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E3 Aftermath (2019 Edition) - The Podcast

It's a bumper podcast as we reflect on everything we saw (and didn't see) at E3 2019. First up, Chris and Brendan record a segment in Los Angeles reporting on the mood on the show floor and how the lack of Sony, EA and other have made for a somewhat quieter, almost underwhelming show. They discuss the impact of E3 swag, the art of the 'one more thing' at a major press conference, and why more industry professionals are talking about subscriptions and streaming that next-generation...


E3 Expectations (2019 Edition) - The Podcast

The entire team assembles as we prepare for the biggest week in the gaming calendar. Rather than plucking arbitrary predictions out of the air, we instead focus on the core areas that are likely to be hottest topics of the upcoming week. First off, we debate whether the next generation of consoles will have any sort of presence at E3 2019 -- or whether it even needs to. With Sony absence, the show is open for Xbox to dominate but that means the platform holder can share...


Pod of Duty: Modern Warfare Plus+ - The Podcast

Almost the entire team is assembled for this week's episode of The Podcast, with Matt, James, Chris, Haydn and Rebekah (on holiday in the UK) gathering around the mic to discuss the latest gaming headlines. The big topic of the week is World Health Organisation's decision to classify 'gaming disorder' as a recognised illness. We debate whether the industry trade bodies could have done more to defend against this, or whether it even needs defending against. This...


Microsoft and Sony's cloud co-operation - The Podcast

Matt, James, Haydn and Chris discuss the biggest stories of the week, starting with the surprising partnership between rival platform holders. As announced yesterday, Sony has partnered with Microsoft to share technologies and improve each other's cloud-based offerings -- a deal that has promising implications for the future of game streaming (even if it isn't the console wars ceasefire some might have thought). Elsewhere, the European Court of Justice has proposed a ruling that may help...


Crunch and walkouts are failures of management - The Podcast

James, Rebekah and Brendan discuss the latest industry headlines, which inevitably means continuing to talk about crunch. Picking up from our earlier episode, we discuss the latest stories of crunch and punishing work practices at NetherRealm Studios (as Brendan revealed in his article here: We also touch on how developers themselves may be inadvertently perpetuating the cycle of crunch (as...


How to spoil your own announcement - The Podcast

James, Matt and Rebekah discuss the biggest games industry stories of the week -- much of which centres around confusion. First, there's the contradicting stories as to whether or not Borderlands 3 has microtransactions. While Gearbox boss Randy Pitchford said quite clearly on stage that it doesn't -- our own Rebekah Valentine was in the room when he said this -- his own developers, and 19 hours of Pitchford's own tweets suggest otherwise. Then Epic's announcement that it had acquired...


The slow journey to killing crunch - The Podcast

Brendan, James and Haydn discuss the biggest topic of the week - and, unfortunately, one of the longest running conversations in the games industry. With reports emerging of intensive working conditions at Fortnite creator Epic Games, across the Chinese games and tech industry, and (in recent days) from Mortal Kombat developer NetherRealm Studios, we are yet again reminded of how hard some managers are working their staff. Attitudes towards crunch -- at least from the perspective of...


PlayStation 5 vs disc-less Xbox - The Podcast

Matt, Brendan and James discuss the latest industry headlines, this week focusing on major announcements from the console space. After Sony unveiled the first details of PlayStation 5, we debate whether 8K support and PS4 backwards compatibility are enough to excite players and encourage them to upgrade. While Sony will inevitably make a larger, more detailed announcement at (or before) E3, this seems to be a surprisingly low-key way of kicking off the next generation. This is no doubt...


Why does Activision need pregnancy data? - The Podcast

Rebekah and Brendan discuss the latest industry headlines from the past week. We kick off by addressing the ease with which mobile developers are able to apply kids age ratings to inappropriate games on Google Play via the International Age Rating Coalition's system. Then we weigh in on the debate surrounding Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and the question of accessibility. Yes, this is well-trodden ground but Brendan reflects on the accessibility once found in the classic arcades and how...


Shrinking second-hand sales and BioWare blues - The Podcast

Matt, Chris, James and Haydn take time out of EGX Rezzed 2019 to discuss the latest gaming headlines. The biggest topic this week is the ongoing decline of pre-owned games, as indicated by both GameStop's latest financials and the UK games market valuation. We talk about why this aspect of games retail is shrinking and how stores are adapting to cope with it. Then, following a recent exposé on BioWare's troubles with Anthem and its development, we discuss the reception to the game among...


Live from (near) GDC 2019 - The Podcast

James, Rebekah and Haydn reflect on the biggest news of this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Inevitably, Google's Stadia streaming service dominates much of the conversation. We recap the most interesting aspects of the announcement, debate the appeal and potential of Stadia, and highlight the many, many unanswered questions. We also discuss the Nindies showcase and its most promising titles, the promise of online technology like Improbable's SpatialOS, and consider...


Bad Influencers - The Podcast

James, Rebekah and Brendan discuss the latest gaming headlines, including whether publishers need to be more careful in screening the influencers they work with. We kick off with an update on the various lawsuits between Epic and the creators of popular dances, as well as news that former EA Motive founder Jade Raymond and battle royale pioneer Brendan Greene have taken on new roles. Then, following EA's apology for its delay in dealing with a Game Changer that was sexually harassing The...


Valve does the right thing for the wrong reason - The Games Podcast

Rebekah, Brendan and Haydn once again discuss the latest industry headlines, many of which centre around rather toothless apologies. We follow up on last week's main topic as THQ Nordic CEO Lars Wingefors addresses his subsidiary's decisions to run a Q&A on controversial image board 8chan. But, of course, the bulk of the episode is taken up by Valve's handling of Rape Day, a controversial visual novel that gives players control of a serial rapist during a zombie apocalypse. While Valve...


When THQ Nordic visited 8chan - The Podcast

Rebekah, Brendan and Haydn discuss some of the biggest games industry headlines from the past week. The biggest topic of the week is THQ Nordic's ill-advised decision to conduct an AMA on controversial forum 8chan, known for harbouring hate speech and previously blacklisted for hosting child pornography. We discuss the implications for THQ Nordic, debate how well the company responded to criticism over this session, and take a wider look at the industry's relationship with the darker...


What does success mean for Crackdown 3? - The Podcast

Matt, Brendan, Chris and James gather to discuss the biggest industry headlines of the past week. Chief among them is the arrival of Crackdown 3 and the difficulty it presents in judging its success. Media reviews are mixed, its retail performance (in the UK, at least) has been poor, yet engagement on Xbox seems to be high, thanks to Game Pass. Is this the first in a new type of release, where the metrics the industry has relied on in the pass are ultimately meaningless? We also discuss...


Activision's record year & redundancies - The Podcast

James, Rebekah and Haydn discuss the latest industry headlines, starting with the biggest story of the week: Activision's plans to cut 800 jobs despite record revenues. We debate whether such drastic cuts are necessary, and how Activision could have better handled the revelation. Plus, where does Blizzard fit in the publisher's future plans? We also touch on the latest Nintendo direct, the ongoing battle for cross-play between developers and PlayStation, and Epic Games' efforts to dismiss...


Apex Legends and the safety of a surprise launch - The Podcast

Chris, Charlotte, James and Haydn gather to discuss the biggest news of the past few days. We kick off the episode with the surprising (or is it?) success of Kingdom Hearts 3, having shipped five million copies worldwide and broken series records in various territories. Following Chris' article, we also debate Electronic Arts' strategy in releasing Apex Legends, the new free-to-play battle royale game in the Titanfall universe, with little to no pre-launch fanfare, and the various factors...


What now for Activision? - The Podcast

Following the news that Bungie and Activision are parting ways, the team discuss where the AAA publisher goes from here. Whether part of the ten-year agreement between the two firms or due to a change in strategy, there's no denying that the break-up leaves a Destiny-shaped hole in Activision's limited portfolio (NB: We mean Activision specifically, which is left with Call of Duty and the Crash/Spyro remakes -- the wider company of Activision Blizzard is doing just...


What we expect from 2019 - The Podcast

Brendan, Chris, James and Rebekah kick off the year with their predictions for the year ahead. We've already covered analysts' predictions and industry leaders' most anticipated games on the site, but now it's time for us to offer our own take on what 2019 has in store for the games market. Topics we explore include: the increased competition among PC stores, thanks to the rise of Epic and Discord's offerings; the growing speculation as to whether we'll see next generation consoles...


Game of the Year 2018 - The Podcast

We round out the year with a thorough discussion of our favourite titles from the past twelve months. The entire team is on hand for this episode, each with their pick (or, in a few cases, picks) for best game of the year. While we somehow managed to reach a consensus last year -- jointly recognising Zelda: Breath of the Wild as the greatest 2017 offering -- there's a much broader range of titles to discuss this year. In case you haven't already read our Games of the Year...