Every year rights holders get to offer their input in the U.S. Trade Representative’s Special 301 report, identifying piracy sites and offering recommendations on how best to combat piracy both online and offline. In a special letter, Wii, Wii U and 3DS maker Nintendo offers its two cents on the issue. First, Nintendo points out that it is suffering major losses at the hands of online piracy:
According to a report from Xinhuanet (as reported on by Shanghaiist), the Chinese government is developing its own set of criteria for early diagnosis of online game addiction in young people. Chinese authorities announced plans on Sunday to develop "China-specific criteria" for diagnosing and treating online gaming addiction in minors.
Earlier this week we reported that the Chinese government was considering lifting a 13-year ban on game consoles in the country. While there's plenty of black market devices and software for Chinese consumers, there's no way to legally buy a PS3, Xbox 360, or Nintendo device in the country. The story from a few days ago was based on a China Daily report that quoted an anonymous source inside the Ministry of Culture.
Citing a government source, the 13-year-old ban of consoles in China may be coming to an end. According to sources cites by China Daily the seven Chinese government ministries that banned the sale of consoles in the country in 2000 are opening up discussions on allowing them to be sold to Chinese citizens.
According to All Things D, Apple has secured the regulatory approvals it needs from China to bring the iPhone 5 to the region, and this morning the company announced a release date for the phone: Dec. 14. Apple will launch the iPhone 5 after it launches the Wi-Fi versions of the iPad Mini and its fourth-generation iPad on Dec. 7
Sony released the PlayStation 3 on November 11, 2006 in Japan; in North America on November 17, 2006; and in Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Africa and New Zealand on March 23, 2007. China never got access to the system because the Chinese government didn't approve it for sale in the region. Nearly seven years later it looks like Chinese gamers finally have some hope of playing PlayStation 3 titles legally.
It looks like Foxconn is going to "take one for the team" in the controversy over under-age interns working at its factory in Yantai, China. This is the plant where Nintendo's Wii U is reportedly being put together, so Nintendo is very concerned about any public perceptions that it finds breaking China's labor laws concerning under-age workers acceptable.
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.
The Associated Press (by way of syndication in the pages of Time's Techland) reports that China-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn has admitted that underage workers are part of its massive work force in the country. Foxconn, which has had a hard time this month keeping production flowing at its plants due to riots and labor disputes, assembles a variety of electronics for Apple, Microsoft, Samsung and others.
A new game called In a Permanent Save State is set to release on Friday (October 12) on iTunes. The makers of the game hope to bring attention to the fact that several workers at China's Foxconn plants committed suicide and that their lives were inexplicably affected negatively by the Western demand for hi-tech gadgets like iPhones and Foxconn's drive to use workers to meet quotas - at any cost. The game will be released in conjunction with a downtown art exhibition in Reno, Nevada and a live orchestrated play through of the game, according to Benjamin Poynter.
According to this GamesIndustry International report, thousands of Foxconn employees continue to protest at various locations in China. The labor strike is the result of complaints about working conditions, which workers say have not been adequately addressed by the company. In case you have forgotten Foxconn helps build a variety of high end electronics for multiple companies including Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and many others.
While Apple is celebrating the fact that it sold five million units of its iPhone 5 phone in three days since launch, the owners of the plant that make the device are not celebrating very much today as chaos and riots take all of its production offline.
The following faux game commercial is over-the-top but admittedly funny in an ironic sort of way. The commercial is for "the greatest real time strategy game never made; Chinese Electronics Factory Worker: The Game!"
The best and most cringe inducing quote from the video is when the young boy playing the game proclaims:
"Exploiting Chinese Workers is awesome!"
Watch the video to your left. Thanks to Jamie Stanton for sending us the video link.
Here's a scary story from the BBC describing the nefarious goings-on at some PC manufacturers where malware is being installed on PC's on the production lines. The startling news comes from a new report from Microsoft.
ArenaNet has inked a deal with KongZhong Corporation to bring its popular and recently launched online RPG Guild Wars 2 to mainland China. The partnership is also apparently one of the biggest licensing transactions for a Western game in the Chinese marketplace. Under the terms of the licensing deal, ArenaNet has the option to buy up to 40 million of KongZhong Corporation's ordinary shares after the commercial launch of Guild Wars 2 in the region.
While some hay is being made over the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union meeting in Dubai in December, most believe it is much ado about nothing. The way the Internet is regulated internationally will face a review in December, but the United States is already pointing out a number of changes that it will absolutely not allow under any circumstances. The regulations under review are from 1988.
Yesterday we reported on Chinese mobile developer Entertainment Game Labs being accused by Runic Games president Travis Baldree of stealing art and sound assets from his company's popular action-RPG Torchlight. After getting some unwanted attention from the press and from fans, the company said today that it will modify "some parts" of its iOS MMO Armed Heroes Online.
Travis Baldree, president of Runic Games is publicly calling out Chinese mobile developer EGLS for stealing art assets and sound files from his company's game, Torchlight. The game in question is an iOS-based massively multiplayer game called Armed Heroes Online. Baldree noticed the striking similarities in the character art from the game and Torchlight and took to Twitter earlier this month to point it out:
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick admitted in a recent interview with CNBC Asia’s Squawk Box that bringing Call of Duty Online to market in China is a risky proposition. While Kotick expresses confidence in Tencent Holdings in making the game based on its popular first-person shooter series successful in Mainland China, Kotick also knows that there is a risk when bringing a Western game into a new market with different business models and player tastes.
The organizing committee of the 5th annual China Game Developers Conference (CGDC) announced that Havok CEO and Executive Director David Coghlan will deliver a keynote speech at the event. China Game Developers Conference will take place in Shanghai, China on July 25-27. Havok is a software physics company owned by Intel. Coghlan's keynote speech will detail the trends of image, physics simulation and the Internet as related to 3D technology and games.
Activision Blizzard has inked a deal with Chinese online games giant Tencent Holdings Limited to bring Call of Duty Online to Chinese players. In its announcement this morning Activision said that Call of Duty Online has been in development by Activision Publishing for approximately two years. Under the multi-year agreement with Activision Publishing, Tencent gains the exclusive licensing rights to operate Call of Duty Online in mainland China. The game is described as free-to-play and uses a monetized in-game store to sell virtual items.
Apple's tenacious battle with China-based Proview over the last year over the iPad trademark in the country is finally settled. Apple has agreed to pay the company that owns the mark in China $60 million. Although Apple has said that Proview already licensed the use of the trademark in the region, Proview managed to win a number of major legal victories in the region that put Apple on defense.
China-based Tencent Holdings Limited will take a minority stake in Gears of War and Unreal Engine developer Epic Games. How much equity Tencent has taken was not disclosed, but Epic said in a press release that it will continue to operate "independently and seek to further expand its game franchises across multiple platforms."
The deal is expected to close in one month, subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to Want China Times a riot occurred at Foxconn’s Chengdu plant in Sichuan on Monday night.
Social game matchmaking company Xfire announced this morning that it has secured an additional $3 million in funding. The company will use the cash injection to expand into Asian territories. The financing round was led by Singapore-based firm IDM Venture Capital. The cash follows the news that Xfire has inked a partnership deal with CHINA YOUTH GOYOR TECHNOLOGY (BEIJING) CO., LTD., who will help bring the service to more than 400 million gamers in Asia.
According to a GigaOM report Apple and Chinese company Proview Technology may soon resolve their ongoing legal battle over the use of the "iPad" name in the region.
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.
A horrible story out of China details a double murder that happened after a man found out he'd been sold a counterfeit iPhone. A man in the Zhenzhou, Henan province of north-central China spent $330 on a device that he thought was an Apple iPhone. Later he realized that the phone was a fake and was furious. The man, identified in news reports only as "Feng," was out for blood. He came across a gang of men trying to sell the same fake phone to a young boy. At this point he apparently lost all sense of self control and pulled out a knife.