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Activision-Blizzard, the major video game company behind 'Call of Duty' and 'Overwatch,' is laying off about 800 employees:

Blizzard President J Allen Brack. Blizzard Entertainment.

Blizzard Entertainment, one of the biggest names in the video game business, has begun a significant round of layoffs. The move confirms earlier reports from Bloomberg.

On its quarterly earnings call on Tuesday afternoon, parent company Activision-Blizzard announced that it would lay off 8% of of its workforce, representing some 800 out of about 9,600 total jobs. The layoffs were first reported by Kotaku, and appear to primarily affect Blizzard itself.

The layoffs will ultimately affect every part of Activision-Blizzard, including "Call of Duty" publisher Activision, "Candy Crush Saga" maker King, and Blizzard itself, which is responsible for flagship gaming franchises including "World of Warcraft," "Overwatch," "Hearthstone," and "Diablo."

The news comes after Activision-Blizzard reported mixed results for its holiday quarter, and gave guidance that fell short of Wall Street expectations. While earnings were ahead of expectations, revenue fell short. Shares of Activision-Blizzard have just about halved since October 2018.

"In-game execution was inadequate in some of our franchises, and we saw weaker-than-anticipated retail demand," Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick told investors on the earnings call, according to CNBC.

Despite owning a catalog of fan-favorite titles including "World of Warcraft," "Diablo 3," and "Destiny 2," Blizzard has seen some of its thunder stolen by free-to-play newcomers like "Fortnite" and "Apex Legends." Meanwhile, "Overwatch," Blizzard's newest franchise, was a smash hit when it landed in 2016, but has slowly lost ground to rival titles with more frequent updates, including "Call of Duty" and "Rainbow Six: Siege."

A memo to employees

In a memo to staff obtained by Business Insider sent before the earnings call, Blizzard President J. Allen Brack promised an "comprehensive severance package" to affected employees. The memo says that managers have begun notifying affected employees if they're affected by the layoffs.

In a separate blog post released to the public, J. Allen Brack reassured fans that Blizzard isn't slowing down on game development.

"With that in mind, we have plans to add to game development," he wrote. "We are dedicated to bringing you more content across existing game franchises and bringing our unannounced projects to life.

A person close to the company previously told Kotaku's Jason Schrier that the layoffs are expected to hit Blizzard's esports and publishing divisions especially hard. Blizzard has spent the last several years supporting professional competition for its most popular games, including "Overwatch," "Hearthstone," and "Starcraft."

Notably, it seems that Blizzard esports head Amy Morhaime left the company in December, according to her LinkedIn. That came just months after Blizzard cofounder Mike Morhaime, her husband, announced that he would step down as president of the company. Morhaime is staying on as a strategic advisor to Blizzard through April.

Beyond Amy Morhaime and Mike Morhaime, Activision Blizzard has lost other key executives, including CFO Spencer Neumann. More recently, Activision Blizzard sold the commercial rights to flagship online shooter "Destiny 2," in a mutual agreement after the game's developer, Bungie, opted to split from the company.

Activision Blizzard cited underwhelming sales for the "Destiny 2: Forsaken" expansion as one of the reasons the company underperformed during the third quarter of 2018. In that quarter, the video game publisher reported a 5% decline in earnings over the same period of 2017, and revenue over the same quarter declined by 6.6% to $1.151 billion.

Blizzard has reportedly been working to cut costs since early last year. Employees at Blizzard told Kotaku that they were repeatedly told to reduce spending by former CFO Amrita Ahuja, who left in January 2019. In December, Eurogamer reported that Blizzard negotiated buyouts for more than 100 customer service employees based in Ireland.

Read the full memo from Blizzard president J. Allen Brack to employees:

Hello Blizzard....

Today is a difficult day, and I have some hard decisions to communicate.

The Blizzard leadership team and I have been talking a lot about how we want to build on Blizzard's legacy and what the priorities are for the company going forward. Our top priority is to continue making great games, and entertainment experiences. It's critical that we prioritize product development and grow the capacity of the teams doing this work to best serve our player community. We also need to evolve operationally to provide the best support for new and existing products. As a result, we've made the decision to change parts of the organization, which I'll share more about in a separate email later today.

Unfortunately, these changes come with a harder reality. Over the last few years, many of our non-development teams expanded to support various needs. Currently, staffing levels on some teams are out of proportion with our current release slate. This means we need to scale down some areas of our organization. I'm sorry to share that we will be parting ways with some of our colleagues in the U.S. today. In our regional offices, we anticipate similar evaluations, subject to local requirements.

There's no way to make this transition easy for impacted employees, but we are doing what we can to support our colleagues. In the U.S. we are offering a comprehensive severance package, extended health and benefits continuation, profit sharing for 2018, career coaching, and job search/placement assistance. These people are members of the Blizzard Family—they care deeply and contributed greatly to the work we are all committed to. We are extremely grateful for their contributions here at Blizzard.

Managers in the U.S. will meet with impacted employees this afternoon, and we will be following up with team meetings later today and tomorrow. The managing director in each regional office will provide an update to explain in detail what this means for employees in their respective locations.

I will also post a message to the community about the changes this afternoon, so our players understand that these measures do not affect our game development efforts, and are not related to any individual franchise. If anyone from the press or a fansite contacts you, please refer them to Rob Hilburger on the communications team.

This is a lot to take in, and it is not going to be easy. Let's do our best to support each other through this process. I know many of you will have questions. In addition to my follow-up note later today, I'll be hosting a fireside chat this Thursday to provide more details about the organizational changes. As always, in the meantime, reach out to me or any member of the exec team if you have questions.


Official comment from Activision-Blizzard:

Activision Blizzard achieved record GAAP revenue and EPS for both the fourth quarter and the year, and we also achieved record segment financial results across Activision and King in 2018. While we performed well in these areas of our business last year, and continued to make progress in mobile, advertising, and esports, we ultimately did not meet our own, nor our communities', expectations for content delivery and growth.

As a result, we're taking important steps to reinforce our foundation for future growth. We're increasing our investment in game development across our biggest franchises, mobile and geographic expansion, as well as in adjacent opportunities with demonstrated potential, like esports and advertising.

Over the course of 2019, we plan to increase the number of developers working on our key franchises by approximately 20%, ultimately allowing us to put even more content into the hands of existing and new fans around the world.

To fund this investment, we are de-prioritizing initiatives that are not meeting our expectations and reducing certain non-development administrative expenses across the company. We are also bringing together our regional sales, partnerships, and sponsorships capabilities enabling us to better leverage our talent, expertise and scale.

We're confident in our plan and the leadership teams in place who will navigate us through this time of change. These actions will allow us to return to the franchise focus that has fueled our long-term success so that we can bring the most epic entertainment to our players around the world.


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Germany will take Nintendo and its no-cancel eShop pre-order policy to court:

This is the crusade begun in Norway at the beginning of 2018. It was taken to Germany because Nintendo of Europe resides there.

After months of work the VZBV, off the back of the work the Norwegian Consumer Council has done, will go ahead with formal proceedings, according to Norwegian site PressFire. It's all expected to begin in three-to-four weeks, but could take more than a year to reach any kind of verdict.

The outcome, though, could have consequences right across the European Union. Imagine being a part of that, wistful sigh.

The eShop policy in question is Nintendo's refusal to allow cancellations and refunds of eShop games, even pre-ordered way before release. The Norwegian Consumer Council said this breaks European law, but Nintendo said the pre-loading process - whereby the game can be downloaded ahead of release - means it doesn't.

Nintendo cited article 16 of European Consumer Law Directive 2011/83 in defence, which says it doesn't have to allow cancellation if "the performance has begun with the consumer's prior express consent, and with the acknowledgement that he will lose his right of withdrawal once the contract has been fully performed by the trader".

But as the Norwegian Consumer Council originally argued: "The company plainly states that all purchases are final. According to the right of withdrawal laid down in the Consumer Rights Directive, such terms are illegal. Until the game can be downloaded and launched, the seller cannot prohibit the consumer from cancelling their pre-order."

Whether Nintendo's interpretation will withstand scrutiny in court we'll have to wait and see.


Nintendo Sues Over Sales Of Pirated NES Classic Editions:

Alongside ZeniMax, Nintendo is probably the next biggest litigious gaming company within the industry. The company is known for getting serious when it comes to protecting its brands and ensuring that copyright infringers are punished to the fullest extent of the law. As you can imagine, those selling NES Classic Editions with pirated software were basically trapped in a proverbial alley like a mugger facing off against Batman.

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Nintendo has sued a man named Mikel Euskaldunak in Orange County, California. Nintendo claims that he was taking Nintendo Switch consoles and modifying them using the hacking tools that were released at the start of the year. Not only was he modifying the Switch to run homebrew software, he was also filling them up with games and selling them, which his a huge no-no in the realm of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

But his troubles didn't end there. Euskaldunak was also swept under the legal hammer of Nintendo for modifying the NES Classic Editions and selling them. It wasn't just that Euskaldunak was reselling the NES Classic Editions -- plenty of scalpers have been reselling NES Classic Editions all over eBay, and Nintendo wouldn't have a leg to stand on while challenging the First Sale Doctrine. However, Euskaldunak allegedly filled up the NES Classic Editions with more than 800 NES ROMs.

Now modifying and selling the console is one thing, but selling them with ROMS packed on them that were not part of the original package is what Nintendo has a problem with. According to the article, the systems were sold with 800 pirated games.

This is interesting because rapper Soulja Boy recently released the SouljaGame Handheld and SouljaGame Console. Both come with hundreds of games from a variety of game consoles, mostly retro systems from the 16-bit era, including the Neo Geo, the Sega Genesis, and the SNES. Both systems sell for over $100, and one must wonder if Nintendo has caught wind of this operation yet?

For now, the company seems to be focused on Euskaldunak and a few other unnamed defendants who have been gathering, modifying, and selling the Nintendo Switch and NES Classic Editions for some extra cash.

Nintendo is also arguing that the operation dilutes its trademarks and wants to have the court bar Euskaldunak from making or distributing modified systems.

It's an interesting case because one has to wonder -- if Euskaldunak sold the systems without any games on them, would Nintendo have still come after him? Also, was it the mixture of selling hacked Switch hardware and the NES ROMs that brought the hammer down? What if it were a modified Switch and a modified NES Classic Edition but no ROMS? Or if it were just a standard Switch and a modified NES Classic Edition?

Either way, this kind of lawsuit is unsurprising given that Nintendo also put some legal muscle on a go-kart company for mimicking Mario Kart, and the company also recently had a pair of emulation sites shut down as well with a $12 million settlement. Given Nintendo's track record for lawsuits, it's unlikely that Mikel Euskaldunak will walk away unscathed.


Federal Trade Commission Chairman Pledges to Investigate Video Game Loot Boxes:

Federal Trade Commission chairman Joseph Simons on Tuesday said he would investigate video game loot boxes to ensure that children are being protected and parents are educated on the matter.

Simons testified Tuesday before the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance, and Data Security about the commission’s work. Following his testimony, a number of senators asked Simons questions on an array of topics.

Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), who brought up the issue of loot boxes in video games earlier this year, asked the FTC to launch the investigation and Simons confirmed he would.

The request comes about nine months after Hassan sent a letter to the Entertainment Software Ratings Board asking for the group to review the ratings process as it relates to loot boxes, examine the marketing of loot boxes to children, and put together best practices for developers around the toxic form of microtransactions. The senator also asked the board to conduct a study that further delves into the reach and impact of loot boxes in games. At the time, she said if they didn’t take sufficient action she would ask the FTC to get involved.

During Tuesday’s exchange, Hassan noted that she believes the problem of loot boxes, which are sold for real cash in some games and packed with in-game mystery items, continues to grow.

“Earlier this year, the confirmation hearing for most of you, I discussed the possibility of the FTC examining the issue of children in the video game space,” she said. “Specifically we discussed loot boxes, which allow end-game purchases with real currency for surprise winnings, and most of you agreed this is an area that could use additional oversight by the FTC.

“Loot boxes are now endemic in the video game industry and are present in everything from casual smartphone games to the newest, high-budget video game releases. Loot boxes will represent a $50 billion industry by the year 2022, according to the latest research estimates. Children may be particularly susceptible to engaging with these in-game purchases, which are often considered integral components of video games. Just this month Great Britain’s gambling commission released a report finding that 30% of children have used loot boxes in video games. The report further found that this exposure may correlate with a rise of young problem gamblers in the United Kingdom. Belgium, Netherlands, and Japan have moved to regulate the use of loot boxes in video games given this close link to gambling.

“Given the seriousness of this issue, I think it is in fact time for the FTC to investigate these mechanisms to ensure that children are being adequately protected and to educate parents about potential addiction or other negative impacts of these games. Would you commit to undertaking this project and keeping this committee informed about it?”

Simons replied with a simple, “Yes.”

Earlier this year, the ESRB said it would continue to make enhancements to ensure parents continue to be well-informed as the industry evolves. The group did not directly address what it might do in terms of loot boxes, microtransactions, and ratings.

Despite news of the investigation, the Entertainment Software Association continued to defend the use of loot boxes.

“Loot boxes are one way that players can enhance the experience that video games offer,” the association said to Variety. “Contrary to assertions, loot boxes are not gambling. They have no real-world value, players always receive something that enhances their experience, and they are entirely optional to purchase. They can enhance the experience for those who choose to use them, but have no impact on those who do not.”

Reached for comment Tuesday evening, Hassan told Variety that the issue requires FTC intervention.

“While I have appreciated working with the ESRB on this issue, I have also said that the Federal Trade Commission has a responsibility to look at this issue,” she said. “The need for FTC action becomes more apparent given the recent report from the Gambling Commission of Great Britain and the steps other countries have taken to regulate loot boxes. I hope the FTC will move quickly to begin their investigation and look forward to working with all parties on this issue.”


Soulja Boy Is Selling Some Kind of Game Consoles, But People Are Suspicious:

8-year-old rapper DeAndre Cortez Way, aka Soulja Boy, has begun selling SouljaGame branded consoles and handhelds, though it turns out, they’re really just off-brand emulators that can be found elsewhere.

Soulja Boy, best known for his 2007 #1 hit Crank That (Soulja Boy), tweeted about the console and handheld early this morning, bringing followers to his personal storefront, SouljaWatch, which also sells bluetooth headphones, smartwatches and more. However, fans immediately noted that these are not original systems, and can be found elsewhere for much cheaper than what Soulja Boy is offering.

The SouljaGame Console allegedly includes over 800 preinstalled games (though no concrete list is given), AV and HDMI outports, two DualShock-esque controllers, is visually similar to an Xbox One S, and runs on Linux 3.0 OS. It also claims to output at a 4K resolution, though the included games come from the PlayStation 1, Arcade, Nintendo Entertainment System, GameBoy Advance and more.

Tekken and Tomb Raider key art is used in the site’s promotional materials, though it’s unlikely permission was given to use these IP - IGN has reached out to Bandai Namco and Square Enix for comment.

The SouljaGame Handheld allegedly has over 3,000 pre-installed games with the ability to download more and sports a 3-inch screen. Unlike the SouljaGame Console, the website claims the device can run Switch, 3DS, Vita titles and more, though games in the key art mostly appear to be GameBoy Advance titles, and there’s no claim on the image that any of those devices are supported.

However, these exact same emulated devices can be found on manufacturer ANBERNIC’s preferred online storefront, both for much less than what SouljaBoy is offering. They are both listed at a base price of $200 on SouljaWatch (though are currently discounted) while on ANBERNIC’s website the base price for the handheld is $73 and the console is running for $106. They can both be found on Amazon for cheaper prices as well.

Soulja Boy has publicly been a fan of video games for quite some time. He’s also been a bit of an entrepreneur, announcing a web-based animated series after the release of his second album, and has continued making music since.


‘Wreck It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet’ Tops Thanksgiving Box Office,

Disney’s “Ralph Breaks the Internet” dominated the Thanksgiving box office, generating a massive $84.6 million at 4,017 locations over the five-day holiday period and $56 million for the weekend.

Propelled by solid word of mouth, the Disney animated sequel now ranks as the second-best Thanksgiving debut ever, behind another Disney title, “Frozen,” which earned $93.6 million during its first five days. “Ralph Breaks the Internet” carries a hefty $175 million production budget, so it will need to keep up momentum worldwide to turn a profit. “Ralph Breaks the Internet” sees John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman reprise their roles from “Wreck It Ralph” as the video game villain and his best friend navigate the internet. The original film picked up $49 million over its first three days of release.

“Whenever we look at sequels, they have to be additive,” Cathleen Taff, Disney’s president of global distribution, said of “Ralph Breaks the Internet’s” impressive opening. “The filmmakers built this world out with such attention to detail that people were ready to come back and enjoy these characters. We’re really excited about the momentum as we head into the holidays.”

“Ralph” wasn’t the only sequel to thrive this weekend. MGM and New Line’s “Creed II” was a knockout as the boxing drama earned $55 million from 3,350 venues over the five days and $34 million for the weekend. That marks the best debut for a live-action film during the holiday frame. Those numbers also top the start of “Creed,” which launched with $29 million over the three-day frame. “Creed II”.


Nintendo Wins Lawsuit Against The Owners Of LoveROMS And LoveRetro:

A few months back, Nintendo was hellbent on stopping just about anyone who hosted a website that allowed users to download pirated ROMs of their games. Before you knew it, DMCA’s were sent out and multiple ROM sharing websites disappeared overnight. However, for two of the larger sites, LoveROMS and LoveRetro, Nintendo ended up filing a lawsuit against them. Both of which were run by Jacob Mathias and his wife. Both sites are believed to be operated by Jacob Mathias and his Arizona company Mathias Designs LLC. They offer access to a wide variety of ROMs, including many Nintendo games According to the lawsuit, both sites were notorious online hubs, and they weren’t looking to preserve gaming. Since the suit was filed, both sites have been taken offline.  Attempting to go to either of the domains will now show an apology.

Read more at The Outerhaven: Nintendo Wins Lawsuit Against The Owners Of LoveROMS And LoveRetro.

Today we found out, thanks to TorrentFreak,  that Nintendo ended up winning that lawsuit, with the defendants agreeing to a $12.23 million dollar judgment in favor of Nintendo. In addition, they will have to turn over all ROMs they have that infringe on Nintendo’s properties, as well as their domain names. Though, I’m sure that due to some behind the scenes negotiating, that original judgment will be reduced. Needless to say, that this sets a precedence when it comes to ROM sharing. In a nutshell, don’t mess with Nintendo or they will essentially sue you out of existence. So here we are again, questioning the legitimacy of ROMs as a whole. Sure, it’s understood that as long as you own a copy of a game, you are legally allowed to make a backup of it. Of course, that also means that backup shouldn’t be distributed to the entire internet. However, even with that practice being legal, there are companies, such as Nintendo, that regardless if you own the game or not say it’s totally illegal. Fair use laws or not. By now you’d think there would be a clearcut answer regarding ROMs. But there isn’t. On one hand, you could argue that as long as I own the original game, I can download a ROM and use it as I wish. Sure, that makes sense and you cite reasoning for downloading to not being able to do it on your own. However, that download has to come from someone else, who may or may not own that game. Which could also be argued that since that can’t be proven, you’re now downloading an illegal copy. 

‘Detective Pikachu’ First Trailer: Ryan Reynolds Is Now the Voice of the World’s Most Beloved Pokémon:

Ryan Reynolds is taking a break from the mega-successful “Deadpool” movies to bring the hugely popular “Pokémon” franchise to big screen for the first time in the live-action format. The actor is the voice of Pikachu in the upcoming “Detective Pikachu,” and Warner Bros. has debuted the first footage from the film via a ridiculously cute official trailer.

“Detective Pikachu” stars “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” star Justice Smith as 21-year-old Tim Goodman, the son of a missing detective. Tim discovers he can communicate with Pikachu, and the two team up to investigate the mystery of Tim’s father’s disappearance.

Read More:Jake Gyllenhaal Pens an Emotional Tribute to Ryan Reynolds: ‘He’s a Gentleman in an Era of Foppish Putzes’

Per the official synopsis, “Chasing clues together through the neon-lit streets of Ryme City—a sprawling, modern metropolis where humans and Pokémon live side by side in a hyper-realistic live-action world—they encounter a diverse cast of Pokémon characters and uncover a shocking plot that could destroy this peaceful co-existence and threaten the whole Pokémon universe.”

While Pikachu is front and center, the trailer below confirms other famous Pokémon like Mr. Mime, Charmander, Bulbasaur, Jigglypuff, and Psyduck will be making appearances in the movie. “Detective Pikachu” is directed by Rob Letterman, best known for helming “Goosebumps” and the animated film “Monsters vs. Aliens.” The supporting cast includes Kathryn Newton, Ken Watanabe, Suki Waterhouse, and Chris Geere.

Warner Bros. will open “Detective Pikachu” in theaters nationwide May 10, 2019.


Can Video Games Train Sailors?
America’s Navy Aims to Find OutNavy researchers are developing a game that will improve their Sailors’ cognitive and motor skills. (Sponsored by America's Navy)

Blasting virtual zombies, aliens and gangsters, while cathartic, might not seem intellectually stimulating, but studies cited by the National Academy of Sciences and other peer organizations show the time you spend vaporizing said creatures actually sharpens a range of cognitive skills—including better multitasking, increased attention span, faster reaction time and greater visual acuity.

One unanswered question, however, is what specific components of first-person shooters and other action video games like Call of Duty, Halo, or Grand Theft Auto contribute to this cognitive improvement.

America’s Navy is keenly interested in determining the answer to that question. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has thrown its support behind the work of Dr. Shawn Green, a psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, who is partnering with a video game developer to build a customized game that incorporates design elements used widely throughout the industry.

The goal: Isolate and identify those elements most conducive to human learning.

This knowledge will enable the Navy to better leverage the emerging technology for job training—specifically jobs that require substantial practice time on computer simulators and virtual reality displays. These jobs include Sonar Technicians (hunting for enemy submarines), Operations Specialists (tracking ships and planes on radar), Naval Aviators, and surgeons—all of whom are critically needed by the fleet.

"We know people will spend hours playing a video game," said Dr. Ray Perez, a program manager in ONR's Warfighter Performance Department. "Is there a way to use some of those entertainment elements to design training that will keep Navy warfighters engaged, help them learn faster, and perform their jobs better? What is the secret sauce?"

To identify those ingredients, Green and his laboratory team worked with a game developer to create a first-person shooter fantasy product called “Elemental,” which can be played on a laptop or desktop computer. More Harry Potter than Halo, players of this game launch magical spells at otherworldly creatures rather than bullets or lasers. It was intentionally kept non-violent because designers may produce a kids' version in the future.

Green and his team stuffed “Elemental” with gameplay features thought to boost human learning and cognition: changing background colors, rapidly appearing and disappearing objects, missions of varying complexity and intensity, and enemy characters that attack at unpredictable speeds.

Green completed work on the game last year and is now concluding experiments with student volunteers, who get their brains scanned before and after gaming sessions. Green checks the scans for changes in regions of the brain associated with vision, attention, perception, and motor skills—and what effects these could have on learning and cognition.

When the experiments are finished, Green will finalize a new, more refined version of the game for America’s Navy to help future Sailors become expert Navy warfighters.


New Study Finds Violent Games Might Cause Increased Aggression In YouthsNine-year-olds probably shouldn't be playing GTA anyway.:

A new analysis claims to confirm that violent video games do have a direct causal link to physical aggression. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, studied more than 17,000 adolescents from age nine to 19, between the years of 2010 and 2017. It concluded that playing violent games does lead to increased physical aggression over time.

USA Today reports that the meta-analysis reviewed 24 studies from multiple countries, including the USA, Canada, Germany, and Japan. It suggested that the youths who played violent games had an increased risk of violent behavior. Jay Hull, the lead author of the study, said the impact was "relatively small but statistically reliable." His own prior study found that playing violent games roughly doubles the risk of being sent to the principal's office for fighting, and it was included in the meta-analysis.

"A lot of people ask, do these games really cause these kids to behave aggressively? I would say that is one possibility," he said. "The other possibility is that it's a really bad sign. If your kids are playing these games, either these games are having a warping effect on right and wrong or they have a warped sense of right or wrong and that's why they are attracted to these games. Either way you should be concerned about it."

In a statement, the Entertainment Software Association--the industry lobbying group that organizes E3--rejected the findings.

"The US Supreme Court, leading medical professionals, including the US Surgeon General, and study after study already concluded definitively that there is no link between video games and violence," an ESA spokesperson told GameSpot. "The truth is that violent crime has decreased dramatically since the early 1990s, while video games have increased steadily in popularity and use. It is also highly questionable to interpose ethnic characteristics in this research. The same video games played in the US are enjoyed by gamers all over the world and there is no similar international trend of violent crime like the authors claim."

The criteria being used may explain some of the dispute between the study and the ESA. An American Psychological Association task force found in 2015 that violent video games increased aggression, but didn't have enough evidence to conclude that it causes an increase in criminal violence. The study suggests that the increase in violent behavior may be relegated to schoolyard fights, without necessarily then going on to cause an increase in criminal behaviors.



Andrzej Sapkowski, the original author of The Witcher series of short stories and novels, has officially demanded further compensation from CD Projekt Red, developers of the highly successful Witcher games based on his work.

Via Kotaku, CD Projekt Red released an official report on the matter today, addressing that the company has received an official demand for further payment from Sapkowski, indicating that he expects additional royalties “beyond what had been contractually agreed upon between himself and the Company.”

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine Review

The contents of the notice were included in CD Projekt Red’s report and indicate that Sapkowski is aiming to receive at least 6 percent of the profits obtained by the developer off his property, saying he’s looking to earn 60 million Polish Zlotys (over $16 million USD) in compensation.

Sapkowski’s party says it is "prepared to settle the matter in an amicable – and more importantly – expeditious and quiet manner.” The notice says Sapkowski’s party is willing to meet with the developer so long as it replies within 14 days, and that the meeting occurs no later than Oct. 19.

CD Projekt Red calls these demands “groundless” saying it had “legitimately and legally acquired copyright to Mr. Andrzej Sapkowski’s work” for use in games developed by the company. Still, the developer noted that it wishes to maintain good relations with authors of works that have inspired its own creations, and that it will put effort in to make sure the dispute is resolved amicably.

The Story of the Witcher

The notice claims that the original agreement only counts for the first Witcher game (though CD Projekt Red denies this) and cites Article 44 of Poland’s Act on Copyright and Related Rights, which states "In the event of gross discrepancy between the remuneration of the author and the benefits of the acquirer of the author's economic rights or the licensee, the author may request the court for a due increase of his/her remuneration."

Sapkowski originally agreed to a one-time payment from the developer over royalties based on the game’s profits, even though CD Projekt Red initially offered the later. According to an interview with Eurogamer, Sapkowski declined the offer, saying "I was stupid enough to sell them rights to the whole bunch. They offered me a percentage of their profits. I said, 'No, there will be no profit at all - give me all my money right now! The whole amount.' It was stupid. I was stupid enough to leave everything in their hands because I didn't believe in their success. But who could foresee their success? I couldn't."

For reference, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt sold over six million copies in six weeks and the series as a whole passed 25 million units sold last year.

Cyberpunk 2077 Gameplay Demo

CD Projekt Red is currently developing Cyberpunk 2077, a video game based off of the 1988 tabletop game Cyberpunk 2020, which IGN had the chance to play with its creator Mike Pondsmith. For more on Cyberpunk 2077, read about how Geralt’s voice actor isn’t a part of the game (yet), take a look at a few of the concerns we have about the game, and check out the developers discussing the first public demo of the Cyberpunk 2077.

Colin Stevens is a freelance writer for IGN, and he’d like $16 million too, please. Follow him on Twitter.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Released May 19th, 2015


24 Men — Including Cop — Allegedly Tried to Lure Kids for Sex Using Video Games Like Fortnite:

Authorities in New Jersey have arrested two dozen men — including a policeman and a firefighter — in a sting operation that targeted alleged predators accused of using online video games like Fortnite to prey on innocent children.

Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey’s attorney general, identified the 24 adult defendants at a press conference Tuesday.

According to Grewal, the 24 men allegedly believed they were talking to 14- and 15-year-olds, but were instead interacting with undercover detectives from the New Jersey State Police’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The defendants themselves are accused of posing as teenagers in their alleged attempts to lure minors for sex, the attorney general said.

The suspects used a number of online games as well as chat apps and social media to initiate conversations that were allegedly sexual in nature, Grewal said.

“It is a frightening reality that sexual predators are lurking on social media, ready to strike if they find a child who is vulnerable,” said Grewal, urging parents to be vigilant in monitoring their children’s online habits.

“If children appear anxious or evasive when the topic is raised, it may be a red flag,” Grewal said. “It’s critical that parents talk to their children about social media and chat apps to let them know that the people they encounter may not be who they initially seemed to be.”

Grewal identified 18 apps and games, including Tinder, Wishbone, Kik, Minecraft, and Tumblr.

Games like Roblox, Minecraft and the popular Fortnite — a survival shooter game — permit communication between its online users. All three are available through most wireless providers and on all video game consoles.

Police Officer Allegedly Tried to Meet 15-Year-Old Girl for Sex

Howell Township Police Sgt. Richard Conte, 47, has been suspended from his job following his arrest as part of “Operation Open House” for allegedly arranging to meet with a 15-year-old girl for sex.

Conte, who lives in Farmingdale, New Jersey, was charged with second-degree child luring, as were the other 23 defendants. Some face additional second- or three-degree luring charges.

Also arrested were Richard Hoffman of Mays Landing, New Jersey — a 23-year-old firefighter accused of a trying to lure a 14-year-old girl — and Christopher Vargas of Toms River, New Jersey — a 29-year-old nurse who allegedly tried to meet a 15-year-old boy for sex.

Thomas Graciano, 28, of Brick, was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 15-year-old boy; Graciano is a physical therapist at a retirement home. Thomas Fuller, a 44-year-old sterilization technician from Toms River, is also accused of trying to lure a 15-year-old boy.

Data entry clerk Anthony Perfidio, 24, of Barnegat, New Jersey, was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 15-year-old boy as was Brian Degnan, 33, of Toms River. Unemployed Nabindranauth Nandalall, 24, of the Bronx, N.Y., was arrested after allegedly pursuing a 15-year-old girl, which is what detectives have accused consultant William D. Davis, 23, Bayville, of doing.

Security guard Mina Beshay, 27, of Monroe Township, was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 15-year-old girl, and also faces attempted debauching morals of a child and attempted showing obscene material to a minor charges.

The same charges were filed against both Joshua Rauter, 31, of Little Egg Harbor Township — a public works employee who was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 14-year-old girl — and Volvi Lowinger, 23, of Lakewood — a college student accused of trying to lure a 15-year-old girl.

In addition, Lowinger faces another charges of attempted sexual assault on a minor. That same charge was levied against Thomas Blumensteel, a 47-year-old hotel manager who lives in Manchester, New Jersey, for allegedly trying to lure a 15-year-old boy while landscaper Zachary Vincent, 24, of Forked River, was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 15-year-old girl.

Blumensteel is also a registered sex offender who served three years in prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in 1997, according to investigators.

Joseph Martin, a 35-year-old unemployed man from Seaside Heights, who allegedly tried to lure a 14-year-old girl for sex, is also charged with attempted sexual assault on a minor. That same offense was alleged against mechanic Charles Schlottfeld, 26, of Bayville, who was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 14-year-old girl, and Douglass Walton, 54, of Hillsborough, who works in produce and was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 14-year-old boy.

More serious charges face William Singleton, 24, of Pemberton Township, who police allege tried to lure a 14-year-old girl for sex. The restaurant worker also is charged with second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor.

Also facing an added second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor charge are Jonathan Vece, 22, of Turnersville, a canvasser arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 14-year-old-girl; 51-year-old Lawrence Ivancic of Toms River, who is unemployed and accused of trying to lure a 14-year-old girl; train conductor Robert Lisicki, 51, of Metuchen, who was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 15-year-old boy; and Steven Portnoy, 27, an unemployed resident of Egg Harbor Township, who was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 14-year-old girl.

Dylan Daffron, 28, of Lacey Township, was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 15-year-old boy. The retail cashier was also charged second-degree attempted sexual assault on a minor, third-degree attempted debauching morals of a child, and third-degree attempted showing obscene material to a minor. The same charges were filed against dry cleaner David Studnicky, 64, of Toms River, who was arrested for allegedly trying to lure a 15-year-old boy.

PEOPLE’s attempts to reach all 24 men for comment Friday were unsuccessful.

None of the defendants has entered pleas to the charges they face, and it was unclear if any had retained lawyers who could speak on their behalf.

Our final thoughts: This is sick & disgusting. Even a Police Officer was involved, And that officer took an oath to protect & serve. NOT to rape kids!!!!! We all live in one sick F*CKED UP WORLD!!!

Man Threatens To Shoot Child Who Beat Him At 'Fortnite'

A New York man was arrested Tuesday after threatening to shoot an 11-year-old boy after losing to him in the video game “Fortnite,” according to police.

Suffolk County Police Chief of Department Stuart Cameron said Michael Aliperti, 45, of Long Island, threatened to go to the boy’s home and harm him and also alluded to his school.

Newsday reports that the alleged threats were made through text messages and online voice messages at about 9 p.m. Monday.

The child had been playing the popular third-person shooter game with Aliperti for several months. The child’s family reported the incident to police, who increased their presence at the child’s school.

“We took this as a school threat,” Cameron said. “That was done out of an abundance of caution.”

Cameron also cautioned parents to monitor their children’s video game playing and to be aware of their online opponents.

Aliperti was arrested Tuesday on charges of aggravated harassment and acting in a manner to injure a child. Bail was set at $2,500 and an order of protection was issued for the victim.

A message left with his attorney was not immediately returned.

9/04/2018: Our Amazon Web Store is Now Open. More items will be added shortly. But there are tons of items waiting for you to buy. All shipped from Amazon.

Shooter dead after mass shooting at Jacksonville Landing, 4 dead, 9 wounded at Madden tournament inside Chicago Pizza:

Williams said SWAT teams had completed a methodical search of the Landing and the immediate area and found no additional gunmen. Williams said they would release more information in a few hours.

JSO urged people inside the riverfront mall to stay calm and no run out until the search was complete.

"We will get to you. Please don't come running out," said JSO via Twitter about 3 p.m.

Randy Wyse, president of the firefighters' union, said Engine Company 1 was training in the area and victims began running up to them before they received the emergency call. He said victims ran as far as the CSX building, about a half-mile away to get help.

The wounded victims have been taken to Memorial Hospital, where three victims were in stable condition, and UF Health Medical Center, where one person with serious injuries and five more in good condition.

Early reports say the shooting began during a Madden 19 tournament at the Good Luck Have Fun video game room inside Chicago Pizza. Several gunshots can be heard on the audio of a livestream of the tournament

"We are aware of a video that's out on social media. We have that video," Williams said. "We would encourage people that have any other videos or information, please reach out to us at 855-845-TIPS."

A group who appeared they were leaving the tournament refused to answer questions.

UNCUT: Sheriff Mike William's 4:30 p.m. briefing
IMAGES: Police surround Jacksonville Landing after mass shooting

The Sheriff's Office bomb squad robot and SWAT team members were seen going into a parking garage at Main and Bay streets, within a block of the Landing. We were told they were checking out a car -- likely that belonging to the gunman.

Late Sunday, Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted that he has just spoken with President Donald Trump, who offered federal resources if needed. His office said Scott was traveling to Jacksonville to be briefing on the shooting.

A woman, who said her son inside the game, said he was in the room when a man pulled a gun and started shooting. 

"It's scary that you could be having a good time and someone just starts shooting," she said.

The councilman who represents the district in which the shooting happened said he came to the scene as soon as he heard the terrible news.

"Jacksonville cannot run away from this problem. It’s time for Jacksonville to take up the gun violence issue,” said Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney. “We have to pray hard. We have to come together to come up with a real solution.”

Gaffney said he’s frustrated and has been talking with the mayor and sheriff about Friday night’s shooting outside Raines High School that left a 19-year-old dead.

“My solution is we really need to talk about God. I’m asking the faith-based community to step up, Gaffney said. 

This statement came from The Jacksonville Landing: “We are deeply saddened at the incident and pray for everyone involved. The Jacksonville Landing is fully cooperating with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and all ongoing investigations.”

Police and Mayor Lenny Curry continue to urge everyone to continue to stay away from the area for the rest of the evening. Bus service was redirected around the Northbank riverfront and some roads are blocked by emergency vehicles.


Nintendo and Microsoft team up in surprising Minecraft ad, Sony left out

Sony’s cross-platform decision is looking worse and worse:

The commercial for the latest Nintendo Switch update for Minecraft, which allows cross-platform play, does something that may be a first for the modern gaming industry: It promotes a competitor’s console in a positive way. Seeing the Xbox and Switch logos together in a single commercial, released on Nintendo’s official YouTube channel, is surreal.

Which makes Sony’s decision to not allow cross-platform play look even worse.

You can watch the commercial above, and see how much attention each platform is given. You see both controllers, and the players are having fun in both cases. The ad makes the case pretty strongly: Minecraft is a fun party you can attend together if you have a Switch or an Xbox One ... but Sony won’t let you in with a PlayStation 4.

It’s a big party that Sony apparently didn’t want to attend. Sony’s refusal to allow cross-platform play, and players’ inability to use their Epic Games accounts on the Switch or the Xbox One if they’ve ever played on the PS4, was already the source of a major controversy during E3. Sony’s response to the Fortnite situation was a disaster, and this Minecraft commercial shows how Nintendo and Microsoft can promote cross-platform play in a positive way while also implicitly dunking on Sony.

Members of the Minecraft team have been vocal in the past about wanting to bring cross-platform play to the PS4, and Rocket League developer Psyonix has told Polygon that the feature is done. Sony simply won’t let the team turn it on.

A former Sony executive recently said that the issue comes down to the company not wanting items bought on other platforms to ever be used on the PS4.

This issue isn’t going to go away, and this sort of cross-promotion for multiple platforms playing the same game together is another indication that everyone but Sony is willing to play nice together in the current market.

This is an inflection point in gaming, and Sony risks being left behind. This parody image may sum up fan reaction perfectly:


Netflix about Nintendo Switch with Netflix chat support:


PayPal Blocks Sales Of School Shooting Video Game:

The online payments company joined a growing list of businesses that have refused to support the game “Active Shooter.”

It’s getting close to game over for a controversial school shooting video game after PayPal joined a growing list of companies that have refused to support it.

The online payments company confirmed Wednesday that it has shut down an account being used to sell the video game, “Active Shooter,” which allows players to simulate carrying out a mass-casualty attack with a gun, grenade or knife.

“PayPal has a longstanding, well-defined and consistently enforced Acceptable Use Policy that prohibits the use of our services for the promotion of violence,” a PayPal spokesman said in an email to HuffPost.

Though the game’s developer, Acid Software ― which is listed online as based in Moscow, Russia ― continues to offer a free demo of its product on its websites, PayPal’s decision would significantly hamper its ability to collect profit online.

Fundraising website Indiegogo has similarly removed the Acid Software’s crowdfunding page. Popular video game platform Steam also banned the game from being hosted on its site.

A representative for Valve Corporation, which developed Steam, said in a statement to The Washington Post that one of the game’s developers, Ata Berdyev, was previously removed from using its service last fall over troublesome issues.

“Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation,” Valve’s statement said. “His subsequent return under new business names was a fact that came to light as we investigated the controversy around his upcoming title. We are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers or Valve.”

After “Active Shooter” was removed from the gaming sites, it was listed on two separate websites set up by the developer, but removed after the company hosting them received complaints, The Associated Press reported. The sites were subsequently set up on Russian servers, according to Berdyev.

“Seems like everyone in US trying to censor us, whilst not explaining what exactly we are violating,” he said in a message to the AP.

Acid has continued to deny that its game promotes violence or violates any terms of service. Critics, including survivors of school shootings and the family of victims, have argued otherwise.

Sandy Hook Promise, an organization that was created after the 2012 mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school, started a petition for PayPal to close its account with Acid. An online petition on also racked up more than 282,000 signatures in support of removing the game from service. The online petition on Wednesday was also seeking support for tighter gun control regulations.

An early pre-release version of the game had been listed for $20. A final version is slated to be released early next month.


NASA scores with weird Pac-Man crater on Mars:

Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde might want to avoid Mars:

You've seen a fish, a cannonball and even Jabba the Hutt on Mars. But have you seen the star of a hit 1980s video arcade game? NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has. 

NASA and the University of Arizona's HiRise team, the group responsible for working with the orbiter's nifty camera, shared a view of an unusual crater on the Red Planet and it sure looks a lot like Pac-Man in full pellet-gobbling mode.  

What we're seeing here is an impact crater with a crescent-shaped barchan sand dune nestled inside. The MRO snapped the image in mid-March and NASA highlighted it this week. 

Barchan dunes are common on Mars, as seen in this MRO image of a field of wormy-looking formations. But this particular crater-and-dune combination of landscape features is out of the ordinary. 

NASA's HiRise team pointed out the likeness to Pac-Man and says it is "a rare configuration, and over the next few tens of thousands of years the sand will be blown out of the crater." Pac-Man will be a super-duper-retro game by then.


Lendsei Lohoin loses "Grand Theft Auto V" lawsuit:

<---- Lindsay Lohan Most recent photo.

It looks like it's "Game Over" for the washed up meth, coke, crack, Heroin junky so called untalented, daddy issue's cry-baby actress Lendsei Lohoin after she lost her state court fight against a software company for using what she claims is a likeness of her in a video game. The former actress claims that the character Lacey Jonas in "Grand Theft Auto V" is based on her.

Lohoin's lawyer argued before New York's top court that Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. violated her right to privacy by incorporating "look-a-like" images of her in the game. In "Grand Theft Auto V," Lacey Jonas is a troubled young Hollywood actress.

In October 2014, Lohoin's legal team added dozens of images to its complaint showing real-world photos of Lohoin that she believes Rockstar used for reference to create the character.

But the state Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the satirical representations of "a modern, beach-going" young woman are not identifiable as Lohoin. The court affirmed a ruling from a lower state appeals court dismissing her lawsuit.

Similar claims against Take-Two by "Mob Wives" television star Karen Gravano also were dismissed in a separate ruling.

A message left with Lohoin's lawyer wasn't immediately returned.


Our Fan Art Section is back up. Send in all of your gaming related Fan art to us. And it will be live on the web for everyone to see!!!!!!!! Our Fan Art page is under the community dropdowb tab. Check out what we have so far, since we were called NintendoBeyond.


Watch our Twitch Live Stream on If you don't want the hassle of going to The main Twitch website. You can watch & chat with all of your twitch friends right here. Just click on the Twitch Live Stream link under the community tab. Also a Donation button is available there if you would like to donate. If you missed a Live Stream. Then no worries. The videos will be posted to Youtube after the stream ends.


Twitch is now live:

GamePayne's Twitch is now up and ready. You can view our Twitch Streams under the community tab.


Valve Threatens Popular Erotic Games on Steam with Take down Warnings:

According to HuniePop developer HuniePot on Twitter, Valve has reached out by email again to say their previous warning email should be disregarded. Valve apologized for the confusion, and said that they are in the process of re-reviewing if HuniePop actually violates any of Steam's guidelines.

Mutiny!! developer Lupiesoft said that they also received a second message from Valve, and that the two-week deadline for them to censor content was no longer in place as Valve also re-reviews their game. It's unclear how many of the other developers that were initially warned have received similar follow-ups.

Original Story: The developers of several popular erotic games on Steam have received warnings from Valve that they must censor the adult content in their games or they will be removed, according to tweets from those developers.

Most notably, developer HuniePot was issued a warning regarding their extremely popular erotic romance visual novel/puzzle game, HuniePop. According to their Twitter, the notice indicated that HuniePop “violates the rules & guidelines for pornographic content on Steam and will be removed from the store unless the game is updated to remove said content.”

Developers of many other games, including Mutiny!!, Re;Lord 1, Kindred Spirits on the Roof, Tropical Liquor, and VR Kanojo, all appear to have received similar statements, which effectively amount to a take down warning notice from Valve. Mutiny!! developer Lupiesoft said on Twitter their warning was issued due to “reports of pornographic content.”

What all of these games have in common is that they are romance-focused, Japanese or Japan-inspired games with erotic or suggestive content. Lupiesoft notes, however, that they have been very rigorous about making sure their releases adhere to Steam’s guidelines. Some of the games listed, such as Mutiny!!, have patches available outside of Steam that add uncensored content, but are not advertised on the platform.

MangaGamer, publisher of Kindred Spirits on the Roof, had this to say on their blog:

“As you may recall from our own announcements and coverage in several news outlets, we and many others in the industry considered the release of Kindred Spirits unaltered on the platform a positive shift in the treatment of tasteful, mature content on the platform. We stand by our assertion then that content of the game is not pornographic, but an earnest and tasteful exploration of sexuality.”

This sudden and sweeping action is surprising to many, as games like Kindred Spirits on the Roof and HuniePop have been on Steam for many years. However, more recent titles such as Re;Lord 1 have also been targeted, which was released in March of this year.


Shenmue I And II Coming To Console And PC:

Sega has announced that versions of the first two Shenmue games are coming physically and digitally to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

Both games still retain their Dreamcast aesthetics but with higher resolutions, improved textures, graphical options on PC, and an updated user interface. Players can also choose between modern and classic control settings, as well as English or Japanese dubs. The physical and digital releases are priced at $29.99.

Regarding a Switch release, Sega says, "We are focusing on the console and PC versions only right now," meaning there's a possibility it could come to the Nintendo platform.

There hasn't been much recent news from Shenmue III. Fortunately, character's faces will in fact move after the game's first teaser trailer received criticism for its lack of facial animations. We also know Deep Silver is set to publish the title. Shenmue III currently has a release window slated for the second half of this year.


Billy 'King of Kong' Mitchell's 'Donkey Kong' scores were a lie:

It's over. Billy Mitchell (above, left), the "King of Kong," has had his long-contested Donkey Kong high scores stripped from the Twin Galaxies leaderboards and the organization has notified Guinness World Records of its decision. More than that, all of his records have been removed from the forums and he's banned from TG's competitive leaderboards wholesale. TG ran an independent investigation, in addition to having "at least" two third-parties perform their own, with other experts weighing in on the dispute as well.

The investigation resulted in confirming long-held suspicions: the provided evidence tape of the King of Kong score didn't come from actual arcade hardware. Same goes for his 1,050,200-point "Mortgage Brokers" score. TG said there wasn't enough evidence to comfortably make a definitive judgment on a third score of 1,062,800.

Previously the claim was that Mitchell recorded these scores using emulation software, because original hardware doesn't produce the board transition images that were recorded. But because proving emulation would be far more involved and take even more time, TG settled on proving that the scores weren't the result of playing on an unmodified Donkey Kong PCB.

"Twin Galaxies has endeavored to provide a fair opportunity and reasonable amount of time for all sides and interests to present their thoughts and evidence as it has evaluated this dispute claim," TG writes in a blog post. "Throughout every step of this investigation, Billy Mitchell had the opportunity to answer questions and contribute to the public dispute thread. However, he was under no obligation to participate in this dispute thread and as such he chose not to do so."

When I spoke with TG's custodian of records Jace Hall earlier this year, he said these types of investigations are proof of the verification system he helped build were working as intended. "This [scrutiny] is absolutely something that has been much needed and is part of our controlled process of making sure that the public can control and can trust the data that's in our database," he said.

After what seems like an eternity, Mitchell is no longer recognized as the first million-point Donkey Kong record holder. Now, that honor goes to long-time rival Steve Wiebe.

Twin Galaxies


GamePro Magazine used to observe April Fool’s Day by publishing a LamePro spinoff that poked fun at the video game business. This image is from 1998, 20 years ago.

If you owned a PlayStation 3, you have a month to claim a $65 refund:

(Meredith) -- The original PlayStation 3 came out in 2006. If you bought one, you can claim a $65 refund from Sony.

It's due to a class action lawsuit involving a security update. The original PlayStation 3 had the option for an alternate operating system, but the slim version of the console released later removed that feature as part of a security update. This resulted in a class action lawsuit which was settled in 2016. It allows owners of the original PlayStation 3 to claim a $65 payout by submitting a claim form.

You can submit a claim form here.


Mississippi boy, 9, shoots sister, 13, over video game controller, police say:


A 13-year-old girl has died after authorities say she was shot Saturday by her 9-year-old brother, local media reported.

Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell said the girl would not give up a video game controller when her brother wanted it. 

Cantrell said she was shot in the back of the head, and that the bullet went through her brain.

The girl was rushed to Le Bonheur's Children's Hospital in Memphis. Cantrell said late Sunday that she died of her injuries, WLOV-TV and other media reported.

Authorities don't yet know how the child had access to the weapon they say he used to shoot his sister. It's also unclear how much knowledge the boy had of the dangers of guns.

"He’s just 9. I assume he’s seen this on video games or TV," Cantrell said. "I don't know if he knew exactly what this would do. I can’t answer that. I do know it’s a tragedy."

The investigation will not be rushed, the sheriff said, and the identities of family members are not being released.

"This is all new ground for us, we've never dealt with a kid shooting a kid at age 9," Cantrell said. "We don't know yet what kind of charges or if charges will be pressed. We want to make sure we’re doing everything correctly.

"That’s why I’m not too fast to say anything because there are juveniles involved. We want to do what’s right and we’re going to get it right."

The sheriff asked for the public's thoughts and prayers for the child and the family.


Man Strikes Roommate With Zelda Sword And Then A Kitchen Knife, Gets ArrestedA 22-year-old from Alaska is facing charges of assault and reckless endangerment.:

An Alaska man hit his roommate with a replica Legend of Zelda Master Sword before later attacking this person with a kitchen knife, police say. According to Anchorage Daily News, 22-year-old Jeremy Tazruk was arrested and charged with fourth-degree assault and reckless endangerment.

Anchorage police arrived on the scene at an apartment near the University of Alaska Anchorage campus to find a "broken television, a bloody napkin, a knife on a table and a bent sword on the floor." The police then found a person, identified in an official court document as T.P., on a nearby bike trail with a stab wound. This person was taken to the hospital with a puncture wound on the ribs.

Here's how Anchorage Daily News summed up the fracas (via Kotaku):

"According to Tazruk and witnesses, it said, T.P. started to push a roommate and flipped her onto the armrest of a chair. Another roommate tried to push T.P. away, and T.P. punched that person. When Tazruk and his fiancee, who was holding their baby, stepped in, T.P. punched both of them too.

"Tazruk's fiancee asked someone to call police. Tazruk grabbed a replica sword from the 'The Legend of Zelda' off the wall 'and tried using its sheath to hit T.P.,' the document said. After T.P. ran at him, Tazruk hit T.P. multiple times with the sword, according to the court document."

The document then explains that, with the fight escalating, Tazruk ran into the kitchen and grabbed a knife. After T.P. advanced on Tazruk, Tazruk "struck out at T.P. at least twice, hitting T.P. with the knife."

According to the document, "The edges of the sword were not sharp, but the tip was sharp."

Our YouTube Channel is back up & running due to the old channel being shut down by false claims. You can click on the link for our channel under the Community tab.

Happy B-Day!!

Tomorrow marks this website's 15 Year Birthday. We started out very small when we were called NintendoBeyond. From NintendoBeyond we had many other site names & upgrades, to our latest We focus on all Gaming. Old & new. So raise your game controllers, or your Soda or drinks like Rolling Rock. And here is to another great adventure for our website. Game On.

Police: NorCal man kills mother over video game anger:

A man in Ceres (Stanislaus County) allegedly shot and killed his mother after an argument while playing video games.

According to a report from the Ceres Police Department, 28-year-old Matthew Nicholson was playing video games in his room when he got upset and started yelling.

Nicholson's 68-year-old mother, Lydia, went to check on her son but Nicholson started arguing with her and ended up breaking his headset for the video game in an outburst.

ALSO: Suspect named in slaying of SF activist

Blaming his mother for this, Nicholson threatened to kill both of his parents and retrieved a handgun from inside of the family's home.

Nicholson fired two shots into a wall, and then shot Lydia in the head. Nicholson's 81-year-old father wrestled the gun away from his son, and Nicholson drove to a relative's house in Riverbank.

Lydia Nicholson was transported to a hospital for treatment but ultimately succumbed to her injuries.

Police apprehended Nicholson in Riverbank without further incident and booked him into the Stanislaus County Jail where he is being held without bail.


Microsoft Rewards 9-Year-Old's Selflessness With Xbox One S:

An Ohio child gave up his Christmas gift of an Xbox One S to get blankets for the homeless, but Microsoft wasn't going to let that slide.

Do a good deed, everybody wins. At least, that's the holiday lesson one 9-year-old from Ashland County, Ohio recently learned. He gave up an on-the-way Christmas gift—a brand-new Xbox One—preferring instead that his grandmother take the $300 the console would cost and spend that on 30 blankets for the local homeless population.

Mikah Frye's selfless gesture caught Microsoft's attention, and the company decided to give Frye that Xbox after all. And when he picked it up at the Microsoft Store, there were a few more gifts waiting for him—two bags' worth, in fact. Not only did Frye score a Minecraft-themed Xbox One S console, but he also received some extra games and accessories.

The organization that benefitted from Frye's initial act of charity, Ashland Church Community Emergency Shelter Services, was one that his family used years' prior when they ran into financial difficulties. And Frye did a bit more than just buy some blankets for them to distribute; he also included handwritten notes for each person receiving a blanket.

"They gave me a blanket, but I had to leave it. That's why I want you to have your own blanket ... Today, I live in my own house, and someday you will too. Your friend Mikah," his notes read.

As described by Frye's grandmother, Terry Brant, Frye's own experience with homelessness likely inspired his interest in helping others. He arrived at his plan to purchase and distribute blankets after he saw some homeless individuals while he was out with his family. He asked his grandmother how they keep warm during the winter months and reasoned that providing people with a blanket might help them out a little bit.

"He knew what it was like to not have a blanket at night and have to give it back," Brant told Fox 8. "So the first thing he wanted to do is give a blanket that they could keep."

Frye's tears followed soon after he was led to the rear of a Microsoft Store, through lines of applauding employees, to receive his early holiday gifts—and meet Santa, of course.


PAX East Tickets Now on Sale:

If you want to go PAX East, now's your chance. Tickets have just now gone on sale and predictably, the site is down due to the massive influx of people trying to get their tickets.

If you want to hit F5 and try to get your own, the registration link does work eventually, and honestly, while it isn't snappy, it's much better than past years.

PAX East is held each year in Boston at the Boston Civic Center and has proven so popular, an extra day has been added. That puts it in-line with PAX West, formerly known as PAX Prime, which is the original event held each year in Seattle.

PAX East no longer offers 3-day passes, so if you want to attend for the whole weekend you need to grab an individual pass for each day.

If you haven't been to a PAX before, it's a super fun time and celebrates all things gaming, from tabletop to classic arcades and upcoming releases. It's also an awesome place to see some incredible cosplay.



CAMBRIDGE, UK - Oct. 30, 2017 - Darkness falls across the land of Gielinor in both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape from today, as players of the two MMORPGs experience the horror unleashed in their Halloween events. In Ghost Stories of Gielinor, RuneScape players will discover and play through pages of spooky tales across the game world and compile them into the Ghastly Grimoire; meanwhile, in Old School RuneScape, can players overcome and survive Jonas, a hockey-mask-like-wearing-killer stalking Gielinor?

Written by RuneScape developers and players, the tales featured in Ghost Stories of Gielinor take participants on a journey of terror, beginning with a meeting with a mysterious figure known as 'Closure'. Those brave enough to collect and experience the tales first hand will bring them together into a great tome, as well as unlock a new cosmetic item to remember this year's Halloween by: The headless rider outfit.

Old School RuneScape's event was teased on Friday the 13th this month, where a masked individual was first spotted across the game's free-to-play areas - but now the stakes have been raised, and the spectre of Jonas is on a deadly hunt for victims. Successful participants will receive the mask worn by Jonas, while players can also turn their character's skin a lovely shade of 'Zombie Blue'.

Artwork for the special in-game event can be found here:



When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk Gielinor and there's 200 million in-game gold pieces to be won by the player who can survive the longest.
CAMBRIDGE, UK - Oct. 16, 2017 - RuneScape has today opened a door to the Dimension of the Damned, a brand-new, survive-at-all-cost, PvE competitive gaming experience. Available for 10 days only, Dimension of the Damned sees players thrown into an alternate undead dimension where the dead are rising in droves.
In this parallel RuneScape universe, zombies are spawning everywhere and players must scramble for resources against the bloodthirsty hordes baying for their blood. Players must get their score as high as possible over a one-hour session and can attempt multiple sessions, but only their best will be considered for their entry to the final showdown. Taking place on October 28th, the highest scoring 1,000 players will compete in a last-person-standing, 90-minute endgame to be crowned King or Queen of the Damned.
"We've played with the idea of survival modes in RuneScape in the past, most notably with our DarkScape experiment a couple of years ago, and they've proved popular. However, as a purely PvE survival game mode, Dimension of the Damned is quite unlike anything we've released before," said Matt Casey, Senior Product Manager, RuneScape. "We're really looking forward to seeing how tactics develop over the coming days as players try to reach the finale and compete to win an incredible set of prizes, but with only 1,000 places available in the endgame expect the competition to be stiff and full of rigor (mortis)."
Dimension of the Damned is open to both RuneScape newcomers and veterans and, so all players experience the mode on a level playing field, brave souls must create new characters. These slayer-to-be characters will be rewarded with maxed-out skills during their valiant effort against the undead.
Set in the free-to-play areas of Gielinor, and with PvP disabled, Dimension of the Damned features a range of rewards for players to claim. Every participant will receive a survivor outfit and the RIP axe; the 1,000 finalists will also win a new 'The Damned' title; those in the final 10 will also have their names engraved on the statue in Falador and a Dimension of the Damned pet; and the final five will have further prizes of an all-expenses paid trip to Jagex and a year's Premier Club membership for free. The winner, in addition to bagging all previous prizes, will secure 200 million GP, lifetime RuneScape membership, a real-world zombie award, and the title 'King/Queen of the Damned'.
Assets, including screenshots and a logo, can be found here:
RuneScape's Dimension of the Damned Trailer can be found here:
Further details about Dimension of the Damned can be found at
Summoners War World Arena Championship's North American Regionals Come to an Epic Conclusion
Four Players Advance to Summoners War World Arena Championship as Com2us Post Record Twitch Viewership
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (October 12, 2017) -- Summoners War World Arena Championship's North American regionals concluded with exciting finishes in Los Angeles and New York, continuing mobile gaming's growing footprint in eSports. Over 32 players competed in the bicoastal contests, with Tiger claiming victory in the New York regionals and ChuffIes as the runner up. Across the country at the Los Angeles regionals, Barion came out on top with Psy! taking second place. All four players will advance to the Summoners War World Arena Championship on November 25 in Los Angeles, California.
In addition to their live tournament, the Los Angeles regionals peak Twitch concurrent viewership topped the record established by previous Summoners Wars eSports events, including the Mobile Masters Invitational 2017 in June. The New York regionals were attended by an enthusiastic live crowd of all ages with extra seating being needed to accommodate the overwhelming turnout. Combined, the two North American regional matches surpassed more than 1,440,000 views on Twitch.

"This past weekend was the perfect conclusion to our global regionals as we head into the Summoners War World Arena Championship 2017 next month," said Casey Lee, CEO of Com2us USA. "These regional qualifiers have already featured some intense match ups and we cannot thank the Summoners War community enough for their ongoing support."

Tiger, Chuffles, Barion and Psy! will join the winners from the European and Asia regionals to battle it out at the world finals of The World Arena Championship in Los Angeles at the Microsoft Theatre on November 25th with $50,000 in cash prizes.

Fans around the world can watch the epic conclusion of the Summoners War World Arena Championship on the Com2us Twitch channel:

About Summoners War
Summoners War is the flagship mobile action-RPG developed by Com2us. Launched globally in 2014, the game has ranked #1 grossing in RPG games in 98 countries (App Store) and in 95 countries (Google Play). Summoners War features over 1,000 unique characters and provides a premium mobile RPG experience gamers are able to enjoy anytime and anywhere.

About Com2Us
Com2us is a leading developer and publisher of mobile games that span across all genres. Our mission is simple. We thrive to create games with a level of depth and engagement rarely experienced on mobile platforms. Our dedication to building a robust gaming community through active engagement with our players has made this possible. Established in 1998, we're headquartered in Korea with international offices in China, Japan, Taiwan and the United States. For more information about Com2us and our portfolio of groundbreaking mobile games, visit

Follow Com2us on Twitter at and "Like" Com2us on Facebook at

The Keyboard is Mightier Than the Revolver - G2A Deal #7

Hong Kong - Oct. 5, 2017 - G2A.COM, the premier digital marketplace for gaming products, has unveiled its latest bundle of games in a deal that's hard to pass up. G2A Deal #7 comes rocking with five titles in five different genres, including a tactical RPG, puzzle platformer, and even a good old-fashioned farm simulator. The list of games in the pack includes Plantera, Alien Shooter TD, The Beggar's Ride, Dungeon Rushers, and Western Press, all of which come straight from the developers and publishers themselves, with no third-party sellers involved. The bundle will cost €2.49 with a subscription, or €2.99 as a one-time purchase.

Below are details for each game:

  • Plantera - Are you dreaming of a garden but live in a concrete jungle? Then let your gardening dreams come true as you harvest plants and collect fruits and vegetables in your very own virtual garden. This casual farming simulator comes ripe with little blue helpers, irksome critters, and coins galore.
  • Alien Shooter TD - This Tower Defense game based on the legendary Alien Shooter series is perfect for the hero who doesn't mind getting their hands dirty. Resist countless waves of blood-thirsty invaders, build towers, and command an elite warrior platoon all in the hopes of rescuing humanity.
  • The Beggar's Ride - Embody a beggar-turned-hero in this unique platform puzzle adventure game. Join an old beggar on his journey to distant lands as you use God-like powers granted by ancient masks to solve puzzles and direct the forces of nature.
  • Dungeon Rushers - All those dungeons are just ready for the taking, but are you up to the task? Find out in this 2D tactical RPG game with turn-based combat and see just how many dungeons you can loot. Assemble a heroic dream team, craft new equipment, and even build your own trap-rigged dungeons.
  • Western Press - Can you type your opponents to death? Apparently, you can in this frontier dueling game. The rules are simple - you compete in a tournament of up to 16 players (or bots), and whoever types a 10-character string faster wins the duel and ultimately the entire competition.

All keys included in this edition of G2A Deal will be available immediately after purchase as Steam codes and will not be region-locked.

An image of the games included in the deal can be found here:

For more information on G2A.COM, visit or visit our Facebook or Twitter.
AVerMedia Announces Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus with 4K Capabilities

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Oct. 3, 2017 - AVerMedia Technologies, Inc., the preeminent name in digital multimedia technology, today unveiled the next evolution of the company's series of premium capture cards, the Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus (LGP2 Plus). This latest addition to AVerMedia's robust and diverse family of products is the ultimate tool for content creators, allowing them to enjoy their UHD 4Kp60 gameplay without a hint of lag while recording and streaming at 1080p60. The LGP2 Plus is available for purchase through Amazon.

"We appreciate the relentless passion of the streaming and gaming community. They've been instrumental in pushing us to design the new Live Gamer Portable 2 Plus for them," said Betina Huang, Marketing Manager of AVerMedia Technologies, Inc. "From the 4K capabilities to low latency streaming, the LGP2 Plus will let them do things we never thought were possible."

Featuring wide connectivity, hardware compression capability, and a revamped RECentral intuitive user interface (v4.0), the LGP2 Plus is the first capture card to offer 4Kp60 gameplay while recording at 1080p60 footage without a high-spec PC. Thanks to the portable nature of the device, it can even record gameplay, commentary audio, and party chats directly to a MicroSD card, making it an essential tool for streamers and gamers to capture and share epic moments no matter where they are. UVC Plug and Play also means the LGP2 Plus is compatible with any platform, making it an accessible card by removing the need to install any drivers. Additionally, the card offers MP4 and MOV recording for easy editing and efficient uploading across a variety of services.

For more information about AVerMedia Technologies, Inc. and its line-up products, please visit:
On 8/25/2017 at 12AM EST. We will be performing maintenance on our servers. We expect 2 hours of down time.
GungHo Online Entertainment America Inks Partnership with Signal Studios For Upcoming AAA Mobile Project

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Aug. 7, 2017 – GungHo Online Entertainment America, Inc. (GOEA), today announced it has entered a partnership with Signal Studios to develop an all-new AAA mobile gaming experience. Signal Studios developed the action-strategy game Toy Soldiers and free-to-play title Ascend: Hand of Kul.

The partnership facilitates the company’s growth in the west following the launch of successful free-to-play titles such as mobile phenomenon Puzzle & Dragons and Grasshopper Manufacture's hit hack-and-slash game, LET IT DIE for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system.

"Our partnership with Signal Studios will add immense value to our company’s lineup of diverse and engaging experiences," said Jun Iwasaki, CEO and President of GOEA. "Signal is among the most creative and passionate studios in the videogames industry and we look forward to collaborating with them.”

The relationship properly equips Signal Studios with the resources to nourish the company’s innovation and develop engrossing new experiences for mobile audiences across the globe.

"Partnering with GungHo is an exciting move for Signal and accelerates our vision of bringing a AAA mobile gaming experience to a global audience,” said D.R. Albright III, President & Creative Director at Signal Studios. “We believe GungHo’s leadership and experience in the industry will improve our accessibility to the market and help us reach new heights as a games studio.”

For information on GOEA, visit

For more information on Signal Studios, visit is being REVAMP
Do from a major hack into our website. has been down for a long time. We were able to find all of our files. And we are working on putting the links back up. All of our pages need to be revamped into the new layout. Our password is more secure. We have a team working on this as fast as we can. We do have lives outside the Computer. But we didn't forget about you, OUR FANS!!!! Thank you for your support and waiting for the updates. Everything will be even better then before....

Our Webhost has upgraded our site to Site Builder mode... That means we are not able to use CSS, SSI coding for our own template just yet. As we work on getting this fixed. You can check out our YouTube Channel & our Twitch Channel. Also visit these radical sites below. They're Gamers like you & I.

Microsoft's AI Just Shattered the Ms. Pac-Man High Score
According to Twin Galaxies, the official high score for the arcade version of Ms. Pac-Man belongs to Abdner Ashman, with 933,580 points. Or at least it did, before an artificial intelligence developed by Microsoft achieved the maximum possible score for the game, 999,990.
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