Welcome to another big week of gaming news! This past week a lot has happened in the world of gaming and it was somewhat of a struggle for me to keep it down to three articles, but for my own sanity, this is the way. So this week we’ll be talking about Rockstar’s decision to make standalone games for both Grand Theft Auto Online and Red Dead Redemption Online. A site known as The Internet Archive which as the name implies, hosts a non-profit archived library of all things in the history of the internet from videos, to famous tweets, to memes, and now recently adobe flash content! And lastly, a copyright claim has been pushed against a Twitch streamer for the use of her internet persona! Let’s take a look at what this all means!
Rockstar Games recently announced that on top of the GTA Online standalone release coming in 2021, they will also be separating Red Dead Redemption 2 from its online content into its own standalone game. They’ve announced that until mid February, RDR2 Online will be available for just $5 USD, but then will climb up to a whopping $20 USD. On one hand this will open up space within the online game allowing for further expansion and maintenance to be made with the online functionality. On the other hand, this news will likely meet some backlash from fans who already purchased the game and don’t wish to have content from the game they purchased removed out from under them and put behind a paywall. Rockstar Games already receives a poor reputation for their DRM, microtransactions, insistence on creating a Rockstar account, and their pay-to-win philosophy with online play. But time will tell how the fans may respond to this.
The Internet Archive is an incredible digital library created to cultivate several pieces of history whether they shape the future or not. This can mean anything from historic news articles to old books dating from now to all the way back in the 1300s. It can also host some things that may not appear in a conventional library such as famous tweets, memes, and even speedrun records. If it existed on the internet, they make it a point to have it in their site long after the original webpage may shut down. Recently they have begun a great undertaking of pulling in an additional collection from the internet in flash games and animations! As many of you know, Adobe Flash is on its deathbed and will cease to exist by the end of the year. Nearly every video hosting site has made the conversion to HTML5 format already, and every browser is set to support the change. However, in the early days of the internet and even as recent as a few years back many people loved to enjoy flash based animations and games on sites such as Kongregate and Newgrounds among many other. Sadly when Flash ceases to exist, these games will too. Kongregate has been taking steps in developing their local platform named Kartridge which will allow any game devs that are still actively updating their games to transition to a usable media type, but a large amount of games will still be left in the dust after being long forgotten by their devs. Luckily, The Internet Archive is currently in the process of implementing a Flash Emulation program known as Ruffle so that they may procure these games and animations into their collections. Ruffle is still in development, and will need to be updated in time, but the Internet Archive has already collected over 1,000 games and animations to keep them alive for years to come! If you want to check out this amazing library or even help support them in their great endeavors, click the image below to check it out!
Twitch Streamer (who for the purposes of confidentiality won’t be named in this article) is recently under fire from an artist for the use of his character design as her persona. She had become a famous Twitch Streamer and Youtuber known for her use of a digital avatar that mimics her actual body movements through a process that has become known as VTubing. Essentially, she uses a program on her webcam that tracks her own movements and then covers her body behind a digital persona that looks akin to an anime character. This form of streaming is not only really interesting to see, but also allows the person behind the avatar to keep their anonymity online while still having an outward public persona. She even plays the part of her digital anime character, claiming she is a rogue email scanning program. Recently, however, an artist has begun posting public videos insisting that he owns the right to her digital persona as he is the artist who created her avatar. Through several online interactions it was revealed that she purchased the art from him and has even kept the receipts. However, he argues that there was no paperwork stating the inherent ownership or use of the intellectual property (IP) and that he is owed for maintenance and support that was never agreed upon. This type of interaction isn’t unheard of, especially in the world of VTubing, and this case has raised a lot of awareness for gamers and artists alike to properly lay out the terms of intellectual property of the art. Many artists don’t care how a buyer uses their art once it’s sold beyond possibly giving them credit for the art, but it always helps to have in writing the actual terms of the agreement.
And that’s all for this week’s gaming news! If you’d like to know what else we might’ve talked about that didn’t make the cut for their own articles, let me give the short versions! Monster Hunter is implementing a quest based off the new Monster Hunter live action movie coming out with the main protagonists actress giving her likeness and voice to the game. Baldur’s Gate 3 will be releasing a new update that will render current save files incompatible unless you revert your file to patch 2. And lastly, HBO has announce the development of a Last of Us series coming out!