Report: No Online Pass in Crysis 2

March 1, 2011 -

There will not be an Online Pass code in the retail console versions of Crysis 2, according to a Eurogamer report (citing a recent Gamertag Radio new story). The reason for the omission of the one-time code for online play that EA has used in other games is simple enough: developer Crytek didn't want it. Crytek is an independent studio who uses EA Partners to distribute its games. As such it has the right to refuse using Online Pass.

Crytek wanted as many people to play multiplayer as possible when it is released and they don't care if those players are playing a new or used copy of Crysis 2. Further, the company indicated that it felt that the Online Pass technology is just too young.

Whatever the reasons, we are delighted that Crytek opted not to use this.

Crysis 2 is due for release shortly on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

Source: Eurogamer

5 comments

You Rock the Body in MicroBots

January 3, 2011 -

Electronic Arts releases MicroBot, a new game that takes players inside the human body. The game is available on Xbox Live Arcade for 800 Microsoft Points ($10) and coming Jan. 4 on PlayStation Network ($10). The arcade-style shooter created in collaboration with Naked Sky Entertainment challenges gamers to control a microscopic ship on a mission to destroy a biotechnological infestation.

Players battle malicious enemies as they travel through the bloodstream, bones, lungs and brain. The rhythms and fluids of the human body create an environment that affects movement and gameplay, providing combat advantages and additional hazards to overcome.

In addition to a Story Mode, MicroBot features a Challenge Mode, where either one or two players can see how long they can survive the battle using just one ship configuration.

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BBC2 Vietnam Operation Hastings Unlocked For Everyone

January 3, 2011 -

Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 Battlefield Bad Company 2 Vietnam players finally manage to unlock the Operation Hastings multiplayer map - well after PC players, who managed to accomplish the milestone last week. DICE challenged players on all platforms to hit the 69 million team actions milestone to unlock the map. Team actions include such activities as healing teammates, spotting enemies, resupplying teammates, reviving teammates, and repairing equipment.

Unfortunately, DICE gave Xbox 360 and PS3 a free pass; they did not have to hit the 69 million mark. As of this writing, Xbox 360 players had 51,943,729 team actions, while PS3 players hit the 38,796,680 mark.

Source: BattleFieldBadCompany2.com by way Joystiq

1 comment

Video of ECA SCOTUS Rally

November 29, 2010 -

As readers of GamePolitics well know, November 2 was a momentous day for the videogame industry as the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Schwarzenegger vs EMA case.

That same day the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) held a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court steps in which gamers from all walks of life stood up for their favored medium.

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Yee Out to Ruin Xmas for Kids

November 23, 2010 -

Citing their “potential harmful effects,” California State Senator, and anti-videogame law architect, Leland Yee is advising parents and anyone else buying gifts for kids this holiday season, to avoid purchasing violent videogames.

Yee urged purchasers to retain awareness of marketing and advertising that targets kids, check a game’s age ratings and content descriptors and to become familiar with the game. He warned that if any violent or sexual images appear on a game’s box, or in its title, “you can assume these themes are also in the game."

It was also suggested that shoppers avoid all first and third-person shooters entirely, as they “usually focus on gunning down hundreds of people,” and to avoid games “that reward the player with more points or new scenes for anti-social and violent behavior.”

Poll: Books and Games Top Holiday Buyers' Lists

November 23, 2010 -

According to a new Harris Poll, over half of Americans (53 percent) say they are planning to purchase toys as gifts this year while two in five (40 percent) say they will not purchase toys and 7 percent are not sure. Three-quarters of those surveyed in a household with children (73 percent) say they will purchase toys as gifts this year. I feel sorry for the one-fourth of those kids who live in those other households. These are just some of the results of a special Harris Poll of 3,084 adults surveyed online between October 11 - 18, 2010.

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AU Christian Groups Still Battling Over R18+

November 22, 2010 -

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) and the Australian Catholic Bishops (ACB) have differing opinions on the introduction of an R18+ adult videogame rating Down Under, which has caused a chasm between the two groups.

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Professor: SCOTUS Should Use Schwarzenegger Case to Fix its “Extreme” First Amendment Stance

November 17, 2010 -

In an opinion piece appearing in the Los Angeles Times, Pepperdine University constitutional law professor Barry McDonald argues that the Supreme Court should use Schwarzenegger vs. EMA to “adjust its severe approach to content-based regulations of speech.”

McDonald opined that the California law in question “puts teeth” in the attempt to stop kids from buying violent games, and he notes that the plaintiffs in the case “are not minors who are eager to receive the ‘speech’ in question,” but game manufacturers themselves.

He continued:

Despite the fact that it seems the 1st Amendment is being used to protect the manufacturers' purses rather than their ideas, lower courts across the country have uniformly invalidated such video-game restrictions on free-speech grounds.

Four Games & Devices Earn NPC Seal of Approval for Holidays

November 15, 2010 -

After a Fall 2010 update failed to include any videogames, the National Parenting Center’s Seal of Approval awards focused on the 2010 holiday season includes four such entries.

The winners, part of the NPC’s 20th annual incarnation of the awards, were chosen following two months of testing by both parents and kids in the NPC’s test centers. Entries are judged by “a variety of levels including, but not limited to, price, packaging, design, stimulation, desirability, age appropriateness, instructions and more.”

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Ex-COPA Commissioner: Parents > Age Gates

November 10, 2010 -

In response to Microsoft’s recent Xbox Live dashboard update, which added the ability for parents to limit non-game content such as downloaded movies and television shows on a per-user basis, CNN took a look at the current state of other measures designed to keep kids from viewing content that perhaps they shouldn’t be.

The article focuses mainly on “age gates,” or content that is hidden behind a screen in which users must input their birth date. Obviously such obstacles are easily overcome by any mouse-wielder, regardless of age.

8 comments | Read more

Don’t Expect an R18+ Decision Anytime Soon

November 9, 2010 -

For all the Australian gamers waiting patiently for an R18+ videogame rating category, a GameSpot columnist offers some advice—don’t hold your breath.

Despite petitions in favor of the addition of an R18+ rating, sponsored by retailer GAME (which received over 72,000 signatures) and EB Games and Grow Up Australia (which was signed by over 46,000 supporters), the government continues to drag its feet when it comes to the subject.

Dueling Opinions on Schwarzenegger vs EMA in USA Today

October 29, 2010 -

A pair of opposing editorials appear on the USA Today website, delivering two distinct takes on Schwarzenegger vs EMA.

Common Sense Media CEO James Steyer penned a piece opposing the game industry, stating that the showdown “pits the profits of a multibillion dollar video game industry against the best interests of kids.”

Steyer, whose organization backed California with an amicus brief of its own (PDF), went on to cite American Academy of Pediatrics research to back his choice of sides, research which “declared the connection between game violence and aggression nearly as strong as the medical association between cigarettes and lung cancer.”

ALA Prepping 3rd Annual National Gaming Day

October 27, 2010 -

Over 1,500 libraries are participating in the American Library Association’s (ALA) third annual National Gaming Day, which takes place on November 13.

The organization is billing the event as “the largest simultaneous national video game tournament ever held,” as it will allow participants to play against competitors in other libraries around North America. This year's tournament games are Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Rock Band.

During last year’s event, over 31,000 people played games at over 600 libraries in the U.S. and Canada.

Librarians, it was stated, follow the ESRB rating system and also do “extensive research” into games before allowing kids to play them. Featuring new media, like games, allows libraries to expand their reach, while meeting community expectations.

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Students Grant Win to Game Industry in Schwarzenegger Case Sim

October 26, 2010 -

Students at the California Western School of Law (CWSL) staged a simulation of the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA case last week and ultimately, issued a ruling in favor of the game industry.

CWSL Professor Glenn Smith, organizer of the event (pictured), discussed with GamePolitics the unique approach he and his students adapted for the simulation—each student assigned to play the role of a Supreme Court Justice conducted “substantial research” into a particular judge’s past case decisions, writings and speeches in order to more effectively immerse themselves into the role.

Develop Magazine's Twenty Companies to Watch List

October 25, 2010 -

Game Developer magazine announced its list of the "twenty companies to watch for 2010 - 2011" in its October 2010 issue. Sister site Gamasutra reprints them - and we co-opt them for our own purposes. Among the usual suspects like Nintendo, ThatGameCompany, LucasArts, and Apple, are companies such as Runic Games, Capy Games, Google, and Indie Fund.

Full list below, in no particular order:

 

  • Capy Games
  • CCP Games
  • Danger Close Games
  • Nintendo
  • Microsoft for Windows Phone 7
  • Quantic Dream
  • The Behemoth
  • Unity Technologies
  • Runic Games
  • ThatGameCompany
  • Apple
  • Blitz Games Studios
  • Pixologic
  • LucasArts
  • GameStop
  • Junction Point Studios
  • OnLive
  • Google
  • Arkane Studios
  • Indie Fund

 

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Guest Column: ECA General Counsel Outlines Road Ahead for Schwarzenegger Case

October 25, 2010 -

With all of the interest around the violent video game case, Schwarzenegger v EMA, we get questions daily on the process, the case, the legal principals, our amicus brief, others’ briefs, and what is going to happen on the day of oral arguments and beyond. While we hope that the following information will shed some light on the oral argument process, we also routinely refer folks to the Supreme Court website, as well as to relevant articles on GamePolitics.

Yee “Hopeful” for SCOTUS Win

October 25, 2010 -

As the case surrounding a law he originally authored makes its way to the Supreme Court next week, California State Senator Leland Yee issued a handful of comments related to what will eventually be a landmark decision for gamers.

The Court will, of course, hear oral arguments for Schwarzenegger v EMA on Tuesday, November 2 at 10:00 AM.

Yee said he was “hopeful” that the Court would give “parents a valuable tool to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games.”

Yee additionally claimed that SCOTUS has "often ruled" in favor of protecting kids and limiting their access, citing topics such as "pornography, gambling, marriage, firearms, jury duty, tobacco, alcohol, voting, abortion, licenses, and the death penalty" as examples.

Yee continued:

“Cyber Junkie” Author Discusses Addiction

October 21, 2010 -

If you happen to live in the Michigan area, the Royal Oak Public Library will be holding a videogame addiction discussion on Thursday, October 28.

The chat will be headed up by Kevin Roberts, author of the book Cyber Junkie: Escaping the Gaming and Internet Trap. Roberts, who states that he has been “both gifted and challenged with ADHD,” is a self-proclaimed recovering “cyber junkie” himself, having “wasted years” of his life in front of a computer screen.

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AU Greens Still Behind R18+, But Won’t Force the Issue

October 21, 2010 -

While Australia’s Green Party is pushing forward with two private member’s bills (regarding euthanasia and same-sex marriage), the party has decided against using the same tactic to introduce an R18+ videogame rating.

Speaking to GameSpot, Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam explained his party’s thinking, stating, “I'm not convinced [a private member's bill] is the way to go. The government would certainly oppose it, and it's not easy to conclude that the Opposition wouldn't either.”

Ludlam would rather “keep putting pressure” on the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) in order to “come up with a cooperative agreement” and avoid “pushing people into a confrontational position.”

New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle East

October 20, 2010 -

Media firm Rubicon Group Holding has partnered with Modern Electronics Co. Ltd., the sole distributor of Sony products in Saudi Arabia, in order to localize content appearing on various Sony platforms for Middle East users.

United Arab Emirates publication The National (thanks The Escapist) details the plans, which will include dubbing "certain games” into Arabic, adding Arabian characters and eliminating scenes that could run afoul of censors. Rubicon Executive Director Ghassan Ayoubi explained, “Those games that are extra-violent, or have sensitive issues for the region, will be edited for content.”

Report: Sony Targeting German Buyers of PS3 Hack Device

October 20, 2010 -

According to admittedly loose translations, a shipment of dongles to be used for hacking the PlayStation 3 have been seized by customs officers in Germany, and now Sony is targeting the purchasers of the devices with cease-and-desist letters and threats of fines and litigation.

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PTC Wants You to Thank AGs That Supported California

October 19, 2010 -

The Parents Television Council (PTC) is urging its ranks to thank attorneys-general from the states that supported the California side in the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA case now before the Supreme Court.

The PTC’s website features the mailing and email addresses for AGs from Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Texas and Virgina in order to make the process easier.

But what if you don’t live in one of the aforementioned states? The PTC then would urge you to “please write to thank California Governor Arnold Schwartzeneggar and California State Senator Leland Yee for creating and supporting this law.” Lee especially might appreciate such correspondence, as he, “in particular has come under attack from the videogame industry.”

Op-Ed Focuses on Retail Implications of Schwarzenegger Case

October 18, 2010 -

Entertainment Software Association (ESA) chief Michael Gallagher, along with Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) CEO James Hallan, took to the Lansing State Journal website for an opinion piece outlining the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA Supreme Court battle could impact retailers.

The piece states that the “misguided” California law—which contains “subjective and indefinite language” in relation to what would constitute an offensive game—is “particularly concerning for retailers,” because “the retail industry has already taken giant strides toward ensuring that violent videos do not end up in children's hands.”

According to the opinion piece, the “vague law” could be trouble for retailers because:

California: “Three-Prong” Test Will Preserve Free Speech

October 18, 2010 -

The petitioner in the Schwarzenegger vs. EMA Supreme Court Case is the state of California, and as such, it receives the opportunity to furnish the Court with a reply brief, in which it can argue against statements presented in the brief of the respondent.

California has done just this, submitting its reply brief (PDF, thanks PHX Corp!) in which it begins by stating that the respondents are off base in their attacks:

Respondents and their amici paint an alarming picture of government censorship of both classic and contemporary art and literature, ignoring the level of extreme violence depicted in the narrow category of video games that is actually covered by the Act.

Analyst Pegs U.S. Used Games Business at Nearly $2B

October 15, 2010 -

The Street is running a three part series on the popularity of second-hand goods in a down economy and, in the second part of the series, which focuses on the used videogames market, Wedbush analyst Ed Woo pegged 2009’s used videogame market at “close to $2 billion.”

Woo said that figure represented 10 percent growth and added that he expects the sector to grow again in 2010. The article further claims that GameStop, which does not break out used videogame sales in its financial results, “bases nearly 80% of its bricks-and-mortar business on trade-ins.”

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Game Hardware Added to Trade-in Value Tracking App

October 14, 2010 -

If you're one of the millions of gamers that participates in the used games market, much to the chagrin of some videogame publishers, a recently released app could be a useful addition to your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Game Trading Technologies, the same company that powers the used games business of, and/or supplies used titles to, retailers like GameStop, Best Buy, 7-Eleven and Wal-Mart has announced the release of the latest version of its GameBook Mobile, which adds trade-in pricing for videogame and iPod hardware, as well as trade-in pricing for DVDs and Blu-Ray movies.

The app already lets users store a list of their entire videogame software library, tracks the trade-in price of each product and can point users to nearby stores that accept trade-ins.

1 comment | Read more

Blizzard Clarifies SC II Single-Player Bannings

October 14, 2010 -

In response to a story from earlier in the week that Blizzard was banning players from StarCraft 2 who used trainers or cheats in the game’s single-player component, the company issued a clarification.

7 comments | Read more

XBL Spreading to New Markets

October 14, 2010 -

Microsoft has announced that, as of November 10, its Xbox Live service will be available in nine new markets—Russia, Poland, South Africa, Greece, Czech Republic, Hungary, Brazil, Colombia, and Chile.

Xbox Live users in those regions most likely have an account already, just set in a different region. MS will allow migrating users to keep their profile, gamerscore, achievements, points balance and subscription time, but warns that previously purchased or downloaded content “will not be downloadable again after migration at this point in time, so remember to save your purchased content to your hard drive or a USB flash drive.”

3 comments | Read more

No Inbox Left Behind

October 14, 2010 -

Okay, we readily admit to being virtually hypnotized by Christian game publisher Left Behind Games, even more so in light of the odd press releases the company has issued in the past couple of weeks, but their latest may take the cake.

Today, Left Behind detailed an upcoming email campaign that it says will eventually hit 7.77 million inboxes. The company added a “top-tier” email delivery service that will push output to 45,000 emails per hour. The campaign will leverage an “under-utilized” list of over 500,000 “Christian consumers accumulated since the release of the Left Behind Trivia Game, 7 years ago.”

5 comments | Read more

Enterprising Minecraft Player Could Be at Risk

October 14, 2010 -

Minecraft has already become a super successful indie game, with estimates that the title’s creator Markus Persson has already banked millions off of the game. While some players have garnered attention for the incredible items built within the game, those users, unfortunately, could be putting themselves in the path of a lawsuit.

The most awe-inspiring megaobject built in Minecraft has to be the 1:1 scale replica of the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek, which was created by YouTube user halnicholas (aka Halkun).

19 comments | Read more

 
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Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

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Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.businessinsider.com/xbox-one-virtual-reality-headset-will-compete-with-oculus-rift-2014-12 can a xbo even handle doing vr?12/21/2014 - 10:48pm
PHX Corp@Adam802 We'll break out the popcorn in June12/19/2014 - 9:23pm
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante: I'm itching to start it too but I will wait till the patch goes live. >>12/19/2014 - 7:52pm
Adam802Leland Yee and Jackson get trial date: http://sfbay.ca/2014/12/18/leland-yee-keith-jackson-get-trial-date/12/19/2014 - 5:24pm
MaskedPixelanteNevermind. Turns out when they said "the patch is now live", they meant "it's still in beta".12/19/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelanteSo I bought Dark Souls PC, and it's forcing me to log into GFWL. Did I miss something?12/19/2014 - 5:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/republicans-may-have-plan-to-save-internet-providers-from-utility-rules/ this is intreasting. congress may put net nutrality in to law to avoid title 2 classification12/19/2014 - 2:45pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.polygon.com/2014/12/19/7421953/bullshit-cards-against-humanity-donated-250k-sunlight-foundation I have to admit I like the choice o organization. congrats to CAH.12/19/2014 - 1:51pm
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
 

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