The Bestselling Games of 2015, Netflix Cracks Down on VPNs… [Tech News Digest]

The least surprising list of all time, Netflix hates you and your VPN, a popular app suddenly becomes very unpopular, Wikipedia turns 15 today, and Jimmy Kimmel brings The X-Files up to date.

The Biggest Selling Games of 2015

Last year was a good one for video games, with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One starting to get titles befitting the quality of the hardware. But which games sold well? Thanks to NPD (via VentureBeat), we now know the Top 10 bestselling games of 2015. Sadly, there are literally no surprises here, with the big franchises taking all of the glory…

Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
Madden NFL 16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
Star Wars Battlefront 2015 (Xbox One, PS4, PC)
Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)
NBA 2K16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
Minecraft (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4)
Mortal Kombat X (PS4, Xbox One)
FIFA 16 (PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3)
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

The latest Call of Duty game topped the chart, despite haters hating on that franchise year after year. Activision even managed to get two CoD games in there, just showing how much of a cash cow the first-person shooter is. Other games on the list which have succeeded despite criticisms include Fallout 4, Star Wars Battlefront, and anything EA produces.

Grand Theft Auto V continues to sell in huge quantities despite having first been released in 2013. And then there is Minecraft, the phenomenon that shows no sign of stopping despite no one over the age of 15 knowing what the hell it’s even about. But enough about last year. What games are you looking forward to in 2016? Be sure to let us know in the comments below.

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Netflix Defends Regional Licensing

Netflix has vowed to crack down on subscribers using proxies or VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) to circumvent regional variations in content. This is likely to be as a result of pressure from rights-holders, who want to retain territorial control of their content despite the worldwide nature of the Internet and services which exist on it.

As it stands, Netflix offers different movies and TV shows to users depending on which country they’re in. This has led to many people using proxies to fool Netflix into thinking they’re in another country, thereby opening up more content. This is even more crucial now that Netflix is available in more than 190 countries worldwide.

The company is working towards a future where such things as regional licensing no longer exist, but in the meantime, it’s doing everything it can to enforce the historic practice. Which suggests another tussle in the ongoing war between Netflix and VPNs.

Netflix isn’t revealing its techniques for tackling those using proxies, merely stating, “This technology continues to evolve and we are evolving with it”. The company suggests this means that “those using proxies and unblockers will only be able to access the service in the country where they currently are”. But we remain skeptical.

Stolen Taken Down Over Concerns

Stolen, a popular app which let users collect other people’s Twitter accounts, has been shut down. Its creator, Hey Inc., decided Stolen just wasn’t worth the hassle it was getting from people who found it problematic. Much to the annoyance of the thousands of people who were enjoying the experience.

For the initiated, Stolen was an iOS app that caught fire after being featured on Product Hunt. It let users trade Twitter users, building a collection as one would with trading cards. A tiny minority felt that this was a bad thing, especially as all Twitter users were automatically opted in without their consent.

Hey Inc. created an opt-out page after listening to those criticisms. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to appease the naysayers. So, after U.S. Representative Katherine Clark penned a letter to both Twitter and Apple complaining of the potential for Stolen to be used to harass individuals, Hey Inc. threw in the towel.

Wikipedia Turns 15 Today

Wikipedia is celebrating its 15th birthday today, with the online encyclopedia having been launched on January 15th, 2001. In that time Wikipedia has become a ubiquitous resource that is now clearly one of those websites we couldn’t live without. When researching Wikipedia prior to writing this entry, where did I search for information? Why, Wikipedia, of course.

There are now 291 different editions of Wikipedia, which in total boast 38 million articles in more than 250 different languages. Wikipedia is not without its problems, with half-truths presented as fact, and controversial subjects being spun to fit a narrative, but a Wikipedia with those issues is still better than no Wikipedia at all.

Mulder and Scully Move on From the 90s

And finally, as you may or may not be aware, The X-Files is back! The new miniseries premieres on Jan 24th, and we have produced an introductory primer to The X-Files to help you prepare for its return. But we’re not the only ones excited to see it coming back. Jimmy Kimmel is also a fan.

In fact, Jimmy Kimmel is such a big fan he’s landed a bit-part in the new show. His role? To bring Mulder and Scully kicking and screaming into the 21st century. You know, with broadband, smartphones, and a distinct lack of Hootie and the Blowfish. Oh, and that long-awaited sex scene.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

What was your favorite video game released in 2015? How do you feel about Netflix’ crackdown on proxies? Did Stolen deserve to be shut down in this way? What do you think of Wikipedia? Will you be watching the new The X-Files?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credits: John Cronin via Flickr