atari

Some little indie outfit from Japan or something.

PAX West 2017: Dual Universe demos its persistent, seamless, sandbox universe

If you were hoping that another title would pick up the idea of a voxel world and run with it, you’re getting your wish. I met with Jean-Christophe Baillie, the president and founder of NovaQuark, at PAX West. He showed off the pre-alpha build of his company’s voxel sandbox, Dual Universe. After zooming across the planet, building a ship, terraforming, and then blasting off to the moon to do it all again, I believe this subscription-based game (which begins its pre-alpha for backers on September 30th) may very well be the home that players who’ve been wishing for a voxel-based world have waited for.

Baillie defines Dual Universe: “We give more creativity freedom to the players: They can build the ships they want, the environment they want, the houses they want. It’s about freedon to create anything you like.”

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Massively Overthinking: Is the popularity of small-scale co-op games hurting MMORPGs?

Gamasutra has an unusual piece from an Ubisoft developer this week arguing that co-op gameplay is the industry’s rising midcore trend, one that he believes will ultimately outstrip team competitive games. “It’s all about all the big data and stats that are finally available and can be mined,” author Andrii Goncharuk says, “and no surprise that it’s showing that players who played co-op mode have much more play hours, and players who played co-op with friends have even more play hours.”

He may be right, though first you’d have to believe co-op ever went anywhere to begin with (and console players would probably tell you nope!). But as I read the article, I couldn’t help but see MMOs in most of the arguments he’s making about what makes co-op games sticky, and yet MMOs are being edged out all the same. And while I don’t like to think of the MMO genre’s space in the industry as a zero-sum situation, the reality is that when people tire of MMORPG baggage but still want social play, co-op is exactly the sort of game they retreat to.

For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to reflect on the rise of co-op PvE games outside the MMO label. Do we play them? Do we prefer them, and when? How can we learn from them? Is the popularity of smaller-scale co-op hurting MMORPGs?

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Frontier sues Atari over Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 profits

We may associate Frontier with Elite Dangerous these days, but there was a time in the early 2000s when the studio was widely greatly known for Rollercoaster Tycoon 3. Frontier hasn’t forgotten the work that it did on that game, of which the studio claims has been stiffed of its full compensation.

To wit, Frontier has levied a lawsuit against Atari, claiming that the publisher withheld significant royalties owed to the developer. The lawsuit is seeking $2.2 million in compensation from Atari. Frontier alleges that continued sales of the game over the last decade-plus have not been accurately reported and that Atari was dragging its feet on enacting an audit to get the full sum.

For the full scoop, check out the video after the break.

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Asteroids: Outpost tests out the ore buggy

Classic video game-cum-MMO Asteroids: Outpost is making strides forward in its testing, according to updates on Steam. While the game is in pre-alpha testing with only a “select few” players, the team is able to test systems such as the ore buggy. Unfortunately, they only tell us about it instead of delivering a visual demonstration.

“One of our favorite things we’ve worked on this week is the ore-buggy,” the team posted. “It’s a crazy ride, but a ton of fun hitting a jump in low gravity and flying for a ¼ kilometer. I can see people using their buggy for racing as much as hauling!”

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Atari announces Asteroids: Outpost MMO

This has already been such a weird day for MMOs, so why not this? Atari announced that it’s reviving one of its most famous classic franchises, Asteroids, as a massively multiplayer title developed by Salty Studios.

The new game is Asteroids: Outpost, and according to the official site it’s “an open-world sandbox survival game.” However, instead of building up wooden forts to hold against zombies and creepers, players will be constructing high-tech fortresses on giant space rocks in the solar system.

Players will work with and against each other to explore asteroids, mine precious ores, shoot down incoming rocks, and build bases. Asteroids was originally an arcade game created in 1979 that put players in the role of a spaceship shooting endless waves of the titular entities.

[Source: Atari announcement]

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