SuperData’s new report suggests multiplayer console gamers are more susceptible to DLC and RMT than ever

Gamers talk a big talk about horse armor DLC and pay-to-win and the evils of cash shops, but y’all keep buying anyway.

That’s according to gaming research analysis firm SuperData, which today released an excerpt from its pricey report on digital console revenue for 2017. More than half of all digital console revenue this year, the firm says, will come from “additional content” like DLC and cash-shop microtransactions. That number is half again as high for the top-earning console games from the last few years.

Fully “39% of first-year additional content revenue for all titles is made in the first 3-to-6 months, leaving game publishers with a tight time frame to release new content,” argues SuperData. “Digital console consumers are hungry for more content as soon as they are done with the core gameplay. Most single player games have a gameplay timeframe between 10-to-40 hours within their single-player mode. It is not hard to see why over a third of console players believe that publishers should release content every 3-to-6 months. Over a fourth of them believe additional content should be released at least once a month. Publishers are warned to be wary of releasing content too close to the release date, since consumers see that tactic as profiting off content that should otherwise have been released with the full game.”

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Beat Elder Scrolls Online’s Falkreath Hold, buy a Nord manor

When the Horns of the Reach DLC launches for The Elder Scrolls Online next month, one of the dungeons wrapped up in the bundle is located in Falkreath. If that’s sounding familiar, it’s probably because you toured the city in Skyrim, only this is a millennium earlier.

“The Falkreath in The Elder Scrolls Online is much larger than you will recall, and it is well protected by giant stone walls,” ZeniMax says. “When you arrive, you’ll witness a city under siege. Of course, Falkreath is not without its protectors, as Jarl Skjoralmor’s daughter, Eerika, has mounted a spirited defense, but the city’s tall walls cannot hold back the invaders forever, and without help, it’ll soon fall.”

You, of course, are that help; you’ll be defending the city and diving into the Falkreath Hold dungeon specifically in exchange for ridiculous piles of gear upgrades and loot. In fact, once you’ve beaten the dungeon, you’re in for a special treat:

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LOTRO Legendarium: Mordor’s pre-order is flat-out ridiculous

Outrageous. Ridiculous. Exciting. Exploitative. Controversial.

This past week’s announcement of Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor’s launch date and pre-order packages set ablaze discussions and arguments among the community, both in-game and without. World chat was streaming by quickly as players debated the pros and cons of the reveal, while the forums blew up with huge posts defending and criticizing the pre-order packages.

While this is not the travesty that some are making it out to be, I definitely agree with those that say Standing Stone Games misstepped with this announcement and needs to take some action to rectify the confusion and value of the upcoming expansion. While LOTRO players seem united in their anticipation for Mordor, some of that enthusiasm has been dashed with how the dating and packages have been handled, and that is a shame.

Let’s break it all down and see what we’ve learned and what pre-order might be best for you!

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The Elder Scrolls Online details the lore behind Horns of the Reach

So what’s going on in the next big chunk of The Elder Scrolls Online DLC? The short version is “nothing good,” as detailed in a new bit of lore setting up the backstory. It’s in the form of a letter from a father to his child, and it describes things happening which are… not very clear, but also definitely not good.

The father’s letter describes refugees pouring into Falkreath suffering a variety of wounds, including bite marks and gouges, with refugees claiming to have been harassed all the way along their flight. Claims that the survivors are fleeing some sort of bull-headed men allied with Reachmen are taken as largely apocryphal, but… well, the DLC is called “Horns of the Reach,” so you can be fairly sure they’re genuine. Check out the full letter if you want a bit more insight into your upcoming fights.


Elder Scrolls Online begins testing Horns of the Reach DLC, Morrowind is one of Amazon’s flash deals

Whether or not you’ve finished all of the content that came with Elder Scrolls Online’s June expansion, the devs have more for you to do. No rest for the epic hero and all that! ESO began testing Update 15: Horns of the Reach, which means that it will be coming pretty soon this summer — in August, in fact!

Similar to past updates, this one will be split into a paid DLC bundle and a base game patch. The DLC includes two new four-player dungeons, Bloodroot Forge and Falkreath Hold, that come in normal and veteran modes and contain eight additional item sets between them. PvP players will also be able to enjoy a round of Chaosball at the new Arcane University map.

The 2.3 GB patch includes many quality-of-life features for all players, such as customizable combat cues, guild features, and more housing decor. The master writ merchant has some new recipes to replace a few others that have been retired, and the champion point cap went up by 30 points.

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Here’s everything coming in Elder Scrolls Online’s Horns of the Reach DLC

Back at E3, we got a sneak peek into The Elder Scrolls Online’s post-Morrowind plans — how could ZeniMax follow something like Morrowind up? Easy: It’s starting with Horns of the Reach, the game’s August DLC and the subject of today’s dev blog.

HOTR’s headlining feature is its pair of new dungeons in both normal and veteran modes.

“The first of these new activities is Bloodroot Forge, an ancient, long-forgotten forge that was recently rediscovered by the Reachmen and their minotaur allies. This forge, rumored to have been created by the Daedric prince Hircine, can create weapons of unbelievable power. When exploring this new dungeon, you will navigate through heavy vegetation and deep, lava-filled corridors to reach the heart of the forge and put a stop to Gherig Crowblood’s plans.

“The second dungeon is Falkreath Hold, a township under siege that will soon fall to the marauding hordes of Domihaus the Bloody-Horned. You and your companions must break the siege, move into the town and Jarl’s Hall, and defeat the monstrous warlord himself.”

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The Daily Grind: How often should MMOs release new classes?

Some MMOs seem to have no problem with tossing in new classes like candy, while others might see an addition roughly every time Halley’s Comet comes calling. I was thinking about this the other day, wondering what it is about some of these smaller games that allows them to keep throwing in more classes while other MMOs seem to act as if creating a class is such a herculean effort that if one is ever crafted, it would require the sacrifice of an entire orphanage of innocent souls.

Games like World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online aren’t exactly well-known for chucking in new classes. On the other hand, this summer we’ve seen the Warden come to Elder Scrolls Online and both the Red Mage and Samurai arrive in Final Fantasy XIV. Even Diablo III just introduced an entire $15 DLC pack that was essentially the privilege of playing the first class since the game’s sole expansion.

How often should MMOs release new classes? Would you like to see them more often or should they be reserved for the rare expansion?

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Elder Scrolls Online is granting a free sub benefits trial event starting Wednesday

If you’re bored on July 4th when the US is busy eating hot dogs and blowing off fingers, welp, I can’t help you there. But if you’re patient and can wait until the 5th, The Elder Scrolls Online would like to welcome you to what ZeniMax is calling an “ESO Plus Bonus Event.”

Existing non-subbing players can head to the in-game store to pick up a free trial activation, granting them subscription access from July 5th to July 9th at no cost. That’ll get you temporary access to all the DLC, crafting storage, double bank space, costume dyes, extra housing deco space, and 10% bonuses to experience, gold, crafting inspiration, and trait research rates. It won’t get you Morrowind, the 1500 crown stipend, or daily login crown crates.

What if you already sub to the game? “Current ESO Plus members are invited to celebrate as well, and can acquire up to five of the new Dwarven Crown Crates just by logging in every day,” says the studio. “These crates include some amazing rewards, with a chance to receive mounts, pets, costumes, consumables, and other in-game items.”

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Diablo III releases the Necromancer today

If you’ve been waiting for the newest class in Diablo III to make you feel alive again, the good news is that it’s arriving today. The Necromancer is here with all of the corpse-bursting antics you could want, and after all sorts of lore posts, cinematic trailers, and mechanical discussions, you’re probably more than ready to stride into the world of spreading death and decay for fun and profit than you would have normally expected.

If you need to catch up on the details of the class, we’ve got a roundup for you just below the cut, along with the introduction cinematic for the lady Necromancer for those planning to roll one at home. The Necromancer DLC will run you $15, so budget that small expenditure and get ready to play a class so old-school it’s practically undead.

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E3 2017: ARK Survival Evolved on scope creep, Xbox One X, and leaving early access

So ARK: Survival Evolved is going to be the first big survival sandbox not named Minecraft or Don’t Starve to not only make it to launch but to get there from Early Access development. Leaving EA is something we rarely see, which is why readers may notice I’m quite critical of games that ask for your money, sell you an incomplete game, and then spend years defending their EA status while continually making money on an unfinished project. To hear that a company once known for making paid DLC for an unreleased game is willing to shake the security blanket that is Early Access fills me with joy and a little trepidation.

Normally, this is where I’d tell you I’ve written up the interview, which is still true. However, as this was in a small group setting, not only do we have a writeup, there’s also a YouTube video for the few of you who have thirty minutes to wade through the (mostly) raw interview. You’ll see ARK’s Community Manager Cedric Burkes in person, hear daring press try to ask hard-hitting questions, and cringe as my terrible hat hair makes a quick appearance at about the 27-minute mark.

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E3 2017: Hands-on with Dauntless shows it’s more than a Monster Hunter clone

Phoenix Labs’ not-Monster Hunter monster-hunting game Dauntless is obviously standing in a big shadow after E3 2017. I wasn’t yet fully aware of what Monster Hunter World was doing, but I’ve seen solid games lose to their larger rivals who are slower to innovate in the past. Capcom, while constantly disappointing Mega Man fans, is generally quite good with its co-op hunting series. RaiderZ, a Perfect World published not-MH game that also tackled the monster hunter genre, made minor changes to the formula and came as an actual MMO but still shut down. Though the Phoenix Labs guys weren’t aware of RaiderZ‘s failure, they seemed barely fazed by Capcom’s announcement, and maybe they’re right. Surprisingly, they’ve innovated a few things Capcom itself is doing while also adding a few things Capcom isn’t.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 122: This Stormblood’s for you

On this week’s show, Justin and Bree talk about FFXIV: Stormblood’s early access launch, Destiny 2’s PC delay, Elder Scrolls Online’s next DLC drops, breaking up the trinity in MMOs, and more!

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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Massively Overthinking: The best MMOs and multiplayers of E3 2017

E3 is drawing to a close, with its reveals over and done with — all that’s left is processing our interviews and hands-on pieces. But in the meantime, we decided to take this week’s Overthinking to consider the field. MMORPGs haven’t shined brightly at E3 in a long time, so our expectations are usually low — the con is interesting to us more for what’s happening on the multiplayer front.

So that’s what we asked our staff: What’s the most interesting or grabby-hands MMO or MMO-ish thing from E3 this year? Which game would get your best in show and why? There’s also an extra bonus section on the con itself courtesy of our writer on the floor.

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