Path of Exile
may have suffered a data breach in March. We say "may" because even Grinding Gear Games isn't entirely sure what was taken, if anything.
GGG's Chris Wilson tells forumgoers that on March 23rd, his team realized an "external intruder" was illegally accessing the company network and "several" of its machines.
"While we have no evidence that private user information was taken, we cannot rule this out," he writes. Among the user information the company stores are email addresses, salted and hashed passwords, IP addresses, and in some cases, names and addresses.
"We believe that the time period that the attacker had access to this information was the ten days from March 13 to March 23 (NZT). We do not store any payment information like credit card numbers. It is stored at the external payment processors we use. There is no way that credit card information could have been accessed."
Are you ready to just watch a trailer without some warning? We thought not. Clearly, it's a very important decision by Bungie to ensure that the trailer for Destiny 2 has its own trailer, so you can properly ramp up. Although we really should properly have a trailer for this trailer before the final trailer, and so on back along the line until we're watching a half-second clip of video two months back.
Let's start over.
There's a trailer out now for the full trailer for Destiny 2, which is coming out tomorrow. That should contain all of the juicy announcement details we like to see, such as the platforms for the game... which many people are speculating will include the PC, so that's a good thing. And it's hard to complain too much about the trailer for the trailer when it contains robot Nathan Fillion and the burning Last City. Check it out below.
Fallout-inspired post-apoc MMO Edengrad is one step closer to launch today as it's announced it'll hit Steam's early access program on April 4th, following a day-long stream. Expect it to run $12.99.
The Polish game was Kickstarted last year to the tune of $56,000 and was originally expected to hit early access last fall. We originally dubbed the game a survival sandbox, but the devs are calling it a "survival mmorpg" specifically.
"Gameplay rests on mechanics known from Sandbox productions, in which players have no set down destination, but everyone freely chooses interesting quests and take their paths," Huckleberry Games says. "At the beginning, player’s everyday responsibilities include collecting firewood, building shelters, hunting small game and hydrating the character’s body. This phase finishes after finding fellow travelers and formalizing an acquaintance through formation of the fraction. Creation of micro-communities guarantees all members benefits inaccessible to a single player. [...] A non-linear gameplay and dynamic turn of events will keep every player engrossed in the world of Edengrad for long months."
One of the big announcements from last year's BlizzCon was the addition of the new Overwatch League, a project Blizzard is using to help push competitive gaming and branding with a dedicated e-sports organization. It's still a little early to say how successful it's going to be, but analyst predictions have it pegged as a potential moneymaker of $100 million in its first year. That's a lot of money for something where the game is already being made and balanced.
The prediction was made by investment management firm Morgan Stanley and outlines several potential futures, with the $100 million figure requiring about 72,000 regular viewers during the season. Morgan Stanley also predicts that much will depend on the future of e-sports as a viable market, depending on whether competitve gaming turns out to have a broad appeal or fails to connect with a larger paying audience.
Happy SuperData day! That's the monthly holiday when we pore over the market analysis report, freak out over something doing well, freak over something doing poorly, and then fight over definitions, the evils of trusting paywalled science, and why more MMOs aren't on the current list. This round, there's lots to bicker over -- but also some bits to celebrate in the February 2017 charts of top-grossing game titles.
On PC, while League of Legends, Crossfire, and Dungeon Fighter Online continue their top-three dominance, the rest of the roster has seen a bit of a shake-up, as Overwatch has fallen from #4 to #6 and World of Tanks has pushed past it as well as World of Warcraft. WoW's status is a tad confusing; last month, SuperData began reporting Western and Eastern WoW separately, even though it does not appear to be doing that for any other game. This month, it's omitted the West/East tags but still has two entries for WoW, so we're left to assume to top one is still West as it was last month.
On console, ARK: Survival Evolved has fallen from its #4 spot to #6. As always, we point out that ARK: Survival Evolved has yet to formally launch, and it's absurd that it's on this list at all, but fools and their money and all that.
Back in January, we learned from a Black Desert Taiwan release interview that Pearl Abyss had big plans to port the Korean-born MMORPG to both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. But the studio was stopping short of an official announcement, and cross-platform play wasn't a guarantee. Now it seems the game's western publisher, Kakao, is being just as coy.
In response to a player asking for confirmation of the rumors, Kakao tweeted that Pearl Abyss is indeed working on those console ports, but it couldn't discuss more.
Don't think politics belong in games? Maybe your problem is a mangled understanding of what politics is. That's the gist of a blog piece out yesterday from Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, whom many MMO players will likely remember from his long stint as World of Warcraft's lead systems designer, though now he's lead game designer over on League of Legends next door.
Street was responding to a gamer worried about his belief that "Liberal politics is forcing [its] way into games." "I just want to enjoy a fun experience, or take part of someone’s artistic vision," the player wrote, seeking validation for his worries.
Street agreed that he would be annoyed if League of Legends "tried to sneak in lessons on how taxes should be structured, or opinions on health care, or state versus federal power" as that would be too political. But the mere presence or acknowledgement of diversity? That's not politics, he argues -- that's reality.
It's been a good year so far for Funcom with the success of Conan Exiles and the impending relaunch of The Secret World. CEO Rui Casais recently sat down to an interview discussing both the Nordic development scene for video games and the specific future of Funcom, including the company's focus on the Conan IP. Casais points out that it's not really a focus born of recent entertainment trends; rather, it's just that a lot of Funcom's staff knows the Conan lore in great detail, and it's a setting that lends itself to a wide variety of game styles.
As for MMORPGs specifically, he says,
"There are still many players enjoying this space and we continue to invest in it as is proven by our relaunch of The Secret World coming this spring. We do see that some players have gotten a bit of fatigue from the very large time commitment that these games tend to require and are moving on to our online social gaming experiences, and we plan to create some of those experiences as well, just like we’re doing with Conan Exiles."
Massively OP reader Gail made an interesting observation in one of the City of Heroes Master x Master drama threads about what she called "corn flake games." A family she knew that ran a grocery store quibbled over how to stock it: One sister "always wanted to cram the cereal aisle with the latest cartoon character high sugar high profit fads." The other sister's refrain?
"'Corn flakes. People in this town buy corn flakes.' Corn flakes, while not hugely profitable, were steady dependable sellers. In the MMO market, CoH was a corn flake game. It wasn't going to magically turn into WoW overnight. It wasn't going to suddenly break out and take the gaming world by storm, though with the huge surge in superhero movies I wonder what some good advertising would have done. But it had a sizable group of steady customers who provided a stable profit. That's nothing to sneeze at."
That's precisely why the sunset was so baffling when most games would kill for a subscription playerbase of 100K: It was a steady earner. And it was and is surely not alone. What else do you think is a "corn flake" MMO? Or to put it another way: What's the most stable and dependable MMORPG (besides WoW) right now?
Of course, Destiny 2 was already official for anybody who could read an investor call transcript. But now it's officially official, as Bungie slipped a logo into its Twitter feed early this afternoon.
Kickstarter announced last week that donors have officially backed 10,000 funded games projects.
That's almost 2.5 million people pledging $613 million; more than half of those donors backed multiple projects. The numbers encompass all games, not just video games, but it's still meaty, and it's come a long way since the 2013 $100 million pledged mark.
Kickstarter's own tracking page says there have been 121,758 successfully funded projects to date, with almost $3 billion in pledges. The success rate overall has fallen in the last five years, from 44% in 2012 to just under 36% as of today.
Statista shows the games category specifically in fifth place behind music, film and video, publishing, and art as of January. Journalism, we'd like to note, is down at the bottom in terms of success rates, making us eternally grateful to our backers who helped us beat the odds.
It's been a very long time since StarCraft was first released. By this point, the original game is just part of the landscape, and the gameplay itself has aged pretty well. The game has not, however; it was never really designed for modern systems, and the graphics look like a blurry mess between story cutscenes that are literally talking heads on monitors. It's the sort of game that's ripe for an upgrade with a delicate touch, something that doesn't touch the actual game but adjusts the metaphorical wrapper. You know, like what Blizzard announced for StarCraft: Remastered.
No changes will be made to the actual gameplay, game balance, or so forth of StarCraft with this release; however, the developers are promising modern matchmaking and Blizzard app integration along with redone graphics (complete with the ability to zoom in and out), re-recorded audio and music, and new comic book-style scenes between missions to tell the story more organically. If you've never really moved on from the game, this is unambiguously good news; you can put your long-in-the-tooth Brood War CD away and still get all of the same actual gameplay.
Source: Blizzard press release
If you don't remember the whole story about Global Agenda, you could be forgiven for pushing it out of your mind; it's a bit of a sad one. The first game out of Hi-Rez Studios was not a massive success compared to the studio's later titles, and with more profitable releases from the studio, the game's support dropped and it was quietly removed from Steam. The game is still playable right now for people who download it directly, but it's not there for Steam players to find. Even players who already downloaded it found it gone... until this weekend.
We've had some reports (confirmed by our staff) that the game is indeed showing up in Steam libraries once again, although as of this writing it's not showing up on the main store page. (Searching for it uncovers a demo page that does not actually load.) This could all just be a matter of database maintenance for Steam, or it could be a subtle hint that something is on the horizon. There's nothing to do but speculate; the last update on the game's status was that the servers are going to be kept online for the forseeable future, but the studio does need to make plans for a shutdown and has no intention of selling the servers to another company or the fans.