Hands up: Any Massively OP readers play the crap out of Command & Conquer back in the day? In the '90s, Westwood Studios was a legend for that series (and how awesome was Red Alert? Here's the Hell March theme for your Thursday listening pleasure) before the studio was purchased by EA and shuttered.
Well, one of the co-founders of Westwood, Louis Castle, is being given another chance at widespread glory. Castle was recently hired by Amazon Game Studios Seattle to head up the company's sci-fi multiplayer title Crucible.
Castle told Games Industry that he's thrilled to get to work on a brand-new IP: "I don't know too many game developers who would prefer to pursue licensed IP over the chance to create something. The new IP problem space is wide open and the possibilities are endless. I've personally had about equal amounts of success in both adapting and building IP."
Massively OP donor and commenter Tibi sent this epic question to our podcast and kindly allowed me to share it here instead for maximum impact! Tibi wants us to consider the state of the genre and consider that maybe we're taking a much-needed breather from the hectic chaos of a few years ago.
"Much has been said and written about the decline and even death of western AAA MMOs, but assuming that New World and future games end up coming out, I am actually happy with this quiet period. It can give already launched games the time to mature and grow into what was originally promised. I doubt that if we were still getting the onslaught of games from a few years back, Elder Scrolls Online could have thrived the way it does today or that The Secret World could have kept its smaller but constant playerbase. There are so many good games out there and it's great to see them able to keep the lights on and welcome new players who would otherwise have gone chasing the new shiny and miss out. What do you think?"
I posed Tibi's question to the Massively team for this week's Overthinking, but they were all too busy playing quiet MMOs! Just kidding. Batter up!
Ever since last September's surprise announcement that Amazon Game Studios was actually building a sandbox MMORPG called New World, we have been dying to know more about it. As the relative lack of coverage on this site might suggest, the studio hasn't really been promoting it past that initial press release.
However, a sharp-eyed fan noticed that the company did put two new screenshots for the game some time recently on the Amazon Lumberyard page. The first picture shows a lush forest setting while the second gives an idea of what a settlement might look like in those early colonial days.
Recently, Amazon put ex-Daybreak CEO John Smedley in charge of a new studio and different mystery project in San Diego. Check out the screenshots after the jump and let us know what you think in the comments!
Citadel Studios' MMORPG Shards Online has formally launched its alpha today. "Alpha for a game like this means we’ve pretty much got all the major systems working cohesively, and that we’ve got a lot of the game’s launch content nailed down," CEO Derek Brinkmann says. "We’ve hit all the major milestones from our Kickstarter, and we’re finally ready to keep the servers up 24/7. By no means is our work done, but we’re at a point now where we really think we've delivered on promise that was made during our Kickstarter campaign."
If you've ever played the game on a trial key in the past, your trial has been renewed for the weekend. If you aren't one of those lucky souls, then you can either back the game ($40) to get in or enter to win a trial key from us right here, as Citadel has granted Massively OP 100 keys for this weekend's alpha test, which we'll be raffling off in time for you to hop in tomorrow. Read on to enter to win (and to check out the brand-new trailer)!
One of the frustrating bits about our end-of-the-year content rollouts is that sometimes predictions and story roundups can come across as negative. It's way too easy to assume that if someone is predicting game X will flop, she wants it to happen and is gleefully steepling her fingers and cackling madly over its future demise. Which is just not so! I never steeple my fingers.
But all the same, for tonight's Massively Overthinking, we'd like to take a moment to set aside our fears and expectations and just talk about our hopes and wishes for 2017 in an MMORPG context. That was what we think will happen. This is a summary of our most optimistic daydreams.
Last week, we posted a rundown of the most popular MMORPG articles of 2016, calculated strictly by the number of pageviews they got. Today, we're going to take a look at the most popular articles of 2016 as measured by comments, which provides an entirely different overview of the year and the genre. The other list was stuff you clicked on, but this? This is the stuff you cared enough about to comment on -- and boy did you ever.
This year, we’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2017.
Everyone knew that Amazon Game Studios was working on an MMO, but not many people truly believed the game would be a true sandbox called New World, complete with the unapologetic MMORPG label attached. Surprise!
Meanwhile, the community reeled over the retirement of Blizzard's Chris Metzen, rioted over ARK: Survival Evolved's attempt to sell an expansion from its early access corner, and revolted over Chronicles of Elyria's bid for more dough.
Read on for the whole list!
Back at the beginning of December, I posted a list of what I considered to be the biggest MMORPG stories of 2016. However, there were notable exceptions in that list of news that fans thought should be included. Unbeknownst to them but knownst to me, I had a second list in the works: the biggest MMO surprises of 2016.
That's right! Today we're going to revisit all of the big news that pretty much nobody saw coming (and if they say they did, they're lying, but let them have it - it's what they live for in this internet age). Being surprised by this genre is one of the reasons why I love writing for Massively OP -- you never quite know what will pop up on any given day.
Sure, some surprises are sour and unwelcome, but others can be delightful and exciting. We've got both on this list, so let's wrap up this year by seeing what stories gave us double-takes and were the buzz on everyone's lips!
Massively Overpowered's end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Most Anticipated MMORPG for 2017 and Beyond, which was awarded to Star Citizen last year in an incredibly close vote. This year's was close too, but dang, a lot of the games are the same because they still aren't out.
Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Most Anticipated MMORPG for 2017 and Beyond is...
Massively Overpowered's end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Most Likely to Flop in 2017 or Beyond, which was awarded to Blade & Soul last year -- and I'm happy to say that game defied the odds globally, though I suspect most of our readers have forgotten about it. This unpleasant category can encompass fringe MMOs as well as unlaunched games, and remember that "flop" can mean lots of things, from outright sunset to financial ruin to simply not living up to insane hype. And we don't actually want anything to flop!
Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Most Likely to Flop in 2017 or Beyond is...
Right now we are in a strange place in MMORPG history. Following the backlash of WoW clones and several high-profile titles that underperformed, major studios are becoming extremely risk-averse to creating big-budget titles the way that we saw not five years ago. Many former MMO teams are diversifying with shooters, MOBAs, and other safer and trendier titles.
Yet all is not lost! MMO features continue to ripple out into all types of game genres and new titles continue to be produced -- just not from the usual suspects. Instead, most of what is on our immediate horizon comes from either crowdfunded indie teams or eastern giants. The good news is that 2017 should see the culmination of many of these long-brewing projects and adaptations, hopefully resulting in a bumper crop of interesting online RPGs for us to play.
So let's run down the list of games that either are or possibly could be coming to you in 2017. We will provide an overview of each title, why you should care about it, and our best guess at the odds of its officially launching during the calendar year. If an upcoming MMO is not on the list, then it is our opinion that while we'll see it eventually, a 2017 release isn't happening.
Massively Overpowered's end-of-the-year 2016 awards continue today with our award for Biggest MMORPG Story of 2016, which was awarded to the SOE/Daybreak formation drama last year. This isn't an award based on popularity as measured by hits or comments, and it's not for a single article; it's an award for an ongoing narrative or event of deep importance and significance for the genre in 2016. Don't forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end!
The Massively OP staff pick for Biggest MMORPG Story of 2016 is...
In the political sandbox of EVE Online
, colossal player-run military coalitions frequently war over territorial conflicts, in revenge for past transgressions or just for fun. Circle of Two alliance recently found itself the target of a massive war not long after it had built a colossal 300 billion ISK Keepstar citadel in the historically contested nullsec system of M-0EE8. Opposing alliances set up their own smaller citadels next to the Keepstar and used them as staging points in an all-out attack on the system. Following two intense battles over the Keepstar in which hundreds of billions of ISK was lost
, the explosive final phase of the conflict took place last night in what has come to be known as The Siege of M-0EE8.
I arrived in M-0EE8 in a cloaked covert ops frigate at around 18:30 EVE time to watch the event unfold, and it wasn't long before a world-record-breaking 5,300 pilots had poured into the star system. A cluster of anchorable warp disruption field generators hung like bright lanterns in space, with great swarms of Scorpions and shoals of Machariels swirling inside. A constant stream of weapons fire flowed from these blinding death bubbles to the Keepstar, whittling down its immense structure like a swarm of insects nipping at a Tyrannosauros Rex.
In this edition of EVE Evolved, I give a brief account of the Siege of M-0EE8, share some screenshots from the event, take a look at how the server coped with the enormous battle, and drill down into the battle stats to see just how record-breaking the siege was.