The idea behind 2010's 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) is to make sure that federal accessibility laws created in the '80s and '90s were updated to include new digital and communications technologies. The part of the Act pertaining to video games and advanced communications services (think gaming chat and the user interfaces around gamer communications) has been given a year's waiver. As reported by Gamasutra, this is the third and final time games will be exempted from accessibility requirements. The new deadline is set for January 1st, 2019.
Valve will have to pay the piper over its former Steam refund policy. Australia's Full Court of the Federal Court has dismissed Valve's appeals of a ruling and accompanying fine (worth $2.2 million US) over its allegedly misleading Steam customer guarantees. As the company conducts business in Australia, the country's Competition and Consumer Commission said, it's beholden to national consumer protection laws -- and that means getting your money back if a game's quality isn't up to snuff.
It had just turned April when we declared that 2017 was a great year for video games. The post-holiday quarter is usually fairly quiet for new releases, but in 2017 it brought us legitimate contenders for game of the year in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn and Persona 5 -- and that's not to mention Resident Evil 7's return to form. Now the year is almost over, and we've had a stunning Mario game, another great Wolfenstein title and even an Assassin's Creed game that exceeded all expectations.
Universal Studios Japan is launching a limited-time Final Fantasy ride and just released a video and other info to show what it'll be like. Called the Final Fantasy XR ride, it uses the existing Space Fantasy the Ride roller coaster, with the addition of VR headsets playing Final Fantasy content. Riders will board airships and warp between various Final Fantasy worlds, meeting up with heroes and jeopardy along the way.
The team behind Half-Life's fan-made third instalment, Project Borealis, have been busy. In an update posted to Reddit, the developers revealed some of the progress they've made in their first few months of real pre-production, sharing screenshots of concept art, links to music samples and a few clues on the game's plot structure. But while it's no secret that the game is based on Marc Laidlaw's Epistle 3 tale, the team is adamant it's not going to leak any spoilers on the story "beyond what was originally laid out by Marc".
Intermedia Labs is making good on its promise to deliver HQ for Android by the holidays, if only just. The company has revealed that it's planning to make its previously iOS-only live trivia show available to "all" Android users by January 1st. The app arrived in limited beta on Christmas, and Intermedia is "working quickly" to expand availability over the following week. In short, just wait until the new year if you can't jump in right away.
An epic game deserves an epic soundtrack, and Music of the Spheres, an eight-part musical work by Bungie composer Marty O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori and Paul McCartney (yes, of Beatles fame), was exactly that, designed to complement Bungie's ambitious Destiny. But, thanks to quarrels with publisher Activision and various other legal battles, it was never released. Now, nearly five years later, it's been leaked and can be enjoyed by fans of Destiny and sweeping soundscapes alike. Until Activision bursts in with copyright law, that is.