Halo 2 is a 2004 first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie. Released for the Xbox video game console on November 9, 2004, the game is the second installment in the Halo franchise and the sequel to 2001's critically acclaimed Halo: Combat Evolved. A Microsoft Windows version of the game was released on May 31, 2007, developed by an internal team at Microsoft Game Studios known as Hired Gun; the game features a new game engine, as well as using the Havok physics engine. The player alternately assumes the roles of the human Master Chief and the alien Arbiter in a 26th-century conflict between the human United Nations Space Command, the genocidal Covenant, the parasitic Flood. After the success of Combat Evolved, a sequel was expected and anticipated. Bungie found inspiration in plot points and gameplay elements, left out of their first game, including multiplayer over the Internet through Xbox Live. Time constraints forced a series of cutbacks in the size and scope of the game, including a cliffhanger ending to the game's campaign mode that left many in the studio dissatisfied.
Among Halo 2's marketing efforts was an alternate reality game called "I Love Bees" that involved players solving real-world puzzles. On release, Halo 2 was the most popular video game on Xbox Live, holding that rank until the release of Gears of War for the Xbox 360 nearly two years later. By June 20, 2006, more than 500 million games of Halo 2 had been played and more than 710 million hours have been spent playing it on Xbox Live. Halo 2 is the best-selling first-generation Xbox game with at least 6.3 million copies sold in the United States alone. The game received critical acclaim, with most publications lauding the strong multiplayer component; the campaign however, was the focus of criticism for its cliffhanger ending. A high-definition remastered version of Halo 2 was released as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on November 11, 2014, for the Xbox One titled Halo 2 Anniversary; the collection itself will be released for the Windows in 2019. Halo 2 is a shooter game, with players predominantly experiencing gameplay from a first-person perspective.
Players use a combination of human and alien weaponry and vehicles to progress through the game's levels. The player's health bar is not visible, but players are instead equipped with a damage-absorbing shield that regenerates when not taking fire. Certain weapons can be dual-wielded, allowing the player to trade accuracy, the use of grenades and melee attacks for raw firepower; the player can carry two weapons at a time, with each weapon having advantages and disadvantages in different combat situations. For example, most Covenant weapons eschew disposable ammo clips for a contained battery, which cannot be replaced if depleted. However, these weapons can overheat. Human weapons are less effective at penetrating shields and require reloading, but cannot overheat due to prolonged fire; the player can carry a total of eight grenades to disrupt enemies. New in Halo 2 is the ability to board enemy vehicles that are near the player and traveling at low speeds; the player or AI forcibly ejects the other driver from the vehicle.
The game's "Campaign" mode offers options for both single-player and cooperative multiplayer participation. In campaign mode, the player must complete a series of levels; these levels alternate between the Master Chief and a Covenant Elite called the Arbiter, who occupy diametrically opposed roles in the story's conflict. Aside from variations in storyline, the Arbiter differs from Master Chief only in that his armor lacks a flashlight. There are four levels of difficulty in campaign mode: Easy, Normal and Legendary. An increase in difficulty will result in an increase in the number, health and accuracy of enemies. There is hidden content within the game, including Easter eggs, hidden objects, weapons; the most well known of the hidden content are the skulls hidden on every level. The skulls, which can be picked up like a weapon, are located in hard-to-reach places. Many are exclusive to the Legendary mode of difficulty. Once activated, each skull has a specific effect on gameplay. For example, the "Sputnik" skull found on the Quarantine Zone level alters the mass of objects in the game.
Skull effects can be combined to provide various new levels of difficulty and/or novelty. Like Halo: Combat Evolved, the Xbox version of Halo 2 features a multiplayer system that allows players to compete with each other in split-screen and system link modes. Halo 2 introduced an new paradigm for matchmaking players together. In earlier games, one person specifies a game type and map and configures other settings, before setting up his or her device as a game server and advertising the game to the world at large. Halo 2 introduced a "playlist" system that automated this process to keep a steady flow of games available at all times, layered a skill-ranking system on top; the Xbox Live multiplayer and downloadable content features of the Xbox version of Halo 2 were supported
Seattle is a seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the seat of Washington. With an estimated 730,000 residents as of 2018, Seattle is the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. According to U. S. Census data released in 2018, the Seattle metropolitan area’s population stands at 3.87 million, ranks as the 15th largest in the United States. In July 2013, it was the fastest-growing major city in the United States and remained in the Top 5 in May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. In July 2016, Seattle was again the fastest-growing major U. S. city, with a 3.1% annual growth rate. Seattle is the northernmost large city in the United States; the city is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, about 100 miles south of the Canada–United States border. A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the fourth-largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2015; the Seattle area was inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers.
Arthur A. Denny and his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived from Illinois via Portland, Oregon, on the schooner Exact at Alki Point on November 13, 1851; the settlement was moved to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay and named "Seattle" in 1852, in honor of Chief Si'ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. Today, Seattle has high populations of Native, Scandinavian and Asian Americans, as well as a thriving LGBT community that ranks 6th in the United States for population. Logging was Seattle's first major industry, but by the late 19th century, the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. Growth after World War II was due to the local Boeing company, which established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing; the Seattle area developed into a technology center from the 1980s onwards with companies like Microsoft becoming established in the region. Internet retailer Amazon was founded in Seattle in 1994, major airline Alaska Airlines is based in SeaTac, serving Seattle's international airport, Seattle–Tacoma International Airport.
The stream of new software and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by 50,000 between 1990 and 2000. Owing to its increasing population in the 21st century and the state of Washington have some of the highest minimum wages in the country, at $15 per hour for smaller businesses and $16 for the city's largest employers. Seattle has a noteworthy musical history. From 1918 to 1951, nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs existed along Jackson Street, from the current Chinatown/International District to the Central District; the jazz scene nurtured the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson, others. Seattle is the birthplace of rock musician Jimi Hendrix, as well as the origin of the bands Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Foo Fighters and the alternative rock movement grunge. Archaeological excavations suggest that Native Americans have inhabited the Seattle area for at least 4,000 years. By the time the first European settlers arrived, the people occupied at least seventeen villages in the areas around Elliott Bay.
The first European to visit the Seattle area was George Vancouver, in May 1792 during his 1791–95 expedition to chart the Pacific Northwest. In 1851, a large party led by Luther Collins made a location on land at the mouth of the Duwamish River. Thirteen days members of the Collins Party on the way to their claim passed three scouts of the Denny Party. Members of the Denny Party claimed land on Alki Point on September 28, 1851; the rest of the Denny Party set sail from Portland and landed on Alki point during a rainstorm on November 13, 1851. After a difficult winter, most of the Denny Party relocated across Elliott Bay and claimed land a second time at the site of present-day Pioneer Square, naming this new settlement Duwamps. Charles Terry and John Low remained at the original landing location and reestablished their old land claim and called it "New York", but renamed "New York Alki" in April 1853, from a Chinook word meaning "by and by" or "someday". For the next few years, New York Alki and Duwamps competed for dominance, but in time Alki was abandoned and its residents moved across the bay to join the rest of the settlers.
David Swinson "Doc" Maynard, one of the founders of Duwamps, was the primary advocate to name the settlement after Chief Seattle of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. The name "Seattle" appears on official Washington Territory papers dated May 23, 1853, when the first plats for the village were filed. In 1855, nominal land settlements were established. On January 14, 1865, the Legislature of Territorial Washington incorporated the Town of Seattle with a board of trustees managing the city; the Town of Seattle was disincorporated on January 18, 1867, remained a mere precinct of King County until late 1869, when a new petition was filed and the city was re-incorporated December 2, 1869, with a mayor–council government. The corporate seal of the City of Seattle carries the date "1869" and a likeness of Chief Sealth in left profile. Seattle has a history of boom-and-bust cycles, like many other cities near areas of extensive natural and mineral resources. Seattle has risen several times economically gone into precipitous decline, but it has used those periods to rebuild solid infrastructure
USA Today is an internationally distributed American daily, middle-market newspaper that serves as the flagship publication of its owner, the Gannett Company. The newspaper has a centrist audience. Founded by Al Neuharth on September 15, 1982, it operates from Gannett's corporate headquarters on Jones Branch Drive, in McLean, Virginia, it is printed at five additional sites internationally. Its dynamic design influenced the style of local and national newspapers worldwide, through its use of concise reports, colorized images, informational graphics, inclusion of popular culture stories, among other distinct features. With a weekly circulation of 1,021,638 and an approximate daily reach of seven million readers as of 2016, USA Today shares the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States with The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. USA Today is distributed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, an international edition is distributed in Asia, Canada and the Pacific Islands.
The genesis of USA Today was on February 29, 1980, when a company task force known as "Project NN" met with Gannett Company chairman Al Neuharth in Cocoa Beach, Florida to develop a national newspaper. Early regional prototypes included East Bay Today, an Oakland, California-based publication published in the late 1970s to serve as the morning edition of the Oakland Tribune, an afternoon newspaper which Gannett owned at the time. On June 11, 1981, Gannett printed the first prototypes of the proposed publication; the two proposed design layouts were mailed to newsmakers and prominent leaders in journalism, for review and feedback. The Gannett Company's board of directors approved the launch of the national newspaper, titled USA Today, on December 5, 1981. At launch, Neuharth was appointed president and publisher of the newspaper, adding those responsibilities to his existing position as Gannett's chief executive officer. Gannett announced the launch of the paper on April 20, 1982. USA Today began publishing on September 15, 1982 in the Baltimore and Washington, D.
C. metropolitan areas for an newsstand price of 25¢. After selling out the first issue, Gannett expanded the national distribution of the paper, reaching an estimated circulation of 362,879 copies by the end of 1982, double the amount of sales that Gannett projected; the design uniquely incorporated color graphics and photographs. Only its front news section pages were rendered in four-color, while the remaining pages were printed in a spot color format; the paper's overall style and elevated use of graphics – developed by Neuharth, in collaboration with staff graphics designers George Rorick, Sam Ward, Suzy Parker, John Sherlock and Web Bryant – was derided by critics, who referred to it as "McPaper" or "television you can wrap fish in," because it opted to incorporate concise nuggets of information more akin to the style of television news, rather than in-depth stories like traditional newspapers, which many in the newspaper industry considered to be a dumbing down of the news. Although USA Today had been profitable for just ten years as of 1997, it changed the appearance and feel of newspapers around the world.
On July 2, 1984, the newspaper switched from predominantly black-and-white to full color photography and graphics in all four sections. The next week on July 10, USA Today launched an international edition intended for U. S. readers abroad, followed four months on October 8 with the rollout of the first transmission via satellite of its international version to Singapore. On April 8, 1985, the paper published its first special bonus section, a 12-page section called "Baseball'85," which previewed the 1985 Major League Baseball season. By the fourth quarter of 1985, USA Today had become the second largest newspaper in the United States, reaching a daily circulation of 1.4 million copies. Total daily readership of the paper by 1987 had reached 5.5 million, the largest of any daily newspaper in the U. S. On May 6, 1986, USA Today began production of its international edition in Switzerland. USA Today operated at a loss for most of its first four years of operation, accumulating a total deficit of $233 million after taxes, according to figures released by Gannett in July 1987.
On January 29, 1988, USA Today published the largest edition in its history, a 78-page weekend edition featuring a section previewing Super Bowl XXII. On April 15, USA Today launched a third international printing site, based in Hong Kong; the international edition set circulation and advertising records during August 1988, with coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics, selling more than 60,000 copies and 100 pages of advertising. By July 1991, Simmons Market Research Bureau estimated that USA Today had a total daily readership of nearly 6.6 million, an all-time high and the largest readership of any daily newspaper in the United States. On September 1 of that year, USA Today launched a fourth printsite for its international edition in London for the United Kingdom and the British Isles; the international edition's schedule was changed as of April 1, 1994 Monday through Friday, rather than from Tuesday through Saturday, in order to accommodate business travelers.
Microsoft Windows is a group of several graphical operating system families, all of which are developed and sold by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. Active Windows families include Windows Embedded. Defunct Windows families include Windows Mobile and Windows Phone. Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985, as a graphical operating system shell for MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces. Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal computer market with over 90% market share, overtaking Mac OS, introduced in 1984. Apple came to see Windows as an unfair encroachment on their innovation in GUI development as implemented on products such as the Lisa and Macintosh. On PCs, Windows is still the most popular operating system. However, in 2014, Microsoft admitted losing the majority of the overall operating system market to Android, because of the massive growth in sales of Android smartphones.
In 2014, the number of Windows devices sold was less than 25 %. This comparison however may not be relevant, as the two operating systems traditionally target different platforms. Still, numbers for server use of Windows show one third market share, similar to that for end user use; as of October 2018, the most recent version of Windows for PCs, tablets and embedded devices is Windows 10. The most recent versions for server computers is Windows Server 2019. A specialized version of Windows runs on the Xbox One video game console. Microsoft, the developer of Windows, has registered several trademarks, each of which denote a family of Windows operating systems that target a specific sector of the computing industry; as of 2014, the following Windows families are being developed: Windows NT: Started as a family of operating systems with Windows NT 3.1, an operating system for server computers and workstations. It now consists of three operating system subfamilies that are released at the same time and share the same kernel: Windows: The operating system for mainstream personal computers and smartphones.
The latest version is Windows 10. The main competitor of this family is macOS by Apple for personal computers and Android for mobile devices. Windows Server: The operating system for server computers; the latest version is Windows Server 2019. Unlike its client sibling, it has adopted a strong naming scheme; the main competitor of this family is Linux. Windows PE: A lightweight version of its Windows sibling, meant to operate as a live operating system, used for installing Windows on bare-metal computers, recovery or troubleshooting purposes; the latest version is Windows PE 10. Windows IoT: Initially, Microsoft developed Windows CE as a general-purpose operating system for every device, too resource-limited to be called a full-fledged computer. However, Windows CE was renamed Windows Embedded Compact and was folded under Windows Compact trademark which consists of Windows Embedded Industry, Windows Embedded Professional, Windows Embedded Standard, Windows Embedded Handheld and Windows Embedded Automotive.
The following Windows families are no longer being developed: Windows 9x: An operating system that targeted consumers market. Discontinued because of suboptimal performance. Microsoft now caters to the consumer market with Windows NT. Windows Mobile: The predecessor to Windows Phone, it was a mobile phone operating system; the first version was called Pocket PC 2000. The last version is Windows Mobile 6.5. Windows Phone: An operating system sold only to manufacturers of smartphones; the first version was Windows Phone 7, followed by Windows Phone 8, the last version Windows Phone 8.1. It was succeeded by Windows 10 Mobile; the term Windows collectively describes any or all of several generations of Microsoft operating system products. These products are categorized as follows: The history of Windows dates back to 1981, when Microsoft started work on a program called "Interface Manager", it was announced in November 1983 under the name "Windows", but Windows 1.0 was not released until November 1985.
Windows 1.0 was to achieved little popularity. Windows 1.0 is not a complete operating system. The shell of Windows 1.0 is a program known as the MS-DOS Executive. Components included Calculator, Cardfile, Clipboard viewer, Control Panel, Paint, Reversi and Write. Windows 1.0 does not allow overlapping windows. Instead all windows are tiled. Only modal dialog boxes may appear over other windows. Microsoft sold as included Windows Development libraries with the C development environment, which included numerous windows samples. Windows 2.0 was released in December 1987, was more popular than its predecessor. It features several improvements to the user memory management. Windows 2.03 changed the OS from tiled windows to overlapping windows. The result of this change led to Apple Computer filing a suit against Microsoft alleging infringement on Apple's copyrights. Windows 2.0
Twitter is an American online news and social networking service on which users post and interact with messages known as "tweets". Tweets were restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, this limit was doubled for all languages except Chinese and Korean. Registered users can post and retweet tweets, but unregistered users can only read them. Users access Twitter through its website interface, through Short Message Service or its mobile-device application software. Twitter, Inc. is based in San Francisco and has more than 25 offices around the world. Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, Evan Williams and launched in July of that year; the service gained worldwide popularity. In 2012, more than 100 million users posted 340 million tweets a day, the service handled an average of 1.6 billion search queries per day. In 2013, it was one of the ten most-visited websites and has been described as "the SMS of the Internet"; as of 2018, Twitter had more than 321 million monthly active users.
Since 2015 Twitter has been a hotbed of debates and news covering politics of the United States. During the 2016 U. S. presidential election, Twitter was the largest source of breaking news on the day, with 40 million election-related tweets sent by 10:00 p.m. that day. It was a source of information on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination and the 2018 United States midterm elections. Twitter's origins lie in a "daylong brainstorming session" held by board members of the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey an undergraduate student at New York University, introduced the idea of an individual using an SMS service to communicate with a small group; the original project code name for the service was twttr, an idea that Williams ascribed to Noah Glass, inspired by Flickr and the five-character length of American SMS short codes. The decision was partly due to the fact that the domain twitter.com was in use, it was six months after the launch of twttr that the crew purchased the domain and changed the name of the service to Twitter.
The developers considered "10958" as a short code, but changed it to "40404" for "ease of use and memorability". Work on the project started on March 21, 2006, when Dorsey published the first Twitter message at 9:50 p.m. Pacific Standard Time: "just setting up my twttr". Dorsey has explained the origin of the "Twitter" title:...we came across the word'twitter', it was just perfect. The definition was'a short burst of inconsequential information,' and'chirps from birds', and that's what the product was. The first Twitter prototype, developed by Dorsey and contractor Florian Weber, was used as an internal service for Odeo employees and the full version was introduced publicly on July 15, 2006. In October 2006, Biz Stone, Evan Williams and other members of Odeo formed Obvious Corporation and acquired Odeo, together with its assets — including Odeo.com and Twitter.com — from the investors and shareholders. Williams fired Glass, silent about his part in Twitter's startup until 2011. Twitter spun off into its own company in April 2007.
Williams provided insight into the ambiguity that defined this early period in a 2013 interview: With Twitter, it wasn't clear what it was. They called it a social network, they called it microblogging, but it was hard to define, because it didn't replace anything. There was this path of discovery with something like that, where over time you figure out what it is. Twitter changed from what we thought it was in the beginning, which we described as status updates and a social utility, it is that, in part, but the insight we came to was Twitter was more of an information network than it is a social network. The tipping point for Twitter's popularity was the 2007 South by Southwest Interactive conference. During the event, Twitter usage increased from 20,000 tweets per day to 60,000. "The Twitter people cleverly placed two 60-inch plasma screens in the conference hallways streaming Twitter messages," remarked Newsweek's Steven Levy. "Hundreds of conference-goers kept tabs on each other via constant twitters.
Panelists and speakers mentioned the service, the bloggers in attendance touted it." Reaction at the conference was positive. Blogger Scott Beale said. Social software researcher danah boyd said. Twitter staff received the festival's Web Award prize with the remark "we'd like to thank you in 140 characters or less, and we just did!"The first unassisted off-Earth Twitter message was posted from the International Space Station by NASA astronaut T. J. Creamer on January 22, 2010. By late November 2010, an average of a dozen updates per day were posted on the astronauts' communal account, @NASA_Astronauts. NASA has hosted over 25 "tweetups", events that provide guests with VIP access to NASA facilities and speakers with the goal of leveraging participants' social networks to further the outreach goals of NASA. In August 2010, the company appointed Adam Bain from News Corp.'s Fox Audience Network as president of revenue. The company experienced rapid initial growth, it had 400,000 tweets posted per quarter in 2007.
This grew to 100 million tweets posted per quarter in 2008. In February 2010, Twitter users were sending 50 million tweets per day. By March 2010, the company recorded over 70,000 registered applications; as of June 2010, about 65 million tweets were posted each day, equaling about 750 tweets sent each second, according to Twitter. As of March 2011, about 140 million tweets posted daily; as noted on Compete.com, Twitter moved up to the third-highest-ranking social networking site
Destiny (video game)
Destiny is an online-only multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie and published by Activision. It was released worldwide on September 9, 2014, for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One consoles. Destiny marked Bungie's first new console franchise since the Halo series, it was the first game in a ten-year agreement between Bungie and Activision. Set in a "mythic science fiction" world, the game features a multiplayer "shared-world" environment with elements of role-playing games. Activities in Destiny are divided among player versus environment and player versus player game types. In addition to normal story missions, PvE features six-player raids. A free roam patrol mode is available for each planet and features public events. PvP features objective-based modes, as well as traditional deathmatch game modes. Players take on the role of a Guardian, protectors of Earth's last safe city as they wield a power called Light to protect the City from different alien races.
Guardians are tasked with reviving a celestial being called the Traveler, while journeying to different planets to investigate and destroy the alien threats before humanity is wiped out. Bungie released four expansion packs, furthering the story, adding new content and new PvP modes. Year One of Destiny featured two small expansions, The Dark Below in December 2014 and House of Wolves in May 2015. A third, larger expansion, The Taken King, was released in September 2015 and marked the beginning of Year Two, changing much of the core gameplay; the base game and the first three expansions were packaged into Destiny: The Taken King Legendary Edition. Another large expansion called Rise of Iron was released beginning Year Three. Rise of Iron was only released for Xbox One; the base game and all four expansions were packaged into Destiny: The Collection. A direct sequel, Destiny 2, released in September 2017. Upon its release, Destiny received mixed to positive reviews with criticism centered around the game's storyline and post-campaign content.
The game was praised for maintaining lineage from the Halo franchise in regards to its competitive experiences. On day one of its release, it sold over US$325 million at retail in its first five days, making it the biggest new franchise launch of all time, it was GamesRadar's 2014 Game of the Year and it received the BAFTA Award for Best Game at the 2014 British Academy Video Games Awards. Destiny's style has been described as a first-person shooter that incorporates role-playing and MMO elements, but Bungie has avoided describing Destiny as a traditional MMO game. Instead, the game has been referred to as a "shared-world shooter", as it lacks many of the characteristics of a traditional MMO game. For instance, rather than players being able to communicate with all other players in the game or on a particular server — as is the case in many conventional MMO games — Destiny includes on-the-fly matchmaking that allows players to communicate only with other players with whom they are "matched" by the game.
To communicate with other players in the game world, players must use their respective console's messaging system. Time-limited events and modes are occasionally added or featured in-game. Activities in Destiny are divided among player versus environment and player versus player game types across the Cosmodrome and the Plaguelands on Earth, its Moon and Mars. There are PvP maps for Mars's moon Phobos and the planet Mercury. A social space on Mercury was added with the House of Wolves expansion, but requires players to go undefeated in the Trials of Osiris Crucible mode in order to access it. Another PvE area, a massive ship called the Dreadnaught, situated in the rings of Saturn, two PvE missions on Phobos were added with The Taken King expansion. Players are able to improve their characters, referred to as Guardians, by gaining experience points — when a set number of experience points are accumulated, the player's character will "level up" and gain improved statistics which further enhance performance in battle.
Quests, including the "main scenario" quest line, are specific tasks given to the player by non-player characters which reward items and EXP. Completing main scenario quests progresses the overarching plot of the game. Destiny features three character classes; each class has their own specific upgrades, special abilities, two sub-classes that allow the player to finely tune their individual characters to provide a different play style. After choosing a class, players select one of three species for their character: Human, Awoken, or Exo, they can customize their character, such as changing its gender or skin color. A character's species does not affect gameplay. Players can create two more characters to have a character of each class; the Taken King added a third sub-class for each class, but requires the purchase of the DLC to access the new sub-classes. Hunters are designed to be like a bounty hunter with a focus on mobility, its Solar-based "Gunslinger" sub-class tree includes stat boosts that award accurate play, a throwing knife attack, the ability to upgrade to a triple jump, the "Golden Gun" super, a powerful, flaming magnum with a base magazine of three shots.
The Arc-based "Bladedancer" sub-class has a heavier focus on close combat, offering an extended-range "Blink Strike", an "Arc Blade" super with a temporary invisibility option. The Taken King added t
IGN is an American video game and entertainment media website operated by IGN Entertainment Inc. a subsidiary of Ziff Davis, itself wholly owned by j2 Global. The company is located in San Francisco's SOMA district and is headed by its former editor-in-chief, Peer Schneider; the IGN website was the brainchild of media entrepreneur Chris Anderson and launched on September 29, 1996. It focuses on games, television, comics and other media. A network of desktop websites, IGN is now distributed on mobile platforms, console programs on the Xbox and PlayStation, FireTV, via YouTube, Twitch and Snapchat. IGN was the flagship website of IGN Entertainment, a website which owned and operated several other websites oriented towards players' interests and entertainment, such as Rotten Tomatoes, GameSpy, GameStats, VE3D, TeamXbox, Vault Network, FilePlanet, AskMen, among others. IGN was sold to publishing company Ziff Davis in February 2013 and now operates as a j2 Global subsidiary. Created in September 1996 as the Imagine Games Network, the IGN content network was founded by publishing executive Jonathan Simpson-Bint and began as five individual websites within Imagine Media: N64.com, PSXPower, Next-Generation.com and Ultra Game Players Online.
Imagine expanded on its owned-and-operated websites by creating an affiliate network that included a number of independent fansites such as PSX Nation.com, Sega-Saturn.com, Game Sages, GameFAQs. In 1998, the network launched a new homepage that consolidated the individual sites as system channels under the IGN brand; the homepage exposed content from more than 30 different channels. Next-Generation and Ultra Game Players Online were not part of this consolidation. G. P. O. Dissolved with the cancellation of the magazine, Next-Generation was put "on hold" when Imagine decided to concentrate on launching the short-lived Daily Radar brand. In February 1999, PC Magazine named IGN one of the hundred-best websites, alongside competitors GameSpot and CNET Gamecenter; that same month, Imagine Media incorporated a spin-off that included IGN and its affiliate channels as Affiliation Networks, while Simpson-Bint remained at the former company. In September, the newly spun-out standalone internet media company, changed its name to Snowball.com.
At the same time, small entertainment website The Den merged into IGN and added non-gaming content to the growing network. Snowball shed most of its other properties during the dot-com bubble. IGN prevailed with growing audience numbers and a newly established subscription service called IGN Insider, which led to the shedding of the name "Snowball" and adoption of IGN Entertainment on May 10, 2002. In June 2005, IGN reported having 24,000,000 unique visitors per month, with 4.8 million registered users through all departments of the site. IGN is ranked among the top 200 most-visited websites according to Alexa. In September 2005, IGN was acquired by Rupert Murdoch's multi-media business empire, News Corporation, for $650 million. IGN celebrated its 10th anniversary on January 12, 2008. IGN was headquartered in the Marina Point Parkway office park in Brisbane, until it relocated to a smaller office building near AT&T Park in San Francisco on March 29, 2010. On May 25, 2011, IGN sold its Direct2Drive division to Gamefly for an undisclosed amount.
In 2011, IGN Entertainment acquired its rival UGO Entertainment from Hearst Corporation. News Corp. planned to spin off IGN Entertainment as a publicly traded company, continuing a string of divestitures for digital properties it had acquired. On February 4, 2013, after a failed attempt to spin off IGN as a separate company, News Corp. announced that it had sold IGN Entertainment to the publishing company Ziff Davis, acquired by J2 Global. Financial details regarding the purchase were not revealed. Prior to its acquisition by UGO, 1UP.com had been owned by Ziff Davis. Soon after the acquisition, IGN announced that it would be laying off staff and closing GameSpy, 1UP.com, UGO in order to focus on its flagship brands, IGN.com and AskMen. The role-playing video game interest website Vault Network was acquired by IGN in 1999. GameStats, a review aggregation website, was founded by IGN in 2004. GameStats includes a "GPM" rating system which incorporates an average press score and average gamer score, as well as the number of page hits for the game.
However, the site is no longer being updated. The Xbox interest site, TeamXbox, the PC game website VE3D were acquired in 2003. IGN Entertainment merged with GameSpy Industries in 2005; the merger brought the game download site FilePlanet into the IGN group. IGN Entertainment acquired the online male lifestyle magazine AskMen.com in 2005. In 2004, IGN acquired film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and in 2010, sold the website to Flixster. In October 2017, Humble Bundle announced that it was being acquired by IGN. A member of the IGN staff writes a review for a game and gives it a score between 0.1 and 10.0, assigned by increments of 0.1 and determines how much the game is recommended. The score is given according to the "individual aspects of a game, like presentation, sound and lasting appeal." Each game is given a score in each of these categories, but the overall score for the game is an independent evaluation, not an average of the scores in each category. On August 3, 2010, IGN announced.
Instead of a 100-point s