written by Fyren
Epic Games Store accused of shady snooping
As the Epic Games Store continues to gain traction, the platform is also gaining in controversy. This latest piece if hysteria comes from some digging into the processes that the game launcher software runs on users’ systems. While the original story appears to have blown out of proportion with an alarmist claiming that the launcher poking around in Windows .DLL files is obviously spyware of some kind, it has been found that this is simply not the case. While the software does poke around in those files it is part of the platform’s anti-cheat protocol. By necessity anti-cheat programs often look pretty shady because they need intercept and analyze all sorts of data in order to catch those pesky hackers. Upon further analysis and also a statement from Epic, the launcher is not installing spyware on your system and they are not selling your data. There is still the fact that the launcher is collecting information from installed Steam clients as well though. That might not be illegal and it may even be a common practice among these platforms for all I know, but it’s still shady.
Razer launches its ‘Essential’ lineup
After teasing a new announcement for the last week, Razer finally unveiled… more of the same really. What they are calling the Essential line, is really just a refresh of existing products with a few tweaks and at a lower price. This includes the Basilisk mouse, Kraken headset, and the ever popular Blackwidow keyboard. These versions of existing Razer products are slightly less than their predecessors in every sense. Despite being a cut down version, the price drop for these is not substantial at all. In the case of the mouse the price difference is a mere $10 while losing out on a few thousand max DPI. It would be nice if Razer decided to try a truly budget series of peripherals.
Halo Master Chief Collection gaining Steam
This one surprised everyone. Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be coming to PC via Steam… at some point. The release of each game in the collection will be staggered, starting with the release of Halo: Reach, and it’s coming Soon™. Alongside Reach will also come: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 2: Anniversary, Halo 3, the Halo 3: ODST Campaign and Halo 4. No word yet on pricing or concrete release dates, only speculation and a metric ton of hype as the PC gaming audience everywhere lose their collective mind. This is an interesting move to release the collection on Steam as opposed to Microsoft’s own storefronts, however it does fit with their recent strategy. With Xbox apps coming to other consoles it appears that Microsoft is making an attempt to simply get their content out everywhere, regardless of the platform. The follow up on this strategy will be the most interesting part, but in the meantime it just means more games for us on the platforms we want to use.
Apex Legends hands out over 350k bans
Since the early days of gaming hacking has been an issue and it remains an issue today. Several hack utilities are being developed and sold for popular multiplayer games all over. Over the past few weeks Apex Legends has seen an influx of this. With utilities providing aimbot, loot highlighting, wallhacks and more the game felt definitively un-fun at times. In response, Respawn handed out 355,000 account bans this week to suspected cheaters. While this seems like a big move and an uncompromising stance against these cheaters, there have been several reports of false bans levied against those who have done nothing wrong. It is also worth remembering that Apex Legends is a free game. A ban will only slow down a person who is determined to ruin the game for others. A few clicks to make a new account and they are back in the game running their cheats the same as before. While it is nice to see a company take a hard stance against hacking, in free to play titles such as Apex it is a significantly more complex issue. Better than nothing though I suppose.