riot games

One of the most important game studios in the world and purveyor of League of Legends.

Gigantic devs liken their graphics to candy and plastic toys

If you love to hate on brightly colored cartoony-stylized graphics of games like World of Warcraft, League of Legends, and even Wildstar, know that the tide’s against you.

So goes the argument of Motiga’s Vinod Rams, who compares MOBA Gigantic’s graphics to candy during a recent Gamasutra livestream. The idea, he says, was to combine styles popularized by Disney and Hayao Miyazaki with bright plastic toy looks rather than photorealism — and consequently, that Gigantic is in the Nintendo ARMS/Splatoon family of games because it looks like candy.

“You wanna reach in and grab one of these guys and just pop ’em in your mouth. Like… candy is completely engineered to entice you to pick it up. It’s an unnatural color sometimes. Why would I want to eat something that’s bright green?”

But of course, we do because it catches our attention.

The design conversation begins around 15 minutes into the video and resumes again around 35 minutes if you’d like to hear the whole thing.

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Riot Games files a lawsuit against the developer of an alleged League of Legends clone

Once upon a time, a studio named Riot Games made a game called League of Legends, which was essentially a Warcraft III map given some slight adjustments and a new coat of paint to avoid copyright infringement. Now, that studio is very successful because LoL made roughly all of the money ever printed, and it’s suing another developer on the basis of that studio skipping the “slight adjustments and new coat of paint” phase of the plan.

You can check out a trailer for Mobile Legends below, and… well, that does look similar, but it’s really up to the courts whether it’s similar enough to shut down the operation. It’s developed by Shanghai Moontown Technology and has already been removed and re-submitted from Google Play under a slightly different name. Time will tell if the lawsuit moves forward or not.

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The MOP Up: SMITE sees a Divine Light (July 9, 2017)

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 Pokemon GoSplatoon 2Blade and SoulDragon’s Dogma OnlineClosers OnlineOverwatchVindictusMu OnlineWurm OnlineAstellia OnlineDofus PetsHellionSMITEStarCraftAionFinal Fantasy XI, and League of Legends, all waiting for you after the break!

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Chinese government attacks on Honour of Kings MOBA leads to child locks

You may not have heard of Honour of Kings, but that’s probably because you don’t live in China. It’s one of the most popular mobile MOBAs in the country, racking up an astounding 200 million players (50M of whom are monthly active users) since its launch in 2015. And it’s that popularity that has the government worried, with a state-owned newspaper calling the game a “drug” and “poison.”

In particular, the Chinese government is concerned that kids might be getting addicted to Tencent’s MOBA, hinting that regulations on the title should be imposed. Perhaps to get out in front of government interference, Tencent went ahead and slapped the game with a child lock. Now, kids under the age of 12 can play only an hour a day, and youth ages 12 through 18 are limited to two hours daily.

Tencent’s stock took a sizable hit from the government’s statements, falling 4% initially. The company also runs League of Legends in China and made $3.9 billion from gaming in Q1 2017. Honour of Kings will be coming to the west in September of this year.

Source: BBC, SCMP. Thanks CistaCista and Mysecretid!

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League of Legends increases prices in the UK over Brexit currency woes

Your pounds won’t carry you quite as far in League of Legends at this point. The game’s prices for Riot Points (i.e., the currency you use to purchase everything else in the game) will be increasing on July 25th by roughly 20%. Developer Riot Games has stated that this is in direct response to the falling value of the pound and its consistently lower value following the unexpected Brexit vote a year ago; while altering prices was hardly an original goal, after a year went by and the pound remained low, it was time to make the change.

The silver lining (of sorts) is that players should still receive the same points from a single purchase as they would if they converted from dollars to pounds and then purchased a point bundle, so it’s more about parity than just hurting gamers in the UK. Any points bought before July 25th will be unaffected, so if you want to stock up, now may be the time to do so.

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GTAV OpenIV modding continues, but Rockstar’s barred the Liberty City module

The Rockstar modding fiasco still isn’t over.

Back in June, Rockstar and TakeTwo began sending takedowns to the operators of modding tools of varying skeeviness, including OpenIV, a decade-old foundational toolset used by countless modders for the Grand Theft Auto series. The legal threats to a community staple, demands that cheater-centric mods donate their profits to charity, and dubious claim that the move was intended to protect Grand Theft Auto Online — which doesn’t allow mods to begin with — caused players to riot across the forums, Reddit, and Steam, where reviewbombing caused GTAV’s rating to plummet, in spite of Rockstar’s relatively noncommittal statement that the companies “generally will not take legal action against third-party projects involving Rockstar’s PC games that are single-player, non-commercial, and respect the intellectual property (IP) rights of third parties.”

The good news is that this means OpenIV is back in development. The bad news is that one of its biggest projects is toast.

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Ship of Heroes gets down and dirty with its street sweeper powerset

Just because your city street happens to be located in a massive starship hurtling through the cosmos doesn’t mean that it lacks for cleaning every once in a while. Enter the street sweeper powerset, with a full range of riot control abilities that allow superheroes to keep the peace (in as forcibly a way as possible).

The Ship of Heroes team revealed its second powerset this year so far: “The animations and FX used with the twelve separate powers in the street sweeper powerset are provisional given that the game is still in the pre-alpha stage of development […] In Ambassador’s case some of his powers are inherent to him, but he is also equipped with a short range energy weapon that allows him to accurately channel his powers, and provides him with hi-tech offensive capabilities based on the weapons carried by soldiers of the future.”

Give it a watch below and see if plasma blast and freeze shot wins you over to this approach to superhero crowd control!

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The MOP Up: Warframe’s Chains of Harrow (July 2, 2017)

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 Dota 2Destiny 2Battleground EuropeArcheAgeOrbus VRFinal Fantasy XIHearthstoneTERATibiaElsword OnlineOsiris New DawnLeague of LegendsAstroneerSMITEWarframeThe Black Death, and Gloria Victis, all waiting for you after the break!

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The MOP Up: Destiny 2’s class roster (June 18, 2017)

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 Twilight SpiritsThe Black DeathConqueror’s BladeWorlds AdriftRagnarok JourneyTERA, WakfuARKGuild Wars 2, and Destiny 2, all waiting for you after the break!

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Battle Bards Episode 100: Centennial spectacular!

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, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 100: Centennial spectacular (or download it) now:

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Massively Overthinking: MMO monetization run amok

Over the last couple of weeks, the monetization of unreleased games has become a pervasive and uncomfortable theme for the MMO genre. Just in brief:

The frustrating bit is I could go on, and this is just for games that aren’t even formally launched yet. So for this week’s Massively Overthinking, I want to take the temperature of alarm regarding these types of business models for unlaunched games. Is this all par for the course, in line with what we expect from the new MMO market? Have they gone too far yet? If not, what’s too far? How do we feel about this type of pre-launch monetization run amok?

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Old School RuneScape players threaten to riot over LGBTQ pride event

Old School RuneScape’s playerbase isn’t showing its best side this week.

Motherboard reports that following the announcement by a Jagex employee that a small gay pride quest will be implemented in the game, Old School RuneScape players have flocked to Twitter and Reddit to complain (the latter with over 6000 upvotes, though the original poster has since updated to note he no longer wants the event removed because of the inevitable “media backlash” that could tank the game’s rep). Objections range from reasonable (the event wasn’t put to a community poll in accordance with the server’s guidelines) to tedious (no politics in my games! think of the children!) to overt homophobic screeds that I won’t reproduce or dignify here. Just imagine really bad stuff, then crank it up to 11.

In fact, some players are plotting to riot (their word) in-game while the event is live, not against the LGBTQ community (they say) but “in support of keeping this game free of any agenda.”

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League of Legends NA e-sports league reorg means $75K pro player salaries, revenue sharing, and player association

Riot Games is in the midst of a major reorganization of its League of Legends e-sports organization, at least in North America. The company is replacing relegation with a different system for punishing underperforming teams and making selected teams permanent partners in the league – at least if they can afford the $10M buy-in. The takeaway is that pro player salaries within the LCS will start at a staggering $75,000, with a proper revenue-sharing scheme for both players and teams to share the wealth. Perhaps even more importantly, Riot is helping players set up a Players’ Association this year, initially funded by Riot but eventually to be taken over by the pros.

“Players will vote on independent reps to be their voice in league decisions and the Association will provide easy access to core resources like skills training, financial planning and legal help. We’ll be funding the launch of the Association, however the representation that the players vote on and elect is responsible solely to them. The goal is that this Association is an independent voice of the players to work with Riot and the teams. It’s our hope and expectation that as the association grows, the players assume full financial control over the organization.”

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