Mass Effect 3's Ending Tied to Forced Multiplayer Participation

March 6, 2012 -

According to PC Gamer, you'll get a pretty lousy ending if you don't play multiplayer in Mass effect 3. Apparently BioWare decided that the best way to "encourage" co-op play in the game was to tie it to the single-player ending. As the player engages in a war with the Reapers, he or she earns what the game calls "War Assets" and "Readiness."

33 comments | Read more

RapidShare Throttles Free Users' Speeds

February 24, 2012 -

Online file-sharing company RapidShare has apparently slowed down the connection of users who are not registered members. These free users have been complaining about reduced download speeds during transfers. Some users have reported speeds as slow as 30/kbs. RapidShare says that the reason for this is simple enough: Throttling these users drive pirates away from their service. They claim that, since the close of MegaUpload, they have seen a major uptick in traffic, and some of it is only interested in sharing and downloading illegal software.

3 comments | Read more

Fake Pokemon Yellow App Yanked from Apple's App Store

February 21, 2012 -

Over the weekend some modern-day hucksters decided to put up "Pokémon Yellow" on Apple's App store. The app, which purported to be "just like the original" and has since been yanked from the store by Apple, made it into the number 3 position on the store's paid app charts. The app certainly confused plenty of customers, who gleefully plunked down .99 cents to play an authentic Pokémon game on their iOS device of choice, only to find that it crashed when launching.

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Ubisoft Apologizes for DRM Troubles Caused by Server Maintenance

February 8, 2012 -

Ubisoft has issued an apology to customers who were affected by server moves this week that affected games requiring "always connected" DRM - even when they tried to play single player games. Because Ubisoft uses a DRM scheme on some games that require a constant connection, shutting the servers down that these games require made them unplayable.

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Analyst: Zynga Spending $150 on Every New Paying Customer

January 20, 2012 -

According to Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia, Zynga is losing an estimated $150 on every new paying customer it acquires. Bhatia's estimate is based on the company's $120 million marketing budget for the first nine months of 2011. In other words, the pace of user growth is too slow and the company is spending way too much on marketing.

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Analyst: Apple Should Charge $10 Per Android Unit

December 29, 2011 -

According to this TechieBuzz report, analysts are telling Apple that they should collect up to $10 per device in royalties from companies that are using technology that they hold patents for. Kevin Rivette, managing partner at intellectual property firm 3LP Advisors LLC, said in an interview with Bloomberg that Apple could probably collect up to $10 in royalties for every Android device sold and that would be twice what Microsoft is believed to receive for each HTC Android device sold.

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Consumer Satisfaction Declines for Netflix, Rises for Amazon

December 28, 2011 -

Online retailer Amazon has risen slightly among the top companies for customer satisfaction while Netflix takes a significant nose dive, according to an annual holiday online retail satisfaction report released today from analytics firm ForeSee.

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GoDaddy Continues to Suffer for SOPA Support

December 27, 2011 -

GoDaddy is not having a merry Christmas, and the way things have started out this week, its New Year's celebration will be punctuated with audible sobbing. A lot has happened to the company since last Friday. The first notable thing, according to VentureBeat, is that it has lost 37,000 domains - mostly the result of boycott efforts after the company was revealed on a list of companies that support SOPA.

6 comments | Read more

Marketing Firm Gets Fined for Homefront GDC Balloon Stunt

December 14, 2011 -

It might have seemed cute when marketing company TrashTalkFCM pitched the idea of releasing thousands of balloons into the San Francisco sky to promote Homefront during the Game Developers Conference earlier this year. But THQ realized as the balloons flew upwards and then inevitably fell down into the San Francisco Bay that maybe it wasn't such a great idea after all. The bad local and national publicity wasn't worth it.

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GameStop's Skylanders Action Figure Grab-Bag Shenanigans

December 2, 2011 -

GameStop has put a questionable practice in place for adults seeking to purchase single action figures for Activision's Skylanders from its web site. In case you are not familiar with Skylanders, the game features a portal peripheral that you connect to your console of choice to scan in action figures which then become playable in-game. There are 30+ action figures but apparently supply is low because Activision didn't anticipate the demand for them and the supplier is overseas.

3 comments | Read more

Australian ISP's Create Plan to Deal with Copyright Infringement, Rights Holders Reject It

November 29, 2011 -

While Americans were enjoying Thanksgiving last Thursday Australia's Internet service providers held a meeting to come to a consensus on how to deal with illegal file-sharing in the country.

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Iran Bans Battlefield 3

November 28, 2011 -

Iran has banned Battlefield 3 from being sold in the country because it depicts a U.S. military assault against the city of Tehran using tanks and aircraft. This news comes from the Iranian IT magazine.

"All computer stores are prohibited from selling this illegal game," said an unnamed deputy with the security and intelligence division of Iran's police in a statement carried by the Asr-e Ertebat weekly.

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Austrian Court Dismisses Charges Related to Islamophobic Web Game

October 17, 2011 -

An Austrian court had found that right-wing Austrian politician Gerhard Kurzmann was not guilty of "incitement" related to a video game that required players to target and stop mosques, minarets and muezzins as they appeared on screen. Alexander Segert, the head of a Swiss advertising company that designed the game was also acquitted by the court.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Fraudsters

October 3, 2011 -

A fake Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for iOS has managed to piss off a lot of consumers and many are wondering how Apple allowed a game that has been in the App Store system for nearly six weeks to get past its approval process. The bogus game app claims to be an official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game and is the work of a Vietnamese developer known as Dang Van Phuong. The license for the popular franchise is currently held by Nickelodeon, who are working on a brand new animated property to be released in 2013.

3 comments | Read more

German TV Show Apologizes to Gamers For Hurtful Gamescom Report

August 25, 2011 -

This morning Kotaku pointed out a video from Germany's RTL Television in which commentators took great delight in mocking what they characterized as the "computer freaks" that they filmed at last week's Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Today the show, apparently embarrassed (and likely humbled by fans that were pissed off at their mean-spirited characterizations) is now apologizing for their bad judgment in airing the report.

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Atari To Divest Cryptic Studios

May 17, 2011 -

As part of an earnings report today, Atari announced it is divesting of its interest in Champions Online developer Cryptic Studios, calling the development house a "discontinued operation" as of March 31.

Atari will continue to support all current Cryptic products while the publisher looks to sell the studio, Gamasutra understands. Development on the Bay Area studio's Neverwinter project will continue as normal for the time being.

The studio showed a loss of $7.5 million for the 2010/11 fiscal year period, up from a loss of $17.9 million in the same period a year ago. Most of this was due to turning its super hero MMO Champions Online to a free-to-play game, instead relying on micro-transaction to make money off the game. Its success was apparently not appreciated by parent company Atari.

Source: Gamasutra

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Coast Guard: Alaskan Tug Boat Captain Ran Aground Due to Video Games

May 12, 2011 -

A safety-escort tug that ran aground two years ago on Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef went off course because of a captain who was playing video games, according to a report from the U.S. Coast Guard. The tugboat ran aground at the very same site where the Exxon Valdez disaster occurred. The tugboat Pathfinder was part of a navigation safety system established in the aftermath of the 1989 oil spill and was designed to guide oil tankers through the sound after they fill up with crude at the trans-Alaska pipeline's maritime terminal in Valdez.

But the tug boat operated by the Crowley Marine Services ended up striking the same submerged reef that ripped open the hull of the Exxon Valdez supertanker, causing the worst tanker spill in U.S. waters.

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Three Arrested at Shinboku-con 2011

May 2, 2011 -

Three men attending Shinboku-con 2011 in Westlake, Ohio this weekend ended their attendance to the three-day anime/video game/culture event by going to jail. Police arrested two attendees of the anime and video game conference at about 7:15 p.m. on April 30. The two men, a 27-year-old Cleveland resident and a 21-year-old Canal Fulton man, got into an argument over how the younger gentleman was playing an undisclosed video game. The younger man was so agitated by the critique that he punched the other man in the mouth an hour after the initial argument. Police arrested the younger man for assault. The older man, proving just how stupid he is, decided to spit on an officer. Both men were released later that evening.

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AT&T Begins Capping Broadband Users Today

May 2, 2011 -

Today AT&T begins controlling how much broadband users consume with a new cap. The new cap limits users to 150 GB for DSL and 250 Gigabytes for its UVerse service. This could prove to be a challenge to AT&T subscribers that want to use services such as Netflix and Hulu due to the massive amounts of data being transferred during streaming. AT&T joins Comcast and some smaller ISPs in limiting the amount of broadband users consume - and the penalty for going over is additional charges.

AT&T will charge an additional $10 per month for going over the cap. That charge is not a onetime thing either: users will be charged $10 for every 50GB of additional data over the cap. If you have children or additional internet users in your care, the new capping scheme could prove to be an expensive challenge.

37 comments | Read more

The Hazards of Buying SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals Used

April 19, 2011 -

Last year, a few video game publishers (Notably EA and THQ) started charging a fee for online multiplayer from used video game buyers for $10. Sony Computer Entertainment America goes beyond the pale this week by charging gamers who dare buy SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals used extra. Those who buy SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals used will miss out on special guns, game types, and other perks that will be added to the game at a later date. To get these features as a used game buyer, you'll have to pay a $15 fee.

Sony is marketing all this as "SOCOM Pro," an suite of enhancement for new game buyers. While some might argue that these extra enhancements are rewards for buying new, it is also hard to deny that they feel like punishment to anyone who can't afford to buy the full game. Basically if you are a used game buyer, you start out at a disadvantage online. Further, that $15 activation fee nullifies the savings of buying used.

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SCEA Chief: DS is a 'Baby Sitting Tool'

April 8, 2011 -

Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton said that the Nintendo DS, is nothing more than a kids-only "babysitting tool." He made the comments during a recent interview with CNN.

"Our view of the 'Game Boy experience' is that it's a great babysitting tool," Tretton said in a bruising chat with CNN, "something young kids do on airplanes, but no self-respecting 20-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those. He's too old for that."

Not content to bag exclusively on the DS, Tretton also took shots at the Wii and Xbox 360.

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Report: SecuRom DRM Found in Dragon Age II

March 11, 2011 -

According to this Ars Technica report, citing a report from advocacy group Reclaim Your Game, the dreaded SecuRom DRM has made its way into PC version of Dragon Age II, despite BioWare (and EA) saying in its forums that it "does not use SecuROM." Surprise! Not only does the game use SecuRom, but all involved have failed to mention this fact to users in any way. There is no warning in the EULA, during the install, on the game's packaging, or on its official web site.

Back in 2008, EA was sued for failing to inform consumers about the DRM scheme in free trial versions of some of its games. Now EA could face similar legal action for its secret implementation of SecuRom in Dragon Age II.

Could this have been some sort of odd mistake or was EA trying to sneak the DRM past consumers? We will have to wait and see what they say.

22 comments | Read more

Sony to Share Move Tech with Academia, Enthusiasts

March 3, 2011 -

Sony Computer Entertainment America announced at the Game Developers Conference this week that it plans to make the Move software development application available to academics, students, researchers, and enthusiasts. The app is called Move.Me, and it allows developers to create software that takes advantage of the PlayStation Move motion controller.

Coming to PlayStation Network this spring, Move.Me takes advantage of the PS Move's internal motion sensors and PS Eye camera tracking, allowing developers to export that data to Windows or Linux-based PCs (tablets and smartphones can also receive the data when connected to a PS3) and create applications. SCEA said during its announcement of the app that Move.Me could be used for a lot of different applications - from prototype rehabilitation applications for patients undergoing physical therapy, to creating new types of game applications.

2 comments | Read more

Extra Credits Chastises EA's Marketing

February 24, 2011 -

From fake protesters to scaring the crap out of your mom, EA has cut loose with some, shall we say, odd marketing choices of late.  Oh sure, there’s no such thing as bad press and EA’s games certainly aren’t hurting for attention but irking the people who actually buy your games in addition to the people who routinely lambast them might not be the best move.

5 comments | Read more

Gold Reseller Touts Fresh Colorful Design

February 14, 2011 -

I am sure that Blizzard (and other MMO companies) is delighted with today's press release from World of Wacraft gold reseller outfit BYGamer. While the press release isn't particularly thrilling one could imagine that the China-based gold farmers are not well liked on this side of the world.

The company issued a press release to announce changes to its web site - BYGAMER.com - which now offers visitors a plethora of fancy colors, improved navigation and lovely new frames. Are they mocking Blizzard? It sure seems that way.

The company tops off its wonderful announcement with customer testimonials:

"It’s amazing! What a beautiful site and Buy WOW Gold here is absolutely a good choice!, said new customer Monica to one of BYGAMER’s call center operators.

The company says that this new design is already proving to help "increase traffic and sales."

Full release below:

Carole Lieberman Bookstormed Over "Games Lead to Rape" Comment

February 9, 2011 -

Psychologist and author Carole Lieberman is not very popular with some people right now.

Yes, her sex in games leads to real-life rape comment in yesterday’s FoxNews story seems to have rubbed a few folks the wrong way.  As such, she’s joined Jack Thompson and Cooper Lawrence as someone whose, shall we say, ill-advised comments have prompted the less mature of us to mosey on over to Amazon and give her book a negative review.

29 comments | Read more

RuneScape Developer Accepts Cash Injection from Investment Firms

February 8, 2011 -

RuneScape maker Jagex Limited announced this morning that it has accepted a new round of investment from Insight Venture Partners, Spectrum Equity Investors, and The Raine Group. The company says that this cash injection will enable it to "accelerate growth of its development and publishing capabilities." Jagex recently published its first third-party title, War of Legends. The company plans to publish more titles in the next 12 months, and will continue to develop and publish its own titles for various platforms.

Chris Mitchell and Jim Quagliaroli of Spectrum Equity, and Brandon Gardner and John Salter of Raine, will join Jagex’s board of Directors as part of the investment deal. Mark Gerhard, along with Jeff Horing and Alex Crisses from Insight Venture Partners, will continue to serve as Directors of the company.


This is How Koreans Treat Game Addicted Children

January 18, 2011 -

A bizarre series of photographs show just what Korean children have to go through in specialized military training camps designed to help them kick the habit of gaming. These gaming addiction boot camps (judging by the 15 photos) show some strange exercises such as young boys rubbing snow on their bare bodies, lying on their backs in the mud with their feet in the air, standing in the snow with gas masks and camouflage uniforms, standing outside in the cold with bare upper bodies yelling, lying bare-chested in the snow, and many other cruel and unusual situations.

Where is Amnesty International or other rights groups? Are children not afforded the same rights as prisoners everywhere else around the world?

12 comments | Read more

Daley's AT&T Ties Worry Net Neutrality Supporters

January 11, 2011 -

Incoming White House Chief of Staff William Daley's history in the telecom industry has some supporters of the FCC’s net neutrality rules concerned, according to a report in The Hill. Dailey served as president of SBC Communications before it acquired AT&T and took the “smaller” company's name. Saying that AT&T was a smaller company tells you just how big SBC really was.

One of those supporters is Free Press:

"With Daley at his side, how long will it be before Obama caves?" Tim Karr, Free Press campaign director, wrote in the Huffington Post on Saturday.

Opponents of net neutrality, including Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), think that Dailey’s influence in the White House on this particular issue is a good thing:

4 comments | Read more

President Taps Commerce for Internet I.D.

January 10, 2011 -

Correction: The U.S. Commerce Department contacted us to let us know that the national I.D. program is completely voluntary. In our earlier report we erroneously reported that it was not a voluntary program. Our original wording was "The Internet I.D. would give every American a unique online identity overseen by the Commerce Department."

According to the public affairs officer for the Commerce Department, "Every American will not need an ID and private organizations or others that conduct online transactions would opt in to a system that is led by private industry in partnership with federal agencies like DOC."

Details on what the program consist of can be found at www.nist.gov/nstic.

3 comments | Read more

 
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Did Microsoft pay too much ($2.5 billion) for Minecraft developer Mojang?:

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Neo_DrKefkaI wish there was an, "I don't care." for the whole Minecraft poll thing09/19/2014 - 9:27pm
TechnogeekMy third "dart" wound up hitting a Chinese website for soccer scores, and the fourth hit Pokemon.com. Not one of those had anything to do with white guys getting harassed because they're white guys.09/19/2014 - 8:56pm
TechnogeekFor the record, I actually tried "throwing a dart at the Internet", or at least approximating it as best I could by zooming in at random spots on internet-map.net. First hit was a perfume seller, and then some sort of insurance spammer.09/19/2014 - 8:56pm
Technogeek"While you could throw a dart at the internet and find a site where Gamers in General are being harassed, doxxed, hacked, just because they are being perceived as white males." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FopyRHHlt3M09/19/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenSarkeesian and Quinn continue to get harassed and attacked (with the majority of said harassment and attacks being about their gender) and so, the story stays in the headlines. If Wolfe gets swatted again, it will be in the news again.09/19/2014 - 6:56pm
Andrew EisenYou mean Wesley Wolfe? The swatting appeared to be over his DMCA takedown, not due to his color or gender.09/19/2014 - 6:53pm
ConsterSo Sleaker, what's the sand like?09/19/2014 - 6:53pm
quiknkold@CraigR. Spreading Misandry is not going to kill Misogyny. Its just going to fuel it. half the people supporting that arguement are mysoginists themselves. They just dont know it.09/19/2014 - 6:51pm
Sleaker@CraigR - there's nothing to get over. There's no issue here until someone does an actual study on harassment rates.09/19/2014 - 6:48pm
quiknkoldWe never said Gamers were the only victims. Yes, Anita and Zoe got a bad rap. Yes, Zoe's ex was way out of line. Do I disagree with them? Depends on the arguement. Did they deserve what happened to them? Hell Effing No.09/19/2014 - 6:48pm
Sleakerbut news outlets have a tendency to blow up and sensationalize it if the person can be desrcibed as a minority, maybe because it gets the hits. How long were the 2 recent swattings in the news for? 1 was a white male developer....09/19/2014 - 6:47pm
Craig R.Get over it.09/19/2014 - 6:46pm
Craig R.Gamers are just lucky that their behavior wasn't brought to attention of everybody else sooner, and gamers are pissy about that09/19/2014 - 6:46pm
SleakerIn fact, just because a few female developers every year get harassed doesn't make it systematic. As a whole developers are harassed by people.. Swatted, etc.09/19/2014 - 6:46pm
Craig R.And if you don't think misogyny and sexism is widespread, then you're living with your head buried in the sand09/19/2014 - 6:45pm
Craig R.Apparently it's the gamers who are the only victims from GamerGate09/19/2014 - 6:44pm
Sleaker@AE - 1 person getting harassed is a problem. But just because 1 person gets harassed for being a female developer doesn't mean it's a systematic problem or indicative of a whole demographic.09/19/2014 - 6:44pm
Andrew EisenI don't believe anyone said or even remotely implied that harassing anyone was okay.09/19/2014 - 6:41pm
quiknkoldGeneral are being harassed, doxxed, hacked, just because they are being perceived as white males. And what about the White Males who are victims. Its ok to harass them? Anita Sarkeesian gets a bomb threat yeah, but what about the others.09/19/2014 - 6:36pm
quiknkoldwhat about all the gamers who are being harrassed, Andrew. Why does it have to be just about the women in the industry. We have 2 women, and only a handful of accounts recorded. While you could throw a dart at the internet and find a site where Gamers in09/19/2014 - 6:35pm
 

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