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SMITE claims four million players since launch

Fantasy, Historical, Business Models, Game Mechanics, Interviews, MMO Industry, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA

In a new interview with RedBull.com this week, Hi-Rez Studios COO Todd Harris revealed that since SMITE's launch last March, both the MOBA's dev team and its player population are on the rise. In fact, he says, the game has become so profitable that Hi-Rez has "double[d] the size of [its] studio."
At the game's release in late March, we were at three million players, and we are now well over four million. We are not on Steam, but comparing to Steam stats, SMITE would sit around number 10 to 12 in terms of popularity and daily players. Most importantly to us, the playing population has increased every month since the start of the Beta. [...] Our players are currently 45 percent Europe, 40 percent North America, 10 percent South America and five percent other.
Harris drops a few other bits of trivia, including the fact that SMITE's original sci-fi IP was based on the studio's MMOFPS Global Agenda, but the mythology theme was deemed more "compelling."

[With thanks to keen-eyed tipster Sorenthaz!]

Snail Games reveals King of Wushu MOBA based on Age of Wushu

Previews, MOBA, Age of Wushu

King of Wushu
Snail Games has unveiled the website for its upcoming martial arts MOBA King of Wushu. As you could probably guess, King of Wushu is based on Snail's Age of Wushu MMO, and is said to feature both RPG and TPS elements.

This new teaser site already includes forums and a point system for interested players. According to gaming site 2P.com, King of Wushu is likely to be shown at ChinaJoy 2014 in Shanghai later this year.

SMITE virtually incarnates Rama and updates Ra for the 4th of July

Trailers, Video, Classes, Culture, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, Humor, MOBA

Hi-Rez Studios has today revealed the latest playable deity in its MOBA SMITE: Rama, The 7th Avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu. True to legend, Rama is an archer whose magical bow and arrows combine for skills like Astral Quiver, Astral Strike, Pick Me Up, Rolling Assault, and Astral Barrage.

But that isn't why you clicked on this article. You clicked because of the eagle. Yes, the team has also implemented new skins for characters, including one for Ra, who can now be skinned as the patriotic, firework-wielding bald eagle Ra'merica because why not? "For each sale of this skin, $2 will be donated to the American Red Cross," noted Hi-Rez blandly, as if that obviated the insanity.

We've included Rama's and Ra's videos below.

[With thanks to tipster Sorenthaz!]

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Not So Massively: GTAO's update, Hearthstone's tourney, and LoL's Summoner's RIFT revamp

Betas, Sci-Fi, Video, Business Models, Game Mechanics, New Titles, Patches, PvP, News Items, Mobile, Consoles, MMOFPS, Community Q&A, Post-Apocalyptic, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, League of Legends, Diablo III, Firefall, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Infinite Crisis, Path of Exile, Hearthstone, The Division

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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Heroes of the Storm bringing in non-US players in next alpha

Betas, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA

It's different from League of Legends because Blizzard.
While there's been a lot already said about the upcoming Heroes of the Storm, the fact remains that the game is still in alpha. A technical alpha, to be specific, emphasizing the nuts and bolts of functionality. But the next phase of testing will be bringing in more people, including testers from outside the USA, giving an even broader perspective on what's working and what isn't. A recent development blog on the official site explains what's happened so far as well as what's coming next for the game.

The short version is that the alpha is going well, but there's still more feedback needed to make the game truly the best it can be. As an early test version, it's still very much a game in development, with the emphasis being on what does or does not work from the technical side. Players who wish to opt in for a potential testing invite should do so via the Battle.net account management page.

University adds League of Legends team to its athletic program

Fantasy, MMO Industry, PvE, Free-to-Play, MOBA

Could being at wiz video games get you a scholarship and a college degree? As far-fetched of a dream as that may seem, it's now becoming a reality at one institute of higher learning.

Robert Morris University in Illinois announced today that it will be forming an official League of Legends varsity team as part of its athletic program for the 2014-15 academic year. Team members will be treated on the same level as other athletes, meaning that they're eligible for tutoring, support, and scholarships.

The team is a result of the university's associate athletic director's love of competitive PC gaming and acknowledgement that it requires the same level of teamwork as other sports.

"Although e-sports have long been a part of the culture of gaming, competitions have seen a large surge in popularity in recent years," the university posted. "Robert Morris University recognizes the value and legitimacy of e-sports and is excited to add e-sports to its already rich athletic program."

Riot seeks 'culturally aligned' devs, offers cash payouts for quitting

Culture, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, League of Legends

League of Legends developer Riot has unveiled an initiative called Queue Dodge which is designed to strengthen the gamemaker's workforce and "reinforce" its internal culture.

"We operate on a foundation of shared mission, values, passion, trust, and mutual respect," says the company's announcement post. "If someone gags on the unique flavor of our culture, they'd be doing themselves and the company a disservice to hang on just for the paycheck. Culturally aligned people and teams are more effective, and alignment around mission and values allows us to better serve players. We've designed Queue Dodge to help self-identified mismatches move on in an open, positive, and constructive way."

Riot new-hires can opt in to the program during their first 60 days on the job. They will be paid 10 percent of their annual salary -- up to $25,000 -- to leave.

MechWarrior Online launches the Clan Invasion

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Previews, Free-to-Play, MechWarrior Online, MOBA

MechWarrior Online has moved forward the internal game timeline to the year 3049, and with the change of date comes a long awaited event: the Clan Invasion.

This fictional event in the BattleTech universe will now play out in the online game, as players will fight in notable battles with new 'Mechs on different planets.

With the Clan Invasion begun, the team has begun work on creating Units for the game. Units are MWO's version of guilds and will include ranks and chat channels when they arrive in the game proper.

Supergirl lands in Infinite Crisis today

Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, MOBA, Infinite Crisis

MOBA art  > MOBA gameplay
Turbine wants you to know that it has added Supergirl to DC-based MOBA Infinite Crisis. Supergirl is a bruiser "who loves getting up close and personal," the company says via press release. Said release offers a bit of the character's backstory, but more crucial for our purposes is a three-minute gameplay video.

You can view it after the break!

[Source: Turbine press release]

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Not So Massively: Destiny, Star Citizen, and Elite at E3

Betas, Historical, Trailers, Video, Events (Real-World), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Previews, News Items, War, Free-to-Play, Marvel Heroes, Mac, MMOFPS, World of Tanks, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, World of Warships, MOBA, Diablo III, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Virtual Reality

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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MechWarrior Online video blog answers game balance questions

Sci-Fi, Video, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, MechWarrior Online, MOBA

MechWarrior Online has just released its fifth dev vlog, in which the team answers questions about the title in an eight-minute video. Some of the topics up for discussion today are clan battlemech cockpits, general game balance, and updates on the matchmaking system.

You can check out the full video after the break to see if your pressing concerns got addressed!

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Crytek's Arena of Fate aims to change the MOBA as we know it

Events (Real-World), Interviews, MMO Industry, MOBA

Arena of Fate
Crytek's new MOBA Arena of Fate is best described by our sister site Joystiq as a MOBA for people frustrated by MOBAs. Sitting down with Crytek Producer David Bowman at E3 this week, the Joystiq interview focuses on what makes AoF different from every other MOBA out there by removing the "toxic elements that exist in [...] some of the other products."

How is this done, exactly? "The store is gone, getting the last hit on a minion doesn't matter, matches operate on a 20-minute countdown, and the first team to 10 points wins," according to the interview.

Be sure to check out more on Arena of Fate as the game approaches beta later this summer.

World of Tanks Blitz coming to iOS on June 26th

Historical, Launches, Free-to-Play, Mobile, World of Tanks, MOBA

World of Tanks
World of Tanks Blitz, the mobile version of the popular online tank title, will be hitting the Apple app store on June 26th.

Wargaming said that World of Tanks Blitz will be exclusive to newer iPad and iPhone owners. The game's been in a closed beta and soft launch in various regions, but will officially release later this month. In it, players will choose from 90 armored vehicles from USA, Germany, and USSR to fight in 7v7 matches.

Not So Massively: Happy birthday Marvel Heroes, a MOBA history lesson, and more

Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA

World of PvP on random vehicle types
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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E3 2014: See Dawngate's 'badass bookish nerds' honored in a new video

Betas, Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Free-to-Play, MOBA

Dawngate is looking to bring a little something different to the MOBA field, as evidenced in its catchphrase, "break the meta." In a new video, Waystone Games devs list off several reasons why Dawngate isn't your average MMO. These include more of a focus on flexible team strategy, an epic storyline, and even the embrace of "badass bookish nerd" characters.

Is this all just big bluster or shrewd design strategy? Check out the video after the jump and let us know what you think.

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