Sunday, April 11, 2010

'Breach' thief gets court date and Warhammer Billing Bug

Justin D. May, the suspect who allegedly stole over $6 million worth of code to Atomic Games' "Breach" at PAX East, is now scheduled to appear before a judge at the Boston Municipal Courton on May 19. According to the Suffolk County Distric
t Attorney Press Secretary Jake Wark, May was originally to appear before a court on March 30.

May is accused of stealing code from Atomic Games' upcoming first-person-shooter game, Breach, valued at over $6 million. He is charged wit
h with larceny over $250 and "trade secret, buy/sell/receive stolen." If found guilty, the sentence for such crimes is a maximum of five years for each of the the two theft charges and fines. When asked if May would face any additional charges for skipping bail, press secretary Wark said, "No, no additional charges at this point. He actually contacted the court upon learning of the default warrant and made arrangements to postpone the court date. Given that he and his whereabouts are known to authorities, that he has no criminal record, and that he affirmatively contacted the court, his request was granted. At the end of the day here, we aren't exactly dealing with John Dillinger, you know?"

Atomic Games', who developed the game 'Six Days in Fallujah' that was later dropped by Konami last year, said, "Atomic Games is happy to see justice being served. We hope the court understands the severity of the crime. This is a theft that impacts not just our company, but all developers who want to share our games with the public at large shows, such as PAX."

Warhammer Online can't get a break

After numerous server condenses and subscription drops, Warhammer Online seemed to finally get a reprieve from its journey down the bumpy road. However, on April 9, subscribers of the Mythic MMO found that they had been charged the game's $14.99 monthly fee many times over. The overcharge varied from player to player, but according to a forum thread on Warhammer Online's official site, the billings averaged between $200 to $500. One user in particular was charged the six-month subscription plan 13 times, totalling $1013.12.

EA has already begun steps to fix the error and are working with each affected player's bank to refund the fees within a few days. "We have confirmed with our vendor that players who have been charged multiple times for their subscriptions should start seeing a reversal of charges within 24-36 hours. We anticipate that once the charges have been reversed, any fees that have been incurred should be refunded as well."

While the accidental charges may take a few steps to be undone, the overdraft charges are a different beast entirely. Some banks will lift the fees themselves based on the fact that the initial charges were the fault of EA and the not owner of the bank account, others may require documentation and verification to levy the charges, and some may not remove the charges at all. This is something EA and Mythic may not recover from for a long time, if at all.

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