MMO Business Roundup: Gaming inclusion, Peria Chronicles, Google, and PUBG’s Brendan Greene

Plus news on China, an MMORPG study, and SuperData's sub report

    
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I probably don't exist.

Welcome to another fast roundup of MMO-related business news!

Bookmark this research study so that if ever the loud angry gatekeeping trolls of gaming are getting you down, you can pull it back out to hug. EA community insights manager Jenny Shi conducted a study on how gamers feel about inclusion, and as it turns out, “inclusion is a pressing concern for many players” – the “backlash” against inclusion is coming from a small minority. She’s also shown that toxicity is still a major problem, especially for women in online gaming, and that a lot of folks who support inclusion want “authentic” representation, not tokens. (via Gamasutra)

SuperData is touting its latest report on gaming subscription services – only $1999! It’s focused on subscription platforms, mind you, not sub MMOs, but it’s worth noting. Among the highlights accessible to the public are the fact that PlayStation tops all the other subscription consoles, earning $143M in subs in 2018. “Price plays a sizable role (51%) when users consider purchasing a subscription,” the firm says. “Consumers weigh the cost of buying games outright with spending $10 a month on average on a subscription.”

MMO Culture has a report on Nexon’s recent Korean media event previewing chiefly mobile titles rolling out in one region or another this spring; MapleStory M, Overhit, and Durango all get a mention, but the most interesting bit is for Peria Chronicles. “When asked about Peria Chronicles and other PC games, Nexon replied that it might give an update in the 2nd or 3rd Special Day event in the future,” the site writes. Hmm.

Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene is moving away from his role on PUBG itself. Though he says he’ll still be a “consulting creative director” on the game that made battle royale a household name, he’s passed the development lead torch to Taeseok Jang and will himself be heading up “PUBG Special Projects” out of Amsterdam.

Tencent and Netease are likely breathing a sigh of relief right now: China’s latest round of video game approvals after its long freeze in 2018 included titles from both Asian companies.

It’s not exactly MMO news – not yet – but former Ubisoft and EA developer Jade Raymond has revealed her next steps after she left the EA substudio she founded last year: She’s now a VP at Google. Though she didn’t give more info, we’re expecting big news out of the tech company at GDC this month; it’s expected to have juicy video game news, and it’s pretty likely Raymond will be part of it. (Thanks, A Random MMO Fan!)

Finally, wanna take part in a study… for science? A UK psychology undergrad is soliciting MMORPG players specifically to take part in what’s characterized as a study “exploring the engagement and social aspects of [MMOs] on well being.” As researcher Rixonv puts it, “in psychology MMORPG’s are often depicted in a negative light, and it would be refreshing to shed a more positive light in this area. We are looking for participants both male and female who are active members in an MMORPG [and] the study should last around 10-15 minutes.”

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Hikari Kenzaki

From the No Duh Department (I said it much more expletive-filled in private):
“EA community insights manager Jenny Shi conducted a study on how gamers feel about inclusion, and as it turns out, “inclusion is a pressing concern for many players” – the “backlash” against inclusion is coming from a small minority.”

It’s EA. They know by now that 100s or 1000s or even 10s of 1000s of people do not speak for the millions buying their games. They just spent far too long pandering to those groups to get fake buzz and that is the true backlash they see when they can no longer give in to their increasingly unacceptable demands.

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Weilan

I’ve been waiting for so long for Peria Chronicles…

Bel
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Bel

They might give an update on Peria Chronicles?! Oh come on! *sigh*

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Armsbend

I wonder if the google VP promotion is part of the big company’s design on game streaming. It might be a fit for Ms. Raymond’s pedigree.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

It probably is. They have been working on that for some time – they already did trials last year.

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Sally Bowls

Hopefully, Yeti is announced on the 19th and we get to see their direction. Sorry, their “vision of the future of gaming” in PR speak. Obviously, a complete coincidence that Microsoft just updated their Wireless Display app to allow PCs to stream via XBox.

It is GDC; It would be nice if this was not just streaming but also lots of cloud enablement/infrastructure for devs.

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Armsbend

I think the end of this year is going to be a really big shake up. Whether or not gamers will accept what they have to offer is a different matter. I’m ready for some meaty news on 5G to start trickling out. All we have heard is “will change everything” but I’d like some really concrete examples of why.

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Sally Bowls

I know little. I was listening to some techie *cast (TWIT network perhaps) talking about 5G be big, but not for replacing 4G in mobile phones where it just adds speed. Low latency for realtime vehicle/infrastructure to vehicle communications(V2X). And the ability to replace wired ISPs, etc. OTOH, I am not sure it will happen in my lifetime. /sigh One thing being mentioned is that you need large numbers of microcells for 5G. And if they are made in China and the US won’t let Chinese telecommunications be deployed then …? And 5G needs so many more microcells than 4G cells, I can imagine the deployment headaches in Berkley, Marin, NIMBY everywhere. For me, currently, the main impact of 5G atm is to shut down Internet fiber to the home deployments. Widespread 5G deployment and VR are interesting to follow but not exactly going to impact me near-term.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

That EA’s survey about “authentic inclusion” is kind of amusing and ironic for me. Part of the reason I didn’t pay full price for BF5 (I played it as part of Origin’s $15 monthly subscription) was because they conveniently “forgot” to include a very important faction in a game based on WW2, a faction with a real, authentic heroes with real names (instead of made-up persons in current game) like:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_female_Heroes_of_the_Soviet_Union

Even forgetting USSR – they did not bother to include even Poland where WW2 actually began and which went through major notable uprisings in Warsaw during that period.

And yea, yea, EA said they might be releasing more of those War Stories with more factions but judging by how BF5 is doing now (and no, new BR mode won’t really change that) I have my doubts that this will happen at all ;-)

So yea, inclusion is important, especially being done in authentic way, but EA are not the ones that should mention that, especially the “authentic” part (since they don’t actually care about that and I highly doubt that their surveys like the one linked in this article will change anything).

P.S: It’s ok if you personally liked BF5, you have the full right to do that and you don’t need to tell me that – it won’t change my opinion about the game I’ve already played or the developers responsible for it.

Xijit
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Xijit

Consulting position my ass: Greene has been put out to pasture.

Dude was always a hack who had no idea what he was doing & his ineptness has been what has been holding PUBG’s progression back.

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Jokerchyld

Welp Peria isn’t coming out. Knew it was too good to be true.

Xijit
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Xijit

not until after the sale of Nexon.

they probably delayed it this last year just so that they could roll it out in the middle of talks and bump up the value of the company.

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Dystopiq

Peria is in dev hell. It’s been nothing but delay after elay.

joxul
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joxul

Feel like we’re either never gonna get it or it’ll be so content deficient that it’ll be shut down after a couple months.

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Dystopiq

If it launches it will definitely not be what was originally showed or it’ll be a mobile title!

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Stormwaltz

Thanks for the link to Jenny Shi’s article. :)