Toronto Police Recover $500,000 in Stolen Sony Goods

December 3, 2010 -

A 39 year-old Toronto man has been arrested for stealing $500,000 (we assume CDN as the value) in PlayStation 3's, PSP's, and games, according to multiple Canadian press reports. Jason Meadus has been arrested and charged with three counts of "Possession of Property by Crime."

The charges stem from the theft of two tractor-trailers stolen on November 15 and 16, 2010 in Brampton. Each tractor-trailer load contained approximately $500,000 in PS3's, PSP's and video games. On November 17 both trailers were reported stolen.

A police investigation inevitably lead to Meadus. Only about half of the stolen property has been recovered, and it is unclear if Meadus was simply in possession of the stolen property or had a hand in stealing it. Investigators claim to have recovered approximately 1,600 pieces of Sony consoles and 2,000 games.

Meadus returns to court on January 10, 2011.

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London, Ontario Still Hopes to Build Gaming Mega Center

November 22, 2010 -

The city of London, Ontario continues to harbor aspirations for a local technology center based around videogames and has $5 million in funds ready to kick start the project.

There’s still no timeline for the intended center, but a plan, according to the LF Press, would have the federal government kick in $10.4 million of the total $24 million needed to get the project off the ground.

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Desert Bus Charity Drive Poised to Begin Fourth Installment

November 18, 2010 -

This year’s fourth annual Desert Bus for Hope charity gaming drive will benefit from the backing of managed hosting service provider ServInt.

Canadian comedy troupe LoadingReadyRun puts on the charity initiative each year, which consists of members playing the Penn & Teller-developed game of monotony Desert Bus, which has players man the steering wheel of a bus headed from Tucson, Arizona to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Such a trip takes eight hours in real time, and upon competition, players are awarded a single point.

Last year the charity drive, which benefits Child’s Play, raised over $140,000.

LoadingReadyRun’s Kathleen De Vere thanked ServInt for their contribution, and added, “With their hosting, we know everyone will be able to see us as we suffer for the children.”

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“Strange” Tender for Canadian Armed Forces Seeks 500 Games

November 18, 2010 -

Canada’s Department of National Defence has submitted a federal government tender request for 500 videogames.

Among the games requested, according to The Star, are 93 copies of Gears of War, 82 copies in total of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and 36 copies of Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock. All in all, it’s estimated that the total value of the games sought is around $25,000.

Capt. Sandra Bourne, a spokesperson for the Canadian Forces, said about the order, “It’s a strange one.”

Notably absent from the list—Medal of Honor, which Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay criticized earlier this year.

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Canadian Developer Downplays Importance of Tax Breaks

November 9, 2010 -

While game industry group TIGA continues to pound politicians on the subject of instituting Games Tax Relief for UK interactive developers, one Canadian developer feels like the UK's rich history of creating games created as tax breaks, at least when it comes to landing new publishing deals.

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Researcher: Violent Content Alone Does Not Increase Aggression

October 27, 2010 -

A psychology student at Canada’s Brock University has undertaken a study on the relation between videogames and aggression, but his research seeks to examine whether other elements of games, rather than violence only, can lead to increased hostility.

26-year old Paul Adachi, as part of his push for a PhD, has already experimented on 50 students between the ages of 17 and 19. His plan, as detailed by the Standard, involves having subjects play two games—one non-violent (the racing game Fuel) and one violent (the action-adventure title Conan)—while attempting to determine if a game’s level of competiveness, difficulty and pace of play contributed to a rising level of aggression.

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Sperminator Almost Ready to Go Again

October 27, 2010 -

Earlier this year we told you about an online game featuring a penis-armed villain that was designed to educate kids on the perils of sexually-transmitted diseases. That game, Adventures in Sex City, has proven so popular that a sequel is in the works.

Created under the direction of London, Ontario’s Middlesex-London Health Unit, the original game featured the characters Captain Condom, Power Pap, Willy the Kid and Wonder Vag, and had players answer sex-related questions in order to repel the seed of the evil villain, and sufferer of a sexually transmitted infection (STI), dubbed the Sperminator.

4 comments | Read more

Mounties Across Canada Bust Counterfeiters

October 25, 2010 -

Two separate detachments from Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) have succeeded in arresting suspected counterfeiters.

Officers from the Gaspésie – Îles-de-la-Madeleine RCMP just announced the seizure of approximately 3,500 DVDs, 400 copies of software, 1,000 computer games and 100 music CDs, all counterfeit, from a residence in New Richmond, Quebec. The Mounties also snatched computer equipment related to copying and producing the discs, and stated that the unnamed owner or resident of the dwelling could face charges under Canada’s Criminal Code and/or its Copyright Act.

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WarCraft III Smack Talk Culminates IRL Beating

October 22, 2010 -

A Vancouver high school student was assaulted by a group of people on Monday, all because the victim and his friends reportedly trash talked opponents after a victorious WarCraft III skirmish.

The student in question was roughed up at Eric Hamber secondary school during lunch hour. The Vancouver Sun reported that the beating came following a WarCraft III: Reign of Chaos online battle in a Defense of the Ancients custom scenario, after which the winning team mocked the losers.

“Four or five assailants,” described as in their late teens, tracked the boy to Eric Hamber, and “made him kiss their feet before hitting him with batons, breaking his fingers.” No arrests have been made yet, though Vancouver’s police youth squad continues to investigate the assault.

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As THQ Selects Montreal for New Studio, TIGA Laments Lost Opportunity

October 19, 2010 -

Game industry group TIGA is using comments from a THQ executive to further press for tax relief for the videogame industry in the UK.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, THQ Executive VP Danny Bilson called the talent in the UK “extraordinary,” and while he would love to see his company build a new studio in the region, it won’t happen anytime soon because “it's all about money at the end of the day.”

THQ opted instead to build a new 400-employee studio in Montreal, where it will receive tax breaks of 37.5 cents for every dollar spent on labor costs, which Bilson called a "huge win" and would enable the developer to "put more on the screen."

Bilson added:

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Canada's CMF Doles out $12.9M in Funding, Some to Game Makers

October 15, 2010 -

A dozen game projects were among twenty-seven total ventures awarded funding from the Canada Media Fund’s (CMF) Experimental Stream.

All told, the fund doled out $12.9 million, with an average of $478,000 granted per project. Three projects, including one game initiative, received the maximum amount of $1 million.

Bot Colony, an online game designed to assist players in improving English skills in development by North Side Inc., was the sole game project to land the max funding amount.

Other games receiving backing included:

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Canadian Mayoral Candidate Talks About Luring Developers

September 29, 2010 -

One candidate in the Brantford, Ontario mayoral race thinks videogames could help boost the local economy.

Chris Friel is one of nine candidates for mayor in the Southern Ontario town with a population of around 90,000. Seven of the nine candidates answered questions Tuesday night at Laurier Brantford University, where Friel broached the idea of attempting to lure developers to the town, noting that the gaming industry is “versatile enough to locate anywhere if given the incentive.”

Friel stated, “That’s why we need to move into industries that are more accessible for university students.”

He added, “They could literally be working at something while they were going to school and be able to move right into that field afterward.”

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Pac-Man-Inspired Mayoral Race Game Draws Mixed Reactions

September 20, 2010 -

An online game featuring Toronto’s five mayoral candidates was designed to raise awareness of the race while perhaps providing a very informal look into who might win the October 25th election.

Mayor Munch, created by the OneStop Media Group is based on Pac-Man, and has players choose one of the five candidates— Rob Ford, Rocco Rossi, Sarah Thomson, Joe Pantalone, Giorgio Mammoliti or George Smitherman—to play as.

Results show how much each candidate was chosen, figures that might presumably correlate to their outcome in the election. As of today, Rossi was leading, having been selected as the on-screen avatar of choice 29% of the time, a number that directly contrasts figures showing Ford with a huge 24-point lead.

Montreal Police: Dawson College Massacre Developer Won't Be Charged

September 15, 2010 -

Montreal police will not charge the creator of a game that uses the September 2006 shooting at Dawson College that left one dead and 19 injured. Police said that they could not charge the 23-year-old Ontario man who goes by the name "Virtuaman" because no one could accuse him of an actual crime.

His crime, according to some who were deeply offended by the game, was recreating killer Anastasia DeSousa’s violent rampage. While the Montreal police department has asked for the game to be removed because it is not "socially sensitive or moral," the creator has no obligation to do so.

The game, a simple top-down action game called Dawson College Massacre, was released on September 8. It is available on Newgrounds.com now. Despite the complaints, Newgrounds has not taken the game down.

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Columnists Rips Canadian Defence Minister for MOH Comments

September 9, 2010 -

In response to Canadian Defence Minster Peter MacKay’s (pictured) disapproving comments about the Electronic Arts game Medal of Honor, an Ottawa Citizen columnist took to his pulpit in order to offer a spirited defense (defence) of videogames.

Referring to the ability to play as the Taliban in the game, MacKay had said that, “I'm sure most Canadians are uncomfortable and angry about this.”

In his column, Dan Gardner replied, “No one ever accused Peter MacKay of being Her Majesty's most cerebral minister…”

MacKay had also lamented that children might take on the role of insurgents in the game, a point which Gardner addressed:

UK vs. Canada: Why Tax Breaks Matter to the videogame Industry

September 7, 2010 -

In an article called "UK vs. Canada: Do Tax Breaks Build An Industry?" at Gamasutra Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley says that the UK government’s decision not to give tax breaks to the videogame industry is one of the reasons why so many UK studios are slowly setting up shop in Canada.

Though Kingsley said that tax breaks would have been nice to have, his company is coping with the reality that - for now - they are not available.

Richard Wilson, CEO of UK video game trade organization TIGA, is a bit more concerned as he watches companies make a slow exodus to regions in Canada such as Quebec and Ontario, who offer generous tax breaks on labor costs that UK developers can't ignore.

"We are competing with the rest of the world on an uneven playing field," says Wilson. "In 2006, the UK games industry was the third largest in the world in terms of revenue generation; we have since fallen to fifth place."

But TIGA doesn't plan on giving up the fight anytime soon:

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Another MOD Criticizes MOH

September 7, 2010 -

The red phones connecting the world’s defense/defence ministers must be working fine, as yet another member of that group has jumped on the anti-Medal of Honor videogame bandwagon.

This time around Canadian Defence Minister Peter MacKay took issue with the Electronic Arts game, specifically over the ability to play as a member of the Taliban in Medal of Honor’s multiplayer mode. MacKay, via the Ottawa Citizen, had this to say about the game:

The men and women of the Canadian Forces, our allies, aid workers, and innocent Afghans are being shot at, and sometimes killed, by the Taliban. This is reality. I find it wrong to have anyone, children in particular, playing the role of the Taliban. I'm sure most Canadians are uncomfortable and angry about this.

Canadian Summer Incubator Results in Pair of New Games

September 3, 2010 -

A cool little videogame incubator project put on this summer in the Canadian town of Charlottetown, located on Prince Edward Island, resulted in two teams of recent graduates churning out a pair of videogames.

Sponsored by the Interactive Media Alliance (IMA), Telefilm Canada and Innovation P.E.I., the three-month long program, called Game Garage, ran from June 1 to August 31.

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Inafune on the Great White North’s Emergence: “Canadians Are More Serious”

September 2, 2010 -

By all accounts, Canada is now the third largest home to videogame developers in the world, a realization that Capcom’s Keiji Inafune attributes to both favorable tax breaks and the populace’s work ethic.

Speaking to NowGamer
, Inafune, who produced Dead Rising 2 and is head of R&D for the Japanese publisher, noted that Canada was “getting very important now,” before conveying his opinion as to why that might be.

“There are lots of background reasons for it, tax relief and government policies and so on and so forth, but from the developers point of view, Canada is part of North America so you can sort of [include it as] North American,” he stated.

Inafune continued:

But compared to Americans, Canadians are a bit... more serious, if you like. Also, compared to big cities such as Los Angeles, it's also a little bit cheaper. So they've got potential to be at the epicentre of videogame development.

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As TIGA Slams UK Pols, Canada Trys to Lure More Devs

August 17, 2010 -

While we’ve been using data from the Entertainment Software Association of Canada to crown our neighbors to the north as the world’s third-largest home to videogame development for a few months, trade association TIGA seems to have just recognized that claim as official, and used it to lash out at UK politicians.

TIGA said that UK politicians have been “asleep at the wheel” while Canada, and other countries, cherry pick UK talent with incentives. TIGA Chief Dr. Richard Wilson said that there was “nothing inevitable about this process,” and added:

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Canadian Ad Bureau Breaks out In-game Ad Revenue

August 11, 2010 -

For the first time, revenue from in-game advertising was broken out in a report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada (IAB), and the figures were not all that overwhelming.

The Canadian Online Advertising Revenue Survey (PDF) serves up actual 2009 results in addition to 2010 estimates. The report stated that 2009 revenue from Canadian in-game advertising was $3 million, or less than one percent of the year’s total of $1.82 billion.

Videogame advertising, as defined by IAB, “can range from an Advertiser buying some or all of the ad units in or around a game, to a 'Sponsored by' link to a custom-branded Game experience.”

Speaking to The Star, IAB President Paula Gignac called videogames “something of a walled garden” when it comes to marketing information.

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Death by Economy: Winnipeg Videogame Incubator to Close

August 10, 2010 -

Billed as North America’s first videogame business incubator, Fortune Cat Games Studios is preparing to close up shop after four years of operation.

The Winnipeg, Canada-based initiative provided rent-free office space and computer systems to small project teams and hooked up the fledgling developers with mentors and contacts in order to advance their skill sets.  According to a Winnipeg Free Press story, the non-profit is shuttering because it could not secure any funding for operations in 2011.

Federal funding for the incubator ceased about a year and a half ago, while provincial funds run out this year. The provincial government stated that it seeded the business with $662,954 between 2005 and 2010.

Fortune Cat’s Executive Director Ryan FitzGerald said about the closing, “I cannot blame anybody. The worst thing I can say is that we had the right idea, but bad timing for federal reasons and provincial reasons and for industry reasons.”

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Cutting Edge Digital Production Center Opens in St. Catharines

August 5, 2010 -

The Niagara Interactive Media Generator (nGen) has announced the opening of a $3 million dollar, state-of-the-art facility in downtown St. Catharines, Ontario.

Dubbed the Generator at one, the facility is designed to facilitate the production of entire media projects in a single location, and features an advanced motion capture system, a pair of Red One Cameras (capable of shooting at 4X HD quality), a theatre and a boardroom  in addition to software and workstations for editing video, audio and adding visual effects.

Technology is available to rent or the facility’s tech partners can produce any digital interactive media that might be needed.

nGen Executive Director Jeff Chesebrough stated, “The technology at the Generator at one is second to none. Coupled with the fact that we are 25 minutes from the U.S Border and an hour from the heart of downtown Toronto, we are extremely excited about the future of digital interactive media in Niagara.”

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Woof: Alabama Developer Lured to Canadian Province

July 30, 2010 -

The Canadian province Newfoundland and Labrador has granted $300,000 to a Huntsville, Alabama-based videogame development company in order to aid it in setting up a studio in the Great White North.

Bit Trap Studios Canada is developing multiplayer online games and expects its game and online portal to be released in the next three to four years. It’s anticipated that Bit Trap Canada will infuse an estimated $1.6 million into the local economy as it creates its projects. The company expects to employ at least 18 people in its Canadian office.

A government news release indicated that the $300,000—which is forgivable if certain goals are met—was made via the Business Attraction Fund, and is “provided in the form of payroll rebates.”

Minister of Business Ross Wiseman stated:

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ESA Canada: 'All's fair in love and war'

July 19, 2010 -

Danielle Parr, the executive director of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada says that his country's game industry and government can do anything they want to entice game developers to the great white north because "all's fair in love and war." While UK developers and government officials have been vocal about Canada's mission to "steal" developers from the region and bring them home, Parr, like a Jerry Springer guest, has no problem enticing talent to another bedroom.

While at Develop last week, Parr told BBC's Politics Show with a smile and a laugh that she sees no problem with it:

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BattleGoat Chief Not Enamored with Canadian Copyright Bill

July 7, 2010 -

BattleGoat Studios co-founder and co-owner George Geczy has called Canada’s newly proposed copyright bill (C-32) “unacceptable and entirely unbalanced.”

Specifically, Geczy takes issue with the digital rights management section of the Bill, and is strongly in favor of allowing consumers to break digital locks in order to make a back up, or to unlock content from companies that may have gone out of business or had their copyright expire.

In a letter on the subject, as reported by CBC News, Geczy stated, “While nobody would question the cultural significance and imperative for preservation of a Shakespeare play or Beethoven symphony, cultural media in the past decades has suffered significant content losses when commercial entities do not see a financial benefit in preservation."

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UK Developers: Pro-Canada Marketing Stunt Takes the Piss

July 6, 2010 -

Attendees of a recent Game Horizon Conference in the UK last week found mock Canadian passports on their seats in a stunt designed highlight Canada’s pro-game developer tax incentives. The timing of the marketing initiative however—coming less than a fortnight after similar tax breaks were killed in the UK—managed to rankle a few feathers.

One anonymous British developer told CVG that the promotion, put on by the relocation firm Quickstar Global, made Canada seem like “vultures.” The source stated, “As a British developer it makes me disappointed and angry to see the Canadian government agencies circling the UK like vultures as soon as word was out that the Government u-turned on our tax breaks.”

Another source bemoaned “Are things now so tight that we can't find British companies to sponsor our events rather than having the Canadian Government preying on our talent and companies?”

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London, Ontario Looking to Build Game-based Technology Center

June 29, 2010 -

Not to be outdone by Hamilton, Ontario’s $11 million dollar interactive institute, London, Ontario is attempting to wrangle enough funds to build its own technological center of excellence based around videogames.

The goal of such a center, according to the London Free Press, would be to “bring together video game companies and academics to commercialize games technology to other video game companies and other industries.” Digital Extremes President Michael Schmalz said that such an ideology could help to cut through the “competitive realties” that make it difficult for technology creators to share their work with each other.

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Silicon Knights Assisting in Creation of Ontario Interactive Institute

June 18, 2010 -

Game maker Silicon Knights is teaming up with McMaster University, Mohawk College and the Art Gallery of Hamilton to create an $11 million dollar institute for interactive digital media.

Expected to open sometime in 2011, the group is calling the venture “Eight,” a name meant to canonize interactive media as “the eighth major art form after music, poetry, dance, sculpture, painting, architecture and cinema,” according to the Hamilton Spectator.

The paper also outlined what the institute hopes to accomplish:

Though the fine details are still in play, the groups are expected to collaborate on developing games and work on technical and creative problems, such as making games look more real, while also training students to work in the field.

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British Columbia Passes Tax Credit for Interactive Devs

June 8, 2010 -

Thanks in large part to lobbying from the eight-person B.C. Interactive Task Force, which represents 30 local videogame makers, the Canadian province of British Columbia is now the proud purveyor of shiny new tax credits for interactive developers.

The Interactive Digital Tax Credit was passed by local legislature late last week and provides a 17.5 percent tax credit for labor on projects commencing after August 31. To qualify, productions must feature two out of the following three components: text, sound or images.

While the tax credit is an improvement, the Vancouver Sun notes that the percentages “pale” when compared to those offered by other Canadian provinces:

Nova Scotia offers 50 per cent of labour and up to 25 per cent of total productions costs. Manitoba offers 40 per cent of labour, the same percentage as Ontario, which also offers 40 per cent of marketing and distribution costs. Quebec, B.C.'s main Canadian competitor, offers up to 37.5 per cent of labour.

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MechaTama31Who cares? Gimme Portal 3!10/01/2014 - 9:38pm
quiknkoldAndrew : Mostly I decided there were better people who could explain what was going on, or fight any battles that may come up. so I decided not to talk about it anymore.10/01/2014 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenI don't recall you promising that. GamerGate is not a taboo discussion here. Anyway, thanks for the link. Very interesting.10/01/2014 - 8:47pm
quiknkoldI know I promised to not talk about Gamergate again, but Intel just pulled sponsership from Gamasutra over it http://techraptor.net/2014/10/01/gamasutra-intel/10/01/2014 - 8:40pm
quiknkoldP.T. is a game I just cannot play alone. I puss out hard on it. need somebody with me when I play that. Kojima was right. it is Pants Shittingly Scary10/01/2014 - 6:17pm
quiknkold@james_fudge not playin all the way through. P.T, Silent Hill(Not sure which), Resident Evil Gamecube Remake, Alien Isolation, Ghostbusters, Outlast, Super Castlevania 410/01/2014 - 6:04pm
james_fudgeI wish I could like that last shout.10/01/2014 - 5:48pm
MechaTama31Tried out Sims 4 on my brother in law's pc. Promptly got my sim exhausted, to soil himself, then sent him without cleaning up to mock people at the museum. Good times...10/01/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary KnightSo they figured out how to share CPU cycles between pools and their advanced emotions engine? Sweet.10/01/2014 - 2:53pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/10/01/ghosts-pools-darth-vader-coming-to-the-sims-4/ Pools no longer impossible.10/01/2014 - 2:06pm
james_fudgeDon't eat angry.10/01/2014 - 1:49pm
E. Zachary KnightI am pretty hungry. I feel like I could smash some supper. Not sure if I am up for making a collage though.10/01/2014 - 1:00pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.facebook.com/SmashBrosEN/events What a weird idea. Nintendo will be bringing Supper smash brothers for 3ds and wiiu to collage football games.10/01/2014 - 12:52pm
PHX CorpI'll give the hosting 2 Streams on twitch a spin during extra life marathon10/01/2014 - 12:41pm
james_fudgequiknkold:: oh yeah which games?10/01/2014 - 11:20am
Andrew EisenInfophile - Your comment is on the second page. Scroll to the bottom and click "Previous Entries."10/01/2014 - 9:55am
MaskedPixelantehttps://time.com/3450854/amc-netflix-imax-crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon-boycott/ Theatres refuse to show the new Crouching Tiger movie because... well, I'm sure they've got a good PR spin reason, pick one.10/01/2014 - 9:06am
IanCForza Horrizon 2 isn't even out yet, but theres already a 31 car DLC pack, along with a season pass....10/01/2014 - 8:42am
quiknkoldstarting my Halloween Spooktacular Stream today. Every day from 7-11, I'm going to be streaming Spooky games on Twitch.10/01/2014 - 8:37am
MaskedPixelanteSteam is going to start charging us Canadians in CAD. This is bad news... for people who don't use key sellers like GMG and GamersGate.10/01/2014 - 7:23am
 

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