Now is probably an ideal time to check out (or return to) indie space sandbox Vendetta Online. Guild Software is gearing up to release version 1.9, and it is also selling 100 premium subscription keys at 33 percent off the usual price. Premium allows unlimited play for a year on any platform (or any combination of platforms, since Vendetta’s single-shard universe spans PCs, Macs, Androids, and iOS devices), and it also comes with “long-term subscriber” status which grants a Corvus Greyhound camo ship to the user.
Vendetta’s most recent newsletter has further details, along with updates on the game’s new rendering engine and a recap of recent gameplay tweaks.
Raptr’s most-played games list is out for this past May, and it looks that both World of Tanks and Star Wars: The Old Republic did quite well for themselves during the month, at least among those who used this service.
In the realm of MMOs, SWTOR jumped up four spots from the month previous to land at #14. Final Fantasy XIV remained steady at #13, although World of Warcraft slipped three spots (#5) and Guild Wars 2 is down four (#19). ArcheAge dropped off the top 20 as well.
For MOBAs and lobby titles, League of Legends is still #1, followed by DOTA 2 (#3), SMITE (#8), Diablo III (#9), Hearthstone (#10), Heroes of the Storm (#12), Warframe (#15), and War Thunder (#16). World of Tanks made significant progress in May, shooting up five slots to #6.
You ready for some frantic action combat? Cabal 2 is open for business, as ESTSoft’s fantasy title officially releases to the public today.
COO Steve Pae said that Cabal 2 shows how combat doesn’t have to be a grind: “Cabal 2 features gorgeous graphics and an awesome skill-based combat system, which is easy to learn but a challenge to master, and it will make MMO gamers remember why they fell in love with the genre in the first place.”
Cabal 2 is free-to-play and places an emphasis on fun combat with combos. It boasts an expansive world, a competitive PvP game, and plenty of dungeons to go around. You can check out the launch trailer after the break!
Daybreak’s eight-year-running Gamers in Real Life (G.I.R.L.) scholarship program is done evaluating applicants and ready to proclaim the winners. That’s right, winners plural; this year, the studio decided to expand G.I.R.L. to include two categories, one for art and design and the other for programming and engineering.
The studio named the 2015 recipients today: Grace Kim and Cherylynn Lima. Both will receive $5,000 toward their higher education as well as the opportunity to intern for 10 weeks at Daybreak. The studio said that it will put both of the women to work on H1Z1.
“Both winners truly embraced our G.I.R.L. program goals through their essays, original concept art, and code base for an original game feature,” Chief Publishing Officer Laura Naviaux said. “We are proud to have them represent this year’s program and provide them with opportunities in the gaming industry.”
Source: Daybreak press release
In this episode of Massively Opinionated, the topic is public relations and communication. Sometimes marketing and consumer relationships in MMOs don’t always go the way game creators plan. So this week, we debate the ways MMOs should and shouldn’t handle their customers. Host Larry Everett invited two individuals who are very familiar with the inner workings of the games industry: From here at Massively OP and Predestination, welcome Brendan Drain and Tina Lauro. Enjoy the show!
Albion’s summer alpha is officially a thing, if you’re a legendary founder, that is. Sandbox Interactive updated its website with a post that highlights the new stuff, including hellgate dungeons and 5-on-5 PvP battles, new missions and factions, new resources, and three new landscapes (the Grasslands, the Redwoods, and the Deadlands).
If you haven’t purchased a founder’s pack yet, SI says that you can still do so and that you’ll be able to start playing immediately after your purchase.
You are probably not terribly worried about whether or not Overwatch is going to get a Chinese release for the same reason that most Chinese gamers are nor terribly worried about whether or not their new games will get US releases when those games aren’t actually launched. Sure, it’d be nice, but it’s not super-relevant while you wait for an actual release date. Still, if you were worried about it, you can be rest assure that it is happening at some point, as Blizzard and Netease announced a partnership to bring the game to China.
The deal doesn’t hint at any sort of release timeframe, but it does seem to indicate that the game may be closer than we think if Blizzard is making major deals for its future. It’s more games for everyone, and that’s good no matter what country you live in.
It’s really difficult to be sure about how EVE Online is doing, since CCP Games has stopped releasing subscription numbers on a regular basis. But there are still statistics available, albeit ones that are often presented in such a way as to obscure understanding by the average player. Former CSM member Jestertrek took it upon himself to analyze and present that data in a straightforward and comprehensible form, which leads to a stark and obvious display that the game’s player concurrency is currently at a seven-year low.
Jestertrek has posted several different graphs along with a supplementary post to explain what other peaks and valleys represent, and while he admits freely that the analysis is not perfect, it’s as official as you can get without an actual announcement from CCP. He also goes on to state that none of this means that the game is dying, simply that its entrenched base is shrinking and new arrivals are becoming less common. Whether you’re an EVE player or just a fascinated onlooker, it’s worth checking out the full post.
The Elder Scrolls Online is down a dev this month, as Creative Director Paul Sage has left ZeniMax Online Studios to join Gearbox.
According to Assistant Community Manager Gina Bruno on the official forum, Lead Content Designer Rich Lambert has stepped into Sage’s vacant position:
We can confirm that Paul left ZOS after the launch of ESOTU on console. He, along with rest of the team, are very happy with how the game is doing and we wish him the best in his future endeavors. ESOTU continues to be in great hands with Gamer Director, Matt Firor and new Creative Director, Rich Lambert, overseeing development. Previously, Rich oversaw all content in the game as Lead Content Designer and worked on The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. We’re very excited to have him take on the role as Creative Director!
Sage isn’t the first high-profile dev to depart ESO in recent months. Lead Gameplay Designer Nick Konkle left ZOS for Riot Games earlier this spring; he was replaced by Chris Strasz. Combat Gameplay Designer Maria Aliprando apparently departed in May.
Have you been intrigued by the dino-centric ARK: Survival Evolved? If so, you’re not alone: The survival game was a monster hit during the Steam Monster Summer Sale. Although Valve doesn’t release sales data, Steamspy collected and compiled data to determine that during the event ARK came in fourth place for number of sales (nearly half a million) and second place in total revenue (earning over $10 million). Players who missed out on the deals when the summer sale ended on June 21st can still buy into the early access for $29.99.
Massively OP’s own Jef Reahard is currently hosting a server for our community.
This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Chris Roberts elaborated on Star Citizen’s FPS module delay as well as his experiences directing motion capture for the game’s single-player Squadron 42 campaign. Also this week, Camelot Unchained lead Mark Jacobs delivered plenty of good news, including progress on procedurally generated terrain, performance issues, and an announcement about the beta announcement which should happen inside of two weeks!
The rest of this week’s roundup is just past the break.
Is there anything as marvelous as finding out that your game got so heavily exploited that the whole game needs to be wiped? If you’re playing Ark: Survival Evolved, let us know what that’s like. Fortunately for players, there’s now a bounty system in place for hacks and an official server for folks from the site, so that’s awesome.
Other stuff happened with testing this week, too! We were told about it, and it did in fact happen!
And yes, there are more games in testing, which we’ve linked down below. If you know of something else that’s in testing or swapped phases without us noticing, please, do let us know down in the comments if you would.
As WildStar is preparing to make the grand transition to free-to-play in the west this summer, it’s simultaneously making in-roads into Asia with an upcoming Chinese launch.
The duties of handling WildStar’s China operations will go to Giant Interactive, which has previously handled titles such as Allods Online. Giant will oversee the closed beta test, with plans to begin in August. No date for a launch has been announced.
WildStar’s Chinese version will feature not only the new free-to-play business model but new facial options, panda accessories, and 22 additional pets. All of these are aimed specifically at the region’s demographics.