BBC giving away one million micro-computers to children in the UK

July 7, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The BBC is giving away a million free computers to every grade seven child, according to this report in Eurogamer. The computer, billed as the "BBC micro:bit," is a pocket-sized, codeable computer - and one million have been earmarked for every 11 or 12-year-old child in year 7 or equivalent in the UK for free.

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Shoot some clay pigeons, help support Special Effect

July 3, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

If you are a game developer living in England then you might want to attend GunsGamesGiving (G3 - get it?), a one-day clay pigeon shooting contest for teams of four. The event is designed to benefit worthy UK-based game-related charity Special Effect. It will take place at Gosterwood Manor in Surrey on August 28 and you can get tickets here.

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'Batman: Arkham Knight' is best-selling game of 2015 in the UK

June 29, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

While the PC version of Batman Arkham Knight might be having some serious technical issues, these problems don't appear to be affecting sales - at least early ones - if you believe the latest numbers from the UK collected by Chart Track. According to Chart-Track sales data from last week, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment's latest Batman game is the biggest release of 2015 so far, stealing The Wither 3: Wild Hunt's title and knocking The Elder Scrolls Online from the top spot.

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TIGA: New British game developers focusing more on PC game development

June 29, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to data collected through a new TIGA survey of "new" British game developers, there appears to be a trend towards making games more for the PC. According to the trade group representing British game developers, more than half of all new developers launched in the UK during 2014 are primarily focused on the PC, showing that some are moving away from mobile game development. Around 52 percent of British games companies started in 2014 are focused on the PC, versus 35 percent on mobile.

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Bill Paxton: BBC's 'GTA' film shows Jack Thompson and Sam Houser on a collision course

June 3, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Actor Bill Paxton says that the upcoming Grand Theft Auto film will show Take-Two and Rockstar on a collision course with the former lawyer and anti-game crusader Jack Thompson. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Paxton (who plays Thompson in the made-for-TV movie "Game Changer" that is being produced by the BBC) said that the film focuses on the drawn-out fight between the makers of GTA and Thompson, who claimed that the game(s) had an undue influence on young people.  

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BBC's 'Watchdog' investigates Sony's digital refund policy

May 28, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Pro-consumer BBC television program "Watchdog" will take on Sony over its digital refunds policy related to its home console systems tonight, GamesIndustry.biz reports. The episode is the result of some high profile complaints against Sony's refund policy for digital goods on the PS3 - with a particular focus on a victim of identity theft named John Lappin.

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Ukie adds two new board members

May 27, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The United Kingdom Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) has added executives from Candy Crush maker King and Electronic Arts to its board of directors.

The trade group representing the interactive entertainment industry in the United Kingdom has added two new board members to replace Kate Booth and Keith Ramsdale, who are stepping down. They are being replaced by EA UK country manager Shaun Campbell and King's chief legal officer Rob Miller.

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GAME to customers: 'truck carrying Splatoon Special Edition hijacked'

May 27, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this Eurogamer report, UK-based retailer GAME is informing customers that a truck carrying copies of the Wii U game Splatoon and various Amiibo figures was hijacked and stolen. According to GAME, the truck, which was coming from Nintendo's European headquarters and going to GAME's UK warehouse, never made it to its destination.

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Take-Two sues BBC over 'Grand Theft Auto' movie

May 21, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The BBC's movie about the making of Grand Theft Auto has just run into a mountain-sized obstacle: Take Two Interactive. The publisher of the series and the owner of Rockstar Games is suing the BBC over its upcoming film based on the book, Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto.

Grand Theft Auto series creator Rockstar Games released a statement written by parent company Take Two Interactive announcing that it was suing the BBC for trademark infringement.

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Five million copies of 'GTA V' sold in the UK

May 18, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

This week's numbers for retail sales in the United Kingdom via Chart-Track reveal that Grand Theft Auto V has sold over five million copies in the UK since launch - and those sales numbers apparently don't include digital sales (Steam, etc.). The last official tally from Rockstar - at the end of December 2014 - noted that 45 million copies of the game had been shipped worldwide.

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Report: layoffs hit Zynga's NaturalMotion studio

May 13, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Last week Zynga announced that, despite decent profits, it would be laying off 18 percent of its workforce. It looks like the first studio to feel the results of that plan is developer NaturalMotion. According to sources close to the situation who spoke to Eurogamer today, 20 people have been laid off at NaturalMotion's QA department. According to those sources, that leaves around five employees in the department. Zynga bought the UK-based studio in 2014.

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ASA spanks Sony and GAME over 20th Anniversary Edition PS4 competition

May 13, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

UK watchdog agency the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is taking Sony to task over the way the company and retailer GAME handled a competition to buy its 20th Anniversary Edition console. Only 12,300 units of the 20th Anniversary Edition PS4 were made available for purchase worldwide, and only a small portion of those systems were sold in the UK. The systems were highly coveted by consumers, so when Sony and GAME rolled out a competition in December of last year to have the privilege of buying one, people were excited.

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EA, EB Games take top honors at MCV Pacific Awards

May 13, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Electronic Arts was named "Publisher of the Year" at last week's MCV Pacific Awards 2015 gala event. Winners of the UK-based games industry awards were chosen by 227 members of the industry to honor individuals and companies in 16 categories. Other winners included retailer EB Games (Online Retailer of the Year), Destiny (Marketing Campaign of the Year), and PlayStation Store (Digital Retailer of the Year).

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Xbox One gets price cut in the UK

April 13, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The UK version of Microsoft's Xbox One console has received a price cut, according to a report in Eurogamer this morning. The new price point is £299.99, down from £329.99.

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Rights groups take UK surveillance fight to Europe's highest court

April 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Rights groups Amnesty International, Liberty and Privacy International, and others have announced that it will take its fight against security agencies such as GCHQ in the United Kingdom conducting mass surveillance and data collection on British citizens to Europe's highest court.

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UK teacher comments on controversial letter to parents

April 3, 2015 - Andrew Eisen

Earlier this week we reported that a UK school district had issued a letter to parents warning those who allow their children to play 18+ games that it may report them to police and children's social care for neglect.  You can read the whole letter here.

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UK school district will report parents to authorities for letting their children play R18 rated games

March 30, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to this wild report in the Independent, parents who let their young children play games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty could be reported to police and children’s social care as it is being negligent.

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Report: UK children spend six hours a day in front of a screen

March 27, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A new report from UK-based market research firm Childwise claims that screen time among children has dramatically increased over the last twenty years. Details from the research, "The Connected Kids," were revealed today in a detailed BBC report. This biggest takeaway is that children in the UK spend at least six hours a day in front of a screen.

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SpecialEffect's GameBlast event generates £120K in donations

March 27, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

GamesIndustry International reports that during UK-based children's charity SpecialEffect's February GameBlast charity gaming weekend, it managed to rake in over £120,000 in donations, surpassing last year's total by an impressive £50,000.

"We are genuinely blown away by the huge amount of support that we've had from gamers and the gaming industry all over the world," said CEO Mick Donegan.

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Play.com goes offline

March 25, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Play.com has shut down, with the once popular gaming destination redirecting to Japanese retail specialist Rakuten's UK website (www.rakuten.co.uk), according to MCV. Rakuten bought the website back in 2011 for around £25 million. After that purchase, the website no longer sold products directly and became a marketplace for third-party retailers to hawk their wares.

Rakuten didn't disclose why it decided to shut down in a statement to MCV today:

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'Battlefield Hardline' debuts at number one in UK sales charts

March 23, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

EA's cops vs. robbers game is having a good showing in the United Kingdom, according to new data from Gfk Chart-Track. EA's Battlefield Hardline debuted at the top spot in the Gfk Chart-Track Top 40, and is the biggest launch of 2015 so far in the region. For perspective, the last title in the series, Battlefield 4, debuted on the same UK charts in Nov. of 2013 at number two.

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BBC To Hand Out One Million 'Micro Bit' Coding Devices to UK Students

March 13, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The BBC will give away one million micro computing devices to children in the UK as part of its "Make It Digital" initiative. Through this initiative, the BBC will distribute a wearable coding device called a "Micro Bit" to every year 7 student (ages 11 to 13) in the country, totalling one million devices.

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'Destiny' Named Best Games at BAFTA Game Awards

March 12, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Destiny won the top honor today at the 2015 BAFTA Games Awards, picking up the Best Game award. Bungie's online shooter managed to beat out such heavyweights as Monument Valley, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Mario Kart 8, and Alien: Isolation.

Monument Valley was the only game to pick up two awards - the British Game award and Mobile & Handheld award.

Lumino City picked up the Artistic Achievement award, while Alien Isolation won for Best Audio, and Never Alone won the Debut Game award.

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SpecialEffect's GameBlast Raises £80K

February 25, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

SpecialEffect's GameBlast charity gaming marathon weekend now has garnered £80,000 in pledged donations, according to Games Industry International. That is a substantial improvement from the money raised at last year's event - £70,000. In case you didn't know, the UK-based charity helps people with physical disabilities by providing support and special equipment to enable them to play games.

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Couple Plays 'Call of Duty' While Infant Suffers From Brain Injuries

February 19, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A couple from South Yorkshire, England are currently on trial for their part in giving their infant son brain damage. According to a report in The Star, the couple (who are not named) played a newly launched "Call of Duty" video game while their four-month-old son lay in his crib with a severe brain injury, according to what the court was told by prosecutors at the couple's ongoing trial.

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SpecialEffect Hosting 24-Hour Charity Live Stream This Weekend

February 19, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

UK-based game-related charity SpecialEffect will host a special gaming marathon called GamesBlastLIVE. The24-hour long charity gaming marathon will begin at 10am (London time) on February 21.

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UK's House of Lords Calls For Reclassification Of Internet Access As A 'Public Utility'

February 18, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The House of Lords (the upper house of UK parliament) released a report this week that calls for Internet access to be classified as a public utility. If that sounds at all familiar it's because the Federal Communications Commission will vote on this very issue later this month.

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Nominees Revealed For The 2015 British Academy Games Awards

February 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced the 51 nominees for the British Academy Games Awards in 2015. A total of 51 games have been chosen across 17 categories, with Alien: Isolation leading the way with six nominations across Audio Achievement, Best Game, British Game, Game Design, Game Innovation and Music.

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Layoffs Hit Frontier Developments

January 26, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Frontier Developments, the makers of Elite: Dangerous, have laid off a number of employees this week, according to this VG247 report. At least 15 employees have been laid off at developer’s Halifax, Canada studio, according to a new Investors update. In a section labeled "Operations Update," the company said that 15 content creation roles have been made redundant in Cambridge:

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Amazon Dominates UK Christmas Entertainment Sales

January 26, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to new data from analyst firm Kantar Worldpanel (as reported on by MCV), Amazon dominated Christmas entertainment sales in the United Kingdom. For the 12 week period that ended on December 21, one in four pounds spent on video games, physical music and video content in the UK went to Amazon. Ultimately the retailer claimed a 25.6 percent share of the market during the UK holiday season.

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Which group is more ethically challenged?:

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E. Zachary KnightTeachers unions are just as bad as police unions, except of course you are far less likely to be killed by a teacher on duty than you are a cop. But they also protect bad teachers from being fired.07/07/2015 - 6:29pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, so you agree they are still union members. Thankfully we have a first ammendment that protects people from being forced to join groups they don't support (in most cases any way.)07/07/2015 - 6:27pm
E. Zachary KnightAh, police unions. The reason why cops can't get fired when they beat a defenseless mentally ill homeless person to death. Or when they throw a grenade into a baby's crib. Or when theykill people they were called in to help not hurt themselves.07/07/2015 - 6:26pm
Goth_SkunkeZeek: Non-union employees have no right to attend meetings or union convention/AGM, or influence policy. The only time they get to vote is whether or not to strike.07/07/2015 - 6:24pm
Infophile(cont'd) about non-union police officers being given hell until they joined the union.07/07/2015 - 4:58pm
InfophileParadoxically, the drive in the US to get rid of unions seems to have left only the most corrupt surviving. They seem to be the only ones that can find ways to browbeat employees into joining when paying dues isn't mandatory. I've heard some stories ...07/07/2015 - 4:57pm
Matthew WilsonI am old school on this. I believe its a conflict of interest to have public sector unions. that being said, I do not have a positive look on unions in general.07/07/2015 - 3:59pm
TechnogeekWhat's best for the employee tends to be good for the employer; other way around, not so much. So long as that's the case, there's going to be a far stronger incentive for management to behave in such a way that invites retalitation than for the union to.07/07/2015 - 3:10pm
TechnogeekTeachers' unions? State legislatures. UAW? Just look at GM's middle management.07/07/2015 - 3:05pm
TechnogeekIn many ways it seems that the worse a union tends to behave, the worse that the company's management has behaved in the past.07/07/2015 - 3:02pm
james_fudgeCharity starts at home ;)07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
james_fudgeSo mandatory charity? That sounds shitty to me07/07/2015 - 2:49pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, if Union dues are automatically withdrawn, then there is no such thing as a non-union employee.07/07/2015 - 2:38pm
Goth_Skunka mutually agreed upon charity instead.07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_Skunkyou enjoy the benefits of working in a union environment. If working in a union is against your religious beliefs or just something you wholeheartedly object to, dues will still be deducted from your pay, but you can instruct that they be directed towards07/07/2015 - 2:33pm
Goth_SkunkBasically, if you are employed in a business where employees are represented by a union for the purposes of collective bargaining, whether or not you are a union member, you will have union dues deducted from your pay, since regardless of membership,07/07/2015 - 2:32pm
Goth_SkunkIt's something that has existed in Canada since 1946. You can read more on it here: http://ow.ly/PiHWR07/07/2015 - 2:27pm
Goth_SkunkSee, we have something similar in Canada, called a "Rand Employee." This is an employee who benefits from the collective bargaining efforts of a union, despite not wanting to be a part of it for whatever reason.07/07/2015 - 2:22pm
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
 

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