This is, bar none, the column I hate doing most on a regular basis. None of the games I highlight in here is something that I actually like pointing to; they’re games that people like, games that may very well be someone’s absolute favorites, and yet they’re also games where the future looks difficult if not outright bad. A cloudy future is never a good thing, and this particular column does not make it all right.
But we’re still here in the early days of 2018, and that means it’s still the right time to look at the games we might not see around next year. For various reasons, these are the games that already look like they’re in trouble, instead of absolute face-shattering surprises like a couple of the shutdowns last year.
With 2017 officially over and done, Steam’s taking a moment to report on its best-selling games over the course of the whole year. While there are no specifics shared as to which title sold how many copies, Valve does roughly rank games according to overall sales.
In the “platinum” category are several familiar online titles, including ARK: Survival Evolved, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, H1Z1, Warframe, and Dota 2.
Moving down into “gold,” we find Elder Scrolls Online crowing happily. “Silver” sellers mark Conan Exiles, Black Desert Online, War Thunder, and Path of Exile among the third-tier titles. The list is rounded out with other MMOs and MOBAs like Paladins, Elite: Dangerous, and The Division.
Steam’s Winter Sale, which contains many of these games and more, is ending on January 4th.
A couple of weeks ago I covered 20(ish) MMORPGs that we are looking forward to seeing develop, test, and launch in 2018. But as you well may know, Massively OP covers a small university’s worth of “not-so-massively” multiplayer games that have some crossover into the MMO space. We do this because it gives some people much-needed gripe fuel and also because a lot of our readership is also interested in these games.
There is a lot of movement in the multiplayer game space, especially as the larger video game market continues to adapt and hew to MMO design. It’s a blended mess as we continually try to sort these games out into their proper categories, but while we do that, you can enjoy this list of 20 multiplayer games that you should be tracking in 2018. From survival sandboxes to pirate simulators to sequels, here we go!
You do the cybercrime, you do real world time. Cast your mind back to 2014 and 2015, when a hacker group called Lizard Squad became notorious for slamming the PlayStation Network and H1Z1 with DDoS attacks. The group also called in a bomb threat on an airplane flight as a way to target then-Daybreak CEO John Smedley.
The slow process of justice finally saw Zachary Buchta, one of the founding members of Lizard Squad, convicted for his crimes after he plead guilty in court. During his guilty plea, Buchta admitted to a conspiracy to commit damage to protected computers. He could spend as little as two-and-a-half years and as many as 10 years in prison for the crime.
Buchta is expected to help prosecutors in the ongoing investigation of the attacks. Another member of the group, Julius Kivimaki, was convicted in a Finnish court in 2015 but was only given a suspended sentence.
With 2017 drawing to a close and 2018 rushing up to meet us, the Massively OP team has regrouped for another round of bold and goofy predictions for the year ahead. We’re feeling pretty good after our fairly successful predictions from last year! What’s in store for the MMO genre next year? Here’s what we think.
Another December, another Steam sale to entice you to spend money on games you don’t have time to play just to have them for a rainy day! Here’s a quick look at what’s on the list for MMO and survival sandbox players.
Watch out, evil-doers: Just Survive is coming for you. The zombie MMO patched in a slew of new anti-cheat measures this week to keep everyone on the up-and-up.
Daybreak said that it had to wipe the servers to get these measures up and running: “This update includes significant anti-cheat updates, including new technology to detect, prevent, and punish players passing through world geometry and player constructed bases.”
On the plus side, the December 19th patch includes some niceties, including rebalanced loot distribution, “significant” server performance improvements, and a holiday event with festive zombies that carry special pieces of wintry gear. And if you log in by January 2nd, you’ll get a Rudolf nose, because your character is just way too dignified as it is.
If you’d rather get into the PvP side of things, Just Survive’s counterpart H1Z1 is hosting a free play period that ends in about a day… so get on top of that!
Did you know that there’s no real IP protection for video games? We didn’t know that either; we seem to recall a lot of lawsuits filed over copyright infringement for IPs. According to Brendan Greene of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, however, there’s a big issue wherein games do not offer sufficient protection for an IP to avoid having a larger studio come in and steal your idea, thus making it more difficult to develop new games.
At first glance, one would think that Greene is talking less about IP copyright (which covers things such as characters and storyline) and more about mechanics, which would apply his statements to games like Fortnite and H1Z1. However, he also states that he’s happy to see other takes on the same battle royale structure and that he hopes it advances the genre as a whole. It’s a bit ambiguous, in other words.
Ever been curious about original-flavor H1Z1 and its battle royale sauce? You can try it out without having to drop any money during the game’s first-ever free week. This event starts on Thursday, December 14th, and runs through the 21st.
Also, if you like what you play, you can pick up the title during this period for 75% off. It’s almost like they planned this.
The spirit of the season is alive and kicking in this game about the end of the world and brutal last-person-standing brawls. Players who finish 30th place or higher during a holiday event match will win one of four parts of a new holiday ensemble that definitely will continue to be fashionable late into the spring.
This week’s rumor that Tencent may be porting Daybreak’s H1Z1 eastward has proven true, as the Chinese megacorp and Daybreak announced late last night that “H1Z1 is officially coming to China.”
“This partnership will give Tencent the exclusive rights to publish H1Z1 in China. We will be working side by side with Tencent to ensure H1Z1 remains true to its spirit. Our top priority is to deliver a high-quality, competitive game that’s fun to watch and play, and we will work with Tencent to make improvements to the overall optimization of the game and to build fast networks and servers for players. We will continue to invest in powerful anti-cheat technologies to maintain a fair and fun gameplay experience.”
Daybreak says it’s working through Tencent to have the streaming ban on the game lifted in the region too. “Working closely with Tencent, we want to create the most accessible experience possible that is respectful of cultural preferences and values,” it says, echoing the same song and dance many western games companies must perform to pass legal muster in the regime.
The easiest way to ensure that no one is really fighting over who gets to be at the top of the battle royale genre of games is to make sure you own all of them. Tencent has already picked up the most popular game in the genre for distribution in China, but now it’s teasing that it may also be bringing H1Z1 to Chinese shores, allowing players there to enjoy the shooting action of a game that at one point was supposedly about zombies.
Nothing has yet been officially announced, but there is a teaser website, and there’s a social media page on Weibo (one of the most popular social networking pages in China) managed by Tencent. It’s a sound strategy to ensure that players who jump from one game of the type to another still remain loyal to the same company, but we’ll have to see when and if the official announcement comes around.
One thing you can say for the MMO industry: It never ceases to surprise all of us. No matter what predictions we may make at the beginning of a year, by December we will all be proven fools who lack vision and foresight.
Although 2017 isn’t quite over yet, we here at Massively Overpowered wanted to count down the biggest news stories that crossed over into our neck of the woods so far this year. We witnessed controversies and delights, shockers and sadness. We saw launches and shutdowns, expansions and bugs.
So before we move into 2018, let’s take a look at the year that was and remember the biggest stories that dominated headlines.
Just Survive, the H1Z1 castoff that is looking to… just survive, made a bold play this week with a significant update to some of the game’s core systems. With the November 20th patch, players can now choose which map they want to join, whether it be Anywhere USA or Badwater Canyon.
The update also made it a lot easier to assemble zombie-proof bases, particularly with base foundations becoming free-placable and snapping together when close enough. Other changes include removing the height limit for bases, the removal of raid timers, the removal of stronghold and military base spawning, and the return of gasser, banshee, and exploder zombies to the game.
If the patch isn’t enough, here’s another reason to log into the game this week: Daybreak is giving players two free reward crates with the chance to win some special and helpful items. You’ll need to log in to grab these by November 27th.