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Other People's Misfortune


Diablo 3 Beta Monk Guide

Diablo 3 players have been reporting that hackers are on the loose left and right, stealing loot, gold and even accounts from unsuspecting victims. Unfortunately, the hacking doesn't come as a surprise to Diablo 3 developer Blizzard Entertainment,  who sent out a press release, saying, "Historically, the release of a new game ... will result in an increase in reports of individual account compromises, and that's exactly what we're seeing now with Diablo 3."

They continued, "We know how frustrating it can be to become the victim of account theft, and as always, we're dedicated to doing everything we can to help our players keep their Battle.net accounts safe -- and we appreciate everyone who's doing their part to help protect their accounts as well. You can read about ways to help keep your account secure, along with some of the internal and external measures we have in place to help us achieve our security goals, at our account security website here: www.battle.net/security."

If your account hasn't been hacked yet, do yourself a favor and get a Battle.net Authenticator or a Battle.net Mobile Authenticator. They aren't foolproof, but the devices do make it harder for hackers to access your information. Authenticators are free if you've got a smartphone and if not they're just six dollars on Blizzard's website. You should get one. Also, make sure your e-mail password is different than your password to Diablo 3 (and any other game you need to login to) so that the hackers can't get any extra information from you.

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5 Thoughts On Kingdoms of Amalur

Curt Schillings' 38 Studios, developers of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, have reportedly bounced a check for $1.125 million to the state of Rhode Island. The money was meant to payoff the overdue part of a loan given to 38 from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. Earlier in May, the company defaulted on the $75 million loan from RIEDC.

The Office of Governor Lincoln D. Chafee released a statement about the issue reading: "A check from 38 Studios was hand-delivered to the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation at approximately 5 o'clock this evening [May 17, 2012]. However, upon learning from the Chief Financial Officer of 38 Studios that there were insufficient funds to cover the payment, the check was returned. The EDC remains willing to accept readily available funds."

Additionally, the developer wasn't able to make its payroll this week, leaving at least some of the company's 379 full-time employees without a paycheck. 38 let go all of their temps and contractors, according to Joystiq.

The EDC called a three-hour emergency meeting on May 16, 2012 to determine what they were going to do about the funds. In the end they decided not to take immediate action to help the developer.

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Diablo 3 Beta Wizard Guide: Grab Your Robe And Hat, It's Time To Cast Some Spells

Blizzard has apologized for the spotty launch of Diablo 3. It has also announced it is delaying the launch of the game's real money auction house. It will be open for business later than the originally announced May 22 date.

"We sincerely regret that your crusade to bring down the Lord of Terror was thwarted not by mobs of demons, but by mortal infrastructure," Blizzard said in a post on its forums. "As many of you are aware, technical issues occurring within hours after the game's launch led to players experiencing error messages and difficulty logging in. These issues cropped up again last night for the Americas and Europe servers. Despite very aggressive projections, our preparations for the launch of the game did not go far enough."

Blizzard says it is monitoring Diablo 3 "24/7," and promises it has applied "several optimizations." Right now, the servers seem to be running well.

We don't know when the auction house will open, but Blizzard promises more details soon.


Star Wars: The Old Republic Imperial Agent Guide -– Many Bothans Died (At Your Hands) To Bring You This Guide

EA has announced that Star Wars: The Old Republic has lost 400,000 subscribers since February 2012, bringing the total active user count to 1.3 million.  Having even 1.3 million subscribers is nothing to scoff at, but it seems as though BioWare wasn't delivering content that people wanted to play fast enough.

However, it seems as if the Star Wars: The Old Republic devs have noticed the issue and are now working harder than ever to come up with brand new content for players. EA revealed that two new content packs, one called Legacy and the other, Allies, will be available for players sometime in the beginning part of the year.

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ValveAccording to an email reportedly sent from Valve president Gabe Newell, the company won't be announcing anything at E3 2012. The company will be showing off, "Stuff everyone already knows about." So if recent rumblings about a potential Half-Life 3 reveal got you putting on your Hope Shoes, it's time to quietly slip them off.

Here's the full text of the email:

"We are not announcing anything at E3. Really. We are not announcing Half-Life 3 or Portal 3 or Left 4 Dead 3. We are going to be showing stuff everyone already knows about (CS:Go, Dota 2, 10' UI, ...)"

I understand the human capacity for hope, and I hate to crush it, so let me be as generous as possible and suggest that 1) Valve could change its mind between now and then. 2) The email is a fake!  3) Someone will go back in time and change things just enough so that Valve will change their minds. 

I don't think any of these things are likely to happen, but you never know! Keep Hope Alive! The cake isn't a lie!

Valve announcement or not, E3 2012 is going to amazing. I promise. G4 will be all over it, so set your television and internet to go on June 5-7!

Source: ValveTime

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The Kickstarter video game you see above is a reportedly a hoax, or a scam, depending on who you ask.

Mythic: The Story of Gods and Man was described as an "action and strategy-based RPG" and was supposedly going to be created by Little Monster Productions, a team of (fictional, no doubt) elite industry veterans, including Activision and Blizzard employees, for a Kickstarted sum of $80,000.

The problem: The artwork for their game had been boosted from outside sources,. the game's poster art was a mash-up Even the photos of the company's offices had been lifted from another site. Internet gaming detectives at Reddit discovered the subterfuge, and when called out on it, the creator of the Kickstarter canceled his project, but not before raising nearly $5,000.

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Battlefield 3

A particularly nasty and senseless crime went down in Winter Haven, Florida earlier this week. Reportedly, thirty-two year-old Joshua Davis was smoking pot with some college kids (I guess things are like that down in Florida), and he then suddenly gunned down two of them and wounded a third,  all while his young daughter watched.

Beyond his own explanation that he "had a dark feeling," no one really knows why Davis snapped. So why am I talking about it on a video game blog? Because the local authorities in Florida (with the help of the local media) blame the crime (partially) on Davis' love of Battlefield 3.

Police Chief Gary Hester said Davis was addicted to the game and added that he, "told the detectives freely and talked very freely about playing that game on a daily basis and had some real enjoyment playing Battlefield 3."

Enter the media. Local station WTSP called on psychiatrist Walter Afield for comment, who said, "It makes life and death mean nothing, just a spot on a video screen, you know, this guy comes out and blows these people away and his daughter sees it," he said.

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Dota 2 Dagon and You is the funniest Dota 2 video I've seen all day. It's all about a powerful weapon in Dota 2 called the Dagon, that zaps enemies for a minimum of 400 damage and you can upgrade it so it deals even more. Unfortunately, most players use the item to steal kills from their teammates which normally is frustrating beyond comprehension, but in this context it's absolutely hysterical.

Note: This video contains some NSFW language.
 



Always remember the third step.

North Korean Tractor Simulator Is Our Nugget From The Net

The photo above is of a North Korean tractor simulator that I want in my house. It comes from Samjiyon Schoolchildrens' Palace in Samjiyon, North Korea, and the photo was taken by Associated Press photographer David Guttenfelder.  I saw it on Kotaku.

North Korea may succeed at creating awesome, steampunk tractor simulators, but they suck at making rockets. Their recent test firing blew up soon after launch.

I'm fascinated with North Korea's relationship with technology and video games. Like, for instance, take a second to check out this North Korean arcade: It's a chilling vision of what a communist world might look like.

Is Sony Making An Android/PlayStation Gaming Phone?

Sony today announced it is axing 10,000 jobs as part of a plan to pull out of a historically dismal financial spiral. The good news for gamers: Sony name-checked its gaming division as a key part of its strategy for recovery.

"As CEO, I take this very seriously. But at the same time, it strengthened my resolve to transform Sony," Kaz Hirai told  journalists at a press event. "Employees too want to restore Sony to its former glory and go beyond."

That glory will be restored by the company focusing on the company's electronics division, which included game systems, cameras and phones. Sony will be concentrating investment and technological development in its electronics division.

Personally, I'm curious what Sony's plans are for future handheld gaming systems. I wonder if that entire market isn't going to shrink drastically as smart phones become better and better gaming platforms.

Source: USA Today

 

SONY

Sony has warned investors that it's expecting its biggest loss ever. Sony foresees losses of $6.4 billion for the financial year ending March 31st. Ouch. This is double Sony's previously forecasted loss.

The company's head, Kaz Hirai, blames the upcoming losses partially on a 300 billion yen charge tied to deferred tax assets in the U.S.

Hirai promises to bring the company back around in the coming months or years. He'll be unveiling a turnaround plan tomorrow. Part of that effort is already known, though, and it involves people losing their jobs: Sony said it's going to lay off up to 10,000 people.

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THQ Reveals New Company Logo

At a business conference, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick predicted THQ will be gone in six months.

According to Zelnick's remarks, THQ's predicted demise will have been due to two things: Strategy and Quality. According to Zelnick, THQ's (since abandoned) business-model of going after licensed properties wasn't the best idea in terms of long term sustainability.

"THQ's strategy was licensed properties, first and foremost. License stuff from other people, whether it's UFC or WWE or a motion picture property, and make a game around that," Zelnick said, "And our approach, since we took over the company, is 100 percent owned intellectual property."

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The state of New York, Apple, Microsoft, Sony and other companies have joined forces to ban sex offenders from online gaming networks.

New York law requires convicted sex offenders to hand over all email addresses and internet screennames to the state, which makes that information available to websites and companies. The companies can then insta-ban objectionable people from their services. 3,580 people have been banned in what they're calling "Operation: Game Over."

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EA Wins

Electronic Arts has been crowned "Worst Company in America" in a Consumerist.com poll. EA will be sent the not-so-coveted "Golden Poo" trophy as recognition of their victory. As is the history of the award, The Poo is delivered on a red pillow, but in light of gamers' current views towards EA "this year, we'll give EA three different color options for its pillow, though in the end it's still the same old Poo." I laughed.

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Sega Looking To Make Radical Changes In Global Management

A round of layoffs have hit Sega America.  According to Sega of America president and COO Masanao Maeda, the layoffs are due to "challenging economic climate and significant changes within the interactive gaming industry." According to the company, they are streamlining in order to focus on strong Sega IP, specifically, the Sonic the Hedgehog, Total War, Football Manager and the Aliens franchises.

According to IGN's sources, the QA department has been hit hardest, and is being shut down for North America. SEGA Europe will be doing the QA for remaining SEGA titles. Again, according to IGN, positions in marketing, design, social, and development have also been axed.

Maeda issued a statement saying:

"Due to the challenging economic climate and significant changes within the interactive gaming industry, SEGA has made the decision to consolidate its publishing business in order to focus on developing digital content and driving its existing IP such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Total War, Football Manager and the Aliens franchise. This realignment of the business around existing and digital IP is a necessity to ensure that SEGA continues to invest and enhance its digital business offering, whilst reducing its reliance on traditional packaged goods.

"The SEGA consumer business is expected to post operating loss due to the challenging economic climate and significant changes in the home video game software market environment in the US and Europe.

"It is essential to streamline [our] organization in the field of home video game software, while shifting to a structure that corresponds to a change in environment, including strengthening development in the field of digital content.

"We decided to narrow down sales titles to strong IPs such as Sonic the Hedgehog, Football Manager, Total War and Aliens which are expected to continue posting solid earnings. In accordance with this, we are cancelling the development of some game software titles."

Although rumors are flying around the internet that Sega America has totally closed its doors, right now, we have no confirmation of this, and Game Informer is explicitly stating that this isn't the case. We'll let you know more when we know more.

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