The Game Awards brings new reveals alongside some surprising award-winning games, while a new report on Bungie’s toxic work culture brings new revelations in this week’s news. Game Rant has compiled some of the biggest gaming news stories from this past week together into a concise post for fans and enthusiasts to stay up to date on the most important events in the industry per week. Highlighting the most relevant stories, this list is not inherently and totally objective, and will not contain every news story this week. Rather, this is intended for gaming fans who want a quick rundown on the largest/most impactful stories that occurred in the last week in games.
In this week’s recap of gaming news, this year’s Game Awards ceremony brought a ton of new and exciting game reveals, alongside the many surprising award winners packed into its three-hour runtime. An independent report on Bungie has brought to light some of the specifics of the developer’s toxic work culture from the past, and how it’s reckoning with those issues in the present. Further controversy continues to stir at Activision Blizzard, as employees attempt to unionize among threats from managerial staff, as well as new revelations from the workplace are revealed. All that and more in this week’s roundup of the biggest games industry news.
The Game Awards 2021: Winners and Reveals
Marking the last big source of announcements and reveals for the year, The Game Awards 2021 celebrated some of the best games of this year, as well as hinting at what’s to come as well. For the award winners, there were a couple of big surprises among the nominees, especially with Game of the Year. Among other potential candidates like Deathloop or Metroid Dread, Hazelight Studios’ It Takes Two won this year’s Game of the Year award. Other highlights include Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy winning Best Narrative, Maggie Robertson winning Best Performance in Resident Evil Village, and Nier Replicant winning Best Score/Music.
Aside from the awards themselves, there were a ton of new announcements and reveals for games packed into the three-hour show, from both AAA and indie developers. There were several reveals in the show, but there were a few key highlights:
- Tunic receives its long-awaited release date of March 16, 2022.
- Evil West receives its first gameplay trailer.
- Texas Chain Saw Massacre receives a multiplayer horror game adaptation.
- Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 received its first gameplay demo.
- Quantic Dream’s Star Wars Eclipse was teased.
- Remedy Entertainment announces Alan Wake 2.
- Wonder Woman game is revealed in development at Monolith Soft.
- Silent Hill creator Keiichiro Toyama revealed his newest title, Slitterhead.
- TellTale Games’ return begins with The Expanse narrative series.
- Sonic Frontiers receives its first open-world gameplay reveal.
- Dune: Spice Wars was announced, a 4X strategy game based on Dune, developed by Shiro Games.
- Among Us developer Innersloth announced a VR version is coming.
- Co-op shooter Arc Raiders was announced with a gameplay trailer.
- The Matrix Awakens Unreal Engine 5 tech demo is shadow-dropped on PS5, Xbox Series X.
Bungie IGN Report Detailes Toxic Work Culture
Late last week, IGN published an independent report on Destiny developer Bungie, alleging that a toxic development culture had been developed at the studio over its several-decade history. In particular, 26 current and former employees (mostly anonymous) had reported that senior-level management were being abuseful, were engaging in open sexual discrimination in the workplace, among company-wide issues with crunch at the development studio, from as early as the Halo days.
Bungie CEO Pete Parsons has since responded in the wake of the report with an official statement, emphasizing that work still needs to be down, while also addressing that the company had made great strides since then. The report details issues with narrative leads on the Bungie development team consistently making revisions to writers’ work, while also defaming certain writers who fought back against these revisions. Bungie has allegedly fired many of the narrative leads responsible for the work culture issues.
Activision Blizzard Discourages Unionization, More Toxicity Reports Emerge
Several other important details have been revealed involving the ongoing Activision Blizzard work culture controversy. Firstly, among efforts by workers attempting to unionize in the wake of the company’s actions, Activision Blizzard’s Chief Administrative Officer Brian Bulatao sent out a company-wide email essentially working to discourage the act of unionization. Specifically, Bulatao’s email asks current employees to “consider the consequences” of applying to Communications Workers of America union membership, one of the largest labor unions for media-based occupations in the United States.
Bulatao’s email comes in the wake of active walkouts and strikes from various Activision Blizzard workers protesting in support of the laid off workers at Raven Software, as well as the ongoing revelations from Activision Blizzard proper’s managerial staff. Additional evidence of a toxic work culture surfaced from another report by Activision Blizzard employees (via Dexerto), who alleged that they were “demoted” for reporting acts of sexual harassment in the workplace to HR. Protests and legal proceedings are still ongoing at the company as of these reports.
Grand Theft Auto Online Receives New Story DLC with Franklin, Dr. Dre
Grand Theft Auto Online is receiving a new story expansion next week, titled “The Contract,” featuring returning Grand Theft Auto 5 characters as well as some celebrity guests as well. Players will meet back up with Franklin, who now owns a “celebrity solutions agency,” working and dealing with the most famous Los Santos celebrities and helping to fix whatever their “problems” may be.
Real-life celebrities Dr. Dre and Anderson .Paak are guest-starring in the Grand Theft Auto Online DLC expansion, alongside the inclusion of new music from them (and others) as well. Releasing on December 15, players will work alongside Franklin’s new agency in retrieving Dr. Dre’s lost phone, which is apparently a hot commodity because it contains unreleased music from the artist himself.
Ubisoft Quartz NFTs Introduced, Fans Are Displeased
Ubisoft is making the jump into NFTs with Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and a lot of fans have expressed disappointment with the decision. Introduced as “Ubisoft Quartz,” players will be able to obtain NFT equipment in-game that’s uniquely coded to blockchain for each piece. All are free to acquire, but require level 5 on the rifle skin, 100 hours played in Ghost Recon Breakpoint for the pants, and 600 hours played for the helment skin. The announcement trailer has since been met by backlash from fans, and subsequently de-listed, citing a huge dislike ratio on the YouTube reveal trailer.
Insider Warns Fans That Grand Theft Auto 6 Could Be ‘Disappointing’
An insider reports that fans may be disappointed with aspects of Grand Theft Auto 6, adding that development has been especially ‘chaotic.’
About The Author
Rob Dolen (799 Articles Published)
Not actually a distant relative of Bob Dole, Rob Dolen is a Features Writer for Game Rant. Big fan of expansive lore and game analysis, video games are cool. Freedom Fighters is underrated. Probably not good at competitive Halo anymore.