Report: G4 Getting 'GQ' Makeover in 2013

September 7, 2012 -

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.

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Steve Perlman Still CEO of OnLive

August 24, 2012 -

Even though its investors are pretty much left holding the bag and most of its employees have lost all their stock options and unceremoniously shown the door, OnLive CEO Steve Perlman will hold onto his position at the company.

In a statement to OnLive Fans a company rep said that Perlman was still with the company:

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BioWare Co-Founder Dr. Greg Zeschuk Goes Home

August 10, 2012 -

Earlier reports from various media outlets today had indicated that BioWare co-founder Dr. Greg Zeschuk had left the company. The confusion (on the media's part) was that Zeschuk was leaving BioWare Austin to return home to Edmonton. This led many in the media to interpret that his exit as the head of the studio responsible for Star Wars: The Old Republic in Austin meant he was leaving BioWare altogether.

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Konami Won't Patch Silent Hill HD for Xbox 360

August 9, 2012 -

Gamers who bought the PlayStation 3 version of Konami's game, Silent Hill HD, got a patch last month that dealt with a number of frame rate and audio-sync issues. Good service. But those who bought the game on the Xbox 360 have pretty much been told to "go pound salt." Konami issued a brief statement this week noting that it wouldn't be releasing an update for Xbox 360 gamers who bought the game. Bad service.

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Australia NSW Police Commissioner Takes Heat for Video Game Comments

August 6, 2012 -

Australia New South Wales Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione is taking a lot heat for comments he made recently blaming the rise of teen knife-related crimes on playing violent video games. Scipione recently told The Daily Telegraph that teens were being desensitized to violence by playing violent video games that reward them for "killing and raping people." Obviously a tired trope related to Grand Theft Auto spewed by politicians.

Microsoft's $99 Xbox 360 has a Surprise Inside

May 8, 2012 -

Microsoft has a new Xbox 360 bundle that costs $99, but consumers that buy it will have to commit to a two-year contract for an Xbox Live Gold membership. And that two year membership will cost you about $15 a month. While the idea might be to subsidize or finance the console as a trade-off for the low price point, the move also smacks of false advertising because the console will ultimately cost consumers $99, then 24 months of paying $15, for a grand total (not including sales tax) of $459 (24 months x $15 = $360, plus the price of the console at $99).

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Comcast Removes 'Private Network' From Xfinity on Xbox Live FAQ

March 30, 2012 -

Comcast has dropped the term "Private Network" from the Xfinity On Demand on Xbox Live FAQ. The company did this after several sites - including VentureBeat (the source of this story) - called the company out on it. Comcast claimed that it used Xbox Live (which it described as "private network") to deliver its video content, but critics pointed out that the public internet and private networks are delivered over the same broadband infrastructure.

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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."

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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.

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UK Documentary Mistakes Video Game Footage for Real World Terrorism

September 27, 2011 -

A documentary that aired on Britain's ITV channel Monday night called "Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA" has a problem with reality. Apparently the makers of the documentary promised footage linking Libya's Colonel Moammar Gadhafi and the IRA, but mistakenly included video from a video game. The documentary claimed that the Libyan dictator gave the IRA tons of military hardware, and purported to show the IRA members using it to shoot down a helicopter in 1988.

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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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HP Officially Kills webOS

August 19, 2011 -

One year after acquiring webOS from Palm, HP has decided that the mobile OS is no longer worth the effort. Hewlett-Packard officially announced this week that support for webOS will soon come to a screeching halt. The company announced via a press release that "it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward."

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CrowdStar Teams with YouWeb

July 17, 2011 -

Social gaming company CrowdStar has joined forces with consumer Internet and mobile computing incubator, YouWeb. CrowdStar hit a major milestone last month with the release of its hit social game, Top Girl. The iOS game made its way to the #1 spot in Apple’s App Store, acquiring over 1 million downloads in just 10 days and establishing itself as the top-grossing game in the App Store over Zynga Poker and Angry Birds. On the heels of this success, CrowdStar is establishing StarFund and allocating up to $10 million for investments in game developers with innovative game concepts.

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MumboJumbo Adds Additional Motions to PopCap Lawsuit

June 30, 2011 -

Casual game developer MumboJumbo has filed several new motions in its ongoing attempt to collect money from casual publisher PopCap Games for services rendered. MumboJumbo is laying the groundwork to make sure that - even if PopCap gets sold - it still has to pay what it owes to MumboJumbo. MumboJumbo has also requested the deposition of a high level PopCap executive in order to find out more about the possible sales.

"We're hearing all sorts of talk about a sale or IPO of PopCap – and that's great – but the company has a responsibility to pay its debts," says attorney Martin Rose of Rose Walker, the firm representing MumboJumbo. "We just want to do everything we can to make sure that what the jury and the court called for is carried out. Depending on the terms of the reported sale, there may be no assets left in PopCap to satisfy the full judgment, including attorney fees."

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Eurogamer Digs Into Divorce Online Video Game Claims

May 31, 2011 -

Adding to the debate on this story about 15 percent of divorces filed via UK-based Divorce Online being related to online gaming and game addiction, Eurogamer picks apart the numbers in this story.

That study conducted by Divorce Online suggested that 15 percent of divorces filed with the company are a result of video game addiction - usually World of Warcraft or Call of Duty. But a deeper look at the methodology, the actual numbers, and what is required to file a divorce in the UK paints a slightly different picture.

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Parent Angry over Adoption Joke in Portal 2

May 18, 2011 -

A North Carolina father has gotten his 5 - 10 minutes of fame by complaining about adoption jokes in Portal 2. Charlotte news channel WBTV indulges the complaining parent in a story that goes out of its way to malign one of the best games of 2011. According to the report, Neal Stapel was playing Portal 2 with his adopted daughter and enjoying it until jokes started to fly about one of the characters being adopted. Stapel found himself utterly offended. None of the other jokes and occasionally crude humor bothered him, apparently.

"It throws the question, the most ultimate question that that child is ever gonna have for you and it just throws it right in your living room," he said. "It says it's rated "E" for everybody and I'm thinking maybe it's rated "E" for everybody except for orphans."

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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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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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NPD to Analyst: Loose Lips Sink Ships

March 28, 2011 -

In the last year research firm NPD Group has drawn a curtain of secrecy on its retail and digital sales data. As a result, journalists no longer have access to hard numbers. Now journalists must rely on the kindness of hardware manufacturers, publishers and the NPD's general top ten lists to figure out what the top selling games are from month to month. Analysts enjoy more access to that data, but it looks like NPD is tightening security even among that class.

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Epic's Mike Capps on How Fox News Affected Bulletstorm Sales

March 8, 2011 -

Epic Games' president Mike Capps is delighted with the early success of Bulletstorm, saying that the game sold out its first run at "one major retailer."

"We got a reorder on day one from one of the big U.S. retailers that focuses on games," said Capps. "So that was a pretty good feeling."

We would assume he did not want to say "GameStop" for some reason. Capps went on to say that launching a brand new IP is one of the most challenging aspects of developing a game:

"[Launching a new IP] is really hard. I read something that less than 1% of console games this generation launched as new IP sold a million units,” he added. “So if you don't sell a million units you lost money, basically. I'm pretty confident we'll be on the good side of that [1 million] number. I'd rather sell Gears-type numbers that'd be fantastic."

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Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

February 25, 2011 -

According to a report on Kotaku Australia Mortal Kombat has been refused classification in Australia. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment issued the following statement to the media:

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StarCraft II Cheaters Get Banned From Battle.net

February 23, 2011 -

Blizzard announced today that it has banned an undisclosed amount of Battle.net users for using cheats and hacks while playing StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty online. Here is the official word from Battle.net:

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Bizarre Creations Closing February 18

February 15, 2011 -

According to Develop, Bizarre Creations will close on Friday, February 18. The Liverpool, UK-based studio was founded in 1994, and created over 20 games including Formula 1 '97, Metropolis Street Racer for Dreamcast, several Project Gotham Racing 1 - 4, Geometry Wars, The Club, and Blur.

In 2007 the studio lost its independence when it was acquired by Activision. In a forum post on the developer’s website (no longer available) at the time Bizarre staff members described Activision’s buyout optimistically:

"Bizarre isn't a developer in financial trouble, and we're certainly not looking to be 'saved' by a bigger corporation," the post read. "We're a dev looking to take our games to the next level, and make the absolute best products we can possibly make. Likewise, Activision is not in the business of 'buying out' struggling developers either."

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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:

EA Responds to Fox News Bulletstorm Segment

February 9, 2011 -

EA has responded to a recent Fox News story that asked the question "Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?" and (thanks to one participant) made the amazing claim that the increase in rapes can be attributed to playing games. There were other amazing claims in the report, but the most disturbing words came from Psychologist Carol Lieberman, who insisted that there was a correlation between playing sex scenes in games and rape. She told Fox news:

"The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games." Of course, there is no research to back up her claims that we are aware of, but the truth should never get in the way of a good talking point.

Video Game Sales Down in 2010

January 14, 2011 -

The NPD Group said total video game sales for the year were $18.58 billion, compared to sales of $19.66 billion for 2009, and $21.4 billion in 2008.

Console hardware sales were down 13 percent and new video game software sales dipped 6 percent year-on-year. Sales of new and used games and downloadable content were flat (or down one percent), NPD estimates. Video game accessories jumped 13 percent above 2009's numbers, thanks to Kinect and Move.

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Opinion: Violent Media Culpable in Arizona Tragedy

January 13, 2011 -

In Niall O'Dowd's latest Periscope column he takes a crack at pinning Jared Loughner's senseless act of violence on the influence of violent films and video games. Of course, there is no evidence connecting Loughner to either, but why let the facts get in the way of commentary, right?

O'Dowd opens his column by saying that "other factors" are lost in the discussion of whether or not political rhetoric influenced or inspired the Tucson killer. What influences does he speak of? The culture of violent media that the youth of America are so immersed in, of course. The first target is movies:

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Stardock: Elemental Will Lose Money

January 10, 2011 -

Stardock CEO Brad Wardell says that the company's strategy RPG Elemental: War of Magic will end up costing the company money in the long run. This will happen, the company says, despite the fact that the game managed to break even on pre-orders.

"Elemental made its money back on day one and has continued to be profitable to this point," Wardell told Gamasutra in an email. "However, based on our projections we anticipate by the end of second quarter 2011 that Elemental will end up losing money overall as our objective is to spend what is necessary to ensure that the game meets the expectations of our customers."

Wardell did not disclose how many units the game has sold to date or how much money the company made off initial sales. While the company will lose money on the game, Wardell sees it as an investment in its PC customer base, who were very dissatisfied with the launch of Elemental.

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Report: Facebook made $355 million Net in 2010

January 7, 2011 -

A report that found its way to Reuters this week reveals some interesting financial numbers from privately owned Facebook. The document, which was meant for customers of investment firm Goldman Sachs, says that Facebook made $1.2 billion USD in the first nine months in 2010. The company also raked in $355 million in net income.

The source that leaked the document to Reuters told the new organization the "the financial statements were not audited and offered little detail about how Facebook generates it revenue".

"It just shows you that these business can generate 30 percent to 40 percent, potentially, operating margins," said Ryan Jacob of the Jacob Internet Fund, speaking to Reuters. "They probably did at least $500 million in net income in 2010."

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GameStop Enjoys Record Holiday Season

January 6, 2011 -

Video game retailer GameStop reported record sales of $3.02 billion for the nine-week holiday season that ended on January 1. This marked a 5.4 percent increase over the same period last year, driven by Kinect sales, and "strong sell through" of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The company also reported 32 percent growth in gift card sales during the month of December.

New hardware sales improved 7.4 percent based mostly on the successful debut of Microsoft's Kinect. New video game software sales increased 3.3 percent.

 
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Andrew EisenAnd again, you keep saying "accountable." What exactly does that mean? How is Gamasutra not accounting for the editorial it published?07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - I disagree with your 9:12 and 9:16 comment. There are myriad ways to address content you don't like. And they're far easier to execute in the online space.07/28/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenMatt - Banning in the legal sense? Not that I'm aware but there have certainly been groups of gamers who have worked towards getting content they don't like removed.07/28/2015 - 11:45pm
DanJAlexander's editorial was and continues to be grossly misrepresented by her opponents. And if you don't like a site, you stop reading it - same as not watching a tv show. They get your first click, but not your second.07/28/2015 - 11:40pm
TechnogeekYes, because actively trying to convince advertisers to influence the editorial content of media is a perfectly acceptable thing to do, especially for a movement that's ostensibly about journalistic ethics.07/28/2015 - 11:02pm
Mattsworknameanother07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
Mattsworknameyou HAVE TO click on it. So they get the click revenue weather you like what it says or not. as such, the targeting of advertisers most likely seemed like a good course of action to those who wanted to hold those media groups accountable for one reason07/28/2015 - 9:16pm
MattsworknameBut, when you look at online media, it's completely different, with far more options, but far few ways to address issues that the consumers may have. In tv, you don't like what they show, you don't watch. But in order to see if you like something online07/28/2015 - 9:12pm
MattsworknameIn tv, and radio, ratings are how it works. your ratings determine how well you do and how much money you an charge.07/28/2015 - 9:02pm
Mattsworknameexpect to do so without someone wanting to hold you to task for it07/28/2015 - 9:00pm
MattsworknameMecha: I don't think anyone was asking for Editoral changes, what they wanted was to show those media groups that if they were gonna bash there own audiance, the audiance was not gonna take it sitting down. you can write what you want, but you can't07/28/2015 - 8:56pm
MattsworknameAndrew, Im asking as a practical question, Have gamers, as a group, ever asked for a game, or other item, to be banned. Im trying to see if theres any cases anyone else remembers cause I cant find or remember any.07/28/2015 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenAs mentioned, Gamasutra isn't a gaming site, it's a game industry site. I don't feel it's changed its focus at all. Also, I don't get the sense that the majority of the people who took issue with that one opinion piece were regular readers anyway.07/28/2015 - 8:43pm
MattsworknameDitto kotaku, Gawker, VOX, Polygon, ETC07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MechaTama31So, between pulling a game from one chain of stores, and forcing editorial changes to a media source, only one of them strikes you as being on the edge of censorship, and it's the game one?07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Andrew EisenHave gamers ever tried to ban a product? Can you be more specific? I'm not clear what you're getting at.07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
Mattsworknamethey should have expected some kind of blow back. But I didn't participate in that specific action07/28/2015 - 8:41pm
MattsworknameAndrew Youd have to ask others about that, I actualyl didn't have much beef with them till last year, so I can't speak to there history. I simply feel that gamesutra chose politics over gaming and chose to make enimies of it's prime audiance. For that,07/28/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenI'm still not clear on how Gamasutra was lacking in accountability or what it was lacking in accountability for.07/28/2015 - 8:38pm
MattsworknameAndrew: You and I agree on most of that. I don't diagree that there should ahve been other actions taken. Now, I do want to point something out, casue Im not sure if it's happened. Have gamers ever tried to have a product banned?07/28/2015 - 8:37pm
 

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