Report: Warner Bros. Interested in Buying Xbox Entertainment Studios

August 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a Hollywood Reporter report, Microsoft is in talks to sell its Xbox Entertainment Studios division to Warner Bros. According to the report, the preliminary negotiations between the two companies are focusing on merging Xbox Entertainment Studios with Machinima, which Warner Bros. bought a stake in earlier this year. Machinima has worked with Xbox in the past; it helped distribute the Halo 4 spin-off Forward Unto Dawn.

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FTC: Microsoft and EA Are Not Breaking Any Laws With YouTube Paid Endorsement Schemes

January 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While Microsoft (through a marketing partnership with Machinima) and Electronic Arts (through its "Ronku" marketing program) paying content creators to promote its games to followers on YouTube without disclosing the relationship may be unethical, neither company is breaking the law and it is unlikely that anyone involved could be fined for not disclosing a relationship according to what a Federal Trade Commission spokesperson tells Polygon.

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Voting Begins for Valve's Saxxy Awards

November 19, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Voting is now open for the Saxxy Awards, Valve's annual film-making awards competition. This year, the competition is exclusively based on the Source Filmmaker tool. The animation suite from Valve has been out long enough so that the community is familiar with it enough to create some amazing shorts - like the Team Fortress 2-based short about a mini-Pyro called 'Lil Guardian Pyro.'

You can check out the video to your left, and if you like it, you can vote for it here.

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Most 'Whales' Skew Male

August 23, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Mobile gaming "big spenders" - often referred to as "whales" - are more likely to be young men, according to research firm EEDAR. The data comes from the "Deconstructing Mobile & Tablet Gaming report," which relies heavily on a July survey of more than 3,000 active mobile and tablet gamers. According to the survey, 66 percent of the top five percent of respondents who paid money for mobile games were male.

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European Regulators Want Answers on Carrier IQ

December 6, 2011 -

Watchdog groups and governments in Europe are taking a closer look at Carrier IQ's tracking software, to make sure those mobile phone vendors and operators who use it are not violating users' privacy or the law. The Bavarian State Office for Data Protection recently sent a letter to Apple asking it how it uses Carrier IQ's software.

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MPAA Admits (Sort of) to Drafting SOPA, Protect IP Acts

December 1, 2011 -

The New York Times Media Decoder blog has an interesting story about Michael O’Leary the senior executive vice president for global policy and external affairs of the Motion Picture Association of America. While the story is about toning down SOPA to address "legitimate concerns," the real story is something that opponents knew all along: the MPAA and friends are basically the authors of the bill.

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Gameloft Security Breach Affects 100 Users

October 21, 2011 -

French mobile publisher Gameloft acknowledged on Thursday that a security breach forced it to temporarily take down one of its web sites. Reports began surfacing on the company's forums earlier this week, suggesting that the GameloftLive.com Web site had been experiencing problems and that some accounts had been compromised. After a poster suggested that users stay away from the site and that Gameloft fix the problem, the web site was taken down.

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Hellgate: London Resurrected as Free-To-Play Game

May 19, 2011 -

Hellgate: London is set to make a triumphant return. The game developed by former Blizzard employees was taken offline following a disastrous launch in 2007 and a very public battle over the game's myriad of ongoing technical problems. The game was operated in North America by Namco Bandai Games, who eventually decided it was in its best interest to pull the plug on the game in February 2009. The rights were eventually picked up by Hanabitsoft in 2010.

Now Hanabitsoft will relaunch the game as a free-to-play MMO, relaying on micro-transactions for in- game content instead of a monthly subscription fee. The company announced plans to kick off a closed beta that will run June 3 - 5, with a full North American release planned for sometime later on down the road.

No further details were revealed.

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Survey: Gaming Number One on Most Tablets

April 11, 2011 -

A new survey says that the number one use of tablets is gaming. Not reading e-books, going on Facebook and Twitter or watching movies. Games and gaming. According to a new survey conducted by Google's AdMob subsidiary, 84 percent of tablet owners (like iPad) use the device to play games. Around 78 percent say they use it for "searching for information" and 74 percent for checking and sending emails.

The data comes from a new Google survey which polled 1400 tablet owners. The survey puts "reading the news" as the fourth most common activity at 61 percent, followed by social networking (56 percent), music and videos (51 percent), e-books (46 percent), shopping (42 percent), and other (19 percent). The full report showed that 43 percent spent more time on their tablet than with their desktop or laptop PC. A third of respondents also said that they spent more time on their tablets than watching television.

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Red Dead Wins Big at GANG Awards

March 7, 2011 -

Red Dead Redemption was the big winner at the Game Audio Network Guild (GANG) Awards at GDC in San Francisco last week, scooping up four awards in various categories including audio of the year, music of the year, best interactive score, and best dialogue. The game was nominated in ten different categories. The game also managed to sweep the GDC Awards last week.

Battlefield Bad Company 2 won Sound Design Of The Year and Best Use Of Multi-Channel Surround, while Bizarre Creations' last game, James Bond 007: Blood Stone, won Best Original Instrumental and Best Original Vocal.

A full list of all this year's winners are below:

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THQ's Balloon Release Angers San Francisco Residents

March 3, 2011 -

C|Net reports that the citizens of San Francisco are apparently ticked off at THQ - and by extension its partner GameStop - for releasing hundreds of balloons into the sky as part of a mock protest of North Korea - part of a marketing ploy for its new game Homefront. The balloon release happened during the Game Developers Conference. Many of the balloons had a postcard-size flyer attached to it advertising the game. People in the downtown area saw the balloons soaring in the sky, but were disgusted as they watched them land in the San Francisco Bay. That is when some residents began to express their anger. The anger was aimed at GameStop, which was a promotional partner with THQ and whose name appeared on the balloons.

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Survey Says: Adult Mobile Game Consumption on the Rise

February 28, 2011 -

A survey conducted by Information Solutions Group and paid for by casual game publisher PopCap Games claims that one-third of adults in the United States and the United Kingdom identify themselves as "mobile phone gamers." The survey also found that among mobile phone gamers, the mobile phone is now the primary gaming device of choice, surpassing consoles and personal computers in less than two years. The survey also found that smartphone owners are the most avid consumers of mobile phone games. These and other purchase and consumption trends identified in the survey suggest growth in the mobile games sector that will continue for the foreseeable future.

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Report: Global Mobile App Market Worth $35 Million by 2014

December 15, 2010 -

Angry Birds is popular, and according to an analysis of sales of the popular app, it is the start of a new wave in the mobile app business, according to a new report from the International Data Corp. In its coverage of that report, ReadWriteWeb predicted that Mobile apps will grow from 10.9 billion downloads this year to 76.9 billion downloads in 2014.

ReadWriteWeb also predicts that the mobile application business will generate $35 billion in worldwide revenue.

The Angry Birds franchise has had 42 million downloads on multiple platforms including iOS, Android, Facebook, and more, according to developer Rovio.

The IDC report echoes the feelings of other analysts that predict substantial growth in the mobile app market.

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Maine Politicians Sound Off on Net Neutrality

September 7, 2010 -

The Bangor Daily News has an interesting report on net neutrality and where Maine's top politicians stand on the FCC's plan to reclassify broadband and mobile services under Title II of the Communications Act.

Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) told the paper that she is "very concerned" with what the FCC plans and that it bothers her that the Internet could have "multiple lanes" where large companies could get preferential treatment.

Here's more from the moderate Republican Senator:

"I am very concerned about the direction the FCC is taking," said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. "It also seems to me that the chairman is exceeding his authority and that these issues are fundamental policy issues that should be decided by Congress."

Second District Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) also voiced concern that more rural areas of the country will be left behind as Internet providers cater to larger markets.

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NetEase Granted Burning Crusade License

February 16, 2010 -

Following a prolonged battle and a series of false-starts, China’s General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) has finally given the official go-ahead for NetEase to operate the world of Warcraft expansion The Burning Crusade.

In granting the license needed to operate the game, GAPP said that NetEase had “taken necessary corrective measures." The decision came down on Friday wrote Digital East Asia. GAPP had previously suspended NetEase’s permit over what it termed “gross violations” of regulations.

In related news, China Tech News offers word of a new Chinese initiative spearheaded by game operators that will educate parents on how to best oversee their children’s online game activities.  Game operators Wanmei.com, Tencent, Shanda, Netease, Changyou and Giant Interactive are particpiants in the program, which will provide a variety of support materials for parents and also provide the means for parents to suspend or cancel their children’s accounts.

Digital East Asia also shed light on a series of YouTube videos (pictured) that lampoon the World of Warcraft Chinese debacle and use the situation to provide commentary on the rigid state of Chinese censors. The Wall Street Journal said about the video, “…its subtext is a broad, biting allegory of the fight against government Internet controls, peppered with allusions to a list of real-world conflicts in China over the past year.”

Part 1, with English subtitles, can be found here.

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America's Army Game Used to Create Machinima About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

August 10, 2009 -

Machinima artist Paolo Pedercini turns the tables on the U.S. Defense Department's controversial America's Army recruiting game in Welcome to the desert of the real.

The 6:37 video uses footage from America's Army to highlight symptions of post-traumatic stress disorder, an increasingly prevalent condition among U.S. service personnel returning from combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you're expecting action, however, this is not the machinima for you. Pedercini's work is low-key, almost ponderous. The artist seems to want to capture the feeling of detachment that is typical of those suffering from PTSD.

Via: Betterverse

For a list of PTSD symptoms, click here.

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6 Days in Call of Duty 4 Machinima Offers Anti-War Message

August 6, 2009 -

When we last heard from Joseph DeLappe, the artist/professor was was participating in online matches of the Defense Department's own America's Army game as a means of protesting the war in Iraq.

Now DeLappe and machinima artist J. Joshua Diltz have collaborated on 6 Days in Call of Duty 4. The anti-war video project combines a static view of CoD4 multiplayer action with a mobile cam. The kill count scrolls in a separate window. Diltz describes the project, which incorporates the recent Six Days in Fallujah controversy in its title:

"6 Days" is an experimental documentary that examines the consequences of a military conflict that rages over a period of six consecutive days in a virtual game world.  Through the lens of both a static and roaming ground camera, the movie captures both  visceral action and a sobering body count.

Based in the game "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare", the film pays homage to the lives, both military and civilian lost during the Second War of Fallujah.

Download a copy here...

Partially via: Kotaku

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Awesome Half-Life 2 Mod Features Obama & McCain in Debate Setting

November 2, 2008 -

USC grad student John Brennan dropped GamePolitics a line to show us this amazing Half-Life 2 machinima featuring John McCain, Barack Obama, and an authentic HL2 head crab.

By way of explanation, John writes:

I'm an MFA student @ USC's interactive media program.  My thesis project is a series of modifications to Half-Life 2 that will operate in the same space as political cartoons.  I'm playing with format right now, but so far it is Modding and Machinima as self expression and political commentary:)

I have a process for quickly getting 'news-makers' (providing enough photography) into Half-Life 2, access to MoCap data, and some good people helping out.

I'm just launching my first piece now, but it is sizable enough that I'd like to bring it to your attention.  It includes McCain, Obama, a debate stage, and is just in time for the vote.

 
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Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenLikewise, only two of Xbox One's top 12 are exclusive: Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (if you ignore a PC release later this year).09/01/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenNot to disrespect the current gen of consoles but I find it telling that of the "12 Best Games For The PS4" (per Kotaku), only two are exclusive to the system: Infamous: Second Son and Resogun.09/01/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/beyond-two-souls-ps4-trophies-emerge-directors-cut-reported/ MMM MMM, nothing quire like reheated last gen games to make you appreciate the 400 bucks you spent on a new console.09/01/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThat's actually a super depressing thought, that a bunch of retweeters are taking that pic as an illustration of the actual issue instead of an example of a complete misunderstanding of it.09/01/2014 - 4:20pm
Andrew EisenObviously, the picture was created by someone who doesn't understand what the issue actually is (or, possibly, someone trying to satire said misunderstanding).09/01/2014 - 4:10pm
Papa MidnightPeople fear and attack what they do not understand.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
Papa MidnightWell, let's not forget. Someone held their hand in a peace sign a few weeks ago and people started claiming it was a gang sign. Or a police chief displayed the hand signal of their fraternity and was accused of the same.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
SleakerEither people don't understand that what the picture is saying is true, or the picture was created out of a misunderstanding of what sexism is.09/01/2014 - 3:52pm
Sleaker@AE ok yah that's where the kind of confusion I'm getting. Your tweet can be taken to mean two different things.09/01/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - No. No, not even remotely. The pic attached to my tweet was not made by me; it's not a statement I'm making. It's an illustration of the complete misunderstanding of the issue my tweet is referring to.09/01/2014 - 3:13pm
Papa MidnightIn other news, Netflix states why it paid Comcast: http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/29/technology/netflix-comcast/index.html?hpt=hp_t209/01/2014 - 3:10pm
Papa MidnightAndrew Eisen: Sites like Tumblr make things seem much bigger than they are. A vocal extreme minority start complaining and things go as they do.09/01/2014 - 3:09pm
SleakerAre you trying saying that specific costumes are sexist simply by being included in the game?09/01/2014 - 3:03pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Seems completely cut and dry to me (of course, I wrote it so that's not surprising). What about it do you find confusing?09/01/2014 - 2:25pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/icewind-dale-enhanced-edition-now-available-for-pre-order/ Third time's the charm, right guys? Right? Surely Icewind Dale EE can't suck as much as Baldur's Gate 1 and 2 EEs can, right?09/01/2014 - 1:37pm
Sleaker@AE I don't even know what you're trying to say in that tweet.09/01/2014 - 1:28pm
 

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