Treehouse Avatar Technologies Legal Representative Responds to 'Patent Trolling' Accusations

July 12, 2013 -

When we first started writing about law firm Lerner, David, Littenberg, Krumholz & Mentlik sending letters on behalf of Treehouse Avatar Technologies to independent game development studios concerning an 858 patent (U.S Patent 8,180,858), we reached out to the signatory on those letters - Stephen F. Roth - to give him an opportunity to tells his client's side of the story.

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Three More MMO Developers Receive Letters from Treehouse Attorneys

July 10, 2013 -

GamePolitics has learned that at least three more independent development studios received letters from the law firm representing Treehouse Avatar Technologies claiming that they "may be infringing" on a patent the company holds because they make online games. Earlier in the week we detailed how the law firm representing Treehouse sent a letter to Bothel, Washington-based indie developer Bad Pug Games.

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Treehouse Targets Indie Studio with Threat of Patent Infringement Lawsuit

July 8, 2013 -

On July 1, a law firm representing Treehouse Avatar Technologies sent a legal packet to Bothel, Washington-based indie developer Bad Pug Games warning the two-man studio that it was violating an obscure 858 patent (U.S Patent 8,180,858) "Methods for Presenting Data Over a Network Based Network User Choices and Collecting Real-time Data Related to Said Choices."

Demand Letter.pdfPatent Claims.pdf
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CCP Games Hire Industry Vet Sean Decker

July 2, 2013 -

EVE Online maker CCP Games has hired video games industry veteran Sean Decker as its new senior vice president of product development. CCP says that Decker will lead the company’s worldwide game development, overseeing the company’s studios in Reykjavik, Shanghai, Atlanta, and Newcastle. Decker joins the company from Electronic Arts, where he spent 12 years in a variety of key production leadership roles. Most recently Decker served as vice president of EA’s Play4Free group.

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Spacetime Studios Games Played 250 Million Times

May 29, 2013 -

Austin, Texas-based mobile online game developer Spacetime Studios announced that its four online mobile games have garnered over 250 million play sessions to-date. The four games - Pocket Legends, Star legends, Dark Legends, and Arcane Legends - have also been downloaded over 20 million times collectively. Spacetime also says that its game have a high level of engagement, with players logging an average of 33.5 hours per month on Spacetime’s titles, almost 3 times as much as the average iOS player’s total monthly gameplay and four times more than Android players.

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BioWare Apologizes for Accidently Banning Over 100 Players in Star Wars: The Old Republic

May 24, 2013 -

BioWare is apologizing publicly for accidently banning 100 - 150 players in its MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. The company took to its forums to say it was sorry for banning over a hundred players for violating the game's terms of service. Yesterday those players received email notifications from the company saying they had violated the game's ToS and would be banned for a week.

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Entropia Universe Player Buys Moon for $150K

May 10, 2013 -

Swedish MMO developer MindArk announced today that a recently discovered moon in its long running MMO Entropia Universe was auctioned off for $150,000, or 1.5 million PED in the game's virtual currency. The winner (?) of that bid was Jan Terje Egeland (whose Entropia Universe alter-ego is "Modified Akoz Power"), who MindArk claims will be able to share revenue with the company from all activity on the moon.

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Defiance: Over One Million Registered Players in First Month

May 3, 2013 -

Whether you have your doubts about Trion Worlds' Defiance - a first of its kind MMO transmedia project that lets what happens in the television show of the same name on the SyFy Network affect what happens in the virtual world you are playing - the game seems to be doing well within its first month or so of operation. According to Trion Worlds, over one million people have registered accounts for the game since it launched on April 3.

The game is certainly helped by being available on three platforms: the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC..

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Camelot Unchained Surpasses $2 Million Funding Goal

May 2, 2013 -

City State Entertainment announced that it managed to raise well over $2 million in crowd funding for its upcoming MMORPG project, Camelot Unchained. The "TriRealm" RvR-focused MMORPG will also receive $3 million in additional funding which includes $2 million from studio co-founder and online game industry pioneer Mark Jacobs. Pledges are still being accepted via PayPal on the game's official site.

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Valve Launches Steam Subscription Service

April 25, 2013 -

Valve Software announced that the very first game to make use of its freshly launched support for subscriptions is the MMO Darkfall Unholy Wars, with "additional subscription-based games to follow."

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EVE Fanfest Final Schedule Revealed

April 18, 2013 -

EVE Online maker CCP Games today announced the final schedule of events for its sold-out annual fan celebration, EVE Fanfest (April 25-27). Playing up this year's "Second Decade" theme (which commemorates the 10th anniversary of EVE Online) CCP has managed to bring some pretty interesting speakers to the event this year including Dwarf Fortress co-creator Tarn Adams, and Paola Antonell from MOMA.

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Kaspersky: Chinese Hacking Ring Has Hacked Multiple MMO Game Servers

April 12, 2013 -

Kaspersky Lab has uncovered a Chinese hacking ring that has been breaching the security of and stealing source code and other material from various online games in East Asia, South Korea, Germany, the US, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, Peru, and Belarus. The security researchers at the company say that this Chinese hacking ring broke into the servers of dozens of online video gaming companies and stole from them over a four year period.

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'Make EVE Real' EVE Fanfest Speakers Announced

April 10, 2013 -

CCP Games today revealed the line-up of speakers that will be a part of the "Make EVE Real" track at its (sold-out) annual fan celebration EVE Fanfest from April 25-27. Dr. Richard Obousy (President and Co-Founder of Icarus Interstellar) and Chris Lewicki (President of Planetary Resources) will join Michael Laine (President of LiftPort Group) in sharing their thoughts on how current science fiction may soon become a reality.

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Report: US-Based Sex Offenders Use Online Games to Target Children in Canada

April 2, 2013 -

An interesting story via the Huffington Post (based on this CBC report) details sexual predators in the United States using online games and consoles to talk to children in Canada. This particular report focuses on Winnipeg, but it's not far-fetched to imagine that if it's happening in one province, it's happening to some degree in other provinces as well.

Portalarium Adds PayPal to Crowdfunding Campaign for Shroud of the Avatar

March 28, 2013 -

Richard Garriott's Portalarium announced that it is now accepting PayPal payments for the Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues crowd funding campaign. The PayPal option is available on the Shroud of the Avatar site.

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Vanguard Servers to Merge April 4

March 28, 2013 -

Sony Online Entertainment will merge the two remaining servers for its MMO Vanguard into one big server on April 4 at 10 p.m. PDT, the company announced this week. On April 9, the European Halgar server will permanently be taken offline, following its merge with the Telon server. SOE warned players that when this happens the game will be down for a 24 hour period - but that's not the worst of it; when the two servers are merged into one server some characters may be affected.

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Rift Shutting Down in Korea April 25

March 27, 2013 -

The Korean version of Trion Worlds' MMO Rift will be closed at the end of next month, according to this Polygon report. Rift will be shut down on April 25, according to an announcement by Korean publisher, CJ E&M.

The publisher cited "difficult maintenance decisions" as the reason for dumping the game from its roster of MMO titles. CJ E&M will give refunds to subscribers from April 17 onward, although the in-game shop will close on March 28, according to Polygon.

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Richard Garriott Issues Statement on PC Gamer Interview

March 21, 2013 -

Richard Garriott posted a lengthy explanation of a PC Gamer interview that was published yesterday in which he said that "most game designers really just suck," and that he had not met anyone who he thought came close to being as good a game designer as he was.

Words Taken Out of Context.pdf
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TERA: Rising Membership Soars in February After Free-to-Play Transition

March 20, 2013 -

En Masse Entertainment’s MMO TERA: Rising has seen a dramatic increase in registered users after the game went free-to-play in February. TERA: Rising now has over 1.4 million users following its February launch as a subscription-free game with new content. Player participation also jumped sharply, with a 10-fold increase of maximum concurrent users compared to before TERA’s subscription-free evolution - according to En Masse Entertainment

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Shroud of the Avatar Meets Kickstarter Funding Goal, Stretch Goals Added

March 19, 2013 -

With 18 more days to go, Richard Garriott's Kickstarter campaign for Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues has surpassed its $1 million funding goal. With that challenge out of the way, Garriott and his studio Portalarium have added a few stretch goals. As of right now, the Kickstarter has generated $1,031,716 from nearly 15,000 backers.

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Richard Garriott Reveals Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, Launches Kickstarter

March 8, 2013 -

While Richard Garriott (also known as Lord British in most circles) may no longer hold the rights to the Ultima series of classic CRPG games or Ultima Online (he sold it, along with Origin over a decade ago) that hasn't stopped him from returning to his roots. Today Garriott announced that his Austin-based studio Portalarium is hard at work on his newest game, Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, a sort-of spiritual sequel of sorts to the Ultima series, but set in a whole new universe.

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EVE Online Makes Debut in MOMA's Applied Design Exhibit

March 1, 2013 -

CCP Games passed along a note to proudly proclaim that its flagship title, the space-themed MMO EVE Online, is part of the Applied Design exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. EVE Online is one of the first fourteen video games to enter its MOMA's permanent collection.

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EVE Online Hits 500k Subscriber Mark

February 28, 2013 -

CCP Games announced that its long-running subscription-based sci-fi MMO EVE Online has surpassed the 500,000 subscriber mark worldwide for the first time in the game’s history. The milestone is a major one in the game's ten years of operation and follows the December 4 release of EVE Online: Retribution, the game’s 18th free expansion. CCP says that this latest expansion is its most successful ever. Also in December, EVE Online relaunched in China with new partner Tiancity to bring the game to a massive new audience where it has been thriving ever since.

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Report: Chinese Government Creating Criteria for Online Gaming Addiction

February 19, 2013 -

According to a report from Xinhuanet (as reported on by Shanghaiist), the Chinese government is developing its own set of criteria for early diagnosis of online game addiction in young people. Chinese authorities announced plans on Sunday to develop "China-specific criteria" for diagnosing and treating online gaming addiction in minors.

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Wargaming Acquires Gas Powered Games, Hires Chris Taylor

February 14, 2013 -

Free-to-play MMO developer and publisher Wargaming has come to the rescue of Gas Powered Games, who looked like it might go out of business just a few days ago after it canceled a Kickstarter campaign for its game Wildman - the success of which founder Chris Taylor categorized as vital to the company's future survival. Wargaming bought the Seattle-Washington-based developer of such hit franchises as Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander and Demigod for an undisclosed amount of money.

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EVE Fanfest 2013 Sold Out

February 13, 2013 -

CCP Games has informed us that the EVE Fanfest 2013 event to celebrate all things related to its popular space MMO EVE Online sold out last week. The event held once a year in Reykjavik, Iceland will see about 1,400 attendees - about 50 percent more than last year's event. The Fanfest offers attendees three days of EVE Online and CCP-related activities that include panels, local Icelandic excursions, presentations from the game's developers, PvP tournaments, a developer-lead pub crawl, game reveals, and the general joys of camaraderie.

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Kongregate CEO: Core Gamers Spend More Than Casual Players

February 8, 2013 -

Indie games portal Kongregate says that "core gamers" tend to spend way more money than casual gamers on its popular gaming destination (which is owned by retailer GameStop). Speaking to Develop, Kongregate CEO Jim Greer said that while the free-to-play titles it offers had a similar conversion rate to other platforms (two-to-three percent) paying core gamers were spending an average of approximately $60 a month.

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CasinoRPG Hits Kickstarter Funding Goal

February 5, 2013 -

With just two more hours to go in its Kickstarter campaign, Goldfire Studios has managed to go slightly over its funding goal of $20,000 for its gambling-based MMORPG, CasinoRPG. As of this writing the Kickstarter raised $20,161 from 197 backers. The next step for the persistent virtual world gambling game is a private beta test, though some of that testing will likely be tied to various reward tiers.

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CasinoRPG Nears Kickstarter Goal, With One Day to Go Before Deadline

February 4, 2013 -

As mentioned by E. Zachary Knight on Episode 39 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, today is the last day to contribute to the Kickstarter for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based Goldfire Studios' Vegas-themed MMORPG CasinoRPG.

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Funcom Closes Beijing Studio, Lays Off More Staff in Canada, U.S.

January 25, 2013 -

Secret World and Age of Conan developer Funcom continues to tighten its belt as part of a restructuring plan it announced last year. Today the company announced that it has closed its Beijing studio and laid off staff in its Canadian and U.S. offices. The Beijing studio was responsible for creating the art and animation for the company's Secret World MMO. Responsibilities of the Beijing studio will be moved to Funcom's U.S. offices. Despite a heavier workload Funcom also reduced the workforce at the Raleigh, North Carolina-based office.

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PHX Corphttp://www.thejimquisition.com/2015/04/assassins-creed-chronicles-china-review/ anyone seen this04/26/2015 - 4:19pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.destructoid.com/director-del-toro-says-silent-hi… Can not say I am surprised sadly. I feel bad for del Toro because every time he tries to do a video game project it falls apart.04/26/2015 - 1:42pm
InfophileAnyone play any of the following games: War Thunder, Infinite Crisis, or Strife? Got a card for a big chunk of money in them with my new computer which I won't need and looking to give it away if anyone wants it.04/26/2015 - 9:02am
Mattsworknamei I hope there is, I love that series.04/25/2015 - 5:59pm
Matthew Wilson@matt I am sure there will never be a armored core game04/25/2015 - 5:24pm
Mattsworknameof From softwares recent games, bloodborne is the best work they have done yet, though they really need to get to work on armored core 604/25/2015 - 5:10pm
Matthew WilsonLost Kingdoms came out in 2002 this day. I played that game. I did not relize it was made by From Software. Lost Kingdoms was a good unique hard game.04/25/2015 - 4:56pm
MattsworknameOff topic, but, who heres playing Bloodborne, and if so, is it mercillesly murdering you every chance it gets?04/25/2015 - 7:35am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good article, and devs can take some lessons from life is strange.04/24/2015 - 10:24pm
Andrew EisenI tinyURL'd it. The world is safe!04/24/2015 - 10:23pm
Matthew Wilson@AE my bad there is nothing I can do about that.04/24/2015 - 10:21pm
Andrew EisenLooks like the spoiler is right there in the URL.04/24/2015 - 10:20pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://tinyurl.com/ok9pf6b a interesting opinion piece on the life is strange episode 2, and a dark event that happens in it. full warning major spoilers.04/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonshe got attacked for saying that she personaly has not experienced the harassment some other female devs have, and she got acused of defending GG and ignoring harassment. she ended up getting dog piled because of it.04/24/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenFine but do you recall ANY details at all?04/24/2015 - 3:38pm
Matthew Wilsonit was several weeks ago now, and I will admit to not saving it.04/24/2015 - 3:36pm
 

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