fortnite

Fortnite for Android no longer requires an invite

Posted by | Android, Apps, epic games, fortnite, Gaming | No Comments

Fortnite’s journey to Android has been an adventure unto itself. It first launched as a Samsung exclusive, alongside the Note 9, before circumventing the Play Store to arrive on Google’s Mobile operating system.

Until now, however, actually getting the game required going to the site, signing up and waiting for an invite. Epic announced today via Twitter that it’s finally cutting that red tape. While the company is still sidestepping Play in order to keep its earnings to itself, downloading the game is a simple as scanning a QR code from its site.

No invite needed – download the Fortnite Beta now on any compatible Android device 📱

Time to squad up: https://t.co/lH95t8qkwd pic.twitter.com/9UZNG7oFXd

— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) October 11, 2018

Not that any of those extra steps were hurting the game. The wildly popular hit 15 million installs a mere three weeks after launching on the OS.

Powered by WPeMatico

Fortnite maker buys anti-cheat software company

Posted by | epic games, fortnite, Gaming | No Comments

Epic’s gotta do something with the money it’s printing through Fortnite purchases. Acquisitions appear to be at the top of that list, starting with Kamu, the Finnish startup behind Easy Anti-Cheat.

Epic has already deployed the anti-cheat software for its wildly popular sandbox survival game — it’s been a central piece of the gaming company’s strong anti-cheating stance. It is, as CEO Tim Sweeney puts it in the press release announcing the acquisition, “key to building a vibrant Fortnite multiplayer experience that’s fair for all players.”

Fortnite isn’t the only title currently leveraging Kamu’s best-known offering. The startup says Easy Anti-Cheat is currently used by north of 80 games, installed on 100 million PCs globally. Chances are pretty decent that if you’ve played a big name title in the past year, it’s already on your computer.

Kamu will continue to provide its service to non-Epic titles for the time being. Here’s Kamu CEO Simon Allaeys from the same release, “Joining the Epic family is not only a childhood dream come true, but a huge boost for our mission to help developers create beautiful gaming experiences. Battling cheating in games was just the start; today our products also help developers stay competitive by identifying player needs as quickly as they emerge.”

The acquisition also affords Epic the opportunity to set up shop in Kamu’s native Helsinki. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Powered by WPeMatico

YouTuber creates concept video showing Fortnite in first-person mode

Posted by | battle royale, epic games, fortnite, Gaming, TC, YouTube | No Comments

Fortnite Battle Royale was undoubtedly the big game of 2017, and 2018 is shaping up to be very similar. And with such popularity inevitably comes a swath of critics.

Take, for example, YouTuber Max Box. Using Fortnite’s replay mode, Max Box created a YouTube video that shows what Fortnite would look like in first-person mode.

The video is slightly buggy, but it’s about as close as we may ever get to seeing what Fortnite would look like in first person.

As it stands now, Fortnite uses third-person view, showing the player a view of themselves and the rest of the world from the perspective of their character’s right shoulder. Because of these mechanics, players are able to peek over cover or around walls without exposing themselves to incoming fire.

Because third-person view allows gamers to see their character in full, it also makes Epic’s main Fortnite revenue generator, premium skins and emotes, all the more valuable.

For those reasons, it seems unlikely that Epic would introduce a first-person mode.

That said, Epic will face new competition in the Battle Royale space with the introduction of CoD: Black Ops 4 Blackout mode on October 12. The game jumps in the ring with Fortnite, PUBG and H1Z1 as a first-person Battle Royale shooter.

Powered by WPeMatico

Sony is finally opening Fortnite cross-play on the PS4

Posted by | epic games, fortnite, Gaming, PlayStation 4, Sony | No Comments

Cross-play has been one of the biggest selling points for Fortnite, allowing players to engage in the battle royale, regardless of platform. There has, however, been one major holdout — until now. While PS4 players have been able to play one another, Sony has been dragging its heels at the seemingly inevitable update.

Today, however, the company is taking key steps toward letting users battle it out, regardless of platform. Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO John Kodera announced via blog post that the company is opening up cross-play beta, beginning with the crazy-popular sandbox survival game.

“Following a comprehensive evaluation process,” the exec writes, “SIE has identified a path toward supporting cross-platform features for select third party content. We recognize that PS4 players have been eagerly awaiting an update, and we appreciate the community’s continued patience as we have navigated through this issue to find a solution.”

That “path forward” will feature the major platforms that support the title, including, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Windows and macOS. As Kodera notes, the update is a pretty sizable policy shift, so the company, “will update the community once we have more details to share, including more specifics regarding the beta timeframe, and what this means for other titles going forward.”

Until now, Sony has suggested that such a move could pose a security risk to users. Observers, on the other hand, have suggested it was holding out purely out of monetary concern for the company.

Powered by WPeMatico

Nintendo is offering an exclusive Fortnite bundle with the Switch

Posted by | fortnite, Gadgets, Gaming, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, TC | No Comments

Fortnite has taken the world by storm. In fact, the game is so popular that Epic has released versions for PC, Xbox, PS4, iOS, Android and the Nintendo Switch, making the game about as accessible as possible.

The popularity of the game stems from the general popularity of the Battle Royale genre and popular streamers like Ninja, who have made the game so much fun to watch. But it also comes from the fun, and often fleeting, skins, dances and pick axes the game offers in its Item Shop.

On October 5th, folks interested in the Switch can pick up some extra Fortnite swag.

It’s a bundle royale! A #NintendoSwitch #Fortnite bundle including special in-game items and 1,000 V-Bucks will make the jump into stores on 10/05. https://t.co/5049PRWbjr pic.twitter.com/qoraUQA5DO

— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 18, 2018

Nintendo is releasing a bundle that will include an exclusive Fortnite skin, glider and pick-axe, as well as an extra 1,000 V-Bucks. To be clear, 1,000 V-bucks is the equivalent of $10 and won’t get you much from the Item Shop.

Plus, as pointed out by the Verge, Nintendo has offered several different bundles which would allow customers to pick up a Switch for $329 alongside one of a few games. In most cases, those games cost money, whereas Fortnite is a free to play game.

But the Nintendo Switch bundle is the only way to get your hands on the Switch gear that comes with it.

This isn’t the first time that Epic has given out exclusive gear to players using different hardware or services. There is an exclusive Twitch Prime skin, a Sony PS4 skin, and even a skin for Galaxy Note 9 owners.

The Bundle is available for $329 on October 5.

Powered by WPeMatico

Fortnite Monopoly and Nerf Blasters are coming soon

Posted by | epic, epic games, fortnite, Gaming, Hasbro inc | No Comments

You can’t really blame Epic for captilizing on Fortnite’s massive and largely unexpected success. And really, you’ve got to strike while the iron’s still hot on this one. The gaming company announced a partnership with toy giant Hasbro this week that while give the world a Fortnite-branded Monopoly game and Nerf Blasters.

Monopoly: Fortnite Edition launches October 1 — just in time to be a little too early for the holiday season. That one is arriving in both the U.S. and U.K. this fall, with more markets coming in 2019. It promises to “bring a a battle building twist to the iconic Fast Dealing Property Trading game,” because nothing says real estate mogul like a survival game.

The Nerf partnership is a bit more of a natural from a licensed content perspective. No specifics to speak of at the moment, but given that there are, you know, guns in Fornite, you can really just use your imagination. Hasbro says they’ll “emulate the amazing onscreen battles Fortnite is known for,” which could imply a laser tag element here.

Those are due out some time next year.

Powered by WPeMatico

Fortnite hits 15 million installs on Android

Posted by | Android, fortnite, Gaming | No Comments

Circumventing the Google Play store wasn’t exactly a gamble for Epic, given the fact that Fortnite is essentially a license to print money. But even by its own standards, the game is posting some impressive numbers three weeks after hitting Android.

In a blog post this week, Epic noted that the wildly popular sandbox survival game hit 23 million players on Google’s mobile operating system, spread out across 15 million APK installs. Those numbers are arriving 21 days after the title launched on the OS.

This, like every other piece of Fortnite news, means big bucks for Epic. That’s especially the case here, however, given that the launch means the gaming company is cutting Google’s 30 percent take out of the equation.

Along with the numbers, Epic also highlighted some of its efforts to tackle potential malware threats — an added issue given that the game isn’t distributed through Google’s official channel.

“So far, Epic has instigated action on 47 unauthorized “Fortnite for Android’ websites,” the company writes, “many of which appear to be run by the same bad actors. We continue to police the situation with a goal of taking them offline, or restricting access by leveraging Epic’s connection to a network of anti-fraud partners.”

Powered by WPeMatico

Fortnite’s Android installer shipped with an Epic security flaw

Posted by | Android, Apps, epic games, fortnite, Gaming, Google, Mobile, Security | No Comments

Google has clapped back in tremendous fashion at Epic Games, which earlier this month decided to make the phenomenally popular Fortnite available for Android via its own website instead of Google’s Play Store. Unfortunately, the installer had a phenomenally dangerous security flaw in it that would allow a malicious actor to essentially install any software they wanted. Google wasted exactly zero time pointing out this egregious mistake.

By way of a short explanation why this was even happening, Epic explained when it announced its plan that it would be good to have “competition among software sources on Android,” and that the best would “succeed based on merit.” Everyone of course understood that what he meant was that Epic didn’t want to share the revenue from its cash cow with Google, which takes 30 percent of in-app purchases.

Many warned that this was a security risk for several reasons, for example that users would have to enable app installations from unknown sources — something most users have no reason to do. And the Play Store has other protections and features, visible and otherwise, that are useful for users.

Google, understandably, was not amused with Epic’s play, which no doubt played a part in the decision to scrutinize the download and installation process — though I’m sure the safety of its users was also a motivating factor. And wouldn’t you know it, they found a whopper right off the bat.

In a thread posted a week after the Fortnite downloader went live, a Google engineer by the name of Edward explained that the installer basically would allow an attacker to install anything they want using it.

The Fortnite installer basically downloads an APK (the package for Android apps), stores it locally, then launches it. But because it was stored on shared external storage, a bad guy could swap in a new file for it to launch, in what’s called a “man in the disk” attack.

And because the installer only checked that the name of the APK is right, as long as the attacker’s file is called “com.epicgames.fortnite,” it would be installed! Silently, and with lots of extra permissions too, if they want, because of how the unknown sources installation policies work. Not good!

Edward pointed out this could be fixed easily and in a magnificently low-key bit of shade-throwing helpfully linked to a page on the Android developer site outlining the basic feature Epic should have used.

To Epic’s credit, its engineers jumped on the problem immediately and had a fix in the works by that very afternoon and deployed by the next one. Epic InfoSec then requested Google to wait 90 days before publishing the information.

As you can see, Google was not feeling generous. One week later (that’s today) and the flaw has been published on the Google Issue Tracker site in all its… well, not glory exactly. Really, the opposite of glory. This seems to have been Google’s way of warning any would-be Play Store mutineers that they would not be given gentle handling.

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney was likewise unamused. In a comment provided to Android Central — which, by the way, predicted that this exact thing would happen — he took the company to task for its “irresponsible” decision to “endanger users.”

Epic genuinely appreciated Google’s effort to perform an in-depth security audit of Fortnite immediately following our release on Android, and share the results with Epic so we could speedily issue an update to fix the flaw they discovered.

However, it was irresponsible of Google to publicly disclose the technical details of the flaw so quickly, while many installations had not yet been updated and were still vulnerable.

An Epic security engineer, at my urging, requested Google delay public disclosure for the typical 90 days to allow time for the update to be more widely installed. Google refused. You can read it all at https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/112630336

Google’s security analysis efforts are appreciated and benefit the Android platform, however a company as powerful as Google should practice more responsible disclosure timing than this, and not endanger users in the course of its counter-PR efforts against Epic’s distribution of Fortnite outside of Google Play.

Indeed, companies really should try not to endanger their users for selfish reasons.

Powered by WPeMatico

Fortnite players can unlock a new emote if they enable two-factor authentication

Posted by | epic games, fortnite, fortnite battle royale, Gaming, TC | No Comments

Historically, we haven’t been great about digital security. In 2016 (not long enough ago to feel OK about it), the top passwords were “123456” and “password.”

Awareness has certainly grown, but some folks could still use a nudge in the right direction. Luckily, Fortnite Battle Royale maker Epic Games has a solution.

The company has introduced a new emote to the game — emotes are just one type of cosmetic upgrade that helped Epic rake in $1 billion in revenue. However, this new Boogie Down emote is only available to folks who enable two-factor authentication on their Epic Games account.

As you can expect, hackers and other malicious actors are well aware of both the popularity of Fortnite and users’ willingness to spend money on the game. Obviously, these accounts are attractive targets for “the bad guys.”

Two-factor authentication — which asks for two separate verifications that you are you (usually a password and then an SMS confirmation) — has its shortcomings, but it’s most certainly an upgrade to a single password.

Incentivizing better security practices is an interesting take, and may very well be the first time a game maker has used the technique.

The Boogie Down emote (above) is the prize for enabling 2FA, and it was introduced as part of a competition by Epic Games. In March, the company asked its community to submit dance moves, with the winner making it into the game.

For what it’s worth, the actual dance seems way cooler than the emote in the game.

[via Kotaku]

Powered by WPeMatico

Gaming star Ninja sparks outrage by refusing to stream with women

Posted by | fortnite, Gaming, Ninja, streaming, TC, Twitch | No Comments

At a Samsung event last week, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins explained why he doesn’t stream with female gamers.

“If I have one conversation with one female streamer where we’re playing with one another, and even if there’s a hint of flirting, that is going to be taken and going to be put on every single video and be clickbait forever,” said Ninja, who is married, in an interview with Polygon.

As you might expect, this stance was met with plenty of backlash.

dont it get it why so many ppl defending ninja over not playing females? Imagine going to your work and saying i dont wanna work with females..

— Badman Hendrik (@Handigeharrie23) August 13, 2018

Ninja then doubled down on his stance, clarifying that it comes down to an issue of online harassment.

Please read. pic.twitter.com/egfplBQFYD

— Ninja (@Ninja) August 13, 2018

First and foremost, everyone has the prerogative to make decisions for their own personal life. If Ninja believes that the online harassment suffered (by just about any internet celebrity) is too much for him and his family to deal with, and that playing with women will exacerbate that harassment, then that is his choice.

The problem is that it goes against his usual stance of taking responsibility for his position as a role model.

As Kotaku aptly points out, Ninja has made real moves toward being a role model for his 10 million+ Twitch followers, from cutting down on cursing on stream to giving to charity and other important causes. In fact, Ninja sees his commitment to charities and his role as an activist as one of the most amazing things he’s done in his life.

And he’s well aware of his influence. He often “raids” less popular Twitch streamers’ channels, including some women, to give them exposure.

So why be a role model who doesn’t include women?

Yes, being a celebrity comes with an inordinate amount of online harassment. And that sucks. But it also comes with a level of responsibility. Not everyone has the platform to make an actual difference in this world. And when our Vice President, and other influencers, have decided that being alone in the same room (virtual or otherwise) with women opens them up to too much vulnerability, they make it that much harder for women to achieve the same influence.

Remember, gaming is about as extreme a culture as a woman can find herself in. Not only are women excluded in this male-dominated community, but they’re often sexually and verbally harassed, which isn’t helped much by the fact that games themselves portray women as props moreso than protagonists.

Ninja is the most influential gamer of our generation, the likes of which have never been seen before. The success of female streamers and gamers surely isn’t reliant on him. But he could very well change the hearts and minds of a generation of young men who may stop thinking of women as less, and might start thinking of them as equals.

Powered by WPeMatico