JungleDrums: Ep 60 – Loot Boxes are Illegal

    Your JungleDrums host, AcuteJungle66, is joined by our very own MrCreteture to delve into this week’s latest tech and gaming news. Microsoft blocks Halo Online mod, Detroit: Become Human demo is available, Belgium declares Loot Boxes illegal, and more!

    • Whilst the player-made Halo Online mod has only recently hit the headlines, the full story begins back in 2014. At the time, Sabre Interactive, Microsoft, and 343 studios were working together to develop Halo Online exclusively for the Russian market; but when the project fell by the wayside in 2016, the ElDewrito project brought the game to life and has been played by thousands ever since. It is worth noting that whilst DMCA takedown notices were initially issued by Microsoft, the unofficial continuation of Halo Online soon fell off the radar of Microsoft; until the release of its 0.6 update last week. Microsoft has now initiated actions against ElDewrito in an effort to protect its intellectual property.


    • According to a new-albeit limited-study, 25% of children aged six and under own a smartphone. This is an interesting statistic, but it is worth noting that the data was gathered via musicMagpie, which is effectively an online pawn broker for electronic devices; so it is likely not the best source for raw objective data. Regardless of how valid the study is, it does bring up a good question: How young is too young to own a smartphone? There are certainly pros-as well as cons-to giving a child a mobile device, but when the study also reports that 80% of parents do not limit the amount of time their kids can use their smartphones; the true problem becomes apparent, responsible parenting is on the decline.


    • The last time we discussed Detroit: Become Human was back in Episode 18. Since the initial reveal, this game has unfortunately been receiving a fair bit of negative press due to the subject matter in some of the revealed sequences. Kallie Plagge wrote a well-crafted article over at Gamespot, which surmises that the game is extremely contextual; which given the variations of how the story can progress, should come as no surprise. A demo is now available for PS4, which will at least give players a small taste of what is to come. Although the demo is relatively short, it showcases the consequences of your actions; as there are six possible endings to the demo, depending on the actions and choices you make during your playthrough.


    • Graphics cards are still being sold at ridiculously over-inflated prices, this is nothing new and something we have discussed several times in the past. But an interesting report from DigiTimes states that Taiwan-based graphics cards makers (MSI/Gigabyte/etc.) are expecting to see their shipments plunge by over 40%. The reasoning behind this forecast is due to a combination of factors including the slowdown in the cryptocurrency market, which will force these companies to slash prices in order to move their stock. Regardless of the reasons, hopefully it will mean that gamers worldwide will finally be able to get that new graphics card they wanted; without having to pay an arm and a leg for it.


    • Loot Boxes are a topic that have been discussed heavily in the past, both on #JungleDrums as well as in this fantastic feature here. Well, the latest development is pretty severe: Belgium has declared loot boxes illegal, and wants them removed from games. If the developers of games that contain loot boxes do not remove them, they could face a prison sentence of up to 5 years and a fine of 800,000 Euros according to GameRant. How devs will respond remains to be seen, and I am unsure of how feasible it is to remove features on a ‘per-country’ basis, but the landscape has certainly changed.


    • Mobile games can be fairly addictive, and are most certainly well-known for developing trends or fads that become immensely popular. The latest mobile app that is generating some buzz is Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, which is now available on iOS and Android. Whilst I am on the fence about whether or not I will give it a try, our Editor-in-Chief is certainly already hooked.


    About JungleDrums:

    JungleDrums is a weekly news show run by Scholarly Gamers’ Content Coordinator, AcuteJungle66. Topics discussed in the show focus heavily on gaming, highlights, streams, and tech, but will typically hover around hot-button topics of the week. Joining AcuteJungle66 are a rotating selection of guests, ranging from friends and those interested in the topic at hand, fellow Scholarly Gamers, or members of raiding parties from gaming staples of his such as Destiny 2, The Division, Rainbow Six Siege, or Monster Hunter: World

    AcuteJungle66 has been dabbling with tech ever since he tried improving the tape deck of his Commodore 64 back in the '80s. Tech and Gaming have both been interests of his for several decades, he holds Masters of Science in Advanced Internetwork Engineering and a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in Cyber Security and Networks from Glasgow Caledonian University. As a proud Military Veteran who spent much of his life on 3 different continents, he is quite content being back home in Scotland; where he enjoys a much 'quieter' life these days as a College Lecturer.


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