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EA banning FIFA Ultimate Team coin sellers from its online games

We're roughly one month away from the launch of FIFA 15, and EA Sports is reminding the series' fans that it won't tolerate cheating, especially in FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT), the mode that continues to earn big bucks for the publisher. In a lengthy update on the official FIFA site, the publisher discussed the effects that coin and card-trading bots have on its FUT servers.

In May, the publisher opted to de-activate trading in the FUT web app due to "the severe Transfer Market search issues caused by coin-farming bots," which caused the loss of in-game currency and athletes for other players. In turn, the makers of these bots sell the Ultimate Team goods on third-party websites (when they aren't phishing for account information on social networks). Whether buying or selling these items, EA considers these folks cheaters, and has already taken action in the past: "Since February 2014, we've banned hundreds of thousands of FIFA 14 accounts for coin selling and buying," it said.

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Chester Cheetah stars in Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare DLC


You can't keep Chester Cheetah away from video games. The Cheetos mascot starred in a pair of 16-bit platformers in the '90s, then was MIA for several years before resurfacing in Just Dance 4 in 2012. He appears when you least expect him; his enemies know all too well that he is both too cool to fool and dangerously cheesy.

And now he's back. Again. Starting this week, players can summon the irrepressible snack food peddler in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, outfitting in-game troop types with new Chester Cheetah-themed character skins.

DLC codes are included in specially-marked Cheetos packages, giving players access to the Dr. Chester and Chester Chomper skins for the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PS4, or PC versions of Garden Warfare.

[Video: Electronic Arts]

You can't join 11-vs-11 Pro Clubs in last-gen FIFA 15

FIFA 15 won't include the Pro Clubs mode on PS3 and Xbox 360, EA Sports announced. The mode allows players to create and join teams for 11-versus-11 online matches, which the last-gen versions of FIFA 14 included. "We're very confident in the amount of innovation and depth we're delivering for FIFA 15 on PS3 and Xbox 360 but there are some things we couldn't do for FIFA 15 on PS3 and Xbox 360, either based on the limitations of these consoles, or our time and resources," EA Sports wrote in an update on the FIFA site.

The previous generation of systems will still enjoy a number of changes in this year's game, such as improved teammate intelligence and player control. It will also feature Chelsea's Eden Hazard alongside Lionel Messi on some European covers and Clint Dempsey in North America, who will wear his Xbox-branded Seattle Sounders jersey on the Microsoft boxes. FIFA 15 will launch on September 23 in North America for Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. It will arrive on September 25 in Europe and one day later in the UK.
[Image: EA Sports]

Ascend: Hand of Kul to remain playable on 360 until November

Despite the game being discontinued on Xbox 360, existing owners of Ascend: Hand of Kul will remain able to play it until November 18, after which it will officially close. The news follows Microsoft's removal of the free-to-play action-RPG from the marketplace, a decision developer Signal Studios only learned of as it was investigating player troubles.

"We can confirm that effective November 18, 2014, Ascend on Xbox 360 will close," a Microsoft spokesperson told Eurogamer. "Players will still be able to play Ascend on Xbox 360 and use any content they have already acquired until the game closure date.

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Adventure Time: Nameless Kingdom debuts November 21 in Europe

WayForward's next Adventure Time game, The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom, premieres in Europe for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS, and PC platforms via Steam on November 21, publisher Bandai Namco revealed this week.

Announced earlier this year, The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom takes gameplay cues from classic entries in Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series, and models its structure after the lauded 16-bit action-RPG A Link to the Past. Gameplay focuses on solving environmental puzzles to progress through the game's many dungeons, ditching the roguelike-styled gameplay of its predecessor Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! for a more traditional approach.

A North American release date for The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom was not announced.

[Image: Bandai Namco]

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Destiny launch trailer debuts sans moon wizards

Image While this trailer is sorely lacking in the histrionic musings of Peter Dinklage, it does an excellent job of conveying the core idea behind Destiny: The only friend mankind has among the stars is a big gun. ... Continue Reading

Joystiq Streams: Putting Madden 15 through its PS4 paces [UPDATE: Relive the stream!]



There's a lush place where video games and football meet, and it's not just in EA and the NFL's island industry known as Madden NFL. In the heart of August, when the temperature and light start to drop, these pastimes begin their full bloom seasons. Today, we play Madden NFL 15 not just because we are Steelers fans and Packers fans and Eagles fans. We play Madden NFL 15 not just because we thrill in the coming rush of new games from Destiny to Alien Isolation. Today we play Madden to open the season. Today we open the floodgates to fall!

Whew. That got romantic. Just make sure you read all of that in Don Cheadle's voice. When you're properly psyched, get ready for a tour of Madden NFL 15 on PlayStation 4 at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch.

Expert Mike Suszek will show you the ins-and-outs of this year's much scrutinized entry and then join Anthony John Agnello for some spirited scrimmages.

Joystiq Streams broadcasts every Tuesday and Thursday at 4PM EST on Joystiq.com/Twitch, but we broadcast at random times as well so make sure to follow us on Twitch to know when we go live.
[Images: Electronic Arts]

The Walking Dead Season 2 finale hits next week

The fifth and final episode of The Walking Dead Season Two launches for PC, Mac, PS3 and Vita on August 26 in North America, and then on Xbox 360 on August 27. Episode five hits iOS on August 28 as an in-app purchase.

Episode five is titled "No Going Back" and it wraps up all of the bone-chilling insanity within Season Two so far. The trailer released today contains spoilers for seasons one and two of The Walking Dead, though Telltale promises no spoilers for episode five itself. It does, however, contain a heartbreaking home video of Clementine before the outbreak. Grab some tissues and see the trailer below.

If you've been playing along this season, read our reviews of each episode under the Walking Dead home page. Episode four's review can be found here.

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In the garden of Eden Hazard, don't you know that I love FIFA 15?

Belgium and Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard is the new face-next-to-Messi's-face for FIFA 15, at least in the UK, Ireland, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Voted the best young player in the English Premier League last year, Hazard is also a less hazardous proposition to have on the cover than last year's choice, Gareth Bale. If you'll remember, Bale left for Real Madrid after appearing on the FIFA 14 cover in a Tottenham shirt, leaving EA Sports in a bit of a pickle. No such fun, sadly, is on the cards for Hazard this year.

To see the full box art, dribble below the break and remember to wipe.

EA's sportsball sim will once again grace a myriad of platforms starting September 23 in North America. Three days later it'll come to Europe, where Microsoft's once again offering it as part of a Xbox One bundle, priced 400 euros or £350.

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Microsoft abruptly removes Ascend: Hand of Kul from Xbox 360

Free-to-play action-RPG Ascend: Hand of Kul is no longer available on the Xbox 360 after Microsoft discontinued it this week, apparently without informing developer Signal Studios beforehand. In what's seemingly less a case of "So long, farewell" and more Jazzy Jeff leaving the Fresh Prince's house, Signal Studios said the news only surfaced when the team was investigating player troubles from the weekend.

"We are deeply saddened by this decision and the impact it has on our community," Signal Studios said on its site while urging players towards the Steam version released in May. The studio didn't note what Microsoft's reasoning was behind the decision, and when we approached the publisher a spokesperson told us Microsoft had "no further comment."

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Yoshida: 'I hope' Tomb Raider will come to PS4

During its Gamescom press conference, Microsoft announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider would launch exclusively on Xbox platforms in holiday 2015. This came as a surprise to President of Sony Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida, he said in an interview with Eurogamer.

"It's very interesting the way Phil Spencer said, what we are saying is, in holiday 2015 Tomb Raider is exclusive to Xbox," he said. "So it's open to interpretation. But still, we didn't anticipate something like this would happen."

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PES 2015's pre-order bonuses build your team of the year

Those that pre-order Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 in the UK will receive some bonus goodies, Konami revealed. The pre-order exclusives are for the game's new My Club mode, which stands as an overhauled version of the series' Master League management mode. My Club brings microtransactions to the soccer sim as well, which is where the pre-order bonuses come in.

The exclusive pre-order content was "built around the UEFA Team Of The Year," Konami told Joystiq in an email. The bonuses include "10,000 Game Points, 10 Recovery Items to assist the fitness of the squad, and one player picked at random from the team voted by over 5 million people on UEFA.com." Pro Evolution Soccer 2015 is the first in the series for PS4 and Xbox One, and will launch on November 13. A demo of the game will be available on September 17 for each of its platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.

Borderlands 2 free Steam weekend, Pre-Sequel up for pre-purchase

Want a fresh world to explore? If you haven't already entered the insanity that is Borderlands 2, this weekend represents your best bet. Beginning today and until Sunday at 1pm PT, the game is available to play for free on Steam.

As part of the promotion, Borderlands 2 and its content are currently on sale for up to 75% off. You can grab the single game, sans DLC, for $4.99 or double down for $9.99 and nab the Game of the Year Edition, featuring bonus content.

If you're a forward thinking player, this week Steam has opened pre-orders up for the next installment in the series, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. Launching October 14, The Pre-Sequel is coming to PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
[Image: Gearbox]

Diablo 3 Ultimate Evil Edition round table: Should you upgrade?

Diablo 3 raises a lot of questions. If angels don't have heads and faces, why do they exclusively wear hoodies? Does the witch doctor have a chronic illness or is he just shaking like that because he drank way too much coffee? Biggest of all, though, is this whopper: Should you take this chance to upgrade?

With Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition gracing PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this week, the Joystiq crew has been asking that very question. Richard Mitchell, a Diablo veteran back to the original game, joins console-only player Susan Arendt and complete Diablo neophyte Anthony John Agnello for a roundtable discussion of how best to enter the series while discussing their experiences with Ultimate Evil Edition on PlayStation 4.

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Joystiq Deals: Last call for Duracell battery bundle

Today is your last chance to pick up a year's supply of Duracell AA and AAA batteries through Joystiq Deals. Normally priced at $148, our bundle of 100 AA and 50 AAA batteries is $56 until tomorrow, making it a great time to refill your supply before your next marathon Mario Kart 8 multiplayer session.

Joystiq Deals also offers a lifetime of web developer training through OSTraining this week, delivering more than $2,000 worth of online courses for only $79. OSTraining currently offers over 1,800 tutorial videos covering WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, SEO, HTML, CSS, PHP, and other key topics, with new classes launching every week.

If you're on the hunt for Xbox digital bargains, you'll want to check out this week's Deals With Gold lineup, which offers price drops on Bully Scholarship Edition, LA Noire, Grand Theft Auto 5, and multiple Call of Duty games through next Monday.


Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

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