MMO Business Roundup: FIFA lockboxes, anti-swatting policy, Fortnite on SNL, Free Guy, UO postmortem


Whenever our newsroom gets overloaded with weird industry-related articles that nobody feels like writing, another edition of the MMO Business Roundup gets its wings!

FIFA lockboxes

Remember how Belgium was investigating EA’s apparent refusal to cooperate with its gambling laws in regard to the FIFA franchise? It looks as if EA blinked first. In September, it announced that it will “begin displaying pack probabilities” – in effect, copying the “transparent lockbox” trend so people know what they’re getting. (via Gamasutra)


One of the most heart-breaking online gaming stories we’ve covered this year was about the Kansas man who was shot and killed by police after an e-thug sent police to his home with a false claim in an attempt to terrorize a totally different person. The murder amplified existing calls for police across the country to be smarter about swatting attempts, and now, Seattle PD has implemented a system that essentially allows potential victims to register with a “swatting concerns” flag so that police responding to claims at that address go in understanding that the situation may not be what it appears. It won’t, however, reduce the level of firepower and caution police bring to bear when responding to these calls.

Fortnite on SNL

If your online game is the subject of a sketch on SNL, does that make you mainstream? Probably not, as this one isn’t so much about fork knife itself but about a clueless “old” trying to play it. (To be fair, this is how I feel playing on a controller instead of PC too.)

Free Guy

If you ever wanted to know how NPCs in MMOs feel about their gameworld sunsetting, well, it’s apparently even worse than we feel. Such is the topic of Free Guy, an upcoming Ryan Reynolds film. I can’t believe I just typed that. “Written by Matt Lieberman, the story centers on a background character who realizes he’s living in a video game,” Hollywood Reporter explains. “With the help of an avatar, he tries to prevent the makers of the game from shutting down his world.” (via Polygon)

Ultima Online postmortem

Finally, if you missed GDC this year, you can get caught up on one of the more interesting MMORPG bits now, as the Ultima Online Classic Game Postmortem panel, starring Raph Koster, Starr Long, Richard Garriott, and Rich Vogel, has been posted online.

We welcome business tips as well as regular MMORPG tips – send ’em our way!

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