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Activision issuing DMCA takedowns on Call of Duty exploit videos

Activision is issuing copyright strikes on YouTube videos that "promote cheating and unfair exploits" within its Call of Duty series, Eurogamer reports.

Gaming network Machinima warned its userbase in an e-mailed newsletter this week that videos showcasing glitches in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare are currently being targeted for DMCA takedowns, and affected accounts will receive copyright strikes. YouTube users who earn multiple copyright strikes risk having their accounts permanently disabled.

"Activision is being particularly vigilant about their Call of Duty videos lately; issuing strikes on videos showing glitches," Machinima's statement reads. "If you post videos highlighting these glitches, your channel may be liable to receive a copyright strike so please be careful."

Activision issued a response to Eurogamer claiming that it intends to curb cheating and unfair play within Advanced Warfare's multiplayer mode.

"We're excited that so many fans are having fun playing the game and posting videos of their gameplay," an Activision representative wrote. "We love watching the videos ourselves. Occasionally, some folks post videos that promote cheating and unfair exploits. As always, we keep an eye out for these videos - our level of video claims hasn't changed. We are appreciative of the community's support in helping to ensure that everyone has the best playing experience possible."

[Image: Activision]

Joystiq Streams: Humble Bundle giveaway extravaganza [UPDATE: Live!]



Perhaps you heard: We put together a Humble Bundle! Joystiq and the merry Humble crew assembled a selection of delicious games and began selling them for a shockingly low price, with proceeds going to the developers, Humble, and the absolutely wonderful organization known as AbleGamers. (If you're unfamiliar with AbleGamers, we recently spotlighted their work here.) Some awesome games populate the bundle: Costume Quest 2, Slender: The Arrival, The Dream Machine, and Primal Carnage to name a few.

With two days left to pick up the bundle, we're celebrating the event by streaming a bunch of them from 2:30PM to 5:00PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch. Watching us play games is cool and all, but what do you get out of it? Free games! We'll be doling out free bundles as we stream so tune in to get in on it.

Joystiq.com/Twitch from 2:30PM to 5:00PM EST. Be there. Dig the streams? Follow us on Twitch for more.
[Images: Double Fine, Humble]

CCP slays Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines remake

CCP Games has halted a fan-developed remake of the classic PC RPG Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, requesting an end to development and the removal of assets taken from the original game via an e-mailed cease and desist order.

The remake, codenamed Project Vaulderie, was to recreate Bloodlines in the Unity engine, patching up lingering issues from the original release and adding a multiplayer component. Bloodlines was originally rushed to retail in a notoriously buggy state in 2004 after an extended development period, and an active modding community worked to improve the game in the years afterward.

"We're very sad to report that we received a Cease & Desist e-mail from CCP Games, asking us to cease game development, remove any materials that might contain Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, names, locations or related elements from the sites we control, and cease any further use of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines property, and in a disappointment shared among our team we are complying with that request," Project Vaulderie's team lead said in a recent blog post.

The post continues: "We are avidly seeking a resolute course to continue working on a future game, but we cannot at this time discuss this publicly and with that I urge you to please be patient and hopeful that we will find a way."

[Image: CCP Games]

Take a look at World of Warcraft's updated Blood Elf models

These could have been in at launch, sure, but it would have cost a raid tier.
Blood Elves kind of got the short end of the World of Warcraft stick when Warlords of Draenor launched. All the classic races got an updated model, the Draenei got an updated model, and the Blood Elves didn't. The result is that the race is notably older than its contemporaries. That's going to change soon; the updated models for the race are swiftly moving through development, bringing the Horde's magical addicts up to par with the rest of the faction.

As with the other updated models, the differences are subtle but notable. Blood Elf women have slightly wider torsos and a more defined neck, while the men have better anatomy and a more natural stance. There's no precise ETA, but the team is hoping to have these updated models into the game soon, as rigging and animating are currently underway. You can get some idea of what the finished product will look like by checking the preview.

Sony to refund Vita customers in FTC settlement over false ads

LittleBigPlanet Vita
Sony Computer Entertainment America has settled with the FTC over charges that it produced false and misleading advertisement during the Vita's launch campaign from late 2011 to early 2012. Sony will provide refunds to Vita customers who purchased the device before June 1, 2012 – either a $25 cash or credit refund, or a $50 voucher for select games and services. Sony will email eligible customers after the settlement is finalized.

The FTC alleges that some of Sony's claims about the Vita were misleading, including that the Vita "would revolutionize gaming mobility" by enabling remote play and cross-platform play with the PS3, allowing players to start a game on PS3 and finish it on Vita. Sony is barred from similar advertising practices in the future.

The FTC alleges the following: "Sony claimed, for example, that PS Vita users could pause any PS3 game at any time and continue to play the game on their PS Vita from where they left off. This feature, however, was only available for a few PS3 games, and the pause-and-save capability described in the ads varied significantly from game to game.... Sony's PS Vita ads falsely implied that consumers who owned the 3G version of the device (which cost an extra $50 plus monthly fees) could engage in live, multi-player gaming through a 3G network. In fact, consumers could not engage in live, multiplayer gaming.... In reality, most PS3 games were not remote playable on the PS Vita."

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WildStar releases Voyage of the Nomad, plans story rollout

WildStar
Carbine Studios has just announced new content for WildStar... well, for the WildStar website, anyway. Voyage of the Nomad, a short story that "recollects the tale of the Cassians' first steps into the vast world of deep-space exploration," will go live on the official site's story page today.

And it won't be a lone entry. Carbine plans to publish 11 such tales starting today and running every other Tuesday until the plots are played out. "The stories will unfold chronologically, until they reach the events that players have already experienced in WildStar's main story," says the press release.

Hey, at least the lore-fiends among the greater MMO playerbase will be happy!

SteamWorld Heist taps Steam Powered Giraffe for OST



Some things are just meant to be together. Image and Form, the developer of steampunk platformer SteamWorld Heist, has partnered with the band Steam Powered Giraffe for the game's original soundtrack. Steam Powered Giraffe is a San Diego band, and its three members perform as steampunky, singing automatons, robotic motions and all. The SteamWorld Heist trailer featuring Steam Powered Giraffe's music is a testament to just how beautiful this union could be.

At first, the deal was for Steam Powered Giraffe to compose a bonus song for the SteamWorld Dig soundtrack included in that game's Collector's Edition, Image and Form CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson says in a blog post: "Being [Steamworld] Dig fans, they promptly agreed. When James told me I nearly exploded with excitement, and in June we met at E3 and sealed the deal on the entire SteamWorld Heist soundtrack."

SteamWorld Heist is due out in spring 2015 for 3DS and other unannounced platforms.
[Image: Image and Form]

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Smash Bros. sells over 490K on Wii U in three days

Super Smash Bros. is the fastest-selling Wii U game to launch in the United States, according to a press release issued by Nintendo today. The publisher says it sold more than 490,000 copies of the game from its launch on November 21 through November 23. The figure represents sales at retail as well as digital copies of the game.

The sales data pairs well with the portable version of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, which reached over 3.22 million copies sold as of late October. Those that own copies of the game on both platforms will receive the Pokemon character Mewtwo as a playable fighter down the road, though Nintendo may also opt to offer the fighter as premium DLC as well. Nintendo also launched its line of NFC-capable figures on the same day as Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Amiibo, which can become pretty dastardly in the fighting game. The publisher did not offer any early sales data for Amiibo.

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Etrian Odyssey's next crossover maps out Mystery Dungeon

Just as Persona Q hits the West, Atlus revealed that another Etrian Odyssey crossover is speeding rather than crawling its way onto 3DS. Etrian Odyssey and the Mystery Dungeon sees the map-making dungeon crawler series mix it up with Spike Chunsoft's long-running roguelike, best known in the West for the recent Pokemon spinoffs. The portable mash-up will be in Japanese hands in just a few months' time, starting March 5, 2015 to be specific.

As Tiny Cartridge notes, the last time Mystery Dungeon broke out of its Pokeball was some six years ago, when Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon trotted onto Wii. As per the recently-unveiled Etrian Odyssey 5, details are scant at the moment beyond a new trailer, which you can check out below the break. That includes word of a Western release, but both series have traditionally found their way abroad in recent years. Plus, there's some English text right at the end of the video: "Dungeon RPG is forever. This is the new origin."

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Assassin's Creed Rogue review: Avast ye, clone!

PS3, Xbox 360

Here are just some of the things you can do in Assassin's Creed Rogue: climb a tower, hunt a whale, hide in a haystack, steer a ship in a storm, stick a sword through a man's eye socket, air-assassinate a fox, fight off a boarding party.

If the opening of this review sounds mostly familiar, it's because it was mostly copied from our review of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. This was done to illustrate a point: If you're looking to Rogue to bring something fresh to the table, keep pillaging elsewhere. Assassin's Creed Rogue is essentially a clone of Black Flag's setting and systems.

If you can accept rampant copy-and-paste in another full priced entry, you'll more than likely enjoy what Assassin's Creed Rogue has to offer.

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Guild Wars 2 teases next week's Seeds of Truth release with a new trailer

Are you up to speed on Guild Wars 2's episodic living world content releases? If not, you might want to stop reading because there could be spoilers ahead. Last time around, players watched as Caithe made off with a fabled dragon egg that could be the key to defeating Mordremoth. In the newest episode, you'll have to catch Caithe, but first you can catch a preview of the release by clicking past the cut.

[Source: ArenaNet press release]

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Halo: MCC dev pledges to 'make this right with our fans'

343 Industries head Bonnie Ross sent out her "heartfelt apologies" to Halo: The Master Chief Collection players yesterday, following a fortnight of matchmaking malaise. It's far from the first time the studio's said sorry for the Xbox One compilation's online troubles, but it is the first time we've seen the matter addressed on Microsoft's own Xbox Wire blog. In an open letter to fans, Ross reiterated 343's commitment to fixing matchmaking issues, adding that the developer will "make this right" with its audience.

"On November 11 we released Halo: The Master Chief Collection," Ross said. "The goal being to create a tribute to Halo fans around the world, and to celebrate the Master Chief's debut on Xbox One. With the initial release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, however, we have not delivered the experience you deserve. I personally apologize for this on behalf of us all at 343 Industries. Our team is committed to working around the clock until these issues are resolved.

"While our team works on continual improvements and towards solutions, my commitment to you is that we will take care of all owners of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Our primary and continued focus is first on fixing the issues at hand. Once we've done that, we will detail how we will make this right with our fans."

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Tales from the Borderlands rollin', rollin', rollin' out today

The first episode of Telltale's Tales from the Borderlands hits Steam across the globe later today, as well as PS4 and PS3 in North America. Next up are the Xbox One and Xbox 360, with worldwide releases due tomorrow, November 26, and December 3 respectively. Last but not least, PS owners in Europe also join the episodic party on December 3.

As for prices, on PlayStations and Xboxen each individual episode is $5. On PSN there's the option to purchase all five episodes in a $20 season pass, while on Xbox Live you can get Episodes 2-5 in a $15 season pass upgrade. On Steam the asking price for the season is $25, which you can bring down to $22.49 with a pre-purchase. Finally, Telltale's previously said the first episode should hit iOS and Android before the end of the year.

To see the launch trailer in action, move 'em on and head 'em out past the break. Also, that title is not referencing Limp Bizkit - you guys are just the Durst.

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Expanded Dark Souls 2 coming to smite Xbox One, PS4 owners


You might have thought that buying into the new generation of consoles would protect you from the gleeful, maniacal punishment of the Dark Souls series, but you were wrong. Namco has revealed that a new edition of Dark Souls 2, subtitled Scholar of the First Sin, is headed to Xbox 360, PS3, PC and now, for the first time, Xbox One and PS4.

On all platforms – according to Namco – the expanded edition of the game packs some new features, including improved balance, new NPCs, an expanded story, and new item descriptions. These improvements will also be available to existing Dark Souls 2 owners via a free update. Meanwhile, the Xbox One, PS4 and DirectX 11 PC versions of the game will offer "enhanced graphics," with Namco explaining to Joystiq that this includes higher resolution textures and improved lighting effects, among other things. Furthermore, these versions of the game will increase the maximum number of online players.

Of course, it wouldn't be a proper re-release without packing in some DLC, and all versions of Scholar of the First Sin will include all three of Dark Souls 2's DLC episodes. Dark Souls 2: Scholar of the First Sin is set to arrive on April 7, 2015 – just after Bloodborne, developer From Software's newest game, hits the shelves.

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You don't have to wear a horse mask in this Kinect, PS4 camera game

Developers André Noller and Georg Graf of Grandé Games aren't interested in the spotlight. They want their game, a body-bending platformer for Kinect and PS4 camera called Commander Cherry's Puzzled Journey, to be the star. To ensure that Noller and Graf don't interfere with the game's message, their demo videos star a man in a horse-head mask and a purple morphsuit, and when they emailed Joystiq answers to an interview, it was in the voice of Commander Cherry himself.

We did eventually speak with the real Noller and Graf, and unfortunately for their invisibility plans, they have an interesting story. Commander Cherry is their first game, but they're already registered developers with both Sony and Microsoft for PS4 and Xbox One. They're financing the game with their own money, working side jobs on Mondays and Tuesdays, and developing Wednesdays to Fridays from 9AM to 9PM, Noller said.

To get in with the big players, Noller and Graf prepared a pitch package that included a video of the team and a short Commander Cherry gameplay trailer.

"We also pulled off some 'guerilla contacting,'" Noller said. "The breakthrough with Sony was a tweet to Shahid Kamal Ahmad. This was necessary because we had trouble uploading an OpenOffice file (yeah, yeah, the poor Indies). The breakthrough with Microsoft was also the work of guerilla contacting. We searched for the email address of the ID@Xbox director on the internet and found it on the last page of an old PowerPoint document."

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The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 122: Far Cry 4, GTA V, Assassin's Creed Rogue, WWE 15

Latest episode: Friday, November 21st, 2014

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