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SuperData February 2017: World of Tanks perks up, Hearthstone is sinking

Happy SuperData day! That's the monthly holiday when we pore over the market analysis report, freak out over something doing well, freak over something doing poorly, and then fight over definitions, the evils of trusting paywalled science, and why more MMOs aren't on the current list. This round, there's lots to bicker over -- but also some bits to celebrate in the February 2017 charts of top-grossing game titles.

On PC, while League of Legends, Crossfire, and Dungeon Fighter Online continue their top-three dominance, the rest of the roster has seen a bit of a shake-up, as Overwatch has fallen from #4 to #6 and World of Tanks has pushed past it as well as World of Warcraft. WoW's status is a tad confusing; last month, SuperData began reporting Western and Eastern WoW separately, even though it does not appear to be doing that for any other game. This month, it's omitted the West/East tags but still has two entries for WoW, so we're left to assume to top one is still West as it was last month.

On console, ARK: Survival Evolved has fallen from its #4 spot to #6. As always, we point out that ARK: Survival Evolved has yet to formally launch, and it's absurd that it's on this list at all, but fools and their money and all that.

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League of Legends' Ghostcrawler on diversity vs. politics in gaming

Don't think politics belong in games? Maybe your problem is a mangled understanding of what politics is. That's the gist of a blog piece out yesterday from Greg "Ghostcrawler" Street, whom many MMO players will likely remember from his long stint as World of Warcraft's lead systems designer, though now he's lead game designer over on League of Legends next door.

Street was responding to a gamer worried about his belief that "Liberal politics is forcing [its] way into games." "I just want to enjoy a fun experience, or take part of someone’s artistic vision," the player wrote, seeking validation for his worries.

Street agreed that he would be annoyed if League of Legends "tried to sneak in lessons on how taxes should be structured, or opinions on health care, or state versus federal power" as that would be too political. But the mere presence or acknowledgement of diversity? That's not politics, he argues -- that's reality.

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League of Legends on LGBT representation and pro team mistreatment allegations

League of Legends will probably introduce non-straight characters eventually, a new interview on Polygon with Riot Games' Greg Street suggests. The publication asked Street questions about LGBT representation during GDC 2017, noting that Blizzard's Overwatch (particularly Tracer) has proven that it's a hot topic and something millions of gamers want to see. League of Legends currently has over 130 characters to Overwatch's 24, but Street says that Riot has to be careful what it adds lest one region or another blockade the game.

"We owe it to the players and, I think, to the world to do something like that. [...] What I don't want to do is be like, 'Okay, team, next character, whatever you do, has to be lesbian.' I don’t think we’ll end up with something good there.... From the beginning, it has to be the character's identity. I’m sure we'll do it at some point. I don’t know which character or when it will happen."

If and when it does happen, Street says, it'll likely be in "storytelling outside the game."

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Albion Online AMA on pay-to-win, free trials, and global servers

Sandbox Interactive ran an AMA for its in-development indie MMO Albion Online on Reddit last night, covering everything from the game's business model to how players in far-flung locations fare on its global server. Here are the highlights!

  • There are no plans for a freebie weekend or trial as a result of fairness to founders and botting issues -- as well as performance issues. "The game is extremely well populated as it is, and we'd be worried that free trial could slow down the servers."
  • Likewise, SI will be sticking to its original plan to reward founders with early access, though players have expressed concern over the potential for an ArcheAge-like land-grab.
  • In response to players bringing up pay-to-win and the game's $30 buy-in, SI explained the game's business model is based on EVE Online's and that while players can essentially gain an advantage by buying and then exchanging real-money currency for in-game currency, it won't afford players a guaranteed win. As for the currency exchange, it should be possible to play the market.

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The MOP Up: Wakfu hikes up a mountain (March 12, 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 Heroes and Generals, Faeria, City of HeroesLineage MArmored WarfareWakfuArk ParkDauntlessDark Age of CamelotOverwatchBlade and Soul: Table ArenaLeague of LegendsStrikers Edge, and Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!

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PAX East 2017: Dauntless reveals new trailer, plans 2017 launch

Keeping an ear to the ground for Dauntless news? You should be: It's a co-op ARPG from Phoenix Labs, an indie studio made up of former BioWare, Riot Games, and Blizzard devs. It's expected to launch on PC later this year as a free-to-play (and apparently online) title that focuses on basic cosmetics and boosts to fund development costs.

It's not massive, mind you, but it's worth a look for multiplayer fans. The new PAX trailer is below.

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Riot Games wins $10M in a lawsuit against League of Legend cheating software

At least today, cheating does not prosper, particularly for those who attempted to circumvent the rules in League of Legends.

A court awarded $10 million to Riot Games following a successful lawsuit against LeagueSharp. LeagueSharp was the maker of a service that allowed players to hack the game, artificially accelerate their character's progress, and see forbidden information.

PC Gamer reports that Riot filed the lawsuit last summer, saying that players were using the service to level and sell characters for profit. The suit concluded in January, and LeagueSharp has been given until February 28th to close it all down. The ruling not only awards $10M to Riot but also bans the software and turns over LeagueSharp's websites and domains to Riot.

Following the ruling, LeagueSharp warned players that using its software was a good way to get themselves banned from the MOBA.

Source: Law 360, PC Gamer

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ARK: Survival Evolved rockets up Superdata's January revenue rankings

The latest Superdata Research report is in for the month of January 2017, and in addition to an increase of 9.8% of digital game sales, several online titles are sitting comfortably in the top 10.

One notable entry is the rise of ARK: Survival Evolved in the console chart to the number four spot. "Launching on PS4 in December, the game is an unusual standout on the AAA-publisher-heavy top 10 console list," the report noted. "In January, the game continued a rise as it becomes popular on the latest generation of platforms and took the number 4 slot, ahead of titles like Battlefield 1."

League of Legends, Dungeon Fighter Online, Overwatch, Lineage, Destiny, and Pokemon Go all made expected showings. World of Warcraft is also on the list, but twice, as the game's sales are being split between "west" and "east." That seem a little unfair to anyone else? You can check out the full chart after the break.

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Hi-Rez addresses the Paladins pay-to-win uproar

The Paladins community has been flipping tables this week over the game's new Legendary cards and Essence currency, which players argue are blatantly pay-to-win. Hi Rez's latest patch essentially nerfed gold grinding -- and therefore, the players' ability to save gold to simply buy what they want -- by handing out the new Essence instead of gold to players who receive duplicates in their reward chests. If you're sitting on a huge stock of gold and cards, you're fine, but newbies are finding that gold is almost worthless, RNG can wreck them, and Essence accrues too slowly to be of use. And as MMO players all know, when you can't compete without whipping out your credit card, the words "pay-to-win" aren't far behind.

Good news, though: Hi-Rez said late last night that it's working on the issue and will have some sort of update today, so you're not going to have to make good on those threats to go play Overwatch after all:

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Perfect Ten: Terminology the MMORPG genre needs

MMOs, like any other hobby, have their own terminology. We have the term "newb" for new players, "noob" for players who aren't actually new but still make new player mistakes, and "n00b" if you want to sound like an insufferable weirdo from the aughts. But we also have a lot of terminology that just plain doesn't work any more for a variety of reasons, like "pay-to-win" and "hardcore" and so forth.

That does not, however, mean that we do not need our specialized terminology. Indeed, while some of our older vocabulary is not up to the tasks of modern games, I think a great deal could be accomplished just by adding some new words to our lexicon. So let's create some brand-new terms (or codify existing ones) so that we can, in fact, have shared words to describe scenarios that we encounter on a regular basis.

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League of Legends data feature in New York state lawsuit against Time Warner

Remember back in the day when you'd complain about your lag and connectivity issues in an online game, only to have the studio tell you the equivalent of, "It's ur ISP"? Well, maybe it is. And maybe it's intentional.

That's the contention of the state of New York, which earlier this month filed a lawsuit against the Time Warner conglom alleging a number of complaints that add up to fraud: that the corporation knowingly makes "false representations about speed and reliability" such that its internet network is overloaded, delivering a fraction of what consumers are promised and paying for; that the corporation rents deficient modems; that the corporation "rigged test results"; that Time Warner engineers knew and reported all this and the execs did nothing; and that the corporation took advantage of technical complexity and the public's limited ISP choices to get away with it all.

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The MOP Up: Free tanks for all! (February 12, 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 H1Z1, Gloria Victis, Diablo 3Path of ExileRiftStar RaidersGiganticLineage MLeague of LegendsFish Island 2Wild Buster OnlineHeroes of Incredible TalesWorld of TanksGod Eater OnlineClosers Online, and Star Citizen, all waiting for you after the break!

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