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November 17, 2019
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Updates » Social/Online
The FTC is holding a public workshop in August to discuss loot boxes  
by Alissa McAloon [04.05.19]
The Federal Trade Commission has set a date for first leg of its loot box investigation and is looking to explore different topics surrounding the monetization system through a public workshop.
Social/Online, Business/Marketing

PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch online services face UK investigation  
by Alissa McAloon [04.05.19]
The United Kingdom's Competitions and Markets Authority has opened an investigation into the fairness of refund policies and auto-renewals for PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo online services.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Valve argues it should be excluded from EU geo-blocking accusations 5
by Alissa McAloon [04.05.19]
Valve has fired back at today’s geo-blocking accusations from the European Commission, saying that, in short, Steam as a platform can’t be held responsible for the actions of the named publishers.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Snapchat's new Snap Games platform includes games from Zynga, Spry Fox  
by Alissa McAloon [04.04.19]
Snapchat has unveiled its long-rumored game platform, and announced the first developers partnering with the company to bring social games to the service.
Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet

China's frozen game approval process continues long thaw  
by Kris Graft [04.03.19]
China's long slog through foreign and domestic game approvals continues, as the number of games approved for release in the country since its content crackdown nears 1,000.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Epic wants to leave the Epic Games Store exclusivity decision up to devs 6
by Alissa McAloon [04.03.19]
There had been some mention of not pursuing games that are already up on Steam to avoid controversy, but Epic says it still plans to offers devs on Steam the option to go Epic Games Store exclusive.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Civilization VI update brings cross-platform cloud saves to Steam and Switch  
by Alissa McAloon [04.03.19]
It’s a neat feature, but one that comes with a few caveats since the PC version of the game offers content not yet available on Switch.
Console/PC, Social/Online

Video: Laralyn McWilliams on staying optimistic and creative in game dev  
by Staff [04.02.19]
At GDC 2019 veteran game dev Laralyn McWilliams gives a stirring, concise talk about practical ways to stay upbeat and fulfilled during a career in the ever-changing game industry.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Serious, Video, Vault

Devs recall moments of instability, indecision, and crunch on Anthem 4
by Alissa McAloon [04.02.19]
Some of the anecdotes shared by the anonymous Anthem developers offer a look at how issues encountered in different parts of development can wear on a team and affect the work they set out to do
Console/PC, Social/Online, Production

Valve walks through the dev-focused features headed to Steam in 2019 8
by Alissa McAloon [04.01.19]
A video of Valve's Steam Business Update from GDC gives developers a way to hear more details about updates and improvements announced for the platform last month.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Video, GDC

Humble Monthly now has over 400,000 subscribers 1
by Alissa McAloon [04.01.19]
It's a milestone the company quietly hit over the past year, and one that comes just 4 years after it debuted the subscription-based game bundle back in 2015.
Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Video Game Deep Cuts: A is for Apple Arcade, B is for rolling bones? 1
by Gamasutra staff [03.29.19]
This week's roundup includes a look at the Apple Arcade announcement, an intriguing video on how the Mongolian steppes do gaming, plus pieces on Sekiro, clicker games, AR, video game folklorists.
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Programming, Art, Audio, Design, Production, Business/Marketing

Security researcher pleads guilty to hacking into Nintendo and Microsoft  
by Emma Kidwell [03.29.19]
24 year old security researcher Zammis Clark avoided jail time by pleading guilty to hacking into Microsoft and Nintendo servers and stealing confidential information.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Risk of Rain 2 is running a buy-one-get-one free launch promo 1
by Alissa Mcaloon [03.28.19]
The 3D followup to the 2013 release Risk of Rain is running a limited time promotion to get more eyes on the game and encourage players to team up in its co-op mode.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Indie

Players' Lounge raises $3M for a wager-based, competitive video game platform  
by Alissa McAloon [03.28.19]
It's a hefty investment into a business based around competitive games, and one that has drawn the attention and funds of tech investors and celebrities like Drake.
Social/Online

Wash your game's windows: An argument for clean mechanics 3
by Gamasutra Community [03.28.19]
Independent game dev Lars Doucet (Defender's Quest) says: "Playing a game with unclear mechanics is like peering through a dirty, smudged window. This calls for some Windex!"
VR, Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design

GameStop moving into esports with new events venue  
by Emma Kidwell [03.27.19]
GameStop has announced its partnership with esports organization Complexity Gaming to open up the GameStop Performance Center in Frisco, Texas.
Console/PC, Social/Online, Business/Marketing

Intel and Spirit AI are working on machine learning-powered voice chat moderation 1
by Alissa McAloon [03.27.19]
It's an extension of the AI-powered text moderation tools Spirit AI unveiled last year, and one that sees tech giant Intel stepping in to provide support.
Social/Online

Comcast plans to build a $50 million esports arena in Philadelphia 1
by Alissa McAloon [03.26.19]
Comcast Spectacor has laid plans to build a $50 million arena in South Philadelphia to host esports and related events.
Social/Online

GDC in Pictures: Highlights from GDC 2019!  
by Staff [03.26.19]
Words alone can't fully convey the experience of spending a week at GDC, so here are a few standout shots of the people, talks, and experiences which made GDC 2019 a success!
Console/PC, Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, GDC