Pokemon Go has come a long way since its early days of just catching and gym battling. Those are still core gameplay elements, but there’s a bit more to it now. It’s not just about catch and release, but catching specific Pokemon, catch several in a row, catching with a specific kind of throw, and more, mostly thanks to questing.
Yes, there are quests in POGO now, including dailies. I’m not just talking about the old system either. Now, at the very least, you want to catch one Pokemon, spin one PokeStop, and do one “Field Task,” the game’s equivalent of dailies. If you understand that, you can probably stop here, but for those looking to dig a bit deeper, keep reading.
The record for highest concurrent users on Steam for a game launched in 2018 goes to Monster Hunter World, smashing the record set by… Monster Hunter World. Yes, after hitting around 240,000 concurrent users at launch, the game went on to climb to 340,000 concurrent users over the weekend, which makes this a rather silly record but a significant one. It shows a game not just hotly anticipated but one actually building momentum.
It’s difficult to know exactly how many copies the game has sold thanks to Valve’s new way of handling services like SteamSpy, but estimates place it between 2 million and 5 million copies on the platform, with other data pointing closer to the 2 million figure. For an obscure title that had long been released only in Japan, it’s still an amazing number, and it seems to indicate that the title is doing quite well for itself. Even with the issues that the port has had.
Pearl Abyss, the Korean developer of Black Desert, posted its Q2 2018 earnings report this past week, showing both significantly increased revenue and profits over the three-month period. The company showed revenues around $99.8 million for the period, out of which $4.2 million was pure profit.
The Black Desert IP is Pearl Abyss’ bread and butter right now, and the developer is making tons of money not just on the sandbox MMO but the new mobile version that’s starting to roll out. In fact, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau are slated to get it at the end of this month, with 1.5 million players registered for the title. Black Desert Mobile will expand to the rest of Southeast Asia by the end of this year and go global in 2019.
Pearl Abyss announced plans to expand its global reach with new offices in Japan and the US, hiring around 187 additional employees to fill demand.
We have been waiting for a long, long time to see if and when Nexon would be bringing the mega-hit Moonlight Blade over from the east. Now, we have some solid indication that such an effort is currently in the works.
As part of Nexon’s Q2 2018 financial report, the studio posted a chart of games that it has in the pipeline for both PC and mobile, divided by different regions. For the west, the publisher confirmed that MapleStory 2 and Moonlight Blade are on their way at an unspecified date.
Nexon’s probably not in that great of a hurry to make this happen, considering that only 13% of its business takes place in the west, with the vast majority of revenue coming from China, Korea, and Japan, , though it does say this past quarter’s increase in revenue is largely due to growth in North America and Europe.
I’ve noticed a bit of a renewal for Pokemon Go thanks to large improvements by Niantic starting with Generation 3. With raids, quests, real-world weather affecting spawns, trading, and friends, the game’s drastically changed since release. But as my fellow Massively OP reporters Brendan Drain and Tina Lauro Pollock have both returned to the game, I’ve also noticed that coming (back) to the game can be a bit confusing.
There are a lot of in-depth guides out there, but there is so much going on with the game that for a real newbie, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Instead, I’m going to go point by point, top priority to bottom, in a way that lets you get back into the game quick and easy, using long-term but relevant tips and resources. Power players and veterans can skim these articles and add their own advice in the comments section, but my job is going to put you on the road to being a capable Pokemon trainer.
Today, we’re going to start with community.
Improbable’s SpatialOS is moving on up in the world: The company announced this week that China’s NetEase has invested $50 million to acquire a “small equity stake to act as strategic investment” in the company. And that’s not just casual money; NetEase is apparently planning on developing multiple games using SpatialOS, the first of which is expected to be revealed later in 2018.
“We are recruiting and establishing a presence able to support game developers of all types within China who wish to use SpatialOS, and actively seeking other partners in Asia,” Improbable says. “The investment will increase our ability to help game makers in China and beyond to build previously impossible games, by helping game makers to benefit from a neutral, openly available technology platform supporting the next generation of online gaming.”
Sadly, it does not seem that God Eater Online really talks much about the experience of turning deific entities into snacks. If you were hoping to discover the unparalleled flavor of gods (possibly after they have been deep-fried), you will be disappointed. But not for much longer, as the game has announced that it will be shutting down in September in Japan. The title never made its way over to local shores, and under the circumstances that seems almost certain not to change.
God Eater Online launched on mobile in Japan back in February of 2017 and was based on the franchise of the same name, with players taking a variety of characters into active combat against monsters. The microtransaction store will be taken offline at the end of August, although for understandable reasons you may not wish to spend any money on it now, either. Our condolences to fans and developers affected by the shutdown.
Looking over the past two decades or so, MMORPGs have grown by leaps and bounds with regular releases, events, and (of course) expansion packs. Hundreds of expansions have now flooded the scene, with some of the longest-running titles seeing upwards of two dozen or more.
That got me thinking: Which expansion was the best? Not overall, I mean, but the best for each game that it serviced? Every MMO player harbors strong feelings about which was the best expansion for the titles they enjoy, and I have read many articles in which expansions were ranked, reviewed, and debated.
For this week’s Perfect Ten, we’ll be trying to put a finger on the best expansion for 10 specific MMOs. I’ve taken the additional step of polling the Massively OP staff to give me input on MMOs that they have played extensively over the years. So what’s the best? Let’s find out!
Game historians might recall that way back in 2002, game development studio Level 5 and Microsoft were collaborating on bringing the cel-shaded True Fantasy Life Online to Xbox. The project fell apart partially into development to the dismay of many who were anticipating the MMORPG, but Level 5 didn’t quite give up on its dream.
The studio has seen great success on mobile platforms, including its Fantasy Life series of Nintendo DS games. Now Level 5 is returning to its MMO dream with this months’ launch of Fantasy Life Online in Japan.
Described as an “MMO-lite,” Fantasy Life Online gives players the opportunity to quest and live out a career as one of several classes. There are both combat and non-combat options, and the title definitely has a lot in common with the Animal Crossing series when it comes to presentation.
There is no word as of yet on a Western version or release date, but chances are good that it is heading our way. In the meanwhile, check out the trailer after the break!
Despite the slightly awkward name — “Phase 4: Reign, Part 1
,” really, Trion? — this week’s ArcheAge content update
is chock-full of fun for both fresh start servers and those on the well-worn shards.
Fresh start servers have increased the level cap to 55, finally received both the Dwarves and Warborn, and rolled out cars, boats, and farm freighters.
Players can attempt to tackle Mistsong, which the team says is “absolutely the hardest dungeon” in the game. Lots of risk, lots of gear rewards, you know the drill! The patch also updated the trade pack system, made some big gear updates, and fiddled with the Kraken. Fiddling only makes him upset, though.
It’s year two of Pokemon Go. While there’s always room for improvement, enough has changed that I feel comfortable recommending the game to at least pre-World of Warcraft MMO fans. Why them and not the greater MMO community? Glad you (hopefully) asked! Unlike most true MMOs, POGO is still in its early infancy in terms of in-game community. Much as in early online games, players may be able to have a friend’s list, but not only is basic chat lacking but so is guild/clan support. There’s no party system, which means no group finder, let alone instanced content that lets you join in with little to no effort.
Like old school MMOs, POGO players have to use a lot of out of game tools for their communities, but there’s enough going on that fellow Massively OP reporters Brendan Drain and Tina Lauro Pollock have renewed their interest in the game. While Brendan had previously attempted some casual raids, both he and Tina had quit entirely. As the game just had not one but two events this weekend as part of its second year anniversary, we decided to try moving out of our comfort zone and looking at the game’s community from new perspectives. Brendan and Tina tried jumping in for the events for the first time, while I tried playing outside my usual community, with mixed results.
Today is Pokemon Go’s second-year anniversary. Last year’s report card had to grapple with things like the game’s rapid rise and fall as a fad, its severe lack of promised content even with its first major update, crimes associated with the game, and being somewhat anti-social – and that was before the disaster known as Pokemon Go fest 2017. It was probably the worst way to start off a new year for your game, and it’s probably no surprise that our coverage of the game waned after the fallout.
But something happened. Whether it was because series Director/Producer Junichi Masuda was there to witness the horror or because some internal change in Niantic’s process changed, we’ll probably never know. But change came. Generation 3 became Pokemon Go’s One Tamriel. Suggestions I’d made previously happened and are still happening. The numbers are showing that the improvements are paying off, as the game’s playerbase is at the highest it’s been since its 2016 peak, after having gone through a brutal 80% dropoff. I thought I was being overly optimistic with my 2018 predictions for the game, but so far, so very good!
One thing Trion Senior Producer James Karras drove home during my meeting with the team at this year’s E3 is that with Trove’s Geode
update, the team is experimenting
. Yes, Battle Royale is happening, but it’s no threat to the main gameplay. Geode’s new world and its playstyle alone should allay those fears.
Specifically, the team wanted to introduce non-combat gameplay into Trove with planet Geode. It’s about exploration. It’s about helping small animals that are cold, injured, or hungry. It’s about rewarding everyone nearby you when you do good. While the game might seem more grindy, the idea is to give crafter and exploration types something that’s engaging for them, though clearly going out and killing will still be an option. I’m not even a Trove player, but I was quite excited to hear about the team’s design choices this time around.