CJ E&M's main focus has actually been in the movies, owning theaters and distributing films. It's also gotten some KPop stars for its music division, but... well, you're at Massively to hear about games, right? That's where Netmarble comes in. CJ E&M bought Netmarble and opened eight studios, six of which focus on PC gaming. Oh, and of course, the company publishes just a few hundred games. This also led to the opening of CJ Games Global in April to help bring over Korean games and publish others, such as Uncharted Waters, with 64 more games to be published in the next three years. One of the main goals of CJ Games, though, is releasing games that aren't as well represented in the current market, such as Uncharted Waters.
It's not going to be a relaunch, but CJ Games knows that Uncharted Waters Online's starting experience could be streamlined a bit. The Academy took about eight hours and over 2,000 clicks to complete (yes, there was someone in Korea who had to count the clicks). In April, this was reduced to three hours and only about 230 clicks. It's still a long tutorial, so CJ Games is designing in-game videos to help ease this process; the videos are two to three minutes long and range in topic from careers to navigation. After watching the video in-game, you will be given a chance to actually practice what you've watched. For some of the harder aspects of the game, such as working supply lines, Uncharted veterans will be able to make and submit their own videos as part of an upcoming contest. Yes, winners will have their tutorials put directly into the game in the same manner as the other tutorials.
There's also two major updates coming this year: one coming this summer and one coming this fall. Next year, however, will see an expansion called Second Age, which is not being discussed quite yet.
Servers will also be closer to home for North American players, so captains in Los Angeles, California, and Florida, rejoice!
Yes, this game was already out, but with a different producer. CJ Games has put Prius "back in the oven" to let it "bake a little longer" and get the fun back into the game. So far, there's a new dungeon, but there will also be some other major changes.
Sin Streets is being billed as an urban action shooter, so while it's not so much an MMO as it is an FPS, we have a column that handles that. Players play gangster or SWAT team members and fight over resources and different streets in automated tournaments that (selected) players can participate in. There are also weekly time periods when clans can take over specific parts of the city. Clans that win territory receive prizes, bonuses, and the right to tax. Grab a gun and shoot your friend in the face (or back, if that's your preference)!
Here's another Not So Massively game to keep your eyes on. Bloody Hunter is a lobby-based game played with friends cooperatively, similar to the Diablo series. The game takes places when a massive explosion happens in space in a parallel dimension and forces three time periods to overlap. The game has raids, guild halls, and other community elements in addition to the RPG aspects.
Keeping with the different MMOs theme for CJ Games, Monarch has this thing called the "troop system." As in most MMOs, you start your character out by choosing a class, but players have 12 troops they can own (which can be purchased from other players, traded for, earned, or unlocked via quests) and level up. You can't command them to do specific things, but you can tell them to do general things. For example, if there's a war for a castle, you can tell your troopers to go break down the wall. The game supports a 100v100 player war (actual players, not including their troops) for guild wars. One interesting tactic the game allows is destroying your own castle during a siege, since the ruling guild has to build and maintain its castle. If things look bad and your guild knows it will lose, you can give the winning guild a nice big pile of rubble to rebuild. However, the guild that controls the castle also levies taxes, so if you really like that area of the game, you may have to pay the new owners they try to fix the parts of the castle your guild just destroyed.
Setting taxes isn't the only thing city owners get to do. You can choose who comes in, flag another guild as an enemy of the area to allow people to freely kill your rivals, or simply disallow people from entering the area.
Monarch's story is still in flux, though, so future role players and lore scholars will have to wait a bit on this aspect of the game.
Hounds is a mature, survival/horror, roleplaying shooter. The world has been infected by a virus turning people into monsters, and the only defense against them is the elite group called Hounds (yes, you the player are part of that group). The game's a third-person shooter with a single-player story option, co-op mode, PvE raids, PvP battlegrounds, and a persistent PvP-campaign with a real-world map where players can fight for control of the land and erect guild halls. As in most shooters, cover is important, so players carrying, say, riot-shields really help add to the team-play element.
Hounds is trying to branch out from the MMO genre in its emphasis on shooter aspects of gaming. For example, in most MMOs' capture the flag PvP, the tank holds the flag and someone heals her. That flag carrier is hard to take out because the gal holding it is pretty self-sufficient at keeping damage down, and someone else is keeping her up. Not so in shooter games or Hounds. The flag carrier is, as the name says, carrying the flag. It's up to her teammates to hold riot shields to prevent her from taking damage, forcing a bit more team coordination.
The game's due out fall 2013.
Massively's on the ground in Los Angeles during the week of June 4-7, bringing you all the best news from E3 2012. We're covering everything from PlanetSide 2 and SWTOR and ArcheAge to RIFT's and LotRO's upcoming expansions, so stay tuned!