Sega has finally admitted that the trailers for Aliens: Colonial Marines that were deployed before the game was released to promote it were misleading. Sega Europe has gone so far as to say that it plans to put disclaimers on all of the trailers in the United Kingdom because they do not reflect final game. The company did not say if similar disclaimers will be implemented in North America or other regions.
Level-5 CEO Hiroshi Akihiro Hino has responded to Sega's recent lawsuit, denying that the Professor Layton and Dragon Quest developer infringed on Sega's patents and called for the lawsuit to be dismissed. Hino made his statement on the Level-5 Japanese web site.
Two French gamers decided that it would be a grand idea to reprogram a Sega Genesis so that every time a player made a mistake or took damage in a game they would get some punishment from shock collars. You can't make this kind of stuff up, folks. Also it goes without saying that you shouldn't try this at home.
The two gamers try everything from Sonic to Golden Axe 3, with amusing results. You'll notice in one of the shots that alcohol might be involved in the production of this little experiment...
According to this Kotaku report, Sega is investigating a recent hacking incident in Phantasy Star Online 2. The free-to-play sci-fi MMORPG sequel was hacked so that vital NPCs players have to interact with were out of reach - somehow put on high structures that were well out of reach of players.
According to a letter posted by our very own E. Zachary Knight at his personal website ezknight.net, Sega has been hacked, and the scope and scale of the security breach seems to be grand in nature. According to the email from Sega, the company was forced to take down its "Sega Pass System" yesterday after it identified that an "unauthorized entry" had occurred with the system's user database.
A "subset" of SEGA Pass members' emails addresses, dates of birth and encrypted passwords were stolen during that intrusion, says Sega. Thankfully, no credit card or other personal financial information was stolen, and Sega stressed that the stolen data was encrypted and not in "plain text" format.
If you were headed to Cologne, Germany to see Sega at gamescom this year, then you'll be sad to hear that the company has decided not to attend Europe's biggest trade show. Sega said in a brief statement today that the decision to skip this year’s show was purely financial. Today's announcement confirms rumors that surfaced last night about the company not attending.
“gamescom 2009 was a very successful show for us and continues to be the most important European event in the calendar. The decision not to show at this year’s event was not down to the location of Cologne and will not mean that Sega will never attend gamescom in the future, but simply a commercial decision made for 2010.”
Sega would have shown games like Sonic 4, Valkyria Chronicles II, Vanquish, Shogun 2: Total War and more. Maybe next year Europe. gamescom takes place between August 18-22.
A story on GameSpot features the opinions of Electronic Arts and Aliens vs. Predator developer Rebellion as related to the R18+ videogame rating discussion ongoing in Australia.
The Aliens vs. Predator game was originally Refused Classification by The Classification Board before successfully winning an appeal and an MA15+ rating. Rebellion producer Paul Mackman spoke to GameSpot about Rebellion’s position that it would not modify the game to appease censors:
This was important to us and something Sega agreed with, and I think they handled the appeal process very well. It reached a successful result and you guys get to play the game and that's the important thing. The politics aside, [it’s] really not for me to comment on.
Mackman indicated that keeping the game true to the film source was Rebellion’s top priority, “…it's fair to say these are fiendish monsters from outer space and they do commit violent acts. Those are all represented in the films, so I don't think we would be true to the licence if we didn't portray that.”
Government policies that refuse to rate mature content effectively censor the content that adult players want to play. This shows a poor understanding of exactly who plays interactive games in Australia. The spectrum of gamers is as wide as the viewership of television, movies, theatre, and the readers of books.
A government policy that keeps our games out of stores and forces developers to rewrite code is censorship. Age rating systems are designed to help people make appropriate content choices for the right age groups.
In a related article, GameSpot notes that both the Australian Sex Party and the Pirate Party Australia have thrown their weight behind the introduction of an R18+ videogame rating category, while more traditional parties, such as the Greens and The Federal Coalition, have adopted a wait and see attitude.
Greens Senator Scott Ludlam did offer his take on South Australian Attorney general Michael Atkinson however:
I think the position he took to block the rest of the country from moving forward was really unhelpful, and I don’t think he necessarily provided the arguments to back up the position he took.
Australia’s Classification Review Board has overturned a ban on Sega’s Aliens vs. Predator PC game, granting it an MA15+ classification.
The decision of the three-member Board (PDF) was unanimous and the game will carry the descriptor “Strong Science Fiction Violence.” The Board determined that the fantasy nature of the game reduced the impact of its violent content:
… violent scenes are not prolonged and are interspersed with longer non violent sequences. The violence is fantastical in nature and justified by the context of the game, set in a futuristic science-fiction world, inhabited by aliens and predators. This context serves to lessen its impact. The more contentious violence is randomly generated and is not dependent on player selection of specific moves.
Sega’s Aliens vs. Predator PC game, originally Refused Classification by Australia’s Classification Board earlier this month for its depictions of violence and gore, will be re-reviewed this Friday, December 18.
Refused-Classification has the media release from Australia's Classification Review Board on the subject, which states:
If an individual or organisation wishes to apply for standing as an interested party to this review, please write to the Convenor of the Review Board. The closing date to lodge your application for standing as an interested party and any submissions is Monday 14 December 2009.
Please note that the Review Board can only consider submissions about the computer game Aliens vs Predator itself and not any other matters relating to computer games policy or issues generally.
The appeal was presumably undertake at the behest of Sega.
The game’s developer, Rebellion, has gone on record as stating that it will not modify the title in order to appease the Classification Board.
There were some pretty awesome games on the old Sega Genesis.
Some bombs, too.
But an Al Qaeda operative apparently taught himself how to turn a Genesis cartridge into a real bomb, as the New York Times reports:
They were called the Dirty 30 — bodyguards for Osama bin Laden captured early in the Afghanistan war — and many of them are still being held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Others still at the much-criticized detention camp there include prisoners who the government says were trained in assassination and the use of poisons and disguises.
One detainee is said to have been schooled in making detonators out of Sega game cartridges. A Yemeni who has received little public attention was originally selected by Mr. bin Laden as a potential Sept. 11 hijacker, intelligence officials say.
It's unknown whether a Sega cartridge bomb was ever actually used in a terrorist attack.
Andrew Eisen: Okay, fixed. For really reals this time!06/19/2013 - 12:42am
Sleaker: @AE The actual link to the pay what you want is www.indiegamestand.com not desura. You seem to infer where it's at but never posted a link.06/19/2013 - 12:01am
Andrew Eisen: LEGO: The Movie! www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPnY2NjSjrg06/18/2013 - 9:39pm
Zen: http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20130614/OFFDUTY02/306140030/New-Xbox-sin-against-all-service-members-06/18/2013 - 7:33pm
Zen: Been out for a few days, but has anyone brought up the possible ban on Xbox One on military bases because of security concerns that it could be a listening device by Commanders?06/18/2013 - 7:33pm
Andrew Eisen: Sleaker - Fixed.06/18/2013 - 6:34pm
MechaTama31: CMiner: Another issue is that every camera/webcam combination is going to be pretty different, in terms of the software/hardware exploits available. A homogenous hardware/software combo like a console, in millions of homes, will be a much juicier target.06/18/2013 - 6:31pm
Sleaker: Vox pay what you want link is busted.06/18/2013 - 6:27pm
ZippyDSMlee: Mics have to breath put tape over it.06/18/2013 - 6:25pm
NyuRena: You nailed it James! Yikes..06/18/2013 - 1:56pm
james_fudge: With MS willing to share with the government, an always listening device should give everyone pause.06/18/2013 - 1:37pm
james_fudge: you can't turn off the Microphone on the Kinect and it has to be plugged in. It's not rocket science.06/18/2013 - 1:35pm
E. Zachary Knight: The Humble Bundle Guys just don't like me having money in my pocket do they? https://www.humblebundle.com/06/18/2013 - 1:12pm
E. Zachary Knight: CMiner, I know that my Android camera is off unless I am using an application that turns it on. Same with the microphone.06/18/2013 - 12:38pm
CMiner: Can you turn off the camera on an iPhone? Like, -really- turn it off, not just change a setting that -tells- you the camera is off?06/18/2013 - 12:13pm
james_fudge: when they make it a requirement, yes they are06/18/2013 - 12:10pm
CMiner: I just don't think Microsoft bears any more (or less) responsibility for privacy with its Kinect camera than do the makers of laptops or smartphones with integrated cameras.06/18/2013 - 12:00pm
Imautobot: The ability to operate the console without the camera is key. It's a peripheral, not directly integrated into the console, and yet it behaves as if it is. Thankfully I don't have kids, and won't have an Xbone either.06/18/2013 - 11:49am
CMiner: Oh, I agree that the decision to make the kinect mandatory/always listening is terrible.06/18/2013 - 11:48am
E. Zachary Knight: CMiner, and the easier the provider makes to do such things, the better. The fact that the XBone will not even funtion without it plugged in and turned on in some fashion makes a world of difference from a PC Webcam.06/18/2013 - 11:38am