Fractured Alpha This Weekend Open to All

This weekend you’ll be able to take part in the Fractured Alpha test for 3 days. Starting on Friday, December 6th at 10 AM Eastern the world will have access to one of the most recent Kickstarter MMOs. It all ends on Monday, December 9th at 6 AM Eastern. Unlike previous tests, this one is open to the public. To take part all you have to do is go to the Fractured official site and create an account then download the client.

The reason behind this test is to stress test the performance of certain systems when they’re under a heavy load. In particular, they’re looking at the client patcher, the login server, server workers, and the game world.

Before the test, all plots of land will be freed and wiped. So if you’ve been playing the game up until now you’ll have to start your plot of land over. But, there is some good news for those folks. Everyone who has had access to Alpha 2 will be able to continue playing until December 16th! That’s an additional week after the end of the open alpha event.

If you enjoy the free weekend and you want to keep taking part in testing events when they happen you can buy Founders Packs on the official site that will grant you access to the game, gold, VIP time, and a bunch of goodies. The pack that grants access to Alpha 2 is the €89.99 Legend pack. It comes with a copy of the game, 10,000 gold, 3 months of VIP time, a forum and game title, a Founder Villa house blueprint, a Mule mount and wagon, plus you can reserve your character’s name.

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Road Rage Royale Rolls onto Steam

If you’re looking for a new vehicle based Battle Royale game then you might want to check out Road Rage Royale. This indie game just came out on Steam and was made by Neutral Oscillations Games in France. This is actually their debut title though their founder has been in the industry for the last 10 years. You may remember seeing Road Rage Royale on Kickstarter in May. It had a small, though successful campaign that raised €5,000. Since then they have been hosting weekly Twitch streams to keep people updated on the state of the game.

Road Rage Royale is a cyberpunk post apocalyptic coliseum tactical race car combat game. The object of the game is to take out fellow drivers and be the last man standing doing loops around the coliseum’s track. Each lap you take is unique as deadly obstacles could spawn at any moment.

The developers list Micro Machines, Lethal League, Street Fighter II, Nidhogg, Mad Max, and Fallout as just some of the inspiration behind this game. For me personally it reminds me of all those hours a spent using a cattle prod against my little brother while playing Road Rash on the Sega Genesis combined with those destruction derby games that were so popular in the early 2000s online.

You can find the gameplay trailer below.

If this sounds like your kind of fun check it out on Steam.

 

Source: Press Release

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Pokemon-Like Temtem Alpha Test Begins

Over this summer Temtem was all the rage, everyone was talking about it thanks to their Kickstarter campaign. Now the team is proud to announce that the Temtem alpha test has started today. For the first time, fans will get to dive into the world of Temtem to catch creatures and make friends.

If you are expecting to take part in the Alpha and haven’t received a key yet, don’t worry. They’re sending them out in batches. Which batch you fall into is based on when you backed them on Kickstarter. Those who backed them first get first access.

The announcement that the game is now in alpha was made on Kickstarter where they also offer a few tips. Temtem is a challenging game and they encourage you to use items if you’re in trouble. There are no tutorials in the game yet but the menu opens using tab and you can interact with NPCs and signs using F. They’re also asking that if you see a bug you report it on the forums. Only a few of the Luma are available in the game right now; Paharo evo-line, Umishi evo-line, Kaku evo-line, Pigepic and Barnshe.

If you aren’t lucky enough to be in the Alpha and you don’t have a friend with a spare key you’ll still be able to see the game in action on Twitch and Youtube as streamers and content creators get in.

The developers recommend you check out their Discord server or Twitter to get the latest news about batches and how everything is going.

There isn’t any word yet on how long the Alpha will continue for. But, the devs have said that if you have an Alpha key that only grants you access to the Alpha and once they move into Early Access you’ll no longer be able to play the game.

 

Source: Kickstarter

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World of Warcraft Auction House Hotfix, Exploit Bans, and Vanilla Development Book

Time for your Tuesday scoop of World of Warcraft news, and today sees the auction house deposit hotfix go through as discussed in last week’s Dev Q&A, bans confirmed for players who took part in a certain World Quest exploit, and the reveal of The WoW Diary, a book by John Staats, the guy behind vanilla WoW’s biggest and best raids and dungeons.

The auction house hotfix has now gone up on the public test realm. This change increases the deposit cost for some crafting materials based on stack size with the intent of encouraging players to post auctions in larger stacks and not list their cloth in single stack sizes. Put basically, when you put up an auction, you pay a deposit cost and this is refunded to you if the item sells. The example given sums it up a little better:

• Let’s say that a player is trying to sell 200 Tidespray Linen for 10g (gold) each. Today, each item has the normal deposit cost of 1c (copper), with a 1s (silver) minimum deposit, so 1 auction of 200 linen requires a deposit of 1s, and 200 auctions of 1 linen each adds up to a total deposit of 2g.

• Now imagine an additional 20% deposit added to the listing fee per auction. With an asking price of 10g each, that raises the deposit by 2g per stack. In the case of 1 stack of 200 linen, the total buyout price is 2000g, and the new deposit is 2g1s. In the case of 200 individual stacks, the new deposit of an additional 2g per stack brings the total deposit up to 402g.

In either case, the deposit is returned to the seller if the item sells. Successful auctions aren’t affected by this change.

The purpose of this is to hopefully reduce the lag players have been facing when trying to use the auction house since around the time the pre-patch went live.

As for our World Quest exploit, it seems there was a bug (now hotfixed) which allowed players to complete a certain quest but flag it as incomplete and thus reap the rewards over and over again, cumulating gold, gear (particularly if it titanforged) which could be scrapped into crafting materials to sell, resources, and reputation, allowing these players to reach exalted with factions very quickly. Blizzard has stated that not only are they working on a fix, but they will be “taking action against those who are abusing it.”

And last but not least, Wowhead received an exclusive look at the upcoming book The World of Warcraft Diary by John Staats, which will look at the development of WoW from its early days right up until the launch of the base game. The book in question includes essays on game development as well as anecdotes about the early Blizzard team who Staats interviewed during the process, and what would a book about the development of the behemoth that is World of Warcraft without more than 130 annotated images? It will have those too. The book should reveal a fascinating look behind the curtain in the early days of the game, and it will be funded through Kickstarter, beginning today! In the meantime, check out Wowhead’s article covering the development of Scholomance. It’s really interesting reading, for sure.

Our Thoughts

I’ll be honest, I actually wasn’t aware of the World Quest exploit and I’ve been playing Battle for Azeroth pretty solidly since it launched a couple of weeks ago, but I’m glad to hear that Blizzard is taking action because it always sucks to see players taking advantage of broken parts of the game for their own benefit and the detriment of others who have been playing fair. As for the auction house hotfix, this seems to be a good step forwards. The lag has made listing and searching for auctions almost unbearable over the past couple of months and if this might resolve even some of that, then all the better. If not, well it should at the very least lead for less frustrating raw material purchasing. And as for The WoW Diary, I may have to look into that. I always find it fascinating to see the hidden parts of Azeroth, how it looked early on, what could have been, and how it became what it did in the end, and it sounds as though Staats has a great amount of insight to share!

Source: Wowhead; 12, 3

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The Devs of Guns of Icarus are Making a Hamster Karate Brawler

We’re not often in the business of reporting on single-player games, but considering the devs behind the game I’m writing about are also behind the co-op Guns of Icarus, I figure it’s worth at least a mention. Also, it looks freaking adorable. Introducing Hamsterdam, a “hamster-fu” action beat-em-up by Muse Games that’s looking to get crowdfunded.

hamsterdam

In Hamsterdam, you play the part of Pimm, a hamster who is looking to take down the crime syndicate of Marlo the chinchilla and rescue his grandfather from captivity. The game will feature combat in the form of what it calls a combination of tap and swipe rhythmic precision and old-fashioned button mashing. Play unfolds in several stages across three maps along with unique boss battles and scooter-riding sections.

The game is seeking a total of $8,000 on Kickstarter for additional art and music costs, but is also hoping to build a pool of testers for the game. “We always aim to push the boundaries and create new experiences for players with different genres, art styles, and mechanics,” reads the page. “We still need help tuning pacing, progression, and making sure all the combat and onboarding elements are easy to understand and play.”

Backers can receive a number of unique benefits depending on their tier as per usual, but a unique reward for Guns of Icarus players is on offer for those who back at tier 4 or a la carte: a character skin that dresses your Guns of Icarus avatar up like Pimm the hamster.

Hamsterdam is due to arrive to the Nintendo Switch, mobile devices, PC/Mac and PS Vita. More details are on the Kickstarter page and a video of the game in action is below.

Our Thoughts

Nothing says “diverse portfolio” quite like moving from a steampunk airship co-op title to a cartoony hamster-fu brawler. And while we probably won’t report on this game too often on this site specifically, we have to admit that this game looks adorable as heck. Our best wishes to the folks at Muse Games during their crowdfunding efforts!

Source: Kickstarter via VG247

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AdventureQuest Moglin Plushie Kickstarter Gets Immediately Funded

In what must be a new record for the fastest crowdfunding drive in history, the just-opened AdventureQuest Moglin plushie Kickstarter campaign has gotten off to an absolutely roaring start, meeting its initial goal amount within literal hours of opening the website.

adventurequest moglin plushie kickstarter

If you’re unfamiliar, think of Moglins as the AdventureQuest series’ answer to the Final Fantasy Moogle; a sort of token adorable mascot character that has been in the MMORPGs for as long as the games have been a thing, both in 2D and 3D forms.

The folks at Artix Entertainment opened a Kickstarter to bring these little goblinoids to life in plushie form, releasing 12 total plush versions of the critters along with a code for in-game versions of each for both AdventureQuest Worlds and AdventureQuest 3D. The total funding goal was $15k, which was met within two hours.

According to Artix Entertainment founder Adam “Artix Krieger” Bohn, the drive will continue on the full 33 days and will release stretch goals at some point in the immediate future. For now, you can take a look at these little cuddly friends here.

Our Thoughts

We honestly can’t blame people for absolutely destroying this Kickstarter’s goal in such a short length of time. Seriously, those plushies are absolutely adorable! We’re looking forward to seeing what sort of stretch goals are going to be added and hope that the folks at AdventureQuest won’t spread themselves too thin with stretch goal bloat.

Sources: Kickstarter, Twitter

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Fractured Discusses What’s Next After a Successful Kickstarter

With a successful fundraising drive behind them, the team of sandbox MMO Fractured are preparing for the next steps. And, as one would expect for a crowdsourced, open development title, they’d like to share a number of those plans with backers and fans with a little Fractured crowdfunding postmortem.

fractured crowdfunding postmortem

As far as the game itself is concerned, backers who bought in at the Knight level and above can expect to see the MMO’s first alpha test this December. The focus of this test will be on crafting, building, and a number of basic PvP and PvE systems. A pre-alpha is also planned for roughly sometime in October for “the most active users in the community.”

All backers of Fractured have been advised that they should be registered, as 14 days from now they will be sending out Kickstarter surveys to take information and begin the process of integrating pledges with accounts. And for those who perhaps missed the crowdfunding boat, the team will also be opening up a storefront that will accept over 700 payment methods.

Finally, the team will be silent for the first two weeks in August as they will be taking a vacation to enjoy Italy’s world-famous tradition of experiencing massive traffic jams, expensive flight tickets and fully-booked hotels around this time of year. Their words, not mine.

Our Thoughts

Here’s hoping the team at Dynamight don’t experience too many travel headaches. And here’s also hoping that development of Fractured moves at a steady pace once vacation is over, as we’re certain there are more than a few MMO fans who are looking forward this game’s arrival.

Source: official site

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MMO Money: Huge Disappointment for Tencent

Seed has raised more than 8 million dollars for development of the unique MMO, while Niantic has acquired another game studio. Fortnite is still making more money than anyone could ever count, but a massive mobile game from China has turned into a huge disappointment for Tencent. Plus, we have more lootbox news, which includes some very interesting statistics that show most players don’t care about them at all.

 

Klang Raises $8.75 million for space MMO Seed

Space colony MMO Seed has an extra $8.75 million to work with for the development of the game thanks to recent fundraising efforts. This brings the total the studio has raised for the game up to $13.95 million, thanks to a previous funding round in March. Speaking about the latest funding Klang’s CEO Mundi Vondi said: “We’re truly humbled to have secured the Series A for the development of Seed, a project that we believe will play an integral role in the next generation of social simulations. We are honored to share our vision with Northzone, and are more excited than ever to tackle this very ambitious project.”

 

Fornite Earned $1 Billion From In-Game Purchases Alone

Yes, Fortnite has become one those topics we’re covering every week and starting next week we’re going to lump all the Fortnite news into one section. This week thankfully we only have one thing to talk about, and that is that Fortnite has earned 1 billion dollars just from in-game purchases. Monthly revenue for the game has done nothing but climb since October as shown by the graph above. In May viewers watched almost 700 million hours of battle royale content, 83% of that was Fortnite. More on Fortnite coming soon…

 

“Coming Soon” No Longer Allowed in German Preorders

star citizen like eve online

A recent court ruling in Germany may have a ripple effect around the world as it was declared that using vague terms like “coming soon” in preorders isn’t allowed. Part of the ruling said: “in the view of the judges, this information was too vague to comply with the statutory information obligation of the providers. According to this, potential customers should know before the end of the ordering process how long the delivery time will be at the maximum.” Exactly what this means for the future of gaming isn’t clear yet but it could possibly put an end to vague release dates, Kickstarter claims, and much more.

 

Video Game Kickstarters Equal Almost $10 million So Far in 2018

ICO Partners have put out their regular report on Kickstarter campaigns for video games which shows that video game Kickstarters have brought in $9.82 million so far this year. That’s up just $400,000 from the same period last year. This was in fact done with fewer Kickstarter campaigns than in previous years, just 723, the lowest first half of the year since 2012. Kickstarter is generally seeing a bit of a slowdown when it comes to video games, as people are learning how difficult it is to put a successful campaign together.

 

Niantic Acquires Seismic Games

Just last week we were talking about Pokemon Go creators Niantic acquiring a company and now here we are with another, their fourth acquisition in recent months. This time they have acquired Seismic Games, the makers of Marvel Strikeforce and VR experience Blade Runner: Revelations. John Hanke, the CEO said this in a statement: “We recently gave a peek under the hood of the Niantic Real World Platform, and we see the addition of Seismic Games as a significant accelerant for realising our vision of an operating system that bridges the digital and the physical worlds. At Niantic, we’re committed to our mission of motivating people to exercise, be social, and discover new places. We’re confident that Seismic Games will help us deliver on that mission – faster, and better.” All of these acquisitions are putting Niantic in position for a lot of awesome in the future which makes you wonder, what are they coming up with next?

 

Mobile Game Spending Up in the First Half of 2018

Mobile game revenue is up 19% in the first half of 2018 in the App Store and Google Play. App Store spending was about $6 billion higher than Google Play. Combined, the estimate is that global spending on the two platforms was at $26.6 billion. That’s a 19.1% increase year on year. One thing that may have an impact on Google Play’s revenue is that it isn’t available in China, at all. Also, many Android apps are available in third-party stores which isn’t the case for iOS. The top grossing games across both stores were Honor of Kings, Monster Strike, and Fate/Grand Order. But, PUBG mobile was the most downloaded. All of this just goes to show that mobile gaming is here to stay and there’s a lot of money to be had.

 

Arena of Valor Revenue Passes $3 million in 7 Months

Arena of Valor

Its only been 7 months since Arena of Valor launched in the west and in that time they’ve brought in $3 million. For any other game that would be fantastic, but Arena of Valor is Tencent’s Honor of Kings, one of the most successful mobile games at the moment. The Chinese version of the game has 200 million players and in 2017 brought in $1.9 billion in revenue. The founder of Sensor Tower, the intelligence firm who released this information spoke about the launch of the game and why they think it’s underperforming. “Arena of Valor launched in the US just as the battle royale craze was beginning to heat up, with Fortnite hitting mobile three months later-and subsequently dominating the time and wallets of the very users Tencent’s MOBA is gunning for. Undeterred, the publisher has continued to build out the game in the West, adding new modes, content, and characters, most recently the eagerly anticipated debut of Batman as a playable hero.” All fair points…also, Batman will be playable? Where do I sign up?

 

Lootboxes

A patch was introduced to CS:GO for Dutch and Belgian players that locks containers, making it so you can’t open lootboxes in those countries. In June, Valve disabled item trading in the Netherlands in response to the threat of prosecution from the Dutch Gaming Authority. At the time they also said they hoped to fight it, now it seems that item trading is back but lootboxes may be gone for good.

A survey of gamers from the UK, France, Germany, and Spain has revealed that the majority of gamers are either unaware of lootboxes or largely indifferent to them. According to the survey, only 27% of gamers in these countries are aware of lootboxes. When it comes to general consumers that number drops to 17%. When asked if lootboxes are a positive influence on the games industry, 29% had no opinion while only 25% thought they don’t. In question after question, the respondents showed they had very little opinion on lootboxes at all. It would seem that those talking about them and thinking about them often are in the vocal minority.

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MMOMoney: Pokemon Inspired Temtem Kickstarter Ends and France Speaks Out About Lootboxes

An MMORPG inspired by Pokemon has fully funded on Kickstarter and raised enough to unlock all their stretch goals, which includes Nintendo Switch support. Zenimax isn’t getting all the money it thought it was going to from a lawsuit. Plus the lootbox saga continues as another country makes a statement about them.

 

Temtem Finishes Kickstarter Campaign, Smashing Fundraising Goals

Temtem, the MMORPG inspired by Pokemon has finished their round of fundraising on Kickstarter. They finished with $573,919 raised when they were originally just asking for $70,000. Their stretch goals included minigames, a new game mode, in-game tournaments, and Nintendo Switch support just to name a few. Right now the timeline for the game says they’ll be starting Alpha for backers in November 2018. Early access will follow behind in September 2019. Then they give a launch date of May 2020 for the final release. Kickstarted MMOs are notorious for going over time and getting delayed though so only time will tell if this actually happens.

 

Zenimax is Only Getting Half of the Amount it Was Rewarded in Oculus Lawsuit

Oculus, Rift, Oculus Rift

You might remember that shortly after Oculus was bought up by Facebook Zenimax launched a lawsuit for $2 billion. In the lawsuit, Zenimax said that they were responsible for key breakthroughs in the development of the headset. Following a two week trial, Zenimax was awarded $500 million in damages. Oculus was found guilty of copyright infringement, false designation, and failing to comply with an NDA. At that time Oculus vowed to appeal. Well, the results are in and the $200 million for breach of contract and $50 million for copyright infringement has remained but the other half was thrown out.

Throughout Oculus argued that Zenimax’s contribution to the project was in fact rather small and included just 7 lines of code. Zenimax has said that they’re pleased to have won $250 million plus $54 million in interest. But they’re also disappointed the original verdict was cut in half.

“Based on a strong evidentiary record, the jury in this case found that ZeniMax was seriously harmed by the defendants’ theft of ZeniMax’s breakthrough VR technology and its verdict reflected that harm,” the company said in a statement, adding that it’s weighing next steps. So, this may not actually be the end of this story. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next.

 

Fortnite Mobile Has Half the Downloads of PUBG Mobile but Makes 5x the Money

A new report was released that shows Fortnite Mobile is made 5 times the amount of money PUBG Mobile did in an 11 week period that ended on June 18th. They managed to do this despite having half the number of downloads and only being available on iOS. Why is this you might ask, well it’s all about the business model. PUBG uses a lootbox system which results in a lot of duplicate items and a lot of stuff that players don’t want. Fortnite, on the other hand, gives players the opportunity to buy only what they want. No having to pray to RNGesus for the cool new shiny.

Player spending in PUBG did get a bit of a boost, however, thanks to the release of the Royale Pass. When it released player spending went up 365%! This grossed roughly 6.1 million dollars globally every week versus the previous $1.3 million average.

In May, a similar report was released which showed that PUBG’s revenue was only one-third of Fortnite’s.

However, Fortnite’s dominance of the market may be hitting its peak. In May the game earned over $300 million in one month for the first time. While incredibly impressive, it was actually only a 7% increase from April. This suggests that the game may have grown as much as it’s going to. We’ll have to see what June’s report looks like to know if we’re seeing a trend. Either way, Fortnite is still king of the royale.

 

Clash of Clans iOS Players Have Spent Over $4 Billion

Top MMO News: March 9, 2016

Clash of Clans is one of those games we don’t usually talk about on MMOGames but with an achievement like this, we thought we had to include it. It has been at the top of the charts for a long time now, and it’s the highest grossing game on iOS from July 2010 to May 2018. The $4 billion comes from app store spending. In second place is Candy Crush Saga, with Monster Strike following in third. Other titles that make the list of top iOS spending worldwide include the MOBA Arena of Valor (Honour of Kings) and Pokemon Go which just barely makes the top 10 coming in at number 10.

 

France Condemns Lootboxes But Doesn’t Ban Them

France’s gambling authority has come out and condemned lootboxes, saying that they were bad, but ultimately that’s all they did. They mentioned that lootboxes are like gambling and promote gambling behaviors but they wouldn’t come outright and say that lootboxes ARE gambling. They’ve also recommended voting on more conclusive statements at a later date. Basically, they just shoved it aside for an unspecified amount of time, possibly so they can gather more information on it or to wait and see what other countries do.

Just two weeks ago Valve turned off lootboxes for Dota 2 and CS:GO in The Netherlands in response to that country’s demands that lootboxes be removed. At the time Valve said that this was a temporary measure and they planned to fight the government on their ruling. Not quite the response people had hoped for, but also not entirely surprising. Gaming companies will of course fight any ban on lootboxes because they are incredibly lucrative.

It may be up to us as consumers to drive change in the industry. A difficult proposition when so many of us will quite happily throw money at lootboxes.

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Temtem’s Kickstarter Wraps Up with Over $550k Raised

The Temtem crowdfunding drive officially wrapped up to a pretty rousing success. The monster-collecting MMORPG pulled in over $550,000 worth of backer funds, securing all of the stretch goals that the devs lined out for the game.

temtem crowdfunding drive

The exact amount is $573,919 raised by 11,715 backers. This amount of money not only brings the previously detailed Clubs guild feature, but also confirms the $500k weekly Tournaments stretch goal. The game, incidentally, has also become the most crowdfunded video game to come from Spain ever according to the newest update.

On the subject of stretch goals, it appears that the devs at Crema will not be taking any more pledges or adding further stretch goals in the interest of making sure the game meets its targeted early access release of September 2019 on Steam and a full launch in May 2020 on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The related platform announcement does state that cross-play is being worked on, but may not be possible on all platforms, naming the PS4 as a direct example.

And as for the Taco Hat pictured above, every backer who hopped on the hype train at the minimum $16 level will be getting that in-game item.

“There was a lot of interest in the features we had, but without the huge IP backing the game we weren’t sure if you would like it,” reads a post from the devs. “But boy, oh boy! You’ve cleared that doubt from our minds.”

Our Thoughts

Congratulations to the devs at Crema for a rip-roaringly positive crowdfunding drive! We are definitely counted among those who are looking forward to how development of this adorable critter-battling MMORPG plays out and hope that everythingt goes as smoothly as it possibly can.

Sources: Kickstarter, Twitter

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