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Illicit XBL access via Xbox.com “industry-wide issue”

Saturday, 14 January 2012 15:00 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Microsoft has responded to yesterday’s report which claimed the rash of compromised Xbox Live accounts lately were due to “brute force” unauthorized access through legitimate channels. In a statement provided to IGN, the firm said there wasn’t any “loophole” allowing the invasions, as the method of attack is “an industry-wide issue.” Microsoft also noted, once again, many accounts are compromised due to malware and phishing scams used to glean user passwords. “Online fraud and identity theft are industry-wide problems, and as such people using any online services should set strong passwords, not share those passwords across multiple services and refrain from sharing any personal details that could leave them vulnerable,” read the statement. “As always, we highly recommend our members follow the Xbox Live Account Security guidance provided [here] to protect your account.”

The firm contends there hasn’t been a security breach within the XBL service.

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28 Comments

  1. Psychotext

    For fucks sake Microsoft. If you really give a shit about the security of your users then it’s about time you got off your penny pinching arse and implemented two step security, at least for password resets if nothing else. Though personally I’d be happy to turn on two step for any login given how rarely I actually have to log in.

    Also, if it’s an industry wide problem, why aren’t we hearing about exactly the same thing on the PS3. You can buy exactly the same FIFA packs there, and yet… miraculously, hundreds of people aren’t reporting that they’re having their money / credit stolen.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Razor

    It’s pretty amazing how MS are getting away with this…

    #2 3 years ago
  3. DSB

    I don’t think the embarrassment of Microsoft being bypassed by scriptkiddies is lost on anyone.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Ireland Michael

    You should know better DSB.

    These are basic, run of the mill phishing technique that happen every single day in thousands of websites across the internet. Its rather basic and arbitrary password guessing and keylogging.

    There is no big conspiracy here. There is no MSN-Gate. This is just a conveniently sensationalist spin on an everyday thing that has been around almost as long as internet access has.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    @4 Well, if your website is open to brute force attacks, that’s a pretty serious issue, if a succesful attempt allows people to have their way with peoples accounts. That’s not commonplace.

    Phishing is universal, and also happens to PSN users every day.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Christopher Jack

    There’s also 8 attempts before Captcha reacts, oddly enough it’ll give you the option to log in as someone else but you can use that to try the same person again & have another 8 attempts, writing a script exploit that wouldn’t be too hard but I’d imagine even Microsoft would be able to prevent brute force attacks like these- can’t say for certain though as I am no security expert.
    XBL maybe secure but it doesn’t mean that every bodies accounts are, fact is XBL users are being hacked, regardless of the strength of their passwords.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. deathgaze

    8 attempts is pretty tight. A single user’s brute force attack wouldn’t really do much with 8 attempts. However, if the attempts were made through a botnet then it would change the situation. A cracker would be able to rifle through thousands of iterations on an account without hitting the 8 attempt limit. Even still, actual throughput would be abysmal, rendering only a handful of account logins per day.

    There are systemic ways to solve this issue. Instead of putting an attempt limit on the target login page, Microsoft should be logging the attempts on the account. That way, regardless of what browser or IP the attempts are logged from, the account remains with an 8 attempt limit before engaging CAPTCHA. After a certain number of total attempts (say, 30 attempts) are made within a certain time frame (say, 30 minutes) the account should be put on ‘cooldown’, disallowing any further login attempts for a set amount of time. These are just examples, of course. There are many more ways to deter brute force attacks.

    Of course, no conceivable safeguards you might imagine are truly hacker proof. No system is, really. Even with these safeguards in place, given enough time, a hacker would still be able to breach any account on the Internet. That’s what Microsoft meant when it said that this is an ‘industry-wide problem’. No one can really stop a determined brute force attacker. You can, however, slow them down to the point where the attack is no longer practical.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Psychotext

    It’s not just 8 attempts deathgaze. All you have to do after 8 attempts is click another button and then start again.

    That said, with an automated attack with proxies it wouldn’t be hard to get around the lock out even if it did exist.

    @4: So please do explain how my missus’s account got hacked. She doesn’t even know the password, which was randomly generated and I only ever entered directly into a stock 360 (until the day she got hacked, and then I tried to enter it online to see what was going on).

    Plus, as previously stated, if this was bog standard phishing then why the hell isn’t it happening to the PSN? All the same factors are in place to allow it. Or are PSN users so much more internet savvy that they don’t get phished or use obvious passwords? Yes, that seems likely.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. deathgaze

    @8: Very true. Which is why it’s all the more important to log the attempts to the account instead of the login page’s script.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Psychotext

    Absolutely. Plus ironically that sort of thing is written very specifically into Microsoft’s best practice documents for security.

    Though of course, in reality a mass scale attack could just cycle through accounts as they get locked, but it would certainly reduce the number of accounts which ended up being vulnerable.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. deathgaze

    @10: As I said in 8, it would only slow them down. Given enough time, any account can be breached using brute force techniques.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Ireland Michael

    @8 “Plus, as previously stated, if this was bog standard phishing then why the hell isn’t it happening to the PSN?”

    This sort of thing happens every single day on every major website on the internet. It *is* happening on PSN, constantly, as itdoes on every other website, but this is simply the story that the gaming media, in its blind, sensationalist ignorance, is choosing to obsess over, because they know it’s nice and controversial.

    VG247 should know better.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. ShiroGamer

    what razor said

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Psychotext

    @12: Absolute rubbish. I found out about this via forums where a number of people were complaining that someone had accessed their account and bought a bunch of FIFA packs. Specifically people with 360 accounts. I then got a taste of it via my missus’s account being taken over. I’ve not once seen someone with a PS3 account talking about it (I looked around quite a bit at the time too)… which initially made me think that you simply couldn’t buy / transfer the FIFA packs on the PS3, but no, that’s not the case.

    VG247 and the like took months to report on the situation, only really getting interested when the volume level got high enough (and specifically when they could report on the more interesting incidents like the single mother and the games journalist). Microsoft’s mantra of “phishing, fraud and identity theft” sounds quite reminiscent of “the Xbox 360 failure rate is well within standard industry failure rates of 3 – 5 percent” and “Sony deny the PSN has been breached”.

    As I’ve stated many times, my main concern is that they actually believe this shit, and that there’s nothing they can do about it. Because frankly, even if it really is down to phishing or theft of email accounts, there’s still plenty they can do about it. They might want to go and speak to Valve or Blizzard at the very least… maybe they might get a clue.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. OlderGamer

    Blizzard? I wouldn’t ask advice from Blizzard. I stoped playing wow due to their lack of security.

    Here is the basic principle. Simply really. So long as a value is placed on digital information, someone will convet that information and attempts to steal/hijack/and crack it will be made. It is and always has been a constant cat and mouse back and forth between thieves and those in charge of protection.

    There is nothing new here at all. This has been going on for years. That doesn’t make it right, just makes it true.

    Security is one of the first casulities of internet commerce.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Joe Musashi

    The Microsoft shrug isn’t very comforting. It amounts to “Hey, it’s not just us!” which still doesn’t convince me they’re taking things seriously – or as seriously as they should be. Additionally, I don’t see how allowing transactions to continue on a known compromised account is ‘an industry wide issue’ rather than one of service to a particular company’s users. There’s still a lot of questions and perspectives not addressed by Microsoft. I think we’ve all heard them do the ‘deny, deny, deny’ thing before and we all know how that turned out.

    A fact of life is shit happens. It would be nice that it didn’t but it does. The real mark is how you deal with things when shit happens. This isn’t being dealt with very well.

    Or rather, I think Microsoft’s PR teams are working much harder on this than their customer service or security teams.

    JM

    #16 3 years ago
  17. mojo

    2: Soyn always gets bashed to death, MS is always the good shepard.
    MS is pretty good in selling poo as gold.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. ManuOtaku

    Iam not that tech savy here, but if it is a wide common issue, and if they know how it happens and how it is done?, why they are not taking any counter messures to tighten the security?, the thing that worries me the most is they are not taking this seriously, or at least say you are working to solve this issue, dont leave all the responsability to the consumers only with an statement that indicates “user just elevate the security of your passwords”, because sooner rather than later, it will be bypassed, especially if you do not take any countermessures to tight up the security, or if you dont take any actions at all, just becuase is a common issue, thats the thing that concern me the most, the indifference or apathy in this situation, is like PSN all over again.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Hcw87

    My Account has just been hacked. I’ve never been hacked in my life, and i use Xbox.com often. They purchased lots of microsoft points, so i advise everyone to change your password asap.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Ireland Michael

    @18, Its brute force password guessing using cheap and easily obtained PC software. No matter how many layers of security you put on a system, there’s always going to a few successes.

    Its a handful of people, and they have been reimbursed.

    Maybe not within the millisecond they would like, but as someone who has worked in network security, I can tell you that a lot of time is spent ensuring claims are legit in the first place.

    It would be very easy for someone to, as an example, buy tonnes of MS Points, buy lots of stuff, rip the content from the HDD (this can be done) then ring up and say their account was hacked.

    Microsoft are not going to automatically assume that you are a honest aand pure snowflake, and tracking this stuff takes time. They’re not going to lock your account unless they be assured the breach is legit first.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. ManuOtaku

    #20 i agree, and like i said iam not tech savy in this things, but the thing iam concern is the attitude torwards the issue, instead of saying is a common thing, and it will be solve as soon as consumers put difficult passwords, etc., i like to hear saying we are working on a possible solution for this, but thats my wishfull thinking here talking, at least this way microsoft will be treating good all the consumers, not just the affected ones, which has been good in my book.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. fearmonkey

    @Ireland Michael – I had a friend who had his account compromised, they unlocked 2 Fifa achievements, spent all his points, bought more, spent them, and played some more Fifa. My friend called MS, who said they locked his account, but they didnt, the account was still accessible a week after supposedly being locked……..

    This friend works in IT, is extremely tech savy, isn’t malware infected, wasn’t phished, his email address wasn’t searchable by his gamertag, etc.
    Yet his account got compromised……

    As someone who is also in IT, MS’s attitude towards this leaves alot to be desired. I don’t care if it does happen everyday, MS needs to kill the 8 tries before cap kicks in, and give us other methods of security.
    Google for instance gives me the option that sends a text to my cell phone with a code if I try to login from a computer or device that I havent used before. Why can’t MS give us that, give us a secureID equivalent, have the Xbox live pass code for the Live account online instead of just the console. MS can and simply must do more, it’s completely stupid that they keep the “we arent hacked, users are phished, and are stupid, and its not our fault crap”. We pay for their service and they simply must do better.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Ireland Michael

    @22 Man, I love this FIFA conspiracy theory.

    If they were some sort of leak the game’s coding allowing account passwords to be stolen, someone would have been figured out how by now, and the information would be public knowledge already.

    People are getting phished, and people’s accounts are being compromised, but only in the matter of account security compromising that is standard to every website on the internet.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Hcw87

    I never played any Fifa games on my xbox console, in fact i haven’t played a Fifa game in around 10 years, yet somehow someone got access to my account. I’ve also never been phished, i played World of Warcraft for years, and i know how the phishing schemes works. The only reason they could get access to my account is through Xbox.com.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Ireland Michael

    @24 Then you either have a keylogger on your computer or your password was easily figured out by whatever software they used to force their way into your account.

    I understand, the possibility that the responsibility is entirely your own might be one that’s hard to accept.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. fearmonkey

    @23 – Never said the fifa achievements were due to a conspiracy. The fact that Fifa is mentioned so much when these accounts get compromised is interesting though.
    Man, you are starting to sound like officer Barbrady on South Park..
    “Move along, nothing to see here”……

    “but only in the matter of account security compromising that is standard to every website on the internet.” – Well MS can and should do more.
    You ever play rift? You can create a authentication code for security, why can’t MS do that as an option? With WOW, you can get a secureID.
    If MS would just implement the Live Pass code to online rather than just console, that would be nice. MS SHOULD give us some other security measures that we can CHOOSE to use or not.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Hcw87

    @25
    My computer(s) are completely clean, i scan them regularly. I’m also a paranoid guy when it comes to using shady websites etc, so if i get affected by this, everyone can.

    My password was 8 characters long, numbers and characters. To brute force that you’d need years.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Ireland Michael

    @27 “To brute force that you’d need years.”

    Not if you’re a computer.

    #28 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • First-person camera coming to Guild Wars 2 next month

    ArenNet has announced its adding nonrestrictive first-person view to Guild Wars 2. Here’s what top expect come March 10: First-person Camera: Zooming in all the way will allow players to experience a first-person view. First-person mode is available while standing in place, walking, running, jumping, playing PvP and just about anything else. There aren’t any […]

  • Shadowrun Online signs on with Nordic

    Shadowrun Online has been given a nice little boost thanks to a distribution deal with Nordic Games. Shadowrun Online is a new team tactical RPG from Cliffhanger Productions. Although it’s already available through Steam Early Access, Nordic has agreed to distribute the finished version, which is due on Linux, Mac and PC in the second […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, game world ten times the size of demo

    Final Fantasy 15 is 60% finished, according to director Hajime Tabata. Speaking with IGN, Tabata said development will kick into high gear once the Episode Duscae demo is released. “It’s about 60% now. People may look at that and say ‘well, you’ve only done five more percent!’ [since 55% in September] but it’s actually a […]

  • Destiny: you don’t need to visit the tower to access your vault

    Destiny players, you asked for it and Bungie has delivered it: you can now swap items in and out of the vault using the companion app. “Destiny needs more vault space” you cry – and yes, this is true. But while we all struggle with the limitations imposed on us by Bungie, we face all […]

  • Mortal Kombat X will contain over 100 Brutalities

    During the Mortal Kombat X stream today, NetherRealm Studios revealed Brutalities are back for the game, and stated there will be over 100 to pull off. You won’t gain any extra experience for being overly cruel with your painful moves, but you will at least get to laugh at some and “cringe” at others, according […]

  • Numenera: Strand is a film based on the game up on Kickstarter

    Numenera, the 2012 Kickstarter success and foundation for Torment: Tides of Numenera, could become a film if the Kickstarter for the movie is successful. With five days left, Monte Cook Games and Swedish film company Valdes/Eriksdotter needs £22,542 to reach its goal. Titled Numenera: Strand, it tells the tale of a drifter who “roams a […]

  • Gran Turismo 6 update adds MINI Clubman Vision, more

    A Mini Cooper has invaded Gran Turismo 6 via a new update. The Mid-Field Raceway track has also been added, and its a new and improved version of the original track from previous Gran Turismos. The new B-Spec Mode feature has also been added which allows the AI driver to race on your behalf. Additional […]

  • Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and some playable titles to PAX East

    Nintendo is bringing New 3DS Xl and Splatoon with it to PAX East next month. The E3 2014 build of the game lets eight players transform into squids in a race for “splattered-paint dominance.” Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. will also be playable and featured in stage presentations at the Nintendo booth. Upcoming or newly released Nintendo […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Premium information seems to have slipped out early

    Battlefield Hardline Premium perks have apparently leaked a bit early, according to a post on Reddit. Over on the Hardline subreddit is an image which was take at a GameStop location, noting two week early access to content additional Battlepacks and more. Here’s the rundown: Four expansions Two weeks early access 12 additional Battlepacks Exclusive […]

  • Final Fantasy: Record Keeper arrives in the US this spring

    Final Fantasy: Record Keeper will be released in the US on iOS and Android this spring, DeNA and Square Enix today. The mobile titles allows players to “relive favorite moments” across all Final Fantasy installments and build a team of classic characters from across the entire franchise. If you sign up for email updates, you […]

  • Battlefield Hardline now available for pre-order, pre-download on Xbox One

    Battlefield Hardline is now available for pre-order and pre-download on Xbox One. You can pre-order it now from the Xbox Store and once you have paid for it, you can start your pre-download. Battlefield Hardline releases on March 17, and will be made available to pre-downloaders come 12.01am EDT. Check pricing and availability for your […]

  • Dying Light interactive video allows you switch between day and night

    A new video for Dying Light has been released, which allows you to hit the Z key to change between day and night. Titles Life and Death in the Quarantine Zone, the interactive story video showcases how the game changes between day and night. Daytime and nighttime are shown side-by-side but the z key allows […]

  • Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare out on PS3, PS4; PC delayed

    The Havoc DLC for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is now available for PlayStation 3 and PS4. Havoc contains the four multiplayer maps Core, Drift, Sideshow, and Urban along with the AE4 directed energy assault rifle, its custom variant, and the Exo Zombies cooperative mode. You can purchase the DLC separately or pick up the […]

  • Here’s a teaser for Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 2

    A teaser video for the second episode of Resident Evil Revelations 2 is available, so if you’ve yet to play the first episode, you may want to skip this. Resident Evil Revelations 2′s first episode is out now. Thanks, GamesHQMedia.

  • North American eShop update is full of Donkey Kong games

    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Titan Attacks, Donkey Kong Land, Donkey Kong Country and more. eShop on 3DS Ironfall Invasion Titan Attacks! Donkey Kong Land – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 2 – Virtual Console Donkey Kong Land 3 – Virtual Console Luv Me Buddies Wonderland Around the World […]

  • Venture into the Valley of the Yetis next week in Far Cry 4

    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video gives you a look at the game’s wildlife

    A new video shown by Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata during the latest Active Time Report, contains a look at the game’s wildlife and ecology. You can watch the full stream two hour stream through here, or a smaller clip courtesy of GamesHQMedia below.

  • Lionhead ventures into the free-to-play space with Fable Legends

    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]