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MMO Industry

Piranha unveils Transverse, a sci-fi MMORPG coming in 2015

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding

The makers of MechWarrior Online have announced Transverse, a new sci-fi MMORPG scheduled to launch in 2015. Transverse is a "galactic flight-based MMORPG" featuring "incredibly detailed ship and station construction, massive solar-system-wide player events and real-time, physics-based combat," according to a Piranha press release.

It also features some sort of crowdfunding component judging by the funding and backer counters on the official website, though the PR doesn't mention how far along the game's development actually is.

You can read the full announcement and watch the associated trailer past the break.

[Source: Piranha press release]

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Massively Speaking Episode 312: Sailing into the sunrise

Podcasts, MMO Industry, News Items, Massively Meta, Massively Speaking, Miscellaneous

No time for small fry; this week's podcast is all about the huge news stories that have been slamming into the MMO world as of late. From conventions to betas, from layoffs to merges, we've got snarky opinions and wise fortune cookie sayings about them all!

Get all of our opinions and analysis on the most important stories of the past week right here on Massively Speaking, the industry's leading MMO podcast. And if you have a comment, question, or topic for the podcasters, send an email to podcast@massively.com. We may just read your email on the air!

Get the podcast:
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Read below the cut for the full show notes.

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APB: Reloaded is working on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ports

Business Models, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Consoles, All Points Bulletin, Sandbox

The resurrected APB: Reloaded is about to see if the console generation will embrace this cops vs. crooks title even more than the PC crowd. Game N Guide reports that Reloaded Games announced that both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ports are being designed for the game.

The studio said that it's aiming for a mid-2015 release but is struggling with both Microsoft and Sony, as those companies don't want players to be able to bring over created content without paying for it on the console platforms. Bjorn Book-Larsson said that the studio is seeing "incredible resistance from platform owners."

In other words, Reloaded Games would like APB to be truly cross-platform, whereas Microsoft and Sony would want the ports to be isolated within those consoles for financial gain.

Guild Wars 2's September Feature Pack goes live today

Fantasy, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Buy-to-Play

ArenaNet has been hyping the heck out of Guild Wars 2's September Feature Pack, and today we get to see if it lives up to the advanced billing.

The firm's press release states that the pack "focuses exclusively on in-game features" including a new trading post, wardrobe tweaks, collection achievements, and a revised newb experience.

The Daily Grind: Are day-one reviews of MMOs fair?

Sci-Fi, Business Models, Launches, MMO Industry, Previews, Opinion, Massively Meta, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous, Destiny

This is pretty much how I feel during launch week
We've discussed the issues associated with previewing and reviewing MMOs on Massively before (we don't do "reviews" at all, you'll recall), but Bungie has brought the topic to the surface of MMO discussion once again. Ahead of Destiny's launch this week, Bungie wrote a blog post echoing what most MMO developers have long known: Experience with a launch MMO, with its systems not fully formed and its players not swarming the zones, can't really produce a review that fully captures the feel of a game with millions of people fluttering around in it. And even in a game with only 20 levels, a day-one reviewer can't possibly have completed enough content to deliver more than a snapshot of the gameplay.

Bungie didn't even mention the likelihood of the day-one MMO launch disasters that we're all so unfortunately familiar with, disasters that often make MMOs unplayable, never mind unreviewable. Still, if a game sucks at launch, isn't it fair to say so? A snapshot is useful for what it is, and there's no reason a developer should get a free pass on criticism at launch just because MMOs usually improve with age and warm bodies.

What do you think -- are early MMO reviews fair? How do you weigh them when deciding whether to purchase a game?

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!

Blade 9 closed beta starts September 9

Betas, Fantasy, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play

Are you looking for a new MMO? Blade 9 could be the one. Or it could be utter crap, who can say at this point. Either way, social gamemaker GBE is launching a closed beta of the free-to-play fantasy title on September 9th.

GBE says that Blade 9 is an MMORPG with "no fixed classes" and "insanely powerful" ruin weapons that drop randomly and offer all players a chance to wield them. We've embedded the firm's full press release after the cut alongside a preview trailer, in case you're curious.

[Source: GBE Games press release]

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Yogventures gives Landmark keys as additional consolation gifts

Betas, Fantasy, MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Promotions, Crowdfunding, Landmark

Supporters of Yogventures have another consolation gift to go in take the edge off of the loss of their dream game: a key for Landmark.

Massively readers might remember that Yogventures was a Kickstarter campaign that over-funded, was mismanaged, and then imploded, taking over almost $570,000 from 13,000 backers with it. Owner Yogcast then partnered itself with TUG, providing free TUG Steam keys for those backers and transferring all Yogventures assets to Nerd Kingdom.

It looks as though Landmark has some sort of alliance with Yogcast, as the official site encourages gamers to play with the Yogcast crew. Further compensation for Yogventures backers may be forthcoming.

EQII producer's letter talks Altar of Malice date, features

Fantasy, EverQuest II, Expansions, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

SOE's Holly "Windstalker" Longdale has penned a new EverQuest II producer's letter and published it on the game's forums. It contains a general update schedule from now through the end of November as well as an overview of the content in the Altar of Malice expansion.

Said expansion launches on November 25, with an open beta on October 14 and an All Access member beta on October 7.

ESPN boss: E-sports aren't sports

Culture, MMO Industry, News Items

Sports journalism Death Star ESPN has weighed in on the argument about whether or not e-sports are sports. ESPN president John Skipper, speaking at the recent Code/Media Series: New York conference, was asked to comment on Amazon's $1 billion Twitch deal and associated e-sports programming.

"It's not a sport, it's a competition," Skipper said. "Chess is a competition. Checkers is a competition. Mostly I'm interested in doing real sports." Which is probably why ESPN covers real sports like poker.

Destiny's launch-day roundup

Betas, Sci-Fi, Culture, Events (Real-World), Launches, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Destiny, Buy-to-Play

Destiny is officially live today around the world. While it may never arrive on the platform most of us MMO players prefer and it's not squarely an MMORPG, we can still cheer the arrival of a worthy mainstream crossover. Welcome to the fringes of our genre!

We've rounded up our Destiny coverage from announcement to launch to celebrate today's official release. Enjoy! (And if you want to see it live, our sister site Joystiq is streaming it right now!)

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The Daily Grind: What did you accomplish in your games this weekend?

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Sandbox

This past weekend I played a little Marvel Heroes, a lot of Space Engineers, a bit of War Thunder, and a few other things that I can't justify writing about on an MMO site. I gained some Storm levels in MH and got a few nice drops, but I had the most fun building up my outpost in SE and inviting a friend into my game to serve as my mining slave help me design and craft a few essentials.

What about you, Massively readers? What did you accomplish in your MMOs or multiplayer games over the weekend?

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!

That Witcher MOBA is now in closed beta on Android

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA

You know, a Witcher MOBA ranks right up there with Upset Stomach Simulator 2015 on the list of games I'll never play. Your mileage may vary, though, so if you're into MOBAs and you're into all things Geralt, you should know that The Witcher Battle Arena has launched its Android closed beta.

"Designed with fairness in mind, the game features no pay-to-win elements and allows players to unlock every piece of in-game content via gameplay," says a developer posting sussed out by Joystiq. "Closed Beta focuses on balancing gameplay, fixing potential netcode issues, and further refining in-game features."

Stick and Rudder: Even more sims to fill the Star Citizen void

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Opinion, Sandbox, Crafting, Stick and Rudder, Star Citizen

I was hoping to use this week's column to talk in glowing terms about Star Citizen's newly released racing mechanics. The only problem with that plan is that Arena Commander 0.9 hasn't launched just yet, purportedly on account of a few pesky bugs that Cloud Imperium is still in the process of squashing.

Sooo, I thought I'd dust off an old Stick and Rudder standard wherein we talk about which genre games are worth playing while we're waiting on the "best damn space sim ever."

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO has best realized its concept art?

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Mortal Online

I was looking at some Mortal Online concept art the other day and marveling at how beautiful it is. Then I looked at Mortal Online itself and was sorely disappointed. This is not to pick on Star Vault's game exclusively, though, because plenty of other MMOs have also failed to translate conceptual awesome into actual awesome.

Let's talk about the success stories, though. Which MMO do you think has done the best job of realizing the vision put forth by its concept 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!

Make My MMO: August 31 - September 6, 2014

Business Models, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Crowdfunding, Make My MMO

Star Citizen dominated crowdfunding news headlines this week, which is nothing new. Pumpkin Online is new, though, and it might be worth checking out the game's Kickstarter if you're interested in a hybridization of Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing in an online context.

The rest of our weekly crowdfunding news roundup is just past the cut.

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