Welcome again everyone to the New Gamer Nation Weekly News Update, where we get you caught up on all the big stories that happened in the world of video games throughout the week. This week we cover New York banning sex offenders from playing online; Electronic Arts receives a dubious award; possible Batman: Arkham City DLC; a few announcements and more. So pause the game and put down the controller, it’s time for the news.
New York Banning Sex Offenders From Playing Online
The state of New York is working together with a few top gaming companies to ban sex offenders from playing video games online. Sony, Microsoft, and Apple are working with the New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in an initiative called “Operation: Game Over”. Under State law, convicted sex offenders must register their email addresses, screen names and other internet identifiers, or risk a felony charge. The information is then available for websites and companies. The information was used to ban more than 35,000 sex offenders, and New York Civil Liberties Union warned parents to keep watching who their children are playing online with because predators can still find ways of manipulating the system.
Honestly, it’s a good thing to see some major companies come together for something that seems long overdue. It’s a good step in the right direction to stop sexual predators.
Electronic Arts Voted Worst Company of 2012
The consumerist held it’s annual tournament of “The Worst Company in America”, and of the 32 companies, EA won the dubious honor. In the tournament EA beat Sony, Best Buy, Comcast, AT&T, and faced off against Bank of America in the finals. The other notable companies that have involvement in the video game industry were Sony and GameStop. With more than 250,000 people voting, EA’s reason they were on among the worst companies was for “deliberately hold[ing] back game content with the sole intent of charging a fee for it at a later date.”
In a statement, EA Senior Director of Corporate Communications John Reseburg told Kotaku
“We’re sure that British Petroleum, AIG, Philip Morris, and Halliburton are all relieved they weren’t nominated this year. We’re going to continue making award-winning games and services played by more than 300 million people worldwide.”
Also, Reseburg touted the Human Rights Campaign circulating a petition to support publisher’s “decision to have developers include same-sex relationships in recent games including Star Wars: The Old Republic and Mass Effect 3.” Also mentioning Bioware, an EA owned company, was recently a finalist in The Escapist’s contest for Developer of the Year.
So, I just have a question, when is the last time you remember a publisher NOT holding back content to charge for it later? I’m not defending EA here, but there are a lot worse publishers out there (cough, cough, Capcom, cough). I have to wonder if the recent backlash from Mass Effect 3’s ending had something to do with swaying the voters. Let us know in the comment section below.
Source: The Consumerist
Batman Arkham City DLC On The Way?
According to a post on PS3Trophies.org, it looks like Batman: Arkham City could be getting some DLC for the story based part of the game. Until now, all of Arkham City’s DLC has been extra costumes for after the story, a separate Catwoman story, and Robin as a playable character in the challenge portion of the game. The list of trophies hint at a separate story arc in Arkham City with the main protagonist being Robin. The list also hints Harley Quinn as the main boss.
I’m genuinely excited about this. I still go out to Arkham City every once in a while to pummel some bad guys or even stalk them from gargoyles, so it’s going to be interesting to see if they add some mechanics to Robin’s arsenal.
Sony Looking For More Apps…From It’s Fans
Earlier this week Amazon Instant Video appeared as an application for the Playstation 3, and it doesn’t appear Sony is done there, and they are listening to what their audience wants. In an interview with IGN, Sony’s Senior Director of PlayStation Digital Platforms, Jack Buser stated:
“One of the things [Sony is] trying to do with PlayStation is we’re always trying to put the PlayStation customer first. We have a constant dialog going with that customer to really understand how they want to enjoy media, TV shows, movies and videogames on PlayStation 3. And we really try to partner with those services that offer the kind of options that the PlayStation audience is looking for.”
So it appears some very powerful people in the gaming industry could be interested in what their consumers want in a system. Personally, I’m happy with just playing games and the occasional Blu-Ray, but what about you? What do you want on your PS3?
Wii U Release Date
Several announcements were made this past week, and one of them could be the release date of the Wii-U. According to an email obtained from a Japanese retailer, Media-Land, the Wii U will hit the U.S. Sunday November 18, 2012, and a week later in Japan. However, there is no official word on when the Wii-U will hit Europe.
Source: Wii U Daily
Rock Band Blitz
Also announced this week, Harmonix announced Rock Band Blitz. Rock Band Blitz is a new title that focuses more on an arcade style gameplay over performance authenticity. The game will be played on the controller rather than any of the instruments. Rock Band Blitz will work with all the songs released over the Rock Band network, however if you don’t have any songs, the game will come with 25 tracks that can also be transferred to Rock Band 3. Players will be challenged to build up combos through the 4 tracks on the screen, and move around between them to receive special power ups and rewards. A “recommendation” system is in place after you play a song depending on previous purchases and challenges. Rock Band Blitz will hit XBox Live Arcade and Playstation Network this summer.
Double Dragon: Neon
Our final announcement this week is a new title for a familiar classic to old school gamers, Double Dragon: Neon. Wayforward Technologies and Majesco are working together to develop the game, which will feature the Lee brothers, Billy and Jimmy, as they fight to save Marian from a villain named Skullmageddon. The game will be similar to the classic arcade style side scrollers, and have neon lights and bright colors to give it an 1980’s type feel. The upgrade system will work on a grid-type system on the “mix tape”. Look for Double Dragon: Neon on XBox Live Arcade and Playstation Network this July.
Final note this week, a couple of our writers are in Boston, at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX East). Our own Mobile Games Expert, PCS and New Gamer Nation’s Fearless Leader and Editor in Chief Pilot will be at PAX East covering the event for the site. So please stay tuned to the site for some cool stuff they’ll be bringing to you. Also, if you stay tuned to PCS’ Twitter feed, he will be tweeting live from the event. And if you aren’t doing it by now, you should follow the New Gamer Nation Twitter page as well.
There you have it Nation, that’s our news for this week, tell us what you think in the comment section below, and tell us what you think.