MMO Business Roundup: Bonfire Studios’ new multiplayer game, EA Access on PS4, and Pokebrains


Welcome back to another quick roundup from the land of games industry business

Remember in 2016 when former World of Warcraft lead designer Rob Pardo brought together other Blizzard vets and a key MapleStory developer to form up Bonfire Studios? It wasn’t clear at the time what exactly that new studio would be building, but a piece on PCGamesN this week makes it clear that the studio is “focused on online multiplayer games” with “both competitive and cooperative concepts” and that its first game is a PC title designed for a “core” audience.

EA is finally bringing its EA Access sub to the PS4 this coming July. It’s essentially the same service already that EA’s already been operating on Xbox One for the last five years, so there won’t be any big surprises. “Membership in EA Access lets players experience Play First Trials, where they can play up to 10 hours of most new EA games. Subscribers also enjoy a 10% discount on full game purchases, expansions, in-game items and more. Additionally, players can jump into a growing library of EA games, including the best of EA with franchises like Battlefield, EA SPORTS FIFA, Star Wars Battlefront and more.”

Finally, make some space in your brain for video games: Ars Technica has a piece up on a Stanford study in Nature that appears to show that the brains of “Pokemon experts” react in a specific way when recognizing Pokemon characters, compared to non-experts. “These findings suggest that our brain is capable of developing more specialized brain regions for recognizing objects than we previously thought,” the co-author of the study says. “So we’re likely not limited by our brain, but instead by how much we can experience in childhood.” But don’t worry too much that Pokemon is eating up critical brainspace: “Most of the Pokémon experts I scanned are getting their PhDs in science or working at companies like Google, so there’s no evidence to suggest being a Pokémon expert had any adverse impact.”


No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:

Rob Pardo, former lead designer of WoW until 2014, executive producer/designer for Diablo 2&3 and Starcraft. A seasoned group of developers that have worked on a lot of major titles outside of Blizzard. My expectations are tempered in this climate but this studio is going to be good.

Hoping/expecting an economy based Action/ARPG, complex gameplay loops to keep players logged in and involved, PvE/PvP mix with a futuristic tech/fantasy magic themed almost non-instanced realm. They’ve been at work on this since 2016 so I suspect we’re going to hear or see something within the next two years. Graphically, vivid like Lost Ark but more grungy, darker and heavily player influenced.