Poll Results: Are Game Companies Lying About Knowledge of NSA Spying Activites?

December 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Last week we asked our readers, "Do Publishers Know the NSA Is Conducting Surveillance Operations In Their Games?" An overwhelming majority of voters believe that publishers are lying about their knowledge of the NSA's activities in games like World of Warcraft and Second Life, or they are blissfully unaware of what's going on.

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Report: Declassified Documents Show American and British Spy Agencies Targeted Xbox Live, Second Life, and World of Warcraft

December 9, 2013 - James Fudge

According to a lengthy report co-published by Pro Publica and the New York Times, American and British spy agencies have infiltrated World of Warcraft and Second Life, conducting surveillance and collecting data in the games played by millions of people around the globe, according to newly disclosed classified documents. Agents supposedly created characters to snoop and to try to recruit informers, and collected data and contents of communications between players, according to the documents disclosed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward J. Snowden.

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World of Warcraft Lead System Designer Leaves Company

November 29, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

World of Warcraft Lead System Designer Greg Street has left Blizzard this week, according to this Polygon report. Street confirmed the news on his Facebook account, saying that he was moving on for a new and exciting opportunity elsewhere.

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Blizzard Teams Up With Make-A-Wish Foundation

November 22, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Blizzard Entertainment is teaming up with Make-A-Wish Foundation to help the charity make the dreams of sick children in the United States fulfill a wish. World of Warcraft players can purchase the Alterac Brew Pup pet ($10) today, with $5 going to Make-A-Wish.

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Gold Farmer Converts $75K Worth of Virtual Gold to Bars, Gets Robbed

August 13, 2013 -

Australian nurse Katrina Fincham had struck it big by playing World of Warcraft. After earning around $75,000 by farming and selling gold in the popular MMORPG from Blizzard, she decided to convert that cold hard cash into cold hard gold bullion. After doing that she put it in her wall safe at her Adelaide home. All was right with the world, but then something horrible happened: her house was robbed and her wall safe was emptied!

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World of Warcraft Loses More Subscribers

July 26, 2013 -

As part of its announcement this morning that it would break the iron grip of Vivendi's controlling interest, Activision Blizzard revealed that World of Warcraft subscriber numbers have fallen to 2007 levels. The number of paying World of Warcraft monthly subscribers has dropped to 7.7 million, according to Activision Blizzard. That's close to what the game had in 2007 before The Burning Crusade helped it break into the 8 million subscriber mark.

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World of Warcraft Microtransactions Confirmed

July 9, 2013 -

The World of Warcraft version 5.4 update is alive and kicking on the Public Test Realm today, according to Blizzard. According to the patch notes, the update adds a new siege, flexible raid difficulty, a redesigned arena system, and a few other odds and ends. More importantly, the update adds an in-game store where players can buy a variety of buffs and other items. No doubt the selection of offerings will be limited for the purposes of the test phase.

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Blizzard Considering Additional Microtransactions in World of Warcraft

July 5, 2013 -

After an in-game store was discovered on a World of Warcraft test server, Blizzard publicly acknowledged that it is looking into adding microtransactions to its long-running MMORPG. In response to questions about this from members of the community, Blizzard community representative Jonathan Brown made the following post on the Battle.net forums:

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World of Warcraft Accounts Hacked, Auction House Taken Offline

June 25, 2013 -

Blizzard seems to be having a hell of a time with its online auction houses lately.

Last month, a Diablo III patch introduced a gold-duplicating bug that forced the developer to take the game's auction house offline until it could fix the bug and audit players' accounts.

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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.

IGDA's Daniel Greenberg Lays Into Republican Leaders over WoW Research Comments

March 8, 2013 -

Video game developer and Chair of the International Game Developers Association’s Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee Daniel Greenberg offers a scathing rebuke to Republicans in Congress for criticizing World of Warcraft and tax payer dollars given to use the virtual world for research over at Salon today.

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Former World of Warcraft Movie Director Claims Blizzard Mismanged Production

March 7, 2013 -

Director Sam Raimi claims that nine months worth of work on a World of Warcraft film was wasted because Blizzard Entertainment "mismanaged" production. Speaking to Vulture, he made his case for why the movie he was directing never happened:

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Republicans Inject 'Video Games' Into the Political Discourse on Sequestration

February 22, 2013 -

As Republicans and Democrats publically spar over sequestration, House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has decided to throw "wasteful spending" into the mix by mentioning research on smoking machines, a free cell phone program, and even the use of video games for research on the elderly into the national conversation (here is a great explanation of what 'sequester' means, if you are interested).

Report: Police Looking Into Video Game Habits of Sandy Hook Elementary Shooter

February 21, 2013 -

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund points out a new two-part report produced by the Hartford Courant and PBS that reveals how video games continue to be part of the ongoing narrative of the police investigation into the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting that occurred in Newtown Connecticut in December of last year.

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World of Warcraft Pet Sale Raises $2.3 Million for Hurricane Sandy Victims in December

January 11, 2013 -

Blizzard Entertainment announced via its official blog that it managed to raise $2.3 million for the American Red Cross’s ongoing Superstorm Sandy relief efforts in the month of December. World of Warcraft players were given the opportunity to purchase a new in-game pet during the month, and stepped up in droves to help raise the money.

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World of Warcraft Players Make Great Employees, Claims Researcher

January 3, 2013 -

In a video for knowledge forum "Big Think," researcher John Seely Brown explains why World of Warcraft players are the ideal employees for businesses. In his video he explains why playing an online game and being part of a team might be more important than getting an MBA at Harvard.

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Michael Pachter: Activision Should Charge a Fee for Call of Duty Multiplayer

December 7, 2012 -

This is sure to put analyst Michael Pachter on someone's naughty list: Recently he said that Activision needs to start charging a fee for the multiplayer portion of its Call of Duty games. Wedbush Securities industry analyst Michael Pachter made his comments during the Digital Game Monetization Summit in San Francisco, California (as reported by GamesIndustry International). During his presentation he said that Activision made a serious mistake when it didn't implement a subscription-based model for Call of Duty multiplayer.

Buy WOW Pet Cinder Kitten, Help Hurricane Sandy Victims

December 4, 2012 -

Blizzard will give 100 percent of sales of Cinder Kittens from the World of Warcraft Pet Store to the Red Cross and disaster relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The previously announced pet the Cinder Kitten can be yours for $10 USD. This fiery little feline is warm, adorable and will light the steps of any adventurer kind enough to adopt it. The Cinder Kitten has Rare-quality stats and is a part of the Elemental family.

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Blizzard Faces Class Action Over Battle.net Security

November 9, 2012 -

Two gamers have filed a class action against Blizzard Entertainment last week on behalf of Battle.net account holders, accusing the company of failing to properly secure players' personal information and requiring them to purchase a Battle.net Authenticator "in order to have even minimal protection for their sensitive personal, private, and financial data."

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Cinder Kitten Fires Up Hurricane Sandy Donations in World of Warcraft

November 8, 2012 -

Blizzard's World of Warcraft web site introduces a new in-game pet called the Cinder Kitten that will give 100 percent of the proceeds to the Red Cross’s Superstorm Sandy Response relief efforts. Coming "later this year" the new pet will cost $10 and all of the proceeds will go to the Red Cross's effort in the North East in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

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Accused of Playing WoW, Colleen Lachowicz Wins Senate Seat Anyway

November 7, 2012 -

Despite being an avid World of Warcraft player and someone who likes to use slightly colorful language to talk about it on her blog, Colleen Lachowicz (D-ME) still handily trounced Republican Sen. Thomas Martin, earning her a shiny new Senate seat.

Last month, the Maine GOP ran a pretty silly smear campaign to an attempt to convince voters that Lachowicz's gaming habits and blog comments rendered her unfit for office.

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Maine State Senate Candidate Responds to WOW Attack

October 5, 2012 -

Following up on yesterday's story about the Maine GOP attacking Maine state Senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz over leading a "double life" in World of Warcraft, Politico has another story featuring Lachowicz's response. Colleen Lachowicz told the publican Thursday night that that the attack shows that the Maine GOP is out-of-touch if they think being a gamer is shameful.

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Maine GOP Attacks State Senate Candidate for Playing World of Warcraft

October 4, 2012 -

In one of the more unusual attacks on an opponent in this election cycle, the Republican party of Maine has decided that it would be a good idea to take Maine state Senate Democratic candidate Colleen Lachowicz to task for playing World of Warcraft. Apparently they don't know that over 10 million people around the world are playing the game daily, with millions playing here in the United States. The law of averages would also suggest that a fair amount of Maine's population also plays the game, but let's put that aside for now..

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Mists of Pandaria Pushes World of Warcraft Subscriber Numbers Back Over 10 Million

October 4, 2012 -

While many have been keen to point out the continued decline of Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft subscriber numbers, there's some good news for the company today: the latest expansion has given the game a boost past the 10 million subscriber mark. Back in August Blizzard revealed that its paid subscriber numbers had fallen to 9.1 million.

"It’s been gratifying to see the results of all of the work we put into this expansion and to hear all of the positive feedback from players so far," Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said.

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Analyst: World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Early Sales Well Below Expectations

September 28, 2012 -

An analyst at Lazard Capital is telling VentureBeat that early sales indicators on the newest World of Warcraft expansion, Mists of Pandaria, are below expectations. The firm estimates 600-700k copies of the expansion sold at retail since its launch on Tuesday, down a whopping 60 percent from the previous expansion. VentureBeat notes that this estimate probably doesn't take into account digital downloads of the expansion.

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Report: Blizzard Can Track WOW Users Through In-Game Screenshots

September 11, 2012 -

This story on Slashdot Games reveals that screenshots taken in World of Warcraft have secret watermarks that can be used by Blizzard to track users - particularly when they are engaged in behavior considered to be illegal or that violates World of Warcraft's terms of service.

The story began a few days ago when a World of Warcraft players noticed that there was an odd mark on a screenshot he had taken in-game:

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World of Warcraft Access in Iran Cut Off Due to U.S. Trade Sanctions

August 28, 2012 -

Blizzard Entertainment has been forced to cut off access to its popular MMO World of Warcraft to subscribers in Iran, due to ongoing (in an earlier version of the story we used the term "new" to describe the trade sanctions, which was not accurate.) U.S. trade sanctions against the country. The company issued the following statement to a thread complaining about World of Warcraft not being available in the region:

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Fox News Play Connect-The-Dots in James Holmes Case

July 30, 2012 -

Reporting on James Holmes' day in court today, Fox News tries to make a connection to World of Warcraft. We assume this is to tie video games to the shootings in Aurora, Colorado earlier this month, but the connection is about as tenuous as lights over Roswell, New Mexico being definitive proof that extraterrestrials exists...

Holmes was formally charged with 24 counts of murder, 116 counts of attempted murder, one count of possession of explosives, and one count of a crime of violence.

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Man Stabbed During Heated World of Warcraft Argument

July 13, 2012 -

There's probably two lessons to be learned from the following story: don't take video games too seriously and don't engage your neighbor when they are agitated and engaged in an active argument (call the police instead).

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World of Warcraft Server Blades Auction Raises $300K for Charity

July 13, 2012 -

World of Warcraft players helped Blizzard raise $330,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The funds are the result of a charity auction that saw the sale of some retired WOW server hardware put up by Blizzard on eBay earlier this year.

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Andrew EisenHow many people do you think will return their copy for a censored version of the game? My money is on zero.01/27/2015 - 12:47am
Goth_Skunk@Cheater: If I were an Australian consumer, there's no way I'd be returning it.01/26/2015 - 10:43pm
Cheater87Ooops http://stevivor.com/2015/01/ps4-copies-saints-row-iv-re-elected-undergoing-product-recall-australia/01/26/2015 - 10:13pm
Andrew EisenOkay, well I've passed the request along.01/26/2015 - 9:03pm
ZippyDSMleeI loath itunes..........01/26/2015 - 9:02pm
Goth_SkunkUNLESS you haven't downloaded the most 3 recent episodes. Then it cancels your subscription automatically.01/26/2015 - 8:56pm
Goth_Skunk@AE: No. iTunes instead just downloads it automatically, provided you've set it up to do so in your preferences.01/26/2015 - 8:56pm
Andrew EisenAnyone know if iTunes sends email notifications when there's a new episode of a podcast you're subscribed to?01/26/2015 - 8:30pm
ZippyDSMleeAck!! Sorry lack of spell checker means I more incoherent than ever :P, Sign up for email notification thing for the pod cast. Probly more trouble than its worth, I guess I will have to check the site more often ><01/26/2015 - 8:22pm
Andrew EisenWhat is a "sign u email thing"? We provide a direct download link to the show every week. The video version is on my YouTube channel. You can use our RSS feed to add it to a news reader. You can also subscribe to the show on iTunes.01/26/2015 - 6:48pm
ZippyDSMleeMmm you guys ever thought about doing a sign u email thing for the pod cast? If I can click a direct link to downlaod it to toss in all daily podcast listening I might listen to it more than randomly forgtting its on here 0-o01/26/2015 - 6:37pm
prh99Too much time listening to Faux News and Bill Mahr.01/26/2015 - 5:12pm
james_fudgeit's bad pr for the bus company01/26/2015 - 5:10pm
Andrew EisenI'm sure the ones who purchased the ads are a bit peeved but I find my sympathies lacking. I have to wonder why the bus line would buy such ads in the first place. Hard to imagine it doesn't have policies against that stuff.01/26/2015 - 5:07pm
Wonderkarpthats cute. I Like Ms Marvel(hate her powerset). Whomever is doing this? Good Job01/26/2015 - 4:49pm
E. Zachary KnightHahahahahahaha! http://toybox.io9.com/islamaphobic-bus-ads-in-san-francisco-are-being-defaced-1681857271/+charliejane01/26/2015 - 4:24pm
WonderkarpI saw that. Celebrity wing.01/26/2015 - 3:00pm
BearDogg-XArnold Schwarzenegger is being inducted into WWE Hall of Fame, reports TMZ.01/26/2015 - 11:56am
Wonderkarpyou're weird01/25/2015 - 11:23pm
ConsterWell, I guess it makes sense for your iPad to be capitalist scum.01/25/2015 - 7:10pm
 

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