Other People's Misfortune

A Diablo 3 "God Mode" exploit was found, and quickly hotfixed by Blizzard, that made Wizards completely invulnerable. I knew I picked the best class. The bug was reported on the official Blizzard forums and was confirmed to be working within the game from a wide variety of users.

UPDATE: Several gamers are commenting on the official Blizzard forums that the bug has not been fixed. We've reached out to Blizzard for an official statement regarding the bug, and when we hear back we'll be sure to give you more info on what's going on.

UPDATE 6:30 PM 7/23/2012: Blizzard has finally released a statement regarding the bug:

We are currently rolling out a hotfix for a recent bug regarding invulnerable Wizards. We will continue to carefully monitor this issue and welcome anyone with information about bugs or hacks to submit a detailed report to our Hacks Team by emailing hacks@blizzard.com, or by completing the Hacks Report web form. In your correspondence, please include any steps necessary to replicate the issue as well as any additional details you are able to provide.

The exploit only worked for Wizards, but you could play on either game mode (normal or hardcore) which offers unique conseqences in a game like Diablo 3. Check after the break to see what I mean. 

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Why Microsoft's Disabling

Microsoft reported its financial status for the last quarter, and according to the company, they earned record fourth quarter revenue of $18.06 billion. But even with all that dough, the company reported a net loss over the last three months of $492 million.

The loss was mainly a writedown due to a failed investment in advertisement company aQuantive, a firm that failed in comparison with Google's Adsense. So that's like a one-time thing. Still, this is the first loss Microsoft has reported in its history.

The Entertainment and Devices division of Microsoft, home of the Xbox,  grew 20% in the quarter, “primarily reflecting the addition of Skype,” according to the company. The 360 has been the top-selling console on the market for 18 months running.

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Diablo 3 Preview - New Traits System, Revamped Runes, Skill Shuffle, and the Talisman!

An 18-year-old gamer in Taiwan has died after reportedly playing Diablo 3 for 40 hours straight. The boy, Chuang, was resting on a table in an Internet Cafe when an attendant came to wake him up. According to reports, Chuang stood up, took a few steps around, and then collapsed, having to be taken to a hospital. It was shortly after he arrived there that he was pronounced dead.

Back in February, a 23-year-old Chinese gamer named Chen Rong-yu died in an Internet Cafe after playing Riot Games' League of Legends for 23 hours straight. It was determined that his death was caused by cardiac arrest, but so far the word is still out on Chuang's official cause of death.

Hopefully Chuang is in the real Whimsyshire now.


Fox News

Rhode Island Governor On Kingdoms of Amalur:

Want to see a trailer for the Kingdoms of Amalur MMO? It's a essentially an early look at an MMO that you will never play. Apparently, this was planned as the launch trailer for the MMO, and judging by the obvious placeholder voice-over, this isn't even a finished trailer. A sad, but somehow fitting, end to the debacle that was 38 Studios.

It was sent to game blog Kotaku by an insider who felt that the effort of the people who spent four years developing Amalur deserves to be seen. Check it out, here.

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Prototype 2

Radical Entertainment, the development company behind Prototype 2 has closed its doors. Although some employees will stay on to support existing projects, there will be no new games from Radical. The news broke via the twitter feed of the studio's ex-Audio Designer Rob Bridgett, who tweeted: "RIP Radical Entertainment 1991-2012".

Activision, Radical's parent company, issued a statement saying:

"Although we made a substantial investment in the Prototype IP, it did not find a broad commercial audience. Radical is a very talented team of developers, however, we have explored various options for the studio, including a potential sale of the business, and have made a difficult conclusion through the consultation process that the only remaining option is a significant reduction in staff. As such, some employees will remain working for Radical Entertainment supporting other existing Activision Publishing projects, but the studio will cease development of its own games going forward."

Radical also developed Simpson's Hit and Run, Scarface, and a canceled sequel to Scarface.


Lulzsec Hackers Plead Guilty


Posted June 25, 2012 - By Stephen Johnson

HACKERS movieTwo supposed members of the Lulzsec hacking group have pleaded guilty in The United Kingdom today. 19-year-old Ryan Cleary and 18-year-old Jake Davis admitted being members of Lulzsec, the group thought to be responsible for hacking Sony's PlayStation Network as well as other networks last year.

Cleary and Davis pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to do an unauthorized act or acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, the operation of a computer or computers, but they deny the charge that they posted "unlawfully obtained confidential computer data" on the internet.

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A woman in Snohomish County allegedly boosted nearly $10,000 from her employer and spent it on Frontierville. Prosecutors in Snohomish County say 47-year-old Rebecca Lynn Riley-Terry put $9,949.20 on a company credit card for items in the Facebook game.  She reportedly spent around $2,000 a month over four months on the game.

She also apparently purchased gasoline with the card, which at least makes a little sense, but spending 10K on a Facebook game is on another level of strange.

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38 Studios' Project Copernicus Screenshots Posted By Curt Schilling

In his first interview since his development company 38 Studios declared bankruptcy, baseball-great-turned-gaming-executive Curt Schilling says he is "tapped out." Schilling told a Boston radio audience that he put "everything in his name" in the company.

Schilling said he invested more than $50 million in the company, and that other investors ponied up $5-10 million. The State of Rhode Island loaned the firm $75 million as well, but all that wasn't enough to keep the 38 Studios in business long enough to complete what was to be its flagship game, an MMO code-named "Project Copernicus."

He said he told his family last month that “The money I saved and earned playing baseball was probably all gone…Life is going to be different.” 

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The Future of Action / Adventure Games: BioShock Infinite, Max Payne 3, Tomb Raider And More

Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics have released an apologetic statement about a scene in the title's trailer that gamers found offensive. The whole ordeal spiraled out of control thanks to Tomb Raider Executive Producer, Ron Rosenberg, who in an interview with Kotaku stated that scavengers will try to rape Lara. However, the alleged attempted rape scene, according to Crystal Dynamics studio head Darrell Gallagher, was merely a scene with a "threatening undertone," and doesn't have any rape connotation.

Here's what Gallagher had to say on the official Tomb Raider website.

“We had a great E3 with Tomb Raider and received a fantastic public and press response, with the game picking up numerous game of the show awards based on the new direction taken with the franchise. Unfortunately we were not clear in a recent E3 press interview and things have been misunderstood. Before this gets out of hand, let me explain,” he said.

For the rest of the statement, check after the break.

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Kingdoms of Amalur

In all the excitement of E3 last weekend, this story slipped under our radar a bit, but I wanted to close out the 38 Studios saga properly: Curt Schilling's video game development house is officially bankrupt. The company filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, claiming liabilities of $150.7 million against assets of just more than $21.7 million.

“This action comes after several weeks when the company has reviewed, considered and received the recommendations and advice with respect to potential avenues for relief that are currently available. After ongoing negotiations with the State of Rhode Island and potential investors and other interested parties, the company has been unable to find a solution to the current stalemate.” 38 Studios said in a statement.

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5 Thoughts On Kingdoms of Amalur

More news on the swiftly unfolding drama surrounding Curt Schilling's beleagured development house 38 Studios: According to Schilling, a sequel to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was in pre-production, and the State of Rhode Island scared potential investors away from 38 by implying the company was in danger of insolvency. Schilling said that he stands to lose $50 million of his own money.

Schilling says an unnamed video-game publisher pulled out of a $35-million deal to finance the sequel to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, within three days of governor Lincoln Chafee's press conference about the financial troubles of 38 Studios.

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38 Studios Talks Kingdom of Alamur: Reckoning

The soap opera around the seeming death of 38 Studios continues. Get your popcorn ready for this one. Yesterday, liberal website DailyKos posted a story about the death of the studio. It took a political slant, lobbing a bomb at Republican founder of 38 Studios,Curt Schilling with these words:

"So a lesson for future Republican entrepreneurs. If you want to start a business fine. But don't brag about how you'll never need govt help and then put taxpayers on the line for your failure to keep track of your balance books."

R. A. Salvatore, the writer of 38's Kingdoms of Amalur, responded  in a comment headed "Your facts are wrong.":

"38 didn't go begging for a handout from Rhode Island...Rhode Island offered to secure a bond for them when the credit crunch reigned, trying to lure them out of Massachusetts."

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A recently unearthed patent filed by Sony may indicate the future of in-game advertising… and the future looks pretty annoying.

The patent, dug up by an intrepid user of the NeoGaf forum, indicates that someone at Sony is at least considering the idea of adding interrupting advertisements to games, so rather than just the occasional out-of-place billboard, games may literally make you wait through a commercial in order to play.

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Rhode Island Governor On Kingdoms of Amalur:

In a press conference held earlier today in Rhode Island, the governor of the state discussed gaming for a bit. At issue: the fate of now-defunct development house 38 Studios and its subsidiary Big Huge Games. The studio, founded by baseball great Curt Schilling, laid off all of its workers today.

When asked why the company had such disastrous financial trouble, Lincoln Chafee replied: "The game [Kingdoms of Amalur] failed. The game failed." 

Interestingly, Chafee did not confirm the reports of layoffs, saying 38 hasn't told R.I. about them. Chafee also said he doesn't know whether 38 is planning to file for bankruptcy.

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38 Studios Talks Kingdom of Alamur: Reckoning

According to a report on The Verge, Curt Schilling's 38 Studios, the company that developed Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. has closed. The company laid off all of its employees, according to a source. Company CEO Jen MacLean and senior vice president of product development, John Blakely, both updated their Linkedin resumes and put 38 in the past tense as well.

MacLean's resume says she left the company in March, but Blakely was with 38 Studios as recently as Monday, when he attended a meeting of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation board to discuss the company’s cash crisis with company founder Curt Schilling. He joined 38 Studios in January. Before that, Blakely had worked on DC Universe Online and Everquest 2.

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