BlizzCon ANNOUNCEMENTS!

World of Warcraft:

Do you miss the old WoW? Blizzard is finally releasing World of Warcraft: ClassicThe story has greatly changed since the initial release back in the early 2000’s. If you already have a subscription, Classic will be included. No need to pay for two. It launches Summer 2019.

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Overwatch:

Two new heroes?! Ashe and Echo both made their debut in the new Overwatch cinematic. Ashe will be the 29th heroine and will release soon but Echo is still in development. Echo is McCree’s old partner.

Heroes of the Storm:

An original character called Orphea for Blizzard’s MOBA. She is the daughter of the Raven Lord. She aims to overthrow him

Warcraft:

A fan of old-school of strategy games? Warcraft 3: Reforged is receiving an HD remake. It will still have its modding tool called World Editor tool. That tool and the game led to League of Legends! 

Diablo:

A new Diablo for mobile! Don’t worry fans, Blizzard is still working on Diablo 4. For fans of the story, it takes place between Diablo 2 and 3. It will have multiplayer and six player classes similar to the main game. There are 4-player dungeons and people can drop in and out.

What did you think of this year’s Blizzcon? Was there enough interesting announcements or did you hope for different content?

Olympics Bans Video Games involving “Killing”

People are trying to bring esports and professional gaming to a worldwide audience as it’s becoming more popular. People and or teams are competing all around the world and are representing their sponsors similar to physical sports teams. Some teams represent their countries similar to the Olympics such as the Asian Games. Earlier this year, gaming companies such as Riot, Blizzard, Epic, and the ESL, met with the Olympic Forums to discuss potentially having esports as an Olympic competition. The hopes would be the “government to help recognize esports as its own discipline” according to the CEO of Riot Games, Nicolo Laurent. Unfortunately, the Olympics will not allow any video games to be an Olympic event that has “killing” according to International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach.

Why did the Olympics deny video games from the Olympics?

While Esports may be in the Olympics in the future, Bach strongly stated “We cannot have in the Olympic program a game which is promoting violence or discrimination…They, from our point of view, are contradictory to the Olympic values and cannot therefore be accepted.” While people rebutted by stating some Olympic games involved dangerous weapons such as fencing, Bach said: “sport is the civilized expression about this.” Any games involved with “killing” for points/score will likely be denied by the Olympics in the near future. This would prevent popular esports titles from being an Olympic game such as Fortnite, Overwatch, League of Legends, and PUBG. 

What are the pros for having esports in the Olympics?

If esports was legitimized by the Olympics, it would benefit the players. Players would able to receive their Visas more easily to travel internationally for tournaments. Many players and team owners must pay for the visas. This can lead to potential delays that may prevent the players from competing. It would also give teams and players more sponsors for financial support. It can also lead to more television broadcasting opportunities for video games. Below are the hours viewed on Twitch and YouTube. If channels begin streaming video games, it could lead to people actually watch tv.

How do you feel about video games not allowed in the Olympics?

Sources:

Eurogamer

Gameindustry.Biz

AP News

Newzoo

 

2K and Blizzard removes Loot Boxes from Belgium and Netherlands

Blizzard (World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Heores of the Storm) and 2K (Borderlands, Mafia, NBA 2K series) has removed the micro-transactions portions from their games: Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and NBA 2K18. This is to comply with Belgium and Netherlands’ gambling laws. The countries considers loot box as gambling. 2K’s and Blizzard’s official statement are below.

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TL;DR: In Belgium, players can’t purchase MyTeam packs (read: loot boxes) with real money, though they can still be acquired by earning currency in-game. in Netherlands, players will not be able to access Auction House, a feature that allows you to buy and sell your players. (Eurogamer.net) For Blizzard, players can no longer use real money for loot boxes in Overwatch and HoTS.

If you read the statement, 2K and Blizzard disagrees with the banning and believes they are following the law with their initial practices. They actively asked their players to contact the local government to allow their loot box system.

The loot box system is a disgusting and frustrating way to extract more money from players. While more people are growing aware of the unfair practice, there are still many players purchasing loot boxes. Last year, Blizzard earned over $3 billion USD from loot box sales. Often, gaming companies state that loot boxes are to make back the expenses from development.

Sources:

EU Blizzard Forums

2K info

Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Eurogamer

 

Overwatch Hacker sent to Jail

Throughout the world, people are arguing about whether playing video games are an addiction. In South Korea, they tackle real gaming problems like hackers online. A man is being sent to jail for 12 months for creating an Overwatch hack. The main reason for going to jail is because he made a profit of $180,000 from hacking. That violates South Korea’s Game Industry Promotion Law and the Information and Communication Technology Protection Law.

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Overwatch hack creators face a probation period and a fine but earning a profit will earn you jail time. They will also receive a two-year probation. In 2016, Korea criminalized creation and distribution of aimbots, wall hacks, and more cheating services. Over 13 cheaters were arrested in 2017. Korea takes gaming and competitive gaming incredibly serious as professional gamers are treated as celebrities. Even Chinese players face huge fines and jail time for hacking. 15 people were fined $5.1 million for creating and selling hacks for PUBG.

As gaming becomes more popular throughout the world, expect laws to be enabled similar to Asia. In most regions, hackers and spam creators are banned but rarely face any harsh punishments or fines. However, it requires the government to take a serious look at gaming and not treat it as a toy.

Sources:

PC Gamer

Criminalizing Hacking

Hacking fines