18 MMOs Shut Down in 2018…So Far

For the first three months of 2018, it looked like we might have a crisis on our hands as more games than usual were shutting down. Thankfully, in the last three months, things have slowed down significantly. With that being said, there have still been 18 MMOs shut down in 2018 so far.

 

Battle of the Immortals and War of the Immortals – January 9th

Battle of the Immortals

Perfect World Entertainment started off 2018 by announcing they were shutting down two of their older games. There was no reason given for the shutdowns, but a declining player base as the games aged is a pretty safe bet. But this actually isn’t the beginning of the PWE story, back in November they shut down Runic Games, the makers of Torchlight, Torchlight II, and Hob. At the same time they downsized Gigantic’s studio Motiga, but more on them further down.

 

Perpetuum – January 25th

perpetuum like eve online

In September 2017 the developers of Perpetuum came out and said that while they always knew it would be a niche game, it never really took off. With that in mind they ended development on the game, though kept the servers online while they looked at their options. Sadly, by mid-January, the costs of keeping Perpetuum online became too much for the developers and they were forced to shut the game down.

 

Master X Master (MXM)- January 31st

master x master free-to-play

After spending much of 2017 trying to appeal to former City of Heroes players by bringing out beloved iconic characters from the game, MXM ultimately shut down at the end of January. From the start though it seemed like a questionable proposition. It was late to the MOBA scene and trying to take an idea that had already been used by Blizzard of using iconic characters from their various games. Unfortunately for NCSoft, most of the games they focused on are practically unknown in the West and the games that are well known are controversial or downright unpopular. The exception to that is Guild Wars 2, which MXM hardly touched at all. Ultimately, NCSoft admitted that they failed to connect with players.

 

Linkrealms – January 31st

The journey for LinkRealms was a long one, though it only spent a short bit of that time on Steam. The game went into Early Access in early 2016, then it was announced the game would be free to play from October of that year. Sadly, without any money coming in, the developers couldn’t keep the game running and it had to shut down.

 

Scrolls – February 13th

Scrolls closing down

Anyone who was a fan of Scrolls knew the game was going to be shut down eventually. Perhaps what is most shocking in fact is how long it stuck around. It was announced all the way back in 2015 that Mojang wasn’t developing the game anymore and that the servers would stay online “for some time”. Well that time finally came this year, which honestly is a pretty good run for a card game that wasn’t getting any new content. Scrolls is perhaps best known as the cause of a lawsuit between Zenimax and Mojang over the use of the word ‘Scrolls’ in the name.

 

Demon’s Souls – February 28th

Demon’s Souls had a long run of almost 9 years when it was announced that the game was shutting down. The game is still playable as all the online components were completely optional, but it was an option people loved nonetheless.

 

Devilian – March 5th

Devilian Shutting Down

Devilian was a victim of its brother game’s success; that game is PUBG. Both were created by the same studio but when PUBG started to get big, Devilian started getting neglected. Trion, who were publishing Devilian in the West tried their best to work with Bluehole with no success. In the end, they decided to call it quits for the game.

 

Battleline: Steel Warfare – April 7th

Battleline

Bandai Namco’s tank shooting game went under the radar for a lot of people. In fact, the sunset wasn’t covered by any of the MMO focused gaming sites, MMOGames included. We only found out about it thanks to one of our readers who pointed it out to us, thanks Alberto Honorato! Fans didn’t take the news well on Steam and left some pretty harsh comments about the game on the sunset announcement.

 

Cabal 2 – April 18th

Cabal 2

Despite being live for around 3 years, the developers used the kind of language you usually see in sunset announcements for newer games. They said the game didn’t resonate with as many players as they’d hoped. If this were the case though, why did Cabal 2 last as long as it did, with updates, and new content even? The second reason they gave fits the narrative far better: continued operation is no longer sustainable.

 

Paragon – April 26th

Epic has been having…please forgive this…they’ve been having an epic year thanks to Fortnite. But in the middle of all their epic winning (sorry, I had to), they shut down their MOBA Paragon. Fans were, of course, disappointed and hopeful that Paragon would get bought by someone, but that wasn’t to be. Epic released Paragon Assets for free to use in Unreal Engine 4 development, these were worth $12 million.

 

Special Mention: LawBreakers/Radical Heights – May 14th

LawBreakers

Boss Key shut down in mid-May and as a result are getting an honorable mention on this list. Neither of the studios two games have actually shut down yet, however. Radical Heights, the 80s themed battle royale game with an incomplete map is still getting a peak concurrent player base of around 250-300 people every day. LawBreakers, on the other hand, is averaging 0-2 concurrent players during the week which goes up sometimes as high as 15 on the weekends. Why neither game has actually been shut off yet is anyone’s guess.

 

Echo of Soul – May 23rd

Life was never easy for Echo of Soul in the West, but they kept trying anyway. In fact, though the Echo of Soul classic servers are shutting down, the Phoenix servers are alive and well. So it isn’t really the end of Echo of Soul just yet.

 

Swordsman Online and Jade Dynasty – June 5th

Swordsman Online

Swordsman Online

Here we are once again at Perfect World Entertainment shutting down two games at once. The teams working on Swordsman Online and Jade Dynasty are being moved on to bigger and better things. Though what they are is anyone’s guess. They also said that they felt there was nowhere else for Swordsman Online to go.

 

More to Come…

We know already that Perfect World Entertainment has at least one more game to sunset this year, Gigantic. The MOBA with fantastic art just never really took off and with the studio having been closed… well, we knew it was coming.

In addition to Gigantic, we already have shutdown dates for Runescape Classic, Runescape Legends, and Ace of Spades.

What will the rest of 2018 bring us? Only time will tell.

The post 18 MMOs Shut Down in 2018…So Far appeared first on MMOGames.com.

MMO Money: Fortnite Forever

A large portion of every MMO Money article we’ve done for months now has been dedicated to lockboxes, but it seems like things might be calming down on that front as politicians and players move on to focus on other things. In reality, they’ve all just been distracted playing Fortnite, which has continued to be a massive success for Epic.

 

More Battle Royale in the Future

Fortnite Success

Analysts are predicting that there will be more Battle Royale games in the future following the massive PUBG and Fortnite success. An article on investors.com was released that said some investors are worried that Fortnite is drawing attention away from games like Call of Duty, Overwatch, and Grand Theft Auto. Wall Street analysts predict that Fortnite will have a modest impact on the major game publishers in the short term, but long-term they’re predicting that EA, Activision, and Take-Two are all likely to introduce Battle Royale games of their own or release it as part of a game already in the works. Analyst Michael Olson from Piper Jaffray, an investment banker and management firm, believes that we will see Battle Royale modes for games like Call of Duty and Battlefield in the second half of 2018 or early 2019. If that’s the case, it will mean that these are likely to be revealed at E3. MMOGames will be keeping a close eye on these publishers to see if the prediction comes to pass.

 

Sea of Thieves UK Hit

Despite the launch issues and the complaints that there isn’t much content in the game, Sea of Thieves is top of the UK charts for the week ending March 24th. The previous week, Burnout Paradise Remastered topped the list but after several high profile releases, it has dropped down to 6th. On Metacritic, Sea of Thieves currently has a 70% based on critic’s reviews and a 5.3 based on user reviews. Will Sea of Thieves be able to hold on to that top spot after such a rough start? Only time will tell, but it is going up against Far Cry 5 which released this week so chances are pretty slim.

 

Vivendi Sells Ubisoft Stock

You may recall that Vivendi has been trying to do a hostile takeover of Ubisoft for some time now. They own a 27% stake in the company, or at least they did until recently. It would appear that the idea of a hostile takeover is behind us now as Vivendi has sold its stock in Ubisoft. Part of the sales agreement adds that Vivendi cannot buy more Ubisoft stock for the next five years. At the same time this was revealed, Ubisoft announced they were teaming up with Tencent to move into the Chinese market. Tencent will operate several of Ubisoft’s most successful PC and Mobile games.

 

Fortnite Tops iOS Charts

It seems like just yesterday every other story was about PUBG, now every other story is about Fortnite. Not that we’re complaining, it’s a great game. Fortnite has also made the leap to mobile where it instantly topped the charts in just about every market it was released in. In just 4 days after release, the game made $1.5 million, just on iOS.

 

Epic Releases $12 Million in Paragon Assets for Free

paragon v.40

Do you remember that other game Epic was working on that wasn’t Fortnite? Paragon, the MOBA they canceled. Well, Epic is being epic and releasing 12 million dollars worth of assets from Paragon for free to be used in Unreal Engine 4 development. $12 million and that isn’t even all of their assets that they’ll be releasing from the game. It wasn’t all amazing news though. There was a rumor that Tencent may buy the game from Epic. The release of these assets pretty much killed that rumor, leaving people who had their fingers crossed disappointed.

 

Pantropy Kickstarter Canceled

Pantropy

We’re moving away from Epic and Fortnite to talk about Pantropy now. The sci-fi MMO shooter was holding a Kickstarter campaign, but it was struggling to reach its goal. In fact, it was only just a little over halfway to the €75,000 goal when the devs pulled the plug. It isn’t all bad though, the devs have promised that they’re going to make changes and come back again sometime at the end of March. They have also received multiple publishing and investment offers, but they reassure fans that they are going to remain independent. The game is still expected to be released in Steam Early Access later this year. It will be interesting to see if this move of relaunching their Kickstarter campaign works. Many times the relaunch of the Kickstarter doesn’t get as much press as the original and also doesn’t make as much money.

 

H1Z1 Charts

We’ve been talking about H1Z1 for a few weeks now. It started out with the shocking report that the game had lost 90% of its playerbase. Shortly after that, the game launched, giving it a very small boost in player numbers. Then Daybreak made the game free to play and it received a substantial boost in players. Since that happened in early March, H1Z1 has seen a very slow decline in player numbers on Steam. It’s a bit early to say for sure, but it looks like March 2018 has been the best month they’ve had this year thanks to the change in their business model.

 

Star Wars Battlefront II Won’t Have Lockboxes

Star Wars Battlefront II

It was only a matter of time before we had to talk about lockboxes. There isn’t anything new on the political front at the moment. Instead, we get to talk about the most controversial game of the entire lockbox saga; Star Wars Battlefront II. EA announced that they are overhauling the entire progression system. Lockboxes won’t be coming back and everything you’ve unlocked already is yours to keep.

Just a week after this was announced it came out that EA may also be starting work on a new Star Wars game, this one will be open world. This came from job listings that mention creating a Star Wars open world game. So, if you had hopes that Disney might pull the plug on the agreement with EA, it seems that this isn’t happening, for now at least.

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Epic Games Adds Paragon’s Assets to Unreal Engine 4 for Free

Today is either an interesting day for Paragon fans or is possibly picking a scab. A new Unreal Engine 4 store offering for game devs using the engine will have access to over $12 million worth of assets from the soon-to-sunset MOBA for absolutely no cost.

unreal engine 4 store

The assets include 20 of Paragon’s heroes with their skin variants and base meshes, along with vocal cues, visual effects, textures, and animation cycles. The asset package also brings 1500 different environmental assets from the game’s Agora and Monolith maps.

Epic has suggested to those who want to import Paragon characters into their game projects start with the character Shinbi first, as she has comes with an animation Blueprint that can be used as a framework to help bring other roster characters to life.

The new UE4 bundle isn’t stopping at just these initial offerings. Additional packages are planned to be released to the UE4 store through the Spring and Summer, once again touting “AAA-quality” work and millions of dollars’ worth of assets. Whether these new packages will also be free or require payment wasn’t made clear in the initial announcement.

Our Thoughts

That is remarkably generous of Epic Games to release the Paragon assets for no cost whatsoever, but also does seem to ultimately extinguish any hope that fans may have had of keeping Paragon online. That said, who’s to say someone won’t take those assets and attempt to do something with them entirely? Time will tell, ultimately, but we do hope that the pieces from Paragon are beneficial in the creation of new titles at least.

Source: Epic Games website

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The post Epic Games Adds Paragon’s Assets to Unreal Engine 4 for Free appeared first on MMOGames.com.

MMO Shut Down Concerns in 2018

As of writing this, we are 67 days into 2018 and we have already lost 10 MMOs, MOBAs, and other types of online games. This counts games that have shut down and those that have been announced will be shutting down in the near future. That’s one game lost for every week of this year, which is a startling amount. So let’s take a look at which games have shut down, the reasons for them getting shut down, as well as trends for previous years.

2018 got off to a rough start with Perfect World announcing that they were closing down not one, but two games; Battle of the Immortals and War of the Immortals, which were both shut down just a few days later on January 9th. It really came as no surprise to anyone that these games were shut down, they never really had a large population, but this isn’t the last time Perfect World will appear in this article.

MMO Shut Down Concerns in 2018

In mid-January, it was announced that Perpetuum’s official server would be going offline. This was somewhat inevitable as development on the game stopped back in September because of low population and income. Sadly, the cost of keeping the server running was just too high, which is why the official server is leaving so soon. It isn’t all bad news for the game however, there’s a semi-official private server keeping the game alive that is being run by one of the former devs.

The first MOBA that announced it would be shut down this year was Paragon. Epic stated that the game had trouble expanding beyond its core player base. The lack of growth slowed development and  it eventually became clear that it was time to shut the game down. Epic offered full refunds for everyone who had ever bought the game, a really nice gesture for those still disappointed about the end.

I didn’t say it, they did.

At the end of January, LinkRealms announced they would be shutting down. The game never gained much traction outside of its core audience and sadly funds to keep the game running were running out. It first came onto the scene back in 2010 when it entered beta and was only added to Steam in 2016. At this point, there’s starting to be a bit of a pattern behind the shutdowns.

When Perfect World announced they were closing Motiga it was only a matter of time before Gigantic, the MOBA they had created, would follow. So, again, at the end of January when the announcement was made that Gigantic was shutting down, it wasn’t much of a surprise. As of writing this, the servers are still online and they will remain so until the end of July. Once again, difficulty breaking into the market was to blame. The lack of audience and the difficulty of fixing some of the issues with the game sadly proved too great.

The third MOBA to close in just one month was NCSoft’s Master X Master. This was a game we learned would be shutting down all the way back in November. In the shutdown announcement, it was said that the game failed to connect with the players. The game wasn’t sustainable with the population it had, so the decision had to be made, purely for business.

Mojang’s card game Scrolls shut down in the middle of February. This was another that was only a matter of time. Development on the game stopped in June of 2015. At the time Mojang promised to keep the servers online until July 2016 at least. So, the fact that it lasted as long as it did is amazing itself. When development stopped in 2015 it was because of the population and the inability to sustainably continue development. Most games are not so lucky to get such a long lead time to the moment the servers are taken offline.

At the end of February, Cabal 2 announced they were shutting down in the west, though exactly when that’s going to happen is still up in the air. In the announcement, it was said that continued operation was unsustainable and Cabal 2 didn’t resonate with as many players as they had hoped.

Demon’s Souls, part of the Dark Souls series, was well known for having a robust online system. Or rather, it was. It was shut down at the end of February, though this was no surprise for anyone who was a fan of the 9-year-old game. To be clear, much of the game is still playable but the online components; seeing player messages, summoning others to your game, and other such features are now inaccessible.

And now that brings us to the beginning of March which has already seen the end of Trion’s Devilian. We found out in January that it would be closing. Unlike the other games, this one was closed because the developers, Bluehole, had stopped working on the game. Bluehole Ginno, the creators of Devilian, was renamed the PUBG Corp and from then on the game was pretty much forgotten.

 

A Look at the Past

If you take a look at the last three months of 2017 you’ll see that 7 titles shut down. The most notable of them all was Marvel Heroes. The difference between 7 and 10 doesn’t seem very big, however, we’re not yet three months into 2018. If we continue to have an average shutdown of one game every week, we’re looking at possibly reaching 14 online games closing this year. That would be double the amount from the previous 3 months.

But, maybe there’s more going on here. After all, the end of the year happened and that tends to bring about big changes. So, how many games were shut down from January to March in 2017? 7, just like the last three months of 2017. In 2016 there were 13 games shut down which is very close to what we may face this year as well. So is this year abnormal or were we just really lucky in 2017? What will the rest of the year hold for online gaming? Maybe right now it just feels like a lot because we’re still in the moment. If nothing else comes from this article, then hopefully it serves as a reminder to keep playing and supporting your favorite game financially. A game can’t run without some sort of income.

The clear theme across all these titles is a lack of population and a lack of funds. Is it a sign of market saturation? Quite possibly. It certainly seems like MOBAs are past the point of saturation. More of them are shutting down than launching and it would seem that audiences have found the game they prefer.

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Hi-Rez Backpedals on Video Welcoming Paragon Players to SMITE

A cheeky little SMITE PR video offering soon to be displaced Paragon players a home in their MOBA has been officially removed. Some apparent backlash at the video’s attempt at humor incited the decision, though said backlash appears to come from within SMITE’s community and not Paragon’s.

smite pr video

The video features community managers Isiah and MLC St3alth talking about SMITE’s features and five year lifespan, with occasional tight shots of each person as they whisper “Para”, “Gon” and “Epic Game” with goofy grins as they rib the sunsetting MOBA Paragon.

If one takes the comments within the SMITE and Paragon subreddits at face value, the pushback against the video was spearheaded by Twitch streamer DMBrandon, who called the original post “embarassing” in a tweet.

Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris later issued an apology on Twitter, clarifying the video was “intended as good fun and not as disrespect”. “We’ve had to shut down games before and so we know first hand it is crushing for both the dev-team and the community,” he added.

For the sake of record, Paragon players that frequent the game’s subreddit don’t appear to be particularly chafed by the video itself. “Didn’t bother me at all, actually thought it was genuinely funny,” wrote one player, while another writes “It was nice of them to acknowledge the new influx of Paragon refugees, and we thought it was all in good fun for sure”.

DMBrandon, however, appears to be dumbfounded at the reception he’s received on his reaction. “It’s amazing how hirez can make a video mocking the failure of a game and I’m somehow the bad guy,” he tweeted. “We care that the paragon devs see that stuff and feel like they’re being kicked when they’re down. It had nothing to do with either community.”

You can see a mirror of the original video below and decide for yourself.

Our Thoughts

We can kind of see both sides of this issue here. On the one hand, taking advantage of a game’s shutdown could certainly come off wrong to the devs who worked as hard as they did on said game. On the other hand, there didn’t really seem to be any genuine ill will in the video itself and it appeared to be honestly just a bit of fun. We’re interested to know what you have to say about the matter in our comments below.

Sources: Paragon subreddit, Twitter 1, 2 via Massively Overpowered

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Fans Petition Epic Games to Keep Paragon Alive

After the announcement this past weekend that Paragon would be sunsetted, one fan has taken it upon themselves to issue a Paragon petition beseeching Epic Games to reconsider the move.

paragon petition

The petition specifies that Epic Games doesn’t even need to support the MOBA with new updates or content, but simply asks to keep its server lights on.

“I put forward the idea that Epic keep the servers for Paragon open even if they leave the game as it is right now I would be more than happy,” reads the petition. “All I want is to come home and be able to turn on Paragon and play with my friends, what am I going to do now?”

As of this writing, the petition currently has over 20k signatures. Meanwhile over on the Paragon subreddit, fans have made additional suggestions such as handing development over or even making the game open source.

Our Thoughts

It does seem like the decision to axe Paragon came pretty swiftly, particularly since it came roughly a week after Epic Games considered the matter. While it doesn’t seem unreasonable to keep Paragon’s servers operational, we also have to assume that 20k people isn’t quite enough of a response for Epic to change course. Do you think Paragon should be let go or is keeping the servers online a fair request? Let us know your thoughts.

Source: Change.org via MMORPG.com

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Paragon Closing April 26; Epic Offering Refunds

Unfortunately, we have received word that yet another MOBA is shutting down for good. On April 26, 2018, Paragon will no longer be operational. However, Epic also announced that every Paragon player will receive a full refund for every purchase they made.

paragon closing

 

It was only two weeks ago when Epic released a statement that the update schedule for Paragon was slowing and it wanted to open discussion with the community to improve the game. Apparently changes either didn’t happen quickly enough or Epic had a change of heart, but it looks like our list of available MOBAs will be one name shorter.

Even though fans of the game will no longer have a chance to play it, Epic is being more generous than most developers and is offering a full refund to its players. To request a refund, follow these steps:

  1. If you’re not playing on PC, link your Epic account (create one if necessary).
  2. If you play on PC, or have already linked your Epic account, you can request your refund here.

It was also noted that players should expect decreased matchmaking quality as the game approaches its shutdown date as fewer players will likely be playing Paragon.

 

Our Thoughts

On the outside, Paragon had a lot going for it: a new take on the MOBA, beautiful graphics, cross-platform accounts, and an AAA studio behind it. However, something just didn’t click with its target audience and the game never really caught on. Combine that with the success of Fortnite and it makes sense where a developer is going to focus their efforts. On a positive note, offering a full refund for a game that’s been out for more than a year is still pretty generous of Epic.

Source: Epic Games

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Epic Games Speaks Candidly About Paragon

You may have noticed the pace of Paragon development appears to be generally pretty slow and Epic Games has decided to not withhold punches on the matter. In a rather candid post to the game’s subreddit, one of the devs of the MOBA has discussed the game’s current direction and opened the floor to suggestions on where Paragon should go next.

paragon development

The post admits that player retention appears to be an issue with Paragon, stating that only a small number of new arrivals to the game stick around to play after a month. “Though Paragon has evolved, no iteration has yet achieved that magical combination of ingredients that make for a sustainable game,” reads the post.

The post also states that dev progress has been split by efforts to improve Paragon in the short and long-term and by a number of Paragon’s dev team members being moved to work on Fortnite in order to sustain the title. Combined with the “humbling success” of Fortnite, Epic is trying to consider “a good path to grow Paragon and make it thrive”.

Despite these revelations, work on V.45 of Paragon will continue to see the update release this week, bringing Hero and Card balance along with some improvements to stability. The post also points out that marketing or making money with Paragon is not exactly an issue. So the devs open the floor to suggestions from Paragon’s fans while also considering what to do internally.

“We welcome your thoughts on what we should do. Like you, the team is deeply passionate about Paragon. Like you, we would love to find a path that works. And like the community at large, we are not all in agreement on what could place Paragon on a fundamentally better path for all.”

Our Thoughts

We have to say, this level of discourse is pretty refreshing from the number of PR spins and press releases we usually see out of most devs. On topic; we do hope that the devs and fans of Paragon can crack the formula to make Paragon a success. We’re also certainly open to hearing your own thoughts on the game and where it should go in our own comments, of course.

Source: Paragon subreddit via GamesIndustry

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The post Epic Games Speaks Candidly About Paragon appeared first on MMOGames.com.

Best MOBA/PvP Focused Game of 2017

The end of the year has come and that means it’s time to take a look back at the year that has been. It certainly hasn’t been an easy one. We’ve had a decline in the number of new games releasing and we’ve had to say goodbye to some fan favorites.

But it has also been a good year. This year we saw a number of MMOs release expansions, and we watched as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds soared in popularity.

Only time can tell if 2017 will be a good year or a bad year.

Best MOBA/PvP Focused Game of 2017

However, you can decide what was the best this year. It’s time for MMOGames’ 4th annual Best of the Year Awards as voted for by you the reader. This year we have 10 different categories for you to vote on ranging from mobile games to MMO expansions.

Games that put players against other players were arguably the most popular genre of online gaming in 2017. Threats came from everywhere, be it a sniper you can’t see, a water balloon, or simply a frying pan. It was a good year for the  MOBA/PvP focused games in 2017. From the looks of things, 2018 is going to be just as good. It may be difficult for you to pick just one, which is why you don’t have to. Vote for all of them each time you come back if you really want.

To place your vote just scroll through the games listed below and click on the button marked Vote. If you’d like to vote for a game that isn’t listed let us know in the comments and we will quickly get it added. Make sure you visit each page to vote for your favorite games in each category they’re nominated in. Come back every day until January 3rd when the voting ends for another chance to vote. No logging in required.

In the end, all the winners will be featured in the Reader’s Choice Best of 2017 Awards along with all the bragging rights that come along with it. Who wins is entirely up to you, so be sure to share this with your circle of friends, your guilds, and the communities for the games you loved this year.

Remember, voting ends on January 3rd and you’re able to vote once a day which means you can vote for more than one game if you like. What you do with your votes is entirely up to you.

 

   

   

   

   

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