MMO Business Roundup: Skyrim’s multiplayer mod mess, Neural MMO, and the rise of Overwatch League

    
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Welcome back to another roundup of stuff happening in the gaming business world relevant to MMOers. Remember Skyrim Together, the multiplayer Skyrim mod that hit closed beta earlier this year and is raising gobs of cash per month on Patreon in donations? Apparently it was accused of “blatant” code theft from the Skyrim Script Extender, which is a project used by hundreds of other mods. Initially, the Skyrim Together team denied the claim, but it’s since apologized to the SKSE team and admitted fault, promising to remove the code.

There’s more to it, of course – there always is – as apparently the lead devs on each project have clashed before, with the SKSE boss previously banning the Skyrim Together boss from using any of the script extender code. On top of that, the Patreon, which was around $2000 back in January but is now nearly $25000, is taking flak now too since it was essentially a pay-to-play beta for a mod that Bethsoft required remain free lest it run afoul of its agreements. Right now, the mod is offline entirely while the team works on open beta.

In other MMO business news…

  • GIbiz has a piece up criticizing Valve for its messy popular upcoming games list on Steam, which No More Robots developer Mike Rose says is being manipulated both intentionally and unintentionally by other devs who figure out the dopey algorithm. Valve’s said fixes are a work in progress, at least.
  • Blizzard sent round a press release with stats on Overwatch League, the 2019 season for which began on February 14th. The company says in excess of 13M people tuned in for the broadcast, up 40% year over year in its second week.
  • Non-profit AI research company OpenAI this week announced what it’s calling a Neural MMO – “a massively multiagent game environment for reinforcement learning agents.” At first I assumed it was more an AI simulator than a game, but this environment can handle classes, expansions, persistence, everything you’d expect out of a real game.
  • This is refreshing: Nintendo is apparently telling mobile developers to calm the hell down with abusive monetization.
  • Finally, Activision Blizzard teamed up with analytics firm Newzoo for a massive report that tries to sell brands and investors on the magic of mobile gaming. (via GIbiz)
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Godnaz
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Godnaz

From this, I get that it takes time to code these mods and developers need some sort of compensation for the time being put in. To not be transparent about your work and expect people to pay for early access when it’s against the game companies user end agreement without getting permission, then be caught stealing some other developers code, is pretty shady. If we get a free Skyrim Together mod that functions well, I’ll be surprised.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

Man I hope the Skyrim mod actually happens.

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Aiun Tanks

I kinda wish Bethesda would just get the hint and actually do co-op – NO, NOT FO76.