12/04/2022: Valve’s Giving Away A Steam Deck Every Minute During The Game Awards
If you’ve been wanting Valve’s portable PC console, the Steam Deck, but lack the spare cash, Valve will be giving away a ton of them for free during next week’s annual broadcast of The Game Awards. All you have to do is watch The Game Awards through Valve’s streaming site. Oh, yeah: Remember when Valve launched a streaming site?
As announced November 30, Valve is
celebrating The Game Awards with a massive Steam Deck giveaway. The
company will be giving out a free handheld PC to a single person every
minute for the entire run of The Game Awards. (Never in history has
someone wanted The Game Awards to run long, until now…) To have a
chance, you’ll need to first register for the drawing, which you can do
now, then watch The Game Awards via Valve’s Steam.TV website.
that, you ask? It’s a half-baked Steam-ified take on Twitch that the
company basically abandoned not long after launch. But like so many
Valve products it lingers on, like a zombie.
As with any giveaway or contest of this nature, it has some extra rules and restrictions to be aware of, such that it’s only open to folks in the United States, Canada, the UK, or the EU. You also need to have bought something on Steam in the last 12 months, and your account must be in good standing. If you check all those boxes you can register now at this link. And when you register, you also get a cute animated Steam Deck emoji sticker. So really, aren’t we all winners in the end?
12/04/2022: Pokémon Scarlet And Violet Patch Divides Players Over Whether Anything's Fixed
Rumors are swirling that Nintendo may have underplayed its hand with yesterday’s Pokémon Scarlet and Violet patch announcement,
with some suggesting that the worst of the framerate issues have been
significantly improved. In our own very unscientific tests, it looks
like this might at least be a little bit true.
Yesterday’s announcement of Version 1.1.0 (the first patch the extremely broken Pokémon
game has received since its 1.0.1 day one addition) was incredibly
vague on what it actually did. For some reason, it only highlighted that
it addressed the most trivial of music issues, while anything else was
summarized as “various bug fixes.” Which, when followed up by a sort-of
apology for the mess of the game, had everyone assume the more important
fixes were still to come.
12/04/2022: System specs for sci-fi horror epic Callisto Protocol will terrify your PC
The system requirements for sci-fi gorefest The Callisto Protocol (opens in new tab) have been released via the game's official Twitter feed. And it makes for scary reading for your PC.
The full, blood-spattered experience at Ultra settings requires an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (opens in new tab) or AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (opens in new tab). Step down to Max and a Radeon RX 6700 XT (opens in new tab) or RTX 2070 deemed sufficient. In both cases, you're going to want 16GB of RAM.
CPU specs for Ultra are set at an AMD Ryzen 9 3900X or Intel Core i9 9900K. But the question remains whether you'll still suffer from the stuttering issues widely reported on Steam (opens in new tab) even if you meet those specs.
"There were definitely some stutters, especially when loading new areas or when camera control is taken away or given back on either side of cutscenes and certain pre-canned animations, which The Callisto Protocol is full of."
Moreover, That Callisto ran at sub 60fps with ray tracing enabled on the RTX 3080. So, this is clearly a beast of a game.
It's also worth noting that the Callisto Project does not support Nvidia's DLSS scaling tech (opens in new tab). However, there is still upscaling in the game engine courtesy, courtesy of AMD's FSR (opens in new tab). That will run on both AMD's own GPUs and Nvidia's, but Shaun found it didn't deliver quite as big a performance boost as you'd normally expect, especially with FSR set to performance mode.
Still, when getting the most realistic sweaty faces (opens in new tab) ever rendered in real time, you just know the frame rates are going to take a hit.
The Callisto Project Project is out today, December 2. Feel free to wallow in the gore and sweat, with or without ray- tracing enabled.
Suspected GTA 6 Leaker Pleads Not Guilty On Hacking Charges [Update]
A source told The Desk that the teenager is being held on numerous charges, including conspiracy to attack at least two different computer systems.
It’s believed that the teenage hacker arrested Thursday evening in Oxfordshire is connected to the hacker group “Laspus$.” This group of hackers is allegedly also involved with high-profile digital intrusions at other large companies including Uber, Microsoft, Cisco, Samsung, Nvidia, and Okta. The group first showed up in 2021, hacking Brazil’s Ministry of Health. It was thought the group had gone inactive, but earlier this month it allegedly ramped up its activities again and targeted Uber and Rockstar Games.
The Grand Theft Auto VI leak that occurred over the weekend was one of the largest video game leaks in history. 90 video files showcasing early development footage of the next GTA game, which is assumed to be GTA VI, were
posted on the GTA Forums and quickly spread across the internet. The
footage seemed to confirm previous reports and rumors that GTA VI would be set in Vice City and would star two different characters, a Bonnie-and-Clyde-like criminal couple.
On Monday, September 19, following the leak, Rockstar Games confirmed that someone had “illegally” gained access to its files and shared them online. It also stated that this leak would not slow down production on the game and that it planned to reveal it in a more official way soon.
Update: 9/27/2022: 6:50 pm E.T.- Today, as reported by Bloomberg, the alleged teenage hacker possibly connected to the massive and recent Grand Theft Auto 6 leak appeared in a specialist youth court in London. The 17-year-old Oxfordshire boy denied using his phone as a tool to gain access to Rockstar’s private files and servers.
the teen was charged with two counts of breach of bail conditions and
two counts of misuse of a computer. The prosecution alleges the teenager
was hacking companies like Microsoft and Uber and then “holding them to
ransom.” The judge in the case has referred it to a higher court where
it’ll be heard at a later date.
It’s been nine years since the release of Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V and about seven months since the company announced production was underway for the latest installment in the hugely popular game series.
Last week, however, gamers got to see more than 90 videos showing gameplay footage from GTA 6 as they mysteriously begane to circulate on social media. Now, the hacker believed to be responsible for the leaks of the insanely anticipated title is being investigated by the FBI, Eurogamer reports.
The hacker who came forward and claimed responsibility for the leak has also said they were behind the major cyber-attack Uber experienced last week. The rideshare company recently released a blog post saying it was taking a similar route as Rockstar by working with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice to find plug the leaks.
Uber also acknowledged that Rockstar had suffered a similar breach, and said the hacker may be associated with Lapsus$, the group who attacked Nvidia, Microsoft, and Samsung.
Rockstar has since addressed the claims in a tweet.
“We recently suffered a network intrusion in which an unauthorized third part illegally accessed and downloaded confidential information from our system, including early development footage for the next Grand Theft Auto,” The New York City-based company said.
“We are extremely disappointed to have any details of our next game shared with you all in this way. Our work on the next Grand Theft Auto game will continue as planned and we remain as committed as ever to delivering an experience to you, our players, that truly exceeds your expectation,” it continued.
Rockstar has been making it a top priority to keep their newest project under wraps, having only broken any news about GTA 6 in February. The leaked footage was initially posted to GTAForums last week and showed robberies, gunplay, fully voiced conversations, and more.
The news of the massive GTA 6 leak is making the rounds on the internet. However, there's been another development. The leaker is now trying to negotiate a deal with Rockstar Games and its parent company Take-Two Interactive, leveraging how they have access to vital assets associated with the upcoming title.
In a Twitter post made earlier today by Tom Henderson, a video game enthusiast and writer, the leaker is now trying to contact developers in an attempt to strike a deal with them, mentioning that they have the source code for two titles. The leaker has stated that he could release more data soon, as they are in possession of “GTA 5 and 6 source code and assets.”
As seen in the above post, the leaker has updated the original GTAForums post mentioning that he is “looking to negotiate a deal.” They also seemed to mention that they'd received over 3000 Telegram messages asking about the leaks and guided the developers on how to contact him.
The hacker has leaked over 90 clips related to GTA 6, sending the entire gaming industry into turmoil. This released content involved various in-game mechanisms that players were not supposed to see at all. The leaked footage was legit since it was verified by none other than the famous Bloomberg writer Jason Schreier.
The journalist also regarded the situation as a "nightmare for Rockstar Games" as it would disrupt work in the company for a while and might "lead management to limit work-from-home flexibility" for its employees. This is a serious situation that could see various repercussions.
While it remains to be seen how Rockstar deals with the situation. Here are some reactions to the whole ordeal from some of the most famous names in the gaming industry:
ccording to a YouTube video by TGG, the entire leak consists of 50 minutes of GTA 6 footage in total, giving various insights into the upcoming game.
The leaks confirmed the possibility of two playable protagonists in the game, one of them being a Latina female. Several clips also suggest that the upcoming title will be set in the fan-requested Vice City. In one video, a metro rail can be seen bearing the following words on it:
This suggests that players can expect their beloved Vice City to make a return, as previously reported by Jason Schreier in a Bloomberg article. Last July, he suggested that the upcoming game will feature a female playable protagonist, along with the Vice City map for players to enjoy.
Rockstar hasn’t commented officially regarding the massive leak as of now. That said, players can expect an official acknowledgment of the situation from the developers sooner or later.
7/06/2022: Nintendo may have just hinted a Switch 2 or Switch Pro
Nintendo may have just shown off the new Switch model unanticipatedly. Nintendo released its first hybrid gaming console in 2017, Switch, but the latest financial report indicates that the Switch’s successor might be revealed at any time. The handheld console fans have been speculating whether Nintendo might release a more powerful Switch version for a while. There have been rumors of a “Pro” model or a brand-new Nintendo Switch 2, but Nintendo hasn’t officially stated that it’s developing. However, this may have changed with the new report.More Powerful Nintendo Switch 2 Becomes a Reality
It is said that Nintendo’s raw materials and supplies expenditures in the 2022 fiscal year were much higher than usual. According to the report, the company spends almost twice as much material as when it produced Switch Lite a few years ago. Nintendo’s spending on more raw materials and supplies may show itself in the new Switch console that will be released soon. The Japanese company spent an average of $15 million annually on material costs from 2015 to 2017. However, the expenditures have increased significantly since 2018, and of course, for 2022. It is projected to be close to $500 million, which is 8,000 times greater than the average spending and more than double the numbers in 2019.
On the other hand, Nintendo submitted a filing request for the “NSW” trademark to the EUIPO (European Union Intellectual Property Office) on June 29. This filing may refer to a game console or various products and services related to video games. The trademark specifies video gaming equipment, games, toys, and playthings. “Recorded and downloadable media, computer software, blank digital or analog recording and storage media” were some of the products on file.
Nintendo hasn’t confirmed whether it is developing a new Switch model. But it’s not surprising that the company is working on a more powerful Switch, as it has a big competitor like the Steam Deck in the handheld console world.
06/22/2022: Riot Games Xbox Game Pass perks: League of Legends, Valorant, Teamfight Tactics, and more
Microsoft and Riot Games have a new partnership in the works, bringing more perks to all Xbox Game Pass members. The gaming subscription service will fast-track progress across the firm’s entire games catalog, including League of Legends, Valorant, and Teamfight Tactics. The deal can save players thousands of dollars, or hours of playtime, for no extra cost.
Rewards for Game Pass members include full character rosters, content packs, and XP boosts, all set to arrive this winter. These bonuses join the growing list of perks bundled in the service, starting from just $10 per month. Here’s what we know about the Xbox and Riot Games partnership, what it means, and the available benefits.
Riot Games made a surprise appearance at Microsoft’s Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase in June, kicking off the show with one of the biggest Game Pass partnerships to date. The publisher’s entire catalog “joins” the service this winter, with the associated benefits first available on PC and mobile. Every Riot Games title to date is free-to-play, so Xbox Game Pass brings thousands of dollars of premium content, for zero extra cost, instead.
Game Pass subscribers unlock various in-game rewards upon linking their account, including all champions in League of Legends and all agents in Valorant. League of Legends: Wild Rift, Teamfight Tactics, and Legends of Runeterra players all have similar perks, applicable across their respective PC and mobile versions. These are just some of the growing list of Xbox Game Pass perks right now.
Riot Games announced its Game Pass partnership earlier this spring, detailing which titles will be included in the deal, and all planned benefits. The deal spans the complete Riot Games catalog, with generous rewards totaling thousands of dollars if otherwise purchased through traditional avenues.
Benefits for League of Legends, Wild Rift, and Valorant are relatively straightforward, with unlimited access to all champions and agents. That totals hundreds of characters among the games, making this a lucrative entry point into Riot's most popular titles. With day-one access to future additions to the roster and XP bonuses, it could make Game Pass the ideal subscription for avid Riot Games fans.
While you don’t get all the unlocks in Legends of Runterra, subscribers receive the “Foundation Set,” featuring 318 cards with 24 champions from the game’s original launch. Details on Teamfight Tactics remain a little hazier, with Riot promising “select” Little Legends as of the announcement.
- League of Legends: Unlock all 160+ champions, day-one access to future champions
- Valorant: Unlock all 18 agents, day-one access to future agents
- League of Legends: Wild Rift: Unlock all 80+ champions, day-one access to future champions
- Teamfight Tactics: Unlock “select” Little Legends, specifics to be announced
- Legends of Runeterra: Unlock Foundations Set, includes 318 cards with 24 champions from launch
While Microsoft and Riot Games haven’t detailed exactly how Game Pass subscribers can claim in-game benefits, we already have a rough understanding of how the partnership will function once it launches.
Riot Games will allow active Game Pass subscribers to link their accounts this winter, with rewards automatically unlocked across all titles. The approach will incentivize new players to try Riot Games titles (likely a huge driver behind the Game Pass deal) while allowing existing players to link their accounts and receive all the benefits.
Champions, agents, and Game Pass perks like XP bonuses will be tied to an active subscription, according to senior director of corporate communications at Riot Games, Joe Hixson. That means if you cancel, all benefits will be revoked. This prevents players from making a single, one-time payment, reaping the rewards, and canceling their Game Pass membership before the next month.
Riot Games also plans to allow Xbox Game Pass subscribers to progress while they play, meaning earned rewards are permanently unlocked, should you decide the service isn’t for you.
Riot Games has stated it expects to bring its titles to Xbox Game Pass sometime “this winter,” likely suggestive of an early 2023 rollout. The partnership was first announced on-stage during the June 2022 Xbox showcase, promising more details to follow over the coming months. While we don’t have a firm date, expect more information from the duo later this year.
06/22/2022: Cuphead Season 2 Announced for Netflix on August 2022:
Cuphead and Mugman are returning to Netflix this summer. Netflix revealed the latest trailer for The Cuphead Show! season 2 on Friday during its Geeked Week presentation, along with an Aug. 19 release date for the new season.
The first season of The Cuphead Show! featured 12 episodes and originally premiered in February of this year. After the first season, Netflix ordered another 36 episodes of the show, which will run in blocks of 12 starting with the release of season 2. Eventually, the show will have released 48 total episodes.
Each episode of The Cuphead Show! is written by
Deeki Deke, Clay Morrow, Adam Paloian, Cosmo Segurson, and Dave Wasson.
The series is animated by Lighthouse Studios, along with a few other
collaborating studios like Screen Novelties, which provides the
stop-motion animation. The series stars Tru Valentino as the voice of
Cuphead, Frank Todaro as the voice of Mugman, Grey Griffin as the voice
of Ms. Chalice, and Wayne Brady as the voice of King Dice.
Game Payne Stands With Ukraine:
3/14/2022: Nintendo Halts All Sales & Shipments To Russia:
Nintendo is the latest company to halt sales and shipments of its products to Russia amidst its ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
Joining the likes of Microsoft and PlayStation and dozens of other game studios, Nintendo has suspended all shipments to Russia for the “foreseeable future.” Still, the company did not say this was in support of Ukraine like most publishers and studios have, as reported by IGN. The publication reached out to Nintendo to ask if it’d be providing a message of support for Ukraine, and a Nintendo spokesperson said, “We would like to express our concern for all those affected by the conflict.”
“We have decided to suspend shipping all Nintendo products to Russia for the foreseeable future,” Nintendo told IGN. “This is due to considerable volatility surrounding the logistics of shipping and distributing physical goods.”
This news comes days after Nintendo placed the Russian eShop into maintenance mode, which prevents users from buying digital games, effectively suspending all sales and downloads in the country. As IGN points out, this wasn’t necessarily done in support of Ukraine either, at least not directly and publicly. Nintendo said its payment service no longer processed Russian Rubles, forcing the eShop to close temporarily.
On top of all of this, Nintendo delayed Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp yesterday due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. It did not announce a new release date for the game.
For more, read Game Informer’s story about all of the studios and publishers that have come out with messages and actions of support for Ukraine amidst Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country.
3/9/2022: Nintendo Indefinitely Delays War Game Over Russia’s Invasion Of Ukraine:
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp no longer has a release date. Nintendo announced today it’s pushing back the Switch game’s launch as a result of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. The news comes as many other gaming companies have instituted bans of certain products in Russia as the humanitarian crisis continues to unfold.
“In light of recent world events, we have made the decision to delay Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp, which was originally scheduled to release on Nintendo Switch on April 8th,” Nintendo announced on Twitter today. “Please stay tuned for updates on a new release date.”
A remake of the turn-based strategy games that originally came to Game Boy Advance back in 2001 and 2003 respectively, Advance Wars 1+2 was revealed at E3 2021, and was previously set to come out last December, before being delayed until this spring. The first game revolves around a war of aggression by a neighboring country, that is later revealed to be the orchestrated plot of a separate group with the goal of weakening and destabilizing the world order. (Albeit in fictional countries.)
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on February 24 and has so far resulted in the deaths of over 400 civilians, has led other gaming companies to reconsider their plans as well. The Pokémon Company engaged in almost zero promotion for a livestream revealing Pokémon Scarlet and Violet in late February, “out of respect to our global audiences.” There were rumors Sony’s March 9 State of Play livestream could be delayed over the ongoing war as well. That’s in stark contrast to how the gaming industrial complex has carried on apace during some other humanitarian crises.
Other companies have directly condemned Russia’s actions or taken steps to boycott the country. Beginning with Cyberpunk 2077 maker CD Projekt Red, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, EA, Epic, and Ubisoft have all stopped the sale of new products in Russia, and some have pledged financial support to Ukraine. Sony has reportedly pulled Gran Turismo 7 from the Russia PlayStation Store, but hasn’t weighed in publicly.
Nintendo also hasn’t shared its public position on the conflict. Like many other gaming companies, the Switch manufacturer has a regional marketing office in Russia. However, Nintendo was forced to send the Russia Nintendo eShop into maintenance after third-party payments stopped being processed for the country. The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it would take any further steps.
When asked for its position on the invasion, a spokesperson for Nintendo provided the following statement over email: “While we have nothing to announce on this topic, we would like to express our concern for all those affected by the conflict.”
3/9/2022: Nintendo gamers in Russia just got locked out of digital game purchases:
Nintendo has temporarily put its Russian eShop into maintenance mode, the company said in a notice on its Russian website, which appears to mean that players in the country can’t buy digital games from the store.
“Due to the fact that the payment service used in Nintendo eShop has suspended the processing of payments in rubles, Nintendo eShop in Russia is temporarily placed into maintenance mode,” according to a Google-translated version of the message. “We apologize for any inconvenience caused.” It’s unclear what payment service Nintendo uses. The Verge has reached out for more information.
Many gaming companies have taken action in protest of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. EA and CD Projekt Red have halted sales of their games in Russia and Belarus. Microsoft has suspended all new sales of “Microsoft products and services” in Russia, a phrasing that seems to include Xbox hardware and software. And as reported by Eurogamer, Sony apparently has pulled Gran Turismo 7, a big title in its 2022 lineup, from sale in Russia — I couldn’t find the game in a search on the Russian PlayStation Store. Sony hasn’t yet replied to a request for comment.
Video game companies are starting to halt their operations in Russia amid outcry over the country’s invasion of Ukraine.
Poland’s CD Projekt, the publisher behind sci-fi title Cyberpunk 2077 and popular role-playing game franchise The Witcher, said Thursday that it would halt all sales of its games in Russia and Belarus. It will also pause all sales through its GOG games distribution platform in the countries.
“The entire CD PROJEKT Group stands firm with the people of Ukraine,” the company said in an announcement Thursday.
“While we are not a political entity capable of directly influencing state matters, and don’t aspire to be one, we do believe that commercial entities, when united, have the power to inspire global change in the hearts and minds of ordinary people.”
Meanwhile, Electronic Arts on Wednesday said it would remove the Russian national team and all clubs in the country from its FIFA soccer titles and the NHL football game series.
“EA Sports stands in solidarity with the Ukrainian people and like so many voices across the world of football, calls for peace and an end to the invasion of Ukraine,” the company said in a tweet Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Ukrainian Digital Minister Mykhailo Fedorov called on Microsoft and Sony to block all Russian and Belarusian accounts and cancel any planned gaming events in the two countries. He also asked the firms to deny allowing Russian or Belarussian gamers from competing in international esports events.
“We are sure that such actions will motivate the citizens of Russia to proactively stop the disgraceful military aggression,” Fedorov said in a letter he posted on Twitter Wednesday.
Microsoft and Sony did not respond to multiple CNBC requests for comment.
Microsoft President Brad Smith said Friday that the company would “suspend all new sales of Microsoft products and services in Russia” and stop “many aspects of our business in Russia in compliance with governmental sanctions decisions.”Esports
The esports world has also been caught up in the Russia-Ukraine crisis.
Russia has a sizable esports industry. Eight Russians are listed in Esports Earnings’ ranking of the top-earning esports players globally, with Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naidenov taking the No. 11 spot.
On Tuesday, German esports organizer ESL said it would block Counter-Strike: Global Offensive teams Virtus.pro and Gambit from competing in the ESL Pro League in June.
“We made the decision that organizations with apparent ties to the Russian government, including individuals or organizations under alleged or confirmed EU sanctions related to the conflict, will not be allowed to be represented,” ESL said in an update on its website.
Virtus.pro is owned by ESforce Holding, a division of Russian tech firm Mail.ru, while Gambit is a subsidiary of telecoms group MTS. ESL said players of both teams would still be able to compete “under a neutral name, without representing their country, organization or their teams’ sponsors on their clothing.”
ESL said it has also paused all scheduled competitions in the Commonwealth of Independent States, which includes Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
The video game world cutting ties with Russia could have a significant impact on the country’s economy. Russia is home to a vibrant gaming market, worth an estimated $2.3 billion in 2021, according to data firm Statista.
With their respective Xbox and PlayStation platforms, Microsoft and Sony are two of the largest video game distributors globally.
However, it’s mobile platforms like Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android and PC games distributors like Valve’s Steam that would truly bite, according to Lewis Dean, research director of gaming at analysis firm IDC.
“Russia is a mobile first, PC second, [and] console third market,” Dean told CNBC.
Apple and Google did not respond to a CNBC request for comment by publication time. Both companies have so far restricted sales in Russia and removed Russian state-owned media outlets RT and Sputnik from their app stores.
In terms of consoles, “PlayStation has the largest installed base, so if a company on the console side has a particularly hard choice from a purely financial angle, it’s Sony,” Dean said.
In the PC space, Valve is the “biggest digital PC game distributor in Russia and so that would be another significant shoe to drop if they suspended services,” he added.
FromSoftware fans are on a different level, known for beating games like Dark Souls with banana controllers, Donkey Kong bongos, and more. Naturally, players are already experimenting with unique play styles for Elden Ring, with one fan taking down a boss using Nintendo's Ring Fit Adventure controller.
you're unfamiliar, Ring Fit Adventure is an exercise game on Nintendo
Switch that uses a controller called the Ring-Con, which is basically a
Pilates ring with a Joy-Con attached to it. It also makes use of a leg
strap with the other Joy-Con fitted inside. In Ring Fit Adventure,
players use the Ring-Con and leg strap to perform different forms of
Now, SuperLouis64 — the very same streamer who beat Dark Souls with bananas — has defeated a boss in Elden Ring using a Ring Fit controller mod. As you can see in the video below, Super Louis 64 defeated Bloodhound Knight Darriwil while getting a good workout in. What's more, the streamer did it on his first try.
In a separate post, Super Louis 64 explained how the control scheme works. When he starts running in place, it unlocks movement with the control stick on the Ring-Con. So, his character can't move unless he is moving in real life. He can attack by squeezing the Ring-Con or swinging it like a sword. And, to heal, he has to squat while holding the heal button.Elden Ring is hard enough, even without using these crazy control schemes.
World of Tanks studio Wargaming has fired creative director Sergey Burkatovskiy over his public support of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Burkatovskiy said in a now-deleted Facebook post following Russia's attack that he supports "the operation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, the DPR [Donetsk People's Republic] and the LPR [Luhansk People's Republic]." Wargaming, a Belarusian company that employs hundreds of developers in Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, quickly disavowed the statement, telling Russian gaming site Cyber.Sports.ru that the statement is "his personal opinion, which categorically does not coincide with the position of the company." The studio added that it is now "focused on helping our 550+ Kyiv colleagues and their families."
The situation escalated a day later, when Burkatovskiy posted another Facebook message saying he "broke up with the VG." (Some sites translated "VG" to "WG," indicating Wargaming.) Wargaming later confirmed his departure in a statement emailed to PC Gamer.
Wargaming also clarified a change in online advertising policy for World of Tanks that was recently revealed in a not-entirely-clear statement sent to affiliates. When the invasion began, all Wargaming advertising was halted globally; the studio also decided to redesign its advertising assets to remove images of advancing tanks and other military vehicles. It recently resumed advertising with the new assets but is maintaining the promotional pause in Ukraine, "as we believe it is inappropriate and insensitive to advertise our games while it is the center of this conflict."
As the battle for control of the capital continues, Wargaming's Kyiv studio made a 30 million hryvnia ($1 million) donation to the Ukrainian Red Cross.
"At Wargaming, the safety and security of our employees is the top priority. Currently, all available company resources are helping and supporting our 550+ colleagues: providing them with alternate housing, early salary payments, additional funds to aid travel and relocation," the Wargaming rep said.
"We are helping our employees’ families to travel to neighboring countries and organizing accommodation for them. And lastly, today Wargaming Kyiv are donating $1 million to the Ukrainian Red Cross. These funds will be used to support Ukrainian hospitals and doctors, those citizens who have been displaced and other vital activities of the humanitarian organization as is needed."
Wargaming said it will offer further support for humanitarian relief efforts "if the situation requires.”
Microsoft on Wednesday kicked off a charm offensive in Washington to gain government approval for its $70 billion deal to buy the video game company Activision Blizzard, saying it would not give preferential treatment to its own games in its app stores.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s chief executive, and Brad Smith, its president, said at a news conference in Washington that they planned to meet officials to discuss the deal. Mr. Smith said he had been “sharing where we’re going with members of Congress” and that the company had been “meeting with people in the think tank community and the like.”
Regulators are expected to give Microsoft’s proposed acquisition of Activision — the largest in Microsoft’s history — a tough review. The deal would combine Activision, which has games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft, with Microsoft’s Xbox operation, which publishes hits like Halo and makes consoles and gaming subscription services.
To get ahead of that scrutiny, Microsoft executives brought a list of promises.
“We are proposing to write the biggest check in the history of Microsoft for $68 billion and will only be permitted to write that check if 17 governments around the world approve that transaction,” Mr. Smith said. “We want to be clear with regulators and with the public that if this acquisition is approved, they can count on Microsoft to adapt to the rules that are emerging.”
Mr. Smith and Mr. Nadella said they would commit to loosening restrictions on how other developers can gain access to Microsoft’s app stores. They said they would also not force other developers to take payments from users using Microsoft’s systems, would allow game developers to talk directly to players and not promote the company’s own games over rival products.
Microsoft has pledged to continue to allow Activision’s major franchises, like Call of Duty, to be available on Sony PlayStation, an Xbox competitor, beyond the company’s current agreement with the company.
The Microsoft executives acknowledged the steep challenge of getting their blockbuster deal approved in a time of increased scrutiny of big tech companies from the Biden administration. Lina Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission, is a critic of tech giants like Amazon and Meta, the parent company of Facebook.
Under her, the agency sued to block chip maker Nvidia’s acquisition of Arm and she has promised to be more aggressive in scrutinizing more mergers and acquisitions. She began a process to toughen standards on so-called vertical mergers, which could include Microsoft’s bid for Activision, a combination of two companies along a supply chain.
Microsoft may also face challenges abroad. Regulators in Britain and the European Union have been even more aggressive in filing antitrust lawsuits against the tech giants or moving to block their acquisitions.
Microsoft has said Activision will help it compete in the nascent business of the so-called metaverse, or virtual worlds where some tech companies believe people could work and play.
Mr. Nadella said the main message was that Microsoft would not dominate gaming if the merger was approved. The company would become the third largest provider of video games with about 13 percent of the market, he said.
“In traditional times, being the number three in a highly fragmented market wouldn’t be that interesting to anyone,” Mr. Nadella said.
Mr. Smith said Microsoft had expressed support for antitrust legislation to show members of Congress that the company would not fight what it viewed as inevitable regulations.
“We are not in the world of 2018 and 2019,” he said. “We recognize there will be more scrutiny of any large accusations made by a large tech company. It behooves us to move quickly and transparently and be clear on how we manage this.”
A group of US Democrats have introduced a new bill in the hope that it will ban the use of bots to scalp high-value items including games consoles.
The ‘Stopping Grinch Bots Act’ is being introduced by Representative Paul Tonko, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Ben Ray Luján, and is designed to crack down on bot technology.
Bots work by automatically notifying users when high value items come in stock at retailers, before circumventing any wait times, adding items to their cart and then completing the checkout process, giving users a huge advantage over regular consumers.
These kinds of tools aren’t new: collectors of sneakers and tickets sometimes use automated tools for identifying restocks. However, gaming’s sharp rise in popularity during the pandemic has reportedly seen bots specifically used to target consoles.
It’s hoped that the new bill will be signed into law, as was the Better Online Ticket Sales Act, which was introduced by Tonko, Blumenthal and Schumer in 2016 to make it illegal to use bots to buy event tickets.
The new legislation, if passed, would apply a similar ban to online retail sites, making it illegal to use bots to buy up stock as soon as it’s made available.
“At a time when families should be able to spend time with their loved ones, digital ‘Grinch bots’ are forcing Americans to scour online sites in the hopes of finding an affordable gift or paying exorbitant prices for a single toy,” Tonko said in a statement.
“These bots don’t just squeeze consumers, they pose a problem for small businesses, local retailers and other entrepreneurs trying to ensure they have the best items in stock for their customers.
“Our Grinch Bots Act works to level the playing field and prevent scalpers from sucking hardworking parents dry this holiday season. I urge my colleagues to join me in passing this legislation immediately to stop these Grinch bots from stealing the holidays.”
Schumer added: “The average holiday shopper is unable to compete with the light speed of the all-too-common Grinch bot and are then held at ransom by scalpers and third-party resellers when trying to buy holiday presents.
“After a particularly trying year, no parent or American should have to fork over hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars to buy Christmas and holiday gifts for their children and loved ones.
“It is of utmost importance that these Grinch bots are thwarted in their attempts to steal Christmas – and money – from hardworking Americans.”
Other countries have been attempting to stop scalping in recent years. A bill called the Gaming Hardware (Automated Purchase and Resale) Bill was brought forward in the UK Parliament earlier this year but it’s not yet clear whether it will become law.
A petition highlighting the issue on the UK parliament website also received over 15,000 signatures, thus triggering a response from the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
In its response, the UK government stated that it had already introduced legislation to target the use of automated bot software, which is popular with resellers who use it to purchase high-value items faster than normal consumers.
“Using automated software to buy more tickets than allowed by the retailer is prohibited, with unlimited fines for breaches,” the response reads, adding that the government “is discussing other markets with relevant trade associations.”
In Japan, retailers are taking matters into their own hands, with some now taking action by marking or destroying sold consoles’ packaging.
Last month, Japanese retail chain Nojima Denki implemented a new policy designed to combat re-sellers, which saw it write the buyer’s name on the side of PlayStation 5 boxes, as well as destroying the packaging for the controller.
PlayStation 5 supply looks set to be even tighter than previously expected over the coming months, after Sony reportedly cut its production plans by around one million consoles.
Sony claimed in July that PS5 had become its fastest selling console ever after topping 10 million sales globally just under a month faster than the PS4 managed. However, it has since fallen behind the sales pace of its predecessor, partly due to supply constraints.
Steve Burton, who previously voiced brooding Final Fantasy hero Cloud Strife, was recently fired from his long-standing role on General Hospital after refusing to comply with the soap opera’s vaccine mandate, the actor announced via Instagram (h/t Variety).
“I know there’s been a lot of rumors and speculations about me and General Hospital, and I wanted you to hear it from me personally,” Burton told his 336,000 followers. “Unfortunately, General Hospital has let me go because of the vaccine mandate. I did apply for my medical and religious exemptions, and both of those were denied, which hurts. But this is also about personal freedom to me.”
Burton joined the cast of General Hospital in 1991, where he would win several Daytime Emmy and Soap Opera Digest awards for his portrayal of rage-fueled amnesiac Jason Morgan. He left the show in 2012 after choosing not to renew his contract with ABC, spending four years on CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless, before returning to General Hospital in 2017.
During that time, Burton also made a name for himself as the exclusive English voice actor for Final Fantasy VII protagonist Cloud Strife. He first took on the role in 2002’s Kingdom Hearts, eventually voicing the Buster Sword-wielding SOLDIER for several sequels and spin-offs in both the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts franchises, including the Final Fantasy VII follow-up movie Advent Children.
Burton’s last appearance as Cloud came in the 2018 Dissidia Final Fantasy NT fighting game, as Square Enix would cast newcomer Cody Christian to play Cloud in 2020’s Final Fantasy VII Remake. Sounds like the Japanese developer dodged a bullet with that one.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are
but a week old today, and yet a speedrunner has already figured out how
to get through them in well under an hour. The secret? They’re “so
As spotted by TechRaptor, YouTuber Werster has completed Shining Pearl in 50 minutes and 36 seconds. Which is bonkers, given the game’s supposed to run to about 30 hours.
“It was extremely fun to do the glitch hunting,” explains Werster in the video, as he hammers through the opening sequences and conversations. Correctly, he then picks Piplup, and off he goes.
“The remakes are so broken you can beat them in under an hour!” Werster explains in the video’s description, before listing the glitches used to achieve the time. “Menu storage (and double/triple variants of it), Door Storage, Cutscene Clipping to OoB, Trainer-Menu Storage, Poke Doll Battles, Surf on Land, Early E4, Fast Cynthia.”
He adds that the run was “far from perfect,” although credits himself with what is believed to be the first play through to come in under an hour. Of course, this implies that faster times should be appearing soon.
I love how completely silly speedrunning looks when it’s a slow-paced, genteel little RPG like Pokémon. Even the glitchy cheats are done so slowly, so calmly—check out around 7.30 for when he so quietly drifts his way through the map to reach distant lands when he shouldn’t oughta.
If I were a major game publisher, I’d be hiring as many speedrunners as I could during the QA period. There’s no better group of people to discover every glitch and flaw in your game, get those all tidied away long before release.
6/13/2021 E3 So Far...Our Thoughts!
Kent, WA -- So here we are, and E3 2021 is well under way. With showings from smaller indie studios to the heavy hitters like, SquareEnix, Capcom, Bethesda, Microsoft, and Nintendo. There have been some mediocre to jaw dropping reveals. But, I have some reserves about this years E3. Now hear me out before you get your torches and pitch forks and come break down my door, lol. Like the rest of the world, we've been bunkered down in our homes for nearly two years thanks to COVID. So I understand why E3 is all digital, but, here's my problem in a nut shell with E3 2021, were the hells all the epic reveals? Some of these developers have been quite for more then two years, with little more then a peep out of them. Take Nintendo, the last major reveal they gave us was a trailer to Breath of the Wilds 2.
Now, I also understand that Nintendo won't be showing anything until the 15th. Personally I think Nintendo is going to have one hell of a show! So to save everbody with my rants about the pros and cons of this years E3, I'm going to use this post to show some of the highlights that I liked at this years E3 event.
(Note: More will be added through out the coming days as E3 is still going on).
Avatar: The Frontiers of Pandora
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin
Minute of Islands
LOS ANGELES — For 28 years, ever since “Super Mario Bros.” arrived in cinemas with the tagline “This Ain’t No Game,” Hollywood has been trying and mostly failing — epically, famously — to turn hit video games into hit movies. For every “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” (2001), which turned Angelina Jolie into an A-list action star, there has been a nonsensical “Max Payne” (2008), an abominable “Prince of Persia” (2010) and a wince-inducing “Warcraft” (2016).
If video games are the comic books of our time, why can’t Hollywood figure out how to mine them accordingly?
It may finally be happening, powered in part by the proliferation of streaming services and their need for intellectual property to exploit. “The need for established, globally appealing I.P. has naturally led to gaming,” Matthew Ball, a venture investor and the former head of strategy for Amazon Studios, wrote last year in an essay titled “7 Reasons Why Gaming I.P. Is Finally Taking Off in Film/TV.”
After years of inaction and false starts, for instance, Sony Pictures Entertainment and its PlayStation-powered sibling, Sony Interactive, are finally working together to turn PlayStation games into mass-appeal movies and television shows. There are 10 game adaptations in the Sony Pictures pipeline, a big leap from practically none in 2018. They include “Uncharted,” a $120 million adventure based on a 14-year-old PlayStation property (more than 40 million copies sold). “Uncharted” stars Tom Holland, the reigning Spider-Man, as Nathan Drake, the treasure hunter at the center of the game franchise. It is scheduled for release in theaters on Feb. 18.
Sony is starting production on “The Last of Us,” a series headed to HBO and based on the post-apocalyptic game of the same title. Pedro Pascal, “The Mandalorian” himself, is the star, and Craig Mazin, who created the Emmy-winning mini-series “Chernobyl,” is the showrunner. Executive producers include Carolyn Strauss, one of the forces behind “Game of Thrones,” and Neil Druckmann, who led the creation of the Last of Us game.
Sony games like Twisted Metal and Ghost of Tsushima are also getting the TV and film treatment. (Contrary to speculation, one that is not, at least not anytime soon, according to a Sony spokesman: God of War.)
In the past, Sony Pictures and Sony Interactive operated as fiefs, with creative control — it’s mine; no, it’s mine — impeding adaptation efforts. When he took over as Sony’s chief executive in 2018, Kenichiro Yoshida demanded cooperation. The ultimate goal is to make better use of Sony’s online PlayStation Network to bring Sony movies, shows and music directly to consumers. PlayStation Network, introduced in 2006, has more than 114 million monthly active users.
“I have witnessed a radical shift in the nature of cooperation between different parts of the company,” said Sanford Panitch, Sony’s movie president.
The game adaptation boom extends far beyond Sony.
“Halo,” a series based on the Xbox franchise about a war between humans and an alliance of aliens (more than 80 million copies sold), will arrive on the Paramount+ streaming service early next year; Steven Spielberg is an executive producer. Lionsgate is adapting the Borderlands games (roughly 60 million sold) into a science fiction film starring Cate Blanchett, Kevin Hart and Jamie Lee Curtis.
Buoyed by its success with “The Witcher,” a fantasy series adapted from games and novels, Netflix has shows based on the “Assassin’s Creed,” “Resident Evil,” “Splinter Cell” and “Cuphead” games on the way. Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, the duo behind HBO’s “Westworld,” are developing a science-fiction show for Amazon that is based on the Fallout video game franchise.
And Nintendo and Illumination Entertainment, the Universal Pictures studio responsible for the “Despicable Me” franchise, have an animated Mario movie headed to theaters next year — another new collaboration between a game publisher and a film company.
Still, Hollywood’s game adaptation track record is terrible. Why should the coming projects be any different?
For a start, the games themselves have evolved, becoming more intricate and cinematic. “Games have stories that are so much more developed and advanced than they used to be,” Mr. Panitch said.
There are also signs that Hollywood has figured out how to make game-based films that satisfy both audiences and critics. “Pokémon Detective Pikachu,” which paired animated creatures with live actors, collected $433 million worldwide in 2019 for Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment — and was the first major game adaptation in three decades to receive a “fresh” designation on Rotten Tomatoes, the review-aggregation site. Since then, two more adaptations, “Sonic the Hedgehog” (Paramount) and “The Angry Birds Movie 2” (Sony), have been critical and commercial successes.
“Quality has definitely been improving,” said Geoff Keighley, creator of the Game Awards, an Oscars-like ceremony for the industry.
The most recent game-to-film entry, “Mortal Kombat” (Warner Bros.), received mixed reviews but has taken in $41.2 million in the United States since its release last month, a surprisingly large total considering it was released simultaneously on HBO Max and theaters were still operating with strict coronavirus safety protocols.
Mr. Panitch acknowledged that “video game movies have a checkered history.” But he added, “Failure is the mother of invention.”
Game adaptations, for instance, have often faltered by trying to rigidly replicate the action and story lines that fans know and love. That approach invites comparison, and movies (even with sophisticated visual effects) almost always fail to measure up. At the same time, such “fan service” turns off nongamers, resulting in films that don’t connect with any particular audience.
“It’s not just about adapting the story,” said Michael Jonathan Smith, who is leading Sony’s effort to turn Twisted Metal, a 1995 vehicular combat game, into a television series. “It’s about adapting how you feel when you play the game. It has to be about characters you care about. And then you can slide in the Easter eggs and story points that get fans absolutely pumped.”
“Uncharted” is a prequel that, for the first time, creates origin stories for the characters in the game. With any luck, such storytelling will satisfy fans by giving them something new — while also inviting nongamers, who may otherwise worry about not knowing what is going on, to buy tickets. (The producers of “Uncharted” include Charles Roven, who is known for the “Dark Knight” trilogy.)
“It’s a question of balance,” said Asad Qizilbash, a senior Sony Interactive executive who also runs PlayStation Productions, an entity started in 2019 and based on Sony’s movie lot in Culver City, Calif.
Unlike in the past, when Sony Pictures and Sony Interactive pledged to work together and ultimately did not, the current collaboration “has weight because there is a win for everyone,” Mr. Qizilbash added. “We have three objectives. Grow audience size for games. Bring product to Sony Pictures. Showcase collaboration.”
The stakes are high. A cinematic flop could hurt the game franchise.
“It’s risky,” Mr. Qizilbash allowed. “But I think we can do it.”
When Sony confirmed that it was shutting down the storefront for PS3, PS Vita, and PSP games on their respective platforms, the gaming community exploded. Both on the industry and consumer side, the response to the decision made by the company was met with sadness, outrage, and confusion. Many devs have been outspoken about lamenting games they have worked on that were digital-only that would be lost in this move, but it looks like Sony has made a change of heart. The company has confirmed that it has reversed its PlayStation Store update plans and will continue to sell PS Vita and PS3 games.
Sony Interactive Entertainment president and CEO Jim Ryan took to the PlayStation Blog to confirm the change in plans, confirming that the Summer update to close down these storefronts has been canceled. In the update, Ryan also took accountability for the reaction from the community, stating, "Upon further reflection, however, it’s clear that we made the wrong decision here. So today, I’m happy to say that we will be keeping the PlayStation Store operational for PS3 and PS Vita devices. PSP commerce functionality will retire on July 2, 2021, as planned."
Additionally, Ryan added that there were a few factors that led to the decision to begin with, including certain challenges that come along with commerce support for older systems and the divided attention between generations in the past and the generations ahead. "We see now that many of you are incredibly passionate about being able to continue purchasing classic games on PS3 and PS Vita for the foreseeable future, so I’m glad we were able to find a solution to continue operations."
He added that the team is glad that they can help keep the history of
gaming alive, especially as the industry as a whole continues to move
in digital-preferred space. All the while still being able to focus on
the future of PlayStation, including the PS5 and PSVR.
Switch, the first hybrid console from Nintendo, is almost four years old now and according to rumors, the next iteration could be a more powerful gaming system that might be the standard's "Pro" version. Although the Japanese gaming console maker is still mum about this and continuously denies that it would release a new console, there's a new leak that surfaced earlier today and it may have given away the official name of the next Switch console.
The latest information about Nintendo's next gaming consoles came from Twitter user and Brazilian journalist @phluttilippe. According to him, the next hybrid console could be called Super Switch. While it is not yet official, it is worth noting that the same insider previously revealed correct details about Nintendo before the official announcements, including Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury expansion.
Interestingly, this is not the first instance that the industry heard of the term Super Switch. In October 2020, industry insider Tyler McVicker referred to Super Switch when he shared details about upcoming Nintendo titles.
Nandin rose to fame in the World of Warcraft community back in 2013 when he participated in a BlizzCon cosplay contest dressed as "that which has no life" a reference from South Park's infamous World of Warcraft episode where the gang fights against a gross and powerful WoW veteran named Jenkins. Nandin's incredible commitment to the cosplay, which required him to shave his head and carry around a portable computer desk, made him an internet sensation. He continued to appear at a variety of gaming and comics conventions cosplaying as Jenkins. Nandin also used his platform to talk about inclusivity and body positivity, and he starred in Blizzard's own documentary to talk about the positive impact World of Warcraft has had on his life.On Twitter, users have been paying tribute to Nandin by sharing pictures of themselves holding up USB sticks in reference to The Sword of a Thousand Truths—a joke from the South Park episode in which Jenkins is finally defeated by a mythological in-game sword found on a USB drive. The World of Warcraft Twitter account also paid respects to Nandin, and some players are calling on Blizzard to create an in-game tribute. Many notable WoW players, such as Byron 'Reckful' Bernstein, Who died last year, have had NPCs named after them.
Gamers don’t have to worry about cold chicken anymore (if that was a problem they were actually having).There’s a lot that video game consoles can do these days, but even the newest PlayStation or X-Box can’t cook food. While the consoles typically get a bit hot after running for hours, they’re still not designed for warming chicken — and likely wouldn’t fair well getting covered in grease and crumbs.
But all of that is about to change: KFC and Cooler Master, a computer hardware manufacturer, have revealed the specifications for the KFConsole. While the device boasts an ability to output 4K graphics and display 240 frames-per-second, it’s also reportedly designed with a slot to keep pieces of chicken warm while it's powered.
“Never risk letting your chicken go cold again thanks to the patented Chicken Chamber," writes Cooler Master on its website. "Utilizing the system's natural heat and airflow system, you can now focus on your gameplay and enjoy hot, crispy chicken between rounds.”
LONDON — Sony has removed the video game Cyberpunk 2077 from its PlayStation Store in a move that has shocked industry analysts and added to the woes of its developer.
The Japanese company’s gaming unit, Sony Interactive Entertainment, said in a brief statement that it “strives to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction” and would offer players full refunds for digital copies of the game.
Shares of Cyberpunk’s Polish developer, CD Projekt, tumbled as much as 20% Friday on the news. The company has lost around $6.6 billion in market value since the game’s release on Dec. 10. CD Projekt wasn’t immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.
Since its launch, the game has attracted scathing criticism from gamers over a multitude of bugs and drops in performance on older consoles like Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One.
The sci-fi game was one of the most highly anticipated titles of 2020, fueled by significant hype at industry events and past success from its developer. CD Projekt is the studio behind role-playing game The Witcher 3, which some critics say is one of the best games of all time.
But Cyberpunk’s steep graphics requirements mean that the game has suffered on older hardware. People playing the game on PS4 and Xbox One have found it often freezes, while textures take a while to load in, and nonplayable characters’ faces are sometimes blurred.
“It’s not an easy call, but they have made the right move,” Steve Bailey, principal analyst for games at tech research firm Omdia, told CNBC. “This title has been removed out of fear of not just consumer upset with a game’s quality, but potential damage to the console brand.”
On Monday, CD Projekt said it will offer customers refunds if they bought the game on older consoles and were unhappy with it. The firm also apologized for not showing how the game performed on those machines before releasing it, and said it would issue updates over the next few months.
Sony was hit with criticism after previously rejecting people’s requests for refunds of digital copies of the game. The PR gaffe has now resulted in Sony offering full refunds to players who bought the game digitally.
Still, Bailey said he doesn’t think the episode will damage CD Projekt’s relationship with Sony.
“PlayStation will be extremely sympathetic towards the challenges of making and releasing a game like Cyberpunk 2077, which is a boggling undertaking. But they may require that they get to work more closely with CDPR in future,” he said.
CD Projekt said in a statement Friday that it’s “working hard to bring Cyberpunk 2077 back to PlayStation Store as soon as possible.”
“Following our discussion with PlayStation, a decision was made to temporarily suspend digital distribution of Cyberpunk 2077 on PlayStation Store,” the company said.
“You can still buy physical versions of the game in brick and mortar stores and online. All purchases digital and physical copies of the game will continue to receive support and updates as we continue to improve your experience.”
Analysts say it’s possible Microsoft could follow suit. However, the company told Reuters that it’s “not in such discussions with Microsoft at the moment.”
CD Projekt had pushed Cyberpunk’s release back several times before finally launching the game. It was initially scheduled to be released on April 16, before being delayed to Sept. 17, then Nov. 19, and finally Dec. 10. It received much hype until launch, with some fans drawing comparisons to the open-world crime game Grand Theft Auto 5.
Following its release, the game was met with outcry over a spate of technical glitches. It was also criticized for a scene that included a trigger for people with epilepsy. CD Projekt subsequently patched the game to reduce the risk of inducing epileptic symptoms.
Ryan Hernandez of Palmdale, California, pleaded guilty to federal hacking charges as well as possession of child pornography in January after FBI agents found images on computers seized during the 2019 investigation
In addition to the prison term, Hernandez is required to pay $259,323 in restitution to Nintendo for remediation costs. The court also ordered Hernandez to be placed on seven years' supervised release following prison and required him to be registered as a sex offender.Hacking Tactics
Starting in 2016, when he was still a minor, Hernandez made attempts to hack into Nintendo servers using phishing techniques to steal the credentials of company employees, according to the Justice Department.
At one point, Hernandez leaked information about the anticipated Nintendo Switch console. In 2017, FBI agents confronted Hernandez at his parents' home, and he agreed to stop hacking Nintendo in exchange for federal authorities not pressing charges, according to court documents.
Between June 2018 and June 2019, federal prosecutors say, Hernandez returned to hacking Nintendo, including the company's developer's portal, in an attempt to steal additional company data and developer tools.
"Hernandez returned to his malicious activities, hacking into multiple Nintendo servers and stealing confidential information about various popular video games, gaming consoles and developer tools," prosecutors say.
At the same time, Hernandez began discussing his hacking of Nintendo on social media platforms, including Twitter, as well as on an online chat forum called "Ryan's Underground Hangout," where he posted details about the hacks as well as vulnerabilities in Nintendo's systems, according to the Justice Department.
In June 2019, FBI agents raided Hernandez's home and seized computers and other hardware, including an Apple Macbook, a Seagate hard disk drive and several Nintendo devices, where they found thousands of confidential Nintendo documents as well as images of minors contained in a file labeled "Bad Stuff," prosecutors say.Nintendo a Target
Over the years, Nintendo has proven to be a tempting target for hackers.
In April 2019, two U.K. citizens were given suspended sentences for
compromising the corporate networks of Microsoft and Nintendo
Between 2017 and 2018, Zammis Clark, a former security researcher at Malwarebytes, and his accomplice, Thomas Hounsell, breached the two companies' networks to steal in-development software and other sensitive information, which resulted in total damages of about $4 million, according to British law enforcement.
Clark hacked into corporate Nintendo servers using VPN access to compromise the network security, authorities say. Once in, he accessed "highly confidential game development" that contained development code meant for then-unreleased games. He then went on to steal 2,365 usernames and passwords from Nintendo's servers and continued his efforts until Nintendo finally discovered the breach in May 2018, U.K. authorities say.
UK retailer has canceled 1,000 PS5 and Xbox Series X orders that were reportedly placed by console scalpers.
According to Eurogamer, Crep Chief Notify (CCN) claimed to have purchased over 1,000 Xbox Series X consoles from "a very well known online retailer." CCN charges a subscription to help scalpers get their hands on sought-after items like PS5 and Xbox Series X and resell them at a higher price. Asked by Sky News for comment, Very confirmed that it had canceled Xbox Series X and PS5 orders that were somehow placed when they weren't on sale."As a result of a technical error, some people were able to place orders for PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles for a short time on Sunday," Very told Sky. "However, these items are not on sale and affected customers have received notice that the orders have been cancelled. We apologise for the confusion caused."
Games coming from Sony’s first-party studios include sequels, such as Insomniac Games’ Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo 7. The list of PS5 exclusives also includes a remake of PlayStation 3 game Demon’s Souls and a follow-up to 2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man starring Miles Morales. Publisher Bethesda Softworks is also bringing two of its games, Arkane’s Deathloop and Tango GameWorks’ GhostWire: Tokyo to PS5 first.
Here’s the current list of PS5 exclusives, which we will continue to update as new information becomes available:
- Astro’s Playroom
- Bugsnax (timed exclusive)
- Deathloop (timed)
- Demon’s Souls
- Destruction AllStars
- GhostWire: Tokyo (timed)
- Godfall (timed)
- Goodbye Volcano High (timed; also on PS4)
- Gran Turismo 7
- Horizon Forbidden West
- Oddworld: Soulstorm (timed; also on PS4)
- Project Athia (working title)
- Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
- Sackboy: A Big Adventure
- Spider-Man: Miles Morales
Multiplatform publishers like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, Capcom, and Square Enix are bringing new games to PlayStation 5. Games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Marvel’s Avengers, and Cyberpunk 2077 will come to PS4 as well as PS5, but some multiplatform titles — Resident Evil Village, for example — are next-gen-only.
Here’s the current list of third-party multiplatform games coming to PS5. (In cases where the game will also appear on the PS4, we’ve only included games coming out in November or later.) We will continue to update the list as new information becomes available:
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Balan Wonderworld
- Cyberpunk 2077
- Dying Light 2
- Far Cry 6
- Hitman 3
- Immortals Fenyx Rising
- Jett: The Far Shore
- Kena: Bridge of Spirits
- Little Devil Inside
- The Lord of the Rings: Gollum
- Metal: Hellsinger
- Orphan of the Machine
- Paradise Lost
- The Pathless
- Resident Evil Village
- Scarlet Nexus
- Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One
- Solar Ash
- Tribes of Midgard
- Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2
- Vampire: The Masquerade — Swansong
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood
In addition to the above PS5 multiplatform games, many live-service and existing games will make the transition from the current generation to the next one. That includes games like Control and Observer, which will get next-gen upgrades. Venerable multiplayer online games like Rainbow Six Siege, Fortnite (which is on everything), and Destiny 2 will be available on PS5. And in 2021, Grand Theft Auto 5 — first released in 2013 on PlayStation 3 — will get a next-gen upgrade. That game’s multiplayer component, Grand Theft Auto Online, will get a stand-alone release on PS5 as well.
- Chivalry 2
- Cris Tales
- Demon Turf
- Destiny 2
- Dirt 5
- FIFA 21
- Grand Theft Auto 5 / Grand Theft Auto Online
- Madden NFL 21
- Marvel’s Avengers
- NBA 2K21
- Observer: System Redux
- Planet Coaster: Console Edition
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
- Ultimate Fishing Simulator 2
- Warhammer: Chaosbane
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- WRC 9
- Worms Rumble
- Astro’s Playroom
- Demon’s Souls
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales
- Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered
- Sackboy: A Big Adventure
- Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
- Borderlands 3
- Dead by Daylight
- Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition
- Dirt 5
- Goonya Fighter
- King Oddball
- NBA 2K21
- No Man’s Sky
- Observer: System Redux
- Overcooked! All You Can Eat
- The Pathless
- Planet Coaster
- Warhammer: Chaosbane Slayer Edition
- Watch Dogs: Legion
- WRC 9 FIA World Rally Championship
The news arrives as part of a PlayStation blog post, which digs into the new console's user experience and reveals a few new features coming to the PlayStation 5 when it launches next month.One of the highlights of the new system is the Control Center, which provides "immediate access to almost everything you need from the system," and can be summoned by pressing the PlayStation button on the new DualSense controller. From the Control Center you can see who is online, check the status of downloads, manage your controllers and more. A special 11-minute State of Play showcase launched alongside the blog post, providing an in-depth look at the PS5's UX, which was designed with 4K TVs in mind.
An example is shown from Sackboy: A Big Adventure, where the user can open up an activity card relating to a level in progress to see objectives they still need to complete. From this menu, they can also find out the estimated playtime necessary to complete the level. If they wish to, players can press resume on an Activity to warp to the chosen level, and if the user is a PlayStation Plus subscriber, they can also get access to Game Help, where if they tap one of the objectives they can see screenshots and video clips that can be pinned to the screen and will guide them towards the solution.
Users will also be able to join parties and games hosted by their friends directly from the control centre, switching between games with pace thanks to the PS5's SSD. A new media sharing system also allows you to dictate captions for screenshots before sharing them, and screenshots will be shrouded with a spoiler warning for players who may not have seen that part of the game yet.
The battle system lets fighters choose between three different fighting styles: Quick, Hard, and Omnia, each with a unique focus that changes how a character plays, and whether their moves focus on speed, power, or mechanics. Phantom Breaker: Omnia will also support a complete English dub, or an option to choose the original Japanese audio.
Talking to Kotaku, Digitalprincxss said: “I want to make it clear that I’m not trying to play the victim in the situation, and only hope to be somebody people can learn from and not make the same mistakes I did.”
“It’s kind of a cool thing to say, that...the ones who made my childhood so cool, they finally noticed me! All it took was for me to infringe on everything about them,” she added, which seems to show that she’s taking the situation in good spirits.
“I am excited to get back to streaming full time and connecting with my loyal fan base,” Mr. Blevins said in a statement.
To accompany the decision, he released a short Twitter video in which he stared straight at the camera as upbeat music played. “A new chapter begins …,” the video said, followed by the emoji of a bomb, animated images of Mr. Blevins and, finally, the big reveal — the purple Twitch logo.
“In this next chapter, I’m going to make it a point to elevate and bring more eyes to underrepresented creators,” Mr. Blevins said. “I am looking forward to working with Twitch to demonstrate how this amazing community of gamers can make a meaningful impact.”
The terms of the multiyear deal between Mr. Blevins and Twitch were unclear, but the move was a win for the platform. Twitch has dominated the video game livestreaming industry, but it lost Mr. Blevins to the upstart platform Mixer, which was owned by Microsoft, in 2019. Mr. Blevins reportedly earned $20 million to $30 million to switch to Mixer — until Mixer announced in June that it was shutting down.
In the ensuing months, where Mr. Blevins would end up next was a subject of rampant speculation.
Sony is denying a report that on Tuesday said the company has cut its expectations for PlayStation 5 production by 4 million units and now expects to manufacture about 11 million units by the end of March.
“While we do not release details related to manufacturing, the information provided by Bloomberg is false,” a Sony statement given to Gameindustry.biz reads. “We have not changed the production number for PlayStation 5 since the start of mass production.”
The original report, published by Bloomberg, said the company was reducing its launch production by nearly half. Bloomberg had previously reported that Sony planned to boost production to around 10 million units by the end of December, but it reported on Tuesday that the company had run into manufacturing problems.
According to Bloomberg, the PS5’s system-on-a-chip — its core processing component designed with AMD — is said to be a particular issue with yields as low as 50 percent at one point, meaning that half of the parts produced weren’t fit to ship. While that figure has been improving, according to Bloomberg, the yields are “yet to reach a stable level.”
The revised figure would be well above what Sony was said to have been originally planning for the PS5 launch. As of this April, Sony was reportedly expecting to produce 5 to 6 million consoles by the end of March, which would have been fewer than it made for the PS4 launch in 2013. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, caused the company to sharply increase its forecasts as the gaming industry boomed in popularity.
Sony is holding an online PS5 event on Wednesday where it is likely to reveal the final price and release date for the console, which comes in two variants: one with a disc drive and one without. Until that pricing information is confirmed, it’ll be hard to speculate on whether Sony will have enough supply to meet demand.
Call of Duty fans will be pleased to hear that Activision is actively tackling the cheating problems that are plaguing Modern Warfare and Warzone, as they have filed a lawsuit against CXCheats, one of the game's most well-known cheat developers, effectively forcing them to shut down their Call of Duty operations.
The cheat providers, which both developed and sold wallhacks or aimbots to their customers, announced via their Discord the complete shut down of all services related to Call of Duty titles effective immediately.
"As a result of our lawsuit with Activision, we have agreed to cease development and support for all Call of Duty related products or services sold through the site. These products will not be returning to CXCheats in any form. You also should be aware that using third-party tools in Call of Duty may result in the suspension or banning of your account by Activision Publishing, Inc. or the game’s developers. We apologize for any pain we’ve caused to players of Call of Duty."
Hackers have sadly become a common sight in both Modern Warfare and Warzone since they were released, with fan outrage at an all-time high in the past few months. There have even been instances of Twitch streamers being caught cheating while broadcasting, resulting in the termination of their channels.
While PS4 players can avoid the majority of PC hackers simply by disabling cross-play, Xbox One users aren't as lucky, as they have no option to exclusively play with other console players.
For better or worse, Mario's nipples have been in the public consciousness since 2017. However, Nintendo may have quietly removed them from the chest of the Super Mario star.
The help celebrate summer, Nintendo tweeted a picture of Mario lounging on a beach under the shade of a palm tree, exotic drink by his side. Conspicuous by their absence, though, are Mario's nipples, as the fan-favorite video game mascot's chest instead appears completely smooth.
- July 28, 2020-Escape Game: Fort Boyard (Pre-Order It)
- July 28, 2020-Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered (Pre-Order It)
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Pac-man is 40 years old!
The game originally was called, "Puck-Man." This name was changed because the games American distributor was worried that kids would change the "P" to an "F" on the marquee. The company then decided to change the name to "Pac-Man." The maze video game debuted in a Tokyo arcade on May 22, 1980.
It was originally called “Puck-man.” But the game’s American distributor feared kids would change the “P” to an “F” on the marquee. So they changed it and Pac-man was born.
It innovated gameplay with a defined main character and the first “Power up.”
While Pac-man is simple, it’s also deceptively difficult. To this day, only a handful of people have completed a perfect game finishing with no lives lost and the maximum number of points from each level.
Infinity Ward has come up with the perfect way to deal with players suspected of cheating in Call of Duty: Warzone.
Can’t play fair? Well, it looks like you’re going to have no choice but to play against a bunch of people who also can’t play fair. Sound fair?
It comes after the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare developer took to Twitter to update players on how it would be going about fixing the huge increase in suspected cheaters in the game’s battle royale mode.
Starting this week, players in Warzone and Modern Warfare who report suspected cheating will be given in-game confirmation as to whether that player has been banned. On top of that, Infinity Ward revealed matchmaking has been updated to match suspected cheaters together.
On April 13, Infinity Ward said it had issued more than 70,000 bans worldwide to protect players from rogue cheats.
On a statement via its Twitter account it said: ‘We are watching We have a zero tolerance for cheaters.’
Gamevice Takes Fight To International Courts
Gamevice has launched yet another lawsuit against Nintendo, because they haven't learned from the last time that they attempted to sue Nintendo.
Earlier this year, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board invalidated all 19 claims that the gamepad maker brought forward to Nintendo, with the overlying claim being that Nintendo infringed on a patent that it had created for its Wikipad gaming device. Well, the courts thought they didn't, so Gamevice should have been done suing Nintendo, right?
Well, no, because Gamevice has filed another patent-infringement complaint against Nintendo, with the gaming company infringing a patent last August for a game controller, with the complaint filed on March 27. They are aiming to stop the U.S. import of Nintendo Switches due to this, because they have apparently infringed on Gamevice's patent.
Now Nintendo might be in another long court battle if the ITC agrees to investigate Gamevice's complaint, which is just what we need in these trying times: another frivolous lawsuit. They are still appealing the last lawsuit, too, so this might just go on forever. I guess we'll see.
Message to GameVice. Even if you did win this lawsuit. No one will buy any of your products, This proves that you keep crying about false patents. Get this through your thick skull, No one wants your smartphone attachment. If you didn't file 1 lawsuit. people would of bought your product. Now no one doesn't even want to look at it. You brought this upon yourself.
For a long time, the internet was filled
with games and animation all built-in Flash. But when this year ends,
Flash will die as nearly all major web browsers will remove Flash
support on Dec. 31, 2020. Luckily, all that content won’t be lost thanks
to Flashpoint, a project which has saved over 36,000 Flash games from
Back in 2017,
Adobe announced that it would stop supporting Flash at the end of 2020.
The company spent the last three years working with other tech firms
like Facebook, Apple, Microsoft and Google to make the transition as
smooth as possible. And while many games and apps have moved to HTML5 or
Unity, many other games haven’t made the jump to newer, safer
technology. And with less than a year left, most never will.
That’s where Flashpoint comes in to save a huge chunk of gaming history.
Flashpoint uses open-source tech to allow folks to download and play a
large list of games and animations. The full list contains just over 36,000 games and you can suggest new games to be added if something you love isn’t on here.
The folks running this project will pull games if the copyright holder or original creator requests that, but it seems this isn’t happening much. Which is great. Flash games might seem like silly and weird mini-games today, but a decade ago they probably made up half of the games I played. If you went to a school with a computer lab anytime in the last 15 years or so, you probably spent way too many hours playing Flash games on sites like Miniclip.
And while Flash games might not be as impressive today, they are still an important part of gaming history. These small web games can be directly linked to the later rise of mobile and indie games and helped many creators get their feet wet with building and creating video games.
Over at Flashpoint’s website you can find a section where you can download the full collection. It does take up nearly 290GB of space, but you can also download a smaller version that only downloads games as you play them if you want to save room on your hard drive.