News Posts matching "Steam"

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Anno 2070's Draconian DRM: Ubisoft Loosens Restrictions. Slightly

Last week we brought you news of Ubisoft's hard three machine activation limit on Anno 2070 and how it scuppered a review by Guru3D when they swapped out graphics cards. Guru3D's post then went viral on the web and it appears that this has put sufficient pressure or 'heat' on Ubisoft to relax the restrictions just a tiny bit, since they weren't going to use any more Ubisoft games for benchmarks. So what have they done? Allowed an unlimited number of graphics card swaps. That's it, everything else stays the same, so if other components such as the CPU, motherboard etc are changed, then one will still run into this frustrating brick wall and have to get in touch with customer support to reset the activations.

Anno 2070's Draconian DRM: Guru3D's Graphics Card Review Killed Off

Anno 2070's Draconian DRM: Guru3D's Graphics Card Review Killed Off (UPDATED)

Hilbert Hagedoorn of well-known PC tech review site guru3d.com recently bought a copy of Ubisoft's Anno 2070 and wanted to use it in one of his graphics card reviews. However, he became badly unstuck. This game comes on the Steam platform and the store page states: "3rd-party DRM: Solidshield Tages SAS 3 machine activation limit". Unfortunately for Guru3D, they found out exactly what this means, which resulted in just one performance graph, an aborted review, an unplayable game – and bad publicity for Ubisoft once again. They have published an article about their experience, pledging not to use their titles again because of this DRM.

Steam Closes 2011 with 100% Sales Growth, 5 Million Simultaneous Users

Valve today announced the 2011 growth data for Steam, a leading platform for PC & Mac games and digital entertainment. During 2011 the platform grew to offer over 1,800 games to over 40 million accounts. Year-over-year unit sales increased by more than 100% for the seventh straight year, and during the 2011 Holiday Sale Steam's simultaneous user number eclipsed the 5 million player mark.

Meanwhile Steam doubled the amount of content delivered in 2011 vs. 2010, serving over 780 Petabytes of data to gamers around the world. To meet the increasing demand for games and services on the platform, the Steam infrastructure more than doubled its service capacity and a new content delivery architecture was deployed to improve user download rates.

The Most Pirated Games of 2011

Today Kotaku is reporting the top 5 games pirated for major platforms this year according to TorrentFreak. As usual the PC platform is the most guilty almost doubling in pirated copies then its competitors.

Some of the titles listed are not surprising but the lack of a certain title filled with dragon slaying is. Why Skyrim didn't make the top five is anyone's guess. Either Steam is in fact the most user friendly DRM or people just love Skyrim. Either way this is just a small glimpse into the world of pirated software.

Top Five Pirated PC Games

1. Crysis 2 (3,920,000) (March 2011)
2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (3,650,000) (November 2011)
3. Battlefield 3 (3,510,000) (October 2011)
4. FIFA 12 (3,390,000) (September 2011)
5. Portal 2 (3,240,000) (April 2011)Source: Kotaku

GameFly Delivers PC Client with 'Unlimited PC Play'

Following in the footsteps of Valve's Steam and EA's Origin, GameFly is now venturing into the world of the online delivery platform. Only GameFlys client brings it with a twist. If you are a subscriber to the GameFly service you will be able to play certain games for as long as you want without actually having to purchase the game.

Gameflys co-founder Sean Spector said "We are thrilled to finally be able to open up the beta so anyone interested in video games can start using the client, and we are hard at work expanding our catalog of PC titles for our users to play for free in the Unlimited PC Play section"

GameFly currently works as the gaming worlds answer to Netflix. Digital content delivery is the next logical step in its evolution. Currently you can download the beta application and give it a try for yourself. At the end of the day Steam may finally have a true competitor on the PC platform. A client with unlimited gameplay for a annual small cost.

Source: ShackNews

Skyrim becomes 'Fastest Selling Title in Steam’s History'

It should come as no surprise that Skyrim would be a popular game for the PC platform. However not many people would have ever guessed it would surpass Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in PC sales. On Thursday that became a fact as Jason Holtman, Director of Business Development at Valve Corporation confirmed to IndustryGamers in a candid interview. He is quoted as saying,
“Skyrim is the fastest selling title in Steam's history,” said Jason Holtman, Director of Business Development at Valve Corporation. “Bethesda’s commitment to and understanding of the PC as a gaming platform shows in the great review scores, spectacular launch, and continued high player numbers that Skyrim has received. We are delighted that Bethesda chose to use Steamworks to support Skyrim both at retail and digitally.”
Considering the Call of Duty franchise has been a SteamWorks distributed game for the PC since Modern Warfare 2, it says a lot for Skyrim's popularity on the platform. As a matter of fact, one could say Call of Duty was on its way to being the best selling game ever on the PC......until it took an arrow to the knee.

Source: IndustryGamers

MW3 Console Players Have Crashtastic Time Of It

While the Modern Warfare 3 launch has got off pretty smoothly overall with few technical glitches and made Activision a shed-load of money, it seems that some XBOX 360 players are not so lucky. g4tv.com reports that there is a "A 14-page thread on Xbox.com points to multiple XBOX 360 gamers getting similar disc read errors from the game." The general symptoms seem to be that the console will either not read the disc at all, or starts, but then falls over flat on its face with an ungainly crash a little while later. While many posters have suggested solutions, there doesn't appear to be a definitive fix. Therefore, the best course of action for this problem is to return the disc to the retailer and ask for a replacement.

Finally, If you're a console gamer, then this of course serves you right for not being a PC gamer and enjoying the benefit of superior hardware. It should also be noted that the PC version comes as a download on the Steam online network. This eliminates any DVD read issues as there's no DVD (the installation disc in the retail version can be ignored) and also greatly improves loading times both at the start and during level changes, since it loads from the hard disc.

Steam Hack More Severe Than Thought: Change Your Password NOW

Gabe Newell of Valve has issued a statement that the forum hack they experienced over the weekend actually goes much deeper than they thought. The criminals accessed the main database containing such goodies as user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. Apparently, no personally identifying information was taken - but we await the result of the full investigation before breathing a sigh of relief. Due to this serious breach, TechPowerUp advises all Steam users to change their account password immediately. People starting up their Steam client will now see the following message from Gabe Newell about this:

Steam Forums Get Nailed By Hackers

Valve, a company that operates solely online, takes its security pretty seriously and has a good reputation in this area. However, at the time of writing, its Steam forums are down, having suffered a hack attack earlier today. Visit the forums now and you see a message saying "The Steam Forums are temporarily offline for maintenance. Your patience is appreciated." This attack was apparently done by hackers who want to offer free game cheats (but one should be wary of stealthy malware payloads) since before the forums were taken down, they had planted this message:
Ever wanted to dominate the servers you play on with guaranteed results, but you were too afraid to cheat because of ban risks?
The rest of the message then recommends a website where one can obtain all sorts of illegal game cheats, hack tools and porn. Some Steam forum users even received an email with this text, such as this NeoGAF user. There's no indication that any user's account information has been compromised. However, if you haven’t yet set up Steam Guard, now is a good time to do so, along with changing your password when the forums come back online. Also, be sure to use different a password for every login. Of course, many other gaming forums have been hacked in the past and just this year saw many hacks against such big names as Nintendo, Sega, BioWare, Epic Games and of course Sony, which was hacked many times over in protest at their business practices, such as removing the OtherOS feature from their PS3 console.

Source: 1up.com

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare3 for PC: Exclusive Developer Info

callofduty.com has published a blog entry from developer Infinity Ward / Sledgehammer detailing some of the features and improvements that will be in the upcoming MW3, to be released on November 8th:
I'm extremely excited about the PC version of Modern Warfare 3 this year, because we’ve been taking your feedback since Modern Warfare 2,and the franchise as a whole, on what you wanted to see in the PC version of Modern Warfare 3 and the team at Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games has put aton of emphasis on delivering a PC experience that brings in all the great things we added in Modern Warfare 2:
Lobby System, Matchmaking with a Party, Matchmaking for Public Games, Steam Integration (Friends List, Server Browser,Achievements, Join on Friends)
While combining it with your favorite features from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare:
Dedicated Servers (Join your favorite or set up your own,without any 3rd party hosting requirements), In-game Server Browser that allows you to filter by ping, map, gametype, hardcore, voice, password, and more. In addition, we're supporting PC specific features that give you even more control over your experience like RCON, Custom Game Saving, NoGFX / Audio Card Requirement on DS.exe, Voice Chat, and SSAO.

Walled Garden Outfit Valve Accuses Apple Of Operating A Walled Garden

You've got to laugh at the hypocrisy of big companies sometimes. It's a well known fact that Apple operates a very closed and controlling walled garden eco system with all of their products, courtesy of the late Steve Jobs. Examples include the iPhone, which can only purchase apps from the official Apple apps store and the iPod, which can also only sync with iTunes, both due to deliberate vendor lock-in using a combination of hardware and software DRM (Digital Restrictions Management). Apple claims that this is to ensure a seamless, consistent and high quality user experience. Savvy users know this to be only half the story, instead it's there to shut out competition and lock you in to Apple for everything in order to charge high prices for allegedly "premium" product. The only way to avoid this, is to jailbreak the devices (break the DRM) which conveniently (for Apple) voids the warranty on these expensive gadgets. Thankfully, this process is no longer underground, due to a recent court ruling that said jailbreaking was legal, much to Apple's displeasure.

However, the equally closed Valve, with their Steam gaming platform and it's account-based DRM has accused Apple of being a closed system! They are also "concerned" about it. This happened in an interview between Bellevue-based Valve's Gabe Newell and leading games investor Ed Fries at the WTIA TechNW conference. This has been reported in The Seattle Times in Brier Dudley's blog.

New Portal 2 DLC Imminent – and It’s Free!

It took somewhat longer than expected, after having been promised for the summer and then a couple more times, but now this fresh new DLC called Portal 2: Peer Review will be released to eagerly waiting Portal 2 fans on October 4 on PC (Steam), PS3 & Xbox 360 platforms. This is a hard date, so there should be no more slips.

PC Exclusive Game: Gotham City Impostors Beta Begins October 5

The 1UP article is short and sweet, so I'll quote it in full, after the jump. Essentially, Steam activation codes have gone out to invited beta testers. This is a private beta, so testers cannot discuss their experiences with the public unfortunately and it all goes live on October 5. Specs seem quite reasonable too, so the game should play quite smoothly on midrange hardware. This looks like a cool game worth waiting for, so check out the video.

Electronic Arts' Massive 2012 $1.6m Battlefield 3 Tournament: Consoles Yes, PC No

While PC gamers are getting understandably excited about one of the year's biggest releases, which is guaranteed to have standards-setting graphics at least, there's a kick in the teeth waiting just around the corner. EA and Virgin Gaming have teamed up to launch a massive BF3 contest with $1.6m in cash and prizes - for consoles only. Yes, you read that right. And the reason? Consoles are the "gold standard". That's the aging console platforms reported on TechPowerUp a few days ago. GameStop's president Tony Bartel said in an interview with IndustryGamers:
We continue to believe that the console is a strong platform and will continue to be the gold standard.

Sunday Special: PC Gaming On the Rise, Set To Outsell Consoles by 2014 - NVIDIA

Some claim that PC gaming is dying. However, recent trends as explained by NVIDIA, disagree and it is in fact console gaming that will soon decline, as PCs have some compelling advantages such as ever improving graphics and moddability, to keep the gaming scene thriving. Techgage held a conference call with NVIDIA, where the company explained why PC gaming is on the up and up. PC gaming software sales are growing fast, according to this comparative graph and the predicted crossover point is 2014:

3 Million Dirt 3 Steam Keys of AMD Radeon Promotion Leaked

In a major embarrassment to the people behind the AMD Radeon Dirt 3 promotion, as many as 3 million Steam product redeem codes of Dirt 3, the new rally simulator game, were leaked to the internet, according to a post on Steam forums by a Bohemia Interactive representative. AMD is running a promotion where select models of Radeon graphics cards across various AIB partners and AMD's own A-Series APUs, come with free Dirt 3 keys that can be redeemed in Steam for a copy of the game.

According to the representative, those millions of keys were stored in an SQL database that could have been easily accessed by a simple missing .htaccess exploit. Steam might blacklist all those keys, and ask users with valid codes to re-register their products with AIB partners for fresh keys. Steam users reported a "Steam Key Giveaway" running on an infamous imageboard, to which the Bohemia Interactive representative responded.


Source: Steam Community

Update 09/06

SteelSeries and Valve Announce QCK+ DOTA 2 Edition Mousepad

SteelSeries, the leading global manufacturer of gaming peripherals, today introduced the first in a series of co-licensed products with Valve Corporation, creator of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source). The SteelSeries QcK+ DotA 2 Edition provides players with a smooth and consistent glide surface and a non-slip rubber base that keeps the mousepad in place regardless of the gaming environment. Optimized to achieve precision and accuracy for optical and laser technology, the oversized mousepad is 17.7 x 15.7 x 0.08 inches and features the vibrant colors of the Dota 2 black and red game logo.

Valve Announces Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO)

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO).

Targeted for release via Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Steam (for PC and Mac) in early 2012, CS: GO will expand upon the team-based action gameplay that it pioneered when it was launched exactly 12 years ago (CS beta 1, August 1999).

Valve Briefing Development Partners on New Features for 2011

Valve, creator of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Left 4 Dead, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today disclosed its plans for a new "big picture" mode of Steam which will offer controller support and navigation designed for television interaction. Big picture mode will enable gamers to enjoy Steam and their library of Steam games on more screens throughout the house.

"Our partners and customers have asked us to make Steam available in more places. With the introduction of Steam on the Mac, and soon in Portal 2 on the PS3T, we've done just that," said Doug Lombardi, VP of marketing for Valve. "With big picture mode, gaming opportunities for Steam partners and customers become possible via PCs and Macs on any TV or computer display in the house."

Valve, AMD Team Up to Provide Gamers with Easy ATI Catalyst Driver Updates on Steam

AMD today announced its collaboration with Valve to deliver ATI Catalyst graphics driver updates via its Steam platform, a leading platform for PC games and digital entertainment. Steam users can now detect and install the latest ATI Catalyst driver for their ATI Radeon graphics card directly from within Steam. Valve’s most recent Steam Hardware Survey shows that fully 87 percent of DirectX 11 gamers are enjoying ATI Radeon or ATI Mobility Radeon hardware.

“Steam represents an evolution for PC and online gaming, and the availability of ATI Catalyst graphics driver updates directly on the Steam platform can help further enhance the PC gaming experience for users of ATI Radeon products,” said Ben Bar-Haim, corporate vice president of software for AMD. “AMD Gaming Evolved and Valve share the belief that ‘Gamers Come First’ – we now have the opportunity to work together to help ensure the best possible experience for PC gamers.”

Steam for Mac Available, Valve Gives Away Copies of Portal

Valve today officially introduced the Steam for Mac. The popular game content distribution and multiplayer game networking platform will bring a wealth of casual games as well as games developed by Valve to Mac users. To celebrate this launch, Valve is giving away a free copy of Portal to anyone who downloads Steam between today and May 24, 2010. Existing steam users who don't have the game yet can simply click on the install button on the game's Store page.

"The Mac is a great platform for developers," said Gabe Newell, president of Valve. "And it's also great that we now have the ability to connect with Mac gamers via Steam. This is the beginning of a groundswell of games coming out for and fully utilizing the openness and power of the Mac." Each Wednesday a new group of games highlighting an area of Steam functionality will be released. This week's titles, which show off Steam Play, include:

Valve to Deliver Steam and Source on Mac

Valve announced today it will bring Steam, Valve's gaming service, and Source, Valve's gaming engine, to the Mac. Steam and Valve's library of games including Left 4 Dead 2, Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike, Portal, and the Half-Life series will be available in April. "As we transition from entertainment as a product to entertainment as a service, customers and developers need open, high-quality Internet clients," said Gabe Newell, President of Valve. "The Mac is a great platform for entertainment services."

"Our Steam partners, who are delivering over a thousand games to 25 million Steam clients, are very excited about adding support for the Mac," said Jason Holtman, Director of Business Development at Valve. "Steamworks for the Mac supports all of the Steamworks APIs, and we have added a new feature, called Steam Play, which allows customers who purchase the product for the Mac or Windows to play on the other platform free of charge. For example, Steam Play, in combination with the Steam Cloud, allows a gamer playing on their work PC to go home and pick up playing the same game at the same point on their home Mac. We expect most developers and publishers to take advantage of Steam Play."

Left 4 Dead 2 Demo Details Revealed

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced details and timing for the demo of its upcoming zombie thriller, Left 4 Dead 2.

The Left 4 Dead 2 demo will feature gameplay taken from "The Parish" campaign, set in the New Orleans French Quarter. Playable by 1 to 4 players over local or Internet connections on both the Xbox 360 and PC (with two-player split screen available on the Xbox 360), the demo features all the new boss infected zombies and all the new melee weapons included in the full product.

Valve Announces Left 4 Dead 2 Scavenge Mode

Valve, creator of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Scavenge, the fourth game mode to be included in its upcoming zombie thriller, Left 4 Dead 2.

Scavenge mode challenges players to compete in round-based games of up to 8 players (Survivors vs. Infected). The Survivors must battle both the Infected and the clock as they collect gas cans to refuel a generator located in each map. Every can the Survivors pour into the generator scores their team a point and adds time to the clock.

On defense, the Infected team plays as the boss Infected (including the new Spitter, Jockey, and Charger). They must keep the Survivors from fueling the generator by attacking them, destroying the gas cans, or running out the clock. During a round, each team gets an opportunity to play both sides, with the round going to whichever team successfully delivers the most cans.

Left 4 Dead Crash Course Available Now, L4D1 DLC2 Expands Award-Winning Game

Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Half-Life, Portal, Team Fortress, and Counter-Strike) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced that Crash Course -- the second downloadable content (DLC) update for its zombie thriller, Left 4 Dead (L4D) -- is available now for Xbox 360 and PC. To celebrate, Left 4 Dead (PC) is available via Steam for 50% off its regular its regular price thru Oct 1.

Entitled "Crash Course," the latest DLC delivers new single-player, multiplayer and co-operative gameplay to both platforms. Targeted for release in September, "Crash Course" bridges the gap between the end of the "No Mercy" campaign and the beginning of "Death Toll" in the original game, expanding the game universe with new locations, new dialogue from the original cast, and an explosive finale.
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