Free Online Games This Weekend

There are several different free online games available this weekend that we would normally cover on MMOGames so we wanted to make sure you know about them. To start with Black Desert Online is going to be free to play this weekend on Xbox One. This comes right as Pearl Abyss has opened up Kamasylvia opening up on Xbox One and while they’re gearing up for the release of the game on the PS4. They’re also offering 30% to 50% off all three bundles they offer, so, if you like the game you can get it discounted.

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

The other game you can get for free is Mutant Year Zero. This, along with Hyper Light Drifter is free this week on the Epic Games Store. Mutant Year Zero is a big surprise because it did come out less than a year ago. But they did just recently launch an expansion so maybe it isn’t all that much of a surprise after all. Of course to get this free game or Hyper Light Drifter you have to get the Epic Games Store which is itself a whole different can of worms. One that some people refuse to touch. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if it’s worth getting. The Epic Store does offer free games pretty regularly though. So you might decide its worth it.

 

Source: Black Desert Online Console Site, Rock Paper Shotgun

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MMO Money: Funcom Q3 Report and Pokemon Go’s Great Month

We’re now in quarterly report season and it is off to a great start with fantastic news from Funcom, including six new games in the works! Pokemon Go had a fantastic month in October and Square Enix is pulling some of their games out of Belgium completely by the end of the year. Find all the details below in this week’s MMO Money report.

Funcom Q3 Shows a Strong Company

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

It is all around great news for Funcom in their Q3 report. They reported the highest EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) margin in the company’s history. Revenue was higher even than Q3 2017 which had some significant launches in it. Also, last year’s annual profit record has already been beaten! We also can’t forget that in October the company officially announced that they are debt free!

Conan Exiles was the driving force behind all this positivity. In Q3 they had a successful launch in Japan and the game continues to have a loyal, dedicated player base around the world.

Mutant Year Zero Road to Eden is now in final production and due to launch on December 4th. They also have two more Conan games in the works. One of them is single player for PC, Xbox One, and PS4 while the other doesn’t specifically say what it is other than coming to PC and in the works with Petroglyph.

They also have a Heroic Signatures game in the works. If you don’t remember Heroic Signatures that’s totally understandable, they’re the company that was created to manage the interactive rights to IPs based on the books by the author of Conan the Barbarian, Robert E. Howard. There are in total about 29 different IPs for them to pick from so it will be interesting to see which one we get. That game will also be PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

There’s also a Funcom IP in the works that is set to release Halloween 2019 and is being worked on with RockPocket Games. Funcom says that the title is top secret but, if you head over to RockPocket’s website you’ll see they’re working on a game called Moons of Madness. They don’t come right out and say that it is a Funcom game…but it kinda sounds like it might be. Here’s the first sentence from the paragraph about the game. “Moons of Madness is a first-person, story-driven cosmic horror game exploring combining Lovecraft inspiration with hard science.” That just screams Funcom to me. But, we’ll have to wait and see if that’s what it is.

Finally, they have an open world multiplayer game that they’re working on. It’s currently in the concept phase so there isn’t anything else known about the game. The one exception is we know it will be a PC, Xbox One, and PS4 game.

 

Source: Funcom Quarterly Report

 

Pokemon Go Earned $73 Million in October

Pokemon Go had another fantastic month, October 2018 was a 67% increase year on year, finishing off with $73 million in revenue. This is down slightly from the high they experienced over the summer. But, with the change in weather and school being back in session it’s completely understandable. According to the report from SensorTower, it ranked number 8 for revenue across all apps on both stores worldwide and it was number 7 among mobile games. It even beat out Fortnite which ranked just one number lower. 33.2% of spending on Pokemon Go was from Japan while 32.9% was from the United States. Also, 54% of all spending came from Google Play users. Last year Pokemon Go saw a significant drop in spending during the winter months which again makes sense, because who wants to go sit or walk outside when the weather is miserable? But, this winter they do have Adventure Sync which will allow players to continue to get walking distance from home or while they have the app turned off. So, if players can find somewhere indoors where they can reach a gym there’s no reason for the gaming to stop entirely.

 

Source: SensorTower

 

Three Square Enix Mobile Games Pull Out of Belgium

Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia

Kingdom Hearts Union X, Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, and Mobius Final Fantasy will all be pulled from service in Belgium over the next few weeks in response to the Belgian Authority’s response to lootboxes.

The games will be pulled from service slowly with the first one happening as soon as November 30th, that game will be Mobius Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts Union X will end on December 6th and Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia on December 19th. Square Enix recommends that all Belgian players use their consumables and currency before those dates.

This is the first time we’ve seen this sort of reaction where games have been pulled out of the countries who take issue with lootboxes altogether. Typically the reaction is to remove lootboxes from the games. Though EA is standing their ground and plans to go to court over it even. It will be interesting to see if any other studios take this route as an option going forward.

On that, I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter. What do you think about Square Enix taking the games away entirely? How would you feel if something similar happened in your country?

 

Source: GamesIndustry

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MMO Money: Champions Online Subscription Controversy and GTA V on the Decline

GTA V on the decline as the game is starting to show its age. Meanwhile, Fortnite is continuing to smash records as it is shown that Battle Royale players are more invested in their games than other gamers. Star Citizen made the news for a $27,000 ship pack, and we got the latest game charts from Superdata.

Champions Online Creates Controversy with Subscription Changes

Champions Online Nightmare Invasion Event

You don’t usually hear much about Champions Online in the news. The game is silently carrying on as it always has. But on June 1st the game found itself in a bit of a controversy over announced changes to subscriptions. In fact, it was going to drop subscriptions altogether. While there were some fears that this was signaling the beginning of the end for Champions Online that actually wasn’t what had fans up in arms. The new premium pack that was going to replace subscriptions had one thing, that fans are massive fans of missing, Freeform character slots. Fans were so vocal about their displeasure that Cryptic has delayed the changes to address the issue.

 

Bless Online Launch Disaster

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you may not have heard that Bless Online had a disaster of a launch. Endgame content was missing, features you’d only see in bad mobile games were there…it was and still is a mess. If you want to learn more about Bless, its messy launch and why you really shouldn’t be surprised by it check out the article I did on the history of Bless Online. But right now you might be asking, why is this in the business column? Well, that’s because Steam was giving back refunds past their usual limits. So the bad launch is also hurting Neowiz’s bank account.

 

Funcom Q1 Report

Funcom has had one of its best quarters in a very long time thanks to the sales of Conan Exiles, which they also pointed out is now officially Funcom’s best selling game of all time. Secret World Legends didn’t get much of a mention, just a promise of more content and events. They also reminded everyone that they are working on a new game, Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden, which is due out in the second half of this year.

 

Star Citizen Offers Ship Pack Worth $27,000

star citizen like eve online

Once again, if you’ve been living under a rock you may have missed Star Citizen releasing a ship pack that they’re selling for $27,000. Even worse, to see what the pack offered you had to have already spent $1000. Did anyone buy one? The world may never know. What we do know is that a lot of people had something to say about it. In their defense, Star Citizen claimed that this pack was requested by players. If you’re curious what you could have bought instead here’s an article we did right after the news broke.

 

PUBG Sues Fortnite

The battle royale of the Battle Royale games has taken a bit of a nasty turn as PUBG has sued Fortnite developers Epic Games. The lawsuit, which is taking place in Korea, states that Epic Games plagiarized PUBG’s interface and in-game items. Many fans see this as a low blow from PUBG Corp as well as an attempted money grab and an attempt to keep Fortnite out of the Korean marketplace. It will be interesting to watch how things progress in this case while Fortnite continues to dominate gaming.

 

Battle Royale Gamers More Likely to Spend

Data from Newzoo shows that Battle Royale players tend to spend more money on games than other gamers. They’re also more engaged than those who play other core competitive games like CoD, CSGO, Overwatch, LoL…and so on. 88% of Battle Royale players are likely to spend money on games vs 75% in these other competitive games. Also, more than 80% of Battle Royale players watch live streams of game content. It’s 67% for competitive games.

From the report, we’ve also learned that Fortnite appeals to a younger, more casual audience vs PUBG. PUBG players are more likely to identify themselves as core gamers.

 

Superdata April Report on the Gaming Industry

GTA V on the Decline

Fortnite is continuing to break records for yet another month. But the real story from Superdata for April is that GTA V is finally starting to show its age. In fact, GTA V Online has been declining every month so far in 2018. This is most likely due to the popularity of Fortnite and the lack of new content from Rockstar. Meanwhile on mobile Honour of Kings brought in $185 million in revenue in April. In comparison, Fortnite made $296 million on console, PC, and mobile in that same time period.

 

Tencent Gets Majority Stake in Path of Exile Creator

Tencent continues its domination of the gaming world by getting a majority stake in Path of Exile’s creator Grinding Gear Games. In the announcement, they quickly tackled any concerns that this would mean the game would be changing by saying that the studio would remain independent.

 

Lootbox Roundup

Talk about lootboxes seems to have calmed down some in the last couple of weeks, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to talk about. The first news is that Webzen has decided to pull Mu Origin out of the Netherlands over lootboxes. The game will no longer be playable in the country as of June 20th. In the announcement, Webzen directly stated that this was in response to the recent decision from The Netherlands Gaming Authority against in-game lootboxes.

EA has also taken a bit of a stance against lootboxes, at least in Battlefield V which they’ve promised won’t have them. They also said the game won’t have premium passes. What they haven’t said however is what will be replacing both of those things in their business model.

Finally, GamesIndustry.biz put out a fantastic article on some things the president of the ESA said recently about lootboxes. In a speech at the Nordic Game Conference, he compared the lootbox controversy to the WHO’s gaming disorder crusade and the US government’s attempts to link video games and violence. He also spoke out against government regulation, effectively saying that the government couldn’t possibly understand well enough to have input. It’s an interesting article if you’re invested in the lootbox controversy.

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Funcom’s New Game is Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

The countdown timer on that teaser site has hit zero, so we now know what that new Funcom game is all about. And sure enough, it’s got mutants in it. Just not the kind of mutants we were expecting. More like the Mutant Year Zero kind.

new funcom game

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a combines real-time stealth and exploration with tactical battle gameplay similar to XCOM. The game is being developed by Swedish studio Bearded Ladies which includes former designers of the Hitman game and the designer of Payday.

In Road to Eden, players take control of a band of unlikely heroes including a crossbow-wielding duck and a very grumpy boar and help them navigate a post-human Earth replete with mutant monsters in a quest to find the fabled Eden.

“It’s an unusual label for a game, but tactical adventure really fits the bill, no duck pun intended,” says executive producer Ulf Andersson. “Our goal is to blend the deep and tactical combat of ‘XCOM’ with a branching storyline that unfolds as you explore overgrown forests and abandoned cities with your team of Mutants.”

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden will be making its first appearance at this year’s GDC in San Francisco this March during a live presentation and closed-door sessions. The game itself is expected to release in full for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year. More information can be found on its official site while a reveal trailer can be seen below.

Our Thoughts

Well! An XCOM-like where you control a duck and a pig. Can’t say we exactly saw that one coming. Regardless, we’re certainly curious about this new game, though it also sounds like it’s more solo player-focused than something with any level of multiplayer. Are you interested in this one at all?

Source: press release

Articles Related to Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

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Conan Exiles Looks at Features Arriving at Launch

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