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Keys For Friday the 13th Kickstarter Backers Stolen, Sold On eBay

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Exclusive keys and items intended for Kickstarter backers of ‘Friday the 13th: The Game’ where stolen from an employee of Gun Media’s distribution partner and then sold on eBay for $100 a piece.

The key’s sales on eBay were uncovered by one Reddit user who monitored the eBay account’s activity which included the selling of in-game outfits, which raised suspicion. The eBay user’s feedback page shows that they made tens of thousands of dollars due to this activity.

Gun Media responded to the thread on Reddit and confirmed the stolen keys while also stating that the keys had been stolen from “one of our distribution partners”, announcing the cancellation of any unredeemed keys.

“We previously assumed that backer-content keys being sold on eBay were the same as you; a fan who got in early and purchased extra keys” the company said in a statement.

“After reviewing the information that you have posted, it is absolutely clear that this is not the case. With some investigation, we quickly determined that the keys being sold come from a theft at one of our distribution partners.

“The company has worked to resolve the situation, but unfortunately, both we and the company were unaware of the digital portion of the theft until these auctions were brought to our attention. While there is not a never-ending source for these codes, we will be cancelling any unredeemed codes that have been affected by this theft. Again, thank you for the effort you put into this, and for bringing it to our attention.”

Limited Run Games, who distributed the Kickstarter rewards, has confirmed that the keys were likely stolen by one of its temporary contract workers although they did not identify the person.

“Up until last December, we often utilized many temporary contract workers to assist with the various busy work that shipping thousands of packages on an irregular schedule requires. It’s our best guess that one of these workers took it upon themselves to illicitly access the codes. This was not sanctioned by us nor Gun and neither of us knew it had happened until the community brought it to light.

“We stopped utilizing temporary workers in December when we noticed that our game inventory was off. Without those previous workers around, the inventory loss stopped. We don’t have any reason to believe that the person in question still works for us. Unfortunately, we don’t know who the specific culprit is. We foster a very open and friendly environment at our office and we never expected something like this to occur. These actions completely betray the trust we had in whoever this person is.

“We’re moving into a new office next week that provides deeper levels of security for our partners, our inventory, and ourselves. Rather than utilizing temporary workers, we’re now relying on the killer team of full-time shippers that we’ve built up, love, and trust. All of our employees know that we have a hardline policy against eBay and resellers. The actions of the person selling these codes were not authorized by us and do not reflect us or our values in any capacity.”

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Microsoft Bringing Four Games to Rival Consoles

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Microsoft has responded to recent reports that there will be changes to it’s first-party strategy and has confirmed that four game titles will be released on rival consoles.

More specifically, Xbox head Phil Spencer said that ‘Starfield’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ will not be among the four titles heading to other platforms. Both games had a number of candidate platforms, per reports, adding that this is “not a change to our fundamental exclusive strategy.”

“We don’t damage Xbox and we can grow our business using what other platforms have to help us with that,” Spencer said, according to GamesIndustry.biz.  “Looking forward, I think there is an interesting story for us of introducing Xbox franchises to players on other platforms to get them more interested in Xbox. We think there’s a good brand value for Xbox there.”

Xbox president Sarah Bond announced that Activision Blizzard games would begin to be added into Game Pass offerings, starting with Diablo 4, which will be added on March 28th.

Additionally, Bond said that Microsoft is still working on hardware for the future and that their focus regarding the future is “delivering the largest technical leap you will ever have seen in a hardware generation.”

 

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Sega’s Revenue See Rise to $27 Billion

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Sega Sammy has released its financial report for the nine-month period that officially concluded on December 31st, 2023, and that report that demonstrated a rise in overall sales and profit despite a decrease in sales for Sega’s new titles.

That decline was offset by growth in pachislot and pachinko machines, however Sega had lowered its sales forecasts for the full financial year.

Here is a breakdown, courtesy of GamesIndustry.biz.

  • Net sales: ¥349.9 billion ($2.3 billion, up 28.7% year-on-year)
  • Operating income: ¥54.4 billion ($364 million, up 42.4% year-on-year)
  • Ordinary income: ¥57.2 billion ($383 million, up 42.7% year-on-year)
  • Net sales were up 130.3% to ¥120.2 billion ($805 million) in this segment
  • Ordinary income increased by 521.3% at ¥45.7 billion ($306 million).
  • Entertainment Contents segment, which includes video games, net sales were up 4.2% at ¥219.3 billion
  • Profit decreased by 52.5% to ¥19.7 billion ($131.8 million) as a result of weak game sales

You can read a breakdown of the entire report at GamesIndustry.biz here.

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CVC Capital Partners, Haveli Investments Acquire Jagex

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CVC Capital Partners and Haveli Investments have reached an agreement to acquire RuneScape developer Jagex from Carlyle Group, according to Sky News.

While financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed publicly, the Sky News report indicates that CVC was planning to spend £900 million on the purchase of Jagex.

Luxembourg-based CVC Capital Partners is one of the world’s largest private equity firms and Austin-based Haveli Investments is an established games investor.

CVC Capital Partners has previously backed Dead by Daylight creator Behaviour Interactive, London-based Predecessor developer Omeda Studios, and Tel Aviv-based Match Masters studio Candivore.

Jagex has more than 700 staff worldwide, and is best known for its RuneScape franchise and is currently working on the PC and console launch of Scum by Gamepires sometimes in 2024.

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