Welcome to the Dead Zone – The Latest Game Mode For Space MMORTS Starborne

Starborne is a novel space MMORTS in which individual games for galactic supremacy take place over a set time period, namely 10 weeks. This 4X grand-strategy take on the sci-fi genre was designed by ex EVE Online developers and is not without its similarities. Players can forge their own destinies as industrial moguls or cosmic fleet captains on the frontline, with their choices and skills carving the road to victory or defeat for their chosen alliance.

The game has been playable as an open beta since April, and recently developers Solid Clouds have been hard at work crafting a brand new game mode dubbed Dead Zone. This mode condenses gameplay to a 4-hour bout – just 3% of the time that a regular Starborne game takes – and last weekend was previewed in the form of a tournament with the victors being given the opportunity to contribute to the Starborne lore.

The preview showed off the following features and innovations: 

  •       4 hour game rounds
  •       Four new playable factions; Nightcorps, Les Apaches, Surpasum and Gatos Fritos
  •       Claiming special hexes now gives unique empire-wide bonuses
  •       New much smaller map featuring 25-player starting locations 
  •       New cards and overhauled card pool 
  •       New Nebula
  •       New Station Planner with new buildings and organizations
  •       Sprawling Radiation pools now appear on the map and must be contained

Commenting on Dead Zone, Stefan Gunnarsson, CEO and Lead Designer on Starborne said, “We have been playing Dead Zone a lot in the office and we are incredibly excited about its potential. We have spent the last few years building up our own framework to make large-scale strategy games and Dead Zone is a showcase of how powerful that framework is becoming. Our community has been the cornerstone behind our success so we are excited to reward the victors of this first Dead Zone Tournament with a unique opportunity to contribute to the history of the Starborne universe.”

If you’re a fan of 4X Strategy games and want to try your hand at a space MMORTS then dive into the open BETA for Starborne by following this link.

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It’s the Final Countdown: EVE Online Invasion Comes To A Head

The year-long Invasion expansion for spacefaring MMORPG EVE Online has culminated in its third and final chapter. After having already covered EVE Online’s upcoming journey into the world of mobile gaming, we’re especially excited to see the progression of the flagship title with this latest storyline update.

The story, centred around the invading ‘Triglavian Collective’, will force players into a pivotal decision: to side with the Triglavians or defend the Empires of New Eden. As expected from an MMO moulded by its players, your decision will not only influence the plot’s direction but will also have a lasting impact on the entire game – ensuring that life in the cluster will never be the same again. 

Cosmic battles are inevitable as open conflict rages on between EDENCOM forces and Triglavians across high and low security space, forcing you to defend yourself against roaming fleets and fellow players depending on which force you side with. New structures and defences will come into play as the Empires bolster their resistance and the Triglavians double down on the attack. 

“At the core of EVE Online is a universe where actions have consequences, and this year the consequences of the Invasion storyline will have deep and lasting effects on players. Players will have to make their choice carefully – will they side with the new invaders, or will they resist?” said Bergur Finnbogason, EVE Online’s Creative Director. “Chapter 3 delivers a universe-changing event with a series of activities and player-driven decisions that will span the summer and change the landscape of EVE forever!”

With this season finale also comes additional improvements to the gameplay mechanics of player-built structures in the Forsaken Fortress update. This update introduces the new ‘Abandoned’ structure state alongside ‘Full Power’ and ‘Low Power’ states.

Make sure to follow EVE’s social media channels for all communications on updates, check out our own page on EVE Online and download the game for free if, for some reason, you haven’t already.

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EVE Echoes: The EVE Online Spinoff We’ve All Been Waiting For

The Sci-fI MMORPG titan EVE Online is taking a voyage into the mobile gaming universe with the announcement of its MMO mobile gaming venture – EVE Echoes. 

Just like its illustrious forerunner, the next gen mobile spinoff will feature a near-endless universe of 80,000+ solar systems complete with the exploration, PvP and PvE battles, mining, trading, industry and sophisticated player economy that has elevated EVE Online to become a paradigm of the MMO genre. 

EVE Echoes is the result of a CCP Games & NetEase Games collaboration three years in the making. Through livestreams and Q&As, community input has been fed into the development every step of the way to ensure that this mobile rendition of the fan favourite will be up to scratch – and the results look promising. 

 

Some of the upcoming features include:

New Faction: The Yan-Jung

Straight from the EVE Online lore – the Yan-Jung have emerged as a playable faction within the mobile spinoff. Inspired by ancient oriental architecture, Yan-Jung ships are made with bronze-like metal, using smooth surfaces and aesthetically-pleasing symmetrical designs.

Corporations

A defining feature of the original game, Corporations make their return in EVE Echoes, allowing players to unite in exploring the cosmos. 

Capsuleer Outpost

If you’re happier when flying solo, then the Capsuleer Outpost is a private structure designed for lone adventurers to occupy and provides a suitable foothold to explore the new frontier independently. 

Ship Skins

As the name suggests EVE Echoes will be incorporating the ability to change the appearance of your ship at any time via tradeable licenses. 

Tutorials

Luckily for EVE Online greenhorns, the development team has prioritised gameplay optimisation and, as a direct result of player feedback during Beta testing, have built in compelling tutorials, making this title accessible to all skill levels. 

Excited? You should be! The devotion to perfecting this title through fan feedback is a promising sign for this MMO behemoth’s first foray into mobile gaming. EVE Echoes is scheduled for release in August 2020. Check out their website to stay in the loop and register to be notified of release by searching for EVE Echoes in the App Store or Google Play. 

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10 Best MMORPGs in 2020

You may have heard that the MMORPG genre is dying, and you know what, that may be true, but it isn’t dead yet! There are still a ton of amazing MMOs that you can play. That’s not even mentioning the ones that are coming out in the near future. What should you be playing if you want to play the best? Here’s our list of the 10 best MMORPGs in 2020.

 

10. Guild Wars 2

Despite recent displeasure from longtime fans of the game Guild Wars 2 is still one of the best AAA MMORPGs available on the market. ArenaNet is developing another game and many feel that is reflected by the smaller content patches. But, the game that already exists is fantastic. It has had two expansions which are still popular to this day. Just don’t rush through all the content expecting to get more frequently or you may end up disappointed.

 

9. ArcheAge

ArcheAge Unchained Review Glider

Last year ArcheAge got a huge boost to life with the release of ArcheAge Unchained. The new business model brought in new players and older ones who had previously left citing irritation with the monetization of the game. While reviews of the game on Steam are mixed closer inspection shows that the vast majority of complaints are about difficulties accessing the game and not problems with the game itself. The game is being praised as being enjoyable and fun to play. Quite a feat for a game that is going on 6 years old.

 

8. Phantasy Star Online 2

It may not be expected to launch until Q2 this year but we can already say without a doubt that Phantasy Star Online 2 is going to be one of the best MMORPGs you will play this year. The game has been running consistently in Japan since 2012. In that time it has expanded to be available on PC, PS Vita, PS4, and in 2018 Nintendo Switch. Here in the West, the release will be limited to North America and only be for PC and Xbox One but we’re sure that this much sought after MMORPG will be the talk of the gaming community once it releases.

 

7. Bless Unleashed

We don’t yet know when Bless Unleashed will be leaving beta, but the fact that it has been doing open beta testing suggests that it’s quite close. Bless Unleashed is the game that Bless Online should have been, something that I’ve seen repeated over and over by people who have played in the beta. It is a vast improvement to the game with completely new combat and a number of other big changes. Most notably, it isn’t even made by the same studio. Bless Unleashed is an amazing game, but, it has to get past the stigma and misunderstanding of what the game is. This isn’t just a repackaging of the same game but now it’s free or anything like.

 

6. City of Heroes

city of heroes - Publishers Wish to Block Emulators - MMOGames.com - Your source for MMOs & MMORPGs

It has almost been a year since City of Heroes made a comeback with a bunch of fan-run servers and we are expecting to start seeing new content from the largest of these servers sometime this year. But, that isn’t the reason City of Heroes makes our list. Despite the game being 15 years old and not having any new content for a number of years thanks to it having been offline, it is still one of the most playable MMORPGs on the market right now. This is thanks to the massive amount of content that already existed for the game and just how alt friendly it is. It is also a fantastic game for roleplayers, something of a rarity these days.

 

5. Runescape

This year Runescape is 19 years old but it is still going strong. In fact, 2019 was the best year the Runescape games have ever had! Jagex is also planning something big for the big 20th anniversary next January. So, if you want to try out the game that introduced a large chunk of the internet to MMOs, now might just be the best time to give Runescape a try. Throughout this year Jagex is also going to be hiring 100 new employees, which means that the new content is going to keep rolling in for a long time.

 

4. EVE Online

EVE Online is another one of those games that just keeps getting better with age. This year they’ll be celebrating their 17th birthday! Sure, if you ask the player base there might be some concerns about the game growing stale and yes, the population of the game has been declining. But behind all the current drama there is an incredibly solid game and there is nothing else on the market quite like it.

 

3. World of Warcraft

“Don’t ask what happened to the first one — Mechagon Technology is still Gnome technology!”

When it came to picking the top 3 MMORPGs in 2020 it wasn’t easy. The three games are all on pretty equal ground and it really just depends on personal taste which one you like more. For the sake of this list, however, we let the general hype levels of the game decide. World of Warcraft is still going strong and, while the hype may not be quite as strong anymore for WoW Classic, there are still oh so many who swear by it. 2019 may not have been an amazing year for WoW but it is on such a high pedestal that it can afford to have a bad year and still be one of the best.

 

2. ESO

If you think back to the launch of Elder Scrolls Online it might come as a complete surprise that ESO has come so far. Despite the rough launch, the game has jumped from strength to strength. It’s a solid game through and through that somehow gets forgotten fairly regularly. Right now is a great time to jump in as they’re starting a year-long story that will stretch over several DLCs released throughout 2020.

 

1. FFXIV

2019 was an amazing year for Final Fantasy XIV. Even if only one thing had happened in the game the entire year, the release of Shadowbringers, it still would be number one. Why? Shadowbringers has often been praised as the best MMO expansion of all time. The fact that six months on from the release of the expansion players are still singing its praises is also something of a wonder these days. There is no doubt that as of the time of writing it, in January 2020 Final Fantasy XIV is the best MMORPG, period.

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Destiny 2 Has Launched a Campaign to Help Victims of Australia’s Bushfires

Destiny 2 has launched a campaign to help victims of Australia’s Bushfires. These fires have been going on for 3 months now and estimates say that it will take another 3 months before they are under control. In that time over a billion animals have been lost, 25 human lives and at least 2,000 homes have been lost.

Now Destiny 2 is joining EVE Online and countless other groups and websites online who have started raising funds to help Australia heal. For their part, Bungie is developing a limited edition T-Shirt to raise funds for both the Australian firefighters and animal rescue efforts. Pre-order for the shirt will be available January 16th through to February 18th in the Bungie Store and the Bungie Store EU. Christine Edwards, the Senior Foundation Manager for the Bungie Foundation had this to say about the fundraiser.

Over the past two decades, the Bungie community has been an amazing force for good in our world by raising millions of dollars to assist those in distress. In addition to supporting thousands of children through our iPads for Kids Program, you have helped victims of hurricanes Katrina and Harvey and have donated to those affected by earthquakes in Haiti, Japan, and Nepal. Time and time again, you have been Guardians to others in their greatest time of need.

The bush fires currently ravaging Australia have been devastating. Many people have lost their homes, firefighters are risking their lives daily, and an estimated hundreds of millions of wild animals have fallen victim to the fires.

We are developing a limited-edition T-shirt fundraising campaign to support both Australia’s firefighting efforts and the country’s animal rescue and conservation efforts. The T-shirt, which comes with an exclusive Destiny 2 “Star Light, Star Bright” emblem redemption code with purchase, will be available for pre-order on the Bungie Store and Bungie Store EU between Thursday, January 16 and Tuesday, February 18 at 9 a.m. Pacific, ending with the weekly reset and the end of Crimson Days. The team is currently hard at work on the T-shirt design and we’ll share a preview early next week.

The first half of all profits generated by these T-shirt sales will be donated to WIRES, Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization. The other half will be donated to NSW Rural Fire Service, which services the state of New South Wales, where the fires have been especially devastating and are in dire need of containment.

Be sure to check out next week’s edition of This Week at Bungie for more details on how you can support Australia through this fundraiser. In the meantime, our hearts go out to all that are impacted and we are wishing for clearer skies ahead.

 

Source: Bungie Blog Post

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EVE Aether Wars Going for a World Record Fight and You’re Invited

You may recall at GDC EVE Aether Wars made headlines when 14,274 people were all logged in to a single instance, multi-region game world. Well now on November 23rd during the EVE London meetup at London’s O2 Arena and all across the internet you will have the chance to take part in a world record attempt. Their aim is to break the record for the largest fight ever in gaming. If you want to be part of this record-breaking event you can pre-register to take part by adding the game to your wishlist on Steam. Yeah, it seems like it is going to be that easy. The record that they’re trying to beat is actually already held by EVE players. That’s the Battle of B-R5RB which had 6,142 players on 23 January 2018.

That isn’t the only news to come out of EVE Vegas so far either. NetEase and CCP have announced that the open beta for EVE Echoes will be in December 2019 for iOS and Android.

“We’re very excited for the first public outing of EVE Echoes, the next revolutionary step in mobile MMO gaming,” said Hilmar V. Petursson, CEO of CCP Games. “I can’t wait to see the reaction from our core PC players, who will no doubt recognize the unparalleled scale and sophisticated gameplay of EVE Online’s virtual world running through the veins of EVE Echoes.”

“CCP Games is a pioneer in space MMOs, and will make its mark on the industry even further by expanding the EVE experience to mobile with EVE Echoes,” said Ethan Wang, Vice President of NetEase, Inc. “Combining CCP’s leadership in game design with our NeoX game engine and leadership in game publishing will no doubt create a spacefaring sandbox MMO for mobile devices unlike anything seen before.”

 

Source: Press Release

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10 Absolutely Shocking or Surprising MMO Events

The video game industry isn’t all about making games; that would be so downright boring. That is why now and then we get a shocking scandal, surprise announcement or surreal occurrence. Here are 10 controversial or surprising happenings that spread like wildfire and in some way changed the industry.

Save the Whales – Lockbox Legislation Around the World

Video Game Industry Scandals Star Wars Battlefront 2 lockboxes

Do you like gambling? Great! So why aren’t you inside a casino? Oh, that’s right, most games nowadays come with some sort of gambling feature called lockboxes. The premise is simple and ingenious: you are promised amazing in-game rewards that will be all the rage. So, what should you do? Purchase more and more of these boxes to increase the odds of getting that rare piece of gear or costume. Go on, put that credit card to use, games don’t make themselves, you know?

That was sarcasm, in case you didn’t notice. Always be responsible with your spending.

The shady thing with lockboxes is that the odds of really getting something worthwhile are incredibly slim and shrouded in secrecy, not to mention that they have this tempting allure that many players aren’t able to resist. It does sound a lot like gambling, right? That is how you end up spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on randomized pieces of loot.

Oddly enough, it was China that first started looking into this matter and demanded that developers publicly revealed the odds of earning an in-game item. Crossfire was one of the first games to come to light and the ludicrous 3% proves that lockboxes are a wonderful deal… for publishers.

Other regions such as Belgium and The Netherlands started investigating lockboxes, with some games such as Overwatch stopping the sale of lockboxes in affected regions. Electronic Arts was involved in this controversy as well, with games such as Star Wars Battlefront 2 and FIFA 18 being mentioned as examples. Of course, other countries aren’t entirely sure about this subject. France and Ireland, for example, aren’t the biggest fans of lockboxes but see this practice as a legally grey area.

Lockboxes are a touchy subject and will surely continue to be discussed during the following years. My advice to you is: if you really like a game and want to support the development team by spending some money, which you should totally do, look at the item shop and leave lockboxes alone.

 

Riot Games Bro Culture, Testicle Flicking and Gender-Based Discrimination

Video Game Industry Scandals League of Legends Riot Games

Riot Games achieved intergalactic fame riding on the success of League of Legends, but by late 2018 it was talked about due to the worst possible reasons: an alleged culture of sexism, a “giant fraternity,” and a “bro culture” where women were not welcome. It was a place where women were discriminated against, as their career progression was stifled as positions went to less-qualified men.

Kotaku created an amazing article with several interviews that dropped like a bomb in the already fragile and scandal-ridden video game industry.

Naturally, this piece spread like wildfire and had severe repercussions, with Riot Games having to undertake some serious damage control. Riot’s COO Scott Gelb was in the spotlight by facing accusations from multiple employees about repeatedly flicking testicles, farting on employees or humping them for comedic effect. Sounds like a lot of fun when you are on the receiving end, right?

To cut a long story short, several former Riot Games employees started sharing their experiences after reading the articles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and the least that can be said is that it is some heavy reading. Riot Games eventually apologized, but the damage was done, and the past can’t be erased. How it has affected the studio – and League of Legends – remains a bit of a mystery, but I doubt that it did them any favors. And it’s so easy to apologize after your humiliating studio culture is revealed to the world…

 

A Bad Case of Battle Royale – PUBG Corp Sues Left and Right

Video Game Industry Scandals PUBG

Here’s a lawsuit for you! And you! Everyone gets a lawsuit!

There is no denying that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was the game that kickstarted the Battle Royale craze. It remains as one of the most played games in its genre, but it is now trailing behind Epic Games’ Fortnite, and Respawn’s Apex Legends is also proving to be a worthy challenger.

However, if there is one thing that developer PUBG Corporation can’t claim is having invented the Battle Royale genre or its mechanics. That is why suing Epic Games sounded more like a desperate attempt to put a stop to the rising fame of Fortnite Battle Royale than an authentic, credible case. It felt more like a kid throwing a tantrum because someone stole his candy. His delicious, everlasting candy.

But before the Epic Games lawsuit, there was a previous one targeting NetEase. PUBG Corporation wasn’t pleased with Knives Out and Rules of Survival, going to the extent of detailing several game mechanics over 100 pages. Claiming copyright infringement for things such as a pre-game lobby, the air jump, character attributes and much more seems a bit of a stretch. Sure, I’ll admit that the frying pan armor may be somewhat original, but still…

PUBG is a huge success and shady copycats were bound to happen, but it will be a depressing day when a studio is granted the copyright for trite game mechanics or a completely unremarkable game idea. Let’s cross our fingers and hope that the day will never come.

 

Trust Us, This Time It’s Good – Bless Online Western Release Mess

Video Game Industry Scandals Bless Online

Bless Online is the perfect lesson in exaggerated hype and subsequent disappointment. May its legacy serve as a warning for future generations about the dangers of high expectations.

For the lucky few who aren’t aware of the whole situation, Bless Online is a Korean fantasy MMORPG that was several years in the making and had a large budget as well. A few lackluster betas led to a Rebuild project that ended up not changing that much, and the attrition between original western publisher Aeria Games and developer Neowiz was a clear sign that Bless Online wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.

Ultimately, Neowiz decided to self-publish Bless Online in the west through Steam, but with a major twist – it was going to be buy-to-play! An unfinished, buggy mess of a free-to-play Korean game that the western crowd was now expected to pay for. Oddly enough, many players cheered this decision because things are always better when you pay, right? With the reality shock and negative feedback stemming from the Early Access phase – because Bless Online wasn’t in development for long enough, you know –, there was a 180º turn and Bless Online’s official launch marked a switch to the original free-to-play business model. Too little, too late?

Apparently, yes. As the original Korean servers shut down, along with the failure of the Russian and Japanese versions. The Steam release of Bless Online is now the sole focus of Neowiz. Unsurprisingly, it is bleeding players and its future is uncertain, to say the least.

But I saved the best for last! Out of the blue, Neowiz and Bandai Namco announced Bless Unleashed, further stirring up the hornet’s nest, a.k.a. Bless Online PC players claiming that resources were being shifted to this upcoming game. This Xbox One exclusive is developed in Unreal Engine 4, is free-to-play and is scheduled for a 2019 launch. How does that old saying goes? Fool me once, shame on you…?

 

Who’s the Parent – Daybreak / Columbus Nova Chaos

Video Game Industry Scandals Daybreak PlanetSide Arena

Daybreak Game Company was in the spotlight for an important part of 2018, and no, it wasn’t due to the massive layoffs (around 70 people). It was because of all the confusion surrounding Daybreak’s alleged parent company, Columbus Nova.

The makers of Z1 Battle Royale, DC Universe Online and PlanetSide Arena, among others, were involved in a tangled web of miscommunication, doubt and unexpected twists. Daybreak has officially denied any affiliation with Columbus Nova, claiming that Jason Epstein, former member of Columbus Nova, is the primary owner of the studio. This conflicts with a 2015 privacy policy which described Columbus Nova as the parent company.

This almost feels like a detective movie, involving a Russian oligarch, billions worth of frozen assets and nail-biting suspense. All that is lacks is a romantic subplot, but let’s not make it more complicated than it already is.

 

Elves on Spaceships – Pearl Abyss Purchases CCP Games

Video Game Industry Scandals Black Desert Online

What does it take for one Korean studio to acquire a hugely reputed developer with a massive hit that has been live for more than 15 years? The answer has three words: Black Desert Online.

Pearl Abyss delivered a stunning MMORPG that is almost unrivaled when it comes to graphics and action combat. It is also incredibly deep and complex – so much so that it’s awfully grindy and requires a hefty dose of patience, and usually money, to become a powerful player. There are reports of players having spent over $5,000 USD on Black Desert Online, and I’m betting that is the tip of the iceberg.

With such revenue numbers, it’s clear that Pearl Abyss had a bit of pocket money. They decided to use it on the acquisition of CCP Games, makers of the intergalactic epic EVE Online. Apart from the upcoming release of EVE Online in Korea, we don’t know what other plans Pearl Abyss has for the Icelandic studio. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t involve spaceships landing in Black Desert Online.

 

A Handful of Nothing – Wargaming Seattle Closes Without a Single Release

Video Game Industry Scandals World of Tanks

Gas Powered Games is a name that brings back some pleasant memories. It takes me to a time when I enjoyed playing the Diablo-like Dungeon Siege, or the complex real-time strategy series Supreme Commander. However, in 2013 the studio was suffering from severe financial issues and ended up being purchased by World of Tanks publisher Wargaming.

Thus, Wargaming Seattle was born, along with hopes of a new “big free-to-play MMO” that never saw the light of day. Five years later, not a single piece of info or a measly screenshot was released to the public, and Wargaming decided to cut its losses. The studio was closed, affecting a 150-strong team and leaving the gaming community oblivious to what kind of project was in development.

However, this isn’t stopping Wargaming’s ambitions. The Belarusian company acquired Edge Case Games in November 2018 and has several partnerships with various developers, one of the latest being Ukrainian studio Frag Lab, which is working on a next-gen free-to-play MMO first-person shooter.

 

Not So Heroic – Marvel Heroes Downfall

Video Game Industry Scandals Marvel Heroes Gazillion

There was once a time when Marvel Heroes merged the best of two worlds: Diablo-like gameplay and super heroes. Sure, it didn’t have the greatest start, but just as it happened with other online games – League of Legends is the perfect example –, it eventually got better as development progressed, gameplay was finetuned and new heroes joined the fray.

After a few years of live service, some worrying news came to light, and not all of them involving the game. A sexual harassment scandal concerning Gazillion’s CEO Dave Dohrmann is a major problem, and Disney’s (owner of Marvel) intention to cut ties with Gazillion was a death sentence. It all ended with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy in 2018, meaning that the studio wasn’t paying its creditors and was forced into bankruptcy by the same entities.

Gazillion workers ended up without any kind of PTO or severance, making the entire situation even more dramatic.

 

Worlds Divided – Gamigo Buys Trion Worlds

Video Game Industry Scandals Trove

Trion Worlds was once one of the most prolific free-to-play games publishers and developers. Trove, Rift, Defiance and Atlas Reactor are all their own doing, and you certainly have heard about ArcheAge as well.

While some of these games were moderate successes, they weren’t enough to keep the company afloat. In October 2018, German publisher Gamigo acquired Trion, along with the full rights to the aforementioned games. They even managed to get a few Gazillion assets (makers of Marvel Heroes) in the deal as well.

Gamigo was undoubtedly one of the top players in the free-to-play market when the genre was on the rise. Recently, however, its catalog is more discreet, with the decent shooter Ironsight being one of the latest releases.

 

Guild Lost – ArenaNet Layoffs and a Grim Future

Video Game Industry Scandals ArenaNet Guild Wars 2

For some reason, ArenaNet felt to me like one of those studios that couldn’t do any wrong. Sure, it’s not like they have done much besides Guild Wars and its sequel, but both MMORPGs were critically and commercially acclaimed, thus my appreciation and admiration for their spotless track record.

Nonetheless, there are very few studios that manage to keep going for years without the occasional new release. Founded in 2000, ArenaNet was allegedly working on two new projects, but delayed development and a shift of staff from Guild Wars 2 to these unannounced games ended up being an unsuccessful move.

Reports mention over 100 layoffs at ArenaNet following a restructuring decision by the studio’s owner NCSoft. The future of ArenaNet is now uncertain, and if there aren’t any new games in an advanced stage of development, there is only so much that new Guild Wars 2 expansions can do. I fear that we will end up seeing the talented staff being engulfed and separated by NCSoft in a not-so-distant future.

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CCP Announces 10,000 Player EVE: Aether Wars

CCP Games, developers of EVE Online have announced a partnership with a tech start-up Hadean for a tech demo quite unlike any other in the massively multiplayer sphere. Together they are creating EVE: Aether Wars to explore opportunities for huge scale multiplayer simulations in EVE Online and future games from CCP.
The Hadean geologic eon describes the hellish conditions then prevailing on Earth: the planet had just formed and was still very hot owing to its recent accretion, the abundance of short-lived radioactive elements, and frequent collisions with other Solar System bodies. If that doesn’t describe the general atmosphere itself of EVE during a Corp War, then I don’t know what does.

Specifically though, Hadean is the creator of Aether Engine. The Aether Engine will receive its first public showing at GDC 2019 through the demo of  EVE: Aether Wars which is to be a real-time 10,000 player space deathmatch.

Our condolences already go to whoever is unlucky enough to be the first one knocked out… assuming that EVE players don’t compete to be #1 at the bottom.

Surely they wouldn’t be that competitive right? It’s not like players regularly reverse suicide bomb by jumping into blasts in EVE Online.

If the idea of a 10,000 strong deathmatch appeals to you, you can sign up for free by visiting www.aetherengine.io/pvp-10k

For the demo CCP is providing EVE Online and EVE: Valkyrie assets for use in the Aether Engine while Hadean is focusing on the scaling in the cloud, powered by Microsoft Azure in their engine, to tie it all together.

The EVE Online community currently holds the Guinness World Record for “most concurrent players simultaneously involved in a single multiplayer PvP videogame battle” with 6,142 players on 23rd January 2018. How many will show up in EVE: Aether Wars with sharp knives already aimed at one another’s backs? Well, there’s room for all of them and then some. Are you going to be one of them?

If technology is your thing and you want to know more about the underlying systems of Hadean and the Aether Engine, visit hadean.com  and aetherengine.io. Whatever the outcome of the deathmatch, it will be absolutely fascinating to see the massively part of Massively Multiplayer Online getting up to that amount. Is the Aether Engine the direction of MMOs in the future?

Source: Press Release

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EVE Online’s Onslaught Update Goes Live

The next iteration of EVE Online is officially live. EVE Online: Onslaught introduces some new ships, new structures, new features to Abyssal Deadspace and a number of quality-of-life adjustments in today’s update.

eve online: onslaught

Some new Upwell structures are live with Onslaught: the Ansiblex Jump Gate, which lets players create their own warp points; the Cynosaural Beacon, which lets jump-capable ships head to it; and the Cynosural Jammer, described as a convenient structure that lets corps jam systems.

Onslaught also brings two new Triglavian ship hulls in the form of the Kikimora destroyer and Drekavac battlecruiser; the addition of co-operative and PvP gameplay in Abyssal Deadspace instances; and quality of life additions such as an activity tracker, a global search function, and a balance pass to Force Auxiliaries.

The full patch notes can be found here and an overview of the Onslaught update’s features in video form is below.

Our Thoughts

There are certainly a few things to ponder for the greater meta of EVE Online with this update. Chief among them are how these new Upwell structures will change things in terms of corp conflict and how entertaining the new features of Abyssal Deadspace will be. Considering this is a game that’s better played together than solo, we expect that Abyssal Deadspace will be a lot more interesting.

Source: official site

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CCP Games Sale to Fuel Future Projects

So now we’ve all had a fair length of time to fully digest the CCP Games sale to Pearl Abyss last week, perhaps we can all take stock in just what that will ultimately mean for the studio and its future projects. Handily, CEO Hilmar Petursson did just that in an interview with Variety.

ccp games sale

In the interview, Petursson parroted again that the sale of the company to Pearl Abyss would mean great things, but he also elaborated on just what direction things will be going for the studio.

CCP Games has already been eyeballing the mobile games market and will now have the means to pursue a real-time strategy game for mobile based in the EVE universe. There is also word of a PC MMO based on EVE, continued development on the FPS Project: Nova, and a multiplayer PC game based on a new IP.

With all of that said, Petursson stressed that there will be heavy investment in EVE Online. One of the most notable updates due for the game is a full overhaul of its engine, which sounds like it goes above and beyond the graphical update that arrived with the Into the Abyss update. “If we are to really live up to the aspiration of having a game that goes on forever, of making plans for the third decade, we need to look at that,” noted Petursson.

Our Thoughts

With all of this out there, this certainly makes us even more curious about what kind of timetable we’re looking at for all of these CCP Games projects. We definitely hope they’ll be able to follow through on their aspirations. After all, they also pursued the VR market with gusto and that didn’t exactly pan out.

Source: Variety

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