UK video games industry trade body Tiga says that games should officially be recognized as art. Speaking to BBC's Newsbeat program, Tiga CEO Dr. Richard Wilson said that video games should officially be classified as cultural products on the same level as Television, film, animation, etc.
Europol has seized 292 web domains that were being used to sell counterfeit and pirated goods, according to the BBC. These domains were allegedly being used to sell fake versions of luxury goods such as sportswear, electronics, movies, video games, pharmaceutical drugs, music, and more. Anyone visiting those sites will now see an "educational" message on copyright crime.
According to this Nikkei report (by way of Eurogamer) Sony will not renew its sponsorship deal with FIFA over concerns of corruption in the international soccer governing body. Sony has sponsored a number of major events for FIFA through the years including the World Cup, but the company has decided to bow out when its contract expires on December 31 of this year.
According to this BBC report, "tens of thousands" of Hungarian citizens have taken to the streets of Budapest to protest a proposed tax aimed at consumers who use the Internet. The BBC is calling it the "biggest anti-government demonstration" in years. Smaller rallies were held in other Hungarian cities as well.
When the #GamerGate hashtag started over two months ago, the first thought that popped into my head was "I wonder what GamersGate thinks about this." GamersGate, a European digital distribution platform has been selling PC games for nearly ten years and is a pretty established brand, so it must have been disconcerting for the company to have its brand - at least slightly - co-opted by a Twitter hashtag movement.
Alexander Stubb, the Prime Minister of Finland, has publicly accused Apple of taking down two of the country’s largest economic engines: Nokia and the paper industry. Finland saw its sovereign debt rating downgraded from AAA to AA+ by ratings agency Standard & Poor.
Speaking on CNBC, PM Stubb pointed his finger at Apple's iPhone and iPad:
The Pokémon Company International announced several new deals with European licensees. Ten new deals have been confirmed with players as diverse as Arguydal (a food and drink company), footwear maker Aventure Diffusion, candy maker Bon Bon Buddies: Confections, school supplies companies Cartorama and Vadobag, apparel company Fashion UK, poster maker GB eye, video games accessories companies HORI and RDS Industries, and board game maker Winning movies.
Mojang will deliver a keynote address at the Brand Licensing Europe 2014 on Wednesday October 8th, event organizer Advanstar announced today. The presentation, "Minecraft: the rise of a world-class game and brand," will be presented by Mojang COO Vu Bu. The keynote is part of the Licensing Academy program of talks and seminars which are held during BLE 2014. They are free to attend and the full program can be found at www.brandlicensing.eu as well.
Sony has confirmed that the closure of PlayStation Home is eminent for both Europe and the United States. Sony Computer Entertainment said that the PlayStation Home service will shut down in European and U.S. territories on March 31 2015, the exact date that the 3-D social platform will close in Japan.
"Due to a shifting landscape, PlayStation Home will cease publishing new content on the 12th of November, 2014," Sony confirmed in a statement.
Crowdfunding platform Kickstarter announced today that its service is now available in Scandinavia and Ireland. Campaign creators who want to fund a game, movie, board game, card game, a new type of underwear -- whatever, can get started today. While users in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Ireland can start creating projects on Kickstarter today, the bad news is that they'll have to wait until October 21 for them to be made publicly available.
King.com's Catharina Lavers Mallet and Marie-Claire Isaaman from the Norwich University of the Arts are the latest inductees in the European Women in Games Hall of Fame. Created in 2011 and sponsored by EA, the Hall of Game is part of the European Women In Games conference which took place yesterday. Other nominees considered for this year's honor were Roberta Lucca and Debbie Bestwick.
Nintendo today announced a free game giveaway for consumers who buy a 3DS, 3DS XL, or 2DS and either Super Smash Bros or Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire between now and January 12th 2015. The bad news is that this offer is only available in the UK and other PAL territories (Europe).
Those who meet the aforementioned requirements must also register their new system and the game they bought through Club Nintendo before January 12, 2015.
Nintendo of Europe has confirmed with Kotaku that around 320 of its employees will be laid off this week. That number includes around 130 full-time Nintendo of Europe employees, along with 190 temporary workers at Nintendo of Europe's Germany-based localization department. All 320 people will be unemployed by August 31, according to Kotaku.
There will be no Minecon fan gathering this year, according to Mojang. Mojang COO Vu Bui announced on the company blog that it will skip its 2014 event of the Minecraft-themed convention, with the next Minecon tentatively scheduled for sometime in 2015.
"While we don't have a set date for the next MINECON just yet, I wanted to let everyone know that it won't be until some time in 2015. I'm shooting to have it in the spring in London," Bui wrote before cautioning that even the 2015 event was not set in stone or a guarantee at this point.
Gamescom organizer Koelnmesse revealed that Gamescom 2014 drew an estimated 335,000 people from 88 countries to its annual event in Cologne, Germany last week. The attendance number is slightly less than last year's attendance number: 340,000 people. This year's attendance number included 31,500 regular people and 6,000 members of the press.
Koelnmesse also said that 700 exhibitors from 47 countries showcased their gaming products this year, up from 635 exhibitors in 2013.
If you aren't at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany this week (because you live in North America or because you aren't independently wealthy enough to attend) then you can check out a lot of the show on Twitch.
All week the folks at Twitch will be hosting content directly from the show including demos from the show floor, press conferences, and whatever cool stuff is going on at Europe's biggest annual gaming event for fans and the media.
You can find Twitch's Gamescom portal at www.twitch.tv/event/gamescom.
The show hasn't even started yet but Gamescom organizers have already announced the nominees for the 2014 Best Of Show awards. How, you may ask, can nominees already be selected when the games haven't been seen and the show has not opened yet? Well, because they have been seen by a jury of journalists.
Koch Media and its publishing label Deep Silver announced that they have acquired the Homefront brand and all related assets from Crytek. The deal encompasses all things Homefront-related including the latest game in the series that was being developed by Crytek UK - Homefront: The Revolution. The game will continue to be developed in the newly formed Nottingham-based Deep Silver Dambuster Studios.
Stockholm, Sweden's week-long Stockholm Pride Festival kicks off today, and to celebrate Swedish retailer Webhallen is auctioning off a custom rainbow flag colored PS4 which it is calling the "Sony GayStation." Proceeds raised from this auction will go to the Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights.
The European Union announced today that it is working with member states to create guidelines that ensure that games and apps with in-app purchases are marketed to consumers in an "appropriate manner." These rules come after an investigation into App store marketing practices aimed at children.
The EU said that, going forward, the following guidelines will be applied to Apple, Google, and other app store owners:
- Games advertised as "free" should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved
The Game Developers Conference (GDC) Europe today released results from its second annual European State of the Industry Survey, which reveals trends around regional development hubs, tax incentives and more. The survey is conducted annually prior to the launch of GDC Europe in August.
GDC Europe 2014 is organized by UBM Tech Game Network and runs from August 11-13 at the Congress-Centrum Ost in Cologne, Germany. It takes place in tandem with Europe's biggest video game trade and public show gamescom.
New guidelines from Ofcom (the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications industries) will make switching from one superfast broadband supplier to another less expensive. Prior to changes in the rules, when a consumer switched from BT's Openreach (the company that controls BT's phone and broadband infrastructure) the new ISP would be hit with a £50 connection fee. This fee was typically passed on to the consumer.
If you play Sony Online Entertainment games is Europe then you deal with a partner company called ProSiebenSat1. Games (PSG). The company handles accounts for a number of SOE titles including PlanetSide 2, DC Universe Online and EverQuest 2, and many others. Soon users of those games will have to transfer their accounts to Sony Online Entertainment.
Nintendo announced today that it will consolidate its European operations and lay off 130 employees. The company said in a press release today that it will be closing its headquarters building and a warehouse in Großostheim, Germany and moving its European operations to Frankfurt. These changes mean that an estimated "130 permanent employees" will be laid off.
PR 101: if the President of the United States name checks your product in an international speech, it is the best thing in the world that can happen to you. While visiting Poland today, President Barack Obama mentioned CD Projekt Red's popular RPG, The Witcher. The last time the president was visiting the country, he was given a copy of The Witcher 2 Collector's Edition as a gift by prime minister Donald Tusk. Today while in Poland the President mentioned the game and admitted that he wasn't very good at games in general.
Nominees for the 2014 Nordic Game Awards have been announced today highlighting the best games from the region's developers over the last 12 months. Six prizes will be awarded at the Nordic Game show in Malmö, (which takes place from may 21-23, 2014), decided by a jury of judges selected from Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland.