MMO Money: EA Eyes Battle Royale and Crowfall Hits Funding Milestone

We’re back again with another look at the world of MMO business. This week we’ve got more funding milestones, Superdata has released another month’s revenue report, and there’s more lootbox news. Oh, and we can’t forget the Battle Royale games. Battle Royale forever!

 

Crowfall Hits Funding Milestone

Crowfall Hits Funding Milestone

ArtCraft Entertainment has now raised $20 million from a combination of investments, partnerships, and their crowdfunding efforts. The Kickstarter campaign finished with more than $1.7 million donated back in March 2015. Later that same year they had raised $10 million through investments. Now, in the time since then, they’ve doubled their money and raised another $10 million. This was announced in a press release by the company in which they also announced an international distribution agreement that will see Crowfall released in Russia and the CIS.

 

Source: Press Release

 

Netease’s SpatialOS Investment

Netease has invested $50 million in SpatialOS which they’re calling a small equity stake to act as a strategic investment. How anyone can consider 50 million anything small is beyond me. Improbable has said that they’re establishing a presence in China to support game developers while also actively seeking other partners in Asia. In the press release announcing this investment, they also say: “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.”

At the moment, SpatialOS is being used by Worlds Adrift, Mavericks, and Fractured. Last year they also received a half a billion dollar investment from SoftBank. What does this all mean? We’re like to see a whole lot more games made with SpatialOS in the future. Though, it should be noted that earlier this year Chronicles of Elyria dropped SpatialOS. It’s not clear yet if Netease will be using SpatialOS in any of their future games, but it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s outside the realm of possibility.

Netease was also in the news recently for another reason, they’re taking over publishing EVE Online in China starting in October. They’re also responsible for bringing Blizzard games to mainland China.

 

Source: Official Announcement

 

At EA Battle Royale Is On Everyone’s Mind

During EA’s Q1 earnings call executives fielded questions from investors and it seemed that everyone had Battle Royale fever. There were questions about if Battlefield V’s model might resemble Fortnite. EA held firm saying that the game’s Battle Royale mode would be just that, another mode. But there was also a hint at the possibility of EA releasing a comparable game in the future. “We’re interested in experimenting with a free-to-play standalone game that might be in a shooter genre or another genre. But I don’t think that’s how we’re looking at the Battlefield stuff right now.”

EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson also said that the company is open to cross-platform play. “We’re looking at key franchises in terms of how we should deliver cross-platform play in a similar way that Fortnite has, especially some of our titles that have a broad and diverse player base,” he said. “The ability to bring PC to mobile or mobile to console can bring family and friends together, and we think that’s an important part of our future development profile. Expect more from us on that front in the future.”

So, expect more Battle Royale from EA in the future.

 

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

 

Top Grossing Games in June

Superdata released their monthly look at the top grossing games with a look at June. PUBG got a massive boost thanks to the Steam sale. In June the game sold 4.7 million units, but at a reduced price. That being said it was still the second best month the game has ever had. On the list, PUBG jumped from 9th to 3rd for PC.

Pokemon Go also had a fantastic month, they were previously in 7th for mobile games back in April but have now jumped up to 3rd. They owe their success to the warm summer months and to very popular changes to the game which have brought a lot of players back. Including regular community events like the upcoming Eevee event in which Eevee will be a whole lot more common and boosts will last longer.

Much of the rest of the list remains the same, however.

 

Source: Superdata Report

 

Vainglory Made $50 Million Since Launch

Mobile MOBA Vainglory is one of the great successes of the MOBA genre and is widely considered the best mobile MOBA available. So it shouldn’t really come as much of a surprise that they have brought in $50 million since they launched in 2014. This actually makes it the third most successful mobile MOBA behind Arena of Valor and Mobile Legends. 32% of that revenue comes from the United States while Japan is the next highest at about 12%. Almost 64% of all revenue comes from iOS which isn’t really much of a surprise given that it launched as an iOS-only title. While everyone keeps talking about battle royale games it is nice to see former trends can still succeed.

 

Source: Sensor Tower Report

 

Lootboxes

For Dutch players of Dota 2, it is now plainly obvious what is contained inside lootboxes now. They’re following in the footsteps of Path of Exile who have done this previously. In doing so they put the power in the hands of the players, letting them decide if they want to buy it or not. While some people have said that it has taken the thrill out of opening the box, others welcome it as they’re now getting only what they want to pay for. While Valve hasn’t come out and said that this is because of the Dutch Gaming Authority’s ruling earlier this year, it isn’t a stretch at all to assume that it is. Yay progress!

Meanwhile, Rocket League has published a blog post which has the drop rates of crate rarity levels and they promise that any changes they make in the future will also be announced. The rates range from 55% to 1% and also include Painted and Certified Attributes.

 

Source: Rock Paper Shotgun, Rocket League

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ArtCraft to License Out its Crowfall MMO Engine

Over the course of development for Crowfall, new technology and engines had to be worked out by the folks at ArtCraft in order to make all of the sandbox MMO’s pieces lock together. It would appear, then, that the company is pleased enough with its engine that they’ve formed ArtCraft Technologies Inc. and will be licensing out their engine for other MMO devs to use.

artcraft technologies inc.

According to the press release, ArtCraft’s Artisan Engine provides MMO devs with a feature set that tackles the numerous challenges inherent in creating a game for thousands of players. The engine handles networking, persistence, physics, procedural world generation, dynamic world editing and seamless world maps of over 5,000 x 5,000 meters in size. The engine also features an RPG layer to manage things like characters, inventory and monsters.

To help with the new enterprise, ArtCraft has hired co-creator of Wizard101, Pirate101 and Shadowbane Josef Hall to helm things. “The time and cost benefit for an MMO – and for other mediums, like VR and MR – is absolutely staggering,” said Hall in a statement. “What ACE has built is impressive. This is a unique opportunity.”

“This is a huge win for our company. Josef is one of the most seasoned MMO executives on the planet,” said CEO J. Todd Coleman. “ArtCraft continues build a cadre of experiences that is practically unmatched in the industry.”

Our Thoughts

Considering the sort of things Crowfall has been able to do over the course of its development, we’re excited to see that the company behind the game is confident enough in its engine to start licensing it out. If this means more online worlds and engaging sandbox MMOs then we’re all for it.

Source: press release

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Crowfall Battlements Let You Create the Aesthetic Castle of Your Dreams

Crowfall continue with their regular developmental updates with a look at Battlements. Battlements? Why yes, they give your Eternal Kingdom Keeps and Castles additional aesthetics while also being pretty functional.

Crowfall Battlements and Beyond

Having previously outlined such things in Crowfall’s Eternal Kingdoms as multi-player city building, Battlements give us a little peek into just one part of the Castle customization process.

When building your strongholds, you will be able to stack battlements on top of stone walls and gatehouses, the latter of which are being broken up into modular pieces making building with them even easier. The team wants Castle customization to come with the most amount of options with the least amount of assets and deed, to save in inventory space.

They also give us a little look into what they are calling “Mega Deeds”. These will be a collection of deeds within a deed and Artcraft say that these “will totally change the Eternal Kingdom creation game.” And the higher quality your deed, the more aesthetic options will be available to you.

Panels are also being implemented, allowing you to change any wall, gatehouse, tower, or battlement for any aesthetic or even practical purpose.

Of course, the official post goes into much better detail so be sure to check that out and start thinking about what kind of look you want to give your stronghold!

Our Thoughts

Well I mean, we love messing around with creating and customizing in the MMOs that we play so a deeper dive into battlements is gonna get us a little bit excited all over again for the idea of building and maintaining our own castles in Crowfall’s Eternal Kingdoms. That’s just the way it goes. It’s also awesome to see how Artcraft fiddle with different elements to make the act of customization easier all around. I just really like castles, okay?

Source: Crowfall Post

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ArtCraft Go Over Crowfall Pre-Alpha 5.5 Milestones

Exploration, zombies, and female centaurs are the name of the game in the latest milestone video from ArtCraft, looking at all the shiny new additions to Crowfall Pre-Alpha 5.5, with the focus being on making world exploration more exciting and rewarding.

ArtCraft Go Over Crowfall Pre-Alpha 5.5 Milestones

With the newest Pre-Alpha update, the Tyranny campaign map is gone, replaced by a new map called Wrath which brings in a cacophony of new features. Like what? Well, Adventure Zones are here! There are areas full of spiders, zombies, and minibosses which you will need to take on with a party of players.

The good news is that you can now play as female Centaurs, so if you like your ladies half horse well, who are we to judge?

There is also a new death and recovery system in place that will see you at first knocked unconscious. From here you can be resurrected by other players of the appropriate class, or receive a killing blow from an enemy. You will find yourself sent back to the temple where you will receive a death penalty, or alternatively, you can fly back to your corpse to avoid this. It sounds like a bit of a hybrid between Guild Wars 2’s death mechanic and the more traditional corpse run.

Over in your player kingdom, you can now make use of the vendor system. Just plug in your chosen vendors and off you go. These vendors, notably, are player-controlled and other people can buy from them and you collect the gold. It will definitely be interesting to see how this plays out!

 

Our Thoughts

It’s great to see how Crowfall is fleshing out. Of course, these Adventure Zones will have PvP so they aren’t entirely PvE, but it’s super neat to see a world developing, even if the maps aren’t permanent. The death mechanics and player-controlled vendors are particularly interesting. It’s nice to know that there are options to avoid penalties and corpse runs, but also a risk involved too. And seeing the beginnings of a player economy in such an interesting way is fantastic! This is the kind of vendor system I’ve wanted to see for a while, and only really The Elder Scrolls Online has come close in more recent MMOs.

Source: Official Site

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