mmo industry

Make My MMO: Star Citizen scrubs release windows from 3.0 schedule, Fig investors turn a profit (August 12, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen surprised backers by removing all “aim dates” from its weekly production schedule, which is intended to provide a roadmap toward the (very delayed) 3.0 alpha release. CIG instead provided two graphs it says will give a “more accurate look at where [it is] trending” – check those out down below. (Cheers, Cotic!)

In more meta news, Fig announced that a game promoted through its equity crowdfunding platform actually generated profit for investors, a first for the company. That game would be Kingdoms and Castles, which according to Polygon netted $1M in sales and consequently provided a 100% return to investors through Fig (double their money). It’s not an MMO, of course, but several MMORPGs have turned to this type of equity crowdfunding since it became legal last autumn, including Crowfall and Shroud of the Avatar.

Meanwhile, Albion Online continued suffering from extortionists’ DDOS attacks, we kicked off a month-long deep-dive into Shroud of the AvatarDual Universe scored a huge chunk o’ change in its run up to alpha, Pantheon published its monthly newsletter, and we got the details on the superhero MMO panel at PAX, which we’ll be attending in person (thanks, cyanpill!).

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Netmarble under scrutiny by government agencies in the wake of a crunch-mode death

You probably remember the sad news about a Netmarble employee who was, essentially, worked straight to death. That’s the bad news. The good news is that when something like that happens, it’s hard to really keep that under the rug for very long. The South Korean Justice Department and the Ministry of Employment and Labor are having discussions about Netmarble in particular and hiding the costs and demands of overtime work in general, which will hopefully lead to some positive changes in the long run.

In the short term, Netmarble is under pressure to settle delayed payments for overtime work as well as address duplicitous hiring practices “tricking” employees into working longer hours while waiving some overtime rights. It remains to be seen what the long-term impact will be on Netmarble’s bottom line, but hopefully this marks an ending to the sort of culture that made a young programmer die.

Source: MMO Culture

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen 3.0 progress report, Albion Online DDOSed after RMT crackdown (August 5, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen posted its monthly studio report along with its updated 3.0 production report as it works on the “User Experience Polish Pass.” Players tracked only two delays in this report: the UI and the mission system AI. Cross your fingers that the Evocati test access begins next week as planned (it’s actually looking pretty good).

Elsewhere, Albion Online was slammed with a DDOS attack yesterday, which the devs say was “most likely in response to [SI’s] recent actions against gold sellers to coerce [SI] to not interfere with their illegal business.”

Meanwhile, Camelot Unchained teased testing for beta 1 backers, Path of Exile launched its latest expansion, Crowfall profiled a dev, Dogma Eternal Night tinkered with its mission system, Descent Underground released a demo on BrightLocker, City of Titans returned to Twitch, and Global Adventures successfully funded on Kickstarter.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.

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Make My MMO: Valiance Online’s founder alpha has begun (July 29, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Valiance Online took everyone by surprise by announcing the launch of its investor alpha on PC for Friday, though it didn’t actually launch until today thanks to some unforeseen tech issues. “If you donated to our old website campaign or Kickstarter, you might not be in Alpha today,” Silverhelm tweeted. “We’ll be working over the weekend to get you in!” Folks who donate right now through the official site should also have immediate access.

Over in the newly launched Albion Online, developers calmly responded to criticism of its large-scale battle system, explaining the upsides and downsides of diminishing returns from zergs. (Thanks, David!)

Meanwhile, Project Gorgon promised tweaks to its Poetry Appreciation skill (<3), Saga of Lucimia demoed its Pyrography skill, OrbusVR welcomed more players to its open alpha, Shroud of the Avatar rolled out R44 and cracked down on insider trading exploits, Chronicles of Elyria posted a whopper of a roadmap, Global Adventures’ Kickstarter ends tomorrow, and Star Citizen clarified (sort of?) the number of planets it will launch with and effectively announced another 3.0 delay.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Make My MMO: Albion Online joins the list of launched crowdfunded MMORPGs (July 22, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, indie sandbox Albion Online — whose 250,000 founders reportedly crowdfunded the game for almost $10,000,000 — formally launched. The buy-to-play isometric game has hardcore old-school flair with a potentially alienating PvP template, but it’s brought plenty of PvE content along for the ride in an attempt to woo a more diverse playerbase.

Meanwhile, Project Gorgon made progress on its 64-bit test build, OrbusVR plans to open its alpha next weekend, City of Titans released a new lore piece, Camelot Unchained showed off more of its UI, Ashes of Creation demoed arenas, Path of Exile picked a date for Fall of Oriath, and Crowfall pushed its very first trial campaigns to testers. Oh yeah, and some Star Citizen drama.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Pantheon’s Brad McQuaid elaborates on designing for an audience

Did you know that Brad McQuaid’s Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is not meant to be for everyone? Probably, because the game sort of likes to offer a mission statement to that effect on a semi-regular basis. McQuaid’s most recent post about the MMO industry and developing games counts on that spectrum, too, as it serves as a lengthy diatribe on where he feels the industry went wrong and why the game needs a game with a very narrowly defined target audience.

The core assertion is that changes to the MMO genre have largely been a matter of making the game more accessible to audiences who didn’t already like the genre, and it’s past time for games to be devoted to very narrow audience slices more suited to specific playstyles.

“That’s the big hump I think the MMO genre really, really needs to get over. In the ‘post-WoW‘ world the genre really moved towards trying to become even more mass-market than WoW itself. Looking at WoW, Vanilla-WoW (the game that was released) is a lot different than WoW is today. Some of that is natural evolution, polishing, the implementation of new features, races, types of content, etc. In other words, all good stuff. But then some of it is merely a result of Blizzard trying to make WoW appeal to an even larger group of gamers — even though they were already, by leaps and bounds, the most popular and profitable MMO on the face of the earth.”

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s derelict ships’ Firefly and Star Wars inspiration (July 15, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen released a new cinematic trailer featuring characters checking out derelict ships in-game, both on the surface and in space. Note the scope of the vessels, voiceovers, music, and female toons (finally!), not to mention the distinct Star Wars/Jakku vibe and Firefly inspiration.

Meanwhile, Crowfall talked up its building parts, Valiance Online teased its alpha, and Brad McQuaid mused on Pantheon’s philosophy.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen’s alpha 3.0 has been delayed again (July 9, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen dropped more than just its work on procedural planets and moon: It also posted its 3.0 production schedule report, which shows that Cloud Imperium will once again delay the release of alpha 3.0, chiefly from a desire to polish and work on the UI. 3.0 is now scheduled to go fully live in late August following a month in the hands of the elite Evocati player testers, which lines up nicely with Gamescom.

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar raised another $100,000 during a stream, City of Titans demoed its costume-building, Mystic Worlds narrated a ton of Star Citizen fanfic, OrbusVR recapped its sixth closed alpha test, and Albion Online is gearing up for launch in just over a week.

We also added the wacky OARPG Global Adventures to our watch list; its Kickstarter is live now. You might remember studio SubaGames from its revivals of both Luna Online and Dream of Mirror Online!

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Make My MMO: Elite Dangerous journeys to PS4, we interview Kickstarted MMO devs (July 1, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Frontier launched Elite Dangerous for the PS4, complete with relevant adjustments for touchpad controls and a “fast headlook” mode for wireless controllers.

Meanwhile, we hosted a double round of podcast interviews with MMORPG developers, all running crowdfunded games: Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif and Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott and Starr Long.

Oh yeah, and there was that mess with Star Citizen fending off claims that it had been sold to a bank.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Make My MMO: Star Citizen sells 14K concept ships in 24 hours (June 24, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Star Citizen followers once again proved their game’s dominance by purchasing 14,000 of its new Nox concept ships in less than 24 hours, bringing the game’s UEE Fleet up to 1.3 million ships total. The cheap version is $35, if you’re wondering.

Meanwhile, Ashes of Creation began its summer crowdfunding drive, Mark Kern’s Em-8ER funded again on Indiegogo, Dogma Eternal Night has a new test site, Chronicles of Elyria players created a handy race map, ROKH deployed a new crafting UI, The Exiled posted a state-of-the-game missive, Exile Online is running a GoFundMe, AQ3D is taking the grind out of its leveling curve, and Elite Dangerous players are staging an event to put pressure on Frontier for bug fixes. Plus, over in Crowfall, devs talked up their cell size changes and planned out their influencer program.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

(Thanks, fastcart, Francis, and Stuart G!)

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Make My MMO: Broke Protocol launches early access after failed Kickstarter (June 10, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Minecraft-meets-GTAO MMO Broke Protocol’s Kickstarter ended unsuccessfully on Thursday, but the good news is that the game launched its early access program anyway. The better news is that early access is free. “The last few updates have seen the focus shift to enable more roleplaying opportunities,” writes the team. “Cylinder Studios has now pushed updates to Police, Paramedics, and in this latest update: Firefighters. Demolished vehicles now leave a burning inferno that has to be taken care of by the city’s loyal Fire Department.” Good times.

Meanwhile, Gloria Victis previewed its map expansion, Project Gorgon delayed part of the Serbule revamp, Albion Online launched its Hector update, ROKH rolled out a new build with salvaging and chat, and Elite Dangerous opened the 2.3.10 beta and prepped players for the PS4 debut later this month.

Finally, we spoke to Shroud of the Avatar’s Richard Garriott about his studio’s equity crowdfunding announcement.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Make My MMO: Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter, Shroud of the Avatar’s equity crowdfund (June 3, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Ashes of Creation’s Kickstarter came to a close with $3.2M and nearly 20,000 backers, making it the biggest MMORPG Kickstarter to date. Backers — and would-be backers who didn’t jump into the Kickstarter — should take a peek at the game’s latest update, which outlines the backer awards for everyone as crowdfunding continues this month on the official site. Intrepid does note that there won’t be any stretch goals, however, to avoid “scope creep.”

Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar surprised its players this week by announcing on its seasonal fundraising livestream that it’s pitched a $2M equity crowdfunding campaign to raise money ahead of the game’s formal launch, which is happening this year. (Stay tuned for more on this Monday!)

Plus, Elite Dangerous is awash in Thargoid sightings (thanks, Kinya!), OrbusVR previewed the Ranger, Crowfall patched up ahead of this weekend’s pre-alpha testing, and Grim Dawn sold its millionth copy.

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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Make My MMO: Legends of Aria’s alpha, Ashes of Creation’s lofty ambitions (May 27, 2017)

This week in MMO crowdfunding, Legends of Aria — which we’ll probably never stop accidentally calling Shards Onlinebegan its alpha, introducing testers and founder pack players to the revitalized game. While gamers will still be able to roll their own “shards” and play their own way, Citadel Studios has expanded its scope and plans a much bigger map, improved combat, and official servers to bring the game in line with MMORPG gamer expectations.

Meanwhile, Grim Dawn sold a million copies on PC, Valiance Online caught us up on its weekly build, Crowfall pushed its 5.0.2 alpha to testers, AdventureQuest 3D began its Battleon attack event, Ashes of Creation revealed its lofty ambitions to be the biggest Kickstarted MMORPG ever, and Shroud of the Avatar rolled out release 42!

Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’ve got our eye on.

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