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Events (Real-World)

Dota 2's 10 million dollar e-sports tourney will stream on ESPN

Business Models, Culture, Events (Real-World), PvP, News Items, Promotions, Miscellaneous, MOBA

Whether or not you believe e-sports are real sports, Dota 2 is at least big enough for sports TV.

Valve today publicized a deal that will bring streaming coverage of its MOBA's The International tournament to ESPN. Well, ESPN3, which is sort of like ESPN in the same way Dota 2 is like a sport. We're kidding. ESPN3 will broadcast matches live, and come Sunday, "viewers can tune in to ESPN2 for an exclusive preview of the tournament's final match, featuring highlights from the games, expert analysis, plus interviews with the players and Valve's Gabe Newell."

The International championships begin tomorrow in Seattle with a prize pool worth over $10 million. It turns out your mom was wrong: You can get rich and famous playing video games.

[With thanks to tipster Mike!]

The Elder Scrolls Online coming to Steam today

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, Promotions, The Elder Scrolls Online, Subscription

Steam
Starting later today, The Elder Scrolls Online Standard and Imperial Editions will be available to download on Steam.

This announcement was made to kick off QuakeCon 2014 in Dallas, Texas, where Zenimax Online will be hosting a panel entitled "The Future of The Elder Scrolls Online." The presentation will begin on Friday at 6:00 p.m. EDT and can also be viewed on Bethesda's Twitch.tv channel for those not able to attend.

[Source: Bethesda press release]

Yoshida: Let's analyze why Final Fantasy XIV's 2010 version failed

Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Final Fantasy XIV

GDC Vault
Final Fantasy XIV's game director, Naoki Yoshida, spoke candidly at his presentation during this year's Game Developer's Conference in March about what went wrong with the popular franchise's newest MMO during its first launch.

As FFXIV fans might remember, the initial launch of the game in 2010 was plagued with problems, but a relaunch in 2013 proved successful. How did the team at Square Enix win back fans? How had the MMO landscape changed in those three years?

The complete one-hour presentation video is available in both English and Japanese versions through the GDC Vault, or you can watch a translated version at Gamasutra.

Betawatch: July 5 - 11, 2014

World of Warcraft, Betas, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Betawatch, Miscellaneous, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Shroud of the Avatar, Pathfinder Online, Landmark

ArcheAge
ArcheAge dazzled MMORPG players this week with the announcement that its closed beta will kick off on July 17th. What else is new in the world of MMO testing? The complete Betawatch roundup for the week of July 5th to 11th is below.

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PAX South tickets go on sale

Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Miscellaneous

PAX South
The newest PAX has finally opened its virtual doors to registration! PAX South tickets are now on sale on the official website, although at the time of this writing there was a queue to purchase them.

Attendees can buy one-day passes for $30 or a three-day pass for $65. PAX South is limiting purchases to four badges per person, with children six and under admitted free with a paying adult. There are no refunds.

The convention will take place in San Antonio, Texas, from January 23rd through the 25th, 2015.

Has the free-to-play bubble burst?

Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Free-to-Play

CSR Racing
Richard Bartle isn't alone in thinking the free-to-play bubble is soon to burst. Talking at this week's Develop Conference in Brighton, UK, three mobile game designers with an expertise in free-to-play discussed the negative direction that F2P titles are headed and why that may be coming to an end.

"I would rather have 10,000 people who play my game for two years, than a million people who only play for a short time," Matthew Wiggins of mobile studio Jiggery Pokery states. The discussion, as reported by Gamasutra, focused on the unsavory practices of quick in-and-out publishers who were only out to make gobs of cash as quickly as possible.

But one industry vet thinks that the F2P bubble has burst. "I think we're moving away from the aggressive initial monetization," CSR Racing studio boss Jason Avent says. "Those people who love your game are happy to pay for it. It's getting people into that longer game... We need to move away from exploiting a small number of people, and instead work to make lots of people stick around."

SOE Live player panels include support for military gamers

Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi, EverQuest, EverQuest II, Events (Real-World), Free-to-Play, DC Universe Online, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Landmark, H1Z1

soe live
SOE Live posted its list of player panels today for its convention, with topics ranging from supporting military gamers to fansite management. The full list is as follows:

Friday, August 15
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm -– EQ2U & Dragon's Armory
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm –- Live Together, Die Alone: Surviving H1Z1 as a Group
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm –- Inter-Outfit Operations in PS2
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm –- Become Your Character: Tricks and Tips for Cosplay
  • 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm –- Military Gamers: Taking Care of Each Other
Saturday, August 16
  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am -– Social Media/Steaming & Fansites
  • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm -– Effective Guild and League Management
  • 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm –- Improving Your EverQuest
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm –- DCUO – Advanced Raid Tactics
  • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm –- The New Conglomerate
  • 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm -– Hardcore Decorating in EQII
  • 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm –- EQII Game Macros, ACT Triggers, and You!

Massively's Fourth of July weekend MMO event roundup

Events (Real-World), Events (In-Game), MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Promotions, Miscellaneous

World of Tanks
It's Independence Day in the U.S., the day when gamers scarf down BBQ and try to flee family events so they can log back into MMOs. What? You know you do it. Here's a few of the events and sales and promotions MMO players can look forward to this weekend. If you know of one we missed, shout it out in the comments!
  • Marvel Heroes is boasting a "Red, White, and Loot" boost to rotating game modes, including increased loot drops.
  • Neverwinter has unleashed the Celebration of Lliira event, complete with fireworks and rewards.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic is granting double experience all weekend.
  • The Guardians of Gaia event returns to The Secret World in honor of its anniversary.
  • EverQuest II features a summer rebate sale on holiday items and more; classic EQ turned on double XP last night.
  • Age of Wushu has 10 different events going on this weekend. TEN.
  • TERA's gone live with a double-drop weekend.
  • World of Tanks celebrates Canada Day and Independence Day with discounts on cash-shop stuff and experience bonuses.
  • Fallen Earth is running sales and a new summer combat patch.
  • Champions Online has introduced Stars Tights and new Liberty Grav Bike. Vrooom.
  • The Brits behind RuneScape are hosting an in-game BBQ and offering Uncle Sam hats.
  • Enjoy a holiday bonus weekend in Dark Age of Camelot.
  • Black Gold Online has dedicated an in-game monument and promises streams and contests.
  • War Thunder offers discounts and RP boosts for USA victories.
  • DUST 514 is running an accelerated SP week.
  • Dungeons and Dragons Online has a double bonus point promotion in the official store.
  • SMITE still has the Ramerica eagle skin we can't stop giggling over. Wheeee.
  • Pirate101 has a Red, White, & Blue sale going on mounts, pets, and teleporters.

Asheron's Call is now buy-to-play

Fantasy, Asheron's Call, Business Models, Events (Real-World), News Items, MMORPG, Buy-to-Play

AC1
As announced back in May, Asheron's Call (and by extension, Asheron's Call 2) has shifted from a subscription to a buy-to-play model this week.

Turbine wrote in May that the last sub payments would be processed on June 30th and that the game would become buy-to-play thereafter. Massively can confirm that logging into the Turbine account site and attempting to resume an old account currently allows players to select a "Lifetime AC Plan" for $9.99, which matches the buy-to-play price for all gamers who wish to play for the first time. Players who were subbed at the transition should be grandfathered in and will no longer be billed every month.

While both games will continue in maintenance mode, Turbine still plans to facilitate player-run servers this year.

[With thanks to Arpeggio.]

IeSF changes its mind, opens all tournaments to women

Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Legal, Miscellaneous, Hearthstone

iesf
Following the enormous outcry of gamers angry that International eSports Federation had forbidden women from some of its tournaments, including Hearthstone, the organization decided to open up the playing field to both genders.

"Upon hearing these concerns, the IeSF convoked an emergency session of the IeSF Board to respond," the Federation posted on the official site. "As a result, IeSF shall have two event categories: 'Open for All' events and events that are reserved for women. The events which were initially set aside as the male division will now be open to all genders, and the events which were initially set as the female division will remain as they were."

The IeSF defended its former rationale for segregating men and women in the event, saying that it did so to encourage female players to engage in the tournaments: "The IeSF's female-only competitions aim to bring more diversity to competitive play by improving the representation of women at these events. Without efforts to improve representation, e-sports can't achieve true gender equality."

[To clarify since there's some confusion in the comments: Men can now participate in all five games. Women can now participate in all five games on the same teams as the men. Women can additionally play in women-only brackets for SC2 and Tekken Tag. Those two games are included in the games men can play in the mixed gender lineup (Tekken Tag wasn't available to men originally, just as Hearthstone was blocked from women, but this has been rectified). Neither men nor women are now barred from any game in the tourney.]

SWTOR stream reveals the secrets of galactic housing

Sci-Fi, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Livestream, Housing, Player-Generated Content, MMORPG

SWTOR livestream
Star Wars: The Old Republic has been touting its next expansion, Galactic Strongholds, for months, but the studio hadn't revealed how decorating will work. During the latest livestream, all that changed. Decorators, prepare yourself; it's better than you might think. We've compiled a list of the highlights:
  • Guilds will have both a capital ship and a headquarters.
  • Sitting, lying down, and leaning are not tied to a specific item; they're slash commands.
  • Multiple groups of people (up to 70 on the livestream) can visit your stronghold.
  • You can place jukeboxes (four were shown) in your stronghold for ambient music.
  • Your stronghold can be decorated only by you.
  • Guild headquarters and ships can be decorated by different people within the guild.
  • You can place your starship (among other large vehicles) on the landing pad.
  • There's no rent or maintenance for upkeep.
  • Strongholds can be bought with both credits and Cartel Coins.
  • Dueling is an uncertain possibility.
  • NPCs can be placed in multiple spots around the stronghold.
  • The legacy bank is an item.
  • Twi'lek NPC table-dancing has been confirmed!
If you have an hour, the whole livestream is available after the break; otherwise, stay tuned next Tuesday for the Hyperspace Beacon's impressions and detailed breakdown of the SWTOR livestream.

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SMITE announces world championships for 2015

Fantasy, Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA

Because what we really need in gaming is more chest-pounding machismo.
Are you the best SMITE player in the world? Are you sure about that? If so, maybe you should go ahead and take part in the SMITE World Championships. The company has just announced that the championship tournament will take place January 9th to 11th, 2015, along with qualifier dates for North America and Europe, all of which can be found just past the break.

Players will be competing for a grand prize of $600,000, a pool which is expected to grow over the next half-year in the lead-in to the event. You can check out the official e-sports site for the game to find out how to register your team and try to make it into the big leagues, or just check out the trailer below. Maybe you just like to spectate, after all. It's cool.

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SWTOR announces new Galactic Living stream series

Sci-Fi, Events (Real-World), Previews, News Items, Free-to-Play, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Housing

SWTOR
If you love Star Wars and spend way too much time mentally designing your dream home while watching HGTV, then rejoice because Star Wars: The Old Republic's new Galactic Living Twitch Series will combine my your two weird passions. Your. We're talking about you here, not me. Yeah.

Beginning July 2nd and continuing on Wednesdays thereafter, the BioWare devs will dust off the official SWTOR Twitch channel to preview the houses arriving in the Galactic Strongholds expansion this August.
From live tours of the various strongholds like the Nar Shaddaa Sky Palace to a behind-the-scenes look at the decoration items and tools, get an inside preview of all the ways you'll be able to customize your own stronghold in the new Digital Expansion, Galactic Stronghold[s].
The first show starts at 4:30 p.m. EDT tomorrow.

Not So Massively: Hearthstone's expansion, God of Destiny's greenlighting, and Dead Island's MOBA

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, Business Models, Events (Real-World), Expansions, MMO Industry, Patches, PvP, News Items, Consoles, MMOFPS, DUST 514, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA, Age of Wushu, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Hearthstone

NSM
Welcome back to No So Massively, where every Monday we round up the highlights from the past week in the world of MOBAs, roguelikes, MMOTCGs, and other games that aren't quite MMOs.

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SOE Live schedule has been posted

EverQuest II, Culture, Events (Real-World), News Items, EverQuest Next, Miscellaneous, Landmark

It's happening at times!
Today's the last day for SOE Live 2014 early bird registration. Still on the fence about attending? Not sure if there will be enough awesome events there to justify your presence? Good news, then; the official schedule has been posted, so you can figure out exactly what's going down and when. Fan site EQ2Wire has highlighted the general events as well as the material specific to EverQuest Next, EverQuest II, and Landmark.

Landmark players will enjoy the largest number of events, including a special mega-build event on Thursday and a panel explaining how the game will interact with EverQuest Next. There will also be details about the next EverQuest II expansion, previews of combat for EQN and Landmark, and plenty of community Q&A sessions. Take a gander at the full schedule if you need a little more information to justify your attendance.

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