In what has to be a record take-down of a questionable piece of marketing, Square Enix pulled a Facebook app promoting Hitman Absolution two hours after it was deployed after a scathing report from Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The company later apologized for the app. The trouble began after RPS wrote about how "Hire Hitman" app allowed users to target and assassinate their Facebook friends, complete with death threats to your intended target.
Just a year after it launched, Zynga has pulled the plug on the follow-up to one of the games that made it a household name among Facebook users. According to this The Escapist report, Zynga will shut down Mafia Wars 2 at the end of this year. In a message to players posted on Facebook, Zynga announced that Mafia Wars 2 will shut down.
Online retailer Amazon has apologized to UK customers who purchased a premium Wii U bundle but didn't get a copy of the game Nintendo Land. The retailer blamed supplier error for the omission of the game and said that the error only affected a small number of customers.
"It's been brought to our attention that a small number of orders for this item may have been delivered without the advertised game, Nintendo Land, due to supplier error," an email to customers confirmed.
According to this Reddit thread Sega has been forcing YouTube users to remove videos relating to the Sega Saturn hit strategy RPG Shining Force III. Many are speculating that Sega is doing this to prepare for the launch of a new PSP installment in the Shining series, Shining Ark, which will launch in Japan in February.
Gree apologized today for how it handled the closure of OpenFeint - announced earlier this week. The company also said that it was sorry for putting developers that used the technology in a tough situation. Speaking to PocketGamer, SVP of marketing and developer relations Eros Resmini said that it had originally planned to give developers a full year to migrate to a new platform, but did not elaborate why it decided to pull the plug now. The planned shutdown was announced earlier in the year.
In Episode 29 of the Super Podcast Action Committee hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss the shaky launch of the Wii U console over the weekend, Sony perma-bans for PS3 'hackers,' and the good and bad side of Electronic Arts. It's a show to remember unless you stopped that Wii U firmware update - then it's a painful reminder that getting your brand new console 'bricked' kind of sucks! Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 29 (1 hour, 19 minutes) 73 MB.
Earlier this year it was rumored that gaming and geek culture network G4 would be changing its format to support the "GQ" demographic, and that much of its most popular programming would either be reformatted or discontinued. Today we learn that it looks like its most popular programs will face the latter and not the former. Polygon is reporting that the network's two most popular shows have been cancelled.
It looks like Sony has decided that it will no longer support Stanford University's Folding@home distributed computing project via PlayStation 3. According to a post in the European PlayStation Blog, Sony will kill the ability for current and future PS3 owners to contribute part of the CPU power to the project with the next firmware update scheduled to go live sometime later this month. Sony didn't really give a reason why they have decided to do this...
Earlier this week we reported that Foxconn - the company that helps build many of the products that are popular in the West from companies like Apple, Sony, Samsung, Microsoft and Nintendo - reported that it found underage interns working in one of its plants in Yantai, China. Today we have learned that that plant is responsible for assembling Nintendo products.
A judge in the United Kingdom has delivered a stinging rebuke of Apple, ordering the company to run ads publicly apologizing to Samsung. This ruling comes after the same judge ruled that Samsung’s Galaxy line of tablets does not infringe on Apple iPad patents. While Apple has better luck in other regions with its patent lawsuits, the UK seems to have dealt the company the most embarrassing of blows.
Ilyes 'Stephano' Satouri, a 19-year old French professional StarCraft II player found himself at the business end of a half-month suspension after joking over Battle.net during a professional competition that he had had sex with a 14-year-old girl. Stephano's comments earned him a suspension without pay for the month of October, according to a GameSpot report.
When Nintendo first started advertising the newest Mario game for the Wii U - Super Mario Bros U - it claimed that the game was capable of being displayed in 1080p. It turns out that that little advertising bullet point isn't true, and now Nintendo is pulling the claim for any advertising related to the game.
A message on the game's official website stated:
"Experience Mario like never before... in full 1080p HD, only on the Wii U console!"
Here's an entry in the epilogue for OnLive - or at least what used to be OnLive - before it was sold to a holding company owned by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Gary Lauder. According to a report in the Mercury News, the cloud-based gaming service was sold to Lauder for a little under $5 million USD. Lauder reportedly paid $4.8 million for OnLive as part of an insolvency process this summer.
Microsoft has added a single line to its "Game Content Usage Rules" (found over in the community section of Xbox.com) that restricts gamers from earning money from videos that contain footage of Microsoft games like... every Halo game every made (thanks Rpad.tv). So if you are one of those YouTube stars with a large following that may have benefited from ad dollars, the party seems to be officially over for you...
Some players are claiming the newest Borderlands 2's character, Gaige is erasing their "Badass stats." The download, which also requires a patch to play seems to be affecting players on Xbox 360 and PC. The problem seems to be a repeat of an earlier issue some fans had with the game wiping out their progress.
On the heels of Zynga lowering its outlook for the third-quarter and several research firms downgrading its stock, there's even more bad news for the publicly-traded social game developer and publisher. According to this GamesBeat report, Omgpop founders and Words With Friends co-creators have left Zynga. Paul and David Bettner, the creators of the enormously successful Words With Friends game for mobile and Facebook and other Zynga With Friends titles, announced their departure.
Baird Equity Research has downgraded social game developer and publisher Zynga after the company said that it expected a massive loss in the third quarter that ended on September 30. The company said that it now expects to report a $90 - $150 million loss for quarter. Zynga blamed the new numbers on "weakness of certain games" and an impairment charge of $85 million to $95 million related to its purchase of Draw Something developer OMGPOP.
Following up on yesterday's accusation by an employee that social game developer Kixeye engaged in "institutional racism," four employees have been fired today. The accusations were made by an unnamed contractor who wrote a blog post under the name of Qu33riousity. He claimed yesterday that he was the victim of racial discrimination and has also seen it directed at others.
Social game company Kixeye finds itself embroiled in an allegation of institutional racism this morning after an employee going by the handle "Qu33riousity" detailed multiple instances of discrimination against Kixeye's African American employees in a blog post. That blog post has since been removed, but not before he was told that he was being "too sensitive" and that the comments were "just jokes."
As is usually the case with UK paper The Daily Mail, they have taken a new study from the University of Pittsburgh about the relationship between sleep and insulin production and turned it into a commentary on how games are bad. In their headline they proclaim "Staying up all night playing video games 'puts teenagers at greater risk of diabetes.'" The horror.
Characterizing EA's legal counsel as "passive aggressive," this Games Industry International report details how one of the world's largest publishers keeps former employees from sharing trade secrets with new employers. The report uses correspondence from Electronic Arts to ex-employee Ben Cousins, who served as the company's general manager for its Easy Studio.
According to a report on TechCrunch, Zynga has lost another high profile executive. This time out it is chief security officer Nils Puhlmann, who resigned from the company this week. Puhlmann was responsible for managing all security risks for the company. Prior to joining Zynga Puhlmann co-founded Cloud Security Alliance. Prior to that he worked for such companies as Qualys, Electronic Arts, Robert Half International, Mindjet Corp, Adobe Systems and Nortel Networks.
While other retailers are loudly proclaiming that they are offering pre-orders for Nintendo's Wii U, one online retailer seems to be thumbing its nose at Nintendo's latest console and the consumers who might want to lock a purchase down early. Amazon is telling customers that pre-orders for the Wii U are "not available at Amazon.com at this time," and are providing no explanation why.
Variety reports that G4TV owners NBC Universal are going to revamp the popular tech and geek culture channel to be more "GQ," catering to the "modern male." Details on the revamp, set to happen in early 2013, have not been revealed, and many in the gaming, geek and technology culture of the internet are concerned that NBCU will dump the decent programming G4TV offers such as extensive event coverage. G4TV has always had a strong presence at events like Comic-Con, E3, and GDC.
If you're a video game tester and you act like a dumb ass (allegedly) you'll probably get fired. Just ask 20-something Blake Marsh, who decided to try a little political comedy with a dash of misogyny and hate on his Facebook page. It's too bad for Marsh that his bosses at Eidos Montreal weren't laughing when they found out.
Following a failed assassination attempt by suspect Richard Bain on the newly-elected Quebec premier-designate Pauline Marois that saw one person killed and another severely injured, Marsh decided to make light of the crime:
Cloud-based gaming subscription service company OnLive announced this evening that its founder and CEO Steve Perlman is leaving the company. In a press release issued by the company it was announced that Perlman was leaving to work on "other projects," and that lead investor Gary Lauder would be taking over as the company’s new chairman. Charlie Jablonski, the Vice President of Operations, will serve as the company's COO and acting CEO.