Final Fantasy 14 To Go Back On Sale and More!

Hello everyone. Welcome to Emmen Weekly, our new twist on gaming news. 

We used to drip-feed you news 5 days a week, one by one. But we thought we’d shake things up a bit.

So we waited a week to see what happened in the games industry, gathered it all in one mega care package, and are now delivering it straight into your eyeballs, all at once!

With no further ado, let’s begin.

Final Fantasy 14 To Go Back On Sale 

Just like the record producer DJ Khaled, Final Fantasy 14 found itself suffering from success not too long ago. 

After the release of its latest expansion, Endwalker, the game proved so popular that the servers literally couldn’t handle the massive influx of new players. This got so bad that publisher Square Enix had to step in and literally stop selling the game! That was back in December 2021. 

With the coming of a new year, Final Fantasy 14 is set to go back on sale again. The set date for this is 25 January.

Mark the date on your calendar if you too are looking to try the critically acclaimed MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV, which as you may know comes “with an expanded free trial which you can play through the entirety of A Realm Reborn and the award winning Heavensward expansion up to level 60 for free with no restrictions on playtime.”

Sony and Microsoft Face Next Gen Console Shortage in Opposite Ways

It is widely known that Sony and Microsoft’s next generation consoles, the PS5 and the Xbox Series S/X, are currently rather difficult to obtain. 

Whether due to supply chain slowdown due to the pandemic or due to unavailability of stock due to scalpers, the ordeal of obtaining a next gen console in real life has become the first next gen “game” most players get to experience.

Things being as they are, Sony and Microsoft have decided to respond to this situation. However, their responses couldn’t be more different.

On Microsoft’s side, it decided to officially stop manufacturing its previous console, the Xbox One. 

The software giant stated that this was done so that it could focus on producing more Xbox S/X consoles to meet demand.

Meanwhile in Camp Sony, the decision was made to deal with the shortage of PS5 units by making more PS4 units. 

The company said that it had previously planned to discontinue the console in 2021 but due to the lack of availability of PS5 units, it will be making about a million additional units instead.

The PS4 units are cheaper to make and Sony hopes that they will provide a cheaper alternative in the market to consumers and will help them offset the loss of revenue from the PS5’s lack of stock.

So there you have it. One company is leaping into the next generation head first while the other is taking half a step back.

Which of these approaches do you think is the way to go? 

PUBG Goes Free-to-Play and Fans Revolt

After announcing it at the Game Awards, PUBG: Battlegrounds transitioned to a free-to-play model earlier this week.

The game offered rewards to players who had previously purchased the game. These rewards came in the form of access to a tier service called Battleground Plus. 

Battlegrounds Plus, which is normally priced at $12.99, offers ranked and custom match play, a 100% XP boost, 1300 G-Coins, and a matching set of gloves, mask, and hat set. 

The players who bought the game will also receive “a special commemorative pack” of in-game cosmetics.

That was the first part of the story. Now comes the “fans revolt” part of the story.

The game has been hit with a deluge of negative reviews on Steam. The game was hit with more than 5000 negative reviews in under 24 hours since it went F2P.

Many users have expressed their concerns about the influx of cheaters due to the game going F2P. 

Others have been straight up demanding their money back, with some of them having paid for the game several years ago.

Whatever their reasoning, one thing is clear; the rewards being offered by Battleground Plus are doing very little to quell the rage of longtime fans who made the game what it is today.

Among Us Gets Manga Adaptation

This is admittedly a short one but it got a confused reaction from the entire Emmen team so we just had to share it with you.

It seems that popular online multiplayer social deduction game Among Us is getting a manga adaptation.

Now before you get too excited about the prospect of following the Impostor’s enemy-to-lovers character arc with the crew over hundreds of manga chapters, do note that the manga adaptation is going to be a one shot.

The adaptation will be coming out in the April 2022 issue of Bessatsu Corocoro.

Also, if you’re wondering what gorgeous anime looks the cast of Among Us got for this adaptation… well… 

Yeah, that’s the red guy over there and he looks pretty much the same as in the game. So it’s probably best not to assume a wildly different look.

In any case, this is a thing that is happening and we thought you ought to know about it. 

We loved Among Us and will definitely try to read this one shot as soon as it drops.

How about you?

PlayStation Begins Phasing Out PS Now Gift Cards

Xbox’s Game Pass service has been wildly successful in recent years and is rapidly approaching a state that some might refer to as a “Netflix for gaming”.

The question of what Sony’s response to this would be has been long in the air and widely speculated on. And now, another piece of the speculative puzzle may have fallen into place.

PlayStation has been phasing out gift cards for its cloud gaming subscription service PS Now from retailers in the UK. 

The reason given is that they wanted to streamline their gift card offerings.

Basically, what they want to do is make the current PlayStation gift cards also be redeemable for PS Now. 

Previously, Bloomberg had reported that Sony intends to merge PS Now and PS Plus, which is its paid subscription service. 

It claimed that this fusion would result in a new tier-based service which would give users access to cloud-based gaming in addition to the usual PS Plus features.

This claim bears some similarity to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a service that provides both xCloud gaming and Xbox Live Gold.

It is currently being speculated that this phasing out of PS Now gift cards is a sign that Sony is finally preparing their response to Microsoft.

Games One Releases List of Video Game CEOs and Their Salaries 

A website called Games One has compiled and released a breakdown of the pay given to video game executives in 2020. 

This information was compiled from company filings and includes salary, bonuses, stock, and other benefits. 

Basically, what we’re looking at is a who’s who of video game CEOs and the money they rake in. 

Looking at the numbers, it is ridiculous bordering on cartoonish. 

Let’s take Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick for example. He took home an hourly average of $77,306 in 2020! And he’s not even the highest earner on the list!

That “honor” goes to Robert Antokol from Playtika, an Israel-based company that makes free-to-play mobile games. He took home an hourly wage of $186,004 during the same year. That means that he got an average of six digit figures, by the hour.

All of this to say what we’ve known to be true for a very long time; the large amounts of money entering the game industry is clearly being mismanaged. 

The hardest working developers with the most passion and creativity never get to enjoy salaries like this. Instead, they often find themselves facing crunch conditions where they must work long hours overtime without pay or losing their jobs entirely, even after successful projects.

Here’s an article about Activision Blizzard forcing crunch conditions on contractors and here’s an article about Raven Software (which was acquired by Activision Blizzard in 1997) firing about a third of their QA testers after Call of Duty made $3 billion in 2020.

The CEO of Activision Blizzard, Bobby Kotick, went on to earn about $154,613,318 that same year.

You can find the website with the CEOs’ salaries here.

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