New Zealand Government Weighs in on Loot Boxes

If you haven’t been hiding under a rock for the last month then you’ll surely know how much trouble EA seems to have gotten into with the problems that loot boxes have given the company. EA’s most prominent title of 2017, Battlefront 2, was so riddled with microtransaction problems that there was an internet-wide revolt against the title, plummetting EA’s stock prices as a result. Many have weighed in to argue that loot boxes are just an extension of gambling and as such should be regulated or eliminated. It looks like New Zealand’s government may not agree.

New Zealand’s prominent regulation group, the Gambling Compliance Department, weighed in on loot boxes and came to a surprising decision. The group made a comment to Gamasutra earlier this week saying, “The Department is of the view that loot boxes do not meet the legal definition of gambling.” Department head Trish Millward admitted that loot boxes do appear to be a form of gambling, because you are paying money for the ‘chance of improvement’, but that the legal definition is vaguer Millward went on to say that her department would continue to monitor loot boxes in case things change in the future.

Right now the problem of loot boxes in gaming reaches far and wide and players seem to be close to giving up on them altogether. Unfortunately, a smaller percentage of gamers is more than willing to pay for the chance to be better than their opposition. This means that money is continuing to flow in and thus gaming companies have no reason to go away from the lucrative concept.

EA. reacted to internet-boycotts by saying that they would re-evaluate how the company approaches items held in loot boxes. Previously, gamers could obtain items that severely increased their ability to win in matches. Now, EA is considering using more aesthetic items that improve your cosmetics rather than your actual ability while playing the game. The question is, will EA follow through?

Grand Theft Auto Online Unveils Epic Update

Gamers who are more socially inclined should be looking to Grand Theft Auto Online, even years after the title first hit the shelves. The developers at Rockstar recently announced that they would be putting out what is known as the Doomsday Update. Gamers who love how crazy the Grand Theft Auto world can get will surely dig this new update. Let’s dive into what exactly this DLC offers along with what gamers can expect to do once they get the patch installed.

To start with, the new Doomsday DLC is going to be a pretty hefty update. There are three different Heist acts that tell the entire story known as the ‘Doomsday Heist’. You’ll run through different vehicles, tactical set-ups and freemode missions which allegedly culminates in one of the most epic and insane finales of any GTA story mode. Along the way, gamers will also be able to try and accomplish ‘elite challenges’ which are considered ‘hardcore’ and tough to satisfy.

Of course, as soon as we mentioned different vehicles the majority of readers instantly probably locked on to that aspect. The newest vehicle that people will want to get their hands on is called the ‘Avenger’. Described as a ‘flying fortress’ that showcases ‘experimental weapons’, the Avenger sounds like just our type GTA:O weapon. Of course, this isn’t the only new addition to the game. Players will be able to unlock new clothes, new weapons, more vehicles and even special customization for their characters. Did we mention that there will even be new radio stations to listen to as you play?

Grand Theft Auto Online has by far been one of Rockstar’s most electric triumphs. The new Doomsday update figures to satisfy longtime fans of the franchise as well as those new gamers who are planning on getting into the property. With Grand Theft Auto Online under control of Rockstar, it looks like the game will stick to pumping out these high-quality updates.

The Open Society Foundations Confirm Massive Donation by George Soros

George Soros has just donated 18 billion dollars to the Open Society Foundations. According to the New York Times, however, the foundation does not plan on giving out more grants than they usually do. They usually give out around 900 million dollars a year to grants and other programs. This is a lot more than they are required to do. In addition, the funds at the foundations will still be managed by the same people. George Soros is very involved in the work of the Open Society Foundations. He talks to the president all the time and is constantly involved in their decisions.

According to the Washington Post, George Soros started donating money to charity in 1979, when he donated money in order to give scholarships to students in South Africa who were suffering from apartheid there. George Soros is the 20th wealthiest person in the United States according to Forbes Magazine. He was born in Hungary under communism. He fled to London in order to study economics.

Since 1984, the Open Society Foundations have given away 14 billion dollars to charity. They plan on continuing to give away to the same causes that they have always given away to. They give away to causes that promote open societies and freedom and democracy. The process of donating these 18 billion dollars happened for years and was part of his estate planning. For years, George Soros has been planning to donate the 18 billion dollars to the Open Society Foundations.

George Soros started Soros Fund Management in 1969 and quickly became extremely successful and wealthy. He started the Open Society Foundations in order to help promote democracy. The Open Society Foundations have offices all over the world and have a budget of 940 million dollars each year.

A large portion of the money goes to democracy and human rights. In fact, 28% of the money goes to those causes. How the money is spent is decided by 23 smaller foundations. George Soros grew up in Hungary during both the Nazi occupation and the communist occupation. Therefore, he knows what it feels like to live in a society that is not open and free. That is why he has made it his life’s work to promote an open and free society.

The Open Society Foundations have confirmed this transfer of wealth. In a statement to CNN Money, they said that this transfer of wealth has been going on and has been planned for many years. The Open Society Foundations operate in more than 100 countries around the world. They help support people who have been marginalized, such as immigrants, refugees, the LGBT community, and minorities. George Soros is 87 years old. He plans on leaving most of his wealth to charity and to the Open Society Foundations. They have spent 14 billion dollars since they started, and they are now worth 18 billion dollars. This makes them worth more than the Ford Foundation and more

Talkspace: This Will Change Things

For those that have been looking for major changes in the way that mental health is treated and looked at, they don’t need to look any further than Talkspace, an app that makes therapy easier than ever. One of the biggest hurdles for people to overcome when it relates to therapy is the price of therapy. For a lot of people, even those with insurance, it is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. It is very, very expensive. In addition to that, they can wind up waiting a very, very long time before they actually get in the door to see someone. There is nothing about the process that is easy and there is nothing about it that makes sense. After all, if someone is going through a difficult period in their life, they should have access to the proper mental health care.

It is why Talkspace has made sure they can have an app that is affordable for everyone. They don’t want anyone to feel left out or like money is the reason they can’t get the treatment and therapy they desire and need in their lives. Money should be the last thing on their minds, quite frankly. They should just be focused on getting better, feeling better, and being on the right path in their life.

Talkspace has a group of over 1,000 professionals that are ready, willing, and able to help out someone in need. They take it upon themselves to be there through text message, phone call, or a video chat. With text messages, they can even text them daily to get a word of encouragement or make sure they are staying on the right path in their life. It is a truly wonderful invention that is making therapy something that more and more people can obtain.

Nick Vertucci Puts Multiple Properties in Place for Real Estate

Nick Vertucci is the man that people want to see if they’re interested in building a better portfolio of real estate investments. He knows what is relevant when it comes to real estate, and he is keeping people aware of what they need to do to build better real estate investments with his real estate academy.

It goes without saying that Nick Vertucci is one of the leaders when it comes to real estate. He has been able to successfully venture into real estate after he had a successful career in law enforcement. Nick Vertucci has definitely been able to change the way that people look at investing when it comes to building a better portfolio for flipping homes. No one may assume that they have the skills to do this on their own, but it is through the hands-on tactics that Nick presents to investors that they become aware of their abilities. People get the chance to see that it is all about the sweat equity when it comes to making a profit. People that are really trying to build multiple real estate investments must realize that it takes money to invest in the homes that no one else may not be looking at. If you have money that you can get from a bank for these homes then it becomes easier to fix the homes up yourself.

Nick is able to show people what it takes to fix these homes. He is able to actually put people in a place where they can bring money into an environment where the money can essentially work for them.

Flipping the first home maybe a difficult process, but once investors get through the first home they will start to see profits in their other investments as they continue with their sweat equity.

This is what Nick Vertucci is teaching the investors that are trying to build solid investment plans. He wants people to know that they can build a better investment future if they take the time to actually look at multiple properties simultaneously. He is passionate about investing this way.

Find out more about Nick Vertucci: http://norcal.news/news/23809-nick-vertucci-watches-southern-california-housing-market-continues-soar

Nick Vertucci Explains The Real Estate Game

Nick Vertucci given people tootl for success in real estate. He knows a lot about the real estate game, and he is helping those that are serious about trying to make better real estate decisions. Nick Vertucci has shown that he knows what it takes to make successful Investments. He knows how to buy homes and flip houses for a profit. When people look at HGTV shows they may assume that this is an easy thing to do, but Nick has shown that it takes a lot of tenacity and sweat equity to actually make this a reality.

He has a great system for people to consider, but it takes a little time to become familiar with selling homes if this has never been something that investors have done before.

The great thing about Nick Vertucci and the real estate academy that he started is that he knows how to start from beginning to end. There is no shortage of information when it comes to investing. Nick knows how to fill in all the blanks and answer the hard questions that new real estate investors may have. Everyone wants to know how they can acquire the proper funds to buy homes that they can fix up.

Nick is prepared to answer these questions with his corporate team. People also want to know when they should focus on buying and when they should focus on selling. Nick can also clear up the common misconceptions that happen when it comes to buying and selling these homes as well. Nick can do all of this because he essentially knows what doesn’t work because he has tried these things.]

There is no foolproof method to investing, but there definitely are times where some investing methods are better than others. Nick certainly has the ability to help people pinpoint the methods that are going to bring about a better strategy for long-term investing in real estate properties. Lots of people have a desire to turn this into full-time income. Nick Vertucci has the ability to help those people that are interested in doing this regularly.

Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp” Second Largest Mobile Game at Launch.

There is something so uniquely and intimately satisfying about creating a character in the hit Nintendo series ‘Animal Crossing’ before spending hours shaking trees, fishing and talking to animal-people. Nintendo’s quirky series has been one of the staples in their massive library of IP and now it is going mobile. ‘Animal Cross: Pocket Camp’ hit mobile application stores last week and it ascended quickly to 15 million downloads, making it the second largest mobile game launch in Nintendo’s history — right behind Super Mario Run.

Nintendo has made a habit of giving fans a new ‘Animal Crossing’ title with each generation of their console release, dating all the way back to the Nintendo 64. Fans were notably worried that nothing had been announced in 2017, up until about two months ago when news of ‘Pocket Camp’ first hit the internet. Fans were initially put off by the idea of a mobilization of such a deep and unique game, but those fears have turned out to be unfounded as critical and commercial success has followed the title.

In ‘Pocket Camp’, gamers create a character like they traditionally do in other ‘Animal Crossing’ titles. Afterwards, each player is given a special RV Camper that they can decorate and expand, much like their home. The big twist here is that your character does not live in a village. Instead, you have your own ‘campsite’ that can be completely and uniquely decorated. You can invite other animals to come hang out at your campsite while you perform tasks for them in order to build your friendship. Of course, there is plenty of exploration too. An overworld map allows your character to travel to a handful of different areas, including beaches, parks, and forests, in order to catch bugs, go fishing, and meet new animals and players.

Nintendo has taken a relatively hands-off approach in terms of monetization for ‘Pocket Camp’ which is likely why the title has been so popular, so far. You don’t need to pay a cent to enjoy the game unless you would like to speed up certain tasks or buy specialty aesthetic items to decorate your camp.

Nintendo Switch Reveals New Platformer, “Yooka-Laylee”

If there is one thing that Nintendo has mastered, with almost no competition from other major brands, it is the platformer. With Mario setting the tone and every iconic character after to follow, Nintendo has cornered the style of gameplay almost entirely. Now it looks like the Nintendo Switch is picking up its next great piece of IP in the retro platformer genre, “Yooka-Laylee”. Ignoring the obvious play on words, there looks to be a lot of depth in this title and fans of the style should be eager to get their hands on it when it drops on December 14th, 2017.

Yooka-Laylee was originally supposed to release on the PS4, XB1, and Wii U this past April but a slew of technical issues changed the ramping up of the release. Instead, the developers at Playtonic Games decided to hold back and refine their product with a new release window during the Holiday Season for the Nintendo Switch. Over the past several months the team at Playtonic have been focused on technically optimizing the quirky, colorful platformer in order to make it a homerun for Nintendo Switch owners around the world.

For fans of the Yooka-Laylee that have already played the title on the PS4 or XB1, there will be new content and additional gameplay elements that come with the Nintendo Switch. What we do know is that Playtonic Games focused on incorporating the impressive Joy-Con controls as much as possible during their optimization process. You can now play all eight mini-games with just one of the Joy-Con controllers. You can also enjoy a brand new camera system, refined controls, and even a dialogue skip button for the truly impatient gamers.

The Nintendo Switch has turned into one of the biggest console surprises of the past decade. The Switch has completely flipped the Wii U’s relative failure on its head, becoming one of Nintendo’s hottest selling systems of all time. With titles like Yooka-Layle in the fold, gamers are only going to keep coming back for more.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 Under Fire in France

It has not been a great launch period for Star Wars Battlefront 2. Electronic Arts’ (EA) much awaited continuation to the Battlefront franchise was almost immediately panned by fans and critics as “pay to win”, where players could pay money for items that improved their performance in-game. To that end EA pulled the system, but such actions did not appease the Belgian Gaming Commission from launching an investigation into the practice. EA attempted to shift the blame to the Star Wars license, but their pleas seem to have fallen of deaf ears.

Which is when the bad news for EA keeps getting worse, as France may begin to take a closer look at the loot-crate practice. French senator Jérôme Durain reached out to several consumer advocacy groups recently, expressing concern that the boxes may be harmful to children. A translation reads: “Quite aside from the acceptance of the practice, some observers point to a convergence of the video game world and practices specific to gambling.” He highlights several avenues of resolution, including perhaps adopting Chinese models which include transparency win chances. Fortunately for EA, he also says that he is not at a point where he believes legislation is strictly necessary.

Charles Coppolani of ARJEL, the regulatory oversight board in France which monitors all gambling within the country, replied the practice poses, “risks for our fellow citizens and in particular for the youngest. These risks are very close to those that characterise gambling addiction money; it is necessary to be very vigilant.” He further stressed consumer protection may indeed become a necessity before long.

Elsewhere, Hawaii state representative Chris Lee voiced similar concerns last week. It would seem EA’s loot box policy was only a straw that finally broke this particular camel’s back.

Marvel Heroes Shuts Down, Fans Devastated

We are currently living in a pop-culture world that is completely dominated by the teams at Disney and Marvel. With fans clamoring for the trailer to the anticipated ‘Infinity Wars’ Marvel film, it seems like everything is in the palm of Marvel’s hands. Unfortunately, this didn’t quite extend to the gaming world. Marvel Heroes was released in 2013 as a sort of Diablo-like take on the dungeon-crawling genre. Fans played with their favorite heroes from throughout the MCU. The title recently expanded to the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 after being first launched on the PC. Despite the recent expansion, it turns out that Marvel Heroes is being shut down and fans everywhere are absolutely devastated.

Marvel Heroes was one of Disney’s first big F2P games that focused more on a freemium experience rather than a massive investment up front. As a result, the game instantly became a fan-favorite for followers of the Marvel Universe. The game was developed by Gazillion Entertainment and it was through them that the closure was announced. Gazillion Entertainment took to Twitter to say, “It is with great sadness that we announce the close of Gazillion Entertainment.” The tweet went on to say, “As a result, we are no longer able to operate Marvel Heroes Omega until December 31 as originally planned.” This tweet, of course, meant that Marvel Heroes was to be shut down essentially immediately.

Earlier this month it was revealed that Marvel Heroes was likely heading for the dumps but that the company would hold on until the end of the year to allow gamers to enjoy some time with the product before shutting it down. Instead, the sunset period began immediately. Microtransactions were immediately pulled from the title, and nearly every employee on the company’s roster was let go from their job. The studio finally revealed that there was no way that they could continue supporting the title and as a result, it was gone. At least we still have ‘Infinity War’, right?