Video game journalist infects hundreds of EVE nerds with insidious virus

A gaming convention turned into the banal opening scene of a zombie outbreak movie this week as a number of players who attended EVE Vegas 2017 suddenly came down with the symptoms of a cold virus after the event. The airborne virus was brought to the event by an anonymous video game journalist — let’s call him Drendan Brain — and is believed to have originated in the United Kingdom, where it’s been sweeping rapidly across the country this month.

We reached out to Drendan Brain for comment, but his phone always went to a busy tone and his emails keep getting returned to me. The cold may also have been brought to the event by 19 other attendees from the UK, the EVE: Valkyrie team from the UK, or literally anyone going through any airport, but that wouldn’t make a snazzy headline. However the outbreak started, hundreds of EVE Online players were potentially exposed and many are now crawling into bed with some chicken soup and a cup of hot lemon. Get well soon, space bros!

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League of Legends increases prices in the UK over Brexit currency woes

Your pounds won’t carry you quite as far in League of Legends at this point. The game’s prices for Riot Points (i.e., the currency you use to purchase everything else in the game) will be increasing on July 25th by roughly 20%. Developer Riot Games has stated that this is in direct response to the falling value of the pound and its consistently lower value following the unexpected Brexit vote a year ago; while altering prices was hardly an original goal, after a year went by and the pound remained low, it was time to make the change.

The silver lining (of sorts) is that players should still receive the same points from a single purchase as they would if they converted from dollars to pounds and then purchased a point bundle, so it’s more about parity than just hurting gamers in the UK. Any points bought before July 25th will be unaffected, so if you want to stock up, now may be the time to do so.


FIFA YouTubers plead guilty to charges under UK gambling act

Back in September, we reported on the UK’s case against Craig “NepentheZ” Douglas and Dylan Rigby, the YouTubers charged under the Gambling Act with running an illegal gambling enterprise using FIFA’s in-game currency. Douglas had been further charged with promoting gambling to minors. At the time, the duo had maintained innocent, but now, the BBC reports, both have entered pleas of guilty to their assortment of charges. Neither has been sentenced.

The BBC is calling it “the first time the UK’s gambling commission has prosecuted people for running an unlicensed gambling website connected to a video game.”

This is a separate case from the one launched in Texas last fall, under which the FBI alleged that a different group of miscreants had developed hacking tools to spoof FIFA matches and rope in millions of dollars in FIFA coins, which they dopily made no attempt to hide.

Gambling has been a hot topic for the MMO genre in particular over the last few months; check out MOP’s Andrew Ross’ take on the topic from a few weeks ago.

Source: BBC. Cheers, Gibbins!


UK watchdog group dismisses gamer complaints over No Man’s Sky advertising

Back in September, we reported that UK watchdog group Advertising Standards Authority was investigating No Man’s Sky following “several” — we now know it was 23 — complaints over the game’s advertising practices. Now that group has issued its ruling, declining to uphold the complaints.

Gamers had argued that “some of the game content was not as depicted or described,” specifically as pertained to advertising videos and screenshots, the bit about “exploration and survival in an infinite procedurally generated universe,” and the claim that players would be able to “Fly smoothly from deep space to planetary surfaces, with no loading screens, and no limits … Trade convoys travel between stars, factions vie for territory.”

But the ASA dismissed those complaints on the grounds that procedural generation ensures that “player experiences would vary according to what material was generated in their play-through” and that “consumers would understand the images and videos to be representative of the type of content they would encounter during gameplay, but would not generally expect to see those specific creatures, landscapes, battles and structures.”

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