[Source: Bitbox Ltd.]
[Source: Bitbox Ltd.]
MMO Culture noted that Chinese publisher NetEase is jacking up World of Warcraft's fees for the first time ever in the region. As of October 16th, the fee will go up by about 45% to become 30¥ for 2700 minutes and 15¥ for 1350 minutes. Instead of paying a flat subscription per month, Chinese players purchase blocks of time to access World of Warcraft.
NetEase handles a bundle of properties in China including World of Warcraft and reported an increase in profits for the previous quarter. However, Blizzard pointed at Asia as the location for a "disproportionate" amount of the 800,000 subscribers lost earlier this year.
"We are striving to make a great high quality free to play MMO that would have action oriented combat and allow for short rewarding session time. We wanted to make something that could accommodate short session game play as allow for enjoyable longer play sessions. It's about escapism and being larger than life."DeMilt also discusses power creep, player retention, character progression, the Facebook-inspired social network within the game, and monetization; on the last, he's reluctant to give details, but he vows that Skyforge is "not going to be a flat-out pay-to-win game."
- Path of Exile announced a total of 7,000,000 registrations, 154,000 peak player concurrency, and a new patch today.
- SMITE's patch notes reveal Sylvanus, Keeper of the Wild.
- Bungie closed Destiny's loot cave with a nerfing patch. Unsurprisingly, there's a new loot cave. There's also a soundtrack on iTunes and a bunch of leaks about what's coming in the expansions.
- Global Agenda 2's closed beta is expected "before the end of the year if all goes well," says Hi-Rez.
- Hearthstone's sixth season is coming to an end.
- League of Legends is introducing ranked restrictions for toxic players.
- Diablo III's latest patch improved pets, Greater Rifts, and Witch Doctors.
- The Crew's console closed beta launches tomorrow.
- TUG halved its staff to stay afloat.
- Star Citizen hit $54 million in crowdfunds with a letter from Chris Roberts.
- Transformers Universe rolls out Pandemic and Outsider.
- World of Speed put out another cruising vid, this one on the Ford Mustang.
- Infinite Crisis introduced Nightmare Robin and Atomic Joker.
- Line of Defense suffered Steam early access mishaps when a misfiling allowed players to download it for free.
- Warframe deployed Update 14.5 with a new video.
- Check out the splash page for Dota 2's 6.82 Rekindling Soul update.
- World of Tanks' 9.3 update targets "unsportsmanlike" behavior.
And here's something you don't see a lot of indie F2P games doing well past their launch: With this update, Mad Otter implemented an optional subscription plan. Ardent Society Memberships, as the subscriptions are called, boost experience gained from most activities, grant unlimited travel hops and bonus consumables, eliminate house rent, and create extra shared storage. A month-to-month sub is $7.95.
Massively last explored Villagers and Heroes in the wake of its April 2014 update and Steam launch.
Read on for our complete MMO crowdfunding roundup in this week's edition of Make My MMO.
- After multiple delays, Pathfinder Online's early enrollment period has been reset to October 30th.
- Global Agenda 2's closed beta is expected before the end of the year, Hi-Rez says.
- Albion Online and Shroud of the Avatar were both successfully greenlit on Steam. Shroud is offering special hats to testers.
- Line of Defense's test phase mislaunched on Steam.
- Stormthrone opened alpha signups.
- TUG cut loose half of its staff to keep itself afloat.
What about you? Do you buy MMOs based on the past work of individual developers?
Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!
Donatelli says that WildStar will now function under a quarterly cadence for major updates. In August, he told players that the team was adopting a "when it's done" approach to drops instead of its originally planned monthly cadence. "If it's not ready, we'll hold it until it is," he reiterates today, citing quality as his motivator. "This doesn't mean we won't have other activities available to experience on a more regular basis; we're just taking the necessary time to get the major drops right." The next drop, scheduled for November, will include both solo and world story content.
He also promises improved elder game itemization, disincentives for toxic PvP behavior, attunement adjustments, and a new training dungeon to prepare players for WildStar's controversial raid content. "I want to stress that we're not nerfing raids," he writes. "We're just giving you the tools to succeed when tackling them."
"Each event will pit four teams in a fight to become the world's best Guild Wars 2 PvP players, with the top two teams from the host region facing off against two visiting teams. The debut event is scheduled for December 4-5 in Beijing, where players will vie for a $50,000 (USD) prize pool and the title of first-ever Guild Wars 2 WTS Champion."As promised Tuesday, the buy-to-play MMO's free trial also began this morning at 3 a.m. EDT; it's active for a week until the wee hours of October 2nd. Box prices (specifically, Digital Heroic Editions and Digital Deluxe Editions through the GW2 storefront) have also been halved throughout the promotion.
[Source: Anet press release]
There are a lot of final pieces coming into place to turn Pathfinder Online into a Minimum Viable Product so all of our early adopters can play and have a great time. The Auction House didn't make it in for a build last week and that is a critical feature of our MVP. As always, Goblinworks is dedicated to making sure the players have a solid and fun game experience. As a result we are going to reschedule the start of Early Enrollment. The team is developing their roadmap and when we have a revised start date we will provide an updated blog to present that plan. We appreciate your continued patience.Those of you playing along at home will recall that this is the third such delay. On September 3rd, early enrollment was shifted to September 22nd for bug fixing; a week later, it was set for September 25th to accommodate, Goblinworks said, its players' vocal "desire to have the whole early enrollment map ready for play on the first day of early enrollment." Early enrollment is the equivalent of paid early access for backers and incurs a subscription fee.
"Development costs for Titan may have amounted to tens of millions, perhaps $50 million or more," says one such analyst, Billy Pidgeon, as quoted in a GamesIndustry.biz piece yesterday. Wedbush Securities' Michael Pachter upped that estimate: "My guess is 100 - 200 people at $100,000 per year, so $70 - 140 million sunk cost. It's pretty sad that it took so long to figure out how bad the game was. I expect them to go back to the drawing board." Still another industry observer, David Cole, argued that the current games market simply no longer tolerates seven-year development cycles and high overhead.
Pidgeon stresses that it's not all doom and gloom, however: "Blizzard has cancelled several games in various stages of development in the past. Costs for unreleased games can be significant, but launching substandard games can harm the reputation of a successful publisher such as Blizzard. Expenses for development can be considered R&D, and benefits can include invaluable training, IP and technology that can be applied to other games."
But there's a catch; free access to the game lasts for one week only, beginning at 3 a.m. EDT on September 25th and ending 2:59 a.m. EDT on October 2nd. ArenaNet says it has already opened registration for the trial so that interested gamers can start downloading the client ahead of time. Old trial accounts will work for this promotion.
Earlier this month, Guild Wars 2's second feature pack overhauled the early game experience, making this an ideal time to be a newbie in the buy-to-play title.
[Update: ArenaNet has posted a number of mechanics changes that will be in place for the trial and affect trial accounts, including restrictions on mail and chat.]
Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Massively Meta, Mobile, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warships, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Elite: Dangerous
- Riot released Imagine Dragons' League of Legends song for free.
- Project Morpheus is 85% complete.
- SMITE published The Great XBox Caper to much lulz.
- Diablo III is buffing pets.
- Elite: Dangerous will launch beta 2 on September 30th.
- Zombies Monsters Robots landed on Steam and previewed its upcoming T-Rekt patch.
- We took a look at StarCraft II from an MMO player's perspective.
- Strife previewed three new incoming heroes.
- Richard Garriott's Shroud of the Avatar sought and achieved Steam Greenlighting.
- Our sister site Joystiq took a look at co-op shooter Battleborn.
- Destiny was targeted with DDoS attacks and released its first raid, already beaten.
- Google released a new introductory video for its MMOARG, Ingress.
- TUG advanced to the Bronze age with a new trailer.
- FPSMOBA Grimoire asked for Kickstarter funding amid controversy.
- World of Warships released a class mechanics video.
- Tank racing coming to World of Tanks on September 29th.
- MOBA Dragons & Titans revamped its business model.
- Skara released a new trailer.
- Heroes of the Storm is being wiped one more time in prep for the final phase of alpha.
As you can see on the page your overwhelmingly positive support has resulted in an incredibly fast green lighting of Shroud! Thank you all so much for your support. Stay tuned as we now work with Valve to get Shroud in the Early Access section of Steam as soon as we can.SOTA's successful 2013 Kickstarter campaign has to date brought in almost two million dollars. Early access is currently available with a $45 minimum pledge.
Posted on Oct 22nd 2014 8:00AM
Posted on Oct 21st 2014 4:00PM
Posted on Oct 21st 2014 3:00PM