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Former Silicon Knights dev sentenced in child pornography case

Former Precursor Games and Silicon Knights designer Ken McCulloch was sentenced this week in an Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines, Canada on child pornography charges. Judge Joseph Nadel sentenced McCulloch to 12 months of time served; McCulloch has been jailed since his arrest in late June 2013, after he pleaded guilty to making child pornography available.

According to The Welland Tribune, Niagara Regional Police also charged McCulloch with sexual assault, forcible confinement and sexual interference during his time in jail in the past year. McCulloch will remain in custody, returning to court on August 26 to answer to those charges. As a result of the initial sentencing, McCulloch will be added to the provincial sex offender registry for the next 20 years. Judge Nadel also ordered McCulloch to stay away from any child under the age of 16 and from schools, parks, recreation centers and public pools for 10 years.

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Pokemon World Championships stream live on August 16

If you can't make it to Washington, DC for this year's Pokemon World Championships, don't worry, Twitch will be streaming the entire thing.

Festivities kick off on Saturday, August 16 with an opening ceremony at 9AM EST, followed by a full day of streaming Pokebattles. From 9AM until 5PM, the streams will be reserved for those playing the 3DS' Pokemon X and Y while coverage will shift to the Pokemon trading card game after 5PM. Proper tournament play begins Sunday morning, with the trading card game finals from 10AM until 3PM EST and video game finals from 3PM to 6PM. If you miss any of the action, Twitch also plans to replay the entirety of the weekend's coverage on August 18 and 19.

To catch all of this tournament coverage, visit the Pokemon Twitch channel. In case you forget any of the scheduling details we've laid out above, the channel includes a handy reference guide.
[Image: Nintendo]

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Sky's Now TV app out on Xbox One, Verizon updates FiOS

Xbox console owners in the UK now have an expanded variety of entertainment options at the ready, as Sky has released an Xbox One version of its Now TV app, bringing the service's streamed and on-demand catalog to Microsoft's platform.

Verizon also updated its FiOS app on Xbox consoles this week, introducing 14 additional channels to its lineup. New channels available to subscribers include AMC HD, Encore, Bloomberg HD, Showtime, and Starz.

While Xbox entertainment apps were previously available only for Xbox Live Gold members, Microsoft recently updated its policies to grant access to Netflix, HBO Go, and other services to all Xbox owners.

[Image: Sky]

Pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend snuggles up to Steam on August 21

Good news, fellow birdwatchers -- Hato Moa's bizarre avian dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend is hitting Windows, Mac, and Linux via Steam next month in a revamped port from Mediatonic and Devolver Digital.

The Steam version of Hatoful Boyfriend boasts a branching narrative and multiple endings, including an all-new story path written by series creator Hato Moa. Bird fanatics may opt for the premium-priced Collector's Edition, which includes a copy of the original PC version of Hatoful Boyfriend, a digital soundtrack and comic, PC wallpapers, and a virtual yearbook to commemorate your collegiate years at the prestigious St. PigeoNation's Institute.

Hatoful Boyfriend is available for pre-order at a 10 percent discount before it takes flight on August 21.

[Image: Devolver Digital]

Sonic eats poop because it's scientifically accurate

Image Now we know. [Images: Fox ADHD]... Continue Reading

Joystiq Deals: The Walking Dead, Adobe Authorized training

Welcome to Joystiq Deals, where the dead walk again and the points don't matter. Today we have two specials for you: one to grow your brain, and one that could teach you how to protect that brain from getting eaten by zombies. Enjoy!

First up, lifetime access to Adobe Authorized training courses. For the next eight days, Joystiq readers can receive lifetime access to more than 5,000 videos that teach the ins and outs of Adobe software like Photoshop, InDesign and Dreamweaver, as well as universally-helpful tips on using HTML5, Flash and Java. Normally such a membership would cost $500, but you can score yourself some Adobe education for just $79.

Next, with the announcement of a third season for Telltale's The Walking Dead, it's fairly safe to say this is a popular series. If for some reason you've yet to sink your teeth into it though, we've got two things to say to you: one, why not? After all, a zombie would gladly do the same for you. Two, it's okay, because Joystiq readers can get The Walking Dead's first season, as well as the "400 Days" DLC, all for $15, or 50 percent off the usual price. The undead move surprisingly fast though, so if you want this particular deal, you'll have to claim it within 13 days.
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.

Bend your brain for 2 bucks with Monument Valley

Monument Valley, the physics-bending and fantastical puzzle game, is on sale for $2 on Google Play, down from its normal price of $4. This is the game's first sale on Android.

Monument Valley took home an Apple Design Award (and a lot of players' hearts) this year, and it recently passed 1 million in sales. Developer ustwo plans to release "lost scenes" for the game that should double its current playtime of 90 minutes or so. The scenes are due out in the fall, though whether they'll be paid or free is still up in the fresh monument air.
[Image: ustwo]

EU PSN Summer Sale slashes prices on Battlefield 4, FIFA 14

The annual PSN Summer Sale has begun in Europe, with an initial offering of discounted new-generation EA games and a massive list of cut-rate PlayStation 3 releases.

PlayStation 4 owners can pick up the previously £55 Battlefield 4 for £30, while FIFA 14 falls to £35. NBA Live 14, Madden NFL 25 and Need for Speed Rivals are all discounted to £30, and all DLC released for each of these EA games is likewise on sale.

PlayStation 3 owners reap the lion's share of discounts this year. Battlefield 4 falls from £60 to £20, Doom 3 BFG Edition is available for £16 and Dragon Age: Origins has been reduced to £6.49. PlayStation Plus subscribers will see extended discounts on certain games, such as Lego Marvel Superheroes which falls to £20 and classic PlayStation 2 platformer Maximo vs The Army of Zin, which can now be downloaded from PSN for £2.89.

For a full rundown of Sony's initial wave of Summer discounts, visit the European PlayStation.blog, but keep in mind that these deals are only available for a limited time. Sony has a new slate of discounts planned to replace this list on August 20.
[Image: EA]

What it cost one developer to port a game through ID@Xbox

Jamie Fristrom launched Sixty Second Shooter Prime on Xbox One last month, selling it for $5 a pop. Prime is the latest version of Sixty Second Shooter, his game that first launched on the Chrome Web Store and later on PS4 and Vita. To bring Sixty Second Shooter Prime to Xbox One, Fristrom had to spend $5,143 on equipment, permissions and insurance.

Fristrom breaks down the costs in a blog post: Microsoft provides Xbox One dev kits to early adopters of the ID@Xbox program, so those were free, but Fristrom spent $63 shipping one to his partner. Hardware and video capture device costs hit $253, localization (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese) cost $729, and maintaining the game's URL cost $19. And then the big-ticket items – errors and omissions insurance cost Fristrom $2,037, and securing ratings on foreign boards (PEGI, USK) cost $2,042.

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Watch Dogs DLC tease rats out Camden, New Jersey

According to a new tweet from the official Watch Dogs Twitter account, Camden, New Jersey was the most crime-ridden US city in 2012. That's not at all true, but it's apparently a solid enough fiction for a DLC tease.

"Our data indicates surveillance has become more prominent in high-crime areas," the account states before linking to the above infographic. First, let's debunk that core claim. Depending on how you categorize crime, the dubious honor of highest US crime rates in 2012 would go to either Detroit or St. Louis. Camden doesn't even make the top-10 lists (though Newark, New Jersey ranked among the highest crime rates per capita in 2011). Despite this, the Twitter account claims that "a surveillance program is now in effect."

Shortly after the tweet was issued, a fan did the sensible thing and plainly asked if this cryptic message was related to upcoming DLC. Watch Dogs fans have long been waiting for the first installments of the singeplayer campaign promised by the game's Season Pass, and based on the Twitter account's brief reply - "Coming this fall" - it's probably safe to assume Camden, New Jersey plays some part in the additional content. How exactly is anyone's guess, so please deposit those guesses in the comments below.
[Image: Ubisoft]

Blizzard investigating Hearthstone payment woes

Those who have been erroneously charged for Hearthstone's new Curse of Naxxramas singleplayer campaign can rest assured that developer Blizzard is looking into the problem.

Following yesterday's debut of the Plague Wing area, reports came rolling in of players unable to purchase the additional content or being double-charged by the game's in-app purchase system. "We are currently investigating the following issues affecting the new Hearthstone wing, the Plague Quarter," Blizzard wrote in a statement to Eurogamer. "Some players are unable to access the new wing after purchase. Some players have been charged twice in order to access the new wing. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience while we work to resolve them."

Since issuing that statement, Blizzard has created a notice in the Hearthstone forums that offers guidelines for those affected. If your purchase failed, securing a refund should be a simple process, though Blizzard continues to look into those cases where payment was successfully made but players were not granted access to the game's new features.

Sony evaluated EA Access, but felt it wasn't 'good value'

Wondering why EA Access - the subscription service that offers buffet-style access to Electronic Arts titles, 10 percent discounts on all of EA's digital Xbox One content and five days' worth of early access to major EA releases - isn't coming to PlayStation systems? According to a Sony statement to Game Informer, the answer is simple: It's not good value.

"We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect," a Sony rep told Game Informer. "PlayStation Plus memberships are up more than 200 percent since the launch of PlayStation 4, which shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price. We don't think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer."

At times like this, we can't help but be reminded of that American cinema classic, Billy Madison. Sorry EA, but the price is wrong for Sony.
[Image: EA]

Breath of Fire 6 delayed to spring 2015 in Japan


Breath of Fire 6: Guardians of the White Dragons's release in Japan has been pushed back to spring 2015 for PC, iOS and Android. Capcom tweeted the decision to postpone the game's full launch earlier today, and according to Siliconera, the publisher is in the process of determining whether the game will launch in other regions. It will be the first main entry in the long-running RPG series since 2003.

Breath of Fire 6 was previously expected to launch this summer, as reported in Capcom's earnings statements in May. The RPG was first revealed in August among a handful of other online games. It will feature a town-building system and the ability for AI partners to join in players' time-based battles. Capcom offered two new screens and a promotional anime trailer for Breath of Fire 6 as well, the former found in the gallery below.

PlayStation Plus nabs Road Not Taken, Dragon's Crown in August


Sony has unveiled next month's PlayStation Plus lineup, announcing that subscribers will receive free downloadable copies of Road Not Taken, Crysis 3, and other featured games across its platforms in August.

PlayStation 4 owners will receive Polytron's brain-bending puzzle-platformer Fez and Spry Fox's stylish roguelike Road Not Taken. PlayStation 3 subscribers get Crytek's futuristic FPS Crysis 3 and Ed Key's first-person exploration game Proteus, while PS Vita owners can look forward to Vanillaware's fantasy-themed beat-'em-up Dragon's Crown and Digital Dreams' "infographics action game" Metrico.

Fez, Proteus, and Dragon's Crown are also available as Cross-Buy titles for the PlayStation 3 and PS Vita. All featured games will be freely downloadable for PlayStation Plus members in North America when the PlayStation Store updates next Tuesday.

[Video: Sony]

Homefront acquired by Deep Silver, production of sequel to continue at fresh studio

Clearly tired of Crytek's "transitional phase," publisher Deep Silver's parent company has acquired the Homefront intellectual property and related assets from Crytek. Homefront: The Revolution was under production at Crytek UK, with recent reports declaring production had halted and the game's director resigned.

"We strongly believe in the potential of Homefront: The Revolution and trust in the new team to continue the path they have been walking in the last years," said Deep Silver CEO Dr. Klemens Kundratitz.

The game will now be completed by the newly founded Nottingham-based Deep Silver Dambuster Studio. We've followed up with Deep Silver about whether staff from Crytek UK is transitioning over and will update with any further details.

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The Joystiq Podcast

The Joystiq Podcast

Super Joystiq Podcast 106: The Crew, Gods Will Be Watching, The Walking Dead, game delays

Latest episode: Friday, July 25th, 2014

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