Blizzard Boycott Making Waves Online with Hashtag #BoycottBlizzard

Whichever social media platform it is you like you use you’re sure to find #BoycottBlizzard getting a lot of attention at the moment. Posts using the hashtag show players unsubscribing from Blizzard games and uninstalling them as well as sharing memes that are both anti-Blizzard and anti-China.

The boycott comes after Blizzard banned pro Hearthstone player Chung “blitzchung” Ng Wai and taking away all of his tournament money from this season after he showed support for the Hong Kong protests during an interview. They also fired the two casters who were interviewing him at the time.

A picture from Blizzard Headquarters shows part of the statue outside is covered, specifically the parts with the company’s core values that say “Think Globally” and “Every Voice Matters.” Later a group of Blizzard employees gathered at the statue carrying umbrellas, a symbol of the protests in Hong Kong.

One of the teams during the Collegiate Championship held up a sign supporting the Hong Kong protests and calling for a boycott of Blizzard. This little protest has been removed from Blizzard’s archives and so far there haven’t been any repercussions for their actions.

Now, Brian Kibler, a long-time pro caster has quit the Grandmasters in protest of Blizzard’s ban. In a statement made on BMKGaming, he said, “The heavy-handedness of it feels like someone insisted that Blizzard make an example of Blitzchung, not only to discourage others from similar acts in the future but also to appease those upset by the outburst itself. That kind of appeasement is simply not something I can in good conscience be associated with. When I learned about the ruling, I reached out to Blizzard and informed them that I no longer feel comfortable casting the Grandmasters finals at BlizzCon. I will not be a smiling face on camera that tacitly endorses this decision. Unless something changes, I will have no involvement in Grandmasters moving forward.”

In response to Blizzard’s actions, Twitter has been turning Overwatch character Mei into a symbol of the Hong Kong protesters with images like the one seen below.

So far Blizzard hasn’t made any official statements about the boycott but this is unlikely to be the end of the story.

 

Source: Twitter, Rock Paper Shotgun, BMKGaming via Polygon

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Pokemon Go Team Rocket is Upping Their Game

For the last few months in Pokemon Go Team Rocket has been waiting at Pokestops to start a fight with some of their Shadow Pokemon, but it appears that Team Rocket is about to start upping their game. A series of tweets from the Pokemon Go official account show profiles for three members of Team Rocket; Cliff, Arlo, and Sierra. Nothing else is really known about them at this point but there has been speculation that they’ll appear in the game as bosses.

It has also been theorized that Giovanni himself will make an appearance in the game. He appeared at Pokemon Go Fest in Japan earlier this year photobombing players. He has also now been spotted in a new loading screen that features Cliff, Arlo, and Sierra along with a bunch of Shadow Pokemon on the steps of a building that is at least inspired by the Viridian City Gym from the anime.

It would appear that they’re building up to something big on social media but when that will actually take place we will just have to wait and see. Until then there is still a lot to keep us occupied. Altered Forme Giratina is back in Raid Battles and will be appearing in the first few Wednesday evening raids in October. Another, currently unannounced Pokemon will be there for the last two. This month’s community day event is Trapinch, which is admittedly not all that exciting. But, Halloween is coming and we know from past experience that Pokemon Go will have an event for us to take part in. This in some way makes up for the fact that Flower Eevee is the reward for completing research again this month.

 

Source: Polygon

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Twitch Bought Bebo

Most of us remember Bebo as that other social media platform you were on besides Myspace and Facebook, back in the days before Twitter. It turns out they’re still kicking, much to everyone in this office’s surprise when we saw the news that Twitch bought Bebo.

What interest does Twitch have in a third rate social media platform? None at all actually. Bebo stopped being about social media after bankruptcy and has shifted its focus to being a High School esports company. After the bankruptcy, they rebranded to be a streaming service provider similar to Xsplit, but for esports and they currently, host a High School Fortnite league.

So it is really no wonder, now that you know all the details why Twitch took an interest in Bebo. The acquisition reported cost under $25 million and Discord was also bidding on the company. Based on Linkedin profiles of ex-Bebo employees it looks like all of this took place sometime this month. You can see the former CEO of Bebo now lists his job as Senior Director of Product, Esports at Twitch. With the acquisition Twitch picked up the 10 person staff that make up Bebo as well as the IP of Bebo, the social network company turned esports streaming company.

So, what is next for Bebo’s team and the Bebo platform? Only time will tell for sure, but right now it looks like they’re going to be working together on Twitch Rivals. As the company prepares to face competition from other streaming services in the near future.

 

Source: TechCrunch

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Gaming and MMO Facebook Groups You Should Join

Facebook can be a fantastic place to find fellow gamers who are interested in the same things you are, but finding the right groups can be a little bit daunting. That’s why we’ve put together a list of gaming and MMO Facebook groups we think you should join. We don’t recommend joining all of them though because these groups are huge and very active. Soon all you’ll see on Facebook is gaming. Wait…why is this a bad idea?

 

MMOs

Despite MMOs being massively popular all over the world there don’t seem to be many groups that specifically focus on MMOs. In fact, for the English language, there are only two!

MMO Games – Free Online MMO & MMORPG Games

MMO Games – Free Online MMO & MMORPG games is the Facebook group run by the MMOGames editorial team. Here you can find discussions on a variety of titles as well as recent news from the MMO industry. It has 18,000 members from around the world talking about anything and everything related to MMOs.

MMO Talk

MMO Talk takes a look at the world of online gaming by posing daily questions and discussing current topics in the online gaming industry. This intimate group of under 100 people only opened in January and already they’re taking to great heights. They have industry developers talking right alongside gamers making for an inclusive conversation for all.

 

Individual MMORPGs

The vast majority of MMO Facebook groups focus on just one game. You can find groups for just about every game out there, including ones that have been shut down. There are Facebook groups for specific servers, PvP, and even memes. Many of the more popular MMOs will also have groups broken down by region and in some cases individual countries too. But for each MMO there also tends to be one or two large groups that a lot of people belong to. Below are some of the largest groups for the largest games out there right now.

World of Warcraft – World of Warcraft

Who would have imagined, a World of Warcraft group called World of Warcraft! Shocking, I know. The group has nearly 100,000 members which can make for a lot of chaos. It also makes for great conversation though. In the last 30 days, more than 3,000 posts have been made. So if you’re a World of Warcraft fan this is clearly the right group for you to be in.

Final Fantasy XIV – Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

ffxiv survey results

Starting to see a bit of a theme here with these names, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood is the top Facebook group focused on FFXIV. The group has 33,000 members with 1,716 posts in the last 30 days. The group is also on Discord where you’ll be able to find all the Let’s Plays and Twitch streams that people want to let you know about. The group also has a 2 post a day limit to cut back on overcrowding and make it impossible to find any conversations.

Guild Wars 2 – Guild Wars 2 and Expansions

With 18.5k members, Guild Wars 2 and Expansions is the largest of all the Guild Wars 2 Facebook groups. It’s a lighthearted group who will discuss everything from their favorite NPC to the latest news from ArenaNet. They have a Discord channel as well as an in-game guild to help the community connect in more ways.

Elder Scrolls Online – Elder Scrolls Online PC Gamers

Elder Scrolls Online PC Gamers is the ESO focused group with just 5,300 members. But don’t let their small size fool you, they’re still making over a thousand posts in the span of 30 days. This group is incredibly active. Obviously, it is intended specifically for PC players, but there are groups for console players as well.

City of Heroes – City of Heroes Remembered

City of Heroes may be gone but that doesn’t mean that the Facebook groups dedicated to it are! City of Heroes Remembered is one of the more mature, drama free groups that looks back on the good times that were had. They also discuss current and future games that they enjoy, along with anything that might remind them of the city that was. The group has over 700 members from all around the world.

 

Interest Specific

There are also a lot of Facebook groups that are gamers with a specific special interest. That might be LGBTQ+ or it might be deaf gamers. Below are just a few of the great gaming niche Facebook groups you can find.

Girl Gamers – Girl Gamers United

Let’s face it, the gaming community can be an incredibly stressful group to be part of when you’re a woman. You never know when or where you might find harassment. When it comes to gaming, women can also have very different tastes than men, for more on that see this article on the games industry in 2017. Girl Gamers United is offering women of all ages a safe place to talk about all things gaming. The group is inclusive and welcoming to all who identify as female and it has nearly 2,000 members. The group averages about 100 posts a month.

LGBTQ+ – LGBTQ Gaymers

LGBTQ Gaymers is part of a massive network of LGBTQ Facebook groups who cover gaming, travel, pets, dating and more. The gaming group has 8,000 members already and the group is only 2 months old! In the last 30 days, there have been just a little over 3,000 posts. Which makes it an incredibly active group for its size. In it, you can find like-minded gamers gathering in a safe place to discuss all manner of gaming topics that interest them.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing – Deaf Gamers Network

Deaf gamers face a unique set of challenges like no others, so it’s no wonder that Deaf Gamers Network came to be. Along with the main group which we’re discussing here, you can find groups for specific devices along with groups specifically for Destiny and Grand Theft Auto V. Deaf Gamers Network has just a little over 3,000 people in it. In the last 30 days, they’ve made almost 350 new posts.

 

General Gaming

Finally, there are 3 general gaming groups that are worth mentioning. All of them are massive groups and cover a variety of topics.

Gamers Group

Gamers Group is the smallest of the three general gaming groups you should be aware of. It has only 86,500 members…only. In the last 30 days, the group has had more than 10,000 new people join! Also in the last 30 days, the group has had 10,000 posts, wow. The group is very strict about harassment as they want to make it a space that is open to all gamers. They also have a rule about console war posts. I imagine they’re as sick of the topic as we are.

All Things Gaming

All Things Gaming really says all you need to know right in the title. It’s a group to discuss…all things gaming. In it, you’ll find a lot of gaming memes and images along with discussions on the current hot titles. There are 102,000 members in the group, but there have only been 5,500 posts made in the last 30 days.

Gamers Around the World

Gamers Around the World is easily the biggest group on this list as they are approaching the 200,000 member mark. The group has only been around for about a year but they’re already massive. The group has only had 4,600 posts in the last 30 days, however. All posts in this group are strictly gaming related, unlike some other groups that welcome other posts from time to time.

 

And that’s our list of gaming and MMO Facebook groups we think you should join. Is there one you like that didn’t make this list? Let us know in the comments with a link and we’ll make sure it gets on the next edition of this article.

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Niantic Acquires Evertoon Team for Social Features in Games

It’s all hidden behind a rather thick fog of PR language, but it would appear that a new Niantic acquisition is going to potentially introduce some manner of unique new features to the company’s lineup of mobile games. Niantic CEO John Hanke announced the addition of the team behind Evertoon, the iOS animated mini-film creation suite.

niantic acquisition

A statement from Hanke announced the addition of the new members to “the Niantic family”, touting the team’s “wealth of talent and experience in mobile products, tools for creativity, and community building”. The statement continues to reference adding some form of social mechanics to Niantic’s existing apps, but once more doesn’t provide specifics on just what exactly that will involve.

A closing post from Evertoon’s team provided a bit more information on just what the acquisition means for Niantic’s titles. “We will be adding a social platform to Niantic’s amazing roster of games, including Pokémon GO, Ingress, and future titles,” reads their statement. “We’ll also be contributing engineering leadership experience.”

What this new social platform for Pokemon GO or Ingress will be isn’t immediately plain, but there is presumably a while to wait as the announcement was only made a few days ago.

Our Thoughts

It’s hard to mentally put together the features of Evertoon and the current shape of both Ingress and Pokemon GO, but perhaps we’re considering things the wrong way. Perhaps the team behind Evertoon will be developing a wholly new sort of social platform that doesn’t even look like their original app. In any case, the best part of any Pokemon game is the social aspect, so this acquisition by Niantic could be interesting indeed.

Sources: Niantic website, Evertoon website via IGN

Articles Related to Pokemon GO and Ingress

6 Games We Want to See Given the Pokemon GO Treatment
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5 Signs Pokemon GO Players are Villains

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MMO-Centric Social Platform MMOCircles Launches its Beta

There’s a new social platform coming together that’s engineered specifically for MMO players and gamers of all stripes. It’s called MMOCircles and today the new site has launched its beta version for those who might be interested in coming together outside of traditional social media.

mmocircles

Describing itself as “the Facebook for gamers”, MMOCircles boasts 500 active users already and a long list of games that it supports. The site will introduce the ability to join and form Clans, though the function does not appear to be available as of this writing.

The site does have a list of many MMOs and MMORPGs, from Star Stable to The Elder Scrolls Online, all of which directly lead to the game’s appropriate registration page, along with a personal wall where users can post their thoughts, photos, or personal articles and blogs.

More features are planned to be added, though what those features could be was not a part of the announcement. In the meantime, you can take a look at just what the site does have to offer by heading there yourself.

Our Thoughts

Where MMOCircles might fit into the world of social media is not terribly clear, and my own personal experience browsing the site for this story has shown a platform that still has a lot of time before it offers anything worthwhile to MMO fans. Still, MMOCircles could manage to become something interesting if it manages to integrate the right games and builds a userbase. Is this site something you’d consider utilizing?

Source: press release

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