MMO business roundup: Virtual reality, Niantic, WoW emu hacking, and what Google’s up to


We’ve got some MMO industry topics you shouldn’t miss, so welcome back to our MMO business roundup!

• Last week, Pokemon Go company Niantic previewed what it’s calling the Niantic Real World Platform, a huge step forward for augmented reality games and tools.

“The Niantic Real World Platform advances the way computers see the world, moving from a model centered around roads and cars to a world centered around people. Modeling this people-focused world of parks, trails, sidewalks, and other publicly accessible spaces requires significant computation. The technology must be able to resolve minute details, to specifically digitize these places, and to model them in an interactive 3D space that a computer can quickly and easily read. We are also tackling the challenge of bringing this kind of sophisticated technology to power-limited mobile devices. The highest quality gameplay requires a very accurate ‘live’ model that adapts to the dynamics of the world. It needs to accomplish the difficult task of adjusting the model as the environment around the user changes, or as people move themselves–or their phones.”

• Not by happenstance, Niantic also announced that it’s acquired Matrix Mill. As GIbiz noted, that’s the third such buyout the studio has completed just since last November. Matrix Mill specialized in 3-D camera tech that is obviously geared for augmented reality devs.

• Google is watching you! It’s also watching the booming gaming market and thinking it’d like a piece of that action. Last week, Kotaku reported on the rumor that Google is quietly building some sort of streaming platform hardware with game development in-house. “The Google service would offload the work of rendering graphics to beefy computers elsewhere, allowing even the cheapest PCs to play high-end games,” goes the rumor.

• Hope you didn’t think VR was going away because it’s most definitely not. In fact, Second Life fans may want to keep an eye on this one: Second Life founder Philip Rosedale has picked up $35 million in investment funding to continue development on High Fidelity, his “blockchain-powered social VR platform.” As Gamasutra reports, the company has now pulled in $70 million in investment total.

• Finally, if you’re into World of Warcraft emulators, heads-up: The Light’s Hope private server user system was hacked this past week; the perpetrators, including a former staff member, reportedly used a forum and mail backdoor to send out an email blast to other users in an attempt to trick them into divulging sensitive data. “Long story short: change your password, enable 2FA, and delete the emails,” the admins suggest. “We’ll have a larger detailed explanation in future.”

With thanks to Nordavind and Aldristavan!
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Denice J. Cook

And that last item is why I avoid emus, kids.

WoW Classic: Can’t wait, bring it on, thank you Blizzard!


I play on emus, but I’m actually surprised by the constant rate of scummery in their admins.

I too really, really want to give Blizz my $ to play vanilla instead.

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I assume that blockchain-powered means they got the $35m from saying “blockchain” to the investor?


And Jesus wept for there were no more worlds left to conquer.

Robert Mann

Blockchain powered, huh? Wonder if they intend to have some specialized cloud processing, or rely upon the folly of miners yet again…

Bruno Brito

Nothing new under the sun. Everytime LH launches a new server, either a GM goes rogue, or they go full incompetent and lose the database.

Which generates the questions and memes from the community towards the owner, Whitekidney, given he was a prior botter/goldseller for years. So, believe whatever you want. That being said, LH launch was the most stable of any Vanilla servers to date, and they’re getting everything ( outside this database issue ) right, while Kronos 3, how the hell they managed that, botched everything up to now.


Official servers cannot come any sooner..

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