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By 18 February 2011 | Categories: news

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The State of StarCraft

It is hard to believe that the latest installment of the StarCraft saga, the long-awaited Wings of Liberty, has already been out for over half a year. Easier to believe is the ease with which the game has succeeded as a platform for competitive play. Some five weeks ago, a patch introduced support for a new Master League, which is above the Diamond league and caters to the top 2% of SC2 players, and also alluded to a still-to-come, even more exclusive Grandmaster League – the stage is set for serious competition!
 
For those wondering about the next chapter in the story, the Zerg-themed Heart of the Swarm, Gamespot reports that SCII game director Dustin Browder said, "I don't think you'll be playing it this year. That seems very unlikely to me. But we're pounding away on it as fast as we possibly can."
 
And what about the all-but-forgotten StarCraft Ghost?  Blizzard head Mike Morhaine: "We have to choose, we can't do everything... They were working on StarCraft Ghost the same time we were working on World of Warcraft and StarCraft II.  World of Warcraft exploded and we needed to make some resource decisions. It just wasn't an environment in which a project like StarCraft Ghost could succeed."
 
PS3 hackers banned from PSN
 
Hackers and Sony don't go together well, and now even less so. According to Attack of the Fanboy, reports have been surfacing that Sony has started banning users who try to circumvent the PlayStation Network security protocols. Specifically, such hackers who had been using forged login certificates and rerouting their jailbroken consoles' DNS addresses. At this stage it is unclear if Sony has started the bans based on bogus log-ins, or because users are using pirated software on their consoles. 
 
Rumours of Wii 2
 
With both Sony and Microsoft releasing motion-based console enhancements, is there something new coming from the original in this regard - the Nintendo Wii? THQ boss Brian Farrell left this question wide open at the recently held Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. According to videogaming247, Farrel replied to a shareholder's question regarding predicted console cycles, "We don't expect new hardware any time soon from either Microsoft or Sony. It’s difficult on Nintendo – we’ll let them announce their new hardware." Is this a nudge-nudge, wink-wink from Farrell indicating that a Wii 2 might not be that far off?
 
Gamers' Voice vs Treyarch
 
British advocacy group Gamers' Voice has taken Treyarch to task over some of its community manager Josh Olin's comments regarding gamers' complaints about issues with Call of Duty: Black Ops.
 
Olin had claimed in an interview that "angry gamers" are irrational and stifle innovation, and had downplayed the seriousness of bugs reported within the game. Gamers' Voice Chairman, Paul Gibson, had this to say: “Gamers’ Voice does not expect games to be bug free and we recognise it's not possible, particularly in light of the size and technical complexity of modern games. What we do expect are games with all the functions of the game working as advertised [...] We don't have unreasonable expectations, but such game breaking bugs as those that everyone is aware of in Black Ops are unacceptable, particularly given how long the game has been out.” He also expressed his hope that Mr Olin will continue to engage with  Call of Duty players, in an attempt to solve these problems.

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