YouTuber pleads guilty to FIFA gambling charges

High-profile British YouTuber Craig “Nepenthez” Douglas has plead guilty to offenses under the UK Gambling Act.

Douglas, 32, and business partner Dylan Rigby, 33, were in court today to change their pleas – both had of promoting a lottery, advertising unlawful gambling and inviting children to gamble (as reported by ).

The case, which is still ongoing, is the first in UK legal history to centre on a gambling website connected to a video game.

FIFA 18 brings back The Journey with Season 2

It turns out FIFA’s story experiment was a success – The Journey will return for FIFA 18.

The Journey was a slightly odd, surprisingly good story mode for FIFA 17 that saw players assume the role of Alex Hunter, a rising star footballer who ends up breaking into the first-team of a Premier League club. I played it and thought it was quite good, for a football game story mode.

Last night, EA boss Andrew Wilson said more than 10 million people had played The Journey. While that phrase doesn’t clarify exactly how many people played it for more than a couple of minutes, it’s clear The Journey was popular enough for EA to stick with it for this year’s game.

EA returns to Nintendo with FIFA for Switch

EA is once again back on a Nintendo platform, with FIFA confirmed for Switch.

EA executive Patrick Söderlund took to the stage during Nintendo’s Switch presentation to say FIFA would release on Switch at some point in 2017.

We don’t know much about how the game will work, but Söderlund did say it will offer the FIFA experience “custom built for Nintendo Switch”.

Russian MPs call for FIFA 17 ban over “gay propaganda”

Russian MPs have labelled FIFA 17 “gay propaganda” for its support of the LGBTQ community – and have called for the game to be banned if it isn’t changed.

In November, EA Sports offered FIFA 17 players a free Rainbow kit for use in FIFA Ultimate Team as part of Stonewall’s .

Russian MPs upset at the offer have now asked the state communications oversight agency to take action against FIFA 17 for violating the country’s law against “gay propaganda”, according to a report in .

EA gives FIFA 17 players free Chapecoense kit and crest following plane crash tragedy

EA has given FIFA 17 players a free Chapecoense kit and crest following the devastating plane crash earlier this week.

Brazilian club Chapecoense were flying to Columbia for the biggest match in their history when their plane went down late on Monday. The majority of team died in the crash. Just six of the 77 people on board survived.

Now, EA has encouraged FIFA 17 Ultimate Team players to wear the Chapecoense kit and crest-in game.

Why I think big console game sales are down

Here’s what’s clear: big console game sales are down. , , , and more all failed to even match the sales of their predecessors at launch. People I’ve spoken to in the UK retail business are in panic mode. The PS4 has been a huge success. Xbox One is doing well. What’s going on?

I’ve seen plenty of theories, some better than others. Writing on Eurogamer’s sister site, , Rob Fahey puts forward one of the better ones: that the rise of digital means fewer physical game sales are in people’s hands to trade-in. Certainly in the UK, which has a huge pre-owned video game market, that makes a lot of sense.

Fahey also suggests more and more games are designed to keep us playing week after week and, as a result, we’re not interested in playing as many new games. Think Destiny or Minecraft or FIFA. Again, I agree this plays a part. I played Destiny for pretty much two years solid, tuning in each week to the detriment of trying out new games.

Amazon slashes prices on Dishonored 2 and Watch Dogs 2 for Black Friday

It is still not Black Friday, quite, but Amazon has rolled out . The company has announced a raft of deals will be going live this evening from 8pm UK time, including significant price cuts on console bundles and very new game releases.

The eyebrow-raising entries are Dishonored 2 and Watch Dogs 2, which are both being cut down to £32.99 – the latter barely a week after launch. Watch Dogs 2’s launch sales fell far, far short of its predecessor, prompting Ubisoft to issue a statement saying it expected Cutting the price seems a good way to make that happen. Battlefield 1, FIFA 17 and Call of Duty Infinite Warfare have received the same discount.

Elsewhere a 500GB PS4 bundle with Uncharted 4 and FIFA 17 is now £199.99 – the cheapest Xbox One S pack is £229.99, with a controller and your choice of FIFA or Minecraft. Destiny: The Collection, which includes the base game and all expansions, has been reduced to £19.99, which is the cheapest we’ve seen it for. Here’s the full list:

FIFA 17 free to play from today until the end of the weekend

Hot on the heels of the news that , EA has said FIFA 17 is free to play on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One from this evening until the end of the weekend.

The FIFA 17 free trial is basically the same as the trial version that went live ahead of the football game’s launch on Xbox One for EA Access subscribers. You can play The Journey story mode, FIFA Ultimate Team, Career mode and more.

You can only play a portion of The Journey, but if you decide to buy the full game later your progress will carry over.

FIFA coin hacker convicted of defrauding EA out of $16m

A hacker has been convicted of defrauding EA out of FIFA coins worth millions of dollars.

Anthony Clark, 24 from California, was convicted of wire fraud in a scheme that involved over $16m worth of FIFA coins.

FIFA is so popular that the in-game currency, FIFA coins, has sparked a black market for trading. A simple Google search returns hundreds of sites that let you buy and sell FIFA coins for real world cash.

Battlefield 1 and FIFA 17: Frostbite shines on PS4 Pro

DICE’s Frostbite engine now powers a great majority of Electronic Arts’ internally developed game – a state-of-the-art piece of technology that has strongly delivered cutting-edge experiences on key franchises including Battlefield, FIFA, Need for Speed and the upcoming Mass Effect. With some of the sharpest rendering engineers in the business working on the technology, we expected big improvements bearing in mind Pro’s big GPU boost. By and large, we haven’t been left down.

We’ll begin with the ‘easy one’. FIFA 17’s PlayStation 4 Pro upgrade is impressive – not especially so in terms of visual features, but certainly for its prodigious increase to base resolution. The 1080p framebuffer from the standard PlayStation 4 version gets an uncompromised lift to native 4K – no upscaling, no checkerboarding, no temporal super-sampling. The end result is that an already clean and crisp title receives an even great boost to visual clarity.

However, FIFA’s ineffectual anti-aliasing solution remains in effect at 4K. Edge and specular shimmer at 1080p is reduced owing to the higher pixel density, but it’s still visible owing to the high contrast aesthetic. We did most of our testing on a 40-inch Samsung KU6400, which possesses a remarkably high pixel density, but the aliasing is still plain to see – it’ll even show up in the video below. 1080p users at least get this image down-sampled, so it’s less of an issue, but Frostbite’s excellent temporal anti-aliasing would have helped here.