Free-to-play MMO will test a paid branch, minus MTX and loot boxes, in 2018

Enlarge / Starting sometime this year, you’ll be able to pay up front to fake as any of Rift Prime’s heroes. (credit: Trion) The online game-subscription model has generally waned in recent years, overtaken by the popularity (and apparent profitability) of “free-to-play” (F2P) fare. One of the earliest MMORPGs to switch to a F2P model, the Trion-published Rift, announced a curious change coming to its payment model: a branch-off of one Rift server, and its entire gameplay and payment structure, to return to the flat subscription model later this year. As reported by Kotaku, the game’s developers announced plans for this new version, dubbed Rift Prime, in a Friday blog… Read More

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Automated “killbots” are a popular film trope. Will they soon be a reality?

(Credit: Getty/Oli Scarff) Last month, viewers of the popular sci-fi anthology show “Black Mirror” were treated to a story that was particularly terrifying because of its prescience. In the harrowing episode “Metalhead,” a woman is chased by killer robots that appear loosely based on the Boston Dynamics robot “dogs” that have been making the rounds online. The technology displayed in that episode isn’t too far removed from what engineers are developing (or have already developed). But while “Metalhead” has provoked a lot of discussion about its quality as a thriller, a more unsettling question has also emerged: Could this sort of machine actually be in humanity’s future? “We are still… Read More

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Twitter to notify 677k people they were followed by Russian-linked troll account IRA

(Credit: AP/Jeff Chiu) Twitter published a statement on Friday to update the public on its ongoing review of the 2016 election. The statement revealed that 677,775 people in the U.S. will be receiving an email from the company notifying them that they were followed, retweeted or liked, by accounts potentially connected to the Russian-linked organization referred to as the Internet Research Agency (IRA). The statement says: “Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we are emailing notifications to 677,775 people in the United States who followed one of these accounts or retweeted or liked a Tweet from these accounts during the election period. Because we have already suspended these accounts, the… Read More

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Overwatch: Here’s Every New Skin That’s Coming Next Week (Jan 2018)

Overwatch is kicking off 2018 with a barrage of new loot for players to enjoy including new emotes, sprays, and skins for their characters. Announced on January 17, Blizzard has promised a full week of previews for items arriving for the hit FPS next week. This is scheduled to continue until January 23 when the new map Blizzard World releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Many of these skins were revealed back during Blizzcon 2016, as they revolve around “cosplays” of various, famous Blizzard characters. The other set of skins are a mix of ideas from Blizzard and fan requests that have been made since the title’s launch. Among… Read More

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