Valve has issued an update from Gabe Newell with more on the breach of the Steam service late last year. Apparently more information was compromised than was originally believed:
Dear Steam Users and Steam Forum Users
We continue our investigation of last year's intrusion with the help of outside security experts. In my last note about this, I described how intruders had accessed our Steam database but we found no evidence that the intruders took information from that database. That is still the case.
Recently we learned that it is probable that the intruders obtained a copy of a backup file with information about Steam transactions between 2004 and 2008. This backup file contained user names, email addresses, encrypted billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. It did not include Steam passwords.
We do not have any evidence that the encrypted credit card numbers or billing addresses have been compromised. However as I said in November it's a good idea to watch your credit card activity and statements. And of course keeping Steam Guard on is a good idea as well.
We are still investigating and working with law enforcement authorities. Some state laws require a more formal notice of this incident so some of you will get that notice, but we wanted to update everyone with this new information now.
Soadagame Website offers a countdown and email signups under the title "Are you Worthy?" The bottom of the page has the Ironclad Games logo, so perhaps this is a countdown for an announcement from the Sins of a Solar Empire developer. It looks like the countdown will expire on February 21st, so presumably we'll learn more then. Thanks AP.
The Indie Royale Page now offers the promised Valentine's Bundle of flexibly priced independent games. This reveals the bundle's contents: Zeno Clash, Hoard, Lume, Soulcaster, and Soulcaster II. For those who beat the minimum price, they are also offering a bonus of One Life Left's "eclectic 'Music To Play Games By Too' compilation."
EA announces Rosario Dawson, Brian Cox, and Michael Wincott will headline the voice cast they've lined up for Starbreeze Studios' upcoming Syndicate first-person shooter:
Dawson, the famed actress of Unstoppable, Sin City and Grindhouse, plays Lily Drawl, the rising star of EuroCorp. With a shattered and conflicted psyche, Lily is torn between the demands of her corporate masters and the underground resistance to syndicate rule. She knows that this balancing act can only last for so long before she falls, most likely, to her death.
“I’m amazed how videogames have become so deep in story, delivering fantastic worlds and memorable characters rivaling big Hollywood films,” said Rosario Dawson. “I was excited when EA approached me to play Lily Drawl in Syndicate. She’s an interesting and strong female character. How cool is it to play the mastermind who designed the military chip inside the player’s head!”
Rounding out the cast is Emmy Award-winning actor, Brian Cox (The Bourne Identity, X2, Troy), who plays Jack Denham and Michael Wincott (The Crow) who voices Jules Merit in Syndicate. Both play significant roles at the top of EuroCorp’s organization. Jack is the ruthless power behind the boardroom throne, while Jules is a highly regarded senior agent having led many successful operations against the Aspari corporation.
This announcement (Adobe Acrobat format) announces the winners of the 15th annual Interactive Achievement Awards (IAAs). The big winner this year was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda's RPG sequel:
The night’s big winner was The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which grabbed Game of the Year honors and a total of five (5) awards in recognition of its excellent storytelling and extensive and immersive world. Other big winners included the blockbuster Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, which was recognized for technical achievements that brought the game to life, walked away with a total of three (3) IAAs. Likewise, the cross-over hit puzzle-platformer Portal 2 walked away with three (3) IAAs. The energetic motion game Fruit Ninja Kinect sliced and diced the competition to come out on top as Casual Game of the Year. Continuing to be a hot topic in the industry, Social and Mobile gaming took flight with Infinity Blade II taking Mobile Game of the Year and The Sims Social winning Social Networking Game of the Year.
The Diablo III Website shows off a trailer from BlizzCon 2011, where the developers at Blizzard discuss the nightmare difficulty in Diablo III, their upcoming action/RPG sequel. In the clip artists Kevin K. Griffith, Nate Bowden, Nick Eberle, and Richie Marella reassure players of the challenge this will represent, which is reflected in the video's title: "Diablo III -- You Will Die. We Promise." Continue here to read the full story.
Epic Games vice president Mark Rein says the next generation Unreal Engine 4 will be revealed later this year, reports G4tv.com, though the article itself technically qualifies as such a revelation. This says Epic will actually be releasing more details about the engine at this year's D.I.C.E. Summit, which is now underway, and according a quote they provide from Rein, there should be the chance to see it in action before the end of this year: "People are going to be shocked later this year when they see Unreal Engine 4 and how much more profound an effect it will have."
This document is Blizzard's "notice of opposition" to Valve's efforts to trademark "DOTA," to which Blizzard has long objected. This federal lawsuit follows indications that Blizzard is planning a retail release for their own DOTA game, which at one point was thought to be a StarCraft II modification. Blizzard filing lists the following reason for opposition: "Priority and likelihood of confusion."
The Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter Page has an update on the startlingly immediate success of this effort at crowdsourcing the funding for Double Fine's next adventure game, which may or may not be Psychonauts 2. The project has now raise over triple its $400K goal, and here's word:
UPDATE: We did it! 100% funded in just over eight hours. You people are amazing! But it's not over yet. The number keeps going up and now the question is just how much news do we want to make with this? We're getting a lot of attention already and it seems like this little project could have an impact beyond itself.
All money raised will go to make the game and documentary better. Additional money means it can appear on more platforms, be translated into more languages, have more music and voice, and an original soundtrack for the documentary, and more!
Your backing and comments have been truly inspiring to me and the team, so on behalf of Double Fine and 2 Player Productions I want to say THANK YOU!!!
The World of Warcraft Website now offers a new patch for World of Warcraft, updating Blizzard's MMORPG to version 4.3.2. A large number of changes are involved, including class balance tweaks, item tweaks, and UI changes.
The Evochron Mercenary Website now offers an update to this freeform space combat game, which is now up to version 1.828. As always there is an updated playable demo of the game, and this time around there will is an updated dedicated server program. Here's the change list: Continue here to read the full story.
I'm pretty firmly committed to my idea of making chili this weekend. I've mentioned before that a couple of my recent batches of chili were efforts at a moderate spiciness level more suited to typical tastes, but these Ghost Naga peppers sort of demand taking this in the other direction, so I think I'll do two batches, one normal, and the other weapons grade. The other thing I'm going to do this time around is uses some chipotle in each batch, as I think the smokiness it will impart should be a nice addition.