German Consumer Group Demands Packaging Changes for Diablo III

July 23, 2012 -

Gaming Blend is reporting that the German consumer advocacy group the Federation of Consumer Organizations is giving Blizzard until July 27 to fix problems with its "always on" DRM system for Diablo III or it will seek a remedy in court. The group warned Blizzard in June that it wanted the company to change its retail packaging to reflect that the game required an Internet connection to play and that the connection must be persistent.

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From the Ashes of Spellbound Entertainment Comes Black Forest Games

July 13, 2012 -

Gothic 4 developer Spellbound Entertainment has risen from the ashes of bankruptcy to become a brand new company called Black Forest Games. The development studio is being staffed by 40 of its 65 former employees and is still based in Germany. With its financial troubles in the rear-view mirror, the company hopes to get back to making the best strategy and role-playing games that it can make.

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Sony: We Have Not Decided on Gamescom Attendance This Year

June 7, 2012 -

Sony is on the fence about having a major presence at the popular European gaming event Gamescom later this year. Sony Computer Entertainment's German communications director Guido Alt told the German arm of GamesIndustry International that a decision has yet to be made on Gamescom and that they are still negotiating terms with the event's organizers.

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Microsoft Wins German Court Decision in Ongoing Motorola Patent Fight

May 25, 2012 -

Google suffered what some are calling a "major legal defeat" in a German court today in a patent fight with Microsoft. The court ruled in favor of Microsoft, who argued that Motorola has violated a patent related to text messaging. The ruling would allow Microsoft to pursue a ban on Android products in Germany. Motorola won a similar decision earlier in the month in a German court that would allow them to pursue a ban of Xbox 360 and Windows products, but a Washington Federal Court has forbid the company for doing so until it makes a ruling in a U.S.

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Germany's BMZ, Australia's Greens Wage a War of Words Against ACTA

May 8, 2012 -

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) continues to run into hurdles in various parts of the world. Today those hurdles include a sharp rebuke from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Australia's Green party.

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Xbox 360, Windows 7 Banned in Germany

May 2, 2012 -

Motorola Mobility has won an injunction against Microsoft in Germany prohibiting the sale of products in the country including Windows 7 and the Xbox 360. The injunction is the latest punch thrown in a bitter patent lawsuit between Motorola and Microsoft

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Report: Dtp Entertainment Filing for Bankruptcy

April 30, 2012 -

Hamburg, Germany-based publisher Dtp Entertainment AG has filed for bankruptcy according to GamesIndustry International. The news comes from GamesIndustry International's German sister site and its editor, Christoph Holowaty.

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Spellbound Entertainment Files For Insolvency

March 22, 2012 -

German developer Spellbound Entertainment has filed for insolvency after failing to secure an investment to keep it fully operational. The good news, if there is any to be had in a story like this, is that the salaries of the company's 65 employees have been secured while the preliminary insolvency proceedings take place, and Spellbound will proceed as normal. A new round of investment is set to begin immediately, and preliminary insolvency trustee Ulrich Nehrig claims that there is "a very good chance of success" because Spellbound has a number of projects underway.

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Germany Considers 'Drudge' Tax

March 13, 2012 -

The Washington Times has an opinion piece that takes a shot at German Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration over what they are calling a proposed "Drudge Tax." The reference is to conservative Matt Drudge's popular web site The Drudge Report, which aggregates news from all over the web. While the flavor of The Drudge Report may not sit well with many, the concern with a new proposal being pushed by Merkel's administration is that it will levy taxes on web sites that aggregate content.

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Black Prophecy Developer Heads Towards Insolvency

February 29, 2012 -

German MMO developer Reakktor Media has begun the insolvency process, according to GameIndustry.biz. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz Germany, Reakktor Media managing director Kirk Lenke said that, even as the company marches towards a bleak future, the 50+ MMO team is actively looking for and ready to commission any work it can find. The company also has its own Diablo-style science fiction game at the prototype stage.

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European Parliament President Criticizes ACTA

February 13, 2012 -

Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, has criticized the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on German television, saying of the treaty that he does not "find it good in its current form." Schulz's comments came on the heels of protests throughout various countries in Europe - including Germany, Poland and the UK. Schulz went on to say that there is no balance between copyright protection and the individual rights of internet users, noting that it "is only very inadequately anchored in this agreement".

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Germany, Latvia Delay Ratification of ACTA

February 10, 2012 -

Germany has announced that it will not ratify the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) after its justice ministry voiced concerns about the international agreement. This does not mean that Germany won't eventually sign it - it simply means it has no plans to sign it "right now." A foreign ministry spokesperson told the AFP that the delay was to "give us time to carry out further discussions." Further details on what those discussions would be about were not disclosed at the time of this writing.

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Travian Games Wins 'Best German Publisher' at German Developer Awards

December 8, 2011 -

Munich, Germany-based browser games publisher Travian Games was honored with the "Best German Publisher Award" at the eighth annual German Developer Awards yesterday in Dusseldorf, Germany. The annual awards event saw nearly 600 attendees comprised of professionals from the German publishing and game development community, along with politicians, media representatives and celebrities. A total of 14 awards were given out in various categories.

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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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Alleged Duckload.com Cyberlocker Site Operator Finally Arrested

November 8, 2011 -

In the summer of this year law enforcement agencies in several European countries conducted raids and made arrests related to movie streaming links portal Kino.to and file-hosting sites such as Duckload.com. Duckload lost 400 servers to police, worth more than 2 million dollars in total. While police managed to nab most of the targets they were looking for one man managed to escape apprehension. The net has finally fallen on that man. After five months of evading police the man known believed to be Tim C has been arrested in Germany.

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Gameforge to Lay Off 100 Employees

November 3, 2011 -

German online browser and MMO game company Gameforge plans to let 100 of its 450 employees go.

"Through a more efficient organizational structure, we can optimize our use of resources and great potential for further growth increase," said Gameforge CEO and founder Alexander Roesner in a statement. "This will strengthen our long term position in the dynamic market for online games."

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EA Germany Tweaks Origin ToS, Issues Statement Denying Spyware Claims

November 2, 2011 -

Electronic Arts is denying claims from German gamers and the press that its download service Origin spies on users' computer activity and potentially breaks Germany's Privacy laws.

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EA under Fire in Germany over Origin, Battlefield 3

November 1, 2011 -

Overclock.net has gathered an avalanche of stories related to how Battlefield 3 and Origin are being received in Germany (thanks to Solarian for tip). The short answer is that Germans seem to hate it because of the company's terms of service and what Origin is doing on people's PCs.

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Research: Aggressive Children Enjoy Violent Games

October 24, 2011 -

A new study conducted by academics from two German universities says that "aggressive children" ages 8 - 12 years-old have a preference for violent video games.

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Dr. Hoyer Goes to Redwood Shores

October 20, 2011 -

EA's official news blog chronicles a recent visit by German Deputy Foreign Secretary Dr. Werner Hoyer to the company’s Redwood Shores, California campus. Hoyer, a member of the German parliament stopped by to discuss a variety of topics related to the German games market and EA studio in Cologne, Germany.

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German TV Show Apologizes to Gamers For Hurtful Gamescom Report

August 25, 2011 -

This morning Kotaku pointed out a video from Germany's RTL Television in which commentators took great delight in mocking what they characterized as the "computer freaks" that they filmed at last week's Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Today the show, apparently embarrassed (and likely humbled by fans that were pissed off at their mean-spirited characterizations) is now apologizing for their bad judgment in airing the report.

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Hamburg, Germany: Embracing the Game Industry

August 17, 2011 -

Hamburg, Germany is one of Europe's leading games industry hotspots, according to new data released by gamecity:Hamburg. According to new data from the group dedicated to creating the perfect environment for the game industry in the city, 146 companies do business in Hamburg and employ 2,510 people in fulltime positions. The video game industry in Hamburg also supports 382 freelance jobs, as well as 676 employees of Hamburg-based enterprises working in locations outside the city.

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TIGA, EGDF Demand More Support from EU

August 17, 2011 -

UK video game industry trade group TIGA has joined forces with members of the European Games Developer Federation (EGDF) to voice its concern that the new EU funding programs planned for media and culture and for research and innovation for 2013 - 2020 do not place "sufficient emphasis" on the video game development sector. The groups voiced their concerns at Gamescom this week in Cologne, Germany.

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Sony Targets 'OtherOS' Hacker with Second Raid

April 13, 2011 -

A mere 48 hours after George Hotz and Sony Computer Entertainment America settled their legal dispute, Sony has put its focus back on PS3 hacker graf_chokolo. According to a report on PS3 hacking site PSX-Scene, Sony has visited the home of graf_chokolo for a second time. According to that report, which is based on a post from the man himself, Sony seized a bunch of computer equipment this time around. Here is what he said on his official web site:

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JoWooD's Future Uncertain as Unnamed Investor Loses Interest

March 23, 2011 -

According to the company handling Vienna-based publisher JoWooD's insolvency, an unnamed investor has withdrawn its interest in the company. Insolvency organizer Helmut Platzgummer does say that two other investors are still interested in helping JoWooD with its cash flow problem.

The Vienna-based company is best known for role-playing series Gothic. The company has been actively seeking new investment since filing for insolvency earlier this year. At that time, the company's board claimed that it could conclude discussions with creditors within 90 days.

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Frogster Sues Web Site over Alleged Runes of Magic Gold Reselling

March 8, 2011 -

German MMO company Frogster is suing MMO web site Elitepvpers over the alleged "commercial sale" of gold and game accounts for its game Runes of Magic. The site's owner claims that Frogster is simply trying to shut down a whole subsection of its site dedicated to Frogster's popular free-to-play MMO. But Frogster claims the site is engaging in a number of illicit activities including farming, selling in-game accounts, and gold. This despite the fact that the publisher recently inked an ad deal with the site for Mythos.

"Elitepvpers has never sold gold for the game", site owner Dominik Isen told GamesIndustry.biz Germany. "As we found out, few of our users have offered gold, which they had acquired in the game by themselves, which they did not need anymore and which was dispensable. According to our research [nobody offered] gold which was farmed driven by commercial interest only to earn money with it."

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PS3 Hacker 'graf_chokolo' Defiant After Raid, Promises to Soldier On

February 25, 2011 -

Earlier this week PS3 hacker Alexander "graf_chokolo" Egorenkov found himself waking up to a raid. Sony, along with local German law enforcement, seized his computer equipment. Many doubted that the raid was real, but it turned out to be true. Now we are learning that Sony is seeking 1,000,000 euros in damages from Egorenkov for his PS3 hacking work. Today Egorenkov issued a defiant and lengthy message saying that he did not care if Sony doubled the amount of damages - he would continue his work undeterred. He also added that they would have to kill him to make him stop his work and that he planned to put all of his development files back online.

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Bulletstorm Heavily Censored in Germany

February 9, 2011 -

Epic Games and People Can Fly's latest game, Bulletstorm, has been given a USK 18 + rating by the German Entertainment Software Rating Board. Some serious changes had to be made to the game before it could be released in the region. Despite the adult rating, the German version of the game has a number of things omitted such as ragdoll physics effects, blood, blood splatter, and dismemberment.

While the game can't be banned at this point by the German youth protection board (BPjM) because it has been rated, German gamers will once again get a game experience that has been censored and watered down in the name of protecting the country's youth from violent content. Developers and publishers that want to do business in the country are well aware of the limitations and challenges thrust upon them by government rules and restrictions, with most chalking it up to "the price of doing business in Germany."

EA is the publisher of the game in Europe.

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Berlin Computer Game Museum Opens Today

January 21, 2011 -

Today the Computer Game Museum (Computerspielemuseum) opened Berlin, Germany, offering 50 handheld games, video consoles, and home computers organized and exhibited in chronological order from 1971 up to 2001. The museum was open for a few years in the late 1990's but was shut down in 2000. The new museum is located where "Cafe Warsaw" used to be in an East Berlin-era building.

The exhibition called "Computer Games: Evolution of a Medium" chronicles the development of computer and video games since 1951, and includes the first ever arcade game called "Computer Space," released in 1971.

The museum is supported by German-born American Ralph Baer, who invented the Magnavox Odyssey console. Baer says that the exhibition is an important way of chronicling the history of games:

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Dead Space 2 Delayed in Germany

January 18, 2011 -

It looks like the German government is not happy with the violent content in Dead Space 2 and wants changes to the game before it is released in the region. The main cause of disagreement from the government: Friendly Fire in multiplayer. Naturally, these changes will make it so that gamers in Germany will not have to wait for the game on various platforms until sometime in February. EA announced the delay in a press release this week, saying that the game would be released on February 3.

The single player campaign from Dead Space 2 remains uncut and identical to the international version of the game, but multiplayer has been altered to appease the government. Germany is very touchy about games that let players kills "humans." Many shooters require alterations before they can be released in the region - like turning human enemies into zombies or robots, ot changing red blood to another color.

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Andrew EisenYes, the Wii U upscales but rendering in a higher resolution looks a hell of a lot better.08/01/2014 - 10:35pm
Andrew EisenIt's pretty. Lots of videos of it floating around. Just search "Xenoblade dolphin" and you'll find them.08/01/2014 - 10:32pm
ZippyDSMleeThe WII upscales tho. Matthew: It might be becue cartoonish desings do not age as fast as presudo realisim.08/01/2014 - 10:29pm
Matthew WilsonPeople who have run the Mario Galaxy games on a emulator have said they look better then most xb1/ps4 games when upscaled, so it would be interesting to see a upscaled version of Xenoblade08/01/2014 - 9:24pm
Andrew EisenHeck, it would probably sell better to newbies anyway. Even with its awesome art direction, the game looked dated when it came out years ago. I imagine an SD version would be a tougher sell.08/01/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenBecause it would be cool, would serve the game's fantastic art direction well and encourage people who've already played it to buy it again.08/01/2014 - 7:42pm
ZippyDSMleeWhy bother with an HD relese just repack the damn thing and promote it since it will play on the WIIU anyway....08/01/2014 - 7:04pm
Andrew EisenPlus, with Nintendo carrying the Wii U almost all by itself, it could help plug one of the unfortunately inevitable release schedule gaps.08/01/2014 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenAn HD re-release would be cool though. It's a great game (and quite the looker, especially when up-rezzed) and more people should play it (the game had a limited release at a time when the Wii was all but dead an buried).08/01/2014 - 3:21pm
E. Zachary KnightSo no, people are not going to need to play the Wii game to undstand or enjoy the Wii U game.08/01/2014 - 1:27pm
E. Zachary KnightFrom what I understand, the two games have as much to do with eachother as Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy 2.08/01/2014 - 1:26pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's my secret hope that Nintendo announces Xenoblade HD to be released in the leadup to Xenoblade Chronicles X, or at least a mass market version of the first game so that people aren't going into this one blind.08/01/2014 - 12:40pm
PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
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
 

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