In addition to looking at the lighter and weirder side of the game industry, System Update provides the latest information on weekly console updates, DLC, game-specific updates, and other game-industry flotsam and jetsam.
Xbox maker does away with all used game restrictions and 24-hour online check-ins; region-locks also no longer in place.
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Riding the election trail, former Massachusetts governor and presidential hopeful Willard "Mitt" Romney has a mind for keeping America's kids safe. Topping the Republican candidate's list of issues to fix were he to take up residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., are, of course, those pesky freedom-hating terrorists and online sexual deviants. However, ranking right alongside these issues on Romney's talking-point to-do list is his desire to "clean up the waters" with respect to violent games.
Speaking last Friday in Iowa, Romney reiterated his pledge to strike at the heart of the problem facing today's youth, reports the Gazette Online. "I've proposed that we enforce our obscenity laws again and that we get serious against those retailers that sell adult video games that are filled with violence, that we go after those retailers." According to Romney's official platform, "there must be strong punishments and fines for retailers that sell violent and sexually explicit video games to minors."
Romney's sentiments echo the call state legislators have put out for the government to crack down on video game violence by punishing retailers. In June, a bill authored by New York State Senator Andrew Lanza that would make it illegal to sell a violent game to minors was on the verge of moving forward. Last year, a similar bill was signed into law by Democratic Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco, though it was later overturned in court at the expense of $145,000 in taxpayer money.
In 2005, esteemed film critic Roger Ebert found himself on the receiving end of a bout of gamer rage after claiming video games could never aspire to the realm of art in the way that film or literature can. Ebert's reasoning for this was that since games are inherently an interactive medium, they lack the requisite amount of authorial control to move beyond craftsmanship and into the realm of art. Not leaving well enough alone, the critic then asserted the rather inflammatory remark that not only are games valueless from an artistic standpoint, but also that they impede most gamers' personal growth by wasting "precious hours we have available to make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic."
Posting to his Web site on Saturday, Ebert revised his critique of games in light of British-born horror writer and director Clive Barker's opening keynote address at this year's Hollywood and Games Summit on June 26. With Internet culture aplomb, Ebert picked apart Barker's defense of games as an artistic medium, beginning first by stating that "games could not be high art, as I understand it."
Ebert then launched into a lengthy debate of semantics with Barker's statements. Ebert counters Barker's claim that art is a world where players can run the gamut of emotions by pointing out how absurd it would be if actors in Romeo and Juliet went "through the story naked and standing on their hands," just because they could. Instead, as Ebert sees it, "art seeks to lead you to an inevitable conclusion, not a smorgasbord of choices."
Ebert then takes extended issue with Barker's assertion that games are a great way to escape from the "oppressive facts" that people must deal with in their everyday lives. Ebert says that instead of fleeing somewhere to gain an illusion of control, people should seize the moment and take control of their own lives. Lending action to his words, Ebert went on to say, "Right now, for example, I cannot speak, but I am writing this." In 2006, Ebert suffered complications stemming from his battle with thyroid cancer, which cost him part of his lower jaw, and with it the ability to speak.
Summing up his argument, Ebert states: "Barker is right that we can debate art forever. I mentioned that a Campbell's soup could be art. I was imprecise. Actually, it is Andy Warhol's painting of the label that is art. Would Warhol have considered Clive Barker's video game Undying as art? Certainly. He would have kept it in its shrink-wrapped box, placed it inside a Plexiglas display case, mounted it on a pedestal, and labeled it 'Video Game.'"
Given that a posse of foul-mouthed grade-schoolers are the subject of Comedy Central's long-running series South Park, it's only natural that the show intersects with the world of gaming on occasion. In its most recent season, games played a significant role in a handful of episodes. An impatient Cartman attempted to cryogenically freeze himself rather than endure the wait for Nintendo to release the Wii in the two-parter "Go God Go," and the whole gang became hopelessly addicted to Blizzard Entertainment's hit massively multiplayer online role-playing game in "Make Love, Not Warcraft."
Today, the World of Warcraft episode garnered the series its sixth Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) category. Fellow nominees include Robot Chicken's "Lust for Puppets," The Simpsons's "The Haw-Hawed Couple," SpongeBob SquarePants' "Bummer Vacation," and Avatar: The Last Airbender's "City of Walls and Secrets."
While South Park has been nominated multiple times in the past, it has only won the category once. That win came in 2004 for "Best Friends Forever," the episode in which Kenny is chosen as a holy warrior for his skill at a PlayStation Portable game, then slips into a coma while his friends fight over whether or not they should pull the plug. Games also played a role in one of the show's other Emmy-nominated episodes, "Chinpoko Mon," a thinly veiled parody of the Nintendo-owned Pokemon phenomenon.
For full coverage of the Emmy nominations, check out the latest from TV.com.
"We're boring people to death and making games that are harder and harder to play."
That's one of the things Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello told The Wall Street Journal in a story that ran today. The recently restored executive was referring not necessarily to EA's own titles, but to a greater trend in the industry that sees the same games made again and again, with little in the way of innovation.
"For the most part, the industry has been rinse-and-repeat," Riccitiello said. "There's been lots of products that looked like last year's product, that looked a lot like the year before."
While Riccitiello's company is known for releasing annual installments of a series, such as Madden NFL and Need for Speed, it is also spending some of its resources on games that will court the casual market and other nontraditional audiences, as opposed to $60 epics that require 40 hours or more of gameplay to finish. In addition to Will Wright games, such as The Sims and Spore, Electronic Arts is also helping to bring out original properties, such as Boogie, Crysis, and Army of Two. It also has partnered with filmmaker Steven Spielberg for two forthcoming titles--a Wii puzzle game and a futuristic action title for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The latest DS title aimed at non-traditional gamers will be a digital colouring book featuring some of the greatest artists of all time.
For once, it's Europe and not Japan which will be getting a zany DS self-improvement style title. Not brain training, or skin-care, or even face training, the latest subject to hit Nintendo's portable will be painting. Paint by DS is a "digital colouring book" featuring paintings by famous artists including Hokusai, Cezanne, and Van Gogh.
Wannabe artists will wield their DS stylus to mix oil and water-based paints to create different colours and consistencies and then get painting. There will be 15 colouring-in challenges and a series of mini-games themed around famous artworks.
Paint by DS will be released in Europe on August 24, priced at £19.99/24.99 euros, co-published by Mercury Games and Ertain BV, as part of the Zen Series aimed at non-traditional gamers. Additionally it will launch in the US in the fourth quarter of the year and ship with two limited editions, one which includes a paint set, and one a "paint book."
Adding a few facts to the console warrior's arsenal, Entertainment Weekly has issued its midterm results for Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii. Penned by respected gaming journalist Geoff Keighley, as well as Wook Kim and Gary Eng Walk, EW graded each console by what was liked and disliked, and took a look at how the three will fare in the future. While some of the details have changed, EW's rankings have not.
As with last November's assessment, EW again put the Xbox 360 at top of the ****with an "A-" grade. According to the trio, the Xbox 360's best assets are its superior Xbox Live service and the multimedia capabilities of the Elite model. Diminishing these advantages are the need for an expensive HD-DVD add-on to watch high-def movies and the now-notorious hardware failures. Going forward, EW thinks Microsoft will have a far more difficult time retaining its leader status in light of the Wii's phenomenal rate of sales and the PS3's strengthening game lineup.
Nintendo's Wii didn't fare as well, earning just a B-minus. Motion-sensing controls are still the system's biggest draw, and the increased third-party creativity with the remote means that the Wii's unique library will continue to grow, according to the site. However, EW sees Nintendo's neglect of the hardcore gamer by the exclusion of online-capable play to be a serious detriment. By squandering its built-in Wi-Fi potential, and with no support planned for new virtual console games until 2008, the EW crew sees the console's bloom beginning to fade.
Tieing with the Wii is the PS3, which also received a B-minus. While the power of its hardware is indisputable, EW brings up the main sticking point on Sony's system: its $599 price tag. EW also takes issue with the feather-light and rumble-deprived Sixaxis controller, and what the authors feel is a scant lineup of quality games. Looking forward, EW thinks that all Sony's beleaguered system needs is some must-have titles and a few "bold executive decisions" to make significant gains on its competitors.
The rollout of a deluge of self-improvement titles for the Nintendo DS started by Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training: How Old is Your Brain? (Brain Age in the US) is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
Last month we reported on skin-care and yoga titles being released by Konami, and this month brings the announcement of a "Face Training" game.
Primarily aimed at women, Otona No DS Kao Training (or Face Training) uses a special DS camera--which plugs in to the Game Boy cartridge port--and has players turn the DS sideways so that they can compare their facial movements to those in the instructions.
Believe it or not, face exercises are increasingly popular, and many advocates believe that regular "face training" prevents wrinkles and keeps the face looking young. The product's official Web site explains that "For the muscles of the face to work properly, flexibility, pliability, and muscular strength are all required." If these muscles aren't kept in shape, that's when nasty facial sagging occurs, apparently.
The title will be released on August 2 in Japan, priced at 4,800 yen (approx $39). There are currently no plans for an overseas release.
Today, GameSpot announced the acquisition of SportsGamer.com. Founded in May 2006, the New York City- and Cincinnati-based site focuses exclusively on mainstream sports games, including FIFA soccer, NFL Football, Major League Baseball, and NASCAR racing.
Unlike most review- and preview-centric sites, SportsGamer specializes in gameplay strategy and tips, including video gameplay tutorials. It also provides online stats, leaderboard tracking, and forums for its growing community.
"I'm really excited to have SportsGamer as part of the GameSpot team," said GameSpot Senior Editor Brian Ekberg. "The site's intense focus on postrelease coverage of the biggest sports titles is just one of the things that sets it apart. In the coming months, we hope to expand the reach of both our sites to continue to bring readers the best sports game coverage around."
An Australian woman who met a 17-year-old on the popular MMORPG is facing child abduction charges, reports AdelaideNow.
Tamara Broome, 31, who hails from an Adelaide suburb in South Australia, is currently behind bars at the Pitt County Detention Centre in North Carolina. The lovestruck lady was arrested at a train station in the US on June 26 and is facing charges of child abduction after allegedly forming an online relationship with a 17-year-old boy.
In North Carolina, a minor is anyone aged 17 or under, and Broome is accused of flying to the US in order to meet the teenager and take him with her back to Australia.
The pair have allegedly had an online relationship for a year, and "met" playing massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft together. Broome's laptop computer has been seized as evidence, and emails between the two are being analysed by police.
She was arrested on an Amtrak train heading for Rocky Mount from New York; the boy had been stopped by officials from boarding a plane to Australia after he was reported missing by his mother.
Broome's friends are claiming that Tamara was set up by the boy's family, who paid her airfare to come and see the boy, where she believed they were going to "sort it all out." However, police have dismissed these claims as "ridiculous." Pitt County Sheriff's Office chief of detectives Lee Moore commented, "As far as I know that didn't happen, and it sounds ridiculous."
Entertainment Software Association president Michael Gallagher assumed his new position last month, during a busy time for the gaming industry trade group. Legislators in New York threatened to pass laws restricting the sale of violent games. Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 was effectively banned in the US because of an AO for Adults Only rating. To top it off, he assumed his new role barely a month in advance of the E3 Media & Business Summit--the first since former ESA president Douglas Lowenstein announced a radical series of changes to the show's format and then departed the industry entirely.
Despite that, Gallagher recently carved out some time to talk with The New York Times about his new position. While Gallagher declined to lay out his full battle plan for the trade group just yet, he did indicate a few areas where he would pick up right where his predecessor left off. Specifically, Gallagher wants to better position the ESA to have an impact in federal politics by coordinating an industry-wide approach to political donations.
According to the paper, Gallagher wants to use the late Jack Valenti's tenure as the head of the Motion Picture Association of America as a model for his own. No doubt Gallagher would like to duplicate Valenti's many successes lobbying for the film industry.
"Obviously we have a lot smaller budget than the music and movie industries, so we have to do more with less," Gallagher told the paper. The ESA might be outspending its counterpart trade groups in the music and movie industries when it comes to federal lobbying, but Gallagher noted there is a dearth of comparable star power in gaming.
"Washington is very enamored with glitz and the appeal of stars," Gallagher said. "Whenever Bono shows up he creates this bow wave as he comes through, and it's true that stars do help drive messages. And it is true that Master Chief and Mario are not yet household words on the Hill, but wait for the years ahead."
A petition has been set up on the official Number 10 Downing Street Web site to protest the British Board of Film Classification's recent decision to refuse a rating for Rockstar Games' Manhunt 2 game. So far 1,045 signatures have been gathered from British citizens living at home or overseas who protest the effective banning of the title.
The petition, titled "We the undersigned petiiton the British Prime Minister to restrict the powers of the BBFC with regard to the banning of video games," will be collecting signatures until the deadline of August 26, reads as follows: "The BBFC have recently refused to rate the videogame Manhunt 2. As such, adults in this country will never be allowed to play this game. Adults should be allowed to make their own decisions with regard to what videogames they want to play. We all understand that this game is extremely violent and unsuitable for children. As such an 18 rating should have been applied."
Manhunt 2 was the first game in the UK to be denied a rating from the BBFC in 10 years. The first, Carmaggedon, had the decision overturned on appeal and was subsequently released. The ratings board cited reasons such as the title's "unremitting bleakness" and "casual sadism" as the reasoning behind the Manhunt 2 ban.
In the US, Manhunt 2 was rated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board as AO for Adults Only, a rating which Nintendo and Sony do not allow on their console systems, and as such, effectively banned the title in America as well. Take-Two has suspended its plans to release the game while it "reviews its options."
The Vancouver police department has become the first real-life police force to have officers in the virtual world of Second Life, reports The Vancouver Sun.
The officers' virtual avatars have a specially designed uniform--what looks like a blue figure-hugging catsuit (for the ladies, at least), complete with badge, belt, and radio. The Vancouver Police Department has been using the popular virtual world to try to attract "tech-savvy" recruits to join its ranks.
The idea came from Gerry Sinclair, program director for digital media at the Great Northern Way Campus. As part of her drive to attract students to the new course--due to launch this September--she held a virtual recruitment seminar within Second Life. When the Vancouver police heard about it, head of the tech crimes division Kevin McQuiggin asked for Sinclair's help to set up a similar event to boost a recruitment drive for the boys and girls in blue.
"It's to get recruits," McQuiggin said. "I just need smart, tech-savvy people. ... As we move into the future, we're going to need people who understand technology--that are conversant with it, that understand the impact of it and understand how to use it."
McQuiggin added that he believes that as they continue to grow, virtual worlds would require some form of virtual policing, although the new frontier of crime fighting brings with it a whole new set of problems. He said, "There are jurisdictional issues. Where does the crime occur? Where is the suspect? Where is the victim? We want accountability but if it's spread all over the world like that it makes it very difficult for us."
Upon first word that sale of Rockstar Games' "unremittingly bleak" and "casually sadistic" Manhunt 2 would be illegal on the British Isles, Paul Jackson, current director of UK games association ELSPA, issued a statement hailing the move and claiming the decision proves the UK has a ratings system that is "effective." Questioning this sentiment, former ELSPA director Roger Bennett sees the decision as quite the opposite.
In an editorial posted on MCV earlier today, Bennett called out the British Board of Film Classification's ruling on several points. First and foremost, Bennett claims the BBFC operates under a "flawed assumption" that because games are interactive, they are somehow different than other forms of visual entertainment. According to Bennett, there's no evidence to support this mentality, and it is only due to outside influences that games are "becoming increasingly and wholly unjustifiably separated from other forms of screen entertainment."
Bennett goes on to say that the BBFC's decision was influenced by politics. He sees the government as being too heavily influenced by events that in no way pertain to the game industry. In turn, pressure from the media causes these officials to advocate narrow-minded and "ignorant" opinions without direct knowledge of the topic or legitimate facts to support their position.
In closing, Bennett takes the industry-standard position of questioning whether it's a good idea to deprive adults the right to make their own informed judgments on what is appropriate for themselves or their children.
Latest research shows that although most consoles are capable of playing DVDs or downloading movies from the Internet, gamers just don't seem to be interested.
A new report released this week from Dallas-based think tank The Diffusion Group "On The Use of Game Consoles for Movie Viewing" shows that 80 percent of consoles in households can play DVDs or have the ability to download and watch films from the Net. However, only 30 percent of those surveyed were aware that their console could play movies, and less than half of those--some 13 percent--had actually done so. Of this 13 percent, three quarters used the console only for playing back a DVD disc, with the remaining quarter also purchasing or renting movies online.
For those who own consoles connected to the Internet, watching films or TV shows online proved to be a little more popular, with 42 percent having used their console at some point to do this.
The report's author, Dale Gilliam III, commented, "Today's next-generation games consoles, such as the Xbox 360 or Sony PlayStation 3, are true digital multimedia powerhouses. Yet very few of these devices are connected to the Internet, and even though these same platforms may feature a high-definition DVD playback system, very few consumers are using them for nongaming media applications."
This would seem to conflict with Microsoft's own statistics, which recently reported that 6 million people had signed up for Xbox Live accounts.
The report criticised the lack of consumer awareness that consoles were also multimedia players. According to the group, the report "demonstrates how poorly many consumers understand the capabilities of today's game consoles and a major barrier to persuading consumers to start using these platforms for nongaming media consumption."
Turns out, when you put on events such as the Game Developers Conference, the Austin Game Developers Conference, GDC China, GDC Mobile, the Serious Games Summit, the Hollywood and Games Summit, the Game Career Seminars, PC Game On, the Mobile Games Seminar, the Independent Games Festival and Summit, and the Game Developers Choice Awards, you develop a few contacts. Leveraging this position, the CMP Game Group conducted the first-of-its-kind Game Developer Census 2007, and this week the group announced its findings.
The goal of the census was to compile a definitive survey of the game industry in North America. It found more than 39,700 Americans and 8,100-plus Canadians are "working within video game development and publishing" at around 600 companies across the two territories. Firms that deal exclusively in middleware, PR, marketing, legal, game journalism, and other services for the industry were not included in the census.
More than 46 percent of the US gaming industry--roughly 18,300 people--earns its paycheck in California, with Washington (11.6 percent) and Texas (7.4 percent) filling out the top three. Four other states--New York, Massachusetts, Illinois, and Florida--have at least 1,000 industry-types gainfully employed in them.
Further information on the CMP Game Group's census, as well as a complete reporting of its findings, can be found on the company's Web site.
Boffins at the UK's University College London are creating an immersive virtual world which can be navigated through thinking about moving, reports The New Scientist. In partnership with a team at the Graz University of Technology in Austria--which specialises in measuring signals from the brain via electrodes or implants--the two groups have joined together in order to create a virtual world which disabled players can navigate using only their imaginations.
To play the game, electrodes are attached to the player's scalp, and electroencephalogram (EEG) equipment monitors the electrical activity in their brain. Then the gamer simply imagines moving forwards, or raising their left or right arm, which move their avatar forward, or turns it left or right. To heighten the feeling of immersion, they sit inside a room at UCL where the game is projected onto the three walls in front of them, as well as the floor. A pair of shuttered glasses can also be worn, to create the illusion of 3D, which "intensifies the overall feeling of being inside the simulated reality."
During a trial, a paraplegic patient was tasked with using his thoughts to move his avatar towards various virtual characters to talk with them, and was able to do so approximately 90 percent of the time.
A team at Southampton University is already using brain controlled interfaces to treat people recovering from strokes, and it was also suggested that the technology could increase the prospects of the disabled to work and experience social interaction.
US-based Rochester Institute of Technology assistant computer science professor, Jessica Bayliss--who also specializes in brain-computer interfaces--commented, "A system such as this could be very motivational for a patient to use for training. It reminds me of how people with various handicaps are playing World of Warcraft, because they are able to do things in the virtual world that they can't do in the real world."
Two. Two is the number of cosplayers who prominently donned their garb and turned out for Square Enix's Final Fantasy Anniversary at Sony's store in the Metreon. Harajuku, San Francisco is not. Still, fans of the series were no less eager to get their hands on the newest remastering of the first playable Final Fantasy game on the PlayStation Portable, Final Fantasy Anniversary. Previously, the series had only appeared in the form of the UMD movie Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children.
Near the stroke of six, the first few Final Fantasy faithful calmly filed through the Metreon's side door (this is a reputable place of business, after all), to be greeted with a grab bag including every eventgoer's ultimate prize--that's right, a free T-shirt. Sony's Metreon store isn't exactly a spacious venue, so the lack of buster swords turned out to be a boon.
Human contact was unavoidable as the throngs huddled around video displays of in-game cinematics, green screens, and a huge plasma screen displaying, of all things, coverage of the Square Enix Party in Japan last month. SE also had several kiosks set up that were running Final Fantasy Anniversary, and representatives were quick to point out that the second installment is releasing next month.
Urging fans to stick around, Square Enix reps raffled off gift certificates to its recently announced North American online store. Also occurring at regular intervals was a 20th anniversary video montage of highlights and epic moments from the series. Despite SE's better efforts, all the attractions were trumped by Final Fantasy Anniversary Edition itself, as more than a few fans seemed to be content standing around, staring into their PSP screens as they revisited the town of Coneria one more time.
Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games have said little publicly since Manhunt 2 was slapped with an AO for Adults Only rating last week. The publisher confirmed that it was temporarily suspending production of the game while it reviewed its options, and Take-Two chairman of the board Strauss Zelnick issued a statement calling Manhunt 2 "a fine piece of art."
Zelnick expanded a bit on his position to The New York Times' Seth Schiesel in an article headlined "Gore Galore but a Violent Game Can't Hold a Gutbucket to the Movies." According to Schiesel, Zelnick defended the game's innovation, but emphasized that it was a horror game, intended for audiences 17 and older.
"This is still animation," Zelnick said. "It's not photo-realistic. It's not live action. And compared to an R-rated movie, which is intended for 17 and above, like Saw or Hostel, it's actually pretty tame."
While Schiesel called the Entertainment Software Rating Board's AO "entirely reasonable" after spending a few hours with the game, he also agreed with Zelnick's estimation of films after watching through Saw II(pictured above).
"Banning the original version of Manhunt 2 may be a good way to demonstrate that the industry can police itself. Side by side, though, movies seem to be way ahead of games in delivering top-notch gore."
In the Hitman games, protagonist Agent 47 specializes in stealth kills. And for a year and a half after it was first announced, 20th Century Fox's movie adaptation of Eidos' series also kept a low profile. That changed once filming got underway earlier this year, with Deadwood star Timothy Olyphant stepping into the lead role after Vin Diesel exited the project.
However, come this Wednesday, action hero John McClane (Bruce Willis) will help expose 47's first filmed mission to the world. According to well-regarded film site Comingsoon.net, the first Hitman trailer will debuting alongside Bruce Willis' explosion-happy cop drama Live Free or Die Hard when it debuts June 27. Not-so coincidentally, Olyphant plays the villain in Live Free or Die Hard.
Penned by Skip Woods (Swordfish) and directed by Xavier Gens, Hitman follows the titular assassin as he navigates a political conspiracy while whacking targets and evading capture by Interpol and the Russian military. It premieres in North American theaters on October 12.
[UPDATE] Late last night, those wishing to see the Hitman trailer got the option of not having to see Live Free or Die Hard at all. The trailer is now up on YouTube. The clip, which runs nearly two minutes, features the Hitman game logo and features music taken from the series' most recent installment, Hitman: Blood Money. It also shows that the movie will stick to the game's premise of 47 being a genetically engineered assassin, instead of taking dramatic licenses like other game-based films, such as Doom.
World of Warcraft database site Wowhead.com has been sold to the ZAM Network.
The owners of the popular World of Warcraft fan site Wowhead.com--which provides info about the game's monsters, items, spells and more--have sold it off because they want to spend more time "developing the site and playing WOW." The site has been bought by the ZAM Network, a company owned by Affinity Media, for an undisclosed sum, rumoured to be a cool $1 million.
Affinity Media also own other massively multiplayer online role playing game encyclopaedia-style sites Thottbot, Allakhazam along with forum site MMO Interface.
The deal has not been without controversy, since ZAM Network owns gold farming company IGE, and that ads for virtual item and gold sales will soon start to appear on the site.
ZAM Network president John Maffei, said in an interview on the Wowhead.com Web site that the company no longer owns or has any affiliation with gold farming company IGE, which is currently being sued by a veteran WOW gamer for "impairing his enjoyment of the game." Maffei said, "Neither Wowhead or the ZAM Network have ever had gold or powerleveling ads, and they never will. We sold IGE. We are clearly separating our business from those practices. Why would we start running gold ads now?"
When asked how much the Wowhead Web site had been to ZAM Network sold for, Wowhead.com co-lead developer, Joshua (Mystadio), "Enough so that we can do fun stuff but not enough that we can stop working."
CEO Tim Sullivan added, "It was a fair offer and the timing was right."