Still Trying: 343 Industries issued a mea culpa for the ongoing issues with the Halo Master Chief Collection match making issues. It seems focusing so much on the single player experience they struggled with the part that everyone plays Halo for the multi-player. That said they are issuing yet another patch in the hopes of bringing the features back up to the experience Halo fans expect and are returning the “Rumble” playlist to the menu of playlists available to players as well as hoping to fix the matchmaking issues. (Source Eurogamer, Polygon, Joystiq here and here)
Next up Sony Pictures were hacked by a group called #GOP demanding “equality” by the middle of last week, these demands apparently were not met and a list of the hostage files was leaked which include the visas and passport details of stars, budgets, and most embarrassingly from an IT stand point spreadsheets of passwords of everything from production schedules to accounting systems. This is allegedly an “inside job” as the crack was done on the internal network and has apparently according to some reports spread to every Sony Pictures office machine worldwide over their WAN.
Possibly because of these two incidents (though more likely entirely by coincidence) Sony this week announced they are pulling back from other business lines to focus resources on the PlayStation brand. This will likely have no impact on business lines like Sony Pictures but the TV and Smartphone lines will be gutted according to reports. (Source DSLReports, Business 2 Community, Joystiq)
Mothers, talk to your sons: So… apparently a competitive Ukrainian Star Craft 2 player named Mihaylo “Kas” Hayda decided pre-game trash talk consisted of saying he was going to "Going to rape some girl soon #fragbitemasters". I know trash talk exists in every sport be it an e-sport or a IRL sport and English was not the first language of “Kas”. The problem is there was no contextualization so while it may have been intended as “trash talk” it came across that he was just going to rape this woman. Thankfully the tournament (Fragbite Masters) called it unsporting (damn right) and booted him from the competition. He later apologized but seriously, English or not, do people have no filter?
The victim of the twitter threat (Madeleine Leander) wasn’t even aware of the threat until after the match (sort of making the trash talk argument kind of pointless then) but it’s good that the community is displaying a zero tolerance rule and kicking him from the tournament right away.
To add insult to injury the Star Craft community has been twisting the definition of rape in knots to try and make this not be a threat of rape. Seriously guys, you can’t make this okay, just stop and grow up. (Source Polygon and Deadspin)
Comeuppance: Alanah Pearce, a video game reviewer and critic from Australia, like so many women in the industry has been on the receiving end of abuse for the sole fact she's a she. Tired of the rubbish she started doing the one thing that these young men never expected... she told their mothers. Reaching out to the mothers of her attackers via social media she's letting them know exactly what they are saying. Here's an example of one such interaction (warning some uncool language):
“Hi Anna, I don’t know you, but I was wondering if [blanked-out] is your son?”
“Yes he is. Why?”
“I have never met him before, but he sent me a concerning message to my public Facebook page today that I was wondering if you might be interested in discussing with him.” *screengrab* "i'll rape u if i ever see u cunt"
“Omg, little sh*t. I’M SO SORRY. YES I WILL TALK TO HIM!”
Free stuff makes everything better right guys: So Assassin’s Creed Unity continues to have issues with some reporting that the upcoming patch will even potentially downgrade the graphics on the PS4 in its attempt to fix them. Another patch has been released but the problems continue to plague some users on all platforms and video cards so here’s hoping this next one is the silver bullet.
In an attempt to appease the masses (and prevent a French Revolutionary style resolution to this issue) Ubisoft has decided to give away the major DLC pack Dead Kings to all players but this has meant they have scrapped the Season Pass that had previously been sold. Season Pass holders don’t despair, you will still get the content as well as the free Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China (though for those of us holding out we’re going to have to buy it on its own). As an added bonus you’ll be able to select one of Ubisoft’s premiere titles including the recently released Watch_Dogs and Far Cry 4 as a free gift. Though many have said this will not repair the rift between the community and the developer after their bizarre embargo rules and flawed launches, let’s be honest, free stuff and geeks are in that like a bunch of employees on a cake in a break room. (Source Ubisoft and Polygon)
Trust me don’t trust them… look a shiny keys listen to them rattle *jingle*: As previously discussed the last two Ubisoft releases have been far from spotless, this week saw the open console beta of The Crew on consoles. The Crew is a sort of “Sons of Anarchy” style street racing game featuring a bearded bespectacled street racing protagonist (who would be more at home working as a barista in a Portland coffee shop than behind the wheel of a race car) seeking vengeance on the crooked FBI agent and former gang compatriot who killed his brother. (Yeah it’s as hackneyed as it sounds.)
Ubisoft trying to get out in front of the issue has said there will be “no embargo” on publishing reviews once released which is nice given they have not given any review codes to any reviewers which means any review would be based on beta code or limited events which they have said would be “less than ideal”. Having played the beta I will reserve comment but this really doesn’t help with the recent embargo and review snafus for both Unity and Rogue. (Source Ubisoft and Polygon)
Spoooooooky to the Max: Bungie have released a couple of trailers showing weapons and gameplay for Destiny and it’s The Dark Below expansion. This has shown some pretty “extreme” (in the BMX/Mountain Dew kind of way) gameplay features in the form of tricked out Sparrow even including a flame job and some shiny weapons. We’ll have to see if this can reignite some of people’s earlier excitement as well as Game Informer's really interesting Developer Diary video. (Source Game Informer, Polygon and Joystiq here and here)
Please Dinklebot once more with spirit: So, in non-Destiny Dinklage news we got some images of Peter from the upcoming Game of Thrones video game plus pricing and a confirmation that the game will launch December 2nd. That’s right, one week after releasing their very successful Borderlands release they will be releasing another big third party IP based property. Let’s hope this is more like Telltale’s successful third party IPs (Borderlands, Walking Dead, Fables) and less like their Jurassic Park swing and a miss. (Source Telltale and Joystiq here and here)
Adventure reborn: As mentioned above Tales From The Borderlands was released this week, based on the successful action title Borderlands and made by Telltale the game stars such luminaries in geekdom and gaming as everyone’s beloved Troy Baker, Chris Hardwick, Erin Yvette, Patrick Warburton and Nolan North. Even Dameon Clark (aka Handsome Jack) makes a return appearance! Seriously, this is possibly one of the most fun adventure games I’ve played in YEARS and really captures the spirit of cheek and sass that made the classics so good. This is worth checking out or at least keeping an eye open for the inevitable free first episode that Telltale always release. (Source Polygon and Steam)
This old Bat still has a few tricks up his utility belt: Proof of life is very important in kidnapping and video game development. Rocksteady Studios’ much delayed Batman: Arkham Knight (originally scheduled for October 14th 2014 and now pushed to June 2nd 2015) was trotted out basically holding a newspaper with the date prominently displayed to show it was in fact still on track. Luckily for us the proof was pretty spectacular with several minutes of gameplay including the much touted Batmobile. If this is enough to keep the IP on target after the slightly disappointing Batman: Arkham Origins is yet to be seen but every one of these titles I’ve enjoyed immensely so fingers crossed. (Source Joystiq)
All hail the king: GTA V was an exciting title last year but with the release of the PC, Xbox One and PS4 versions we’ve seen the title shoot to the top of the sales charts and in fact in the UK has sold the most copies of any game ever! Pretty good for a tweaked version of a year old game! (Source Joystiq)
How to irritate people: Not just a John Cleese mockumentary but also apparently the business model for CCP Games (the makers of Eve Online). CCP several years ago purchased the rights to make a World of Darkness MMO and subsequently liked the product so much they bought the company absorbing White Wolf Studios and auctioning off the pen and paper rights for the World of Darkness franchise to publisher Onyx Path. After a very unsuccessful attempt CCP abandoned the MMO washing their hands and killing the project entirely earlier this year. Not content with dashing the hopes of MMO/Vampire fans they also put the kibosh on a fan made Bloodlines remake. The remake was to use the unity engine and fix a majority of issues and complaints people had with the game while bringing the graphics up to contemporary standards. This would have still made CCP money as players would have been required to own a copy of the original game unfortunately in a “let them eat cake” moment CCP killed this project refusing to move forward with negotiating the rights (even though the developers would make nothing as it was a fan made project and would not be charging for it). Gotta give them this, CCP really know how to annoy their fans and fritter away a valuable IP. (Source Joystiq)
I’d buy that for a dollar: Black Friday, the time of year when people go absolutely bananas and try to kill one another over a 50 dollar discount on a TV that they could easily order from home on the internet and not have to take an elbow from a smelly person in track pants. Origin and Steam have discounted hundreds of titles starting earlier this week and running through until next week. If you are looking for some cheap titles now is the time with games like Titanfall’s deluxe edition for as little as 15 dollars Origin and Xbox as well as titles discounted 25, 50 and some times 75% over on Valve’s Steam. (Source Polygon and Joystiq)
Really how nice of you: Verizon (the cable company that every other cable company now hates because they decided to bring Net Neutrality to the courts and may now face even stricter rules) promised to not sue the FCC over rules if they use the previously agreed upon rules and not file Title II (transforming the internet in to a utility ensuring standard billing practices). So basically Verizon are saying if you use the rules we sued you over we won’t sue you over the new rules and they wonder why every other cable company wants to meet them at the bike racks at 3:30. (Source Ars Technica)
Always more of a misfits man myself: A new comic is making its way to the presses staring those truly TRULY outrageous rock stars Jem and the Holograms. As a child of the 80s this is pretty neat and right now I’m sure my sister is freaking the heck out. (Source io9)
This could mean everything or nothing: Nintendo are a company struggling to find their new voice in an every changing world. A recent patent leak has shown they have in fact patented technology that would allow for Gameboy titles to be emulated on mobile devices including phones. This is a refresh of an extant patent so could simply be a holding pattern ensuring no one else can do this and force them to pay money down the road but it could also be a change in strategy for the publisher with their extensive back catalogue of valuable titles. (Source Gamespot)
Useful for that entirely legal and legitimate library of music and videos: MKV and FLAC have long been enthusiast favorites allowing for far greater flexibility and higher quality encoding of audio and video. Flac is in fact “lossless” making it the most popular for audiophiles and their music collection. Microsoft already support MKV as native extensions on the Xbox One that will be extended to the Windows 10 platform along with FLAC audio. So long third party players! (Source Slashdot)
Because everyone loves Zombies: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was a big hit when released and it looks like the DLC is getting ready to drop this January, this first batch will include the ever popular Zombie mode. Why is Zombie mode so popular? You’ve got me, but it seems Zombies and Nazis are the only two bad guys it’s safe to hate with impunity now a days. (Source Joystiq)
X doesn’t always mark the spot: Japan have never really embraced Microsoft’s Xbox platform and despite a strong launch in China Takahi Sensui the head of Xbox in Japan has moved on to another role within the company. It would appear that Microsoft are looking to shake things up in the Asian market to gain dominance which in their minds requires new blood. (Source Polygon)
Please sweet lord stop: RSI’s Star Citizen continues to plow forward and with its ever increasing record fundraising not showing any sign of slowing it looks like our next target has been announced. At 64 million in funding we will get pets. A cat is kind of cool but I fear the fact they mentioned Battlestar Galactica’s Daggits, anyone of a certain age will tremble with fear at their mention. (Source Polygon)
This gives me hope: Wonder Woman is a property that has had many names attached to it and has, up to this point, not lived up to the legacy. Great talents like Joss Whedon have walked away from the project in the past but with the reinvigorated Comic Movie market DC finally look like they’re willing to commit and not content with leaving the Amazon Princess in the hands of Zack Snyder they will in fact be handing the reins Michelle Maclaren director of some of the most popular episodes of Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, and Game of Thrones. (Source Comicbook.com)
Apocalyptic news: It appears the grown up Apocalypse has been announced and will be played by no other than that folk singing Star Wars star Oscar Isaac. This should be interesting casting (and it would appear that Isaac is going to have a very busy few years). (Source Polygon)
So… it’s a hard time to be a geek: This is the kind of problem that we don’t really have a right to complain about, when I was a kid the only Super Hero movies were those classic Superman movies or that terrible Captain America adaptation and both Star Wars and Star Trek were dead and lost buried in the sands of syndication. This week though we are seeing the revitalization of two franchises and the trailers associated with both projects. First is Jurassic World the direct sequel to the now classic Jurassic Park films. Check out this trailer below (and as a special gift watch the hidden ending from the Jurassic Park video game where Jeff Goldblum in character as Doctor Ian Malcolm gives a very Jeff Goldblum read.
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Next we were given the gift of pain, we were gifted the trailer for the upcoming Star Wars The Force Awakens which has enough in it to send any classic Star Was fan in to shock. The visuals, the subtext, it’s all so delightful but that moment when the swelling music finally pays off in that oh so familiar way and the shot of the Falcon in the blue sky! I wanted to cry. We could dissect this in so many directions from the Flame Saber to the Storm Trooper armour… long and short we should just leave this alone and absorb the joy that is this trailer. Sadly it will not be released until December of 2015 so how I’m going to drown out the anticipation is beyond me. Along with the trailer is a clip from a 1983 with Mark Hamill discussing something that sounds very similar to the various rumors and in fact even seems to tie in to the trailer itself, it was always stated that Lucas’s ideas served as a jumping off point for this script and listening to this interview and thinking about the timeline (2011 being the date that Lucas pitched and 2015 being the date we’re seeing) this could be more of a piece of Lucas’ vision than we realized or expected.
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