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PS3 jailbreak woes and Taliban outrage: 2010 in review - August

Plus, THQ says it "doesn't care" if it upsets pre-owned game buyers

August was looking like a quiet month until the closing week, when Sony suddenly faced the serious threat of mass piracy PS3, the Taliban caused a stir in Medal of Honor and THQ admitted it just doesn't care.

More specifically on that last one, the publisher's creative director for wrestling games Cory Ledesma bluntly admitted to CVG: "I don't think we really care whether used game buyers are upset because new game buyers get everything."

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He was speaking in reference to the THQ's emulation of EA's Online Pass system with Smackdown vs. Raw 2011, which came with a one-use code for entry to the game's multiplayer which purchasers of used copies would have to pay extra for.

He added: "So if used game buyers are upset they don't get the online feature set I don't really have much sympathy for them." Pulling no punches, there.

The industry's attack on used games continued when Penny Arcade condemned the pre-owned market for being "no better than piracy" in defense of Ledesma's comments.

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Sony was next to jump on the bandwagon, when SCEE president Andrew House said it was "broadly supportive" of systems such as EA's Online Pass, and admitted Sony was "exploring actively the same option for our own content".

UK retailer GAME wasn't waiting to see if these threats would take down used game sales - a critical source of revenue for the chain. In August it made a significant leap further into the digital space with the launch of a full game download service.

Meanwhile, CVG received word that Warner Bros. had canned its party/action game This is Vegas, pouring an estimated $50 million down the drain with it in what could be the biggest waste of money in the industry's recent history. And the month wasn't over yet.

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Mainstream media and Parliament MPs alike got their knickers in a twist when it emerged Medal of Honor would name the 'baddies' in its multiplayer games the Taliban. Defense Secretary Liam Fox called on UK retailers to refuse to stock EA's game - labeling the option to play as The Taliban 'disgusting'.

Sony had far bigger worries, however, when, after an admittedly good run, the PS3 had finally been hacked with a 'Jailbreak' that would allow users to play pirate games. A relatively small threat at first - owing to the requirement of an expensive dongle to make it work - the hack's prominence was instantly heightened when inevitable cheaper (and even free) clones turned up.

Although surely the Blu-ray sized games would prevent the PS3 from suffering the same piracy-riddled fate as PSP.

Big releases in August included Kane & Lynch 2 on Xbox and PS3, Mafia 2 on PS3, Xbox and PC, and Metroid: Other M on Wii.

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