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Crytek sues Star Citizen developer Cloud Imperium, alleging copyright infringement

Update: We’ve updated with CIG’s official statement to us below.

Crytek is suing Cloud Imperium Games and Roberts Space Industries, the companies behind the sprawling and controversial crowdfunded MMO Star Citizen.

In documents filed with the California Central District Court yesterday, Crytek alleges that CIG infringed its copyrights by using CryEngine to develop non-Star Citizen game assets – specifically, Squadron 42.

“Crytek has not been compensated for Defendants’ unlicensed use of Crytek technology in the Squadron 42 game, and has been substantially harmed by being deprived of that compensation, which would ordinarily include a substantial up-front payment as well as a substantial royalty on game sales,” plaintiffs argue.

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Hands-on with Monster Hunter World’s weekend beta – and how it compares to Dauntless

I won’t lie: The Monster Hunter World beta on console last weekend isn’t going to give you the best sense of the full monster hunting experience. It won’t let you explore the world like Link in Breath of the Wild. And it won’t scratch the full MMO-experience itch.

That being said, as someone who’s played multiple iterations of the series and deeply exploring the gaming genre as a whole, I found that MHW still surprised me with its freshness.

Old dog, new tricks

When I first heard about Dauntless, MH’s closest cognate, I was impressed. Simplifying certain parts of the MH experience for a broader audience sounded like a great idea. The game’s execution experienced at E3 and on my own made me feel like it has a potential audience. However, post-E3 MHW leaks had me geeking out hard. While Dauntless has its own weapon combos, art style, and direction, a lot of the more palatable and streamlined design is going into MHW instead – and it’s launching sooner.

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Sword Coast Legends ends development – grab it from Steam while you can

Better buy Sword Coast Legends while you still can: It appears that Wizards of the Coast and Digital Extremes will be ending the publishing contract for the Dungeons and Dragons-based co-op game at the end of 2017. The good news that the servers will stay up for those who already own it (or who purchase it before December 31st).

“Purchase Sword Coast Legends now at 67% off and receive the Rage of Demons DLC for free,” the devs posted to the official forums. “Our publishing contracting is ending, but although Sword Coast Legends will no longer be available to purchase after December, its multiplayer servers will remain live indefinitely.” (It looks to be $14.99 on Steam as I type this, so the sale doesn’t appear to be live yet.)

We’ve been following the game since 2015 when we first heard about this odd multiplayer-slash-single-player game, which allowed one player to step into the gamemaster’s shoes to run campaigns for a team. It officially launched in October of that year after an initial delay, then rolled out an expansion in May of 2016, followed by a double console launch in July of 2016, but it’s been relatively quiet since then. In the middle of it all, the original developer, n-Space, was shuttered, leaving further development to Digital Extremes.

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Sea of Thieves announces March launch date for PC and Xbox One

Well this is a bit of welcome news before the year rounds out! Rare finally announced a launch date for Sea of Thieves: March 20th, 2018. That’s for both PC and Xbox One.

The announcement came in the form of a new trailer that gives a quick overview of the general gameplay and quirkiness that comes with this pirate title. We are especially excited about the quick bit where they showed a rapid succession of cosmetic outfits — because a buccaneer has to look fashionable, after all!

Pre-orders will get into a January five-day closed beta and secure a Black Dog pack for the live game. Get pumped up with the launch trailer below (and say hello to the chicken when you do so)!

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Flameseeker Chronicles: Deep-diving Guild Wars 2’s living world S4 Daybreak

I’m back with an earlier-than-anticipated special edition of Flameseeker Chronicles to share my impressions of the opening episode of Guild Wars 2‘s fourth Living World season. I am blown away by ArenaNet‘s commitment to the content cadence we’ve come to expect and am thoroughly impressed that the new season is upon us so swiftly after Path of Fire‘s launch, and the direction in which the season seems to be travelling is very promising indeed. The content feels more dynamic than previous offerings, relying heavily on panoramic details, mechanically rich scenarios, and strong dialogue to give us a narrative that feels more alive than ever before.

In this edition of Flameseeker Chronicles, I’ll share with you the main story points of the episode and will discuss my highs and lows throughout. Please note that, although major spoilers will be hidden by tags where possible, this article is best enjoyed after you’ve played the content for yourself due to significant spoilers throughout.

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Move over, pixel ships: Star Citizen is now selling pixel land claims

The Star Citizen community was once again rocked yesterday by the addition of new pixelstuff to buy ahead of launch, this time in the form of land claim licenses. Running $50-$100, the licenses “[entitle] you to claim a single 4km x 4km [8km x 8km for the pricier version] parcel of UEE land that has been zoned for commercial, residential or industrial use as well as a GEOTACK marking beacon.”

While people-who-are-totally-OK-with-this and people-who-have-totally-had-enough fight this out on Reddit, Cloud Imperium has stressed that the claims are not pay-to-win.

“Will I have an advantage over other players if I buy a claim license now? No. Licenses can be bought for UEC in game and no one will be able to claim land before the mechanic is available in game for all. People that own claim licenses now, during the anniversary sale to support development, and people that earn the money in-game to buy one will be on equal footing assuming they have enough UEC, especially as there will be millions of locations for people to explore and claim within the Universe over the life time of the game.”

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RIP Marvel Heroes

It’s gone, gang, and I’m so sorry.

Following the disastrous silences and accusations that unfolded over October and November, Marvel announced that it had terminated its relationship with gaming studio Gazillion and canceled MMOARPG Marvel Heroes, which was then scheduled to sunset at the end of the year.

However, on Wednesday, Gazillion employees began reporting that they’d been sent a letter by company CEO Dave Dohrmann announcing the end of Gazillion, the loss of their jobs (and some of their benefits), and a rushed end to Marvel Heroes as the bank called in its debts. The letter said the game would be shut down on Friday following an announcement, causing panic among MMO players who thought they had a bit more time. But no announcement came, and the game stayed up through the weekend.

Now, players on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 report that the game has indeed gone fully offline as of this afternoon.

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LOTRO Legendarium: They’re taking the Hobbits to Erebor!

With some depressing news bouncing around the MMO genre as of late, it was particularly welcome to read an upbeat and exciting producer’s letter from Lord of the Rings Online this past week. And surprising as well — I don’t think many people were expecting a “state of the game” post in late November, of all times. That’s sort of a “new year” thing. I’m not complaining.

Because you all are my fellow Hobbits, there is no one else who I would rather chat with about all of these reveals. Probably no one else would tolerate me doing this, anyway, so here I am and here you are. What did you think about this letter? Here is my takeaway, but I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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Gazillion is dead and Marvel Heroes is shutting down Friday, NOT at the end of the year

Massively OP has received a credible tip from a former Gazillion employee who told us under condition of anonymity that Marvel Heroes will be over significantly sooner than Disney and Marvel previously declared.

The ex-employee says he was terminated as of today, that Gazillion is being shut down entirely, and that Marvel Heroes will sunset this coming Friday, not at the end of the year as originally announced.

The termination letter written by CEO Dave Dohrmann was shared with Massively OP and claims that banking creditors have effectively pulled the plug on the company, leading to the termination of almost every employee at the studio and the apparent renege of benefits including accrued PTO.

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Analyst blames EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 fiasco on the press, Reddit, and video game purists

KeyBanc Capital Markets financial analyst Evan Wingren, who surely makes more money than you do, wants you to know that he’s a gamer too! And he assures you that you’re paying too little for games! In fact, KeyBanc Capital Markets financial analyst Evan Wingren says the real problem with the whole Star Wars Battlefront 2 monetization fiasco – the one that apparently worried Disney enough into making EA turn off microtransactions – is actually the big scary powerful gaming press, some dudes on Reddit, and their “popular press narrative.”

“This saga has been a perfect storm for overreaction as it involves EA, Star Wars, Reddit, and certain purist gaming journalists/outlets who dislike microtransactions,” KeyBanc Capital Markets financial analyst Evan Wingren insists. “Quantitative analysis shows that video game publishers are actually charging gamers at a relatively inexpensive rate, and should probably raise prices.” Indeed, KeyBanc Capital Markets financial analyst Evan Wingren estimates that you’re paying only 40 cents an hour for the average video game, compared to 60 cents for TV and 80 cents for a movie rental! Shit, guys, I’m going to go write EA a check right now.

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Check out Guild Wars 2’s ‘Daybreak’ living story season 4 trailer

If you were excited about last week’s Guild Wars 2 living story season 4 announcement but found the recap trailer wanting, welp, you’re going to be much more enthused this week, as it’s a much better teaser trailer with fresh content too. On the other hand? It’s titled Daybreak. Womp womp.

The episode is still due out next week on November 28th, free to everyone but playable only by Path of Fire owners. According to today’s press release, it’ll “include a raid wing and a new fractal for players to delve into.”

Obviously, there’s a bit of Path of Fire spoilerdom within! Enjoy.

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Disney has canceled Marvel Heroes, Marvel has ended its relationship with Gazillion

We can now confirm this as real, following a statement made by a Marvel representative to Massively OP. We’re updating below.

According to Kotaku, Disney has canceled Marvel Heroes – on all platforms – and nuked its business partnership with Gazillion. Here’s the message Kotaku says it received:

“We regret to inform our Marvel Heroes fans that we have ended our relationship with Gazillion Entertainment, and that the Marvel Heroes games will be shut down. We would like to sincerely thank the players who joined the Marvel Heroes community, and will provide any further updates as they become available.”

The news will not come as a shock to MMORPG players, as we’ve been chronicling the mess over at Gazillion for weeks now. We’d gone an entire month since the last formal update from the team, social media accounts have lain dormant, Halloween was bungled, negative Steam reviews were flooding in, the PC playerbase shrunk to its smallest size in four and a half years, the Thor Ragnarok promotion never happened, two community reps for the studio departed, and accusations flew from former studio employees in regard to “inappropriate conduct” toward female employees on the part of current CEO Dave Dohrmann, whose removal from the studio became the goal of some activist players.

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Guild Wars 2’s fourth living story season is set to begin November 28

ArenaNet just announced that the fourth season of living world content will kick off in Guild Wars 2 on November 28th. The teaser provides basically no other information, stating that “season 4 will continue the epic story of Tyria, seamlessly transitioning from the events of Path of Fire.” Which is helpful, since the larger part of the new trailer is actually clips from last year’s season – until you get to the part with ol’ Balthy and his ruination of the desert.

It does appear that the living story will maintain the two-to-three-month cadence and be available only to those who own Path of Fire, though we assume you can still “claim” the episodes without owning it. Trailer inc!

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