And the award for "most creative use of a universally reviled system" goes to….

News Blips:

RageRage developer id Software employs sewer hatches as a deterrent against those dastardly penny-pinching used game buyers. Creative Director Tim Willits told Eurogamer in an interview that instead of adopting the online pass system championed by other companies such as Ubisoft and EA, Rage will have certain sections of its single-player content (mostly downloadable bonus missions) walled off by sealed sewer hatches. That is, unless you pony up the dough for a new copy of the game. Then the hatches ominously creak open, some crazy music starts playing, and a bunch of mutated turtles jump out. Supposedly. Rage hits shelves on October 4 for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. 

Steam now lets users trade in-game items and gifted titles. Cleverly dubbed Steam Trading, the new feature (currently in beta) only works with Team Fortress 2's heap o' hats and other junk so far. Valve plans on enabling Portal 2 items (read: more hats) for trade soon. Got a gifted game or an extra copy? You can only trade them if they're untouched and not installed on your machine, so careful with that bowtie

By Crom, Age of Conan's revenues double after its free-to-play transformation. Developer Funcom announced that since throwing open the gates of mythological 10,000 B.C. to everyone, the massively multiplayer title welcomed 300,000 new heroes. And while the lamentation of women might satisfy the barbarian king, other adventurers can look forward to an expansion later this year that ties into the upcoming Conan film.

The PC version of Driver: San Francisco stalls its wheels until September 27. No word from developer/publisher Ubisoft yet, but I'll bet my swanky leather driving jacket it's got something to do with that zany, always-on DRM scheme. Or maybe it's the plunging stock market. Or perhaps dogs are to blame. In any case, the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game get the pole position with their September 6 release date. [Blue's News]

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