kids

H1Z1’s Fight for the Crown TV debut is tonight with $300K on the line

Just as this post goes live at 9 p.m. EDT, Daybreak’s H1Z1: King of the Kill will see its TV debut as its Fight for the Crown tournament is aired on The CW, the perfect channel for a zombie survival sandbox, given its preponderance of cringey YA genre material.

But before you go all “kids these days,” check out Daybreak’s new infographic and the behind-the-scenes vids — it’s definitely not just kids who’d like a slice of that $300,000 prize pool.

Anybody watching tonight, or will you be sobbing quietly in a corner with Just Survive?

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American families are gaming together more than ever before

Just in case you have a friend who is still under the delusion that video games are a niche entertainment market, you might want to point them in the direction of this report from the Entertainment Software Association.

According to a new 2017 study, 65% of American households don’t merely play video games — but do so on a regular basis. A slightly higher percentage of households, 67%, own some sort of video game device (and 11% of households have a VR set). What’s up, you two-percenters?

While kids certainly make up some of the demographics here, it’s actually adults who are the majority of household gamers. The report said that the current average age of a gamer is 35 and that 72% of household gamers 18 years of age or older.

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The Game Archaeologist: SOE’s The Agency

The graveyard of Sony Online Entertainment and Daybreak Game Company is certainly full enough to be considered a threat if there was ever a zombie uprising among MMORPGs. From PlanetSide to Free Realms, there are plenty of live games that were disposed of in this grim fictional burial ground. But there are also those stillborn titles that never had the change to make or break in a live environment. EverQuest Next might be the most fresh in our minds, but go back a handful of years and you might have seen players lamenting the loss of a different promising SOE game: The Agency.

The Agency seems like a natural fit for the studio’s focus on first-person shooters and a willingness to branch out from strictly fantasy territory. Instead of dragons or stormtroopers, players in this game were to face off against terrorist organizations and dastardly spy agencies, all in the pursuit of living out the ultimate James Bond fantasy.

But instead of sitting on our desktop, The Agency exists only in a forgotten corner of this imaginary cemetery. Today, let us tenderly brush off its worn tombstone and remember what we can about this canceled spy shooter.

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U.S. district court hears Pokemon Go trespassing lawsuit

Last summer when Pokemon Go took off, so did the lawsuits from property owners who claimed Niantic was effectively encouraging players to illegally trespass on their land. We covered two such suits, one in Michigan and one in New Jersey, and there were more — and they’ve since been consolidated into a single suit seeking class-action status.

The U.S. District Court in San Francisco is now set to decide the case, The Wall Street Journal reports this week, in a move that will likely influence future augmented reality MMOs like PoGo.

“Residents of the Villas of Positano on the South Florida coast said hundreds of people began infiltrating the 62-unit complex, parking illegally and even relieving themselves in the landscaping during late-night visits to ‘catch’ virtual characters. Another plaintiff, a New Jersey lawyer, said at least five people knocked on his door asking for access to his backyard. In Michigan, a couple said a quiet nearby park became overrun once it was tagged as a location in the game, creating a nightmare for neighbors as players stormed the area, blocked driveways and peered in windows. […] The intrusions, the plaintiffs say, amount to negligence and trespassing by the game’s developer, Niantic Inc. They claim not only that Niantic is responsible for players who physically trespassed, but also that the placement of the virtual characters is itself a form of trespassing.”

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Master x Master closed beta begins April 6; signups are open now

D’awwww, look at that image of City of Heroes’ Statesman, scowling down upon all the kids flocking to the Master X Master beta signup page with hope in their hearts! They are really not gonna let this one go quietly, nope.

Indeed, NCsoft has announced that its first Master x Master closed beta round will begin later this week starting on April 6th and running to almost the end of the month.

“The Closed Beta represents the first test in the West of the newest version of MXM, including new Masters, game modes, updated graphics and UI, and brand new features. The Closed Beta servers will be open and available from 10am PDT, April 6 until 6pm PDT, April 27.”

Signups are open on the official site.

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Wizard101, Pirate101 newsletters tease big ‘monstrology’ update for the Spiral

KingsIsle has just put out a pair of monthly newsletters for its 101 games — heads-up to any lost Club Penguin peeps that there are some non-mobile MMOs still catering to your tastes!

While Pirate101’s community letter is more of the social sort, Wizard101 is currently in the midst of plotting a new update for players.

“Please download the Test Realm and join us in Testing the Monstrology system, three new Skeleton Key Bosses, the level 118 school pet quests, Aquila fishing, and much more,” the Wizard101 crew says.

There’s a teaser video too down below so you know just what to expect.

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One Shots: Avenging angel

When you push a player too far, commit too many crimes, and flaunt your evil with one of those tacky pre-battle speeches, you’re going to get a face full of avenging angel.

Tyler, take it away! “No matter how many of The Secret World’s world bosses I fight (and I have fought a lot; I may have a problem), I never get tired of seeing the swarms of players that rush in to take them down, the riot of different outfits and ability effects, the massive bosses withering away under the combined fire, the sheer epic mayhem of it all. Add the spectacular effects from ultimate abilities, and you have an endless source of amazing screenshot fodder.”

Welcome to an all-email submissions edition of One Shots! Remember kids, when you email a screenshot and a story, you get to cut to the front of the line!

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World of Tanks players raised cash for kids during last year’s War Child campaign

Wargaming announced today that World of Tanks players raised a huge sum of money for children in need last year. Last summer, the video game giant teamed up with War Child, a UK-based charity that focuses on children affected by local and global political conflict, to raise money for that cause.

“Late last year, Wargaming partnered with War Child for their Armistice Campaign. Players of World of Tanks were able to buy special emblems and packages to help raise money for children affected by conflict all over the world, with 100% of Wargaming’s share going directly to charity. Thanks to the community’s help and generosity, a donation of $84,800 went to War Child UK. Wargaming would like to thank all the players who donated to this great cause as every single penny raised was from the community.”

Hear, hear and well done. Never let it be said that gamers have no heart!

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Massively Overthinking: The City of Heroes Master X Master debacle

On Tuesday, NCsoft announced that it plans to introduce Statesman, from the long-sunsetted City of Heroes, as a playable character in its MOBA, Master x Master.

Complications ensued, as anyone familiar with the history of MMORPGs can probably imagine.

For this week’s Overthinking, I asked our team of writers — both those who loved CoH and those who never much played it — what they think about the whole ordeal. Are gamers right to be angry? What exactly is NCsoft thinking? Have we seen the end of any hope of the game being resurrected or sold, or should we infer just the opposite?

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Hyperspace Beacon: If you’re not playing Star Wars: The Old Republic, why are you still subbed?

Let me start this article by answering my own headline: It’s partly because I’m an idiot and cannot let go of this IP.

Star Wars: The Old Republic has been a part of my life for over six years, and not having it there to fall back on would be difficult. But I could still play SWTOR without a subscription. Many of my friends still do! The truth of the matter is that I’m still having fun in the game, just not playing the game. I still have a guild of about 50 people who log in regularly to participate in activities. I have friends whom I’ve grown close to. And as much as I hate to say it, there is no other game that can give me my Star Wars fix.

I guess it’s possible that I could still log into the game and not pay a dime for it, but hopefully, if I tell you what happens during my typical game day, you will understand why I still hold a subscription for the game, despite not playing a single bit of the content BioWare has given and sold me.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 109: We are all Dragonborn

Roll for initiative! Bree and Justin are getting all kinds of nerdy with this week’s show, in which they talk about Dragon-people, the return of a long-abandoned sci-fi game, a momentous anniversary, and the viability of sandbox MMOs.

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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UK Gambling Commission argues game studios should avoid complicity with unlicensed gambling operations

The UK doesn’t take kindly to illegal gambling, as anyone who followed the FIFA YouTuber gambling case in the region over the last year. Now the UK Gambling Commission has added its voice to the growing chorus of advisory and regulatory bodies in the west arguing against e-sports gambling in particular.

The Commission’s recent study of the subgenre revealed that of the small subset (between 3% and 8.5%) of gamer respondents who admitted to gambling, the vast majority use “in-game items” — including weapon skins — to do so. The investigation also suggests that underage gamblers are being targeted by unlicensed e-sports gambling websites “indiscriminately,” making such sites “parasites feeding off popular video games, presenting a clear and present danger to players including kids.”

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EVE Online starts CSM voting, posts whole bunches o’ numbers and graphs

The space air is electric with excitement as EVE Online has opened up the vote for the next members of the Council of Stellar Management. There are many candidates from all around the world vying for a spot on the influential player council.

According to CCP, the CSM is “a player advocacy group, consisting of 10 members democratically elected by the players to advise and assist CCP in the continuous development of EVE. The CSM brings focused, structured feedback from the community to CCP and represents its views and interests.”

And if you really want to nail home that old cliché of EVE being “spreadsheets in space,” check out the many, many graphs of the game’s February economic report. Read it to your kids at night to get them to sleep!

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