We Bet You Can’t Get Enough Of These Tips From Overwatch Myths Episode 5


Blizzard’s newest shooter Overwatch is a deep beast with a lot of ins-and-outs and nifty tricks, so you better study up on these tips before your next match.


After learning how Genji can deflect Zarya’s ultimate or how to use Junket to trap Mei while she is using cry-freeze, check out Defend the House’s


other videos on Fallout 4, Dark Souls III, The Division.



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For more on Overwatch, you can check out our review, and find out which characters our staff gravitate toward here. Also watch Episode’s One, Two, and Three of Overwatch Myths for more tips.


Sonic Team Is Hard At Work On New Sonic Game


Along with the celebration of Sonic’s 25 years of gaming service, a recent interview with Famitsu (translated by Soah City) suggested that Sonic Team is in the midst of development on a new Sonic game. We reached out to Sega for further details, and learned that not only is the new Sonic Team-crafted game in the works, but we should get more details about the project at this year’s San Diego Comic Con.


Check out our review for 2014’s Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric to find out why Sonic Team has an uphill battle in its quest to reinvigorate the franchise. 


[Source: Famitsu via Soah City]




Our Take


Sonic has had a shaky history in recent years, but it’s heartening to hear that the core creative team is hoping to right the ship with a new entry. 



NHL 17 Celebrates Cover Star With Beta & Gameplay Trailer


As the NHL celebrates its season award recipients and announcement that Las Vegas is getting a franchise, NHL 17 has its own fanfare. St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko has been named the game’s cover star after a fan vote, and even if you didn’t vote for him, there’s still something you can look forward to.


Tarasenko won the contest, which featured over six million votes, but perhaps more importantly, the beta – which runs from July 28 through August 4 – features three of the title’s game modes: Online Versus, EASHL, and Hockey Ultimate Team. Sign up for the beta starts now and stops on the end of day on July 7.


The beta lets you customize your team and arena, but it’s unknown if you’ll get to carry over these creations into the final game.


Head over here to sign up for the beta (it’s on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) and a chance to get early access to the beta.


For more of our thoughts on NHL 17’s gameplay from E3, check out the latest entry of the Sports Desk as well as these previous impressions. Also take a look at the game’s announced features so far.


NHL 17 comes out for the PS4 and Xbox One on September 13.


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Embattled Retailer G2A Speaks Out About Grey Market Fraud And Theft Accusations


Over the past few days, the games industry has taken a new stand against grey-market game code reselling. The practice is accused of being linked to credit card theft and excessive chargebacks that can cripple smaller companies.


Grey market sales are defined as those that are technically legal, but not a distribution vehicle intended by the original seller. The codes originate with TinyBuild or an authorized partner, but problems arise when criminals use stolen credit cards to buy in bulk and sell on auction sites at prices that undercut the primary seller. 


The confrontation has involved many players over the years, but this latest flare-up was initiated by small publisher TinyBuild. The company has accused G2A, a third-party resale clearinghouse, of selling $450,000 worth of the publisher’s keys obtained through illicit methods. When the owner of the stolen payment method discovers what’s happened, their credit card company reverses the charges, the developer is charged back, and the keys are still floating in the market.


Too many chargebacks can cause a financial institution to shut down a developer’s storefront. You can read our previous coverage for the full details.


In an interview today, G2A CEO Bartosz Skwarczek again contested TinyBuild’s assertion, touted his company’s security protocols, and disputed a widely held belief that the retailer is harmful to the gaming industry. In order to understand why some have an issue with G2A’s practices, it’s important to know how the company operates.


In TinyBuild’s original post, company CEO Alex Nichiporchik likens G2A to eBay. Skwarczek agreed that the comparison is accurate, though as we probed, it became clear there are some marked differences.


When selling on eBay, members are required to provide verified payment information. This ensures that eBay has a means to intervene in the event that a buyer doesn’t receive an item. G2A doesn’t have a comparable mechanism in place to protect itself and developers from fraud or bad transactions.



Punch Club sells for $9.99 at regular price.


“On our platform, there are more than 200,000 sellers and over 10 million buyers,” Skwarczek says. “At G2A, there are more than 25 different departments and more than 600 people creating the whole platform. We have departments like anti-money laundering, with people who are dedicated to check the seller and transactions. We have an anti-risk department. We have a legal department, financial department, and customer service department.”


The company would not disclose how effective its anti-money laundering department is. We inquired about the number of investigations conducted and amount of money protected by these efforts, but Skwarczek declined to answer on the grounds of confidentiality.


The company also wouldn’t tell us how many transactions its top seller conducts on average per month. We inquired about an aggregated, ballpark average for the top 10 percent of sellers, and were declined, also. G2A claims even anonymized and aggregated data is confidential.


“What I can say with this particular example with TinyBuild is that before this all started, we did our research,” Skwarczek explained. “We identified more than 200 TinyBuild product auctions on our marketplace and we suspended all of them, because they violated our terms and conditions or ‘know your customer’ (KYC) procedures.”


He says that more than 50 sellers were responsible for those 200 auctions. However, because no identifying information is collected up front, G2A must contact each of those sellers in hopes that they will respond to the suspension of their accounts.


“When there is a suspicion that the seller is not fully compliant or legal, then we ask for ID.” Skwarczek explained. “We ask for proof of purchase for the product. The sellers haven’t gotten back to us. They didn’t stay in touch with us. We are chasing them, but they have to contact us.”



Counter-Stroke: Global Offensive is regularly priced at $14.99.


G2A is unlikely to hear back from an illicit seller caught in the act of selling stolen game codes. The company only has their IP address, with no other identifying information. 


“We have IPs, but we don’t have IDs, because they didn’t get back to us after we suspended the account,” Skwarczek says. “If you set up an account on our marketplace, and you want to sell a product, you are allowed to do it. You are creating an auction. If we discover that there is something wrong with the auction or the product or there is something suspicious, we suspend the account. The customer will have to provide an explanation, including proof of purchase and ID. It’s your move. If you want to have your account active again, you have to provide us all these documents. The sellers didn’t get back to us, so these accounts are still blocked and the auctions still suspended.” 


Unfortunately, there is nothing to stop a seller from starting over with a new account. G2A doesn’t have security mechanisms in place to prevent a suspended seller from changing his digital identity and beginning the practice all over again with more stolen keys. However, the company says it does try to block multiple accounts created in such a situation.


“Customers should comply with the terms and conditions,” Skwarczek states, though a person trafficking in stolen credit cards and pilfered codes isn’t an individual who will see terms and conditions as a barrier to illicit entry. 


“This is what the police department is for,” he says when I pose a situation in which someone starts fresh, continuing fraudulent activity under another email address and account. “What we have to do is protect our customers and block every suspicious account and ask for additional information. What we can do is alarm the officials only when it happens, and we have the foundation to do that.”


One of things G2A says it needs in order to evidence theft or fraud is cooperation from developers and publishers that believe they are affected. “We need cooperation from their side,” Skwarczek says. “When TinyBuild asked us to deliver data, we gave them all the data immediately and freely. We answered every question they had. The only thing we wanted from them is to cooperate with us to identify the keys. They never got back to us with a proper answer or gave us a chance to finalize the process.”


G2A says it has helped other developers with the same kind of problem successfully. The company says it wants to educate developers that there is a “mutual benefit” in protecting the customers.


When we spoke with TinyBuild CEO Alex Nichiprochik, he was extremely reluctant to provide any batch data to G2A because of the retailer’s reputation. “Everybody knows their reputation, so why would anyone even consider giving them a list of keys to ‘verify’?” Nichiporchik told me. “I believe they’d just resell those keys and make more money off of it.”


Read on for more about the ongoing conflict over grey market sales.




Criterion Now Working On Star Wars Instead Of Its Extreme Sports Game


Update: Electronic Arts has passed along a statement directly to us about Criterion’s current focus. You can find it below.


While Criterion has moved on from the previous project they’ve spoken about and aren’t pursuing it specifically, they are continuing to build new ideas and experiment with new IP for EA. Criterion is also working on EA’s Star Wars Battlefront VR experience, and contributing to other games from EA, for example the speeder bikes in Star Wars Battlefront.


Original story:


In 2014, Criterion announced, or perhaps more appropriately teased, an extreme sports game that featured multiple vehicles, wingsuits, parachuting, and more. Since its initial announcement, we haven’t heard much about the game, and according to a report from GameSpot, it may be Star Wars’ fault.


An Electronic Arts representative confirmed to GameSpot that the extreme sports game was no longer in development saying, “While they’ve moved on from the previous project they’ve spoken about and aren’t pursuing it, they are continuing to build new ideas and experiment with new IP for EA, in addition to continuing to collaborate with other EA studios.”


Criterion has served more of a support role for Electronic Arts in recent years by assisting on the development of games like Battlefield Hardline and Star Wars Battlefront. At E3 2016, it was revealed that Criterion was developing a VR offshoot for Star Wars Battlefront. You can read more about that game here.


You can check out the game’s E3 announcement trailer from 2014 below.


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[Source: GameSpot]




Our Take


Criterion is a talented studio, so it’s good to see it lending a helping hand to EA’s assorted projects, but I think I would prefer seeing it focus entirely on one of its own projects. It’s been far too long since we played a new Burnout.