Sexual Assault Allegation Against Neogaf Top Brass

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This story began with a sexual assault allegation being made against top Neogaf brass. The claim was ambiguous at first, but the finger has since been pointed squarely at Evilore, the site’s owner.

Tyler ‘Evilore’ Malka has been the center of controversy many times, and of those controversies, some were sexual in nature.

Outside of the claims made against him, other members of Neogaf’s staff have been in trouble as recent as July 2017, as one of the moderators made the news for being in possession of child pornography. The owner and his staff had a number of ways in which they could have handled this, but instead opted to play dumb. They acted like they didn’t know the offender in person, even though Mr. Malka himself donated $1,000 to the guy at one point. Anyone who dared to discuss this issue on the forums were immediately banned.

In regards to Malka himself, he had once bragged about grabbing a girl’s rear end. When pressed about this, Malka’s response had pretty much been, “You have to consider the context of the situation, it was a big party,” etc.

Evilore had an AMA hosted by Kotaku’s Jason Schreier in 2015, and it seems a number of questions asked about the alleged assault were left in ‘pending approval’ status. And yet, despite these allegations against him, he did respond to a question about his thoughts on the Gamergate controversy:

“Basement-dwelling virgin subculture needed some way to empower itself, and I guess that way was sending terrorist threats to women for talking about video games. It would be good for a laugh if not for the lives it’s ruined.”

According to Jason Schreier, it was Evilore, and not Kotaku, who was in control of which questions/comments were approved or not:


But why hasn’t Kotaku looked into these allegations over the years? Why only now are they getting around to it?

Anyway, now Malka’s being implicated in another sexual assault by indie filmmaker Ima Leupp:

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Eventually, someone had confirmed that this post from Facebook (from just a few days ago) was, indeed, real:

“Guess I should chime in since I’m being named.

In a private group convo, one of my fellow participants brought up the fact that EL got #MeToo’d on FB. I saw someone on my feed telling a story an hour prior that could’ve fit but I didn’t read it too closely, was skeptical and posted a shot in our convo.. I was then directed toward the comments and lo and behold, there was the name. Was a holy shit moment for me, and something of a letdown too, having met both the accuser and the accused IRL. Posted that shot in our convo as well. Came to the realization that this should only really go public if the accuser wants it to because it’s her story to tell, and the rest of the participants in the convo reached the same consensus, or so it seemed. I deleted the shots from our group chat. Turned out one of the people in there saved the shots, and gave them to another person who then posted it on Voat, and did a godawful job at concealing the identity of the accuser and myself before doing so. She doesn’t deserve to get doxxed and harassed by the internet mob if she’s not ready for it, and it’s solely for that reason that I didn’t want this getting out there, which is why I regret sharing that shot in that group convo.

But yes, it’s real.”

People wanted to discuss this on the site, but the thread was closed up pretty fast… here is The Archived Neogaf Thread

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Evilore’s response to an unrelated issue earlier this month was… well, see for yourself.

“No evidence at all?  No corroborating testimony? No behavioral red flags? So far this is nothing like other recent industry scandals.”

Funny how that works out… being complacent with a recent scandal, and then being called out for this. In this case there are behavioral red flags. He’s wrong about that. Neogaf is known for its lack of transparency. There’s no conversation, no discourse… just… ‘banned’. He’s also been accused of sexual assault before, and it’s clear he hasn’t really understood what really constitutes as ‘consent’.

Since this story has broken, the staff have been leaving in droves. In fact, if you’re lucky enough to access the site’s staff listing, Evilore (Malka) is now the only admin left.

We’ve also received some exclusive information from a source(s) which seem pretty darn reputable, that Evilore tried to convince the mods that the incident he’s being blamed for wasn’t actually assault, but something revolving around a love triangle ‘cult’ thing. The staff didn’t buy the explanation, and that’s when they began to leave the site.

Update: Here’s confirmation of the love triangle/cult explanation as posted to mods:


Basically, Evilore is placing blame on Leupp, saying that because of the love triangle, she was inherently jealous.

Evilore finally made a statement late in the day on October 23rd:

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It reads:

“Hi.

An allegation of sexual misconduct has been made against me by an ex. It’s not true, the individual making the accusation isn’t credible, the story doesn’t reconcile logically with the facts, and there’s plenty of evidence and witnesses to corroborate that. It’ll be a process.

All allegations of this nature are serious, of course. I first got word of it on Wednesday when a screenshot of a Facebook post was handed to Voat. I immediately talked with my mod team about the contents of the screenshot and clarified that it was baseless and explained some of the details concerning my former associations with her, and tried to ensure any concerns from the team were addressed fully and transparently to everyone’s satisfaction. On Thursday I heard that she had deleted the accusation from Facebook, and wasn’t entirely sure how to proceed from there or how this would all play out in the public space at that point. Then, Friday morning, the screenshot made its way to NeoGAF and chaos ensued.

I was in the process of writing a statement that entire day to address formally address the allegation, but the community had erupted in a flash that morning. While the moderation team was trying to restore the peace, accusations and threats concerning the screenshot started shifting to them as well by association with me, and I was asked by my team to do something to fix things and get the heat off of all of them at least. I was beyond exhausted by that point, though, stretched too thin in the time since the post had first appeared and seeing unprecedented events unfold on NeoGAF. I was slow and weak. I failed to handle it quickly enough and let the team down. Before I could finish a statement and get it out there, understandably some mods hit their emotional limit, expressed concerns about the community coming after them, and decided to leave. A few people resigned, and many more quickly followed for similar reasons, citing stress and harassment. The site started breaking under load spikes leading up to the first resignations, too, and then flatlined altogether, so issuing a statement at that time on NeoGAF itself became impossible for the time being, and my attention shifted toward the moderation team’s future.

Since that whole mess, lasting from Friday morning through Saturday, before we formally went offline for maintenance and repair and restructure, we’ve just been trying to figure out the best course of action for NeoGAF going forward. And as stories began being published by various outlets, I issued some comments to the press, since everything coming out was proving to be sensationalized, opportunist, and unprofessional.

 

We’ve all become increasingly stressed and weary this year in ways even I’m not accustomed to by now, and discussions on heated news, political issues, and social issues on the off-topic side of the site have become areas no one has wanted to moderate in the open for fear of backlash or just general exposure to the inevitable toxicity. I’ve gone in there myself to take the heat, since it’s very much my responsibility to do so before anyone else’s, but there’s been little headway, mostly just more anger and resentment and a lot of bans. I don’t think this necessarily reflects on our community; more so the tone of the entire internet this year with regards to heated issues.

That’s all going to inform the way forward for NeoGAF as we refocus on what the main goals are supposed to be for the site. The mod team will talk about more specifics on what that will entail below.

 

One last thing. The NeoGAF mod team is here for this community; all of you. You have no obligations to respect me or believe anything I say about my personal life one way or another, but if you’re going to be here and participate on NeoGAF, respect the mod team by following the rules and behaving. The team is diminished at the moment and the folks who stuck around care very much about this community and its future. Be considerate of them. That’s non-negotiable.

Thanks.”

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More Exclusive Batman Details and Suicide Squad Put On Ice

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We have recently dropped additional details about the upcoming Batman game – currently under development by WB Montreal – on our podcast, but for those that haven’t listened in, I figured it’d be a good time to put those details into writing.  But first, here’s links to the previous information that was brought to you exclusively by Byte-Size Impressions:

New Batman Game May Be On The Horizon – May, 2016

New Batman Game Still In Development, New Villain Expected – September, 2016

Who IS Batman In The Next Open World Game? – September, 2016

First Podcast Discussion

Second Podcast Discussion

In our last couple of podcasts, Gabriel Galliani – journalist with the Official Playstation Magazine in Italy – decided to drop some new bits of information and even field questions from a comic book savvy audience (a big thank to Slcmof of Youtube and Twitter for that).  Here’s what Gabe had to say:

He’s seen a vertical slice of the game and also has evidence to support that claim.  The visual aesthetic is bleaker than that of previous Batman games.  The city gives off a ‘something happened here’ vibe, and there’s even a bit of fog to help push the darker atmosphere that much further.  There’s still neon lighting in Gotham, but doesn’t seem as prevalent as it did in Arkham Knight (of course, things can always change during the course of development).  Featured landmarks we can expect to see are the Monarch Theater, Goth Corp., and even a rundown version of Wayne Enterprises.

To add to the roster of characters that have already been leaked, Gabe was also able to add:

-Katana

-Talon

-The Dee Dee Twins

-Mr. Freeze

He also confirmed a rumor – which originally circulated on Neogaf – about the Black Mask being female this time around.  The villain’s identity should make sense and not seem ‘out of left field’, her costume will be extremely sexy yet maintain a dose of class, and seems to enjoy treating her victims with both syringe and hammer.

Jason Schreier of Kotaku has spilled a few beans about the game recently as well, up-to-and including an appearance by the Penguin.  What’s interesting about this is that Gabe, who has an extensive list of the characters that should appear in-game, knows nothing about that character appearing in this game.  That doesn’t mean The Penguin won’t be in it, just that this information hasn’t also come his way.

Another interesting bit of news from Mr. Schreier is that the long rumored Suicide Squad game is being canned, as WB Montreal have been shifting things internally for various reasons.  While this may have put a temporary hold on the Batman project while the dust settles, they’ll probably get back to it with an even bigger push until the game is ready to be revealed and eventually released.

For future updates on this game – as we’re able to reveal more once bits of information are verified by multiple sources within WB Montreal – make sure to keep an eye pressed against the site’s news feed, Twitter account, and an ear glued to the podcast, because you never know when or where the info will drop!

CD Projekt Red May Be Preparing To Protect Against Hostile Takeover


Earlier this year, video game media made everyone aware that this industry isn’t just about selling games. No, there’s backroom deals, corruption, and of course major moves that may be construed as hostile. This information had come as a result of Vivendi’s continual attempt to take over Ubisoft, and that tug-of-war still wages today. 

A lot of people assumed Vivendi taking over Ubisoft would be a good thing. Gamers began to fantasize about a world where in-game protagonists would no longer have to climb towers in order to reveal more pieces of map, but the reality of the situation is that if the company taking things over isn’t competent, the game developer could eventually cease to exist. Vivendi has a track record of soaking up game industry assets, mismanaging their funds, and then allowing those assets to go belly up. That’s not a good thing for anyone. Even if you loathe a company like Ubisoft, we need more competition in this industry, not less.

And one such contender has been rising over the years: CD Projekt RED. They gained a bit of notoriety with The Witcher and especially its sequel, but The Witcher 3 has propelled them to the next level. They’ve proven they can make games just as large and intricately detailed as anybody in the business – including Rockstar – and that they can do so with a fraction of the budget and staff members on hand. This has not only made the company financially successful, but their consumer friendly practices have also generated a lot of good will… and the industry as a whole has taken notice, with multiple offers having been made to acquire the company. They’ve all been turned down, of course, but CDPR are no longer a private company. They’re public, meaning there’s ways for companies to wedge themselves in if they play their cards right.

Well, it seems that CDPR have called for an emergency meeting. The gist is that they’re exploring the possibility of buying back around 60 million dollars’ worth of their own shares. I’m not an expert, so maybe this is just a case of the studio wanting to go back to their independent status. However, the urgency of this meeting and what it entails more than likely means they’re preparing to protect themselves against threat of a hostile takeover.  

I’ll keep you posted as more information becomes available.

EDIT:

Other reports are now flooding online. Since the early details we broke on Byte-Size Impressions, Neogaf member ‘boskee’ has posted some additional details about the meeting, being held November 29th:

One – Vote on whether or not to allow the company to buy back part of its own shares for 250 million PLN ($64 million)

Two – Vote on whether to merge CD Projekt Brand (fully owned subsidiary that holds trademarks to the Witcher and Cyberpunk games) into the holding company

Three – Vote on the change of the company’s statute.

“Now, the 1st and the 3rd point seem to be the most interesting, particularly the last one. The proposed change will put restrictions on the voting ability of shareholders who exceed 20% of the ownership in the company. It will only be lifted if said shareholder makes a call to buy all the remaining shares for a set price and exceeds 50% of the total vote.

According to the company’s board, this is designed to protect the interest of all shareholders in case of a major investor who would try to acquire remaining shares without offering a ‘decent price’.”

Again, more details will be reported as they become available. 

 

Who IS Batman In The Next Open World Game?

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In the wake of our confirmation that one of the numerous villains you’d be facing in the next open world Batman game is The Judge, there’s still one VERY big question about this game which people have been dying to get confirmation of (you already know if you’ve been listening to the podcast, though).

Originally, I had reported the protagonist under the cowl this time would be ‘Batman’s son’.  As I, myself, am Batman illiterate, I wasn’t aware that this information would have been perceived as controversial.  The outlets which ran my story had decided to slap Damian Wayne’s name on this, but they were jumping the gun, and I spent a good amount of energy attempting to set the record straight.

Honestly, Batman’s son could have been anyone.  Depending on how many ‘universes’ you’re willing to take into consideration:  Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Clark Wayne, Terry McGinnis, Tallant Wayne, Ibn al Xu’ffasch (yeah, I’ve been doing a little research)… and I don’t even know if that exhausts all the possibilities.  You can argue alternate timelines, people he loved LIKE sons, or anyone that’s been ‘developed’ rather than naturally created isn’t a connection that shouldn’t be considered.  But, fact of the matter is, if the game’s development studio is willing to change the face of Batman in gaming from Bruce to… well, someone else… then theoretically, they could go in any direction they please.  As long as the player spends most, if not all of the game as a dude dressed as Batman, will game sales ultimately be affected?  Doubtful.

In light of the recent information that’s come along, however, I made sure to inquire about the true identity of Batman in the new game.

And Damian Wayne it is. 

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To my understanding, Damian is the only TRUE son of Batman in the main continuity, so I guess the devs ARE trying to stay within that particular universe.

With people guessing Damian would be in the new game, I’ve seen opinions split down the middle.  Some just don’t want to lose Kevin Conroy behind the mic, others are too used to seeing Bruce Wayne as the Bat, and some just flat out dislike Damian’s reckless behavior… or at least, reckless when compared to Bruce’s vigilante-in-hiding styling.  On the other hand, there are plenty of others who genuinely prefer the fresh take that Damian has provided to a character that had been established for decades without TOO much change.

For additional news on this game – and there WILL be more – make sure to add bytesizeimpressions.com to your favorites list in your browser, and check out the podcast, which is available to stream or download on this site, or through iTunes Podcasts if you live in North America.  After all, we did break the true identity of this Batman on the podcast first…

 

New Batman Game Still In Development, New Villain Expected

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A few months ago, I reported that a new Batman game may be on the horizon.  I’ve been receiving some messages on Twitter as of late, from people who were wondering if I had additional information about the project.  Specifically, if I was even sure this was going to happen, since my source had revealed this project to me almost a year ago, and E3 has since come and gone with absolutely zero mention of this title (I never did say it was ready for any sort of reveal, though).  Batman VR is still set for release in the not-too-distant future, but that’s not what gamers REALLY want, right?  Right.  They want a new Batman adventure that echo, if not improve upon, the Arkham formula they’ve enjoyed over the last 7 years.

Well, I can confirm this game is still very real, and still very much in development.  And if it’s been in development over the last year without any negative change in trajectory, that’s very, very good news for fans of the franchise.  Of course, knowing the game is in development, while exciting, doesn’t exactly give fans anything to be TRULY excited about… not yet.  But, I think I’ve got just the thing to make you salivate.

But for those of you who aren’t up to speed, here’s what I had previously learned about this project:

The story will take place in the not too distant future, and the primary protagonist is actually Batman’s son.  The city is alleged to be bigger and more populated than ever, which should satisfy the primary complaints that even fans had against Arkham City and Arkham Knight.  The story won’t unfold in the span of a single night, which indicates there MAY be a day-to-night cycle.  It’s unknown if the Batmobile will be playable, but the Batcycle is supposed to be making an appearance as a mode of transportation.  Last but not least, you’ll have opportunities to upgrade the Batcave.

And now, I’ve received confirmation about one of the villains you’ll see in this game.  And it’s a big one, because we haven’t actually seen him appear in any of the prior Batman games.

Well, we TECHNICALLY saw him in Arkham City.

But, enough riddles.  Who’s one of the notable villains you’ll see this time around?

The Judge.

If you’re Batman illiterate, The Judge is the eventual third identity that Harvey Dent (otherwise known as Two-Face) develops.  It’s unknown how this character will be integrated into the game, but if it echoes the source material, he’ll be a vigilante who begins eliminating Gotham’s master criminals with a vengeance.

Keep an eye on this site.  I may have more information to report, as I’ve learned there are villains.  Numerous villains.  Interesting villains.  And you may learn more about them here…

New Batman Game May Be On The Horizon

It’s been an interesting 12 or 13 months for Batman, hasn’t it? Arkham Knight was praised for looking and performing well on consoles, but was nothing short of a disaster on PC. The Batman vs. Superman film was finally released and… well, let’s just leave it at that. The long rumored Batman: Return to Arkham has been confirmed for both Xbox One and PS4, but with buzz of both Superman and Spider-Man games underway, some feared the final nails were being hammered in the Arkham-verse’s coffin. But those anxious to see their favorite crusader with pointy rubber ‘ears’ may be happy to hear their patience could be rewarded with not one, but TWO new games.

Before I continue, I’d like to let everyone know that the following information should be treated strictly as rumor. I know and trust my source, and while this information was reported to him/her in August, things are always subject to change. That said, here’s what they found out:

There is, indeed, a new Batman game in development, and there’s a twist: The story takes place in the not-too-distant future, and the primary protagonist is actually the original Batman’s son. The city will not only be bigger, but will actually show more signs of Gotham’s population than ever before, meaning the ‘city has been evacuated’ plot thread is being left by the wayside (which is smart, because my primary concern with the latter Arkham games is just how empty and lifeless the world feels). The story will also not unfold in the span of a single night (day and night cycles, perhaps?). It’s unknown if the Batmobile will be playable, but it’s said we’ll have access to the Batcycle. As you progress throughout the game, players will have the opportunity to upgrade the Batcave. The biggest question of all is, “Who’s developing this game?” This, unfortunately, was not mentioned. Personally, I don’t believe Rocksteady will be behind it. With enough money being offered it’s certainly possible, but Rocksteady have already expressed a desire to move on.

The second game reportedly follows the Suicide Squad. No surprise considering a feature film is due for release in 2016, but there’s no further information about what this game will feature, or even what stage of development it’s in.

I, and my source, know how the internet reacts to rumors, so they’re willing to vet themselves to well-established media outlets upon request. Contact information is available in the ‘About Byte-Size Impressions’ tab at the top of the site.

So, are you guys ready for more Batman (or Batman’s son, or whoever), or is enough, enough already?

UPDATE 6/7/16:

This may be nothing, but once this story blew up a bit, there were a couple of threads about it on the WB community forums:


You can see clicks I have received from two unique threads. However, when I visit those links now, I get redirected here:


The link itself has ‘moderated content’ in the address, so it seems that WB doesn’t appreciate discussion of this title at this particular point in time.

Which is funny, since other speculative threads for other projects or ideas related to Batman remain, such as Arkham Origins allegedly being remastered for future release.

This isn’t a smoking gun but it’s certainly curious and worth mentioning.

Byte-Size Rumor: Phantom Pain In February?

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A couple of months ago, TheGuardian.com mistakenly ‘revealed’ a release date for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain – March 17th, 2015. In a matter of moments, the date had mysteriously vanished, replaced with a far more vague ‘early 2015’. Couple that with Hideo Kojima promising a release in 2015, and what do you get? Well… nothing. Rumors are just rumors and should be treated as such, ESPECIALLY when Kojima is involved. Believing a release date from that man is like expecting Guns ‘N Roses to hit the stage at their slotted time, despite knowing Axl’s penchant for going on ‘whenever he feels like it’.

That said, I’ve received information from a reliable source- who is currently employed by Sony and has recently spoken with a Konami rep – that could lend some credence to the once dismissed rumor: Not only is Q1 of 2015 possible, but The Phantom Pain could appear on retailer shelves as early as this coming February.

While I’m pleased to report rumors as they come in, I’d like to reiterate that this is the sort of thing that everyone should take with a huge grain of salt. The ‘February’ time frame was more of a ‘slip of the tongue’ by the Konami rep, and shouldn’t be treated as conclusive ‘evidence’ that February is, indeed, the actual target date. My work on this site is about maintaining transparency between consumers and the industry, and it would be a disservice to you, my readers, if I didn’t disclose the ‘less than concrete’ nature of what the rep stated.

If this turns out to be true, it’s going to be a busy month for sure, as February already has Bloodborne and The Order pegged for release.

@bytesizeimp