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Found 38 results

  1. Without prior warning the popular file-hosting service disappeared about a week ago. The sudden shutdown came after a German court issued an injunction against the site's operators. While this appeared to be a victory for the copyright holders, Netload has now made a comeback under a new domain name. For several years copyright holder have branded Netload a piracy haven. A few months ago the MPAA reported the site to the U.S. Government as a “notorious market†and in Germany several music groups have taken the site to court. Back in 2011 record labels started legal proceedings against the site’s operator, demanding the names and addresses of uploaders. The site owner initially refused to do so, but eventually caved in when faced with a prison sentence. Now, three years later, trouble continues for Netload. Music industry lawfirm Rasch recently obtained an injunction from a Hamburg Court ordering Netload to stop the distribution of a pirated music album. “The District Court of Hamburg decided on Netload’s obligation to cease and desist from aiding their users to make a certain album available to the public,†Rasch lawyer Mirko Brüß informs TF, adding that he couldn’t name the album in question. Under German jurisprudence this means that Netload will have to monitor external forums and search engines to make sure that these are not linking to the infringing work. If the site fails to do so the service faces a fine of hundreds of thousands of euros. “If we find another (working) link to the album, Netload faces punitive fines of up to 250,000 euro per infringement,†Brüß notes. The lawfirm served the operator of Netload with this injunction last week, and soon after the site vanished. Initially the lawyers and their clients believed that the site had shut down, but the assessment came too quickly. While is still offline a copy of the site has reappeared at This site is allegedly operated by the same people and the old logins are functional. “It appears Netload is going to relaunch using the .me-domain. It’s the same company in the imprint and the old user logins are working. Uploads are not working so far,†Brüß tells TF. Despite the change of address the injunction still stands, so the music industry lawyers will keep a close eye on the site to see if the infringing album appears. Netload was contacted for a comment on the recent troubles but the company has yet to respond to our inquiry.
  2. While entertainment companies and authorities believe they are necessary to stem the tide of online infringement, many current anti-piracy strategies are putting Internet users at risk. Domain suspensions, seizures, plus search engine down-rankings are all playing a part in creating a less-safe online environment. While it’s not entirely clear when the theory first appeared, the notion that cutting the head off one file-sharing site results in the creation of several others has been in circulation for many years. The analogy, regularly referred to as the file-sharing ‘hydra’, is often deployed in response to action taken by entertainment companies and local authorities. Tripping off tongues somewhat easily, the defensive reaction paints anti-piracy measures as a futile waste of time. Nevertheless, the outrage these measures often provoke suggest that they do have some impact, if only the raising of blood pressure and gnashing of teeth among site users. Whether or not they reduce overall piracy rates long-term remains to be seen, but right now these strategies are almost certainly undermining the safety of Internet users. Domain attacks – blocks Attacks against site domains come in various shapes and sizes but all are designed to limit a site’s ability to remain operational. While they are undoubtedly an annoyance to site owners, they also cause problems for site users. For example, many leading ‘pirate’ sites are blocked by ISPs in the UK. The blocks are easily circumvented using a VPN but in the case of some of the bigger sites, hundreds of proxy and mirror sites have appeared to facilitate access. The end result is that there are now dozens of Pirate Bay and KickassTorrents clones, lookalikes, mirrors and proxies. Long live the hydra, right? Well not quite. We’ve already seen the chaos and confusion these sites can cause and the situation isn’t getting any better. It is now very likely that hundreds of thousands of casual users think they are using a relatively trustworthy known site when they are not. Sadly, many clones are filled with aggressive and sometimes malicious ads not present on the original site. Domain attacks – suspensions and seizures As documented on many previous occasions, a key strategy of the entertainment industries is to put pressure on domain companies and registries to stop them providing domains to pirate sites. One of the sites hit on a number of occasions is KickassTorrents (KAT). KAT has lost several domains in recent years including (music industry action), (unconfirmed) and more recently Currently the site is operating from (Costa Rica) but ever since the last switch a steady stream of apparently confused site users have been writing to TF and posting on sites including Reddit. “I never had to sign up for KAT before, why is it asking me to now?†one asked. “Why is Kickass asking for my credit card details?†questioned another. Obviously one of these questions is more serious than the other, but both have straightforward explanations. Some users are so confused about which domain the site is operating from they are using any number of fake sites instead, some of which are asking for credit card details. It’s a horrible situation provoked entirely by action against the official site’s domains, but are so many casual users being affected? Search engine downranking For years Hollywood and the recording industry have been placing immense pressure on Google to stop presenting ‘pirate’ sites in its search results. After resisting for some time, Google began tweaking it algorithms to downrank sites that have the most copyright complaints logged against them. In October 2014, Google made its biggest changes yet which resulted in traffic to torrent and other file-sharing sites taking a nosedive. And now, thanks to decisions made by Google, a simple search for KickassTorrents presents listings that do not include the real site at all, but fake sites looking for money instead. Deliberate disruption – but at what cost? While blocks are easily circumvented, it is clear that forcing sites from domain to domain undermines their reputation with users. To those not keeping up with the news on a regular basis, disappearing sites seem unreliable due to their own incompetence. When they are ‘found’ using Google but then start asking for credit card details, users must really begin to think the worst. While this must be music to the ears of Hollywood and the music industry, one has to question how many innocent victims are getting caught up in this mess. “I registered for a free trial to obtain pdf of washing machine manual but ended up with free trial of Fat Games which is all games, so had to ring this number to cancel trial,†said a user of the dubious service running hand-in-hand with fake site Living in the ghetto The instances detailed above are just the tip of the iceberg. With every new seizure, suspension and blockade, more scammers will see opportunities to make money by tricking users to sign up to bogus services while obtaining their credit card details by deception. Of course, none of these problems can be blamed directly on the music or movie companies since they aren’t the ones running the scams. That being said, whenever concern is expressed for the well-being of Internet users supposedly exposed to malware on pirate sites, at some point that concern should be extended to those subjected to malware and identity fraud as a result of anti-piracy strategies. Yeah, don’t hold your breath.
  3. You're never too old to learn something new and that certainly applies to a woman currently in hot water with European authorities. In what could be the arrest of the oldest file-sharer anywhere on the planet, a 63-year-old has just been prosecuted by Romanian police for the crime of making available copyrighted content using BitTorrent. Even as new services like Spotify and Netflix gain traction, people are still flocking to file-sharing networks in their millions. These days people are increasingly likely to get a warning letter in the post advising them to mend their ways or face bigger trouble, but tougher approaches still exist. While being targeted by a copyright troll must be a pretty miserable experience, being arrested has to be a lot worse. It only happens rarely and when it does it tends to affect the tech savvy 18-to-35s who grew up with the social norm of sharing files online. On occasion, however, it happens to those much older. In 2011, a 58-year-old grandmother from Scotland was arrested and eventually sentenced to three years probation for sharing files online. However a new case in Europe has cast that earlier one into the shadows. According to police in Romania, a 63-year-old woman has just been arrested for sharing files using BitTorrent. The raid took place in Cluj-Napoca (commonly known as Cluj), the second most populous city in Romania after the capital Bucharest. “Following investigations by the economic crime investigation, police in Cluj…prosecuted a 63-year-old woman,†a police statement reads. “This investigation was about the offense of making content available to the public, including via the Internet or other computer networks so that the public can access it anywhere and at any time individually chosen.†Local police say their research revealed that the woman had been making available significant quantities of movies, music and other content without the necessary permission from rights holders. While that doesn’t sound out of the ordinary, the country doesn’t have much of a record for this kind of action. In fact, many torrent sites themselves operate out of Romania trouble free. A source familiar with the copyright and enforcement scene in Romania told TorrentFreak that while it is indeed unusual for someone so old to be prosecuted for file-sharing, in Romania the prosecution of file-sharers of any age is “very very rare.†“The police are doing this on their own? Never,†he said. “They only follow [pressure from] companies.†The suggestion that complaints from rightsholders prompted the arrest is not an unusual one and Romanian media notes that entertainment company involvement in the case will continue as potential damages claims are assessed. The lady at the center of this Romanian case is quite possibly the oldest file-sharer to be prosecuted anywhere in the world. The case that featured the youngest alleged pirate – just 9-years-old – became infamous following the confiscation of a Winnie-the-Pooh laptop.
  4. A few hours ago Android developer Jack Underwood revealed that his software was being pirated by 85% of users. Now, on the advice of Reddit, the UK-based dev has tweaked the app to provide pirates with some special surprises. Speaking with TF, Underwood says traditional anti-piracy measures are a waste of time. It doesn’t really matter what kind of digital media a company or individual produces, it’s a given that someone, somewhere, will attempt to pirate it. Software, which has traditionally been expensive to buy, has always been targeted by those with small budgets seeking to enjoy products often placed out of reach. But price doesn’t always provide an excuse for those obtaining software without permission. With the rise of smart phones and tablet computers, software has become cheaper than ever, with many paid apps now available for just a few dollars. One such app is Today Calendar Pro from UK developer Jack Underwood. It’s an already popular replacement calendar for Android with 4.5 stars from several thousand voters on Google Play. However, like many devs, Underwood is trying to find a way to bring down piracy rates. Just a few hours ago he revealed to Reddit users that 85% of people are using pirate versions of his app. How to reduce that volume quickly became the topic of conversation. Some Reddit users were very aggressive but Underwood eventually settled on a more gentle approach. “Today Calendar Pro has a 85% piracy rate, so the way we’ve chosen to combat that is to have the app randomly insert pirate-themed events if the app decides the install is pirated,†Underwood told TorrentFreak. The first one, which has already been implemented, sees a graphical depiction of a plank suspended over shark-infested waters alongside a subtle reminder – “That’s what ye get fer piratin’ matey.†But despite the huge piracy rates, Underwood is surprisingly pragmatic. The developer informs TF that he actually ‘gets’ piracy and understands the mindset behind it. “I’m not against piracy, from either a consumer or developer standpoint – I can totally understand why people pirate Today Calender. They want to try it out for an extended period of time, or they can’t afford to buy it, or they don’t think it’s worth the asking price, and that’s 100% fine with me,†he says. Nevertheless, there’s no getting away from the fact that almost 9 out of 10 people using the Pro version aren’t paying the $6 price tag. Underwood feels there could be two reasons. “Maybe it’s far too convenient to pirate (for the consumer, not the cracker), and the cost of the pro version is more than the convenience of updates from the Play Store. Or perhaps it’s not actually worth $6,†he says. “Obviously I’m a little biased, but personally I think it’s worth $6 to people who use a calendar app on a daily basis. I also update the app a lot, probably three times a week.†In the meantime Underwood will stick with more unorthodox ways of tackling piracy – he has no interest in investing time in the old tried-and-failed methods. “Fighting piracy in a traditional way is a waste of time in my eyes, software will get cracked anyway. The majority of people who pirate my apps wouldn’t have bought them anyway, so it’s not as if I’m losing 85% of my revenue. In any event, I’d rather spend that time making Today more awesome.†People who do decide to pirate Today Calender Pro will find it easily using Google, but Underwood hopes that the ‘special events’ appearing in the app at surprise intervals might encourage people to spend $6 if they find the software useful long-term. “These events wont start occurring instantly, but when they do they’ll happen a lot – so the cracker (at first) won’t see the event coming, but once they start, they might get annoying quite quickly. “The plan is that people will get so bored of being invited to ‘pirate parties’ and being told to walk the plank that they’ll give up and just buy the thing,†Underwood concludes. Those who do want to spend $6 can do so here, but for everyone else there’s a free ad-supported version. Those choosing to use unauthorized sources can do so, but expect to be invited to pirate-themed parties – every Tharrrrrsday.
  5. History appears to be repeating itself as The Pirate Bay homepage is displaying a Phoenix once again, suggesting that the site will soon rise from its ashes. If the signs are true, TPB may be up and running next weekend. During the Spring of 2006, less than three years after The Pirate Bay was founded, 65 Swedish police officers entered a datacenter in Stockholm. The policemen had instructions to shut down the largest threat to the entertainment industry at the time – The Pirate Bay’s servers. The raid was successful, but while various copyright holder groups claimed a major victory, the Pirate Bay team wasn’t sitting still. Thanks to a backup made by Fredrik Neij at the last minute, The Pirate Bay returned online in three days. Seemingly unimpressed by the raid, TPB renamed itself to “The Police Bay†complete with a new logo shooting cannon balls at Hollywood. A few days later this logo was replaced by a Phoenix, a reference to the site rising from its digital ashes. Last December The Pirate Bay was raided for the second time. This time around there was no quick comeback, but a new update that was added to the site today suggests that it’s coming. After nearly nine years the Phoenix is once again present on the site’s homepage, offering hope to estranged Pirate Bay users. Although nothing has been confirmed officially, this is by far the most concrete hint that TPB is working hard on a comeback. The counter that’s still running down suggests that TPB will return in full glory February 1st, so we should know more within a week. Tick tock, tick tock…
  6. Over-achieving ‘Unbroken’ and record-breaking “Into the Woods†push Peter Jackson epic to $55 million 2nd-week win “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies†held off a strong challenge from Angelina Jolie’s “Unbroken†and the record-breaking debut of Disney’s musical “Into the Woods †to triumph for the second straight week as the holiday box office boomed and broke records. Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth epic brought in $55 million since Christmas Day to hold off Universal’s Louis Zamperini biopic, which has rung up more than $47 million since Thursday, and “Into the Woods,†which posted the biggest opening ever for a movie adapted from a Broadway musical with $46 million, topping 2008’s “Mamma Mia!†Both of those openings blew past analysts’ projections, by $10 million in the case of “Unbroken.†That, along with dynamic debuts by awards hopefuls “American Sniper†and “Selma†and strong performances by holdovers “Annie†and “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,†helped the box office break a month-long skid. It even topped last year’s long holiday weekend by nearly 10 percent. This weekend’s two other wide openers — Paramount’s Mark Wahlberg crime drama “The Gambler†and the Weinstein Company’s Tim Burton-directed “Big Eyes†— took in $14.3 million and $4.3 million respectively. Also Read: Seth Rogen ‘Thrilled’ by ‘The Interview’s’ $2.8 Million Box Office Despite the good tidings at the holiday box office, much of the weekend spotlight was on “The Interview,†the Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy at the center of the Sony hacking storm. It took in an estimated $2.8 million from 331 independent theaters over the four days, as the major exhibition chains boycotted the film, because they were angry about Sony’s decision to offer “The Interview†on the largest online streaming sites at the same time. “Five Armies†got a huge boost from Imax theaters, which provided $8 million from 360 locations, including all of the top ten runs. Imax sites have brought in nearly $25 million domestically and $48 million globally for “The Hobbit†franchise finale, which is up to $168 million in North America and $405 million overseas. Its $573 million global total after 12 days gives it a good shot at hitting $1 billion worldwide. . The performance of “Unbroken,†an adaptation of Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller by Joel and Ethan Cohen, was the biggest surprise. It starred newcomer Jack O’Connell in the inspirational saga of the Olympic star and World War II hero and prisoner of war Zamperini. “I’m very proud that this film will be a part of Universal’s history,†said Nikki Rocco, Universal’s head of distribution. “Angelina did a terrific job of bringing out the emotion of what this man’s incredible life was like.†Also Read: Angelina Jolie, Jack O’Connell and Miyavi on Pressures of ‘Unbroken': 1 Fainted, 1 Vomited, 1 Worried The uplifting story of heroism resonated particularly well in the Heartland, she said, noting that the film connected with faith-based fans as well. It received an “A-†CinemaScore from audiences, which were 71 percent over the age of 25 and 52 percent women. The Rob Marshall-directed “Into the Woods†connected in part because of a star-laden ensemble topped by Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski, Chris Pine and Johnny Depp. It received a “B†CinemaScore from its audiences, which were 57 percent over the age of 25 and 54 percent female. Families made up 38 percent of the crowd. Also Read: Taylor Swift Single ‘Out of the Woods’ Shoots to No. 1 on iTunes Hours After Release Three holdover films — Fox’s “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,†Sony’s “Annie†and Lionsgate’s “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 1†– all did better this weekend than they did last week. “Secret of the Tomb†was up 31 percent, and took in $27.8 million over the four days. The Will Gluck musical “Annie†was up four percent with $21.2 million and “Mockingjay†rose 21 percent and took in $12.7 million. The debut of “American Sniper†was the best ever for a limited Christmas release. The Clint Eastwood-directed Iraq war saga starring Bradley Cooper brought in $850,000 from four locations for a $212,500 per-theater average, the year’s best. Also Read: TheWrap’s Film Critics Pick 10 Best Movies of 2014 This was an Oscar-qualifying run, and the big showing will provide momentum when Warner Bros. opens the drama co-starring Sienna Miller next weekend. So will the rare “A+†CinemaScore it received from audiences, which were 62 percent male and 77 percent over the age of 25. “Selma,†the Ava DuVernay-directed Civil Rights drama starring David Oyelowo, brought in $912,000 from 19 theaters over the four days for Paramount, an impressive $27,558 per-location average. The studio plans to go nationwide on Jan. 9 with “Selma,†which boasts a perfect 100 percent positive score on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes.
  7. Those who attended this year’s San Diego Comic-Con got a look at some elements from Guillermo del Toro’s new gothic horror Crimson Peak, mostly props and chunks of the set. Now we have a proper glimpse at one of the main characters, with a shot of Jessica Chastain in costume provided by The Film Stage. Crimson Peak finds Mia Wasikowska as author Edith Cushing, who is freshly wed to the charming, heroic Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston). She moves to live with him in the titular massive, crumbling family pile in Cumbria. But soon after she arrives, she discovers that her husband is not who he appears to be, and the house itself has some very dark secrets. That she didn’t realise this when she learned it was called “Crimson Peak†is, frankly, her own lookout. Chastain plays Lady Lucille Sharpe, Sir Thomas’s sister, a woman who no doubt carries her fair share of dangerous mysteries swirling about her. She certainly doesn’t dress like someone who is all about a warm welcome. With Charlie Hunnam, Burn Gorman, Doug Jones, Leslie Hope and Jim Beaver aboard, Crimson Peak will haunt our cinemas on October 16 next year.
  8. Microsoft's rumored Fortazela concept[uPDATE 2] A Microsoft spokesperson told GameSpot, "We have nothing to share concerning these reports." [uPDATE] VRFocus and Techradar report that several game studios have received Xbox One VR development kits. None of the studios were named, unfortunately. The original story is below. Microsoft will reveal its long-rumored Xbox virtual reality headset device during the company's E3 2015 briefing next summer, according to a new Digitimes report that cites "upstream supply chain" sources. The summer tradeshow is scheduled for June 16-18, 2015. The site's sources went on to say that development on the Xbox VR headset, which will presumably work with the Xbox One, will be handled by the same team that runs Microsoft's Surface tablet line. A name for the device was not mentioned. Microsoft's Xbox VR headset is separate from its Google Glass-like "Fortazela" project, which first leaked in June 2012. Digitimes adds that development on this project (pictured, top) is ongoing, though no further details about features or functionality are available. Microsoft has been open in saying that virtual reality is something the company has been experimenting with for a long time now. Competitor Sony announced its own virtual reality device, Project Morpheus, during GDC in March 2014, though the company hasn't said when it plans to launch the PlayStation 4 device or what it will cost. Meanwhile, the Facebook-owned Oculus Rift headset is also deep into development for PC. Microsoft's mysterious VR project has been in development for years, and the company even gave a demonstration of the tech to Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Grand Theft Auto parent publisher Take-Two Interactive. We have reached out to Microsoft for comment on this report, and will update this post with anything we hear back.
  9. In addition to a new Titanfall game, Respawn Entertainment has formed a second team internally that's in the early stages of development on a non-Titanfall project. Respawn co-founder Vince Zampella made the revelation on Friday in an interview with Game Informer. In response to a question about Repsawn recently hiring longtime God of War developer Stig Asmussen, Zampella said, "There is a second team. Non-Titanfall related." Asmussen works at Respawn in the role of game director for an unspecified title, which could be Respawn's new game. Respawn's mysterious new project could be a free-to-play or mobile game, according to previous comments from the company's COO, Dusty Welch. He said in a June interview that Asmussen was not brought on just to help with Titanfall. "I can tell you that part of his role here is thinking about how the studio can expand and where the growth sectors are in free-to-play and mobile," he explained. "Looking at those possibilities is part of what we do." Don't expect to see Respawn's new, non-Titanfall game, or Titanfall 2 anytime soon, however. Asked if E3 2015, which will be held in June 2015, could be a venue for Respawn's next game announcement, Zampella said, "No, I don't think so." "Next year will be a little quiet. We'll be heads down, back to work," he said. "Next year [we will be] figuring out what we're doing and really kind of honing in on what the next games will be." GameSpot heard from sources at GDC 2014 in March that Titanfall 2 had been greenlit following the success of the first game. Publisher Electronic Arts seemingly confirmed this later in the summer when it revealed that work had begun on "new Titanfall experiences." Whereas the original Titanfall was exclusive to Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC, the rumored sequel,according to multiple reports, could also come to PlayStation consoles. Zampella reiterated this today, saying, "I've already said future projects will not necessarily be exclusive" to Microsoft. Zampella also mentions in the interview today that Titanfall is approaching eight million unique users, though it's unclear how many copies of the game have actually been sold. This is up from 7 million about a month ago.
  10. Police in Germany are closely connecting BitShare with the on-the-run admins of streaming portal Kinox, but the site's CEO informs TF that police haven't even spoken with him. As U.S. authorities are called upon to start shutting down BitShare and Freakshare servers, the lawyer for the 'Kinox' fugitives says he's perplexed by the situation. Last week a quite extraordinary drama unfolded in Germany. Local police announced that they had carried out raids in several areas of the country with the aim of netting the operators of movie site Police did make two arrests but their main targets, two brothers said to be the founders of Kinox, remain at large. Subsequently police upped the ante by taking the unusual step of naming the pair and launching an international manhunt. Ever since news broke that the pair were being pursued, police, the attorney general, and local piracy outfit GVU have linked the brothers to a string of other file-sharing related sites. Among them are streaming portal Movie4K and file-hosting sites BitShare and FreakShare. All sites mentioned by the police remain operational. However, the anti-piracy group responsible for the investigations now wants something done about that. GVU director Dr. Matthias Leonardy claims that BitShare receives 1.5 million users per day and FreakShare 750,000. Continuing with his fiery rhetoric, Leonardy says the sites operate from datacenters in the United States so GVU now requires international assistance to shut them down. “This is by far the most serious case of organized economic crime with structurally infringing online services in Germany. The current case clearly shows that the illegal exploitation of creative content on the net is now firmly in the hands of criminals,†Leonardy says. But while GVU and the police appear acutely interested in these sites, when TorrentFreak spoke to BitShare just before the weekend, we were given a different picture. Mark Girak, the site’s CEO, who was clearly annoyed at being associated with the mounting chaos. He agreed to answer some questions to put his side of the story. Firstly, we asked Girak if anti-piracy outfit GVU or the police had ever been in contact with BitShare over the Kinox situation. “GVU never contacted us, nor did the police or any other company,†Girak said. “They are just putting our name everywhere and trying to make life hard for us. They are completely ignoring our brand and our company.†We then asked Girak if BitShare had any historical links with Kinox or its operators, and if so, to explain their nature. “We never had any contact with Kinox guys, they were once affiliates of us, but since two years they have not been using our website at all,†Girak said. “Our site is most probably being linked to that website because we offer a streaming feature for some of our users.†Finally, we asked Girak if BitShare has any pending legal problems in respect of Kinox or any other copyright matter. The answer was a clear “noâ€. And Girak isn’t the only one with doubts over the way the case is being presented by the authorities in Germany. The alleged ‘Kinox Brothers’, Kastriot and Kreshnik Selimi, are being portrayed as violent and rich individuals at every opportunity, but speaking to local media their lawyer questioned the allegations. “There is no evidence that the pair are dangerous,†said Stefan Tripmaker. “The family lives modestly and both brothers were still living in the rooms they had as children [at their parents' house]. It is a mystery to me where the money could be.†So all eyes now turn to the United States {if GVU is correct} to see whether something will be done there. In the meantime the controversy – and apparent mystery – continues.
  11. Carbine Studios cuts "around 60" jobs, in addition to further layoffs across NCSoft. Just four months after the release of sci-fi PC MMO WildStar in June, developer Carbine Studios has cut "around 60" positions, in addition to further layoffs at publisher NCSoft's western business unit. This according to a statement received by Polygon, which says the job losses were part of a "restructuring of key operations with [NCSoft] West." NCSoft added that it remains committed to its major MMO franchises such as WildStar, Aion, Lineage, andGuild Wars, though it also plans to move into the mobile and tablet markets. NCSoft saw "staff reductions" across all its Western business units, except for Guild Wars developer ArenaNet, according to the statement. An anonymous source told Polygon that the layoffs at Carbine affected employees "across all levels." Carbine--which was founded in 2005 by former Blizzard Entertainment veterans--is based in Aliso Viejo, California. The studio reportedly had around 100 employees before the job cuts this week. WildStar is the studio's only game so far. NCSoft's full statement on the staff reductions is below. "Today we announced a restructuring of key operations within NC West. As a result of this restructuring, we are implementing staff reductions across our Western operations with the exclusion of ArenaNet. While decisions like this are always hard, they are necessary as we begin the implementation of a new strategy designed to strengthen our footing as a leader in global entertainment. Moving forward, we will continue to focus on our core development capabilities and the intellectual properties (WildStar, Aion, Lineage, and Guild Wars franchises) that have made NCSOFT what it is today. However, we are looking to move into new business segments like mobile and tablet games as well as explore emerging technologies. Again, the decision to reduce staff was not an easy one, and we sincerely wish everyone well in their next endeavors." Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  12. Get an Xbox One without Kinect for $50 off starting November 9, according to leaked adscan. If you're in the market for an Xbox One and can hold out for a few weeks, you may want to consider this new deal from Kmart. According to an adscan for a sale beginning the week of November 9, Kmart will offer Kinect-free Xbox One bundles for $350, a markdown of $50 from the normal $400 price point. The adscan above comes from Twitter user thebiglouie. If true, it would represent one of the best deals to date for an Xbox One, not to mention making the Xbox One $50 less expensive than the rival PlayStation 4. There is no mention of a markdown for the $500 Xbox One bundle that comes with Kinect. It is unclear if this deal is limited to Kmart or if it is a wider price drop that will be available at retailers nationwide. We'll report back with more details as they become available. The deal, if genuine, is timed with the release of marquee Xbox One title, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which goes on sale on November 11. This isn't the only rumored Xbox One deal. Adscans from Target and Wal-Mart show that the $500 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 1 TB console will be offered for $450 beginning in November. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  13. Viewers will also get to see developer interviews about Master Chief Collection and watch the first episode of Halo: Nightfall. Microsoft announced today that it will hold a special "HaloFest" live-stream event the night before Halo: The Master Chief Collection's release on November 11 for Xbox One. Viewers will get to see developer interviews, the first footage of the Halo 5: Guardians gameplay, and the debut episode of Halo: Nightfall. You can tune in through Twitch, Xbox Live, and HaloFest will take place at the Avalon Theatre in Los Angeles on November 10, one day before The Master Chief Collection launches worldwide. The event begins at 8 PM Pacific. Here's what's on tap for the HaloFest live-stream: First look at Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer beta -- This will include an exhibition match between professional players, giving fans a first look at how the game plays. The game's beta begins December 29, though you'll need to buy The Master Chief Collection to get in World premiere of Halo: Nightfall -- Viewers will get to watch the first episode in Alien director Ridley Scott's series, which introduces Agent Locke, a central character in Halo 5. You can watch a new trailer for the series above. Interviews -- 343 Industries developers such as Bonnie Ross (studio manager), Frank O'Connor (franchise development director), Dan Ayoub (executive producer), and Josh Holmes (executive producer) will be featured during the event. In addition, 343 executive producer Kiki Wolfkill will talk about Nightfall during the stream, which will also feature "celebrity Halo fans." Outside of the HaloFest stream, Microsoft will hold a Halo tournament on November 8-9. 32 players from around the world will compete for $50,000 in prizes in Halo 2: Anniversary's multiplayer mode. This will take place at the ESL's headquarters in California, and all coverage will be streamed live through the Halo Twitch channel. Highlights will be shown during HaloFest. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  14. Blizzard announces music act for this year's Saturday evening concert to be held November 8. American rock band Metallica will perform at BlizzCon 2014 next month, Blizzard Entertainment announced today. The band will perform the Saturday evening concert, taking place November 8. If you can't attend BlizzCon 2014 in person (tickets are sold out), Metallica's performance will be streamed live for BlizzCon virtual ticket holders. Those are on sale now for $40. "We're thrilled to have Metallica blowing out our speakers at BlizzCon this year," Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said in a statement. "After two full days of epic gaming and intense eSports action, an earth-shaking concert is the perfect sendoff for everyone at the show and watching from home." Last year's musical act was Blink 182. Other bands that have performed at BlizzCon in previous years include The Offspring, Foo Fighters, Ozzy Osbourne, and Tenacious D, among others. BlizzCon 2014, a celebration of World of Warcraft, Diablo,StarCraft, and other Blizzard franchises, takes placeNovember 7-8 at the Anaheim Convention Center. This year's event will feature panel presentations, tournaments, contests, and hands-on time with Blizzard games. More details about BlizzCon 2014, including a full programming schedule, will be announced ahead of the show next month. Check back with GameSpot for more. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  15. Joanne Borgella, an American Idol contestant from the 2008 season, has lost her battle with cancer at the age of 32. Joanne's family announced her death via a post on her Facebook page. To God be the glory! With heavy hearts, we are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our beloved Joanne. On Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 5:45AM, Joanne Borgella Ramirez was called by the Lord to heaven. At an early age, Joanne made a choice to serve and trust the Lord; and since her diagnosis over a year ago, Joanne made a choice to also be a fighter and share her journey with the world. Her faith, courage and strength were unshaken throughout every obstacle she encountered. Although our family is suffering with this great loss, we find comfort in the closeness Joanne shared with the Lord. We know her spirit still shines and will continue to live on in heaven. #Godgotthis #cancerfree2014 #godisgoodallthetime If you would like to send your condolences or for more information please feel free to email or leave a message on her facebook fan page. If you feel so inclined, we hope you'll take the time to educate yourselves on Endometrial Cancer and support research efforts. ' The Borgella & Ramirez Family Joanne began singing at and 3 and performing at age 13. In 2008 she entered American Idol and made it through to the Top 12 before being eliminated. In 2011 Joanne appeared as a coach on MTV's 'Made'. Joanne revealed to fans in a video in October 2013 that she had cancer. . 'It's a rare case because it's spread to my chest,' she said in the first video, 'but it's really not about a stage of disease. God is with me and I feel his presence every day. I just wanted to share this information with everyone to let them know what I'm going through and I'm going to update everyone every week as much as I can.' Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  16. "In order for us to invest in growth areas at Turbine, we have to eliminate some positions." Lord of the Rings Online and Infinite Crisis developer Turbine Inc. has eliminated an unspecified number of positions in what the Boston-area studio calls a routine move. The studio, owned by media giant Warner Bros., confirmed the layoffs in a statement. "As part of our normal business process, we're routinely looking at the strategic alignment of our company," a representative told Massively. "Unfortunately, in order for us to invest in growth areas at Turbine, we have to eliminate some positions. These are always tough decisions, which we don't approach lightly, but it's crucial that Turbine is structured in a way that reflects the current and coming marketplace." Lord of the Rings Online launched in 2007, and adopted a free-to-play model in 2010. The game has welcomed a bevy of post-release expansions, the most recent of which was 2013's Helm's Deep. Founded in 1994, Turbine Inc. was acquired by Warner Bros. in 2010. It is one of the Boston area's biggest studios. Others include Rockstar New England (Bully, Grand Theft Auto V), Harmonix (Rock Band, Dance Central), and Demiurge (Shoot Many Robots, Mass Effect for PC). BioShock creator Irrational Games is also located in the Boston area, but it effectively closed earlier this year. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  17. Emails sent to Utah State University personnel threatened Sarkeesian and audience members who would attend her presentation. Anita Sarkeesian, the creator of Feminist Frequency, has had her presentation at Utah State University cancelled in response to being informed that weapons would be permitted at the venue, the university hasannounced in a statement. The discussion was sparked by what Standard Examiner reports as threats sent to "a number of personnel"at Utah State University via email. The emails allegedly threatened Sarkeesian as well as audience members who would be in attendance at her presentation with "the deadliest school shooting in American history." USU had originally scheduled for the presentation to go ahead after receiving email threats, but Sarkeesian cancelled the event after being informed that "if a person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to have it at the venue." Sarkeesian's speech was initially scheduled to be held on October 15 at the university's Taggart Student Center with "enhanced security measures." She had been invited to "tell her perspective about an important topic." Anita Sarkeesian's Kickstarter-funded video series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games tackles the representation of women in entertainment fields, primarily video games. Earlier this year, Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCA) organizers announced Sarkeesian as the recipient of the Ambassador Award, which honors an individual who helps video games "advance to a better place" through advocacy. Threats were reportedly made to the organizers and targeted the event, stating that the hosts should rescind Sarkeesian's award or "a bomb will be detonated." The FBI was reportedly handed information to assist in its investigation of the threats made against Sarkeesian. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  18. Kesha's sexual assault lawsuit against Dr. Luke has no basis, according to the music producer's lawyer. News of the singer's suit against the producer, real name Lukasz Sebastian Gottwald, broke on Tuesday, with TMZ citing claims he had abused Kesha physically, verbally and sexually for roughly ten years. In a statement released on his behalf, Dr. Luke's lawyers accused Kesha and her mother, Pebe Sebert, of 'engaging in a campaign of publishing outrageous and untrue statements about Dr. Luke to third parties, including scurrilous and false statements of purported physical and mental abuse of Kesha', according to RadarOnline. They also stated they are 'confident' their client will be 'awarded substantial damages for this malicious conduct'. 'These are allegations that Kesha and Pebe have themselves admitted are false. The complaint explains that Kesha and her mother Pebe have wielded these defamatory statements in an attempt to extort Gottwald into releasing Kesha from her exclusive recording agreement with Dr. Luke,' the statement continues in part. 'We understand that Kesha has filed a lawsuit of her own against Dr. Luke, though we have not yet seen it. Undoubtedly, Kesha's lawsuit is nothing more than a continuation of her bad and offensive acts.' In court documents obtained by TMZ, Kesha, who signed with Dr. Luke at the age 18, cited several instances in which she was allegedly forced to use drugs and alcohol and was sexually assaulted. Kesha checked into rehab in January of this year, revealing she was seeking help for an eating disorder. Her mother, Pebe Sebert, publicly blamed Dr. Luke at the time. He denied those allegations. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  19. Official website allegedly suggests new features for PC, Xbox One and PS4; Leak yet to be verified. Grand Theft Auto 5 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will include a new first-person mode in both vehicles and on foot, according to an alleged Rockstar Games web page. The first-person mode is part of a raft of new features that were listed on Rockstar's official website--although, the post is believed to be unfinished--before the web page was taken offline. However, aGooglecache of the alleged article still exists. If the page is accurate, the next-gen versions of Grand Theft Auto 5 will also include a "newly overhauled character selection screen," as well as "a wealth of new easter eggs and random events for Story Mode". However it is possible that the Googlecache page, found by a Reddit user, could be the work of a hoaxer. Even if genuine, the unfinished page could have been pulled because some of the features were not final. GameSpot has contacted Rockstar for clarification. In terms of graphical improvements, the web page writes that the next gen version will boast "increased draw distances, finer texture details, denser traffic, and enhanced resolutions all work together to bring new life to the cities, towns, deserts and oceans of Rockstar North’s epic reimagining of Southern California." Meanwhile, Grand Theft Auto Online will benefit from "an extensive array of new Jobs, an arsenal of new weapons, scores of new vehicles, new properties and player customizations will also be available for the PlayStation 4 system, Xbox One and PC with much more to come." The webpage then goes on to list the following features: A brand new first person mode for vehicles that shows the interior of the vehicle, including working speedometers, tachometers, dash lights, and more. A brand new first person mode while on foot. A wealth of new easter eggs and random events for Story Mode. New animals roaming Los Santos. Players that transfer characters from Xbox 360 or PS3 will receive free new weapons and a free garage in GTA Online. Newly overhauled character selection screen. In mid-September, Rockstar delayed the GTA V PC release date to late January, but confirmed that the GTA 5 PS4 and Xbox One release date is set for November 18 across North America and Europe. Rockstar has officially listed a range of improvements to the game already, such as: New weapons, vehicles and activities Additional wildlife Denser traffic New foliage system Enhanced damage and weather effects Those who pre-order the next-gen and PC versions will also receive $1,000,000 in-game bonus cash to spend across Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online. As previously speculated, the development team at Rockstar North will also bolster its in-game radio stations with more than 100 new songs and new DJ mixes. Meanwhile, for the next-gen versions of GTA Online the player count has increased, allowing up to 30 players on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. All existing gameplay upgrades and content released on GTA Online will also be available on the next-gen and PC editions, with Rockstar pledging "much more to come". See below for the latest batch of GTA V screens for next-gen consoles. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  20. Plus, 35GB hard drive space required for terrifying survival horror. UK developer The Creative Assembly has released details of Alien Isolation's minimum and recommended PC system requirements on Steam. At a baseline level, 4GB or memory is required, as well as a dual-core processor that can push 3.2Ghz, along with a 1GB graphics card. For storage, players will need 35GB of hard drive space. For a more superior experience, a 2GB graphics card is required, along the lines of an AMD Radeon R9 200 Series, while 8GB or memory is recommended. Alien Isolation is a first-person survival horror game that its developers hope will recreate the sense of hopelessness from Ridley Scott's original film. The game has gone gold and will release on October 7 in the US for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. A developer video explaining the creation of the game's Xenomorph is displayed above, while beneath the specs below you can peruse a gallery of images. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  21. Company's first wearable device launches in early 2015, and it requires an iPhone. Today during a special press event, Apple not only revealed new iPhones, but also a smartwatch product line. The Apple Watch is the most personal device Apple has ever created, CEO Tim Cook said, as reported by GameSpot sister site CNET. You can follow along with CNET's liveblog for up-to-the-second details about the device. "Because you wear it, we invented new intimate ways to connect and communicate directly from your wrist," Cook said, labeling the Apple Watch a "breakthrough" product. The Apple Watch represents the company's first wearable device. Other major personal electronics makers, including Sony, Motorola, Samsung, and LG, already have smartwatches available on the market. The Apple Watch line will include three main models: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. A variety of bands--six in all--will be available, including stainless steel and leather straps. These are interchangeable (using a proprietary strap design), meaning you're not locked into one style or another. The device has a built-in heart rate sensor and gyroscope, as well as haptic feedback. The Apple Watch can also determine the difference between a tap and a press, and features wireless, inductive charging. In terms of software, Siri makes the jump to the Apple Watch, and there are also maps and photo apps. Apple Watches will start at $349 when the product line launches in early 2015. In addition, Apple Watches require an iPhone because the two devices have been designed to work together. You won't need to buy a new iPhone 6 to use the watch, however, as Apple Watches are also compatible with iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, and iPhone 5c models. Wall Street is responding positively to today's Apple news, as the company's stock is up around 3 percent today to $101.34. Add Rep and Leave a feedback Reputation is the green button in the down right corner on my post
  22. Are you sitting comfortably? Good. This could take a while. The iPhone 5S is less than a year old, but rumors are gathering about its replacement, which should – if previous versions are anything to go by – be called the iPhone 6. Will it be bigger, or stay the same size? Will it have standout features? Will it be joined by an iPhone 6C, or the iWatch? None of these questions and many more will be answered until Tim Cook takes the stage later this year, but we can’t wait until September. We’re just not that patient. So, we’ve collected all the latest gossip we’ve heard right here. We hope you enjoy. Updated on 09-04-2014 by Malarie Gokey: New reports from the Wall Street Journal and New York Times confirm both iPhone 6 models will launch at September 9 event. Apple announced it will livestream the event on its website.
  23. The alleged operator of a sports streaming site who was arrested on behalf of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit has been charged with numerous offenses including copyright infringement, conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. TorrentFreak can today reveal the names of the sites involved. The Intellectual Property Crime Unit operated out of City of London Police were once again flexing their muscles this week with yet another raid in the UK. PIPCU, as the unit is known, teamed up with police in the north of England to swoop on what is being described as a major sports streaming operation. Early Monday, some 200 miles away from London, officers teamed with police in Manchester to raid a property in Cheetham Hill. Their target was an unnamed 27-year-old said to be providing access to subscription TV services. In their announcement, police used terms including “industrial scale†to describe the size of the operation after seizing 12 computers servers and other equipment. Police withheld the arrested man’s name and the sites involved. The streaming operation shutdown on Mondaycredit Yesterday, however, Zain Parvez of Cheetham Hill Road, Manchester, appeared before Manchester magistrates court charged with running the operation that was shut down earlier in the week. Things certainly don’t look good for the 27-year-old. Not only has Parvez been charged with offenses under the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988, he also faces allegations of money laundering, conspiracy to defraud and possessing or controlling an article for use in fraud. In respect of the names of the sites Parvez allegedly controlled, the pieces have been coming together all week but with no straightforward way of joining the dots. We can now confirm that the domains involved are, and As can be seen from the Alexa data below, dropped off the radar in July with immediately taking over, a domain switch that was announced on the site’s Twitter account. Parvez, who has been in custody since his arrest, will be further detained until heappears before Manchester Crown Court on September 16. This week’s arrest is the third involving a streaming site in the UK. Although the sites in previous actions were not announced by police, TorrentFreak previously revealed that the operator of,, and was arrested during April in the north of England.
  24. We regret to inform you that Lord Richard Attenborough, whose career as an actor and then filmmaker spanned nearly seventy years, has passed away at 90, just five days short of his birthday on August 29th. Attenborough died earlier today in west London, according to his son. The two-time Oscar-winner Attenborough had continuously struggled with health problems since he suffered a stroke in 2008; last year, he moved into a nursing home, in order to be with his wife. rn Richard Samuel Attenborough on August 29th, 1923 in Cambridge, England, Mr. Attenborough enlisted in the Royal Air Force during WWII; he ended up acting in such wartime propaganda films as Noël Coward’s In Which We Serve (1942) and John Boulting’s Journey Together (1943), where Attenborough appeared opposite Edward G. Robinson. He continue to act in several notable films over the years thereafter (see: Brighton Rock, The League of Gentlemen, etc., etc.), but it wasn’t until 1969 that Attenborough directed his first feature, in the shape of the WWI musical film Oh! What a Lovely War. Attenborough continued to act until Otto Preminger’s drama/thriller The Human Factor in 1979, at which point he went on a temporary hiatus from appearing onscreen. Over the decades proceeding then, however, Attenborough earned much acclaim for his work on both the stage (which included a role in the London’s West End production of The Mousetrap in 1952) as well as for his movie roles. He picked up a BAFTA for his performances in Guns at Batasi and Seance on a Wet Afternoon in 1964 (a year after he famously appeared in The Great Escape), before he earned Golden Globes back-to-back for his work in The Sand Pebbles (1966) and Doctor Dolittle (1967). Ben Kingsley and Richard Attenborough filming ‘Gandhi’ During the 1970s, Attenborough continued to act, but also directed the films Young Winston, A Bridge Too Far and Magic. Then, in 1982, Attenborough helmed the biopicGandhi, which earned him Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture. The film about the non-violent leader of India’s fight for independence took home six additional Academy Awards, including one for Ben Kingsley’s lead performance. Kingsley issued the following statement, in response to Attenborough’s passing. “Richard Attenborough trusted me with the crucial and central task of bringing to life a dream it took him twenty years to bring to fruition. When he gave me the part of Gandhi, it was with great grace and joy. He placed in me an absolute trust and in turn, I placed an absolute trust in him and grew to love him. I, along with millions of others whom he touched through his life and work, will miss him dearly.†Attenborough continued to direct over the decade that followed, as he delivered such prestigious titles as the Oscar-nominated musical A Chorus Line in 1985, the Oscar-nominated South Africa historical drama Cry Freedom in 1987, and then the Oscar-nominated (notice a pattern?) Charlie Chaplin biopic Chaplin in 1992. The latter features a young Robert Downey Jr. in his first Academy Award-nominated role, as the eponymous silent film comedy legend. In 1993, Attenborough returned to the big screen at last in Steven Spielberg’s iconic blockbuster Jurassic Park, where he played the (tragic) visionary John Hammond. For many members of the generation that grew up watching the film, Attenborough’s eccentric, yet dignified and vulnerable turn as Mr. Hammond was their introduction to the man; for others, it was the latest fine work of artistic expression by Attenborough. As Spielberg put it in his own statement on the actor/filmmaker’s passing: “Dickie Attenborough was passionate about everything in his life – family, friends, country and career. He made a gift to the world with his emotional epic ‘Gandhi’ and he was the perfect ringmaster to bring the dinosaurs back to life as John Hammond in ‘Jurassic Park.’ He was a dear friend and I am standing in an endless line of those who completely adored him.†Richard Attenborough as Kris Kringle in ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ (1994) Over the twenty years that followed Jurassic Park‘s initial release, Attenborough continue to do strong work on both sides of the camera. Directing-wise, Attenborough pressed on with the task of delivering prestigious cinema based on the lives of actual people – with the Oscar-nominated C.S. Lewis memoir Shadowlandsin 1993, followed by the Ernest Hemingway drama In Love and War in 1996, the Grey Owl biopic in 1999, and finally the historical fiction drama Closing the Ring in 2007. Acting-wise, Attenborough’s noteworthy roles in the ’90s and ’00s include his turn as Kris Kringle in the Miracle on 34th Street remake in 1994, followed by his turns inHamlet (1996), his reprisal as John Hammond in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and his performance in Elizabeth (1998), among others. All of us here at Screen Rant wish to express our most sincere condolences to Lord Attenborough’s family, friends, and fans, in this difficult time. The world has lost not just one of its great filmmakers, but also a true humanitarian artist. R.I.P: Richard Samuel Attenborough: August 29th, 1923 – August 24th, 2014
  25. It’s always worth being nice to people who work in retail, because one of those people might just have a secret past as a black ops commando and a hunger for vigilante justice. That’s the case with Robert McCall (Denzel Washington), a calm-voiced Homemart employee with OCD who made a promise to his wife that he’d never go back to his old life of violence. For sadistic mob boss Teddy (Martin Csokas), however, Robert is willing to make an exception. The Equalizer, directed by Antoine Fuqua (Olympus Has Fallen) is loosely based on the 1980s TV show of the same name, and Sony is so confident in its potential that a sequel is already in development. If this goes ahead, with Washington’s involvement, it will mark the first time that the star has ever appeared in a direct sequel to one of his movies. First comes the task of getting people into the theaters forThe Equalizer, however, and so a new minute-long trailer for the movie has been released, which also offers a preview of upcoming single “Guts Over Fear†by Eminem and Sia, which is featured in the film. The trailer includes a few new clips, including a scene where Robert is asked by his curious colleagues about his life before Homemart. To top things off, there is an obligatory shot of Washington walking away from an explosion in slow motion. The Equalizer also stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Teri, an underage sex worker whom Robert meets during one of his usual late-night visits to his favorite diner, and who inadvertently draws him into a vigilante mission against the Russian mafia. The screenplay was penned by The Expendables 2 writer Richard Wenk. For more details about the story and production of The Equalizer, don’t forget to check out Screen Rant’s set visit report, as well as our interviews with producerTodd Black, director Antoine Fuqua and star Denzel Washington. Let us know in the comments if the combination of fast-paced action and the sweet sound of Eminem’s voice in this latest trailer have convinced you to check out The Equalizer in theaters next month. The Equalizer hits theaters September 26, 2014.