In this week’s TPoI, Activision Blizzard announces base pay for Overwatch League players, Sony raises Playstation Plus fees in Europe and Australia, and Supergiant Games releases their new game, Pyre, to critical success.
Activision Blizzard Announces Overwatch League Standard Player Contract Terms
Announced on their website Wednesday morning, Activision Blizzard announced their new contract regulations and standards for professional esports players participating in their new Overwatch League. ESPN reports that contracted players will earn a minimum of $50,000 a year and are entitled to employer-sponsored housing, health insurance and retirement savings plans. Dot Esports confirms that players will also be awarded fifty percent of any team performance bonuses. Scouting for season one players begins on August 1st and lasts till October 30th, according to IGN. Regulated contracts for esports players have only recently been implemented in the esports scene, with Riot Games implementing a Players Association for their North American League Championship Series this past June, therefore it remains to be scene how fans and competitors alike will view the changes.
Sony Raises PlayStation Plus Fees in Europe and Australia
Sony emailed European and Australian PlayStation Plus members that membership fees will increase as of midnight BST on August 31st. Gamesindustry.biz reports that different payment plans will change independently, with the annual price increasing by 25% while members that pay month-to-month will have to pay 17% more. Engadget reminds readers that this price increase follows an American price hike that occurred last September and that European fans should have expected the hike eventually. PlayStation Plus is required to play games online on the PlayStation 4 and also gives members a set of free games to play each month which GameSpot mentions will include Downwell and Just Cause 3 for August.
Supergiant Games Releases Pyre
Supergiant Games, makers of Bastion and Transistor released their latest multiplatform game Pyre on Tuesday to critical success. The role-playing sports hybrid has found many fans in the critical space, with IGN, GameSpot, and Polygon giving the game top marks for its innovative gameplay and detailed art assets. Like other games from Supergiant, the game has inspired many think pieces about it’s meaning and how it affects the player, including this article by Julie Muncy at Wired about competition in the world of Pyre. Unlike many sports games, the game is largely narrative driven and The Ringer writes that the decision to focus on the story rather than an online multiplayer mode made sense for focusing on the message and core gameplay of the game.