MMO Business Roundup: Stadia, Coronavirus, E3, VR, EVE Fanfest, Discord, and WOTC’s BioWare devs


Welcome back to another roundup of MMO (and MMO-adjacent) industry news!

Stadia: Google has responded to the uproar over its poor communication with the Stadia community post-launch, saying that it’s been posting updates in its own community forum and the Google Keyword blog. It seems clear that even vocal Stadia users didn’t know these things existed, and in the interim this week, a Google community manager has been directing angry Redditors to them. The Goog also downplayed the “120 games” claims.

Coronavirus: The Taipei Game Show has joined multiple other gaming-related events that were set to take place in China in postponing said event out of fear that it might contribute to the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Over 200 people have died, with nearly 10,000 people affected so far worldwide as the virus travels.

E3 2020: The Entertainment Software Association has vowed to make this year’s E3 more interesting and “shake things up” for attendees. Referencing its horrifying multi-year leak of personally identifying info from past attendees including journalists and developers, the organization also promises improved security this round.

Wizards: Remember last year when Wizards of the Coast scooped up former SWTOR creative director and lead designer James Ohlen to run a new studio? As RPS reports, the new studio has even more recently picked up BioWare Austin studio director Chad Robertson, fresh off his gig at Anthem. Imagine that. (Cheers, Richard!)

Virtual reality: VR – or XR, which SuperData is still trying to make a thing that normal people say (they still don’t) – is on the rise again, as the firm reports demand for the devices “outstripped supply during the holiday season.”

EVE Fanfest: Going to Fanfest in Reykjavik this year? You’ll be treated to performances by Hatari and Permaband at the Party At The Top Of The World.

Discord: Discord is apparently cutting more features from the platform, but don’t worry because according to the company’s metrics, you probably weren’t using them anyway, hence the boot. This time, it’s game news in the activity feed and the library game launcher. As Gamasutra astutely notes, it’s one more step away from trying to be a game launcher a la Steam.

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