World of Warcraft hackers in China sentenced to two years in prison

Hackers aren’t getting off the hook in China, it seems. A group of ten men have just received prison sentences of up to two years for hacking over 11,000 World of Warcraft accounts.

The group was led by two men named Chen and Zhu. The team flipped stolen WoW accounts that they purchased for $1. Once they owned the accounts, they would extract all the gold and items, and resell everything for $3 at an online auction. By the time they were caught, they had already earned $10,800. Chen’s partners in crime received two years and a fine of $1,000 each while Chen himself received two years and a fine of $8,000.

Illegally obtained goods and computers used by the group were also confiscated by the authorities.

Microsoft very interested in bringing No Man’s Sky to Xbox One

You may have heard of No Man’s Sky. You may not have. One thing’s for sure though: you should definitely keep an eye on it.

Announced at this year’s VGX, it is a procedurally generated space exploration game in development by Hello Games. Speaking with OXM, ID@Xbox program director Chris Charla expressed great interest in bringing the game over to the Xbox One.

“I would be super-psyched if they want to bring that game to Xbox,” he said.

He continued, “We are obviously huge evangelists for our platform,”. “We think it’s rad – some of the things you can do with Kinect and SmartGlass and our controller and the impulse triggers are super-cool. So we’re constantly out advocating our platform, and we hope that developers give us a call.”

Hello Games described No Man’s Sky as a “next-gen game”. Just a day after the VGX, senior business development manager of SCEE, Shahid Kamal responded to a fan’s inquiry on Twitter about whether PlayStation fans would see the game on the PS4, to which he replied, “what do YOU think? : )”.

Currently the game has only been announced for the PC, but given the aggressive indie initiatives by both Microsoft and Sony, it would be a safe bet to expect it on both platforms some time in the future.

Rumor: Call of Duty: Ghosts for Wii U and PC listed by Spanish retailer

Just a few days ago, we reported that Call of Duty: Ghosts, an as-yet-unheard-of entry in the Call of Duty series, is pegged for a November 5 release. Well, this will certainly add fuel to the fire, as the title has been listed by Spanish retailer Xtralife.

Unlike the previous listings, which showed listings for an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version of Call of Duty: Ghosts, this listing shows off a Wii U and PC version of the game. However, the listings have a November 11 release date attached to them, as opposed to the November 5 release we saw before.

The reason why we consider this a rumor is that we don’t even know if, like its namesake, the game is a ghost. We presume the game will be announced May 1, so stay tuned to see if that rumor turns out to be true or false.

Regardless, just today, we reported that Call of Duty: Ghosts will be using a new game engine. With more and more information being leaked, it’s getting tougher to think that this game does not exist.

Source: Nintendo Everything

Payday 2 Game Director: We’re “excited” we didn’t have to be a shooter with a “collapsing building” to excite people

In most first-person shooter games these days, more and more games are using its tech and set-pieces to let people know that their game is the next big thing and uses said features to be their games’ main selling points.

This isn’t the case with Overkill’s Payday franchise. Payday is, of course, the heist-driven FPS game that surprised many when it launched digitally in 2011.

In an exclusive interview set to be published later this week, we asked Payday 2 game director David Golfarb if he was surprised Payday 1 did as well as it did given the glut of shooters already out on the market.

I think we were excited that you didn’t have to be a shooter with a collapsing building to excite people. The world needs things that are different. Payday: the Heist was different and unique. And different in this market of sameness and risk aversion is always a stronger position from a sales and team investment perspective.

Goldfarb, who used to be the lead designer for Battlefield: Bad Company 2, is obviously referencing Battlefield 4 (or even Call of Duty: Ghosts since they are implementing “dynamic maps” now) and he might have a point. Games should still be fun without set-pieces or other “gimmicks,” right?

Be sure to keep an eye out for the entire interview where Goldfarb talks about Payday 2’s features, what he thinks of the FPS landscape and more.

Rumor: Xbox One to launch in only 13 countries and not 21 as originally planned

Last month at E3, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One would see a release in only 21 countries with Asia getting the console in 2014.

Well, if this new rumor from Polish gaming site Polygamia is to be believed, that number has now been cut to 13. Spotted on NeoGAF, it states that with Microsoft’s “180” of it’s DRM policy, the previous target of 21 countries has been affected and one of these territories is Russia.

In addition to that tidbit, the Xbox One’s release in Poland is said to be in the “third or fourth” wave, which is on June 2014 at the earliest.

There’s also one other snag when it comes to Poland, the site also states that with the Xbox 360 being outpaced by the PS3 in sales, Microsoft Poland is considering a “plan B” that includes importing Xbox One consoles from some other European country and selling it locally.

Keep in mind that this is just a rumor until verified or debunked by Microsoft. We’ve contacted a Microsoft rep and will update the story once we hear back from them.

John Carmack thanks Notch for inspiration to jump to Oculus

John Carmack has publicly credited Notch (Markus Persson) for being the inspiration to jump over to Oculus in a short exchange on Twitter. In the tweets, Carmack tells Notch it was “something you wrote” that led to the final decision to leave id Software, but as of yet, we’re not 100% sure what this inspiring text might be.

Not one to take the praise without his trademarked humility, Notch goes on to compliment Carmack saying, “Thank you, dreams (literal) about programming a Doom engine kept me going.”

It’s not too often we see this sort of camaraderie between developers, at least not as publicly as this.

We’ve previously reported on Carmack’s jump to Oculus here, and will be digging to see if we can find the inspirational writing by Persson. Oh, and we’re pretty sure Carmack is going to need to change his Twitter handle too.

Edit: We found a recently blog post on Notch’s Tumblr that might have something to do with Carmack’s decision. In the post on August 19, Notch talks about why he doesn’t want to continue making 0x10c and says:

Recently, I was streaming some Team Fortress 2, and got asked about the progress on 0x10c. I said I wasn’t working on it, and it became news. I understand why, and it really shouldn’t surprise me, but I really really don’t want to turn into another under delivering visionary game designer. The gaming world has enough of those.

A link to the full post is here on Notch’s Tumblr.

Source: Twitter

More GTA V details surface, you can hunt animals and sell meat to factories

Spanish website Areajugones has revealed even more details on Rockstar’s upcoming Grand Theft Auto V. While these details haven’t been confirmed by Rockstar, they have come from “reliable sources,” like Famitsu.

Design-wise, pressing L3 on the PlayStation 3 controller will activate each character’s special ability. Much like in GTA IV, ATMs can be used to check your balance, though this time, as long as you’re playing as Michael, you can steal money from ATM machines through a minigame.

What about our homie from another mom-ie, Franklin? For him, it seems like a more typical “start from the bottom of the crime ladder” story, though his job is to restore cars from an Armenian named Simeon Yetaria.

We bid adieu to GTA IV‘s Internet cafes, and say hello to in-game social networks, with players now able to watch videos on the character’s cellphone. Much like the real-world Uber, which is an on-demand taxi service, players can pick up hitchhikers and drop them off at their destination.

Here come even more granular features. Players can drill a hole in their car’s gas tank, drive the car straight into enemies, and light the trail of gas on fire so the car blows up. Damn. In addition, any wildlife you hunt can be sold to factories, which, in turn, sell the meat to famed fictional fast-food chain restaurant, Burger Shot.

You can park your car on the street, but if you don’t put a ticket on it, your car will be towed away. You can recover your car by paying a fee, though if you don’t, your car is irrecoverable. Finally, there will be underwater exploration missions, which Rockstar considers as an entirely different game.

Phew!

Source: Areajugones

Former Battlefield producer hopes DICE has “got the balls” to leave the modern war setting

While DICE is already hard at work on Battlefield 4, that hasn’t stopped people from pining for the franchise’s spin-offs — namely, Bad Company 3 and a sequel to Battlefield 2142.

Speaking of the latter, former DICE producer Gordon Van Dyke, who’s now the executive producer for Paradox Interactive’s War of the Roses, is one of those people even if he’s not with DICE anymore.

Van Dyke, who has worked on a plethora of Battlefield titles, which includes Battlefield 2142, thinks that a sequel to BF2142 on the Frostbite engine would be “amazing,” but at the same time, asks if DICE has “got the balls” to leave the “safe haven” of the modern warfare setting.

What’s more, in a subsequent Twitter conversation, Van Dyke states that when he worked on BF2142, they didn’t hit the game’s full potential, but thinks with the right leadership, this can be doable.

When someone on Twitter said that he thinks DICE can do it and that he’d be in a better position to know if they can, Van Dyke mentions he’s been gone way too long and adds that he thinks DICE lacks “veteran leadership” to do so, too.

For those not familiar with BF2142, it was a Battlefield game released in 2006, where DICE leapfrogged the modern warfare setting for a futuristic one set in the 22nd century. It, of course, had a robust multiplayer mode that included Battlefield staples such as having multiple classes, vehicles, persistent rankings and unlocks, Conquest game mode and fan-favorite, Titan mode.

In Battlefield 3’s expansions, there have been multiple Easter Eggs to BF2142 that made players jump to the conclusion that either an expansion set in the game’s timeline was in development, or that a full-fledged game was in the works.

However, if there is one brewing now, can DICE leave the warm blanket of the modern warfare setting since it’s, y’know, the “hot” timeline for the military FPS sub-genre at the moment?

Also, not instigating anything here, but that last tweet might not be appreciated by some of DICE’s senior staff, no?

Do you agree with Van Dyke’s statements? And more importantly, do you think DICE has the cojones to leave the modern warfare setting for a new Battlefield game? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Metro: Last Light dev thanks Jason Rubin for highlighting working conditions

Edit: We came across a video posted on GameInformer that shows the offices of 4A Games during the developement of Metro: Last Light and they don’t exactly look like Rubin’s descriptions. Yes, the offices are small, but certainly a far cry from card tables. Not sure if we’re seeing the whole picture or there is more to this story.

We previously reported on Jason Rubin’s comments on the squalid environment 4A Games worked under while developing Metro: Last Light. It appears as if one of the developers for 4A Games has replied to Rubin’s general assessment of the situation and while he is thankful for the mention, he is quick to point out that Deep Silver shouldn’t take any of the blame for the logo situation (4A Games’ logo is not on the enterthemetro.com website) and the team needs “no indulgence” for their work.

In a comment under the original piece on GamesIndustry International, 4A Games’ Creative Director Andrew “Prof” Prokhorov thanked Rubin for being “the only THQ President” to visit the team in the Ukraine, and noted the battle to turn around the ailing company was an uphill one at best, saying Rubin only had a few months to “fix the situation”. Prof continued to expand on the working conditions saying:

It is a fact that our work conditions are worse than those of other developers outside Ukraine. I don’t think anyone can doubt that – yes, it’s true that American and most of European developers operate in a country far more comfortable than Ukraine. And yes, the publishers pay them more. This is clear: the more “reasonable” the country the less the rrisks [sic]. And we don’t want to be all dramatic about that – after all, better conditions are earned, and we strive to do this as soon as possible :)…

However, the Creative Director stopped short of blaming publisher Deep Silver for the logo fiasco that Rubin felt would undermine the credit 4A Games deserved for their work saying, “…after all, it’s our game that matters and not our logo.”

Prokhorov also stated the team wanted to work on a multiplayer mode, but felt the time would be better spent on a quality campaign claiming, “if it was excluded from the start, a lot of precious time wouldn’t be wasted and we’d make an even better single [sic].”

indexProf’s final comment signals a certain confidence in the title that we hope genuinely translates into an awesome release for 4A Games: “We deserve the ratings we get. After all, the final consumer doesn’t care about our conditions. And this is RIGHT. We need no indulgence.”

Metro: Last Light is available now for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, and unlocks in about 6 hours (at press time) on Steam.

Source: GameIndustry International