My The Witcher Adult Colouring Book just arrived this week. Guess which page I’m going to colour first as soon as I’m done filling you in on the latest gaming industry news?

Carta Monir’s Favourite Trans Game

Why is Hitman comic creator Carta Monir’s favourite trans game? Read “Stealth Dynamic,” a comic she created for Polygon, to find out.

Stealth Mechanic by Carta Monir for Polygon

Electronic Arts and The Lootbox Gamble

The question of whether or not the loot box system that many games have been using for some time is actually gambling has a pretty clear answer to me: yes. You spend real world dollars or invest real time to obtain a loot box that may or may not contain a coveted prize. Personally speaking, having spent a few dollars and hours on this myself in games like Overwatch, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Guild Wars 2, I don’t have a problem with it, namely because these particular games include only cosmetic items in their treasure chests. While I would really like to have the coveted pure white dye for my necromancer’s outfit, or Symmetra’s Halloween dragon skin, I don’t feel the desperate need to pour money and time into the games to obtain them. That might not be the same for others for whom the dopamine hit leads to far greater addiction. But as far as game play goes, cosmetic upgrades don’t make or break my enjoyment of a game.

Status upgrades, however, don’t only ruin my enjoyment, they can ruin a game, which is why gamers are unhappy with Electronic Arts’ latest cash grab. Prior to launch, it was rumoured that Star Wars Battlefront II‘s loot boxes would contain items that could give players an advantage over each other, turning the fun of loot boxes into a pay-to-win competition. Now that dopamine hit isn’t just about scoring a sweet item in a loot box; it’s about scoring a sweet item that could lead to crushing victories in-game. In response to the fan uproar, and after a phone call from Disney, who owns Star Wars, EA has, surprisingly, shut down in-game microtransactions for the time being as they tweak the system.

“We hear you loud and clear,” they say. But have they really? Electronic Arts has been condemned for years for their insistence on putting their monetary game over the gamers’ experience. The fact that they shut down their microtransactions is a shock, but how much is EA really going to change their ways when it comes to gambling with fan experience versus shareholder profit?

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 [EA, DICE, November 2017]

Golden Joystick Awards

Congratulations to all the winners of the November 17th Golden Joystick Awards. If you missed the livestream on Twitch, you can catch highlights on Twitter and find the full list here.

ICYMI

Games Bleat

Well guys, it’s November, and Black Friday is just around the corner. As it comes closer it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with all the deals! Well, we’ve got your back here at Games Bleat, the segment where Joesph, your local games warlock, brings you some of the highlights!

First off is a new game—Battle Chef Brigade, which was released on Monday. We loved it at PAX this year and think a lot of you will too!

As far as those delicious Black Friday deals go: