This week Republican lawmakers put forth a bill that enforces net neutrality rules but takes away power from the Federal Communications Commission when it comes to enforcing them. The new bill put forth by US Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) also forbids the FCC from reclassifying broadband companies as "common carriers" under Title II of the Telecommunications Act.
The bill enforces net neutrality rules such as banning on blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization, but leaves an exception for undefined "specialized services." Can you say "loophole?"
A Steamworks mod for Plague Inc: Evolved on Steam (currently available as of this writing) is catching some heat for its highly racist themes and a title that leaves very little room for interpretation.
The name of the mod is "Niggas Conquering the World (ALPHA)," and features a picture of President Barack Obama, a caption photo of former president George W. Bush saying "Nigga what," and a photo of African American gang members holding guns.
Spicy Horse founder American McGee has written an interesting list on Facebook explaining why he thinks the Xbox One will not be successful in China when it is released in the region this September. Earlier this week Microsoft announced that its latest console would finally be available to the lucrative Chinese gaming market, but McGee has lots of doubts that the console can be successful in a market dominated by free-to-play mobile and PC games and a thriving gray market.
On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about buying level 90 characters in World of Warcraft, a story about a UK mom who complained about her son buying thousands of dollars worth of FIFA DLC, the EU tackling free-to-play games, gay leads in video games, and a tax incentives bill that discriminates against violent video games. Download Episode 90 now: SuperPAC Episode 90 (1 hour, 12 minutes) 83 MB.
Electronic Arts announced this week that it has canceled Command & Conquer, the free-to-play reimagining of the popular real-time strategy game. In a blog post developer Victory Games announced that fan reaction to the alpha of the game is what put the final nail in the coffin for the project:
A Kickstarter campaign to create a sequel to the popular Sega Genesis football game Mutant Football League has ended on an unsuccessful note. The crowd-funding campaign launched by the franchise's original creator Michael Mendheim ended yesterday, raising only $141,821 of the $750,000 goal. Had the game been funded, it would have launched in the summer of 2015 for PC, Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, iOS, and Android.
Obviously Mendheim was disappointed in the results.
While the U.S. Senate debates on whether to give President Barack Obama the authority to bomb Syria (which some in the Administration say the President doesn't need anyway), one Senator was caught by a New York Daily News reporter finding a little distraction on his iPhone.
Earlier today, we reported that the White House had appointed the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, a guy who has by his own admission lied to Congress about the NSA spying on Americans, to "establish a Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies" to assess the NSA's surveillance efforts.
On Friday President Barack Obama promised to create an outside and independent review board to look into the NSA's surveillance efforts. Today we have learned that the person who has been selected to oversee this undertaking is less than credible. In a letter obtained by TechDirt (thanks EZK), we learn that it's the same old same old in D.C.
Phosphor Games has decided to put its ongoing bid to fund its super hero themed open world game Project Awakened on hold for the time being. The developer started the private funding initiative after it came close to funding the game via Kickstarter. Though that campaign failed, the developer noticed that thousands of gamers backed the project and decided to try again via its web site for the game.
Another day, another failed Kickstarter campaign. This time it is "Dizzy Returns," the brainchild of former Blitz Games developers Philip and Andrew Oliver, who finally and quite publicly threw in the towel today. The brothers admitted that their Dizzy Returns Kickstarter would likely fall short of its £350,000 goal - a goal that many in the community questioned and the brothers tried to defend shortly after they pitched the game idea on Kickstarter.
Yesterday we reported that Activision and developer Vicarious Visions had been working on Guitar Hero 7, but a report today from Kotaku citing an anonymous source close to the situations says that the game was a hot mess and overly ambitious.
In what has to be a record take-down of a questionable piece of marketing, Square Enix pulled a Facebook app promoting Hitman Absolution two hours after it was deployed after a scathing report from Rock, Paper, Shotgun. The company later apologized for the app. The trouble began after RPS wrote about how "Hire Hitman" app allowed users to target and assassinate their Facebook friends, complete with death threats to your intended target.
Just a year after it launched, Zynga has pulled the plug on the follow-up to one of the games that made it a household name among Facebook users. According to this The Escapist report, Zynga will shut down Mafia Wars 2 at the end of this year. In a message to players posted on Facebook, Zynga announced that Mafia Wars 2 will shut down.
Sometimes crowd funding amazes the community and the developers looking to make their dreams come true and sometimes they show that an idea has no validity. Once in awhile there are sad situations like the one recently experienced by the team behind the game Alpha Colony, whose crowd funding appeal ended with team falling just $28 short of its $50,000 funding goal.
It looks like the whole "Six Strikes" plan concocted by MPAA, RIAA and six internet service providers in the United States has been pushed back yet again. The system was supposed to be deployed this summer and would issue warnings and - upon occasion - punishments to those suspected of committing copyright infringement on the Internet. This week the group in charge of that system, the Center for Copyright Information, announced that the ISPs involved were not ready to start sending out those warnings just yet, citing Hurricane Sandy as one of the main reasons for the delay.
Veteran game designer Don Daglow wanted to make a smartphone-based baseball game called Tony La Russa's Baseball With Fans so he launched a Kickstarter appeal to raise $249,000. Unfortunately after only a week of activity, the project only managed to bring in about $2,440 of that goal from 23 backers.
Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter says that Electronic Arts and Activision's mismanagement of big first-person shooter titles could end up contributing to another month of "terrible" software sales for the game industry in October. He is referring to Medal of Honor: Warfighter, a game that was supposed to be a major release for EA in October and Activision's 007 Legends, which fared worse than Medal of Honor.
The UK court of appeal was not happy and strongly admonished Apple for adding additional text regarding other court cases. Ultimately the court said that Apple's statement was "non-compliant," and that it must reword it within 48 hours, link prominently to it from its homepage until December 14, and use at least an 11-point font. The statement is currently linked at the bottom of the site and requires visitors to actually look for it. It's not exactly getting a prominent placement at the moment.
The public auction held Tuesday at what used to be 38 Studios' headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island, raked in approximately $650,000, according to figures released by the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. Last week a similar auction was held at the site of 38 Studios' Big Huge Games division in Maryland. That auction brought in $180,000.
The state of Minnesota apparently doesn't like free online education that could benefit its citizens. The state has decided to tell California-based online education startup Coursera that it is not allowed to offer its online courses to the state’s residents without first getting permission from the state and paying a registration fee. Coursera was founded by Stanford computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, and partners with top universities around the world to offer certain classes online for free to anyone who wants access to them.
Here's an entry in the epilogue for OnLive - or at least what used to be OnLive - before it was sold to a holding company owned by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Gary Lauder. According to a report in the Mercury News, the cloud-based gaming service was sold to Lauder for a little under $5 million USD. Lauder reportedly paid $4.8 million for OnLive as part of an insolvency process this summer.
While some might still be arguing over who won or lost last night's first presidential debate showdown in Denver Colorado last night (Fox, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and CBS pundits all agree President Obama had a bad night), Kotaku points out the biggest loser at last night's debate was Xbox Live. You may recall that Microsoft had been pushing live streaming coverage of the debate last night, along with interactive real-time reactions from fans.
If you're a video game tester and you act like a dumb ass (allegedly) you'll probably get fired. Just ask 20-something Blake Marsh, who decided to try a little political comedy with a dash of misogyny and hate on his Facebook page. It's too bad for Marsh that his bosses at Eidos Montreal weren't laughing when they found out.
Following a failed assassination attempt by suspect Richard Bain on the newly-elected Quebec premier-designate Pauline Marois that saw one person killed and another severely injured, Marsh decided to make light of the crime:
A traffic stop in El Paso, Texas led to the arrest of a local man who found an exciting new way to hide his drug. While his method for concealment was certainly current generation thinking, it wasn't clever enough to trick the El Paso County Sheriffs' office. During a routine traffic stop because the driver failed to use his turn signal, police discovered three bundles of cocaine - two of which were hidden inside an Xbox 360 console - in a bag on the passenger seat of his older Mercedes.
Yesterday during THQ's conference call to discuss earning with investors and the media, the company admitted that they were wrong about a number of things.
"On our last call we told you we anticipated that our third quarter would be the largest in our company's history, " said President and CEO Brian Farrell at the start of the call. "Unfortunately, we were wrong."
Former Alorton, Missouri police chief Michael Baxton Sr. pled guilty on Thursday in federal court to two felonies after an FBI sting caught him stealing five game systems. His bad. According to the U.S. attorney's office, an investigation of "systemic corruption within the Village of Alorton by various public officials" brought Baxton down. Charges against other officials in the town may be forthcoming.