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Trading Card Games

Not So Massively: The Division's delay, Atari's MOBA Minimum, and HEX's lawsuit

Betas, Sci-Fi, Trailers, Video, New Titles, PvP, News Items, Free-to-Play, Mobile, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, MMORTS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, Sandbox, MOBA, Diablo III, Crowdfunding, Destiny, Star Citizen, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, HEX, Hearthstone

Minimum
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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Wizards of the Coast accuses MMOTCG HEX of copyright infringement

Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Trading Card Games, Legal, Miscellaneous, HEX

In a press release issued today, Wizards of the Coast announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Cryptozoic, the studio behind MMOTCG HEX, which is currently in closed beta. WotC alleges "willful infringement of intellectual property rights":
May 14, 2014 (Renton, WA) – Today Wizards of the Coast LLC, a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington against Cryptozoic Entertainment, LLC and its alter ego, Hex Entertainment, LLC (collectively, "Cryptozoic"), for willful infringement of intellectual property rights.

Cryptozoic develops and publishes the digital trading card game, Hex: Shards of Fate, a clone of the world famous tabletop collectable trading card game, Magic: The Gathering®, and its digital expressions, Magic Online® and the Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers® franchise.

"Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast vigorously protect our intellectual property. This infringement suit against Cryptozoic demonstrates that while we appreciate a robust and thriving trading card game industry, we will not permit the misappropriation of our intellectual property" said Barbara Finigan, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Hasbro. "We attempted to resolve this issue, but Cryptozoic was unwilling to settle the matter."

The suit includes claims for copyright, patent and trade dress infringement.
[Developing. With thanks to dddd for the tip!]

Hearthstone is not coming to consoles any time soon

Fantasy, MMO Industry, Patches, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Hearthstone
Despite player interest, Blizzard has now officially said that a console version of the popular Hearthstone strategy card game is not in the works at the moment as the development team is focusing on the upcoming expansion and the game's Android version.

"It's not something we're actually looking at right now," production director Jason Chayes told Eurogamer in a recent interview. "We feel like we have our hands full in the short term with getting onto Android as soon as we can, which is kind of one of the big priorities we're looking at right now."

A spectator mode is also a possibility for a future patch after the game's wild popularity livestreaming on Twitch.tv. "Twitch has been great, all the streamer support has been awesome, and it's something that's really kind of surprised us a little bit," Chayes added.

Hearthstone is currently available for the PC, Mac, and iPad with an Android version coming soon.

Not So Massively: Hearthstone's iPad launch, HEX's closed beta, and HOTS' Brightwing reveal

Betas, Super-hero, Trailers, Video, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, Patches, Previews, PvP, News Items, PvE, Mobile, Trading Card Games, MMOFPS, Community Q&A, Not So Massively, MOBA, Infinite Crisis, HEX, Hearthstone, Virtual Reality

Hearthstone
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.

Continue Reading

Hands-on with Hearthstone for iPad

Fantasy, Launches, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Hearthstone
While I was part of the early beta crowd for Hearthstone last year, I haven't played it in quite some time. It wasn't because I became disenfranchised with the game but rather because I felt it truly belonged on a tablet -- and playing it on a PC just felt wrong somehow. So I've been waiting for Hearthstone to finally make the leap to the iPad, and when that happened yesterday, I was all over it like a murloc swarm on a noobie.

In many ways, Hearthstone is absolutely tailor-fit for mobile gaming. It requires minimal manipulation; poking, holding, and the occasional swipe is about as complex as the physical mechanics get. It's a turn-based thinker's game that gives you ample time to plot your strategy and get a few other things done between moves. On an iPad, that's pretty easy; I would read a book while my opponent took his/her/its turn.

The game actually kept me up past my bedtime because of the "just one more match" temptation, which tells me that the magic that fueled my interest in this game in beta is roaring more now than ever. But how does it actually handle on Apple's devices?

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Hearthstone comes to iPad

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Launches, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Hearthstone
After a soft launch in a few countries, Hearthstone is now available to iPad owners worldwide.

Blizzard announced today that Hearthstone is on the app store as an alternative to the PC version. The title is available on iPads 2 and newer as well as the iPad minis. New and returning players will be treated to a free card pack as part of this release.

Hearthstone has a funny trailer for the Apple release, which you can watch after the jump.

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Jukebox Heroes: Talking to HEX Composer Michael Shapiro

Fantasy, Interviews, Trading Card Games, Jukebox Heroes, Music, HEX

HEX
Massively: On today's column we have the composer of the upcoming TCG MMO, HEX. Now that's a lot of capital letters all in a row, so take a deep breath, get over it, and please welcome composer Michael Gordon Shapiro. Mike, can you give us a bit of your background in music?

Michael Gordon Shapiro: When I started my career I was only interested in film music. Game audio was just starting to emerge from the low-tech era, and there was a kind of stigma associated with it, much as there used to be with television music. As fate would have it, I was offered an in-house composer position at a game studio and was pleasantly surprised to find myself recording the same kind of live orchestral music that I loved doing for film. I also came to appreciate the high artistic effort going into both console and PC game scores.

So from that point, the stigma dissolved in my mind and my artistic palette widened. Today I love doing both film and game music, for both overlapping and complementary reasons.

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PAX East 2014: Hearthstone reveals Naxxramas single-player adventure

Fantasy, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Hearthstone
Hearthstone is planning to revisit one of Azeroth's most notorious locations in the card game's first single-player adventure: Curse of Naxxramas.

Blizzard announced at PAX East that a new single-player mode for the game will be coming "soon" starting with a romp through the necropolis of Naxxramas. In it, players will journey through five wings of a dungeon, accumulate new cards, and fight bosses with their own unique abilities. Thirty new cards and nine class challenges will come with the adventure as well as a Naxxramas-themed game board.

Once it's released, Curse of Naxxramas will slowly unlock its wings over the course of five weeks. The first wing will be free, with the remaining four requiring purchase. It will release on all platforms simultaneously.

Massively's on the ground in Boston during the weekend of April 11th to 13th, bringing you all the best news from PAX East 2014. Whether you're dying to know more about WildStar, Landmark, or any MMO in between, we aim to have it covered!

Pox Nora transferred from SOE to original developers

MMO Industry, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games

Pox Nora
Desert Owl Games has announced it has taken control of Pox Nora from Sony Online Entertainment, a transition that's been months in the planning.

"It's unprecedented to have a big game studio return a title to the original creators. Sony Online Entertainment could have easily gone the more common route: stopped producing content and letting Pox Nora fade away. Instead, they chose to do what is best for the players! It's amazing, and we are so excited to continue to support such a great game," said Art Griffith, CEO of Desert Owl Games.

Pox Nora is a free-to-play, collectible digital miniatures game that was first launched in 2006 but was officially transferred to its new owner last month. It was developed by many of the same people who make up Desert Owl Games today, including the three founding members of the new indie studio.

Be sure to visit this page for more information on transferring your existing SOE account, and keep an eye on the Desert Owl Games forums for the latest updates.

[Source: SOE press release]

Jukebox Heroes: Hearthstone's soundtrack

Fantasy, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Jukebox Heroes, Music, Hearthstone

Hearthstone
A new Blizzard game is a reason for soundtrack lovers everywhere to celebrate because if there's one thing this studio does well (other than take goofy races very seriously), it's creating incredible scores for its games. Even though Hearthstone is a smaller title with a smaller score, I welcomed it nevertheless.

Composers Peter McConnell, Jason Hayes, and Eric Dodds clearly had a lot of fun creating the whimsical, relaxing score for this game, and I must say that the music is perfectly ideal for the material. It hearkens back to the many tavern themes from World of Warcraft without being a complete copycat.

You can actually download the entire soundtrack for free on the Hearthstone official site, but before you do that, why not listen to my favorite picks from the score?

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Ten things to do in Free Realms before it's gone

Fantasy, Screenshots, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Virtual Worlds, Free Realms, Family, Guides, Sunsets

Free Realms
Free Realms is set to close down at the end of this month, and despite the fact that the game is aimed toward players much younger than I am, I'm going to miss it.

When the game first launched, my two oldest daughters and I played religiously. It was an easy way for us to interact and play together when I was away, and they spent a sizable chunk of their allowances on pets, mounts, and housing items over the years.

So I've decided to honor Free Realms with this article detailing a few things you can do in the game before it's gone forever.

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Hearthstone launches, offers players a way to earn a special World of Warcraft mount

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, Launches, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Promotions, Hearthstone

Hearthstone
Whoa, this sneaked up on us unexpectedly! Blizzard abruptly announced today that Hearthstone has officially launched and updated to the new 1.0.0.4944 patch.

The free-to-play card game has been widely available for some time now, but now it's all there for keeps. Today's patch includes golden hero and special card backing visuals as rewards for ranked play. Other changes include balance tweaks, a reconnect feature, access to multiple regions, and a whole lotta bug fixes.

Players can also earn a Hearthstone mount for World of Warcraft by winning three games in play or arena mode.

Not So Massively: D3's loot revamp, PoE's mini-expansion, and DayZ's cooking skill

Betas, Trailers, New Titles, Patches, War, Trading Card Games, Consoles, MMOFPS, Miscellaneous, Not So Massively, MOBA

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.

Continue Reading

Hearthstone and Destiny expected to show Activision the money

World of Warcraft, Fantasy, MMO Industry, News Items, Trading Card Games, MMOFPS, Destiny, MMORPG, Hearthstone

After reporting earnings that beat expectations for last year, analysts are expecting Activision to have an even better 2014 monetarily thanks to Hearthstone and Destiny. Although Blizzard's Hearthstone hasn't released yet, players have been able to purchase card packs in beta, and while Bungie's Destiny isn't even in beta, it's already doing well with preorders. The company's eggs aren't in any one basket, either; add in all the other games and it looks to be a banner year. Doug Creuts, an analyst at Cowen & Company, noted to investors:
"We believe Activision Blizzard is the best-managed company in the video game sector. We also believe that Blizzard is the single best, most consistent content-creation asset in our coverage universe. We also expect current cornerstone franchises Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Skylanders to continue generating strong revenue and operating profits for the next several years."

Hearthstone will have an official spectator mode

Betas, Fantasy, Interviews, Previews, Free-to-Play, Trading Card Games, Hearthstone

Hearthstone
Blizzard confirmed that a spectator mode is coming to Hearthstone, allowing players to sit in on others' play sessions.

The news comes from BlizzPro, which talked with e-Sports Manager Kim Phan about upcoming plans for the game. Phan said that Blizzard is starting to take the e-Sports potential of Hearthstone a lot more seriously these days and has a list of features that it would like to put into the game, including a spectator mode. This mode won't be in the game by launch but should be put in "shortly after."

Hearthstone is currently in open beta.

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