Tag Archives: money

Epic Games issues $5 Million developer fund

Epic Games, the developer behind games such as Gears of War and Unreal Tournament, creator of the Unreal Engine, just announced a $5 million in #grants will be available to developers. But, the projects proposed must be created using Unreal Engine 4.

 

The motivations behind the studio’s move is explained in a blog post by Tim Sweeney, who empathizes with small developers struggling to gather funds for their ambitious projects:

One thing we’ve heard many times: While development can be fueled by creativity and determination alone, finishing and releasing a commercial project often requires money.

We know this firsthand, as Epic’s early projects were built on shoestring budgets funded by such sources as Tim Sweeney’s lawn-mowing earnings, and Mark Rein’s credit card (before they took it away from him!). A small budget can make all the difference in shipping a project with the content, marketing materials, and promotional expenses necessary for it to gain traction.

So Epic Games will offer anywhere between $5000 to $50,000 to various game projects from the pool of $5 million. In order to be eligible, a project must have reached a “working prototype” stage in development. This can be honored through the Unreal Dev Grants Information Page or by visiting Epic’s booth at GDC (#1024 South). Entrants will be chosen based on merit.

Additionally, this grant is available not just to game developers, but other projects using the Unreal Engine 4 such as architectural visualizations, animated movies, or mods. Projects receiving funding through Kickstarter are also eligible.

Very crucially, Epic are giving this money with “absolutely no strings attached.” Developers awarded the money are free to spend it however they please and not be beholden to Epic in any way imaginable. “Epic’s goal is simply to help UE4 developers succeed because when you succeed, we succeed.”

Shadowrun Online Delayed Until 2014

Shadowrun Online Delayed Until 2014

Cliffhanger Productions announced a delay for the release of Shadowrun Online, which will now see daylight sometime in 2014. A separate project from Harebraned Schemes‘ single player focused Shadowrun Returns, Cliffhanger’s title will center on multiplayer action with co-op gameplay and player vs player faction wars set in a persistent world.

The good news is: We have been able to procure an investor for our company. Not a big one, mind you, but it allows us all not to starve to death while developing games. The money will enable us to develop a better Shadowrun Online while remaining independent on content decisions. As you may remember, we have put our own money – and of course the Kickstarter budget we received through your generous support – into SRO already. We’re also facing the tough job of creating a MMO-like game across platforms, which means a lot of the money has gone and will continue to go into this technology. We remain dedicated and focused on providing the best possible game with our limited means and we want to put even more of our money into it so we can get it done in the way we envision, based on our ideas and your feedback. We still have to make ends meet and won’t be able to put in every feature we (and our friends in the forum) hoped for; if you compare budgets with similar projects, it is a massive challenge to make SRO the game we want it to be with the resources we have available and we promise that we’ll do our best.

We understand that delaying SRO impacts every single one of you and we apologize for that, but it really is a decision for the good of the project. The fact that we have sold a part of our company to an investor so we can make a better game shows our dedication to SRO and the Shadowrun Universe. We hope to have your continued trust in us to do what is right and best for all of us – to create great player experiences.

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Blizzard Offers To Help Zynga Employees While Taking Money From Linux Users

This just in from GAMING BLEND…..

Blizzard Offers To Help Zynga Employees While Taking Money From Linux Users

If you haven’t heard, Zynga is in a downward spiral. They’re collapsing. They’ve shutdown some studios and laid off more than a 100 employees. Zynga’s stock has plummeted into celebrity-hobo status and on a scale of Dancing With The Stars they would be Kate Gosselin. Well, Blizzard wants to help them out and they’ve been sending some welcoming letters to former employees of Zynga, however, that’s being overshadowed by this whole auto-banning of Linux users while denying them refunds.

Just yesterday we reported on more Linux users being auto-banned from Diablo III. The circumstances are identical to the ones that occurred back in July, where a number of Linux WineHQ users were caught off guard with auto-bans and no options for refunds or to dispute their case.

After multiple inquiries, Linux user Lenon K. received the following response from Blizzard’s automated support system…

Thank you for your continued correspondence. After a thorough final review of the action taken against this account, we have arrived at the same conclusion. The action will not be reversed or changed under any circumstances. 

We understand that you may still have concerns regarding the action, but we must reiterate that it was taken to address a violation of the Terms of Use (https://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/legal/), which all players accept before logging into the game. 

As this issue has been reviewed by multiple representatives, it is now considered closed. If you have questions regarding a different account or issue, please feel free to contact us again. However, further inquiries regarding this issue will no longer receive a reply.

This was identical to the responses Marcus Meng, William Taylor and many others received back in July. Even after I talked directly with a representative at Blizzard, their cases were neither expedited for proper review nor were any resolutions brought forth to confirm that the Linux users were indeed cheating.

Additional Linux users have also come forward on the Play On Linux Website to begrudge their bans and share Blizzard’s neglectful customer support responses. One user comments…

I’m running Kubuntu 12.10, 64 bit. However, I’m running Diablo in a 32 bit wine bottle. This issue is very real. I’ve only had time to kill Diablo with one character, and only on normal mode. My biggest character is/was level 36. 

Cheating? Really? I’ve got no gold, no good gear, and a bunch of low level characters. Just exactly what did I do when I supposedly cheated? 

If I hadn’t paid only $10 for the game at Toys R Us I’d be pissed! 

My advice is to forget Blizzard if you want to play games in Linux. Don’t give them any more of your money. They won’t give it back when they ban you for no reason. This is total BS…

That’s some sound advice.

Following up on that sound advice, and as mentioned back in the original article when the bans took place: Don’t feed Blizzard and don’t play Diablo III using Linux WineHQ unless you’re willing to lose your $60 leasing license to play the game. Blizzard doesn’t care about your experience and you’re just a notch on a wheel of greed for as far as they’re concerned. If you value your money and game culture, there are better alternatives out there.

As for this Zynga case…a Reddit user posted a LinkedIn letter sent from a talent source at Blizzard Entertainment, as showcased below.

Blizzard Offers To Help Zynga Employees While Taking Money From Linux Users

Oh look at those comments on the image page…”Good guy Blizzard”….right.

Now if only Blizzard could be as nice to their own customers as they are to Zynga’s former employees, I guess we’d only have nice things to say about their business practices, eh?

Nevertheless, when you have gambling-inducing features such as a Real-Money Auction House, and all sorts of ridiculous stipulations and restrictions attached to the gameplay experience to accommodate said Real-Money Auction House (i.e., always-on DRM), you have to deal with things as if you were running a big casino as opposed to focusing on offering gamers a fun, memorable time.

To be completely clear, there will always be gamers who are going to keep running into these auto-ban scenarios, who will keep losing money and who will keep getting the rotten end of the deal when it comes to Diablo III. Folks, this is the freedom you trade in for an always-on experience…you have no freedom.

Reblogged from: GAMING BLEND

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game News

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