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Katy Hollingsworth

Katy is a 23 year old graduate of Texas State University, with a bachelor’s in Mass Communications. She specializes in writing and editing in video games journalism and is an avid PC gamer. Currently located in Seattle, WA, Katy lives with her boyfriend and cat and enjoys everything in the horror genre.

Notch Sells Mojang for His Sanity, Not the Money

Microsoft acquires Mojang for $2.5 billion and Notch hits the road

Microsoft acquired Mojang and its huge hit game, Minecraft, for $2.5 billion last week, leaving majority stockholder Notch free to leave the company with a pretty penny after years of working on Minecraft.

Though Microsoft has confirmed that they will still continue to support systems other than Xbox, fans are still generally unhappy about the acquisition, many choosing to believe that Notch effectively sold out.

However, on his site, Notch states that the sale was more for his sanity than the not-so-small fortune he received. His statement iterates that he prefers working on smaller games, and that Minecraft had become too big to deal with; though most of that could be associated with the increased popularity and publicity he was receiving.

“It’s not about the money. It’s about my sanity.”

Notch has confirmed that he will still continue to make games, but only because he enjoys creating them.

Sony Playstation Has a Tough Weekend Through Bomb Threats and DDoS

Sony had a tough weekend between the service going down and a bomb threat against Sony president John Smedley.

If you thought you had a hard weekend, think again.

Most Playstation users are aware that the service was down this past weekend, leaving 53 million PS players unable to connect. The DDoS occurred throughout the weekend, though no sensitive information was obtained by the hackers, according to Reuters.

The hacking also occurred at the same time a bomb threat was issued to the American Airlines flight carrying Sony president John Smedley. The flight was diverted to Phoenix, AZ, before reaching its final destination of San Diego.

The hacking and bomb threat were both posted under the Twitter account @LizardSquad.

Microsoft reported today that its services are up and running with no issues. The FBI is currently investigating the bomb threat against American Airlines Flight 362. They also believe that tracking down Lizard Squad will be easy due to poor operational security.

Amazon Buys Twitch for $970 Million

Amazon has officially announced its acquisition of Twitch for $970 million.

Rumors were flying in the days leading up to the official announcement; Amazon has acquired Twitch, the popular gaming streaming site, for $970 million.

Though the deal was first discussed with Google, given that the tech giant also owns YouTube, apparently there was some discourse over an anti-trust agreement. As such, Amazon quickly swooped in and sealed the deal.

As Amazon prepares to enter the gaming space more seriously, it’s not a huge surprise that the company took an interest into one of the most popular streaming sites on the net. With very few sites genuinely competing for attention from YouTube, Amazon’s acquisition of Twitch shows how serious the company is becoming about gaming.

Twitch CEO Emmett Shear commented that Amazon “…[believes] in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch.”

Undergrads Invent Nail Polish That Detects Date Rape Drugs

Four North Carolina State University undergraduates are inventing a nail polish that changes color when dipped in to a spiked drink.

Known as Undercover Colors, these four undergrads are seeking to ensure that with this new nail polish, women can safely and discreetly check their drinks by stirring it with their finger. If a date rape drug such as Rohypnol or GHB is present in the drink, the polish will change colors.

Though there are currently coasters available that perform much the same test by changing colors when a drugged drink is set on them, the discreet use of nail polish ensures that a woman can remain safe and generally unnoticed when checking her drink.

You can support the development of Undercover Colors here.

Fez Creator Phil Fish and Polytron Hacked, Fish Puts It Up For Sale

Fez and Polytron are now up for sale as Phil Fish exits the industry.

In an attempt to further escalate the drama this past week between Depression Quest creator Zoe Quinn and angered gamers, hackers recently gained control of Polytron’s DropBox account, which contained varying levels of personal information that was then released to the public.

Phil Fish and Polytron are in damage control mode as the company’s Twitter account was suspended to prevent any further issues.

Zoe Quinn claims to have also been hacked and her DropBox compromised.

Phil Fish announced today that Fez and Polytron are now up for sale. “I would like to announce that POLYTRON and the FEZ IP are now for sale… No reasonable offer will be turned down. I am done. I want out.”

Fish closed his Twitter account shortly thereafter.

Microsoft Opens Its Door to PAX Prime Goers

Microsoft will be allowing gamers to tour its Xbox campus Thursday, August 28th, starting at 4:30 PM PST.

Gamers attending PAX Prime next weekend can arrive at the Seattle Convention Center to ride the Sunset Overdrive bus to the Xbox Campus, where they can tour the facilities and see 25 upcoming ID@Xbox games.

Because there were too many games to properly feature in the Xbox booth at PAX, starting at 4:30 PM PST, gamers can head over to the Xbox campus and talk with some of the developers.

Gamers must be 18 or over (or travelling with an adult) in order to board the bus, which will pick up at 4:30 PM and 6 PM PST infront of the Seattle Convention Center. The bus will then return gamers at 8 PM and 9:30 PM PST.

Mario Kart for PC? Not Quite: Super World Karts

Indie racing game Super World Karts hits Steam Greenlight

Super World Karts Grand Prix hit Steam Greenlight on August 9th, and the 16-bit racer seems to be getting a decent amount of support on Greenlight and on Kickstarter.

The racers are comprised of many popular indie games like Lobodestroyo, Read Only Memories, Fist of Awesome and more. The game is coming in 1080p and 60fps, according to developers. It’ll have its own collection of achievements and collection rewards, as well as character and track unlocks depending on platform.

Compatible with all sorts of controllers, the game will also feature controller controls for tilting, touching and analog. While currently the only platforms on schedule are the PC, OUYA and Mac, other platforms may roll out depending on stretch goals.

Lego Marketing Director: Minecraft is digital Lego

Lego marketing director David Gram speaks in Malmo about Lego’s inspiration from Minecraft.

In a rather wistful talk at Malmo’s The Conference, Lego marketing director David Gram notes that Lego needs to re-invent the way it interacts with kids; especially with kids who tend to play more digitally than with physical bricks.

Taking Lego to the computer screen comes from inspiration from Minecraft, the increasingly popular block-building game that allows gamers to build entire worlds with blocks. 

“Minecraft is digital Lego,” Gram says. “We only wish we had invented it.”

Lego recently launched Lego Fusion, which is slated to be a mix between Civilization and The Sims. Gamers can build and populate a town, but they must build the town with physical bricks. Then, gamers can take photos with a phone or tablet and take it to the computer screen for a 3D render. There are no templates or instructions, so gamers can build whatever they like.

Lego states that it was keen on returning to the core of Lego as a company: getting kids to build things with bricks.

Star Citizen Tops Crowdfunding Records With $51 Million

Star Citizen has gained $51 million dollars in support thanks to some surprisingly expensive digital ships.

Thanks to the launch of some surprisingly expensive digital ships in its 2945 RSI Constellation Lineup, Star Citizen has reached $51 million in support.

Priced from $150 – $350, these limited edition ships have boosted support for a game still in develop, though it promises to take gamers to a “galaxy far, far away.”

Only 5,000 of these ships will be sold, making them a fairly hot item for gamers looking forward to the release of Star Citizen, which thus far hasn’t been suggested or confirmed, though some are saying the game will release towards the end of 2016. Currently, gamers can “pledge” by pre-ordering packages through Star Citizen’s website.

Titanfall Xbox One Bundle Discontinued

Spencer confirmed yesterday that the Titanfall bundle for Xbox One will be discontinued.

Titanfall launched earlier this year to the accolades of many who believed the hype that this was truly the next-gen of FPS. Did Titanfall deliver? That’s difficult to say.

Difficult enough to say in fact that Phil Spencer confirmed yesterday via Twitter that the Xbox One bundle for Titanfall was going to be discontinued. Perhaps it’s being replaced by Sunset Overdrive and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but my money is on Titanfall’s underwhelming performance compared to the hype it received pre-release.

As of publishing, the bundle is still available for $500 from third-party retailers like Amazon.

Or, you can hold on to your wallet and wait for the $399 Sunset Overdrive bundle on October 28th. the Sunset Overdrive bundle comes with a white Xbox One.