News of the Week; September 4, 2019


  1. Blizzard is suing Chinese studio Sina Games for ripping offWarcraft series
  2. Report: Valve is pushing back against accusations it violated EU trade rules
  3. Valve reportedly fighting EU antitrust charges: Focus Home, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Koch Media, and ZeniMax reportedly settling charges
  4. Recent Valve VR update contains hidden Half-Life demo code
  5. Night in the Woods devs cut ties with collaborator accused of assault: Others accused of harassment in the industry include Skyrim composer, Oculus co-founder.
  6. Oculus VR faces two allegations of sexual assault and harassment: Facebook’s current head of VR/AR describes stories as “sickening”
  7. Chucklefish responds to accusations it exploited Starboundvolunteers
  8. Sony Is Feverishly Battling Vita Tinkerers Despite Vita Being Discontinued
  9. Report: Annapurna Interactive parent company wipes $200 million in debt
  10. Starbreeze seeking to extend reconstruction period for a third time
  11. Facebook is using Minecraft to train an AI Assistant
  12. Former colleagues accuse Alexis Kennedy of abuse, retaliation: Weather Factory co-founder denies accusations from Red Queens’ Meg Jayanth and Failbetter’s Olivia Wood
  13. Voice actor shares a second warning about Skyrim composer: Aeralie Brighton accuses Jeremy Soule of sexual misconduct; he says, “I don’t agree with her point of view”
  14. Ken Wong apologises following accounts of abuse from former employee: Florence designer admits to his “failure as a leader” but assures he is working hard to “take better care of my team”
  15. Night in the Woods team cancels game amid Alec Holowka allegations: Scott Benson and Bethany Hockenberry cut ties with Holowka, will handle the property alone from now on
  16. Ukie launches diversity census to analyse shape of the UK games industry
  17. UKIE launches UK diversity census: New study aims to deliver detailed analysis on the British games industry
  18. NBA 2K20 trailer sells the thrill of gambling | Opinion: The lurid online casino is wilfully short-sighted at a precarious time for the industry
  19. Ninja Becomes Adidas’ First Pro Gamer Partner In Multiyear Deal
  20. Niko Partners: Mobile esport games grossed $15.3bn worldwide last year – Mobile esport titles poised to overtake PC competitors which grossed $16.1 billion in 2018
  21. ‘This is a sport.’ Playing video games for $7,000 in scholarship money at Durham College
  22. ESL and Dreamhack merging CS GO tourneys to form ESL Pro Tour – IEM Katowice and ESL One Cologne Counter-Strike: Global Offensive competitions will serve as two Masters events for 2020
  23. Twitch Signs Top YouTube Streamer Nick Eh 30: Twitch’s deal with the ‘Fortnite’ player comes just weeks after the platform’s biggest star, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, moved to Microsoft’s Mixer.
  24. Gearbox launches Homeworld 3 crowdfunding campaign with $1 goal
  25. Microsoft partners with SK Telecom for 5G game-streaming in Korea
  26. Chris Charla: “Discoverability may be harder to solve than investment” – ID@Xbox head on the importance of sustainability, and how Microsoft is trying to ensure “every game has a chance”
  27. Yu-Gi-Oh is the best-selling boxed game in EMEAA charts: But Switch-exclusive Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution missed out to FIFA and (yes) GTA V in combined Top 10
  28. What convinced Ubisoft to launch its own subscription service?: As Uplay+ launches, Brenda Panagrossi talks about the motivations and market research behind the publisher’s new offering
  29. Yves Guillemot on the thin line between politics and entertainment: Ubisoft CEO speaks about the difficulty of tackling sensitive real-world issues while running a multi-billion dollar entertainment firm
  30. Nintendo adds SNES titles to Nintendo Switch Online: 20 titles join the service tomorrow, compatible controller will be sold only to online subscription members
  31. Nintendo is the new lead partner for Digital Schoolhouse: Firm will help 55 schools teach students about careers in the games industry, including esports via a Smash Bros tournament
  32. Nintendo Direct shows off surprise sequels, new ports in aggressive year-end pitch
  33. The best-selling games product on Amazon last month was a Switch screen protector: Nintendo dominated the online retail giant last month with six of the ten best-selling games
  34. Nintendo Switch will finally get SNES games—20 of them—starting tomorrow
  35. Pokemon Masters has topped 10 million downloads in four days
  36. Trine 4 publisher Modus Games acquires Brazilian studio The Balance
  37. Don’t Miss: The pros and cons of procedural generation inOverland
  38. Don’t Miss: Tackling network programming for Age of Empires’ demanding battles – in 1996
  39. Don’t Miss: A classic postmortem of Epic Games’ Unreal Tournament
  40. Why you may be underpricing your video game
  41. Blog: How onboarding should be applied to tutorials
  42. Blog: 50 mistakes to avoid when developing an advergame
  43. Blog: How painting works in Chicory: A Colorful Tale
  44. Blog: The UX of the Overwatch role queue
  45. Opinion: Can World of Warcraft Classic capture the MMO’s original glory?
  46. Don’t Miss: Rethinking the RPG to make it fun to be the bad guy in Tyranny
  47. How Remedy harnessed the ethereal beauty of brutalism to shape Control
  48. Crafting the mobile-friendly atmospheric storytelling ofSky: Children of the Light
  49. How to make 80-hour adventures for blind gamers | Opinion:  Accessibility consultant and blind gamer Brandon Cole offers advice on how to open up your epic blockbusters to the visually impaired
  50. Video: How indies and small studios can succeed with licensed games
  51. Video: A data-driven deep dive into the 12 motivations for players
  52. Video: Conquering the creative challenges in Marvel’s Spider-Man
  53. Disney, Marvel, and a decade of missed opportunity: 10 Years Ago This Month: Media giant planned to make super hero games internally, then spent years dismantling its own studios
  54. Koch Media CEO: “We should welcome Epic and their business model” – Klemens Kundratitz says publisher is open to more exclusives with Epic Games Store despite backlash against Metro Exodus
  55. A dev’s guide to sustainably supporting live games without crunching
  56. Producer Keith Fuller on business realities of crunch, how to overcome them
  57. How to get your game released on Google Stadia: Google’s Ray Bautista says Stadia is “moving away from the Wild West that exists in some storefronts today”
  58. Google open sources real-time hand and finger tracking tech
  59. Google Play apps with 1.5 million downloads drained batteries and slowed devices
  60. Viveport Infinity rolls out support for the Valve Index
  61. Nine Steam pre-release marketing tips from Valve’s Alden Kroll: Steam UI and interaction designer offers insight on the tools developers can use to build an audience before launch
  62. Steam Library redesign ushers in new features for devs alongside spruced up game pages
  63. Steam’s new, handsome “Library” update is better 16 years late than never
  64. Steam Library overhaul to focus on organization, events: Coming changes include new developer tools, customizable “collections,” more from Steam Labs
  65. Lucky’s Tale dev Playful secures $23 million to create viewer-friendly games  
  66. Porsche got thousands of Twitch viewers to play its newest ad: The prize? Showing off Porsche’s newest Formula E car
  67. Sales revenue up at CD Projekt thanks to evergreen The Witcher series
  68. CD Projekt first-half revenues climb 26%: The Witcher franchise continues to drive Polish publisher’s results as Cyberpunk 2077 sees “final, most intensive phase of development”
  69. Luminous Productions’ Back Stage tech demo shows off Square Enix’s ray tracing tech
  70. Mobile studio Cerberus Interactive nets $1.75 million in funding
  71. Investors sink $4 million into instant game developer Knock Knock
  72. Modus Games acquires The Balance Inc: Maximum Games’ newly-launched publishing label picks up Brazilian studio behind Override – Mech City Brawl
  73. Project xCloud to use SK Telecom exclusively in Korea: Microsoft partnership with mobile carrier calls for a 5G/LTE public preview of the streaming service next month
  74. Sam Barlow on crafting stories players tell themselves: The acclaimed developer discusses his work on Telling Lies and Her Story, and how he hopes to advance interactive fiction
  75. Critique Gaming: “We try to explore reality in meaningful ways” – Romanian indie dev discusses its motives as a politically charged studio, and how to breach difficult topics in sensible ways
  76. Serious Games for and as Cultural Heritage (Boyan Bontchev)
  77. First encounter: Ohio Challenger 2P (and its 4KB of RAM) – [From the archives] Wait, I can write my own video games?!?!


  1. Hong Kong ISPs Refuse To Help China Censor The Internet
  2. Senator: Mark Zuckerberg should face “the possibility of a prison term”: “He ought to be held personally accountable,” Ron Wyden (D-OR) said.
  3. FTC Fines Google $150-$200 Million For YouTube’s Child Data Privacy Violations 
  4. YouTube fined $170 million for violations of children’s privacy
  5. Google Is Fined $170 Million for Violating Children’s Privacy on YouTube
  6. Google Exec Accused Of Fathering, Abandoning Baby With Employee
  7. The career rise and controversy of David Drummond, Alphabet’s chief lawyer whose extramarital relationship with a former employee reignited criticism of Google’s culture
  8. Google’s top lawyer allegedly cheated on his wife with multiple employees – against Google’s own policies: Drummond denies he had relationships with more than one Google employee
  9. Google lets David Drummond do the talking
  10. $650,000-a-year Google legal chief ‘had affairs with employees – and a CHILD with me before dumping me by text’ claims ex-worker as she hits out at ‘sexist culture’ at company
  11. YouTube Re-Bans InfoWars Channel After It Temporarily Circumvented The Site’s Terms Of Service
  12. Amid Reported FTC Investigation, YouTube Announces New ‘YouTube Kids’ Website
  13. YouTube Kids is getting its own website: The platform has also introduced new age-based categories.
  14. GM and Tesla unlock connected car features to help with Hurricane Dorian: OnStar’s Crisis Assist is free, and Tesla is unlocking extra range on some cars.
  15. There Is Essentially No Statute of Limitations for Online Copyright Infringement–APL v. US (Eric Goldman)
  16. Facebook Confirms 2 Billion Users Will Now Need To Opt In To Facial Recognition
  17. Instagram may allow creators to syndicate IGTV videos to Facebook
  18. Indiana Appeals Court Decides Badmouthing A Cop On Facebook Is A Crime
  19. Netflix can kill The OA, but it can’t kill a movement: #SaveTheOA understands the stakes of the streaming wars.
  20. YouTube Now Requires Creators To Manually Approve Crowdsourced Video Translations To Clamp Down On Trolls
  21. YouTube Makes ‘Cobra Kai’ Free To Kick Off AVOD Era, Unveils New European Slate
  22. YouTube Hands Out Grants To 8 Indian Creators As Part Of $20 Million ‘Learning Fund’
  23. Delhi High Court yet again calls for accountability from e-commerce platforms.
  24. Pinterest’s Way Of Dealing With Anti-Vax Nonsense And Scams Is Only Possible Because Of Section 230
  25. Reminder: The Copyright Office Will Be Yanking Eligibility for the DMCA Online Safe Harbor (Again) (Eric Goldman)
  26. Three Years Later And The Copyright Office Still Can’t Build A Functioning Website For DMCA Agents, But Demands Everyone Re-Register
  27. Pressured By ‘Right To Repair’ Movement, Apple Will Sell Parts To Independent Repair Shops
  28. Spotify is testing a ‘Create podcast’ button inside its app: Record, edit and publish a podcast right from your phone.
  29. Pandora now lets you share music and podcasts to your Instagram Stories
  30. Vevo strikes a new distribution deal for smart TVs
  31. YouTube will stop displaying exact follower counts in September: It’s an attempt to take pressure off of creators, but it’s drawing criticism.
  32. Amazon’s Next-Day Delivery System Has Brought Chaos And Carnage To America’s Streets — But The World’s Biggest Retailer Has A System To Escape The Blame
  33. Amazon delivery contractors operate with little oversight, report finds
  34. Alibaba, the $435 billion Chinese shopping giant, is gunning for Amazon in Europe
  35. President Trump tweets picture of sensitive satellite photo of Iranian launch site
  36. Judge Wants To Know Who’s Behind Devin Nunes’ Cow’s And Mom’s Twitter Account
  37. Knight Institute Warns Rep. Ocasio-Cortez That She, Like Trump, Can’t Block People On Twitter
  38. Former Hotel Exec Gets Elected To Congress, Decides First Order Of Business Is To Destroy Airbnb
  39. Josh Hawley Continues To Pretend That Silicon Valley Isn’t Innovative
  40. Vice sees success with its year-old cross-platform video ad sales push
  41. Vice News To Merge With Viceland Amid Layoffs At Latter, Pivot Away From Entertainment
  42. Pro Tip: Don’t Send A Completely Bogus Defamation Threat To A Website That Employs A Former ACLU Badass
  43. Antonio Neri and Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s cultural revolution
  44. Unix at 50: How the OS that powered smartphones started from failure
  45. Film & TV makers debut new feature to end the “soap opera effect” scourge
  46. The (un)sustainability of Bitcoin | Alex de Vries


  1. A Voice Deepfake Was Used To Scam A CEO Out Of $243,000
  2. Fraudsters deepfake CEO’s voice to trick manager into transferring $243,000
  3. How YACHT fed their old music to the machine and got a killer new album
  4. IoT botnet creator cops plea to hacking more than 800,000 devices
  5. AI having uneven impact on lawyers
  6. White House Now Thinks Harvesting Fitness Tracker Data Could Stop The Next Mass Shooting


  1. Fraudsters preying on Telus customers impacted by major email outage
  2. AT&T’s confusing mess of online TV services even has AT&T confused
  3. Unlicensed signal boosters get a boost from Amazon
  4. The FCC Doesn’t Actually Know How Many People Have Broadband
  5. DOJ ‘Solution’ For Sprint T-Mobile Merger Will Result In Less Overall Wireless Coverage
  6. Comcast, beware: New city-run broadband offers 1Gbps for $60 a month
  7. Samsung launches its first 5G-integrated CPU
  8. Resolving telecoms disputes involving state entities in the Middle East


  1. EFF Sues CBP, ICE Over Refusal To Hand Over Its GPS Tracking Device Policies
  2. Facebook And Twitter Hope To Fix California’s Troubled Privacy Law With…Misleading Ads?
  3. You Know That Mobile Phone Tracking Data You Used As Evidence In Over 10,000 Court Cases? Turns Out Some Of It Was Wrong, But We’re Not Sure Which Yet
  4. Just As Attorney General Barr Insists iPhone Users Have Too Much Security, We Learn They Don’t Have Nearly Enough
  5. A glut of iOS 0-days pushes their price below cost of those for Android: Top price for unpublished Android exploits reaches $2.5 million, a 25% premium over iOS.
  6. The Conflict Between Social Media Transparency And Bad Privacy Laws Is Going To Get Worse
  7. Rash of ransomware continues with 13 new victims—most of them schools
  8. Armed with iOS 0days, hackers indiscriminately infected iPhones for two years
  9. Ring reportedly shared video sharing data, detailed maps with police in 2018
  10. faces trial for allegedly filming 22 women under false pretenses
  11. InvizBox 2 redefines what “privacy” routers can do
  12. Office Of Legal Counsel Sued For Refusing To Turn Over Legal Memos Congress Said Aren’t Exempt From FOIA Law


  1. ‘Baby Shark’, Derived From A Public Domain Folk Song, Now The Subject Of A Copyright Dispute
  2. Uber Takes On Beautician/Barber Over Her BeauBer Mobile App
  3. Tom Brady Fails To Trademark ‘Tom Terrific’ As USPTO Rightly Assesses He’s Not The Most Terrific Tom
  4. Even Kirk Herbstreit Thinks THE Ohio State Is Being THE Silliest With Its ‘THE’ Trademark Application
  5. In video message on Dorian, President Trump displays doctored forecast
  6. Bedbug Privilege: Bret Stephens Uses His NY Times Column To Suggest Jokingly Comparing Him To A Bedbug Is Prelude To Ethnic Genocide
  7. Should advertising regulators enforce wokeness?