Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, And 94 Other Tech Companies File Brief Opposing Immigration Ban

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Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, And 94 Other Tech Companies File Brief Opposing Immigration Ban

The Trump administration's temporary immigration ban has been loudly protested by a number of  voices within the games industry, but that's just a small segment of the overall tech world. Yesterday, 97 tech companies filed a brief with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in support of a lawsuit that claims that the executive order is unconstitutional.

The amicus brief was signed by companies including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Kickstarter, Netflix, Reddit, and more. The filing cites the contributions that immigrants have made in the United States, including Nikoli Tesla's work with alternating-current electricity and Charles Feltman's invention of the hot dog. It's in support of a federal suit filed by Washington state Attorney General, Bob Ferguson.

"The Order effects a sudden shift in the rules governing entry into the United States, and is inflicting substantial harm on U.S. companies," the brief says. "It hinders the ability of American companies to attract great talent; increases costs imposed on business; makes it more difficult for American firms to compete in the international marketplace; and gives global enterprises a new, significant incentive to build operations – and hire new employees – outside the United States."

Sega Releases Earnings Report

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Sega Releases Earnings Report

Sega has released its financial report for the nine-month period ending Dec. 31, 2016, and it was a profitable period for the Japanese company.

Sega sold 8.13 million games in that period, up from last year's 6.12 million, including a new Football Manager title and Yakuza 6. In its report, Sega said that consumers are expecting higher-quality mobile games, and as such the development time and cost is expected to increase.

Net revenue in Sega's Entertainment Contents Business, which includes game software as well as arcade games and films, is at 155.4 billion Yen (about $1.4 billion) – a jump of about 14 percent. The division's operating income is at $15.4 billion Yen (about $137 million), which Sega says is an increase of 449 percent over the same period last year.

PSA: Free Elder Scrolls Online Homestead Update Available Now

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PSA: Free Elder Scrolls Online Homestead Update Available Now

Elder Scrolls Online is getting a free update today that allows players to own their own homesteads. The first major DLC of 2017 for the massively multiplayer game will allow players to buy and own their own estates, apartments, and even islands in Tamriel. With more than 40 instances homes based on the game's 10 playable races, there are plenty of options for players looking to set down some roots in Tamriel.   Homes can be bought either using in game gold, or through microtransactions via Elder Scrolls Online's Crown Store. Players can also customize  their property with more than 2,000 decorative items including furniture, books, and more. 

The Homestead update is available now on PC and Mac, and will be coming to PS4 and Xbox One on February 21. 

For info on Elder Scrolls Online's next big expansion, Morrowind, you can click right here.

Square Enix Profits Up In 2016

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Square Enix Profits Up In 2016

Square Enix has released its earnings report for the nine-month period that ended Dec. 31, 2016. And thanks in part to releases including Final Fantasy XV and the PlayStation 4 version of Rise of the Tomb Raider, the company's profit and revenue are both up over last year.

The company pulled in a total of 190 billion Yen (about $1.7 billion), which is up from the 152 billion in revenue it earned in the same period the year before. That's an increase of a little more than 24 percent. From that total, Square Enix's profit was 17 billion Yen (about $151 million) – a 26-percent jump from the previous 13.5 billion.

In its report, Square Enix cited the Final Fantasy and Rise of the Tomb Raider releases, as well as "strong download sales of catalogue titles released previously" as having led sales on console. Its MMO revenue is steady, despite major content updates during the reported period. Additionally, mobile and browser-based games have been enjoying significant earnings increases.

Elite Dangerous Dev Signs Game Deal With Hollywood Studio

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Elite Dangerous Dev Signs Game Deal With Hollywood Studio

Elite Dangerous (shown) and Planet Coaster developer Frontier Developments has announced that the company's third video game franchise will be based on an "enduring movie franchise of global renown" from a Hollywood studio.

"We have chosen to license this particular IP to work with as our third franchise, because we believe we can create something very special. It is creatively stimulating, already has a high worldwide profile, and is a perfect match for our expertise."

[Source: London Stock Exchange via Gamasutra]

Starbreeze To Publish Psychonauts 2

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Starbreeze To Publish Psychonauts 2

Dead By Daylight publisher and Payday 2 developer Starbreeze has agreed to publish Double Fine's Psychonauts 2, promising to spend $8 million to put out and market the game on multiple platforms.

The game, which has already been crowdfunded via Fig, is planned to release in 2018.

According to terms of the deal, Double Fine retains ownership of the property.

Smooth McGroove Sings A Capella Rendition Of Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess

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Smooth McGroove Sings A Capella Rendition Of Legend Of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Smooth McGroove is a well-known YouTube singer who creates elaborate a capella renditions of popular video game tunes. Recently he posted a new video, tackling the Lake Hylia Theme Song from Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.

The original instrumental song is mellow in tune and slow-paced. Smooth McGroove manages to capture these same vibes in his vocal rendition. Check out the video below to listen for yourself.

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YouTuber Creates Lego Replica Of Lucio's Sonic Amplifier From Overwatch

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YouTuber Creates Lego Replica Of Lucio's Sonic Amplifier From Overwatch

ZaziNombies, a YouTuber known for his Lego creations based off popular video games, has devoted his latest replica to Overwatch. In his new video, he shows off a Lego recreation of Lucio's weapon from Overwatch.

In Overwatch, Lucio blasts enemies with the power of sound, thanks to his musical weapon known as the sonic amplifier. It's used to both heal your team or boost their movement speed as well. ZaziNombies' replica of the gun measures 17 and a half inches in length and weighs three pounds, as well as includes a mount inside the sound dish on the front to place a music player inside. It was built with around 850 Lego bricks.

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Fan-Made Witcher Short Film Features Official Geralt Cosplayer

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Fan-Made Witcher Short Film Features Official Geralt Cosplayer

Ben Schamma, a cosplayer better known under the name Maul Cosplay, is featured in this recent fan-made short film dedicated to The Witcher series. Schamma takes the role of Geralt, and this isn't his first time cosplaying as the fearsome monster hunter.

In the past, Schamma was hired by The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red to cosplay as Geralt, for large events such as Gamescom and E3 in 2016. Schamma has also starred in his own NSFW Geralt-themed calendar.

However, this film has no affiliation with CD Projekt Red. It is directed by Leo Kei Angelos and produced by Erika Rogers, who also plays as Triss in the movie. In this fan film, we see Geralt and Triss defeat an enemy with the help of Geralt's crossbow and combative skills, along with Triss' magical fireballs.

Reader Discussion – What's Your Worst Gaming "Duh" Moment?

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Reader Discussion – What's Your Worst Gaming

Getting stuck in games is common. Puzzles stump us, paths aren't clear, bosses make us lose control of our bodily functions – it happens. But sometimes, you can feel like the biggest dope in the world for not "getting" something that seems obvious after you've figured it out or looked it up. So we want to know: What's your worst gaming "duh" moment?

Mine was in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. I don't remember exactly the context, but there was a puzzle that involved placing some sort of stamp on a piece of paper. I couldn't figure out how to do it, I touched the screen furiously, pressed all the buttons I possibly could. I though the game had locked up, so I restarted and lo and behold, I got stuck again. I didn't really know to do, so I sat there stuck for what seemed like hours, trying to figure out what could possibly get me through this insanely difficult puzzle. Reaching the end of my rope, I looked it up. All I had to do was close the DS to stamp that stupid piece of paper. 

So what are your worst gaming "duh" moments? Got stuck on a "puzzle" that wasn't a puzzle? Didn't know you could jump to leap over an obstacle? Let us know in the comments.