Armenia Backs Crusader Kings II
Sarkeesian, Kasparian, the Kardashians – Armenia is responsible for a lot of tat in this world, and it is high time that they did something to atone! And they have attempted to do just that last week by tweeting out a glowing endorsement for Crusader Kings II from their official Twitter account:
Have you played @CrusaderKings 2 as the #Kingdom of #Armenia? Start as the historical Bagratid Dynasty and become the #King of #Kings!!!
For the past several months, Crusader Kings II has been under fire by a vocal minority of disturbed individuals for its use of the phrase Deus vult. Deus vult is literally translated as ‘God wills it’, and it was used as a battle cry during the Crusades when Christendom went to war to reclaim the holy land–precisely the context in which the game is engaged. In spite of that historical context, a vocal minority of disturbed individuals completely disregarded it in order to claim that Paradox Interactive were making a racist dog whistle to Nazis on account of the phrase’s popularity among some marginal extremist groups. Such a position is even more stupid than suggesting that all cartoon frogs are racist because of the popularity of Pepe among some extremist groups.
On the face of it, the tweet made by the official Armenian Twitter account does not seem overtly political; but, it is, in fact, a political move. Crusader Kings II was released back in 2012, meaning that it is not exactly at the forefront of people’s minds. This suggests one of either two things: the Armenian social media team is directly supporting the game in response to the sustained attack on the development choices, or that sustained effort to bury the game has had a Streisand effect, lending Crusader Kings II a second wind of relevance. In this author’s opinion, either of these scenarios is entirely agreeable.
Hunie Pot Studios Delivers a Master Class In Customer Service
The ‘traps aren’t gay‘ meme is amusing enough, but many people would stop short of actually wanting to romance one in their vidya, no matter how feminine their penis happens to be. When Hunie Pot Studios announced that HuniePop 2 would feature a character who is a trap, that choice essentially meant that players would have to romance a trap in order to complete a 100% run of the game. Around half of the game’s audience were emphatically opposed to being required to romance a trap for a 100% run of the game, and they vocally set about making Hunie Pot Studios know this fact–an excellent thing to do since this is how people can effect desired change.
Hunie Pot Studios’ response to this was a class act: they did not accuse their customers of being misogynists; they did not accuse their audience of being homophobes; they did not accuse them of being racist Nahtzees. They simply accepted that there was a problem and fixed it. And, importantly, they fixed it in such a way that they did not take anything away from the segment of the audience that wanted to have a trap in their game–everyone wins!:
The video states that Polly ‘has a dick’, meaning she’s trans. This ended up causing a very split reaction that I, honest to god, did not expect. This is a character we’ve been asked for hundreds of times. I was very much under the impression that ‘girl with dick’ (whatever you want to call it) was a pretty universal interest/preference/fetish among Anime/Hentai/Visual Novel fans. I can’t even keep track of how many hentais I’ve seen where some chick all-of-a-sudden breaks out a huge cock; a fantasy fetish that can be enjoyable on screen but that doesn’t necessarily translate to real life for everybody.
The response seems to be split more or less right down the middle. For every person that’s into her, there’s a person that isn’t. I even put up a straw poll to which 43% of the respondents (at the time of this writing) indicated that they would appreciate some way to skip Polly entirely (but still be able to fully complete the game).
Being that our only jobs is to make a fun game that everyone can enjoy, I’ve decided to put the power in the hands of each player to choose the experience that best suits them. In the same way you can choose your own gender, you’ll be able to choose Polly’s gender. I’m not sure exactly how it’ll play out yet, but at some point before or during your first meeting with Polly, you’ll be asked to specify your preference and the game will take it from there. That’s it!
So, if you’re into her as a trans girl, you’ll get the full trans Polly experience. If not, she’ll be a natural born lady just like the rest of the cast. If you don’t care either way, you can choose one gender on your first play-through and the other on a subsequent play-through. Why not? Mix it up! More options, more fun. It’ll require a little extra work on our part, but that’s fine by us. Thank you very much for all the feedback, suggestions and discussion on the matter. I know that no decision will ever satisfy 100% of people, but having the ability to choose for yourself seems like the best way to make the most players happy!
Brilliant! The audience was split right down the middle, and so Hunie Pot Studios found a way to give both camps exactly what they want. There is no person who could in good faith be genuinely upset by this move. But, with that being said, there is a vocal minority of disturbed individuals who will be upset by this move. Of course, those people were never going to buy the game anyway, but they very much liked the idea of forcing people who do not want to romance traps into doing exactly that. Perhaps they should stop trying to force their lifestyle choices on others!
EA Provides an Object Lesson In Terrible Customer Service
This should have been the year in which Battlefield really took the fight to Call of Duty. Over the last couple of years, Battlefield has been gaining considerable ground against Call of Duty on account of the FPS audience’s growing antipathy towards non-realistic settings and mechanics in their games, which saw Call of Duty take a massive hit with 2016’s futuristic Infinite Warfare. 2018’s Black Ops 4 is not shaping up to be a beloved entry in the series. Activision has finally become too lazy and miserly to even include a single player campaign with the game, leaving many people itching for the chance to really stick it to Call of Duty this year. But then Battlefield V happened.
Two months ago TDT reported on the launch trailer fiasco of Battlefield V, wherein the Second World War’s frontline infantry consisted of neon-bedecked women with mechanical arms who killed their opponents with cricket bats. –Not exactly the height of realism! EA sacrificed the preferences of their audience in order to signal to a vocal minority of disturbed individuals, and their audience let them know all about it. At the time of writing, the launch trailer has hit 451,000 downvotes, and just this week it has been revealed that the preorder sales for Battlefield V are extremely weak.
The content of the trailer got Battlefield V off to a bad start, but the actual damage was done in its wake as EA dealt with fan complaints in the very worst possible way. In a hasty response to the developing fan backlash, EA’s Chief Design Officer, Patrick Soderlund, said that naysayers were ‘uneducated’; and then, in a Mattrickesque manoeuvre, he added that gamers who are unwilling to accept serious design compromises should not buy their game at all. Arrogant EA employees then took this as a cue to begin telling unhappy fans on Twitter not to buy their game. It would appear that their potential customers were more than happy to oblige.
This week, Patrick Soderlund resigned from EA and, just days later, reports began to surface that Battlefield V preorders were at a worryingly low figure. Almost as soon as that occurred, EA released a new trailer for the game which did not have a neon-bedecked cricket-bat-wielding woman in sight–but the damage had already been done. The comments section of the new trailer is littered with people telling EA that they are too ‘uneducated’ to preorder the game. The franchise is big enough that Battlefield V is still certain to sell millions of copies, but it will be interesting to see how big the shortfall is from last year’s relatively well-received Battlefield 1. Bobby Kotick must be wearing the biggest shit-eating grin right about now: another Activision calamity is averted.