Microtransactions is back! And we’re here with another batch of hot stories for everyone this week as we talk about the wholesomeness of a solitary MMO player, the hilarious and blatant thievery of a long-lost PC game pulled from shelves, and the wild world of the crookedness behind EA’s FIFA pro scene.

It’s that time of year once again! E3 time! But unfortunately we can't run you through all of the news from E3 2020 as we did before. And that’s because E3 2020 isn't happening. So instead, we are going to go all the way back to 1995 and tell you the story of the very first E3 ever. Where it came from, who started it, and of course who else they pissed off along the way. Join us for this fascinating story of how one of the world’s largest trade shows was created, concluding with a nice 25-year walk down memory lane as we recap every E3 from the beginning to now. Kaz Hirai, Jamie Kennedy, and Mr. Caffeine await!

Video games take a long time to make these days. Most take about 2 to 3 years, others can take the better part of a decade. But only one game can hold the Guinness World Record for the longest development cycle ever. And that title is Duke Nukem Forever! On this episode, we follow ol’ Duke and his creator George Broussard on their famous and often hilarious 15 year journey to make the highly anticipated follow-up to 1997's Duke Nukem 3D. Hail to the King, Baby!

We continue on today with part 2 in our multi-episode history of the Valve Corporation! After the release their first game Half-Life went so well, they figured "How hard can outdoing ourselves be?" Well, 5 years, millions of dollars, one huge security breach, and a few lawsuits later, they would come to regret asking that question. It's time for more Valve crunch, and for Gabe to let off a little steam.

Bad game launches can unfortunately be commonplace these days, but very few can reach levels of disaster so high that it effectively kills an entire long-running franchise AND beloved studio. Hear the story of how everyone’s favorite urban-planning simulation went from winning Game of the Year awards to instead topping lists of the most disappointing titles ever released. How once masterful design could somehow devolve into a pile of technical problems and ill conceived ideas so poor, that it would lead such an important series to it’s sad now often forgotten grave. So let’s all pour one out for company Maxis and find out just what in the hell went wrong with Sim City (2013).

Today we answer the age old question of what happens when two extremely talented millionaire programmers gain access to a cutting edge engine and a team of creative geniuses. It's the perfect storm of privilege, timing, and know how. Join us for our new multi part series as we take a whack at the history of one of gaming's giants, the infamous Valve Corporation. In part 1, we discuses the beginnings of the company and the development of it's debut game Half-Life. A game so great that even John Carmack can't deny it.

It's the 1980s. Arcades are all the rage and Pac-Man Fever is sweeping the nation, but how will Japan capitalize on the craze? They go to MIT of course! On this episode of Hot Button, we dive into the development and lawsuits of Ms. Pac-Man, and explore how the sequel to one of the most popular arcade titles ever produced came from one of the most unlikeliest of places.

 NOTE: Due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19 and the quarantine procedures put forth by our state and federal governments, this episode was recorded remotely. Please bear with us as we may have some audio hiccups while we sort this out. Thank you for understanding and enjoy!

It’s time to get sleazy in the Hot Button studio this week as we discuss the origins of one of the dumbest, grossest, and most exploitative titles to ever weasel its way to the mainstream gaming market. A story not just involving strip clubs and fast cars, but also... Nintendo? And Metroid? Find out how a once respected developer almost found their way into a jail cell following the discovery of something that even 4chan will ban you for.

We made it y’all. The final piece of our Tetris saga! Hear the results of every win, loss, deal, lawsuit, and death. No thread left undone. Take our hand as we guide you through it all. From it’s changes over the years, to it’s use in scientific research, to the legacy that it left behind. A legacy that would change the world forever.

The race to finally get Tetris on the NES and Game Boy is on! On part three of our epic saga, we run through deal after deal and try to separate those that wish to team up from those that just want to screw each other over. Who will come out victorious? Only one way to find out.

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