When it comes to financial reports, there's always one word that every investor wants to see: growth. And for those that read Perfect World's 2016 annual report, that's exactly what they saw.
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.
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 Pokemon Go, Conan Exiles, Warframe, Crash Force, Heroes of the Storm, Armored Warfare, Elder Scrolls Online, TERA, Avabel Online, Overwatch, Aion, Glory Ridge, Dragon Nest, all waiting for you after the break!
We're number one! No, actually, we're number two. And it's in mobile sales. Dammit.
That's according to AppAnnie, which on Friday released its 2016 rankings of mobile app publishes across the world. Japan and the US led the pack, followed by China, though it's China's Tencent that topped the publisher list itself thanks to its purchase of Clash of Clans dev Supercell last year.
"Year over year we see that Asian-Pacific publishers dominate the Top 52. This year was no exception, with 30 of the top publishers hailing from that region. But when we look at the country breakdown, it’s clear that the United States and Japan are producing some of the most influential and successful publishers."
US-based Activision-Blizzard is the fifth highest-revenue publisher on the list (thanks, Candy Crush and Hearthstone). Niantic, the dev behind last year's breakout Pokemon Go, comes in 10th place, ahead of Square Enix, Electronic Arts, and Sony.
Getting non-Chinese games into the Chinese market is a lengthy and challenging ordeal as it is, but the latest set of Chinese restrictions for South Korean companies makes it a much simpler process. Specifically? You can't. No new games can be imported, full stop. Which is definitely simpler, but is already having a major impact on Nexon. The developer saw its stock stumble seven percent following the announcement, even though existing licensed games and all games already announced and approved are still allowed to continue operating.
If this seems like a bit of an overreaction, it's important to note that China is one of the largest mobile gaming markets in the world, and roughly 40% of Nexon's profits come from Chinese customers specifically. The long-term impacts on Nexon's licensing and revenue will take a while to be seen, but any loss of access to China is going to have a large-scale impact on the company.
To celebrate the arrival of last week's Cloaked Ascendancy expansion
for PC players, PWE
has granted Massively OP 50 limited-edition Firesoul Gorgon mount keys to give away to our readers. There won't be another way to get one of these babies!
The Gorgons "have been twisted by the aberrant powers of Kabal, Nostura and Gyrion, powerful mages warped by the Far Realm," according to the lore. "Normally, Gorgons are already dangerous and difficult to tame, but these have been shaped by the Cloaked Ascendancy, scarred by their creators. These rare mounts grant 110% mounted movement speed and three 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 PC only, so if you're a console person, you can skip this one! The keys should work for all PC players except those located in China, Korea, Egypt, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and Vietnam. Read on to enter to win!
is reporting that Perfect World's China branch has announced that Neverwinter's
Chinese version is shutting down. The game is expected to sunset in that region on May 19th, less than two years after its launch there.
There is no anticipated effect on the Western version of the game; we have reached out to PWE for comment on confirmation, however, and will update when we have it.
In the west, the free-to-play Neverwinter has seemingly enjoyed a popular run on PC and console, claiming 12 million registered players across all platforms as of last autumn. Its Cloaked Ascendancy expansion is due out later this month.
Path of Exile
fans, today is the big day: Grinding Gear Games
is officially unveiling your next expansion, dubbed The Fall of Oriath
It turns out that the place your Exile called home before being banished is not only the main setting of this act but is going through some rough times. Even lowbies like yours truly who vaguely recall their origin story can get behind this act. We're going home, dealing with civil unrest, and welcoming back some lost deities with sharp pointy objects or finger-wiggling destruction. And that's literally just the beginning.
Read on for our preview of the expansion from last week's press event, plus brand-new screenshots and the new trailer!
Nexon released its Q4 2016 and full-year 2016 financial results today, painting a mixed picture for the quarter and year: Revenues are down slightly year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter, but the company's portfolio performed better than expected all the same thanks to "robust performance of key titles primarily in China and Korea" and depreciation of the Yen.
Of note for the western market is plenty more content on the way for 2003 MMO MapleStory, a 2017 launch for LawBreakers, and of course, production on Titanfall Online. HIT is also apparently doing better than expected. Just 11% of Nexon's revenue is generated by countries other than China, Japan, and Korea.
Yesterday's announcement that WoW Tokens can now be used to exchange for Blizzard store currency has caused a major upheaval in the market price for these World of Warcraft items.
Literally overnight, the prices practically doubled in several regions. WoW Tokens in North America have spiked from 59,000 gold to 112,000 gold (and is still climbing), while Tokens in Europe are around 200,000 gold at the time of this writing. China rose to 289,000 gold for a brief period before coming back down a little.
"It isn't really worth converting tokens to 30 days of game time at the moment. It's best to convert them to Battle.net Balance and purchase 3+ months via web shop," World of Warcraft site Icy Veins recommended.
I confess that I have a particular fascination for MMOs that came into existence in the 1990s. It's not only the fact that I was oblivious to them at the time (er, wild college days?) but that practically each and every one of them were true pioneers in their own fashion. And while your standard MMO fan might think that there were only three such games in that decade (four, if they are gracious and include Meridian 59), the truth is that there were far more online games at the time, particularly if you looked over to the east.
Today we are going to look at one of the most important MMOs to emerge from that time period, Nexus: The Kingdom of the Winds. Its influence was primarily centered in the Korean gaming community while being vastly downplayed in North America. Still, here's a successful MMO that not only beat Ultima Online out of the door by a year but has since won a Guinness World Record for longevity!
RuneScape developer and publisher Jagex has a new bossman today: The company announced that former VP Phil Mansell will take over for Rod Cousens as COO and acting CEO. Cousens had been CEO for two years, while Mansell has been with the company for five.
In 2016, the UK-based Jagex announce its sale to China's Shandong Hongda, a company then known chiefly for its mining operations, then its creation of a new company on the Chinese market, Zhongji Holding, which is focused on RuneScape.
2001's RuneScape was nominated for our Most Underrated award last year and made it into our top 10 list of healthiest MMOs, as it saw its highest profits ever in 2015, its 250,000,000th player, and a constant parade of content updates, spinoffs, and legacy server nods, culminating in a Chinese expansion and new London offices. The game is planning three expansions in 2017.
Source: Press release
Slow or fast, zombies never stop coming at you, and zombie games are much the same. Snail Games is making an attempt to join the growing league of online zombie survival titles with its own upcoming Moonlights.
Moonlights is a PC survival sandbox that takes place in China following a zombie apocalypse. Chinese landmarks will dot the background as players scavenge supplies, assemble weapons, and try to make it to the next day.
The name refers to how the zombies in this game come out at night but get all bashful and reclusive by day, similar to the film I Am Legend or most lethargic superheroes. Nocturnal zombies are an interesting twist for the game genre and could go a long way to making the day/night cycle feel more impactful. But we have to ask: what about solar eclipses?
In a perfect world, we'd already be playing a true Transformers MMORPG and enjoying every minute of customizable robots, on-the-go transformations, and roleplaying as slow-witted mechanical dinosaurs. Alas, our faulty world has yet to cough up such a game, and so we're left looking from afar at China's Transformers Online, which as MMO Culture notes, is really just a team shooter like Overwatch, only with much less personality.
Still, if you're curious how the game functions, you can check out the following videos smuggled out from Transformers Online's closed beta test 3. Players can choose several match modes to experience, including capture the flag, team deathmatch, and escort the payload. Because if there's one thing that all gamers love, it's escorting things!