Blizzard isn't ditching the Battle.net name after all

about X hours ago from
Blizzard isn't ditching the Battle.net name after all

Some fans got sad when they heard that Blizzard plans to ditch the Battle.net name after two decades online. Others shrugged it off: it's new name doesn't matter anyway. It's always going to be called B.net. After hearing its fans' thoughts, the video game developer has decided to scrap its plans. The team said they changed their decision, because they understand that names matter, and that Battle.net "represents years of shared history and enjoyment, community and friendship..."

Gaming chat app Discord starts shutting down racist accounts

about X hours ago from
Gaming chat app Discord starts shutting down racist accounts

Google and GoDaddy aren't the only internet companies dumping racists in light of the violence in Charlottesville. The team behind the gaming chat app Discord has shut down both accounts "associated with the events in Charlottesville" and the altright.com chat server. As the company explains, it plans to take action against "all forms of hate," and that its mission is "positivity and inclusivity" -- it doesn't believe gamers will feel welcome if racists have a home in the app.

What we're playing: 'Tacoma,' 'Final Fantasy' and 'A Dark Room'

about X hours ago from
What we're playing: 'Tacoma,' 'Final Fantasy' and 'A Dark Room'

Welcome back to Gaming IRL, a monthly segment where several editors talk about what they've been playing in their downtime. This month, we've enjoyed (to varying degrees) two flavors of Final Fantasy, explored Fullbright's new game, Tacoma, and lost ourselves in a "button-tapping mash-up between an idle-clicker and a text adventure." To open proceedings, UK Bureau Chief Mat Smith talks about how, when it comes to Final Fantasy XII, third time's a charm.

'Sonic Mania' is a wonderful balance of nostalgia and novelty

about X hours ago from
'Sonic Mania' is a wonderful balance of nostalgia and novelty

If you've played Sonic the Hedgehog on your phone, Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 in the last half-dozen years, you have Christian Whitehead to thank. In 2009, he created an unofficial proof of concept iPhone port of Sonic CD using a custom-built game engine -- a project that eventually led to Sega hiring him to officially port Sonic CD, Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to modern platforms. This week, the fruits of that partnership reached a new high point in Sonic Mania, an all-new 16-bit Sonic the Hedgehog platformer that sees the mascot return to his glory days.

AI beats top 'Dota 2' players in one-on-one matches

about X hours ago from
AI beats top 'Dota 2' players in one-on-one matches

Artificial intelligence isn't just good at playing Go -- it can also emerge victorious in the eSports arena. The Elon Musk-backed OpenAI team has developed a machine learning system that has beaten "many" of the best pro Dota 2 players in one-on-one matches, including star player Dendi during a live demonstration at The International. The trick wasn't to teach the AI how to play the game -- instead, it was to have the bot play many games against itself, and encourage ideal behavior as it learned the ropes over time.