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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UK Documentary Mistakes Video Game Footage for Real World Terrorism

September 27, 2011 -

A documentary that aired on Britain's ITV channel Monday night called "Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA" has a problem with reality. Apparently the makers of the documentary promised footage linking Libya's Colonel Moammar Gadhafi and the IRA, but mistakenly included video from a video game. The documentary claimed that the Libyan dictator gave the IRA tons of military hardware, and purported to show the IRA members using it to shoot down a helicopter in 1988.

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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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HP Officially Kills webOS

August 19, 2011 -

One year after acquiring webOS from Palm, HP has decided that the mobile OS is no longer worth the effort. Hewlett-Packard officially announced this week that support for webOS will soon come to a screeching halt. The company announced via a press release that "it will discontinue operations for webOS devices, specifically the TouchPad and webOS phones. HP will continue to explore options to optimize the value of webOS software going forward."

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CrowdStar Teams with YouWeb

July 17, 2011 -

Social gaming company CrowdStar has joined forces with consumer Internet and mobile computing incubator, YouWeb. CrowdStar hit a major milestone last month with the release of its hit social game, Top Girl. The iOS game made its way to the #1 spot in Apple’s App Store, acquiring over 1 million downloads in just 10 days and establishing itself as the top-grossing game in the App Store over Zynga Poker and Angry Birds. On the heels of this success, CrowdStar is establishing StarFund and allocating up to $10 million for investments in game developers with innovative game concepts.

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MumboJumbo Adds Additional Motions to PopCap Lawsuit

June 30, 2011 -

Casual game developer MumboJumbo has filed several new motions in its ongoing attempt to collect money from casual publisher PopCap Games for services rendered. MumboJumbo is laying the groundwork to make sure that - even if PopCap gets sold - it still has to pay what it owes to MumboJumbo. MumboJumbo has also requested the deposition of a high level PopCap executive in order to find out more about the possible sales.

"We're hearing all sorts of talk about a sale or IPO of PopCap – and that's great – but the company has a responsibility to pay its debts," says attorney Martin Rose of Rose Walker, the firm representing MumboJumbo. "We just want to do everything we can to make sure that what the jury and the court called for is carried out. Depending on the terms of the reported sale, there may be no assets left in PopCap to satisfy the full judgment, including attorney fees."

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Eurogamer Digs Into Divorce Online Video Game Claims

May 31, 2011 -

Adding to the debate on this story about 15 percent of divorces filed via UK-based Divorce Online being related to online gaming and game addiction, Eurogamer picks apart the numbers in this story.

That study conducted by Divorce Online suggested that 15 percent of divorces filed with the company are a result of video game addiction - usually World of Warcraft or Call of Duty. But a deeper look at the methodology, the actual numbers, and what is required to file a divorce in the UK paints a slightly different picture.

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Parent Angry over Adoption Joke in Portal 2

May 18, 2011 -

A North Carolina father has gotten his 5 - 10 minutes of fame by complaining about adoption jokes in Portal 2. Charlotte news channel WBTV indulges the complaining parent in a story that goes out of its way to malign one of the best games of 2011. According to the report, Neal Stapel was playing Portal 2 with his adopted daughter and enjoying it until jokes started to fly about one of the characters being adopted. Stapel found himself utterly offended. None of the other jokes and occasionally crude humor bothered him, apparently.

"It throws the question, the most ultimate question that that child is ever gonna have for you and it just throws it right in your living room," he said. "It says it's rated "E" for everybody and I'm thinking maybe it's rated "E" for everybody except for orphans."

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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

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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.

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NPD to Analyst: Loose Lips Sink Ships

March 28, 2011 -

In the last year research firm NPD Group has drawn a curtain of secrecy on its retail and digital sales data. As a result, journalists no longer have access to hard numbers. Now journalists must rely on the kindness of hardware manufacturers, publishers and the NPD's general top ten lists to figure out what the top selling games are from month to month. Analysts enjoy more access to that data, but it looks like NPD is tightening security even among that class.

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Epic's Mike Capps on How Fox News Affected Bulletstorm Sales

March 8, 2011 -

Epic Games' president Mike Capps is delighted with the early success of Bulletstorm, saying that the game sold out its first run at "one major retailer."

"We got a reorder on day one from one of the big U.S. retailers that focuses on games," said Capps. "So that was a pretty good feeling."

We would assume he did not want to say "GameStop" for some reason. Capps went on to say that launching a brand new IP is one of the most challenging aspects of developing a game:

"[Launching a new IP] is really hard. I read something that less than 1% of console games this generation launched as new IP sold a million units,” he added. “So if you don't sell a million units you lost money, basically. I'm pretty confident we'll be on the good side of that [1 million] number. I'd rather sell Gears-type numbers that'd be fantastic."

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Mortal Kombat Refused Classification In Australia

February 25, 2011 -

According to a report on Kotaku Australia Mortal Kombat has been refused classification in Australia. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment issued the following statement to the media:

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StarCraft II Cheaters Get Banned From Battle.net

February 23, 2011 -

Blizzard announced today that it has banned an undisclosed amount of Battle.net users for using cheats and hacks while playing StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty online. Here is the official word from Battle.net:

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Bizarre Creations Closing February 18

February 15, 2011 -

According to Develop, Bizarre Creations will close on Friday, February 18. The Liverpool, UK-based studio was founded in 1994, and created over 20 games including Formula 1 '97, Metropolis Street Racer for Dreamcast, several Project Gotham Racing 1 - 4, Geometry Wars, The Club, and Blur.

In 2007 the studio lost its independence when it was acquired by Activision. In a forum post on the developer’s website (no longer available) at the time Bizarre staff members described Activision’s buyout optimistically:

"Bizarre isn't a developer in financial trouble, and we're certainly not looking to be 'saved' by a bigger corporation," the post read. "We're a dev looking to take our games to the next level, and make the absolute best products we can possibly make. Likewise, Activision is not in the business of 'buying out' struggling developers either."

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Gold Reseller Touts Fresh Colorful Design

February 14, 2011 -

I am sure that Blizzard (and other MMO companies) is delighted with today's press release from World of Wacraft gold reseller outfit BYGamer. While the press release isn't particularly thrilling one could imagine that the China-based gold farmers are not well liked on this side of the world.

The company issued a press release to announce changes to its web site - BYGAMER.com - which now offers visitors a plethora of fancy colors, improved navigation and lovely new frames. Are they mocking Blizzard? It sure seems that way.

The company tops off its wonderful announcement with customer testimonials:

"It’s amazing! What a beautiful site and Buy WOW Gold here is absolutely a good choice!, said new customer Monica to one of BYGAMER’s call center operators.

The company says that this new design is already proving to help "increase traffic and sales."

Full release below:

EA Responds to Fox News Bulletstorm Segment

February 9, 2011 -

EA has responded to a recent Fox News story that asked the question "Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?" and (thanks to one participant) made the amazing claim that the increase in rapes can be attributed to playing games. There were other amazing claims in the report, but the most disturbing words came from Psychologist Carol Lieberman, who insisted that there was a correlation between playing sex scenes in games and rape. She told Fox news:

"The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games." Of course, there is no research to back up her claims that we are aware of, but the truth should never get in the way of a good talking point.

Video Game Sales Down in 2010

January 14, 2011 -

The NPD Group said total video game sales for the year were $18.58 billion, compared to sales of $19.66 billion for 2009, and $21.4 billion in 2008.

Console hardware sales were down 13 percent and new video game software sales dipped 6 percent year-on-year. Sales of new and used games and downloadable content were flat (or down one percent), NPD estimates. Video game accessories jumped 13 percent above 2009's numbers, thanks to Kinect and Move.

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Opinion: Violent Media Culpable in Arizona Tragedy

January 13, 2011 -

In Niall O'Dowd's latest Periscope column he takes a crack at pinning Jared Loughner's senseless act of violence on the influence of violent films and video games. Of course, there is no evidence connecting Loughner to either, but why let the facts get in the way of commentary, right?

O'Dowd opens his column by saying that "other factors" are lost in the discussion of whether or not political rhetoric influenced or inspired the Tucson killer. What influences does he speak of? The culture of violent media that the youth of America are so immersed in, of course. The first target is movies:

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Stardock: Elemental Will Lose Money

January 10, 2011 -

Stardock CEO Brad Wardell says that the company's strategy RPG Elemental: War of Magic will end up costing the company money in the long run. This will happen, the company says, despite the fact that the game managed to break even on pre-orders.

"Elemental made its money back on day one and has continued to be profitable to this point," Wardell told Gamasutra in an email. "However, based on our projections we anticipate by the end of second quarter 2011 that Elemental will end up losing money overall as our objective is to spend what is necessary to ensure that the game meets the expectations of our customers."

Wardell did not disclose how many units the game has sold to date or how much money the company made off initial sales. While the company will lose money on the game, Wardell sees it as an investment in its PC customer base, who were very dissatisfied with the launch of Elemental.

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Report: Facebook made $355 million Net in 2010

January 7, 2011 -

A report that found its way to Reuters this week reveals some interesting financial numbers from privately owned Facebook. The document, which was meant for customers of investment firm Goldman Sachs, says that Facebook made $1.2 billion USD in the first nine months in 2010. The company also raked in $355 million in net income.

The source that leaked the document to Reuters told the new organization the "the financial statements were not audited and offered little detail about how Facebook generates it revenue".

"It just shows you that these business can generate 30 percent to 40 percent, potentially, operating margins," said Ryan Jacob of the Jacob Internet Fund, speaking to Reuters. "They probably did at least $500 million in net income in 2010."

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GameStop Enjoys Record Holiday Season

January 6, 2011 -

Video game retailer GameStop reported record sales of $3.02 billion for the nine-week holiday season that ended on January 1. This marked a 5.4 percent increase over the same period last year, driven by Kinect sales, and "strong sell through" of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The company also reported 32 percent growth in gift card sales during the month of December.

New hardware sales improved 7.4 percent based mostly on the successful debut of Microsoft's Kinect. New video game software sales increased 3.3 percent.

Viacom Responds to Harmonix Shareholder Lawsuit

December 22, 2010 -

Responding to an earlier Gamasutra report related to ex-Harmonix shareholders suing parent-company Viacom, the company at the heart of the legal battle fired back with some allegations of its own.

Viacom claims that the allegations in the lawsuit are the result of the poor decisions of shareholders' representatives, and not from any wrongdoing on its part.

"Viacom fulfilled its contractual obligations and our actions were completely appropriate and consistent with the terms of our agreement with Harmonix shareholders and the interests of our shareholders," a representative for Viacom told Gamasutra.

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Report: Madden Curse Could Be EA's Blessing

December 21, 2010 -

Forget about a game based on the Madden NFL games, EA is looking to make a movie based on the curse that goes with each new edition of the game. If you are a fans of the series then you have probably heard of this curse. The folklore goes that anyone who appears on the cover of the game has seriously bad luck. Some get injured, some get fired, some go to jail, etc.

But what EA wants created is a comedy based on "the curse" of being on the cover of its Madden series. Here's some more on the story (unconfirmed as of yet):

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Publishers Clearing House Buys Adver-Games Developer

December 9, 2010 -

Publishers Clearing House did something bizarre this week and it did not involve a gigantic check. The sweepstake company and magazine seller bought Funtank, an online video game company that is best known for creating advertising-based games (adver-games) for companies such as Trident, Walt Disney, and Toyota.

Financial terms related to the acquisition were not disclosed but we do know that Funtank co-founders James Baker and Scott Tannen will continue to run the company.

While the motives for this purchase are not fully understood, one could guess that Publishers Clearing House is looking for new and exciting ways to engage people on the Internet and get them to buy whatever their marketing partners are pushing to them. Since gaming is second only to social networking according to Nielsen, the deal makes a lot of sense.

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Report: Blizzard Dealt With Data Leak as Cataclysm Launched

December 8, 2010 -

While Blizzard was launching its biggest product of the year, behind the scenes it was having some serious problems with a data leak in China, according to a report on VentureBeat. According to that report, citing several news stories from MMOGameSite, Blizzard's release schedule and subscriber numbers were leaked from its China offices, and the general manager of the studio, Ye Weilun, was subsequently fired for it - allegedly.

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Goldman Sachs: Xbox Division Should be Spun Off

October 6, 2010 -

A Goldman Sachs analyst (whose company was saved by taxpayers, for the record - you're welcome) says that Microsoft should spin off its Xbox division and downgraded Microsoft share recommendations from buy to neutral. In a new report, Goldman Sachs said that "A break-up of the consumer businesses could potentially unlock hidden value, or more discipline on cost could turn the businesses into contributors to profitability and shareholder value."

Goldman Sachs: Microsoft should split off 'unprofitable' Xbox dept. Analyst Goldman Sachs has downgraded Microsoft share recommendations from 'buy' to 'neutral', and suggested that one way to resolve the firm's apparent difficulties is to split off its consumer entertainment division.

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Did You Hear the One About the Sweaty Gamer?

September 3, 2010 -

While attending a recent Microsoft Kinect event in Australia, Atomic MPC editor David Hollingworth was offended when Microsoft regional manager David McLean cracked wise at the expense of gamers to a crowd packed with fashion and lifestyle magazine journalists.

Here's an account of the offending comments, according to Atomic MPC:

10 comments | Read more

Unplugged: Game Addiction Book in Stores

June 1, 2010 -

Ryan G. Van Cleave's new book about his battle with game addiction is in stores today. The book is called "Unplugged: My Journey Into The Dark World Of Video Game Addiction," and it details what the author calls a battle with "very serious addiction" to playing videogames. His level of addiction? He claims he spent 50 hours a week playing videogames which led to self-imposed alienation from friends and family, job loss, and bad health.

A press release this morning in support of the book offers a particularly hard to belive quote on what he experienced when he gave gaming up:

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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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