It’s been a weird week in MMO crowdfunding. The Codename Reality Kickstarter isn’t looking good; devs have raised under 2% of their original half a million dollar goal. Project Oasis World is over this week too, well under its goal. EverFeud‘s Kickstarter has already been canceled, as that studio says it’ll hunt for other options. As for Endless Trials, that Kickstarter has also ended abruptly; team Fire Hurts says it’ll try a fresh campaign with a video at some point in the future.
AdventureQuest 3D, however, has already seen outrageous success with its Kickstarter for… plushies. For real. As I type this, the game is four times over its goal. Plushies are happening.
Meanwhile, Pathfinder still isn’t dead, Elite Dangerous’ next big thing will launch at the end of August, SOTA is hard at work on player-created dungeons, Dual Universe updated its roadmap, Camelot Unchained is working on its 64-bit client, Ashes of Creation showed off its alpha combat, and a judge is permitting most of the Crytek Star Citizen lawsuit to continue.
Read on for more on what’s been up with MMO crowdfunding over the last couple of weeks and our roundup of all the crowdfunded MMOs we’re following.
US courts have once again aligned with game companies in a lawsuit against cheaters and purveyors of cheat programs.
This time, it’s Take-Two Interactive doing the winning. The Grand Theft Auto developer had sued Georgia man David Zipperer for essentially creating and distributing for profit a GTAV/GTAO hack, Menyoo, designed for griefing and cheating purposes. While the court dismissed Take-Two’s claim that Zipperer had engaged in “unfair competition” to the tune of half a million dollars in corporate losses, it did grant the company’s petition for an injunction against the hacker, who is now legally barred from selling his hacks.
Similar suits have been won by both Blizzard and Epic; Epic has been on a tear suing cheatmakers and promoters one by one, while Blizzard famously took bot-maker Bossland to court, ultimately running the cheaters out of business.
Rockstar and Take-Two specifically have begun taking a tougher stance on mods that veer into cheating territory. Gamers will recall that last year, the companies sent cease-and-desist letters to legitimate modders whose tools supposedly enabled less legitimate mods to exist, causing much dismay across the community.
There’s still stuff happening with Fallout 76, even though players aren’t testing it yet. You can at least test things out in your mind now that you know about the game’s progression and PvP plans. Perhaps “testing games in your mind” could be a Perk. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that you have the game on the same platform as your friends, as a lack of crossplay has been confirmed at this point.
But let’s not stop there; let’s catch a few other beta stories, yes?
So this is all rather shady, but we promise you that our list below is properly illuminated and trustworthy. We have it all vetted by you fine people! Notice something on there that shouldn’t be? Let us know so we can fix that! And that includes if something skipped phases without us noticing or just went quiet for an extended period of time. We appreciate your notifications.
How much is your house worth in The Sims 4? Obviously, the game attaches a value to it, but that’s just game terms and doesn’t really match what we think of as the value of these things. This is why the UK-based mortgage company L&C Mortgages looked at the housing market in eight separate games to compare the costs and availability of a house in all of them, including the exceedingly market-limited houses in Final Fantasy XIV.
The comparisons are not perfect, since games like Fallout 4 and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are single-player titles without players competing for a house. Still, if you’d like to see how the cost of virtual real estate stacks up, it should be at least mildly amusing. And hey, it also means you can mention your home is worth millions of dollars before muttering that it only applies in Eorzea. (Or Othard, if you want to be really pedantic. At this point you might as well be.)
Longtime MOP reader Agemyth recently brought to our attention a couple of bits of commentary that disturb at least my own fundamental sense of fairness. In one recent Waypoint piece, an ex-mod for a trading card MMO discusses how he witnessed staff allowing a toxic player to keep on being toxic because he was a whale, spending tons of money in-game. And in a Giant Bomb chat earlier this summer, a former MMO CS rep admitted to fast-tracking requests from big spenders. “When the email comes in, the first thing we see is how much money they’ve spent on the game,” he says. (Based on later comments from the same person referring to a $100 lockbox released in the middle of the Battlefront mess, the second company appears to be Trion. Incidentally, he also says the most money he ever saw stamped on someone’s account was $130,000. Let that sink in.)
Anyway. “It doesn’t surprise me that these practices exist, but actually hearing some details about it can still bring a grimace to my face,” Agemyth says. Mine too. Does this also gross you out? Should you be able to get away with being a toxic jerk as long as you keep the dollars flowing? Should how much you spend determine whether a company answers your help requests in a timely manner? If you look at it from the perspective of the company, does it change your answer?
GameDaily has an interview with Rend’s Jeremy Wood this week that covers a bunch of meta topics of interest to MMO players and watchers of this oddball hybrid title. While Rend has no plans to suddenly become a battle royale title, Frostkeep is very much watching what the MMO subgenres and companies are up to in order to “fill the same psychological needs that are being filled by those games in [Rend].” Specifically, Wood says his team learned a lot from Blizzard and the MMO genre.
“Our biggest takeaway from our Blizzard experience is you can make a fantastically unique product without really inventing anything new,” Wood explained. “Blizzard got where they are by taking inspiration from all sorts of different great pieces of games in different genres.”
We may now know at least one of the several Diablo projects that Blizzard was teasing last week. Blizzard Watch reports that Diablo III is due for at least one additional port, this time to the Nintendo Switch.
The confirmation came about due to a mis-posted Forbes article that apparently jumped the gun. But once something is on the internet, it’s on it forever, so we know several details about this upcoming port.
The Switch version will be called Diablo III: The Eternal Collection and will retail for $60. There will be a few items exclusive to the Switch, such as a triforce picture frame, a Legend of Ganondorf armor set, and a Cucco companion pet. The game will have local and internet coop, as well as cloud saves.
No, you’ve probably never heard of Orake before — and chances are that you never will again, either.
The crude-looking indie MMORPG has been slowly but steadily progressing through development this year with monthly patches. However, the team seems to have hit a wall and is now begging someone else to take over this project and bring this 2-D title to completion.
“We no longer have time to work on Orake,” the team announced this month. “If anyone is interested in taking over the development of Orake 2-D MMORPG, please contact me on the Orake 2-D MMORPG Discord.”
So… that does not look promising for this game’s future. What do you think?
. Thanks PlutoForeverNinthPl!
MMO-watchers will recall that just before the turn of the new year, Crytek filed to sue Cloud Imperium, the company behind the sprawling and controversial crowdfunded MMO Star Citizen. Crytek alleged that CIG infringed its copyrights by using CryEngine to develop non-Star Citizen game assets in the form of Squadron 42 while misusing Crytek’s logo in marketing materials and Crytek’s CryEngine in the form of Star Engine. As recompense for this supposed breach, Crytek demanded a significant sum, including direct damages, lost profits, and punitive damages, as well as a permanent injunction against CIG’s use of CryEngine.
CIG, for its part, has denied the accusations, calling it a “meritless” lawsuit; it’s pointed to the licensing agreement that limits liability and damages from contract breaches, as well as asserted that it’s not using Crytek’s engine (any more) and that name changes to and expansions of Star Citizen’s “online universe” do not constitute a new game.
Jagex isn’t content to be “just the RuneScape studio” these days. The company announced today that it is preparing to move into the publishing space with Jagex Partners, a “third-party publishing initiative for live games.”
Jagex Partners is hoping to attract all sorts of live games and will support them with a whole suite of tools and services that Jagex has used to keep RuneScape up and running over all these years. This new publishing arm has attracted former talent from NCsoft, EA, Trion Worlds, and CCP. We’ll be hearing more about this initiative next week at Gamescom.
“Jagex Partners is so much more than a go-to-market publishing experience,” said SVP Publishing John Burns in a press release. “It’s the entire toolkit to launch and run a game in live operations, backed by years of experience.”
Remember Wild Buster? Back in February, Valve booted its publisher, Insel Games, off Steam, accusing it of review manipulation after a dev leaked a damning letter from the company boss seemingly coercing employees to buy and review the game on the platform. At the time, Insel Games denied wrongdoing, but the loss of Steam clearly hurt; it resurfaced this past spring to announce that it had struggled without Steam and would instead be transferring publishing rights to IDC Games, which would relaunch the title as Champions of Titan.
That brings us to today, when IDC has announced that Champions of Titan is rolling into open beta ahead of a “full commercial release” later this year.
“Open Beta is available from today and players can start exploring the new world, conquer fierce monsters, challenge the rival faction in PvP and enjoy grouping with their friends. Champions of Titan MMORPG combines a fluid and fast combat with a world full of adventures, challenges and an original graphic design set in Sci-Fi environment. Developed by Korean studio Nuriworks and published by IDC/Games, Champions of Titans offers full PvE and PvP features: solo content, group content, raid content, 3v3, 5v5 and 10v10 battlegrounds, Battle Royale PvP map and free for all PvP.”
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin geek out over the confirmation of a Torchlight MMO, salute the late, great RuneScape Classic, prepare for Battle for Azeroth, and more! Also, we read some really great listener haiku because you guys are awesome like that.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
Listen to the show right now:
Some fans are still probably a bit miffed that Riot Games (maker of League of Legends and that’s all) teased them about the possibility of an MMO. But it seems like the studio’s parent company is pretty miffed at Riot in general. Gamasutra cites a report from several anonymous sources (which is unfortunately behind a paywall) that China’s Tencent (owner of Riot) and Riot are not on cordial terms due to differing opinions about mobile titles and the reported decline of LoL‘s playerbase.
The short version is that Tencent wants more mobile titles (which Riot does not wish to develop) and has shopped out something just short of a clone to other studios, while Riot is dealing with dropping numbers as other games move into the spotlight. An official statement from Riot disputes this report, stating that the company is happy with LoL at its current numbers and it remains a vibrant community, and relations with the studio’s parent company remain positive and supportive.
It’s also worth remembering that the studio does appear to be working on something new. Equally relevant are the issues surrounding any new games in China, with Monster Hunter World running into trouble and Korean developers unable to publish there.