Category Archives: Gaming

Twitch Introduces Twitch Affiliate Program



Twitch has introduced the Twitch Affiliate Program.  It is for streamers who are not part of the Twitch Partner Program, but who are striving toward that goal. Twitch will decide which of their non-partnered creators is eligible for the Twitch Affiliate Program.

Introducing the Twitch Affiliate Program, which helps us expand that commitment to include tens of thousands of non-partnered creators. The program allows eligible streamers to start earning income on Twitch while building their audience, and provides a stepping stone to bridge the gap between emerging streamer and Twitch Partner. At launch, Affiliates will be able to start Cheering with Bits on their channel so their communities have an on-platform choice for showing support.

Twitch streamers cannot apply to be in the Twitch Affiliate Program. Twitch will invite streamers who qualify to sign up for it. Invitations are expected to roll out gradually over the next several weeks.

Qualifications include:

  • At least 500 total minutes broadcast in the last 30 days
  • At least 7 unique broadcast days in the last 30 days
  • An average of 3 concurrent viewers or more over the last 30 days
  • At least 50 followers

Twitch will provide participating Affiliates a share of the revenue Twitch receives from Bits equal to 1 cent per Bit used to Cheer for them, subject to certain terms and conditions. Twitch Partners get Custom Cheermotes – Twitch Affiliates do not.

Twitch Partners payout timeframe is 45 days, and payout fees are covered by Twitch. Twitch Affiliates payout timeframe is 60 days, and the Affiliate has to cover the payout fees themselves.


King Partners with Moschino to Launch Candy Crush Capsule Collection



King, the creators of the Candy Crush game, have partnered with Moschino and the acclaimed creative director Jeremy Scott to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Candy Crush franchise. Together, they are launching a limited edition colorful capsule collection comprised of “summer festival must haves”.

Candy Crush is a game that is played by millions of people around the world. The partnership with Moschino, a fashion house at the forefront of merging pop culture with fashion, brings fans of the Candy Crush franchise an opportunity to show they are fans of the game by wearing the styles from Moschino’s Candy Crush Collection.

The collection will be available exclusively on Moschino.com until the collection sells out. The designs were created by Jeremy Scott, Creative Director for Moschino. The collection includes a backpack ($650 USD), a phone case ($70 USD), and swimwear for men and women ($250 USD and $300 USD).

The celebration of Candy Crush’s fifth anniversary will culminate at the exclusive Moschino Candy Crush Desert Party during the Cochella music festival, where the entire space will be transformed into a Candy Kingdom. Key visuals and moments from the game will be brought to life with tangible props that will be as vibrant in-person as they are on screen.


Nintendo Reveals Games for Nintendo Switch



Nintendo revealed a list of games that are coming out for Nintendo Switch. The games were revealed in a video that was posted on Nintendo Direct (which has more details).

ARMS is a fighting game where players equip two customizable ARMS per fighter. The ARMS range from standard gloved ARMS to curved weapons like boomerangs. Each ARM has a special attribute like fire, ice, or electricity that activates when delivering a punch. The game can be played as 1-v-1 matches or 2-v-2 matches. A new character, the super-fast, ramen-armed Min Min has been revealed. This character is exclusive to Nintendo Switch.

Splatoon 2: Salmon Run has a new four-player co-op mode. Players can team up to battle the new Salmonid species. When players fail in co-op mode, their teammates can revive them by inking them on the battlefield. Splattoon 2 launches exclusively for Nintendo Switch on July 21, 2017. There are three new amiibo figures for the game – a new Inkling Girl, Inkling Boy, and Inkling Squid – which will all launch on the same day and grant special limited gear in game.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will launch on April 28, 2017. It will include more characters, karts, and tracks unlocked from the start than any other game in Mario Kart history. Traditional racing and redesigned battle modes can be played in Local Wireless mode with up to 8 players and Online or LAN mode with up to 12 players. Nintendo will be hosting two Mario Kart 8 Deluxe online tournaments in game.

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers launches for Nintendo Switch on May 26, 2017. It includes all the classic characters and two new fighters: Evil Ryu and Violent Ken. A “Way of the Hado” mode lets players throw HADOKENS with first-person motion controls.

Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition will launch in the Nintendo eShop on May 11, 2017 (and stores on a later date). It includes the Super Mario Mash-Up pack along with new multiplayer play and control options.

These are just a few of the games coming to Nintendo Switch. In addition, Nintendo announced some new games coming to Nintendo 3Ds and some new amibos. The Nintendo Switch Standalone Dock will be available for purchase starting on May 19, 2017.


Pokémon GO Eggstravaganza 2017



Niantic announced that the Pokémon GO Eggstravaganza has started. It began today, April 13, at 1:00 PM PDT. The event will last through April 20, 2017. The announcement doesn’t specifically mention Easter, but the egg reference makes me think that this is Pokémon GO’s Easter holiday event.

During the Eggstravaganza, a greater variety of Pokémon can be found in 2km Eggs. Those are the Eggs that require the fewest kilometers of walking in order to make them hatch. It seems to me that the 5km Eggs, and the 10km Egg tend to hatch more interesting Pokémon than the 2Km Eggs do, so more variety on the 2km eggs will be fun.

I just put a 10km egg into my only Incubator yesterday, so it is going to take some work for me to get that one to hatch so I can put a 2k Egg into the Incubator. If only I had waited! The Eggstravaganza doesn’t change the variety of Pokémon that hatch from the 5km or 10km eggs.

Players will earn more Candy during the Eggstravaganza, and will level up even faster with double XP. Niantic suggests that players use a Lucky Egg (which gives players double XP for 30 minutes) during the Eggstravaganza – to maximize their XP. If you don’t happen to have a Lucky Egg, Niantic says you can purchase one in the in-game shop for 50% off during the Eggstravaganza.

Players are asked to share the Pokémon that they hatch on social media, using #PokemonGO. Niantic also would like players to share their stories.


Star Wars: Battlefront II Trailer Leaks Ahead of Official Release



Star Wars BattlefrontSince Lucasfilm sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney, the new owners of the Star Wars brand have been busy producing new media across the spectrum of movies, television, novels, comic books, and video games. The first big post-Disney video game based in the Star Wars universe was Star Wars: Battlefront, a game that allows players to experience a number of team-based combat scenarios based on events depicted in the Star Wars films.

The original Battlefront was a massive success, prompting the development of a sequel, Battlefront II. One of the big features fans felt was missing from the first Battlefront was a single-player story mode. A trailer for Battlefront II that recently leaked online will make those story-mode missing fans very happy. The trailer (which has since been taken down) appears to show a playable female character, believed to be a downed Imperial pilot. The implication of the short dialog snippet included in the trailer is that Battlefront II will cover this character’s story. It’s also believed that the events depicted in the game take place in the Star Wars timeline after Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and before Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

No release date for Battlefront II has been announced. The first Battlefront game was released in November, 2015, just ahead of the release of The Force Awakens. It’s likely that Battlefront II will see a similar release window, as the next Star Wars movie, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, will be released in December, 2017.


Blizzard Announced StarCraft: Remastered



Blizzard announced something that should evoke plenty of nostalgia for those of us who remember playing StarCraft against our friends at LAN parties back in the day – StarCraft: Remastered.  It is an upgrade of the original StarCraft game and its award winning expansion, StarCraft: Brood War. This could inspire those who stopped playing StarCraft to get back into the game.

We’ve remastered our units, buildings, and environments, improved game audio, and broadened our supported resolutions. Illustrated interludes bring the struggles and victories of heroes like Artanix, Fenix, Tassadar, Raynor, and Kerrigan to life like never before. Most importantly, the strategy gameplay that StarCraft perfected years ago remains unchanged.

In StarCraft: Remastered, players will be able to zoom out for a Battlecruiser’s view of the battlefield. They will also be able to zoom in to see fine details – such as “the veins on a Mutalisk’s wings.” The original StarCraft soundtrack and dialogue has been re-recorded and rejuvinated. There are race-themed comic book interludes that tell the original story with a fresh coat of paint.

Players can choose from Terrans, Protoss, or Zerg. Players need to finish the campaign portion of the game first, and then can battle against their friends or team up with other players online.

In the StarCraft Forums, there is a post in which Community Manger Traysent provides some clarification to players about what version of StarCraft will be free. “The original game will be free. The HD version will be an upgrade you can buy.” Kotaku reported that StarCraft: Remastered will be due out later this summer.


Pokémon GO Water Festival is in Progress



Niantic announced that the Global Water Festival is happening now in Pokémon GO. It began on March 22, 2017, and will end on March 29, 2017. In celebration of the Global Water Festival, Niantic is allowing players to get a free Magikarp Hat for their avatar.

During the Global Water Festival players will be more likely to encounter Magikarp, Squirtle, Totodile, and their Evolutions all around the world. Players that explore areas where Water-type Pokémon more commonly appear will have a greater chance to encounter several of the Water-type Pokémon originally discovered in the Johto region. Niantic coyly suggests that players might possibly run into Lapras.

Some players might not be too exited about encountering lots of Magikarps. They don’t do much of anything at all except flop around, and it takes a lot of candy to evolve them. To make the game more exciting, Niantic has added Shiny Magikarp into the wild. They are extremely rare. If you happen to catch one, Niantic would like you to share a screenshot of it on social media and use #PokemonGo.


Blizzard Wants Overwatch Players to Stop Farming EXP While AFK



Blizzard has enacted the first of a series of measures designed to dissuade Overwatch players from gaining experience (EXP) while they are away from their computer’s keyboard (AFK). This problem is happening in Custom Games, and Blizzard has enacted the first of their escalation plan in order to dissuade players from doing that. If the behavior continues, more of the escalation plan will be put into place.

Game Director Jeff Kaplan explained things in a Forum Post in the Overwatch Forums on Battle.net. He makes it clear that the purpose of introducing the Game Browser and Custom Game features was to enable players to experience Overwatch in unique and different ways. They were aware the features could be exploited, and created an internal escalation plan – just in case players abused the features. From the Forum post:

…It’s very disappointing to us that players abused the system to gain experience while inactive. As some of you have noticed, Skirmish in Custom Game no longer rewards experience. Also, the AFK timer is now in place in Skirmish mode (in Custom Game only). This change is rolling out over a 24 hour period and should be live in all regions by the end of today.

Jeff Kaplan also took the time to make it abundantly clear that there is no moral ambiguity about gaining EXP while AFK in a Custom Game.

I’ve seen some discussion in the community and in the press on this topic and sometimes it gets talked about as if this is a grey area. Is this wrong or is this ok? Well, let me take a grey area and make it starkly black and white for you. Abusing and exploiting Custom Game or any other game mode to earn experience in Overwatch while inactive is NOT ok. The reason I want to be absolutely clear about this is in part because we are going to start to take disciplinary action against people who partake in these activities.

He goes on to clarify behaviors that will get your account banned:

  • If you create a Custom game that in any way encourages players to gain experience while inactive, you risk having your account banned.
  • If you join any game mode – including Custom Games – with the intent of gaining experience while being inactive, you risk having your account banned.
  • Do not name your Custom Game that in any way even implies that gaining experience while inactive is OK – not even as a joke – because doing so puts you at risk of having your account banned.

If this behavior doesn’t stop, more of the internal escalation plan will be enacted – until it reaches the final part that involves turning off the ability to gain experience in a Custom game. Players who don’t want to see the Custom Game feature limited further are asked to help Blizzard by reporting players who get into a game, and then go AFK, for the purpose of gaining EXP.


Don’t Use Your Joy-Con Near Your Aquarium



An unexpected thing is happening with at least some of the Joy-Con controllers. Nintendo Switch players noticed that when the controllers are used wirelessly, they malfunction in ways that are not conducive to game play. One possible cause is that the player put the Nintendo Switch too close to their aquarium.

Some people have noticed that when they use their Joy-Con controllers wirelessly – the characters in the game seem to move on their own (or the characters don’t respond at all). Others have had problems with Joy-Con responding intermittently, or losing connection with the Nintendo Switch console.

Nintendo released an article about Joy-Con not responding, or responding incorrectly, when used wirelessly. It starts by troubleshooting the typical issues.

Check if your console has the latest updates. Make sure the Joy-Con controllers are charged. Try and decrease the distance between the Joy-Con and the Nintendo Switch console. (In other words – sit closer to it).

If that doesn’t fix the problem, it is possible your Joy-Con is getting interference from something else in your home. Nintendo says it is best if the Nintendo Switch console is placed out in the open.

Make sure the Nintendo Switch is not:

  • Behind a TV
  • Near an aquarium
  • Placed in or under a metal object
  • Pressed against a large amount of wires and cords
  • Within three to four feet of another wireless device, such as a wireless speaker or wireless access point.

In addition, Nintendo suggests you check for the following sources of interference and turn them off:

  • Laptops, tablets, etc.
  • Wireless headsets
  • Wireless printers
  • Microwaves
  • Wireless speakers
  • Cordless phones
  • USB 3.0 compatible devices such as hard drives, thumb drives, LAN adapters, etc.

According to Nintendo, in most cases it will be enough to move the devices on the list three to four feet away from the Nintendo Switch console and/or Joy-Con controllers. If that doesn’t work for you, Nintendo suggests you power those devices off when you want to use the Nintendo Switch.


Blizzard Takes Action Against Real-Money Raid Clears



Blizzard Entertainment does not want World of Warcraft players to require other players to give them real-world currency in exchange for assistance with a dungeon or raid. Doing so breaks the World of Warcraft Terms of Use – and Blizzard has taken action against players that were doing this.

To be clear, it is perfectly acceptable for one player to help another player to get through a part of the game. People join guilds for the purpose of having lots of other players that they can do raids or dungeons with. Any player, running through Azeroth, who wants to randomly heal a player in need, is perfectly welcome to do that.

All of that is fine. World of Warcraft is the type of game that works best with a helpful community of players. Parts of the game require players to get a group together because some of the content is impossible to complete without help.

Asking another player to pay you real-word currency for that help, however, is not okay. In a Forum Post Community Manager Ornyx stated the following:

We’ve recently taken action against a number of accounts that were actively participating in and/or advertising the sale of in-game raid or dungeon clears in exchange for real-world currency. Such behavior is a clear violation of the World of Warcraft Terms of Use.

Ornyx continued to point out that many of the people who were doing that were members of top raiding guilds. Ornyx also made it clear that the players Blizzard took action against “had illustrated full knowledge and intent to violate the Terms of Use”. The Forum Post doesn’t include information about what specific action was taken against those players.

Doing a “gold run” – where a player offers to help another player through content in exchange for a certain amount of in-game gold – is perfectly acceptable. Ornyx states that it is fine to sell assistance with obtaining items, achievements, PVP rating, or other in-game benefits in exchange for in-game gold.

Blizzard wants players to report people who are advertising that they will help another player in exchange for real-world money. The Forum Post lists some common warning signs:

  • A “broker” is offering to match buyers with service-providers. Commonly, a broker will collect real-word currency from a buyer while offering gold to a guild or group that will actually provide the service.
  • Someone offering a service is unwilling to discuss terms of payment via in-game tells, and insists on using a non-Blizzard application to communicate.

In short – helping another player get through content in World of Warcraft is absolutely ok to do. Offering to help a player get through content in exchange for in-game gold is fine. Offering to help another player get through content in exchange for real-world currency breaks the World of Warcraft Terms of Use and will result in action taken against you.