RAGE PC Problems Mar Launch

October 6, 2011 -

RAGE may represent the first original IP for id Software since 1996, but the PC version of the game has been marred with so many technical issues that many critics are saying that the game could have used months of additional development and play testing. Those comments are not isolated to the PC version either (long load times are a serious issue with the PS3 version from what I've been told). The game launched earlier this week on various platforms including the PC. Out of the gate PC users noticed some serious issue with the game such as screen tearing and texture issues.

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Australian Consumer Group Demands Lower Game Prices

May 30, 2011 -

Forget about the "rent is too damned high" party, gamers down under are getting robbed by retailers, according to a consumer group. Australian consumer rights publication CHOICE has submitted a document to the government's Productivity Commission last week demanding retailers lower the price of games.

The group called on "importers, distributors and retailers to pass some of the savings they are enjoying thanks to the strong Aussie dollar on to Australian consumers." As an example, CHOICE claims that Australian consumers can save about 90 percent on the price of Portal 2 if they purchase it abroad instead of at home.

The Australian dollar is worth about as much as the US dollar, CHOICE says, but the price of video games has not come down in the country.

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THQ Promises Homefront Title Update Soon

March 23, 2011 -

An update to fix a bug that causes the Xbox 360 version of THQ's Homefront to freeze is a day or two away from Microsoft certification, according to a Eurogamer report. The title update to the game addresses the Profile Corruption error, or "freeze bug" that some Xbox 360 users have experienced while playing Homefront. THQ says that this issue is its highest priority.

"We are also including a fix for multiplayer connectivity and ping time issues, where players are being sent to distant server locations at the expense of performance. We expect this update to be submitted to Microsoft really soon and we will be working with them very closely to get this approved and deployed as quickly as possible," said THQ on its Homefront blog.

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Congressman Markey Wants FTC to Probe App Transactions

February 9, 2011 -

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Ma.) has asked the Federal Trade Commission to take a closer look at the marketing practices of applications on Apple's App store and Google's Android Marketplace. Markey's concerns relate to programs geared towards children that may not adequately inform users of potential charges - particularly micro-transactions.

On Tuesday Markey sent a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Liebowtiz (and copied to Google and Apple), pointing to a story in The Washington Post about how in-app purchases on iPad, iPod and iPhone games such as Smurfs' Village and Tap Zoo have caught some parents off guard. The Children apparently used parents' passwords to buy in-game items instantly.

"I am concerned about how these applications are being promoted and delivered to consumers, particularly with respect to children, who are unlikely to understand the ramifications of in-app purchases," Markey wrote in the letter.

Magicka Moves 30K on Day One Despite Technical Problems and Bugs

January 28, 2011 -

Paradox Entertainment's action RPG adventure, Magicka, has managed to move 30,000 units in its first day of availability - in spite of some incredibly horrendous technical problems and bugs. While Paradox says that the single player campaign is solid, the company admits that the $10 game has a lot of problems in multiplayer. That is a real shame, because no one can deny its old school charm and new school cooperative multiplayer peril.

Here is what Paradox has said about the game's technical shortcomings: "[Singe-player] works fine for the most part, Multiplayer does not -- patch on the way for both! (as soon as [Steam] pushes the button). We'll patch the game as often as possible." According to a celebratory press release, Arrowhead Game Studios is "working around the sundial and is fully committed to ongoing support by zapping glitches and communicating with players."

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Gamers' Voice Calls for UK Govt. Investigation into Black Ops Problems

January 21, 2011 -

UK gamer advocacy group Gamers' Voice is taking the kid gloves off and reporting Activision to the Office of Fair Trading over Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer on PC and PS3. The move follows an open letter sent to Activision on December 22 informing the publisher that the group had been "inundated with complaints from people who have bought copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops."

The letter asked Activision if they planned to compensate consumers that bought the game in the UK and gave them one month to respond. This week the group took action by asking the government agency to look into the matter.

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Activision to PS3 Black Ops Player: Shutting Down PSN Servers an Option

January 18, 2011 -

If you have already read our story about Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward blaming Sony for the rash of hacks and exploits, then you get a good sense of how the PS3 Call of Duty community feels. They are pissed off, frustrated and feel like no one wants to help them. No doubt, Infinity Ward and Treyarch are equally frustrated with the problems they have encountered on the PS3 related to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops.

Riot Games Customer Service Rep Gets Fired For Abuse of Power

January 18, 2011 -

According to a VooDoo Extreme report, Riot Games, makers of the online strategy game League of Legends, has fired a customer service representative who live-streamed his misuse of administrative powers during a League of Legends bout. According to the report, the Riot Games employee "verbally abused a player and inappropriately banned him."

Riot Games' community relations director Steve Mescon announced that the employee has been fired. He added that the company will do a thorough review of its internal policy and training procedures to "prevent such incidents from happening in the future."

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Report: German Game Market NOT Bigger than UK, After All

August 17, 2009 -

It seems like just hours ago that we linked to a report claiming that Germany had surpassed the UK as Europe's number-one video game market.

Oh, wait. It was just hours ago. Well, put a big oops! on that one.

gamesindustry.biz, which was among several sites that also carried the original story, is now reporting that the source of the data, Gfk Chart-Track, has admitted to a screwup. Germany is not ahead of the UK in game sales:

Gfk Chart-Track in the UK has contacted GamesIndustry.biz to admit that the press release it issued earlier today had been written using incorrect data. The company is expected to release a correction shortly. It is understood that Germany is not a bigger games market than the UK.

This is the second time in as many weeks that GfK Chart-Track data has been publicly questioned. Last week, Nintendo contacted GamesIndustry.biz following confusion over UK sales figures for the first half of the year.

GP: Somebody at Gfk needs to get their act together...

3 comments

Electronic Frontier Foundation Calls on FTC to Protect Consumers From DRM

February 13, 2009 -

Digital activist group the Electronic Frontier Foundation has called upon the Federal Trade Commission to mitigate the harm caused to consumers by digital rights management (DRM).

An EFF press release quotes staff attorney Corynne McSherry (left) on the DRM issue:

DRM does not prevent piracy.

 

At this point, DRM seems intended to accomplish a very different purpose: giving some industry leaders unprecedented power to influence the pace and nature of innovation and upsetting the traditional balance between the interests of copyright owners and the interests of the public.

 

The best way to fix the problem is to get rid of DRM on consumer products and reform the [Digital Millenium Copyright Act], but the steps we're suggesting will help protect technology users and future technology innovation in the meantime.

The EFF press release adds:

Industry leaders argue that DRM is necessary to protect sales of digital media, but DRM systems are consistently and routinely broken almost immediately upon their introduction.

The group filed public comments with the FTC in advance of the government agency's Town Hall on DRM, which is scheduled for March 25th in Seattle.

16 comments

Could Federal Trade Commission Tackle the EULA?

January 31, 2009 -

Do you pay attention to the fine print when you install a game or other software on your PC?

Me neither.

But in many cases, End User License Agreements (EULAs) stack the deck against consumers.

In his Law of the Game on Joystiq column, attorney Mark Methenitis speculates that the Federal Trade Commission may decide to weigh in on the EULA debate in order to protect the interests of game buyers.

In Methenitis's view, the FTC has three possible courses of action:

  • requiring that EULAs be written in plain language, not indecipherable legalese
  • mandating that EULAs be dropped entirely in favor a consumer information checklist devised by the FTC
  • a hybrid of these two

Mark sees potential revenue opportunities for the FTC in EULA regulation as well (hit the jump for the update).

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Fix This: Wait Times Render Some WoW Servers Unplayable

November 17, 2008 -

Like millions of other WoW fans, I eagerly awaited last week's release of the Wrath of the Lich King WoW expansion. But this one should perhaps be named Wrath of the Server Queue, instead. Players attempting to log on at the most popular times may find themselves queued for up to two hours.

On the Mal'Ganis server, this has happened to me several times already, and Lich King has been out for less than a week. Judging from posts on the official WoW forum, many other players are frustrated by this turn of events as well. The queues are particularly annoying given that, in addition to the expansion's $39.99 price tag, gamers are paying a $15 per month subscription fee for their accounts.

Most Lich King buyers certainly expected to play, not wait in line, for their money.

The release of the much-anticipated WoW expansion has undoubtedly led to the reactivation of numerous dormant WoW accounts (like mine), but Blizzard needs to adapt to the influx and make adequate server provisions. Yes, they have offered some limited options to transfer one's character to a less populated server for free (normally this service costs $25), but it's not enough to deal with the crush of would-be adventurers.

Blizzard is raking in the greenbacks, as they deserve to for fine products like WoW and Lich King. But consumers deserve to play when they want.

Blizzard needs to fix this.

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E. Zachary KnightAE: some devs here in Oklahoma got accepted to make WiiU games. They are college kids who haven't graduated and are making games out of their dorms. They deserve it too.10/24/2014 - 6:25pm
MechaTama31CMiner: Raising such a concern now would get you branded as a GGer regardless of whether you're actually waving the flag or not.10/24/2014 - 6:19pm
Andrew EisenMore on how Nintendo runs the eShop today (no parity clause, no concept approval, devs can run sales when they want, indies don't need an office): http://www.develop-online.net/news/nintendo-eshop-has-no-parity-clause/019921110/24/2014 - 6:13pm
Papa MidnightAndrew Eisen: https://www.reddit.com/r/eyebleach (Seriously. If you ever need pictures of kittens, and the like).10/24/2014 - 3:58pm
Andrew EisenDammit, now I'm all depressed. I must find pictures of kittens.10/24/2014 - 2:38pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.businessinsider.com/shooting-at-pilchuck-high-school-in-marysville-washington-2014-1010/24/2014 - 2:15pm
Andrew EisenIn case anyone was wondering, Nintendo's eShop no longer does that "you don't make money until you've sold x units" thing. http://www.develop-online.net/news/nintendo-no-minimum-sales-needed-for-eshop-revenues/019921010/24/2014 - 1:52pm
MaskedPixelanteGOG needs better web developers. Someone dug into their countdown timer, found numbers using fonts from Indiana Jones, Star Wars and Monkey Island, and pretty much confirmed that LucasArts is coming on Tuesday.10/24/2014 - 1:43pm
Papa MidnightI've seen glowing reviews for Bayonetta 2 so far.10/24/2014 - 1:17pm
Andrew EisenI'm not picking up Bayonetta. Today. Tomorrow's not looking good either. I'll get it eventually though!10/24/2014 - 12:23pm
Infophile@MP: No it doesn't. You're a terrible human being for completely unrelated reasons. (/snark)10/24/2014 - 12:15pm
MaskedPixelantePicked up Bayonetta 2, which according to Polygon means I am now a terrible human being.10/24/2014 - 11:58am
Matthew Wilsonofcourse not he did a video on the new civ game just yesterday.10/24/2014 - 10:32am
Papa MidnightYou think a bit of cancer surgery would keep The Cynical Brit from railing about bad PC ports? Not a chance! :)10/24/2014 - 10:15am
Matthew Wilsonmight be a bit soon only becouse he got out of cancer surgery last week, but ask his email is public.10/24/2014 - 9:56am
Papa MidnightHell, set up a Google Hangout or Skype call, and I'll be happy to join in.10/24/2014 - 9:34am
Papa MidnightBring Totalbiscuit on SuperPAC for Saturday!10/24/2014 - 9:32am
CMinerThere is no journalism/ethics concern that you've raised that would be made weaker by not raising it under the umbrella of GamerGate.10/24/2014 - 9:32am
CMinerNeo: You want to start some healing? Stop using the GamerGate hashtag. Even if you don't believe that it originated with harassers, you have to see that it's been irrevocably tainted by their actions.10/24/2014 - 9:31am
MaskedPixelanteGOG has a four day countdown to their next publisher. All hints suggest Disney, but no guarantee it'll be LucasArts.10/24/2014 - 6:58am
 

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