More than 275,000 people attended this year's Gamescom in Cologne, Germany according to the event's organizer. Those numbers are in line with last year's attendance of the European gaming expo open to the public and press. Last year's attendance was "about 275,000," according to show officials. Organizers say that next year's show will take place August 21 - 25 in Cologne, Germany.
CD Projekt RED's DRM-free role-playing game The Witcher 2 has swept the European Games Awards. The game won awards for Best European Art Direction, Best European Character Design, Best European Gameworld, Best European Game Design, Best European Game, and Best European Special Edition.
Battlefield 3 did pretty well too, scoring awards for Best European Action Game, Best European Multiplayer Game, Best European Console Game, and Best European Sound.
League of Legends maker Riot Games announced that, beginning in early 2013, it will kick off the League of Legends Championship Series. The new professional gaming league will feature teams from North America, Europe and Asia, taking part in multiple regular season matches each week, all streamed in HD broadcasts available globally for free.
More importantly, players will actually be paid like the professional gamers that many of them are.
We ignore the taboo of the number 13 to present you with Episode 13 of the Super Podcast Action Committee. We have no fear in us. This week Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight talk about Gamers Against Bigotry, GameStop's plans for selling used digital games in Europe, the Humble Music Bundle, and Gamasutra's article about developers working in war-torn countries.
GameStop is apparently paying close attention to the recent decision by the European High Court that digital purchases could legally be resold. Speaking to GameSpot, GameStop CEO Paul Raines said that the video games retailer is seriously looking into the idea of creating a business out of reselling digital downloads in Europe, but cautions that it is too early for him to say if it is something they will get into. At this point the company is simply investigating the idea.
As more details emerge on the secretly negotiated trade agreement between Canada and the European Union, online rights activists are voicing their opinions on why it is a bad idea and why they are getting a strange sense of déjà vu. Critics of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which was ultimately voted down by the European Parliament, have warned that those forces in Europe and other parts of the world behind such treaties will continue to push parts of that treaty that most citizens do not want.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe has teamed up with Birmingham City University (Birmingham, England) to give students in the Gamer Camp program the opportunity to receive scholarships and a job with Sony. This is the second year that Sony has given university game development students access to its PlayStation Academic Scholarships program.
Earlier this month, the European Court of Justice ruled that game publishers cannot stop European consumers from reselling their downloaded games. Not only that, but a publisher may have to facilitate such a transaction by allowing the recipient of the sale to download their “used” copy from its website.
Oh yeah, they’re going to love that.
Xbox Europe head honcho Chris Lewis tells VG247 that the European arm of the Microsoft division is paying close attention to how the $99 Xbox 360 Kinect Bundle does in America. If it proves to be very popular the same deal might make its way to European countries, he claims.
Gothic 4 developer Spellbound Entertainment has risen from the ashes of bankruptcy to become a brand new company called Black Forest Games. The development studio is being staffed by 40 of its 65 former employees and is still based in Germany. With its financial troubles in the rear-view mirror, the company hopes to get back to making the best strategy and role-playing games that it can make.
Stainless Games said during a Develop Conference keynote that the thrill is slowly leaving Kickstarter projects and that developers who are considering a pitch to fund their game had better do their best to craft the best possible pitch they can to be successful.
The company raised over $600,000 to fund Carmageddon: Reincarnation on Kickstarter, but Stainless Games co-founders Neil Barnden and Patrick Buckland consider the process not to be as easy as waiting for the checks to roll in - a lot of work goes into these pitches.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on health rights, Anand Grover, has praised the European Parliament's recent vote to reject the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), calling it a step in the right direction in ensuring that citizens of the world have access to affordable and essential medication. The European Parliament overwhelmingly voted against the international anti-piracy trade agreement on July 4.
In a deal financed by Arkenstone Investment, APB Reloaded creator Reloaded Games has merged with its parent company, K2 Network. The new company will operate under the Reloaded Games name.
"This merger represents the beginning of a new era for the company, as we evolve our two core businesses," said Reloaded Games CEO Bjorn Book-Larsson. "We have already signed contracts with independent developers to use our platform and portal for their free-to-play game distribution. We will announce those agreements in the next couple of weeks."
The European Parliament has officially rejected the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). The Parliament voted 478 to 39 to reject the ACTA, which means that it will never be implemented in any member country of the European Parliament. The news is not surprising, given that five committees voted against the treaty leading up to the showdown on the floor of the European Parliament this week. It also didn't help that ACTA was negotiated in secret and citizens in various member countries protested against it because of its loose and murky language.
On the eve of Funcom's latest MMO The Secret World being officially launched, the company's Chief Executive Officer has decided to step down from the role. While Trond Arne Aas has resigned from the post he's not leaving Funcom any time soon either. Aas said that he left the position of CEO to take on two new roles within the company as its Strategic Advisor to the Board and Chief Strategy Officer.
The European Court of Justice has made a ruling that could cause lots of problems for publishers in Europe. The highest court in Europe has ruled that game publishers cannot stop European consumers from reselling their downloaded games.
"An author of software cannot oppose the resale of his 'used' licences allowing the use of his programs downloaded from the internet," the ruling read. The Court said the exclusive right of distribution covered by a license is "exhausted on its first sale".
Blizzard Entertainment may not be hosting the BlizzCon fan event this year, and it may have opted out of E3 last month but the one event it does plan on attending this year is Gamescom. Gamescom will be held at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany from Wednesday, August 15 to Sunday, August 19. During the event European fans will be able to check out playable content from all three major of Blizzard's franchises including the next World of Warcraft expansion, the next Starcraft II expansion, and Diablo III.
On July 3, the full European Parliament will finally get to vote on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), and going into that vote things don't look good for the treaty. Yesterday Australian lawmakers voted to reject ratification of the treaty joining a growing chorus of European countries that believe the law violates the rights of its citizens in the name of fighting counterfeit goods and copyright infringement.
An article on Webwereld.nl posits that Apple may have falsified evidence it used in its court case that led to Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 being banned in the European Union. Apple's main argument in that case is that consumers have a hard time distinguishing between the Galaxy Tab and the iPad. The evidence in question is a photo of the iPad side-by-side with the Galaxy Tab. In the picture it looks like both devices are of a similar size.
SEGA Europe COO Jurgen Post told GamesIndustry International this morning that the European arm of the company will close five offices this year in France, Germany, Spain, Australia and Benelux. The company will also tighten its focus on core brands and transitioning its business towards digital distribution of product. Those core brands include such franchises as Aliens, Sonic, Total War and Football Manager.
As this story from Techdirt points out, the EU commissioner responsible for the ACTA treaty, Karel De Gucht, has no intention of giving up on it. He seems to be oblivious to the recommendations to reject it from the five EU committees that have already voted on it, and will likely ignore the ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on whether ACTA is compatible with EU law.
British indie developer The Indie Stone, best known for its popular zombie apocalypse game Project Zomboid, will be conducting an interesting developer session next month at the Rezzed: The PC and Indie Games Show event. What is particularly noteworthy about the talk called "How (Not) To Make A Game" is that it will unabashedly dive into the joys and sorrows of the first year as an indie studio. During the session they will discuss what they believe indie developers should and shouldn't do when making a game.
Denmark's government has decided that the best way to deal with illegal filesharing and piracy isn't by using letter-writing campaigns or punishing downloaders. After a long debate on the topic, the country has decided that the best course of action moving forward is to focus on the development and creation of better legal offerings for end users and education.
The European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) will vote on whether to recommend approval or reject ratification of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) on June 21. The Committee has several different avenues it could take in making a recommendation at this point; it could amend the treaty (as some want Parliament want to do), it could recommend waiting to hear from the European Court of Justice's reviews or approve the draft report by MEP David Martin (who says it should be rejected).
Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb announced via his official blog that Microsoft will skip two key gaming events later this year: Gamescom in Cologne, Germany and TGS in Tokyo, Japan. Hryb said that Microsoft is changing its focus from participating in large scale gaming events to doing more localized, smaller events.
Riot Games has issued a statement via its official League of Legends forums letting players in Europe know that its user database for the game has been compromised. While the company says that no payment information was compromised during the security breach,
the company did not say what personal information may have been stolen. From the forum post:
Sony is on the fence about having a major presence at the popular European gaming event Gamescom later this year. Sony Computer Entertainment's German communications director Guido Alt told the German arm of GamesIndustry International that a decision has yet to be made on Gamescom and that they are still negotiating terms with the event's organizers.