It’s E3 time: the annual video game conference — still, barely nominally, a trade show — is taking place this week in Los Angeles, drawing developers, publishers, and media from around the world to gawk at titles large and small. From Facebook games to Fallout, everything is on display… including the long history of the contentious, adversarial relationship between the companies that make the games and the consumers who play them. [More]
For 125 million gamers who prefer to play on their computers, Steam is the online retailer of choice, especially when it runs one of its huge seasonal sales. But while these promotions, like the current “Monster Summer Sale,” offer what appear to be deep discounts, Steam is also repeatedly accused of artificially inflating prices to make these savings look better than they are.
How do you legally “share” a game in the digital age when no physical media exists? Microsoft thought it had a possible answer for the upcoming Xbox One by allowing users to pass a game along, but the limitations were too strict and the company eventually backtracked in response to negative feedback. Now the folks at video game marketplace Steam have come up with what may be a more appealing solution — the ability to share a game with up to 10 other people. [More]
Selling something that isn’t perfect can be okay in some situations. An apple? Just cut the bruise out. Shirt missing a button? Ask for a discount and sew one on. But when it comes to technology and video games, if your product isn’t up to snuff, those playing the games are going to be very unhappy. The distributors of zombie survival game The War Z learned that this week and ended up pulling it from game site Steam. [More]
Valve, the makers of popular video game series like Portal, Left 4 Dead, Half-Life, and Team Fortress, as well as the operators of the Steam online marketplace for games, have surprised fans this week by changing the Steam terms of service to effectively pre-empt any class-action lawsuits by forcing customers into mandatory binding arbitration.
In November, online game distributor Valve revealed that hackers breached the system. In a recent follow-up statement, Valve CEO Gabe Newell says hackers probably got a hold of transaction data, which includes encrypted credit card info and billing addresses, as well as user names and email addresses.
The popular online video game distribution system Steam was hacked and a database containing user names, passwords, user credit card information was compromised.
Jeff’s account for the gaming platform Steam has been disabled, locking him out of Team Fortress 2 and other games he’s purchased. When he asked why, Steam support was tight-lipped, saying only that he was accused of “scamming or hijacking another user’s account,” refusing to elaborate or let Jeff make his case.
After only a few months on the market, Electronic Arts pulled the plug on the monthly subscription fee-based game APB, leaving the game’s few devotees feeling burned. The company is saving face, though, by offering a freebie to those who downloaded APB via Steam.
To make up for mistakenly banning 12,000 Steam gamers from playing Modern Warfare 2 online, Valve served up a peace offering of up to two free Left 4 Dead 2 downloads.
Joshua heard you could play Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on the PC with an Xbox 360 controller, so he downloaded it through Steam, a digital distribution service. He hasn’t been able to figure out how to use his controller and suspects it may not be possible, and Steam is ignoring his requests for a refund.
PC World notes that phishers are now targeting Steam account holders. Games are an easy target because you can make quick money off of them and the security isn’t as high as with, say, credit cards. The site that first reported this, SpywareGuide, demonstrates two examples—steamgift.com and steamverification.com—that will attempt to trick you into giving them access to your digital library of games.
Reader Con Seannery was randomly locked out of his Steam account one day and has been trying to get Valve’s attention for months. Will they ever respond?
Reader Justin says he bought some software from Valve’s Steam service — and was randomly charged in British pounds. This resulted in a bunch of extra charges from his bank. He’s tried to contact Valve about the issue, but he says he’s being ignored.
According to reader Todd, there are quite a few customers are finding their “Orange Box” games have been deactivated by Valve because they bought them from a seller that wasn’t authorized to do business with US customers.
Ars Technica reports on a fascinating Subway ad campaign that took place inside the popular online game Counter-Strike. Apparently the ads for a $2.49 sandwich were injected into the game world with a special bit of ‘mod’ software distributed by an ad agency to certain operators of the server computers on which games of Counter-Strike are hosted. The ad agency paid the server operators to run the mod to give ad impressions in game.