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Ubisoft workers demand company accountability in open letter – Axios

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Photo: Frederic Brown / Getty Images
Close to 500 current and former employees of “Assassin’s Creed” publisher Ubisoft are standing in solidarity with protesting game developers at Activision Blizzard with a letter that criticizes their company's handling of sexual misconduct.
Why it matters: Ubisoft and Activision Blizzard workers are framing the actions as part of a bigger movement meant to have lasting change in the industry and its culture.
Driving the news: In the open letter shared with Axios, Ubisoft organizers directly address Activision Blizzard workers, who are expected to stage a walkout Wednesday, amid the fallout from California’s lawsuit against Activision Blizzard over harassment and discrimination at the company.
Details: The Ubisoft group says it is frustrated by the company’s actions since last summer’s cascade of accounts about sexual misconduct and toxic working conditions at many studios.
Ubisoft dismissed or parted ways last year with several senior men at the company who were accused of misconduct, including its chief creative officer.
What they're saying: "We want to be very clear that we take this letter — and the issues it raises — very seriously," a Ubisoft representative told Axios.
What’s next: The Ubisoft letter proposes that Ubisoft, Activision Blizzard and other top publishers and developers work together to "set of rules and processes for handling reports of these offences."
Go deeper:
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include Ubisoft's statement.
Image: Activision
Friday’s release of “Call of Duty: Vanguard” won’t include the main quest for its popular cooperative multiplayer “zombies” mode, according to an Activision blog post. It will be added to the game weeks later.
Why it matters: It’s become common, especially this year, for big games to launch without all the expected parts. That puts the onus on players to buy today and get the rest of the game later.
The entrance of the Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola, where Henry Montgomery served time. Photo: Giles Clarke vja Getty Images
The Louisiana inmate whose case helped extend the opportunity for parole to hundreds of prisoners was released on parole on Wednesday, AP reports.
Why it matters: The Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory sentencing of life without parole for convicted juveniles was "cruel and unusual punishment," but it was Henry Montgomery's case that led the judges to extend their decision retroactively to people already in prison.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) greets Intergovernmental Authority on Development Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu (right) in Nairobi, Kenya, on Nov. 17, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images
On the first day of his trip to Africa, Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned the recent string of violent conflicts roiling the continent, even as the Sudanese government cracked down on pro-democracy protesters and Ethiopia's prime minister claimed a "sophisticated narrative war."
Why it matters: "Despite the grand gesture of American support for the continent signaled by … Blinken’s trip, the developments illustrated the frustrating limits of U.S. diplomacy in a tumultuous region," the New York Times writes.

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Sony to keep making PlayStation 4 as PS5 output hits snag – New York Post

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Sony’s plans to mass produce its new PlayStation 5 gaming console have been put on hold because of disruptions in the global supply chain — forcing the company to keep cranking out its older PS4 systems.
The Japanese tech giant had initially planned to phase out manufacturing of PS4 at the end of last year and move to a full transition to its newer consoles, according to Bloomberg. But now it is pivoting to produce as many as 1 million of the old models in 2022.
After introducing the PS5 in November 2020, supply has been scarce due to shortages in advanced chips and other commodities needed to mass produce the hardware.
This past November, Sony reduced its PS5 production outlook. Initially, it aimed to make more than 16 million units in the year ending in March, but that number was trimmed to 14.8 million.
The older PS4 is cheaper to make and uses less advanced chips and software than its successor. Released in 2013, the PS4 has sold more than 116 million units and remains popular among gamers.
The PS5, which offers more sophisticated graphics and faster loading times than the PS4, was also met with great fanfare. As of September 2021, it has sold 13.3 million total units — surpassing the 7.6 million units that the PS4 sold in its first year of availability nearly a decade ago.
Sony told assembly partners late last year that it is pivoting to manufacture more PS4 consoles this year, though a company spokesperson denied that it had planned to discontinue production altogether.
“It is one of the best-selling consoles ever and there is always crossover between generations,” a spokesperson told Bloomberg.
This past fall, Sony reported a 27% increase in sales in its gaming division for the three-month fiscal quarter that ended on Sept. 30. The firm credited the popularity of the PS5.
In total, the Japanese conglomerate’s gaming division recorded $5.7 billion in sales during the three month period starting in July. Operating income fell 21% to $727 million while the company generated $10.8 billion in revenue.
Sony isn’t the only gaming company that is relying on its older technologies to keep profits flowing during the supply chain crunch.
Last year, Nvidia, the US firm that makes processing units for gaming consoles, revived its previous generation of GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards due to the shortage in semiconductors.
While the company never officially discontinued production of the card, it was not listed for sale as recently as November 2020.
The card was first introduced in 2016, but was gradually phased out in favor of the newer 16-series cards, according to PC Gamer.
Market observers say that the supply chain crisis and chip shortages will likely last through this year.
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Daily Deals: Save on Select PS5, PS4 Games Today – IGN

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Daily Deals: Save on Select PS5, PS4 Games Today  IGN
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Most Popular Online Casino Games In Australia – Spiel Times

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Most Popular Online Casino Games In Australia  Spiel Times
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