Activision Buys Creator Of Candy Crush

On the train, in the car and even at work, people enjoy games on their mobile phones. From the days of the first game boy, the idea behind mobile gaming devices was always to let you play what you wanted, where you wanted and with mobiles phones becoming as powerful as they are, the ability to change your little communications device into a gaming hub is as easy as ever. One of the biggest names in the mobile video games group is Candy Crush Saga and its creator just got a new owner, Activision.

On Monday, Activision Blizzard announced that it had agreed to acquire the rights for King Digital Entertainment, the company behind Candy Crush Saga, for a staggering total of $5.9 billion.

Popular on platforms such as Facebook, Candy crush follows a business model called freemium. You can play the game for free, and you could even complete it for free but if you wanted those little extra bonuses, the boosters or the level skips then it will cost you real world money.

With King stating that it has over 158 million daily users and over 1 billion games played each day it’s not hard to see why this acquisition by Activision Blizzard could see the company getting a rather large foot in the door of mobile gaming.

OnePlus Announces Extended Warranty Programme

The original OnePlus handset was described as a “flagship killer” and offered a stunning specification for the price point. Sadly, its successor fell flat and didn’t live up to people’s expectations. This was due to people becoming infuriated with the invite process and large array of alternatives like the Hauwei Honor 7. There have also been some horror stories regarding OnePlus’ standard warranty service which doesn’t evoke consumer confidence.

To tackle this head-on, OnePlus have decided to launch an extended warranty programme which protects against accidental and liquid damage for up to two years. The warranty plan starts at €39.99 for 12 months and features a worldwide support team to produce quick turnarounds. OnePlus have set the 24-month price at €64.99. Despite this, it still falls short compared to cheaper and technically able handsets. For example, the Wileyfox Storm costs £199.99 and allows you to purchase a 3 year warranty for an additional £9.99. Furthermore, a screen replacement service also costs £9.99 per year.

Another issue to consider is EU law which offers a standard 2 year period. Clearly, this doesn’t cover accidental damage, but it seems OnePlus are oblivious to their legal obligations. In the USA, where consumer rights aren’t as protected, the policy makes more sense. I’m not convinced the new policy will entice people to buy OnePlus devices in large numbers because they are still restricted by the absurd invite system. If OnePlus wants to exist in the next 5-10 years, they have to drop this nonsense.

OnePlus to Announce New Handset

The original OnePlus handset was extraordinary popular due to a feature-rich specification and superb price. However, its successor, the OnePlus 2 doesn’t live up to the “flagship killer” name and struggled to stand out from the crowd. In 2015, the market is flooded with amazingly affordable handsets as many Chinese manufacturers like Hauwei, try to become the price to performance brand of choice. For instance, the Honor 7 retails for a similar price to the OnePlus 2 and doesn’t revolve around the absurd invite system.

OnePlus is reportedly launching a new, larger handset called the OnePlus X on October 29th which features a 1.9GHz processor and 5.5-inch display. The company released a teaser image which doesn’t offer much information in regards to the product launch. However, an FFC filing suggests the X model is in production. This is an interesting move for OnePlus as they usually stick to a very limited array of handsets. Additionally, will the new X smartphone required an invite to purchase? OnePlus really needs to get rid of this nonsense as consumers grow tired of waiting and buy a competing product.

I’m interested to see how well the OnePlus X does and if it manages to restore the company’s reputation.

Is OnePlus still the best choice in terms of price to performance?

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Valve Restricts Steam Service Features to Users Who Don’t Spend At Least $5

If you’ve ever been bullied or targeted on Steam by spammers or phishers, then you might be excited to know that Valve has set some restrictions to its online service. Valve stated on their Support Page that they are adding this security measure to deal with the latter problems.

Therefore, if you would like to have full access to Steam as a new user or even as an old one who used the service only for Free-to-Play games, you need to spend some money to get the full features.

Valve says that if you add at least $5 on Steam Wallet it should get you access, regardless if you actually buy anything or not.

Other methods of unlocking your account(s) include purchasing games that are equal to at least $5, adding a Steam Wallet card to your Steam account or purchasing a Steam gift.

If you think that you can do something to get around this, you are out of luck. Valve says that activating a retail game, playing free demos, adding a non-Steam game, adding/playing trials, free-to-play games or activating promotional CD keys from GPU manufacturers (like the ones found on AMD cards) won’t get your features activated.

Now, moving to the thing that really matters. What is actually restricted? Well, the company seems to restrict pretty much every social communication in the service. You can’t add friends, open group chat, vote on Greenlight/Steam Reviews/Workshop, take part in the Steam Market or post often on Steam Discussions.

In addition to that, you can’t send anything to the Workshop, post in Workshop Discussions, access the Steam Web API, use the browser and mobile chat and on top of that, your Steam Profile will always have its level locked at 0.

Now the real kicker. Though Steam said a minimum of $5 (that is USD currency by the way), how will it work in other non-US regions? I’ll let you read their response below.

“If the Steam store isn’t in USD, we will track the purchase amount in USD by converting each purchase total made on Steam using daily exchange rates. Once you have made the equivalent of $5.00 USD or more in total Steam purchases, you will gain access to the restricted Steam features.”

So why do non-US countries have to pray for the US dollar to drop in value to not spend more than others? I mean, why not do this for all the currencies once you thought about adding the restriction? Let us know if you consider this fair or not in the comments below.

Nvidia to ‘Redefine the Future of Gaming’ on March 3rd

Nvidia has sent out invitations to numerous outlets, inviting to an hour-long event that “will redefine the future of gaming”.

We do not know what they’re going to show us during the event, except that it has been 5 years in the making. The invite is very short and barely contains any information at all.

Qualified guesses point towards a new android powered gaming product, may it be a new shield or a set-top box or console type device. Your guess is as good as mine, so let’s hear them in the comments.

Thanks to DualShockers for providing us with this information.