dota

Official Site: DotA (Wikipedia Entry)
Studio: PlayDota.com
Launch Date: 2003
Genre: Fantasy MOBA
Business Model: F2P
Platform: PC, Mac

SuperData May 2017: WoW recombinated, Dota 2 in the top 10, and Pokemon Go out

Almost lost in the buzz today was the release of SuperData’s rundown of the global digital games market for May. You’ll notice immediately that World of Warcraft has once again been rejoined! SuperData had split the game into east and west versions for its January report, then botched the entries in February and hastily repaired its graphic to rejoin the two; in March, the WoWs were one from the get-go but split up again in April. Now we’re back to one. It’s still not clear what’s going on there.

In any case, it’s allowed for a new entry on the PC side: Dota 2, which recently patched in PvE, apparently to good effect. On the mobile side, Pokemon Go has vanished entirely from the top 10, though we won’t be surprised to see it return next month as the summer events heat up.

Overwatch shows continued growth,” writes the research firm. “Overwatch digital revenues are up from April but down from May 2016, when it launched. Additional Content revenue hit a new high in May on the back of a one-year anniversary event.”
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Siltbreaker, the first chunk of Dota 2’s co-op PvE campaign, is now live

It seems co-op multiplayer campaigns are the thing for MOBAs to do lately, if SMITE and Master X Master and Dota 2 are any judge, bringing the whole MMO and ARPG industry full circle. Dota 2’s attempt at adding PvE content into games built around PvP arena battles launched this week, in fact. Act I: Siltbreaker is live now and includes loot and de facto achievements and ranks.

“Each playthrough of this campaign offers the chance to earn in-game Artifacts that can be used each time you play the campaign during the Battle Pass season. Comprised of all-new items to the Dota universe, Artifacts are mythic objects of power that can be equipped in your inventory as you progress through the challenges of the campaign. […] As you battle through multiple play zones in search of Rhyzik, you’ll earn completion stars based on your performance level. The first time you complete a zone with one or two stars will net you Battle Points rewards, and delivering a three-star zone performance will grant a treasure from Siltbreaker himself.”

It’s not technically a free update; you’ll need to own Valve’s Battle Pass to access it, which’ll set you back about 10 bucks. Act II: A Vault in the Deep is slated to release in July.

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The jury is out on whether or not DOTA 2 actually belongs to Valve

It’s not very interesting to see a big company take knockoff companies to court to argue that the knockoff companies are violating intellectual property. It is, however, quite interesting when the argument of the knockoff companies is that the big company doesn’t actually own said intellectual property at all… and that claim has some actual basis. There’s no question whether or not Valve owns Dota 2 itself, but there’s some actual legal ambiguity over whether or not the intellectual property of the characters is owned by Valve or not, which is the case being brought to federal court as Valve sues mobile developers Lilith Games and uCool.

The fundamental argument is that the original Dota map made for Warcraft 3 could legally be considered to be abandoned by its creator, which would render the intellectual property public domain. There’s also some basis to argue that as a Warcraft 3 map, everything in the map was already owned by Blizzard and couldn’t be bought and sold in the first place. In other words, it’s a quagmire of specific definitions and legal edge cases, which is sure to delight the more law-minded members of our audience as the case moves forward.

Source: Kotaku

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Leaderboard: Almost half of e-sports viewers don’t even play the games they’re spectating

It may sound crazy, but a huge number of people who pour eyeball time and money into e-sports don’t even play the games they’re watching. That’s according to gaming analytics firm Newzoo, which last week broke down its stats on the major e-sports franchises and who exactly is watching them in the U.S., Canada, Germany, U.K., France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Sweden. Key takeaways?

  • 70% of viewers stick to one game.
  • 69% of gamers play only League of Legends, CS:GO, or DOTA 2 (the overlap of all three is 8%).
  • 42% of e-sports watchers of the big three games do not play any of them
  • 191 million people will tune in to e-sports “frequently” this year; an additional 194 million will do so “occasionally.”

Howsabout you? Do you watch, play, both, or neither?

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DOTA 2 is getting a co-op story campaign… no, really

The story of DOTA 2 has generally been considered to be a story of racist epithets uttered at strangers in a video game, or perhaps it’s the story of trying to turn video games into the same morass of salaries, egos, and awful behavior that professional sports has been sunk in for years. And yet… now it’s getting another story. An actual cooperative PvE set of story missions. Yes, it’s a thing. The first installment is coming later this month, and the second part should be out some time in July.

Players who take part in the missions will earn campaign experience, with an exclusive Desert Sands Baby Roshan available among the rewards. The only downside is that you’ll need to pick up a 2017 Battle Pass for the game, which will run you the hefty price of… $10. If you’re curious about how you can possibly wring some story out of the game, well, maybe it’s worth it for the curiosity value alone.

Source: Official Site via Kotaku

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The Daily Grind: Where do you stand on Dota 2’s plan to require phone numbers for competitive play?

Last week, Valve announced that in order to compete in ranked play, Dota 2 players will be required to register a unique phone number.

“Players using multiple accounts create a negative matchmaking experience at all skill brackets, so our goal is to add just enough friction to this process that the number of players doing this will be noticeably reduced,” Valve wrote. “Having more players using their primary accounts will have a positive effect on both Ranked and Unranked Matchmaking.”

Security-conscious players are probably thinking “RealID” right now, while others are thinking that they’re getting off easy if all they need do is pay a few bucks for a number — at least no one has to cough up social security numbers to play video games. Yet.

Is this a good idea on Valve’s part? And more importantly, will it work?

(With thanks to Joseph!)

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Wargaming says betting is ‘a natural part of sports’ and therefore online games

Earlier this month, we covered SuperData’s report on the state of gambling practices in digital games, in which one of the analysis firm’s claims was that Valve’s ordeal last year — whereby government regulatory boards investigated the company’s level of complicity in illegal gambling of Dota skins — have put a chill on other studios considering similar arrangements, to say nothing of the CS:GO legal drama. “No other company wants to be next,” SuperData said.

But apparently there’s one company: Wargaming. The studio’s Head of Global Competitive Gaming, Mohamed Fadl, told Gamespot that betting in gaming could become “one of the major incomes for esports or streaming platforms.”

“You’re stupid to say betting is bad,” Fadl reportedly said. “It’s a natural part of sports.”

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The MOP Up: ARK’s console editions get a hair-do (March 26, 2017)

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 Destiny, Eternal CrusadeElder Scrolls LegendsHearthstonePokemon GoMU LegendLineage IIARKUltima OnlineSword of ShadowsGhost Recon WildlandsRagnarok OnlineHeroes and GeneralsElsword, and Dota 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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Perfect World sees mobile sales jump up in 2016

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.

Source: Superdata

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2013 MMOARPG Path of Exile hit peak concurrency in March thanks to its latest patch

Path of Exile just keeps getting bigger and bigger in terms of both players and team size, and it’s actually providing the numbers to back it up.

A press release out from Grinding Gear Games declares that update 2.6.0 propelled the MMOARPG to a peak online concurrent player count of 112,800 earlier this month, with 65,000 of those playing concurrently through Steam, putting the game behind only Dota 2 and CS:GO during that chunk of time. According to the studio, that makes 2.6.0 the “franchise’s largest and most successful to date with a 40-percent increase in the number of players online for the launch.”

2.6.0 was big, but it’s not even the biggest thing happening to the New Zealand-based game this year: It’s got a huge expansion called The Fall of Oriath coming out in 2017. It most recently made headlines for creating a “transparent lockbox” with declared odds for the best stuff inside.

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Albion Online AMA on pay-to-win, free trials, and global servers

Sandbox Interactive ran an AMA for its in-development indie MMO Albion Online on Reddit last night, covering everything from the game’s business model to how players in far-flung locations fare on its global server. Here are the highlights!

  • There are no plans for a freebie weekend or trial as a result of fairness to founders and botting issues — as well as performance issues. “The game is extremely well populated as it is, and we’d be worried that free trial could slow down the servers.”
  • Likewise, SI will be sticking to its original plan to reward founders with early access, though players have expressed concern over the potential for an ArcheAge-like land-grab.
  • In response to players bringing up pay-to-win and the game’s $30 buy-in, SI explained the game’s business model is based on EVE Online’s and that while players can essentially gain an advantage by buying and then exchanging real-money currency for in-game currency, it won’t afford players a guaranteed win. As for the currency exchange, it should be possible to play the market.

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The MOP Up: MMOs make math fun (March 5, 2017)

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 FortniteWar ThunderArmored WarfareNeverwinterMabinogi DuelPokemon GoProdigyGuild Wars 2HellionIngressOld School RuneScapeWildStarDota 2, and Final Fantasy XIV, all waiting for you after the break!

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Valve is working on three VR titles, feeling effects of travel ban

Valve’s Gabe Newell and Erik Johnson have confirmed that the company is working on a trio of VR-centric games, not cheapie experiments but full-scale games built in Unity and its own proprietary Source 2 engine. The discussion came as part of a press briefing in Seattle last night.

Newell also commented at length on the U.S. government’s travel ban, which was once again blocked by the courts yesterday. He explained that Valve employees have been directly affected by the ban, people who’ve “been here for years” and “pay taxes” but can’t leave the country to visit relatives or attend events overseas lest they become unwittingly entangled or trapped far from home.

Newell and Johnson further said that the ban (and the threat of its return in one form or another) also affects their ability to hire and their ability to host international e-sports competitions, as many pro players already had difficulty securing work visas. Consequently, the duo say they’d consider hosting the big-money Dota 2 The International tourney out of the U.S. if necessary.

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