A rather disturbing and significant security breach has occurred at Blizzard, as this week the company confirmed that its security team had found an unauthorized and illegal access into its internal network.
The company elaborated that some data was illegally accessed, including a list of email addresses for global Battle.net users outside of China. For players on North American servers (which generally includes players from North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia) the answer to the personal security question, and information relating to Mobile and Dial-In Authenticators were also accessed.
However, there are two pieces of good news around the breach. The first is that according to the company, this information alone was not enough for anyone to gain access to Battle.net accounts.
The second, and considerately more significant silver lining, is that no evidence has been found that financial information such as credit cards, billing addresses, or real names were compromised.
Blizzard has urged players on North American servers to change their password, and also recommended those players who used the same or similar passwords for other purposes, to consider changing those passwords as well.
“In the coming days, we'll be prompting players on North American servers to change their secret questions and answers through an automated process. Additionally, we'll prompt mobile authenticator users to update their authenticator software,” the company said in a statement.
GRID 2 receives green light for 2013
Good news for racing enthusiasts and fans of the Bafta winning Race Driver: GRID - Codemasters Racing Studios are hard at work producing GRID 2, due for release in 2013. Utilising version three of the EGO Game Technology Platform (EGO v2.0 was used in Dirt 3 and F1 2012), GRID 2 promises better graphics, AI, handling and damage features.
Executive producer Clive Moody believes that GRID 2 will make street, track and road racing exciting again. “The core design philosophy for GRID 2 is that we treat the race as a character, not a consequence of simply putting cars on tracks. Everything that goes into the game impacts on that second-to-second, in the moment, blockbuster drama – the feel and personality of the race.”
Zombie games have been coming and going, but, just like undead movies, real quality is hard to find. Connoisseurs of the genre though have been talking up DayZ quite a bit, with many claiming it’s one of the best Zombie killing experiences available.
Originally modded from ARMA 2, this week it has been revealed that DayZ will soon become a stand-alone title, with the project being led by Czech studio Bohemia Interactive (ARMA, Operation Flashpoint).
According to a blog post, the project will follow the Minecraft development model, “providing fast iterations with the community alpha available for a heavily discounted price”. Unfortunately there’s no news yet about a potential release date, or if it will also make it.
Interested? View part one of a five part DayZ mini-series to see how helicopter mechanic Jake copes with too much Zombie attention.
Sony battling to attract third party developers to its PS Vita
Despite its solid hardware and potential to deliver a high-quality mobile gaming experience, it appears that Sony is battling to ensure that new titles were created for its latest handheld.
According to an interview on Gamasutra and with the PlayStation: The Official Magazine, Shuhei Yoshida, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studio president stated: "We're having a more difficult time than we had anticipated in terms of getting support from third-party publishers, but that's our job."
Apart from the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation from Ubisoft, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified from Activision, the Vita’s forthcoming line-up of blockbuster titles is looking a little sparse, as other major publishers haven’t yet risen to the occasion and committed to exclusive titles for the handheld.
It hasn’t helped the Vita’s fortunes that a particularly anticipated title, Resistance: Burning Skies, that was expected to do well thanks to the Vita’s dual analog sticks, largely disappointed.
It appears though, that independent developers haven’t been as reticent to pour resources into creating games for the new handheld, and on this front, there are some compelling games on offer. One such example is Sound Shapes from Queasy Games, a platforming title in which each object gives off a musical note.
Indeed, we find it a rather sad situation, considering how well launch titles, like Rayman: Origins and Uncharted: Golden Abyss looked and played.
"We will continue to talk to development communities and publishing partners and tell them why Vita can provide a great experience for the IPs they have and I hope the Assassin's Creed game will prove that," Yoshida reassured.
Max Payne 3 Local Justice Pack now available for PC
After a delay of more than three weeks (originally scheduled for release on 17 July), the Local Justice DLC pack for Max Payne 3 finally managed to blast its way onto the Windows PC. This pack already became available to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 gamers in June, enabling them to experience three new maps along with a new weapon in the form of a M4 assault rifle with attachments.
All three of the new maps are based upon areas from the game’s intense final chapters. Besides the addition of the M4 Assault Rifle, PC players will benefit from a Light Fingers item that enables quicker looting as well as a new faction, São Paulo Police, becoming available.
Rockstar Games stated that the Local Justice DLC pack will only be available for one week at a discounted rate of around R48 via Steam, thereafter pricing reverts back to the normal cost of approximately R64. Gamers who purchased the Max Payne 3 Rockstar Pass will receive this pack along with all other DLC for the game free of charge.
Beyond the Local Justice DLC pack, all of Max Payne 3’s pre-order and retail DLC became available to PC players this week including:
Cemetery Multiplayer Map (about R16)
Special Edition Pack (R16)
Silent Killer Loadout Pack (R16)
Pill Bottle Item (just more than R8)
Deadly Force Burst (R8)
Classic Max Payne Multiplayer Character (R8)
New trailer for Devil May Cry released
A new trailer for the upcoming reboot of Devil May Cry (DmC), by Ninja Theory, has been released.
The trailer shows both the ultra stylish hack and slash that we have come to expect, as well as some interesting platforming elements where Dante pulls blocks towards him to create a means of ascending what looks like a vast warehouse, while slaying enemies along the way.
Additionally, the trailer also offers a glimpse at a boss battle against a particularly nasty looking creature. Admittedly, we are already getting a God of War / Bayonetta vibe from this title, and, considering Ninja Theory’s previously underrated but compelling offering, Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, DmC is looking more exciting each time we see it.
The game is slated for release on Xbox 360 and PS3 in January next year. For a glimpse of what to look forward to, feast your eyes on the gory trailer below.
Contributions by Mike Joubert and Hanleigh Daniels