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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Card Games? Horse Racing? What if PEGI Re-Rated Pocket Card Jockey?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - This could age very well, badly, or not at all, depending if Pocket Card Jockey ever gets ported...

Over in Europe, they're under the Pan European Game Information ratings system, or PEGI. They're like the ESRB... but in Europe. Anyway, the two boards take a different view of simulated (not real money) gambling. In the ESRB, simulated gambling is betting with fake money. This will get your game rated T at a minimum. This is what you do with the Game Corner in Pokémon. ...That same simulated gambling Game Corner got Pokémon in trouble across Europe and Iran, though. And unfortunately the ban on the Game Corner has carried over to “faithful remake” Pokémon Shining Pearl and Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, with the Veilstone Game Corner now being replaced with the Metronome Style Shop where you can buy outfits for your trainer.

So we know Iran is psychopathic, but what kind of European trouble? They've never liked simulated gambling, and as of 2020, the PEGI policy has developed to be that any game with simulated gambling (“games of chance that are normally carried out in casinos or gambling halls”) that apparently teaches or encourages the player that gambling is fun is PEGI 18. That's the highest, most restrictive rating. This is further elaborated on AskAboutGames, which brings up the example of Overboard!, an adventure game, which is 18-rated in Europe and T-rated in North America due to a blackjack playing scene. They also said that gambling activities that are a plot point in a story are fine, but actually doing the simulated gambling activity is bad. “For example, this will include games that teach the player how to play card games that are usually played for money or how to play the odds in horse racing.”

Card games? Horse racing? I think it's time to talk about Pocket Card Jockey again!


Monday, August 30, 2021

China's Minor Game Restrictions Worse Than We Imagined—One hour a day for three days a week

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - So much for the videogame industry in China.

I have written a LOT about China and gaming restrictions in just this month. Let's briefly review.

Chinese state media bullied Chinese megacorporation Tencent earlier, comparing their mobile games to spiritual opium that is intoxicating the children with its addictive nature. (That's a very dishonourable comparison in Chinese culture.) China already had restrictions that kids can only play 1.5 hours of games a day... but Tencent would “voluntarily” bring that down to 1 hour a day to avoid the regulatory ire implied by the Chinese state media.


Less than a week ago, South Korea decided it would no longer be on the two-country list of governments that restricted minors’ ability to play videogames (it and China). In South Korea, kids can't play videogames between midnight and 6 in the morning. They're seeking to put in the legislative effort to abolish that restriction, leaving China by itself.

So what does China do now? As announced today, their bureaucracy is rolling out new rules: If you are under the age of 18, you can only play videogames for 1 hour a day... and only on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And only between 20:00 and 21:00. You can't make those times? Too bad.


Friday, August 27, 2021

Finally Here: No More Heroes 3 Launched!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Yet despite my record of wanting it, I'm not getting it at launch...?

You can go back to the earliest Early Installment Weirdness articles on KoopaTV to know that I've been wanting No More Heroes 3—alternatively called No More Heroes III—on the then-current Nintendo console, the Wii U. I even put the existence of No More Heroes 3 on my...death wish list. Then skip to 2019 when No More Heroes 3 was announced, but I was concerned about its quality due to the game that came before it. The game proceeded to get delayed to improve its quality. An early build of it was shown at Nintendo Treehouse: Live | E3 2021... except only off-stream. The build was rough and had a lot of performance issues.

No More Heroes 3 Gold Joe boss fight development comparison early build
August 2021 Gold Joe boss fight video versus the early look from two months prior at Nintendo Treehouse: Live.


No More Heroes 3 has released today, at long last, but it also has an extensive Day 1 Patch download that is supposed to fix a number of problems, including performance issues. There might be more patches to come, so maybe it's better to wait for those first:

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Pokémon TV Available on Nintendo Switch... Disables Video/Screenshot Capture

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - So... there's really no point...

The big Pokémon announcement of the week is brought to you by The Pokémon Company International: Pokémon TV App Available Now on Nintendo Switch. It's been available on their website for... I dunno, a decade. And for smart devices too. And now it's up on the Nintendo Switch. It's better than when Nintendo had anime episodes on Game Boy Advance cartridges, I guess.

Pokémon Kids TV Skitty Meowth Glameow Flea Waltz Cat's Polka
Hoorah, more Pokémon stuff on the Switch! This could be very promising!
(Screenshot from Flea Waltz... more on what that is later in the article.)


Unlike a predetermined finite selection of Pokémon episodes like on the GBA, the Pokémon TV application has always had the first two Pokémon anime seasons (Kanto and the Orange Islands) and then a rotating selection of Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, and Kalos seasons. It's consistently had the whole Sun & Moon series once that came to exist. Yeah, unfortunately, you can't watch any anime episode at any time, unless you're only interested in Kanto or Alola. ...And you shouldn't be, because the best seasons aren't either of those. (Sinnoh, the best season, is what's available now.)

However, both the Game Boy Advance Video and the Nintendo Switch Pokémon TV application share an identical fatal flaw that makes them... well, useless. Or, at least, inferior.


Wednesday, August 25, 2021

(South) Korea Looks to Liberalise Child Game-Playing Times

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - You should think about the fact they had this authoritarian scheme in the first place.

According to The Korean Herald (an English-language newspaper), two ministries (The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family) want to change how—more precisely, when—children are playing videogames in South Korea. Previously and for the past decade, players aged 16 or younger were banned from playing videogames between midnight and 06:00. This is enforceable from the videogame provider level, as in videogame companies will be fined and/or imprisoned (who exactly in the company would get locked up wasn't clear) if children were playing late-night games. Multinational corporations often didn't want to deal with this, so kids games (the article cited Minecraft) were restricted to non-kids entirely, which I'm sure ruined its marketability.

While the Ministries announced their intention to change this system, it requires South Korea's legislative body to actually amend their “Youth Protection Act”, which wasn't future-proofed, so it already doesn't include mobile games, social media, streaming services, and browsing KoopaTV. Rather than also subject those things to bans, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family decided to just leave it up to the parents/legal guardians.

I get the feeling this might be less a freedom thing and more of a geopolitical thing. Here's what the article notes from the Ministry's announcement:


Tuesday, August 24, 2021

How did THE PEGASUS DREAM TOUR turn out? Paralympic Games Tokyo 2021 Begin!

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I don't think it ended up well...

You might remember me hyping up (sorta) THE PEGASUS DREAM TOUR by JP GAMES, Inc. It was supposed to be a sports JRPG and have really cool art design. Then the Olympics got delayed, and the game did too. KoopaTV had reached out to the developer in 2020 and got a reply that it'll come out in 2021. And so it has for two months now, right before the beginning of the Tokyo 2021 Paralympic Games. That's started now! ...KoopaTV will not do a reaction log of its opening ceremony like we did with the standard Olympic Games. There's no personal significance for us, since Koopa Kingdom isn't competing in it.

As for the officially associated videogame, JP Games once said they wanted THE PEGASUS DREAM TOUR to be as accessible and available, platform-wise, as they could get. It's only available on iOS and Android, however. And for some reason, the smartphone I have access to isn't allowed to download it. It's not available. Why? I dunno. Seems to meet the requirements. It's a free-to-play game with in-app purchases. According to reviews, the game is remarkably unstable and crashes often.

No one really seems to be talking about what the game is actually like, and all JP GAMES is doing is marketing collaborations/ambassadorships with real-life musicians or para-athletes or whatever with their in-game avatars. Like, their YouTube channel lacks... actual gameplay of the game, but they do have their social media people in wheelchairs.

And they seem to LOVE this Pikotaro guy:


Monday, August 23, 2021

Gaming Media Outlet "Gamasutra" to Rebrand to "Game Developer"

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - That means the media outlet will be called “Game Developer” as opposed to them starting to develop games.

This isn't normally the kind of story KoopaTV would cover, but I find it fascinating for several reasons, so here we go: Gaming media outlet Gamasutra will be rebranding to Game Developer, after its defunct Game Developer magazine, which it was a sister site for that outlasted the print sibling. That's happening this week and they'll drop the gamasutra.com domain for gamedeveloper.com. They claim that gamasutra.com articles will properly redirect to the new site... and they better, since KoopaTV has cited them on many occasions. It's a publication meant for game developers, and there's sometimes content by game developers (like postmortems). The parent company also brings you Game Developers Conference, after all. There's often lots of very interesting information, even if the site's politics are... the usual. (Not like this site's, of course.)

Why should another website write about that website's branding change? I think their reasoning is very interesting. It's as follows:

“ That said, even with Gamasutra's reputation and editorial vision, the name was always cringey, and alienated people outside or adjacent to the game industry. The name was (and is) typically met with a "what'd you say?" or impressive side-eye. I don't blame people who reacted that way, because as much pride as I have working on Gamasutra, I've felt the same way. I and the people who work on the site have for a long time.

And the stories of sheer cringe that I've experienced or heard have made me laugh, but equally made me shudder: A developer having to cite Gamasutra in front of government representatives to obtain funding; a teacher awkwardly telling new design students to check out this article on Gamasutra; a game industry reporter spelling out Gamasutra for an inquisitive Indian-American middle-schooler, pencil and notepad in hand. (That last example was of me.) On a more serious note, reporting on rampant industry sexism when our brand clings to a late-90s "LOL SEX" connotation is beyond the pale.”


I have to confess something at this point...

Friday, August 20, 2021

WarioWare: Get It Together! Demo Impressions

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well, it's certainly an experiment...

Yesterday, Nintendo published a demo of WarioWare: Get It Together! on the Nintendo eShop. You might remember it from Nintendo's E3 2021, where it was a featured Nintendo Treehouse Live game. The full game will release on September 10, 2021, at a price of $50. It's developed by Intelligent Systems, and the last thing they did was Paper Mario: The Origami King. That specific bit of knowledge will come into play later this article.

The demo starts with an opening cutscene of the members of WarioWare Inc. gathered around Wario, with the mogul claiming he completed his project. ...Instead of working as Wario presumably planned, the device he was holding up digitised and inhaled all the employees, and the demo actually begins. This has pretty much the same premise as Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, and that didn't go very well.

There's two modes: Start (for one to two players) and Local Wireless (where you and presumably someone else play with two systems). I only have one system and one player (me), so let's Start... By the way, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes also had multiplayer... Anyway, the only thing to do after Starting is to press a Play mode with stages apparently made just for the demo. (You later unlock a Practice controls option.)


Thursday, August 19, 2021

Mamoswine in Pokémon UNITE and China's Pork Diet

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - How about cutting off the pork diet to stick it to them?

Of the many relevant things I could talk about the day after the Pokémon Presents that was filled with fresh information about Pokémon Shining Pearl/Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon: Legends Arceus, I'm instead going to dedicate it to the... ~10 seconds of Pokémon UNITE Mamoswine footage. Somehow the game I've demanded that no one download is taking up my mind share. Anyway, we don't know when Mamoswine is coming. ...Just that it'll be in the future:

Mamoswine Pokémon UNITE official artwork
Mamoswine? What are you doing in Pokémon UNITE? ...I believe I know!


Why would Mamoswine get to come to Pokémon UNITE? Swinub and Piloswine aren't in the top 30 most popular Johto Pokémon, and Mamoswine isn't in the top 30 most popular Sinnoh Pokémon. Well, the answer came to me instantly: Mamoswine is coming to Pokémon UNITE to appeal to developer Tencent's home market of China.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

KoopaTV's Live Reactions to the Pokémon Presents August 2021

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Sinnoh! ...And Hisui!?

Today we get to sit in on an approximately 28-minute presentation delivered by The Pokémon Company!

The Pokémon Company's Chief Operating Officer, Takato Utsunomiya (where's Ishihara?!) gave us a presentation covering mobile crap first, and then important updates on Pokémon Shining Pearl, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus. We last got real updates on those when they were revealed in a Pokémon Presents from half a year ago. Now I'm enthusiastically back to live-react, and to try to pushback on my Sinnoh enthusiasm, HeavyLobster is here too. Follow along with our live reactions:



[8:47 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdja9m4YlT4
[8:47 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: 12 minutes!
[8:57 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: 10 minutes later...
[8:59 AM] HeavyLobster: I'm here.
[8:59 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: But is Pokémon here?
[9:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: They're late already.
[9:00 AM] HeavyLobster: I have Jigglypuff with me.
[9:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Late by over 30 seconds.
[9:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Now they have a countdown thing with  a"2"
[9:00 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: But it's just "2" and not actually a countdown.
[9:01 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Now a 60-second countdown.
[9:01 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Does this go into the 28 minutes?
[9:01 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Or is it fake countdown + 28 minutes?
[9:02 AM] HeavyLobster: Can't wait for everyone to complain.
[9:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: ...I can wait for that.
[9:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: ...
[9:02 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Nevermind, I'll complain.
[9:03 AM] Ludwig Von Koopa: They're starting with Pokémon UNITE.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Two Medieval Ages: Great Ace Attorney Chronicles Instrumentals and Afghanistan

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Let's see how well I can force these two completely different topics into one article!

There is a lot of talk going on about what the United States is doing (or not doing) with evacuating Afghanistan. That's interesting and all and probably what people want to read commentary about, but there's something that's much more on my mind than that: how botched the Instrumentals selection is for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles Special Contents Auditorium description music voice clips
I can enjoy “various” tracks... but far from all...


There are similar problems behind both situations, so I'll try to... cover both things simultaneously. In terms of Afghanistan, the President Donald John Trump administration really wanted to pull out and end America's role in that endless war. His successor and the current American leader, President Joseph Robinette Biden Jr., said much the same thing. Now it's happening and people are upset. No matter who would be the leader in charge, it'd be a messy, imperfect exit. But Americans shouldn't lose heart and want to decide to re-invade that country. I'm generally supportive of what the current American president is doing right now with Afghanistan, and happy he has the courage to follow through with it. (I might disagree with some specific executional details, but...)

Now the fundamentalist Islamic terrorist Taliban, which the Americans have been fighting off for two decades, have basically recaptured the whole of Afghanistan, already undoing whatever “progress” America supposedly accomplished. This is pretty similar to what's going on with The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles and its in-game soundtrack. Observe:


Monday, August 16, 2021

Xbox Game Pass, Windows 11, and Non-Nintendo/Sony Open Platforms

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Pretty obvious to anyone besides some “journalists.”

At the end of last week, gaming media outlet GamesRadar+ had an interview with Microsoft's Chief Xbox executive, Phil Spencer. They talked about Xbox Game Pass. What else would they talk about? Xbox Game Pass is the only thing to really talk about when it comes to Microsoft's gaming efforts. It's their big differentiator, and “available on Xbox Game Pass” became a very familiar phrase during their E3 2021 presentation. Specifically, Phil Spencer wants to work with getting Xbox (Game Pass) to “open platforms” (not ones controlled by an ecosystem owner... AKA not the Switch or the PlayStation, but things like mobile (but I guess not Apple's) and PC) with the power of the cloud. So it's like what Google is trying to do with the Stadia, except not being a huge failure because Microsoft understands the videogame industry (and they're willing to make massive acquisitions to support it), unlike Google.

People in the Nintendo-focused media are talking about the interviewer's insistence that Phil Spencer answer the question about an Xbox app on the Switch, which, according to terrible websites like Game Rant, was “all but confirmed” a few months ago. (Presumably, an Xbox app would let you use the Switch to access your Xbox Game Pass library via streaming.) And even though Phil Spencer was a little dodgy initially, I'll still give him credit for providing more insightful answers than, say, Nintendo's Doug Bowser. (And credit to the interviewer for pressing the issue.) He said, again, his focus is on the open platforms, but if a platform holder wants to have the discussions with Microsoft, he'll gladly have those talks.

Friday, August 13, 2021

The Dragon Quest Overture at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics Wasn't a "Scandal"

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Manufactured outrage.

While there were many reasons to not like the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Opening Ceremony (especially as presented by NBC), the presence of videogame music during the Parade of Nations was a legitimately happy highlight that everyone should appreciate. (Unfortunately NBC's selective editing also meant the soundtracks were cut up and sometimes skipped.) The very first videogame song was the Dragon Quest Overture theme, as originally composed by franchise musician Koichi Sugiyama. Although, at least on the NBC stream (who knows what happened in reality?!), it wasn't part of the soundtrack loop—which made its one appearance at the start very special. And according to many of the commenters on Dragon Quest YouTube videos, the song made a very positive impression. (I'll give a screenshot of just one screen's worth of comments later in this article.)

Dragon Quest XI S Heliodor this tune's a banger musicians Koichi Sugiyama
“This tune's a banger!” is how the vast majority of people must've reacted when they heard the Dragon Quest theme at the Opening Ceremony.
It's the NORMAL reaction.
Anyway, note the white text at the top:
Sugiyama's rights management to his compositions is so strong he gets to appear in every screenshot exported from Dragon Quest XI S.


I would include a video clip of the Dragon Quest Overture at the Olympics, but unfortunately, NBC is on a mission to copyright strike any uploads of that. You'll have to take my word for it (or read my live reaction log linked in the opening sentence, where I was talking about the Overture many times throughout). Here's the song itself (or one version of it anyway):



Thursday, August 12, 2021

Tencent-Backed Ex-Google Stadia Indie Attacked by Shallow Game Journalists for Hiring White Men

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm going to explain that... loaded headline as the basis of the article content.

Recall half a year ago I wrote about Google shutting down Stadia Games and Entertainment, which was supposed to produce Google Stadia-exclusive games. That never actually happened before it was vanquished. (The Stadia is still around to this day, by the way. I'm not sure why, though I also wasn't sure why it ever existed to begin with.)

One of the acquisitions Google did to prop up the Stadia was of Typhoon Studios, developer of Journey to the Savage Planet. ...That was their only game. You may remember (but hopefully you don't) that they talked about it at The Game Awards 2018—before the Stadia was ever announced. That means that Google allowed it to release as a multi-platform game as intended (you can get it on the Switch or any other console. It seems like a quirky exploration-based adventure game), so again, it was never Stadia exclusive. But it does mean the next game in the series would be owned by Google... had Google not ended their first-party development because it's way too much effort and Google didn't anticipate that making games is hard and risky. Anyway, the Typhoon Studios people went and regrouped to make a new studio called Raccoon Logic—with the help from investment from Tencent, who owns a minority stake in the Montreal-based company. They even got the rights to the Journey to the Savage Planet intellectual property back from Google according to this Gamasutra interview so they can make a sequel or whatever.

Let's talk about Tencent real quick. I mean, I already wrote about them just last week and the nefarious activities going on with the Chinese Communist Party that somewhat directly controls the company. Here's what Typhoon Studios/Raccoon Logic co-founder Alex Hutchinson has to say about Tencent, per that Gamasutra interview:


Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Dragon Quest 35th Anniversary Survey

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I won't just tell you to take it... I'll tell you what I said and the significance of it.

On the official Dragon Quest Facebook page (but not on Twitter, which I'll explain what's strange about that in a moment), SQUARE ENIX posted this survey solicitation:

Dragon Quest 35th Anniversary Survey poster
This article's call-to-action will be irrelevant in under two weeks, so hurry!
(Though the article's commentary shall be eternal.)


You can take the survey directly over here. It's thirty questions, but it's faster to fill out than it sounds. Besides asking basic demographic information (and you can even say you're non-binary or gender non-conforming!), SQUARE ENIX wants to know how much of a Dragon Quest fan you are by listing all of the games and asking you to pick which you've played. They also want to know your favourite game genres and consoles you own and how much money you spend. They wanted to know if you follow their Facebook and Twitter (despite the survey's lack of presence on Twitter). It's... pretty similar to the recent Ace Attorney survey CAPCOM devised (that you can still take) for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles.

But by the end, there's a difference (and I don't mean the fact there's no free wallpaper background waiting for you—you get no extrinsic reward for filling this survey out)... a free text field, asking what you'd like to see for the future of Dragon Quest. Here's what I wrote:

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Live A Live — The best game you’ve never heard of

By CAPTAIN STITCH - Step aside EarthBound, this game is even more underrated.

Even if you have heard of this game, there's no doubt that Live A Live is an obscure title. Live A Live is a Japanese exclusive RPG for the Super Famicom released all the way back in 1994 by Square. That’s quite a long time but the game still holds up, unlike some of the more recent Square games.

So what's so special about this game anyway if they didn’t even bother to localise it? Well unlike other games with a single story, this game features 7 different storylines with 7 different characters. These 7 characters also come from 7 different time periods. Cavemen, robots, cowboys, psychics, old people, it’s all here. Thankfully, a nice group by the name of Aeon Genesis went and translated it so that none of us have to learn Japanese, how kind!

Live A Live Super Famicom box artwork protagonists

Monday, August 9, 2021

KoopaTV's Live Reactions to Tokyo 2021's Olympic Closing Ceremony

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring traditional and modern Japanese song/dance, Kamek getting triggered, and Ludwig still not recognising Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Over two weeks ago, KoopaTV spectated the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Opening Ceremony! Then various Koopas competed (including myself) in the Olympic Games. ...And now they're over, so we're spectating the Closing Ceremony, except thanks to the regulations put in place for athletes, we're no longer physically in Japan during them.

I'm watching from Koopa Kingdom, as is Kamek, though from the notoriously awful and super-biased NBC United States stream. We're commentating on whatever happens, be it lack of Earth cultural knowledge, making fun of proceedings, or sometimes actually liking them. Check it out:

[7:55 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: https://stream.nbcolympics.com/nbc-primetime-closing-ceremony
To watch from terrible United States stream.
[7:59 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: Koopa Kingdom doesn't have our own native stream so we gotta take another country's.
[8:00 PM] Ludwig Von Koopa: (Let's not draw too much attention to the fact we didn't win a single medal...)

Friday, August 6, 2021

Tencent vs. China's Gaming Restrictions

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - ...And you're going to see this in the Western world, too.

Medium-time KoopaTV readers know that I like to write mean things about the Chinese Communist Party at every opportunity. KoopaTV is banned from mainland China as a result, because their government is really sensitive to criticism. Among all of that criticism, I might not have been nuanced in how I've described the business-government relationship in China, so I'll go into some detail in this article.

Corporations in China often are naturally at odds with the Chinese Communist Party. Companies want to maximise their profit. The Chinese Communist Party wishes to make sure everyone is being a proper ideological communist mind servant with high social credit. Those come in conflict. In China, the government will always come out on top.

We can see this in a story from this week: A state-sponsored media outlet in China (the Economic Information Daily) referred to Tencent's game Honor of Kings, a China-only mobile game (re-adapted as Arena of Valor outside of China), as “spiritual opium” that's ruining the childhoods of millions of Chinese kids because of how addictive it is. (Opium has a special place in Chinese history where you really don't want to have an association with it.) Other gaming companies and games took notice as well, as did investors, who see this government-affiliated media publisher as a sign the government is going to be pushing some regulations that will hamper Tencent's (and the whole industry's) profitability.


Thursday, August 5, 2021

June 30, 2021 Nintendo Quarterly Financial Update

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Ring Fit Adventure has ASCENDED!

While I'm not currently making Ring Fit Adventure based on fitness logs, I still will name-drop it at any opportunity. And today Nintendo has provided the perfect opportunity because they announced their financial results for the quarter that ended June 30, 2021.

Nintendo Switch million selling games June 30 2021 Ring Fit Adventure
I could've put New Pokémon Snap on this since it's reported to sell 2.07 million... but that's non-Japan only.
Because The Pokémon Company is the publisher in Japan, Nintendo apparently doesn't get to report on the Japanese numbers.
So me not wanting to under-report New Pokémon Snap has made me not include it entirely.


Ring Fit Adventure has now sold a total of 11.26 million units, knocking out New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe or whatever that game is named out of the Nintendo Switch top 10. Now Ring Fit Adventure is in that 10th spot, and it deserves it. The Switch as a whole has sold 89.04 million units, meaning a good number of Switch owners also own Ring Fit Adventure. You might think that a notable percentage of all households in Japan own Ring Fit Adventure, so I really think it should've shown up in the indoor fitness short montage at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics Opening Ceremony. (I haven't kept track of the exact number of which of those 11.26 million are from Japan, but I guess I could if you ask me to in the comments section.)

Yes, the above chart is dedicated to Ring Fit Adventure for this quarter, though other games not selling much contributes to that. Year-to-year, Nintendo's profits and sell-through are down... which Nintendo continually attributed to Animal Crossing: New Horizons being extremely overpowered back from April 2020 to June 2020 because it went and sold over 10 million copies by itself back then.

Somehow, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe keeps selling a lot, and now it's sold a grand total of 37.08 million copies. Meanwhile, Mario Kart Wii sold a total of 37.38 million, so it'll turn out that this Deluxe version is soon to be the highest-selling game in the whole Mario Kart series. The original Mario Kart 8 only sold 8.45 million on the Wii U.

Nintendo isn't directly talking about games sold by third party publishers like Monster Hunter Rise, which is basically the Animal Crossing: New Horizons of 2021. ...Except it's sold only 7 million copies while New Horizons has sold triple that by this time last year.


Nintendo has also finally decided to make the guy who keeps asking them about stock buybacks happy by... agreeing to start doing stock buybacks starting now. They plan to repurchase up to 100 billion yen (using their 1.1 trillion yen in cash and deposits) and cancel the repurchased shares. This reduces the quantity of stocks in the market, which should increase the value of the remaining stocks. Investors should like this, especially that one guy. It basically means that Nintendo has cash in excess of their excess and they really have nothing better to do with it. How envious.


Do you think Ring Fit Adventure will outsell Splatoon 2, which sits at spot #9 (12.45 million copies) of the Switch's top 10? Splatoon 2 is no longer selling a million copies every quarter while Ring Fit Adventure is, so it's definitely gaining ground as time passes with apparently no sign of stopping. That would be... very interesting.


For the last Nintendo financial results article, see the year ending March 2021.
Since a lot of the points Nintendo made was to compare to June 30, 2020, here's Ludwig's article from back then.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

I Don't Trust Rosen Law Firm's Activision Blizzard Class Action Lawsuit

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Not after what I wrote a year ago!

You probably already know about the lawsuit filed by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing against Activision Blizzard for company-wide anti-women discrimination that the company knew about but did little to stop. KoopaTV hasn't discussed it at all because I like taking a wait-and-see approach to how it plays out. I do loathe the company in question (I've already been boycotting Activision since 2001), and it's easy to believe the allegations against it. The head of the Blizzard side, J. Allen Brack, has even just resigned from the company. There are many moving parts to this. Company walkouts too.

There's... not a tremendous net effect on Activision Blizzard's stock price, but Rosen Law Firm has decided to file a class action lawsuit (that isn't yet certified) against Activision Blizzard on behalf of what it hopes are thousands of investors. (You can read the lawsuit text here.) The gist is that, in Activision's financial disclosures, they've been generically stating that they may be or are the subject of legal proceedings and investigations into all kinds of matters, including employment-related ones. Rosen Law Firm claims that Activision knew that with California investigating them for the past couple of years, that they would get sued, and this would have a materially bad impact on the business and they should've specifically disclosed this and done things to take workplace harassment and unequal pay claims much more seriously. Rosen believes the stock price has been “inflated” by undisclosed policies of treating women employees poorly, and that investors would avoid investing in Activision stock if they knew about it.

I don't think the class action lawsuit will go anywhere, and the reason for this is because I already covered the antics of the Rosen Law Firm last year when they filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of CD Projekt's investors. That went absolutely nowhere and they've hidden the references to CD Projekt from their website. I emailed them months ago asking what happened and they've ghosted me, so I don't think that lawsuit threats from Rosen Law Firm are credible or go anywhere.


Activision did say in their disclosures that, upon hearing from their own legal team, that the on-going lawsuits aren't significant, and I don't think reasonable people should believe the sincerity of that. It's far more likely that Activision Blizzard's management really didn't think anything would come of California's then-investigation (and it's unclear if anything WILL come out of California's lawsuit, since they still have to prove their claims in court, and that's tough!) than Activision is choosing to engage in a massive cover-up conspiracy to defraud investors. Personally, I still think CD Projekt was trying to defraud people by covering up how bad Cyberpunk 2077—the basket they were putting the majority of their eggs in—was on the most popular gaming platforms. Activision should be held accountable for what bad and illegal stuff goes on in that company (to the extent it's provable), but this class action lawsuit won't be the avenue for that accountability.


Ludwig has re-reached out to Rosen Law Firm regarding the CD Projekt lawsuit. He'll update this article if he ever gets a response. Or he might even write a new one! ...And this probably won't be the last you hear of the Activision Blizzard lawsuit on KoopaTV. There's just so much going on in a short period of time that the site doesn't want to dedicate itself to covering just that one story.

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Forget LEGO Luigi... How about LEGO Seinfeld Instead?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Same August 1, 2021 availability!

I have decried the LEGO Super Mario “Adventures with Luigi Starter Course” featuring LEGO Luigi when it was first announced, as well as the expansion sets and character packs and Power-Up Packs that share the same release time. It's a money trap and you won't get value from it... but much more importantly, there's tremendous evil embedded in those LEGO Super Mario figures.

If you want a new LEGO set, perhaps you should consider the new LEGO Seinfeld set. If you remember how there is a Sonic the Hedgehog LEGO set that came from the LEGO Ideas fan submissions site, then know that the Seinfeld set comes from the same thing. I actually pointed out that the Seinfeld set was coming in that article. Now it has released on the same August 1 day as the new LEGO Super Mario, and there's a lot of attention to detail:

LEGO Ideas Seinfeld set sitcom official released

(I had this as a blank caption as a “show about nothing” joke but I dunno if people got it.)


...I don't actually recommend you go spend your $80 on this, by the way. But if you do want to buy a LEGO set and don't want to spend your money on, say, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, better Jerry, George, Elaine, Kramer, and Newman than the Mario Bros. murdering innocents.

In some regions (like the United Kingdom) you can buy the new LEGO Super Mario sets directly from Nintendo's store. In other places you can buy them from the LEGO company. I don't recommend it no matter how you get it. They're terrifying!



Ludwig didn't have much time to write this because he spent his whole night watching Seinfeld clips for fun instead of getting the article picture together in a timely fashion. He obviously doesn't respect LEGO collecting as a hobby.


The next new LEGO set? ...The ? block from Super Mario 64.

Monday, August 2, 2021

KoopaTV's July 2021 Review Newsletter

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Featuring the FAKE NEWS media, Olympic athletes, and Ace Attorneys.

It is great to be writing this from within Koopa Kingdom!

I actually thought that having to compete in the Olympics would greatly interfere with running KoopaTV, but... July didn't have any weeks with missed articles. I'm impressed with my time management (and less impressed with Team Koopa's zero medals). Let's review precisely how the month worked.

What is going on with KoopaTV's email subscriptions?


In last month's newsletter (see the bottom of this article for a link), I wrote that KoopaTV's email subscription functionality, which used Google's FeedBurner service, ended July 1. ...That hasn't actually happened, and on July 22, I got an electronic letter from them stating that this change would occur “starting in mid August”. This discrepancy has likely caused the email inboxes for KoopaTV email subscribers to suffer over the past month, because you'd be getting two sets of emails for each article—one for FeedBurner, and the other for the service that I transferred everyone over to, follow.it. (If you click that you can subscribe to follow.it for KoopaTV articles to your email inbox...and only follow.it.)

So by, I dunno, two weeks or so from now, the duplicates should cease and everyone will be left with one service... which, by the way, is inferior to FeedBurner by a substantial margin. Unless I shell out some money from my shell for a subscription. But some people keep telling me I shouldn't do that. (And one of those people thinks that I can redirect funds the that'd go to paying for a better subscription service to the KoopaTV Loyalty Rewards Program. ...That's... not gonna happen in any scenario.)

Top Five Recommended Experiences of July 2021


There were three major themes to KoopaTV's July 2021: The media sucks, the Olympics began and part of KoopaTV's staff was participating in it, and The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles came out. So that's reflected in the top five recommended experiences for that month:
  1. Here's What the Rumouring Media Got Right and Wrong about the Nintendo Switch (OLED model) — After FAKE NEWS reports, Nintendo did go announce a hardware revision. But it didn't match the media reporting. So I went and made a handy table of the FAKE NEWS media got right and wrong.
  2. Nintendo Directly Addresses FAKE NEWS Bloomberg (OLED model) Hit Piece! — After being so wrong on the Nintendo Switch (OLED model), Bloomberg was lashing out against Nintendo. To the point that Nintendo's investor relations made a very rare public statement rejecting Bloomberg's false claims. KoopaTV then stated that anyone from this point on that continues to claim FAKE NEWS Bloomberg is a reliable credible source is just as disreputable as FAKE NEWS Bloomberg.
  3. Learn from the The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles Development Timeline — KoopaTV reconstructs the development timeline for The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles based on CAPCOM-published developer blogs. This timeline demonstrates the unreasonable scared attitude of Ace Attorney fans who were worried the series was dead.
  4. KoopaTV's Live Reactions to Tokyo 2021's Olympic Opening Ceremony — While Team Koopa Kingdom's Olympic delegation were prohibited from physically showing up to the Olympic Opening Ceremony due to Chinese Communist Party Virus regulations, we still watched it via stream and reacted to it.
  5. Ludwig Von Koopa Lost the Men's Épée Individual at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics — After all of the training I've done (all published on KoopaTV throughout 2019, 2020, and 2021), I finally had the chance to play at the Olympics. How'd I do?

The above was provided in chronological order, which should make sense! That said, none of those storylines I mentioned are fully represented in the above list (in other words, I'd need more than five total slots to fit the totality of all three from the month), so you should... go read everything. It's worth it!