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Grand Theft Auto Lawsuit Settlement: You Get $35, Lawyers Get "One Million Dollars"

346w ago - It's not often that People Magazine and video games have a lot in common, but in the February 4th issue (the one with Heath Ledger on the cover ... tragic) if you flip to page 50 there an interesting Legal Notice concerning one Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.

Just in case you forgot in 2007 Rockstar Games proposed a settlement for a class action lawsuit concerning the infamous Hot Coffee modification. As a result any US citizen who was officially "offended and upset" by the ability to unlock this hidden content can now claim up to $35 in compensation.

The exact amount you may be entitled depends upon directly upon how much documentation you have of your "outrage":

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas First Edition Disc: Replacement Disc
Detailed Store Receipt: Cash payment up to $35.00
General Credit Card Statement or Check: Cash payment up to $17.50
Disc/Purchase Details: Cash payment up to $10.00
No Disc/Purchase Details: Cash payment up to $5.00
Full details on the program can be found at GTASettlement.com and you must submit your claim by May 16, 2008 to be eligible for compensation.

Curious about this lawsuit I actually went through the trouble to download the many long and detailed legal documents when I came across this little gem on page 11 of the Motion...

Estonia fines man for 'cyber war'

346w ago - A 20-year-old ethnic Russian man is the first person to be convicted for taking part in a "cyber war" against Estonia.

Dmitri Galushkevich was fined 17,500 kroons (£830) for an attack which blocked the website of the Reform Party of Prime Minister Andrus Ansip.

The assault, between 25 April and 4 May 2007, was one of a series by hackers on Estonian institutions and businesses.

At the time, Estonia accused the Russian government of orchestrating the attacks. Moscow denied any involvement.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the BBC in May 2007 that the allegations were "completely untrue".

Minority attacks

The attacks took place against a backdrop of riots by ethnic Russian Estonians prompted by the removal of a Soviet war memorial from the centre of Tallinn.

During the unrest, one person was killed and more than 150 injured.

Moving the so-called Bronze Soldier was seen as an affront to the memory of Russian soldiers who died during World War II.

Prosecutors said Mr Galushkevich, a student, had claimed the attack was an act of protest against Mr Ansip, who became a hate figure for Estonia's Russian minority.

Ethnic Russians make up about a quarter of Estonia's population of 1.3 million.


Epic, Silicon Knights Clash Over Access To Engine Code

346w ago - Epic and licensee Silicon Knights (Too Human) have continued their engine-related court battle, with controversy over Epic being permitted to examine Silicon Knights' codebase, and Silicon Knights revealing it originally paid $750,000 to license Unreal Engine 3.

Epic Protection

The latest battle began with a Silicon Knights protective order that sought to ensure Epic would not be allowed to view Too Human source code to judge how much, if any, Unreal Engine 3 code remained.

"Epic has not demonstrated any reason," the document states, "why the more common method of analysis of proprietary information - the use of outside experts - will not be sufficient in this action."

Claiming that Epic has demonstrated no cost savings or other benefits by reviewing the documents in-house, saying "it is beyond dispute that both sides will retain such outside experts, and that those experts will need to independently make their own review of the "HC" material in question in order to render their respective opinions."

"Permitting such unnecessary in-house review only leads to a heightened opportunity for misuse of that information," said Silicon Knights.

Illustrating the point, the Canadian developer notes that the camera system it currently is employing in Too Human...

Microsoft Xbox 360 Sales Fall 2.3% As 'Halo Effect' Fizzles!

346w ago - Microsoft shipped 4.3 million Xbox 360 systems in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with 4.4 million systems during the same period in 2006.

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) sold fewer Xbox 360 video game consoles during the lucrative holiday shopping season than it did the previous year -- despite September's launch of the blockbuster Xbox 360 title Halo 3.

Microsoft shipped 4.3 million Xbox 360 systems in the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with 4.4 million systems during the same period in 2006-- a decline of 2.3%.

Halo 3 -- a first-person shooter that runs exclusively on the Xbox 360 -- debuted in late September, just before the start of Microsoft's crucial second fiscal quarter. The quarter covers sales made during the key Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping periods.

Halo 3 smashed numerous game industry sales records during the days following its launch. The game racked up sales of $170 million during its first 24 hours on the market and receipts of $300 million during its first week.

It also set new standards for online play. More than 2.7 million gamers played Halo 3 on the Xbox Live online gaming platform in the first week, Microsoft said.

Anticipation around Halo 3 sparked a sharp increase in Xbox 360 sales during Microsoft's first fiscal...

Fox Responds to EA, Invites onto News Show

346w ago - This Fox News Mass Effect imbroglio is turning into quite the drama. To bring everyone up to speed: Fox News made erroneous claims about Mass Effect. Game journalist and one-time Kotaku guest editor Geoff Keighley tried to clear the air, but the network's panel and dime store Freud shrink Cooper Lawrence wouldn't listen.

The internet got angry and spammed her book's Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble listings. Amazon.com has since turned off the comments and erased user added images for her book's page.

Electronic Arts, likewise, got upset and called out the news network on its "insulting" inaccuracies. The Fox producer of the segment in question blew off Electronic Arts' request for a correction. There still hasn't been a correction or an apology from Fox News. The game publisher added that it won't back down and will continue to "step up when someone maligns our creative teams." According to MTV Multiplayer, Fox News issued this statement:

Fox News Channel has extended several invitations to EA through a company representative to appear on Live Desk With Martha MacCallum to discuss Mass Effect and the segment which aired on Monday. We have received no response.

Hey Fox, the point isn't inviting EA onto your dog and pony show to set the record straight. It's for you to do that yourself....
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