business model

Make My MMO: Star Citizen sells 14K concept ships in 24 hours (June 24, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen followers once again proved their game’s dominance by purchasing 14,000 of its new Nox concept ships in less than 24 hours, bringing the game’s UEE Fleet up to 1.3 million ships total. The cheap version is $35, if you’re wondering.

Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation began its summer crowdfunding drive, Mark Kern’s Em-8ER funded again on Indiegogo, Dogma Eternal Night has a new test site, Chronicles of Elyria players created a handy race map, ROKH deployed a new crafting UI, The Exiled posted a state-of-the-game missive, Exile Online is running a GoFundMe, AQ3D is taking the grind out of its leveling curve, and Elite Dangerous players are staging an event to put pressure on Frontier for bug fixes. Plus, over in Crowfall, devs talked up their cell size changes and planned out their influencer program.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

(Thanks, fastcart, Francis, and Stuart G!)

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Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood has launched today

The time is finally here. While pre-ordered players were able to play from Friday onward, Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood officially launches today. Players of all sorts can log in and start fighting for the liberation of Ala Mhigo and Doma beneath the heel of Imperial occupation; the developers have even officially confirmed that the instance issues hitting the game at the start of Early Access have been largely resolved. (Most players were able to solve those issues on Sunday, but the official statement is still nice.)

Not currently a subscriber? You can take part in the game’s Welcome Back campaign to take a trip in and see what all of the fuss over Red Mage and Samurai is about. Planning to remain a subscriber? You can take part in the game’s first subscription loyalty campaign to pick up a mount based off of the Falcon in Final Fantasy VI. Just want to catch a roundup and the launch trailer again? Jump on down below, friends.

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City of Titans on endgame, alting, PvP, business models, lockboxes, and whales

The first and most-backed City of Heroes successor City of Titans has a couple of dev pieces out this month answering questions posed to Missing Worlds Media this past spring. The Q&A itself is relatively brief, letting players know that powerset interactive effects (like team combos) are not on the table, minions will be customizable, the team is working on ways to thwart gold spammers and bots, PvP has a Rock Paper Scissors design goal, and the game is alt-centric but “won’t be ignoring endgame content.”

“Not only will there be content released for the entire level range throughout its lifetime, but we’ve designed several systems, both content centric and others, to enhance the experience of alting,” says the studio.

Last week, MWM told fans that City of Titans model will be a hybrid of a sub and free-to-play system, with an up-front cost that comes with complete access to the game and VIP status for a three months. It’ll also come with an optional subscription and a stipend of currency, dubbed Stars, for spending in the cash shop.

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Cryptic’s Magic the Gathering RPG: Speculating on the lore and game systems

An RPG based on Magic: the Gathering is one of those things I have both long wanted and long assumed was just never going to happen. Now it’s happening, and it’s happening at the hands of Cryptic and PWE. That doesn’t necessarily make me enthusiastic about the business models, but it does mean (based on the studios’ other games) that it’ll be good solid fun to play just the same.

It makes me especially happy because it’s possible to play a lot of MtG without ever knowing anything about the setting, too. Now you sort of have to.

My time with MtG as an active player is definitely in my rear-view mirror, but it’s possible to have a passing familiarity with the game but not really get what in the world is there to base a non-card game upon. Since I tend to absorb this stuff, though, my mind was immediately set aflame with visions of teleporting between planes, summoning creatures, and collecting artifacts. So let’s take a look at the lore behind the cards and speculate a bit on systems, shall we?

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E3 2017: ‘Gravity-defying’ LawBreakers releasing this August 8, PC beta on June 28

Hope the start of your summer is calm, peaceful, and orderly, because it’s sure as heck not going to end that way if LawBreakers has anything to say about it.

This “gravity-defying” multiplayer shooter is coming to us courtesy of Nexon on August 8th. The launch date was revealed at this week’s E3 2017, where the team also announced that it would be holding a “Rise Up” PC beta test from June 28th through July 3rd.

LawBreakers will roll out on both PC and PlayStation 4 and retail for $30, unless you want the deluxe edition for 10 bucks more. Players can pre-order the game right now to reserve exclusive character skins.

The key hook of this FPS is the extreme gravity (or lack thereof) situations in its futuristic multiplayer maps. It is rated M, so chances are pretty good that there will be a blood splatter or two during these matches.

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Make My MMO: Broke Protocol launches early access after failed Kickstarter (June 10, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Minecraft-meets-GTAO MMO Broke Protocol’s Kickstarter ended unsuccessfully on Thursday, but the good news is that the game launched its early access program anyway. The better news is that early access is free. “The last few updates have seen the focus shift to enable more roleplaying opportunities,” writes the team. “Cylinder Studios has now pushed updates to Police, Paramedics, and in this latest update: Firefighters. Demolished vehicles now leave a burning inferno that has to be taken care of by the city’s loyal Fire Department.” Good times.

Meanwhile, Gloria Victis previewed its map expansion, Project Gorgon delayed part of the Serbule revamp, Albion Online launched its Hector update, ROKH rolled out a new build with salvaging and chat, and Elite Dangerous opened the 2.3.10 beta and prepped players for the PS4 debut later this month.

Finally, we spoke to Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott about his studio’s equity crowdfunding announcement.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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The Game Archaeologist: Phantasy Star Online

The Dreamcast was a brief but shining aberration in the gaming world. Coming along years after Sega had fallen out of its position as a top-runner in the console market, it represented the company’s last-ditch attempt to reclaim its former glory. While it failed to succeed in that respect and ultimately closed up shop in 2001 (ending Sega’s interest in the console market), the Dreamcast became a gaming cult favorite responsible for some of the most innovative titles ever made. Games like Jet Grind Radio, Space Channel 5, and Shenmue have remained fan favorites long after the Dreamcast’s demise, which shows the legacy that these dev teams left behind.

But perhaps the Dreamcast’s greatest gift to the gaming world wasn’t crazy taxis or space dancing but a surprisingly forward-looking approach to online gaming. In 2000, the Dreamcast took the first steps to bringing an online console RPG to market, and while it wasn’t a true MMO, it certainly paved the way for titles like EverQuest Online Adventures and Final Fantasy XI.

It was bold, it was addictive, and it was gosh-darned gorgeous. Ladies and gentlemen: Phantasy Star Online.

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Massively Overthinking: MMO monetization run amok

Over the last couple of weeks, the monetization of unreleased games has become a pervasive and uncomfortable theme for the MMO genre. Just in brief:

The frustrating bit is I could go on, and this is just for games that aren’t even formally launched yet. So for this week’s Massively Overthinking, I want to take the temperature of alarm regarding these types of business models for unlaunched games. Is this all par for the course, in line with what we expect from the new MMO market? Have they gone too far yet? If not, what’s too far? How do we feel about this type of pre-launch monetization run amok?

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Perfect Ten: MMORPGs that died too soon

Your favorite game is going to die. I wrote about that. Some games are never even going to get to launching in the first place, unfortunately. But then there are these titles: games that went the distance when it came to development, marketing, promotion, testing… but somehow didn’t quite manage to stick the landing past that. These are the games that, in Transformers terms, are the hi-then-die cast of the MMO space.

That doesn’t always mean the games are bad, mind you. Some of these games were great fun. But through a combination of business model issues, publisher issues, player population, and just general weirdness, these titles couldn’t make it to a year and a half in the wild. Heck, some of them couldn’t even make it to a year and a quarter. And if you want to peruse this list and wonder why all of these titles are gone but Alganon is somehow still operating… well, we’re just as confused as you are.

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Chaos Theory: Interview and impressions of Secret World Legends, part II

Last time, I told you my Secret World Legends tour with Creative Director Romain Amiel was too big to fit in just one Chaos Theory. Luckily, we aren’t restricted to just that one! After talking about the monetization and lockboxes, customization, and a bit about combat, we can focus on other facets of the revamp. Specifically, I’m delving into the accessibility of the new game. We’re told a big push for the revamp and relaunch was the fact that The Secret World had barriers to entry and retention that led to the loss of too many players for the conspiracy-laden game to remain viable. So SWL needs to hit that nail on the head. Does it? Honestly, I think it takes a mighty swing and lands fairly true. As much as I love TSW, this title does appear to be more accessible.

On top of accessibility, we take a long look at the new Agartha as well as touch on lairs, scenarios, open beta and launch. Grab a conduit and join us for the second half of the highlights of my tour and talk with Amiel.

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Blizzard is using a loophole to keep selling Overwatch lockboxes in China

There’s a law on the books in China that states you can’t sell random loot boxes in an online game without disclosing the odds of each reward from said boxes. It seems that Blizzard has found a workaround to that law for Overwatch just the same, as the company is still functionally selling lockboxes without disclosing the odds of receiving a given item. How does that work? Well, the lockboxes aren’t technically being sold; the in-game currency of credits is being sold, with 120 credits in-game costing roughly $35!

Oh, and you get 50 free lockboxes as a gift when you make that purchase. And it’s important to note here that rarer and more desirable skins in the game will cost upward of 750 credits, thus making it quite clear that what you’re really purchasing are the 50 lockboxes as a “gift” rather than the 120 credits.

The hope appears to be that future lockboxes can continue to be sold with this roundabout method without actually disclosing the odds and item lists for these boxes. Readers are free to speculate on how long this will take to be seen as an exploitation, if ever; it’s certainly an interesting workaround to the law.

Source: Gamasutra

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Chaos Theory: Interview and impressions of Secret World Legends

I may or may not be in that secretive NDA-locked closed beta of Secret World Legends — I’m not telling. But there is something I can tell you. A number of somethings in fact. Thanks to an open tour with Creative Director Romain Amiel, I was able to ask questions while gallivanting around, checking out the revamp of my favorite game ever. We talked about combat and dungeons, monetization and the patron system, and customization and the dressing room as well as open beta and launch. I didn’t get all the info I set out to, but there’s a good bit to chew on — enough that I have to split this report in two!

Even though the game isn’t finished, my first impressions are definitely favorable. As a five-year veteran and ardent supporter of the original Secret World, I do think this version is more accessible, both in gameplay and in entry (well, once it leaves closed beta at least). Here is the first half of the highlights of my tour and talk with Amiel.

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Make My MMO: Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter, Shroud of the Avatar’s equity crowdfund (June 3, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter came to a close with $3.2M and nearly 20,000 backers, making it the biggest MMORPG Kickstarter to date. Backers — and would-be backers who didn’t jump into the Kickstarter — should take a peek at the game’s latest update, which outlines the backer awards for everyone as crowdfunding continues this month on the official site. Intrepid does note that there won’t be any stretch goals, however, to avoid “scope creep.”

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar surprised its players this week by announcing on its seasonal fundraising livestream that it’s pitched a $2M equity crowdfunding campaign to raise money ahead of the game’s formal launch, which is happening this year. (Stay tuned for more on this Monday!)

Plus, Elite Dangerous is awash in Thargoid sightings (thanks, Kinya!), OrbusVR previewed the Ranger, Crowfall patched up ahead of this weekend’s pre-alpha testing, and Grim Dawn sold its millionth copy.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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