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Rumors

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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Blade and Soul adds servers in China

Betas, Fantasy, PvP, News Items, PvE, Rumors, Blade & Soul, Miscellaneous, MMORPG

Blade and Soul
Blade and Soul's closed beta appears to be going quite well in China; Tencent has just expanded the number of live servers from 19 to 33. Additionally, rumors indicate that the Chinese version of the game will be entering open beta sometime in early December.

No new info is available for western gamers waiting for Blade and Soul. The last update on the official site is dated December 5th, 2012 and claims that details will be delivered "when the time is right." NCSoft and Team Bloodlust are working on the western version of the title.

Lord of the Rings Online 'currently testing' level boost feature

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, News Items, Free-to-Play, Rumors

Screenshot -- Lord of the Rings Online
If you're a Lord of the Rings Online fan, you may have heard the rumor that Turbine is considering a feature that would allow players to boost a character to level 50 in exchange for Turbine Points, the game's real-money currency. Well, the rumor appears to be true. We've received confirmation from a Turbine rep stating that level boosting "is a feature that's been requested repeatedly since going free-to-play, and it's something [Turbine is] currently testing."

That's all we know so far, but we'll be sure to keep you posted as new information turns up.

Rumor: Warlords of Draenor trademarked as possible World of Warcraft expansion

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Expansions, Rumors, Subscription

Warlords of Draenor trademarked as possible World of Warcraft expansion
The cat may be out of the bag with the next World of Warcraft expansion, as a few eagle eyes spotted Blizzard applying a trademark for "Warlords of Draenor" today.

The trademark covers both computer game software and entertainment service categories, and the website www.warlordsofdraenor.com was registered during this past month.

Of course, this is just a trademark and does not constitute confirmation of any expansion, past, present, or future. We'll be sure to find out more when BlizzCon opens next week.

EVE Valkyrie could be coming to console before PC

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, MMO Industry, New Titles, Rumors

EVE Valkyrie could be coming to console before PC
EVE: Valkyrie was officially revealed back in August of this year with a teaser earlier at Fanfest, but details have been scarce so far. We know that it's a dog-fighting sim that uses the Oculus Rift, but a recent interview over at Rock, Paper Shotgun hints that the game may not be coming to the PC -- at least initially.

"It technically works on PC, and it's working fine," chief marketing officer David Reid told RPS. "But there are other platforms it could run on. There's nothing that technically prevents it from running on a console, for example."

While Reid does say later in the interview that PC is "definitely in the cards," there certainly seems to be a prominent nudge toward the game coming to consoles first. And interestingly enough, it's not even really confirmed that the game will be released for the Oculus Rift specifically.

"While we can't get into details here," Reid pointed out, "there are other platforms that are available. It is technically possible to run this game without a Rift. There's a whole bunch of different things out on the market right now."

Rumor: PSO2 may not be heading to the West, despite being 'fully localized'

Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Launches, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Rumors, MMORPG

Rumor PSO2 may not be heading to the West, despite being 'fully localized'
It looks as though Sega has no plans to bring Phantasy Star Online 2 to Western markets after all. TSSZ is reporting that a source close to the publisher has revealed that while the game has been "fully localized" for an English release, that localization is aimed at English-speaking regions in Asia and not European or North American audiences.

The source speculated that Sega may be concerned about PSO2's potential profitability in the West but was clear that whispers from its contacts in the company in no way represent an official cancellation of a Western release. Phantasy Star Online 2 has had no visible presence in the Western games community since it was shown at the 2012 Penny Arcade Expo.

[Thanks to BGO for the tip!]

Hacker reveals League of Legends collectible card game

Fantasy, New Titles, News Items, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Rumors, Miscellaneous, League of Legends

Hacker reveals League of Legends collectible card game
Things got a bit weird in the League of Legends community last night when a hacker took over Riot Games president Marc Merrill's Twitter account. The intruder, working under the sinister alias, "Jason," used the opportunity to out League of Legends: Supremacy, a collectible card game built from the League of Legends universe.

In a series of tweets from Merrill's account, the hacker posted images and files related to the project including card art and the main sign-in page for the game. According to "Jason," Supremacy was fully completed but never announced or revealed to the League community. Riot did trademark the Supremacy name last year, lending credence to the hacker's claims.

Marc Merrill eventually recovered control of his account, noting, "We're always working on a variety of new ideas for League and beyond. Lots of experimentation that may never see the light of day."

Make of that what you will.

[Thanks to Dengar for the tip]

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