'The Elder Scrolls Online' Adding 'Convenience and Vanity Items' To Online Store

February 13, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Elder Scrolls Online developer Zenimax Online Studios revealed that it will soon allow players to buy what it calls "convenience items" in the PC version of its MMO. Those convenience items include health, stamina, magic and experience boost potions that you can buy using real-world money through the game's Crown Store. You'll also be able to buy customization items, upgraded mounts, vanity pets, costumes, etc.

None of these items will affect TESO's core gameplay, Zenimax claims.

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Steam Inventory System Made Available to All Developers

February 9, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Late last week Steam officially made its inventory system available to all game developers on Steam via a freshly released Steamworks SDK update. The Steam Inventory System - popularized by Valve's games like Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 - is a "set of new Steamworks APIs and tools that allow a game to enable persistent items that have been purchase or unlocked by individual users without having to run special servers to keep track of these user's inventory." In other words, you can enable community sales of virtual items for your games if you are a game developer.

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Valve Has Paid Out $57 Million to Content Creators

January 28, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a new blog post from Valve developer Alden Kroll, 1,500 community-based content creators in 75 different countries have earned $57 million from selling in-game vanity items for such Valve-created games as Team Fortress 2, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

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Former Valve Employee Named Greece's Minister of Finance

January 27, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The man who once served as Valve's economist-in-residence (he wrote a regular blog about the company's virtual economies for a time) has taken a job with the government of Greece. Yanis Varoufakis, who worked for Valve from 2012 - 2013, analyzed some fascinating data about Valve's virtual economies including how gifting played a part in TF2's overall economy, how a bartering and arbitration formed around trades, and how Valve fires people.

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras unveiled the new cabinet earlier in the week.

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PSA: Valve Adds 'Captcha' To Steam Card Trading System

January 12, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Valve has decided to add an extra layer of protection to those human-to-human Steam Trading Card transactions this week with a simple Captcha rolled into the mix to keep the robots away. The goal is to also stop Malware from making trades (should a person get infected) on someone's behalf. If you don't know, Captcha is used to make sure the people on the other end of the screen are real live human beings and not automated computer programs.

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Blizzard Considering In-Game Gold Trading for Game Time in 'World of Warcraft'

December 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In a lengthy Battle.net post on some of its World of Warcraft plans for 2015, Blizzard Entertainment suggested that it might allow WOW subscribers to exchange in-game currency for real-world currency.

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Microsoft Adds Support for Bitcoin

December 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft is now accepting bitcoin for digital purchases on its various platforms, the company revealed this morning. Those who use bitcoin currency can spend it on purchases on Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music, and Xbox Video stores.

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'RuneScape' Bonds Used to Fund Trip to RuneFest Event

September 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Jagex, makers of the long-running fantasy MMORPG RuneScape, are highlighting what it calls "the continued success of RuneScape Bonds." Since their launch, Bonds have enabled players to access premium membership content, exchange them with other community members for in-game items and wealth, and gift them to friends around the world.

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Delaware Passes Law to Give Heirs Rights to Digital Property

August 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Delaware has become the first state in the US to enact a law that ensures families’ rights to access the digital assets of loved ones during incapacitation or after death. Last week, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed House Bill (HB) 345, "Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act," which gives "heirs and executors" legal authority to take control of a digital account or device, according to Ars Technica.

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UK MP Calls For Laws To Deal With Large-Scale Virtual World Thefts

July 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

UK Prime Minister David Cameron's chief adviser on intellectual property and Member of Parliament Mike Weatherley is pushing for penalties related to theft in virtual worlds and online. According to several reports, Weatherley, an avid World of Warcraft player, has asked members of Parliament to consider new laws that would make it so that “people who steal online items in video games with a real-world monetary value receive the same sentences as criminals who steal real-world items of the same monetary value."

Riot Disables Skin Codes in 'League of Legends'

July 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Riot Games has decided to remove the ability to use League of Legends skin codes in-game as an attempt to stop third-party resellers and scammers from ripping players off. The company made the announcement via an official forum post detailing the changes.

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Gamblit Gaming Inks Deals With Shanda Games Europe, Flexball, and Gamiker

July 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Real-money in gaming technology company Gamblit Gaming has announced partnerships with Shanda Games International Europe, Gamiker and Flexball. All three companies will eventually utilize Gamblit Gaming’s mobile platform technology to let companies to add real money gaming mechanics to any mobile or PC game.

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PSA: Diablo III Auction Houses Shutting Down Today

June 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Blizzard warned players back in March that the auction houses for Diablo III on PC would be shutting down today - June 24. The company warned Diablo III players again on June 18 that if they didn't claim items in the virtual game auction by the end of the day today those items or cash would be gone forever.

More details on the final and irrevocable shutdown of the auction house can be found here. To reiterate what Blizzard said back in March concerning the whole ordeal:

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PSA: PayPal Now Available as Payment Option on PS4

June 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

If you loathe credit cards and think PayPal is the best digital payment solution since the penny was minted then you'll be happy to hear that you can now use it to buy things on Sony's newest PlayStation console. Sony announced today that PayPal is available on PS4 for people who live in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Chile and Argentina. Console owners still have the option to add funds using a credit card or PSN card as well.

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SOE Highlights 'Landmark' Player Creations in New Video

May 2, 2014 - GamePolitcs Staff

Sony Online Entertainment has released a short video highlighting some of the things that players have been building and discovering in Landmark. Also, today SOE officially opened submissions for its "Landmarks of Landmark" competition, a challenge that offers the chance for some builders to have their creations prominently featured as permanent additions to the online game world. More details on that can be found here.

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The Elder Scrolls Online Gold Duping Bug Revealed

April 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a Reddit thread, an exploit in The Elder Scrolls Online allows players to farm unlimited sums of gold. Developer ZeniMax Online Studios has already stepped in to prevent further use of the bug, it's unclear just how much the exploit has thrown off the in-game economy and what can be done to roll back the damage. A similar situation happened with the Diablo III Auction House, which caused trillions in virtual currency to flood the in-game economy.

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SOE: One Player Has Already Made $100K Creating Items in Player Studio

April 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Sony Online entertainment claims that one player has already made over $100,000 creating in-game items for Sony Online Entertainment titles. The revelation came from SOE boss John Smedley during an interview with Game Talk Live. SOE's John Smedley revealed the news during a preview of the upcoming survival horror MMO H1Z1.

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SOE: 'Landmark Player Studio' Support Launching in May

April 2, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Sony Online Entertainment announced that Player Studio support will begin for Landmark "on or before May 1." As part of the rollout, Player Studio creators in select regions outside of the United States will be able to submit in-game items across all Player Studio-supported games.

First Phase of Diablo III Auction House Shutdown Begins Today

March 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

As expected, Blizzard has disabled the Diablo III auction houses today, locking down all current pending auctions and preventing new items from being sold going forward. Blizzard announced its intention to shut down both the real-money and virtual in game auction houses late last year.

If you visit the Auction House now, you'll see that it is no longer functional and is accompanied by the following message: "The Auction House is shutting down. You must claim your items from the Completed tab by 6/24. Existing auctions will complete based on the time remaining."

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Bigfish Now Accepting Bitcoin

March 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Bigfish announced that it is now accepting Bitcoin as a means of payment for purchasing its online games and to make in-app purchases within its line-up of free-to-play game offerings.

"Being able to offer bitcoin payments to our consumers through Coinbase is just one more way Big Fish is meeting demand and setting the pace for the mainstream consumer and for the mainstream industry," said company CEO Paul Thelen.

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Reminder: Diablo 3 Auction Houses Going Offline in March

February 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Blizzard put up a reminder on Battle.net today that it will be shutting down the Diablo 3 Auction Houses on Tuesday, March 18. The company announced its plans to shut down both the real money and gold auction houses back in September of last year.

Blizzard said that it would release "additional technical details regarding the shutdown including how this will affect active auctions, items in the Completed Tab, your existing Battle.net Balance, and more next week."

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Report: Valve Paid Community Content Creators $400K in First Week of January

January 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to information coming out of Valve's Steam Dev Days event from Steamdb, Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2 content creators were paid a collective $400,000 in the first week of 2014.

"In the first week of 2014, $400k was paid out to content creators", noted Valve during the second Steam Day. The content in question is made by ordinary players in the community who then resell it to fellow players.

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Bitcoin Value Jumps After Zynga Mention

January 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Virtual currency Bitcoin jumped to over $1,000 once again after social games maker Zynga said that it would use the currency as a payment option for its various games.

The virtual currency's value has been highly volatile in recent weeks; in November it peaked at $1,250, but fell sharply to $421 in December after China restricted trade. As of this morning a single Bitcoin was trading at $1,030 on MTGox, one of the virtual currency's major exchanges.

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CCP and EVE Online Community Raise Nearly $191K Typhoon Haiyan Relief

December 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

CCP Games announced that EVE Online players have donated US$190,890 to the Icelandic Red Cross to help the citizens of the Philippines recover from Typhoon Haiyan. The money was raised through the game's PLEX for GOOD program, which allows players of the popular game to collectively donate in-game currency to worthy charities, as well as other associated donations.

Report: Xbox 360 Dashboard Beta Raises Game Prices

July 10, 2013 -

Update: Microsoft tells Kotaku that UK dashboard beta testers will receive refunds for any money lost related to the exchange of MS Points into real cash. Microsoft calls the pricing changes an "error."

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World of Warcraft Accounts Hacked, Auction House Taken Offline

June 25, 2013 -

Blizzard seems to be having a hell of a time with its online auction houses lately.

Last month, a Diablo III patch introduced a gold-duplicating bug that forced the developer to take the game's auction house offline until it could fix the bug and audit players' accounts.

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Report: Microsoft to Kill off MS Points System

May 15, 2013 -

The Verge is reporting that Microsoft may kill off its point system used on its Xbox Live Marketplace. Citing sources "familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans," The Verge says that Microsoft will replace the MS Points system with a gift card system for retail and will support straight transactions of money using credit and debit cards. The gift cards will be similar to what Apple offers for iTunes - in other words they will have a real cash value.

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Entropia Universe Player Buys Moon for $150K

May 10, 2013 -

Swedish MMO developer MindArk announced today that a recently discovered moon in its long running MMO Entropia Universe was auctioned off for $150,000, or 1.5 million PED in the game's virtual currency. The winner (?) of that bid was Jan Terje Egeland (whose Entropia Universe alter-ego is "Modified Akoz Power"), who MindArk claims will be able to share revenue with the company from all activity on the moon.

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Blizzard: No ETA on Return of Diablo III Auction Houses

May 10, 2013 -

Blizzard announced that it will keep the Diablo III auction houses offline for awhile longer as it deals with the aftermath of a gold duping bug that was introduced in a patch released earlier this week. While the nasty little bug that saw a handful of users take advantage and create trillions of in-game gold has been squashed, Blizzard tells the community that it needs a little more time to audit players who may have used the exploit and made transactions in the auction houses.

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Social Casino Summit Debate - Part One

April 30, 2013 -

GamesBeat has a partial edited transcript of a discussion that happened during the Social Casino Summit in San Francisco last week. The event was hosted by GamesBeat and Dean Takahashi. In the lead-up to the discussion Takahashi, who moderated it, notes that the social casino games sector may be small, but there are already more than 100 startups and big companies fighting with each other in the space.

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Will an M rating hurt Batman: Arkham Knight's sales?:

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ConsterDon't 'beauty rags' already get plenty of criticism?02/27/2015 - 9:02am
ZippyDSMleeEh still rather subjective… the haters would be better off going after teen and beauty rags and magazines than fiction, fiction follows reality and going after fiction tends to turn into a bullying fest’s… plus its fiction its unrealistic to start with….02/27/2015 - 1:10am
MechaTama31That's a pretty difficult anatomy to break.02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
MechaTama31"the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy" <-- I'm sorry, but we are talking here about the woman who can roll up into a little ball and live to tell the tale, yes? ;)02/26/2015 - 11:09pm
Andrew EisenAs far as examples that could be culled from female game characters though, that one's pretty mild.02/26/2015 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenNot as much the heels or the suit in and of themselves but certainly the way her animations repeatedly break her anatomy to show off her lady bits.02/26/2015 - 9:10pm
E. Zachary KnightWell, Samus's heels are certainly impracticable, but I wouldn't really call her Zero suit objectified. I don't really feel that the new Lara Croft is objectified either, but that is my subjective opinion.02/26/2015 - 9:08pm
Andrew EisenTomb Raider: No but we haven't seen much of anything yet. Samus: Yes.02/26/2015 - 9:07pm
ZippyDSMleeWould you call the new tomb raider objectified? WOuld Samus Aran from the new Smash bros be objectified?02/26/2015 - 9:02pm
WonderkarpI'm hoping they put the rest of the comic book ghostbusters in there. Ortiz and Rookie(From GB the game)02/26/2015 - 8:38pm
Wonderkarpghostbusters board game is doing great. getting close too a 3rd extra playable Character. Ron Alexander.02/26/2015 - 8:37pm
Andrew EisenSmurfette is not subjective. If there's more than one female character, it's not Smurfette. Anyway, as with everything on the list, Smurfette is, in and of itself, not necessarily a bad thing.02/26/2015 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenI think there's 5 women (out of 15, I think) but other than one being a bit more "hippy" than the others, they pretty much all have the same body type. Especially when compaired to the huge variety of male body types.02/26/2015 - 8:31pm
Wonderkarpso I dont see Smurfette as a bad thing. Unless like all your female characters are Smurfette. remember the Smurfs also had Sassette02/26/2015 - 8:29pm
E. Zachary KnightOne good example of the larger issues is one Anita used in the presentation, Blizzard's Overwatch game. There are a dozen men in the game with a dozen body types. But there are only 4 women with 2 body types, but 3 of them have the same one.02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
Wonderkarpthe smurfette thing is subjective to how many female characters you have. Take Sonic for example. You have Amy, who is obvious smurfette, but there's several other female characters now without that. Including the original animated seriescomics with Sally02/26/2015 - 8:28pm
E. Zachary KnightAE. Very true. I think that is where I was going, but it didn't come out right. Jack Harkness is sexy but not objectified. Whereas, a women would have to be objectified in order to be "sexy" in most games.02/26/2015 - 8:26pm
E. Zachary KnightAnd as Andrew pointed out, there is a big difference between a sexualized man, and an idealized man. But for some reason, there is no distinction between women in games. For the most part.02/26/2015 - 8:25pm
Andrew EisenI think one of the issues we run into repeatedly with these conversations is the confusion over "sexy" and "sexually objectified."02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
E. Zachary KnightYet, for some reason, in orde rto have a sexualized women, she must be wearing lingerie or a bikini. Can't women be sexual and still dress for the job at hand?02/26/2015 - 8:24pm
 

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