Japanese Release of Sleeping Dogs to Feature Punishment System for Killing Citizens

June 27, 2012 -

It looks like Square Enix is editing the contents of its upcoming game in order for it to be released in Japan. The game, (called Sleeping Dogs Hong Kong Secret Police in Japan and Sleeping Dogs in other parts of the world) developed by United Front, will be edited to fit the market in some bizarre ways.

Besides getting a rating of CERO Z (adults only), the game will be edited with a system that punishes players for killing civilians. We have no idea what that punishment will be, but we imagine it will be much more than a "time out."

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Game Companies, Parents Sue Over South Korea's 'Shutdown Law'

June 27, 2012 -

South Korea's new "Shutdown Law" was supposed to keep teens from gaming during a six hour block every night to focus on "more important things" like studying, but two groups have already filed lawsuits that question the legality of the new nanny state law concocted by lawmakers in the country. A group of game makers doing business in the region including NCsoft, Neowiz, and Nexon, have filed a lawsuit claiming that the Shutdown Law is unjust and unfair to them.

How Nintendo Will Keep the Wii U Miiverse Clean

June 8, 2012 -

The first thing that crossed my mind when Nintendo showed the Miiverse at its E3 press conference was "how long after the Wii U launch will the first user type out an expletive?" Well apparently Nintendo's solution for dealing with potty mouths is a system that uses actual humans to screen bad or inappropriate language.

Nintendo's chief executive Satoru Iwata says that the company plans to implement and use three separate systems. The first system is a traditional filtering system that checks for unpleasant words and replaces them with asterisks.

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TERA Censorship Solves Everything!

May 28, 2012 -

Why did Frogster censor its MMO TERA when it seemed like no one was calling for them to do so? We don't know, but Andrew Eisen explores the whole affair in his latest video, and channels perhaps the creepiest person I have ever seen on a YouTube video. You'll know it when you see it.. 

We also discuss the issue in the latest episode of the podcast just for fun...

As always, you can check out all of Andrew's videos on his YouTube channel.

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Frogster Tries to Address Elin Race Censorship Controversy

May 14, 2012 -

In a lengthy interview with Eurogamer, Frogster's Lucile Le Merle tries to explain why European publisher censored the scantily clad Elin race in TERA. In South Korea the game features this female race in skimpy outfits revealing their panties, but in Europe and the U.S.

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Court Orders Five More Dutch ISPs to Block The Pirate Bay

May 10, 2012 -

Emboldened by The Court of The Hauge’s January ruling that two of the Netherlands’s largest ISPs must implement a DNS and IP block of The Pirate Bay, anti-piracy group BREIN went ahead and sued a few more Dutch ISPs to censor the site.

Well, chalk up another success for BREIN because the Court has ruled that UPC, KPN, Tele2, T-Mobile and Telfort must also block The Pirate Bay.  The blocking order covers 20 specific domains such as ThePirateBay.org, ThePirateBay.se, ThePirateBay.com, DePiraatBaii.be and TheMusicBay.net.

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Frogster to Return Blood to European TERA Players Next Week

May 10, 2012 -

You may recall last month that European players of the MMO TERA were up in arms over the fact that the game in their region had been stripped of blood. They started a petition and took to forums to complain about it with much gusto.

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Microsoft Dialing Sexy Back in Windows Phone Marketplace

May 2, 2012 -

Microsoft has decided that it’s time to eliminate some of the "racier" apps that are available on Windows Phone 7's app store. The announcement was made by Todd Brix, Microsoft's senior director for Windows Marketplace, on the company's blog.

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Microsoft Rejects Windows Phone Game Because 'Flushing Toilet Sounds' Offend Asians

April 20, 2012 -

A game called Occupied Forever can't get certified from Microsoft for release in China because the flushing sounds it contains apparently offend Asians. At least that's what Austrian indie developer Christian Zangl claims Microsoft told him when they rejected his game from Windows Phone Marketplace in the region.

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Reason TV: Too Much Copyright

April 19, 2012 -

Libertarian-leaning publication Reason Magazine offers a new episode of Reason TV called, "Too Much Copyright?" in a brand new video featuring Ben Huh, CEO and founder of Cheezburger; law professor Tom Bell; and MPAA's head content protection counsel, Ben Sheffner. Host Zach Weissmueller asks all three about the current state of copyrights laws, their effectiveness, and the push for new laws like SOPA and PIPA. Check out the video to your left.


Nintendo Says 'No' to Binding of Isaac on 3DS

February 29, 2012 -

According to several Tweets last night by indie developer Edmund McMillen, Nintendo has decided not to allow The Binding of Isaac on the 3DS.  Nintendo itself has released no statement but McMillen, one of the game’s designers, speculates that it’s the religious context of the game that’s giving the publisher pause.

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Joustin' Beaver v. Justin Bieber

February 28, 2012 -

Android app developer RC3 has decided that it will fight lawyers representing teen heart throb Justin Bieber who sent the company a cease and desist over its game "Joustin' Beaver." The developer has preemptively filed a lawsuit against Bieber claiming that its game is a parody and therefore protected under the First Amendment. 

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The Pirate Bay Faces ISP-Level Blocking in the UK

February 20, 2012 -

Nine recording labels (EMI, Polydor, Sony, Virgin, Warner, and more) asked the UK High Court to block The Pirate Bay, claiming that it infringes on their copyrights and that several ISPs (BSkyB, BT, TalkTalk, Telefonica and Virgin Media) need to implement a block of the site under Section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

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Oklahoma Lawmakers Introduces Bill to Tax Violent Video Games

February 1, 2012 -

An Oklahoma lawmaker has introduced a bill in the state legislature that would impose a tax on "violent video games" to help fight childhood obesity and bullying. Oklahoma State Representative William Fourkiller (D-Stilwell) introduced bill HB 2696, which would add a 1 percent tax on games rated Teen, Mature, and Adults Only by the ESRB. These funds would be used for fighting childhood obesity and bullying. 

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Forbes Explains Why the ESA Shouldn't Support SOPA

January 5, 2012 -

Forbes has an excellent editorial up about the ESA's support of the Stop Online Piracy Act that does a great job of explaining - in simple English - how it could affect every day web sites who might not necessarily be engaged in anything but providing content.

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Belarus Declares Foreign Web Site Surfing Illegal

January 3, 2012 -

Starting January 6th, Belarus, a former Soviet state that became independent in 1991 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, will restrict what its citizens can do on the Internet, thanks to new legislation. The new law requires that anyone doing business in the country must utilize fully local Internet domains when carrying out their activities online. Basically, this law criminalizes the use of web sites such as Amazon or Google if they don't have a web site within the country.

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Joke License App Gets Pulled, Senator Celebrates

December 14, 2011 -

It didn't take long for one misinformed and overzealous lawmaker to help get a poor developer's app removed from Apple's store. The app in question, " Driver License," allowed users to create a mock driver's license to entertain and amuse friends. But Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) didn't see the fun in it, and was concerned that it could be used to create a license. Apparently the Senator believed that this program was so sophisticated that a terrorist could download the app and make a fake ID on the fly for some nefarious purpose.

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Google Street View Shooting Game Takes a Bullet

December 14, 2011 -

While it might have been a clever use of Google's Street View (part of Google maps), Google isn't patting the developer of a first-person shooter game that used the 3D panoramic imagery from the service captured by Google. Instead they have put a bullet right between the eyes of "Google Shoot View." The game was created by Dutch digital ad agency Pool Worldwide said that it created the game to promote its unique marketing services.

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Techland Not Shocked About Dead Island Ban in Germany

November 29, 2011 -

Dead Island has been banned in Germany, and while that's not a surprise to gamers around the world, what is surprising is developer Techland's response to it. Speaking to GameIndustry.biz Germany, a Techland spokesperson said that they expected this to happen.

"This isn't unexpected," said a Techland spokesperson. "Germany has its unique regulations regarding video games and violence and the industry can only comply. "Both Deep Silver and Techland were aware of such a possibility from the very beginning."

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Reddit Users Imagine Censorship-Free Internet

November 28, 2011 -

 Internet users are wary of the U.S. House's Stop Online Piracy Act and the Senate's PROTECT IP Act, and are already thinking of ways to get off the Internet the government hopes to to control very soon. One such movement came to fruition on Reddit, where outraged users decided that they needed to come up with some solutions.

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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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'Saints Row Penetrator' Altered In Saints Row The Third for Japan

November 11, 2011 -

Ding.Dong.Ditch. It looks like Japan is not comfortable with the giant sex-toy weapon in Saint's Row The Third. Even though the game received the highest rating it could for its content in the region (CERO Z - basically adults only), the "Saints Row Penetrator" had to be altered for the game to be released in the region.

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BPI Demands UK ISP BP Blocks The Pirate Bay

November 4, 2011 -

UK lobby group BPI is demanding that UK internet service provider BT block access to the BitTorrent file sharing website, The Pirate Bay. If they do not, the group says it will take legal action against them to make it happen anyway. BT tells the BBC that it has received a letter from the group and that it is considering its response to it.

The ISP said that it would not take action against the site unless a court order was issued, but a source told the BBC that the firm was unlikely to fight a lengthy legal battle like it had in the Newzbin 2 case...

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Righthaven Takes $120K Hit in Latest Lawsuit

October 28, 2011 -

Righthaven has been ordered to pay nearly $119,488 in attorney fees, court costs after losing a lawsuit against former federal prosecutor Thomas DiBiase. The company, which trolls internet sites and sues them for alleged newspaper copyright infringement (it represented the rights of the Las Vegas Review-Journal in this case), couldn't afford to pay a previous judgment of $34,045, and likely faces an even bigger judgment in another case involving the Democratic Underground.

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Freedom of Information Act Change Would Give Government License to Lie

October 25, 2011 -

A proposed rule change to the Freedom of Information Act would give federal agencies a special exemption when it comes to certain types of information requests. The change would allow agencies to tell citizens requesting certain law-enforcement or national security documents that records don’t exist – even when they do.

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Group Uses Justin Bieber to Counter Anti-Piracy Bill

October 20, 2011 -

Using Justin Bieber (of all people) as a focal point for their message an advocacy group has created a campaign to warn U.S. citizens of the dangers found in an anti-piracy bill pending in the Senate. The bill, which was approved in the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill in June, would make it a felony for users to post unlicensed content online 10 times in 180 days. The bill is backed by the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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Sony Adds Mandatory Arbitration Clause to PSN ToS

September 15, 2011 -

If you are a member of Sony's PlayStation Network, chances are you were greeted with an email from the company this morning telling you that that the terms of service for the network are about to change. The big change, in case you haven't received that email yet, relates to your ability to sue them. From section 15 comes this wonderful new clause:

Phone Story Pulled from Apple's App Store

September 14, 2011 -

Apple has taken down a game that is overly critical of the process by which most smart phones are made because it highlights the exploitation of workers and the environment. The game is called Phone Story and using a simple gameplay mechanic, shows how workers in third-world countries are treated. Perhaps the game was a little too controversial (or hit too close to home) for Apple, who pulled the game from its App store without public comment.

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Why Civilians are Off Limits in Battlefield 3

August 30, 2011 -

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has an interesting article on Battlefield 3 that explains why you can't shoot civilians in the game. Apparently EA decided to make it so that players couldn't just gun down innocents in the game. It's an interesting policy considering that some might consider taking away that option as removing some of the realism that games such as Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 are promising.

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution Slightly Censored for Japan

August 8, 2011 -

If you happen to live in Japan, you may or may not notice (you will now because we're telling you about it right here, so "you're welcomed") that the Japanese retail version of Deus Ex: Human Revolution has undergone two edits to protect audiences from "body organs and sexual objects."

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Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/special-report-retail-revolt-over-pc-code-strippers/013614007/31/2014 - 8:27am
ZippyDSMleeWouldn't they be able to afford and get done in a timely manner a general gba emluator for the 3DS? It seems to me if they want to make money off sales they need to do it.07/31/2014 - 7:25am
Sora-ChanAmbassador program, that's what I was looking for. Anyway the other games that have been made no longer exclusive to the early adopters got updates in their software. It'll only be a matter of time more than likely for the GBA to get the same treatment.07/31/2014 - 5:35am
Sora-ChanI might be naming it incorrectly when I say "founder" i mean the program for earlier adopters.07/31/2014 - 5:34am
Sora-Chanthe 3DS's GBA emulator was a rush job due to the founder program. No other GBA titles have been released on the 3DS yet. If/When they do get around to it, they'll more than likely update the emulation software.07/31/2014 - 5:32am
Zenemulator...it's not just a slap job that makes "some" work..they do it for each which is why they work so well. I would rather have the quality over just a slap job.07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
ZenMatthew there is a difference between "worked" and "accurate". You play the Nintendo VC titles they play as damn close to the original as possible. The PSP would just run them as best they could, issues and all. And Masked...EACH VC title has their own07/30/2014 - 5:48pm
MaskedPixelanteOnce again, the 3DS already HAS a GBA emulator, it just can't run at the same time as the 3DS OS.07/30/2014 - 4:54pm
Matthew Wilsonyou cant street pass in ds mode ether, and if moders can make a gba emulator that runs very well on the psp as I understand it. you are telling me that Nintendo devs are not as good as moders?07/30/2014 - 4:49pm
Zenperformance. Halo 1 and 2 worked great because they actually did custom work on each of them...just like Nintendo does now lol07/30/2014 - 4:08pm
Zenexisting hardware while the GBA has to be emulated completely. Same reason the 360 couldn't run most Original Xbox games correctly, or had issues because they just did "blanket approach" for their emulation which led to game killing bugs or horrible07/30/2014 - 4:07pm
ZenSora/Matthew: It's not just Miiverse, but the whole idea of streetpass and things like that would be affected if the OS is not running. And just because a 3DS game can be downloaded and run does not mean that GBA can as easily. Those 3DS games use the07/30/2014 - 4:06pm
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, How is that different from every other credit card company targeting high school and college students?07/30/2014 - 1:40pm
Sleaker@EZK - I think some people are concerned beacuse it's a predatory technique targetted toward younger people that don't understand on top of offering the worst interest rates of any retailer around.07/30/2014 - 11:33am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/30/europe-gets-long-detained-shin-megami-tensei-4-at-cut-price/ "Sorry you had to wait a year for SMT4, would a price cut make it sting less?"07/30/2014 - 10:29am
NeenekoI would hope not. Though it is not unheard of for store specific cards to be pretty good.07/30/2014 - 8:17am
E. Zachary KnightDoes anyone, or at least any intelligent person, expect a retail branded credit card to be anything close to resembling a "good deal" on interest rates?07/30/2014 - 7:13am
SleakerGamestop articles popping up everywhere about their ludicrous new Credit card offerings at a whopping pre-approval for 26.9% APR07/29/2014 - 10:19pm
 

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