Humble Origin Bundle Launches

August 14, 2013 - James Fudge

There is no doubt in my mind that this latest bundle from the fine folks at Humble Bundle is going to get a mixed reaction from the game community. On the one hand it is offering up to eight high-profile games on the cheap; on the other hand all of these games are from Electronic Arts and use its Origin digital distribution platform - and at least three of the games require the bundle buyer to install Origin on their system in order to play.

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Former Valve Executive Joins Microsoft

August 14, 2013 - James Fudge

Former Valve executive Jason Holtman has joined Microsoft, according to GamesIndustry International. Holtman was in charge of Steam for eight years, helping to turn it into the digital distribution platform juggernaut that it is today. Holtman was the point man for developers looking to get their games on the platform, and is credited with convincing big third-party publishers like Activision and Electronic Arts to hawk their PC wares there.

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VZVB Promises Lawsuit Over Steam Software Resale Rights

July 22, 2013 -

According to Gaming Blend, the Federation of German Consumer Organizations (VZVB) is reportedly looking to challenge Valve's stance on digital trade-ins in court before the end of the year. The VZVB is pursuing legal action regarding Steam's inability for its customers to resell the software they buy. The group had promised in February that it planned to sue Valve.

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GOG: Our Biggest Competition is Pirates

July 16, 2013 -

In an interesting and lengthy interview on Games.on.net Trevor Longino, Head of Marketing and PR at GOG.com shares his personal opinions on piracy, file-sharing and game sharing amongst friends. The interview also offers a lot of casual talk about gaming in general, but the most interesting part of the interview has to do with whom Good Old Games considerers its competition.

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Sony Changes DRM Policy on Video Unlimited Services

July 16, 2013 -

Sony has quietly changed the digital rights management policy for its Video Unlimited feature on PlayStation devices. With the change in its DRM policy, consumers can now re-download purchased content from the company's Video Unlimited service. In a statement on the official website for the service, Sony detailed what this means to subscribers:

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Linden Labs Acquires Desura

July 10, 2013 -

Linden Labs - best known for creating the sandbox virtual playground Second Life, has purchased digital distribution platform Desura for an undisclosed amount of money. Linden Labs did not say exactly why they purchased the platform, but one would guess that it was an easy way for the company to get into the business of digitally distributing games.

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Report: Xbox 360 Dashboard Beta Raises Game Prices

July 10, 2013 -

Update: Microsoft tells Kotaku that UK dashboard beta testers will receive refunds for any money lost related to the exchange of MS Points into real cash. Microsoft calls the pricing changes an "error."

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NPD Plans to Track Digital Sales

July 3, 2013 -

NPD Group announced that it plans to start covering digital sales better than it has in the past. According to a GII report, the research firm already has the cooperation of nine game publishers.

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May Retail Video Game Sales Numbers Take a Nosedive

June 18, 2013 -

According to sales data collected by NPD Group, sales of new videogame products fell 25 percent in May, with game sales of consoles hitting their lowest levels in more than a decade. While NPD and other analysts are chalking this decline up to anticipation for new consoles like the Xbox One and PS4, they fail to mention the dramatic shift to digital sales not covered by the NPD.

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Pay-What-You-Want For Vox

June 18, 2013 -

IndieGameStand is offering the cute voxel-based RPG, Vox for $10 or whatever you want to pay. Developer AlwaysGeeky Games describes Vox as a "highly customizable game where you can create, destroy, edit and build anything you desire. The whole world, every item and object within it, and even the characters and inhabitants of Vox are created using a custom 'Voxel Engine.'" The game is currently in the alpha stage but all future updates will be free and frequent, according to the developer.

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GOG's Massive DRM-Free Summer Sale, Torchlight for Free

June 18, 2013 -

Being that we strongly support any company that goes out of its way not to use DRM schemes to give them the false sense that they are somehow protecting their products from unauthorized use (and not impeding the pleasurable use of their products by legitimate consumers), we are happy to report that Good Old Games is offering a "No DRM Summer Sale."

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Team Fortress 2 Community Members Earn $10 million

June 12, 2013 -

Valve Software revealed today via its Team Fortress 2 blog that Team Fortress 2 community members have had a total of $10 million paid out, and the 60+ individuals who participated in Robotic Boogaloo made a quarter of a million between them. The $10 million was distributed to over 400 contributors and partners, and almost $250,000 out of that money will be handed out to Robotic Boogaloo participants.

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ESA: NPD Does a 'Disservice to the Industry' By Not Reporting Digital Sales

June 10, 2013 -

Entertainment Software Association (ESA) President Michael Gallagher said last night that retail research firm NPD is doing a grave disservice to the video games industry by not adequately covering digital sales in its monthly reporting.

"The digital side of the industry is not being adequately reported, understood or covered. I think we've seen the consequences of that over the last two years," said Gallagher.

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GOG: DRM Solves Piracy Like a Bag of Concrete Solves Hunger

May 31, 2013 -

An excellent feature over at Forbes chronicles the DRM-free revolution which has been moved forward in part by popular game portal Good Old Games. While the exhaustive history of the company's push towards software that abandons DRM in favor of a better customer experience is interesting, there's also a great conversation with GOG.com managing director Guillaume Rambourg.

In the article he's pretty blunt about what they think of using DRM over at GOG:

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UK Government Plans to Revamp Consumer Laws Concerning Digital Content

May 8, 2013 -

If the laws being proposed by politicians in the UK this week were in place when SimCity and Diablo III launched, consumers would be able to get a refund. The BBC is reporting on plans to pass new laws that will make it easier for UK consumers to get a refund or a replacement product from companies when a digitally distributed video game, mobile app, or piece of entertainment content doesn't work they way it should at launch.

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More Than 10 Million Copies of Minecraft - Pocket Edition Sold To-Date

May 2, 2013 -

Minecraft developer Mojang announced that Minecraft - Pocket Edition for Android and iOS devices, has sold more than 10 million copies to-date. The portable version of Mojang's popular sandbox building game joins other versions of the game - PC and XBLA which have sold millions upon millions of copies to-date. It just goes to show that people never get tired of a game that is decent and is constantly updated by its creators.

"We are very thankful to all the support that we have gotten and people playing and talking about our game," said Mojang's Daniel Kaplan.

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Netflix Removing Over 1700 Titles This Month

May 1, 2013 -

It looks like Netflix is about to take a chainsaw to its catalog of content, according to information collected by content cataloguing site InstantWatcher. With several licensees set to expire, Netflix will begin removing content from MGM, Universal, Warner Bros., and more. Instant Watcher puts the amount of content to be removed this month at around 1,794. Some of that content include 15 seasons of South Park, older horror movies and some early James Bond films.

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GDC Talk Reveals Digital Distribution Growing at a Rate of 33 Percent a Year

April 1, 2013 -

During GDC last week in San Francisco research firms NPD, iResearch and Digi-Capital held a talk on digital games sales and revealed some interesting numbers on the space. According to data revealed during the event, digital game and downloadable content sales are growing at a rate of 33 percent year over year in the United States and Europe, while spending in China is expected to grow 10 percent annually for the next three years. Asia is going to be the most dominate region in the world when it comes to online and mobile games by 2016, according to the speakers.

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Report: European Wii U eShop 18+ Restrictions Lifted

March 21, 2013 -

Remember those ridiculous age restrictions on Wii U eShop content in Europe because Nintendo of Europe is based out of Germany and subject to German laws about content? Yeah, well those silly restrictions have been removed much to the delight of our Wii U owning brothers and sisters in various regions throughout Europe including the UK, according to Daily Joypad.

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Valve Reveals Steam Early Access

March 20, 2013 -

Valve Software today revealed a new feature for Steam users called "Early Access" which allows consumers to roll the dice and buy a game still in development and play it early. Valve calls this an opportunity to "go behind the scenes" and experience the development cycle of games first-hand. They'll also be able to interact with game developers and provide the feedback that could potentially make the game better.

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Super Meat Boy Developer Argues Against Using DRM

March 19, 2013 -

In a recent blog post Super Meat Boy developer Tommy Refenes argues that using DRM to keep games from being pirated and general apathy ultimately hurts developers. He also notes that applying loss prevention techniques to digital products doesn't work in the space.

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SimCity and the Failure of Retailers

March 18, 2013 -

SimCity's "always-online requirement" may have irritated consumers at launch, but by most accounts anyone that reads this or any other gaming web site was well aware that the game would require a constant Internet connection in order to play (EA made that fact clear quite awhile ago).

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Good Old Games Surveys Community on Downloadable Content

March 15, 2013 -

After a less-than-stellar launch of downloadable content for Omerta: City of Gangsters, Good Old Games has decided that it wants feedback from the community on whether it should continue to offer DLC and other content. As the company steps into offering newer games the reality is that a lot of these games use new models for content including multiplayer, offering early access to games, season passes for purchasing DLC content in bulk, and episodic content.

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Poll: Do You Prefer Boxed Copies or Digital Downloads?

March 13, 2013 -

Digital downloads are nothing new for PC gamers but they are a fairly recent option for their console counterparts.

So, console gamers, when you purchase a new title, do you prefer a boxed copy or a digital download?

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Activision Adds In-Game Purchases to Call of Duty: Black Ops II

March 12, 2013 -

Activision will add in-game purchases in its popular action game Call of Duty: Black Ops II tomorrow. The announcement was made by Activision community manager Dan Amrich on his OneofSwords blog. Amrich says that players will notice on March 13 new "Micro Items." The pre-order bonus map, Nuketown 2025 will also be made available for free tomorrow.

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No Origin Refunds and Petition To End 'Always On' DRM

March 7, 2013 -

Well, the good news is that EA's official Twitter for its digital distribution service Origin has confirmed that you will not be banned if you ask for a refund on your purchase of SimCity in light of the fact that you probably can't play it.

The bad news is that you more than likely ain't getting that refund.

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Amazon Suspends Digital Sales of SimCity

March 7, 2013 -

It's been a pretty rough day for both customers who bought SimCity and the developers trying everything under the sun to get it working at full capacity. While EA has been trying to solve the problem and get gamers playing the game, some fans have been very vocal about how the game's DRM has broken it beyond repair.

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NPD: Used Games Sales Outpace Full Digital Sales, New Retail Sales Beat Both

March 6, 2013 -

New data gathered by NPD Group offers some insight on how core gamers feel about digital distribution and the purchase of used games. The data comes from a new survey the retail research firm conducted. According to the results of that survey, core gamers have embraced digital distribution, but downloading full game titles has not yet outpaced second-hand game purchases. The NPD survey found that 78 percent of core gamers said that they frequently purchase used games, compared to 70 percent who reported buying full digital games regularly.

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GOG Promotes Old SimCity With New SimCity Jab

March 6, 2013 -

In a cheeky promotion to support its SimCity back catalog title, Good Old Games takes a slight dig at the problems associated with the new SimCity game during its launch. In a tweet offering an alternative to the trials and tribulations of connecting to EA servers, GOG says that it has a SimCity game that you won't have any trouble playing.

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Fans Suffer From SimCity Launch Day Hiccups

March 5, 2013 -

As is often the case with games that rely heavily on "always online" schemes, EA's SimCity had a bit of trouble today as it officially launched servers for the latest entry in the popular city building simulation. EA's biggest problem seems to be related to its digital distribution platform Origin, which has struggled to keep up with fans' demand to buy and play the game on launch day. Users have encountered a number of problems today including trouble downloading their digitally purchased copies and problems with unlocking physical copies of the game.

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ZippyDSMleeNo one remembers the days of Cinemagic and Cynergy eh? :P, meh even MGS is getting to film like....03/02/2015 - 8:44pm
MechaTama31I was about to get all defensive about liking Metal Gear Solid, but then I saw that he was talking about "cinematic" as a euphemism for "crappy framerate".03/02/2015 - 8:29pm
prh99Just replace cinematic with the appropriate synonym for poo and you'll have gist of any press release.03/02/2015 - 5:34pm
PHX Corphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZQDFO2KEPo Jim Sterling Makes Fun of "Cinematic" Gaming03/02/2015 - 3:39pm
Matthew WilsonWOW is copping EVE. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/18141101/introducing-the-wow-token-3-2-2015 I think its a smart move to deal with gold farmers in this way.03/02/2015 - 1:16pm
Matthew WilsonI guess epic is tired of having their lunch eaten by unity. https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/ue4-is-free03/02/2015 - 12:50pm
Andrew EisenNot much to follow. Kern is being silly and... nothing much else is happening.03/02/2015 - 11:40am
Papa MidnightI ask because, having only just heard of it, I have not, and I was hoping for some insight.03/02/2015 - 11:39am
Papa MidnightHas anyone been following this petition by Mark Kern regarding Kotaku, Polygon, and VG247? https://www.change.org/p/kotaku-lead-the-way-in-healing-the-rift-in-video-games03/02/2015 - 11:38am
ZippyDSMleePaypal shuts down Mega's payment system. https://torrentfreak.com/under-u-s-pressure-paypal-nukes-mega-for-encrypting-files-150227/03/01/2015 - 3:25pm
Matthew Wilsonvalvle planning to release a vr headset this year wtf http://www.pcgamer.com/valves-vr-headset-is-named-vive-and-htc-are-making-it/03/01/2015 - 1:05pm
ZippyDSMleeuuuhhhggg in other news been sick since last night.....uuhggg.....I iwsh it did not hurt so much when my tummy wants to leave my body..02/28/2015 - 11:39pm
ZippyDSMleeBrings me to the Q why alt costumes would be needed in competition anyway... http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2015/feb/28/dead-or-alive-community-aims-ban-over-120-overly-sexualized-costumes-dead-or-alive-5-last-round/02/28/2015 - 11:36pm
MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
prh99The government probably doesn't need an app, but I was think more along the lines of a company that was going to sell the collected info. “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product” sometimes even if you pay.02/28/2015 - 1:50pm
E. Zachary KnightWhat better way for the government to keep track of you than to get you to install an app that lets you insult the government.02/28/2015 - 11:03am
 

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