Zynga Buys Natural Motion, Cuts Global Workforce by 15 Percent

January 31, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Zynga has invested $527 million in a buyout of Clumsy Ninja and CSR Racing maker - UK-based mobile game maker NaturalMotion - even as it lays off one in seven of its employees. The company made the announcement during the release its most recent earning report. The NaturalMotion buyout is the biggest acquisition by Zynga to date, beating out its $200 million purchase of Draw Something maker OMGPOP in 2012. And the company still has roughly $1.2 billion in cash built up from its Farmville and Cityville days.

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King Opposing 'The Banner Saga' Trademark

January 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a Games Industry International report, Candy Crush Saga makers King (who are trying to get a trademark for the word "Candy") are apparently opposing a trademark filed by The Banner Saga developer Stoic.

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Candy Crush Saga Maker Files for Trademark of 'Candy'

January 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Trademarking a single common word is never a good idea, but that hasn't stopped King.com from attempting to secure a trademark for the word "candy." The company, which makes the ridiculously popular social and mobile game Candy Crush Saga, has filed a patent application for "Candy" with the USPTO. The application, which was filed for last year, was approved on January 15. Companies who oppose this filing have a 30 day window to file a complaint.

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Report: Microsoft Paid YouTubers to Promote Xbox One, Keep Quiet About Relationship

January 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to a report on Ars Technica, Microsoft and Machinima colluded to get Machinima YouTube content creators to say nice things about the Xbox One for money and required that they not disclose the financial relationship to viewers.

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Gabe Newell 'Fine with Origin on Steam Machines'

January 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In a thread on Reddit, Valve front man Gabe Newell said something that surprised a lot of people: that he's okay with EA's Origin digital distribution platform running on Steam Machines. While we don't know how Steam OS and Origin would cooperate within the same environment, Newell's comments continue to illustrate Valve's commitment to being an all-inclusive platform for all kinds of games and methods of delivery, etc.

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Robert Bowling Thwarts Robbery at Robotoki Offices

January 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Former Call of Duty series Creative Strategist Robert Bowling has had some interesting moments since leaving Infinity Ward and joining game developer Robotoki, but some of them have often involved the LAPD.

In a recent tweet Bowling detailed his latest late-night fun at the LA-based offices of game developer Robotoki: while working late the other night someone decided to break in and rob the place. They didn't realize that someone was still in the office but were shocked to see Bowling get up from his desk and bolt towards the door they had just knocked the glass out of.

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Japanese Man Arrested for Forcing Nine-Year-Old to Play Grand Theft Auto

January 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A Japanese man has been arrested for allegedly forcing his young stepson to play Grand Theft Auto while his mother was not at home. The Kyoto, Japan resident, a 28 year-old male nurse named Maasa Kawabata forced his nine year-old son to play Grand Theft Auto IV for two-to-three weeks, with each gaming session lasting about two or three hours a day. All of this occurred while his mother was outside the home. He also apparently told the boy that he was "stupid," a "moron," and that he should "die" whenever his mother was not around.

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Prices on Third-Party Steam Machines Vary Wildly, Offer Different Hardware Configurations

January 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Last night at its Consumer Electronics Show press conference Valve Software revealed that 14 third-party hardware manufacturers were working on Steam Machines that would run its Steam OS operating system and would support the Steam controller. The prices among these manufacturers for the customized Steam Machines vary wildly, with a starting price of $499 all the up to the ridiculous price of $6,000.

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Poll: The Perils of Buying a 3DS at Walmart

December 31, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Earlier this week we reported on a Virginia man who bought a 3DS from his local Walmart for his eight-year-old son. To his surprise, when his son and other children decided to look at some fresh photos they'd just snapped with the 3DS' camera on Christmas day, they discovered some rather naughty adult images.

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3DS Purchased for 8-Year-Old Offers an Adult Surprise

December 30, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Imagine buying your child a 3DS for Christmas and finding pornography on it... That's what happened to one parent, according to WAVY News 10. On Christmas morning Tom Mayhew's 8-year-old son decided to snap some pictures with his new 3DS. When he went to go look at the photos he'd taken he found a dozen pornographic images saved on the system.

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Indie Developers Rail Against YouTube After Being Targeted with Copyright Claims

December 18, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Indie developers including the makers of The Witness, Thomas Was Alone, VVVVVV, and Ridiculous Fishing, are railing against YouTube and Google over their new copyright detection policies after being the target of false copyright claims on videos of their own games.

Mike Bithell, creator of puzzle platformer game Thomas Was Alone, was the target of a claim by a group called 'Indmusic' for "systematically" claiming rights to footage of his game. He lashed out at the group via Twitter:

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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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Tea Party Group Uses Racist BioShock Infinite Propaganda on Facebook Page

December 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Florida-based political group The National Liberty Foundation is catching some heat this morning for posting anti-immigration propaganda from Bioshock Infinite, a game that puts such forms of thinking under a microscope by focusing on an isolated society, its leader and the movement that wants to keep "America pure." The group describes itself as a conservative coalition made up of citizens that identify themselves as part of the Tea Party movement.

Game Companies Push Back Against New YouTube Copyright Enforcement System

December 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Google has implemented a new system that auto detects content that is supposedly in breach of copyright this week, and it is affecting many YouTube stars. They are claiming that dozens or even hundreds of their videos are being removed. Since these claims are automatic because of the new system, many game companies who own the copyrights in question are doing their best to help those affected by the new system.

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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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Riot's New Contract for Pro LoL Players Restricts Streaming 'Other Games'

December 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Riot Games, makers of the popular MOBA game League of Legends, requires a lot from players who want to sign up with them to play professionally.

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New FCC Chair Thinks It's 'Okay' for ISPs to Charge Netflix Extra

December 4, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Newly anointed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said this week that it would be okay for Internet service providers to charge Netflix and other companies for a faster lane to consumers. While some think that Wheeler's stance is surprising given that the FCC implemented the Open Internet Order in 2010 to stop ISPs from discriminating against certain types of traffic, anyone who knows Wheeler's past is not in the least bit surprised. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries.

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Hotfile Goes Offline After MPAA Settlement

December 4, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Only a few hours after it was revealed that cloud-based file-sharing destination Hotfile has agreed to pay $80 million to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as part of a settlement for a trial set to begin next week, the site went offline. Not only did the site go offline, but it took all of the user content being stored on its servers with it. Users who stored legal personal and business-related documents are now left in much the same situation that Megaupload users were left in, but this time it can't be blamed on anyone except the service provider.

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A Game So Bad It Was Canceled After Release

November 29, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

You've probably heard of games being cancelled while being in early development, in beta, and at various stages of development but one game is likely the first to be cancelled after it has been released. Published by 505 Games and developed by Trickstar, Ashes Cricket 2013 is the first game to be cancelled publicly by a publisher - in addition to being unceremoniously pulled from Steam for being awful. Naturally 505 Games points its fingers at the game's developer who did not deliver a game up to anyone's standards.

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Crazy Like a Fox or Just Plain Crazy: The Xbox One Punching Fix

November 26, 2013 - James Fudge

Is this next story officially the dumbest story of 2013? I don't know but it has to be in the running. Some users who bought Xbox One systems with failing disc drives say you can solve the problem by punching your console. Yes, you've read that correctly: people are so frustrated with the Xbox One that they have decided to, as Wally Cleaver liked to say (an obscure 1950's reference to the show Leave it to Beaver) "Give it the business."

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Video: Insane Man Smashes His PS4 Outside of a Montreal Best Buy

November 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

We are not sure if the man in this video shot outside a Montreal Best Buy is pulling an elaborate prank, is genuinely angry about something or is simply out of his flipping mind, but it provides the official "WTF" moment of the day. If you watch the video to your left you'll see a man appear in the frame suddenly go berserk with what we assume is a freshly purchased PlayStation 4. He angrily tears at the console's box, raises it over his head and slams it on to the pavement.

I am pretty sure his warranty doesn't cover THAT.

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Report: Foxconn Working on Mobile Games

November 5, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

You can't make this stuff up. Foxconn, the company best known for bad press related to the way it treats its factory workers (who assemble products from Apple and other technology giants in the world) will soon be making mobile games.

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Taiwan's FTC Fines Samsung for Astroturfing

October 24, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has fined Samsung and two local PR firms for what it described as an organized campaign to post positive reviews of its products, while maligning competitors' products. Samsung reportedly carried this plan out through two local public relations firms who used a "large number of hired writers and designated employees" to get the job done. Samsung and the two local firms were fined $100,000 each, though the original fine it faced was much higher - as much as $1 million.

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Special Needs Student Suspended for Bomberman 64-Inspired Drawing of a Bomb

October 17, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A special needs student who brought a picture of a bomb to school that he drew has been suspended. The student, 13-year-old Rhett Parham, enjoys drawing and watching videos of his favorite game Bomberman 64 on YouTube.

He drew a picture of an a old fashioned bomb and took it to his school - Hillcrest Middle School in Simpsonville, SC. At one point on Monday during one of his classes, he told his classmates that he "had a bomb" and showed them his drawing. This apparently led to the school suspending him.

His mother, Amy Parham, was shocked and outraged.

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Zynga's Mark Pincus is 'Bored with Games'

October 2, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Zynga co-founder Mark Pincus recently said that he's bored with games. Pincus made his comments during a Q&A at a Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup called Garage Geeks that he was visiting. Pincus took questions from attendees and was asked by Israeli venture capitalist Yossi Vardi what his current favorite games were.

"Right now, I'm pretty bored with all games," Pincus replied, according to a Wall Street Journal writer attending the event.

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Father Blames Minecraft for Son Bringing Gun to School

September 30, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A nine-year old boy from Orlando, Florida has been placed in "home confinement" for bring weapons to school. His father claims that the boy brought "an unloaded handgun, a magazine with six bullets inside, a steak knife and a small-handled sledge hammer" to school because he was emulating what the main character "Steve" does in Minecraft.

"They use hammers to dig and knives and guns to protect themselves from zombies," he said, according to the a report from Orlando news station WFTV.

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Leaked NSA Documents Detail Agency's Long-Running Efforts to Exploit Smart Phones

September 10, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

When the smart phone revolution began five years ago, the National Security Agency began looking for ways to crack the myriad of devices that were hitting the market including iPhones, Android devices, and Black Berry devices. Black Berry devices were the most popular among politicians and business people at the time.

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White House Says Known Liar Will Establish NSA Review Group But Won't Lead or Be Part of It

August 13, 2013 - Andrew Eisen, Contributing Editor

Earlier today, we reported that the White House had appointed the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, a guy who has by his own admission lied to Congress about the NSA spying on Americans, to "establish a Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies" to assess the NSA's surveillance efforts.

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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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The Man 'Who Lied to Congress About NSA Spying' Will Be In Charge of Independent Review Board

August 13, 2013 -

On Friday President Barack Obama promised to create an outside and independent review board to look into the NSA's surveillance efforts. Today we have learned that the person who has been selected to oversee this undertaking is less than credible. In a letter obtained by TechDirt (thanks EZK), we learn that it's the same old same old in D.C.

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ZippyDSMlee.....win8 hates any left over hidden install partitions from other version of windows....only waste 5 hours finding that out...its ahrder than you think keeping up with 4 or 5 HDDS......03/03/2015 - 4:44am
Matthew WilsonI am going to pax east, any games you guys want me to check out?03/02/2015 - 11:23pm
ZippyDSMleeNo one remembers the days of Cinemagic and Cynergy eh? :P, meh even MGS is getting to film like....03/02/2015 - 8:44pm
MechaTama31I was about to get all defensive about liking Metal Gear Solid, but then I saw that he was talking about "cinematic" as a euphemism for "crappy framerate".03/02/2015 - 8:29pm
prh99Just replace cinematic with the appropriate synonym for poo and you'll have gist of any press release.03/02/2015 - 5:34pm
PHX Corphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZQDFO2KEPo Jim Sterling Makes Fun of "Cinematic" Gaming03/02/2015 - 3:39pm
Matthew WilsonWOW is copping EVE. http://us.battle.net/wow/en/blog/18141101/introducing-the-wow-token-3-2-2015 I think its a smart move to deal with gold farmers in this way.03/02/2015 - 1:16pm
Matthew WilsonI guess epic is tired of having their lunch eaten by unity. https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/ue4-is-free03/02/2015 - 12:50pm
Andrew EisenNot much to follow. Kern is being silly and... nothing much else is happening.03/02/2015 - 11:40am
Papa MidnightI ask because, having only just heard of it, I have not, and I was hoping for some insight.03/02/2015 - 11:39am
Papa MidnightHas anyone been following this petition by Mark Kern regarding Kotaku, Polygon, and VG247? https://www.change.org/p/kotaku-lead-the-way-in-healing-the-rift-in-video-games03/02/2015 - 11:38am
ZippyDSMleePaypal shuts down Mega's payment system. https://torrentfreak.com/under-u-s-pressure-paypal-nukes-mega-for-encrypting-files-150227/03/01/2015 - 3:25pm
Matthew Wilsonvalvle planning to release a vr headset this year wtf http://www.pcgamer.com/valves-vr-headset-is-named-vive-and-htc-are-making-it/03/01/2015 - 1:05pm
ZippyDSMleeuuuhhhggg in other news been sick since last night.....uuhggg.....I iwsh it did not hurt so much when my tummy wants to leave my body..02/28/2015 - 11:39pm
ZippyDSMleeBrings me to the Q why alt costumes would be needed in competition anyway... http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2015/feb/28/dead-or-alive-community-aims-ban-over-120-overly-sexualized-costumes-dead-or-alive-5-last-round/02/28/2015 - 11:36pm
MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
 

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