If you discovered a bug that just showed you game keys for games you don’t own, what would you do? Would you give in to darker impulses and hoard it for yourself? Or go further and sell the information to the highest bidder? Or tell the company in charge that they have a massive vulnerability? In Artem Moskowsky’s case, he chose the last option, and was pretty handsomely rewarded for it.

When testing a web application on Steam’s developer site, Moskowsky discovered that a bug surfaced over 30,000 Portal 2 keys, a game with which he had zero involvement. It makes sense for a developer to be able to generate their own keys on Steam, but despite not being Valve, Moskowsky was able to see a number of keys for Valve’s last big single-player game.

Upon closer inspection, he discovered that the codes being shown to him weren’t new, but were already pre-generated codes. Somebody may have used any given code or they might not have, but it was definitely information he was not supposed to have and the bug was seemingly reproducible. 

Moskowsky reported the bug to Valve and explained exactly how he did it. 

“Using the /partnercdkeys/assignkeys/ endpoint on partner.steamgames.com with specific parameters, an authenticated user could download previously-generated CD keys for a game which they would not normally have access,” he wrote using Valve’s official vulnerability report tools.

A few days later, Valve got in contact with Moskowsky and awarded him a $20,000 prize for finding the vulnerability. Valve utilizes cash bounties through a HackerOne initiative to encourage people who find cracks in the seal to report it to them instead of disseminating the information in less scrupulous parts of the internet. Moskowsky knew this quite well – he had received $25,000 through the same initiative just a month before.

[Source: The Register via Eurogamer]

Battle Princess Madelyn, a retro indie platformer that was Kickstarted in March 2017, has been eagerly anticipated by classic platforming fans that feel unheard by Capcom ignoring the Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts series for so many years. The title doesn’t hide its inspirations, though it does one-up Arthur by giving the titular main character a stronger motivation: her dog died and she’s going to get some revenge. There’s also some stuff about saving her family and her kingdom, but her dog seems to be more important.

You can check out the release date trailer below.

The title is developed by Casual Bit Games, who is best known for Insanity’s Blade. Creative designer Christopher Obritsch’s daughter, named Madelyn, enjoyed watching him play Capcom’s classic platformer, but wished it was her in the game fighting the “Green Head” enemy, the Shielder. This inspired Obristch to actually feature his daughter in a game in pink armor she wanted to wear.

Battle Princess Madelyn is releasing on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on December 6. Rather remarkably, Vita and Wii U ports will follow sometime in 2019.

Fans of ocean exploration games, which number higher than you would think but fewer than you might hope, definitely took note of Abzû when it released two years ago. Developer Giant Squid games created a fairly stunning and altogether calming ocean full of flora and fauna for players to peruse at their leisure. Now the game is coming to Switch, so you can take the experience with you on the go.

The news comes from a tweet from Giant Squid, which not only announces the game, but gives fairly firm date of November 29 for release. That’s roughly two weeks away, meaning you won’t have to wait too long to go on that diving trip.

You can find our original review from 2016 for Abzû right here, when it originally launched on the PlayStation 4. Now if only we could also get Endless Ocean on modern systems, too.

There was a time where Tetris was such a cultural foundation that people often tried to keep Game Boys in their briefcases and purses just to play the Russian puzzle game. It is arguable that portable gaming as a whole was launched off the back of Tetris and would not have moved nearly as far or as fast without it. Thus, it makes sense that no matter how many Tetris games have been released, some people have a firm nostalgia for the dot-matrix handheld version above all else. It makes sense, then, that Tetris Effect brings you back in time thirty years to those classic days.

As part of the game’s weekly live events, or weekly rituals as Tetris Effect calls it, a goal is set for the community to collectively try to accomplish. Doing so this past weekend resulted in a skin being unlocked called 1989, which channels the aesthetic and music of Tetris on the Game Boy in a modern way. You can check out footage of it being played below from YouTube user tetrimaruzou.

The skin was available to play during the weekend ritual for anyone, but you have to be level 50 to access it now. That shouldn’t be too difficult, but it will take a little bit of time if you’re not that used to Tetris.

You can read more about Tetris Effect through our review right here, which also contains the game’s quite frankly mesmerizing launch trailer. Tetris Effect is currently available on PlayStation 4 and is compatible with PlayStation VR.

Path of Exile, the free-to-play action RPG that has been steadily building a huge fanbase of players through its expansions and live content, is getting yet another expansion. Titled Betrayal, the expansion focuses on an investigation into a mysterious organization called the Immortal Syndicate and tasks players with dismantling the syndicate’s four divisions.

“There are eighteen Syndicate members, each with their own personalities, friendships and rivalries that change as you manipulate the organization,” Grinding Gear Games says about the new expansion. “You will need to bargain, execute, interrogate and even induce them to betray each other in order to further the investigation.”

You can check out the trailer for Betrayal below.

Betrayal will release in December 7, with an exact counter to release displayed on the game’s website. Also releasing in December is the PlayStation 4 port of the game, which joins the PC and Xbox One versions already released. The expansion will launch simultaneously on all three platforms, so you can start playing on any of them when it launches.

Ashe Is Now Playable In Overwatch

It feels like only yesterday that Ashe, the silver-haired gunslingin’ hero from the southwest, was announced for Overwatch. It was in fact several yesterdays, as Ashe has now been moved from the playable test realm servers to now being available for everyone, so you don’t need to wait long to start using her. 

Ashe was announced at Blizzcon earlier this month as part of McCree’s animated short, hinting at a past between the two old westerners. You can check out her overview trailer below, showing off her various moves and her ultimate, summoning a robot cohort named Bob.

Alongside Ashe also comes the newest Overwatch patch, where a few changes roll out for other heroes. Mercy, Symmetra, Reaper, and Roadhog all earn themselves buffs in this update, which should be good news for beleaguered Mercy fans who have been watching her get systematically nerfed after an overcompensation rework last year.

You can take this new patch, and the new character within it, for a spin right now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Arizona couple Jacob Matthias and Cristian Matthias have been ordered to pay over $12 million to Nintendo for running the pirated ROM sites, LoveROMS.com and LoveRetro.co. The couple admitted to copyright and trademark infringement, and allegedly settled on the lofty judgement rather than risk losing more in a suit Nintendo brought forth in July.

Many have speculated that the high figure is meant to deter other sites from offering pirated ROMs, and indeed many other sites have shutdown following Nintendo’s legal action.  

Loveroms once offered pirated ROMs of games like Pokémon Yellow, Donkey Kong Country, and Mario Kart 64. The site has since shutdown and now only offers a simple message titled, “Apology to Nintendo.”

The ruling is a major coup for Nintendo who will take ownership of the sites, and receive all Nintendo games and hardware still in the couple’s possession. The ruling also included a permanent injunction ensuring that the couple will not infringe on Nintendo’s copyrighted material ever again. 

[Source: TorrentFreak

 

Our Take
This lawsuit and subsequent ruling shows Nintendo means business when it comes to its copyrighted material. We wouldn’t be surprised to see other pirated ROM sites shutting down as a result. 

Bandai Namco is not shy about adding DLC characters to its fighting games, whether it’s adding 2B or Negan to their banner fighting games, or going in heavy on the Saiyans in Dragon Ball FighterZ. That stays true in My Hero One’s Justice, where Bandai Namco has already introduced the fire-based superhero Endeavor as pre-order DLC and has now announced Gale Force as the next character for the roster.

Inasa Yoarashi will be coming to all versions of the game on November 14, bringing his wind-based powers to the 3D fighting game. Gale Force is a first-year student at Shiketsu High School and stands out as the top of his class, though mysteriously withdrew his application from U.A. despite being a shoo-in for admission.

Gale Force comes along with a mission pack, much like Endeavor did when he became available. Bandai Namco has not announced pricing for the character, but previous characters have released at $2.99.

The Fallout 76 B.E.T.A. (Break It Early Test Application) allowed players to carry their progress into the game which was set to release tomorrow (but had a stealth launch). Unfortunately, not every achievement makes that transfer. Luckily, Bethesda VP Pete Hines took to twitter to explain how to gain achievements and trophies after launch.

https://twitter.com/DCDeacon/status/1062378074568826881

The essential problem that beta achievements don’t official register. In order to collect those trophies, you have to replay certain sections with a new character. All progress, like experience and weapons, will carry over to the launched game. 

Fallout 76 is out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A large day-one patch addresses the problems players ran into during the beta. We spent three hours exploring the B.E.T.A. for Bethesda’s online multiplayer. Here is what the world looks like in action. 

Each year, Geoff Keighley puts on The Game Awards, a celebration of the best games of the year and a look forward at the exciting things to come. This year’s show is on Thursday, December 6 at 8:30 PM ET / 5:30 PM PT.

Today Keighley announced nominees across 30 categories, and below are many of those nominees:

Game of the Year

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Celeste
  • God of War
  • Spider-Man
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

Best Ongoing Game – Awarded to a game for outstanding development of ongoing content that evolves the player experience over time.

  • Destiny 2: Forsaken
  • Fortnite
  • No Man’s Sky
  • Overwatch
  • Rainbow Six Siege

Best Game Direction – Awarded to a game studio for outstanding creative vision and innovation in game direction and design.

  • Hazelight Studio / EA – A Way Out
  • Quantic Dream / SIEDetroit: Become Human
  • Sony Santa Monica / SIE – God of War
  • Insomniac Games / SIE – Spider-Man
  • Rockstar Games – Red Dead Redemption 2

Best Narrative – For outstanding storytelling and narrative development in a game.

  • Detroit: Become Human
  • God of War
  • Life is Strange 2: Episode 1
  • Spider-Man
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

Best Art Direction – For outstanding creative and/or technical achievement in artistic design and animation.

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • God of War
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Return of the Obra Dinn

Best Score/Music

  • Celeste
  • God of War
  • Spider-Man
  • Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

Best Audio Design

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • God of War
  • Spider-Man
  • Red Dead Redemption 2

Best Performance

  • Bryan Dechart as Connor, Detroit: Become Human
  • Christopher Judge as Kratos, God of War
  • Melissanthi Mahut as Kassandra, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • Roger Clark as Arthur Morgan, Red Dead Redemption II
  • Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Parker, Spider-Man

Games for Impact – For a thought provoking game with a profound pro-social meaning or message.

  • 11-11 Memories Retold
  • Celeste
  • Florence
  • Life is Strange 2: Episode 1
  • The Missing: JJ Macfield and the Island of Memories

Best Independent Game

  • Celeste
  • Dead Cells
  • Into the Breach
  • Return of the Obra Dinn
  • The Messenger
  • Best Mobile Game

For the best game playable on a dedicated mobile device

  • Donut County
  • Florence
  • Fortnite
  • PUBG Mobile
  • Reigns: Game of Thrones

Best VR/AR Game

  • Astro Bot Rescue Mission
  • Beat Saber
  • Firewall Zero Hour
  • Moss
  • Tetris Effect

Best Action Game

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Dead Cells
  • Destiny 2: Forsaken
  • Far Cry 5
  • Mega Man 11

Best Action/Adventure Game

  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
  • God of War
  • Spider-Man
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Best Role Playing Game

  • Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Best Fighting Game

  • BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • Soul Calibur VI
  • Street Fighter V Arcade

Best Family Game

  • Mario Tennis Aces
  • Nintendo Labo
  • Overcooked 2
  • Starlink: Battle for Atlas
  • Super Mario Party

Best Strategy Game

  • The Banner Saga 3
  • Battletech
  • Frostpunk
  • Into the Breach
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4

Best Sports/Racing Game

  • FIFA 19
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Mario Tennis Aces
  • NBA 2K19
  • Pro Evolution Soccer 2019

Best Multiplayer Game

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  • Destiny 2: Forsaken
  • Fortnite
  • Monster Hunter: World
  • Sea of Thieves

Best Student Game – Awarded the best student project created at the high school or college level.

  • Combat 2018
  • Dash Quasar
  • JERA
  • LIFF
  • RE: Charge

Best Debut Indie Game

  • Donut County
  • Florence
  • Moss
  • The Messenger
  • Yoku’s Island Express

Best Esports Game

  • CSGO
  • DOTA2
  • Fortnite
  • League of Legends
  • Overwatch

Best Esports Player

  • Dominique “SonicFox” McLean
  • Echo Fox
  • Hajime “Tokido” Taniguchi
  • Jian “Uzi” Zi-Hao
  • Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
  • Sung-hyeon “JJoNak” Bang

Best Esports Team

  • Astralis – CS:GO
  • Cloud9 – LOL
  • Fnatic – LOL
  • London Spitfire – OWL
  • OG – DOTA2

Best Esports Coach

  • Bok “Reapered” Han-gyu – Cloud9
  • Cristian “ppasarel” Bănăseanu – OG
  • Danny “zonic” Sørensen – Astralis
  • Dylan Falco – Fnatic
  • Jakob “YamatoCannon” Mebdi – Team Vitality
  • Janko “YNk” Paunovic – MiBR

Best Esports Event

  • ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018
  • EVO 2018
  • League of Legends World Championship
  • Overwatch League Grand Finals
  • The International 2018

Best Esports Host

  • Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez
  • Alex “Machine” Richardson
  • Anders Blume
  • Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere
  • Paul “RedEye” Chaloner

Best Esports Moment

  • C9 Comeback Win In Triple OT vs FAZE
  • G2 Beating RNG
  • KT vs IG Base Race
  • OG’s Massive Upset of LGD
  • SonicFox Side Switch Against Go1 in DBZ

Content Creator of the Year

  • Dr. Lupo
  • Myth
  • Ninja
  • Pokimane
  • Willyrex

You can vote on your picks in each category on The Game Awards website.

That’s a big list, and there are some good things in there, but one thing is for sure: no one is going to agree about the winners.