It’s official: Fortnite was the overwhelmingly dominate online game of 2018.
It’s full name is ‘Fortnite Battle Royale’ and it is a free-to-play battle royale video game developed and published by Epic Games. The name ‘battle royale’ actually comes from a 2000 Japanese dystopian thriller film directed by Kinji Fukasaku and written by Kenta Fukasaku. Basically, ‘battle royale’ means that a group of people will be isolated in a bordered area, usually an island, where they have to scrounge around for survival items such as food, water, shelter, and weapons. The concept is that the last man standing is the winner!
As of January 2019, the game has seen over 200 million players, and has been estimated to have earned $2.4 billion from in-game micro-transactions. Just as an example, in August 2018, Epic Games says that nearly 80 million people played Fortnite. Most players, about 60% are under the age of 24 and over 70% are male. Actually, those are the age groups that are registered members, during the game, it is more likely to be over 90% male.
Just two months after Rush Street Interactive (RSI) launched it’s PlaySugarHouse.com site in New Jersey back in November of 2016, thirteen underage individuals were allowed to sign up and place bets. They somehow bypassed or otherwise were not detected by the sites age detection system.
Oddly, RSI did not notice this problem for almost two years. That’s when the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), ordered RSI to pay $30,000 as a civil penalty on RSI for “permitting individuals under the age of twenty-one to wager online.” This all came about because Rush Street Gamings Date of Birth software allowed for a three-year variation for some reason. The $30,000 penalty might sound stiff, be no one knows how many other underage players placed bets or how much money they lost.
As soon as RSI noticed this flaw, they issued a statement claiming that responsible gaming is one of their top priorities and that they take this incident ‘very seriously’. They also said that they self-reported the ‘misconfiguration’ of the software to the DGE, then took corrective action immediately.
We interviewed several computer system administrators and they all said that they found it totally inept that age detection software meant to disallow those under age 21 was configured to allow for a three year variation.
Facebook is being accused of duping young kids into buying more and more in-game ‘extras’ by letting them think that they are only spending virtual dollars, but the charges are going straight onto the parents credit card. When the child or the parent realizes what has happen and requests a refund, the refund is denied.
As an example of taking advantage of the young players, when Facebook analyzed the Angry Birds game, they found that the average player age was just five years old.
The current law suit regarding all this was filed a few years ago, but a judge has recently decided to release some relevant Facebook documents to the public. Some of those documents show that it all started when a child referred to as I.B. made a one time payment with mom’s credit card to play Ninja Saga, not realizing that the credit card information had been saved and actually racked up a bill of hundreds of dollars. When that parent request a refund, she was denied, and thus, she filed a lawsuit.
In the documents that the judge has released, one Facebook employee openly admits that children could easily be confused by in-app purchases because it ‘doesn’t necessarily look like real money to a minor’.
As if Facebook didn’t already have enough legal problems, one of the worse possible reputations is that of taking advantage of unwitting children.
The online criminals are resourceful. They are always looking for new ways of ‘cleaning’ their dirty money, quite often the dirty money comes in the form of stolen credit cards. Anything they buy online or off-line might be traced back to their address or contact number. One of their techniques is gambling at casinos since their stolen money can buy chips that they can then cash in later with a different teller, but that takes time and effort.
Recently, it has been noticed that the criminals are taking advantage of the online game industry’s method of letting players join and play for free while charging for extras such as wearable armor, weapons, and vehicles that will help them win in the game. Once a player has joined a game, they can deposit some money into their account and spend it in the game with the game’s in-game currency. There are many online games that utilize this profit model. One of the most popular online games using in-game currency is the Fortnite series. The Fortnite series has over 200m players around the world, generating annual profit of $3 billion for its maker, Epic Games.
This technique works for the money launderers because they join the game using the name on the credit card, deposit money in the game, buy a bunch of extras, then, and this is the trick, they sell those extras and the deposited money, or the whole account on the dark web using bit coins which are very difficult for law enforcement to trace.
Bookmaker.eu actually took bets if President Trump would spout any ‘false statements’ during his prime time oval office address to the nation Wednesday evening regarding his border wall policy. In a rare occurrence, the bookie lost money because in a not so rare occurrence, President Trump indeed told at least six falsehoods according to the Washington Post’s fact checker. Apparently, bookmaker.eu was guessing that President Trump would hold close to the facts while using the teleprompter and knowing that the whole world is watching, all three US networks aired his address ABC, CBS, and NBC. Also airing the address live was Fox News and CNN.
Bookmaker.eu claimed to have lost almost $300,000 because they did not anticipate President Trump would make so many false statements. Political commentators have chimed in the Bookmaker.eu has not been paying attention to President Trump for the last two years.
A few of President Trumps False or Misleading Statements:
- President Trump warned of a “security crisis at the southern border” — even though the number of people caught trying to cross illegally is near 20-year lows.
- President Trump warned that thousands of illegal immigrants are trying to enter our country every day, according to his administration, the average is in the hundreds.
- President Trump claimed that 90 percent of the heroin in the United States comes across the border with Mexico, however, most of the drugs come through legal entry.
Did you bet?
Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, is getting more and more popular everyday! It all started about twenty years ago with no holds barred, bare-fisted slugging in a boxing ring without the sanctions of any official boxing or sports commission. It was so violent that most TV channels would no broadcast it. But, MMA has come along way, sanctioned in every state in the US and most countries. Nowadays, they usually fight inside an octagon shaped arena instead of the traditional square boxing ring. There are rules in place to subdue the violence, but there is still plenty of broken bones and spilled blood.
Anything that is so popular in real life is bound to show up in the online games industry and MMA is no exception. There are dozens of online MMA type of games, but one of the most popular and realistic is Street Fighter V of the Street Fighter series. The Street Fighter series actually started in the late 80s, but vast improvement have been made in the way of graphics and authenticity. You can jump right in and go up against one of the opponents or train your avatar to take on the best of the best.
There is also the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection; a boxed set of games with background extras that is sure to keep any MMA enthusiast amused for weeks.