With Pokemon Go trying to avoid explicitly calling itself an MMO, Massively OP once again has room for a top contender in the realm of mobile MMOs. There’s just one problem: We’ve got mostly Western readers for a genre that seems to appeal much more to the East. I was given the opportunity to see top global mobile MMO Lineage 2 Revolution and up and coming dino-sandbox Durango at E3 2017. I can see the appeal of both games, but also some limitations. Let’s dig into both.
Official Site: Lineage
Launch Date: September 3, 1998 (US)
Sunset Date: June 29, 2011 (US; still in operation in Korea)
Genre: Isometric PvP Sandbox
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
See Also: Lineage II, Lineage Eternal
What’s a pirate’s favorite letter? You might think “Arrr,” but he really loves the C!
Dad jokes aside, swashbucklers have boarded Lineage II’s classic server over in Europe, but we doubt that anyone is too concerned about the company. The pirate horde is headed by Captain Zaken, a fearsome foe that can only be taken down by a minimum of seven (!) coordinated parties. He’s only the first of five additional raid bosses that have bolstered the game’s villain roster.
Pirate treasures can now be found on the hunting zone of Devil’s Isle, or if a chance of scenery is needed, there’s also the new Giant’s Cave to explore. To help with the patch’s raid bosses and hunting grounds, players can take advantage of weapon augmentation to give their gear a bit of a boost.
The Netmarble take on NCsoft’s Lineage franchise, Lineage 2 Revolution, has soft launched as a global version in multiple English-speaking markets and app stores this week as planned. The Unreal 4 game has already become a blockbuster overseas, having landed in the top 10 ten mobile games in SuperData’s revenue charts for the last several months and helping to propel Netmarble’s record setting $12B IPO bid this spring.
The game boasts high-ish end graphics for mobile devices and stock MMORPG mechanics usually reserved for PC and console games, including questing, raiding, and PvPing in an open-world setting. Anybody smacked this on a phone yet to try it out?
After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!
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 iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
SuperData’s April worldwide digital video games market summary has arrived, and with it we get a glimpse into the top gaming studios. And only the tippy top.
Irritatingly, World of Warcraft has once again been split into east and west, contrary to every other game on the chart. SuperData had split the game for its January report, botched the entries in February and hastily repaired its graphic to rejoin the two, and for March, the WoWs were one from the get-go. Now they’re two again.
The upside for WoW is that its western branch pulled out ahead of World of Tanks in terms of revenue (Tanks was beating a combined WoW last month). Dungeon Fighter Online and New Westward Journey Online II have swapped positions, while the addition of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (and separated WoWs) has pushed Lineage I and Wildlands out of the top 10 entirely. Wildlands dropped down the console list as well; ARK Survival Evolved and Mass Effect Andromeda have dropped from the console chart altogether.
Back in April, Tencent subsidiary Netmarble raised $2.3 billion in shares sold to investors during the first phase of its IPO, helping it reach a total company value of $11.8 billion and marking it as the second-largest initial public offering in the country’s history. Today, however, the company went fully public as it made its trading debut on the Korea Exchange, and the public… well, they like it. They really, really like it.
“Shares in the mobile game developer and publisher ended 3.2 percent higher at 162,000 won in Seoul, after rising as high as 9.2 percent above the initial public offering price,” Bloomberg reports. “The company now has a market value of about 13.7 trillion won ($12.2 billion), surpassing LG Electronics Inc.”
Yes, the company that makes mobile MMO Lineage II: Revolution is now worth more than the company that makes the phones you probably play it on.
NCsoft’s Q1 2017 financials: Tumbles for Lineage, Guild Wars 2, plus new leadership for Lineage Eternal
NCsoft’s first quarter financials for 2017 have released, and… well, let’s get the bad news out of the way. While sales dropped only slightly since the preceding quarter and in line with last year, the company’s operating profits and incomes fell sharply, in the -60 to -77% range both quarter over quarter and year over year. The company says that’s “due to incentives paid on the back of record-high earnings last year.” In particular, Lineage 1’s sales were down significantly on the quarter and the year (“due to the early sales recognition in 4Q and weaker traffic from anticipated Lineage M demand”). Aion’s and Lineage II’s sales dropped ever so slightly, as did Guild Wars 2’s, which has fallen by more than half following the late 2015 launch of Heart of Thorns.
The good news? Blade and Soul saw a small boost.
During the conference call, NCsoft announced that it has overturned the development leadership working on Lineage Eternal, suggesting that the closed beta failed to “reflect NCsoft’s characteristics” and promising a retooled dev schedule in the months ahead.
If you’ve forgotten about Lineage II: Revolution, the short version is that it’s like Lineage II, only it’s on mobile. (There is more to it than that, but we said the short version.) It’s a mobile MMO powered by Unreal 4 and available on your tablet, phone, or smartwatch. (You should not play it on a watch, though. You might be able to do so, but you shouldn’t.) And it’s coming out in June, in some capacity.
Why “some capacity?” Well, it’s not clear if the new site is indicating that the title will launch in June or just start beta testing in June. Both are possible. But the important thing is that when June rolls around, it’s got a date with some mobile devices. You can check out the full site if you want to see a little bit more about what the mobile experience promises players.
Looking back at March’s digital sales, the industry was up 15% year-over-year from 2016, Superdata Research reports. Mobile was the largest area of growth, while PC revenues remained “relatively flat.”
The report noted that Blizzard is having a mixed spring. Overwatch was overtaken (see what we did there?) by Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for the first time since its launch, while HearthStone rebounded from February by doubling its sales.
As to MMOs specifically, World of Warcraft, Dungeon Fighter Online, and Lineage I were joined by Chinese title New Westward Journey Online II in the top 10 of PC sales. Destiny continues to hang out on the console top 10, while Lineage 2 Revolution joined the rankings in the mobile category.
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 Conan Exiles, Osiris, Final Fantasy XI, Ultima Online, Tree of Savior, Lineage II, Warface, Games of Glory, Elsword, Splatoon, Skyforge, all waiting for you after the break!
The top publisher of online games in South Korea now boasts the second-largest initial public offering in the country’s history.
Netmarble, a Tencent subsidiary, raised an amazing $2.3 billion through its IPO this spring. The sale reached over 17 million shares at $138 apiece, helping the publisher reach a total company value of $11.8 billion. Demand was high for the IPO, which benefited greatly from Netmarble’s release of Lineage II: Revolution in Korea.
One of Netmarble’s previous properties is currently sailing into the Industrial Revolution. Uncharted Waters Online announced that is embracing steampunk and advanced firearms with its Age of Revolution: Chapter 1 update. Steam engines, gatling guns, and flamethrowers are all part of the jump to a new level of technology, and OGPlanet is offering a free beginner’s box to anyone who registers on the website with the code “xanrJdmh” (no quotation marks).
Over the years, I’ve been fascinated with the concept of time in MMORPGs. It’s one of those things that developers probably don’t want you thinking about too closely, since it could create a crack in the world illusion that they’ve created. But really, how does time work in these games? Are you forever frozen in the same fixed point in history, advancing only to a new era when a patch or expansion releases? Does the timeline advance only as you go through new quests and hit arbitrary milestones?
Even more fascinating is when developers decide to have a little fun with their storytelling by throwing players into the past and future via time travel. It’s not even strictly for science-fiction games, either; plenty of fantasy MMOs work in time travel at one point or the other. It can be a great way of expanding upon the game’s lore and giving players an insight into events that led up to the modern era.
Today we’re going to look at 10 instances of how MMORPGs have used time travel with reckless regard to paradoxes and splintering the world into millions of alternate universes.
Happy SuperData day! That’s the monthly holiday when we pore over the market analysis report, freak out over something doing well, freak over something doing poorly, and then fight over definitions, the evils of trusting paywalled science, and why more MMOs aren’t on the current list. This round, there’s lots to bicker over — but also some bits to celebrate in the February 2017 charts of top-grossing game titles.
On PC, while League of Legends, Crossfire, and Dungeon Fighter Online continue their top-three dominance, the rest of the roster has seen a bit of a shake-up, as Overwatch has fallen from #4 to #6 and World of Tanks has pushed past it as well as World of Warcraft. WoW’s status is a tad confusing; last month, SuperData began reporting Western and Eastern WoW separately, even though it does not appear to be doing that for any other game. This month, it’s omitted the West/East tags but still has two entries for WoW, so we’re left to assume to top one is still West as it was last month.
On console, ARK: Survival Evolved has fallen from its #4 spot to #6. As always, we point out that ARK: Survival Evolved has yet to formally launch, and it’s absurd that it’s on this list at all, but fools and their money and all that.