News of the Week; November 13, 2019


  1. Epic is suing another tester for leaking Fortnite Chapter 2 content
  2. Another tester is being sued by Epic Games for leaking Fortnite Chapter 2: Keywords Studio employee was fired day after leak, now faces claim for over $85,000 in damages
  3. Activision and EA insiders have been profiting from selling stock during buybacks: CEOs Bobby Kotick and Andrew Wilson have made millions, but companies insist there is no improper practice
  4. China details new play time and spending restrictions for minors playing online games
  5. US and China agree to roll back tariffs that were set to affect console and mobile
  6. Blizzard Confirms It Won’t Rescind Blitzchung’s Suspension
  7. US congressman calls out Blizzard for allowing racist groups in WoW: “Racism isn’t a game,” rep. Lou Correa said after being made aware of far-right user guild, The Enclave
  8. Overwatch director thinks Blitzchung ban “should be reduced more or eliminated”: Jeff Kaplan says the process for a suspension or ban in OWL “takes about four to five days”
  9. Activision Blizzard sees slumping sales, sliding engagement: Revenues and monthly active users down across the board for Activision, King, and Blizzard divisions
  10. CoD and WoW push Activision Blizzard to better-than-expected Q3
  11. Blizzard plans to merge Overwatch 1 and 2 clients down the line
  12. Has Blizzard solved the sequel dilemma? | Opinion: Launching a sequel to a service-based game can easily lose player goodwill — but Overwatch 2 may have found a clever way to thread the needle
  13. Blizzard: Overwatch and Overwatch 2 clients will merge eventually – Jeff Kaplan says that all benefits of the paid sequel will be available to players of the first game
  14. Why the Hearthstone devs wanted to make an auto battler
  15. Player spending in Grand Theft Auto Online jumped 23% following casino update
  16. Ignore the critics — Tax Relief is vital to the UK games industry | Opinion: Criticising Rockstar, Rocksteady and Creative Assembly for benefiting from VGTR misses the point, says legal expert Tim Davies
  17. Take-Two raises guidance as microtransaction spending grows 32%
  18. Net revenue up 74% at Take-Two thanks to Borderlands 3, NBA, GTA, and others
  19. Live games propel Take-Two toward quiet holiday as GTA V reaches 115m units sold – CEO Strauss Zelnick: “There’s no rulebook around how you create transitions or new products in a world of live services”
  20. Key resellers claim legitimacy — the courts say otherwise | Opinion: Beiten Burkhardt’s Andreas Lober probes the legal basis for key resellers, and finds those marketplaces on shaky ground
  21. Indie storefront now boasts 200,000 games
  22. Valve appears to be working on a “Steam Cloud Gaming” service
  23. Steam game sales for ‘the other 50%’
  24. Steam search suggestions & premium positioning
  25. Death Stranding will launch simultaneously on Steam and the Epic Games Store
  26. UK Charts: Death Stranding is the second biggest PS4 launch of 2019 – Hideo Kojima’s game debuts at No.2 behind Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  27. Roblox survey reveals disconnect between parents and teens over online bullying: Majority of parents believe their children will discuss online behaviour with them, but more than half of teens disagree
  28. U.S. VA evaluating how more accessible games help veterans heal
  29. NPD: U.S. games spending up 1% in Q3 as live-services offset consoles
  30. Revenue down at Nexon as Dungeon&Fighter works to win back players
  31. Nexon sales slip in Q3: MapleStory publisher shows modest revenue growth, but can’t offset double-digit percentage declines everywhere else
  32. PUBG Mobile generated $154 million during October 2019
  33. Call of Duty: Mobile racks up almost $60 million in launch month
  34. Call of Duty holds off Luigi’s Mansion 3 in the EMEAA chart: Activision’s shooter remained top of every chart despite competition from Nintendo’s latest exclusive
  35. Call of Duty Mobile beats Mario Kart Tour’s first month downloads: Sensor Tower estimates 148m downloads, behind only Pokémon Go in the all-time list
  36. Pokémon Sword and Shield review: A big adventure with a small Pokédex
  37. Just Dance 2020 is the last Ubisoft title on the Wii: Nintendo won’t say if it’s the last Wii game ever
  38. Nintendo: While nostalgia has appeal, remakes need to offer new game experiences
  39. Nintendo’s 3DS support will continue into 2020
  40. Don’t Miss: How Game Freak designs the iconic monsters of Pokemon
  41. Pokémon fans rally around Game Freak amid Sword and Shield unrest: The new Nintendo Switch games are due out this week
  42. Nintendo expects “remarkable results” from Mario Kart Tour: President Shuntaro Furukawa told investors that “earnings are off to a good start” following strong launch
  43. Bandai Namco revealed as a development partner for Mario Kart Tour
  44. Playtonic dismisses Microsoft buyout rumours: The Yooka-Laylee studio also confirmed it’s not working on a new Banjo-Kazooie game
  45. Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller review: For $180, it better be this good
  46. Microsoft using Xbox Adaptive Controller to rehabilitate US veterans: Company is working with Veteran Affairs to roll out device to medical centres
  47. Minecraft nearing 300 million registered users in China
  48. Minecraft closes in on 300m registered accounts in China: Mojang’s game now has 112m monthly active users worldwide
  49. Net sales and profits up at Square Enix despite HD game struggles
  50. Square Enix profits up 32% in first half of fiscal year: Publisher’s success driven by MMOs and mobile games as HD games sales slip year-on-year
  51. Flavourworks raises $3.8 million to make interactive games with live-action video
  52. Erica dev Flavourworks nets $3.85 million to make more interactive games
  53. Flavourworks raises £3m to expand Touch Video platform: Series A round was led by Hiro Capital, making its first investment after launching earlier this year
  54. TabTale changes its name to Crazy Labs with focus on hyper-casual mobile games
  55. Stillfront reaps rewards of Kixeye acquisition in Q3: Revenue from Core games division rises almost 200% following $90m deal
  56. Indie publisher Kiss launches Intelligent Finance ISA: Company tells it will fund future games by promising investors 6.8% profit per year through tech bond
  57. Playtika considering IPO as Chinese acquisition plans collapse: Mobile games firm seeks listing in unspecified market, according to the company that failed to buy it
  58. Epic Games acquires photogrammetry asset library and toolset maker Quixel
  59. Epic acquires Megascans creator Quixel: All Megascans assets to become free for Unreal Engine users
  60. Epic Games acquires photogrammetry startup Quixel to make games more realistic
  61. Atlas Empires dev Cerberus acquires marketplace platform Tastebud
  62. Cerberus Interactive acquires Tastebud: Texas studio wants to incentivise real-world purchases in its location-based title Atlas Empires
  63. Sony opening Malaysian art studio to boost first-party development
  64. PlayStation to open development studio in Malaysia: The new office will provide animation services to developers building exclusive PlayStation 5 games
  65. Sony’s Jim Ryan: We had to make changes to deliver our PlayStation 5 dream – PlayStation’s CEO on the globalisation of Sony Interactive Entertainment
  66. Sony has a PlayStation Now problem
  67. Abbey Games will terminate all employee contracts next month: Dutch indie “forced to scope down significantly” after Early Access version failed to live up to expectations
  68. Susan Wojcicki Talks Self Certification, Monetization, And Video Game Violence At YouTube’s First Gaming Creator Summit
  69. Starbreeze proposes plan to pay debts in full: Administrator signs off on reconstruction schedule that would see Payday outfit meet obligations to creditors within five years
  70. Homescapes has grossed $1b in lifetime revenue
  71. Tencent’s online game revenue surpasses $4 billion in Q3
  72. The Tencent zombie game trying to advance the battle royale formula – We speak to Next Studios about how Synced: Off-Planet recreates the tension of Fortnite or DayZ without copying the structure
  73. Report: Tencent wants to develop console games with help from Nintendo
  74. Tencent reportedly looking to use Nintendo IP as it expands internationally
  75. Tencent wants to make console games with Nintendo IP to boost US and Europe presence: It follows the two companies’ partnership to bring Switch to China
  76. PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty: Mobile help drive Tencent gaming revenues: Chinese publisher cites increased contributions from overseas titles as driving growth in mobile gaming business, offsetting declines from PC
  77. Zynga: “Not every DAU is created equal”: President of publishing Bernard Kim talks about long-running live ops games and the decision to sunset or reinvest in them
  78. Gaming Industry Associations Agree on Universal Esports Principles
  79. Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag to be honoured at Esports Bar Cannes: 100 Thieves founder will be named Shaker of the Year at annual awards
  80. Hitmarker raises £200k for esports recruitment platform: Startup eclipsed £80k equity crowdfunding target in less than a week
  81. Twitch Studio, the company’s streaming software for new users, is now in open beta: The streaming site’s first software product is now available to everyone
  82. Q&A: Designing the foreboding Apple Arcade Soulslike Bleak Sword
  83. Apple reportedly making a VR/AR headset with a focus on gaming: Combined headset planned for 2021 or 2022, with lightweight AR glasses following in 2023
  84. Two years later, Apple’s AR/VR headset plans reportedly pushed back two years
  85. John Carmack wins Lifetime Achievement prize at VR Awards 2019: Oculus Quest crowned best hardware, while A Fisherman’s Tale is declared best game
  86. Virtual reality: Infringement in cyberspace
  87. Pistol Whip review: The year’s freshest VR game—and oh-so close to greatness
  88. Oculus and Unity team up for free course on VR game development
  89. Google brings DIY virtual reality to the masses by open-sourcing Cardboard SDK
  90. Only 12 games will be available on Google Stadia in time for Nov. 19 launch
  91. Stadia launch includes familiar lineup, one exclusive
  92. Google Stadia’s launch lineup includes 12 games: Only one title is an exclusive; three of them are Tomb Raider games
  93. Google unveils Stadia’s full 12-game launch day line-up: Plus 14 more titles for 2019.
  94. Stadia launch dev: Game makers are worried “Google is just going to cancel it”
  95. Kine creator: “The biggest concern with Stadia is that it might not exist” – DLC. At PAX West, developers Lucy Morris, Ken Hall, and Gwen Frey discuss diversity, community, and Stadia’s long-term potential
  96. Google plans to roll out Stadia features weekly after a barebones Nov. 19 launch
  97. Q&A: Respawn’s Mohammad Alavi works for greater diversity in game dev
  98. Diablo 4 impressions: Soaking in dark atmosphere and feel-good combat
  99. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands impressions: Leveling alts is about to get a lot more fun
  100. Activision Blizzard hits Q3 earnings targets with strong World of Warcraft Classic results
  101. Voodoo opens Canadian studio to expand beyond hypercasual market
  102. Voodoo opens Montreal studio as it expands beyond hypercasual games: New branch will be led by former Gameloft producer Mehdi El Moussali
  103. Human Head shuts down, staff to join Bethesda’s new studio: Co-founder Chris Rhinehart becomes creative director at Roundhouse Studios
  104. Prey dev Human Head Studios closes, is immediately revived by Bethesda
  105. What games are people talking about on Twitter?: Platform’s head of gaming content Rishi Chadha discusses what sparks conversation and how it differs from region to region
  106. Goldeneye 007’s lost remaster emerges again via massive, polished video leak
  107. Turning love into a cooperative game mechanic in The Game Bakers’ Haven
  108. Soul Reaver: Audacious, pulpy, intelligent, trashy, uncompromising
  109. “Expectations for full-price games is very high. You need a large budget to have a chance”: CI Games CEO Marek Tymiński on the struggles of Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 and how upcoming sequel Contracts will rectify this
  110. Video: A chat with Mac Walters on the unsolved mysteries of the Mass Effect universe
  111. Video: Insights from the GDC 2019 Narrative Innovation Showcase
  112. Video: How Techland built Dying Light’s remarkable parkour system
  113. Blog: A battle royale analysis from Q3
  114. Blog: Analysing the success of Free Fire, the other king of battle royale
  115. Blog: When theme and mechanics collide
  116. Blog: Making a successful indie game using the GemuKai framework
  117. Don’t Miss: The Binding of Isaac postmortem
  118. Don’t Miss: Devs recount their near-catastrophic run-ins with the sunk cost fallacy
  119. Don’t Miss: How moving from 2D to 3D shaped the design of Risk of Rain 2
  120. Don’t Miss: Designing decisions that matter in Orwell
  121. “I believe I am preserving digital art in a physical form”: Special Reserve Games CEO Jeff Smith talks about the business of selling physical copies of indie hits, from speculators to customers buying games “almost blindly”
  122. New Noclip vid offers devs an inside look at how the ESRB works
  123. Video: An indie game dev’s guide to contracting
  124. Video Gaming / E-Gaming Law Update: Does Your Gaming Stream Violate the Copyright Act?
  125. Galaga and Pole Position composer Nobuyuki Ohnogi has passed away


  1. India Is Stifling Kashmir Journalists And Twitter Is Helping Get The Job Done
  2. Insider Threats: DOJ Says Twitter Employees Spied On User Accounts For Saudi Arabia
  3. Hong Kong Court Hands Down Protest-Targeting Order Banning Online Content That ‘Incites Violence’
  4. Did a UK Judge Just “Break the Internet”? Stay Tuned re the TuneIn Decision
  5. UK Premier League scores big in battle against illegal streaming devices
  6. Is it time to look at monetisation as a new exclusive right of the author? (Andres Guadamuz)
  7. Court Deems Screenshot Fair Game for Fair Use Defense in Copyright Action
  8. Section 230 Helps Salesforce Defeat Sex Trafficking Lawsuit–Doe v. Salesforce (Eric Goldman)
  9. Biden Spreads False Info By Saying That Taking Away Section 230 Will Make Facebook Liable For Spreading False Info
  10. John Oliver Takes On SLAPP Suits And Anti-SLAPP Laws With A Grand Musical Number
  11. Massive Facebook document leak gives ammunition to investigators
  12. ECJ rules on Facebook “Like” button
  13. NY regulators investigating Apple Card after viral complaint of sexism: Customer service reportedly blamed “the algorithm” for discrepancies.
  14. Copyright Troll Lawyer Serves Up BS ‘Dead Grandfather’ Excuse For Missing Court; Now Facing Sanctions And Arrest
  15. Techdirt Podcast Episode 232: Copying Is Not Theft
  16. New Class Action Targets Discriminatory Ad Practices
  17. Members of violent white supremacist website exposed in massive data dump
  18. Netflix CEO defends censoring anti-government video in Saudi Arabia
  19. Netflix: We’re Not In The Truth To Power Business, We’re In The Entertainment Business
  20. Netflix Unveils Multi-Year Pact With Nickelodeon One Day After Disney+ Launch
  21. Too Many Streaming Exclusives Is Already Starting To Tick Users Off
  22. One Day In, Disney+ Already Has More Than 10 Million Subscribers
  23. High demand causes login problems on Disney+ launch day
  24. Defamation by Hyperlink
  25. Uber CEO: Time To Forgive The Saudis For Murdering That Journalist
  26. Uber CEO Defends Saudis After Jamal Khashoggi Murder: ‘Doesn’t Mean They Can Never Be Forgiven’ (Video)
  27. Softbank is getting exactly what it deserves, and it’s thanks to something way bigger than WeWork: Softbank took a $6.5 billion loss on investments in Uber and WeWork this quarter, and it deserves to lose more.
  28. Uber CEO says he was wrong to call slaying of Saudi Arabia journalist Jamal Khashoggi ‘a mistake’
  29. Uber CEO downplays Khashoggi murder, then walks back his comments
  30. Uber CEO downplays murder of Jamal Khashoggi as ‘mistake,’ then backtracks
  31. How terrible software design decisions led to Uber’s deadly 2018 crash
  32. Report Suggests Rampant Negligence In Uber Self Driving Car Fatality
  33. Amazon gains unfair edge by making sellers use its shipping, complaint says
  34. Amazon fails to unseat pro-tax city council members in Seattle
  35. Heineken challenged for targeting under 18s on Instagram
  36. Instagram is testing a new video editing tool called Reels that copies TikTok’s best features
  37. Twitter And Instagram Both Begin Experiments In Decreasing The More Socially Questionable Incentives Of Their Platforms
  38. TikTok Facing CFIUS Scrutiny
  39. US committee warned of China’s bulk data collection
  40. Google enlists outside help to clean up Android’s malware mess
  41. Google has access to detailed health records on tens of millions of Americans
  42. Google: You can trust us with the medical data you didn’t know we already had – Google has 50M people’s medical records but won’t merge them with other Google data.
  43. Google fires staffer, suspends two others, amid rising workplace tensions
  44. Google will offer checking accounts, says it won’t sell the data
  45. YouTube Insists It Isn’t Changing “Right To Monetize” After Terms Of Service Update Sparks Backlash
  46. YouTube To Host Charity Tribute Concert In Nashville To Fete Its Johnny Cash Doc
  47. YouTube Overhauls Homepage With Bigger Thumbnails, New Queue Button, More
  48. Federal and State Authorities Increase Scrutiny and Enforcement of Children’s Privacy; Google, YouTube Agree to Pay a Record $170 Million Fine
  49. Operation Full Disclosure, Continued: FTC Releases Disclosure Guides for Influencers
  50. FTC Releases New User-Friendly Disclosure Guidelines for Influencers
  51. FTC offers guidance for social media influencer disclosures
  52. FTC Releases Guidance for Influencers
  53. FTC Guidance for Social Media Influencers and Endorsements Continues to Evolve
  54. FTC Releases New Disclosures Guidance for Influencer #Ads
  55. Avoiding both irresponsible and misleading influencer marketing
  56. ASA ruling on “celebrity” status – ThisMamaLife
  57. ASA ruling on weight loss post – Jemmy Lucy
  58. ASA ruling on audience composition – Tanya Burr
  59. Tis the Season: Act in Time, or Your Nonprofit Will Say Goodbye to Any DMCA Safe Harbor Protection from Copyright Infringement Liability
  60. Liza Koshy Named Co-Chair Of Michelle Obama-Founded Nonprofit ‘When We All Vote’
  61. With 25 Million Views On Season 1, Kian And JC Are Readying Another ‘Reality House’
  62. Logan Paul vs. KSI 2 Turned Into A Legit Boxing Event
  63. Ahead Of Logan Paul Rematch, KSI Drops “Down Like That” Rap Track With Rick Ross, Lil Baby
  64. Spotify taps Viacom for content marketing globally
  65. Spotify’s Magic Leap app will change playlists as you change rooms: With an interface that appears in your real-world environment
  66. On Podcasting
  67. How Ipsy And Warby Parker Are Harnessing The Engagement Power Of Micro Influencers For Social Video
  68. Deloitte Ranks BroadbandTV One of The Fastest Growing Companies in North America
  69. How Canadian media-tech giant BroadbandTV is giving content owners a boost
  70. Microsoft’s Project Silica offers robust thousand-year storage
  71. Why more than 168,000 Valentine’s day text messages arrived in November
  72. The perils of messaging apps
  73. How Airbnb’s fight to overturn a New Jersey law imploded
  74. Will the Music Industry Continue To Win Its Copyright Battle Against ISPs?
  75. CISAC Labels Canada a “Digital Champion” for Digital Music Royalty Growth (Michael Geist)
  76. The LawBytes Podcast, Episode 31: Is Canadian Media in a Financial Crisis? – Marc Edge With a Different Take on What the Data Says
  77. Cloudflare Explains What It Takes To Slay A Patent Troll
  78. What is cyber insurance and how popular is it becoming?
  79. Safeguarding User Freedoms in Implementing Article 17 of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive: Recommendations from European Academics
  80. Spotlight on Digital Competition Issues – A Digital Legacy


  1.  Twitter wants your feedback on its proposed deepfakes policy
  2. Intellectual property in open innovation and co-innovation in the field of artificial intelligence
  3. This system from Garmin can land a private plane when your pilot can’t 
  4. When AI systems cause harm: the application of civil and criminal liability
  5. Task force on artificial intelligence hearing: AI and the evolution of cloud computing – key testimony on the risks, challenges and opportunities
  6. Uber still using Waymo-derived self-driving technology, expert says
  7. Meet MLPerf, a benchmark for measuring machine-learning performance 
  8. Robot delivery services: the latest in anthropomorphic marketing? 


  1. Comcast is trying to “dismantle” Civil Rights Act of 1866, MLK’s daughter says
  2. How the FCC solves consumer problems—well, it doesn’t, really
  3. Third Circuit Asked to Rehear Decision Overturning FCC Ownership Rule Changes – Where Do We Go from Here?
  4. FCC To Consider All-Digital AM at its November Meeting – What Questions are Being Asked?
  5. AT&T switches customers to more expensive plans without asking them first
  6. A Decade Later, AT&T Pays A Pittance For Lying About Its Unlimited Data Plans
  7. States Are Being Conned By Lobbyists Into Backing Off The T-Mobile Merger Lawsuit
  8. The Color Magenta, Or How T-Mobile Thinks It Owns A General Color
  9. ‘Unlimited’ Data Plans With Very Obvious Limits Are Only Getting More Confusing 
  10. DirectTV Forgot To Stop Charging Customers For Channels That Were Blacked Out 
  11. Mozilla: ISPs Are Lying About Encrypted DNS, Should Have Privacy Practices Investigated
  12. Defense Department and FCC to Collaborate on 5G Testbeds
  13. 2020 Political Broadcasting Rules
  14. 2019 – 2020 Political Issue Advertising The Blessing and the Curse!
  15. How does Plume get all these ISP partnerships? Open source software 


  1. US violated Constitution by searching phones for no good reason, judge rules
  2. FBI Asks Congress To Permanently Reauthorize The Phone Record Collection The NSA Voluntarily Shut Down
  3. Breach affecting 1 million was caught only after hacker maxed out target’s storage
  4. Ring Spends The Week Collecting Data On Trick-Or-Treating Kids And Being An Attack Vector For Home WiFi Networks
  5. Ring-a-ding: IoT doorbell exposed customer Wi-Fi passwords to eavesdroppers
  6. Search warrant overrides 1M users’ choice not to share DNA with cops
  7. One of the world’s most advanced hacking groups debuts new Titanium backdoor
  8. The Battle Over Encryption
  9. Microsoft Says It’s Cool With California’s New Privacy Law
  10. IoT Security: NIST Spotlight


  1. Copyright & Colourable Imitation – Inside Out or Upside Down?
  2. Religion and belief discrimination: dismissing employee who refused to sign a copyright agreement was not discriminatory
  3. Indirect religion and belief discrimination: Did an employee suffer indirect discrimination because of her beliefs about copyright?
  4. Artists’ moral rights in the frame
  5. Vallejo v. Narcos Productions LLC
  6. Everybody must get (Sharon) Stoned
  7. Federal Court Says Man Arrested For ‘Criminally Defaming’ Cops Can Continue Suing To Block The Law From Being Enforced
  8. ASA ruling on gender stereotyping Philadelphia
  9. ASA ruling on gender stereotyping – Volkswagen
  10. Sandra Bullock & Ellen DeGeneres Lawsuit Takes on “Celebrity Endorsement Theft Industry”
  11. ASA ruling on alcohol and social responsibility – Macallan
  12. Public Backlash Leads To Backing Down From Trademark Bullying
  13. Just Sue It: Nike Takes Skechers to Court For Copying Design Patents
  14. The best science and math moments in Sesame Street’s first 50 years
  15. A snapshot of the global patent landscape in eight charts