minecraft

Microsoft Exclude’s Minecraft Creator from 10th Anniversary Event

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Microsoft is hosting a ten year celebration event on May 17 for seminal game Minecraft. A spokesperson from Microsoft told Variety that Markus “Notch” Persson, the original creator of Minecraft and founder of game studio Mojang, has been purposefully excluded from the event due to his past comments. “His comments and opinions do not reflect those of Microsoft or Mojang and are not representative of Minecraft,” the spokesperson told Variety.

Persson famously sold Mojang and Minecraft to Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion. He has not been actively involved in the game’s development since.

In the past several years, Persson, who currently has 3.7 million twitter followers, has broadcasted several controversial and frankly abhorrent opinions and views regarding politics, race, gender, and sexuality, and even full-blown conspiracy theories.

The most recent Minecraft update quietly removed any mention of Notch in the loading screens, though his name is still present in the credits as the original creator. Many fans of Minecraft, upset with Notch’s behavior, have elevated digitally-created vocal artist Hatsune Miku as the creator of Minecraft, thanks to a viral tweet.

Minecraft was originally released in 2011. To this day it’s one of the most popular games of all time, especially for younger kids and teens. It’s the second best-selling video game of all time, behind Tetris. As of last year Minecraft boasted over 90 million active players.

Minecraft is available on every console and platform, and is even used as a teaching tool in schools.

Parenting Hero App Adds New Scenarios

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Parenting Hero is a mobile game app designed to help parents deal with common child-raising challenges through illustrated scenarios. The app originally launched last year on iOS and Android. This week the app received an update that added two new scenarios, bringing the total to 17.

The scenarios in Parenting Hero help teach parents how to communicate with their children by identifying their feelings and resolving conflicts by role-playing through certain situations. The scenarios are guided by over 1500 illustrations. The writing is based on the guide book How to Talk so Little Kids Will Listen: A Survival Guide to Life with Children Ages 2-7 by Joanna Faber and Julie King.

Specifically the app helps parents encourage children, set limits, and use praise while avoiding the pitfalls of bribery or punishment.

Parenting Hero was developed by award-winning Polish studio MythicOwl. The app is available now on iOs and Android for $2.99.

 

wizards unite

Pokémon GO Trainers Can Reserve Their Name for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

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Pokémon GO players can now reserve their user names for upcoming AR mobile game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

To reserve your name, you’ll need to head to the website and select the option to use your Pokémon Go Trainer Nickname. If you play Ingress (or would rather use that name), you can select to use your Ingress Agent Name instead.

Since Ingress and Pokémon GO do not share user names, it’s possible your name could be used by another person from the other game. Name reservations will happen on a first come, first served basis. You have until midnight on April 30 to reserve your name.

All three games are developed by Niantic, Inc. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is developed in conjunction with WB Games and Portkey Games. Like Niantic’s other mobile games, it will use augmented reality to display magical environments and creatures in the real world, via your smartphone.

Niantic provided the first details of Wizards Unite last month. Players take on the role of a new recruit of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force. The goal is to investigate magical aberrations that threaten to expose the wizarding world. You’ll be able to cast spells, collect Foundables, unlock Portkeys, and battle enemies in Wizarding Challenges.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will launch later this year.

pokémon go fest

Pokémon GO Fest Returns for a Third Year this June

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Niantic, Inc. and The Pokémon Company have announced the return of the annual Pokémon GO Fest as part of the Pokémon GO Summer Tour 2019. The tour will consist of three international events in Chicago, Germany, and Asia.

Pokémon Go Fest: Chicago will take place June 13-16 in Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois. The event has been expanded to four days. Tickets cost $25 per person (on sale later this month), and attendees are limited to one ticket purchase for one day. Park times are open from 11 am – 7 pm.

“Last year’s Pokémon GO Summer Tour brought hundreds of thousands of Trainers together at real-world events around the world which left us with some truly unforgettable moments and stories,” said John Hanke, founder and CEO, Niantic, Inc. “This summer, we’re looking to continue to build upon that success and create even more ways for Trainers to enjoy and interact with these incredible parks and cities and build lasting friendships throughout their journeys of encountering Pokémon in the ‘real-world.’”

During the event Grant Park will feature interactive physical activities in the 300+ acres of walking space.

As with previous events, those not attending Pokémon Go Fest can still participate in the special global challenges. Details for these challenges will be revealed in the weeks leading up to the events.

The first annual Pokémon GO Fest was a well-documented disaster. But since then Niantic have successfully hosted numerous physical events, including last year’s Pokémon GO Fest. Spreading out attendees into four days should help alleviate crowding issues.

wizards unite

Protect the Muggle World from the Calamity in Harry Potter: Wizards Unite

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The first details have emerged for upcoming mobile AR game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Developed by Niantic, Inc (Pokémon GO) and published by WB Games, Wizards Unite has players taking on the role of wizards searching the real world, casting spells, and defeating enemies.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is an Augmented Reality mobile game designed by the developers of super popular AR game Pokémon GO. The ongoing story involves an event called The Calamity. The Calamity causes magical creatures, artifacts, and people to cross over into the Muggle (non-wizarding) world.

Players become new recruits under the Statute of Secrecy Task Force to investigate The Calamity.

As an AR game, Wizards Unite will use a real world GPS map to overlay magical incursions, called Traces. Traces will lead to Foundables, which are more likely to appear in prominent social locations such as parks, libraries, monuments, galleries, and college campuses. You’ll need to cast spells to send them back to the wizarding world and earn rewards through the in-game registry.

Casting spells will consume Spell Energy. Spell Energy can be replenished at Inns, which are found at even more real world locations (PokéStops, basically). Ingredients can also be found and used to brew potions to augment spells and replenish energy. Special Portmanteaus can be unlocked to reveal Portkeys. Portkeys can transport you to full 360-degree AR locations from the Harry Potter series, such as Ollivander’s Wand Shop.

Real-time battles will be available at Fortresses. These locations feature Wizarding Challenges against familiar foes like Death Eaters. Wizards can team up to take on higher level challenges and earn greater rewards. Everyone can specialize in a different magical area, called Professions, making teamwork all the more critical.

A release date has not yet been announced for Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. You can pre-register now via email and the Google Play store on Android.