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."

Star Wars: The Old Republic Generated $165 Million Last Year, But WoW Still on Top

July 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

BioWare's Star Wars MMO remains strong, and World of Warcraft is still leading the MMO space with subscriptions by a wide margin, according to new data from research group SuperData.

According to that data, EA's Star Wars MMO, Star Wars: The Old Republic, made $165 million in revenue worldwide last year. That figure comes from revenue generated by subscriptions, expansion packs and microtransactions.

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Isla Vista Killer May Have Adopted Verbal Mannerisms From WoW NPC

May 27, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Over the weekend, a 22-year-old man went on a stabbing, shooting, and vehicular rampage in Isla Vista, California that left seven people dead (including himself from a reportedly self-inflicted gunshot wound) and 13 others injured.

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Research: 23 Percent of Men Use Opposite Gender Avatars in MMOs

May 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Syracuse University researchers have conducted a study that aims to suss out whether female avatars in games are actually women in real-life or just men role-playing as female characters.

Research that included work at Syracuse University considered 375 people playing a multi-player World of Warcraft quest. Researchers found that 23 percent of the men chose opposite-gender avatars, compared to 7 percent of women who played as male characters.

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World of Warcraft Level 90 Character Boost Now on Sale, Next Expansion Available for Pre-Order

March 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Blizzard Entertainment announced that World of Warcraft level 90 character boosts are now available to purchase from inside the MMO's store, along with pre-orders for its next expansion Warlords of Draenor.

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Poll: Should You Be Able To Purchase Level 90 Characters In World of Warcraft?

February 27, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

It looks like Blizzard will soon offer World of Warcraft players the ability to purchase Level 90 characters.

8 comments | Read more

Blizzard Addresses High Level Character Progression Purchase Option Coming to World of Warcraft

February 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Last week WOW Insider uncovered a level 90 boost on the World of Warcraft store selling for $60 and took a picture before it was removed by Blizzard.

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Blizzard Touts 15 Million Copies of Diablo 3 Sold To-Date, Improving Wow Subscriber Numbers

February 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Sales of Blizzard's popular online-only action-RPG Diablo 3 have reached 15 million to date worldwide, according to Activision Blizzard. The new milestone was revealed as part of the company's latest financial report. Those 15 million in sales include versions of the game across all platforms. Activision Blizzard chief Bobby Kotick said that these numbers also bode well for the upcoming launch of the expansion pack Reaper of Souls in March.

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Blizzard Warns World of Warcraft Players About 'Dangerous Trojan'

January 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Blizzard Entertainment is warning World of Warcraft players that they should be on the lookout for what it calls a "dangerous Trojan" that is capable of stealing their account information - even if they are using Blizzard's WoW account authenticator for extra protection.

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Chinese Wow Hackers Get Prison Time, Fines

December 23, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

According to Kotaku, late last week ten men in China were sentenced to two years in prison (each) and fined for their part in hacking World of Warcraft accounts. The sentencing took place in Zhejiang province's Songyang county court (China).

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Stephen Colbert Jabs at NSA for Snooping on Second Life Players

December 17, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Last night on Comedy Central's the Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert spent a bit of time picking on the idea of the National Security Agency snooping around Second Life. Recently reports revealed that new documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden showed that the NSA was lurking in World of Warcraft, on Xbox Live, and in Second Life (of all places) to keep tabs on terrorists who they believed might be organizing attacks in these virtual worlds. Stephen Colbert poked fun at the recent revelation, showing clips from the game while cracking jokes like this one:

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Poll Results: Are Game Companies Lying About Knowledge of NSA Spying Activites?

December 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Last week we asked our readers, "Do Publishers Know the NSA Is Conducting Surveillance Operations In Their Games?" An overwhelming majority of voters believe that publishers are lying about their knowledge of the NSA's activities in games like World of Warcraft and Second Life, or they are blissfully unaware of what's going on.

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Report: Declassified Documents Show American and British Spy Agencies Targeted Xbox Live, Second Life, and World of Warcraft

December 9, 2013 - James Fudge

According to a lengthy report co-published by Pro Publica and the New York Times, American and British spy agencies have infiltrated World of Warcraft and Second Life, conducting surveillance and collecting data in the games played by millions of people around the globe, according to newly disclosed classified documents. Agents supposedly created characters to snoop and to try to recruit informers, and collected data and contents of communications between players, according to the documents disclosed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden.

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World of Warcraft Lead System Designer Leaves Company

November 29, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

World of Warcraft Lead System Designer Greg Street has left Blizzard this week, according to this Polygon report. Street confirmed the news on his Facebook account, saying that he was moving on for a new and exciting opportunity elsewhere.

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Blizzard Teams Up With Make-A-Wish Foundation

November 22, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Blizzard Entertainment is teaming up with Make-A-Wish Foundation to help the charity make the dreams of sick children in the United States fulfill a wish. World of Warcraft players can purchase the Alterac Brew Pup pet ($10) today, with $5 going to Make-A-Wish.

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Gold Farmer Converts $75K Worth of Virtual Gold to Bars, Gets Robbed

August 13, 2013 -

Australian nurse Katrina Fincham had struck it big by playing World of Warcraft. After earning around $75,000 by farming and selling gold in the popular MMORPG from Blizzard, she decided to convert that cold hard cash into cold hard gold bullion. After doing that she put it in her wall safe at her Adelaide home. All was right with the world, but then something horrible happened: her house was robbed and her wall safe was emptied!

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World of Warcraft Loses More Subscribers

July 26, 2013 -

As part of its announcement this morning that it would break the iron grip of Vivendi's controlling interest, Activision Blizzard revealed that World of Warcraft subscriber numbers have fallen to 2007 levels. The number of paying World of Warcraft monthly subscribers has dropped to 7.7 million, according to Activision Blizzard. That's close to what the game had in 2007 before The Burning Crusade helped it break into the 8 million subscriber mark.

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World of Warcraft Microtransactions Confirmed

July 9, 2013 -

The World of Warcraft version 5.4 update is alive and kicking on the Public Test Realm today, according to Blizzard. According to the patch notes, the update adds a new siege, flexible raid difficulty, a redesigned arena system, and a few other odds and ends. More importantly, the update adds an in-game store where players can buy a variety of buffs and other items. No doubt the selection of offerings will be limited for the purposes of the test phase.

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Blizzard Considering Additional Microtransactions in World of Warcraft

July 5, 2013 -

After an in-game store was discovered on a World of Warcraft test server, Blizzard publicly acknowledged that it is looking into adding microtransactions to its long-running MMORPG. In response to questions about this from members of the community, Blizzard community representative Jonathan Brown made the following post on the Battle.net forums:

4 comments | Read more

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.

4 comments | Read more

Report: US-Based Sex Offenders Use Online Games to Target Children in Canada

April 2, 2013 -

An interesting story via the Huffington Post (based on this CBC report) details sexual predators in the United States using online games and consoles to talk to children in Canada. This particular report focuses on Winnipeg, but it's not far-fetched to imagine that if it's happening in one province, it's happening to some degree in other provinces as well.

IGDA's Daniel Greenberg Lays Into Republican Leaders over WoW Research Comments

March 8, 2013 -

Video game developer and Chair of the International Game Developers Association’s Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee Daniel Greenberg offers a scathing rebuke to Republicans in Congress for criticizing World of Warcraft and tax payer dollars given to use the virtual world for research over at Salon today.

20 comments | Read more

Former World of Warcraft Movie Director Claims Blizzard Mismanged Production

March 7, 2013 -

Director Sam Raimi claims that nine months worth of work on a World of Warcraft film was wasted because Blizzard Entertainment "mismanaged" production. Speaking to Vulture, he made his case for why the movie he was directing never happened:

5 comments | Read more

Republicans Inject 'Video Games' Into the Political Discourse on Sequestration

February 22, 2013 -

As Republicans and Democrats publically spar over sequestration, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has decided to throw "wasteful spending" into the mix by mentioning research on smoking machines, a free cell phone program, and even the use of video games for research on the elderly into the national conversation (here is a great explanation of what 'sequester' means, if you are interested).

Report: Police Looking Into Video Game Habits of Sandy Hook Elementary Shooter

February 21, 2013 -

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund points out a new two-part report produced by the Hartford Courant and PBS that reveals how video games continue to be part of the ongoing narrative of the police investigation into the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that occurred in Newtown Connecticut in December of last year.

14 comments | Read more

World of Warcraft Pet Sale Raises $2.3 Million for Hurricane Sandy Victims in December

January 11, 2013 -

Blizzard Entertainment announced via its official blog that it managed to raise $2.3 million for the American Red Cross’s ongoing Superstorm Sandy relief efforts in the month of December. World of Warcraft players were given the opportunity to purchase a new in-game pet during the month, and stepped up in droves to help raise the money.

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World of Warcraft Players Make Great Employees, Claims Researcher

January 3, 2013 -

In a video for knowledge forum "Big Think," researcher John Seely Brown explains why World of Warcraft players are the ideal employees for businesses. In his video he explains why playing an online game and being part of a team might be more important than getting an MBA at Harvard.

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Michael Pachter: Activision Should Charge a Fee for Call of Duty Multiplayer

December 7, 2012 -

This is sure to put analyst Michael Pachter on someone's naughty list: Recently he said that Activision needs to start charging a fee for the multiplayer portion of its Call of Duty games. Wedbush Securities industry analyst Michael Pachter made his comments during the Digital Game Monetization Summit in San Francisco, California (as reported by GamesIndustry International). During his presentation he said that Activision made a serious mistake when it didn't implement a subscription-based model for Call of Duty multiplayer.

Buy WOW Pet Cinder Kitten, Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

December 4, 2012 -

Blizzard will give 100 percent of sales of Cinder Kittens from the World of Warcraft Pet Store to the Red Cross and disaster relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The previously announced pet the Cinder Kitten can be yours for $10 USD. This fiery little feline is warm, adorable and will light the steps of any adventurer kind enough to adopt it. The Cinder Kitten has Rare-quality stats and is a part of the Elemental family.

1 comment | Read more

Blizzard Faces Class Action Over Battle.net Security

November 9, 2012 -

Two gamers have filed a class action against Blizzard Entertainment last week on behalf of Battle.net account holders, accusing the company of failing to properly secure players' personal information and requiring them to purchase a Battle.net Authenticator "in order to have even minimal protection for their sensitive personal, private, and financial data."

12 comments | Read more

 
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Andrew EisenYes, the Wii U upscales but rendering in a higher resolution looks a hell of a lot better.08/01/2014 - 10:35pm
Andrew EisenIt's pretty. Lots of videos of it floating around. Just search "Xenoblade dolphin" and you'll find them.08/01/2014 - 10:32pm
ZippyDSMleeThe WII upscales tho. Matthew: It might be becue cartoonish desings do not age as fast as presudo realisim.08/01/2014 - 10:29pm
Matthew WilsonPeople who have run the Mario Galaxy games on a emulator have said they look better then most xb1/ps4 games when upscaled, so it would be interesting to see a upscaled version of Xenoblade08/01/2014 - 9:24pm
Andrew EisenHeck, it would probably sell better to newbies anyway. Even with its awesome art direction, the game looked dated when it came out years ago. I imagine an SD version would be a tougher sell.08/01/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenBecause it would be cool, would serve the game's fantastic art direction well and encourage people who've already played it to buy it again.08/01/2014 - 7:42pm
ZippyDSMleeWhy bother with an HD relese just repack the damn thing and promote it since it will play on the WIIU anyway....08/01/2014 - 7:04pm
Andrew EisenPlus, with Nintendo carrying the Wii U almost all by itself, it could help plug one of the unfortunately inevitable release schedule gaps.08/01/2014 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenAn HD re-release would be cool though. It's a great game (and quite the looker, especially when up-rezzed) and more people should play it (the game had a limited release at a time when the Wii was all but dead an buried).08/01/2014 - 3:21pm
E. Zachary KnightSo no, people are not going to need to play the Wii game to undstand or enjoy the Wii U game.08/01/2014 - 1:27pm
E. Zachary KnightFrom what I understand, the two games have as much to do with eachother as Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy 2.08/01/2014 - 1:26pm
MaskedPixelanteIt's my secret hope that Nintendo announces Xenoblade HD to be released in the leadup to Xenoblade Chronicles X, or at least a mass market version of the first game so that people aren't going into this one blind.08/01/2014 - 12:40pm
PHX CorpI'm going to do a test stream later today, if anyone is intrested07/31/2014 - 2:40pm
Andrew EisenYes, I'm such a big Nintendo dork that I read Nintendo's quarterly financial reports.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenCool tidbit - Mario Kart 8 sales account for more than half of total Wii U software sales for the last quarter even though it was only available for the last third.07/31/2014 - 2:09pm
Andrew EisenStill a pretty cool promotion. Unfortunately for me, I'm not interested in purchasing Mario Kart 8 and I already owned or didn't want any of the free games on offer.07/31/2014 - 1:43pm
Andrew EisenInteresting that EU had 10 games to choose from while North America only had four.07/31/2014 - 1:41pm
MaskedPixelanteIt certainly worked, I probably would never have bought Mario Kart 8 if it didn't come with a free copy of Wind Waker HD.07/31/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenI imagine will see similar promotions like "Buy Mario Kart 8 get a download code for one of these specific games" but almost certainly not for all of its (however you would define) biggest releases.07/31/2014 - 11:24am
MaskedPixelanteI wonder if Nintendo is going to be doing "buy one get one free" promos for all their biggest releases going forward.07/31/2014 - 10:48am
 

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