Saturday, July 25, 2020

Facts Everyone Should Know About Ghost

These are hardly for the kids – they are for the adults in the family who like their fun a bit rough. While these may still be a niche market, the adult 150cc go kart is without a doubt climbing out of obscurity and establishing itself as a real adult sport.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Epic Games Store giveaways to require 2FA for two-and-a-half fortnights

The company behind "Fortnite" is tightening up security on its weekly giveaways with periodic two-factor authentication until May 21.

Epic Games Store customers are being prompted to strengthen their account security over the next three weeks via a temporary and mandatory requirement for two-factor authentication.

Since launching in December 2018, Epic built its PC gaming store on the millions of dollars derived from breakout hit "Fortnite," industry-tilting revenue cuts for those stocking its catalog, timed exclusives and regular giveaways.

It has given away over 100 different games to date, with a total value in excess of $1,500 USD, and adding 2FA helps Epic clamp down on any stealing and selling of EGS accounts whose libraries are stuffed full of legacy giveaways.

Two factor authentication (2FA) requires Epic Games Store users to confirm their actions using a one-time security code.

That code will be sent through a mobile device authenticator app, via SMS text message, or using a verified email address.

In this way, knowing an account password becomes the first but not the final step in the security process.

For those seeking a trusted authenticator app, Epic recommends those from Google, LastPass, Microsoft and Authy.

AndOTP and Aegis (Android) and Raivo and Tofu (iOS) are among well-regarded open-source alternatives.

The store's 2FA feature is usually opt-in, save for those instances in which a user signs in on a new device, signs back in after 30 days away, or clears their browser cookies (when using the website rather than the dedicated desktop client).

With the current EGS freebie, adorable board game adventure "For the King," running until April 30 at 3pm UTC, the next announced batch will be live from April 30 to May 7, containing story-driven action crafter "Crashlands" and super-influential survival horror "Amnesia: The Dark Descent."

‘Fortnite’ Has Just Cancelled Its 2020 World Cup Due To COVID-19

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 28: Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf celebrates after winning the Fortnite World ... [+] Cup solo final at Arthur Ashe Stadium on July 28, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Fortnite has just cancelled what should have been its biggest esports event of the year, the 2020 World Cup.

Announced on Twitter yesterday, Epic said that while Fortnite competitions will continue throughout the year, they will all be online. The exception to that is the Fortnite World Cup itself, the largest event, as Epic does not believe the “limitations of cross-region online competition” will allow that to move forward as an online event.

This is not a huge surprise, given that qualifiers for the World Cup should have already started, as they began in April last year. The 2019 Fortnite World Cup finals were at the end of July, but given the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unlikely that most if any large-scale stadium-based events, be they sports games, concerts or esports finals will be a good idea just three months from now. Hence the cancellation.

The 2019 Fortnite World Cup was held in the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York City which seats 23,000, and over 2 million concurrent viewers watched the finals live. Kyle ‘Bugha’ Giersdorf took home first place and the largest share of the $30 million prize pool. All in all, it was a record-setting event in many ways.

NEW YORK - JULY 27: Crowd of esports fans witness the Fortnite World Cup at Arthur Ashe Stadium on ... [+] July 27, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Eric Ananmalay/ESPAT Media/Getty Images)

Getty Images

Epic does not want to let the Fortnite competitive scene die even if the World Cup is cancelled. Alongside this announcement they talked about Cash Cups, online-only third party events and the Fortnite Championship Series which will all continue on this year.

Fortnite will not be the last game to cancel its big, in-person events, but it does probably hurt the game more than others. Epic has the money to throw around for huge prize pools and well-produced enormous stadium events like last year’s World Cup, but now that advantage is negated, which could allow other games like Valorant to expand their reach as everything moves online-only.

Epic has said that they hope that a physical Fortnite World Cup will return in 2021, but like everything else, we don’t really know what’s going to happen or not happen with the pandemic as the world begins to slowly re-open. In the US, some states are starting the first stages of lifting lockdowns, but even if we get to a point where restaurants and gyms reopen eventually, large, crowded events like sports matches and concerts will likely not return en masse for the rest of this year, at least.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Want free games? You need to turn on the Epic Games Store's two-factor authentication

If you want to get your grubby gamer paws on all those free games coming to the Epic Games Store through the rest of the year, you'll need to step up your security. This week, Epic announced that gamers will need to enable two-factor authentication on their accounts in order to claim the giveaways.

"Beginning today and ending on May 21, we will periodically require two-factor authentication prior to claiming free games on the Epic Games Store," Epic announced, with an in-store notification making users aware of the change. If you try to claim a free game without 2FA enabled, you'll be prompted to activate the feature first.

"We are making this change in an effort to encourage our players to take steps to strengthen their Epic account security," the company said. Two-factor authentication pushes a unique code to another device after you've signed in with your password for additional security. You can turn on 2FA in the Password & Security section of your Epic Games Store profile, and opt to receive the extra security code via text message, email, or a dedicated authenticator app.

epic games authenticator appEpic

Pairing two-factor authentication with a strong, unique password greatly enhances the protection for your online accounts. You should do it for every critical service you're signed up for, especially accounts that tie into payment methods or other sensitive data. We've got guides to the best password managers and the best two-factor authentication apps if you need help getting situated.

Several services reward users for activating 2FA these days, but Epic was at the forefront of the trend. It's been offering Fortnite players the in-game Boogiedown Winner's emote for activating two-factor authentication since summer 2018.  

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'Fortnite' Teaser Leaks Suggest Season 3 Water Theme - Flood Finally Coming?

Fortnite update 12.50 released early Wednesday morning, and dataminers have pored over the latest files to reveal some pretty interesting discoveries. If leaked teasers are any indication, it appears the Season 3 Battle Pass will have an aquatic theme. The news arrives via the Twitter account of prominent Fortnite leaker FortTory.

As referenced in the source tweet, update 12.50 contains a brand-new selection of images called "S13_Poster_Teasers!." The graphics include Agent Meowscles wearing pool floaties, a house in the water kept afloat by a circular raft and a third teaser of a swimming Peely about to be nabbed by a giant shark. The theme of these images is quite clear, consistent and polished, which makes us believe these teasers are an accurate reflection of what's to come.

Above all, these teasers suggest some big changes are coming to the Season 2 map. While rumors about potential Fortnite floods have pervaded social media for about a year, it looks like Season 3 offers the best chance for that to actually happen. The images imply the reworked map will feature large threats in open water and floating locations to maintain traditional on-land Battle Royale.

These assumptions seem all the more legitimate when paired with leaks surfaced by the Skin-Tracker Twitter account last Tuesday. At that time, the source uncovered detailed underwater swimming animations that characters might be able to use in the future. Assuming Season 3 does have an aquatic theme, it'd make sense to let combatants swim below the waves. What they might find there, though, remains a mystery. Will the ocean floor be a new haven for Chests, or might there be full locations below the waves? We won't have answers to these questions for a few weeks, but that won't stop us from fantasizing about the possibilities.

These Fortnite Season 3 leaks arrive at a timely moment in Fortnite history, just a handful of days after the upcoming Battle Pass was delayed to June 4. With that knowledge in mind, it's possible Epic allowed these teasers to be leaked to make the extended wait more bearable. Now that it seems like we know what Fortnite Season 3 will look like, the next subject to ponder is the preceding live event. It's still unclear why or how the Fortnite map gets flooded, but, if past events are any indication, it will be quite an elaborate affair when it all unfolds.

Fortnite is available now on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC and mobile. Fortnite Season 3 is expected to begin June 4.

What are your thoughts on these Fortnite Season 3 leaks? Will the next Battle Pass have a watery theme? Tell us in the comments section!

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Fortnite Studio Could Be Valued Above $15 Billion After New Investment

The developer of Fortnite is looking to raise even more money that would push the company to a total valuation of beyond $15 billion. This is according to sources speaking to Bloomberg, who noted that Epic Games has spoken with a variety of venture capital firms about raising the money.

The site reported that Epic has retained a financial adviser to process the fundraising, which is said to be in the area of between $500 million and $1 billion. With this new cash injection, Epic Games would exceed its current reported valuation of around $15 billion.

In 2012, Epic sold a 40 percent stake in the company to the Chinese internet behemoth Tencent. Walt Disney, Endeavor Group Holdings, and Lightspeed Venture Partners are all minority investors in Epic.

Disney used Epic's Unreal Engine to film sequences in The Mandalorian, and it's expected the companies will continue to work together in the future.

More recently, Epic acquired the Houseparty app, which has exploded in popularity as people stay home and look for new ways to stay connected with friends during the lockdowns.

Despite the gargantuan success of the Unreal Engine, Fortnite, and Houseparty, Epic Games remains an independent company. It was founded by Tim Sweeney, and is headquartered in Cary, North Carolina.

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    Monday, April 27, 2020

    After protesting Google, Epic Games reverses course and will put Fortnite on Play Store

    a man holding a sign: Epic Games is putting Fortnite on the Google Play Store, the official channel for adding apps to Android phones and devices. © Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS Epic Games is putting Fortnite on the Google Play Store, the official channel for adding apps to Android phones and devices.

    Epic Games has backed down from its protest of the tech giant Google.

    After 18 months of protesting Google's terms — and its 30% store fee — the video game maker is putting Fortnite on the Google Play Store, the official channel for adding apps to Android phones and devices.

    In December, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney called Google's policy of taking a 30% cut of in-app purchases illegal. Sweeney, at that time, was asking the company to approve a new version of Fortnite on the Google Play app store that would allow Epic to keep all revenue from in-app purchases.

    While Fortnite is free to download, the company makes money from players who pay to customize their characters' weapons, appearance and signature dance moves.

    To get around the fee, Epic had made Fortnite available to Android-supported phones through a direct download from Epic's website onto their devices. That's not a feature available on Apple phones, so Epic has never stopped offering its game on Apple's App Store.

    In a statement, Epic said that Google has made that option too difficult to continue.

    "Google puts software downloadable outside of Google Play at a disadvantage," Epic spokesman Nick Chester said in an emailed statement, "through technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software, restrictive manufacturer and carrier agreements and dealings, Google public relations characterizing third party software sources as malware, and new efforts such as Google Play Protect to outright block software obtained outside the Google Play store."

    The company, however, says it will continue to operate its own Epic Games App — its version of an app store — and Fortnite outside of Google Play as well.

    "We hope that Google will revise its policies and business dealings in the near future, so that all developers are free to reach and engage in commerce with customers on Android and in the Play Store through open services, including payment services, that can compete on a level playing field," the company added.

    Epic declined to answer follow-up questions.

    Sweeney has long criticized Google and Apple for the fees they collect from app developers.

    "We believe this form of tying of a mandatory payment service with a 30% fee is illegal in the case of a distribution platform with over 50% market share," he said in December.

    In a tweet last year, Sweeney predicted that the fee structure could eventually become an issue for regulators.

    "The big decision is whether it will be done now by great software engineers, or a bit later by courts and regulators throughout a prolonged period of industry malaise," he said on Twitter.

    Epic also has its own game-download platform where game developers can sell their games to consumers. It only collects 12% of sales from those games, and it allows them to use their own in-game payment system if they wish.


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