Comcast has been named the worst of the worst in The Consumerist's annual "The Worst Company in America" competition - as voted on by readers of the popular pro-consumer web site. The cable operator, which is seeking federal approval for a merger with Time Warner Cable, beat out Monsanto, the chemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation that is now a household name associated with wickedness, in the final round of voting.
The last vestiges of the web site and the technology fostered by Mark Surfas in the late 1990s is officially dead. GameSpy owner Glu announced via the GameSpy Technology site that it would shut down all "powered by GameSpy" hosted multiplayer services at the end of May. The shutdown will affect a lot of popular games. On a related note, Bohemia Interactive announced that it is already working on alternatives for Arma 3 and Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead.
A bizarre story out of Japan details a lawsuit against the president of mobile and social gaming giant Gree. According to Sakura Financial News (by way of Kotaku) Gree's current president Yoshikazu Tanaka is being sued by a former girlfriend for allegedly forcing her to have an abortion. Gree is a household name in Japan.
In an interview with Game Informer, Oculus VR vice president of product Nate Mitchell expressed his surprise to the publication about the general negative reception it received from fans concerning the acquisition by Facebook earlier this week.
Those thinking that Electronic Arts would win The Consumerist's 'Worst Company in America' award (or the "Golden Poo" as they like to call it) for the third year in a row will be disappointed to hear that the publisher of The Sims, SimCity, and Battlefield 4 has been knocked off in the first round of the playoffs by Time Warner Cable. EA was knocked out in the first round of the tournament, with its competitor Time Warner Cable receiving 51.2 percent of reader votes.
God of War III creative director Stig Asmussen has resigned from Sony Santa Monica, following recent layoffs at the studio. While Sony Computer Entertainment confirmed with IGN that the sudden departure was real, the company did not give a specific reason for Asmussen's resignation. Asmussen was supposedly working on a new project unrelated to the God of War series for which Sony's Santa Monica studio was responsible for over the years.
In 2012 Jay Pavlina raised $53,509 on Kickstarter for a game called Super Action Squad. Flash forward to 2014 and we learn that the game is now "on hold" as Pavlina admits that he bit off more than he could chew with this project, calling it "a bad idea in the first place." The news is a stark reminder that you are investing in something when you back a Kickstarter project, and sometimes you lose money on investments.
The first round brackets for The Consumerist's "Worst Company in America" award have been announced, with plenty of companies familiar to downtrodden consumers for their poor service, generally bad attitudes towards customers, and policies that make using their products and services a living hell for some. Of note to video game fans is Electronic Arts going up against Time Warner Cable in the first round.
According to this Polygon report, video games retailer GameStop is engaging in a little bit of price gouging. According to the report, the retailer has raised the price of the PS4 camera peripheral to $69.99. When Sony announced the peripheral back in 2013 it carried a suggested retail price of $59. Last month the device was listed at that price point, but recently the PS4 camera has been scarce or sold out at most major retailers in the United States.
Ubisoft confirmed during its earning call today that the Wii U version of Watch Dogs has been delayed significantly, coming out well after the game releases on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC.
Those versions of the game will release this spring (the period between April and June), according to Ubisoft, but Watch Dogs for the Wii U will not be released until much later. How much later? Ubisoft was pretty coy about an exact date, saying only that it would be released at "a later date" after the release of other versions of the game.
Yesterday we reported that Resident Evil and Onimusha composer Mamoru Samuragochi admitted that he hired someone else to create the compositions he took credit for. Today we learn who composed those works and that Samuragochi may not be deaf after all.
Backers of Obsidian's RPG Pillars of Eternity (which was once called Project Eternity) will be sad to hear that the game has been pushed from a Spring 2014 to a date sometime after the first half of 2014. Speaking to Eurogamer, Pillars of Eternity project lead Josh Sawyer said that because the game raised four times its initial target funding goal, Obsidian needed extra development time to accommodate the features it wanted to implement.
Mamoru Samuragochi, who is credited with composing the soundtracks for various Resident Evil and Onimusha games, now says that he took credit for work that he didn't actually create. Samuragochi, who is deaf, recently admitted that someone else has been writing his music for almost two decades, IGN reports (thanks Andrew Eisen for the tip).
Candy Crush Saga maker and game publisher King has yanked the game Pac-Avoid from its portal after it was revealed on Friday that the company had allegedly hired developer Epic Shadow to quickly clone Matthew Cox's Scamperghost. On Friday Cox claimed that Epic Shadow was hired by King to clone his game because negotiations to bring it to the company's catalog had fallen through. Today Matt Porter, the Epic Shadow developer who created the game for King, says that he was lied to and - with his game being taken down - he feels like King has thrown him under the bus.
A rare Nintendo World Championship cartridge (only 116 of them exist in the world) recently sold in a high profile eBay auction, but it turns out that the seller was punk'd when the buyer said he didn't have the $99,902 - the winning bid - to pay for it. The rules on eBay are very buyer-friendly, so someone can drive up a bid on something and then simply say "oops" or "I made a mistake." Meanwhile, a seller who finds themselves in such a situation has little to no recourse to do anything and the item cannot be relisted for another 30 days.
While there's been a lot of talk about the questionable relationships between publishers like EA and Microsoft with YouTube content creators, one very familiar YouTube personality claims that it's a pretty common practice.
YouTube personality Boogie2988, who has more than 1.6 million subscribers and produces the popular Francis rage series of videos, claims that the endorsement policies being talked about by the games media are part of daily business within YouTube networks.
Apparently Microsoft isn't the only one paying YouTubers for positive videos of games. According to a new report on Ars Technica citing a NeoGAF thread showing EA's "Ronku program," the company has been paying a generous $10 to $15 CPM (cost per 1,000 views) for videos that tie into marketing buzzwords and specific game features for its various games.
According to a report on Ars Technica, Microsoft and Machinima colluded to get Machinima YouTube content creators to say nice things about the Xbox One for money and required that they not disclose the financial relationship to viewers.
In calling for nominations for this year's "The Worst Company in America" awards, awards host The Consumerist says that Electronic Arts might be in the running for winning the dubious distinction for a third year in a row. According to the publication, EA is already getting a lot of nominations in the early part of the process.
Electronic Arts has released guidelines for what kinds of content the community can create using the new SimCity mod tools. To say that these rules put limits on the creativity of the community is probably an understatement. According to EA's guidelines the community is basically limited to cosmetic changes, such as reskins of buildings.
Speaking via a thread on Reddit, Riot Games president and co-founder Marc Merrill defended his company against accusations of greed related to its ultra popular free-to-play MOBA game League of Legends. Responding to a Reddit thread where users complained about the lack of a new client for League of Legends Season 4, Merrill denied that his company was being "money hungry."
Indie developers including the makers of The Witness, Thomas Was Alone, VVVVVV, and Ridiculous Fishing, are railing against YouTube and Google over their new copyright detection policies after being the target of false copyright claims on videos of their own games.
Mike Bithell, creator of puzzle platformer game Thomas Was Alone, was the target of a claim by a group called 'Indmusic' for "systematically" claiming rights to footage of his game. He lashed out at the group via Twitter:
In an email to YouTube content creators yesterday (obtained by Kotaku), Google defended its automated "Content ID" system deployed last week and offered some advice on what those affected by it could do if they feel they have become the target of a false copyright claim.
By all accounts online retailer Zavvi made a mistake when it mailed out a PlayStation Vita and Tearaway bundle to UK customers who simply ordered only the PS Vita game, but the company's response to customers is what's making news this morning. According to Eurogamer, the retailer has sent customers who received the PS Vita bundle by accident emails filled with ultimatums and legal threats.