Games Industry News Roundup- June 18th, 2024

Here at Goonhammer, we know that it’s hard to keep track of all the news happening all the time in the games industry. So much is always going on with games of all sorts, and their related media, it can be a real blink-and-you’ll miss it situation. 

That’s why every week, we round up five of the biggest stories in the gaming sphere from the past week in the Games Industry News Roundup. Our trusty news boy, Dan “Swiftblade” Richardson, is here with the scoop

IGN Lays Off Dicebreaker Staff Following Gamer Network Acquisition

Credit: Dicebreaker

Earlier this year, IGN surprised the game industry by stepping in to acquire the Gamer Network family of websites. These websites are primarily focused on reporting video game related news, with sites like Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Eurogamer, and Following the IGN buyout, many staffers of these websites were made redundant and laid off. 

The fate of Dicebreaker, a member of the Gamer Network family of websites with a focus on tabletop gaming news, was unclear following the IGN buyout. While no formal announcement was made by IGN regarding their plans for Dicebreaker, no new articles were posted to the site following the acquisition on May 21st. 

Last week, members of the Dicebreaker team confirmed on social media that the current staff at Dicebreaker were let go following the acquisition by IGN. Matt Jarvis, former Editor in Chief of Dicebreaker, confirmed that he was made redundant on his Twitter/X page, followed by the other members of the Dicebreaker team such as senior staff writer Alex Meehan and video producer Liv Kennedy.  

As of this writing, IGN has not officially disclosed the fate of the Dicebreaker brand. The website still remains live, despite its lack of staff and no clear agenda for moving forward. Jarvis spoke to what little he knew about the future of Dicebreaker in an email to former website contributors, saying, “I’m not able to say exactly what the future holds for the Dicebreaker website and wider brand – mostly because I am now not in the position to know myself. My understanding is that the website will remain live for the time being. Needless to say, I would recommend archiving your work if you haven’t already, just in case.”

First started in 2019, Dicebreaker was one of the few websites whose content focused exclusively on reporting tabletop industry news, ranging from TTRPGS, TCGs, board games, and miniature wargames. While Dicebreaker could potentially carry on in some form later down the line, the Dicebreaker brand as we know it is now gone. 

Atomic Mass Games Sunsets Support for X-Wing and Armada

Credit: Disney/Atomic Mass Games

Last week, Atomic Mass Games (AMG) made a post on its community blog page officially announcing what many had long suspected: that AMG would be officially ending development for Star Wars: X- Wing and Star Wars: Armada.

Published by Fantasy Flight Games, X-Wing first hit the scene in 2012 to immense success, and for a time even did the impossible by outselling miniature game juggernaut Warhammer 40,000. While X-Wing focused on space dogfights between the iconic fighter craft of the Star Wars universe, in 2015’s Armada focused on battles between large capital ships, also to immense success.

Despite the popularity of both games, they received fewer releases and support in recent years, and in 2021 ownership of X-Wing and Armada was transferred to AMG. AMG would mostly focus on repackaging older sets for X-Wing, rather than new ship releases.

AMG cited several reasons in their blog post for their decision to end development for X-Wing, writing: “Over the past few years, rising production costs, global manufacturing, and pandemic-related challenges have made it increasingly difficult to produce high-quality, pre-painted miniatures which ultimately led to the decision to end development.” 

While AMG is ending any further development for X-Wing and Armada, the company does intend to support organized play for the game at least through Adepticon 2025.  

Spiel Des Jahres Nominees Announced 

Credit: Spiel des Jahres

The nominees for one of the most prestigious awards in board games, Spiel Des Jahres, was announced last week on the Spiel des Jahres website.

The Speil award has been around since 1979, with the goal of finding the best board game of the year according to a jury of thirty industry experts. While initially only known in the German-speaking countries where the judges hail from, Speil became an international honor in the board game professional community. The award does not come with any cash prize, but games nominated for Spiel tend to experience a spike in popularity, and the winner may freely advertise the award on packaging or advertisements of the game. Spiel nominees focus on games that are fun for everyone, from board game newcomers to enthusiasts.

This year, the three games nominated for Spiel Des Jahres are:

  • In the Footsteps of Darwin, published by Sorry We are French
  • Captain Flip, published by PlayPunk
  • Sky Tea, published by Kosmos/Scorpion Masque

Additionally, the Kinnerspiel des Jahres award nominees were announced on the Spiel website. Kinnerspiel games nominees are focused on games meant for board games enthusiasts. The nominees for Kinnerspiel 2024 are as follows:

  • e-Mission (Daybreak), published by Schmidt
  • The Guild of Traveling Merchants, published by Skellig Games / AEG
  • Ticket to Ride Legacy – Legends of the West, published by Days of Wonder

Winners for the Speil and Kinnerspiel awards will be announced on July 21st.

Steamforged Goes Live with Warmachine Pre-Orders

Credit: Steamforged Games

After experiencing some delay due to website concerns, Steamforged Games has gone live with pre-orders for Warmachine products on its webstore.

Steamforged, which purchased the rights to the iron Kingdoms IP from Privateer Press earlier this month, decided to make the currently available Warmachine line available by pre-order only on their webstore, with the products expected to ship on July 18th. This is to combat the “extended lead times due to high demand” that Warmachine products were experiencing with Privateer Press. Following this pre-order period, the products for the game will be available as normal. Unfortunately for players in the southern hemisphere, SFG stated that it cannot ship product to Australia or New Zealand at this time.

Along with the pre-order announcement, SFG released an updated schedule for already announced releases, with a delay across the board, and unveiled the two player start box is expected to release in October. The expansion packs for each faction had their contents changed in order to reduce the price of the boxes from $200 to $160, and battlegroup boxes were reduced from $80 to $70.

United States Government Sues Adobe Over Subscription Policy

Credit: Adobe

Adobe is under fire from the long arm of the American law for its predatory subscription policies. 

The Adobe Creative Suite, featuring apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere, is a ubiquitous tool for creatives of all industries, including the tabletop industry and the good folks here at Goonhammer dot com. This popularity is despite the unpopular subscription policy from Adobe, where a monthly or annual fee must be paid for continued access to these programs. As of this writing, there is no way to buy permanent access to any program in the Adobe Creative Suite.

This practice has finally earned the ire of the United States Justice Department, which filed a claim on Monday against Adobe for their subscription policies. The lawsuit claims that Adobe “has harmed consumers by enrolling them in its default, most lucrative subscription plan without clearly disclosing important plan terms.” Additionally, the lawsuit alleges that Adobe purposefully obscures the cancellation policy and early cancellation fees for Adobe memberships behind hyperlinks and fine print, trapping users who are shocked to learn that canceling their Adobe memberships could cost hundreds of dollars.

“Americans are tired of companies hiding the ball during subscription signup and then putting up roadblocks when they try to cancel.” wrote Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. 

Adobe has not released any public statement as of this writing regarding the lawsuit. If the Justice Department is successful in it’s litigation against Adobe, it could mean a return of the lifetime-ownership model for Adobe products that the company used until 2012, as well as setting a precedent for consolation policies of other subscription based models.

And that wraps it up for our Games Industry News Roundup this week! Join us again next week for more news about the tabletop games industry and related media.

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