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Destiny

Destiny digs in for the final pre-launch stretch

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMOFPS, Destiny

Destiny
Commenting that it is on "final approach" for Destiny's September 9th launch, Bungie posted an article last Friday articulating the mood of the team at this time.

"This week at Bungie, our inboxes were flaring up with status emails about every facet of the experience," the team posted. "According to the big green font at the top of each page, we are ON TRACK. Those two simple words in repetition are packed with emotion, and even a tiny bit of relief."

The post goes on to say that press thoughts on pre-alpha builds will be shared with the public soon, and from there Destiny will progress into serious alpha and beta testing runs.

Destiny parts ways with composer, growing 'close to shipping'

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, MMOFPS, Music, Destiny

Destiny
Destiny Composer Marty O'Donnell was either fired or peacefully left Bungie last week, depending on whether you take his or the studio's testimony on the event. In either case, the fact remains that O'Donnell is no longer part of the studio.

Bungie Chief Operating Officer Pete Parsons refused to comment on the specifics of the decision but said that the game is still on track for release. He said that O'Donnell's contributions will remain part of the soundtrack, which is also being worked on by a few others.

"We have a fantastic team. We're pretty close to shipping. There's a lot of polish left to do, lots of tweaking and tuning, but a lot is already complete," Parsons said to Eurogamer.

Bungie claims that the studio and O'Donnell parted as "friends" while the composer tweeted yesterday that he was "terminated without cause."

Destiny screenshots show the wonders and horrors of space

Betas, Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, MMOFPS, Destiny

Destiny
Outer space won't be the technocolor thrill-romp that one might assume from pulp sci-fi, at least when it comes to Destiny.

Bungie released five new screenshots showing some of the visually impressive if intimidating vistas as well as one or two of the threats that players will encounter in the game. The studio also mentioned that it won't be utilizing NPC companions, players will be able to customize and upgrade gear, and Guardians can change loadouts on the fly.

Check out the new screenies in the gallery below.

Destiny to use facial motion capture

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMOFPS, Destiny

Destiny
It's time for Destiny's close-up! The upcoming MMO is paying attention to more than just scenery and armor models, as Bungie has hired Faceware Technologies to provide facial motion capture for the game's characters.

Faceware Technologies uses a "markerless" motion capture system to quickly scan and analyze actors' faces and record those expressions. Destiny artists can then take those expressions and put them on the game's models. Bungie previously worked with Faceware on Halo: Reach.

You can read the full press release after the break.

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This 42-minute video contains all you need to know about Destiny

Sci-Fi, Video, Game Mechanics, Lore, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, PvE, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

Destiny moon shot
If you're not sure what to make of Destiny, a new 42-minute video from Destiny Updates is worth watching. The clip touches on the game's MMO, RPG, and shooter aspects, as well as its social building blocks, its economy, and its gear and progression systems.

The video is filled with timestamp links, so if you want to skip ahead to the section on, say, cooperative multiplayer, you can. Click past the cut for the full clip.

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Hearthstone and Destiny expected to show Activision the money

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Trading Card Games, MMOFPS, Destiny, MMORPG, Hearthstone

After reporting earnings that beat expectations for last year, analysts are expecting Activision to have an even better 2014 monetarily thanks to Hearthstone and Destiny. Although Blizzard's Hearthstone hasn't released yet, players have been able to purchase card packs in beta, and while Bungie's Destiny isn't even in beta, it's already doing well with preorders. The company's eggs aren't in any one basket, either; add in all the other games and it looks to be a banner year. Doug Creuts, an analyst at Cowen & Company, noted to investors:
"We believe Activision Blizzard is the best-managed company in the video game sector. We also believe that Blizzard is the single best, most consistent content-creation asset in our coverage universe. We also expect current cornerstone franchises Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Skylanders to continue generating strong revenue and operating profits for the next several years."

Destiny beta is incoming for summer; Activision predicts big successes

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, Destiny

Is an alliance out of the question?  Yes, yes it is.
Is Destiny really going to be the next big thing in gaming? Activision CEO Bobby Kotick certainly thinks so. In the recent fourth quarter earnings call for the company, Kotick went on the record saying that it will be the best-selling new IP in video game history, which is potentially true; any new IP has that potential, but Bungie's upcoming MMOFPS has slightly better odds than most. It's helped by launching on four platforms at once: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.

All of that potential is based on how well the game actually plays, though, and potential players will get to find that out this summer. The current target for release is September 9th, although there's obviously plenty of time and space for that date to move forward or backward depending on beta testing. Keep your eyes peeled for more information as we move out of the winter and into spring; a lot can happen over the next few months.

Bungie really wants you invested in Destiny

Betas, Sci-Fi, MMOFPS, Destiny

Destiny
How does a game get stuck to you -- or you to it? Bungie thinks it's all about getting players invested with broader experiences and a living community.

In a recent podcast, Investment Lead Tyson Green said that Destiny is aiming to stick around: "Investment is not about experience points, [and] it's not about item drops; it's about having an enduring attachment to a game and to a community so that that community can exist and thrive. If you unlock new abilities and you give people different weapons that are balanced but different, then those are valid rewards that don't change the game or ruin the game but [...] broaden the game, [...] give people more interesting opportunities, and give people more varied experiences."

These varied experiences, according to Green, include rewarding players for actions outside of the norm and encouraging social gameplay. Bungie hopes that you'll play the game not out of obligation but because you are invested in Destiny and its community.

Perfect Ten: New MMOs to watch in 2014

MMO Industry, Opinion, EverQuest Next, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online, Destiny, Shroud of the Avatar, Elite: Dangerous, Pathfinder Online, Trove

perfect ten
Out with the old desk calendars that you didn't use past February 2013 and in with the new, I always say! It's a brand-new year, and while we don't know all of the twists and turns that we'll travel in MMO news in 2014, I dare say it promises to be a fascinating ride.

Last January I gave my list of 10 new MMOs to watch for that year, and I'm a sucker for traditions. With 2014 a mostly blank slate right now, I want to lay out the up-and-coming class of games that at least have a shot at releasing by December. There are the big names, of course, but several other titles that could be sleeper hits if all goes right. Which will succeed, which will flop, and which won't even get out of the door? I don't claim to know all, but I know all, so here are my prognostications for 2014!

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The Soapbox: My MMO resolutions

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Launches, MMO Industry, PvP, PvE, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Consoles, EverQuest Next, The Soapbox, Miscellaneous, WildStar, The Elder Scrolls Online, Destiny, Star Citizen, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

The Elder Scrolls Online
Today is the last day of 2013, a long year of extended betas, early access pre-purchases, and soft launch nonsense. The release slate for 2014, however, brings slightly more excitement. 2014 is the year we'll (hopefully) first set foot into Elder Scrolls Online, EverQuest Next Landmark, Destiny, Star Citizen, WildStar, and more. It's the year in which a record number of MMOs will go live on consoles. And most importantly, it's likely the year in which consumers will decide whether the traditional MMO is dead or just in need of a good kick in the pants.

Ordinarily I'm not the type to make New Year's resolutions. It seems arbitrary to hang important life changes on a date on the calendar. But the end of the year does bring a nice opportunity to look back on my gaming habits over the last 12 months and provides me with an opportunity to draft a list of things I'd like to do better moving forward. 2014 will be an MMO year like no other, so perhaps it warrants a few adjustments in behavior.

With that in mind, these are my 2014 MMO resolutions.

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Perfect Ten: Biggest MMO news stories of 2013

World of Warcraft, MMO Industry, Warhammer Online, News Items, Opinion, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, DUST 514, World of Tanks, EverQuest Next, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Diablo III, Defiance, The Elder Scrolls Online, Destiny, Star Citizen, Trove

As the light slowly fades from 2013, we spend our final moments quaffing eggnog, putting up President's Day decorations, and reminiscing about the year that was. We stare at the past and realize that it's a mirror reflecting our own journeys through the past 12 months. We contemplate the impact of one small decision that ripples out and touches souls everywhere. And then we stop getting so maudlin and start getting excited for what 2014 has to offer.

For me, I live for end-of-the-year lists. Man, I love 'em. I will devour them, drinking up everyone's opinions about what what the best what, what movies or songs I should check out, and what idiocy drives some people to write top 10 lists. Seriously, am I right? Learn to use a paragraph format, people!

Well, here's my top 10 list covering the year's top stories in the MMO industry. Some are pretty obvious, some will be up for debate, and all will be in the past soon enough. So what will historians say about 2013 and online games?

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Destiny PvP 'certainly more lethal than Halo'

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Destiny

Destiny PvP
Game Informer has another look at Bungie's upcoming Destiny shooter, this time with a focus on PvP. Multiplayer lead Lars Bakken spends a little over eight minutes answering questions about Destiny's match speed and combat feel ("it's certainly more lethal than Halo") as well as multiplayer balancing issues.

"I would never rule out [nerfs]," Bakken explains, "however we have systems in place so theoretically, if something is really good at one point, it could grow to become less good over time."

Watch the Destiny VGX trailer... now

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, MMOFPS, Destiny

Destiny
It's short on words and long on action, and it's something you should make a couple of minutes for to watch right now.

We're talking about the Destiny trailer from Spike VGX, and it's a beauty to behold. There's some new shots, some old, and plenty of eye candy all around to see. We've got the video after the break, so check it out and let us know how hyped you are on this title from a scale of one to drool.

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Destiny launches on September 9, 2014

Sci-Fi, Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Consoles, Destiny

Destiny release date
Bungie has announced that its Destiny sci-fantasy online shooter will launch worldwide on September 9, 2014. The beta will begin sometime in the summer, and will be "available first on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3."

The Daily Grind: How influential is pre-launch art?

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Culture, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, The Daily Grind, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

Destiny hive lair art
Slowly but surely Bungie is roping me onto its Destiny bandwagon. It didn't take much, to be frank, since I rarely meet a sci-fi shooter I don't enjoy at least a little bit. And hey, I'm one of those infernal dudebros who loves the heck out of the Halo franchise, too!

Anyway, Destiny. It's got some really sick art. Plus it seems like Bungie has taken the time to create a proper world and properly age it, if yesterday's art-focused video is any indication. That leads me to this morning's Daily Grind question. Does concept art affect your excitement for a title one way or the other? Put another way, how influential is a game's pre-launch art?

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!

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