Paradox Interactive is making a World of Darkness werewolf game

Those still licking their wounds over the years-old demise of the World of Darkness CCP MMO can howl with delight that IP-owner Paradox Interactive is further exploring the franchise in an upcoming werewolf title.

Paradox announced this week that it is facilitating the creation of a Werewolf: The Apocalypse adaptation. The game sounds like a single-player experience, as the gamer will take on the role of a werewolf warrior attempting to "save the world with fang and claw."

Cyanide Studio is handling the actual development of the game, which will come out on both consoles and PC. It may not be the game that MMO fans had hoped to see, but it is still nice to see Paradox utilizing the license in some way, shape, or wereform.

CCP Games sold White Wolf and its IPs to Paradox Interactive back in October 2015 following a failed attempt at producing a World of Darkness MMORPG.


Rovio opens London-based MMO studio with a new IP

Angry Birds creator Rovio is branching out into the MMO market. The company announced that it has opened a new studio in London devoted to creating massively multiplayer online games. The studio already is focused on the creation of a new, unnamed IP as its first project.

Head of Studio Mark Sorrell explains the focus behind this studio, team, and project: "We believe that the best game experiences are those that you share with other people. So we’re starting a studio to do exactly this. We look forward to bringing a diverse team together to deliver unique MMOs that are creative, inclusive and delightful."

With this move, Rovio now has five studios operating across Europe. The London studio is looking to hire and cultivate a team of 20 members over the next couple of years.

Source: Rovio. Thanks Daras!


Hi-Rez Expo 2017: The future of Global Agenda, Global Agenda 2, and SMITE

Past, present, and future. While the totality of a game studio encompasses all three aspects, we often focus on only one or two at a time. Over the last week, we heard a great deal about Hi-Rez Studios' present during Hi-Rez Expo 2017, from the tournaments (congrats to all the winners!) to what's immediately in the works for its roster of games. But there are still the two other sides to the studio to consider. And these are the sides I explored in interviews with President Stew Chisam and VP Brian Greyson. Specifically I wanted to learn if the company had plans to connect its past with its future in regards to Global Agenda. I was also curious as to what other directions the SMITE franchise might take.

Join me as we delve into the past and the future of Hi-Rez Studios, the possibility of a Global Agenda 2, and the expansion of the SMITE universe.

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Hi-Rez Expo 2017: Hands-on with online card game SMITE Rivals

The cat is out of the bag. Or should I say Manticore? SMITE Rivals was announced at Hi-Rez Expo 2017 yesterday, giving players a third option for playing the gods in the SMITE IP. But the night before the world found out, I had the opportunity to sit down with a few of the folks who are creating the game and not only learn about it but play it for myself! (And no, I didn't break it!)

So what is SMITE Rivals? It's a game that blends the original MOBA with a collectible card game. Now, folks who have come to know me know that for the majority of my gaming life, MOBAs and CCGs both have terrified me. Maybe terrified is too strong of a word, but I definitely avoided them. I was both unfamiliar with them and unskilled. It's only been this past year that I have started dabbling into these realms. So what happens when you combine these two fears into a single game?

It turns out, I love it.

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Hi-Rez Expo 2017: SMITE Tactics begins beta testing, founders pack sale

Hi-Rez is expected to have plenty of announcements in store for players during the opening ceremony of its 2017 expo this morning, including the news that SMITE Tactics, its 1v1 turn-based strategy game set in the SMITE IP, will kick off its closed beta today.

Announced back in October, the game had alpha testing in November. This beta release will include a full tutorial to show players the ropes. The Greek pantheon will be available immediately, but the Norse and Egyptian pantheons can be unlocked only as players complete a campaign against AI. The Chinese pantheon will be added later in the year.

Players who are interested in getting in to test the game right now can purchase founders packs starting today. These packs will grant immediate access to the beta as well as 15 card packs, an exclusive icon, and a set of legendary cards featuring Greek goddess Enyo for SMITE Tactics as well as an Enyo skin for Bellona in SMITE itself. As a special deal for the expo, the founders pack is 25% off until January 12th.

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Hi-Rez Expo 2017: Newly announced SMITE Rivals turns the gods into cross-platform collectible cards

They say good things come in threes, and with today's anticipated new game announcement at Hi-Rez Expo 2017, the studio has three SMITE titles filled with ancient god goodness. The newest addition, SMITE Rivals, brings the original game's familiar gods (and many of the familiars and minions) to the collectible card genre in a new way.

The game will be available for cross-platform play on three platforms: iOS, Android, and PC. Players can move freely between the platforms; all progress is maintained regardless of which device you log into and play from. Also in the spirit of threes, the play takes place on a map of three lanes for matches that last three minutes. Decks consist of only eight cards -- one god and seven other minions or spells. The 1v1 matches are fast-paced, and players can go up against other players in regular or ranked play, duel friends, or play against the AI.

SMITE Rivals will be free-to-play. While there is no date set for a beta yet, those who wish to get their hands on it as soon as possible (who aren't at the expo already playing it!) can sign up for the beta right now on the official site. You can check out the reveal video below. To hear even more details about the game, keep an eye out for our hands-on experience and dev interview later on during the event!

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Nab a Heavy Gear Assault early access key from Stompy Bot and MOP

Just before the new year descended on us all, Stompy Bot pushed out mecha shooter Heavy Gear Assault on Steam. "Currently HGA is in a stage where two major modules have been finalized, and one is still in development - but we will continue to iterate on those modules during Early Access," the studio has explained. "Over the next year, the game will be rapidly regressed & iterated on with an aggressive patch strategy planned, almost always including new features, content, balance and polish improvements, and bug fixes. We are extremely fast at development, and will continue to push forward with maximum energy to make the game the best stompin’ mech game on Steam."

In early access, it's currently running about 34 bucks, but we've got some keys to get you in and testing for free, courtesy of the studio itself! All you'll need is Steam to jump on in.

Click the Mo button below (and prove you're not a robot) to grab one of these keys!

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EverFeud is being 'built by PvPers for PvPers'

Would you like some PvP in your PvP? Then you should keep tabs on EverFeud, an in-development title that's creating a highly competitive environment in a fantasy world. Arenas and battlegrounds are the main focus of the game, although the devs said that they might be opening up the world to become more of an MMO down the road.

According to the Steam Greenlight description, EverFeud is "an arena and battleground-styled multiplayer PVP game set in a fantasy world where might and magic hold sway. Each player is able to formulate their own strategy and customize their player to their play style in order to ensure victory over the competition. This game is highly competitive and will be sure to always bring a challenge, even for the most die-hard PVP player. Built by PVPers for PVPers."

You can check out one of the game's arena courtyards after the jump.

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NetEase announces Justice, an MMO four years in the making

If you have more than a passing interest in NetEase's upcoming Revelation Online, you should also keep an eye on another title that the studio has been developing for four years now. Called Treacherous Waters overseas, the martial arts MMO has been dubbed Justice for English audiences.

Justice is supposedly based on a Chinese novel and will contain plenty of martial arts-style combat and luscious eye candy. The first character from the game, a woman clad in red silk, was shown on a Chinese website and paired with a cryptic description.

We are still waiting to hear more on this MMO-in-the-making. A beta schedule for Justice will be revealed in early 2017.


Final Fantasy XIV Fan Festival Tokyo 2016: Red Mage, swimming, and Stormblood's June 20 launch date

It's the holiday season here in the US, but in Japan it's just another weekend. Only it's not just another weekend; it's the weekend of the second of three fan festivals, this one in Tokyo and featuring exciting new information about Final Fantasy XIV's second expansion. So while you spend the day relaxing, you can also warm yourself up with some new information about the upcoming expansion.

If you don't care about the details and just plan to buy the game no matter what, though, that works as well. You'll be able to start pre-ordering the game on January 24th, 2017, and the expansion is planned for release on June 20th, 2017. That is currently a tentative release date, mostly because producer/director Naoki Yoshida is still apologizing for the fact that Heavensward came out in June instead of "spring" as originally planned. So get your motor running, and let's talk about some crimson spellcasters.

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Multiplayer sci-fi sandbox Hellion demos survival gameplay ahead of January early access

Back in November, we reported on the rollout of Hellion, a PvP-centric multiplayer sci-fi survival sandbox aiming for a Jaunary early access launch. Today, indie studio Zero Gravity has put out a new trailer for the game, which is apparently still on track, this one showcasing the survival elements in play in the gameworld.

As we've written before, in addition to its survival-themed PvP system, Hellion boasts a "complex resource gathering system," crafting, ship maintenance, space stations, modular and customizable equipment, ship-vs.-ship combat, item decay, and "a deep backstory within an immersive multiplayer experience." Oh yeah, and it's really pretty, which is evident in the video we've tucked down below.

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The new Nostalrius emulator suffered six DDOS attacks on launch day

Apparently some folks are taking the relaunch of the Nostalrius servers very badly: Team Elysium, the group behind the newest World of Warcraft emulator, say that on launch day, it was suffering a total of six simultaneous DDOS attacks. Indeed, the website is still intermittently wandering offline as we write this a day later.

That wasn't the only problem; the team also reported a rollback relating to incorrect items, PvP server issues that delayed its launch, and lag and login issues compounded by an apparently intentional banwave. The seeming popularity of the server likely explains a lot of the problems, as the Elysium says it's seen just shy of 80,000 accounts created, more than half of which are from the original Nostalrius:

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Dark and Light's early access has been delayed into 2017

Since it's already December 19th, you probably already figured that the Dark and Light resurrection wasn't going to make that original "late 2016" target after missing fall and November too, so today's news won't be a surprise: Snail Games has announced a 2017 launch for the game, though the details are still scarce. Early access is now expected in 2017, "with the full version launching around Q4 2017," so a January early access on the brand-new Steam page is likely.

"The majority of the content in the Early Access version is finalized, and players will be able to explore most of the Dark and Light world without limitations. Dark and Light’s Early Access experience will be an authentic representation of the game in its final form, but we will be providing updates every 1-2 months during the Early Access period to improve upon, refine, and expand the game as it exists now."

The sandbox was originally launched in the mid-aughts but was sold off to Snail in the midst of lawsuits floating around the original. Snail announced its plans to revivify the game back in August, promising a buy-to-play, subscription-free business model. The new trailer is tucked down below.

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