1) YouTube update causes controversy
November 7th was the biggest update Google have done to YouTube to date. The new updates affected the messaging and comment system, which are now done via Google Plus, the social network Google launched a few years ago. G+ never really gained much of a following, something Google has tried to remedy for years now. They started by giving YouTube users the ability to connect to a G+ account, hoping this would inspire people to join, but most people dismissed the offer. They went in a bit harder last year and used a once a day popup, asking if you wanted to connect. Still, most people dismissed it.
The latest update forces users to connect their YouTube account to a G+ account if they want to be able to post comments or send and receive messages. This has caused a lot of controversy in the community and, with no YouTube comment section to vent their anger, this is the single update that has caused the most outburst in other medias. Twitter and Facebook are full of posts about this and there is even a petition going around for making Google revert this change. Many users have chosen to close their YouTube accounts in protest.
Google has yet to respond to this outburst of anger from the users, but there are reports of users having their accounts locked when they post links to the aforementioned petition and some blogs report an increased amount of comments, presumably by people protesting this update, have been marked as spam by Google’s automatic spam filter.
Last Christmas, Amazon was branded as a Grinch when they launched an app that gave discounts to customers who reported indie bookshop’s prices and bought the books on Kindle instead. This year they are trying a new tactic. Amazon is offering the book shops a portion of each ebook sold if they sell Kindle devices in their stores.
The commission system has been met by chilly winds from indie book stores in the UK. Some resellers have said they just don’t want to buy in to a device that is locked to one publisher. Others are still angry about what happened last year. One thing is certain– indie bookstores in the UK will not be selling any Amazon-related products this Christmas.
3) Humble Bundle will no longer offer Steam keys
Charity and indie developer promoters Humble Bundle have changed their formula in order to combat the increase in illegal sales of steam keys. Before this update in their policy, you would get one steam key for each of the games in the bundle you bought if you paid at least a certain amount. From now on, you will instead be asked to give your account name and they will send the games straight to your account. This is to prevent people from buying bundles, waiting until the sale is over and then reselling the keys cheaper than the game costs. This also prevents people from buying a bundle together and splitting the game content between them.
Though many people are upset about this, it has been pointed out time and again that it was against the Terms of Service to do this in the first place. You were able, but not allowed, to do whatever you wanted with your keys. The games will still remain DRM free and everything will follow the same formula as before. This is simply a new, more efficient way to deliver the games to the buyer.
4) IndieCade East returns in February
After the success of the first IndieCade, the indie version of E3 has announced they will return shortly. In a press announcement, the creators of the Linden Lab-sponsored convention said that they will be back in New York City as soon as February, 2014. Several additions have been promised. In addition to the several prizes given to indie game developers, there will also be open forums, panels and viewer-submitted talks. They are promising an even more interactive experience this time around.
As always, you will be able to preview and play demos of upcoming games, both from Desura and non-Desura indie developers from around the globe.
5) Gary Numan to join Nine Inch Nails on stage
Pop legend Gary Numan has announced he will join Nine Inch Nails on their world tour next year. This is not the first time the two have collaborated. In 2009, Nine Inch Nails joined Numan on stage to perform his now classic hit Cars, but this time Numan will take the support role. Numan, known for his stone-face approach to emotions, has not taken a step back like this since he performed with Fear Factory in 2002.
Front man Trent Reznor could hardly hold his emotions back when he was approached by Numan, saying to Rolling Stones Magazine that Numan was one of his childhood heroes and that Numan’s music was what inspired him to pick up music, and that the music was his way out of the neighborhood.