Archive for August 10th, 2012

Red 5 putting ‘e-sports toolkit’ in Firefall to encourage shoutcasting, e-sports interest

Red 5 Studios has revealed what it’s calling the “e-sports toolkit” for its upcoming free-to-play shooter Firefall, with two new modes for broadcasters and commentators to keep an eye on the action. There will be a standard observer mode, with the ability to watch a match from the top down or from a certain player’s perspective, open to anyone that wants to use it. And then specially-approved broadcasters will get more options, like the ability to fly around the map, or watch different cameras from the game at the same time.

In an interview with PC Gamer, Red 5’s “e-sports maven” (and former Fragdoll) Morgan Romine talks about how the developer is doing everything it can to make e-sports a priority, including tweaking classes and even the game’s core attributes like movement speed. The goal, says Romine, is “to have an FPS that has the long term viability of a Counter-Strike,” so Red 5 is really aiming to make observing and shoutcasting its matches accessible, and is planning e-sports events later on this year at GamesCom, PAX, and other big gamer gatherings.

Of course, just having access to more cameras won’t immediately make you the next Phreak or Day[9]. But better tools are always more helpful, and Red 5 hopes that by making these tools available, more players will get engaged with its upcoming title.

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Sony Worldwide Studio president says getting third-parties to support Vita has been difficult

Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studio president Shuhei Yoshida says the company is struggling to convince publishers to develop titles for the PlayStation Vita.

“We’re having a more difficult time than we had anticipated in terms of getting support from third-party publishers, but that’s our job,” he said in an interview within the latest pages of PlayStation: The Official Magazine.

In its recently released Q1 2012 results, Sony’s gaming division was hit with a $45 million loss, forcing its sales forecast to be “downwardly revised.”

Despite big ticket franchises coming to the platform ? with specifically designed versions of Assassin’s Creed 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 in the works, for example ? other major publishers have yet to promise any major potential blockbuster releases for the platform.

Speaking with Gamasutra, Yoshida pointed out that Sony has seen some success attracting independent developers to the platform, such as Sound Shapes dev Queasy Games and Knytt Underground developer Nifflas.

“We will continue to talk to development communities and publishing partners and tell them why Vita can provide a great experience for the IPs they have and I hope the Assassin’s Creed game will prove that,” Yoshida added in his interview with PTOM.

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Yahoo may rethink use of cash from Alibaba deal

SAN FRANCISCO: Yahoo Inc may re-evaluate plans for the cash it gets from a multibillion-dollar sale of half of its 40 per cent stake in Chinese Internet company Alibaba Group.

Shares of Yahoo fell 4.4 per cent to $15.30 in after hours trading on Thursday.

Yahoo, which hired new Chief Executive Marissa Mayer last month, said in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday that Mayer has started a review of the company’s strategy.

The filing said the review “may lead to a re-evaluation” of Yahoo’s previously announced plans to return to shareholders substantially all of the after-tax cash proceeds under the initial share repurchase from the May 2012 deal with Alibaba.

Under the agreement, Yahoo was to sell one-half of its stake in Alibaba for at least $6.3 billion in cash and up to $800 million in new Alibaba preferred stock.

“There was an expectation of getting that cash back, so I think there will definitely be some disappointment,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Andre Sequin.

But he said that shareholders also expect Mayer, a former Google executive, to re-invest in the company’s domestic business to rejuvenate the struggling Web company.

As part of Mayer’s review, Yahoo said, she would look at the company’s growth and acquisition strategy, the restructuring plan launched by her predecessor, and Yahoo’s cash and capital allocation strategy.

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Facebook has new email address for phishing scams

NEW YORK: Facebook has created an email address for people to report scams. The address is phish(at)fb.com. Anyone even those who aren’t on Facebook can use it to report malicious emails that pretend to come from Facebook.

Known as phishing, such emails attempt to get passwords and other information by pretending to come from a legitimate business. Because many people use the same passwords at banking and other sites, someone who gets account information for Facebook can log on elsewhere.

Facebook Inc. says scams tend to contain information that’s more vague than what’s in legitimate emails from Facebook.

Facebook says it will report scams to outside security companies and notify blacklists that Internet companies keep to block malicious websites. It will also prevent users from posting such links on Facebook.

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Anonymous Hackers Target Ukraine

Members of Anonymous recently launched DDoS attacks against several Ukrainian government Web sites in response to the government’s takedown of torrent site Demonoid.

“The collective targeted and took down the National Television and Radio Broadcasting Council of Ukraine (nrada.gov.ua), the Ukrainian Agency for Copyright and Related Rights (uacrr.kiev.ua), and the Ukrainian Anti-Piracy Association (apo.kiev.ua),” writes ZDNet’s Emil Protalinski. “All the sites appear to be fully operational again at the time of writing.”

“The move comes days after the Ukrainian government shut down popular bittorent tracker site Demonoid,” writes International Digital Times’ Mo Mozuch. “The group posted a statement on its PR blog condemning the move, and accusing the Ukrainian government of caving in to U.S. anti-piracy pressure.”

“Despite Demonoid blocking all Ukranian IP addresses to avoid upsetting local law, the site still attracted the attention of the authorities,” the statement reads. “The raid on Demonoid was timed to coincide with the first trip of Deputy Prime Minister Valery Khoroshkovsky’s to the United States on the agenda: copyright infringement. This implies that the attack against Demonoid was a preplanned operation, and a deliberate and malicious attack against Internet Freedom. We will not let this go unpunished. We will seek revenge against all criminals responsible and their punishments will be severe.”

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