios’ Chris Larson explains why it is splitting its development efforts into three separate studios, each working on its own game.

STAT | 97% - The precipitous drop in concurrent player counts Hi-Rez Studio’s Realm Royale has experienced in the past two months.


QUOTE | “We can do anything we want, it’s just a matter of how long it takes.” - World of Warcraft technical director Patrick Dawson says the 14-year-old MMORPG’s age and infrastructure isn’t necessarily a limiting factor when it comes to making changes.

QUOTE | “Self help is a massively untapped market for video games because games can be used to help people.” - While he doesn’t like all the connotations that a phrase like “self-help” carries with it, filmmaker-turned-game-designer Krish Shrikumar sees tremendous potential for more meditative games like his debut effort Playne.


STAT | 3 million - Number of PlayStation VR headsets sold since the PlayStation 4 peripheral launched in October of 2016.

QUOTE | “Is it the end of The Chinese Room? No, I don’t think so. But it’s the end of a chapter, and we hope you can all be patient with us whilst we figure out what happens next.” - The Chinese Room’s Dan Pinchbeck acknowledges uncertainty about what happens with the developer of Dear Esther and Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture now that it has been acquired by Sumo Digital.

I've played all of the Baldur's Gate games.

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I think what LaRuina is missing here (or willfully ignoring) is that there’s a wide gulf of difference between offering “dating tips for men,” and teaching men to behave in a fashion that is predatory and exploitative in their search for sex.

Most PUAs that I’ve had the displeasure of either knowing or being aware of the work of operate on three primary beliefs: that women are puzzles to be solved, that sex is and must be the end goal of interactions with desirable women, and that “desirable” women can have their resistance to a man’s overtures whittled down through tactics such as negging, isolation from their friends in a public venue, and “alpha male” behaviors designed to make the woman feel small/weak/lesser.

The issues with this sort of thing should be self-evident, but the biggest problem is the idea that a woman who resists or disparages a man’s advance is only “playing hard to get,” and can be “won” if only the correct tactics are employed.

This eschews a woman’s right to choose her own partner, sets her up as an object that can be controlled, and essentially tells the men who buy into this belief system that women can and should be manipulated for the purpose of seeking sex.

This, then, is why LaRuina is being lumped in with “the worst people in the world.” Pick-up artistry is not rape in and of itself, but many of its tenets share qualities with the act of sexual assault—and that’s never a good look. When a person has to psychologically or emotionally abuse a potential partner in order to get in their pants, that’s not being smooth or seductive—that’s abuse. Full stop.

Anyone who buys into the general PUA line isn’t looking for love; they don’t want a partner that will be their equal, or that will challenge them when they’re wrong--they essentially want a toy that they can use and discard at will.  It’s disgusting, and that’s why people look down on it.