Newer Blizzard titles like Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm are free to play, but they do offer as many paid extras as you can shake a stick at. That's normal these days, of course, but StarCraft II was first released in 2010 -- a simpler time when you tended to just buy a video game and play it. There have been many paid expansions and cosmetics added over the years, but Blizzard originally promised a marketplace through which the community could sell custom-made maps and take a cut of the revenue. This feature was first mentioned way back in 2009, before StarCraft II even launched, and nine years later it's finally debuting in the impending 4.3.0 update.
Security researchers from ReSwitched have discovered a Nintendo Switch vulnerability that could let hackers run arbitrary code on all current consoles. Dubbed "Fusée Gelée" ("Frozen Rocket") it exploits buggy code in the NVIDIA Tegra X1's USB recovery mode, bypassing software that would normally protect the critical bootROM. Most worrisome for Nintendo is that the bug appears to be unpatchable and could allow users to eventually run pirated games.
Via: Ars Technica
Source: Kate Tempkin (Github)
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The popular battle royale game Fortnite is coming to China, thanks to a partnership between its creator Epic Games and Tencent. The Chinese tech giant, which owns over 40 percent of Epic, will handle distribution and publishing. Tencent will reportedly spend $15 million on Fortnite in China on marketing to its domestic playerbase and clamping down on piracy and illegal clones, the latter of which is a problem in the country.
Via: Rod "Slasher" Breslau (Twitter)
Source: South China Morning Post, DoNews
GOG is introducing user profiles, which will bring a touch of social interaction to the DRM-free games marketplace. The platform has hesitantly modernized over the years to compete with Steam, adding films and in-development titles, and the new profiles bring more awareness of what friends and community are doing.
Via: Rock Paper Shotgun
You didn't think Twitch would offer streamer extensions without finding a way to generate money from them, did you? Sure enough, the customization feature now accepts Bits (the microtransactions you normally use to tip streamers) for on-page games and other features. Chip in a few cents and you can participate in games with broadcasters (such as arcade or trivia titles), predict who's likely to win and mess with the streamer by voting in polls that decide what they do next.
Source: Twitch (Medium)
Player Unknown Battlegrounds, aka PUBG, has been pushing its way to the eSports realm for quite some time now. While it has moved beyond the straight-up battle royale genre it popularized with new gameplay like War Mode, it's the behind the scenes tech that will have the most impact on the game's success as an eSport title, including its 3D replay systems and help from chipmakers like AMD. Now, according to a report from Polygon, PUBG's first major eSports tournament take place July 25th through the 29th.