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It's been a heavy three days for Grand Theft Auto 5 and Rockstar Games in Australia. Firstly a petition was made by former sex workers claiming that this blockbuster game release "encourages players to commit sexual violence and kill women", once this project had received around 40,000 supporters, Target Australia decided to remove the title from their shelves, seeing Kmart Australia follow suit less than 24 hours later.
This has sparked major outrage among many 'gamer' social circles, with people citing multiple games that are based around the beheading, maiming and/or murder of males - further claiming that this GTA V fight isn't so much about social justice, as it is about 'radical feminism'.
In order to fight back, one man named Stephen Ogden has opened up his own GoPetition, urging the large Australian retailers to remove other offensive content from their shelves, including some legitimate and also some very 'troll' requests.
Target Australia had only just announced they are pulling all copies of Rockstar games' GTA V off their shelves, now another Aussie retailer has joined the pledge. K-Mart has vowed to also remove all support for this controversial title, disclosing this information to Kotaku today over the phone.
As online activists gathered a 41,000 signature petition together, Australian retail giants have started to quiver. K-marts official statement on this matter was: "Following a significant review of all content in Grand Theft Auto Games Kmart has taken the decision to remove this product immediately, Kmart apologises for not being closer to the content of this game."
Reports have brought to light that both Target and K-Mart are owned by the same corporate group, Wesfarmers, so for those in the know - this shouldn't be a huge shock as we're sure the executives are covering their behinds against some kind of apparent public uproar. Who's going to fall next? In other news, this is great for online retailers as customers will now likely take their business to the internet in search for this massively popular title.
If you thought that Saints Row couldn't get weirder, the trailer below has Satan singing his emotions away as his daughter fights with him about marrying a boy without her father's approval. This is Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, everyone:
Yes, it's coming, and yes it looks like some damn fun. The trailer above is a nice touch from the developer, going all musical on the world, having Satan sing is just hilarious. The new Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell will be released on January 23, 2016 for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4 and PC.
Just yesterday we wrote about a Change.org petition to remove Rockstar's controversial next-gen release, GTA V, off popular retail chain 'Target' shelves. The petition claimed that the game was sexist, containing misogynist values and promoted violence towards and rape of women.
Target has just pushed a media release, claiming that due to public outcry the game has now been pulled from all shelves.
Free-to-play games might be increasing in popularity along with freemium games, but don't count Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick as a fan. Zelnick says a low number of paying gamers can lead to bad game quality, saying most free-to-play games "aren't really high quality content."
"The problem with the free-to-play model is 95-97 percent of people who engage with your content don't pay for it," Zelnick recently said at the Credit Suisse Annual Technology Conference. "3-5 percent do; on a good day, 10 percent. The other thing that's problematic with free-to-play games is in many instances, although not all, they're vastly less engaging."
Despite Take-Two suddenly jumping into the free-to-play market, Zelnick did say the model is very different and there is a certain potential - especially in free mobile games - that will continue to make it appealing.
Social justice has been steadily creeping its way more and more into gaming culture, seeing many people fight back on social media and news outlets posting opinion articles damning certain games, developers and personalities who express views that are alleged as misogynist, promoting senseless violence and/or rape culture.
In recent news, since the next-gen and PC release of Rockstar Studio's latest hit, Grand Theft Auto 5, there has been a major public outcry globally against the game. This passionate dislike for the game and it's morals has seeing peoples social media feeds explode with petitions to take the game off the shelves, alongside many negative opinions of the game they have worked so hard to produce.
The latest group targeting this game is a group of former sex workers, who are spearheading a Change.org petition to remove this title from the popular Australian department store, named Target. Their allegations include the statement that it "encourages players to commit sexual violence and kill women".
343 Industries is promising a patch for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, something that should fix the matchmaking issues that the reworked series of first-person shooters has been experiencing since it launched on the Xbox One a couple of weeks ago now.
The developer has said that "the next of which will specifically make improvements to the matchmaking system and flow". Not only that, but some gamers are peeved at Microsoft over one of their promotions, with the company teasing a deal that offered 15,000 credit bonus to any Xbox Live Rewards member who purchases Halo: The Master Chief Collection before December 31.
This means that $15 of credit is up for grabs within the Xbox Live Marketplace, with early adopters arguing that this is pretty much just a discount on the game itself. Considering the issues that the game has had since launch, this isn't too good at all for both Microsoft and 343 Industries.
Valve has launched Steam Broadcasting, which if you didn't guess is the company's own version of livestreaming, ala Twitch. You can watch gamers play games through the Steam Community, and stream games yourself, if you want to.
Steam Broadcasting also offers streaming games privately, as well as to the world, so if you want to have a private broadcast between friends, the option is still there. Gamers can set Steam Broadcasting to automatically stream games to your friends list on Steam if they want to watch it, or friends can alternatively send you a request to view your stream.
This is where Valve is making it different to Twitch, which requires software to get it up and running. Steam doing it natively, and very easily, is definitely the way to go. Valve obviously has the game library to back it up, as well as a few exclusives of their own like DOTA2 and CS:GO.
Riot Games has announced that over 27 million tuned into the League of Legends finals, and even with that astonishing number of people checking in, it is still down from the 32 million the developer saw tuning in last year.
The drop is a 15% dip in viewership, but for those who did tune into the finals, they stayed around longer. Riot noted that fans averaged around 67 minutes, while last year the average was just 42 minutes. The developer also saw a larger peak, with 11.2 million people watching at a single time during the showdown between Samsung White and Royal Club, compared to the peak of 8.7 million in 2013.
Over the entire Season Three World Championship, over 70 million hours were watched online, which spanned stages from Taipei to Seoul. Riot streamed over 100 hours of live content across 15 days, in 19 languages through 40 broadcast partners.
Just three days ago, we reported on Blizzard Entertainment's apparent DDoS/Lag issues happening within their game servers globally - seeing some players being unable to log in for up to 30 minutes, reports of friend lists not functioning and customers experiencing up to 5,000ms of in-game latency.
This issue was fixed just mere hours after the story was reported, however in today's news, Blizzard have issued multiple statements across their Customer Service Twitter account alongside their Battle.Net client claiming of Authentication and log in issues - mainly based around their North American server cluster.