Thursday, November 10, 2011

Steam passwords and credit card information compromised

The hack occurred as a result of an attack on the Steam forums this past Sunday, resulting in unauthorized access of user names, passwords, game purchase history, email and billing addresses, and encrypted credit card information.

In a message sent out this afternoon, Vavle’s co-founder Gabe Newell addressed the status of the attack, and that he believes no encrypted information was successfully accessed.

“Dear Steam Users and Steam Forum Users,

Our Steam forums were defaced on the evening of Sunday, November 6. We began investigating and found that the intrusion goes beyond the Steam forums.

We learned that intruders obtained access to a Steam database in addition to the forums. This database contained information including user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. We do not have evidence that encrypted credit card numbers or personally identifying information were taken by the intruders, or that the protection on credit card numbers or passwords was cracked. We are still investigating.

We don't have evidence of credit card misuse at this time. Nonetheless you should watch your credit card activity and statements closely.

While we only know of a few forum accounts that have been compromised, all forum users will be required to change their passwords the next time they login. If you have used your Steam forum password on other accounts you should change those passwords as well.

We do not know of any compromised Steam accounts, so we are not planning to force a change of Steam account passwords (which are separate from forum passwords). However, it wouldn't be a bad idea to change that as well, especially if it is the same as your Steam forum account password.

We will reopen the forums as soon as we can.

I am truly sorry this happened, and I apologize for the inconvenience.


As with any compromised information, it’s best to be alert and responsive. Changing your Steam password, as well as your Steam forum password, and watching your credit card statements for any usual activity is strongly advised. You can change your Steam password in the Settings option in the Steam menu within the actual client.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Five things players should know about Call of Duty Elite for Modern Warfare 3

As players lined up last night to pick-up the eighth game in the Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, another Call of Duty product was launched in tandem. Call of Duty Elite, developed by Beachhead Studios and unveiled in full at Call of Duty XP earlier this year, is launching as a platform for Call of Duty players to find new friends and new ways to play. Here are just some of the ways players can use Call of Duty Elite to improve their game.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Rainbow Six Patriots, innovating controls beyond motion?

Game Informer revealed the cover of their December issue today with Rainbow Six Patriots. Along with the reveal, Ubisoft released a video of early conceptual gameplay for Rainbow Six Patriots. The video, which explicitly notes it contains no actual gameplay footage, shows a home invasion by a terrorist group who kidnaps the husband to be used as a suicide bomber on the Brooklyn Bridge.

The video is a new turn for the Rainbow Six series, which traditionally could be categorized as a squad-based tactical shooter. Instead, Patriots looks to introduce more cinematic elements as well as interactive interface. The video shows small button-prompts similar to Heavy Rain, but one in particular grabbed my attention.

In one sequence, the kidnapped husband is strapped with explosives and told to hold the detonator in his hand, or else he’ll explode. In a similar fashion, the game tells the player to hold down the R2 button to convey the same feeling of tension. That prompt got me thinking about some interesting button mechanics that could be done to create artificial difficulty. Imagine having to make your way through and clear a warehouse of terrorists while keeping a button pressed. It’d create a dynamic use of control that isn’t found in most games, and doesn’t include the use of motion control.

Ubisoft didn’t offer a release date for Rainbow Six Patriots beyond just 2013. It’s expected to be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why the Grand Theft Auto V trailer didn't excite me

Earlier today, RockStar Games released the first trailer for Grand Theft Auto V. Though no release came, the trailer did confirm suspicions of a west coast setting as guessed earlier this year from a casting call for project titled Rush.

The lead-up to the release of the trailer was curious, though. Most major gaming sites posted either a countdown timer or a livestream as a pre-event to the trailer coming online. The amount of promotion almost reached levels of Modern Warfare, which made me ask myself, am I missing something?

I played Grand Theft Auto III and Vice City. I started San Andreas but once it tasked me with maintaining my character through eating and exercise, I stopped. Maintenance is not a fun gameplay mechanic, and that’s what games are supposed to be, fun. I never got around to playing Grand Theft Auto IV, even with the many mods available for PC.

With Grand Theft Auto III being ported over to iOS for its 10th anniversary, we’ve come along with open-world games. And maybe that’s part of it. When GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas were released, open-world games were still a novel concept. In no other type of game sans RPGs could you explore a world as deep as you could in the GTA games. But 10 years later, that doesn’t hold the same weight. Looking at this holiday’s release schedule, we have Batman: Arkham City, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, and Saints Row: The Third. Last year we had Red Dead Redemption (by RockStar) and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood. There are enough open-world games that there’s no reason to hold our breath until the next GTA.

That being said, Grand Theft Auto V looks great and I’m sure it will be fun, but my excitement about it has not skyrocketed based on one minutes and 30 seconds of footage.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Blizzard DOTA according to a DOTA virgin

I’ve never played WarCraft III DOTA. I’ve never played Heroes of Newerth. I’ve never played League of Legends. I’ve had friends tell me how fun and exciting the genre is, but as someone who’s never been enticed by the RTS genre, I didn’t feel compelled to jump in. So when I sat down to play Blizzard DOTA at BlizzCon 2011, it was my first foray into the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre.

Keep in mind I’ve not played League of Legends or other similar games, so if I note something here present in other games, this is why