It’s the Fourth of July holiday weekend, but that doesn’t mean the Replay team doesn’t have any videogame news for you. In fact, we have a couple interesting tidbits. Here’s what you need to know from the short week in just a couple minutes, plus a recommendation for a game to check out over the long weekend.
Mordhau Is Apparently Kind of a Mess
One of the PC gaming’s unexpected successes of late is Mordhau, a medieval-themed brawler that’s become a multiplayer sensation. Only problem is, its community is a big mess. As reported at length by PC Gamer, the developers behind the game seem unwilling or unable to combat rampant toxicity in their game. With a series of quotes we’d prefer not to publish here pulled directly from largely unmoderated user forums, PC Gamer illustrates a community where racism, sexism, and general hostility are not just problems, but problems left out in the open.
Mordhau devs are also in the process of rolling out female playable characters, though, and have expressed interest in including a toggle that will make all lady avatars appear as men in a given player’s game, supposedly for historical accuracy reasons. Interestingly, when the story hit the presses, the Mordhau‘s developer Triternion denied this, which PC Gamer responded to by publishing the relevant interview transcript. Triternion also issued a long statement about the “misunderstanding” and the toxicity claims.
“We do not have prior experience managing communities of this size, nor the manpower or resources that established studious can leverage,” the statement read. “Our team consists of 11 first-time developers working remotely and volunteer moderators who try their best to curb this toxicity and behavior across all platforms, including in-game. At the moment we are stretched thin with major important content additions and unfortunately we do not have the staff nor systems in place to moderate everything to our intended level of standards. We plan on improving in this regard. We hope our players understand our situation and will continue to place their faith in us, as improving these things will take time.”
The Developers of Cuphead Are Delaying Their DLC for a Very Good Reason
In more encouraging news, the developers of Cuphead just announced a delay to that game’s downloadable content, Delicious Last Course, for a very good reason. The DLC, now coming in 2020, is being delayed in order to ensure high quality, and also in consideration of the fact that, as co-director Chad Moldenhauer said, “the development of the original game taught us a great deal about the importance of making things in a way that’s healthy and sustainable for our team.”
The creators of Cuphead famously struggled for years to make their dream a reality, going so far as to remortgage their homes in order to cover ongoing development expenses. That’s absolutely a show of dedication, but overly praising that approach runs the risk of sending the wrong message to younger developers. In truth, no one should have to risk their entire lives to make their art, and the development processes that made Cuphead, while laudable, are far from sustainable.
Recommendation of the Week: Katamari Damacy, by Namco Bandai, on PlayStation 2, PC, Nintendo Switch
There’s something summery about Keita Takahashi’s Katamari Damacy. Maybe it’s the festive mood of the game’s bright environments. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s all precipitated by a party gone wrong. Or maybe it’s that the game, which has you roll objects up in a magic sticky ball in order to make increasingly large magic sticky balls for the pleasure of your divine dad, the King of All Cosmos, is both incredibly fun and deeply dysfunctional, which is the perfect holiday mood. Fireworks? Lovely. Seeing your weird relatives? Maybe less so, if you’re the summer family reunion type. Katamari Damacy captures both feelings, and it’s worth revisiting on the Switch or PC in its Katamari Damacy Reroll remaster.