This isn’t the first time the Korean title has been imported to China, but the first attempt under publisher ChangYou was unsuccessful and closed down back in 2015. Still, it seems that the order of the day is to not let a little thing like failing to capture the market share the first time prevent companies from making a second attempt, so it’s time for another go. Remember, kids: If at first you don’t succeed, find a new publisher and try again in a year.
However, a limited free-to-play Overwatch is actually happening, albeit with two caveats: It’s only going to be for the month of May, and it’s only rolling out in China. Blizzard announced that all heroes and all maps will be available for free from May 1st through the 31st in China. The only exception is competitive mode, which will not be available for the F2P crowd. Players can take the game out for a spin and even keep their progress if they purchase the game after that month.
Meanwhile, Overwatch fans who are a little peeved at having to play Heroes of the Storm to earn special skins should be consoled by the word that these skins will eventually come to Overwatch’s lootboxes in the future. Anything else Blizzard can do for you? Fluff your pillow? Tell you a bedtime story? OK then.
That’s up another three million since last autumn, when PWE reported 7 million on PC, 3 million on Xbox One, and 2 million PlayStation 4. It’s been live on PS4 only since July of last year. And yeah, it’s registrations, not actives, but still — that’s a big wide MMORPG audience. Celebratory trailer tucked down below!
Following Jagex’s sale to China’s Fukong Interactive Entertainment back in 2016, there’s been some concern and curiosity over the fate of the studio and its flagship MMO RuneScape. In an interview with Games Industry, Acting CEO Phil Mansell revealed that the transition to this new era has been a “relief” and resulted in growth for both Jagex and RuneScape.
Mansell said that the new ownership has been a net positive for the company: “[Fukong] want us to grow, of course, and they’re being supportive. But they are not looking for some crazy, transformative, risky things. They want us to focus on what we’re good at. They’ve looked at RuneScape and said you can do more with that. Can you make more games? Yeah, we can. Can we work on multiple platforms? Yes. It is a measured approach and the right things to be doing.”
Mansell said that Fukong is setting itself up to be a global entertainment powerhouse with Jagex forming the hub of its western arm. While RuneScape 3 and Old School RuneScape remain at the core of the business, Jagex is branching out into other ventures, such as looking at other studios to acquire, VR tech for RuneScape, adding new games teams, and prototyping ideas dreamed up by the team during designated brainstorming time. No matter what, however, he said that the company under his leadership will see projects driven by player desires and feedback.
You know that when Dark Optimus Prime shows up, things just got real.
Tencent’s team brawler Transformers Online is adding the sinister version of the Autobots’ commander with its new round of closed beta testing. The next CBT is scheduled for May 18th in China and will not reset players’ progress in the game.
With Transformers Online’s limited multiplayer focus and its current status as a Chinese-only title, is it worth getting excited over it? Well, it’s still giant transforming robots beating the crap out of each other free from the hack thumb of Michael Bay, so we’re going to say “maybe!”
Check out the new closed beta trailer below!
Soft-launching today on both the iOS and Android markets is a new mobile MMORPG from Netease dubbed Crusaders of Light. It was originally released as Land of Glory overseas last month (and was tremendously popular in China), but it’s gotten a name-change and a spruce-up for the western market. You’ll notice immediately that it seems to have an awful lot in common with vanilla World of Warcraft, from its stylized graphics to its 40-man PvE raiding endgame. It boasts 25×25 battlegrounds, small-scale ranked arenas, guild ladders, mounts, and loot out the wazoo too.
As I write this, it’s not yet up for download publicly on either platform for me in the US; it looks to be trickling out to Oceania first today, then Europe, Russia, Brazil, and North America in time for the official launch this summer. You can preregister on the official site, and yes it’s free-to-play with plenty of stuff to buy on the side.
“These majestic beasts live to protect the forests where they dwell. In honor of these powerful creatures, the forest dwelling fey groom them and adorn them with bright flowers staining their pure white coats with vibrant color. These uncommon mounts grant 50% increased mounted movement speed and two Insignia slots to gain additional powers.”
The codes can be redeemed only once per account and expire at the end of 2017, and the mounts are bind-on-pickup. Critically, these codes are redeemable on console only in the regions as outlined below, so if you’re a PC person, you can skip this one!
Go ahead and keep mocking e-sports, but they are only getting bigger and more respectable as they keep creating tremendous piles of money. In addition to winning coveted spots on television and earning floor space in casinos, now e-sports are inching toward the Olympic stage, at least in Asia.
“The Olympic Council of Asia and Alisports of China today announced a strategic partnership to bring the Electronic Sports video game phenomenon to the official sports programme of the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China,” declares a press release from earlier this week. “E-Sports, which is enjoyed by millions of youngsters around Asia and the world, has already been added to the OCA’s 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, this September as a demonstration sport.”
If you’re not a big fan of Steam’s dominance of gaming trends in the west, maybe you think a competitor will do the service some good — and a competitor does indeed to appear to be on the way.
A tweet lobbed by Niko Partners games industry analyst Daniel Ahmad on Easter sent games journalist scurrying to cover his claim that Tencent is planning a relaunch of its existing games platform as a global Steam-competitor dubbed WeGame. The existing service, Tencent Games Platform, already has 200 million users in China, but when relaunched, it’ll service the west too, beginning with a release of 100 games from primarily western developers. Gamasutra reports that Stardew Valley and Don’t Starve are already on the platform, the latter having sold a million copies there in its first month.
Tencent is already the largest gaming company in the world and according to Bloomberg is currently the 10th largest publicly traded company on the planet. Massively OP readers know it best as the company that owns League of Legends studio Riot Games.
The MMO’s prominent status and popularity in its home country of China has led to the development of an anime series, which is scheduled to start its broadcast run on April 26th. According to MMO Culture, the series’ story involves two powerful siblings who have had a falling out amid life choices and are only now starting to come back together.
Check out the anime series trailer after the break and let us know what you think is going on in any of these scenes in the comments (why is that old man so mad?).
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
This week we have stories and videos from Heroes Evolved, Dungeon Fighter 2, Splatoon 2, Overwatch, Heroes and Generals, Aion, Neverwinter, Elsword, Guild Wars 2, CS:GO, and MU Online, all waiting for you after the break!
UK-based RuneScape developer Jagex posted its latest financial report today, calling 2016 its “second successive financial year of record revenue performance.” The company claims 28% year-on-year growth “to a new high of £74.4m” as of December.
“Profit after tax saw growth to £28.8m, while profits excluding exceptional costs were £37.8m, representing growth of 21.5% and 50% respectively over FY 2015, itself a record year that saw revenues of £57.9m; revenues for FY 2014 were £44.9m.”
Last year, Jagex confirmed its sale to China’s Shandong Hongda, a company then known chiefly for its mining operations; it was party to the creation of a new company on the Chinese market, ZhongJi Holding (now known as Fukong Interactive Entertainment, according to today’s PR) which is focused on RuneScape. The company’s western leadership also saw a big overturn at the start of 2017.
The international publisher, which operates titles as diverse as Dota 2 (in China) and Star Trek Online as well as other media properties, reported that it had a very good year, raking in 6.1 billion yuan over the course of 2016. Its gaming division was responsible for over two-thirds of this revenue and an impressive 25% growth compared to 2015.
What’s interesting here is that while PC game sales remained relatively stable and flat, it was the mobile market that was the driving force behind this increase in Perfect World’s income. This means that we can expect to see the company put an even higher priority on developing and publishing mobile titles in the future.