MMO Business Roundup: Lucasfilm Games, Anthem sales, MapleStory Fest, and Oculus

Plus Snapchat's new platform and the Epic Games Store's latest acquisition

    
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Welcome back to another round of the MMO Business Roundup. It’s GDC week, so it’s no surprise that we’ve had so many business posts coming across our desks!

First up is Disney, which as PC Gamer reports has apparently brought back Lucasfilm Games. Don’t get excited or panicky just yet, though; it doesn’t really look as if Disney is angling to yoink EA’s Star Wars license or wreck up what it has going with Star Wars The Old Republic – in fact, it might need SWTOR if those Old Republic TV show rumors turn out to be true. (Thanks, Michael!)

Want some good news for EA? Anthem actually beat out the competition to outsell all other games in February. Note that’s game sales, not total revenue, but we’ll take it.

Hey Maplers! Nexon’s putting on its second annual MapleStory Fest in LA on May 11th. Tickets are only $20 and are on sale through Monday, so grab ’em up.

Snapchat company Snap Inc. is apparently planning to launch its own gaming platform, aimed at mobile developers and codenamed Project Cognac.

Oculus announced today that it’s going to be “phasing out” the original launch, replacing it with the new Rift S instead. As GIbiz reports, this version of the VR headset comes with attached cameras that obviates the need for external tracking devices in a VR room setup.

And finally, the Epic Games Store announced its latest acquisitions today: Most of them aren’t MMOs, of course, and we already knew about Dauntless, but the placement of Yager Games’ The Cycle on the list is new info. The Cycle’s an MMO shooter we’ve covered a few times; it boasts “n emphasis on PvPvE action, completing jobs, gearing up with new weapons and powers, out-scoring other players and making it off the planet alive.”

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IronSalamander8 .

While Anthem not crashing and burning may save BW’s bacon, at least for now, SWTOR is in terrible shape and the ‘possible, maybe, we’ll let you know’ aspect of 6.0 doesn’t inspire confidence. As far as the Old Republic TV show, which I’ve heard about before, I doubt SWTOR will have much if anything, to do with it. Maybe KOTOR will though.

I love shooters but the idea of games as a service shooters isn’t something I want to jump in on and while both Anthem and Div2 have excellent graphics, I can’t get into either of them, even though the general consensus is that Div2 is a better game overall. May 5th is when the original PvZ had its 10 year anniversary and supposedly the official announcement of the new shooter so that’s what I’m looking to as far as multiplayer shooters right now.

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Armsbend

Div 2 is fun and relaxing. Ubi worked hard on the game.

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Shadex De'Marr

The Cycle eh? Well I suppose Firefall 2 might have scared away potential players.

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Arktouros

The ever growing list of games I won’t be playing just seems to be getting longer and longer.

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Armsbend

My list of “am playings” expanded in Q1! for the first time in two years! I bought three games, 2 at full price! WTF.
BONUS ROUND: I am satisfied with all three.

Seriously though, that hasn’t happened in quite some time.

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Armsbend

“… but we’ll take it.”

Why? It is a subpar game made by a bad company. For every thing that succeeds something must fail. Why would you root for a company that has continually screwed you, likely personally, for years – over a game or company that hasn’t.

MOP wants it to succeed so SWTOR isn’t shut down? Because there aren’t better lobby shooters to choose?

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PanagiotisLial1

I dont think it has to do with MOP wanting or not wanting to succeed – they just report it had high amount of sales. Other than that its logical for a mmo gaming site to be fairly optimistic, I got no problem with that. As for shooters, generally not my thing but I did like Borderlands to an extent.

And by the way EA is among my most disliked companies, mainly due to shattering so many good studios

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Armsbend

They are among everyone’s most disliked companies – which is why it is so perplexing we want this particularly banal clone to succeed.

I get not wanting it to fail sure – but having a desire for it to succeed? Especially if you aren’t playing it? Why?

$60 to Anthem means $60 not in someone else’s mouth.

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angrakhan

Not necessarily. I purchased both Anthem and The Divsion 2. TD2 is the better game, so that’s where my time is going, but I was entertained by Anthem. I do not feel slighted or ripped off, and I hope they turn things around so I can come back in a few months when TD2 has been played out and pick it back up. If another decent game comes out I’ll pick that up as well. Not all of us are so constrained by finances that we can only purchase one game.

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Schmidt.Capela

It’s not about purchasing only one game; even if we aren’t constrained by a fixed budget, people (or at least those that don’t have impulse control issues) tend to have an internal control that prevents them from overspending. Not spending money on a certain game means you feel fine spending that money on other games.

It’s my own case; I have a reasonably large list of things that completely prevent me from spending money on games (anything with Denuvo, anything that forces a constant Internet connection but doesn’t make proper use of that, anything that is subject to an exclusivity contract, etc), but that has not reduced in any way how much I spend in games, it only shifts around which games I spend money on.

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K38FishTacos

Sounds like your argument is “I have enough money, so it doesn’t matter.” But what about people who also have enough money and choose not to buy what they consider to be an inferior product because they feel that product doesn’t deserve their time or attention? There are people in that category.

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Armsbend

I was really just speaking to opportunity cost. If I do this one thing I am not doing another thing.

If I spent $60 on Anthem in all likelihood I did not spend $60 on Warframe for example. I did not buy Stardew Valley or DMC5. Even if you bought those the allotment of time and limited resources says you didn’t spend it somewhere else.

But rather than digressing into Econ – Not even knowing the top ten list – I’d rather anyone else be on it. That said, Anthem is still a huge bust. Bioware is as good as gone.

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Schmidt.Capela

That said, Anthem is still a huge bust. Bioware is as good as gone.

For me, the saddest part is that this doesn’t make me actually sad. Bioware was my favorite studio for a while, but it went so long without making any game that fills me with the desire to play that I can’t bring myself to care for what happens to them anymore.

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Armsbend

I make the assumption that if you make a deal with Electronic Arts you are pretty sure you won’t last more than 5-10 years. It is the owners of the studio getting a lot of money, hanging around for a bit and then going off to either spend their money or start something else.

The guys who originally sold Bioware are painfully aware of the history – or should be. Really, they will last longer than most.

Or who knows – maybe I’m wrong and EA isn’t interested in shutting people down as much. MS shut down studios as aggressively as EA at one point. But now look at RARE – they stuck with them even though some questionable times – and I think it’s paying off.

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zoward

I didn’t know if you meant to type shuttering there, but shattering works too…

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OverdriveActive

“For every thing that succeeds something must fail”

Pretty sure it’s not that much of a simplified zero sum game out there. But yeah, the product is garbage and seems to be hewn from the same rotted bark that Fallout 76 came from. It’s a bad effort by a company hellbent on making all of the money instead of a sustainable amount where both it and its audience benefit. EA really is the embodiment of the “the only reason companies exist is to make money” reduction that people all over bring up all the time when defending anti-consumer behaviour.

They’re also a good model for why companies should exist to create value for which they receive money as payment, the value being the focal point rather than the money. No chance of that any time soon in the games industry. You can make an Anthem and your marketing budget and reach will still outsell literally every other game that’s out that month.