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Steam terminates its relationship with MMO company Insel Games over alleged review manipulation

It’s really unusual to see publishers outright booted off of Steam, but Valve has done exactly that to Insel Games following reports of review manipulation. It started with a Reddit post yesterday posting an alleged email from the company’s CEO lamenting the lack of a proper review score for Wild Buster and asking all employees to purchase a copy of the game along with leaving a positive review on the game page. Apparently whatever Valve found behind the scenes was enough to convince the company that the accusations were legitimate and terminate the relationship.

Players who already own copies of Wild Buster, Guardians of Ember, or any other Insel Games titles will still be able to play the games, and they can still be purchased through other sources, but new copies cannot be obtained through Steam. We’ve reached out to Insel Games for comment on the matter and will update this post with any response we receive. [Update: We’ve included the statement made to MOP via email below.]

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Fortnite outlines a new roadmap for Battle Royale and removes submachine guns

The designers behind Fortnite’s Battle Royale mode have plans. What are those plans? You’ll need to go on a dangerous mission to retrieve them by sneaking into the… oh, never mind, you can just read them right here. That was straightforward.

Whether or not you’ll like what you read is a different discussion. Most players will probably like the prospect of 60 FPS on console versions of the game, west coast servers, and new character skins, but the game is also tossing regular submachine guns into the Vault (i.e. a metaphorical box from whence items cannot be pulled out and used). In short, it’s yanking the weapon from the game for the moment.

This isn’t to say that they’re bad, just that this balance change is meant to encourage using other weapons and to shake up the game’s metagame balance; in the future, other items can also be added to the vault and removed as time requires. There are also new social features and limited-time game modes planned, so on a whole the roadmap has lots of cool stuff to look forward to. It’s just slightly less if you love submachine guns.

Source: Official Site via VG24/7

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Take a look at the gameplay for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on mobile

At long last, your nightmare of having moments in the day when you might not be playing PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is coming to an end. At least, it is if you live over in China; the game has a mobile version there, and you can check out the mobile gameplay just below. Guess what? It looks exactly like the normal version, but with touchscreen controls. Quelle surprise. It’s also available now in China.

If you’re living this same nightmare of having a few moments of not playing the game, we’re sorry to note that there are currently no announced plans to bring this mobile version of the game to the West, as the mobile version was developed by Tencent over in China. Still, you can watch below and hope. Or just accept that you’ll have to sometimes leave the house and not be able to play. One or the other.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 157: Lunar Valentines

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin overdose on candy hearts as they look at Valentine’s Day in MMOs — as well as the Lunar New Year. From expansion alpha testing to a new MMO launch to unifying a game globally, it’s a pretty upbeat and positive week of podcast chatter.

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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Ubisoft investor presentation highlights the profit benefits of ‘games as a service’

Have you wondered why it is Ubisoft is so dedicated to putting out a continual string of games as a service, even its ostensibly single-player offerings? Actually, as an MMO fan you probably haven’t wondered, but the latest investor presentation for the company makes it absolutely clear why this model is favored by the company. Specifically? Because it means money. So much money, for such a long time.

Ubisoft has found that games like The Division and The Crew wind up generating much more revenue over the long term, meaning that a yearly game released as a service makes a lot more money over the long term than simple single-player launches. Of course, long-time MMO fans are probably familiar with this principle, and it doesn’t exactly address the question of whether or not it produces better games. But if you needed confirmation, here it is.

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EVE Online brings the Guardian’s Gala and balance changes for its February patch

It’s not exactly love that’s in the air in EVE Online for the Guardian’s Gala. For one thing, there’s not really any air out in deep space; for another, it’s more about celebrating treasured business relationships and people who haven’t stabbed you in the back much. It’s also one of the centerpieces of the game’s February release, patching in several new paint jobs for ships as a reward. Check out the Agency menu to find out what events are available to celebrate the season in that uniquely EVE fashion.

The patch also brings a variety of quality-of-life improvement for Upwell structure owners and players piloting assault frigates, so even if you’ve got no time for love you should have something new to enjoy. There are even new moon mining mechanics to improve that particular style of gameplay. Whatever you choose to engage with for the rest of the month, you can really feel the love.

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Sea of Thieves may have microtransactions, but it will never have lootboxes

In Sea of Thieves, your character is a pirate roaming the high seas for boxes of treasure, but in real life you won’t need to exchange your own treasures for random in-game treasures. Design director Mike Chapman has stated that microtransactions are possible for the game post-launch, but loot boxes are definitely out of the question for future development. So you might drop a little coin to get a nice skin or cosmetic gear or whatever, but you won’t be looking at lootboxes no matter what.

Of course, if your computer can’t handle the game you probably won’t be looking at anything whatsoever, so you might want to check out the game’s system requirements before eagerly declaring that it’s a sailor’s life for you. The bare minimum specs still require a Windows 10 machine, so if you’ve stuck by an older operating system we’re sorry to inform you that Windows ME is no longer going to keep you in the game. Check out the chart to see if you need to upgrade, and if you refer to buying new hardware as “trimming up the mainsail” in the checkout line, the employees at the store likely won’t care.

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World of Warcraft is selling a divine puppy for the Year of the Dog

Such dog, very mount, many lunar new year, WoW. Yes, World of Warcraft has introduced a new mount for the Year of the Dog, and it is… a dog. It’s just a big old dog. Why is Shu-zen, the Divine Sentinel available for purchase? Because you can get him over in the Chinese version of the game for buying a large amount of game time, and the rest of us want to be able to fly around on a good dog too.

Obviously, the dog in question can fly, because of course it can. It also features all of the usual elements of a cash shop mount, unlocking on all of your characters for one purchase price of $25. If this addresses a pressing need in your life to have a flying dog in the game, it’s available now; if you can’t understand why someone would drop $25 on a flying dog mount, feel free to mutter “heck” and move on.

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Black Death patch 0.24 lets you drag and drop to your heart’s content

Yes, it’s true, the latest patch for Black Death adds lots of drag-and-drop functionality. Want to drag something onto your new quick slot bars? You can do that. Want to drag and drop items to buy and sell? You can do that, too. Of course, it also features a lot of other upgrades to the game; you can drag your hopefully not beplagued body around with the help of the game’s new movement system, which makes it easier now to sprint all about and move organically.

The game has also updated its combat mechanics for various weapons; things like daggers should now attack faster than large weapons like greatswords, with animations and combat stances shifting accordingly. There’s also a number of new more intelligent AI systems in place, with more vicious enemy AI waiting in more dangerous regions, and there are new procedurally generated rats spawning and scurrying about all over. Read through the long list of patch notes to get a full sense of the scope of the changes contained therein.

Source: Steam page

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Final Fantasy XIV shows off the Forbidden Land of Eureka

Players of Final Fantasy XIV are still knee-deep in exploring the game’s most recent patch, but you won’t have to wait until the next major patch for some new content. The most recent live letter from producer Naoki Yoshida covered a large number of player questions, but it also showed off the upcoming exploration content of the Forbidden Land of Eureka. It’s a whole zone to explore, but it’s also a very different sort of zone compared to other regions of the game.

Players will be tasked with exploring the region and gathering powerful items to enhance gear and unlock new gear, including appearances based on familiar items from veterans of other titles. Doing so will also allow you to improve your elemental properties based on the new Magia Melder system, which lets players steadily improve elemental affinities whilst bringing different properties into battle. Check out the full letter translation for more details, or take a look at the archived video from the livestream just below.

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Project Gorgon explains the upcoming changeover to Steam and beta development

It’s an exciting time for Project Gorgon as the game heads toward Steam! It’s not happening right now, of course; the game will be submitted for final approval in a week, and it’ll probably be live on the service in two. But when that happens, the whole way you play the game is going to change, and thus the developers have outlined the whole process from now until the game is live on Steam.

Players who have pre-purchased the game will received their Steam keys in the mail after it’s live, while those who have just taken advantage of the game’s free testing will have to actually buy it. Players will still be able to log in with the alpha client for about two weeks after the Steam launch, with the option to link your previous test account to the game so that you can unlock any rewards and the like. You also won’t suffer any data wipes, so don’t be worried about that.

Curious about how the game plays? Well, we’re covering it right now in Choose My Adventure. Hint, hint.

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The MOP Up: Black Desert’s Ninja arrives in Southeast Asia (February 11, 2018)

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!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Vendetta OnlineWorlds AdriftMonster Hunter WorldHellionRustSkyforgeBlade and SoulPortal KnightsFinal Fantasy XIDreadnoughtPUBGHyper UniverseCrossoutBlack DesertDark and LightH1Z1DauntlessRobocraftFortniteWar of RightsCosmos InvictusUltima Online, and Vendetta Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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City of Titans introduces its costume designer while teasing character creation

We haven’t seen the character creation for City of Titans just yet, but you know that’s going to be an important part of the game. You can’t have a proper superhero title without proper superhero costumes, after all. The latest piece on the official site is interviewing one of the development team’s costume designers and talking about the development behind the scenes, but both it and the video accompanying it promise that the actual creation preview is coming very soon.

Kayla “Z06” Bianchi talks mostly about her own gaming history and preferences in the little interview, but you can also see some of her work for both the concept art and interior level design. If all you’re interested in is the prospect of seeing how you can make your character, check out the video just below. (It’s a teaser, not a full trailer, so be fairly warned.)

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