Activision-Blizzard had a rough week of its own making, as it announced record-high revenue for the year and in the same moment began laying off around 800 employees. Outrage across the gaming industry was fierce enough to provoke the anger of not just the video game unionization group but the AFL-CIO too, the former of which demanded Bobby Kotick’s resignation and the latter of which urged game developers to unionize. Piggybacking on the bad news, or maybe hiding in its shadow, was Daybreak, which delayed the launch of PlanetSide Arena again, this time into summer 2019, and it topped that off by refunding everyone who’d preordered the game. At least somebody’s having a good week. That somebody is EA, thanks almost entirely to Apex Legends, though Anthem’s been no slouch either. In more meta news, we introduced another new column in time for our birthday. Read on to catch up with the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions today as every Sunday … [Read more...] about MMO Week in Review: The week when EA looked like the good guy
Who publishes the week
July 26 will mark the Early Access launch of Warlords Awakening on Steam. The Korean fantasy MMORPG has a generic theme to it, but the action combat may tempt Diablo 3 or Path of Exile players to give it a shot between seasons. At least that's what publisher PLAYWITH Inc is banking on. But first, a bit of history. Originally known as ELOA (Elite Lord of Alliance), or Inspirit Online to those who played on an unlicensed server, Warlords Awakening was previously published in the West by Webzen. That server was shut down in 2016, but the game is now making a comeback via steam. Playwith purchased the IP from the original developer NPICSoft and relaunched the MMORPG in Korea late last year. But just two weeks ago, on July 11, Playwith announced the closure of the official Korean service. Despite the decision of the developer/publisher to shut the game in their home market, the Steam Early Access launch is still set for July 26. The base, and cheapest, package to access the game on that … [Read more...] about The Weekly Raid: Warlords Awakening, Another Korean Cash Grab?
What happens when MMORPG drama leaks into the real world? This week a local issue in the Final Fantasy 14 community made headlines when outlets like PCGamer published a lengthy expose on the ongoing controversy. Dubbed MoogleGate, the story centers on a 30-something year old player with the in-game name OldBear. The allegations involve using his position as the head of a fan-site called The Moogle Post to convince woman to send him personal images. The alleged 'abuse' has been ongoing for years and involves over a dozen women. The women who are coming forward with their stories use the moniker Anonymous Jane to protect their in-game and real world identities. Its difficult to give a summary of the events without revealing my own bias, so those interested in the story should read the well researched piece of PCGamer. All but one of the stories seems to be online-only, so I have difficulty labeling those abuse. One woman ended up living with Oldbear for 2 months but the situation seemed … [Read more...] about The Weekly Raid: What Are Your Thoughts On The Recent FF14 Controversy?
After months of rumors, Nexon has official confirmed that MapleStory 2 is coming to the West! The official website went live on April 16 which immediately started taking applications for a closed beta test scheduled to start on May 9th. The official launch trailer, embedded below, shows prospective players what MapleStory is all about. While the game never enjoyed the astronomical success of its predecessor in Korea, MapleStory 2 could very well prove a hit in the West. The game is brightly colored and has a blocky visual style reminiscent of Minecraft. The MapleStory name is enough to get a wave of nostalgic, older gamers to give the game a go and the new 3D blocky style will probably attract this generation's gamers who grew up on games like Minecraft. MapleStory 2 was originally released in its home market of Korea back in 2015. Western audiences have been eagerly anticipating a localized version ever since. Nearly 3 years later, its finally happening! Over the years, English … [Read more...] about The Weekly Raid: Are You Excited For MapleStory 2?
In all our many roundups at the turn of the year, we’ve never done one on the legal dramas that have affected the MMO genre. That changes today! Of note, there’s… the lockbox scuffle as various countries turn their watchful gaze on the industry and self-regulation collapses in a puddle of shrugs; the Crytek lawsuit against Star Citizen studio Cloud Imperium; the potential for dead online games to skirt DMCA laws; multiple Pokemon Go-inspired lawsuits and criminal trials; the end of the Warner Bros. and Tolkien estate lawsuit; the continuation of the Oculus/ZeniMax Media lawsuit; the cease-and-desist filed against Asheron’s Call emulators; and a whole ton of Blizzard lawsuits, including the capsizing of the Bossland cheaters following multiple Blizz victories. My favorite, however, is Andrew’s research into whether lockboxes legally constitute gambling – from last January. Enjoy! Call of Duty swatting incident leads to man’s death in Kansas … [Read more...] about A look back at the MMO industry’s law dramas of 2017