MMO Business Roundup: Discord’s new TOS, Steam China, EA vs Actiblizz, Dota 2’s transparent lockboxes, WASD

    
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Welcome back to another roundup of businessy things of interest to MMO players this week!

Discord

If you’re one of the bajillions of MMO players who use Discord, heads-up for you: Discord made unilateral changes to its terms of service this week, effectively revoking your legal right to sue Discord as part of any future class action. Any issues you might have with Discord in the future – say, a massive data breach – would instead be subject to arbitration. To opt out of this, you’ll need to email Discord (deleting your account won’t opt you out). Discord employees have confirmed the move on Reddit, claiming it’s not trying to “dodge responsibility” but rather trying to avoid frivolous class action lawsuits.

Steam China

Don’t fret too much about the state of gaming in China since the state crackdown on game approvals; turns out that Steam counts 30M users in the region thanks to Dota 2 as well as local titles aimed specifically at the Chinese market.

EA and Actiblizz

And don’t fret about Activision and EA either: The analysts at DFC Intelligence estimate that EA’s value has skyrocketed from $4B to $33B over the last six years, while Blizzard has leaped from $10B to $60B, chiefly a result of the pivot to “games as a service.” We’re sure they’ll spend all that money on making sure their employees are properly compensated and not overworked.

Dota 2 lockboxes

Valve’s becoming one more company to climb on the “transparent lockbox” bandwagon, and we’re not sorry at all. This week Dota 2 began displaying the odds of receiving items in the game’s equivalent of lockboxes, which ought to make the game more palatable in Asia, to say nothing of the west.

“We’ve also taken this opportunity to simplify and rework the way we calculate escalating odds for this treasure and going forward. You can now click on the escalating odds arrow next to each of the rare, very rare, or extremely rare drops to see the exact odds of receiving them based on how many you’ve already opened.

WASD what now?

Finally, Vox has a fun video on how WASD came to be the thing we all use!

Spy anything else we should be including in our business roundup?

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Xijit
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Kickstarter Donor
Xijit

EA is supposed to be one of the best places to work in the industry. With the best benifits and have topped the charts on several occasions for diversity, gender inclusion, work environments, and employee satisfaction.

They are also usually the largest Employer in the industry, typically keeping 500 to 1,000 more people on staff than the next largest (Activision), but this year Activision passed them by with 9,600 vs 9,300 employees (probably due to the closure of Visceral).

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rosieposie

Yes, and also they keep insisting that 60$ AAA games have to contain MTX and lootboxes to be profitable. Clearly, they are in such dire financial straits.

Kinda makes some of the recent moves, like Blizzard jacking up the Blizzcon ticket price, seem particularly pathetic. Especially the people defending them. ‘Do you know what it costs to host Blizzcon, gasp!’ Yes, it costs peanuts to ActiBlizzard.

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Avin

I know a number of people that work at EA corporate – they all seem very happy and aligned with your comments.

I’ve interacted with people at various EA studios although generally on a less direct personal/professional level than the corporate employees – the studios can vary a lot and the pressures of making a game are different/higher than the pressures of EA corporate.

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Loyal Patron
Neurotic

I saw the Vox video, it’s very good. A real trip down memory lane!