Anti-virus and Internet security research company Malwarebytes points out a common scam used to trick Internet users into thinking that they are visiting a legitimate site when they are in fact at a scam site just itching to steal their personal information or to infect them with some form of nefarious software. The example they use is a site that takes advantage of typosquatting.
Steam has broken the 8 million concurrent users milestone for the first time in its history - thanks mostly to its popular summer sale. On Sunday evening over 8 million gamers were using the service at the same time as the Steam Summer Sale began to wind down.
The last milestone for concurrent users on Steam - according to its stats page was around 7.5 million, which occurred over Christmas 2013. The new record high of 8,020,834 was recorded at 16:03 PDT on Sunday June 29.
The Steam Summer Sale ends at 10am PDT today.
GII is reporting this morning that UK-based developer Rebellion has revoked thousands of Sniper Elite 3 Steam keys after - it claims - a retailer suffered a "security breach" which resulted in stolen keys being sold to customers through various means online. The game took the top spot in the UK charts for the most recently recorded week, according to Chart-Track.
Malwarebytes researchers have discovered yet another phishing scheme related to gaming. The latest is a Steam Guard phishing scam that steals users SSFN files and Steam log-in credentials, according to Malwarebytes researchers.
Previous Steam Guard scams would prompt users to upload their SSFN files to a fishing page, but this latest scam goes to great lengths to automate the process. The enticing bait for gamers is a community profile full of items ready for trading.
The massive Steam Summer Sale is now underway, offering deals galore on new and older PC games from AAA publishers and indies alike.
Valve Software has banned a couple of Steam Community contributors and released a statement to its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive creators, according to this Gamasutra report. The community content creators allegedly used artwork for one of the most popular user-created weapons in the game that they did not own.
Valve has updated the official FAQ for Early Access releases on Steam, now noting that games purchased by consumers within this program "may never be finished." The new warning from Valve in the Steam Early Access, is an answer to the question, "When will these games release?" The answer, according to Valve's update:
A new update on the community page for Valve's in-house Steam Machines reveals that the Linux-based box designed to play PC games via Valve's operating system (Steam OS) has been pushed back to 2015.
Valve designer Eric Hope posted a message informing fans of the news about the delay and offering early details on a new controller.
According to this TorrentFreak story, the PC version of Wolfenstein: The New Order is so large that some people pirating the game on torrents have opted instead to buy it on Steam. While the information is anecdotal, it could help explain - in part - how the newest action game from Bethesda managed to unseat DayZ from the Steam top-selling games charts for the week of May 18-24.
The top selling game on Steam from May 18-24 was Wolfenstein: The New Order, knocking DayZ off the top spot of this week's Steam top sellers chart. Supergiant's Transistor also sold well enough to come out on top over Bohemia's Early Access title, grabbing the runner-up spot and relegating DayZ to third.
Pre-orders for Watch Dogs continue to keep the upcoming game near the top of the charts as well, while discount specials on Dark Souls and The Witcher franchises lifted the games back onto the list.
The top ten games are:
Developer inXile has announced in its latest Kickstarter update for Wasteland 2 that the game will officially be released in August. Wasteland 2 was successfully funded on Apr 17, 2012 via a rather impressive Kickstarter campaign that raised over $2.9 million by its close and was backed by 61,290 people. The post apocalyptic action RPG - which was the inspiration of the Fallout series of games from Interplay (now owned by Bethesda) - was also released on Steam Early Access in December of last year.
Square Enix has confirmed that it plans to bring its classic RPG Final Fantasy 3 to PC platforms via Steam sometime this year.
Square Enix says that the new game will feature new and improved story sequences and 3D graphics, optimized browsing of in-game information such as the monster bestiary and other game records, new visual designs for the Job Mastery Cards, and generally upgraded graphics. Besides the cosmetic changes and the control optimizations for the PC, Final Fantasy 3 will be an identical experience to what has already been released on consoles and hand-helds.
Valve Software is paying attention to users complaints about Earth: Year 2066. The Steam Early Access title, a "first-person sci-fi post-apocalyptic open-world game" developed by Killing Day Studios, has finally been pulled from the catalog, with Valve offering those who purchased the game a full refund until May 19.
Indie developer Digital Eel let us know that its crowd-funded 3D space exploration game, Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars is now available via Steam Early Access.
"Even as development continues, we're very excited to be able to share Sea of Stars early with Kickstarter backers and the gaming community at large," the company said today. "Steam's Early Access allows you to play work-in-progress versions of the game (new build updates are automatic), provide critical feedback and actually help shape its creation."
Ciro Continisio, the developer behind the successfully crowd-funded turn-based strategy title UFHO2, released his game as a torrent on Pirate Bay after the game failed to get approved via Steam's Greenlight program. The game was successfully funded by a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign in early 2012, and in August of that same year Continisio submitted it to the Greenlight program.
Curve Studios design director Jonathan "Bidds" Biddle has found himself in the spotlight today after tweeting that Valve will be making dramatic changes to its Steam Greenlight program. Biddle said on Twitter that the system, which lets users cast a "Yes" or "No" votes on pitches for potential products to be listed on Steam, will be gone by this time next year.
We met with Valve at GDC, and they say Greenlight will be gone within 12 months. They'll still offer curated space, but otherwise be open.
Indie developer Positech Games said via a new blog post that game sales (like the kind found on Steam and in the Humble Bundle) are providing the endorphin rush instead of the fun of actually playing the games players are purchasing at deep discounts. Positech Games' Cliff Harris says that these kinds of sales are insidious dangers that normalize huge price reductions.
"This is a big psychology trick that is being used to siphon money from gamers, and it's a bad thing," he said. "And if we can - and I think we probably can't - we should stop it."
A new feature on Steam (that has not been launched yet to our knowledge) will allow Steam users to report products that contain inappropriate content like pornographic material or themes, content that violates a law in certain jurisdictions, hate speech, child exploitation, is fraudulent or is some type of malware, etc. The news comes from an image posted by Steam Database.
OnLive isn't back because it never left, but it is making headlines today by introducing several new services that it hopes can get it back on top of the video game streaming heap. First the company revealed that former IGN chief Mark Jung is its new executive chairman, and that it has launched OnLive Go and CloudLift. It has been working on this new technology since 2012 when the company fired most of its staff, sold itself to an investment firm and reformed under the same name.
Uncovered by a user on Reddit, a page from Valve's private Steamworks community shows that the company will allow developers to set their own sales. In the past Valve and a developer would have to work together in order to set up a sale for a game.
A Reddit thread raising concerns over how Valve's anti-cheat system (or VAC) works caught the eye of Valve CEO Gabe Newell, who took the unusual step of posting a detailed response explaining how it all works and why Valve's system must access data sometimes to identify and ban suspected cheaters. Newell addressed head-on concerns in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sub-Reddit that Valve was spying on players' internet usage.
Rust creator Garry Newman says that his game has managed to sell over one million copies through Steam's Early Access program. The game, which is still in the early stages of development started off as a clone of DayZ, but recent changes like the removal of zombies have made the game more about survival than survival horror.
According to the web site for law firm Osborne Clarke, the results of the German court case against Valve for not allowing Steam accounts to be transferred or the ability to sell pre-owned Steam games are in.
Game developer Bugbear Interactive has announced that its Steam Early Access initiative for its new racing game, simply called "New Car Game," is a smashing success. The company said on the official website for the oddly named game that they managed to generate $1 million in sales in its first week of availability. A free tech demo of the game is available to those willing to sign up for the company's newsletter as well - if you want to try the game before you actually pay any money for it.
Earlier this week Alienware said that its Steam Machines - custom PCs that sport Valve's steam OS, hardware to support it, and a nifty Steam Controller - were not upgradeable and that it would use a release schedule similar to the iPad to get new hardware out there. Today the company is saying that there was a bit of a miscommunication in its original message.
What the company meant to say, apparently, is that you CAN upgrade the Alienware-branded Steam Machine, but it won't be an easy thing to do.
Here's the problem with letting a bunch of different PC manufacturers make something and use a brand like "Steam Machines" - you are going to get some wildly different products and price ranges that can be pretty darned costly for rank and file consumers whose last names aren't "Rockefeller," "Bloomberg," "Trump," etc. That's what is happening with Alienware's version(s) of the Steam Machine.
On this week's show hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about the latest GamePolitics poll (SimCity's offline mode), the plastic surgery game that got booted off Apple App store and Google Play store, the changes made to the Steam Controller, and Nintendo's ongoing financial woes due to poor Wii U sales. Download Episode 84 now: SuperPAC Episode 84 (1 hour, 12 minutes) 83.3 MB.