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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Report: Chinese Government Creating Criteria for Online Gaming Addiction

February 19, 2013 -

According to a report from Xinhuanet (as reported on by Shanghaiist), the Chinese government is developing its own set of criteria for early diagnosis of online game addiction in young people. Chinese authorities announced plans on Sunday to develop "China-specific criteria" for diagnosing and treating online gaming addiction in minors.

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Wargaming Acquires Gas Powered Games, Hires Chris Taylor

February 14, 2013 -

Free-to-play MMO developer and publisher Wargaming has come to the rescue of Gas Powered Games, who looked like it might go out of business just a few days ago after it canceled a Kickstarter campaign for its game Wildman - the success of which founder Chris Taylor categorized as vital to the company's future survival. Wargaming bought the Seattle-Washington-based developer of such hit franchises as Dungeon Siege, Supreme Commander and Demigod for an undisclosed amount of money.

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EVE Fanfest 2013 Sold Out

February 13, 2013 -

CCP Games has informed us that the EVE Fanfest 2013 event to celebrate all things related to its popular space MMO EVE Online sold out last week. The event held once a year in Reykjavik, Iceland will see about 1,400 attendees - about 50 percent more than last year's event. The Fanfest offers attendees three days of EVE Online and CCP-related activities that include panels, local Icelandic excursions, presentations from the game's developers, PvP tournaments, a developer-lead pub crawl, game reveals, and the general joys of camaraderie.

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Kongregate CEO: Core Gamers Spend More Than Casual Players

February 8, 2013 -

Indie games portal Kongregate says that "core gamers" tend to spend way more money than casual gamers on its popular gaming destination (which is owned by retailer GameStop). Speaking to Develop, Kongregate CEO Jim Greer said that while the free-to-play titles it offers had a similar conversion rate to other platforms (two-to-three percent) paying core gamers were spending an average of approximately $60 a month.

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CasinoRPG Hits Kickstarter Funding Goal

February 5, 2013 -

With just two more hours to go in its Kickstarter campaign, Goldfire Studios has managed to go slightly over its funding goal of $20,000 for its gambling-based MMORPG, CasinoRPG. As of this writing the Kickstarter raised $20,161 from 197 backers. The next step for the persistent virtual world gambling game is a private beta test, though some of that testing will likely be tied to various reward tiers.

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CasinoRPG Nears Kickstarter Goal, With One Day to Go Before Deadline

February 4, 2013 -

As mentioned by E. Zachary Knight on Episode 39 of the Super Podcast Action Committee, today is the last day to contribute to the Kickstarter for Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based Goldfire Studios' Vegas-themed MMORPG CasinoRPG.

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Funcom Closes Beijing Studio, Lays Off More Staff in Canada, U.S.

January 25, 2013 -

Secret World and Age of Conan developer Funcom continues to tighten its belt as part of a restructuring plan it announced last year. Today the company announced that it has closed its Beijing studio and laid off staff in its Canadian and U.S. offices. The Beijing studio was responsible for creating the art and animation for the company's Secret World MMO. Responsibilities of the Beijing studio will be moved to Funcom's U.S. offices. Despite a heavier workload Funcom also reduced the workforce at the Raleigh, North Carolina-based office.

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SOE and MLG Team Announce PlanetSide 2 Partnership

January 25, 2013 -

Sony Online Entertainment and Major League Gaming announced that they have teamed up to bring PlanetSide to the MLG's competitive gaming audience.

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Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Game Picks on SWTOR's 'Gay Planet'

January 16, 2013 -

After announcing that it would launch a planet in Star Wars: The Old Republic where players could engage in same sex relationships with NPC's, the gaming community's reaction has been mixed.  The new planet, Makeb, will be launched as part of the Rise of the Hutt Cartel expansion pack to be released later this year.

But the LGBT community is not happy with the relationships being isolated on one planet or the fact that they will have to buy an expansion pack in order to use it. Some are calling this little wrinkle "pay-to-gay."

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ArenaNet: Three Million Units of Guild Wars 2 Sold Since Launch

January 15, 2013 -

ArenaNet's Colin Johanson says that the popular online-focused RPG Guild Wars 2 has managed to sell over three million copies since it was released and launched in August of 2012. He made the announcement as part of an update on the game's official site detailing what new content the company plans to bring to Guild Wars 2 players in the next few months.

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Funcom Moves Forward With Restructuring Despite Success with The Secret World Free-to-Play Changes

January 11, 2013 -

Even though Funcom's The Secret World MMO found success after switching from a monthly subscription fee to a free-to-play payment model (more than 70,000 copies of the game were sold in the last four weeks, according to Eurogamer), the company is still forced to move ahead with restructuring, according to Develop.

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Tera Going Free-to-Play in February

January 9, 2013 -

En Masse Entertainment and Bluehole Studios announced that their massively multiplayer online role-playing game Tera soon be switching from a monthly subscription plan to free-to-play. While the exact date for this switch from paid subscription to free has not been revealed, the companies say it will happen sometime in February.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic Executive Producer Same Gender Relationships Delayed Because of Switch to Free-to-Play

January 3, 2013 -

In an update this week to the official blog for Star Wars: The Old Republic, Executive Producer Jeff Hickman detailed some of the changes that the next big update to the Star Wars themed free-to-play MMO will bring. Besides delivering changes to a special PvP area, the 1.7 update also sees the return of the Gree Enclave area, and details on why the inclusion of same-sex relationships has been pushed back slightly.

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Jagex Spends £500k on Ad Campaign for Runescape

December 26, 2012 -

Jagex Software has decided to spend about half a million pounds on a fancy Runescape TV and marketing campaign. The marketing campaign running in theaters for the 12-year-old MMO is running during showings of The Hobbit in UK and Australian theaters. Publisher Jagex has also bought spots on TV and digital channels for a campaign that runs until January 6th. The TV campaign is being run on E4, Dave, Sky, FX, and Disney XD.

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Family Guy Online Shutting Down in January 2013

December 24, 2012 -

Fox announced that it will shut down its online game based on the popular animated television series Family Guy. The company announced that Family Guy Online will be shutting down for good on January 18, 2013 and that some subscribers would get refunds. Anyone who made in-game purchases between October 22 and December 21, 2012 will receive a refund in early January.

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NCsoft Unloading All NC Interactive Shares, Launching New U.S. Subsidiary

December 13, 2012 -

Korean MMO publisher NCsoft will sell its shares in NC Interactive - the company's U.S.-based subsidiary at the end of this month, according to a Reuters report. NCsoft will sell its 809 million shares on Dec. 24 for 78,348,368,000 South Korean wons, or USD $72,926,269.

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Funcom Ditches Subscription Model for The Secret World MMO

December 12, 2012 -

Funcom has decided to ditch the $15 a month subscription fee for its MMO The Secret World. The company announced today that players can now enjoy the game for free, though they'll still have to drop $30 to buy the game. After that players can opt for a special monthly membership or play for free and buy items from an in-game store as they see fit.

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Trion Worlds Confirms Layoffs, But Does Not Disclose Numbers

December 12, 2012 -

GamesIndustry International is reporting that MMO developer and publisher Trion World has confirmed that an undisclosed number of developers have been laid off at the company. The news of the layoffs surfaced on Twitter with one tweet noting the firing of 30 people at Trion's San Francisco office. Later an affected source told Gamasutra that the layoffs were primarily at Trion's Rift development team. Trion Worlds later confirmed the layoffs, but would not reveal specific numbers.

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Unauthorized My Little Pony MMO Shut Down

December 10, 2012 -

When you develop a game without the permission of the copyright holder, chances are you will be in for some sort of legal action. Such is the fate of the My Little Pony MMO, which has been shut down after the developers of the game received a copyright and trademark infringement claim from Hasbro. The game was not approved by Hasbro. Fearing serious legal action the developers decided it would be prudent to just shut the game down.

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Report: Layoffs Hit NCsoft's Seattle Studio

December 5, 2012 -

According to what NCSoft PR director tells PC Gamer, the company has laid of an undisclosed number of employees at its Seattle office. That office is responsible for Guild Wars 2. Guild Wars 2 publisher NCsoft has laid off several staff as part of a studio "realignment," it has confirmed. Davis confirmed to PC Gamer that it has laid off "several" staff members, but did not reveal specific numbers.

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Did Microsoft pay too much ($2.5 billion) for Minecraft developer Mojang?:

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Michael ChandraYou want a debate? Build a wall between you and the poisoned well. Make clear you despise it, despise the behaviour. Then get into the other issues you are troubled with, and don't say a single word again about the poisoned well.09/19/2014 - 3:46am
Michael ChandraAnd someone claiming #notyourshield was to be taken serious, when chatlogs show they wanted it going to hide even more harassment behind? Yeah, not buying a word you're saying. You poisoned your own well.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael Chandraallegedly fired over giving a game a mediocre review and the company threatened to pull ads? Sorry but I ain't buying this.09/19/2014 - 3:45am
Michael ChandraBut people arguing this is horrible and just about ethics, even though there's very little support that journalistic integrity was actually violated here, while they never spoke up when a journalist was09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Michael ChandraIf people start with condemning the way GamersGate was used as a misdirection, then use a better hashtag, that would work in convincing me they mean it.09/19/2014 - 3:43am
Andrew EisenOoo, this one came down to the wire! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/749082525/nefarious09/19/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenI don't doubt that many are truly interested in journalistic integrity. The problem I'm often seeing is they seem to have no idea how or where to talk about it.09/18/2014 - 11:46pm
Andrew EisenDidn't word that well. Busy at work. I've seen people claim that GamerGate is solely about ethics and transparency in games journalism and then go on to show that what they're really after is silencing those who talk about gender issues in games.09/18/2014 - 11:45pm
Kronodebate. Becaus apparently people who only post on Reddit are supposed to police twitter before they're allowed to question anything about the people involved.09/18/2014 - 10:40pm
KronoI highly doubt many, if any are using journalistic integrity as a cover for harassment. The people harassing are essentially trolls. They aren't interested in subtle. More often it's othe other way around. People use "but X is being harassed" to shut down09/18/2014 - 10:38pm
Andrew EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others (though I've seen no examples of that).09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoLines like "like a partial compromise with the howling trolls who’ve latched onto ‘ethics’ as the latest flag in their onslaught against evolution and inclusion." are taring everyone questioning the ethics as a harasser.09/18/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Except, none of the articles were talking about gamers complaining about journalist ethics, let alone called them white male misogynists. They were talking about the gamers who were harassing others.09/18/2014 - 8:36pm
Kronomakes plenty of sense. It's rather hard to dismiss someone as a white guy running a sock puppet when they've posted proof they're a woman, or black, or another minority.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat any critics of journalists were white guys that hated women, and could be dismissed as such. It seems to have helped some. It's kind of difficult to maintain the white guy narrative in the face of a bunch of women and non-white guys. So the tag09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat, someone vented on a #gamergate 4chan thread about being dismissed like that. The suggestion they got in return was to organize their own hashtag in response, with #NotYourShield being suggested. Thus the tag came into use to combat the undercurrent09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronomuch more general problem. And while several of the articles were fairly tame, they spured a bunch of people to dismiss any critics of the journalism involved as misogynistic men. Usually with insults aimed at the geek stereotype. After about a week of09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
 

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