Game Stop has always been an interesting force in the world of video game retailers. They are fabulous in the sense that they are major players in the used game market, really refining a trade-in infrastructure that allows people to get their hands on new games cheaper.
On the flip side of that coin is the seedy fact that they pay dirt cheap prices for games (I once got a quarter for a three year old Madden title!) and mark them up significantly. It is hard to truly be angry about this though, as they follow a pretty strait forward supply and demand model in their pricing.
Of course as Game Stop grew, so did the concept and popularity of used sales. Used sales is great for the gamer, but horrible for the game developers, as they don’t see a dime off of the used sale. In an effort to mitigate these losses, developers and publishers have begun supplying online pass codes into new games, effectively forcing those who buy used copies to shell out $15 bucks for the same content that would be free if purchased new.
At the beginning of February, developer RC3 released an Android game inspired by pop star Justin Beaver entitles Joustin’ Beaver. The game plays off of Bieber’s real life celebrity woes and resembles his hairstyle and fashion sense in the form of a beaver. Bieber’s people responded to the game with a cease and desist order under the claims, not that they have a problem with Bieber being made fun of through the app, but that consumers may see Bieber’s trademarked likeness and feel the product is an officially licensed product from Bieber himself.
RC3 responded that there is no doubt that Joustin’ Beaver is inspired by the pop sensation. It is undeniable for them to even try to do so. They do contend however that the game is created as an act of parody which is legally protected by first amendment rights. RC3 filed suit against Bieber to protect their game (and most likely garner lots of press that the game would have never originally received to further push sales of it).
“In an effort to comment upon the Defendant’s life, the Plaintiff, RC3 developed the aforementioned App entitled ‘Joustin’ Beaver.’ The App, a video game, is a parody of the commercial success of the Defendant and any celebrity. The parody app portrays a beaver floating on a log down a river. The beaver presents with bangs, a lance, and a purple sweater. The beaver knocks ‘Phot-Hogs’ that are attempting to take his photograph into the river with his lance. The beaver also signs ‘Otter-graphs.’ The beaver also must dodge the ‘whirlpool of success,’ which will lead beaver out of control, while navigating the river.”
Joustin’ Beaver is currently on sale on the Android marketplace for .99.
Stay tuned to The Flickcast for all your gaming news, even Justin Beaver on occasion.
The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman is facing a lawsuit from Michael Anthony “Tony” Moore, who is alleging he is co-creator of The Walking Dead comic on which the hit AMC series is based. Moore, who was once partners with Robert Kirkman, is accusing Kirkman of promissory fraud, breach of written contract and other charges.
Moore claims that he was talked into assigning all his rights on Walking Dead and other properties to a limited liability corporation controlled by Kirkman. Kirkman allegedly hasn’t shared any royalties or offered any other payments for Walking Dead or any of the other works.
According to the suit, Moore alleges he and Kirkman entered into an agreement which assigned Moore 60% of comic publishing net proceeds for The Walking Dead and another title Brit, 20% of all motion picture net proceeds for Walking Dead and Brit and 50% of all motion picture net proceeds in connection with another title Battle Pope. Moore says in the suit he was reluctant to enter into the agreement.
Let’s hear it for freedom of speech. On Monday, the United States Supreme Court struck down a California law that restricts the sale or rental of violent video games to minors.
The law, which was adopted in 2005 and signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, was rejected by the court in a 7-2 vote. It was deemed unconstitutional and against freedom of speech rights.
The ruling means that video games, which have become more and more sophisticated and expensive to produce, also qualify for full First Amendment protection — just as other forms of artistic expression do.
“Our cases hold that minors are entitled to a significant degree of First Amendment protection,” Justice Antonin Scalia said writing for the majority. “Government has no free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which they may be exposed.”
We’ve already got a ratings system in place for video games, just like the movies. Now, if stores will just enforce it.
Oh AT&T, will the complaints against you never cease. What’s going on now? A new lawsuit has been filed in a federal court in California alleging that AT&T regularly and purposely overcharges iPhone and iPad customers on capped data plans by inflating the amount of data they download to their devices.
Patrick Hendricks, who filed the lawsuit, contends that AT&T adds “phantom traffic” to its invoices in order to overcharge users. Says Hendricks in his complaint:
“AT&T’s billing system for iPhone and iPad data transactions is like a rigged gas pump that charges for a full gallon when it pumps only nine-tenths of a gallon into your car’s tank.”
Apparently, Hendricks isn’t just speculating with his lawsuit. Instead, he and his lawyers hired a consulting firm to investigate and it apparently determined that AT&T regularly inflates data usage by between 7% and 14%. In addition, on some occasions, the carrier actually inflates data usage by as much as 300%. Huh, that seems a bit excessive, doesn’t it?
Of course, in a statement to Computerworld, AT&T said it would fight the lawsuit “vigorously.” Did you think they wouldn’t? Okay, informal poll time. Do you feel AT&T charges for data fairly or do you think they don’t and this lawsuit will expose them for the cheaters they are?
Sound off in the comments.