eSports Weekend Calendar: August 22 – 24, 2014

If you’re a StarCraft II or League of Legends fan, there is a lot for you to watch this weekend. The road to the Red Bull Battle Grounds Grand Final in Washington continues with their second 128-player open tournament of 2014. The winner will be the final qualifier for the $50,000 event so there’s a lot at stake this weekend in Detroit.

Meanwhile, League of Legends continues the road to the World Championship with the finals of China’s LPL and the start of the North American LCS playoffs.

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A Sordid Affair: Of Zoe Quinn, Privacy and Integrity

zoe-quinn-edge-headerIn a fourth year human resources course, we were posed a question about what we would do if an employee was sleeping with someone from a customer business. I responded with the old Trudeau-ism of “There’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation.” What is personal is personal and it stays that way as long as it doesn’t affect my business.

That was the wrong answer according to the professor and whole rest of the class. The implication of the scenario was that my hypothetical employee was sleeping that person to make sales. They couldn’t be using each other just to use each other. She was obviously using him to reach another end.

Gaming is going through this same scenario right now. Zoe Quinn, the developer behind Depression Quest, is mired in scandal after her ex-boyfriend outed her as sleeping with a number of people in the industry, including a writer for Kotaku, which blew up into accusations of Quinn using sex to get positive coverage from the gaming press.

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Ubisoft Interested in EA Access-Like Program

ubisoft-e3-2014-headerWhen EA announced their EA Access subscription program for the Xbox One, you knew that it was a matter of time before another publisher decided that this was a good idea and took it for themselves. Naturally, it’s EA France- I mean, Ubisoft who are the first to express interest in the subscription model. In an interview at Gamescom, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot expressed interest in launching a Ubisoft version of the service.

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YouTube Music Subscription Service Leaks

youtube-music-key-headerI’d imagine that the only reason why YouTube isn’t blocked at my day job is because a bunch of people use YouTube to listen to music during the day. Based on the popularity of Psy, Justin Bieber and all those official Vevo channels, I’d hazard that there are millions of people around the world who use YouTube for the same purpose.

A leaked YouTube subscription service appears to be targeting just that group of people. The YouTube Music Key service will give users ad-free playback of YouTube music videos with the ability for offline and audio only playback.

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EA Not Issuing Advance Review Copies of The Sims 4

the-sims-4-bannerThere are certain things that we have learned are major red flags over the last few years. One is major game releases that set a review embargo at such a late time that you can’t cancel your pre-orders. The other is major game releases that don’t even issue review copies of a game to game reviewers and journalists.

For the second time this year, it looks like a major EA release won’t have review copies. Back in March, EA didn’t issue review copies of Titanfall on PC and only allowed Xbox One reviews at a closed event hosted by EA and Respawn. Now, EA is not going to release review copies of the upcoming Maxis title The Sims 4.

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Comic Book Pull List for August 20, 2014

dark-horse-presents-1This week, I think we should look at some anthologies in the pull list recommendations this week. Dark Horse brings you a multitude of stories in each issue of their revived Dark Horse Presents anthology series. Alternatively, DC and Marvel are doing various characters and stories in a series rather than in an issue. DC launches Multiversity which will at characters and stories across the DC multiverse. And Marvel wraps up the Original Sins series in Original Sins #5.

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Riot Isn’t Interested in Crowdfunding eSports Prize Pools

league-of-legends-2014-world-championship-headerJust because The International was able to add over $9 million to the prize pool thanks to crowdfunding via sales of the Compendium and ESL boosted their prize pool for ESL One: Frankfurt the same way doesn’t mean that crowdfunding prize pools is for everyone.

Riot Games’ head of European eSports, Jason Yeh, has come out as saying they’re not interested in getting fans to contribute to their World Championship pot with an anonymous employee being a lot more blunt with his opinion.

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Blizzard Raising UK World of Warcraft Subscriptions by £1

wow-warlords-of-draenor-headerIf you’re Blizzard and you’re hemorrhaging subscribers to your flagship game ahead of a hotly anticipated expansion pack, how do you make the money work? If the plan being implemented in the UK is any indication, it looks like you raise the prices.

Blizzard has announced that the monthly subscription prices for World of Warcraft gamers in the UK will increase by £1 per month.

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Game Trailers Roundup for August 18, 2014

Another week, another set of game trailers to get you hyped. Because we just wrapped up Gamescom, there are a lot of trailers for us to go through today.

Both Destiny and Star Citizen pulled out all the stops with multiple trailers released over the course of Gamescom week. EA kept busy with some reveals and trailers, a few of which we’ve already covered and a couple of which we have below. If you’ve fallen behind on trailers to watch over the last week, there’s quite a bit for you to catch up on.

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More Gameplay Videos from Gamescom 2014

When I posted the roundup of gameplay footage from Gamescom, I thought that would cover all the gameplay reveals and demos at this year’s edition of Gamescom. I was slightly wrong.

Over the course of the weekend, we got plenty more hands-on demonstrations of some of this fall’s biggest games. If you’re looking forward to triple-A games like The Witcher 3, Far Cry 4 and LittleBigPlanet 3, this second roundup of gameplay footage from Gamescom has you covered. There are a few horror games thrown in as an added bonus if that’s your speed. Definitely not mine but I get the feeling some of you would enjoy a quick laugh if I was to let’s play or stream me playing one.

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