business model

PSA: EVE Online is offering a 15% Omega discount through June 26

Devoid of further context, the phrase “Omega Discount” sounds vaguely threatening. It’s the last discount? No, it’s a discount on the price of picking up an EVE Online subscription in three-month chunks of time. That’s 15% off buying a three-month stretch, and it’s available until June 26th.

The three-month deal will cost you $33.02 in total, which works out to around $11 per month; that’s a better rate than anything other than the year-long package, which is impressive. So if you want to be subscribed through the summer, you have a path to do so on the cheap. And if you were going to buy yourself some subscription time afterwards… well, now you might as well do so early to save some cash.

And make sure you pick up a new Venture Capitalist ship while you’re at it, eh?

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Final Fantasy XIV could still arrive on Nintendo Switch if console companies decide to play nice

Naoki Yoshida of Final Fantasy XIV fame was at this year’s E3, and that means interviews with the man himself. One of those interviews from VGR brought up the question of whether or not the game could possibly arrive on the Nintendo Switch, which prompted some excitement about the idea that it might come to the platform. After all, Yoshida says that he would like that!

Except that this isn’t a new answer; it’s the same answer that fans have been getting since the last hardware generation when people were asking about the game arriving on the Xbox 360. It’s always been the same answer.

The team behind FFXIV insist on the game having full cross-play compatibility between all platforms it can be played on (so console players and PC players are on the same servers) and no additional monthly fees beyond the subscription. Those two requests long prevented it from appearing on Xbox consoles (as Microsoft didn’t like the idea of the game not requiring an Xbox Live subscription or cross-play with PlayStation users), and they’re likely the same things holding back any Switch port. So we remain in a world where you have to play on your PlayStation 4 or your desktop.

Source: VGR via Techradar; thanks to ChaosConstant for the tip!

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Funcom’s upcoming Mutant Year Zero

Apparently, GDC was good to Funcom, The Bearded Ladies, and Mutant: Year Zero. The teams had originally thought to skip E3 this year, but after the reveal led to even one developer’s mail attendant in Sweden fanning out a bit, it became clear that an appearance at the Expo might be in order (and to maybe not wear developer t-shirts in public).

The Bearded Ladies developers said that they’ve received nothing but positive comments so far, and I can’t say I’ve been able to give them more critical feedback either. Part of that is because my tactical RPG experience is limited to super casual Fire Emblem outings that never end with my finishing the game. Admittedly, I also didn’t have a ton of questions to bring with me this time because the guys were just so open at GDC. It’s probably for the best, though, as I was finally able to get my hands on the game. Spoiler alert: Not only did I fail my mission, but so did almost everyone else!

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EVE Online sells a bundle of ‘Venture’ skins for 120 Plex, poking fun at Star Citizen

Someone at CCP Games is obviously having quite a lot of fun with the latest EVE Online skin bundle. The bundle of skins for the Venture ship might not seem like it’s anything special until you notice that the price tag is 120 Plex, not $120. And that the bundle is specifically dubbed the “Venture Capitalist” bundle. And the cheeky reference to the fact that you can support EVE Online‘s future development with $120 through a long-term subscription, if you so desire… or by purchasing over 36,000 Ventures.

Yes, the whole thing is a very snarky jab at Star Citizen’s $120 Vulture. So for those of you who have been staring agape at the whole thing, well, here’s a chance to pick up a bundle of ship skins for much less than $120. If you’ve just been chuckling at the whole process, here’s your latest thing to giggle about. And if you’ve been insisting that there’s no similarity whatsoever and lots of spaceships designs have prongs… well, we can’t help you there.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Davlos, PlasmaJohn, and Quavers for the tip!

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E3 2018: A second look at Trion’s Defiance 2050 reboot

GDC 2018 back in March was good to Defiance 2050, at least in terms of making people aware of the goals of the game. It doesn’t necessarily mean people like what they’ve seen or heard, but Social Influencer and Community Manager Scott “Mobi” Jasper and Community Specialist Coby West feel that particular reveal has done the best for the game.

At this year’s E3 followup, there wasn’t any huge new reveal, aside from the launch date itself – just more tweaks. There certainly seems to be a bit of a disconnect between the overall MMO sphere and the 2050 fandom the devs are used to, with the devs somewhat understandably being more connected to their fans. After all, those are people who are willing to pay to play, and especially for a free to play game, that’s what you need. I got my hands on the game for the second time this year, and while it’s a solid play experience, I worry that, created in a vacuum, its potential for growth beyond the original Defiance experience is limited.

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ARK Survival Evolved Mobile has officially launched for iOS and Android

The mobile version of ARK: Survival Evolved is officially out and live for your mobile devices – both iOS and Android – as of today. Studio Wildcard and War Drum Studios promise it’s not some crappy mobile knockoff; it’s really truly the “same multiplayer game” from PC and console with all the same territory and dinos, except in that the mobile edition is “free-to-play with more accessible gameplay developed specifically for on-the-go dinosaur fun.”

“In this free on-the-go experience featuring real-time crossplay between iOS and Android gamers, survivors will tame one of 80 amazing dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts! Fly a Pteranodon squadron over the snow-capped mountains, race through the deep jungle with your pack of trained Raptors, tromp through a fortified enemy base along a convoy of gigantic Brontosaurus, or chase down prey on the back of a raging T-Rex. Players will quickly learn that dinosaurs aren’t the only dangerous creatures on the island. Other players are organizing rebel tribes to accumulate resources, experience, and tools, and to construct sprawling villages and cities, with technology spanning the primitive stone-age to the modern electric-powered era and beyond!”

Oh yeah, and there’s an optional premium subscription because it’s 2018. You can pick it up now for iOS and Android, just bear in mind that super old devices aren’t gonna be able to touch this one.

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Get Elder Scrolls Online and Morrowind for 8 bucks, check out the Murkmire DLC teaser from E3

If you somehow missed the Morrowind chapter of the MMORPG we named game of the year in 2018, then this sale is most definitely for you: Green Man Gaming has Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind edition on sale right now for $8.10. ZeniMax didn’t ask us to post this, and this is not an affiliate link – just a great sale.

The bundle can be a bit confusing, so let me break it down a bit: The Morrowind pack includes the base game and the Morrowind chapter, but that’s it. It doesn’t come with the extra bonuses from the CE, it doesn’t come with any DLC (like the Thieves Guild), and it doesn’t come with the latest chapter, Summerset. Vanilla plus Morrowind is still a huge amount of content, plus all the classes, so it’d be awesome for gamers who’ve somehow never given it a try. The game does have a subscription, but it’s optional; it unlocks a bunch of perks, cash-shop currency, and non-permanent access to the DLC (but not the chapters, so not Summerset, again). Worth noting is that you can start out as a new toon in Morrowind; you don’t need to grind in the base game first if you won’t want to.

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The Daily Grind: Will you sub to EA’s new ‘Origin Access Premier’ service?

During EA Play this weekend, EA announced Origin Access Premier, its attempt at a subscription service on PC. For $100 a year, you’ll basically get a service pretty similar to what already exists on Xbox: You’ll be able to play all the big new games, like Anthem, plus other titles within the Origin Vault, for that flat fee.

Subscriptions rise again, right? Is this a good thing for games outside the service?

“As always, I want to Bree to win the lottery, buy up some MMOs and take them to the Island of Misfit MMOs where $200 per annum gets you sub/pref access to all of RIFT, LOTRO, STO, SWTOR, et al.,” MOP tipster Sally wrote to us, urging us to write about the sub. “But picture that you are a hard-working indie dev. You already have the issues with dealing with Steam. Now a customer has to decide whether to buy your game or just play something like Anthem for no additional cost.”

Will you be subbing to EA’s new Origin Access Premier service? Do you think it’ll have a catastrophic impact on indie games or MMOs with subs?

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Global Chat: FFXIV re-reborn, State of Decay 2, and Dungeons and Dragons Online

With the rollout of Patch 4.3, Final Fantasy XIV is offering its players a nice big slice of content to enjoy as we head into the summer. It certainly seems to be a time in which many players are making their way back to the game — or through it.

For example, Harbinger Zero booted back up his subscription to give the game a second chance. Sounds like things are going well: “How can I not compliment the job system? It keeps the game fresh to know I can log in and with a button click change my playstyle while keeping my character and progress.”

Aywren Sojourner recently wrapped up Stormblood’s main storyline and has a few thoughts on the journey (with lots of spoilers, of course). “I hate to say it because there were some pleasant parts to Stormblood, especially in Doma,” she wrote, “but I’m actually just glad to get beyond this story arc.”

We’ve got more MMO blog essays, including ones on making alt-friendly MMOs, State of Decay 2 impressions, and the best and worst of Dungeons and Dragons Online!

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s alpha 3.2 goes to the Evocati on the PTU, TemTem has already tripled its Kickstarter ask (June 9, 2018)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen continued inching its way toward alpha 3.2, as the latest build has hit the PTU for the early “Evocati” player testers. It’s got a few waves to go before it’s released to all backers, but that’s OK: People are leaking stuff all over Reddit anyway if you’re dying to be spoilered.

As for live Kickstarters, TemTem has nearly tripled its goal as I type this, reaching yet another stretch goal – mounts – with Nintendo Switch support on the horizon.

Meanwhile, Dual Universe dropped a new trailer ahead of E3, Ever, Jane updated with butlers, Camelot Unchained says its still just barely on track for beta next month, Project Gorgon whipped up a bugfix update, Wild Mage successfully completed its Kickstarter and promised multiplayer, Albion Online got a small patch to Lancelot, and Elite Dangerous fans are busy at this weekend’s Lavecon 2018. (Thanks, Colin!)

Finally, Ashes of Creation dropped this teaser in its last press release: “We’ve got some very exciting business developments in the works, and while it’s not yet 100% official, we can’t wait to share with you the news. Make of that what you will, but don’t worry – we promise it’s good news for our fans all over the globe.”

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the weekly roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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The Game Archaeologist: Myst Online

The impact of Myst in 1993 was akin to an atomic bomb going off in the PC gaming world. The leap forward in graphical fidelity (aided by the large storage capacity of a CD-ROM and all of the full-motion video and gorgeous images tucked into it) captured gamers’ imaginations and made this adventure title the best-selling PC game of all time, at least for several years. Brothers Robyn and Rand Miller’s story about a stranger who had to solve puzzles through a good-looking (if deserted) landscape was devilishly difficult, yet that challenge kept players coming back for months and even years.

The Myst franchise surged forward at that point, with several sequels, remakes, and ports selling like hotcakes through the final game’s release in 2005. Yet something interesting happened along the way when an offshoot of the series — Uru: Ages Beyond Myst — evolved into an MMO. With a focus on multiplayer exploration and puzzle-solving instead of non-stop combat, it may be one of the very few MMOs out there that eschews fighting for brainpower.

It’s an oddity, no doubt, and despite it being an incredibly niche title, it has fascinated me enough to pull me into a research rabbit hole. So let’s take a look at Myst Online: Uru Live!

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Massively Overthinking: Why is no one meeting the obvious player demand for big MMORPGs?

Massively OP reader ichi_san has a burning question about the state of the industry.

“Lots of people seem to be looking for an MMO they can get into – consider the rush into Bless as an example. Lots of games are being released, but most (or even all) have some glaring issues, like pay-to-win, lockboxes, ganking, poor optimization, heavy cash shop, horrible gameplay, and so on. There’s the WoW model and other semi-successful formulas, and a lot of unexplored territory. The market seems hungry, and there is a bunch of history to build on and new territory to explore, but either gaming companies don’t understand their customers or greed/laziness/expediency get in the way, such that we see release after release that fails to scratch the itch. Am I missing something – are there fun MMOs with good graphics and fair monetization that I’m missing? Or is there a gaping hole in the MMO scene, and if so, why isn’t someone filling it?”

I’ve posed his question to the writers for their consideration in Overthinking this week. We’re long past bubble-bursting here when all of the still-major MMORPGs are four years older. What exactly are we looking at? Why is the obvious demand for MMOs not being met?

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ARK Survival Evolved Mobile is really happening – in fact, it launches June 14

Howsabout that mobile version of ARK: Survival Evolved? It’s happening, and it’s happening soon, as Studio Wildcard and War Drum Studios announced today that it’ll hit both iOS and Android next week on June 14th – that’s a global launch, mind you. The companies say it’s the “same multiplayer game” from PC and console with all the same territory and dinos, except in that the mobile edition is “free-to-play with more accessible gameplay developed specifically for on-the-go dinosaur fun.”

ARK: Survival Evolved mobile includes a unique user interface and a specialized control setup. A new subscription service, called Primal Pass, gives survivors access to an ad-free experience with reserved server slots, free gifts, and more. Additionally, survivors can acquire optional upgrades using Ancient Amber, a new material found throughout the island that allows players to obtain certain buffs for extended periods of time, build unique crafting structures and even resurrect your favorite pet dinosaur back from the dead!”

That oughta help scratch the itch if ARK Park, PixARK, and Jurassic World didn’t do much for ya.

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