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Archive for the ‘Gaming’

Online trolls really are losers

August 04, 2015 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apps, Dr Search, Gaming, Search Clinic, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

New research has found that men who harass women online are actual losers – at least when it comes to video games.

Online trolls really are losersTwo researchers analysed how men treated women while playing 163 games of Halo 3.

Men who performed poorly in the games responded by being hostile to female players- and were more likely to bully female players.

The male winners were mostly pleasant to other players, while the losing men made unsavoury comments to female players.

“Low-status males that have the most to lose due to a hierarchical reconfiguration are responding to the threat female competitors pose,” the researchers, from the University of New South Wales and the Miami University in Ohio, write. “High-status males with the least to fear were more positive.”

In Halo 3, players are anonymous and only interact with each other by voice a few times during the game. Most Halo players are men.

When performing poorly, players increased negative statements toward women and submissive statements toward the men who were winning.

“As men often rely on aggression to maintain their dominant social status, the increase in hostility towards a woman by lower-status males may be an attempt to disregard a female’s performance,” the researchers write.

Male players were thrown off by hearing female voices during the game. The researchers think their results suggest that young males should be taught that losing to women is not “socially debilitating”.

The results also suggest that video games may be reinforcing gender segregation and potentially promoting sexist behaviours, especially troubling since so many “gamers” are teenagers.

Number of people in UK games industry employment increases

March 21, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Gaming, internet, Search Clinic, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Website Design

A new report by video games industry trade association Tiga has found that both employment and investment in the UK sector increased in 2012.Number of people in UK games industry employment increasesBy the end of the year there were 118 more studios and 336 more creative staff than there had been in 2011. Studios also invested £427 million in games.

The rise in employment figures followed a three year period of decline in staff numbers, said the report.

Tiga said the rise of mobiles and tablets had provided a boost.

“The sector’s return to growth has been driven by three factors,” said Tiga chief executive Richard Wilson.

“Firstly, the increasing prevalence of mobile and tablet devices have created a growing market for games: studios are setting up to meet this demand. Secondly, the closure of big console based studios has been followed by an explosion of small start up companies.

“Thirdly, the advent of games tax relief, which Tiga was instrumental in achieving, is already stimulating growth.”

The games tax relief initiative was introduced in the March 2012 budget and is due to be implemented next month.

A similar scheme already exists in the UK film industry and is due to run until 2015.

British productions with a budget of £20 million or less can apply for a 25% rebate on any new games productions.

PlayStation 4 console announced by Sony

February 22, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Customer Service, Gaming, internet, Search Clinic, Social Networking, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Sony has announced its next-generation gaming console – the PlayStation 4.PlayStation 4 console announced by SonyIts new hardware is designed to offer superior graphics as well as new social features including the sharing of recorded gameplay clips.

It will succeed the PlayStation 3, which went on sale in 2006 and has sold about 75 million units.

Sony also confirmed a range of big-name software for the machine including Bungie’s upcoming “shared-world shooter” Destiny, which will include exclusive content for the PS4.

The developer’s previous title, Halo, helped drive sales for the rival Xbox platform.

A successful launch might spur on sales of Sony’s new televisions and other consumer electronics, helping turn around its fortunes.

Sony posted a £3.2 billion loss in its last financial year, marking the fourth year it ended in deficit.

But the firm has forecast a profit for the current financial year ending in March.

Sony said the console was “coming holiday 2013” suggesting it will go on sale in at least some countries in or around December.

Sony described the machine as being like a “supercharged” PC.

It runs off an x86-based CPU (central processing unit) – similar architecture to that found in most desktop computers – and an “enhanced” PC GPU (graphics processing unit). Both CPU and GPU are designed by the US firm Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).

It comes with the new DualShock 4 controller, which includes a touchpad, a “share button” and a lightbar, which allows a separate camera to track its movement.

Another new feature is that gamers can let one of their friends connect to their machine and take control of their character to help if they have got stuck, or allow several friends to watch their live progress as spectators.

While the graphics shown during the demonstrations were more advanced that those in current games for Nintendo’s Wii U, Sony must also convince gamers to choose its platform over PC-based systems.

Sony did not announce how much it plans to charge – perhaps holding the news back for the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles in June or a later announcement.
Quantic Dream demo Developers say they can create more realistic looking in-game characters, making it easier to convey emotions

The PlayStation 3 was initially sold at a loss, so if that practice is repeated with the new model its launch may initially put fresh strain on the firm’s finances.

Nintendo warns on it’s Wii-U sales forecast

February 01, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Ecommerce, Gaming, internet, Nintendo, Search Clinic, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Nintendo has cut the sales forecast for its new Wii-U console-  but still expects to make an annual profit thanks to the weaker yen.Nintendo warns on it's Wii-U sales forecastIt now predicts it will sell only four million Wii-Us in the year to March, down 27% from its previous forecast, after sales disappointed.

Nonetheless, the Japanese firm increased its annual net profit forecast to £98 million thanks to gains from its weakening home currency.

A year ago it made a loss of  £302 million.

For the first nine months of its year, the firm reported a £102 million profit, compared with a loss of  £115 million a year earlier.

The results, which came after the end of trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, provide mixed signals for stock analysts.

The apparent failure so far of the Wii-U to take off versus competition from tablet and smart phone game applications may bode ill for the company’s long-term growth prospects.

Nintendo also cut its full-year sales forecasts for its other games consoles, with 3DS sales expected to reach 15 million by March (down 14% from its previous forecast), and DS sales to total 2.3 million (down 8%).

Perhaps the biggest shock will come from the firm announcing that it now expected to make an overall operating loss of £140 million for the year, whereas previously it had foreseen a £140 million operating profit. Financial analysts had expected a £85.7 million operating profit on average.

The company said that the new forecasts took account of the evident turnaround in the yen with the election of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has taken a much more aggressively expansionary stance towards both government spending and the central bank’s monetary policy.

The weakening currency provides a two-fold benefit to the company – increasing the value of its foreign currency assets in the short-term, and reversing its steady loss of price competitiveness against foreign rivals in the longer-term.

Atari US operations file for bankruptcy protection

January 21, 2013 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Computers, Customer Service, Dr Search, Gaming, Search Clinic, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Video Marketing

The US operations of Atari have filed for bankruptcy protection.Atari US operations file for bankruptcy protectionThe maker of the ground breaking video game Pong is seeking to separate from its loss making French parent Atari SA.

Atari Inc, together with Atari Interactive Inc, Humongous Inc. and California US Holdings Inc. want to secure independent funding to develop digital and mobile games.

Atari’s Pong was an arcade game credited with helping to create the multi billion pound video games industry but it’s more recent titles which include ‘Centipede’, ‘Missile Command’ and Rollercoaster Tycoon’ have been less successful.

Atari said in December it was looking to raise cash and was talking to investors.

It is believed Atari US hopes to find a buyer to take the firm private, subsequently allowing it to focus on mobile and digital games.

Atari’s revenue dropped by 34% in 2012 and 43% the year before. Profits, meanwhile, have also been relatively small, while Atari SA share prices are now worth less than a single euro.

The company is also said to be reliant on London’s BlueBay Asset management for cash, which has left Atari US unable to release a number of games currently in development.

Atari Inc has since secured financing worth $5.25 million to continue operations, and will emerge from bankruptcy with little or no debt should it find a buyer.

In a statement, the companies said, “with this move the US based Atari operations seek to separate from the structural financial encumbrances of their French parent holding company, Atari SA”.

Atari SA, formerly known as Infogrames SA has been struggling financially for years.

The US operations of Atari have shifted their business from retail games to digital games in recent times and have become a growth engine for Atari SA.

“The Chapter 11 process constitutes the most strategic option for Atari’s US operations as they look to preserve their inherent value and unlock revenue potential unrealized while under the control of Atari SA,” the statement said.

Neither Atari SA or Atari Inc. were available for comment.

Smartphone games apps won’t kill gaming consoles

October 03, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Apps, Computers, Customer Service, Gaming, smart phones, Social Media, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Video Marketing

The organiser of the UK’s biggest video games show- the Eurogamer Expo, is confident smartphone gaming won’t kill off traditional gaming.Smartphone games apps won't kill gaming consolesRupert Loman thinks that people will always want the experience of playing a game on a big screen with friends or taking on other players online.

The Eurogamer Expo was held last week at London’s Earls Court.

It gives fans first hand gaming experience of about 50 upcoming titles, such as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Assassin’s Creed 3.

“I just think it’s testament to how far the games industry has come, that there’s so many different ways you can play,” says Rupert.

He believes that the “huge” popularity of console gaming, and the massive numbers shifted by the likes of the Call of Duty series, means it’s as strong as ever.

” Gaming now offers something for everyone. There’s all sorts of ways of playing – online games, massively multi-player universes, social games.”

“With the Wii U you’ve got games that are great for kids and families. Anyone can game these days – there are so many ways of doing it.”

However he does admit that, while console gaming will always be around, mobile gaming could eventually overtake it in terms of popularity.

“It could well end up being a bigger industry,” he says.

“But I don’t think it will replace that situation where you want to play Fifa or something like that in your front room with your friends. That’s one experience.  You’re on the train and you want to play a game on your 3DS or your Vita or on your mobile – that’s another”.

Rupert Loman says he expects Microsoft and Sony to start making moves very soon: “As far as I’m aware, their plans for next generation consoles are pretty far advanced.

“I’d expect them to be revealed mid-next year and be in the shops next Christmas, or soon after that.”

UK snoopers’ charter faces severe criticism

June 15, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Browser, Cyber Security, data security, Email, Gaming, internet, search engines, Skype, Tablets, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Civil liberty groups have voiced severe criticism over the newly published Data Communications bill aka snoopers’ charter. UK snoopers’ charter faces severe criticism   The controversial bill extends the type of data that Internet Service Providers must keep to include your emails, web browsing history and social media posts- including Skype.

The government claims that the legislation is need in the fight against criminals and terrorists.

However activists have dubbed it a snooper’s charter.

“This is all about giving the police unsupervised access to data. It is shocking for a government that opposed Labour’s plans on this to propose virtually the same thing,” said Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group.

“It will cost billions of pounds and will end up only catching the stupid or the innocent. Terrorists will circumvent it.”

Dyenamic Solutions also points out the non UK organisations may not be compelled to store your data- thus not only driving a coach and horses through the intended effectiveness, but also forcing many UK ecommerce business abroad.

Publishing the bill, Home Secretary Theresa May said: “Communications data saves lives. It is a vital tool for the police to catch criminals and to protect children.”

But Mr Killock argues that knowing where a citizen has been online is equally intrusive.

Drawing a parallel he said: “If I’m having an affair then who I’m talking to is just as revealing as what I say,” he said.

The bill – an update to the controversial RIPA (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) legislation – lays out new duties for the UK communications companies.

The new proposals would require ISPs to keep details of a much wider range of data including use of social network sites, webmail, voice calls over the internet, and gaming. Websites you visit will also be recorded.

The Internet Service Providers’ Association said that it would be lobbying MPs in the coming months.

“Ispa has concerns about the new powers to require network operators to capture and retain third party communications data,” said a spokesman.

“These concerns include the scope and proportionality, privacy and data protection implications and the technical feasibility.

“Whilst we appreciate that technological developments mean that government is looking again at its communications data capabilities, it is important that powers are clear and contain sufficient safeguards,” it added.

Please join the Snoopers Charter Petition– it takes just 2 minutes and could have a huge effect against this red tape- which the Financial Times estimates will cost us £2.8 billion over the next 10 years.

UK games sales beat video sales

March 26, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: Computers, Ecommerce, Gaming, Smart TV, Technology Companies, Uncategorized, Video Marketing

Sales of computer games in the UK have surpassed those of videos for the first time according to new research.UK games sales beat video salesThe Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) said sales of £1.93 billion in 2011 made the gaming industry the country’s biggest entertainment sector.

By contrast, sales of DVDs and other video formats totalled £1.80 billion, while music sales came only third with only £1.07 billion in UK sales.

However, in the first 11 weeks of this year, the ERA said video sales were worth more than two times those of games.

By comparison over the whole of last year games accounted for 40.2% of the entertainment market, video for 37.6% and music for 22.2%.

Total sales in 2011 for games, video and music fell year-on-year by 3.3% to £4.80bn.

“This is a dramatic time for the entertainment market,” said Kim Bayley, director general of the ERA.

“It is an historic development for the games sector to have overtaken video last year. Video has long been the biggest entertainment sector. Sales so far this year, however, suggest video is not going down without a fight.”

“The UK is the most competitive retail games market in Europe – as such I don’t believe gaps in the market will be left unplugged for any length of time.”

However it not all profits for gaming companies. The Game Group has today gone into administration.

The business has been hit by competition from online only retailers.

Game Group employs 385 staff at its headquarters in Basingstoke in Hampshire, and about 5,100 in its stores in the UK and Ireland.

Microsoft’s quarterly profits fall

January 23, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: bing, Gaming, Microsoft, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

Microsoft’s profits in the three months to the end of December fell as lower computer sales hit its core Windows business.Microsoft's quarterly profits fallThe world’s largest software firm made a net profit of £4.27 billion ($6.624 billion), against £4.42 billion for its second quarter last year.

Revenues rose 5% to £13.47 billion, slightly down on some analysts’ expectations.

Revenue at the Windows operating system division fell, but rose at its server, Xbox 360 and online services arms.

Wall Street welcomed the figures, with Microsoft’s shares rising 2.1% in after-hours trading.

Tighter cost control and a continuing reduction of losses at the Bing search engine helped boost the figures.

Analysts were expecting a fall in business at the Windows division due to slower sales of PCs.

The computer industry is facing a worldwide shortage of hard disk drives due to flood devastation in Thailand whit hit the global supply chain of suppliers in November.

But Windows is also facing competition from the growth of tablet computers such as Apple’s iPad and mobile devices using Google’s Android system.

However, Microsoft is hitting back with the release of Windows 8, an operating system for PCs and mobile devices.

Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said in a statement: “We delivered solid financial results, even as we prepare for a launch year that will accelerate many of our key products and services.”

During the quarter the Windows and Windows Live division posted revenue of £3.05 billion, a 6% fall on the previous year.

The Entertainment & Devices division saw the sharpest revenue rise, up 15% to £2.78 billion.

Crysis 2 and Call of Duty most pirated PC games of 2011

January 16, 2012 By: Dr Search Principal Consultant at the Search Clinic Category: data security, Gaming, internet, Social Networking, Technology Companies, Uncategorized

The most pirated game of 2011 was PC title Crysis 2, according to technology blog TorrentFreak.Crysis 2 and Call of Duty most pirated PC games of 2011It was downloaded illegally an estimated 3.2 million times after its release in March last year.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, FIFA 12 and Portal 2 made up the rest of the top five most pirated PC games.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 was the most downloaded Wii game while Gears of War 3 took top spot on the Xbox 360 list.

The PS3 isn’t included in the list as far fewer games are illegally downloaded for that console.

TorrentFreak says the number of downloads of the top titles in each category is slightly lower than last year.

Super Mario Galaxy 2, released in 2010, is the most pirated Wii game for the second year in a row.

Meanwhile, Fast Five was the most pirated Hollywood film of 2011.

TorrentFreak estimates that the movie was illegally downloaded more than nine million times last year.

The Hangover II, Thor, The King’s Speech and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 were also in the top 10.

The data for the estimated download numbers is collected by TorrentFreak from several sources, including reports from all public BitTorrent trackers.

PC game downloads on BitTorrent in 2011
1. Crysis 2 (Estimated 3.9 million)
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (3.6m)
3. Battlefield 3 (3.5m)
4. FIFA 12 (3.3m)
5. Portal 2 (3.2m)

Wii game downloads on BitTorrent in 2011
1. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (1.2 million)
2. Mario Sports Mix (1m)
3. Xenoblade Chronicles (950K)
4. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (870K)
5. FIFA 12 (860K)

Xbox 360 downloads on BitTorrent in 2011
1. Gears of War 3 (890,000)
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (830K)
3. Battlefield 3 (760K)
4. Forza Motorsport 4 (720K)
5. Kinect Sports: Season Two (690K)