Microsoft Buys 'Minecraft' Maker for $2.5 Billion

September 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft announced this morning that it has acquired Minecraft and Scrolls maker Mojang for $2.5 billion. The deal was rumored to be in the works last week. While Microsoft will acquire the Swedish company and all of its IP including Minecraft on multiple mobile, PC, and console platforms, it will not get access to one important commodity: Notch.

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Report: Microsoft in Talks to Buy Mojang for $2 Billion

September 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A Bloomberg report citing three individuals with knowledge of the deal, claims that Microsoft is in talks with Marcus Persson to buy Minecraft maker Mojang AB for an estimated $2 billion.

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BlizzCon Virtual Tickets Available for Purchase

September 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Blizzard has opened up sales for virtual tickets to BlizzCon. Those who can't attend this year's two-day celebration of all things Blizzard - World of Warcraft, Warcraft, Starcraft, Hearthstone,  Diablo, and more - can be a part of the event from the comfort of their homes.

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No Minecon Event Planned for 2014

August 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

There will be no Minecon fan gathering this year, according to Mojang. Mojang COO Vu Bui announced on the company blog that it will skip its 2014 event of the Minecraft-themed convention, with the next Minecon tentatively scheduled for sometime in 2015.

"While we don't have a set date for the next MINECON just yet, I wanted to let everyone know that it won't be until some time in 2015. I'm shooting to have it in the spring in London," Bui wrote before cautioning that even the 2015 event was not set in stone or a guarantee at this point.

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GunHo Sells Stake in Supercell

August 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Japanese game developer GungHo Entertainment has sold its stake in Supercell to its own parent company, SoftBank. GII reports that the Puzzle & Dragons developer sold its holdings in the Finnish studio because it wanted to focus more on emerging markets such as "China, Southeast Asia, and South America."

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Riot Games Not Interested in Offering Larger Prize Pool for 'League of Legends' Pro-Gaming Events

August 18, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Riot Games' head of EU eSports Jason Yeh tells Polygon that it is not interested in matching the massive prize pool for its League of Legends pro-gaming competitions that Valve offered with Dota 2's The International.

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Koch Media Buys 'Homefront' from Crytek

July 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Koch Media and its publishing label Deep Silver announced that they have acquired the Homefront brand and all related assets from Crytek. The deal encompasses all things Homefront-related including the latest game in the series that was being developed by Crytek UK - Homefront: The Revolution. The game will continue to be developed in the newly formed Nottingham-based Deep Silver Dambuster Studios.

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Team Newbee Wins The International, Earns $5 Million

July 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The final of the official Dota 2 International world championship took place yesterday, with Chinese team Newbee winning the $5 million prize pot. Newbee beat another team from China, ViCi Gaming in front of a capacity crowd at Seattle's Key Arena. As a team, Newbee took home $5 million, while runner-up team ViCi Gaming received $1.5 million. The third-place team, North America's Evil Geniuses, earned $1 million total.

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DreamHack 'Hearthstone' Tournament Winner Accused of Cheating

June 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The winner of Monday's DreamHack Hearthstone tournament has been accused of cheating by the community - even though organizers have reviewed the situation and given both participants a "pass," and the loser of the event says that the winner beat him fair and square. The trouble revolves around the winner, Radu 'RDU' Dima, who apparently received Battle.net messages from friends while the finals were taking place. Dima eventually bested Team Liquid's Jason 'Amaz' Chan by 3-0 to take home a $10,000 prize pot.

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Rovio Reveals 'LVL 11' Publishing Label

May 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Rovio, who is already operating a third-party publishing label called Rovio Stars, revealed another publishing label called Rovio LVL 11. The new label is apparently for internal games that don't quite fit in with Rovio's overall brand.

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Rovio Profits Down by 52 Percent in FY13

April 28, 2014 - GamePolitids Staff

Angry Birds maker Rovio may have spent too much time focusing on its number one hit game franchise. According to this Gamasutra report, Rovio's profits were cut by more than 50 percent during the 2013 fiscal year.

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NetEase Licenses 'Heroes of the Storm' for Mainland China

April 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and NetEase have inked an agreement to license Blizzard Entertainment's Heroes of the Storm to a NetEase-affiliate in mainland China for a term of three years. Heroes of the Storm is Blizzard's upcoming free-to-play, online team brawler featuring heroes from more than 20 years of Blizzard gaming history. Gamers will be able to play some of their favorite characters from the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo universes, and team up with friends to battle other teams online.

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Wargaming to Invest $10 Million in Support of eSports

April 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Wargaming CEO Victor Kisyli has pledged that his company will invest $10 million into improving and developing features that support eSports in 2014. At a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, Wargaming CEO Victor Kisyli said that there has been a huge upswing of interest in World of Tanks for eSports in the last two years. In 2012, 30,000 pro players took part in 120 World of Tanks tournaments, while in 2013 that number climbed to 200,000 players across more than 1,000 World of Tanks tournaments, according to Wargaming's calculations.

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Turtle Entertainment Buys ESS Agency

March 31, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

eSports brand Electronic Sports League (ESL) announced that parent company Turtle Entertainment GmbH, has entered into an agreement to acquire U.S. -based ESS Agency and that it would open a full production studio and offices in Los Angeles, California. This will mark the seventh international office for the eSports company to date. ESL’s North American operations will be conducted from two U.S. offices, New York and Los Angeles.

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Respawn Keeping Track of Titanfall Cheaters, First Round of Bans Coming 'Soon'

March 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

As is usually the case with new, popular, and multiplayer-focused games, cheating is a problem that has to be dealt with as swiftly as possible, and that is just what Respawn is doing with Titanfall. Respawn said that it is keeping track of those players who are cheating and will root them all out shortly. Titanfall launched on Xbox One and PC on Tuesday.

The developer announced via Twitter that it was keeping track of anyone using aimbots to boost their kill counts and has plans to ban them soon.

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King Expects to Raise as Much as $532.8 Million from IPO

March 12, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Candy Crush Saga maker King today said that it plans to price its shares between $21 and $24 for its initial public offering and that it plans to sell 22.2 million shares.

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Amazon Acquires Killer Instinct Developer

February 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Here's an odd but true story. Online retailer and Kindle Fire maker Amazon has acquired Killer Instinct creator Double Helix for an undisclosed amount of cash. The Irvine, California-based company that created Killer Instinct for the Xbox One console, was founded in 2007 through the merger of The Collective and Shiny Entertainment. The company currently employs around 75 people, who will continue to operate out of their Orange County offices, according to TechCrunch.

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Report: World Cyber Games Won't Hold Tournaments in 2014

February 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to an OnGamers report, World Cyber Games is finished holding eSports tournaments this year and may cease operations beyond being just a "brand." The World Cyber Games is one of the world's most popular and recognized e-sports tournament organizations operating competitions in Asia, North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Oceania.

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GungHo Expects to Rake in $1.2 Billion in 2014

January 28, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Puzzle & Dragons developer GungHo Online expects to rake in around $1.2 billion in revenue this year, and because it keeps its overhead low, it expects to keep about $700 million of that figure after expenses. These numbers are from CEO Kazuki Morishita, who recently spoke with CNN Fortune about the company's runaway hit game and business in general.

He attributes at least some of his company's success to his experience as a Manzai artist and stand-up comedian - believe it or not.

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Microsoft Buys Gears of War Franchise, Gives Rod Fergusson The Reigns

January 27, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Microsoft has purchased the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games, much like it did with Halo. The company now owns the franchise and all previous versions of the game. The Globe and Mail has all the details on the deal, including the fact that Microsoft's Vancouver-based studio, Black Tusk Studios, will be in charge of the franchise moving forward.

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Riot's New Contract for Pro LoL Players Restricts Streaming 'Other Games'

December 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Riot Games, makers of the popular MOBA game League of Legends, requires a lot from players who want to sign up with them to play professionally.

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PC and Mac Versions of Minecraft Getting Native Twitch Support ' Soon'

November 4, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Minecraft for Mac and PC will soon have native support for Twitch live streaming, according to news coming out of Minecon 2013 this weekend. Speaking at Minecon 2013 over the weekend, Twitch Marketing Vice President Matthew DiPietro confirmed that this level of functionality would be introduced 'soon'.

"Minecraft has struck a very powerful chord with the Twitch community," DiPietro said.

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Blizzard Adds Options for Color Blind Players in Upcoming StarCraft II Patch

July 30, 2013 -

The latest update for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm goes a step in the right direction for those players who are color blind. Blizzard Entertainment announced plans to release update 2.0.10 for StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm later this week that will add a new color blind mode and some new eSports features.

The new color blind mode alternates the colors that are used to designate players and shows the build grid when the "Display Build Grid" message is enabled. The minimap terrain is also darkened to show more visual contrast between units and terrain.

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DOTA 2 Passes League of Legends as Most Played PC Game in the West

April 10, 2013 -

Valve's popular MOBA game DOTA 2 has officially surpassed Riot Games' League of Legends as the most played in the West in the first quarter of this year, according to data collected by research firm DFC Intelligence. The report, which covers PC gaming in North America and Europe, is based on the DFC Intelligence PC Game Meter service. It combines data from multiple sources, including real-time stats from Xfire's 23 million users.

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Atari Founder Thinks Oculus Rift, Google Glass are the 'Next Big Things'

March 27, 2013 -

Atari founder Nolan Bushnell tells All Things D that the smart money is no longer going into smartphones as the industry shifts to focus on new platforms.

"All the money's out," Bushnell told the publication. "Do I really want to do a mobile game that's one of 300,000, where discoverability is everything? You really have to have a little more sizzle on the steak."

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Riot Games Opens New Studio in Sydney, Australia

February 28, 2013 -

While most big game developers and publishers have abandoned a lot of the studios they used to run in Australia, one company has decided that it is a good place to open up a new office. Riot Games, makers of the popular online multiplayer battle arena game League of Legends, announced that it has opened up a brand new studio in Sydney Australia.

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PSA: QuakeCon Scheduled for August 1 - 4 in Dallas, Texas

February 26, 2013 -

Organizers of QuakeCon, the annual fan gathering dedicated to all things Quake and id Software related is set to take place this year August 1 - 4 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in the beautiful city of Dallas, Texas. Thanks to id Software and Bethesda Softworks (both owned by Zenimax, for the record) the event is free to all, though if you want a place to stay you'd better book a room early.

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BlizzCon 2013 Announced

February 19, 2013 -

Blizzard Entertainment today announced plans for its seventh BlizzCon gaming convention, to take place Friday, November 8 and Saturday, November 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. You may recall that Blizzard canceled last year's event, much to the chagrin of fans.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 40

February 11, 2013 -

This week hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about fresh Xbox 720 rumors, new game bills in America, the releases cycle of the Ouya, and last week's GamePolitics Poll. All this and more awaits in Episode 40. Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 40 (1 hour) 55.5 MB.

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Rice University Uses Skyrim to Teach English Course

October 19, 2012 -

Rice University in Houston, Texas is using Bethesda's hit role-playing game Elder Scrolls IV: Skyrim to help teach an English course about Scandinavian fantasy worlds. The course is called "Scandanavian Fantasy Worlds: Old Norse Sagas and Skyrim" and hopes to teach students about fantasy as a psychological concept and how it is important in gaming culture. Students will play certain quests within the game, read selections from Norse and Icelandic sagas and identify parallels between literature and the game.

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Did Microsoft pay too much ($2.5 billion) for Minecraft developer Mojang?:

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Andrew EisenKrono - Many of the people pushing gender issues aren't nice people? I'm sure not everyone's a sweatheart but so far, everyone I've seen with such a critique had absolutely nothing to back them up.09/19/2014 - 10:46am
InfophileI think there's a qualitative difference between a site and a hashtag though. GP can ban anyone from commenting, so they can have the image they want. But anyone can use any hashtag and try to poison it. Granted, that hasn't happened to the other one yet09/19/2014 - 10:13am
E. Zachary KnightKrono, your comparison to GP does not work. We do not need to get rid of GP, because no one associates GP with trolls and abuse. The same can't be said for gamergate.09/19/2014 - 10:09am
Krono@Michael You don't remember the "other hashtag" because no one actually uses it. We're talking 836,983 uses of #gamergate over it's lifetime, and 8,119 for the "alternative". 47,129 uses on the 18th vs 41. With #notyourshield at 140,133 uses & 5,209 uses09/19/2014 - 9:48am
Kronoresearch it. Changing tags to get away from trolls would be like wiping GamePolitics and restarting under a new name to get away from people calling Jack Thompson a filthy names in the comments section.09/19/2014 - 9:35am
Sleaker@quiknkold - seems like all that page is is a bunch of random developer opinions and rumors that we're supposedto do what with?09/19/2014 - 9:31am
Kronoas an opportunity to push back against them. It's one of the things muddling the issue. @conster A new hashtag would do nothing to improve anything. Trolls will simply follow to the new hashtag, and it will confuse the issue for anyone attempting to09/19/2014 - 9:25am
Krono@Andrew aaah. Yes, I'm sure there's some of that. Part of the problem is many of the people pushing gender issues are not very nice people. Basically the latest incarnation of moralists we've seen in the past couple decades. Naturually some will take this09/19/2014 - 9:23am
quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael Chandraallegedly fired over giving a game a mediocre review and the company threatened to pull ads? Sorry but I ain't buying this.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael ChandraBut people arguing this is horrible and just about ethics, even though there's very little support that journalistic integrity was actually violated here, while they never spoke up when a journalist was09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Michael ChandraIf people start with condemning the way GamersGate was used as a misdirection, then use a better hashtag, that would work in convincing me they mean it.09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Andrew EisenOoo, this one came down to the wire! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/749082525/nefarious09/19/2014 - 1:03am
 

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