There's certainly a lot to digest in the most recent Project Genom newsletter, although perhaps the most important item is buried all of the way at the end. The team said that despite getting asked about it a lot, it simply does not know when the next big update will be pushed out to the game. Perhaps in the first half of this year, but no promises.
Even so, it sounds as if the game is making terrific progress as of late. The team listed several accomplishments, including multi-racial female heads, more polish to the world around the main camp, a futuristic tow truck that you can drive, NPC animations and the final integration of the male model. The team is asking the community about whether or not NPCs should follow a day/night cycle in their activities, even if it interferes with quest pickup and delivery.
The end of 2016 was a messy and unfortunate time for the folks at Project Genom, who have only now emerged to start up discussion on the scifi sandbox once more.
"If someone missed or doesn't know what caused the current lack of updates, we remind you: legal issues and lag," the team posted in its first weekly report. "Legal issues arose immediately, affected the software part, and cause a short and bright scandal, which we quickly settled. But it has strongly influenced our decision to rework the code."
By rewriting much of the code from scratch, the team has been able to address many of the issues that popped up during early access. Speaking of which, apparently sales from early access have allowed a reworking of the code and game world visuals. Other projects that the team reported on include improving character anatomy (and underwear!), new armor sets, and revamped dungeons.
Give a look at the new and improved Project Genom after the break and let us know what you think in the comments!
Sci-fi MMO Project Genom's latest dev post says studio NeuronHaze is "totally wrapped up" in development and apologizes for its lack of a timeline, but it still has a few teasers for onlookers. For starters, the team has promised a pass on NPCs to diversify background characters in gender and ethnicity as well as in cybernetic and mutant appearances. The studio is also working on "the expansion and improvement of the game world," updates to "game plot and its quests," and equipment balancing.
"Some extra attention should be given to one question often asked by the concerned players: how will the so-called 'Google tax' impact the prices," the team concludes. "The answer is in no way. We won’t change the game price for players from Russia or any other country due to the additional 18% tax."
Genom, you'll recall, bubbled to the top of the news last fall when a scuffle between NeuronHaze and the game's lead programmer caused the game to vacate Steam over blackmail and infringement allegations not long after its Steam early access launch. The game returned, both parties apparently having resolved their feud, less than a week later.
Do you have any money left after all of that holiday shopping, travel, and dining out? Steam would very much like to have what remains, if you please, and is willing to trade you some discounted games in return.
Yes, the annual Steam Winter Sale is up and running, which means all sorts of deals for the frugal MMORPG player. We've compiled a huge list of all of the deals -- including discounts of up to 90% off! -- to help you navigate the holiday promotion. The sale ends on January 2nd. Hope it helps!
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, Warface brought a little holiday cheer into its relentless warzones. We’ve got that plus stories and videos from Overwatch, Elder Scrolls Online, Minecraft, and more, all waiting for you after the break!
I never wanted to be writing about betas for a living, you know. I wanted to be a novelist (once I realized that "combination scientist/race-car driver" was not an actual job). But sometimes these weeks provide you with some interesting contrasts. On the one hand, the biggest news this week was that ARK: Survival Evolved is landing on PlayStation 4 on December 6th as its testing continues before its full "launch." Everything else was just a series of dates... but what dates they were.
And it only seems fair to note some non-date news, while we're here:
Whew! Those were some dates. But we've got more stuff in testing in the list down below, so by all means, check that stuff out. And let us know if something jumped categories without us noticing, if you would be so kind.
"We are pleased to announce that Project Genom is now once again available on Steam." That's the news from a new press release this morning from studio NeuronHaze, and it's true indeed.
The early access sci-fi MMO vanished from Steam last week in the midst of a public scuffle between NeuronHaze and Artem "CodeSpartan" Stekhnovskii, the game's lead programmer. Stekhnovskii, alleging that NeuronHaze had stiffed him his agreed-upon salary, lodged a DMCA complaint with Valve that saw the game pulled temporarily, arguing that by law, the game's code belonged to him. That set the clock running for NeuronHaze to lodge a counter-claim, which is apparently exactly what it did, allowing Valve to return the game to service and no doubt breathe a sligh of relief that now it's on Stekhnovskii to press his claim in a real court.
It is not clear whether and how Stekhnovskii has been or will be compensated, though last week NeuronHaze insisted the game's copyrights were secure and that it had already hired three programmers to replace Stekhnovskii, further boasting that it planned to sue Stekhnovskii himself for extortion. We've reached out to Stekhnovskii for clarification on the behind-the-scenes and his legal plans and will update when we know more.
Sometimes, stories are just so weird that you can't help but find them fascinating. Take the unexpected removal of Project Genom from the Steam store. The former lead programmer claimed that he was given no contracts and functionally scammed out of assets and work; the studio claimed he never signed a contract and turned out substandard work. It's one of those weird stories of conflicting hearsay that you know you'll never really know the truth about, even with the promise that the game will be getting back on Steam soon.
It's a quiet holiday week for most of us, but that doesn't mean other beta news didn't happen. For example:
- Wild Terra has opened up its testing to everyone for a few days, just so that people can see what the game is all about and give its test server a whirl. This coincides with some patches and improvements, as you like.
- Darkfall: New Dawn is also open to everyone for its stress test through the holidays. Whether or not that's a test of stress on the servers or a test of your stress is left as an exercise for the reader.
- The pre-alpha for Edengrad has started, which means that it's still light on some important features but also has the core of the game in place. At least, in theory. You'll have to test it to know if that's successful.
- Looking forward to Conan Exiles? It's arriving in early access on January 31st, 2017. That's a little ways away, but it's not that far.
- Why not try out some Master x Master Titan Ruins this weekend? The game's testing exactly that, so you can see how well it works out.
- Last but not least, Sea of Thieves is inviting people to become pirate insiders, which might be appealing if you have Windows 10 or an Xbox One. The rest of you can sit and stare in jealousy, or just wait for all of the information for insiders to be leaked. I mean, pirates.
While you're enjoying a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers, why not take the time to peruse our list of games just below? Lots of games are in testing, after all. Of course, some of them may have advanced to another testing stage without us noticing, so feel free to let us know about that down in the comments.
If you've been following the news swirling around Project Genom, you know that the game got removed from Steam recently over a storm of copyright infringement and blackmail allegations. Crazy drama, in other words. The team at developer NeuronHaze, however, is letting fans know that the game will be back on Steam soon, adding that all conflicts related to the game have been resolved in an entirely legal manner and there should be no further impediments.
What exactly that legal manner looks like is entirely unclear, as the exact resolution isn't not discussed, but it's probably enough to know that the title is coming back. We hope that everything was resolved to everyone's satisfaction and that no one ultimately got burned by the final settlements. No timetable is given for the game's return to Steam, but it may be slightly delayed by the fact that it's a holiday week in the US, so we'll have to wait and see.
Project Genom has been pulled from Steam, but the why of it is still a bit hazy.
Russian Developer NeuronHaze has laid the blame at the feet of Artem "CodeSpartan" Stekhnovskii, the game's lead programmer. The studio claims that Stekhnovskii drew a salary, submitted inferior work, refused to sign a contract, and is now blackmailing the studio for more money (10% of sales) with a claim that the game is his sole intellectual property.
"The essence of blackmail is to ensure that the code is his intellectual property, even though he was paid money for it, and at the moment this code was replaced by the code of other programmers," NeuronHaze alleged in its press release this morning.
The Belgium-based Stekhnovskii, however, told us via email that it was true he hadn't signed a contract, accusing the studio of stupidity on that front. But he says the 10% revenue share was agreed upon from the start, and that indeed he'd even been paid 10% of a grant from Epic Games.
You can't keep a batty holiday down! More Halloween events are popping up in MMOs as we grow closer to the 31st, starting with the debut of Mogloween in the beta-state AdventureQuest 3D. The game now has a four-wing dungeon that can be farmed for pieces to several costume sets.
Tree of Savior initiated a demon hunt that is for high-level characters and will run through November 22nd, just in case you didn't want to let Halloween go too soon. And Project Genom sounds as though it has something brewing as well: "For those of you who celebrate Halloween, we prepared a surprise. By October, 31st the update will include some game bonuses and gifts, which you will find on the open spaces of the Ark."
Stay up to date on all of the Halloween events and contests going on in MMOs with our huge 2016 Halloween guide!
This week in MMO beta news, RIFT announced a delay for the beta of its upcoming Starfall Prophecy expansion, first to next week, now indefinitely. "It's not ready to welcome hordes of players yet," the studio's Linda "Brasse" Carlson told our commenters yesterday. "We want the focus and feedback to be on content and features, not tech issues, and I think our fellow players prefer to wait for a good experience." Trion has promised to announce a new date when it has one.
Here's what else happened on the testing front this week:
- Revelation Online announced its first round of closed beta will begin October 25th. Don't have a key? Make sure you enter one of our giveaways!
- Albion Online has delayed its launch and extended its ongoing beta deep into 2017, frustrating fans.
- Star Citizen brought its A game to CitizenCon -- its alpha game, that is. (Squadron 42 can't say the same, as it's now been delayed into 2017.)
- Cloud Pirates, the Allods Online-inspired dirigible MOBA, enters its closed beta test next week.
- Chronicles of Elyria explained how players will earn spendable points for, among other things, helping to test the game.
- Lineage II: Revolution -- that's a mobile MMO -- abruptly canceled its beta test. We assume the game's launch won't be November as planned.
- Project Genom landed on Steam early access.
And as always, here's our list of games in various test phases around the MMO universe. Is there something missing or something that slipped live without our noticing? Let us know!
Open-world sci-fi MMO Project Genom has now joined the Steam early access club, as the game went live on the platform yesterday. In preparation for the early access launch, the team performed a full character wipe on October 9th.
"The game is in the alpha stage at the moment," NeuronHaze cautioned, "so we strongly discourage those who expect a complete and finished project from buying it. However, even now Project Genom is able to offer dozens of hours of gameplay, three chapters of the storyline, and over a hundred side quests."
As part of its early access celebration, Project Genom has gone on sale, allowing players to pick the game up for $16 instead of $20 through October 18th. Check out the trailer below!