MMO Business Roundup: Theorycraft, My.Games, the FIFA fixing lawsuit, and Roblox’s latest concert

    
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Welcome back to another roundup of MMO and MMO-adjacent industry news.

Theorycraft: Could you found a new games studio on $37.5M? Yeah, probably. A bunch of veteran devs are going for it, with a pedigree spanning League of Legends, Destiny, Overwatch, Valorant, Halo, Dota 2, and more. The fledgling company raised that nice chunk of change from investors, including NetEase, which has been all over western investment in the last few years. We don’t know anything about what they’re actually making yet, but it’s a pretty safe bet it’ll be online and competitive.

My.Games: It was a great financial year for Mail.ru, whose revenue is more than one third generated by online games publisher My.Games, which runs games you’ve most definitely heard of, including Skyforge, Allods Online, and Conqueror Online. Revenues for the company overall were up 21.2% in 2020, and the company expects growth of about that much again in 2021.

FIFA fixin: Remember that class action lawsuit gamers had filed against EA alleging that it was using its patented “dynamic difficulty adjustment” system to essentially fix FIFA Ultimate Team games? Players believed that EA was deploying the system to tweak match outcomes and thereby influence purchases. Well, apparently EA wasn’t actually doing it after all, and in fact it managed to convince the plaintiffs to drop the case before it really even went anywhere. “Our clear statements were recently challenged in a lawsuit that alleged we did, in fact, use DDA in Ultimate Team modes,” EA says. “We’re pleased to share that the plaintiffs have now dismissed their case. We provided them with detailed technical information and access to speak with our engineers, all of which confirmed (again) that there is no DDA or scripting in Ultimate Team modes. This is the right result.”

Roblox: Finally, we come to Roblox, the kid-friendly-ish multi-game, which is running another crossover with real life today and through next week in the form of an in-game concert and launch party. The star of this particular show is musical act Why Don’t We, which will perform tonight at 7 p.m. EST and then again several more times in repeat acts throughout the weekend.

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Arktouros

The FIFA fixing is a particular interest to me because of how many people are dead serious certain once they patented that dynamic difficulty adjustment they’ve put it into every single product imaginable.

The fact they got engineers to talk to them is particularly precious to me because I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to literally show people coding and be like “No really, there’s nothing here.” and even then sometimes they remain skeptical. It’s really wild, but I guess when you’re staring down wasted lawyer fees it might make you more receptive to the truth.

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Schmidt.Capela

In my experience literally showing people the source code often isn’t enough because most non-programmers can’t understand code. And even if they can understand code, they often can’t understand algorithms more complex than a bubble sort. For all its worth it might as well be hieroglyphs, as the effect would be the same.

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Arktouros

I’m pretty experienced at explaining what’s going on, the reason most people don’t accept it is because it doesn’t fit their narrative (IE: they’re arguing against something and even if you disprove their argument they’ll either double down or just shift to a new one).