I’m feeling truly attacked by BioWare’s Dragon Age 12 tweets of Christmas. I’m not one of the folks who desperately wishes Varric would return their affections, but I am a Solasmancer who truly believes our precious, misguided elf mage will see the error of his ways in Dragon Age 4. Fortunately, BioWare has assuaged my woeful wrath by offering up the long-awaited Hard in Hightown from Dragon Age Inquisition. 

Twenty years of patrols have chiseled each and every stone of the Kirkwall streets into city guardsmen Donnen Brennokovic. Weary and weathered, Donnen is paired with a recruit so green he might as well have leaves growing out of his armor. When the mismatched pair discovers a dead magistrate bleeding out on the flagstones, they’re caught up in a clash between a shadowy organization known only as the Executors and a secretive group of Chantry agentsall over some ancient artifact.

Dragon Age: Hard in Hightown Hardcover – July 31, 2018 by Varric Tethras (Author), Mary Kirby (Author), Various (Illustrator)

My bookshelf is ready.

More Activision-published Games Disappearing

PlatinumGames, Transformers Devastation and The Legend of Korra, are delisted from the PlayStation Store and Steam, though digital and physical versions are still available at some stores; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was pulled earlier in the year; and Deadpool vanished six months after its release back in 2014. The speculation then was that Activision was analyzing their digital distribution plan, but in the meantime, Transformers and Korra fans are going to be out of luck with these particular games.

Rediscovering the First LGBTQ-focused Computer Game

One of the first LGBTQ-focused computer games was thought to be lost forever. Caper in the Castro was a noir, point-and-click game originally introduced in 1989 by “CM Ralph” to BBS boards. CM Ralph invited people to play the CharityWare game and asked them to donate to AIDS charities. The game has recently been recovered by Andrew Borman, Digital Games Curator at the Museum of Play in Rochester, New York and now resides safe and sound with the LGBTQ Game Archive.

Washington Blade ad for Caper in the Castro

Washington Blade ad for Caper in the Castro

Apple Steps Into the Loot Box Controversy

Apple has updated its guidelines to bring it in line with laws in certain Asian countries regarding the transparency of odds for “gacha mechanics,” or loot boxes. Section 3.1.1 of the App Store Review Guidelines reads, “Apps offering ‘loot boxes’ or other mechanisms that provide randomised virtual items for purchase must disclose the odds of receiving each type of item to customers prior to purchase.” Apple appears to be the first company to take action amidst the ongoing loot box gambling controversy.

Meanwhile, Electronic Arts, the company that has really kicked the loot box controversy into high gear thanks to their microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront II, will likely miss their guidance. According to a Cowen Group financial analyst, “We are lowering our FY18 estimates to below management’s guidance as we believe that Star Wars Battlefront 2’s performance (lower units + the indefinite delay of MTX) has been disappointing enough to more than offset any strength elsewhere in the model.”

Gaming Addiction to be Categorized an Official Mental Health Disorder

In 2018, video game addiction will be officially classified by the World Health Organization as a mental health disorder. The official documentation is still in draft, but it will include the following symptoms:

  • prioritizing games,
  • inability to control the length of gameplay, and
  • ignoring negative consequences.

ICYMI

Games Bleat

Welcome to Games Bleat, the weekly segment where I, Joesph the games warlock, let you in on the deals, games, and price drops Sidequest has been watching out for.

We’ve all officially made it through another holiday and I’m sure many of you have some shiny new gift cards burning a hole through your pockets. You’re in luck because the winter sales are still in full swing and most will keep on going until January 4th.

I’m gonna forego the new releases this week in favor of bringing y’all straight to those absolutely meretricious deals.

PC

PlayStation 4

Xbox

Nintendo Switch

I’ve gotta say, I am especially happy with this week’s deals. I’ve personally enjoyed almost every game on here, and I think you will too. Catch you next week!