Kickstarter Launches for Neo's Land, an MMO Built By Players

September 9, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A new Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign has an interesting pitch: help fund an MMO universe built with a high level of input from players. Not only will players have a say in how the fantasy MMO will be built, the creators of the game claim that they are already helping to build out some of the content. The game is called Neo's Land, and it is being developed by Calgary-based game studio NeoJac Entertainment.

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Final Fantasy XIV Players Given Free Game Time

September 3, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Admitting that the launch of its newest Final Fantasy MMO was less than stable, Square Enix announced that it will compensate subscribers of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn with an extra seven days of game time.

The publisher admitted that it has been unable to deliver a reliable and stable service to customers since the game launched on PC and PS3 last week. The company chalked up the game's technical difficulties to high user demand. This led to a temporary halt in digital sales as it attempted to expand server capacity.

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SOE San Diego and Austin Studios Hit with Layoffs

August 29, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Sony Online Entertainment announced that it has laid off an undisclosed number of employees at its San Diego, Calif. and Austin, TX. studios as part of a new initiative to reduce costs, align its resources, and streamline its workforce company-wide.

"As part of a strategic decision to reduce costs and streamline its workforce, SOE announced today that it will eliminate positions in both its San Diego and Austin studios," the company said in a statement.

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Trion Worlds to Close European Office, Lay Off Staff

August 15, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

MCV is reporting that MMO publisher Trion Worlds will close its European office located in Guildford, UK by week's end. The European headquarters for the company will lay off ten employees and close the office this week, according to the report. Staff affected by the closure include Trion Europe boss John Burns, communications boss Jon Goddard commercial director Jeff Pabst, senior brand manager Dominic Wai and PR manager Gary Burns.

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Poll Results: Controlling How Long Someone Plays an 'Addictive' MMO

August 12, 2013 -

In last week's poll we asked you "Should MMOs limit the amount of time gamers can play them to stem pathological addiction?" Around 431 votes were cast with the lion's share going towards personal responsibility on the part of gamers.

One percent of voters (5 votes) said that limits on MMOs should be mandated by the government. Seven percent (30 votes) that developers should voluntarily added controls that limit gameplay. But a whopping 92 percent (396 votes) said that gamers should be responsible for their own actions.

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Researchers: Game Developers Need to Put Limits on MMORPG Players to Avoid 'Pathological Addiction'

August 6, 2013 -

Researchers in the United Kingdom are warning MMO developers that they need to consider limiting the amount of time the average player spends per session to combat "pathological addiction," and avoid inevitable government intervention. Researchers at Cardiff, Derby and Nottingham Trent universities said some gamers play up to "90 hours a session,"  and that if game companies did not create in-game limits for players, governments might have no choice but to follow Asia's model for limiting play time.

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World of Warcraft Loses More Subscribers

July 26, 2013 -

As part of its announcement this morning that it would break the iron grip of Vivendi's controlling interest, Activision Blizzard revealed that World of Warcraft subscriber numbers have fallen to 2007 levels. The number of paying World of Warcraft monthly subscribers has dropped to 7.7 million, according to Activision Blizzard. That's close to what the game had in 2007 before The Burning Crusade helped it break into the 8 million subscriber mark.

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Treehouse Avatar Technologies Legal Representative Responds to 'Patent Trolling' Accusations

July 12, 2013 -

When we first started writing about law firm Lerner, David, Littenberg, Krumholz & Mentlik sending letters on behalf of Treehouse Avatar Technologies to independent game development studios concerning an 858 patent (U.S Patent 8,180,858), we reached out to the signatory on those letters - Stephen F. Roth - to give him an opportunity to tells his client's side of the story.

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Three More MMO Developers Receive Letters from Treehouse Attorneys

July 10, 2013 -

GamePolitics has learned that at least three more independent development studios received letters from the law firm representing Treehouse Avatar Technologies claiming that they "may be infringing" on a patent the company holds because they make online games. Earlier in the week we detailed how the law firm representing Treehouse sent a letter to Bothel, Washington-based indie developer Bad Pug Games.

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Treehouse Targets Indie Studio with Threat of Patent Infringement Lawsuit

July 8, 2013 -

On July 1, a law firm representing Treehouse Avatar Technologies sent a legal packet to Bothel, Washington-based indie developer Bad Pug Games warning the two-man studio that it was violating an obscure 858 patent (U.S Patent 8,180,858) "Methods for Presenting Data Over a Network Based Network User Choices and Collecting Real-time Data Related to Said Choices."

Demand Letter.pdfPatent Claims.pdf
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CCP Games Hire Industry Vet Sean Decker

July 2, 2013 -

EVE Online maker CCP Games has hired video games industry veteran Sean Decker as its new senior vice president of product development. CCP says that Decker will lead the company’s worldwide game development, overseeing the company’s studios in Reykjavik, Shanghai, Atlanta, and Newcastle. Decker joins the company from Electronic Arts, where he spent 12 years in a variety of key production leadership roles. Most recently Decker served as vice president of EA’s Play4Free group.

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Spacetime Studios Games Played 250 Million Times

May 29, 2013 -

Austin, Texas-based mobile online game developer Spacetime Studios announced that its four online mobile games have garnered over 250 million play sessions to-date. The four games - Pocket Legends, Star legends, Dark Legends, and Arcane Legends - have also been downloaded over 20 million times collectively. Spacetime also says that its game have a high level of engagement, with players logging an average of 33.5 hours per month on Spacetime’s titles, almost 3 times as much as the average iOS player’s total monthly gameplay and four times more than Android players.

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BioWare Apologizes for Accidently Banning Over 100 Players in Star Wars: The Old Republic

May 24, 2013 -

BioWare is apologizing publicly for accidently banning 100 - 150 players in its MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic. The company took to its forums to say it was sorry for banning over a hundred players for violating the game's terms of service. Yesterday those players received email notifications from the company saying they had violated the game's ToS and would be banned for a week.

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Entropia Universe Player Buys Moon for $150K

May 10, 2013 -

Swedish MMO developer MindArk announced today that a recently discovered moon in its long running MMO Entropia Universe was auctioned off for $150,000, or 1.5 million PED in the game's virtual currency. The winner (?) of that bid was Jan Terje Egeland (whose Entropia Universe alter-ego is "Modified Akoz Power"), who MindArk claims will be able to share revenue with the company from all activity on the moon.

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Defiance: Over One Million Registered Players in First Month

May 3, 2013 -

Whether you have your doubts about Trion Worlds' Defiance - a first of its kind MMO transmedia project that lets what happens in the television show of the same name on the SyFy Network affect what happens in the virtual world you are playing - the game seems to be doing well within its first month or so of operation. According to Trion Worlds, over one million people have registered accounts for the game since it launched on April 3.

The game is certainly helped by being available on three platforms: the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC..

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Camelot Unchained Surpasses $2 Million Funding Goal

May 2, 2013 -

City State Entertainment announced that it managed to raise well over $2 million in crowd funding for its upcoming MMORPG project, Camelot Unchained. The "TriRealm" RvR-focused MMORPG will also receive $3 million in additional funding which includes $2 million from studio co-founder and online game industry pioneer Mark Jacobs. Pledges are still being accepted via PayPal on the game's official site.

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Valve Launches Steam Subscription Service

April 25, 2013 -

Valve Software announced that the very first game to make use of its freshly launched support for subscriptions is the MMO Darkfall Unholy Wars, with "additional subscription-based games to follow."

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EVE Fanfest Final Schedule Revealed

April 18, 2013 -

EVE Online maker CCP Games today announced the final schedule of events for its sold-out annual fan celebration, EVE Fanfest (April 25-27). Playing up this year's "Second Decade" theme (which commemorates the 10th anniversary of EVE Online) CCP has managed to bring some pretty interesting speakers to the event this year including Dwarf Fortress co-creator Tarn Adams, and Paola Antonell from MOMA.

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Kaspersky: Chinese Hacking Ring Has Hacked Multiple MMO Game Servers

April 12, 2013 -

Kaspersky Lab has uncovered a Chinese hacking ring that has been breaching the security of and stealing source code and other material from various online games in East Asia, South Korea, Germany, the US, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil, Peru, and Belarus. The security researchers at the company say that this Chinese hacking ring broke into the servers of dozens of online video gaming companies and stole from them over a four year period.

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'Make EVE Real' EVE Fanfest Speakers Announced

April 10, 2013 -

CCP Games today revealed the line-up of speakers that will be a part of the "Make EVE Real" track at its (sold-out) annual fan celebration EVE Fanfest from April 25-27. Dr. Richard Obousy (President and Co-Founder of Icarus Interstellar) and Chris Lewicki (President of Planetary Resources) will join Michael Laine (President of LiftPort Group) in sharing their thoughts on how current science fiction may soon become a reality.

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Report: US-Based Sex Offenders Use Online Games to Target Children in Canada

April 2, 2013 -

An interesting story via the Huffington Post (based on this CBC report) details sexual predators in the United States using online games and consoles to talk to children in Canada. This particular report focuses on Winnipeg, but it's not far-fetched to imagine that if it's happening in one province, it's happening to some degree in other provinces as well.

Portalarium Adds PayPal to Crowdfunding Campaign for Shroud of the Avatar

March 28, 2013 -

Richard Garriott's Portalarium announced that it is now accepting PayPal payments for the Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues crowd funding campaign. The PayPal option is available on the Shroud of the Avatar site.

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Vanguard Servers to Merge April 4

March 28, 2013 -

Sony Online Entertainment will merge the two remaining servers for its MMO Vanguard into one big server on April 4 at 10 p.m. PDT, the company announced this week. On April 9, the European Halgar server will permanently be taken offline, following its merge with the Telon server. SOE warned players that when this happens the game will be down for a 24 hour period - but that's not the worst of it; when the two servers are merged into one server some characters may be affected.

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Rift Shutting Down in Korea April 25

March 27, 2013 -

The Korean version of Trion Worlds' MMO Rift will be closed at the end of next month, according to this Polygon report. Rift will be shut down on April 25, according to an announcement by Korean publisher, CJ E&M.

The publisher cited "difficult maintenance decisions" as the reason for dumping the game from its roster of MMO titles. CJ E&M will give refunds to subscribers from April 17 onward, although the in-game shop will close on March 28, according to Polygon.

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Richard Garriott Issues Statement on PC Gamer Interview

March 21, 2013 -

Richard Garriott posted a lengthy explanation of a PC Gamer interview that was published yesterday in which he said that "most game designers really just suck," and that he had not met anyone who he thought came close to being as good a game designer as he was.

Words Taken Out of Context.pdf
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TERA: Rising Membership Soars in February After Free-to-Play Transition

March 20, 2013 -

En Masse Entertainment’s MMO TERA: Rising has seen a dramatic increase in registered users after the game went free-to-play in February. TERA: Rising now has over 1.4 million users following its February launch as a subscription-free game with new content. Player participation also jumped sharply, with a 10-fold increase of maximum concurrent users compared to before TERA’s subscription-free evolution - according to En Masse Entertainment

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Shroud of the Avatar Meets Kickstarter Funding Goal, Stretch Goals Added

March 19, 2013 -

With 18 more days to go, Richard Garriott's Kickstarter campaign for Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues has surpassed its $1 million funding goal. With that challenge out of the way, Garriott and his studio Portalarium have added a few stretch goals. As of right now, the Kickstarter has generated $1,031,716 from nearly 15,000 backers.

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Richard Garriott Reveals Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, Launches Kickstarter

March 8, 2013 -

While Richard Garriott (also known as Lord British in most circles) may no longer hold the rights to the Ultima series of classic CRPG games or Ultima Online (he sold it, along with Origin over a decade ago) that hasn't stopped him from returning to his roots. Today Garriott announced that his Austin-based studio Portalarium is hard at work on his newest game, Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues, a sort-of spiritual sequel of sorts to the Ultima series, but set in a whole new universe.

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EVE Online Makes Debut in MOMA's Applied Design Exhibit

March 1, 2013 -

CCP Games passed along a note to proudly proclaim that its flagship title, the space-themed MMO EVE Online, is part of the Applied Design exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. EVE Online is one of the first fourteen video games to enter its MOMA's permanent collection.

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EVE Online Hits 500k Subscriber Mark

February 28, 2013 -

CCP Games announced that its long-running subscription-based sci-fi MMO EVE Online has surpassed the 500,000 subscriber mark worldwide for the first time in the game’s history. The milestone is a major one in the game's ten years of operation and follows the December 4 release of EVE Online: Retribution, the game’s 18th free expansion. CCP says that this latest expansion is its most successful ever. Also in December, EVE Online relaunched in China with new partner Tiancity to bring the game to a massive new audience where it has been thriving ever since.

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Andrew EisenAdditionally, better-than-Twitch quality videos will be available after the event.07/28/2015 - 1:10pm
Andrew EisenFor anyone frustrated by the crappy sound of the SGDQ YouTube videos, I spoke to GDQ Director of Ops Matt Merkle and he told me that the sound issues that plagued earlier videos have been resolved.07/28/2015 - 1:10pm
PHX Corphttp://www.polygon.com/2015/7/27/9050375/street-fighter-5-beta-offline-delayed Street Fighter 5 beta taken offline, now postponed indefinitely07/27/2015 - 9:51pm
Goth_Skunk@eZeek: Noooooooooo.... ;)07/27/2015 - 8:44pm
MechaTama31Re: Google+, wow. I never in a million years thought they would backpedal on that. I just resigned myself to not using commenting functions on any of their services.07/27/2015 - 6:21pm
E. Zachary KnightGoth, are you saying all women are fat. ;)07/27/2015 - 5:38pm
benohawkMake it more adorable and more gender neutral! Widescreen Dog and 16:9 their 16 kitten sidekicks07/27/2015 - 5:15pm
Goth_SkunkOr, if you prefer, Widescreen Woman.07/27/2015 - 4:12pm
Goth_SkunkWho will save us from this abominable practice?! Introducing WIDESCREEN MAN and his sidekick 16:9!07/27/2015 - 4:10pm
Andrew EisenInteresting coincidence. I tweeted about the evils of vertically oriented video just last night. https://twitter.com/AndrewEisen/status/62549836960397312007/27/2015 - 4:01pm
PHX Corphttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJ_I9-CkzDE The Great Atari Ransack (The Jimquisition) Warning Vertical video syndrome in one scene07/27/2015 - 3:40pm
MattsworknameBout time google07/27/2015 - 3:33pm
james_fudgeugh. TG man :)07/27/2015 - 1:15pm
MechaCrashGoogle drops Google+ requirements for YouTube and other services: http://venturebeat.com/2015/07/27/google-is-dropping-its-google-requirement-across-all-products-starting-with-youtube/07/27/2015 - 12:55pm
benohawkThat still isn't Steam pay royalties. At best it is Bethesda not being willing to relicense the music,07/27/2015 - 12:51pm
Infophile(cont'd) different service. This often happened with TV shows, where music was only licensed for broadcast, but not for DVD release. So for many older shows, they either have to relicense it or use different/no music for the DVD release.07/27/2015 - 12:36pm
Infophile@benohawk: It most likely comes down to the original licensing agreement for the music in it. Often those agreements only license it for the medium it first releases in, so it has to be re-licensed if it's rereleased in a different form or through a ...07/27/2015 - 12:35pm
benohawkWhy would steam be paying royalties on anything in quake?07/27/2015 - 12:01pm
black mantaI recommend using the KMQuake II patch which supports .ogg music files, then downloading the music from someplace, then dropping it in to a music folder into the \baseq2 directory.07/27/2015 - 10:32am
black mantaI got Quake 2 during the Steam Quakecon sale. Funny thing is, there's no music for it! Guess Steam didn't want to pay the royalty fees or something.07/27/2015 - 10:30am
 

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