Valve has announced details of an update to Left 4 Dead that is due out next week. To start, the SDK open beta is over, and the final version is being released. They're also adding a framework for easily sharing player-created content, accessible through the menu system in-game. In addition to that, they're revamping the matchmaking system to accommodate custom campaigns (like this Resident Evil 3 mod). Quoting: "Content authors will be able to package up their new maps, along with new posters, models, and textures, into a single .VPK file. To install and activate this content in-game, players need simply download the .VPK and double click on it. ... When creating or searching for a lobby, a new option named 'Add-on campaign' will let you select from among the add-on campaigns that you have installed. You can then find games or lobbies as well as create a lobby for that campaign. You can invite your friends, too. If they do not have the campaign installed, they will automatically be offered and an option to download it."
Electronic Arts has released a good bit of information about the online aspects of The Sims 3, which is due for release in early June. The game will have downloadable content available on launch day that includes a second, separate town called Riverview. They'll also be revamping the game's website to allow the sharing of content and integration with social media. In addition, EA mentioned that the game will make use of micro-transactions, which players can use to buy things like furniture, clothing, and other items.
Combat Wombat brings news that the legal battle between the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO) and a host of major tech corporations has come to end, with a large settlement going to the CSIRO. The fight was over a patent on wireless LAN technology, which already earned the CSIRO a victory in court over Buffalo Technology and a settlement with Hewlett-Packard. The remaining 13 companies, which include Dell, Intel, Microsoft and Nintendo, have now chosen to settle as well. "[The CSIRO] will use the money won from a Wi-Fi technology patent battle to fund further research. ... It is unclear how much money has flowed to the CSIRO, but experts say the technology would be worth billions of dollars if royalties were paid on an ongoing basis."