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Ubisoft Workers Decry Industry's 'Culture Of Abuse' – Kotaku

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A new open letter signed by almost 500 current and former Ubisoft employees announces their solidarity with the workers at Activision Blizzard, demands movement from their own leadership, and calls for systemic change across the entire video game industry, Axios reports.

“Over the past week, the games industry has once again been rocked by revelations that have long been known by too many of us,” the letter, shared with Axios’ Stephen Totilo, reads. “Revelations that a year ago many were hearing about Ubisoft. It is clear, from the frequency of these reports, that there is a widespread and deeply ingrained culture of abuse behavior within the industry.”
Last year, Ubisoft became embroiled in controversy when several workers spoke out about the instances of sexual harassment, bullying, and other abuses they experienced while employed by the French video game company. A series of high-profile departures followed, with vague promises from the executive suite to do better. But as today’s letter indicates, Ubisoft employees demand more.

The breaking point appears to have been Activision Blizzard’s own issues, which were brought to light when a California state lawsuit against the company came to public awareness last week. The suit describes an environment of pervasive abuse against female employees, referring to the company as a “breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women.”
No live service elements
Take the role of Star-Lord
Make decisions among the crew
“We need real, fundamental changes, within Ubisoft, within Activision Blizzard, and across the industry,” today’s letter continues. “To this end, we propose that Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, and other industry-leading publishers and developers collaborate and agree to a set of rules and processes for handling reports of these offenses. This collaboration must heavily involve employees in non-management positions and union representatives. This is essential to ensure that those who are directly affected by these behaviors are leading the change.”
Read More: Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Comments On Harassment Allegations
For their part, a group of Activision Blizzard employees are currently in the middle of a planned walkout today meant to protest their employers’ questionable actions and company culture. This has garnered widespread support from across the industry, with many asking fans not to cross the “digital picket line” by abstaining from playing games like Call of Duty and Overwatch during the demonstration.
Activision Blizzard employees themselves have requested that those wishing to stand in solidarity with their walkout donate to one of the following charities:
The influential, overpaid men who allow cultures of abuse to fester in these and other video game companies are quickly running out of options. We’ve reached a point where far-reaching, systemic change is the only answer. Power must be placed in the hands of the workers, quickly and without delay, before more vulnerable people are chewed up and spit out by an industry that’s already failed so many.
Update (07/29/2021, 6:05 p.m. ET): Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has responded to the above letter with an internal memo of his own, according to Axios reporter Stephen Totilo. Guillemot’s statement simply reiterates leadership’s “commitment to creating real and lasting change” at Ubisoft with new, anonymous reporting tools and revamped HR processes.
 

“To this end, we propose that Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, and other industry-leading publishers and developers collaborate and agree to a set of rules and processes for handling reports of these offenses.”
I’m trying to carefully phrase my thoughts here so I don’t seem like a giant dickbag, but this mentality is why nothing has been done and the toxic culture has stayed for so long.
You can't ASK the people abusing you to stop abusing you.  If it were that simple, they'd have done it already.  The employees have to MAKE management stop.  The workers have to take the power that they all have, consolidate it, and direct that force at management.  This cannot be a request labor is making, it must be an order they are issuing. 

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EA Guzman and Shaira Diaz are already celebrating their anniv and Valentines Day – GMA News Online

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EA Guzman and Shaira Diaz are celebrating Valentines Day and their 9th anniversary early — as in January early.
On his Instagram Stories, EA posted a couple photo of the two of them inside a parked car and greeted his girlfriend a Happy Valentines Day as well as an advanced happy 9th anniversary because "same kami ng schedule ng lock-in taping," EA said.
"Happy Valentine's Day! Happy 9th anniversary! Advance ko na Baba," he continued.
"Mami-miss kita. See you in 2 months," EA said as he tagged Shaira.
Shaira, who has gone into quarantine for "Lolong" taping, reposted EA's IG Stories and said she was also "gonna miss you baba."
"See you soon!" Shaira wrote after three crying face emojis.
"Advance HVD and happy anniv, too!" She greeted EA.
The two are each working on a project that will have both of them in locked-in taping through February. — LA, GMA News  

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Argentina: Codere Introduces Zitro’s LOTBA-Approved Online Games – GamblingNews.com

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Global gaming industry provider, Zitro, announced on Thursday that its online subsidiary Zitro Digital expanded its presence in the Latin American region.
Zitro Digital revealed that its portfolio of digital games is available for the first time within the jurisdiction of the City of Buenos Aires, thanks to a deal with Codere Group. As a result, players can enjoy the highly-popular Video Bingo games, as well as the famous progressive multigame Pick & Win.
To complete the deal, Zitro received approval from the gaming regulator of the autonomous city of Buenos Aires called Loteria de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Sociedad del Estado (LOTBA). As a result, the company’s digital games were approved for casinos licensed within the jurisdiction. The company’s games have been highly successful for years throughout land-based casinos. However, now, players in the autonomous city of Buenos Aires can enjoy those games via desktop PC, tablet, or mobile devices.
The latest move complements Zitro’s ongoing expansion in Argentina. Besides the autonomous city of Buenos Aires, back in December, the company increased its presence in the country by completing three casino installations. As a result, Zitro’s highly popular games and cabinets were introduced to three venues in the Mendoza region.
Besides Latin America, Zitro’s games are also popular in Europe. In fact, last month, Zitro’s most popular games were introduced to more Barrière Group venues in France. Consequently, the top-performing Link Me and Link King games were introduced to more Barrière Group venues.
Zitro’s Regional Director for Latin America, Alejandra Burato, deemed the company’s steady growth as an outstanding achievement. Moreover, she acknowledged that the growth helps pave the way for Zitro to enter new jurisdictions in Argentina and around the globe. Burato revealed that creating a “product that is as successful and profitable to operators as our land-based games” is the main goal for Zitro. She explained that after the team’s hard work the company is proud to see this goal become reality.
It is an outstanding achievement to watch Zitro Digital growing steadily and opening the way to new online casino markets not only in Argentina but across all continents.
Moreover, Burato said that receiving approval by the LOTBA is an important step for the expansion of Zitro Digital. She added that Zitro is grateful for Codere Group’s trust. In conclusion, Burato said that the company is “excited about adding new game titles soon.”
We are convinced that players will enjoy the same success in the online channel and that it will support our omnichannel growth strategy.
Codere online’s regional director, Salo Leder, added that bringing world-class entertainment for its clients in Argentina is a key priority for the company. He acknowledged that this partnership brings a “broad portfolio of online video bingo and Zitro video slots games,” which have already proved to be successful at brick-and-mortar casinos. In conclusion, Leder predicted that the same success will be observed within the online channel, which will further help Codere grow.
Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he’s accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.
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Maker of PS5 And Xbox Scalper Subscription Claims To Be A Jobs Creator – Kotaku

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PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles are still notoriously difficult to acquire. This is partially because of the chip shortage that affects the availability of the components inside the machines, but also because of scalpers who can buy consoles and sell them for a much higher price. One guy named Jack Bayliss is really sticking up for the little guys in that equation: the scalpers.
As originally reported by VGC, Jack Bayliss runs Aftermarket Arbitrage, a paid subscription service that notifies scalpers when a next-generation console is about to become available at an online retailer, so they have a steady supply of hardware to sell. A monthly membership costs £30 a month, and a yearly subscription costs £300. While he claims that 95% of his subscribers don’t use bots, that’s cold comfort to anyone who’s hoping to get a PS5 or a Series X this year. Bayliss claims that subscribers who successfully score merchandise are making a month’s worth of salary in “a couple of days” via his supply tip-off service. Some have reportedly even quit their jobs to scalp full-time, he says.
So how does he justify a practice that’s widely reviled by the gaming community? In addition to noting that video game consoles are a luxury that nobody actually needs, he explains: “What they’re doing is they’re being entrepreneurs, they’re going out, creating a side income, and they’re doing something that 90% of the population can’t be bothered to do.” Gee, I wonder why most people aren’t going out of their way to increase the average cost of a next-generation console on the marketplace.
According to Bayliss: “Look at every single step in the supply chain. Someone is adding value somewhere. It’s not being sold at cost price. It’s capitalism.” While it’s true that we all live in a capitalist hellscape, labor-added value is usually supposed to add value for… you know, the consumer. Scalpers are making it harder for you to buy consoles, and you get zero added benefit out of it. In the case of console scalping, only one side is benefitting from this lopsided transaction: the scalper.
When asked about whether or not he was concerned about how he was affecting console availability for other people, Bayliss told Kotaku: “It does not concern me because we aren’t decreasing the overall supply. Every console is still in circulation. The exact same number of people can play next generation games. Our subscribers are able to sell these rapidly so they filter back into circulation quickly for gamers to use, the fact that average marketplace cost of consoles is increasing doesn’t stop people purchasing.” So there you have it: console prices will likely remain high because people can’t stop buying from scalpers.”
Take control of your entertainment
The PDP gaming remote is officially licensed by Xbox and will just work with no need to sync devices, making it the easiest way to navigate your Xbox.
But hey, things aren’t all bleak in the console market. The next time you fail to secure a next-generation console, you can comfort yourself with the thought that a scalper can consider themselves a successful entrepreneur.

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