Battleborn Shutdown Announced After Years in Maintenance Mode

In 2017 2K Games announced that Battleborn would be going into maintenance mode for the foreseeable future but as we all know that means the game’s days are numbered. Well, it looks like its time is up. 2K took to Twitter to announce the Battleborn shutdown is finally coming.

You might expect that because it’s coming up to the end of the year that the shutdown would be soon, but in fact it isn’t happening until January 2021! It’s really amazing that they’ve given so much warning for the fans of the game. This isn’t usually how these stories go.

Starting on February 24, 2020 you will no longer be able to purchase virtual currency which is also incredibly generous as far as time is concerned! The game has now been removed from digital storefronts though, so if you don’t already have the game, you’re out of luck I’m afraid.

If you’re wondering what went wrong after it had such a successful beta, the answer to that quite simply is that it came out at the same time as Overwatch. The two games are quite similar and playing for the same audience. Unfortunately for Battleborn, Overwatch won out. Still, for the dedicated playerbase the knowledge that they still have so long to go until shutdown is a blessing. Most fans of online games that get shut down don’t have that. So thank you 2K! You’re one of the good guys.

 

Source: Twitter

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Dungeons and Dragons Online’s Permadeath Server Coming to an End

Dungeons and Dragons Online’s permadeath server is about to have a permadeath of its own. The server is ending on November 15th. The server, which launched in August was never intended to last forever and was always meant to be a time-limited experiment.

After they close the Hardcore League server they will gather data to determine who the winners were, announce their names, and prepare them for inclusion in the Hall of Heroes. Once that is complete the server will be re-opened for several weeks to allow players to prepare their characters for transfer to regular servers.

While in the official FAQ about the shutdown of the server Standing Stone Games says they have nothing official to say about the return of the Hardcore League, some hopeful fans have pointed out that they have referred to it as the “first Hardcore League” which suggests that there may be more in the future. The server will be back on in early December though no dates have been given yet. They also haven’t yet announced what time the server will shutdown on November 15th. That information is expected to be released as the date approaches.

It is interesting to see developers do these kinds of experiments with their games. Who knows what else we might see happen in DDO in the future as a result of this experiment.

 

Source: DDO Official Site

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Durango Wild Lands is Shutting Down After 5 Months

Nexon’s Durango Wild Lands is shutting down just 5 months after it released. The mobile survival game was in beta testing for years before it finally launched in May. It isn’t the end of the game yet though and Nexon actually has one more update for the game before the end. Here is what they have planned from their announcement on Facebook.

Final Chapter of Durango: Wild Lands

The finale for Durango’s main storyline is in preparation. It will be available for pioneers through quests. The end is connected to the beginning, as K and X are the main characters for it. It will also include many answers to questions that arose as you explored the world of Durango.

Combat Island & Instruments

Combat Island is a PvP content in which pioneers gather in a small island for a fight to the finish. In a sense, the structure is a bit similar to the previous Warp Rush. The play experience, however, is something quite different. With the loots that you receive from the Combat Island battles, you can craft rare weapons that you can boast to other pioneers.

Instruments will also be introduced in the next update. In contrast to the action-packed combat of Combat Island, the new instrument system will bring a tone of peace. You can select a piece and play it, or utilize the editing function in order to create your own. Craft and play the new instruments so that you can spread tranquility in a world of exploration and survival that is Durango.

Faster & Better Experience in Durango

In order to experience the many contents in Durango: Wild Lands, one needed to invest time and effort. Now, considering that we’re near the end, we are preparing an update that will bring in a way to enjoy the various contents in a short amount of time. But at the same time, we will try our best not to diminish the gameplay of the past.

Keeping the Private Islands

We are currently trying to find a way for pioneers to keep their private islands even after the service for Durango: Wild Lands ends. This will allow you to see your private island after the termination and also show it to others.

Durango Wild Lands Review Zebraceratops

Heartbreaking to see that they still have content in development while knowing that the game is coming to an end. About the shutdown they said:

After Durango: Wild Lands was released, our pioneers have turned the wild lands into a new world. Vacant islands became flourishing cities, and lands of nothing became homes, farms, and shelters to many pioneers.

To put it bluntly, we have decided to end the service of Durango: Wild Lands. It seems we have reached our final destination in the wild lands that we have explored together. We would like to apologize and show our gratitude through this note.

We would sincerely like to thank you, our pioneers, for being part of the Durango world. We, as developers and operators of the game, were able to do our jobs largely due to your support. While the in-game characters were warped to Durango despite their intentions, you our pioneers chose to be part of our family. We deeply empathize with you not being able to continue your expeditions in Durango.

Life in Durango will continue on until its termination. We will continue its development so that memories from the wild lands will last for a prolonged period.

 

In-app purchases are no longer available for the game and the game will close on December 18th. They don’t have a release date yet for that new content, so if you’re interested in that be sure you’re following them on social media.

 

Source: Facebook via MMOCulture

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Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics, the Smite Tactical Card Game is Shutting Down

Its been a while since we’ve heard any news from Hi-Rez and now that we have it’s only bad news. The Smite Tactical Card Game Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics is shutting down on January 1st 2020. This was announced via Twitter and fan reaction was sad, but not surprised. The game has undergone a number of changes throughout its development and many of the fans who enjoyed the game lost their love for it over time.

As a thank you for fan’s time spent, and to make the rest of the time the game is live more enjoyable Hi-Rez is giving everyone 100,000 runes.

Hand of the Gods launched February 20, 2018 which means that sadly the game won’t make it 2 years being live. It first appeared as an Early Access title in 2017.

 

There was also news about Smite, good news though. Persephone, Goddess of the Underworld has been added to the Smite pantheon. She’s the first God to be added to the game since April. From the sound of it she’s a pretty complex character. She’s a mage with powerful long-distance attacks, the ability to summon plants, and she can plant seeds that can revive her if enough are collected. As always to help you get an idea of how Persephone plays Hi-Rez has released a God Reveal video. It’s nearly 5 minutes long and has a lot of information to take in.

 

This Persephone is nothing like the one from Punderworld. She’s a dark and vicious fighter. So really, she fits right in with the Smite pantheon.

 

Source: Twitter, Press Release

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Weekly Business Report: Nexon’s Internal Restructuring, Ninja’s Leaving Twitch, and More

MMOGames Business Weekly Report is back to take a look at mobile gamer preferences for free to play games in China, the latest news from Nexon, Ninja leaving Twitch, and a few other topics relevant to the business side of making online games.

 

Automaton Games Shuts Down

Mavericks: Proving Grounds

Automaton Games, the folks who were behind the unreleased 1,000 man Battle Royale Mavericks: Proving Grounds, has shut down and in the process the game has died. In the announcement on their website, they cited a lack of funding as the reason for their sudden closure. Thankfully Improbable, the makers of SpatialOS, have said they will be trying to find places for Automaton employees in their company. Mavericks: Proving Grounds is actually the second SpatialOS game to meet its end in recent months leaving some to speculate that SpatialOS falling out with Unity earlier this year may have played a role. If that’s true, this might only be the beginning of SpatialOS related sunsets. MMOGames staff will be watching and will continue to bring updates in our weekly business report.

 

Source: MMOGames

 

Chinese Consumer Preferences

According to recently released research, over half of Chinese consumers prefer free to play or ad monetized games over premium titles. In fact, the research found that 61% of people prefer non-premium games. 85% reported they spend money on mobile games with 3% spending more than $50 (¥330) a month. In contrast, the average spending is just $5.80 a month. Those interviewed between the ages of 26 and 30 had the highest average spending at $10 a month.

The research also showed there is a high level of brand loyalty. 92% of respondents said they stick with a game for more than a week and 87% say they’ve played fewer than 5 different games in the previous month.

One challenge that developers face is how well divided the market’s stores are. In China, 30% of the market is using the App Store, 29% are using Tencent’s MyApp, and 26% use the Huawei app store. In the West we really only have Google Play or the App Store for mobile games.

It would be really interesting to see this same research completed in a few different Western countries to see how our views differ. I would personally much prefer to pay for a game or even pay a subscription for a game over being nickel and dimed to death by an in-game shop.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

Nexon Internal Merger Incoming

The last few months have been a wild ride for Nexon. First, their founder and CEO was putting the family’s stake in the business up for sale, worth between 9 to 11 billion dollars. After months of speculation that everyone from Disney to EA were interested in buying, it seems Kim Jung-ju may have simply decided not to sell. Of course, I’m sure a decision like that wasn’t made lightly. Following the release of this rumor, Nexon’s stock dropped resulting in a loss of up to 5%. Now we know that Nexon is reorganizing and merging their two core business units. No jobs are going to be lost in this internal restructuring, but the company is looking at getting rid of projects with low commercial value. They also hope that the restructuring will improve the company’s operating profits and increase its stock value. News of this restructuring started out as a rumor but was quickly confirmed by Nexon. It is set to take place sometime in August.

 

Source: MMOCulture

 

Ninja Leaves Twitch for Mixer

Ninja Fortnite

Ninja has announced that he will no longer be streaming on Twitch and is instead switching over to Microsoft’s Mixer platform. The specifics on this particular deal haven’t been released but last year he was making $500,000 a month streaming Fortnite on Twitch and a paid promotion deal with EA for Apex Legends got him $1 million, so it is safe to assume he got a pretty sweet deal. This marks a major shift for Twitch which has been seeing its growth slow over the last year.

Mixer has always been playing third fiddle to Twitch and Youtube but has also seen consistent growth. Last quarter it saw 119 million hours watched, an increase of 37% year on year. Ninja’s move to Mixer might be exactly the sort of push the platform needs to catch up to its two bigger competitors. However, Fortnite’s popularity, especially in streaming, has been on the decline. It is also possible that many of Ninja’s fans wont follow him to this different platform because they prefer Twitch. We can see an example of this in the industry already looking at people who refuse to play a game that hasn’t been released on Steam. Only time will tell how this transition actually goes.

 

Source: Games Industry

 

 

Zynga Eyes China

At one point in time just a few years ago Zynga was dominating the games industry. They were all we ever talked about it seemed like. Of course the days of Facebook games are long gone now, but that doesn’t mean Zynga is gone or that they’ve even slowed down. Zynga has been transitioning to a mobile game developer and having great success with it. They recently released Empires and Puzzles in Japan and Korea, the beginning of their strategy for expansion into the Asian market. Now they’re eyeing China.

In a call with GamesIndustry.biz Zynga COO Matt Bromberg said, “We are beginning to look at China for Empires & Puzzles as well, and as our portfolio continues to develop we have both Star Wars and the Harry Potter game on our slate for the future. When there are big global pieces of IP like that, which we think will resonate across Asia, we’re hopeful that will also help us expand there. We’re trying to take a measured approach to it, and learn as we go and make sure we have the right match of game and personnel on the ground and marketing strategy. When you get those lined up it can be terrific, but it is a complicated market and we’re still in learning mode.”

A complicated market is putting it lightly. Still, if they are successful in their push into China, they’ll be tapping into a mobile games industry with an estimated 586 million gamers.

 

Source: Games Industry

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Mavericks: Proving Grounds Canceled as Studio Shuts Down

Developer Automaton Games has shut down leaving their Battle Royale title Mavericks: Proving Grounds canceled and employees looking for new jobs. Thankfully, Improbable, the makers of SpatialOS which Maverick: Proving Grounds was using has said that they would be trying to place Automaton employees in their company, according to a statement they made to GamesIndustry.biz. “Automaton’s closure and the ceasing of development on Mavericks is sad news,” said an Improbable spokesman. “Mavericks was a hugely ambitious project, and we were glad to support it with the networking technology that made its large world and innovative approach to multiplayer possible. Unfortunately, Automaton was unable to find further investment to support their ambitious development plans. Automaton Games is a talented team, and we will look to match any former Automaton employees to roles that we are looking to fill at Improbable.”

Mavericks: Proving Grounds

A statement on the official site for the developer reads, “Paul Cooper and Paul Appleton were appointed joint administrators of Automaton Games Limited on 30th July 2019. They are managing the affairs, business and property of the company… Please be advised that due to insufficient funding, the development of the Mavericks: Proving Grounds game has now ceased.”

It really is a shame, of the entire Battle Royale genre Mavericks: Proving Grounds sounded like it had the most potential to be something really unique and interesting. With 1,000 players on the map that really could have revolutionized the genre. A genre that does seem to be losing steam.

We hope that everyone at Automaton Games gets back on their feet quickly.

 

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

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Worlds Adrift is Hosting an End of the World Event as the Game Shuts Down Tomorrow

Worlds Adrift is hosting an end of the world event for the last few hours the game remains online tomorrow. Beginning at 7 Pacific Time one final event will be running in the game which can be watched on Twitch if you can’t make it there in person.

The shutdown of this unique spatialOS MMORPG was announced back at the very end of May. In the FAQ about the shutdown they said this about the shutdown; “Making such an ambitious game was always going to be a challenge and we love the game we’ve built together with our community. However, Worlds Adrift has not captured the imagination of as many people as we needed to make it commercially viable.”

Unfortunately, the game was plagued with terrible griefing problems and the addition of PvE servers came a little too late. According to Steam Charts however, the game never really got an audience. Its all time peak number of players was just 2,031 and that happened back in May 2018. There was a little bit of a boost in October when the PvE servers were introduced, but that boost didn’t last.

On the bright side, this isn’t the end of Bossa. In their FAQ they make it clear that the studio will continue and that they always have 3 games in development. One game that we do know is in the works is Pigeon Simulator which will be on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and yes, it is exactly what you think it is.

 

 

Source: Official Site and Steam Charts

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Dragon’s Dogma Online is Shutting Down

If you were holding out hope that one day Japanese MMORPG Dragon’s Dogma would one day make it to Western shores then we have some disappointing news for you. Capcom has announced that Dragon’s Dogma Online is shutting down later this year. The final day for the game will be December 5th, 2019. The game launched back in August 2015 had a pretty good run and is playable on PS3, PS4, and PC.

The announcement of the shutdown stated the reason for sunsetting was due to the team being unable to continue providing services that satisfy the players. Plans to launch the game in Taiwan have been scrapped which means that the game will have never made it outside of Japan when it is shut down.

But, there is still some good news for Dragon’s Dogma Online fans. An animated series based on Dragon’s Dogma lore is in the works and Netflix is connected. Plus, it has been promised that while Dragon’s Dogma Online is finished this isn’t the end of Dragon’s Dogma video games completely, fingers crossed that means we’ll have a new Dragon’s Dogma game in the near future.

Dragon’s Dogma Online had a lot of potential for success overseas. The game regularly received updates, focused on playing in a group, and had 11 unique classes to pick from. In fact, back in2016 it looked like Capcom might actually have been gearing up to release the game in the West. Of course, we know that nothing came of that. But at the time game director Kento Kinoshita said, “Once we have established a solid foundation in Japan I’d like to consider bringing this game overseas, where there are a great many online game players,” That seems to suggest that plans changed, or the game was perhaps not as successful in Japan as Capcom would have liked.

 

Source: MMOCulture

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The Culling is Shutting Down After Rough Year

You may recall that about halfway through last year The Culling 2 was released as a Battle Royale game and fans of the original weren’t too pleased. At the time Xaviant decided to refocus their attention on The Culling, but it seems that the damage was already done. Now, after months of struggling to stay afloat, The Culling is shutting down.

The Culling

The Culling

For anyone who has been watching gaming news, this really shouldn’t come as a surprise. The Culling had a lot of success in its small corner of gaming but instead of focusing on making improvements to The Culling, releasing DLC and such as you would expect, the studio launched straight into making the sequel. A sequel that wasn’t in the same genre as the first and instead chased the current Battle Royale trend. This was seen by many loyal fans as a cash grab and put them off the studio entirely.

Xaviant only tried to rectify the mistake a few weeks after The Culling 2 launched. At that point, they decided to shut down The Culling 2 and go back to The Culling which they would rename The Culling Origins and make free to play.

Sadly it seems that the effort was too little, too late. Despite the game being free to play the game has spent every month this year with an average concurrent player number under 100 players. They had hoped that making it free to play would save the game and they would be able to rely on sales from the in-game store to keep the game afloat. This didn’t go according to plan and so The Culling is shutting down May 15th.

The fact that there were no new development updates between October 2018 and the announcement of the shut down really goes to show that this has been coming for some time. The shutdown announcement says that even with thousands of players they weren’t able to generate the revenue needed to keep the game going.

But, there is the potential for salvation for the game. It would appear that Xaviant is willing to explore the option of another studio taking on the game if anyone is interested.

It’s a sad way to see this story end and hopefully, Xaviant will land on their feet soon.

 

Source: Official Site

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Orcs Must Die! Unchained Shut Down Announced

We’re just 7 days into the new year and 2019 has already claimed its first game, three of them in fact. Robot Entertainment has announced the Orcs Must Die! Shut Down is set to take place on April 8th. On that day Hero Academy and Hero Academy 2 will also sunset.

In the announcement, Robot Entertainment said that they have been operating the three games at a loss for many months and that it is no longer sustainable to do so. With this move the only games the company will have available for purchase are Orcs Must Die! And Orcs Must Die! 2. If you haven’t already given them a try the staff at MMOGames highly recommends them.

orcs must die! unchained releases

So, what does this mean for the future of Robot Entertainment? Well, at the moment they’ve only said that they will shift their focus to future games and make investments there. They have two games in the works that they aren’t quite ready to talk about yet. But, their hope is that they’ll be ready to talk about them sometime in 2019. Speaking of investments, Tencent owns a minority stake in Robot Entertainment for an undisclosed amount.

Until the games shut down players will be able to log in where they will have been given large amounts of hard and soft currencies so they can enjoy what time remains in the game. These may take up to 24 hours to hit your account, so if you log in and don’t see them, don’t worry too much.

It’s incredibly sad to see Orcs Must Die! Unchained shut down, especially so soon in the new year. Orcs Must Die! Is an MMOGames favorite and hopefully one of those two titles is another OMD game. We will, of course, be keeping a close eye on their future projects and keep our fingers crossed that it’s an online title so we can write about it.

 

Source: Robot Entertainment Official Site

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