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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 17 declined, 13 accepted (30 total, 43.33% accepted)

+ - Lucasfilm announced break with Star Wars Expanded Universe->

Submitted by RogueyWon
RogueyWon (735973) writes "A recent blog post from Lucasarts had confirmed that the new Star Wars movies planned for release by Disney will formally break continuity with the Expanded Universe novels, comics and video games.

In order to give maximum creative freedom to the filmmakers and also preserve an element of surprise and discovery for the audience, Star Wars Episodes VII-IX will not tell the same story told in the post-Return of the Jedi Expanded Universe.

The news is unlikely to be a surprise, given George Lucas's previous pronouncements on the issue."
Link to Original Source

+ - South Park game censored on consoles outside North America

Submitted by RogueyWon
RogueyWon (735973) writes "South Park has long been vocal in its opposition to media censorship from any source, launching scathing attacks on everything from "think of the children" moral crusades to the censorship of religious imagery. In a curious twist, therefore, Ubisoft, the publisher of the upcoming video game "South Park: The Stick of Truth" has decided to censor certain scenes from the game's Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions from release in Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Africa. American versions, as well as the European PC release, so far appear to have escaped the censor's pen."

+ - New Call of Duty launches - faces rougher ride than usual->

Submitted by RogueyWon
RogueyWon (735973) writes "5 November sees the worldwide release of Cal of Duty: Ghosts, the latest installment in the incredibly successful franchise that's often seen as the poster-child for "dudebro" gaming. However, compared with previous titles, Ghosts is facing a challenging launch environment; the developer is already setting expectations that the game will sell fewer copies than previous installments. At the same time, with the review embargo passed, the critical reception for the game is looking lukewarm, with some reviews making unflattering parallels with the previous installment in the series. Could the momentum finaly be ebbing away from the Modern Military Shooter bandwaggon?"
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+ - Dell laptops generating a nasty stink->

Submitted by RogueyWon
RogueyWon (735973) writes "The BBC reports that a batch of Dell's Latitude 6430u Ultrabooks has shipped out with a rather embarrassing problem; a strong smell of cat urine. While some users initially cast blame upon their own feline companions, Dell has now acknowledged that the problem was due to a fault in the manufacturing process for the laptop's palm rest and is offering replacement parts to affected users. The company has also reassureds customers that the chemicals responsible for the odour were not harmful to human health (so that's alright then)."
Link to Original Source

+ - Ouya developers share their experiences->

Submitted by RogueyWon
RogueyWon (735973) writes "Four months after the launch of the Ouya micro-console, Gamasutra has pulled together a round up of the experiences of indie developers who have brought their games to the platform. There's both positive and negative news; developers seem to like the ease of porting to the platform, but have concerns regarding the approach that its marketplace takes. Perhaps most crucially, sales of games on the platform are far from stellar."
Link to Original Source

+ - Blizzard to end Diablo 3 Auction Houses->

Submitted by RogueyWon
RogueyWon (735973) writes "When Blizzard released the third installment in its famous Diablo series in May 2012, the game received a rapturous reception from some parts of the gaming press. However, many gamers were far less enthusiastic. The first bone of contention was an always-online DRM requirement (which rendered the game intermittently unplayable during the weeks after its release). Almost as controversial, however, was an auction house system which combined with the game's own reward mechanics to provide a strong incentive for players to spend real money trading in-game items. When the Playstation 3 version of the game was released last month, this widely-despised feature was notable by its absence. Now, in what is at least a small concession to the power of customer opinion, Blizzard has announced that the feature will be removed from the PC version of the game next year. The always-online requirement, however, looks set to say."
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+ - Games for Windows Live shutting down->

Submitted by RogueyWon
RogueyWon (735973) writes "According to a since-removed post on the Age of Empires Online forum, Microsoft will shut down its much-ridiculed PC DRM service Games for Windows Live from July 1, 2014. Launched in 2007, the service has struggled to convince either publishers or gamers of its merits and in recent months, even publishers who had previously supported the platform had ditched it. Questions are now being asked about the future of games dependent upon the service, which include popular favorites such as the Batman: Arkham series and Dark Souls."
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+ - Latest Humble gaming bundle offers "pay what you want" for major titles

Submitted by RogueyWon
RogueyWon (735973) writes "The latest Humble Bundle offers a number of major and relatively recent titles on a "pay what you want" basis, with revenues split between developers, the Humble team, and the Child's Play and American Red Cross charities. Legendarily over-the-top open world game Saints Row 3 arguably takes top billing this time around, though purchasers willing to donate above the average also receive Dead Island and Metro 2033. Unlike some of the earlier Humble Bundles, the games in this pack are available Windows-only and must be linked to a Steam account."

+ - Console region locking - has its time passed?

Submitted by RogueyWon
RogueyWon (735973) writes "One of the more welcome details of the recent E3 announcements, which got slightly lost in the furore around used games restrictions, was the news that games on both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One would be region-free. The news leaves Nintendo as the only console manufacturer still committed to region locked games. Now a fan campaign, reminiscent of the successful Operation Rainfall is seeking to persuade Nintendo to drop region locks from its 3DS and Wii-U consoles. Are the days of region-locked console games, a long-running bugbear for internationally-minded gamers, finally coming to an end?"
Businesses

+ - Ubisoft ditches always-online DRM requirement from PC games->

Submitted by
RogueyWon
RogueyWon writes "In an interview with gaming site Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Ubisoft has announced that it will no longer use DRM for its PC games that requires the player to be online and connected to its servers at all times, even when playing single-player content. This represents a reversal of Ubisoft's long-standing insistence that such DRM was essential if the company were to be profitable in the PC gaming market. Curiously, Ubisoft is still at pains to remind gamers that they will need an internet connection if they wish to play its games over the internet — a restriction that is perhaps not entirely unexpected."
Link to Original Source
Businesses

+ - Sony closes WipEout developer Studio Liverpool->

Submitted by
RogueyWon
RogueyWon writes "Eurogamer is reporting that Sony has closed its subsidiary developer Studio Liverpool. Beginning its life in 1984 under the name Psygonis, the development house has played an important role in the history of computer and video gaming, publishing classics such as the Lemmings series. Since its acquisition by Sony in 1993, the studio has been best known for its work on the WipEout franchise, which helped to establish the Playstation console as a successful brand. Sony's statements indicate that it will seek to find positions for staff in its other development houses, but that some redundancies will be necessary."
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Businesses

+ - UK's largest specialist video games retailer enters administration->

Submitted by
RogueyWon
RogueyWon writes "The GAME Group, owners of high street chains GAME and Gamestation, which between them account for a large majority of the UK's specialist games retail market have entered into administration. In the hours following the Group's entry into administration, hundreds of stores were closed and thousands of staff made redundant.

While some of the factors behind the Group's downfall, such as stores located too close to each other and overly-ambitious international expansion, were likely unique to the UK-based company, other factors, such as price competition from supermarkets and online retailers, as well as a reliance on a fickle pre-owned games market, may have wider application."

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AMD

+ - Sony ditching Cell architecture for next Playstation?->

Submitted by
RogueyWon
RogueyWon writes "According to reports on Kotaku, Sony is planning to ditch the Cell processor that powered the Playstation 3 and may be planning to power the console's successor using a more conventional PC-like architecture provided by AMD. In the PS3's early years, Sony were keen to promote the benefits of its Cell processor, but the console's complicated architecture led to many studios complaining that it was difficult to develop for."
Link to Original Source
Microsoft

+ - Next Xbox to be powered by Radeon 6000-series?-> 1

Submitted by
RogueyWon
RogueyWon writes "IGN is quoting "sources close to the project" as reporting that Microsoft's next video games console will be use a graphics card equivalent to an AMD Radeon 6670. While substantially more powerful than current console graphics hardware and somewhat more powerful than the forthcoming Wii-U, Eurogamer notes that, if true, this news would suggest that Microsoft intends to prioritise price over performance."
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