Blizzard Controversy, Playstation 5, Wendy’s, and This Week’s #WAGNewsbytes

Blizzard takes the headline for this week’s #WAGNewsbytes after its suspension controversy. And in other news, we have Wendy’s with an awesome new TRPG (that’s totally playable), secret reveals of Playstation 5, the much-awaited Radeon RX 5500, and Sailor Moon condoms.

Editor’s Note: This #WAGNewsbytes covers news from Oct. 6 to Oct. 12, 2019.

Blizzard takes flak in Hearthstone, Hong Kong controversy

Blizzard finds itself in the middle of controversy after suspending Hearthstone Grandmaster Blitzchung (Chung Ng Wai) for his remarks about Hong Kong liberation. The remarks, which happened during a post-match Asia Pacific Hearthstone Grandmasters interview, led Blizzard issuing a 1-year suspension and the withdrawal of his winnings. This sparked backlash from gamers. While Blizzard already reinstated Blitzchung’s winnings and reduced his suspension to six (6) months, damage has already been done.

Blizzard fans, and gamers alike expressed disdain over the suspension across social media. Other more ragely-enthused creators (ahem) have begun a more satirical and humorous approach to their responses, making memes on the Blizzard controversy. Overall, gamers regarded Blizzard’s move as, pardon our French, a dick move. Despite Blizzard’s denial, gamers speculated Blitzchung’s suspension as Blizzard’s way of trying to “appeal” to the Chinese government.

Anyone viewing the news will no doubt have heard about recent protests happening in Hong Kong. Initial protests have begun in light of a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would’ve allowed “suspects” in Hong Kong to be sent in China. However, the protests have now expanded into a pro-democracy movement, calling for Hong Kong to be fully separated from China. Hong Kong has been under a “one country, two systems” formula since 1997, meaning it has its set of freedoms and autonomy that’s not present in mainland China – at least, until its expiration in 2047.

Gamers and gaming personalities have begun placing Blizzard along the likes of EA and Activision – infamously known for their profit-focused lootbox direction – for being profit-inclined, instead of being gamer-inclined. The controversy deepens when Blizzard have removed (temporarily?) methods of deleting Overwatch game accounts following waves of players leaving the game. As this is remains a developing story, we’ll glue you in on what happens next in Blizzard.

Sony teases Playstation 5 in secret reveal

Sony set the Playstation 5 for a Holiday 2020 release in a secret reveal. However, we did manage to scour some bits of data on some of the new device’s features and offerings. Firstly, no, it doesn’t have a fancy name. Secondly, the Microsoft “Project Scarlett” competitor has yet to schedule any appearances in upcoming gaming events. Third, considering the USD 399 price range of the PS4 at launch, the PS5 – and a rumored PS5 Pro – will likely be the same.

Aside from exclusives such as in-development Ghosts of Tsushima and Death Stranding, we don’t know much on the games front. It’s compatible with existing PSVR devices, and maybe even a rumored PSVR 2.

We’re a bit in the dark specs-wise, too. Mark Cerny, head of development, boasted PS4 backwards compatibility, 8K TV support with an 8-core AMD GPU and CPU chipset, 3D audio, and built-for-purpose SSD. This likely means almost-Hollywood-level visual fidelity and next-level immersion.

Players can expect other quality-of-life features, too. An exclusive PS5 controller will have features such as adaptive triggers. A new UI will make booting the PS5 less intrusive to immersion, integrating new tech (5G, cloud, to name a few) into Remote Play, and simplified game access via SSD. We may also get 3D holographic imaging, facial recognition, and eye-tracing as well.

League of Legends celebrates 10 years

League of Legends celebrates its 10th birthday this month, and Riot Games has a lot in store for League fans. As shared in our article, the League devs will share more about their plans for the game in a special RiotPls livestream. They already teased a new logo for their hit MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), so who knows what more will come?

League steadily rose through the ranks as a hit MOBA while competing with other titles such as DoTA 2 and Heroes of the Storm. Now, League enjoys a “top-tier” MOBA status, and remains a staple in popular gaming tournaments, local or otherwise. With such a huge status, and a huge community accompanying the title, fans will probably expect a lot from Riot. And now that League will celebrate its 10th year, even we can’t wait to see what Riot will be bringing over to fans.

AMD reveals the RX 5500

The Radeon RX 5500 serves as AMD’s entry to provide GPUs with modest performance at 1080p resolution. This expands their recent RX lineup, as the previous RX 5700 – geared for 1440p gaming – positions itself as a competitor for Nvidia’s RTX Super series.

The RX 5500 comes in two (2) variants, the 5500 for desktops and the 5500M for laptops. The RX 5500 seems to compete ditectly with Nvidia’s GTX 1650. And while the RX 5500 won’t be up to par with its 5700 siblings, AMD stressed the former will have their features. These include the new PCIe 4.0 standard, Radeon anti-lag, as well as Fidelity FX post-processing with Radeon Image Sharpening.

While the RX 5500 touts itself as an entry-level GPU before the 5700, we did have interesting tidbits of info for curious readers. The RX 5500 has game clock speeds higher than the 5700. The 5500 will not be AMD’s second entry in the 7nm RDNA graphics cards in the market, either.

AMD itself won’t be releasing a reference design for the RX 5500. This means its hardware manufacturing partners will release their own versions of the 5500. This explains the lack of official release date and pricing for the 5500.

Rockstar Games to release Red Dead Redemption 2 to the PC before 2020

Rockstar Games officially confirms Red Dead Redemption 2 for the PC. There’s even a release date – folks can play the open world Wild West game on Nov. 5, but pre-orders have opened last Oct. 9. The Epic Store opens for pre-orders on Oct. 23, while Steam will have to wait for a December release.

While players can expect the usual components of a port in the RDR2 PC version, fans might want to wait for some extras. Folks at FiveM teased the release of RedM, a modding tool specifically for RDR2 in the PC. This not only paves way for potential mutliplayer hilarity, but also opens the gateway for Twitch roleplayers.

This might mean we’ll get to see just as much crazy antics from players who couldn’t get enough of Grand Theft Auto V.

Hasta la vista meets Fatalities as T-800 goes to Mortal Kombat 11

The Terminator T-800 finds itself lost in time in the brutal Mortal Kombat 11 tournament. This pits the robot assassin against ninjas, Elder Gods, cyborgs, and, well, regular humans. The T-800’s appearance remains a welcome callback to a Mortal Kombat staple – special character DLCs.

The T-800 joins the likes of Shao Khan, Shang Tsung, and Nightwolf as Mortal Kombat 11 DLCs. After T-800 will probably be Sindel, as well as The Joker and Spawn. Previous special DLCs from other MK titles include Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, and Alien (Xenomorph).

The T-800 sports his trademark Arnold Schwarzenegger look, complete with that robot assassin voice. His moveset comprises of fierce and hard hand-to-hand combat moves, coupled with the occasional heavy firearm. Fans of the Terminator franchise will love the fact that one of his Fatalities features T-800 riding a motorcycle, proving to its opponents that it will really “be back.

Wendy’s creates a totally-playable tabletop RPG

Wendy’s Feast of Legends shows our pigtailed fast-food princess can serve delicious square burgers and… defend a kingdom from an evil jester. If you and your friends want a new take on the Wendy’s brand, you can grab a meal or two and sift through this 100-page rulebook (completely free, by the way!)

Wendy’s announced Feast of Legends via a tweet, and it quickly gained traction in the tabletop community. Surprisingly enough, while the TRPG screams a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, Feast of Legends appears simple but completely playable – if you can handle the fast-food puns.

Feast of Legends plays like your D&D 5e, with ability stats consisting of Strength, Intelligence, Arcana, Grace, and Charm. Characters can be a part of the Order of the Baconator, the Spicy Chicken Sandeich, or Adventure, to name a few. Akin to other TRPGs, players should avoid Big Oopsies (Critical Failures) while playing through the TRPG’s own pre-written campaign. And in their first story, players need to stop an “evil jester” before he spreads frozen beed all throughout the realm of Beef’s Keep.

Wizards to release My Little Pony pack for Magic: The Gathering

Magic: The Gathering welcomed My Little Pony in a crossover we never expected. We may have, at some point, thought of this happening. Folks from Wizards made this musing a reality when three (3) ponies from Equestria made their way into cards especially made for charity.

Ponies: The Galloping will be a three-card promotional set created to help the Seattle Children’s Hospital. This set will feature Princess Twilight Sparkle, Rarity, and a double-sided Nightmare Moon/Princess Luna card with silver borders. They will come with four (4) digital card sleeves and matching playmats this Oct. 22.

The promotional cards have come in time to celebrate the ninth and final season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, which premiered last Oct. 12. The box set will be sold for USD 50 from Oct. 22 to Nov. 5. Players can get a USD 100 three-playmat set, or digital sleeves for USD 3.99 each.

Japan to release Sailor Moon condoms to help combat STIs

Sailor Moon will come defend citizens of Japan from the forces of darkness… as well sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). As per Sora News, Japan’s Ministry of Health and Labor will be providing Sailor Moon-themed condoms to spread awareness about STIs.

Okamoto Lovers Lab of Okamoto Condoks will be producing the Sailor Moon condoms. Interested parties will find these distributed for free in Fukuoka and Hiroshima, courtesy of two (2) events. Unfortunately, as of writing, the condoms will be distributed as limited edition and will only be distributed in the two (2) events for now.

The condoms will be in heart-shaped packages, with Sailor Moon as the main cover design. The condoms themselves will be bright pink in color.

Kamen Rider Kabuto star starts a cooking show

Kamen Rider star Hiro Mizushima now stars in his own YouTube channel. This time, Kamen Rider Kabuto won’t defeat Worms. Instead, he’s going to show the world how to cook Japanese home-cooked meals. In his foray into full-blown YouTube stardom, he starts with kaarage or Japanese-style fried chicken.

Mizushima elaborates more about this new cooking series in the episode. While cooking kaarage, he expressed his desire to show audiences how to be better in cooking, even from scratch. Mizushima said he himself is a beginner, which makes his videos a delight for fans. His kaarage episode features simple-to-follow instructions which he hopes his daughter can be proud of.

Fans of Mizushima took delight in the new series because of memories of his time as a Kamen Rider. Mizushima’s Kamen Rider stint put him in the role of Tendou Souji, or Kamen Rider Kabuto. Mizushima’s character loves not just quoting his grandmother, but cooking as well. Fans can also watch other works with Mizushima, including Black Butler, Hana-Kimi, and even the HBO series Girls.

Curious About More News?

This weekly geeky news digests serves as our way to help fellow geeks get a better idea of what’s happening to various fields of geekdom. As we’re working with limited resources, we won’t get to cover all news across all fields. However! We will babble about the most intriguing pieces of news we can find every week.

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Rhenn Taguiam

Rhenn Taguiam is a frustrated journalist with a knack for comic books and video games. He likes pizza and pasta, and has an uncontrollable urge to gush over anything Super Sentai, Star Trek or X-Men. He is currently on his way to get his Master's Degree - unless he creates his own video game or graphic novel first.

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