Monthly Archives: February 2015

Resident Evil: Revelations 2 Modders Add Canceled Co-Op Mode Back to PC Version

Resident Evil fans are rightfully upset that the PC version of Resident Evil: Revelations 2 does not include a local offline cooperative mode despite previous statements from Capcom that it will, but don’t worry. Resident Evil fans are also working on a solution.

A Resident Evil modder that goes by the handle FluffyQuack has already released a mod, that adds an offline co-op mode back into the PC version of Revelations 2. There are known issues with the mod, namely that you’ll have to use gamepads and that it won’t work with Raid Mode (though FluffyQuack is working on it), but it already allows you to play all of episode 1 split screen with a friend.

You can get the mod and a guide on how to install it here.

Last week, players were disappointed to discover that the PC version of the game did not include a local cooperative mode despite the fact that this feature was listed in the game’s Steam store page. Earlier this week, Capcom explained that the feature was listed unintentionally and apologized for the error.

The first episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 launched earlier this week, with the remaining three episodes to be released over the coming month. Check out how it scored in GameSpot’s review.

This Bloodborne Boss Looks Terrifying

Sony and developer From Software have released a few images of a new boss from the upcoming PlayStation 4-exclusive Bloodborne and it looks absolutely terrifying.

Darkbeast, as the boss is called, is an electric beast made up of giant skeletal remains. The lightning that courses through its body makes it move in erratic, off-speed movements that bombard the player.

“Just like in Demon’s Souls, Bloodborne will feature many boss enemies of all shapes and sizes, and there will be a variety of ways to defeat them,” Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia PR manager Yasuhiro Kitao said. “So I think you will find that the gameplay in Bloodborne is rich and diverse.”

Following a delay, the Bloodborne release date is now March 24 in the US and March 27 in the UK. For more on Bloodborne, check out our previous coverage.

Weekly Recap: GTA 5 PC Delayed Again, People Buy PS4 For Graphics


GTA 5 PC DELAYED AGAIN: Oh, no! Rockstar Games this week announced that the PC version of Grand Theft Auto V had been delayed for a third time. The game is now scheduled to launch on April 14. “A bit more time is needed to ensure that the game is as polished as possible,” the developer explained. Hey, at least we now know when Heists are coming!

STUDY: PEOPLE BUY PS4 FOR GRAPHICS, XBOX ONE FOR BRAND, WII U FOR FUN: Why do people buy new consoles? What are the top driving factors? Now we have a better idea, as research company Nielsen has released a study that shows people buy the PlayStation 4 for its superior graphics, Xbox One for brand, and Wii U for fun. See the full study here.

RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER DEV TALKS XBOX EXCLUSIVITY: Why is Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusive to Xbox? Crystal Dynamics spoke more about the subject this week with Game Informer, telling the site that partnering with Microsoft was a logical next step to make, given the company’s previous working relationship. Plus, Crystal Dynamics says working with Microsoft–the worldwide technology giant–will help elevate the profile of Tomb Raider.


In addition to producing the beloved Legend of Zelda series, veteran Nintendo developer Eiji Aonuma is in a band. He tells Game Informer: “It’s something you work up to–performing–and you only really get one chance at it, so you have to make sure you get that right. It has a slightly different feel from video game development in that sense, so I find it very stimulating to have that kind of pressure.” Rock on, dude.

New DLC is now available for Trials Fusion. The add-on, the game’s fifth of six planned expansions, is called Fault One Zero. It adds 10 new tracks, 24 challenges, five trophies, and new objects for the game’s track editor. The expansion is included with Trials Fusion $20 DLC pass or can be purchased by itself for $5.

What’s PopCap founder John Vechey doing now that he’s left the Plants vs. Zombies developer? Now we finally know. He announced this week that he’s opened a VR start-up called Pluto VR. Read all about it here.

Grand Theft Auto: Mushroom City. Nothing more needs to be said. Check out the video here.

Free-to-play console and PC game War Thunder this week got a major update. The update, called “Big Guns” adds the B29 Superfortress and Pz.Kpfw.VIII Maus tanks, as well as new terrains (tanks can now move faster on roads), and improved graphics for lower-end PCs. You can see the full patch notes here.

This excellent, wide-ranging feature dives deep into the secret behind Madden NFL player ratings. If you’re into the professional football series, you definitely want to read this.

Have you always wanted to play video games against a movie character? Now you’re in luck, as Twitch and Sony Pictures have teamed up for a unique promotion whereby Evolve can take part the “Chappie Challenge,” an upcoming event aimed at promoting Neil Blomkamp’s new movie. “This program will mark the first time that human gamers can play against a movie character,” Twitch said in a statement. Get the full details on the event here.

Massachusetts-based video game developer Muzzy Lane Software this week announced that it was the recipient of a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The studio will use the money to “explore applications of game-based digital courseware in post-secondary education.” Read more about it here.

While you wait for Battlefield Hardline to arrive on March 17, why not play some Battlefield 4? Now the deal is even sweeter, as DICE has rolled out doubleXP through March 1. Enjoy!

Boston’s big gaming event, PAX East, is next week! Can you believe it? Ahead of the show, eSports company ESL has announced the lineup for competitive gaming at the event. Here’s a quick-hit list of what to expect if you’re attending in-person on live on Twitch.

  • Halo Championship Series Season 1 Finals
  • Guild Wars 2 World Tournament Series
  • Evolve PAX East PRO-AM Tournament
  • Warframe TennoLive 2015: PAX East

Disney this week released ten+ more of its PC games on Steam. The following games are now available, and you can get them for up to 50 percent off through Monday, March 2.

  • Disney Mickey’s Typing Adventure
  • Disney’s Treasure Planet: Battle at Procyon
  • Walt Disney Pictures Bolt
  • Disney•Pixar Cars
  • Disney•Pixar Cars: Radiator Springs Adventures
  • Disney•Pixar Cars: Mater-National Championship
  • Disney’s Chicken Little
  • Disney’s Chicken Little: Ace in Action
  • Disney•Pixar Finding Nemo
  • Disney High School Musical 3: Dance It
  • Disney•Pixar Wall-E
  • Disney Phineas and Ferb: New Inventions (Russian, Czech, Polish languages only)

How does upcoming Xbox-exclusive Tomb Raider game Rise of the Tomb Raider balance survival and action? Watch this excellent interview from Game Informer to hear directly from the game’s creative director on that very subject.

The first-ever “Raid Against Rare Diseases,” an online gaming charity event aimed at at raising awareness for rare diseases, takes place today, February 28. As part of the event, top streamers and gaming personalities will play World of Warcraft‘s Raid mode. During the event, hosts will interview children affected by cancer and other diseases, in an overall attempt to create an “uplifting, inspiring experience for all participants and viewers.” Watch it now on Twitch.

Kim Kardashian teased this week that a new updated for her big-time money-making mobile app Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, will introduce her family members Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Watch out, world.

Technology giant Apple announced this week that it will hold its next media event March 9 in San Francisco. The company sent invitations to press this week, teasing, “Spring Forward.” According to GameSpot sister CNET, the event will bring more information about the upcoming Apple Watch and possible new details about Apple TV.

Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix released its latest (mobile) role-playing game this week. The game is called Heavenstrike Rivals, and it’s available now as a free-to-play title for iOS and Android devices. “Introducing a complex–yet easy to learn–battle system with deep strategic possibilities, the game includes quick-entry player-vs-player combat and hundreds of unique characters to collect, grow, and evolve,” Square Enix says.

OlliOlli2, the sequel to Roll7’s acclaimed skating autorunner, will ship on PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 on March 3.

You mad for Hearthstione? Nvidia has announced a $25k Hearthstone tournament for dedicated players. First prize is $10k. Take a look here if you’re interested.

Looking for 60 minutes of 1080p/60fps PS4 gameplay for Yakuza Zero? Look no further! Now, if we can just convince Sega to bring the game to the US….

Dennaton Games and Developer Digital announced this week that their top-down shooter Hotline Miami 2 will be released on March 10 for PS4, PS3, PS Vita, PC, Mac, and Linux. Looking for something more? A Special Edition is available to pre-buy now on Steam, GOG, and Humble.

Did critics unfairly judge PS4 third-person shooter The Order: 1886? That’s the subject God of War creator David Jaffe and his new studio took on in this video diary. Hear what his employees had to say by checking out this video. What do you think?

Who is composing the music for upcoming Warhammer game Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide? It’s none other than Assassin’s Creed and Hitman series composer Jesper Kyd. He’s also won a BAFTA. You can hear his music for Vermintide when the game launches in the second half of 2015 for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

Want to see classic shooter Halo: Combat Evolved beaten–on Legendary difficulty–in record time? Of course you do! Well, you’re in luck, as a team of speedrunners have worked together to complete the game in just 1:07:04, beating the previous record of 1:29:59. How did they do it? Check out the video above to find out.

GPU company Nvidia will announce its own virtual reality head-mounted display during the Game Developers Conference next month. That’s according to a new report from VRFocus. With only a few days to go before the show, we don’t have much longer to wait to find out if it’s true! What do you think?

PAX East approaches! Final Fantasy publisher Square Enix this week announced its plans for the show. The company will bring Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and Life Is Strange to the show, playable for the thousands of attendees. In addition, the company will host various panels, including an exciting-sounding one for Just Cause 3. PAX East runs March 6-8 in Boston.

Nvidia and the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) this week announced a new partnership that they say will “support and connect” members inside the game industry. “The relationship will bolster the game developer scene through event support, discounts and membership opportunities.” Hooray for synergy!

Ahead of the release of Battlefield Hardline next month, developer Visceral Games has published a detailed blog post that offers tons of details for the game’s four multiplayer classes. Play as a Medic in other Battlefield games? Then Operator is your class. Read lots more here.

Generally speaking, games today aren’t as hardcore and challenging as they used to be. This is great because it’s broadened the appeal of games in general, bringing new players into the fold. But what if you’re looking for an old-school, tough game? Then Bloodborne is for you. Check out this new video featuring the game’s key developers talking about how it will bring a challenge similar to what you remember from the games you played in your childhood.


Via Reddit comes this teasing photo of what appears to be a commercial shoot for Halo 5: Guardians. We see a devastated Master Chief looking like he’s definitely in trouble while the mysterious Agent Locke stands over him. What does it mean!? Check out the image here and let us know what you think.

Good news for fans of Ninja Theory, the UK studio that brought us Enslaved and DMC: Devil May Cry. Its latest action game project, Hellblade, is being helped along with the input of Hugues Giboire, the art director of the original Heavenly Sword.

Seriously, play Device 6. It’s a breathtakingly original novella turned into a disquieting riddle-laced puzzle game. It’s like an interactive Kindle of a shadowy story. Anyway, the game’s developer, Simogo, has hinted that it’s working on a Wii U port of one of its older games. Does that mean the acclaimed Device-6 will soon be playable on Nintendo’s GamePad? We can only hope.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Riot’s Marc Merrill Discusses SpectateFaker and Improving Community Relations


Earlier today, Riot Games President Marc Merrill issued a formal statement regarding his company’s investigations into the “SpectateFaker” Twitch stream, the Azubu DMCA takedown notice that was issued against it, and Merrill’s controversial comments on Reddit and Twitter last weekend.

This morning, I sat down with Merrill to discuss that statement, his interactions with the community, and what this means for Riot going forward.

Riot’s statement frequently references Sanghyuk “Faker” Lee’s personal desire to have the stream removed as a major motivating factor in their decision to issue the DMCA notice. With the only public comment on the issue coming from his team, SK Telecom, I ask Merrill if Riot had spoken to Faker. I also ask if it was necessary for Lee to personally want the stream taken down or if the organization representing him could request the removal on its own.

“I think that Faker, like any amazing pro athlete around the world, is in clearly high demand,” he replies, “and our understanding is that he has a really good relationship with SKT. Otherwise, when he was getting crazy offers to go play for different teams around the world, the assumption would be that he would have taken something like that. That being said, I’m personally not super close to the details in terms of how his relationship works.”

Speaking further, Merrill likens the scenario to traditional sports, where players don’t have the time or interest to navigate all of the business dealings around their career and end up relying on agents or sports clubs to handle such issues for them. He believes that “it would be a situation like the [Patriots] speaking on behalf of Tom Brady.”

“…our mutual understanding of this stuff will continue to evolve and become more clear over time as well.”

Is SKT setting a precedent? Would the handling of any future requests for a stream takedown of a professional player’s gameplay shift to the team organizations, whether it be in North America, Korea, or elsewhere?

“It’s a case-by-case basis. I think we’re covering new ground here and need to evaluate the types of things that are going to happen and unfold going forward. In the same way that when we originally launched League of Legends we didn’t have the Summoner’s Code, we expect these types of things to evolve over time as we learn and get more exposure to what types of divisions we’re going to encounter.”

Regarding guidelines, much of the public discourse around the SpectateFaker stream involved where the line was drawn. Could someone “unlock” the camera from Faker, create a “SpectateFakersOpponents” stream, or even more broadly, could they create a stream that spectated a team of players instead of an individual? How will Riot determine when “harm” is being done, as referenced in their statement?

Merrill admits that it’s hard to figure out where the line is; “We think that the SpectateFaker case is above the line whereas SaltyTeemo is below the line. So that gap is the type of situation that I think is where we’re all going to have to work together to figure it out. So we expect that our mutual understanding of this stuff will continue to evolve and become more clear over time as well.”

He does promise that for anything “precedent setting,” Riot will be transparent with the community and open a line of communication.

But for content creators and fans, this still leaves a lot of questions open. Hypothetically, if I want to create an automated Twitch stream that follows different members of Counter Logic Gaming across their matches, how do I know if I would be at risk for receiving a DMCA takedown notice from Riot after launching it?

“One of the things that I think would be great is if people who are working with the API and trying to build great systems on it, reach out to our dev relations team and talk to us. If they say, ‘Here’s what I’m trying to do, what do you guys think?’ I think as we all figure these things out together, it’s about dialogue and getting on the same page about the goal: Let’s make sure we don’t harm the community in any macro sense or a micro sense for an individual.”

Riot hopes that by explaining its intent in today’s statement, it’s helped players and members of the community understand what the general boundaries are. Merrill adds, “If there’s a gray area, we can collaborate to figure out what makes sense and what doesn’t.”

With its statement, Riot has formally acknowledged that Azubu had no valid right to issue the initial DMCA takedown notice. But did it take Riot over two weeks to publicly address its partner’s overreach?

“Our goal is to nurture this positive and engaging global community”

Merrill explains that Riot “needed to look into it and double-check our facts.” Now that they have, he feels comfortable clarifying its position, which is, “If there are going to be any takedowns, they will be from us.”

Our conversation then turns to the individual that started it all: StarlordLucian, the SpectateFaker stream administrator. I’m curious if Merrill or Riot have reached out to him directly yet. “Our only communication currently has been through Twitter and/or Reddit. I would love to in the future, but we haven’t done that yet.”

Finally, we arrive at a more personal subject: Merrill’s controversial and emotional comments the weekend before. Riot is no stranger to events unfolding in an unpredictable way that leads passionate fans to intense discussion. Why did this moment in particular spark such an immediate and unrestrained reaction?

Merrill describes his initial reaction upon becoming aware of the situation: “My mind instantly went to ‘Oh my God! Precedent!’ and we’re theoretically entering this new gray area where a bunch of bad situations might manifest. The worst case scenario for me would be that Riot wouldn’t stake the type of position where we can protect players in the way that we always care about doing. Our goal is to nurture this positive and engaging global community through esports and all those different dimensions. Everything that we’ve done has always been consistent with that, we think. And if there’s ever something that isn’t right, then we quickly adjust course, apologize, and try to evolve. We’re going to continue doing that going forward.”

The emotional reaction, Merrill attributes, to a personal sense of desire to help the disenfranchised. He recounts several life events where he was angered or frustrated by an individual or a group being mistreated. “That’s why I was emotional in the reactions and what I clearly screwed up was, I muddied the message because of the emotion. I was meant to just talk about the case and the principles, but then I ended up doing some things which came across as attacking an individual which was definitely not my intention at all.”

Merrill explains that while he was very active in the community in the early days of Riot, that involvement has dropped off as the company has scaled. He hopes that both he and CEO Brandon “Ryze” Beck can work to improve their personal relationship with the community so that players have better context and understanding when they make personal statements. “At the end of the day, the reason Riot is the way it is from a lot of dimensions is because we don’t see ourselves as above the community, we see ourselves as a part of it. Sometimes we forget that we could be perceived as these dudes that have this powerful voice, because we don’t see ourselves that way.”

He explains that he never wanted players thinking his comments were an official statement from Riot. “What I was trying to do was say that we’re going to look into this and come out with something. I’m concerned.”

Ultimately, Merrill does not feel discouraged by the harsh feedback from the community, “A lot of the comments are really well-deserved. I botched a lot of the intent through bad, reactive messaging, so I don’t blame the community for anything. We’ve been in their shoes many times and been pissed at online game companies that are doing things that we perceive to not make sense. The comments sting, of course, but I think it’s the case where it motivates us to get more involved. If there was more of a relationship there, like there has been in years past, this type of stuff would be easier to reconcile.”

The Point – How Content is Killing AAA Games

With The Order: 1886 sparking arguments about game length, Danny investigates how the infatuation with content is negatively impacting AAA games.

GS News Top 5 – Final Fantasy XV Details, Microwaved 3DS and Kanye West?

Kanye West is making a video game, a rare Majora’s Mask 3DS is destroyed, and GTA V is delayed on PC again!

GameSpot Presents The MIX at GDC 2015

We bring in some awesome developers from GDC 2015 to show off their new games: Chasm, Donut County, Axiom Verge, STRAFE, Seasons after Fall, Overland, Drift Stage, Jetpack Squad and Cryptark!

FF14 Welcomes Back Old Players With Free Time as it Hits 4 Million Accounts

Final Fantasy XIV has reached a new player milestone, and to celebrate, it’s offering former players the opportunity to play for free for a limited time.

Square Enix has announced XIV account registrations have surpassed the four-million mark. Mind you, that’s the number of total registrations the game has seen, and not the number of active subscribers. Like any other subscription-based MMORPG, that pales in comparison to World of Warcraft, which had 10 million subscribers as of November (which had dipped to 6.8 million before the launch of Warlords of Draenor). However, considering that XIV was described by Square Enix’s CEO as having “greatly damaged” the Final Fantasy brand before it was relaunched as A Realm Reborn, it’s positive news.

Hoping to reel former subscribers back in, Square Enix is offering free play time from today, February 27, until March 9 at 1 AM PDT. In order to qualify for this promotion, you need to have previously purchased and registered XIV, and your account needs to be inactive during this promotion (meaning current subscribers won’t have their subscriptions extended). You can check your account’s status on Square Enix’s website. The offer is available on all platforms: PC, PS4, and PS3.

Even if you’ve only been away from the game for a short time, there’s likely new content for you to check out. Just recently, the Manderville Gold Saucer was added, introducing new mini-games and new activities like chocobo racing.

If you’ve never played before–or don’t mind making a new account–Square Enix always offers a 14-day free trial for the game, albeit one that imposes certain limitations, such as being unable to advance past level 20.

Controversial SpectateFaker Twitch Stream Gets Riot President Comment

Following a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act against the Twitch stream “SpectateFaker” by rival streaming service Azubu, Riot Games president Marc Merrill has issued a statement clarifying the company’s position on the issue. In the statement, Merrill also addressed initial comments he made on Twitter and Reddit last weekend regarding the controversy that that he describes as: “Several mistakes which hurt our efforts to clarify things.”

While the statement admits that Azubu’s initial DMCA claim was not valid, Riot Games plans on issuing their own DMCA takedown against the stream and similar streams in the future.

We believe the in-game spectator experience for ranked games is a critical part of the LoL gameplay experience, and we have no interest in seeing it crippled.

GameSpot spoke in person with Merrill earlier this morning regarding the statement that will be going up shortly.

In the meantime, here’s his interaction with the community around the topic, and what this means for Riot going forward.

Merrill’s full statement is available below:

Marc Merrill: Over the last week, we’ve been wrestling with some complex and layered issues around how players create and share gameplay content online, as brought up by the SpectateFaker streaming case. It’s come with a lot of learnings, some unclear communication on our part and a lot of debate, both within Riot and externally, on the best way to balance access to gameplay footage that players want to see with protection for individual players who do not consent to having a third party stream all of their games.

Here’s the TL;DR: We believe the in-game spectator experience for ranked games is a critical part of the LoL gameplay experience, and we have no interest in seeing it crippled.

Where things become problematic is when a spectator mode for a player (pro or otherwise) is consistently streamed against their wishes, and in a way that is harmful. Having looked into the SpectateFaker case we’ve established two major things: 1) That the DMCA issued by Azubu did not have a legal standing as we, not Azubu, own the gameplay content, and 2) that Faker believes (and we agree) that this stream is harmful to him and to his brand. We’ll be honoring Faker’s request and pursuing a takedown of the stream.

Personally, it’s pretty clear that I should have handled communications around this better. My intent was to jump to the defense of a player (Faker) who was being singled out and streamed against his will. I’m very sensitive to the topic of bullying. It’s a sobering lesson to me that in discussing concerns about it, I may have came across as the bully myself.

This individual case has brought up a lot of issues that go beyond Faker — or even beyond pro players. It has the power to affect all of us who create and spectate LoL gameplay through the client. We feel the weight of that responsibility, which is why we took some time to really debate this and double-check our assumptions before coming back with a thought-out response.

I wanted to take some time to talk a little about our core philosophies around how we’ve approached this issue, what we got wrong in our first steps and what approach we’ll be taking moving forward.

What happened?

With such a complex set of variables and players, there’s no easy way to summarize the issues — but below is a topline account of what happened.

Early last week, streaming platform Azubu sent a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice to a stream named SpectateFaker. This stream auto-checked for solo queue games of SK Telecom T1 player Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, and streamed them on Twitch using LoL’s spectator mode.

Along with several other Korean esports pros, including SK Telecom teammates, Faker signed a contract in September 2014 to stream exclusively on the Azubu platform — and Azubu felt that the independent stream of Faker’s games over on Twitch challenged that exclusivity. As the SpectateFaker streamer StarLordLucian pointed out, however, according to the LoL terms of use, players sign away rights of ownership to the gameplay content they create within the game. Legally, Azubu doesn’t own the streaming content that Faker was producing. As many have pointed out — and as we’ve given feedback to Azubu directly — their DMCA action wasn’t based on a valid legal claim of ownership.

Earlier in the week, SKT and KeSPA had reached out to Riot to express the fact that Faker did not wish his content to be rebroadcast in this way and hoped we would take action to have it shut down. SKT themselves issued a statement via their Facebook page confirming that Faker was uncomfortable about his name and gameplay being streamed without his consent, and that they believed it had a negative impact to the value and stability of his streaming offering.

What’s our approach?

Let’s dig a little further into our core philosophies and how we plan to tackle this complicated issue moving forward:

…we believe that the stream was born out of positive intentions to provide esports content to fans worldwide…

With any issue like this, our guiding philosophy is to protect the interests of players; in this case, things aren’t so simple. There are two distinct player interests that are in conflict: the interests of the individual player (in this case Faker) with the interests of the thousands of players who enjoyed watching the Twitch streams of him playing via SpectateFaker. When we looked at this case, we had to weigh these two interests and make a balanced decision as to what we thought offered the most harm — or the most benefit — to the groups involved.

What StarLordLucian did with the SpectateFaker stream provided a service for thousands of players who were able to watch Faker solo queue games on the platform they prefer and using the tools they’re accustomed to. It was an innovative use of our API which identified a unique edge case, and we believe that the stream was born out of positive intentions to provide esports content to fans worldwide. I regret insinuations otherwise that I made on Reddit in the heat of the moment.

My alarm was driven by the fact that Faker and SKT view this as harmful to his career and brand, and asked for our help in helping to shut down the stream. Having looked into this issue we understand why it would be viewed as harmful. Streaming contracts like this are an important cornerstone in creating a stable financial esports ecosystem in Korea. Systematically streaming spectator mode of each of Faker’s games (rather than a few sporadically) on a rival platform understandably lessens the value of his partnership with Azubu and even more importantly, the potential of pros to gain equally lucrative streaming partnerships in the future. In a very real and material sense, the SpectateFaker stream causes Faker harm in his own judgment — and we believe he should have the right to see it discontinued.

…having your gameplay systematically streamed in a way that has the potential to harm or distress you isn’t just something you should put up with as a consequence of playing ranked games.

This is a precedent that doesn’t just apply to pro players — or to monetary or brand loss. Imagine a scenario in which a bronze player was targeted by an unwanted stream that meant all of his ranked games were broadcast to a crowd who made fun of him and his gameplay — all against his will. “Harm” could come in several forms — emotional, material, or otherwise.

We think that having your gameplay systematically streamed in a way that has the potential to harm or distress you isn’t just something you should put up with as a consequence of playing ranked games. Or imagine a stream targeting a female player, where a narrator or automated system harasses her and comments on every move she makes in every game she plays online. Riot has always taken our responsibility towards nurturing a sportsmanlike and positive community very seriously and we view this precedent-setting situation through a similar lens.

There are examples of this kind of spectator mode streaming that don’t carry the same bite. To give just one, SaltyTeemo is a stream that often targets low elo players and streams their gameplay from spectator mode, but the intent here feels completely different. The stream removes usernames and doesn’t specifically target individual players over and over. This isn’t a calculated harassment of one specific player, it’s a compilation of gameplay that’s entertaining and non-malicious towards individuals.

We will intervene and shut down streams where we perceive that it’s causing harm to individual players. This will usually result from the individual player requesting the takedown (although it isn’t always dependent on it), so we’ll also make it easy for streamers to contact us with those kind of requests and look into them on a case by case basis. Although the SpectateFaker case was the genesis – and will be the first case where this policy will apply — it isn’t specifically targeted to him, any pros or even pro players exclusively. If you believe you are being targeted for harassment by someone streaming your spectator games, please file a ticket with Riot player support.

This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a technical/API fix in the future that helps us tackle these kind of problems at the root. Spectator mode is an evolving tool that should not only enable players to watch gameplay live, but also be sensitive to the concerns of players who feel targeted or harmed by others who systematically stream each of their games without their consent. The in-game spectator experience for ranked games is an important part of the LoL experience for those that enjoy watching and learning from other players – pro or otherwise. It’s the act of streaming that gameplay that becomes problematic when the player actively objects – and at the moment we’ll intervene to protect them. Any technical tweaks to our API have a longer timeframe than this response allows for, but we’re committed to assessing what we can do to improve choices for players and streamers.

With regards to the SpectateFaker stream case, we believe strongly that the potential material harm caused to the player is real — as such, we’ll be honoring Faker’s request and pursuing a takedown of the stream.

What did we learn from communications around this issue?

Sorting through complicated and grey legal issues has become par for the course for Riot as we refine our processes in response to player need. Unfortunately, we sometimes show our inexperience when tackling a new area and there’s a lot to learn from this situation.

When I jumped into the debate on Twitter and Reddit, my first concern was to clarify our position around protecting the player experience. My gut instinct was in full force, and I was quick to jump to what I considered to be the defense and protection of a player who was being mistreated. Unfortunately, in my efforts to explain my concern with the situation, I made several mistakes which hurt our efforts to clarify things.

  1. Although I disagreed with StarLordLucian’s actions, they were born out of good intent. By making things personal and adversarial, and accusing him of ‘estalking’ Faker, my comments didn’t appropriately reflect his original intentions, which was to showcase Faker on Twitch.
  2. I moved too quickly to comment in a situation where I didn’t have the full context. I made an error by originally assuming that StarLordLucian was rebroadcasting direct streams; in fact he was streaming spectated games in an automated fashion. Basic factual mistakes like this blurred the message I was hoping to get across – that our primary goal was to protect players who felt they were being harmed by being systematically streamed against their will.
  3. Players were calling for an overall comment on the issue and the legal precedent it created (like this one), rather than a laser focus on the isolated StreamFaker case. By focusing solely on this case, I obscured some of the bigger issues at stake that we are hopefully now clarifying.

Untangling the threads around this kind of issue has been a learning experience for all of us – and it’s one that’s still ongoing within Riot and externally. We know that our decisions will spark a ton of debate. We think that in these instances when something has the power to set precedents in a new and emerging space, debate is not only healthy but necessary.

I look forward to hearing your feedback and want to thank everyone who participated in the discussion. To be honest, a lot of the comments still sting — but we’ll learn from this experience and improve going forward.

What do you think about the situation and Riot’s comments? Let us know in the comments below.

Five Nights at Freddy’s Doesn’t Scare These Old People

Five Nights at Freddy’s is generally accepted as being a scary game. Both it and its sequel have no shortage of jump scares, if nothing else, and part of its popularity stems from the fact that many people enjoy watching others play them and jump out of their seats. As it turns out, apparently age brings with it a resistance to being scared.

YouTube channel TheFineBros has put together a new video that demonstrates this. Rather than being a 10-minute video of senior citizens being almost frightened to death by Five Nights at Freddy’s, it’s instead a collection of elderly individuals collectively scoffing at most everything the game throws their way. Even when a few of them do get scared, it tends to be immediately followed by a laugh.

This is all weirdly hilarious, particularly thanks to a gentleman by the name of Hanoch who alternates between being confused and simply not caring about the threat of being stuffed into an animatronic suit. His reaction at the 3:56 mark is particularly priceless to me.

Below you’ll find video of these same people playing through Five Nights at Freddy’s 2. Both games were released last year on PC, iOS, and Android, with a third game coming sometime this year.