Sam Lake’s comments about longer games

Edwin Evans-Thirlwell for Rock Paper Shotgun:

[Lake] himself has difficulty setting aside hours for longer games. “[It’s] just struggling with finding time and you know, being interested in a story, wanting to see it through,” he said. “So it can even be daunting at times to start playing a game that you know is really, really long.”

I definitely relate to this.

On numerous occasions while booting up Starfield I’ve felt that, while the game is good, it’s almost too massive for me to really dig into. I know I won’t get around to many side missions because I’ll be burnt out from the main quest and wanting to move on to something else in my backlog.

Comments like Lake’s are interesting coming from Remedy as they’re an example of a studio that produces tightly written, well-paced games that never overstay their welcome. I’m hoping that doesn’t change with Alan Wake 2, despite the noted 20-hour-plus playtime.

87% of classic games are ‘critically endangered’

Kelsey Lewin for the Video Game History Foundation:

For accessing nearly 9 in 10 classic games, there are few options: seek out and maintain vintage collectible games and hardware, travel across the country to visit a library, or… piracy.

That Nintendo continues to crack down especially hard on emulators and ROMs while simultaneously shutting down legacy storefronts without a replacement for modern consoles makes this news particularly frustrating.

Microsoft is adding a crypto wallet to Edge

Tom Warren for The Verge:

Microsoft Edge will advertise the ability to purchase cryptocurrency from Coinbase and MoonPay through [a] built-in crypto wallet. It will also include the ability to connect decentralized apps to the wallet feature and support collecting and storing non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Like many, I don’t need a crypto wallet, let alone one built into my browser. It benefits me in no way and only adds to the visual noise of Edge’s already overwhelming feature set. What’s conerning here is that Microsoft chose to prioritize work on this during a “period of focus” where they fired 10,000 people, including their AI ethics team.

This is both wildly out of touch with what consumers want and an insult to the people the company let go over the past couple months.

Amazon cutting an additional 9,000 jobs

Gary Ng for iPhone in Canada:

Amazon announced on Monday plans to eliminate about 9,000 more positions in the next few weeks, mostly in Amazon Web Services (AWS), PXT, Advertising, and Twitch, as part of the company’s cost-cutting measures. […] “This was a difficult decision, but one that we think is best for the company long term,” said Amazon’s CEO [Andy Jassy].

Jassy reportedly made over $210 million in 2021, which is the combined salaries of nearly 6,500 Amazonians. If they’re looking for ways to save money, maybe they could start there?

The problem with Mammoth

Mammoth, a new app for Mastodon, launched in the iOS App Store this past week and something about it hasn’t been sitting right with me.

Until recently, the team working on the project was noted within the app itself as a single person: Shihab Mehboob, creator of Aviary for Twitter and Mast, another Mastodon app. While working on Mammoth, Shihab asked people to consider donating to him to support development which, given that he appeared to be the only one working on it, made sense.

Close to the end of 2022, Shihab launched an instance for new Mammoth users,, and new members of the team began to announce their involvement, including developers, community managers, and more, without any mention of investors.

Then, on February 23rd, the day before Mammoth’s public launch, they shared the following information in a blog post:

Mammoth and are built by a small team. We’re all-in on open source and the fediverse, and we’re also a startup, with support from Mozilla, Marc Benioff, Long Journey Ventures and others.

To be clear, I’m not concerned about apps that are backed by VC funding as long as they’re transparent about it. What concerns me is that the creator (maybe?) and lead developer of Mammoth did not disclose his relationship with investors, potential or secured, while requesting donations from users.

It’s dishonest and beyond disappointing.

Former Callisto Protocol team members left out of game’s credits

CJ Wheeler for Rock, Paper, Shotgun:

None of the developers who spoke out about being omitted from the credits felt that the situation was normal practice, and some claimed they’d been working under crunch conditions on the project.

Sounds like a great studio run by great people.

Sony introduces its accessibility controller kit, Project Leonardo

PlayStation Blog:

Through conversations with accessibility experts and incredible organizations like AbleGamers, SpecialEffect and Stack Up, we’ve designed a highly configurable controller that works in tandem with many third-party accessibility accessories and integrates with the PS5 console to open up new ways of gaming.

This is great. It’s nice to see both Microsoft, with their adaptive controller, and now Sony making video games more accessible for everyone.

Square Enix sees NFTs as solution to problem that can be solved right now without them

Jonathan Bolding for PC Gamer:

[SE President Yosuke Matsuda] is unreservedly enthusiastic about the idea that “token economies” will provide those who ‘play to contribute’ with an explicit incentive beyond “such inconsistent personal feelings as goodwill and volunteer spirit.”

People that create in-game content can be rewarded in ways that don’t involve NFTs. Why not DLC or, you know, money?

NFTs today bring nothing to the table but add a layer of complexity to existing systems we’ve been using for years. This is another way for a billion dollar company to “reward” creators by spending as little money as possible. Sad stuff.

The return of personal blogging

Monique Judge for The Verge:

Watching the demise of Twitter under the helm of Elon Musk has made me nostalgic for the personal blogging days. The decline of Twitter with the current erosion of legacy media has left me thinking we need to bring personal blogging back with a vengeance. […] The biggest reason personal blogs need to make a comeback is a simple one: we should all be in control of our own platforms.

Overall, a great article with tons of motivation for people out there who have never had a personal blog or abandoned one long ago to either get started or get back into it.

As an aside, one of my biggest pet peeves is when people say something needs to return or be “brought back” simply because they weren’t doing it. In this case, blogs don’t need to make a comeback, they never left. You need to come back to blogging and, conveniently, it’s never been easier to do that.