Report: Security Hole Found in Ubisoft's DRM Scheme

July 30, 2012 -

Update: The BBC is reporting that Ubisoft has rushed to patch the exploit unearthed by a Google engineer in its Uplay DRM. The company also issued instructions for Uplay users:

"We recommend that all Uplay users update their Uplay PC application without a Web browser open," Ubisoft said. "This will allow the plug-in to update correctly. An updated version of the Uplay PC installer with the patch also is available from Uplay.com."

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Microsoft's $99 Xbox 360 has a Surprise Inside

May 8, 2012 -

Microsoft has a new Xbox 360 bundle that costs $99, but consumers that buy it will have to commit to a two-year contract for an Xbox Live Gold membership. And that two year membership will cost you about $15 a month. While the idea might be to subsidize or finance the console as a trade-off for the low price point, the move also smacks of false advertising because the console will ultimately cost consumers $99, then 24 months of paying $15, for a grand total (not including sales tax) of $459 (24 months x $15 = $360, plus the price of the console at $99).

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Capcom: No Difference Between Extra On-Disc Game Content and DLC

April 3, 2012 -

Responding to a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, Capcom says that there is no distinction between downloadable content and content hidden and locked on Street Fighter X Tekken retail game discs. The latest argument between Capcom and consumers began when it was revealed that over a dozen DLC characters were hidden on the game discs. Because consumers paid for the game at retail and the content was on the discs already, they feel like they are having to pay for something they already paid for.

Not so, says Capcom in its response to a BBB claim:

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South Australia to Keep MA15+ Rating

April 3, 2012 -

South Australia will introduce a new law that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from purchasing a game with a rating of MA15+, according to a report from Gamespot Australia. A spokesperson for South Australian Attorney-General John Rau told GameSpot that this move is "a more practical measure" than Rau's previously announced plan of removing the MA15+ category altogether.

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CCP Investigates Eve Online FanFest Panel for Mocking Suicidal Player

March 26, 2012 -

With the Bully Project being released in theaters this Friday, it seems ironic that we would be reporting on people mocking another player who is "suicidal" and encouraging other people to do the same in the hope that the individual would "do it." This is the same kind of behavior highlighted in the aforementioned documentary. But instead of happening in a game it happened at school to an 11-year-old boy. He ended up listening to his school mates.

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Germany Considers 'Drudge' Tax

March 13, 2012 -

The Washington Times has an opinion piece that takes a shot at German Chancellor Angela Merkel's administration over what they are calling a proposed "Drudge Tax." The reference is to conservative Matt Drudge's popular web site The Drudge Report, which aggregates news from all over the web. While the flavor of The Drudge Report may not sit well with many, the concern with a new proposal being pushed by Merkel's administration is that it will levy taxes on web sites that aggregate content.

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App Developer Confession: We Manipulate the App Store Rankings All The Time

March 12, 2012 -

We have heard whispers that iOS developers use companies to manipulate their app rankings on the Apple App Store, but one such developer speaks frankly with Digiday about the practice and why he'd like to see it go away. Applications of iOS platforms have a hard time getting visibility on Apple's App Store because there are so many apps competing for the same business. 

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Angry Joe Gets Angry With Capcom over Street Fighter X Tekken

March 12, 2012 -

 The Angry Joe show is pretty angry and anyone with basic English skills should note the tone of his show with the use of an adverb as his first name. Still Joe has a lot to be angry about with Street Fighter X Tekken, because, as he notes in his latest video, it's not like Capcom hasn’t faced the outrage of fans over the practice he is ranting and raving about ("DLC" on the disc) in the past...

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Mass Effect 3's Ending Tied to Forced Multiplayer Participation

March 6, 2012 -

According to PC Gamer, you'll get a pretty lousy ending if you don't play multiplayer in Mass effect 3. Apparently BioWare decided that the best way to "encourage" co-op play in the game was to tie it to the single-player ending. As the player engages in a war with the Reapers, he or she earns what the game calls "War Assets" and "Readiness."

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RapidShare Throttles Free Users' Speeds

February 24, 2012 -

Online file-sharing company RapidShare has apparently slowed down the connection of users who are not registered members. These free users have been complaining about reduced download speeds during transfers. Some users have reported speeds as slow as 30/kbs. RapidShare says that the reason for this is simple enough: Throttling these users drive pirates away from their service. They claim that, since the close of MegaUpload, they have seen a major uptick in traffic, and some of it is only interested in sharing and downloading illegal software.

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Fake Pokemon Yellow App Yanked from Apple's App Store

February 21, 2012 -

Over the weekend some modern-day hucksters decided to put up "Pokémon Yellow" on Apple's App store. The app, which purported to be "just like the original" and has since been yanked from the store by Apple, made it into the number 3 position on the store's paid app charts. The app certainly confused plenty of customers, who gleefully plunked down .99 cents to play an authentic Pokémon game on their iOS device of choice, only to find that it crashed when launching.

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Ubisoft Apologizes for DRM Troubles Caused by Server Maintenance

February 8, 2012 -

Ubisoft has issued an apology to customers who were affected by server moves this week that affected games requiring "always connected" DRM - even when they tried to play single player games. Because Ubisoft uses a DRM scheme on some games that require a constant connection, shutting the servers down that these games require made them unplayable.

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Analyst: Zynga Spending $150 on Every New Paying Customer

January 20, 2012 -

According to Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia, Zynga is losing an estimated $150 on every new paying customer it acquires. Bhatia's estimate is based on the company's $120 million marketing budget for the first nine months of 2011. In other words, the pace of user growth is too slow and the company is spending way too much on marketing.

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Analyst: Apple Should Charge $10 Per Android Unit

December 29, 2011 -

According to this TechieBuzz report, analysts are telling Apple that they should collect up to $10 per device in royalties from companies that are using technology that they hold patents for. Kevin Rivette, managing partner at intellectual property firm 3LP Advisors LLC, said in an interview with Bloomberg that Apple could probably collect up to $10 in royalties for every Android device sold and that would be twice what Microsoft is believed to receive for each HTC Android device sold.

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Consumer Satisfaction Declines for Netflix, Rises for Amazon

December 28, 2011 -

Online retailer Amazon has risen slightly among the top companies for customer satisfaction while Netflix takes a significant nose dive, according to an annual holiday online retail satisfaction report released today from analytics firm ForeSee.

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GoDaddy Continues to Suffer for SOPA Support

December 27, 2011 -

GoDaddy is not having a merry Christmas, and the way things have started out this week, its New Year's celebration will be punctuated with audible sobbing. A lot has happened to the company since last Friday. The first notable thing, according to VentureBeat, is that it has lost 37,000 domains - mostly the result of boycott efforts after the company was revealed on a list of companies that support SOPA.

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Marketing Firm Gets Fined for Homefront GDC Balloon Stunt

December 14, 2011 -

It might have seemed cute when marketing company TrashTalkFCM pitched the idea of releasing thousands of balloons into the San Francisco sky to promote Homefront during the Game Developers Conference earlier this year. But THQ realized as the balloons flew upwards and then inevitably fell down into the San Francisco Bay that maybe it wasn't such a great idea after all. The bad local and national publicity wasn't worth it.

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GameStop's Skylanders Action Figure Grab-Bag Shenanigans

December 2, 2011 -

GameStop has put a questionable practice in place for adults seeking to purchase single action figures for Activision's Skylanders from its web site. In case you are not familiar with Skylanders, the game features a portal peripheral that you connect to your console of choice to scan in action figures which then become playable in-game. There are 30+ action figures but apparently supply is low because Activision didn't anticipate the demand for them and the supplier is overseas.

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Australian ISP's Create Plan to Deal with Copyright Infringement, Rights Holders Reject It

November 29, 2011 -

While Americans were enjoying Thanksgiving last Thursday Australia's Internet service providers held a meeting to come to a consensus on how to deal with illegal file-sharing in the country.

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Iran Bans Battlefield 3

November 28, 2011 -

Iran has banned Battlefield 3 from being sold in the country because it depicts a U.S. military assault against the city of Tehran using tanks and aircraft. This news comes from the Iranian IT magazine.

"All computer stores are prohibited from selling this illegal game," said an unnamed deputy with the security and intelligence division of Iran's police in a statement carried by the Asr-e Ertebat weekly.

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Austrian Court Dismisses Charges Related to Islamophobic Web Game

October 17, 2011 -

An Austrian court had found that right-wing Austrian politician Gerhard Kurzmann was not guilty of "incitement" related to a video game that required players to target and stop mosques, minarets and muezzins as they appeared on screen. Alexander Segert, the head of a Swiss advertising company that designed the game was also acquitted by the court.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Fraudsters

October 3, 2011 -

A fake Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for iOS has managed to piss off a lot of consumers and many are wondering how Apple allowed a game that has been in the App Store system for nearly six weeks to get past its approval process. The bogus game app claims to be an official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game and is the work of a Vietnamese developer known as Dang Van Phuong. The license for the popular franchise is currently held by Nickelodeon, who are working on a brand new animated property to be released in 2013.

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German TV Show Apologizes to Gamers For Hurtful Gamescom Report

August 25, 2011 -

This morning Kotaku pointed out a video from Germany's RTL Television in which commentators took great delight in mocking what they characterized as the "computer freaks" that they filmed at last week's Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. Today the show, apparently embarrassed (and likely humbled by fans that were pissed off at their mean-spirited characterizations) is now apologizing for their bad judgment in airing the report.

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Atari To Divest Cryptic Studios

May 17, 2011 -

As part of an earnings report today, Atari announced it is divesting of its interest in Champions Online developer Cryptic Studios, calling the development house a "discontinued operation" as of March 31.

Atari will continue to support all current Cryptic products while the publisher looks to sell the studio, Gamasutra understands. Development on the Bay Area studio's Neverwinter project will continue as normal for the time being.

The studio showed a loss of $7.5 million for the 2010/11 fiscal year period, up from a loss of $17.9 million in the same period a year ago. Most of this was due to turning its super hero MMO Champions Online to a free-to-play game, instead relying on micro-transaction to make money off the game. Its success was apparently not appreciated by parent company Atari.

Source: Gamasutra

1 comment

Coast Guard: Alaskan Tug Boat Captain Ran Aground Due to Video Games

May 12, 2011 -

A safety-escort tug that ran aground two years ago on Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef went off course because of a captain who was playing video games, according to a report from the U.S. Coast Guard. The tugboat ran aground at the very same site where the Exxon Valdez disaster occurred. The tugboat Pathfinder was part of a navigation safety system established in the aftermath of the 1989 oil spill and was designed to guide oil tankers through the sound after they fill up with crude at the trans-Alaska pipeline's maritime terminal in Valdez.

But the tug boat operated by the Crowley Marine Services ended up striking the same submerged reef that ripped open the hull of the Exxon Valdez supertanker, causing the worst tanker spill in U.S. waters.

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Three Arrested at Shinboku-con 2011

May 2, 2011 -

Three men attending Shinboku-con 2011 in Westlake, Ohio this weekend ended their attendance to the three-day anime/video game/culture event by going to jail. Police arrested two attendees of the anime and video game conference at about 7:15 p.m. on April 30. The two men, a 27-year-old Cleveland resident and a 21-year-old Canal Fulton man, got into an argument over how the younger gentleman was playing an undisclosed video game. The younger man was so agitated by the critique that he punched the other man in the mouth an hour after the initial argument. Police arrested the younger man for assault. The older man, proving just how stupid he is, decided to spit on an officer. Both men were released later that evening.

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AT&T Begins Capping Broadband Users Today

May 2, 2011 -

Today AT&T begins controlling how much broadband users consume with a new cap. The new cap limits users to 150 GB for DSL and 250 Gigabytes for its UVerse service. This could prove to be a challenge to AT&T subscribers that want to use services such as Netflix and Hulu due to the massive amounts of data being transferred during streaming. AT&T joins Comcast and some smaller ISPs in limiting the amount of broadband users consume - and the penalty for going over is additional charges.

AT&T will charge an additional $10 per month for going over the cap. That charge is not a onetime thing either: users will be charged $10 for every 50GB of additional data over the cap. If you have children or additional internet users in your care, the new capping scheme could prove to be an expensive challenge.

37 comments | Read more

The Hazards of Buying SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals Used

April 19, 2011 -

Last year, a few video game publishers (Notably EA and THQ) started charging a fee for online multiplayer from used video game buyers for $10. Sony Computer Entertainment America goes beyond the pale this week by charging gamers who dare buy SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals used extra. Those who buy SOCOM 4: U.S. Navy Seals used will miss out on special guns, game types, and other perks that will be added to the game at a later date. To get these features as a used game buyer, you'll have to pay a $15 fee.

Sony is marketing all this as "SOCOM Pro," an suite of enhancement for new game buyers. While some might argue that these extra enhancements are rewards for buying new, it is also hard to deny that they feel like punishment to anyone who can't afford to buy the full game. Basically if you are a used game buyer, you start out at a disadvantage online. Further, that $15 activation fee nullifies the savings of buying used.

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SCEA Chief: DS is a 'Baby Sitting Tool'

April 8, 2011 -

Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton said that the Nintendo DS, is nothing more than a kids-only "babysitting tool." He made the comments during a recent interview with CNN.

"Our view of the 'Game Boy experience' is that it's a great babysitting tool," Tretton said in a bruising chat with CNN, "something young kids do on airplanes, but no self-respecting 20-something is going to be sitting on an airplane with one of those. He's too old for that."

Not content to bag exclusively on the DS, Tretton also took shots at the Wii and Xbox 360.

27 comments | Read more

Report: SecuRom DRM Found in Dragon Age II

March 11, 2011 -

According to this Ars Technica report, citing a report from advocacy group Reclaim Your Game, the dreaded SecuRom DRM has made its way into PC version of Dragon Age II, despite BioWare (and EA) saying in its forums that it "does not use SecuROM." Surprise! Not only does the game use SecuRom, but all involved have failed to mention this fact to users in any way. There is no warning in the EULA, during the install, on the game's packaging, or on its official web site.

Back in 2008, EA was sued for failing to inform consumers about the DRM scheme in free trial versions of some of its games. Now EA could face similar legal action for its secret implementation of SecuRom in Dragon Age II.

Could this have been some sort of odd mistake or was EA trying to sneak the DRM past consumers? We will have to wait and see what they say.

22 comments | Read more

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

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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
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
 

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