News of the Week; September 26, 2018


  1. ArenaNet pulls plug on in-game transactions for Guild Wars 2 players in Belgium: MMO developer joins growing list of games companies forced to take action in Belgium over recent loot box ruling
  2. Report: Guild Wars 2 in-game currency no longer available in Belgium
  3. Activision hits Spyro fan game with cease and desist order
  4. Blog: Examining the debate behind loot boxes
  5. Devil May Cry 5’s microtransactions designed as an ‘option…to save time’
  6. Guitar Hero TV’s planned shutdown spurs false advertising lawsuit
  7. Drawn to Death is closing down its online servers
  8. Blizzard cracks down on third-party data-tracking apps inOverwatch
  9. Blizzard cracks down on third-party Overwatch apps: Players using programs which “impede on the competitive integrity” of the game could face permanent bans
  10. Jagex fires RuneScape moderator for stealing player gold
  11. 2K launches ‘Foundations’ program to support underprivileged communities
  12. 2K Foundations to provide basketball and STEM education facilities in US cities: New initiative will target “underserved” communities in 12 cities in its first year
  13. NBA 2K League reflecting on its rookie season: Brendan Donohue talks Twitch, Olympics, and player diversity as the esports effort enters its sophomore campaign
  14. Overwatch League gets its first female coach: Kyoung Ey Molly Kim has joined the coaching staff at OWL’s new Washington DC team
  15. Capcom launching Street Fighter esports league in Japan
  16. Tencent and PUBG Corp hosting $600,000 mobile tournament
  17. Fans delay football game with esports protest: Young Boys-FC Basel supporters united in opposition of competitive gaming, interrupt match by throwing tennis balls, controllers onto the field
  18. ReadyUp closes $2 million seed funding round: Esports team management and connection platform enters closed beta as round closes
  19. EnVision Esports staff will be paid outstanding salaries if Dot Esports pulls two articles, says former CEO: Artur Minacov says invoices have been sent to pay players allegedly owed thousands of dollars
  20. Ukie study shows potential of esports as a route to games careers
  21. “Companies really need to ask themselves if they’re serious about diversity”: Code Liberation Foundation founder Phoenix Perry says more must be done to help women in the industry – far from being solved, the issue is “getting worse”
  22. Valve will start helping developers moderate their Steam communities 
  23. Valve will start moderating Steam comments next week: Devs can opt out, but reported comments will now be reviewed by an internal moderation team
  24. Valve offers full support on Steam to all new controllers: Platform holder looks to address 22 million controllers still relying on user-created input configurations
  25. Valve reveals just how many PC gamers plug in gamepads—and which kinds
  26. Valve calls out surprising popularity of PS4, Switch Pro controllers on Steam
  27. Video: Game design lessons worth learning from collectible card games
  28. Pokemon GO total revenue reaches over $2 billion: Game achieves milestone 811 days after launch, with Japan leading spending by country
  29. Don’t Miss: Pokemon’s secret ingredient
  30. Marvel’s Spider-Man sold over 3.3 million units in first three days
  31. Spider-Man sells 3.3 million in three days
  32. Free-to-play Warface grabs 1.3M registered players in one week on PS4
  33. Looks Like Twitch Is Now Blocked in China
  34. Twitch abruptly blocked in China & delisted from local iOS App Store
  35. Twitch has been blocked in China: After rise in use due to the Asian Games, website is now inaccessible in much of the country and app is gone
  36. China Has Blocked Twitch Following Mass App Downloads During Asian Games
  37. Blog: Understanding China’s temporary game approval freeze
  38. Nintendo tries out streaming on Switch in Japan: As Switch rapidly catches up to PlayStation 4’s installed base in Japan, Nintendo takes aim at major cross-platform titles with cloud streaming releases – a possible taste of the future to come?
  39. Nintendo Online App allows voice chat with strangers for select games: Service update includes support for lobbies in Mario Kart 8, Mario Tennis Aces, and Arms; Splatoon 2 still friends-only
  40. 25% of Nintendo Switch owners have downloaded the Online app: Launch week for the service drove a 76% increase in installs globally
  41. Nintendo allays Switch cloud save fears with 180-day recovery period: Platform holder assures that data does not disappear when online subscription expires
  42. Nintendo Switch cloud saves disappear 6 months after subscription ends [Updated]
  43. Switch cloud saves are actually stored for 6 months, clarifies Nintendo
  44. You Don’t Need Nintendo Switch Online
  45. Sony (finally) agrees to PlayStation 4 cross-platform play
  46. Sony adding download option to some PlayStation Now games: Streaming subscription service will soon let PS4 users download PS4 and PS2 games for offline play as well
  47. PlayStation Now begins offering downloadable PS2 & PS4 games
  48. Sony officially ending Vita production in Japan in 2019
  49. Sony to end production of PS Vita in Japan next year: No plans for a successor, says SVP Hiroyuki Oda
  50. Sony Decides That It Too Can Compete With Free With Its Own Retro Console
  51. Sony finally allows Fortnite cross-platform play: In a “major policy change,” PS4 users will be able to play with others on Xbox One, Switch for “select third-party content”
  52. Sony Is Finally Allowing Cross-Play On The PS4 [Update]
  53. Sony’s walled garden cracks open: Cross-console play comes to PS4
  54. Fortnite Won
  55. Record 78.3 million people played Fortnite in August
  56. Fortnite had a record 78.3 million players in August: Epic’s blockbuster keeps growing in popularity
  57. World of Warcraft up, League of Legends down: Superdata’s August digital report says Blizzard’s MMORPG enjoying highest Western subscriber base since 2014 while Riot Games’ cornerstone on pace for worst full year performance in just as long
  58. XBox Adaptive Controller Gives Disabled Gamers A Power-Up
  59. Blizzard’s Diablo series tapped for possible Netflix show
  60. Disruptor Beam, Tilting Point partner for $29m user acquisition and publishing deal: Tilting Point to help expand audience of Star Trek Timelines and publish upcoming unannounced Disruptor Beam RPG
  61. “Be careful what you wish for” when after a publisher, says Team17 CEO
  62. Political extremism and gunplay meet in The Church in the Darkness
  63. Filling the gap in UK games funding: A Investment Summit panel highlighted a gap in public games funding that leaves too many developers out in the cold
  64. Why the BBC is investing in video games (again)
  65. Earthbound Games raises £750k to self-publish Axiom Soccer
  66. Ex-Telltale dev files class action suit over sudden mass layoffs
  67. Former Telltale employees sue studio for labor law violations in mass layoff: Class action lawsuit alleges company violated WARN Act in not providing advance notice of termination
  68. Report: Telltale was in funding talks one day before majority shutdown
  69. Telltale Games Begins ‘Majority Studio Closure’
  70. Telltale Games initiates ‘majority studio closure’
  71. Telltale Games begins wave of layoffs, cancels Stranger Things game
  72. Telltale Games was scuppered by failed finance round: Sources suggest Lionsgate abandoning ‘super show’ project caused mass layoffs
  73. Telltale is pulling The Walking Dead: The Final Season from digital stores
  74. Telltale pulls season passes for The Walking Dead: The Final Season
  75. Telltale Games begins wave of layoffs, cancels Stranger Things game [Updated]
  76. Telltale plans to finish The Walking Dead despite mass layoffs
  77. Telltale looking to work with ‘potential partners’ to finishThe Walking Dead
  78. Footage and concept art from Telltale’s canceled Stranger Things project has surfaced
  79. Big Fish Games laying off 15% of staff to focus on ‘social casino’ and ‘casual’ games
  80. Big Fish Games cuts 15 per cent of its workforce: Layoffs include many executive roles, as the company restructures around casino and casual games
  81. Haptic Suit Company Hardlight VR Closes Due to Lack of Funding
  82. Hands-on: StarVR One is the Most Complete Ultra-wide VR Headset to Date
  83. Bow To Blood developer needs to sell 40,000 copies to break even: Studio behind PSVR exclusive discusses the economics of success in virtual reality
  84. Oculus’ Santa Cruz is now Oculus Quest, priced at $399 
  85. Oculus’ $399 Quest To Take VR Mainstream
  86. Oculus Announces Quest, The High-end Standalone Headset Starting at $400
  87. Oculus Quest’s Insight system promises VR tracking beyond the box 
  88. Oculus mobile app now works with the Rift headset
  89. Smartphone and TV casting coming to Oculus Go
  90. How Odyssey is changing the face of Assassin’s Creed:
  91. French publisher Bigben scoops up Eko Software for nearly $10 million
  92. Bigben acquires Eko Software for €8.5 million: World Rally Championship publisher continues development expansion by picking up French studio working on Warhammer Chaosbane
  93. Building a business in the niche: Green Man Gaming’s David Clark explains how the company is bringing out games like Stormworks Build and Rescue using its status as a publisher/retailer to its advantage
  94. Retrotainment’s cartridge revival: Co-owners Tim Hartman and Greg Caldwell are making new NES games that run on old NES hardware in 2018, and they say the audience is growing
  95. Monster Hunter: World grabs top prize at Japan Game Awards 2018
  96. GLAAD Media Awards adds award for outstanding LGBTQ-inclusive games
  97. GLAAD adds Outstanding Video Game category to its Media Awards
  98. Inside the Awesomenauts matchmaking algorithm
  99. “There are an awful lot of blockchain startups, and most of them are going to fail”: Fig’s Alex Amsel urged  reserving judgement on blockchain – in time, the technology will deliver the new Minecraft
  100. GamesAid donates £213,120 to nine charities: Winning charities revealed at EGX in Birmingham.
  101. Thrustmaster TPR: The best flight sim pedals you can buy in a store like a normal person
  102. Video: Psychosis and the making of Hellblade
  103. Archiving Will Wright’s early design notes for The Sims
  104. “Video Games” Was On Jeopardy Tonight, And It Did Not Go Well


  1. Québec Appeals Superior Court Ruling that Bill 74 is Unconstitutional
  2. Protecting Your Social Media Profile: How One New Zealand Technology Company Allegedly Violated Canadian Privacy Law 
  3. Departing Employee Required to Transfer Social Media Accounts–Hyperheal Hyperbarics v. Shapiro 
  4. District Court Misses The Forest For The Trees In Dismissing Constitutional Challenge To FOSTA 
  5. What’s next for the proposed Copyright Directive? (Andres Guadamuz) 
  6. Years Later, FTC Wins Case Against Roca Labs For Its Bogus Non-Disparagement Clause 
  7. Armed with cameras and computers, China’s latest crackdown begins: China has invented a version of social media that makes the rest seem both marginal and harmless. It sets out to shape 1.3 billion people into a predictable, reliable and obedient mass 
  8. The Real Story Behind That Viral Video of President Trump Hissing Like a Snake
  9. White House Admits Exec Order To Regulate Social Media Is ‘Real,’ But No Idea Who Wrote It, And Won’t Use It 
  10. In Which A Bunch Of Us Try To Explain The 1st Amendment To Jeff Sessions Concerning ‘Social Media Bias’
  11. Ecuador wanted to make Julian Assange a diplomat and send him to Moscow
  12. Instagram’s IGTV Is Reportedly Recommending Suggestive Videos Containing Underage Girls
  13. Instagram’s co-founders just quit. That could be bad news for Facebook: Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012.
  14. Instagram Co-Founders Depart Facebook Amid Reported Rift With Mark Zuckerberg
  15. Mark Zuckerberg Blamed for Instagram Founders’ Departure
  16. Ex-Facebook moderator sues Facebook over exposure to disturbing images
  17. Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information
  18. Facebook is dominating the stories format
  19. Socially-Conscious Facebook Video Giant ‘ATTN:’ Raises $15 Million, Led By Evolution Media 
  20. Amazon’s Aggressive Anti-Union Tactics Revealed in Leaked 45-Minute Video
  21. In Defense Of Amazon’s Alexa Microwave
  22. Amazon And Snapchat Form A Powerful Partnership 
  23. Soon You’ll Be Able To Use Your Snapchat Camera To Shop For Goods On Amazon
  24. Snapchat is letting users register to vote from its app 
  25. PayPal bans Alex Jones, saying he “promoted hate”
  26. Post-Cody Wilson’s arrest, few know what’s up with his company or legal efforts
  27. Taiwanese authorities arrest Cody Wilson, intend to deport him
  28. Cody Wilson arrives back in the States, enters US Marshals custody
  29. Defense Distributed’s new era—Cody Wilson resigns, former arts professional steps in
  30. Facebook Now Reportedly ‘Reviewing’ Its Distinction Between White Nationalism and White Supremacy
  31. Facebook Says It Will Stop Sending Employees to Help Political Campaigns In-Person
  32. Facebook Makes Dating Service “Facebook Official”
  33. Facebook Is Testing Its Dating Service. Here’s How It’s Different From Tinder
  34. Protecting Users of Facebook and Other Social Media (Margaret Ryznar)
  35. Tinder Lies (Irina Manta)
  36. Social Media Games Your Psychology. Ethical Design Could Change That.
  37. Crowdfunding raises millions for quack cancer remedies, like coffee enemas
  38. If VCs Aren’t Socially Responsible, The Robots Will Win 
  39. Artificial Intelligence: The Robots Are Now Hiring
  40. Legal Aspects of Artificial Intelligence (v2.0)
  41. AI learns to decipher images based on spoken words—almost like a toddler
  42. Playing with AI Fairness: Google’s new machine learning diagnostic tool lets users try on five different types of fairness
  43. When Will We Have Artificial Intelligence As Smart as a Human? Here’s What Experts Think
  44. Computer says “no”: High Court refuses permission to serve Google out of the jurisdiction in copyright infringement proceedings
  45. Google Chrome Is Now Quietly Forcing You to Log In—Here’s What to Do About It  
  46. The World of the Future Will Have Two Separate Internets, Former Google CEO Predicts 
  47. Louisiana’s Attorney General Wants To Break Up Google Over ‘Bias’
  48. Low pay, poor prospects, and psychological toll: The perils of microtask work 
  49. Website Blocking orders: the final chapter
  50. Section 230’s Success in Under-the-Radar Cases (Eric Goldman) 
  51. Departing Employee Required to Transfer Social Media Accounts – Hyperheal Hyperbarics v. Shapiro (Eric Goldman)
  52. BuzzFeed News Eliminates In-House Podcast Team To Double Down On Video Efforts 
  53. Viacom Digital Names Existing Awesomeness Execs Co-Heads Of Network Following Acquisition
  54. Viacom Names Awesomeness Co-Chiefs: Rebecca Glashow and Shelley Zimmerman 
  55. Trudeau appoints BroadbandTV CEO to G20 Business Women Leaders task force 
  56. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Taps BBTV Founder Shahrzad Rafati For Women’s Economic Initiative
  57. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Appoints Shahrzad Rafati to Represent Canada on G20 Business Women Leaders Task Force
  58. Health Issues Force YouTuber And Author Joey Graceffa To Cancel Upcoming ‘Eden’ Tour
  59. YouTube Revamps ‘Trending’ Tab With 5 New Content Categories
  60. YouTube Demonetizes Tween Channels — But Leaves Videos Standing — After Network Owner Is Arrested For Molesting A Minor 
  61. 2018 Streamy Awards Nominations Unveiled, YouTube Signs as Sponsor
  62. YouTube Channel Yes Theory Got Will Smith To Bungee Jump Over The Grand Canyon, And Millions Are Watching
  63. YouTube Has Partnered With Facebook-Owned Oculus On YouTube VR App For The Oculus Go
  64. YouTuber Tyler Oakley Feted For LGBTQ Advocacy Work On Cover Of The Advocate
  65. Laura Lee Returns To YouTube With Apology For Apology Video, Vows To Help Mend Beauty Community
  66. Creators for Good: Shannon Beveridge Seizes the Awkward Moments To Talk About Mental Health
  67. Spotify Is Beta-Testing A Feature That Allows Indie Creators To Upload Their Own Music 
  68. Spotify to Enable Artists to Upload Music Themselves 
  69. Spotify Will Make a Playlist Based on Your DNA
  70. Cult classic TV show Veronica Mars is Hulu’s latest resurrection
  71. Disney Says ESPN+ Streaming Service Notches More Than 1 Million Subscribers
  72. Amazon announces 11 new and refreshed Echo-branded gadgets—like a wall clock
  73. Sex, violence, drugs get the axe in Apple’s upcoming original content 
  74. Apple’s Upcoming Streaming Service Is Reportedly So Bland Staff Are Calling It ‘Expensive NBC’
  75. Apple Watch’s new auto-911 calls after falls may tumble into legal trouble
  76. Apple stole Qualcomm chip secrets and gave them to Intel, Qualcomm claims
  77. Apple Closes Shazam Acquisition, Starts Phasing Out Ads
  78. Insights: With Bigger Phones And Way Faster Networks, Are Creators And Companies Ready?
  79. Decision confronts challenges in valuing Bitcoin 


  1. Cuts Like a Knife: Bryan Adams Calls for Stronger Protections Against One-Sided Record Label Contracts (Michael Geist)
  2. To fix Canadian copyright, let creators claim their rights back after 25 years
  3. Congress may actually fix music royalties: The Music Modernization Act
  4. Artist Inspired By Andy Warhol, Creates Truly Astounding Work… Ends Up Giving It Away Over ‘Copyright Infringement’
  5. Monster Energy Loses Again, This Time To The NBA
  6. Pennsylvania Legislator Thinks He Can Ban Teachers From Talking About Politics In The Classroom
  7. Use of Affiliate Links Does Not Necessarily Transform Editorial Content into Advertising Says NAD
  8. The future of UK Intellectual Property Rights in a ‘no deal’ Brexit
  9. Elon Musk May Have Talked His Way Into A Pretty Serious Defamation Lawsuit
  10. Judge Says Student Can Sue School For Suspending Her After She Called A Fictional Cop A ‘Pig’
  11. Spinelli v. NFL: Second Circuit reinstates professional photographers’ copyright infringement claim alleging that NFL and AP exploited thousands of NFL event photographs without authorization or payment.
  12. Famous Protest Art Group In Bulgaria Paint Their Feelings About New EU Copyright Law On Gutenberg Statue
  13. Twelve Rules For Not Being A Total Free Speech Hypocrite


  1. NYT sues FCC, says it hid evidence of Russia meddling in net neutrality repeal: FCC broke law by hiding net neutrality comment records, lawsuit alleges. 
  2. New York Times Sues FCC With Eye On Bogus Russian Net Neutrality Comments
  3. Court Orders FCC To Hand Over Data On Bogus Net Neutrality Comments
  4. FCC angers cities and towns with $2 billion giveaway to wireless carriers
  5. Ajit Pai slams cities and towns as FCC erases $2 billion in local fees
  6. The Internet is not an ATM: My Appearance at the Senate Transport and Communications Committee on Broadcast and Telecom Reform (Michael Geist)
  7. SiriusXM to pay $3.5 billion for Pandora
  8. Sirius Plunges Most Since 2011 After $3.5 Billion Pandora Deal
  9. Comcast stock tanks after company strikes $40 billion deal to buy Sky
  10. Even Wall Street Is Nervous About Comcast’s Latest Bid To Grow Bigger For Bigger’s Sake
  11. FCC angers cities and towns with $2 billion giveaway to wireless carriers
  12. FCC Decision Illustrates Details of the Application of FCC Foreign Ownership Approval Requirements 
  13. GAO Again Points Out That Terrible U.S. Broadband Maps Drive (Intentionally) Terrible Broadband Policy 
  14. No, Next-Gen Wireless (5G) Won’t Magically Fix The Broken U.S. Broadband Market


  1. State Attorneys General Really Want To Go After Big Internet Companies; But Claim It’s About Privacy, Not Bias
  2. NSA employee who brought hacking tools home sentenced to 66 months in prison
  3. Researchers find Russian “VPNfilter” malware was a Swiss Army hacking knife
  4. The DOJ’s Rules For Spying On Journalists Get A Bit Flimsy When It Reaches The FISA Court
  5. Leaked NSA Exploits Shifting From Ransomware To Cryptocurrency Mining
  6. Unintended Consequences: How The GDPR Can Undermine Privacy
  7. GDPR Being Used To Try To Disappear Public US Court Docket
  8. California Police Officers Used Self-Destructing Messaging App For Years
  9. Cliff-edge moment for privacy rights and criminal investigations
  10. The Necessity of Geoblocking in the Age of (Almost) Unavoidable Geolocation