Valve Found Guilty for Breaking Australian Law with Steam Refund Policy

Valve Corporation, the company behind the Steam PC distribution platform, has been found guilty of breaching Australian Consumer Law due to Steam’s lack of a refund policy, as ruled by the Australian Federal Court and reported by Kotaku Australia.

Steam did not have its current refund policy in place when proceedings commenced in 2014, involving allegations that Valve was in direct breach of Australian law which states: “It is a breach of the Australian Consumer Law for businesses to state that they do not give refunds under any circumstances, including for gifts and during sales.”

Today, the Australian Federal Court ruled that Valve had made “false or misleading representations in the terms and conditions contained in three versions of its Steam Subscriber Agreement and two versions of its Steam Refund Policy”. These include:

  • Consumers were not entitled to a refund for digitally downloaded games purchased from Valve via the Steam website or Steam Client (in any circumstances);

  • Valve had excluded statutory guarantees and/or warranties that goods would be of acceptable quality; and

  • Valve had restricted or modified statutory guarantees and/or warranties of acceptable quality.

Although Valve sells games to Australian consumers through Steam, it does not have a physical presence in the country, which was a major cause of contention.

Kotaku Australia reports that Valve stated that it did not officially trade in Australia, but only provided online access to video games through a client, which they felt did not fall into the definition of ‘goods’ as it is defined in Australian Consumer Law. Valve also stated that its Steam Subscriber Agreement is based in the law of the State of Washington, USA, and not that of Australia.

Today, Justice Edelman ruled that Valve was indeed conducting business in Australia, due to the three aforementioned representations in the Subscriber Agreement, which involve conduct in Australia.

In a press release, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims stated that: “The Federal Court’s decision reinforces that foreign based businesses selling goods and/or services to Australian consumers can be subject to Australian Consumer Law obligations, including the consumer guarantees.”

“This is also the first time Courts have applied the extended definition of ‘goods’ to include “computer software” in the ACL. It will provide greater certainty where digital goods are supplied to consumers through online platforms.”

“Consumer issues in the online marketplace are a priority for the ACCC and we will continue to take appropriate enforcement action to hold businesses accountable for breaches of the ACL.”

Kotaku reports that a hearing on relief is currently scheduled for April 15, but there is no set amount for liability.

Go to Source
Author: Edmond Tran

Powered by WPeMatico

Assassin's Creed 3 Studio Developing "One Ubisoft's Biggest Console/PC" Projects

Ubisoft’s Singapore studio, which was founded in 2008 and has contributed to the development of games in a number of the publisher’s biggest franchises, is now leading development on a big new PC and console project.

Ubisoft Singapore is credited with leading development on naval battles

Speaking at GDC, Olivier de Rotalier, managing director for Ubisoft’s Singapore and Southeast Asia, revealed the company’s intention to establish a new development studio in the Philippines. As part of the announcement he shared some details about the current state of the Singapore studio.

“We’ve been very happy to be involved in many titles,” he said. “We’ve built two main expertise in Singapore: one in AAA games, the other in PC online with Ghost Recon: Phantoms.

“We’ve built 10 AAA games in seven years,” he continued. “And now our studio is leading one of the biggest Ubisoft projects on console and PC.”

It is unclear whether the game in question is part of an existing franchise, or if it is a new property developed by the Singapore studio. GameSpot has asked Ubisoft for clarification.

The Singapore studio is most notable for creating Assassin’s Creed 3‘s naval battles, which went on to become a key pillar of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Rogue‘s gameplay.

Ubisoft’s new studio in the Philippines marks an expansion in the Southeast Asian territory which, according to Rotalier is “a fast-growing market in the gaming industry” and has a “young and growing population that is very connected and creative.”

Ubisoft is moving experienced Filipino developers from its Singapore studio to the new Philippines studio to give it a strong foundation to build on.

“We have, in Singapore, a team with people from the Philippines who have grown in expertise with us. We’ve built a solid work relationship and trust with them, and that’s an important core for us to start a new studio.

“Some of them will transfer to the Philippines to bring the Ubisoft knowhow, methodology, and knowledge to the studio … Leveraging the team in Singapore to train and groom the people in the [Philippines] is a key part of what we’re doing.

“[The studio manager, Chip Go] is already someone that worked in Singapore and will bring his knowledge of the group, company, and process. We want to expose [the developers] to our major AAA franchise … that’ll be the best way to expose them to the best standards of the industry and the best people to learn from. Also, [they can work] on the best technology that we have.”

According to Rotalier, Ubisoft is planning to have 50 developers at the Philippines studio by the end of 2016, and then grow to a total of 200 people.

In other Ubisoft news, in February chief executive Yves Guillemot confirmed rumours it is not releasing a new entry in the mainline Assassin’s Creed series in 2016. Instead, it is giving its developers the time to “[take advantage of all the new technologies” and “the brand a new dimension.”

An Ubisoft blog post added: “This year, we are stepping back and re-examining the Assassin’s Creed franchise … Since the release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, we’ve learned a lot based on your feedback. We’ve also updated our development processes and recommitted to making Assassin’s Creed a premier open-world franchise.

“We’re taking this year to evolve the game mechanics and to make sure we’re delivering on the promise of Assassin’s Creed offering unique and memorable gameplay experiences that make history everyone’s playground.”

Watch Dogs 2, meanwhile, is expected to will launch before the end of April 2017. Ubisoft’s fiscal 16/17 games slate also includes For Honor, South Park: The Fractured But Whole, and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands.

Go to Source
Author: Tamoor Hussain

Powered by WPeMatico

Read Apple's response to the FBI's San Bernardino iPhone hack

The dispute between the FBI and Apple over an iPhone connected to the San Bernardino terrorist shootings came to an unexpected end earlier today, as the FBI revealed it had managed to break into the phone without Apple’s assistance. Details of how exactly it achieved this remain unclear.

“It remains a priority for the government to ensure that law enforcement can obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public safety,” said the Department of Justice in a statement, “either with cooperation from relevant parties or through the court system.”

Apple just issued a response of its own, and we’ve reproduced it below.

From the beginning, we objected to the FBI’s demand that Apple build a backdoor into the iPhone…

Continue reading…

Go to Source
Author: Sam Byford

Powered by WPeMatico

US Gov't Gets Into San Bernardino Shooter's iPhone Without Apple's Help

It looks like the Apple vs. FBI case is over.

The US Department of Justice announced today that it has successfully gotten into the iPhone used by San Bernardino terrorist Syed Farook, effectively ending the legal battle between the two parties.

The DOJ said in a court filing that it was able to get into Farook’s iPhone 5C with the help of an unspecified third-party and therefore no longer needs Apple’s help

“We sought an order compelling Apple to help unlock the phone to fulfill a solemn commitment to the victims of the San Bernadino shooting– that we will not rest until we have fully pursued every investigative lead related to the vicious attack,” US attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement obtained by GameSpot sister site CNET. “Although this step in the investigation is now complete, we will continue to explore every lead, and seek any appropriate legal process, to ensure our investigation collects all of the evidence related to this terrorist attack. The San Bernardino victims deserve nothing less.”

As CNET points out, today’s news brings about a formal closure to this case. But, given that the DOJ didn’t say who it worked with or how it accessed the data, some may wonder how secure their phones really are.

For lots more on this story, head to CNET.

In February, Apple was ordered by the government to create essentially a new version of iOS that would allow authorities to tap into Farook’s iPhone. In an open letter, Apple CEO Cook said what the government is asking of the company fundamentally violates the privacy, security, and trust of its customers.

In a follow-up letter to consumers, Apple said it is technically possible to do what the FBI was asking. Apple refused, however, because it is “too dangerous.”

“The only way to guarantee that such a powerful tool isn’t abused and doesn’t fall into the wrong hands is to never create it,” Apple said.

In the wake of this case, many, including Bill Gates, have called for a discussion between technology leaders and government about how and when the government should be able to gather information.

“What if we had never had wiretapping?” Gates said earlier this month. “Also, the government needs to talk openly about safeguards. Right now a lot of people don’t think the government has the right checks to make sure information is only used in criminal situations. So this case will be viewed as the start of a discussion.

What do you make of this development? Let us know in the comments below!

Go to Source
Author: Eddie Makuch

Powered by WPeMatico

T-Mobile reportedly launching data-only plans later this week

If you really don’t use the “phone” part of your phone any more, T-Mobile may have something in store for you. TmoNews reports that the carrier will launch a range of plans called Simple Choice Data Only on March 30; the plans include unlimited texting but don’t come with any voice service.

The monthly plans break down like this, according to a leaked document:

Continue reading…

Go to Source
Author: Sam Byford

Powered by WPeMatico

Anamanaguchi Uses Viral Marketing For Latest Album Release

[UPDATE #2] After spending some time with the game as released by Anamanaguchi, this seems a lot more like a viral marketing campaign for getting out music from the band. While our writer has been in contact with representatives from Anamanaguchi and someone who claims to represent developer NHX, the state of the game itself makes us skeptical that any of this has been more than a hoax meant to increase press for the band.

While in our writer’s defense, we were contacted about the opportunity directly by representatives from Anamanaguchi, we apologize that we did not do due diligence in learning more about the game and the band’s intentions.

We’ve reached out to Anamanaguchi for further comment and will update this story with any additional details if the information is legitimate.

— Justin Haywald, Senior Editor

[UPDATE #1] Anamanaguchi has publicly commented on the game’s announcement and the band’s involvement with developer NHX, but the relationship does not seem to have been positive. In a series of tweets outlined below, members of Anamanaguchi call out NHX for being like “A TERRIBLE F**KING LANDLORD,” and then the band released its version of the game for download in this tweet.

YOU NEED A COMMENT? HERE ARE 10 COMMENTS THAT WILL ‘RISK THE INTEGRITY’ OF YOUR SHITTY GAME. pic.twitter.com/xHzwLrXQWa

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

10. YALL RAISED 33 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THIS SHIT, NOT US

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

9. IF YALL DID A KICKSTARTER ITD HAVE 10 BACKERS WHO ARE ALL FUCKING ASSHOLES pic.twitter.com/9uxjnF5LlD

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

8. NO MATTER HOW MUCH U DISSECT US EVEN IF U MAKE 1000 MILLION$$ IT CANT CHANGE THAT YOUR KIDS PROBABLY HATE YOU pic.twitter.com/Re3YigddYq

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

7. Ima hand this hsit to ary -pete

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

6. I guess working on a big budget game is just as depressing as pumping out singles for blog posts and followers pic.twitter.com/0D9JB611bT

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

5. oh and fuck it, here’s a track that apparently david leonard thought didnt fit the game.. https://t.co/z4PxZy8zxb

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

MAYBE THEIR SHITTY SCIFI FPS RPG DOESNT FIT US??

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

5 more gotta brethe

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

pic.twitter.com/nUBPoBwO7D

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

4. NHX dudes said “CREATIVE FREEDOM” & “BRAND CAPITAL” which apparently means “FREEDOM TO FUCK OFF WHILE WE THRO MILLIONS OF $$ AT BULLSHIT”

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

3. ALSO HOW DID YOU GO FROM THIS pic.twitter.com/LE7h4w2YFh

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

TO THIS pic.twitter.com/uT6jMhYmo5

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

2. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS AS RIDICULOUS AS OWNING LAND. AND NHX IS LIKE A TERRIBLE FUCKING LANDLORD

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

1. NHX WANTS TO PLUG THEIR BULLSHIT INTO YOUR BRAINS TO FIND OUT EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT AT EVERY BREATHING MOMENT. pic.twitter.com/L2K6tb2SL2

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

0. fuck it. here it is. capsule silence. the game we worked on for 3 years https://t.co/iat9FwLqmF

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

NHX has responded to GameSpot’s request for comment with the following statement:

“As you know, the artist hast not only blatantly breached the number of provisions in the applicable recording agreement, it has also willingfully infringed on NHX’s copyright rights with respect to these masters.

Equally important, without provocation, the artist has made false and disparaging statements on various websites about NHX.

All this, despite the fact that NHX has done nothing except wholeheartedly support the band, even though the band has made certain decisions that have financially damaged NHX.”

We have also reached out to Anamanaguchi for comment. We will update this story as we receive more information.

The original story follows:

Anamanaguchi, the band who did the music for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and contributed songs to Bit.Trip Runner, will feature in their own video game this year. The band announced Capsule Silence XXIV in a press release to GameSpot, alongside images that show off the likenesses of the characters and settings but not actual gameplay or assets from the game. You can see them for yourself below.

Capsule Silence XXIV is developed by NHX. Capsule Silence was described by NHX media relations manager David Leonard as a “story-based world-exploration FPS with RPG elements” that has “music at the core of the experience.”

The player takes the role of Larold, an orphan trying to uncover the truth about his mysterious past. Anamanaguchi’s band members are trapped in various parts of the game’s world, and you’re tasked with rescuing them. Each part of the world also contains a piece of an ancient artifact that players will have the choice to restore, destroy, or merge with the antonist’s power.

Anamanaguchi created the soundtrack for the game and also had a “hands-on” role with development.

Capsule Silence XXIV is set for release this year for PC and Mac with console announcements coming soon. The developer is also currently looking at virtual reality as well.

If you think you’ve seen or heard about this game before, it might be because it appears to have been leaked via Dropbox earlier this month. Originally posted on 4Chan, the Dropbox link was reposted to the Anamanaguchi subreddit. The link contained a PDF that contained information on the game which matched the PR we were sent. It also included the same images as above. When we asked NHX for comment, the company replied with the following.

“We do not believe the document accurately represents this project or our company.”

Since talking to NHX, both the Reddit thread‘s original post and the PDF have been removed.

A Twitter user also sent the PDF link to Anamanaguchi on Twitter, who appears to have acknowledged it. We’ve reached out to a representative for the band and will update this as more information becomes available.

Go to Source
Author: Mat Paget

Powered by WPeMatico

Anamanaguchi Releases Its FPS Game Online for Free, Calls Dev “Terrible F**cking Landlord" [UPDATE]

[UPDATE] Anamanaguchi has publicly commented on the game’s announcement and the band’s involvement with developer NHX, but the relationship does not seem to have been positive. In a series of tweets outlined below, members of Anamanaguchi call out NHX for being like “A TERRIBLE F**KING LANDLORD,” and then the band released its version of the game for download in this tweet.

YOU NEED A COMMENT? HERE ARE 10 COMMENTS THAT WILL ‘RISK THE INTEGRITY’ OF YOUR SHITTY GAME. pic.twitter.com/xHzwLrXQWa

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

10. YALL RAISED 33 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THIS SHIT, NOT US

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

9. IF YALL DID A KICKSTARTER ITD HAVE 10 BACKERS WHO ARE ALL FUCKING ASSHOLES pic.twitter.com/9uxjnF5LlD

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

8. NO MATTER HOW MUCH U DISSECT US EVEN IF U MAKE 1000 MILLION$$ IT CANT CHANGE THAT YOUR KIDS PROBABLY HATE YOU pic.twitter.com/Re3YigddYq

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

7. Ima hand this hsit to ary -pete

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

6. I guess working on a big budget game is just as depressing as pumping out singles for blog posts and followers pic.twitter.com/0D9JB611bT

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

5. oh and fuck it, here’s a track that apparently david leonard thought didnt fit the game.. https://t.co/z4PxZy8zxb

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

MAYBE THEIR SHITTY SCIFI FPS RPG DOESNT FIT US??

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

5 more gotta brethe

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

pic.twitter.com/nUBPoBwO7D

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

4. NHX dudes said “CREATIVE FREEDOM” & “BRAND CAPITAL” which apparently means “FREEDOM TO FUCK OFF WHILE WE THRO MILLIONS OF $$ AT BULLSHIT”

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

3. ALSO HOW DID YOU GO FROM THIS pic.twitter.com/LE7h4w2YFh

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

TO THIS pic.twitter.com/uT6jMhYmo5

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

2. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS AS RIDICULOUS AS OWNING LAND. AND NHX IS LIKE A TERRIBLE FUCKING LANDLORD

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

1. NHX WANTS TO PLUG THEIR BULLSHIT INTO YOUR BRAINS TO FIND OUT EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT AT EVERY BREATHING MOMENT. pic.twitter.com/L2K6tb2SL2

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

0. fuck it. here it is. capsule silence. the game we worked on for 3 years https://t.co/iat9FwLqmF

— dead boys (@anamanaguchi) March 28, 2016

NHX has responded to GameSpot’s request for comment with the following statement:

“As you know, the artist hast not only blatantly breached the number of provisions in the applicable recording agreement, it has also willingfully infringed on NHX’s copyright rights with respect to these masters.

Equally important, without provocation, the artist has made false and disparaging statements on various websites about NHX.

All this, despite the fact that NHX has done nothing except wholeheartedly support the band, even though the band has made certain decisions that have financially damaged NHX.”

We have also reached out to Anamanaguchi for comment. We will update this story as we receive more information.

The original story follows:

Anamanaguchi, the band who did the music for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and contributed songs to Bit.Trip Runner, will feature in their own video game this year. The band announced Capsule Silence XXIV in a press release to GameSpot, alongside images that show off the likenesses of the characters and settings but not actual gameplay or assets from the game. You can see them for yourself below.

Capsule Silence XXIV is developed by NHX. Capsule Silence was described by NHX media relations manager David Leonard as a “story-based world-exploration FPS with RPG elements” that has “music at the core of the experience.”

The player takes the role of Larold, an orphan trying to uncover the truth about his mysterious past. Anamanaguchi’s band members are trapped in various parts of the game’s world, and you’re tasked with rescuing them. Each part of the world also contains a piece of an ancient artifact that players will have the choice to restore, destroy, or merge with the antonist’s power.

Anamanaguchi created the soundtrack for the game and also had a “hands-on” role with development.

Capsule Silence XXIV is set for release this year for PC and Mac with console announcements coming soon. The developer is also currently looking at virtual reality as well.

If you think you’ve seen or heard about this game before, it might be because it appears to have been leaked via Dropbox earlier this month. Originally posted on 4Chan, the Dropbox link was reposted to the Anamanaguchi subreddit. The link contained a PDF that contained information on the game which matched the PR we were sent. It also included the same images as above. When we asked NHX for comment, the company replied with the following.

“We do not believe the document accurately represents this project or our company.”

Since talking to NHX, both the Reddit thread‘s original post and the PDF have been removed.

A Twitter user also sent the PDF link to Anamanaguchi on Twitter, who appears to have acknowledged it. We’ve reached out to a representative for the band and will update this as more information becomes available.

Go to Source
Author: Mat Paget

Powered by WPeMatico