dota 2

Official Site: Dota 2
Studio: Valve
Launch Date: July 9, 2013
Genre: Fantasy MOBA
Business Model: F2P (Cash Shop)
Platform: PC, Mac

Dota 2 apes Path of Exile with transparent lockboxes for Dutch players

Remember when the Dutch gaming authorities effectively threatened to prosecute prosecute companies like Valve for vending and trading lockboxes the government agencies considered a clear violation of Dutch law? The result of that, as we wrote earlier this month, was that Valve turned off all trading for Dutch players, and then turned it back on again with the caveat that Dutch CSGO players can’t physically open any of the boxes.

Dota 2 is another story: It seems Dota 2 has caught up to GGG’s Path of Exile in effectively offering players in the restricted region transparent lockboxes. As RPS reports, Valve didn’t mention this in the game’s patch notes, but here’s how it appears to work:

“When Dutchlanders now look at Dota 2’s loot boxes, which contain cosmetic items, the wizard ’em up simply tells them which item they would receive if they bought it. No hoping, no dreaming, no fancy animations or pounding drums as it shows you the fabulous prizes you could have won, just: chuck us a couple euro and you’ll get this hat for this wizard – wannit?”

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PUBG had a great June thanks to the Steam sale, SuperData says in its latest revenue ranking

SuperData’s global revenue report for June 2018 is out, and it’s actually not particularly exciting for the summer months as not that much has turned over since May.

One the PC side, PUBG leaped back up the charts, pushing past Fortnite and Dota 2 to rest in the #3 slot after its tumble earlier this year. SuperData says that’s a direct result of June’s big Steam sale: “PUBG sold 4.7 million units on PC in June, up significantly from May and only second to its peak month in October 2017. Growth was underpinned by a reduced price point of $19.99 on Steam.” All of the other games in the list are still there, just jostled a bit, though League of Legends remains on top and World of Warcraft has taken up seemingly permanent residence at #7.

On console, Fortnite is still king, though keep an eye out for The Crew 2, which debuted at #4 in its launch month, having sold “700,000 digital units across Console and PC at launch,” owing heavily to digital sales.

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SuperData: Fortnite’s success hit League of Legends and PUBG hard, but not all online games are struggling

There’s a new thinkpiece out on how Fortnite happened and what it all means every week lately, but SuperData’s latest might be a comfort to the rest of the industry. Analyst Bethany Lyons argues that Fortnite’s wild success isn’t coming at the expense of all other games.

Fortnite Battle Royale has grown without disrupting the bottom line or player base of a surprising number of free-to-play games. For example, the title has increased its console revenue in May at a rate of 12% month-over-month, while other free-to-play console games stayed more or less consistent,” she writes.

So that’s revenue. What about users? Other games are still growing, some even faster than Fortnite, she says, particularly in the free-to-play console market, which is encouraging competitors to focus there. And streaming? Seems hours-watched on Twitch for the big games have stayed fairly even too as Fortnite has taken off.

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Three quarters of European gamers don’t even understand what the heck lootboxes are

A new report on GIbiz suggests that most gamers are pretty darn clueless about lootboxes, which probably won’t surprise anyone reading here. Researchers for the publication surveyed gamers in Western Europe and found that barely more than a quarter of gamers even know what they are. More than half (we assume) of those who seem to have no opinion on whether lootboxes are a plus for the gaming experience (a quarter think they suck). But the reaction differs depending on the way the question is phrased.

“We also asked gamers if they thought loot boxes made them think more positively about game companies, 54% had no opinion, 10% agreed with the statement, whereas 37% disagreed. In fact 20% ‘strongly disagreed’ that loot boxes made them feel positively about the companies that used them, which suggests that loot boxes create some negative feeling among some consumers.”

That said, almost half of those familiar with lockboxes suggested that lootboxes make them less likely to buy games with them, so there’s that.

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One of the competitors in Dota 2’s championship is an AI team

Perhaps in the future, we’ll all be looking back at the time when e-sports were an actual thing played by humans rather than simply a competition between teams of AI. As the Dota 2 world championships take place this year, spectators will have one team to cheer for that’s definitely not on drugs and has never been suspended for inappropriate behavior, because the team consists of AI players working in harmony. Elon Musk’s OpenAI team is heading to the championships, and it’s not just doing so as a novelty; the team has already won its way in against a team of semipro players.

Of course, it’s an open question whether or not the AI players can match up against the best players in the world, but thus far results are encouraging, and even a hard-fought loss would indicate that the AI in question is approaching the upper limit of what humans are capable of. So keep your eyes peeled, as we may be looking at a line of competition that’s ending remarkably quickly; then we’ll just need an AI to beat the best humans at basketball.

Source: Wired; thanks to Sally for the tip!

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SuperData’s May 2018 revenue report shows Fortnite slowing down, Pokemon Go picking up for summer

May 2018 was good to Fortnite, again, SuperData’s latest global revenue report shows, but its growth rate may be coming to a middle. “Fortnite hits a new high but growth is slowing down,” the research firm says in today’s report. “We estimate that Fortnite made $318 million across all platforms in May, up 7% from April. The majority of growth came from console, with mobile and PC both coming in flat compared to April.”

On the PC side, Dota 2 came out of nowhere to return to the list at #6, bumping World of Warcraft down a tick and Hearthstone off completely. League of Legends continues to rule the roost.

On the console side, Fortnite is still at the top; both Overwatch and Destiny 2 have returned to the top 10 as games like Far Cry 5 and Battlefield have fallen off.

And on mobile, Pokemon Go has resurged, as it always does in summer in the northern hemisphere, as it’s gathered up more players than ever. Fun side note: Remember Netease’s Knives Out, one of its two PUBG clones on mobile? It’s in 5th place globally on mobile, just behind POGO, so PUBG’s lawsuit isn’t so bonkers after all.

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Valve turns off lootboxes in the Netherlands for DOTA 2 and CounterStrike: Global Offensive

If you were in any way hoping that the Dutch Gaming Authority’s ruling about lockboxes would lead to a worldwide shift, it seems that’s not quite what’s happening. Valve was one of the companies told to change their lockboxes or face prosecution in the Netherlands for failing to comply with the country’s policies, and Valve has responded… by disabling the Steam Marketplace selling or direct trading of lootboxes for CounterStrike: Global Offensive and DOTA 2 in the Netherlands.

The official statement from Valve indicates that it does not agree with the DGA’s ruling and that appeals are ongoing but that the current action is the only possible solution to the problem. There’s no word of any sort of long-term plans if the DGA does not change its ruling, especially as Valve is currently framing the disabling of lockboxes as a wholly temporary measure. Our condolences to players negatively affected by the decision.

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E3 2018: Perfect World is paving the way to bring Steam to China

If you want to go somewhere to escape Steam’s spreading influence, you might be tempted to head to China, where the country has officially operated free of Valve’s platform to date (although it was accessible more or less unofficially anyway). That won’t be the case for long, however, as Perfect World Entertainment announced that it is working with Valve to bring Steam to the country some time in the future.

Valve and PWE partnered up back in 2012 to bring a few titles, such as Dota 2 and CS:GO, to the country, but obviously this is a much, much bigger deal. PGamesN notes that the two companies currently are figuring out an initial line-up of games for this version of Steam, which raises the spectre of moderation, limited selection, and government censorship.

This is particularly pertinent in light of the recent decision by Valve not to moderate its selection of games unless studios submitted titles that were illegal or designed to troll certain groups.

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The MOP Up: Diablo levels up in Heroes of the Storm (May 13, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Heroes of the StormElder Scrolls Online, DayZEVE Online, Pokemon Go, Dota 2City of HeroesFinal Fantasy XIVPortal KnightsLineage 2 RevolutionWizard101Ingress, and Reign of Guilds, all waiting for you after the break!

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DOTA 2 is bleeding players, SuperData says

Things are looking slightly grim for Valve’s MOBA, as SuperData reports that DOTA 2’s playerbase is in decline as the game continues to lose its population.

The average player base, which peaked at 709,000 back in February 2016, is now down to 437,000 as of last month. Peak players have declined from 1.2 million down to 733,000 over the same span of time.

While the MOBA is still boasting respectable numbers and is active in the e-sports scene, it doesn’t even break onto the top 10 charts for Superdata’s monthly PC rankings (where competitor League of Legends continues to sit comfortably at the top).

The MOBA pushed out its Feast of Abscession update earlier this month, adding the Pudge Arcana for the butcher and lots of new voiceovers.

Source: MMO Bomb

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Dutch Gaming Authority calls out four games as violating its lootbox policies

If you had expected the Netherlands to be leading the fight against lootboxes, you may be more clairvoyant than the rest of the population. After investigating 10 games, the Dutch Gaming Authority has found that four of the games tested feature lootboxes that violate the Better Gaming Act. That may not sound too serious until you consider that the offending games have eight weeks to make changes to the lootboxes to comply with the law.

Failure to do so can result in fines or just straight-up forbidding the games from being sold in the Netherlands. That’s a pretty big deal.

While the DGA did not specifically name games, the Dutch paper reporting on the situation cites FIFA ’18, Dota 2, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Rocket League as the offending titles. The remaining six titles are not in violation of the law but were still sharply criticized for the lootbox implementation, which is said to target younger players and encourage gambling. It’s also worth noting that each of these violations specifically pertains to tradeable items for real money, which just squeaks in as a gambling option.

Source: NOS, VG24/7

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The MOP Up: Enter the Phantom Halls — if you dare! (March 18, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Mu IgnitionLineage 2 RevolutionRevelation OnlineEarthfallLegacy of AtlantisDC UnchainedSoul ArkBattle CarnivalWorld of WarcraftOld School RuneScapeAionWar ThunderArtifactPokemon GoThe Black DeathAstroneerEVE OnlinePhantom HallsMU Online, and Heroes of Newerth, all waiting for you after the break!

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Dota 2 introduces a subscription option for players

After a long time of being free-to-play, Dota 2 is exploring the possibility of letting you pay money for it on a regular basis. Sure, cosmetics have always been there, but you couldn’t subscribe just for cosmetic impact. But now you can with the game’s Dota Plus subscription, charging $4 a month for unlimited access to the weekly Battle Cup along with hero progression tracks and challenges along the way.

Players can also unlock a little added advantage in the form of the Plus Assistant, which will offer suggestions and advice about how to play the game and how to level based on your matches and your play patterns. Whether or not this offers an unfair advantage for the subscription price is going to be in the eye of the beholder; then again, most of the beholders probably wouldn’t have expected to have a subscription option for a MOBA in the first place. It’s a wild time to be alive.

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