Musk starts charging for the privilege of using X
A year after Musk took the reins on Twitter, now X, and the company is still losing money. We can’t prove that, but we don’t need to. The platform’s decisions over the past twelve months speak for themselves, with the latest headlines coming out from the social media company only confirming our suspicions. We always guessed that if things got desperate enough, X might just charge to use the platform at all.
As of today, new users looking to sign up to X in New Zealand or the Philippines will need to fork over $1 per year for the privilege as part of a new “Not a Bot” program. If you’re already signed up, there’s nothing to worry about (yet). New users aren’t so lucky. Alongside a working set of credit card digits, X wants a verified phone number from new users before they can get access. If you’re signing up via the web, that is. Mobile users appear to be unaffected.
X has stuck with the usual stance for any changes that happen. It’s meant to “bolster our already successful efforts to reduce spam, manipulation of our platform, and bot activity while balancing platform accessibility with the small fee amount,” before adding “It is not a profit driver.” Yeah, right.
If you’d rather not give your money to X, that’s also an option. You’ll be limited to a “read-only” version of the site and won’t be able to partake in any of the riveting conversations there. There’s no word yet on why those countries were picked as the guinea pigs, nor when we could see the change rolling out globally.
Netflix is getting into live sports. Kind of
Are you a fan of F1? Maybe Golf? What about both? That’s what Netflix is banking on, as the streamer looks to build on the success of Formula 1: Drive to Survive and get into the world of live-streaming sports events – a first for the streamer. Just… don’t get your hopes up for an actual F1 race.
Instead, you can look forward to the Netflix Cup; a sport that’ll see a mix of F1 and golf and pit players from Drive to Survive and the PGA Tour against one another in… whatever this is. No, we’re not joking. The Netflix Cup is going live on 14 November, streaming from the Wynn Golf Club in the States. Netflix will be looking to rectify those mistakes from the last time it tried to get a live stream off the ground.
“We love to see how our sports series have brought increased fandom to sports leagues and competitions all over the world,” said Gabe Spitzer, Vice President, Nonfiction Sports, at Netflix. “The Netflix Cup will take that energy to the next level with global stars from two popular hits competing in our first-ever live sports event.”
Competing in the Cup on the F1 side are Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris, and Carlos Sainz. Leading the line for PGA are Rickie Fowler, Max Homa, Collin Morikawa, and Justin Thomas. We’re not sure how the F1 team will stand a chance against veterans of the sport in a round of golf, but it’ll definitely be entertaining. If you can’t make the live stream on 14 November, it’ll be available as a regular video after the stream ends.
Mortal Kombat: Onslaught
The ‘it’ thing in 2023 is making mobile games, apparently. Mortal Kombat is the latest triple-A IP to stoop to mobile in the form of Mortal Kombat: Onslaught; removing everything fun from the game and focusing instead on the epic fatalities and sub-par storytelling by throwing quicktime-like events in like some sick version of the Spider-Man game that’s only the Mary Jane bits and tapping X when you’re told.
Onslaught is already out for both iOS and Android, and it’s got a story Mode that offers “Triple-A quality graphics, visceral battles, cinematic cut scenes, and brutal Fatalities like only Mortal Kombat can deliver,” with Shinnok being the big bad for this one.
It’s got all the MK veterans; Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Liu Kang, and the like, with players building up their rosters, watching matches play out, and tapping the screen to trigger certain abilities and Fatalities. If Story Mode doesn’t hold your attention (surprise, surprise), there are Boss Towers and Chasm modes to take on, with Arenas for online PVP gameplay. We’ll give it a go – but we’re keeping our expectations low.
Calling all Valorant players
Are your parents still hucking you to get out of her house and do something, anything, other than play Valorant all day? If you’re heavy into the Valorant scene, that’s probably the case. Enter the Carry1st VALZA Cup (we’re going to call it Valza from here on out), a chance to win your share of R150,000, and once and for all prove your parents wrong.
ACGL are the tournament’s organizers, which is set to take centre stage at this year’s rAge Expo at the Gallagher Convention Centre. Valza will span all three days at the expo and see some of South Africa’s top Valorant teams compete in a head-to-head showdown. First place will walk away with R75,000, R45,000 for the runners-up, R30,000 to third place, and a still-solid R15,000 going to fourth place.
Before you can even think of spending that prize money, you’ll need to prove you’re worthy of competing at rAge this year. That’ll require beating out SA’s other hopefuls in a round of online qualifiers, which kicks off on 28 October over on the ACGL platform, with a max of 64 teams able to play. Those teams will need to pass through a group stage and double-elimination bracket to reach the coveted top four spots.
“The Carry1st VALZA Cup is a significant milestone for esports in South Africa. It’s not just a tournament but a celebration of our vibrant gaming community. We’re proud to partner with Carry1st in making this event a reality, and we can’t wait to see South African talent shine on the big stage,” said the co-founder of ACGL, Nicholas Holden.