Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

AirHopper: Even Air-Gap Networks are Not Secure

It’s a good time to be in the Cybersecurity business. Quite often, highly secure computers are disconnected from the outside world so...

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The era of the hardware-based media server is over -scaling software-based media servers

As the telecom world moves closer and closer to software- based infrastructure, many questions are being asked about scalability of these...

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10 Reasons Why Microsoft is Winning

With new CEO Satya Nadella at the helm, Microsoft is changing and into something it needs to be. A company embracing a...

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Recognizing the Similarities Between WebRTC and VoIP

Next week I’ll be giving a keynote at the WebRTC Conference and Expo V.  When I last gave a keynote at...

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Invisible is Good Design

The whole idea of being a technology provider is that you make the technology invisible to the customer. They just have...

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VDSL and Vectoring are Important Parts of Broadband Deployment

By: Wendy Zajack, Dir. Product Communications, Alcatel-Lucent

From original on Alcatel-Lucent corporate blog

A few months ago our home WiFi slowed to a crawl. At first we thought it was a temporary thing, but after my son ran a diagnostic there was a problem with our high-speed broadband.  

While the technician was fixing it, he mentioned that for an extra $10 a month we could get a faster plan.  Living in the US we already (in my opinion) pay enough for our monthly broadband package so I immediately said ‘no.’ But I told my kids that IF they wanted to pay for it … we would consider it.

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World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor Issues Prove Customer Service's Value

November 20, 2014

While there has been much speculation of the World of Warcraft of late, with some believing that it's only a matter of time before this long-lived game finally goes the way of the dodo and others believing that those people are quite literally full of it (here carefully not defining just what “it” is, noting only that there is plenty involved), it's clear that this game will be carrying on for some time. Recent issues hit the franchise with the rise of its newest expansion, Warlords of Draenor, and that lent some ammo to the “franchise is doomed” side of the equation. However, Blizzard's response is one that illustrates the value of customer service very nicely, and how a little expense today can prevent a lot of headache later.

Not surprisingly, when Warlords of Draenor hit, there was a rush to get in on the action. Equally not surprisingly, this rush led to a lot of traffic and slowdowns and queues and the like.

How 11 Bit Studios Put Piracy to Work to Help This War of Mine

November 19, 2014

Piracy in video game circles—particularly in PC gaming—is a huge problem. With nearly any game around available for immediate download, and studios all but required to release the tools of their own demise thanks to the way that PC games are bought and sold, it's not surprising to see that piracy may be a bigger problem in gaming than just about anywhere else. But while there's plenty of outcry over piracy, there are also some more creative solutions afoot, and one came from developer 11 bit studios, who brought the pirate war directly to the pirates, by appealing to their humanity.

Basically, what 11 bit studios did was, after releasing its game “This War of Mine”, it took the title straight to The Pirate Bay, commonly regarded as one of the great hubs of pirated content currently available online. And then, 11 bit left it there.

Is Linden Labs Putting Its Next Big Hope on VR?

November 18, 2014

Linden Labs is a name you might recognize, particularly if you were gaming in the late 2000s. Linden Labs put together a combination game / game world called “Second Life,” and for those who played, it was an unusual experience to say the least. But Linden Labs has been undergoing a lot of changes of late, and it may well have found its next big thing in the form of the growing virtual reality (VR) movement.

Now down to just two properties in its quiver—“Second Life” and the “Blocksworld” app—the company is putting particular focus on “Second Life”, and turning to VR to help drive new interest. It might strike some as odd that a game that started in 2003 is still popular today, but “World of Warcraft” hardly wants for players, and that launched in late 2004.

One in Four Games Sold as Digital Download?

November 17, 2014

We all knew that digital game sales were catching on, and while we all likewise knew that digital game sales had plenty of problems associated with them, a new report from The NPD Group suggests that digital game sales have caught on a whole lot harder than anyone may have expected. How hard? Try one sale in every four titles, potentially.

The NPD Group's most recent numbers suggest that, indeed, hardware did pretty well in sales, but software sales, meanwhile, were down almost 28 percent over this time last year. That doesn't sound so great, though admittedly, the large number of titles that got pushed off to 2015 might well have something to do with that.

Two Million Dollars Playing Video Games? With Skillz, It Happened.

November 13, 2014

Not so long ago, we heard about the arrival of Skillz, a gaming platform that allowed players to compete for actual cash by playing games. But a new update suggests that the idea of playing games and taking home cash for the winner is catching on, and harder than many might have thought. The newest report suggests that, since the start of this year, the company has meant fully $2 million in prizes to those competing in Skillz's array of competitions.

Further, the company reported that it plays host to over 100,000 separate tournaments every day, with a variety of games serving as the battlegrounds in question. Games like Survival Run with Bear Grylls  are just part of the action, and the company also revealed some key information about its demographic operations as well.

Help Wanted: Gaming Puts On Major Expansion in U.S. Economy

November 12, 2014

Admittedly, the last several years of the economy in the United States has not been great. But there are notes that suggest things are on the mend, economically speaking, as unemployment rates drop and more businesses look to do some hiring. But even through the rougher times, there was one bright spot in the economy over the last few years, and that bright spot was video gaming.

Word from the Entertainment Software Association—the game industry's lobbying group—showed that business grew over nine percent annually from 2009 to 2012, which is no small feat given what was going on in the wider picture economically during that same time. In fact, it was better than four times what the entire United States economy could muster up, suffering an anemic average two percent growth during those years.

BlizzCon Brings StarCraft 2 & Hearthstone Add-Ons, Plus A Whole New Game

November 11, 2014

Wrapping up last week was a bit of a surprise as this year's BlizzCon came and left some new trailers in its wake. While not as big a deal as, say, E3, Gamescom or the Tokyo Game Show, BlizzCon often still has some exciting bits of news to arrive with it. This year was no different as a set of new trailers arrived showing off some future developments, and the news looked pretty good to say the least for Blizzard fans.

Blizzard's eponymous gaming convention had quite a bit to show off; not only were there two new expansions looking to come into play in StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void, as well as Hearthstone: Goblin Vs. Gnomes, but there was also a completely new game in Overwatch, a team-based shooter game that's something of a departure from Blizzard's normal round of gameplay. That will be welcome, or unwelcome, depending on your affinity for Blizzard's current catalog.

The arrival of Goblins vs.

November 10, 2014

Chalk it up to yet another in the long, long, long string of Fallout 4 rumors that have come and gone over the years. Turns out that German trademark filing for “Shadow of Boston” you might have heard about was nothing short of a fake. But while this particular unpleasantness is just another in a long string of same, it's also a sign of a much clearer problem.

Thankfully, much of what we knew about Fallout 4 is still quite intact. It is almost certainly an actual thing—there's simply too much cash involved to not be considering how the last rounds of Bethesda titles sold—and better yet, the Boston setting is likely to still be a thing.

Dragon Age: Inquisition Has a Surprising Influence

November 6, 2014

This is, perhaps, the answer to a question that I've been asking since somewhere around 2003. More specifically, the question I asked so long ago was “Why aren't more games like Morrowind?” I was very much into that game back then—and why not? It was perhaps the first time a console gamer had ever had access to that level of immersion, and most were enjoying it. Now, that influence is starting to be felt in earnest, and is even showing up in Dragon Age: Inquisition.

While Morrowind was a big seller, so too were its descendants.

Halo Championship Series Shows off E-Sports' Power

November 5, 2014

It will likely come as a surprise to virtually no one that Halo is a pretty big name when it comes to competitive gaming. But it's not really seen as a major name in e-sports, especially when it comes up for comparison against some games. But the Halo franchise is about to get a big new step up, thanks to the upcoming Halo Championship Series.

The Halo Championship Series--which will see 343 Industries and Microsoft partnering up with Twitch, the ESL, and others to help build tournaments around the Halo series. It's designed to reach its full capability when Halo 5: Guardians makes its first appearance in 2015, so it should start showing up any time now.

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