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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Sleaker@quiknkold - seems like all that page is is a bunch of random developer opinions and rumors that we're supposedto do what with?09/19/2014 - 9:31am
Kronoas an opportunity to push back against them. It's one of the things muddling the issue. @conster A new hashtag would do nothing to improve anything. Trolls will simply follow to the new hashtag, and it will confuse the issue for anyone attempting to09/19/2014 - 9:25am
Krono@Andrew aaah. Yes, I'm sure there's some of that. Part of the problem is many of the people pushing gender issues are not very nice people. Basically the latest incarnation of moralists we've seen in the past couple decades. Naturually some will take this09/19/2014 - 9:23am
quiknkoldhttp://www.nichegamer.net/2014/09/real-gamedevs-sound-off-regarding-the-gamergate-controversy/09/19/2014 - 8:35am
MaskedPixelanteMeanwhile, in news that actually DOES matter, Scotland voted "NO" to Scottish independance.09/19/2014 - 8:20am
ConsterSeriously? "We shouldn't make a new hashtag - it's better to associate ourselves with psychos than to decrease our visibility"?09/19/2014 - 7:54am
Michael ChandraI forget what it is exactly, but there already is another hashtag that some use, exactly to separate themselves from the abusive behaviour. So don't bother lying to me.09/19/2014 - 7:06am
quiknkold2 to 3 or more09/19/2014 - 6:53am
quiknkoldMichael Chandra : I'll say this. The only reason they havent used another hashtag is because it would look like a form of dividing the arguement. Using another Hashtag has come up, and they feel like if they made a new hashtag, it'll split the debate from09/19/2014 - 6:53am
Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael Chandraallegedly fired over giving a game a mediocre review and the company threatened to pull ads? Sorry but I ain't buying this.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael ChandraBut people arguing this is horrible and just about ethics, even though there's very little support that journalistic integrity was actually violated here, while they never spoke up when a journalist was09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Michael ChandraIf people start with condemning the way GamersGate was used as a misdirection, then use a better hashtag, that would work in convincing me they mean it.09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Andrew EisenOoo, this one came down to the wire! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/749082525/nefarious09/19/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenI don't doubt that many are truly interested in journalistic integrity. The problem I'm often seeing is they seem to have no idea how or where to talk about it.09/18/2014 - 11:46pm
Andrew EisenDidn't word that well. Busy at work. I've seen people claim that GamerGate is solely about ethics and transparency in games journalism and then go on to show that what they're really after is silencing those who talk about gender issues in games.09/18/2014 - 11:45pm
Kronodebate. Becaus apparently people who only post on Reddit are supposed to police twitter before they're allowed to question anything about the people involved.09/18/2014 - 10:40pm
KronoI highly doubt many, if any are using journalistic integrity as a cover for harassment. The people harassing are essentially trolls. They aren't interested in subtle. More often it's othe other way around. People use "but X is being harassed" to shut down09/18/2014 - 10:38pm
Andrew EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
 

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