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Games

Valve Removes Right For Class Action Claims From EULA 270

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-all-sue-them-for-this dept.
trawg writes "Valve has joined the list of companies that have altered their terms and conditions to prevent users from filing a class action suit. Their official statement says that such claims 'impose unnecessary expense and delay' and are 'designed to benefit the class action lawyers.' In its stead, they've added a new arbitration process, in which Valve will reimburse costs (under certain circumstances) when dispute resolution can't be solved through their normal support process."
Star Wars Prequels

Star Wars: The Old Republic Adding Free-To-Play Option In November 135

Posted by Soulskill
from the couldn't-pay-me-to-play-hutt-ball-again dept.
EA and BioWare announced today that Star Wars: The Old Republic will be getting a free-to-play option later this year. Players using the F2P option will be able to reach the level cap and play through the full class stories, but their access will be limited for other parts of the game; they will only be able to play a certain number of Warzones (their PvP battlegrounds), Flashpoints (their instanced dungeons), and space missions each week. Access to travel functionality and the game's auction house will be limited as well. F2P players won't be able to participate in Operations, the end-game raids. Subscribers will retain access to all of these features. There will also be cosmetic items sold through the 'Cartel Market' using a virtual currency.
Classic Games (Games)

ScummVM 1.5.0 'Picnic Basket' Released 65

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the old-games-were-better dept.
YokimaSun writes "Fans of classic graphical point-and-click adventure games, will be happy to learn that a new version of ScummVM has been released with support for new games such as 'Once Upon A Time: Little Red Riding Hood,' 'Backyard Baseball 2003,' 'Blue Force,' 'Darby the Dragon,' 'Dreamweb,' 'Geisha,' 'Gregory and the Hot Air Balloon,' 'Magic Tales: Liam Finds a Story,' and more. ScummVM not only supports Windows, Linux and new platforms such as iPhone and Android but also consoles such as Dreamcast, Gamecube and Nintendo 64 and rarer handhelds such as Openpandora and Dingoo."
Programming

Ask Slashdot: Are The Days of Homebrew Gaming Over? 181

Posted by samzenpus
from the say-goodbye dept.
Croakyvoice writes "A few years ago the Homebrew community went from one console to another releasing some excellent software, from the Days of the Dreamcast the first breakthrough homebrew console, to the PSP which gave us the first handheld Nintendo 64, GBA and PSX emulators on a handheld. The last few years we have seen Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony and Apple all bring out means to thwart homebrew development. The app store on both Android and iOS have taken many homebrew devs over to try and break the market. The major consoles have so many firmware updates that the days of Homebrew seem to be numbered, is there a way back for the Homebrew Community?"
NES (Games)

Legend of Zelda NES Nintendo Prototype On Sale For $150K 114

Posted by samzenpus
from the I'm-going-to-need-a-raise dept.
YokimaSun writes "Following on from Last months Mega auction of rare games that went for a staggering 1.2 Million dollars, comes another auction. This time its of the only Legend of Zelda Nes Prototype cartridge in the world, bundled with it is a sealed copy of the retail version of the game, those of you excited by this news will have to dig deep because the price is set at a mouthwatering US $150,000.00."
Security

Ubisoft Uplay DRM Found To Include a Rootkit 473

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-little-something-extra dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It has been discovered that the Uplay system Ubisoft uses to both check a game is legal and offer up gaming achievements, multiplayer, and additional content, actually contains a rootkit. The discovery was made by Tavis Ormandy, an information security engineer at Google, when he installed Assassin's Creed: Revelations on his laptop. He noticed that during the installation Uplay installed a browser plug-in that allows any website to gain access to your machine through a backdoor and take control of it.The plug-in can be classed as a rootkit because it is thought to allow continued privileged access to a machine without a user's consent."
Update: Ubisoft has released a statement saying it has issued a forced patch to correct the flaw in the browser plug-in for the Uplay PC application.
GNU is Not Unix

How Will Steam on GNU/Linux Affect Software Freedom? 580

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the father-rms-declares-you-are-a-bad-person dept.
rms has published his thoughts on Steam coming to GNU/Linux. He notes that the availability of proprietary games may very well help spread GNU/Linux (but the FSF prioritizes spreading software freedom). And, you're better off at least having a Free operating system instead of Windows: "My guess is that the direct good effect will be bigger than the direct harm. But there is also an indirect effect: what does the use of these games teach people in our community? Any GNU/Linux distro that comes with software to offer these games will teach users that the point is not freedom. Nonfree software in GNU/Linux distros already works against the goal of freedom. Adding these games to a distro would augment that effect." Or: How will the FOSS community affect Valve? Already they've contributed a bit to the graphics stack, hired a few folks from inside the community, etc. But Steam also makes use of DRM and distributes software in ways that are opposed to the ideals of many in the FOSS community (and even the wider Free Culture community). Given Gabe Newell's professed love for openness, might we see their company culture infiltrated?
Businesses

The Fall of 38 Studios 172

Posted by Soulskill
from the high-stakes-gambling dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Boston magazine provides the first reasonably satisfying account of the final year of Curt Schilling's video game company 38 Studios, which was heavily subsidized by a huge loan guaranteed by the state of Rhode Island. During his career as a baseball pitcher, Schilling helped lead three different teams to four World Series, resulting in three championships. He has so far been much less successful as a video game CEO; although he has some of the stereotypical qualities of a successful entrepreneur (passion, energy level, optimism, selling ability), his company seemed utterly lacking in controls, while facing a very tough industry and economy. Schilling apparently regrets the decision to bet the company on an MMO game, but otherwise seems to accept little blame for the demise. His company burned more than $133 million over six years, mostly for headcount, according to an analysis of public documents by Providence TV station WPRI."
Businesses

GameStop Wants To Sell Secondhand Digital Download Video Games 123

Posted by Soulskill
from the secondhand-ones-and-zeroes dept.
MojoKid writes "GameStop makes a killing selling used videogames, but what happens to that business model when digital distribution platforms run physical media out of town? That's not anything to worry about today, tomorrow, next week, or even next year, but at some point, GameStop will have to deal with the direction the games industry is headed, and it may already have a solution. GameStop CEO Paul Raines recently brought up the possibility of reselling used digital downloads."
Android

John Romero's Doomy View On Android and Ouya 375

Posted by Soulskill
from the but-that's-not-hypey-enough dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Romero is willing to give Ouya the benefit of the doubt, but he sees it filling a niche for neither gamers nor developers. 'I think it's cool that they're making a platform, but it's not really the answer that's coming from Apple about the next generation of consoles. Developers really want to invoke the spirit of the Apple II, Android isn't the operating system with which to do it,' Romero said. 'There are two platforms: [iOS] makes money [and] is still very programmable, like the Apple II, and then the other is Android, which is a piracy platform, and you're not doing anything new with it.'"
Games

Predicting Color Blindness, ADD, or Learning Disorders From Game Data 65

Posted by Soulskill
from the playing-alliance-correlates-with-small-braincases dept.
An anonymous reader tips a story at VentureBeat about a company that helps game developers analyze data gathered from their games to detect cheaters. But now, the company says this data can also be used to determine other traits of the players, like whether they're minors, or whether they like to gamble. Their CEO, Lukasz Twardowski, expects such analysis will soon be able to reveal even more traits, like whether a player is color blind, has a developmental disorder, or has Alzheimer's disease. "'Games are the richest and the most meaningful form of human-computer interaction. ...By tracking how they play games, we can learn a lot about people,' Twardowski explained. Hesitatingly, he added: 'That will be a huge responsibility for us later on.' ... Academics have begun to take games more seriously, as a window into the human psyche. Games are addictive and immersive and are built to command hours of our time and attention. What better testbed for myriad psychological and medical conditions? A good game pushes us to our limits, challenging us to use both the analytical and intuitive sides of our brain.
Android

OnLive Coming To Ouya Android Console 52

Posted by Soulskill
from the permanently-minimum-hardware-requirements dept.
Earlier this month, we discussed a Kickstarter project for Ouya, and Android-based gaming console in development by a company of the same name. Their fundraising campaign was wildly successful, and now they've partnered with cloud gaming provider OnLive for the console's launch. (Which is somewhat unexpected, because OnLive already sells its own pseudo-console.) In the same post, the Ouya creators showed their most recent design for the console's controllers.
AI

Champions Declared In AI Poker Tournament 54

Posted by timothy
from the best-way-to-win-is-to-cheat-on-judging dept.
the_newsbeagle writes "The annual computer poker competition has just wrapped up, in which artificial intelligences battled each other over the (virtual) Texas Hold 'Em table. A researcher who worked on one of the top programs, the University of Alberta's "Hyperborean" program, has blogged about this year's competition and entrants for IEEE Spectrum. His first post explains the rules of the game and why it's tougher for a computer to win at poker than at chess; his second post describes Hyperborean's strategies, and the third gives the results and takes stock of Hyperborean's performance."
Linux Business

Why Valve Wants To Port Games To Linux: Because Windows 8 Is a Catastrophe 880

Posted by timothy
from the goodness-of-their-hearts dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Gabe Newell wants to support Linux because he think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in PC space. He wants to move away from a closed ecosystem of Microsoft Windows 8. He recently made a rare appearance at Casual Connect, an annual videogame conference in Seattle. From the allthingsd article: 'The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don't realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior. We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well. It's a hedging strategy. I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space. I think we'll lose some of the top-tier PC/OEMs, who will exit the market. I think margins will be destroyed for a bunch of people. If that's true, then it will be good to have alternatives to hedge against that eventuality.' Some Linux users think that this is a win-win situation for Linux users as it will brings good game titles on the Linux system that haven't been there and it will protect steam business model from both Apple and Microsoft."

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