Report: Warner Bros. Interested in Buying Xbox Entertainment Studios

August 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a Hollywood Reporter report, Microsoft is in talks to sell its Xbox Entertainment Studios division to Warner Bros. According to the report, the preliminary negotiations between the two companies are focusing on merging Xbox Entertainment Studios with Machinima, which Warner Bros. bought a stake in earlier this year. Machinima has worked with Xbox in the past; it helped distribute the Halo 4 spin-off Forward Unto Dawn.

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FTC: Microsoft and EA Are Not Breaking Any Laws With YouTube Paid Endorsement Schemes

January 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While Microsoft (through a marketing partnership with Machinima) and Electronic Arts (through its "Ronku" marketing program) paying content creators to promote its games to followers on YouTube without disclosing the relationship may be unethical, neither company is breaking the law and it is unlikely that anyone involved could be fined for not disclosing a relationship according to what a Federal Trade Commission spokesperson tells Polygon.

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Voting Begins for Valve's Saxxy Awards

November 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Voting is now open for the Saxxy Awards, Valve's annual film-making awards competition. This year, the competition is exclusively based on the Source Filmmaker tool. The animation suite from Valve has been out long enough so that the community is familiar with it enough to create some amazing shorts - like the Team Fortress 2-based short about a mini-Pyro called 'Lil Guardian Pyro.'

You can check out the video to your left, and if you like it, you can vote for it here.

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Most 'Whales' Skew Male

August 23, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Mobile gaming "big spenders" - often referred to as "whales" - are more likely to be young men, according to research firm EEDAR. The data comes from the "Deconstructing Mobile & Tablet Gaming report," which relies heavily on a July survey of more than 3,000 active mobile and tablet gamers. According to the survey, 66 percent of the top five percent of respondents who paid money for mobile games were male.

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European Regulators Want Answers on Carrier IQ

December 6, 2011 -

Watchdog groups and governments in Europe are taking a closer look at Carrier IQ's tracking software, to make sure those mobile phone vendors and operators who use it are not violating users' privacy or the law. The Bavarian State Office for Data Protection recently sent a letter to Apple asking it how it uses Carrier IQ's software.

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MPAA Admits (Sort of) to Drafting SOPA, Protect IP Acts

December 1, 2011 -

The New York Times Media Decoder blog has an interesting story about Michael O’Leary the senior executive vice president for global policy and external affairs of the Motion Picture Association of America. While the story is about toning down SOPA to address "legitimate concerns," the real story is something that opponents knew all along: the MPAA and friends are basically the authors of the bill.

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Gameloft Security Breach Affects 100 Users

October 21, 2011 -

French mobile publisher Gameloft acknowledged on Thursday that a security breach forced it to temporarily take down one of its web sites. Reports began surfacing on the company's forums earlier this week, suggesting that the GameloftLive.com Web site had been experiencing problems and that some accounts had been compromised. After a poster suggested that users stay away from the site and that Gameloft fix the problem, the web site was taken down.

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Hellgate: London Resurrected as Free-To-Play Game

May 19, 2011 -

Hellgate: London is set to make a triumphant return. The game developed by former Blizzard employees was taken offline following a disastrous launch in 2007 and a very public battle over the game's myriad of ongoing technical problems. The game was operated in North America by Namco Bandai Games, who eventually decided it was in its best interest to pull the plug on the game in February 2009. The rights were eventually picked up by Hanabitsoft in 2010.

Now Hanabitsoft will relaunch the game as a free-to-play MMO, relaying on micro-transactions for in- game content instead of a monthly subscription fee. The company announced plans to kick off a closed beta that will run June 3 - 5, with a full North American release planned for sometime later on down the road.

No further details were revealed.

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Survey: Gaming Number One on Most Tablets

April 11, 2011 -

A new survey says that the number one use of tablets is gaming. Not reading e-books, going on Facebook and Twitter or watching movies. Games and gaming. According to a new survey conducted by Google's AdMob subsidiary, 84 percent of tablet owners (like iPad) use the device to play games. Around 78 percent say they use it for "searching for information" and 74 percent for checking and sending emails.

The data comes from a new Google survey which polled 1400 tablet owners. The survey puts "reading the news" as the fourth most common activity at 61 percent, followed by social networking (56 percent), music and videos (51 percent), e-books (46 percent), shopping (42 percent), and other (19 percent). The full report showed that 43 percent spent more time on their tablet than with their desktop or laptop PC. A third of respondents also said that they spent more time on their tablets than watching television.

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Red Dead Wins Big at GANG Awards

March 7, 2011 -

Red Dead Redemption was the big winner at the Game Audio Network Guild (GANG) Awards at GDC in San Francisco last week, scooping up four awards in various categories including audio of the year, music of the year, best interactive score, and best dialogue. The game was nominated in ten different categories. The game also managed to sweep the GDC Awards last week.

Battlefield Bad Company 2 won Sound Design Of The Year and Best Use Of Multi-Channel Surround, while Bizarre Creations' last game, James Bond 007: Blood Stone, won Best Original Instrumental and Best Original Vocal.

A full list of all this year's winners are below:

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THQ's Balloon Release Angers San Francisco Residents

March 3, 2011 -

C|Net reports that the citizens of San Francisco are apparently ticked off at THQ - and by extension its partner GameStop - for releasing hundreds of balloons into the sky as part of a mock protest of North Korea - part of a marketing ploy for its new game Homefront. The balloon release happened during the Game Developers Conference. Many of the balloons had a postcard-size flyer attached to it advertising the game. People in the downtown area saw the balloons soaring in the sky, but were disgusted as they watched them land in the San Francisco Bay. That is when some residents began to express their anger. The anger was aimed at GameStop, which was a promotional partner with THQ and whose name appeared on the balloons.

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Survey Says: Adult Mobile Game Consumption on the Rise

February 28, 2011 -

A survey conducted by Information Solutions Group and paid for by casual game publisher PopCap Games claims that one-third of adults in the United States and the United Kingdom identify themselves as "mobile phone gamers." The survey also found that among mobile phone gamers, the mobile phone is now the primary gaming device of choice, surpassing consoles and personal computers in less than two years. The survey also found that smartphone owners are the most avid consumers of mobile phone games. These and other purchase and consumption trends identified in the survey suggest growth in the mobile games sector that will continue for the foreseeable future.

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Report: Global Mobile App Market Worth $35 Million by 2014

December 15, 2010 -

Angry Birds is popular, and according to an analysis of sales of the popular app, it is the start of a new wave in the mobile app business, according to a new report from the International Data Corp. In its coverage of that report, ReadWriteWeb predicted that Mobile apps will grow from 10.9 billion downloads this year to 76.9 billion downloads in 2014.

ReadWriteWeb also predicts that the mobile application business will generate $35 billion in worldwide revenue.

The Angry Birds franchise has had 42 million downloads on multiple platforms including iOS, Android, Facebook, and more, according to developer Rovio.

The IDC report echoes the feelings of other analysts that predict substantial growth in the mobile app market.

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Maine Politicians Sound Off on Net Neutrality

September 7, 2010 -

The Bangor Daily News has an interesting report on net neutrality and where Maine's top politicians stand on the FCC's plan to reclassify broadband and mobile services under Title II of the Communications Act.

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) told the paper that she is "very concerned" with what the FCC plans and that it bothers her that the Internet could have "multiple lanes" where large companies could get preferential treatment.

Here's more from the moderate Republican Senator:

"I am very concerned about the direction the FCC is taking," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. "It also seems to me that the chairman is exceeding his authority and that these issues are fundamental policy issues that should be decided by Congress."

Second District Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) also voiced concern that more rural areas of the country will be left behind as Internet providers cater to larger markets.

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NetEase Granted Burning Crusade License

February 16, 2010 -

Following a prolonged battle and a series of false-starts, China’s General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) has finally given the official go-ahead for NetEase to operate the world of Warcraft expansion The Burning Crusade.

In granting the license needed to operate the game, GAPP said that NetEase had “taken necessary corrective measures." The decision came down on Friday wrote Digital East Asia. GAPP had previously suspended NetEase’s permit over what it termed “gross violations” of regulations.

In related news, China Tech News offers word of a new Chinese initiative spearheaded by game operators that will educate parents on how to best oversee their children’s online game activities.  Game operators Wanmei.com, Tencent, Shanda, Netease, Changyou and Giant Interactive are particpiants in the program, which will provide a variety of support materials for parents and also provide the means for parents to suspend or cancel their children’s accounts.

Digital East Asia also shed light on a series of YouTube videos (pictured) that lampoon the World of Warcraft Chinese debacle and use the situation to provide commentary on the rigid state of Chinese censors. The Wall Street Journal said about the video, “…its subtext is a broad, biting allegory of the fight against government Internet controls, peppered with allusions to a list of real-world conflicts in China over the past year.”

Part 1, with English subtitles, can be found here.

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America's Army Game Used to Create Machinima About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

August 10, 2009 -

Machinima artist Paolo Pedercini turns the tables on the U.S. Defense Department's controversial America's Army recruiting game in Welcome to the desert of the real.

The 6:37 video uses footage from America's Army to highlight symptions of post-traumatic stress disorder, an increasingly prevalent condition among U.S. service personnel returning from combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you're expecting action, however, this is not the machinima for you. Pedercini's work is low-key, almost ponderous. The artist seems to want to capture the feeling of detachment that is typical of those suffering from PTSD.

Via: Betterverse

For a list of PTSD symptoms, click here.

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6 Days in Call of Duty 4 Machinima Offers Anti-War Message

August 6, 2009 -

When we last heard from Joseph DeLappe, the artist/professor was was participating in online matches of the Defense Department's own America's Army game as a means of protesting the war in Iraq.

Now DeLappe and machinima artist J. Joshua Diltz have collaborated on 6 Days in Call of Duty 4. The anti-war video project combines a static view of CoD4 multiplayer action with a mobile cam. The kill count scrolls in a separate window. Diltz describes the project, which incorporates the recent Six Days in Fallujah controversy in its title:

"6 Days" is an experimental documentary that examines the consequences of a military conflict that rages over a period of six consecutive days in a virtual game world.  Through the lens of both a static and roaming ground camera, the movie captures both  visceral action and a sobering body count.

Based in the game "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare", the film pays homage to the lives, both military and civilian lost during the Second War of Fallujah.

Download a copy here...

Partially via: Kotaku

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Awesome Half-Life 2 Mod Features Obama & McCain in Debate Setting

November 2, 2008 -

USC grad student John Brennan dropped GamePolitics a line to show us this amazing Half-Life 2 machinima featuring John McCain, Barack Obama, and an authentic HL2 head crab.

By way of explanation, John writes:

I'm an MFA student @ USC's interactive media program.  My thesis project is a series of modifications to Half-Life 2 that will operate in the same space as political cartoons.  I'm playing with format right now, but so far it is Modding and Machinima as self expression and political commentary:)

I have a process for quickly getting 'news-makers' (providing enough photography) into Half-Life 2, access to MoCap data, and some good people helping out.

I'm just launching my first piece now, but it is sizable enough that I'd like to bring it to your attention.  It includes McCain, Obama, a debate stage, and is just in time for the vote.

 
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Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
quiknkoldbut I am also certain nobody in their right mind is committing these shootings singing the Machoman song. these are sick individuals who have given up on life10/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Technogeekevopsych lol10/24/2014 - 9:49pm
quiknkoldWhen you suffer from mental illness, youre more likely to go by instinct. yes. I came off as sexist.10/24/2014 - 9:46pm
quiknkoldmore on somthing they are fixated on. Post Partum Depression is an example. This is why a woman is less likely to go off on a rampage.10/24/2014 - 9:44pm
 

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