Twitch updates security for its TwitchCon event following the Jacksonville esports shooting

Twitch updates security for its TwitchCon event following the Jacksonville esports shooting

3:44pm, 14th September, 2018
is today changes to its security procedures for its TwitchCon event taking place in San Jose, California on Saturday, October 27th. The update follows news of the tragic at an esports event in Jacksonville, Florida last month where three people died, including the shooter, and 11 were injured. Twitch said it would review its procedures as a result, and would soon have more information about what it’s doing to keep attendees safe. Today, the company those plans. Our highest priority at TwitchCon is attendee safety and security. We want to assure you that we are adding additional security measures on top of past event measures. We will have more detailed information on TwitchCon security in the coming days so stay tuned! — TwitchCon 2018 (@TwitchCon) According to Twitch, it’s working with San Jose’s local law enforcement, convention staff, and additional security services on the event. The conference will include bag searches and screenings at designated entrance points, and attendees will be limited to carrying just one bag. The bag can be no larger than 12” x 15” x 6”, the company says. Backpacks, luggage, large bags and bulky clothing will not be allowed. In addition, backpacks acquired at the show – even those that are Twitch-branded – will not be eligible for re-entry. There will be an on-site bag check available, but the company suggests that larger bags are just left at home as space will be limited. It says small fanny packs or clear bags will help attendees move through the security checkpoints faster. Meanwhile, exhibitors will only be able to hand carry their products and display materials in oversized bags and rollers before 8 AM on show days – that way there won’t be a way for people to bring in large bags when the event is underway. Press will also have to wear their press badges, and crew that needs to carry their large camera equipments will needed to be approved. Of course, the event has a as well, and anyone in violation will be removed without refund. Badges must be worn at all times, and an ID or passport needs to be on hand, as well. At first glance, the updated procedures don’t seem remarkably different from Twitch’s earlier policies. The company’s security plan before Jacksonville had also included bag searches, walkthrough or hand-held scanners, the use of uniformed guards, ID checks, and the wearing of badges. The biggest on-record change appears to be the backpack ban. However, we understand the reference to Twitch’s closer work with law enforcement services and the “additional security services” is a reference to other changes that may not have been fully detailed. (We’d guess this is likely because Twitch doesn’t want to provide too much information to anyone trying to workaround its security procedures.) The annual TwitchCon event brings together the Twitch community to play games, watch live esports, participate in hackathons and cosplay contests, attend sessions, and hear from the company about what’s next for the live game-streaming service. Last fall, for example, Twitch a new set of tools at TwitchCon that would allow creators to make money from their online channels. However, the events in Jacksonville have had many of TwitchCon’s regular attendees event safety. After all, the video game competition, taking place at the GLHF Game Bar in Jacksonville, Florida, had been live-streamed on Twitch when the shooting happened. Would a copycat try to get into Twitch’s conference?, some have wondered. According to , the Florida shooter had been upset about losing two games of Madden earlier in the tournament, even refusing to shake hands with the winner after one game. Despite a of mental illness, the shooter had been able to legally acquire his weapons. It wasn’t clear how he got them into the Jacksonville bar. Sadly, mass shootings in the U.S. have now taken place at schools, movie theaters, churches, concerts, workplaces – even at – and elsewhere. But they had not yet before occurred at an esports event. The tragic event brought attention on the esports industry as a whole, which still sits somewhere outside of mainstream attention, despite Twitch over 2 million broadcasters and 15 million viewers who tune in daily to watch. We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Jacksonville today. Twitch and all its staff send our deepest sympathies to the victims, their loved ones, and everyone in our community who's grieving today. — Twitch (@Twitch) Shortly after the tragedy, Twitch said it would make changes. “Security at TwitchCon is our top priority and is something we take very seriously at all our events,” the company told TechCrunch in August. “We regularly review and iterate on our policies and approach in order to provide a safe and positive experience for staff, attendees, and exhibitors. In the wake of yesterday’s tragedy we will be re-reviewing our plans and updating them accordingly,” a spokesperson had said at the time. The updated plans for TwitchCon are detailed on and its . Image credit: Twitch
Bethesda Confirms Wolfenstein III

Bethesda Confirms Wolfenstein III

9:23pm, 13th September, 2018
After MachineGames completed a number of other spin-off games and then managed to get back to Wolfenstein II, the game ended in a way that definitely left room for a complete trilogy, and according to Bethesda there's going to be one.
Nintendo finally announces some new games for the Switch

Nintendo finally announces some new games for the Switch

8:24pm, 13th September, 2018
is at last (at last!) bringing some new content to the Switch! Yes! In a Nintendo Direct, the company let fly a number of games and a couple of original titles. The biggest Nintendo-produced titles we had glimpses of are a new Animal Crossing in development for the Switch and Luigi’s Mansion 3. We learned next to nothing about the new Animal Crossing, other than that it’s coming in 2019, but we did get to see some gameplay from the latest chapter of Luigi’s only titular adventure in the Nintendo world. Luigi’s Mansion 3 seems to follow in the ghost-vacuuming footsteps of its predecessors with the bizarre camera angles and all. It’s also heading to the Switch stage in 2019, setting up a couple of Nintendo titles for us to look forward to next year, possibly alongside Metroid Prime 4 (?). Other familiar additions to the Switch include a port of the Wii U game New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe coming in January and Yoshi’s Crafted World coming in spring 2019. Aside from the Nintendo-made titles, fans were served up a big surprise with the announcement that some recent and old-school Final Fantasy titles are coming to the Switch. Final Fantasy VII, IX, X, X-2 HD Remaster and XII are all arriving in 2019. There are about a dozen other incoming titles (several of which are remasters), including EA SPORTS FIFA 19, Starlink: Battle for Atlas, Diablo III: Eternal Collection, Mega Man 11, Katamari Damacy REROLL and plenty of others that you can jump through in the Direct below. The Nintendo Switch is a fantastic system, and while it has a lot going for it, I barely have any games to play for it anymore. It’s not all that out of character for Nintendo to delay the hell out of the instant gratification its customers want, but the Switch has had a particularly stuttered content rollout since its launch. Hopefully the company can pick up a little more consistent cadence as it gets more third-party studios onboard.
Nintendo unveils Switch Online service and (finally) a new Animal Crossing game for Switch

Nintendo unveils Switch Online service and (finally) a new Animal Crossing game for Switch

6:36pm, 13th September, 2018
Nintendo announced that an eagerly awaited sequel to its Animal Crossing series will come to the Switch in 2019. (Nintendo Photo) Last week, Nintendo’s corporate headquarters in Japan was , which knocked the N off the Nintendo sign on the outside of the building. The next day, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit the island of Hokkaido. After that, you can’t really blame Nintendo for canceling its planned Nintendo Direct stream and rescheduling it for today. But the news was well worth the wait as Nintendo revealed several long-awaited new games, including a new Switch sequel in its Animal Crossing series, in addition to Nintendo Online, the new service for online play. Read the full rundown of today’s announcement — including new Switch games, the Nintendo Online serivce and new Nintendo 3DS games — below: Nintendo Online The new Nintendo Switch service, Switch Online, begins on Sept. 18th. The service features an entry-level cost of $3.99 a month, with savings if you pay for more time at once. It has five features included with a membership: online play with compatible games, classic NES games with online compatibility (with a surprisingly deep library), automatic cloud storage backup for your save data, and connectivity with a smartphone app that will let you voice-chat with friends while playing certain games. Nintendo also announced a wireless NES controller with compatibility for the Switch, in order to play the NES library on Switch Online as it was meant to be back in the day. They can be charged the same way you charge JoyCons, by sliding them into the Switch while it’s docked. Subscribers also receive special offers, although Nintendo will “have more to announce in the future” about that. New Switch games and features The stream kicked off with a trailer, displaying footage from a new Luigi’s Mansion: Luigi’s Mansion 3, scheduled for 2019 on the Switch. Shinya Takahashi, the Nintendo executive in charge of entertaining planning and development, took over from there, confirming that this was a brand-new reveal, of a game in active development. And the announcement closed with a surprise trailer for a new competitor in Ultimate: Isabelle, from Animal Crossing. In addition, Tom Nook showed up to inform us all that a new Animal Crossing, one of the most-requested titles on the Switch, is coming in 2019. All we know for right now is its title: Welcome to Animal Crossing. Get ready to get extorted by Tom Nook all over again! Explore a world crafted from household items like boxes and paper cups in ’s Crafted World, launching on in spring 2019! — Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) Going into the show, we’d , thanks to a few fans on Twitter who spotted an update to Nintendo’s website that wasn’t supposed to be there. The next Yoshi game is coming to the Switch in 2019, and is called Yoshi’s Crafted World. It follows up 2015’s for the Wii-U, a game where Mario’s faithful dinosaur buddy went on an adventure in which everything was made from yarn. Meanwhile, a coming update for Splatoon 2 will bring it to version 4, with a new mode called Turf War. Mega Man 11 is coming to the Switch as part of the franchise’s celebration of its 30th anniversary. It’s compatible with the Mega Man Amiibo, which can be hooked up to your Switch for free items once a day, including life-restoring Energy Tanks. Birdo, Shy Guy, Koopa Paratroopa, and Petey Piranha are joining the playable roster of Mario Tennis Aces, all of whom can be unlocked by playing online. A new mode called co-op challenge is coming soon in a new update. There will be more additions to the roster until at least next June. The game updates to version 2 on September 19th. Capcom’s Beat ‘Em Up Bundle features the classic arcade brawlers Final Fight, The King of Dragons, Captain Commando, Knights of the Round, Warriors of Fate, Armored Warriors, and Battle Circuit, with 4-player functionality with JoyCons and online compatibility. The last two games on that list have never received a port to home systems before. You can pre-purchase the game later today, and it’ll be out on September 18th. New Super Mario Bros. U is getting “the deluxe treatment” by heading to the Switch. Nabbit and Toadette will become playable; Nabbit doesn’t take damage from enemies, and Toadette can power up into “Peachette.” A single Joy-Con controller can allow up to 4 players to play together. It’s coming out on January 11th. The popular Katamari Damacy series is debuting on the Switch with Katamari Damacy Reroll, an HD rework of the original game in the franchise. You can use the JoyCons to control your katamari with the built-in gyroscope. It’s coming out later this year. The show concluded with a rollercoaster of impending Switch games, such as Diablo III: Eternal Collection, an RPG from Game Freak with the working title Town, the aforementioned Yoshi’s Crafted World, and the announcement of several StarFox-based missions for Ubisoft’s forthcoming space shooter Starlink. Square Enix is bringing a whole host of ported Final Fantasy games to the Switch, including VII, IX, X, X-2, and a “Pocket Edition” of XV with simpler graphics. Finally, Nintendo announced that there will be a Switch bundle for Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, available on November 2nd, with special Smash designs for the dock and controller. It comes with a download code for Ultimate. New 3DS game releases Some upcoming games for the Nintendo 3DS include a port of Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn from the Wii, with new abilities for Kirby, such as the ability to conjure wind or larger yarn balls, or a Devilish Mode that involves having to outrun an enemy. Bowser Jr.’s Journey is a solo adventure for Bowser’s son, taking place during the events of Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, coming out on January 11th as a package deal with the latter game. The original Luigi’s Mansion from the GameCube is getting ported to the 3DS, along with a two-player mode that lets the second player play as another, greener Luigi. If only one player has the actual game, two players can still team up to fight bosses together using the 3DS’s Download Play feature. There’s also four different Amiibos that feature compatibility with the game. You can buy it on October 13th. Yo-Kai Watch Blasters is receiving some free software updates on October 11th that will add new content to the game, such as new yo-kai to befriend and new boss battles. This is in addition to the coming Moon Rabbit Crew update in September.
PlayVS taps League of Legends in launch of high school esports platform

PlayVS taps League of Legends in launch of high school esports platform

9:39am, 13th September, 2018
, the startup bringing an e-sports infrastructure to the high school level, has today announced that it will partner with Riot’s League of Legends for its beta season. High school students across five states, including Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, will be able to sign up to play for their school in Season Zero, which begins in October 2018. Around 200 colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada are offering esports scholarships, but without any infrastructure around high school esports, those recruiters are left at the mercy of the publishers and a grueling tournament schedule. Meanwhile, young gamers who want to go pro are forced to gain a following via Twitch, or hit up all those tournaments and find a way to shine. offers access to recruiters while giving high school students the chance to play competitive esports at the high school level. The startup, backed by , has partnered with the NFHS (essentially the NCAA of high school) to offer turnkey competition through its dashboard. partners with publishers, and lets players sign up, receive team and league schedules, check standings and stats, and actually play the game all within the PlayVS online portal. PlayVS has a no-cut policy, letting high schools submit as many unique teams as they like. Given that the company makes money from players themselves ($64/season/player), it makes sense that the company would take a ‘more the merrier’ approach. The company then divides up those teams into conferences, and the teams play to be conference champions, advance to semi-finals, and eventually head to the state championship. All the games will be played from the students’ own school through the online portal, except for the State Championship tournament which will have a live spectator audience. This beta season, which includes five states, gives PlayVS a chance to roll out the platform to a smaller pool of players and work out any issues ahead of the inaugural season, which starts February 2019.
Nintendo Switch online service will launch on September 18th

Nintendo Switch online service will launch on September 18th

12:09pm, 12th September, 2018
has communicated on its new . And the company just shared the last missing piece of information — the service will launch on September 18th. For the first time, Nintendo will launch a subscription service to access online services. It’ll cost $20 per year, $3.99 per month or $7.99 for three months. memberships will start on 9/18. You can sign-up for a 7-day free trial from Nintendo at launch! We will introduce more information during the Nintendo Direct on 9/13. — Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) Subscribers will be able to play multiplayer online games, such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2 and Arms. If you were already playing those games over the internet, you’ll have to start paying. In order to sweeten the deal, the company is adding new services for subscribers. Your save data will finally be synchronized with Nintendo’s servers. If you break or lose your you’ll be able to restore your user profiles. Unfortunately, it won’t work with Splatoon 2, Dead Cells, Dark Souls Remastered, FIFA 19, NBA 2K19 and Pokémon Let’s Go. Subscribers will also be able to play NES games for free. Around will be part of the library. If you plan on subscribing, Nintendo will offer a 7-day free trial on September 18th.