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Pokemon Go now banned in Iran due to ‘security concerns’

Niantic’s Pokemon Go continues to be popular and polarizing, as the BBC reports that Iran’s High Council of Virtual Spaces has issued a country-wide ban on the game due to ‘security concerns.’ …

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CS:GO Skin Gambler James ‘PhantomL0rd’ Varga Banned From Twitch

James "PhantomL0rd" Varga, a popular Twitch streamer and YouTuber has been booted from Twitch. Varga's streams involved a substantial amount of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO) skin gambling prior to Twitch's ban of that content last week.

Yesterday, Varga's channel was replaced with a simple message. "The community has closed this channel due to terms of service violations," it says. When we reached Twitch for comment, a representative told us it does not comment on TOS violations.

Because Twitch is remaining silent, speculation about the reason behind Varga's ban is swirling. A popular theory surfaced by esports reporter Richard Lewis is that Varga promoted without disclosure another skin gambling site, CSGOShuffle. Lewis came into possession of transcripts that allegedly paint a picture of Varga's ownership of the site, betting with house money, and rigging auctions.

We have been provided the entire transcripts, but we cannot verify their provenance. Requests for comments sent to both Varga and CSGOShuffle owner Duhau Joris have gone unanswered.

Last week, Twitch outright banned gambling streams. This comes after multiple popular influencers were found to have been engaged in rigging and deception.

In April, Twitch appears to have quietly instituted a rule that limited gambling streams to less than 30 minutes of every hour. When we inquired about this, Twitch declined to address our question and pointed us instead to its new terms of service. Valve has also taken a firm stand against skin gambling, and has indicated it is issuing cease and desist orders to sites. 

We continue to investigate this story and are working to verify Lewis' claims and the transcripts he provided. Until that time, we can only confirm that Varga has been at least temporarily banned from Twitch for unspecified offenses.

This isn't the first time Varga has manipulated Twitch's platform for his own gains. In 2013, he conspired with a group initiating distributed denial of service attacks against a number of online games. During that day, his stream was the most popular on Twitch, as the service took no action to intervene and cease his activities.

[Source: Twitch, Richard Lewis on YouTube]


Our Take
YouTube needs to take similar steps to Twitch. How Tom "ProSyndicate" Cassell, Trevor "TmarTn" Martin, and Lewis "PsiSyndicate" Stewart still have their accounts after multiple disclosure violations, outright deception, and fraud is a travesty. Despite repeated requests for comment, YouTube has declined to engage with the media on this issue.

Twitch isn't blameless here, either. The ban is a necessary step, but the company claims gambling streams were in violation before that. Despite claims that gambling has been considered "non-gaming content," the platform was slow to act on its policies. Varga and other partners were seemingly exempt from action, but the ban signals that these double standards may have come to an end, at least for this issue. – The Feed

EA going after bots in FIFA, ‘hundreds of thousands’ banned

Turns out that a big soccer game is a big draw for virtual currency sales between players — and a big security problem for EA. …

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Blog: Intern Saga: Banned on iOS

Apple has refused to post Intern Saga: Trademark Lawyer, a free iOS game that takes a critical look at King’s Candy Crush Saga legal action, without giving a good reason, writes its developer. …

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Report: Battlefield 4 banned in China

The Chinese government has banned Battlefield 4 in the country following the release of the China Rising expansion, the Wall Street Journal reports. The game was banned over “national security” reasons.

EA declined to comment when contacted by the …
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Saints Row IV first game to be banned under new Australian rating system

Saints Row IV is the first video game to fall foul of Australia’s new age rating system, as the game has been refused classification in the country, and will therefore not be permitted to release. …

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Banned Xbox One accounts will retain access to purchased games

Users banned on Xbox One will not lose access to the games they’ve purchased, Director of Programming Larry Hyrb (Major Nelson, colloquially) told Reddit Games during an E3 video interview.

This became a popular question following an Xbox Support Twitter answer from June 13 that read, “If your account is banned, you also forfeit the licenses to any games that have licenses tied to it as listed in the ToU.” The question specified Xbox One, but later, Xbox Support said this answer was in reference to Xbox 360.

Major Nelson had a clear answer for future banned users on Xbox One: “Absolutely not, you will always have access to the games you purchased.”

As for what will happen if, down the road, Xbox One’s authentication servers are shut down, Major Nelson couldn’t say. “I’ll get the real answer, I just don’t know it yet,” he said.

JoystiqBanned Xbox One accounts will retain access to purchased games originally appeared on Joystiq on Sun, 16 Jun 2013 18:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Black Ops 2, Warfighter banned in Pakistan for depicting country in ‘very poor light’

Pakistan bans Black Ops 2, Medal of Honor for negative depiction of country

The All Pakistan CD, DVD, Audio Cassette Traders and Manufacturers Association banned Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Medal of Honor: Warfighter in Pakistan, claiming that the games depicted Pakistan in a bad light. All stores were ordered to remove the games from their shelves, or face the consequences.

“The Association has always boycotted these types of films and games,” the Association wrote in a notice translated by Fox News. “These (games) have been developed against the country’s national unity and sanctity. The games (Medal of Honor: Warfighter and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2) have been developed against Pakistan, and the Association has completely banned their sale. Shopkeepers are warned and will be responsible for the consequences if found purchasing or selling these games.”

President of the Association, Saleem Memon, further explained the ban when speaking to a foreign media outlet: “The problem is that there are things that are against Pakistan and they have included criticism of our army. They show the country in a very poor light.”

The owner of Pakistan capital Islamabad’s largest retail game store said that he hadn’t heard about the ban and that both games were “hot sellers.” Black Ops 2 sold more than 5,000 copies since its launch and Warfighter sold 1,000 in Pakistan, the owner said. Pirated versions of both games were still available in Pakistan, some selling for less than $ 2, and these figures didn’t contribute to official sales numbers.

JoystiqBlack Ops 2, Warfighter banned in Pakistan for depicting country in ‘very poor light’ originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 23 Jan 2013 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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GDC reveals talks on The Walking Dead, Outernauts, banned Halfbrick prototype

GDC 2013 organizers have added major talks for the March show on The Walking Dead’s art, Insomniac’s experiment in free-to-play and Flash, and Halfbrick Studios’ banned, socially destructive prototype. …

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