Industry & Business Category

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Here’s the latest Hearthstone TV commercial

Have you seen the new Hearthstone TV commercial? It’s up on the newly released MOBA’s YouTube channel, in case you miss it on the boob tube.

It’s a brief clip that clocks in at just 40 seconds. It centers on a duel between a Stormwind Champion and an Ogre Brute, and, well, you’ll just have to watch how it plays out after the cut!

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Infinite Crisis is shutting down on August 14th

DC-themed superhero MOBA Infinite Crisis is shutting down on August 14th, according to an announcement posted on the front page of Turbine’s official site.

After much deliberation, we regret to announce the official shutdown of Infinite Crisis. We will end development efforts today and will close the service on August 14, 2015.

Between now and August 14th, the game will remain available to play completely free. If you have any questions, contact Customer Service for assistance at http://support.infinitecrisis.com.

This was an extremely difficult decision to make. On behalf of the entire Infinite Crisis team we want to thank all of you for your feedback, support and for joining together to create one of the best communities in gaming.

The announcement is echoed on the official forums by Community Manager Celestrata. The game officially launched in March of this year after an extended testing period and impressed even MMORPG critics.

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The Daily Grind: How would you run an ethical MMO cash shop?

Today’s Daily Grind topic comes to us in a roundabout way from Kickstarter donor Le Entrepreneur, who asks,

Why do MMOs use cash shops they know hurt players?

There’s an easy answer to this — because money — but it’s worth exploring in more detail, I think. Cash shops in general, after all, don’t hurt players, but cash shops that exploit players’ desire to win or that tinker with lockboxes are deliberately preying on games’ weakest customers. On the one hand, it’s just business, but on the other, it makes me uncomfortable that whales — some of whom are just terrible with money, not actually wealthy — are subsidizing many of the MMOs we play.

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SuperData’s Van Dreunen on tomorrow’s Heroes of the Storm launch

Tomorrow’s the big day for Blizzard’s entry into the crowded and uber-competitive MOBA market. Heroes of the Storm officially launches on June 2nd, and SuperData CEO Joost Van Dreunen has penned an editorial at GamesIndustry.biz that asks whether or not the new title can measure up to genre titans like League of Legends and Dota 2.

Van Dreunen predicts that HotS will capture a larger monthly active audience than Heroes of Newerth and SMITE, though he has nice things to say about the former, including the fact that its recent world championship featured a prize pool larger than LoL’s 2014 championship purse.

“During the initial marketing blitz and the June 2nd release it is likely that there will be a drop in monthly active users for all titles in the space,” Van Dreunen writes. “It’s possible that MOBA players will briefly indulge in the newcomer’s offering, only to return to the game they’re most familiar with and where their social connections are strongest,” he concludes.

Source: GI.biz

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Camelot Unchained is adding lots of cosmetics without a cash shop

Camelot Unchained’s next stretch goal is going to take the Realm Honors concept to the next level, according to the game’s website. In a nutshell, this means that the dev team will be adding “a whole bunch of cosmetic-only things to the game which will not be for sale in a cash shop.”

Rewards include items that may be displayed in your CU house, on your avatar, or in your C.U.B.E. creations. The stretch goal will be completed by launch, City State says, as it will be outsourced with a minimal amount of in-house oversight, which falls in line with the firm’s long-standing policy of not allowing stretch goals to affect launch.

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Make My MMO: May 30, 2015

This week in MMO crowdfunding news, Square Enix pimped out 2-D action MMO hopeful Dragon of Legends as part of its Indie Collective showcase. In slightly less positive news, Greed Monger’s development team was “forced to admit defeat” and informed the game’s community — which had coughed up more than $100,000 in Kickstarter donations — that it was shutting the project down.

Oh, and Das Tal released a ton of updates for its ongoing Kickstarter drive.

The rest of this week’s MMO crowdfunding roundup is just past the cut.

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Test fly Star Citizen’s military ships for free this week

When I backed Star Citizen in 2012, I opted for a couple of the $60 pledge tiers. One of these I gave away, and the other I kept for myself. I haven’t upgraded my pledge since then, which means that when I log into the alpha dogfighting module, I’m limited to flying starter ships like the Aurora and the 300i.

For the next week, though, I (and you, if you’re a fellow backer) can test fly the Anvil Hornet, the Gladiator, and the Aegis Gladius without upgrading pledges, thanks to Cloud Imperium’s latest free-fly week that focuses on military ships. “These free-fly weeks provide valuable testing metrics so we can continue to build this game together. Thank you citizens for the continued support and dedication,” the company says on its website.

Source: Military ship test drive

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The Game Archaeologist: Mythic’s Imperator Online

It is a truly difficult thing to create something completely new and original, especially in storytelling and setting. It’s perhaps impossible in this day and age, as we tell variations on time-worn tales. But what is almost as good of a substitute is to take two elements and put them together to make an interesting new mix — such as science-fiction and ancient Rome.

That was the premise for Mythic Entertainment’s Imperator Online, a fascinating project that was originally to be the follow-up MMO to the studio’s Dark Age of Camelot but instead was cancelled before it ever launched. Even so, players got hooked by the intriguing premise: “What if the Roman Empire never fell, but instead continued on to become a really radical futuristic online roleplaying game setting?”

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The Daily Grind: Are you excited for Wander?

Wander kind of surprised me. I’ve been aware of it for some time, but due to its lack of a launch date and my year-long MMO malaise, I haven’t paid it much mind.

Now, though, it has a launch date (June 4th), and as such I’ve been devouring all of the trailers, interviews, and gameplay footage that I can get my hands on. And gosh, what’s not to like? It’s a “non-combat, non-competitive” MMO for PlayStation 4 and PC that focuses on collaborative exploration and features beautiful CryEngine atmospherics.

What about you, MOP readers? Will you be giving Wander a go?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Betawatch: May 29th, 2015

We don’t usually list expansions in our little master list, but Guild Wars 2 has started doing some testing of its first expansion. In very, very small doses. Another dose of the Stronghold beta is also due for the game in the not-too-distant future, hopefully ameliorating the current lack of information about when the expansion will actually launch.

Other beta news? Oh, fine, I guess we can.

And of course we have that lovely list of games in testing past the break. Did something slip into open testing or soft launch without us finding out? Let us know down in the comments.

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Shadowrun Chronicles developer declares bankruptcy [Updated]

After several delays, Shadowrun Chronicles, the rebranded form of what was originally being developed as Shadowrun Online, launched on Steam a month ago. Now, a month out, the studio behind the game is bankrupt. The company has apparently already been assigned a liquidator, which raises serious questions about the future of the game after a month of operation.

One of the developers posted on the Steam forum that this does not mean doom for the game or even the company, with a statement due out later tonight regarding the situation. While players are assured that the servers will remain up and the next update is on track… it’s a bit hard to feel terribly certain, obviously.

[Update]: MassivelyOP has been provided with a copy of the most recent backer update wherein Cliffhanger Productions addresses the bankruptcy filing. You can read it after the cut.

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The Soapbox: Can MMOs eradicate pay-to-win?

You know what sucks about getting old? Apart from the adult diapers and the dying? Yeah, it’s the seeing things you love retconned into things that you don’t love. That’s basically the opposite of fun, and so it goes here lately with me and MMORPGs.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m still playing them in the hope that they’ll dial back the casino stylings in favor of fun gameplay and ambitious feature sets.

But really, why would any for-profit development studio do that when a generation of gamers thinks that gamble boxes, cash shops, triple-dipping business models, and pay-to-win are not only acceptable but preferable?

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Catching up with Shroud of the Avatar’s Starr Long

As Kickstarter projects successfully funded via the power of nostalgia have proven, gamer loyalty can burn strong even decades after experiencing titles that make such a profound impact. For a subset of players, the Ultima franchise will forever be one of the most influential RPG series in existence, which is why thousands of them have migrated over to Shroud of the Avatar to give it such an active following during its early access period.

Shroud of the Avatar isn’t merely a game being formed, but a community coming together to live in this virtual world. Massively Overpowered caught up with Portalarium executive producer Starr Long this week to get a status check on the project and to ask a few burning questions about how SOTA plans on being a worthy spiritual successor to Ultima.

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