Rundown (6/24-6/30) It’s All My Fault!

I’ve probably mentioned this before, but when I encounter something in my day to day life, either at work or at home, and I have some level of involvement in the general going-ons, I typically associate all forms of bad things that occur as being, in some way, shape, or form, as being my fault.  This includes things I was completely unaware of, that I was not informed of, that I literally could not prevent, and ones that did not directly involve me. It is a sense of guilt and responsibility that is likely a mutation of some moral values I picked up as a child, and carried with me as a core component of my personality, which results in me stressing out at my part time job far more than I reasonably should, to the point that I sometimes cause myself stomach pains.  Anyways, time for video games!

While game cancellations are nothing unfamiliar to anybody who regularly follows the industry, and localization announcements are positively commonplace for niche Japanese games, but I do not think I have seen a recent example of a localization cancellation.  Yet that was the case for Omega Labyrinth Z, an ecchi dungeon crawler that, due to explicit sexual content that applies to characters who are “very youthful both visually and vocally”, was banned from release in certain countries in Europe a few months ago.  Despite this, the game did receive an ESRB rating of M, yet Sony regardless is barring this game from getting a western release on either the PS Vita or PS4.  Presumably because they foresee the title as being problematic, and, well, do not want to be associated with what can be seen as child pronography.

While I do understand and ultimately agree with the decisions of all parties involved in this situation, a part of me is a little remorseful that it had to end in such a way.  Not because I am particularly interested in this game.  Heck, I was barely even aware of its existence until hearing this new story.  But rather, the fact that lewd games that deal with child characters being placed in sexual situations can be seen as child pornography so easily, when I would consider it to be tame compared to actual child pornography, which involves the exploitation of a human minor.  There do exist some distinctions between the two, but it is in the form of state or province laws in North America, but it is a fringe sort of law, and one that, like many, many, many other American laws, I feel should be addressed.  Though, not right now, as the United States is heading into some very adverse directions that I’d rather not talk about.

As for things I would like to talk about, following an announcement of the end of service for Terra Battle 2 in North America, Mistwalker has announced that the game will end its service in Japan on September 28th, just 25 days after the North American shutdown, and one week after its first anniversary.  This is an unfortunate event for the parties involved, and likely speaks ill of Mistwalker’s future as a mobile developer at the very least.  What this means in the long term for Mistwalker is uncertain, and whether or not they will try a different game, go under, be acquired, or get back into making console games all will be seen in due time.  Though, I really do hope they make another console game…

Speaking of console games, or rather game consoles, or rather a game platform, there has been whispers for a while about Google getting into the game industry in a major way through the introduction of something conamed Yeti.  Yeti is to be a predominantly streaming centered gaming platform that is currently being shown around to major game publishers, while Google is seeking to acquire and establish the developers needed to sustain their own platform.  Exact details are a bit iffy, but it is easy to view this as a means of permitting people to play through games without the purchase of high priced hardware, but one that, due to the lack of information available, falls into the multi-pronged problem that comes with streaming services.  

The biggest and sharpest point of contention here is that North America has very poor telecomm services due to close they are to political figures in the United States, and the fundamentally flawed business goals that many of the companies operate under.  To make stock and profit go up above all else. With secondary points being how similar streaming based services have failed in the past. How many people still like the idea of owning games due to the time they invest into them. Along with the business risks that come with entering an industry such as this.  I mean, remember how Amazon was going to be a big name in gaming a few years ago? How’s that going for them now? Regardless, it will be interesting to observe how this story plays out over the ensuing years, and whether or not the industry is due for a paradigm shift. Though, I kind of doubt it.

Oh, and a Compile Heart dungeon crawler called Mary Skelter: Nightmares will be coming to PC this summer by way of Ghostlight.  Normally this would fail to register an inclusion in a Rundown, but unlike most titles put out by the developer, this one seems to have been fairly well received.  Well, received better than any Neptunia game that’s for sure.  It is some sort of “dark” anime dungeon crawler with some connection to Grimm’s fairy tales, and while I do adore games that appeal to my inner 14-year-old Chuunibyou Saturday Morning Edgelord, it seems a bit overly tame.  Regardless, it might be a good title to keep an eye on once a sale rolls in.

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