Back in February, Valve took action on MMO studio Insel Games, which published hybrid MMOs Wild Buster and Guardians of Ember, booting the company off Steam having determined that the company had tampered with reviews by coercing employees to buy and positively review the game. While Insel Games denied any wrongdoing, its games have been accessible to new players only through its official website for the past few months. For Wild Buster in particular, updates had been scant.
Now, an update has finally arrived. Insel Games told the Steam community that Wild Buster had “failed to attract enough players to provide a sustainable service and a big enough community to enjoy the game.” Rather than shut down the game, however, Insel Games says it’s transferring publishing rights to IDC Games, which will relaunch the game as Champions of Titan with new accounts and a server wipe. Not coincidentally, this will also allow the companies to get the game back on Steam.
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.]
Have you heard about Wild Buster: Heroes of Titan? You might have if you grabbed a copy from MOP’s giveaway! Massively OP’s MJ hadn’t until recently, but now that she knows about it, she has to jump in and check it out. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. as OPTV‘s infamous Stream Team brings you a first look at…
What: Wild Buster
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 28th, 2017
If you watched “gritty sci-fi hack’n’slash MMOARPG” Wild Buster launch last week and considered giving it a go but hadn’t quite pulled the trigger, then today’s giveaway is for you. InselGames has granted MOP a bundle of trial keys to pass out to our readers just in time for the holidays!
How do the trial keys work? They unlock a version of the game with four heroes and four rows of inventory space but full access to the whole game. While you can technically complete the whole game with any of those heroes, players who really like what they see can also just upgrade the game and purchase DLC through Steam.
Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!
Hack-and-slash Wild Buster is here to kick butt and chew gum — and it’s all out of gum.
InselGames’ MMOARPG entered Steam early access today, allowing players in after a $20 entrance fee. To draw attention to this game, two action stars have been hauled out of retirement for another tour of duty. Both Serious Sam and Duke Nukem are among the roster of playable characters for launch.
Wild Buster touts “full-fledged MMO systems” such as guilds, an auction house, crafting, fishing, and raids. So now you can live out your greatest fantasy of seeing Duke Nukem fish and drink beer. Probably more of the latter.
Take a look at the launch trailer after the break and see if this game might be right for you!
The original announcement that Wild Buster is going to feature Serious Sam (star of the series of games known as Serious Sam) as a playable character was already kind of weird. The sort of announcement where you would entirely believe that it was an April Fools’ Day joke except that it was announced in October. But no, it was totally serious. You can even see the guy in action down below, thereby confirming beyond a shadow of a doubt that the developers are entirely serious.
As is Sam himself, presumably. Unless his last name is Sam and his first name is Serious, but let’s not worry about that too much.
The developers are planning to unveil a series of hero spotlights ahead of the game’s December 14th early access launch, starting with Sam and his own gunplay. You can check out both a highlight reel and uncut footage of Sam shooting his way through a dungeon down below, along with a few screenshots showing him off. It seems like the sort of thing he’s well-suited for, really, especially the shooting bits. (Which is… every bit.)
If you’ve had an eye on Wild Buster and wondered how the “gritty sci-fi hack’n’slash MMOARPG” is faring in the lead up to its November early access launch on Steam, then today’s giveaway is for you. InselGames has granted us 1000 keys for this weekend’s test, which aims to put the brand-new US servers through their paces.
Click the Mo button below (and prove you’re not a robot) to grab one of these keys!
This week in MMO crowdfunding, I hope you’ve got your special black Star Citizen VIP card because CIG has invited concierge-level backers — sorry, space whales — to what it’s calling the first of many “pop-up parties” this coming Tuesday near its LA, Austin, Frankfurt, Wilmslow, and Derby bases. The studio’s also issued its monthly report, which coincides with the latest Around the Verse, during which it was revealed that the long-delayed alpha 3.0 is finally in the hands of the Evocati player testers. (Thanks Josh!)
Meanwhile, Valiance Online confirmed sidekicking, Crowfall discussed its soft launch checklist, Dual Universe hit pre-alpha, The Exiled extended its free-to-play trial, and Shroud of the Avatar delayed its launch.
Stay tuned for more from FrontierExpo as MOP’s MJ is there checking out Elite Dangerous!
Read on for more on what’s up with MMO crowdfunding over the last week and the regular roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
Is this a real game? Did this happen again? Wild Buster added Serious Sam alongside Duke Nukem. We must acquiesce, neither is in the first alpha test; this is a small test, runs through October 9th with a little map, little squads, lots of guns, the lore is odd. If you want to play it, there’s an IndieGoGo that’s on. Now that’s done.
Readers! We have more news. We put it in a list, read it now, you can’t resist.
Now that we’ve gotten Queen references out of our system and shared some other news with you, we feel comfortable showing you a list of games in testing. If something in here has soft-launched without us noticing, please, let us know down in the comments. Things get missed sometimes, you know how it is.
Wild Buster is quickly becoming the home of old action FPS mascots with nothing else to do, like a version of The Expendables that’s somehow more self-indulgent. The game already has Duke Nukem on its lineup, but now Serious Sam has joined the lineup, allowing players to… well, shoot things. A lot. This is a character known for shooting things, not for his rich and fulfilling inner life.
It’s entirely possible that he has one, obviously, but players weren’t ever exposed to it. Unless we missed Serious Sam: An Examination of Proust somewhere along the way.
Much like the Duke, Sam is being added to the game at a later date, so don’t expect to jump into the game and immediately see him waiting for you. But he’s going to be there, if you really have a deep attachment to the character and just want to shoot something with him, anything. It is a game all about shooting, after all.
We’ve been covering Wild Buster with a mixture of interest and amusement, as this patchwork MMO is a little too weird and inexplicable to ignore. Now you can play it, too, assuming you’ve chipped in some cash to get the game made.
Backers of the game can jump into Wild Buster Starring Duke Nuke ‘Em For Real thanks to a limited-run alpha test. The test started yesterday and will run through October 9th, giving players a taste of this isometric action MMO.
The press release outlines what activities are available for players during this alpha: “For a whole week, they’ll get to defend the planet, try out the 14 unique heroes belonging to either the Guardians or Abandon factions, group up for co-op gameplay to explore the world of Wild Buster: Heroes of Titan and raid dungeons, all while slashing through hordes of The Broken.”
Do you still have a deep emotional attachment to Duke Nukem, the star (ahem) of Duke Nukem Forever and endless memes about games which take an eternity and a half to release? If so, hey, you may be the target audience with Wild Buster adding Duke Nukem to the game’s lineup. If you’re kind of staring and blinking at the announcement… well, hey, it’s still happening, baffled or no. This is a thing that’s going on now.
If you’ve forgotten what Wild Buster is, well, it’s a science-fiction hack-and-slash MMOARPG that we’ve covered before. Refresher time!
No details have been shared about how Duke Nukem will be integrated to the game, but it seems like a hack-and-slash game is the right place for him. You’ll just have to fill your minds with speculation about the inclusion. At least you can be relatively certain it’ll be a better romp than his last solo title.
Massively OP’s Justin Olivetti joked that it sounded like a game by Mad Libs, but Wild Buster is in fact a sci-fi hack-and-slash MMOARPG being ported westward by Inselgames with the “Heroes of Titan” suffix and an early access by the end of 2017. “Wild Buster is a gritty science fiction Hack’n’Slash MMORPG with MOBA-style skill and character systems,” says the studio. “With a choice of over a dozen unique Heroes, the game requires strategic team composition, the smart use of special abilities, quick reflexes, and above all, an appreciation for over-the-top weaponry.”
It’s followable on Steam right now with an October datestamp, and the studio is using Indiegogo as a sort of makeshift preorder and founder package system; it’s stuffed with pledge rewards already too.
Thinking about backing the game to jump in sooner rather than later? The studio’s granted Massively OP readers a discount toward doing just that; the first 50 gamers who use our link to Indiegogo will be shown a discounted version of the deluxe founder edition, which grants a few goodies in addition to alpha access. This is not an affiliate link and we are not compensated in any way for your use of it or our publication of it. It appears to discount the Deluxe Founder Pack tier to $25 down from $35, though there’s a general $29 sale right now. The Indiegogo vid is below!