Ubisoft Montreal CEO: Gamers Ready for Always-Online Consoles

April 15, 2013 -

Ubisoft Montreal CEO Yannis Mallat claims that gamers are ready to embrace a world where your game and console are always online - particularly with the upcoming next-gen consoles from Sony and Nintendo.

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Russian Hackers Exploit uPlay, Download Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

April 9, 2013 -

According to this Gameranx report some hackers in Russia are already playing Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, despite the fact that it isn't quite out yet. Apparently a group of Russian hackers have discovered an exploit in Ubisoft's uPlay digital distribution service that allows them to download the game without paying for it.

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The Catnip Bundle Offers Ten Games For Cheap

April 8, 2013 -

The Catnip Bundle has launched over at Bundle Stars offering PC players 10 instantly downloadable PC games for whatever price they want. The highlighted title in the Catnip Bundle is Pushcat, an arcade game from indie studio Zut Games. Other titles include Metal Drift, Obulis, Avencast: Rise of the Mage, Post Mortem, Wasteland Angel, Chains, Nikopol, and two mystery titles.

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EFF Fights Against DRM Proposal for Future WC3 Web Standards

March 21, 2013 -

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is shining a spotlight on a proposal currently before the World Wide Web Consortium's HTML5 Working Group to put digital rights management (DRM) into the next generation of core Web standards. The proposal in questions is called Encrypted Media Extensions, or EME. The EFF says that adopting EME into core standards would be a "calamitous development."

Putting the technical specifications of the proposal aside, why does the EFF think that certain parties are pushing this EME proposal? Here's their analysis on that:

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Super Meat Boy Developer Argues Against Using DRM

March 19, 2013 -

In a recent blog post Super Meat Boy developer Tommy Refenes argues that using DRM to keep games from being pirated and general apathy ultimately hurts developers. He also notes that applying loss prevention techniques to digital products doesn't work in the space.

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Maxis GM Addresses Decision to Make SimCity Require a Constant Connection

March 15, 2013 -

As much as EA and Maxis want to smooth things over with fans and make them happy, this latest blog post from Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw isn't being received very well, if you believe the comments following the article.

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Modder Shows How SimCity Can Be Played Offline

March 14, 2013 -

A new SimCity mod detailed in a YouTube video and later explained in-depth on a Reddit thread reveals that it is possible to play SimCity offline indefinitely with a few important caveats. Despite those caveats the mod shows that the game can easily be transitioned from an "always connected" game to an offline single player game, despite what both EA and Maxis have said. According to modder UKAzzer he was able to do this with a little bit of work and by enabling the game's secret debug mode. This allowed him to turn off the disconnection timer limit.

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EA Maxis Furiously Works on SimCity, Offers Free Game to Customers

March 11, 2013 -

EA Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw took to EA's blog for three updates over the weekend to talk about the progress the company has made in making SimCity a bit more stable for players. In her first update on March 8 Bradshaw said that they had increased server capacity by 120 percent and that it had proven to help more people get in and play the game. Bradshaw also said that the number of "disrupted experiences" had dropped by roughly 80 percent."

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Let's (try to) Play SimCity

March 11, 2013 -

Andrew Eisen plays a little game called Let's Try to Connect to SimCity and Play the Game. It's a game that was sweeping the nation this week, but unlike the hula-hoop or baseball, this week's American pastime was not that much fun. Check out Andrew's reenactment of what a typical SimCity player probably went through this week.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 44

March 11, 2013 -

On this week's show, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss the first Tropes vs. Women video, "Bronies" and if rights holders should be a little kinder to fan projects, and the nightmarish launch of SimCity this week. Download Episode 44 now: SuperPAC Episode 44 (1 hour, 6 minutes) 60.4 MB.

No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

March 7, 2013 -

Well, the good news is that EA's official Twitter for its digital distribution service Origin has confirmed that you will not be banned if you ask for a refund on your purchase of SimCity in light of the fact that you probably can't play it.

The bad news is that you more than likely ain't getting that refund.

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Amazon Suspends Digital Sales of SimCity

March 7, 2013 -

It's been a pretty rough day for both customers who bought SimCity and the developers trying everything under the sun to get it working at full capacity. While EA has been trying to solve the problem and get gamers playing the game, some fans have been very vocal about how the game's DRM has broken it beyond repair.

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EA Promises More Servers, Faster Turn-Around on Bug Fixes for SimCity

March 7, 2013 -

Last night SimCity Senior Producer Kip Katsarelis posted a statement on the EA forums addressing the ongoing issues with the game and players' complaints that servers are continually inaccessible.

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GOG Promotes Old SimCity With New SimCity Jab

March 6, 2013 -

In a cheeky promotion to support its SimCity back catalog title, Good Old Games takes a slight dig at the problems associated with the new SimCity game during its launch. In a tweet offering an alternative to the trials and tribulations of connecting to EA servers, GOG says that it has a SimCity game that you won't have any trouble playing.

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Fans Suffer From SimCity Launch Day Hiccups

March 5, 2013 -

As is often the case with games that rely heavily on "always online" schemes, EA's SimCity had a bit of trouble today as it officially launched servers for the latest entry in the popular city building simulation. EA's biggest problem seems to be related to its digital distribution platform Origin, which has struggled to keep up with fans' demand to buy and play the game on launch day. Users have encountered a number of problems today including trouble downloading their digitally purchased copies and problems with unlocking physical copies of the game.

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Diablo 3 for Consoles Will Not Include Cross-Platform Play, Will Offer Offline Play

February 26, 2013 -

Diablo 3 for the PS3 and PS4 will not feature cross-platform play but it will include an offline mode for PS3 and PS4 players. PC players cannot play the game without being connected to Battle.net - even when playing single-player. The clarification on cross-platform play was made by the game's community manager Vaeflare on the Battle.net forums.

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Ubisoft Wants to Improve its Relationship with PC Gamers

February 22, 2013 -

In an interview with MCV Ubisoft’s worldwide Uplay director Stephanie Perotti acknowledges that the company doesn't have the best relationship with the PC gaming community because of past issues (namely its strong support for "always on DRM" in several of its major PC titles), but that the company is listening to the feedback and reacting accordingly - most notably getting rid of its much-hated DRM-scheme.

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Sony: PS4 Does Not Require an Internet Connection

February 21, 2013 -

The PlayStation 4 will not require an internet connection, though it is likely that if you want to take advantage of some of its core features and frequent updates you'll need a connection at some point. According to Eurogamer Sony says that, while you may want to keep your console connected to the internet to take advantage of the system's new features, it is not a requirement.

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Uplay Gets EA Games, Origin Get Ubisoft Titles

February 19, 2013 -

It's not an evil alliance, but some (those that don't like Uplay and Origin) might view it that way. It looks like Uplay and Origin are doing a little foreign exchange action, with Ubisoft's digital distribution platform getting select EA titles and EA's digital distribution platform getting games from Ubisoft. Ubisoft's Uplay service is also offering games from other third-party publishers including Warner Bros., Focus Home Interactive, Freebird Games, Paradox Interactive, Telltale Games and more.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 40

February 11, 2013 -

This week hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about fresh Xbox 720 rumors, new game bills in America, the releases cycle of the Ouya, and last week's GamePolitics Poll. All this and more awaits in Episode 40. Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 40 (1 hour) 55.5 MB.

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EA Launches Origin Client for Mac

February 8, 2013 -

Mike Blank, EA's Vice President, Production, Design, and Engineering for Origin, announced on EA's Blog the official launch of the Mac OS X client for its digital distribution platform. The OS X version of Origin offers dual-platform play for select EA games (that are available on both PC and Mac) for those gamers that use both platforms.

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Poll: Which Video Game Publisher/Developer Practice Do You Find the Most Irksome?

January 30, 2013 -

If you follow me on Twitter, you're probably aware that I can't stand Activision's Skylanders games or Disney's upcoming Disney Infinity.  Both games require you to buy a bunch of figurines to unlock stuff in the game you already paid full price for.  This is an extension of that "on-disc DLC" stuff that many have been

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Maxis Talks About 'The Benefits of Live Service' for SimCity

December 26, 2012 -

You may remember that the development team behind the upcoming SimCity game held a Reddit AMA, and that the community there gave them a hard time for making the game use a DRM scheme that required players to be always connected to the Internet even when they are playing the single-player portion of the game.

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EA Maxis AMA on Reddit Turns Sharply to Discussion on DRM in SimCity

December 18, 2012 -

The developers at EA Maxis decided on Friday that it would be a good idea to participate in an AMA ("ask me anything") discussion thread on Reddit. The discussion quickly turned from a discussion about the gameplay in the next SimCity game to questions about the company's planned DRM scheme. The next SimCity game will require users to be "always connected" when playing multiplayer or single-player and will also save game progress online.

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Uplay App Unlocks Extras for Wii U Users

December 3, 2012 -

No matter what you think of Uplay (PC gamers know it as a future digital distribution platform and as facilitator of horrible always-on DRM masquerading as something else - particularly for PC gamers), what Ubisoft is trying to do with it on Wii U is interesting because it adds a number of features to its games on the platform.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 31

December 3, 2012 -

In Episode 31 of the Super Podcast Action Committee hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight discuss if the gender and race of a main character matters, the Humble THQ Bundle, the importance of play-testing, more Uplay woes, DRM, and other forms of tomfoolery. Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 31 (1 hour, 14 minutes) 68 MB.

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Ubisoft Apologizes for Far Cry Problems Caused by Uplay Client

November 30, 2012 -

Ubisoft is apologizing to Far Cry 3 players for issues with the company's Uplay online gaming service. Some players have reported that they were unable to play the game because of Uplay server issues. Apparently setting the Uplay client to offline mode allows players to play part of the game, according to Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

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Game Maker DRM Permanently Vandalizing Paying Users' Games

November 28, 2012 -

Popular indie game making tool, Game Maker, has a bit of a DRM problem. Over the weekend, some users noticed that the tool was permanently vandalizing their sprites with images of a skull.

A recent update to Game Maker Studio has left many developers confused and frustrated after an anti-piracy system went haywire.

 

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Serious Sam Maker: Gabe Newell Was Right About Windows 8

November 6, 2012 -

No doubt you have already heard that Valve co-founder and top executive Gabe Newell and Mojang co-founder Markus Persson think that Windows 8 is horrible for PC gamers and game developers because it uses a closed app store approach to presenting software to customers. Now Croteam's chief technical offer Alen Ladavac has added his two cents to the discussion. The CTO for the company behind the Serious Sam series said in a recent Steam Community forum post that Gabe Newell was right.

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Report: Playing EA Wii U Games Online Will Require Origin Account

October 23, 2012 -

If you thought you could play an Electronic Arts game on Nintendo's upcoming Wii U console without having an account on its Origin network then you are so very sadly mistaken. A change in EA's privacy policy reveals that Wii U users who want to play Wii U games online will need to have an Origin account and a "Nintendo Network ID." Of course, this also means that - by signing up for an Origin account - you give EA permission to collect your email address, Mii information, friend list, country, language, and date of birth.

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Poll

Who's responsible for crappy Netflix performance on Verizon?:

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Matthew WilsonI agree, but to me given other known alternatives google seems to the the best option.07/24/2014 - 6:30pm
Andrew EisenTo be clear, I have no problem with Google buying it, I'm just concerned it will make a slew of objectively, quantifiably bad changes to Twitch just as it's done with YouTube over the years.07/24/2014 - 6:28pm
Matthew WilsonI doubt yahoo has the resources to pull it off, and I not just talking about money.07/24/2014 - 6:15pm
SleakerI wouldn't have minded a Yahoo purchase, probably would have been a better deal than Tumblr seeing as they paid the same for it...07/24/2014 - 6:13pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's the golden age of Hitbox, I guess.07/24/2014 - 6:08pm
Matthew Wilsonagain twitch was going to get bought. It was just who was going to buy it . Twitch was not even being able to handle the demand, so hey needed a company with allot of infrastructure to help them. I can understand why you would not want Google to buy it .07/24/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew Eisen"Google is better than MS or Amazon" Wow. Google, as I mentioned earlier, progressively makes almost everything worse and yet there are still two lesser options. Again, wow!07/24/2014 - 5:43pm
Andrew EisenI don't know. MS, in my experience, is about 50/50 on its products. It's either fine or it's unusable crap. Amazon, well... I've never had a problem buying anything from them but I don't use any of their products or services so I couldn't really say.07/24/2014 - 5:42pm
Matthew WilsonGoogle is better than MS or Amazon.07/24/2014 - 5:33pm
Sleaker@AE - I've never seen youtube as a great portal to interact with people from a comment perspective. like ever. The whole interface doesn't really promote that.07/24/2014 - 5:28pm
Andrew EisenNor I. From a content producer's perspective, almost every change Google implements makes the service more cumbersome to use. It's why I set up a Facebook fan page in the first place; it was becoming too difficult to connect with my viewers on YouTube.07/24/2014 - 4:50pm
Sleakerwonder if anyone is going to try and compete with google, I'm not a huge fan of the way they manage their video services.07/24/2014 - 4:41pm
Andrew EisenIt happened. Google bought Twitch. http://venturebeat.com/2014/07/24/googles-1b-purchase-of-twitch-confirmed-joins-youtube-for-new-video-empire/07/24/2014 - 4:28pm
MaskedPixelanteI hope Nintendo actually follows through with the DS Virtual Console, that sounds like it could be cool.07/24/2014 - 2:15pm
james_fudgePeople don't deny it persay, they bristle at the idea that it's a "problem" that nneds to be "fixed."07/24/2014 - 2:15pm
Papa MidnightRacism and Misogny are heavily prevalent in the gaming and online arena. Getting people to actually admit that, however...07/24/2014 - 11:42am
Papa MidnightThat very thing is somthing that anyone who has been subjected to racial-based targeting online could actually state that they've experienced.07/24/2014 - 11:41am
Papa MidnightPerfect example: "I have yet to talk to a man who has had to call a police officer due to a stalker, only to be told nothing can be done until they are physically assaulted."07/24/2014 - 11:40am
Papa MidnightNot that said communities are mutually exclusive. Even the very first comment on that last article equates women in the gaming industry with being the n-word. Despicable, aetestable, and (sadly enough) this is not an uncommon presence in either community.07/24/2014 - 11:35am
Papa MidnightI only wish someone would lead a similar investigation of the sheer level of irrational racially motivated hate and insults that are perpetuated in the online and gaming community.07/24/2014 - 11:33am
 

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