Microsoft Buys 'Minecraft' Maker for $2.5 Billion

September 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft announced this morning that it has acquired Minecraft and Scrolls maker Mojang for $2.5 billion. The deal was rumored to be in the works last week. While Microsoft will acquire the Swedish company and all of its IP including Minecraft on multiple mobile, PC, and console platforms, it will not get access to one important commodity: Notch.

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Xbox Live Privacy Case Dismissed by U.S. District Court in Seattle

September 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The U.S. District Court in Seattle Washington has tossed out Mendoza v. Microsoft, a case filed in 2013 over alleged violations of privacy by Microsoft on its Xbox Live service for Xbox 360. U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman threw the case out on Thursday on the grounds that plaintiffs lacked legal standing and largely based their allegations on what the court categorized as "conjecture" about Microsoft's privacy policies.

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Report: Microsoft in Talks to Buy Mojang for $2 Billion

September 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A Bloomberg report citing three individuals with knowledge of the deal, claims that Microsoft is in talks with Marcus Persson to buy Minecraft maker Mojang AB for an estimated $2 billion.

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Kinect Stand-Alone Coming in October for $149.99

August 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier this year Microsoft decided to create a SKU that separated its Kinect motion sensing camera device from the Xbox One that sells for $399.99. At that time it said that it would release a stand-alone retail version of the device in the "fall," and did not provide a price point. Today Microsoft has revealed the pricing for the standalone Kinect, and a special Kinect bundle that will launch at the end of this year.

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Report: Xbox One Will Soon Offer 24-Hour Game Trials

August 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Who needs a demo when you can allow consumers to play a game for an extended amount of time and turn that experience into an actual purchase? According to this Reddit screen grab after the latest Xbox One system update, Microsoft is trying out 24-hour trials with a select few game titles.

Max The Curse of Brotherhood was one of the titles available to download under the label entitled Free Play Day with Gold.

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Microsoft Still Bullish on Kinect

August 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The future looks bright for Kinect if you believe Phil Harrison, corporate VP at Microsoft. Despite the separation of the motion sensing camera device from the Xbox One at retail earlier this year and a real lack of news about third-party developers supporting it, Harrison tells IGN that there's no need to worry about the Kinect's future despite the lack of big screen time at the Gamescom Xbox media briefing earlier this week.

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Microsoft: 'Rise of the Tomb Raider' Deal has an Expiration Date

August 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Despite what was said at Microsoft's Gamescom Xbox briefing yesterday, and by Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix executives following the event, Rise of the Tomb Raider isn't an exclusive in the sense that it will never ever appear on any other platforms. According to what Microsoft's Phil Spencer tells Eurogamer, the game's exclusivity has an expiration date.

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Former Microsoft CEO Now Owns The L.A. Clippers

August 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has officially purchased the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. Rochelle "Shelly" Sterling - a principle owner of the team - and the National Basketball Association announced completion of the deal today. The deal had to get by a few hurdles - namely a probate court fight between Shelley and her husband Donald Sterling. The agreement to sell the Clippers to Ballmer was actually reached on May 29 but faced a challenge in June from Donald Sterling.

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Notes on Microsoft's Xbox Gamescom Press Briefing

August 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft held its Gamescom Xbox press conference in Cologne, Germany today, laying out a roadmap for the games, entertainment and services that are in the pipeline. We have the cliff notes below:

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Xbox One Set for Sept. 23 Release in China

July 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft will be the first console maker to launch a console in China since the government lifted its 14-year ban on home console systems in January of this year. Today Microsoft revealed that it plans to launch the console system on Sept. 23 for approximately $600, or ¥3,699 RMB.

Microsoft has partnered with China-based BesTV to manufacture and sell the system in the region. One of the conditions the government put on console makers is that the systems had to be manufactured in the country.

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Report: Chinese Government Raids Four Microsoft Offices

July 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Reuters and the South China Morning Post (by way of GIGA OM) are reporting that at least four of Microsoft's offices in China have been raided by the Chinese government.

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Microsoft Ships 1.1 Million Units of Xbox Hardware in Q4

July 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft revealed its fourth quarter 2014 and full-year 2014 results for the period ending June 30th, 2014. The company said that it saw revenues of $86.8 billion for 2014, up from $77.8 billion law year.

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Microsoft Laying Off 18K Employees, Closing Xbox Entertainment Studios

July 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Update: Microsoft has confirmed that - as part of a major staff reduction - it will shut down Xbox Entertainment Studios. Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed the news to Xbox Entertainment Studios staff on Thursday in an email:

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Report: Microsoft Layoffs Will Hit Xbox Division

July 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Bloomberg report, Microsoft is planning to cut a number of jobs in its Xbox division as part of an overall restructuring plan. Two anonymous sources familiar with the situation have told Bloomberg that overall cuts could end up being the biggest number of layoffs since 2009 when the company laid off 5,800 employees.

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Microsoft Denies Report it is Killing Off Xbox One's Ability to Double as a 'Dev Kit'

July 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft has denied a report coming from Digital Spy claiming that the company planned on canning the Xbox One's ability to double as a development kit for developers who want to create games for Xbox One. The report is based on comments made by the Xbox Advanced Technology Group's Martin Fuller, who said the company has no plans to implement the previously announced feature.

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Sony Changed E3 Script Due to Microsoft's PR Missteps

July 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House said during a presentation at the Develop conference today that the company changed its 2013 E3 script at the last minute because of fan reaction to various missteps by Microsoft on a number of issues - particularly its stance on used games. House emphasized that it never changed its policies in response to Microsoft but it did tweak its E3 press conference presentation to highlight the PS4's strengths.

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The Return of Microsoft Flight Simulator

July 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

UK-based Dovetail Games announced that it has signed a global licensing deal with Microsoft to develop and publish all-new games based on Microsoft’s popular flight simulation technology. The company said in a press release today that it is currently investigating new concepts in this area and is expecting to bring a release to market in 2015.

Dovetail Games also announced that it acquired the rights to distribute Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Gold Edition via Steam. The new release on Steam will be sold under the name, Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 104

July 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's health and being reelected by the company's board, a bunch of topics related to Electronic Arts, and whether Microsoft should bother selling the Kinect separately from the Xbox One. All this and more awaits in the latest episode of the Super PAC. Download Episode 104 now: SuperPAC Episode 104 (1 hour, 13 minutes) 84.1 MB.

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Stephen Toulouse Joins Black Tusk Studios to Support Future 'Gears of War' Titles

June 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Stephen Toulouse, the former policy and enforcement director at Xbox Live, is once again representing the Microsoft brand with his new job as director of Community Engagement on the upcoming Gears of War game for Xbox One. Toulouse actually joined Black Tusk Studios awhile ago, according to what he wrote on his personal blog.

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Poll: Should Microsoft Bother Selling Xbox One's Kinect Separately?

June 27, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Earlier this month, Microsoft gave consumers the option to buy the Xbox One without the Kinect for $399, a C-note of savings.  Since then, GameStop reported a significant uptick in Xbox One sales.

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Microsoft: Consumers Will Buy Stand-Alone Kinect

June 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Phil Spencer, head of Xbox at Microsoft says that separating the Kinect from Xbox One at retail will not drive game developers away from utilizing the device. Speaking to GII, Spencer said that Microsoft expects that the stand-alone Kinect will sell well and the success of the device and the software that uses it is heavily reliant on having a strong Xbox One install base.

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Microsoft Reiterates Its Support For Games For Windows Live

June 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft continues to refute that it is shutting Games For Windows Live down in July. In August of last year a support update on Xbox.com stated, "Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014". That message was later removed and Microsoft has denied that it is shutting down the multiplayer service for PC games ever since.

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Microsoft: Xbox 360 Owners Deserve More Games

June 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Xbox head Phil Spencer says Microsoft will continue to create and release more games for the last-generation Xbox 360 because it is "obligated to support Xbox 360" for the remainder of its life cycle.

In an E3 interview with UK publication Metro, Spencer attempted to explain why the company isn't dropping all of its efforts to focus exclusively on boosting Xbox One's first-party lineup of games.

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Microsoft Commits to Recycling Electronics

June 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft is officially a founding member of R2 Leaders, a group dedicated to responsibly recycling used electronics. The company joins other technology companies including Sony America, Xerox and Goodwill Industries in this endeavor.

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Phil Spencer: E3 Isn't the Right Place for Microsoft to Promote PC Gaming

June 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft hasn't been the best of friends with the PC gaming community over the last few years. While the company says that it has a lot of faith in the PC gaming space, you can always tell how strongly they feel about something by how much they highlight it at E3. And at this year's E3 Microsoft didn't even talk about PC games or show any that we know of.

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Baird Equity Research Highlights E3 Highs For Industry's Biggest Players

June 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Investment research firm Baird Equity Research has released a report related to E3, providing predications and opinions on the biggest players. One of the more interesting predictions is that Sony will preload digital copies of Bungie's Destiny and Blizzard's Diablo III beginning this fall. The firm says that this will be an optional thing for consumers. This "should drive higher sell-through for Activision, but at the cost of retail sales," the firm notes.

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Poll: Who Had the Best E3 Press Conference/Digital Event?

June 11, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

It's E3 week and Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Sony and Nintendo are doing their damnedest to convince us to buy their stuff.

Earlier this week, Nintendo had a digital event announcing it's upcoming games while the other four hosted full press conferences.  Who had the best show?

If you need a refresher, you can read our recaps here: 

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PSA: E3 Press Conferences Begin Today

June 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Reminder: You can watch the biggest E3 press conferences on Twitch, starting at 9:30 am PST (that's 12:30 pm EST) with Microsoft's big E3 event.

Later today Electronic Arts will host its press conference, followed by Ubisoft, and then way later in the evening Sony will host its event for the show.

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Poll: Who Will Have the Biggest Gaffe During Its E3 Presentation?

June 6, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

The Electronics Entertainment Expo is next week and kicking it off is a round of press conferences where the biggest publishers will try and dazzle you with game announcements and spectacle in an attempt to win your dollars.

Of course, these presentations rarely go off without a hitch.  Everything from technical failures such as Nintendo's Skyward Sword demo from 2011 or EA's Battlefield 4 false start last year to horrible hosts such as "Mr. Caffeine" from Ubisoft's 2011 presser and Jamie Kennedy who MC'd Activision's show in 2007.

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Report: Former Microsoft CEO to Buy LA Clippers for $2 Billion

May 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is at the top of the heap, winning a Clippers bidding war for $2 billion. Steve Ballmer left Microsoft in February and is worth an estimated $20 billion.

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Which group is more ethically challenged?:

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Matthew Wilson@info depends on the sector. for example, have you looked at how powerful unions are in the public sector? I will make the argument they have too much power in that sector.07/07/2015 - 12:39pm
InfophileIt's easy to worry about unions having too much power and causing harm. The odd thing is, why do people seem to worry about that more than the fact that business-owners can have too much power and do harm, particularly at a time when unions have no power?07/07/2015 - 12:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthe thing is unions earned their bad reputation in the US. the way unions oparate the better at your job you are, the likely you want to be in a union.07/07/2015 - 11:33am
InfophilePut that way, "right to work" seems to have BLEEP-all to do with gay rights. Thing is, union-negotiated contracts used to be one of the key ways to prevent employers from firing at will. Without union protection, nothing stops at-will firing.07/07/2015 - 11:06am
Infophilehas an incentive to pay dues if they're represented either way, so the union is starved for funds and dies, unless things are bad enough that people will pay dues anyway.07/07/2015 - 11:02am
InfophileFor those who don't know, "right to work" laws mean that it can't be a condition of an employment contract that you pay union dues. That is, the right to work without having to pay dues. Catch is, unions have to represent non-members as well, so no one...07/07/2015 - 11:01am
MechaCrashUnexpected? Seriously?07/07/2015 - 10:55am
Mattsworknamejob they wanted without the unions getting involved. The problem is, it has some unexpected side effects, like the ones Info mentioned07/07/2015 - 8:49am
MattsworknameThe problem being, right to work states exsist specificly as a counter to Unions, as the last 20 or so years have shown, the unions have been doing this countries economoy NO favors. The right to work states came into being to allow people to work any07/07/2015 - 8:49am
Infophile(cont'd) discriminatory. This can only be done for protected classes which are outlined in law (race, sex, religion, ethnicity everywhere, sexual orientation in some states). So, a gay person could be fired because they're gay and have no recourse there.07/07/2015 - 7:27am
Infophile@Goth: See here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/sexuality/firedforbeinggay.asp for a good discussion on it. Basically, the problem is that in the US, most states allow at will firing, and it's the burden of the fired person to prove the firing was ...07/07/2015 - 7:25am
Goth_SkunkAssuming that's true, then that is a fight worth fighting for.07/07/2015 - 6:58am
Yuuri@ Goth_Skunk, in many states being gay is not a protected status akin to say race or religion. It's also in the "Right to work" states. Those are the states where one can be fired for any reason (provided it isn't a "protected" one.)07/07/2015 - 6:07am
Goth_Skunkregarded as a beacon of liberty and freedom that is the envy of the world, would not have across-the-board Human Rights laws that don't at the very least equal those of my own country.07/07/2015 - 5:47am
Goth_SkunkI find that hard to believe, Infophile. I have difficulty believing employers can *still* fire people for being gay. I would need to see some evidence that this is fact, because as a Canadian, I can't believe that the United States,07/07/2015 - 5:46am
InfophileFor that matter, even women don't yet have full legal equality with men. The US government still places limits on the positions women can serve in the military. And that's just the legal side of things - the "culture wars" are more than just laws.07/07/2015 - 5:43am
InfophileAnd that's just LGB issues. Get ready for an incoming battle on rights for trans* people. And then after that, a battle for poly people.07/07/2015 - 5:41am
InfophileA battle's been won. In many states employers can still fire people for being gay. And in many states, parents can force their children into reparative therapy to try to "fix" being gay. Those battles still need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:40am
Goth_Skunkand now they've switched to battles that don't need to be fought.07/07/2015 - 5:37am
Goth_SkunkIn my opinion, it was the final legal hurdle denying homosexual couples final and recognized statuses as eligible spouses. But even though this war's been won, some people are still too keen to keep fighting battles,07/07/2015 - 5:28am
 

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