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Rumor: A Borderlands MMO might be in the works

MMO Industry, News Items, MMOFPS, Rumors

Because Destiny really needs the competition.
Back in February this year, Randy Pitchford, CEO and president of Gearbox, specifically stated that the developer was not working on Borderlands 3. In fact, the most he'd say on the matter was that the team knew a sequel would have to be massive and impressive. All fairly standard interview stuff. Not too long ago, a Chinese site for publisher Shanda Games was discovered, with what certainly appears to be a silhouette of the franchise's iconic robot Claptrap.

This would all seem completely unrelated if not for the fact that Pitchford had stressed both the need for a massive game and the possibility of making the next Borderlands title into something endless, akin to League of Legends. None of this serves as a single smoking gun, but if you look at all the evidence through the right lens, it does start to appear awfully gun-like. Then again, this is Borderlands; everything looks gun-like.

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR Shadow of Revan FAQ

Sci-Fi, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Free-to-Play, Races, Roleplaying, Rumors, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guides, Hyperspace Beacon, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: SWTOR Shadow of Revan FAQs
With every expansion, there are questions -- a lot of questions. Star Wars: The Old Republic is no exception. Shadow of Revan changes a lot of game mechanics and expands the story of SWTOR. With all the interviews and Cantina Tour chatter, it's difficult to tell what is true and what isn't. So I thought it'd be best to make an FAQ to answer some of those ponderings.

When does Shadow of Revan release?

The official release date for Shadow of Revan is December 9th. However, if you preordered before November 3rd 2:59 a.m., then you will gain early access, which starts on December 2nd.

Do I have to subscribe to play Shadow of Revan?

No, Shadow of Revan is a paid expansion and can be accessed by a free-to-play player. However, to be eligible for the 12x XP bonus, you do have to be subscribed to the game.

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Layoffs hit WildStar's Carbine Studios

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Rumors, WildStar, Subscription

Word is bubbling up from several sources that layoffs are impacting Carbine Studios and WildStar today. NCsoft confirmed the rumors in an official statement: "While decisions like this are always hard, they are necessary as we begin the implementation of a new strategy designed to strengthen our footing as a leader in global entertainment. Again, the decision to reduce staff was not an easy one, and we sincerely wish everyone well in their next endeavors."

Community Manager Tony Rey said that the remaining team would soldier on: "Today NC West announced staff reductions across its Western operations. While this impacted several colleagues, the teams here at Carbine are committed to supporting WildStar to ensure you get the experiences you want well into the future. We wish all of our friends well and hopefully our paths will cross again in the future."

Polygon reports that an unnamed source claims that 60 employees were let go. One employee affected was Chief Client Engineer Bitwise, who said farewell on Twitter: "My amazing time at Carbine has come to an end. I can't adequately express my appreciation to the company and players. Thank you!"

The WildStar developer recently saw several high-profile members of its team depart. Massively sends its regards to those impacted by the decision.

Warner Bros. confirms Turbine layoffs [Updated]

Asheron's Call, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online, MMO Industry, Rumors, Miscellaneous

Turbine appears to be going through another round of layoffs that are possibly affecting the Lord of the Rings Online team, according to Twitter messages.

Former Community Manager Rick Heaton seemed to confirm this in a tweet sent earlier today: "Thinking of my friends at #Turbine and #LOTRO and elsewhere today. I'm easy to find if you need me."

Massively has reached out to the studio for an official comment.

[Update: Warner Bros. has confirmed unspecified layoffs by issuing the following statement to Massively: "As part of our normal business process, we're routinely looking at the strategic alignment of our company. Unfortunately, in order for us to invest in growth areas at Turbine, we have to eliminate some positions. These are always tough decisions, which we don't approach lightly, but it's crucial that Turbine is structured in a way that reflects the current and coming marketplace."]

Rumor: Blade & Soul 2 is under development

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Rumors, Blade & Soul

Yes, it's a screenshot that actually doesn't look completely cheesecake, miraculously.
If you're still holding out hope for a Blade & Soul release in North America, you have an admirable amount of patience. But a recent rumor might sink that hope a bit further. Website 2P.com claims to have insider information that points to the development of a Blade & Soul 2, which is good news if you're a fan of the game but bad news if you're still hoping to see an official release of the original.

The Shanghai studio behind the concept art was a part of the original team responsible for the game's art direction, so it could very well point to something new in the works. Whether that means a sequel, an expansion, or even an actual release on this side of the pond is all up for speculation. It's too early to flag as anything but a rumor, although the concept art that's been leaked certainly looks as if it comes from the game in question.

Star Trek Online expansion details emerge from Las Vegas convention [Updated]

Sci-Fi, Expansions, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Rumors, Subscription

The Janeway Maneuver, also known as just shooting the Borg.
Star Trek Online fans at the recent Star Trek Las Vegas convention were treated to a special developer panel on Saturday, and information is starting to trickle out about what was discussed during the panel. And wouldn't you know it? It was expansion information. Fans on Reddit have compiled the available information, although there's been no official reveal on the forums or through other media regarding what will be coming (so far).

According to fan notes, the expansion will be dubbed Delta Rising and will take place in the eponymous Delta Quadrant, introducing species such as the Talaxians, the Ocampa, the Kazon, and the Malon to the game's lineup. Captains will be able to hit level 60, with a new method of alternative advancement and a new set of Tier 6 ships to be unlocked and flown. New Voyager interiors and Intrepid models will be available, along with voiceovers by Tim Russ and Garret Wang (Lt. Commander Tuvok and Ensign Harry Kim, respectively). If it's all true, all we're waiting on are pictures -- and of course, news about the new ships.

[Thanks to Anon E. Moose for the tip!]

[Update: Tipster Anthony let us know that TrekMovie.com has more information and photographs from the event at which the expansion was announced.]

Rumor: Black Desert in 'final phase of negotiations' with NA, EU publisher

Fantasy, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Rumors, Sandbox, Black Desert

You know how Massively sometimes posts about feature-packed Korean sandbox import Black Desert? And you know how there's always that one commenter who's all "why are you writing about this? We'll never get to play it!"

Well, that dude is apparently wrong.

Korean website Inven says that Pearl Abyss is in the "final phase of negotiations" with a North American and European publisher. A PA rep wouldn't divulge the company or companies involved when asked at this week's E3, but he did say that the publisher in question "should be familiar when mentioned," according to MMO Culture.

ArcheAge Russia struggles with overloaded queues

Fantasy, Launches, Free-to-Play, Rumors, Sandbox

ArcheAge's recent launch in Russia has not gone completely smoothly, as overloaded and somewhat unstable servers have struggled to accommodate those interested in trying out the fantasy sandbox.

A post on the official Russian website says that XLGAMES is working hard to bring new servers online in order to reduce the queue. The team is also looking at ways for players to transfer characters from full servers to the new ones, but this may take time and further testing.

"Developers continue to work to improve the function of the client and working on priority entrance to the server for premium account holders," the team posted. It informed players that those trying to stay logged in while AFK will be "forcibly disconnected" going forward.

The free-to-play game is rumored to have brought in $10 million so far from its Russian launch.

Rumor: World of Warcraft movie starts shooting today

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Events (Real-World), MMO Industry, Rumors, Subscription, MMORPG

World of Warcraft
Blizzard Entertainment originally announced plans to make a World of Warcraft live-action movie in 2006. After eight years of delays, disputes, and false starts, it looks as though someone is finally yelling, "Action!" on one of the most anticipated game-related movies ever to swirl through the rumor mill. Last night, director Duncan Jones tweeted, "Going to start shooting the movie tomorrow. Crikey! Better find my specs!"

While Jones didn't mention World of Warcraft specifically, the movie was expected to start shooting this month with a planned release date of March 11th, 2016. Dominic Cooper, Paula Patton, Clancy Brown, Toby Kebbell, and Travis Fimmell have all been confirmed as stars.

Captain's Log: Star Trek Online's Season 8.5 changes

Betas, Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Patches, PvE, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Rumors, Captain's Log, Anniversaries

STO Mogh Class
Last week I wrote about a few of the revamped Federation-Klingon war missions in Star Trek Online's upcoming Season 8.5. This week a few more notable changes and teasers were released, including the news that Star Trek Online has a new Executive Producer and a Star Trek actor's voice will be featured in during the upcoming anniversary event!

Pardon me sir, but haven't we met before?

The game's new (and returning) EP, Stephen D'Angelo, posted a blog last week announcing his return to the command chair, along with the news that former EP, Daniel Stahl, has been reassigned to another top-secret project. Many of us had already heard about the existence of another game in development at Cryptic, so it's not so much of a surprise to hear of personnel shifts in this regard.

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Rumor: Ubisoft employee says The Division's 2014 release date 'feels laughable'

Real-Life, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Rumors

The Division
Remember The Division? If not, then let us remember it for you: It's a pretty slick-looking MMOish shooter thing that Ubisoft unveiled at E3 2013. First it was console-only, then the internet cried, then Ubisoft caved and said, OK, we'll make a dedicated PC version, too.

Apparently development on the game isn't that far along, at least according to a source inside Ubisoft Massive. "The game engine works well, it's not done but works well. The actual game development has barely started, however," the source told GameReactor. "The fact that Ubisoft has gone public with a 2014 release date feels laughable to be perfectly honest, we will never be able to release The Division this year. It's a large project, and we have very far to go."

Hyperspace Beacon: Star Wars: The Old Republic predictions for 2014

Sci-Fi, PvP, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Rumors, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Hyperspace Beacon, Housing, MMORPG

Hyperspace Beacon: Star Wars: The Old Republic predictions for 2014
Knowing my luck, when I finish writing this, the marketing team for Star Wars: The Old Republic will release a huge announcement about 2014 that no one saw coming. And it wouldn't be hard for BioWare to release something unknown to the community at large because it's said next to zero about what we should expect for 2014. Normally, BioWare promotes the upcoming features to death. We knew about the Cathar coming at least a year before they actually hit the live servers. Players and fans (and enemies) of SWTOR have speculated wildly as to why the developers have remained silent on the subject, my favorite being that BioWare has run out of content to produce, which kind of reneges on the 10-year plan it touted before launch.

Whether or not BioWare has new content in the works, we do know a few things that will be coming, and we also have some super-secret things we can speculate on thanks to some intrepid SWTOR fans. So let's talk about what we do know, what we don't know, and what we think will happen.

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Captain's Log: A Star Trek Online 2014 wish list

Betas, Sci-Fi, Expansions, Patches, PvP, Endgame, PvE, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Rumors, Captain's Log, Neverwinter

STO Odyssey
We're coming up on 2014 and staring Star Trek Online's fourth anniversary right in the face. It's an anniversary that many naysayers said would never come. Next week I plan on taking a look back at the past year in Star Trek Online, so this week I thought it would be fun to prognosticate on what we might see in the year to come.

A few days ago, STO Community Manager Brandon Felczer wrote a blog post on the game's site, and buried within that post was the announcement that Cryptic and Perfect World Entertainment have slated another expansion for the game in 2014. The news was actually a bit surprising, and although there were no additional facts about what the expansion might entail, there has been a lot of speculation by the players. I am no exception to the speculation frenzy, so here's my own personal wish list for what I'd like to see in the upcoming expansion and other releases in 2014.

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Mark Kern removed as CEO of Red 5 Studios [Updated]

Sci-Fi, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play, MMOFPS, Rumors, Firefall

Someone losing their job is never fun times; have a picture of people about to shoot one another.
According to a recent report from Gamefront, Red 5 Studios CEO Mark Kern has been terminated by the company's board of directors, effective immediately. Vice President of Development James Macauly has apparently sent an email to all employees informing them of the change in leadership, with this latest dismissal coming in the wake of several previous layoffs at the Firefall studio. No official statement has been issued to the public by the company at this time.

An anonymous source within the company has also spoken out against Kern in The Escapist, claiming that the CEO was frequently absent and arrived sporadically to hand down arbitrary decisions. How true these statements are cannot be confirmed, although the company does hold a low rating for employee satisfaction overall. We'll have more on the situation if and when a statement is issued regarding Kern's continued employment or lack thereof.

[Update: Red 5 Producer Matt DeWald has issued a formal statement on the now-confirmed rumors: "As of Thursday, December 19th, Mark Kern is no longer the Chief Executive Officer of Red 5 Studios. Mark founded Red 5 Studios in 2006 to provide exceptional game entertainment along with a world-class team of developers working on the MMO Shooter, Firefall. Red 5 Vice President of Development, James Macauley, will be moving into the role of acting CEO. The team at Red 5 continues work on Firefall and looks forward to all that we have to offer in 2014."]

Free for All: MMORPGs for your new console

Betas, Fantasy, Super-hero, EVE Online, Launches, New Titles, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Free-to-Play, Consoles, Casual, Virtual Worlds, MMOFPS, Free Realms, Rumors, Warhammer 40k, Kids, DC Universe Online, Final Fantasy XIV, DUST 514, World of Tanks, Free for All, Family, EverQuest Next, PlanetSide 2, Sandbox, Diablo III, Defiance, The Elder Scrolls Online, Destiny, Player-Generated Content, Subscription, Buy-to-Play

PS4 and Xbox One picture
Consoles and MMOs do not have the stand-offish relationship that they used to have. In fact, there are so many different MMOs to choose from on consoles that it's seriously tempting to pick up one of the new ones -- the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 -- even though I wasn't planning on it for a long, long time. I enjoy using a controller with MMOs so much that I plan on covering the subject more in the future.

So let's get to the list of MMOs that are currently on consoles or that will be coming out on consoles in the near(ish) future. Massively's own Mike Foster put together a fantastic list last summer, but I thought I would update and pass it on. After all, the new consoles are officially here... so be sure to reference the list when you need a new MMO to play on your shiny new console!

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