The Week In 5 – 20th-26th May 2012

News!

Diablo 3 hacking. The potential ban on new X-Box 360 sales. The death of 38 Studios. Facebook shares take a book to the face. And Sony patent a brand new way to potentially ruin your day. Yup, introducing the news stories that have caught my eye this week. Let’s see if I can pull this off whilst half-asleep, shall we?

1. 38 Studios and Big Huge Games Shut Down

The big story of the week is the demise of 38 Studios and Big Huge Games, responsible for Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. This was the gift that just kept on giving this week, with reports that for the game to just break even, they needed to sell 3 million units in the first three months. When not even monolithic titles like Portal 2 can push that, it still is unknown why they thought a new RPG IP could compete in the middle of a Skyrim and Diablo 3 sandwich…

2. The Diablo 3 Hackers

To compound the problems of last week, when the term “Error 37” became the most famous on the internet, it turns out that hackers had found a way of getting access to your Diablo 3 characters – essentially, piggybacking into your account via public matches and seeding chaos in their wake. This was in addition to claims that the strain on the Battle.net service was making it easier for brute force hacking attempts. It’s pretty amazing that people waited 12 years for a game with more security holes than the average video game Secret Base…

3. Facebook falls on its face.

Another big and unavoidable story of the week is how much of a disaster the IPO of Facebook has performed, with allegations of corruption and non-disclosure muddled in with unrealistic expectations of people desperate to make a fast buck. The launch of a company on Wall Street for the first time is never easy, but it was unable to meet the demands of this slightly messy disaster. Facebook reportedly is now worth $2 billion less now than it was a week ago. That’s some serious loose change…

4. Microsoft lose court case in US.

Microsoft lost a substantial case this week against Motorola, which involves certain patents being infringed upon. The judge even went as far as to hint that the ruling means there could be a case for banning any further sales of the X-Box 360, which is the device which breaks these patents. Microsoft are of course set to appeal, but there is no way this will go that far. In big cases, The US President can preside over a decision and it is hard to see him coming down that hard on an American success story like Microsoft. Speaking of patents…

5. Sony Patents In-Game Ad Breaks.

And, to finish off this brief test run, Sony have patented a new ad-delivery device which would interrupt your gaming sessions from time to time to display advertisements, much like most public TV stations do in the world now. Of course, the filing of a patent isn’t exactly confirmation that it WILL be used, it could simply be Sony doing it to prevent others from abusing it. And that’s about all the optimism I can muster for this week, because we all know that ads make them money, and they want to get them in anywhere they can…

This is my first – and admittedly crummy – weekly roundup. I’ll pay more attention this coming week and make sure next weeks round up will contain 10 news stories.

If you think there are any other stories we should know about, why not drop links in the comments below?

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