Microsoft Buys Minecraft, And the Rest of the Week's Top Stories

Here's a roundup of some of the biggest stories from this week, and some you might have missed.

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Welcome to GameSpot's weekly news roundup where we'll feature the week's top stories, and some offbeat ones you might have missed. Below you'll find a quick-hit roundup of some stories, with links you can click on for further reading. Have a great weekend!

(Some of) The Big Stuff:

Microsoft buys Minecraft. On Monday, Microsoft announced that it was spending $2.5 billion to buy Swedish developer Mojang and, most importantly, the Minecraft franchise. While industry people have sounded off about what the deal could mean, Microsoft has yet to provide specific details regarding how it will handle the series going forward. This is to be expected, as the deal has not yet closed. We'll be keeping two eyes on this one.

Destiny raids are a go. This week, Bungie introduced the first major raid--Vault of Glass. It was no simple task, however, as the first group to clear the raid needed more than 10 hours to do so. For further reading, be sure to check out GameSpot sister site Giant Bomb's interview with the first team to claim victory.

Final Fantasy XV got a new trailer and demo details. The trailer takes you on an epic road trip, while the demo will go live in March--it's included with upcoming spinoff Final Fantasy Type-0. We also learned this week that Final Fantasy series veteran Tetsuya Nomura has stepped away from FFXV to focus on Kingdom Hearts III, for which he serves as director.

PS4 sales saw a massive upswing thanks to the release of Destiny, Sony announced this week. On the back of Destiny's new shooter, which Sony says it's treating like a first-party game, the PS4 saw its biggest hardware sales week during the week after Destiny's launch since Christmas 2013.

Marin County in Northern California announced a new buyback program where the county will give you Ben & Jerry's ice cream in exchange for your violent video games or toy guns. Organizers say the drive is aimed at helping create a more peaceful and violence-free environment, even though studies show that violent video games do not lead to increases in real-world violent attacks.

The Other Stuff (Stories We Like, But Didn't Cover With a Standalone Post):

Harmonix has reached a deal with Tilting Point for new mobile games. The Rock Band creator has signed a multi-game agreement with the indie publishing label for mobile music games. Harmonix, based in Massachusetts, is already working on the first game in this partnership.

Mike Bithell's Thomas Was Alone could also be coming to Wii U and Xbox One, if you believe this German ratings board listing, meaning the only remaining platforms it hasn't been released on yet is the Magnavox Odyssey and the Dreamcast's VMU. Oh, and it's also coming to PS4, but really, what isn't?

Live in the UK? The GameCity Festival lineup has been revealed, packed as usual with wonderfully talented people and really interesting exhibition ideas. It runs from October 25 to November 1.

In a move which is likely to delight indie developers, the popular Unity Engine is now free to all licensed PlayStation developers. That's the pro version of Unity, which normally costs $1,500 to unlock.

High school girls are fighting back at sexism with a game that swaps guns for tampons. Yes, you read that correctly. The Girls Who Code camp graduates gave an interview to Time about the game, explaining that they believe the "hyper-sexualization of women in video games" needed to be addressed. You can even play the game--Tampon Run--right here in your browser.

If a Bungie-Activision contract from 2010 still holds, Bungie might have missed out on $2.5 million payday due to Destiny's current Metacritic score. The game apparently needed to score a 90 or above for the studio to earn the payout.

Retailer GameStop is closing up shop in Spain, announcing plans this week to sell many of its stores to GAME in the country. GameStop's exit from Spain was a one-off event, and is not a precursor to the company leaving other European countries anytime soon. In fact, GameStop says it will "maintain and expand" its presence in other Euro markets.

Could playing video games help keep you out of jail? Legal aid lawyers in Connecticut, with the help of Northeaster researchers, have created a new video game that puts players in front of a virtual judge to help them prepare for litigation.

Among the findings of the first annual Game Discovery Survey from GDC organizers comes the statistic that the majority of survey developers (73.4 percent) agreed with the statement "platform holders aren't doing enough to improve discoverability on digital storefronts." This suggests that companies like Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and Valve can do more to meet the needs of developers for "more personalized" recommendation methods for gamers.

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