The makers of the point-and-click adventure game Machinarium came to a realization recently. Their DRM-free game was being pirated by about 90% of players. Such is life for a game that doesn't bother users with serials or authentication. A similar rate of piracy was found for the DRM-free World of Goo. However, the folks behind Machinarium are feeling generous, and are offering people the opportunity to participate in their new pirate amnesty sale.
Until August 12th, Machinarium (and its soundtrack) will cost only $5. It usually goes for $20. The game is available for PC, Mac, and Linux. In Machinarium you play as an unassuming robot traveling through a beautifully detailed world mechanical malcontents. We grabbed this game from Steam a while back, and can testify to its quality and challenging puzzle-based gameplay.
You don't need to prove you pirated the game to join in the fun. Anyone is free to buy the game during the sale. If you like point-and-click style casual games, $5 is a reasonable price to pay. You can check out a demo of the game, and buy it here.
The US International Trade Commission has issued a notice of final determination in the patent infringement action brought by Rambus against Nvidia and other respondents, the technology licensing company, often accused of being a patent troll, announced in a press release. The ITC found Nvidia and some of its customers (co-respondents in the case) guilty of infringing three Rambus patents, affirming an earlier decision by an ITC administrative law judge, albeit with some modification.
The ITC has notified Rambus of its intent to issue a Limited Exclusion Order prohibiting the importation of infringing products into the United States; the list includes Nvidia’s GeForce, Quadro, nForce, Tesla and Tegra product families. The sale of infringing products previously imported by the respondents will also be banned.
However, the respondents can continue to import and sell the affected products during a 60-day Presidential review period by posting a bond equaling “2.65% of the entered value of the subject imports.” According to a Bloomberg report, Nvidia will be taking advantage of a licensing arrangement Rambus reached with the European Commission “to continue our business under the terms of that license and prevent the enforcement of any exclusion order.” Last year, Rambus settled an antitrust case in Europe by agreeing to cap memory chip royalties at 40 cents per unit.
"We are extremely pleased with the ITC's decision to issue a Limited Exclusion Order, signaling the strength of our innovation efforts beyond the Farmwald-Horowitz patents of our founders. The value of our patented inventions has been recognized by our current licensees, and we will continue our efforts to license others,” said Thomas Lavelle, senior vice president and general counsel at Rambus.
Is the summer videogame drought getting you down? Well, you know what always makes us feel better for about five minutes and then tremendously worse seconds afterward? Spending money. Lots of money. Fortunately, Steam’s price-slashing “Perils of Summer” sale has you covered on both fronts. After it leaves town on July 4, you’ll probably have plenty of games and little-to-no money.
As with previous seasonal Steam sales, Perils of Summer rolls out a new set of featured deals every day in addition to basically handing you a glass cutter and telling you the structural weak points of a treasure trove of gigantic game bundles. The deals, as per usual, are fantastic. Trine for $4.00, every Overlord game ever for $4.50, and BioShock 2 for $14.99 are just a few of today’s best deals. And don’t even get us started on the bundles. If we have to look at them again, we’ll probably just go ahead and write Valve a check that says “all our money” on it.
Nine more days of this will have our piggy banks squealing for mercy. These things add up over time, you see, and while our resolve to resist temptation is strong now, our armor can only hold up under constant fire for so long. Sharks, drowning, and mild sunburns nothing. This sale is the real peril of summer, and we’re pretty sure Valve is fully aware of that.
But Microsoft alone can not be held responsible for displaying undue optimism as market research firm IDC actually helped it arrive at the staggering figure. If Windows Phone 7 actually goes onto perform as claimed in that slide, Microsoft will again be a force to be reckoned with in the smartphone market.
So let’s say, hypothetically, that you’ve been living under a rock for the past year. We imagine you’re curious as to what’s happened ever since you decided to go on your vision quest or whatever. Well, here’s the long and short of it: not much. Oh, except one extremely crucial thing! Borderlands came out. And it was awesome.
We’re sorry. You must feel terribly out of the loop now. But don’t worry! Because this weekend, Borderlands and its 75 bazillion guns are on sale for a mere $24.99. Or, if you’ve got a few friends who’ve been in comas or something of the like, the Borderlands four-pack’s price has also been slashed – right down to a slim, trim $74.98.
The sale runs until 10 AM PDT on Monday. And what else are you going to do this weekend? Gorge yourself on chocolate rabbits? Spend time with your family? Does your family have 75 bazillion guns? Yeah. Didn’t think so.
In case you need a reminder, we at MPC are pretty big Left 4 Dead 2 fans. In fact, if you were able to make it even half-way through our review of Valve’s fine-tuned take on cooperative zombie-slaughter without giving Valve a heaping handful of your money, well, we’re pretty sure you just hate being happy. Or, perhaps you made the mistake of wasting your precious funds on pointless causes like food and your family, and simply couldn’t afford Left 4 Dead 2. In which case, everything’s fine and dandy now, because Valve’s put the game on sale at the extremely attractive price of $24.99.
The sale runs from now until Thursday, and applies not just to vanilla Left 4 Dead 2, but also to any bundles that include the game. So basically, we recommend that you pounce on this deal like a starving, family-less guy who spent his last few bucks on Left 4 Dead 2 pouncing on free samples at the grocery store. Or something.
Valve also points out that Left 4 Dead 2’s eagerly anticipated “The Passing” DLC is coming sometime this spring, and will include – among other things – multiple brand new game modes. As in, more than one. Since Valve wrote that announcement in all caps, we’re gonna assume it’s a big deal. More details soon, we hope.
Not even a month removed from its penny-pincher friendly, yet – for us – utterly bank-breaking Thanksgiving sale, Steam’s back with more holiday deals than you can shake a stocking, jingle bell, or other holiday themed shakable object at.
As with last month’s sale, Valve’s elected to rotate in new deals each day until January 3, in addition to continuous discounts on nearly every game in its colossal catalog. So, what’s under the tree today? Well, in the “this would be a pretty decent deal under any other circumstance, but Mirror’s Edge is going for $4.99, GTA IV’s at $7.49, and STALKER’s at $1.99” category is Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising at $19.99. There are some other nice deals in there too, but for some reason, that one really stood out to us.
Now then, make with the buying. Not since the olde times when can-kicking was nearly an Olympic Sport could you purchase hours upon hours of cutting-edge entertainment for the price of a can of cola. Go live the consumerist dream.
This week, the five dollar frenzy continues with an influx of MMOs, RPGs, and – for some reason – Assassin’s Creed and GTA: Vice City. But whatever – we’re not complaining. The full list of additions is as follows:
Neverwinter Nights 2
Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir
Assassin's Creed Director's Cut
Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures
Titan Quest Bundle
Drakensang: The Dark Eye
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
See anything you like? Of course you do. So, what’re ya boiyin’?
A couple of weeks after eBay agreed to sell 65% of Skype to a group of investors, the founders of Skype, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, contrived to gatecrash eBay’s party. Joltid, a company in which the two Skype founders are stakeholders, filed a copyright lawsuit on Wednesday against Skype. Skype's founders retained control over the peer-to-peer technology at the VoIP client’s core even after selling Skype to eBay for $2.6 billion. They had agreed to license the source code to eBay.
Joltid has accused eBay of unlawfully modifying and sharing the source code. An adverse decision could even force eBay to shut down Skype until it can come up with an alternative version. The San Jose-based internet company has said that it is making arrangements to face any such eventuality. However, the presence of a contingency plan should not be construed as a lack of confidence on its part. “We remain on track to close the transaction in the fourth quarter of 2009,” an eBay spokesperson said.
Direct2Drive’s throwing a big bash for its fifth anniversary, and boy howdy are the goodie bags sweet. More than 50 games – ranging from BioShock to Thief: Deadly Shadows to X-Com – are having their price tags slashed down to $5.00. How can you say “no” to that? You can’t. Hell, we’ve already not said “no” to it four or five times.
Over the next few weeks, D2D will be adding more fuel to this money-saving fire, going by a genre theme. So, next week you can expect a spat of nearly-free RPGs and MMOs, and the week after that, it’s indie games, etc.
Now go! Take advantage of Direct2Drive’s momentary celebration-fueled lapse of sanity. It may sound cliché, but these prices really are cuuuurazy.