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EA study: ‘Majority of players say it’s important to them that games are inclusive’

In a post on Medium, EA’s Jenny Shi reveals results of a survey on inclusivity in gaming.

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EA survey representation inclusion

In a post on Medium, EA’s Jenny Shi reveals results of a survey on inclusivity in gaming.

EA’s Global Analytics and Insights team commissioned a survey in May 2018. In it, they asked over 2,000 individuals their opinions on a range of topics, from inclusivity and representation to online play and toxicity.

Specifically, that was 2,252 individuals, ranging from 13–54 years old. Participants own and play games on console/PC, and are decision makers in entertainment purchases. (That means they choose what they buy and play themselves; it doesn’t mean they’re decision makers in the industry.)

In their Medium post, Jenny Shi reveals the study’s findings, including that the majority of respondents, 56%, believe it is “important” for developers and studios to make their games more diverse. Contrast that with just 13% who feel inclusivity is “not important”, and with 31% who are “neutral” to it, that puts the dissenting voices in a tiny minority where inclusion is concerned.

“Inclusion” in the context of the study, for reference, means:

  • Being able to customize your character to have a wide range of skin colours and body sizes
  • Stories or plots with culturally diverse characters
  • Healthy and friendly in-game chat experiences
  • Offering features that allow those with special needs to play

Meanwhile, 45% of respondents said they would be more likely to play games with inclusive content, versus just 7% who said it would actively put them off and make them less likely to play. With 48% who consider themselves neutral on the topic, that once again puts the dissenting voices in the minority.

On a broader level, over 50% of respondents find that representation – of gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity – has improved across the board.

On the community front, toxicity was a key concern, with 61% of respondents placing it second only to game quality (67%) in their list of concerns. “Unfriendly player community” was the third biggest concern to actively put someone off playing a game, after the game being too difficult, and it being tough to join late and get caught up to earlier-adopters.

And for the sake of completeness, we’ll quote Jenny Shi directly for the key takeaways from this survey:

  • “Inclusion is a pressing concern for many players, and backlash comes from a minority
  • Representation is getting better in the industry, but needs to be authentic
  • Fixing disruptive behaviour and toxicity is more important than ever
  • Despite having interest in playing games socially, female players face more barriers to playing online multiplayer. Managing disruptive player behaviour can help knock down those barriers.”

With a summary statement that “inclusion is a pressing concern for many players, and backlash comes from a minority” which we couldn’t agree with more.

Source: Medium (via PC Gamer)

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Tom is an itinerant freelance technology writer who found a home as an Editor with Thumbsticks. Powered by coffee, RPGs, and local co-op.

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New PlayStation 4 releases (August 10-14, 2020)

Ubisoft’s Hyper Scape headlines this week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 video game releases.

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New PlayStation 4 game releases
Sony / Thumbsticks

Ubisoft’s Hyper Scape headlines next week’s lineup of new PlayStation 4 video game releases.

Hyper Scape is next week’s big new PS4 release following a month in open beta on PC. Ubisoft’s free-to-play FPS battle royale is certainly ambitious, and you can expect it to be well supported by Ubisoft. Nonetheless, it has a ways to go to convince us that it will be as successful as other F2P shooters like Apex Legends or Valorant. Lovely art direction, though.

Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey made their names on mobile, but we can’t wait to play Noodlecake Studios’ dreamy snowboarding games on the big screen. Both titles come to PS4 – as well as Xbox One and Switch – in The Alto Collection on Thursday.

Other new PS4 releases that catch the eye include Zero Strain, which is a vibrant top-down shoot ’em up with MOBA elements, and Dying Light: Hellraid, a new, hellish, expansion for Techland’s Dying Light. EA Sports UFC 4 also makes an entrance on Friday.

We’ll update this page throughout the week as we get more PS4 release dates confirmed.

The Drop: New PS4 releases for August 10-14, 2020

Monday, August 10, 2020

  • No releases.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

  • Brunch Club
  • Hyper Scape
  • Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? Infinite Combate

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

  • Banner of the Maid
  • Escape From Tethys – TBC
  • Metamorphosis
  • Prehistoric Dude – TBC
  • Zero Strain

Thursday, August 13, 2020

  • The Alto Collection
  • Bite the Bullet
  • Boomerang Fu
  • Darkestville Castle

Friday, August 14, 2020

  • Dying Light: Hellraid
  • EA Sports UFC 4

Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest video games. You can also follow us on social media via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

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New Xbox One releases (August 10-14, 2020)

Next week’s lineup of new Xbox One releases features snowboarding, slayings, slams, and brunch.

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New Xbox One game releases
Microsoft / Thumbsticks

Next week’s lineup of new Xbox One releases features snowboarding, slayings, slams, and brunch.

A glut of new games come to Xbox One this week, headlined by the full release of Ubisoft’s new battle-royale shooter, Hyper Scape. It looks rather lovely, but the hype escapes us on this one, unfortunately.

Instead, you’ll find us on the slopes enjoying the delights of The Alto Collection, a compilation that includes Noodlecake’s sublime duo of snowboarding games, Alto’s Adventure and Alto’s Odyssey. To be frank, it’s all downhill from here.

Other new releases include EA Sports UFC 4. EA says the introduction of “Real Play Motion” technology will overhauls the experience from the clinch to the takedown. One for fans of furious but friendly fumbling.

Meanwhile, residents of Harran can take a trip to a dark and dangerous stronghold in the long-awaited Dying Light: Hellraid. This new expansion is based on Techland’s long in development fantasy slasher.

Brunch Club, Through the Darkest of Times, and Bite the Bullet are also among next week’s Xbox One releases.

Each new game can be purchased from the Xbox One digital games store and the Microsoft web store. We’ll update this post throughout the week with any last minute additions.

New Xbox One releases: August 10-14, 2020

Monday, August 10, 2020

  • No releases. Why not watch the extended Lord of the Rings trilogy?

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

  • Brunch Club
  • Car Mechanic Simulator Classic
  • Hyper Scape

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

  • Escape From Tethys
  • Metamorphosis: Xbox Edition
  • Prehistoric Dude
  • Zero Strain

Thursday, August 13, 2020

  • The Alto Collection
  • The Ambassador: Fractured Timelines
  • Boomerang Fu
  • Darkestville Castle
  • Faeria
  • Through the Darkest of Times

Friday, August 14, 2020

  • Bite the Bullet
  • Cooking Simulator
  • Dying Light: Hellraid
  • EA Sports UFC 4
  • The Explorer of Night
  • Linn: Path of Orchards
  • Of Tanks and Demons III

Bookmark the Thumbsticks new releases page for the latest games. You can also follow the Thumbsticks team via Flipboard, Facebook, Google News, and Twitter.

Enjoyed this article?

Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Final Fantasy VII Remake smashes another massive sales milestone

Nearly half as many people who bought the original have already bought the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

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Final Fantasy VII Remake 5 million sales
Square Enix

Nearly half as many people who bought the original have already bought the Final Fantasy VII Remake.

It’s no secret that Final Fantasy VII has always been one of the biggest sellers for Square Enix, then Squaresoft. No single game in the series has sold more units, either upon original release, or when you include re-releases and remasters.

There is one modern Final Fantasy game that’s coming up fast on the rails of Final Fantasy VII, though – its own remake.

Where the original game has sold over 13 million copies, the Final Fantasy VII Remake sold 3.5 million in its first three days, and in the following four months, has now sailed past 5 million sales overall. It’s an impressive achievement for something we were genuinely very worried about prior to release.

It’s even more impressive when you remember that the Final Fantasy VII Remake has only (thus far) released on PS4. Final Fantasy XV, for instance, which launched on PS4, Xbox One and PC, has sold nearly 9 million units. When the Final Fantasy VII Remake inevitably releases on Xbox One and PC – and presumably with a graphical bump on PS5 and Xbox Series X at a later date – those figures will only increase.

And then remember that we’ve only seen a fraction of the story. The scope of the Final Fantasy VII Remake only covers the first eight hours or so of the original game. If each segment of the Remake – and we’re assuming there’ll be at least three parts – sells 5 million copies, then it could very well surpass the original and become the best-selling Final Fantasy game ever.

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Everything revealed on the PlayStation State of Play for August 2020

August’s PlayStation State of Play included a detailed look at Crash Bandicoot 4, more information on Spelunky 2, and a deep dive into the PS5’s Godfall.

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PlayStation State of Play - August 2020
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August’s PlayStation State of Play included a detailed look at Crash Bandicoot 4, more information on Spelunky 2, and a deep dive into the PS5’s Godfall.

Of all the games on last night’s broadcast, it was the indie titles that caught our attention. Derek Yu’s tantalising walkthrough of Spelunky 2 was the highlight, but we’re also excited for the remaster of Braid, and the more we see of Bugsnax, the more we want to move to Snaktooth Island.

Here’s a quick rundown of all the announcements from August’s PlayStation State of Play. You rewatch the broadcast in full at the bottom of the page.

PlayStation State of Play – August 2020

Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time

Developer Toys For Bob promise precise platforming action that builds on the original trilogy with new abilities and wide-open environments. The game includes cosmetics to unlock and playable characters including Dingodile and Doctor Neo Cortex. The cool-looking N’ Verted mode changes the camera perspective and adds varied new gameplay and art styles existing levels. Bend the laws of time and space on October 2, 2020.

Hitman III

IO interactive give the acclaimed stealth series the full VR treatment as part of the upcoming Hitman III. Sneaking onto consoles in January 2021.

Braid Anniversary Edition

Jonathan Blow’s subversive platformer receives a subtle but sumptuous makeover to celebrate its, erm, thirteenth anniversary. Improved graphics and audio are accompanied by a comprehensive developer commentary. Scratching heads in early 2021.

The Pathless

New PlayStation 5 footage from Giant Squid’s open-world adventure game. The demo includes traversal and Eagle cleaning gameplay. We expect the pleasure will come in the playing for this one. Soaring onto PS5 in 2020

Spelunky 2

Derek Yu, we love you! Spelunky 2 will include online multiplayer, a raft of new items and an expanded, more intricate world. And ridable turkeys. Ridable. Turkeys. Saddle up on September 15, 2020.

Bugsnax

More offbeat PS5 gameplay footage from Young Horse’s curious and quirky trip to Snaktooth Island. Starting singing that song this holiday

Vadar Immortal – August 25, 2020

The hit virtual reality Star Wars experience is coming to PlayStation VR. Be as clumsy as you are stupid on August 25, 2020.

Auto Chess – October 31 PS4

The popular online competitive multiplayer strategy game is coming to PlayStation 4. Make your move on October 31, 2020.

The Pedestrian – January 2021

Skookum Arts’ inventive 2.5D side-scrolling puzzle platformer is PS4 bound. All signs point to a January 2021 release.

Hood: Outlaws and Legends

It looks like Robin Hood is finally getting a AAA – or perhaps AA – game. Rob from the rich and give to the poor on PS5 sometime in 2021.

Godfall

New combat gameplay from Counterplay’s upcoming looter slasher. Looks okay we suppose. Godfall drops on PS5 this holiday.

And also

  • Genshin Impact  – A new trailer for the game of the manga that we know little about. Shriek hysterically in Autumn 2020.
  • TemTem – A popular Pokélike appears on PlayStation 5 consoles in 2021.
  • AEON Must Die! – A new trailer for the upcoming tactical beat-em-up RPG.
  • Anno Mutationem – There’s neon aplenty in the new trailer for Lightening Games’ blend of action and role play. Light up in December 2020.
  • Control – Remedy’s sublime third-person action adventure receives its second expansion. Alan wakes on August 27.


Visit the Thumbsticks new releases page for weekly updates on the latest Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 games. You can also follow us on Flipboard or Twitter.

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Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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Hollywood star Ryan Reynolds pledges support for Able Gamers charity

Steven Spohn teams up with that bloke from Green Lantern and X-Men Origins: Wolverine to raise awareness for the Able Gamers charity.

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Ryan Reynolds Aviation Gin
Aviation Gin

Steven Spohn teams up with that bloke from Green Lantern and X-Men Origins: Wolverine to raise awareness for the Able Gamers charity.

You may not know Steven Spohn – though you absolutely should, and we’ll get to that in a minute – but you probably do know Ryan Reynolds. He’s a big Hollywood superstar. You’ve probably seen him hawking Aviation Gin and in such movies as The In-Laws, Green Lantern, and playing Wade ‘Deadpool’ Wilson in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

(We’re kidding, Ryan. We think you’re great. You totally redeemed Deadpool and you’re easily the second-best actor to ever voice Pikachu.)

Right, anyway, that’s the Hollywood bloke out the way. Now let’s get onto the really interesting guy: Steven Spohn.

Steven is the founder and chief operating officer of Able Gamers, a global charity that champions accessible gaming. He’s won prestigious awards for his positive contribution to the video game industry, developed numerous accessible controller options and contributed to the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and has consulted on accessibility options for numerous games. He’s a powerful voice in this industry and you really need to know who he is. He’s brilliant, and we need more people like Steven.

Anyway, a few weeks ago, Steven tweeted the following:

And to be honest, we forgot about it. The only “famous” people we know are game developers, and we had a feeling that wasn’t exactly what Steven had in mind for extended outreach for Able Gamers, so we didn’t really give it any more thought.

Then today, imagine our surprise when we saw the following tweet on Steven’s account:

That is big Hollywood celebrity actor man Ryan Reynolds going into bat for Steven Spohn and Able Gamers, which is amazing to see. Well done to everyone involved, it’s quite the collaboration. (We’re also reliably informed that Ryan still hasn’t blinked.)

You can find out more about Able Gamers – and, of course, donate to the cause – on the Able Gamers website.

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Found it interesting, entertaining, useful, or informative? Maybe it even saved you some money. That's great to hear! Sadly, independent publishing is struggling worse than ever, and Thumbsticks is no exception. So please, if you can afford to, consider supporting us via Patreon or buying us a coffee.


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