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Little Orbit details APB Reloaded and Fallen Earth staff shakeup following GamersFirst acquisition

One of the goals for the new owners of APB Reloaded and Fallen Earth is to avoid falling into the same traps as the past. Little Orbit CEO Matthew Scott has posted a new entry about the impending changes to community management, starting with Tiggs moving out of her current composite role of producer, community manager, and customer support manager. Instead, she’ll be working in more of an advisory capacity while more people are brought in to more effectively split up her overabundance of responsibilities.

The current customer support manager and community managers from Little Orbit will be stepping in to take over the GamersFirst library. The owners are also rolling out a new support site for the games as well as new forum software, although the existing forum posts will still be available to see. Players are encouraged to keep asking Scott questions about the future, although he acknowledges it can’t be his top priority to answer them immediately. So you might have to wait a little while.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 170: Mild West Online

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin do their darndest to shape the MMO industry by holding up Wild West Online as a cautionary tale and talking about how studios need to think before applying real-world labels to games.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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APB Reloaded and Fallen Earth developer GamersFirst acquired by Little Orbit

It’s been exceedingly quiet for a long while when it comes to APB Reloaded, and it’d be easy to think that the game’s second lease on life had come to an end. But it turns out that other things were going on. Little Orbit has acquired GamersFirst, the company behind APB as well as Fallen Earth, and is promising players in an open letter that more stuff is going to be happening and that this is the start of more active development for APB.

The open letter from Little Orbit CEO Matthew Scott states that there’s a lot that needs to be updated, ranging from content to simple quality-of-life improvements, but the first priority is an updated privacy policy and code of conduct, new forums, and a clear development roadmap moving forward. It’s a lot of news all at once, so time will tell how well the new owners deal with the existing properties.

Source: Official Site; thanks to Secrets, Genobee, and Steven for the tip!

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The Stream Team: Driving in California (totally not a GTAO stream)

While Massively OP’s MJ is in California, we thought it would be fun to join her for a bit on her adventures. So here she’ll be letting us tag along for a live feed of her traversing the beautiful southern California coast: stopping in shops, talking to locals, and enjoying the city live. (This totally isn’t a GTAO feed; Los Santos is real!) Tune in live at 1:00 p.m. for a wild ride.

What: Grand Theft Auto Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 1:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018

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The Soapbox: Three augmented reality game problems (most) MMOs don’t have – and one thing they do so much better

I’d like to think that I’m kind of a healthy gamer. While MMOs take a lot of time, the nice thing is that their downtime can lead to forming bonds, or give you time to exercise. Augmented reality games can give you both at once, especially Pokemon Gosince it’s the best-known ARG we have (and the mountains of merchandise make it easier to stand out as a fellow player).

However, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, and I’m not just talking about game mechanics that have plagued Niantic games since at Ingress. I remember playing that title and thinking, “Man, this game is dangerous! There’s no way they’ll just clone this for POGO, right?” And yet, here we are. But I can’t put all the blame on Niantic, especially after my time with ARG competitor Maguss. Some things just seem inherent to the genre.

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Shoot and drive in Grand Theft Auto’s target assault races

Want to drive an assault vehicle? Want to shoot a machine gun from the back of a truck? You can do both in Grand Theft Auto Online, thanks to its new Target Assault Races.

This week’s content update added this special race mode, which pits teams of two against other players in a combination of race and shooting match. Each lap, drivers will navigate a course while the back gunner attempts to hit as many targets as possible. The twist? Drivers and gunners switch places each time they complete a lap.

The action in these races takes place in GTAO’s newest vehicle, the Vapid Caracara. The six-wheeled truck comes in many colors and carries a chain minigun on its back bed. Check out the races in the patch trailer below.

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SuperData’s February 2018 revenue summary shows Fortnite’s dominance

Fortnite isn’t just a hit for Epic: It’s a hit for the whole industry. That’s according to SuperData’s latest report, which ranks PC, console, and mobile games according to their global revenues in the month of February.

Fortnite Battle Royale’s dominance in the Free-to-play Console segment drives the segment’s 359% year-over-year growth,” says the analytics firm. “Epic’s Battle Royale title showed no signs of losing steam. Fortnite earned more additional content revenue on console than any game other than Call of Duty: WWII and now has more monthly active users than Grand Theft Auto V.”

Pay-to-play MMOs shrank again this month, continuing the trend identified in previous months. On the PC side, Crossfire and Fantasy Westward Journey Online II switched places, and Hearthstone rejoined the list to bump off Overwatch, but otherwise, it’s pretty much the same list as last week, with World of Warcraft hanging in there at #7.

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Elite: Dangerous goes soft on crime (and that’s a good thing)

Elite: Dangerous made a wonderful and awe-inspiring discovery yesterday in a remote star system: Update 3.0.4 was found floating in orbit around a dead planet. Now it has been returned to civilization and integrated with the mainframe.

OK, the patch isn’t much to write home about. It is mostly concerned with fixing different small issues, including some bugs that were keeping players from accessing certain rank up missions.

Probably the most significant part of the update are changes the game is making to the crime system. Players will now be able to take “hot” ships and modules and outfit them, as long as they meet certain requirements. Bounties, too, have been addressed, as the developers thought that the game was being too harsh to petty criminals.

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GTA Online’s Hotring Circuit is live this week with loads of new cars

On Fridays, we drive purple cars.

GTA Online’s got your need for speed covered with this week’s update. Rockstar’s promising “a full season of pulse-pounding new racing updates” thanks to the Southern San Andreas Super Sport Series, which has begun with one of two new racing modes, the Hotring Circuit.

“There’s nothing more American than strapping yourself inside of the highly combustible turbo-charged death machine that is the new Declasse Hotring Sabre and tearing around a multi-lap track designed for up to 30 adrenaline-addicted maniacs. Embrace the intoxicating smell of burnt rubber and premium-grade gasoline across 10 stock car races made for the new Hotring Sabre, and get Double GTA$ & RP now through March 26th.”

But wait, there’s more. In April, Rockstar will push out the Target Assault mode, and then on May 1st, players will be jumping into new new adversary modes, new vehicles, new transform races, and Doomsday Heist cars. Vroom.

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A man reportedly attacked other men over Pokemon Go

It’s been nearly two years since the release of Pokemon Go, and on its initial release it seemed like we were always hearing about some form of violence taking place because of the game. Usually, it was more a case of walking through a bad neighborhood at nice oblivious to your surroundings because you really needed a Lapras. But now we’ve got someone assaulting three strangers over a Pokemon Go gym battle, which is nicely nostalgic!

Also, it’s beyond screwed up. Why would you do this, guy? This is totally inappropriate.

The victims of the assault claim that the man in question came over with a tire iron and assaulted them, with one of the victims getting behind him in hopes of choking him out in self-defense. The assaulter claims that he did hit a table with the tire iron, but at no point did he actually strike the three men in question. Like any sort of criminal investigation, it’s not entirely clear what the truth of the matter is, but it’s still a pretty unfortunate story of game-related violence.

Source: KATU

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Tamriel Infinium: Elder Scrolls Online’s new outfit system is close to perfect

I can spend hours with an outfit designer in an MMORPG. When APB was a new thing, I literally spent whole game sessions in front of its customization terminals. And I am only slightly embarrassed at the hundreds of millions of credits that I’ve spent on Star Wars: The Old Republic cosmetic armor. I knew it was only a matter of time before Elder Scrolls Online created its version of an outfit designer to steal away my time and money.

When ESO introduced wardrobes and costumes years ago, I believed that we weren’t going to get anything more. However, Update 17 last week added a new layer of character customization. With the addition of the Outfit System, there isn’t really anything else players need to make their character look the way that they want.

ESO‘s designer takes elements from other outfit systems that work and create its own unique way of allowing players to piece together items. In fact, I would say that ESO‘s outfit design is close to perfect.

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The Daily Grind: What’s the most unused place or feature in your favorite MMORPG?

I really like abandoned places in games. One of my favorite articles ever was about Glitch, after it sunsetted, when I recapped my experience touring the abandoned secret places that were inexplicably built into that MMO.

That article popped into my brain again last week when Kotaku wrote about abandoned modes in GTA OnlineGTAO is one of the biggest, most lucrative online games in the world, a top-10 game even last year – and yet there’s so much to do, Kotaku argues, that most of the game is suffering from the old MMO problem whereby old content is a ghost town as everyone is in the new stuff. Hence, abandoned modes.

Of course, MMORPGs are constantly struggling to fix that problem by giving us reasons to go back into old content, but they’re not always successful. What’s the most unused place or feature in your favorite MMORPG?

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Battle Bards Episode 114: Vroom vroom!

Yes officer, these Battle Bards were well above the speed limit and violated many noise complaints in the local neighborhoods. But it was for a good cause, sir! This music from vehicular MMOs is just way too good to keep quiet! What’s that? You’ll let them go with just a warning? You only know they’re going to peel out and look for another score to settle!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 114: Vroom vroom! (or download it) now:

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