Think back to 2007: Statistically, you were probably playing World of Warcraft's The Burning Crusade, or maybe even Lord of the Rings, Vanguard, or Tabula Rasa, all brand-new that year. Me, I was deep in classic Guild Wars. And some of you maybe have been playing gPotato games like Flyff or Rappelz. I'm not judging you! But I do have some bad news for you all the same: Hacker watchdog Haveibeenpwned.com reports that gPotato suffered a major account data breach in 2007.
"In July 2007, the multiplayer game portal known as gPotato suffered a data breach and over 2 million user accounts were exposed. The site later merged into the Webzen portal where the original accounts still exist today. The exposed data included usernames, email and IP addresses, MD5 hashes and personal attributes such as gender, birth date, physical address and security questions and answers stored in plain text."
There are always going to be differences in opinion about what should be done with an IP based upon a franchise. That's just natural. The same core universe could be used to make a sprawling sandbox with weak combat but a robust non-combat market and profession system, or it could be used to make a combat-focused experience that focuses on energetic fights, nifty story moments, and little else. In both cases, even if you don't like the end result, you can understand exactly why the IP was used for this.
Our column today is not about those games. No, this is about games that completely failed to make use of their licenses to IPs, produced totles that did not in any way logically follow from the license that was given, or otherwise took pure gold and turned it into something... less than gold. There's room to debate whether some of these IPs would ever make good MMOs, but boy, the uses we have were pretty bad.
Free-to-play operator Bigpoint
looks to be the latest company to be acquired by a foreign firm. Games Industry reports
that a deal is ready to go through next month that will see Germany-based Bigpoint bought out by China publisher Youzu Interactive
The deal, which includes the purchase of $89.7 million in stock, won't be the end of Bigpoint but will see the merger of the two companies become a force for future game offerings. "With the support of Youzu, we will be able to further invest in our talent, the amazing experiences they create, and the reach of our games," said Bigpoint CEO Khaled Helioui.
Bigpoint owns and operates a large library of titles, including Drakensang Online, Battlestar Galactica Online, and Dino Storm. The company also has a Game of Thrones MMO that's been in the works for a while. Back in 2011, the company was valued at $600 million.
Fans of NBC's Grimm might be excited to learn that the station has commissioned an online multiplayer spin-off that's coming soon called Grimm: Dark Legacy. The game, which takes place hundreds of years before the show, puts players in the role of monster hunters who use special weapons to put down their foes. The title is being developed by Artplant, which also helped create Battlestar Galactica Online.
According to the official description, you will "team up with other Grimms and explore a world filled with mystery and adventure. Utilize all of your Grimm skills and weapons to survive against the Wesen horde who will stop at nothing until the Grimm bloodline is finally severed."
Grimm: Dark Legacy is aiming for a mid-2016 launch and is currently accepting beta sign-ups on the official website.
Sit back, let that headline sink in, and try to stop yourself from quietly muttering, "Five years? That game is still around?"
Yes indeed, Battlestar Galactica Online -- the online game based on the Syfy series -- is apparently still in operation. And not only is it running, but it's throwing a full-blown party for its fifth anniversary.
The fun began on Monday with the debut of the Twilight of the Gods event. If exploring new content isn't your bag, perhaps getting free gifts is. Bigpoint is giving away a goodie pack for players who redeem the code "5YEARSBSGO" on their account. The voucher delivers a booster, several map parts, and a chunk of event currency that can be spent in the shop.
This week's Massively Overthinking question comes to us from Kickstarter donor Aldranis, whose query neatly dovetails with the IP-related question we answered on the podcast earlier this week. Aldranis writes,
Do you think IP-based games lead to an oversaturation of mediocre MMOs on the market? It seems for every Marvel Heroes or Lord of the Rings Online, there are one or two Matrix Onlines. I feel these types of games can not only stunt design/developer creativity but also introduce games that no one would really play, wasting a great IP. Similarly, I'm really bummed that World of Darkness didn't make it to the light of day (pun very intended). That was an IP-based MMO I was really looking forward to, and now seems to be lost, at least in the short-term.
I posed Aldranis' question to the Massively OP writers, and man, they took the diss on The Matrix Online as fightin' words!